The 5G era presents staggering growth opportunities, with annual 5G mobile subscriptions rising to 1.9 billion in 2023, up from 13 million in 2019. By 2024, 5G-based fixed wireless access (FWA) will account for $7.4 billion, or 29 percent, of global FWA revenue.
However, the revenue opportunity in 5G spans far beyond wireless data and communications themselves, encompassing other markets like gaming, entertainment, music, security, smart home, over-the-top (OTT) video, banking, insurance, healthcare and a plethora of other services. With their positioning squarely in between consumers and producers, communications service providers (CSPs) now find themselves in an optimal position to unlock major new revenue streams within the 5G segment. However, to capitalize on this opportunity, CSPs must evolve beyond being utility-like purveyors of connectivity.
CSPs—including telcos, cable services and internet providers—are expected to announce new services at MWC20 that help will move their business into new realms.
These services will include offering 5G as a medium for FWA home broadband, both in areas where conventional fixed-line broadband is not available and in direct competition with cable, DSL and fiber.
CSPs also are set to offer consumers bundled packages of 5G and third-party OTT services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Revenue from mobile telco/OTT media bundles are expected to rise to $4.9 billion in 2024, of which $1.6 billion is for video-on-demand.
To succeed with this approach, CSPs must effectively manage its two major audiences: consumers and producers.
On one side, it will be critical to understand consumers and analyze their behaviors, preferences and willingness to spend. It also will be important to preserve consumer privacy and to become a trusted advisor while facilitating transactions with producers. On the other side, CSPs must demonstrate to producers that they maintain a relationship with a captive audience of buyers and that working with a CSP can be more beneficial than going direct-to-consumer.
Managing both challenges may seem impossible for many companies. However, some CSPs have a legitimate platform role to play, and they will not be shy about saying so at MWC20.