A Robust BSS Strategy is Required for IoT Provider Success
Both network-based and virtual network providers need to consider a BSS Transformation to ensure a healthy and competitive market.
MVNOs that are focused primarily on the IoT space have been building creative enterprise business models in the last couple of years and now look as though they will become a key member of the ecosystem. Several companies are offering multi-network global platforms based on a cloud management platform from which they can offer their enterprise customers a variety of IoT bundled solutions. On the surface, these are disruptive offerings in the market, but are still need to build a customer base across different IoT markets. Yet many MNOs don’t wish to or cannot compete with these highly agile and responsive startups, many of which operate on a fully virtualized, cloud core network.
As IoT MVNOs currently enjoy a surge in interest, the importance of a solid monetization plan must be part of that trend. It is more than likely that the competitive environment around these services will heat up as the MNOs are finally empowered with the cloud-native, digital operations frameworks that they have been talking about for the last decade and of course, the revenue opportunity.
Are Network Providers Watching?
Vodafone recently reported at their Future Ready event in the UK that the advent of 5G has brought about a renaissance in addressable markets. Yet the new network is a powerful asset beyond what was imagined, and consequently the underlying BSS must be capable of much more than was initially scoped. Tellingly, one of the main themes of the event was IoT opportunities. MNOs like Vodafone have IoT back on the agenda, because they are leveling the playing field with next-generation network paradigms and software architectures.
As 5G ramps up to full scale into 2020, virtualized networks and advanced new RAN options give MNOs the ability to engage in the IoT proposition fully. The complexity of millions of devices, working on a mix of wireless connectivity options, behaving in a sporadic way, is the stuff of nightmares for legacy BSS.
The BSS Impact
Starting from a model more akin to the cloud-native webscale companies rather than a CSP, the new breed of IoT MVNOs have chosen a model that will allow them to be very aggressive on price. These service providers must still be able to scale the business without affecting that price structure profitability yet be able to adapt quickly to competitive movements. This agility is outside what the traditional MNOs with large legacy networks and disparate OSS/BSS have been able to do. Yet as the competitive activity grows, so does the impetus to ensure that OSS/BSS isn’t a bottleneck to success.
What does this mean for the new competitive environment? It expands it significantly, creating a whole new market that can support a lower entry price point for enterprises that are looking to promote innovative new IoT models but have in the past seen the cost structure as prohibitively expensive. Thus, the steadily growing IoT markets will get a shot in the arm, benefitting all of the key players, as new enablement platforms drive a wave of innovation, and BSS investments provide the business model flexibility.
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