MDS Global, a leading provider of business support systems (BSS) to telecoms operators, today published its findings and analysis of the Annual Industry Survey conducted by the Intelligence team at Telecoms.com.
Based on 287 responses from telecoms professionals, MDS Global says the survey shows dissatisfaction with 5G service results, with the ability of operators to partner with third parties on services, and with the speed at which new services can be launched.
MDS Global says outdated, inflexible business support systems are at the root of operator frustrations and that modern, digital BSS stacks are required to run in parallel to existing systems in order to better support the launch of new services.
Strikingly, the survey showed five out of six service providers (83 per cent) felt their existing BSS stack lacked the functionality to work with third parties on new services. In contrast, and emphasising the potential scale of the problem, more than half of those responding (54 per cent) believed that third party partnerships could represent up to 30 per cent of their future revenues and almost one-in-five believed that the revenue share could be up to 50 per cent.
Service providers have ambitious plans to address the 5G market with new enterprise services. Some 49 per cent identified smart cities as one of the key target markets, but manufacturing (43%) transport (41%) healthcare (37%) and agriculture (30%) all featured strongly. So far, however, the potential additional revenues have remained largely out of reach, with only 8 per cent of respondents saying 5G had exceeded their expectations to date, while 31 per cent admitted to disappointment.
The lack of functionality and flexibility within existing BSS solutions is without doubt a factor. As well as the inability to work with third-party partners, 29 per cent of respondents said new services could take more than six months to launch using existing solutions, and more than a third said it was ‘difficult to impossible’ to bundle together new and traditional services on their current BSS.
Not surprisingly, respondents fully recognised the limitations of their existing systems. Some 37 per cent said they would need a new solution for IoT services, 32 per cent said it was required for 5G services, and more than a quarter felt it would be needed for all non-traditional telco services.
Commenting on the report, Steve Bowen, CEO of MDS Global, said: “The new enterprise 5G services that operators design will be complex, requiring integration with partners, new levels of service assurance, specialist discounting and revenue sharing with third-parties, as well as the ability to bundle together telco and non-telco products.
“To succeed in these chosen markets,” he added, “providers will need to run a clean, separate BSS stack that is designed to meet the complexities of the enterprise market. Importantly, it is clear that these systems must have the flexibility and agility to enable the providers to work with third parties to co-create these new, valuable services and get them to market quickly.”