By Murat Sahinoglu
Experts are all eyeing 5G to open up monetization opportunities for communication service providers (CSPs) beyond their traditional markets. However, the million dollars question on everyone’s mind is how to capture these opportunities?
Standing above previous generations, 5G will give operators the opportunity to evolve their position in the value chain, playing three distinct roles: “Network Developer,” “Service Enabler,” and “Service Creator.”
These roles allow operators to provide increasing value from 5G network infrastructure, they can provide tailored connectivity solutions through a 5G digital platform for business customers to build their own processes and offers including “massive IoT,” and enable new digital services to collaborate on use cases beyond just communications.
At Ericsson, we believe that by setting the right goals for digital Business Support Systems (BSS), service providers can define new business models to monetize 5G.
As the first company that has launched live commercial 5G networks on four continents and the provider of core solutions that are supporting 2.5 billion subscribers from 2G to 5G, our team at Ericsson has been involved hands on with 5G technology evolution 5G and evaluating use cases of today and tomorrow.
If we look at new stakeholder groups that need to be considered in the 5G/IoT business context, we have four groups:
- Enterprises and industry verticals that require solutions beyond telecoms
- New types of suppliers such as IoT device providers and suppliers of eSIM (embedded SIM) and related technologies
- Platform providers that specialize in specific IoT or edge clusters or groups of use cases such as massive and broadband IoT platforms, industrial IoT platforms and content data networks
- Integrators that specialize in specific verticals such as asset management, mission-critical services or automotive that combine capabilities from multiple stakeholders to address consumer needs.
Looking at the traditional network developer role, a service provider acts solely as a cellular connectivity provider by offering solutions such as radio, core network and communication services while models are consumer focused.
In the service enabler role, the service provider extends its services by incorporating additional capabilities such as cloud/edge and IoT enablement and shifts focus to business customers and industry verticals. The service provider becomes a service enabler for 5G and the IoT, acting as a supplier of connectivity and platform services. This enables them to establish digital value systems with opportunity to deliver new services all the way up to full IoT solutions, taking on the roles of integrator, distributor or co-seller.
In the service enabler role, the service provider extends its services by incorporating additional capabilities such as cloud/edge and IoT enablement and shifts focus to business customers and industry verticals, acting as a supplier of connectivity and platform services.
To be able to take the role of service enabler, the BSS must be transformed into a system that is able to monetize IoT/5G platforms and edge deployments, which requires significant changes in both the functional and non-functional space, requiring business support systems with further functional extensions.
The stakeholder ecosystem of service creator is significantly more complex, as the customer base broadens to include verticals and the CSP starts offering full solutions beyond telecoms. As a result, BSS for service creators must include extensive and flexible partner relationship management, requiring new monetization models for charging and billing.
For example, multiparty charging, revenue sharing and profit sharing all require extended billing and reconciliation functionality. Concisely, scalability alone is not enough to handle massive amount of devices.
Looking at it from a step-by-step perspective, value chain evolution of BSS capabilities begins with “5G-enabled BSS”—supporting 5G standards and features like virtualization (NFV) and network slicing, while maintaining all of the end-to-end business capabilities. This is also the time to begin the containerization of some subsystems to provide flexibility for scaling.
The next step in BSS is “B2B, IoT, and Edge”—handling devices at IoT scale while supporting new revenue models and billing-on-behalf. This step is focused on supporting enterprise customers.
The final step is “Full IoT Ecosystem,” in which IoT and Edge partners are customers, suppliers, or both at the same time.
Use-case demands the capability to very quickly define, deploy, and adapt new offerings to capture new business opportunities when it comes to 5G. This means BSS will have to provide partners with tools that can request network capabilities, present configuration options, determine prices, and orchestrate the order—all in real time and without human intervention in a step-by-step approach.
In the recent MIT Technology Review Insights report, senior IT and network executives at telecommunications operators worldwide, including the Middle East and Africa have been asked to evaluate how they are preparing for the opportunities and challenges of 5G, and particularly how business model shifts will impact IT, network operations, and business support systems.
To conclude based on our work with operators globally as a provider of both 5G and BSS, a solid recommendation can be a 5G-evolved BSS for a smooth collaboration between connectivity providers, service creators, partners, suppliers and others that results in the efficient creation of attractive and cost-effective services.
Murat Sahinoglu, Head of Solution Area Business support systems (BSS) at Ericsson Middle East and Africa
NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.
Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.
The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.
The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”
Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.
“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.
“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.
“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.
He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.
“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.
Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.
FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.
This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.
Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .
The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.
According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.
“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.
She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.
“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.
In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”
The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.
Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention
Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.
He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.
The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.
MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.
He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.
Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.
He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged, promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.
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