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MWC 2023 highlights APIs and NaaS as vital tools for telco monetization, says GlobalData

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telecom service providers

GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, sent a contingent of analysts to MWC 2023 and among the many engaging conversations with vendors and telecom service providers one topic was ever present: How can telcos make money from investment in next-generation technologies such as 5G?

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘MWC 2023 Review: 5G and Private Networks Come of Age While Telcos Look for Monetization Answers’ reveals that the answer lies in API technologies and the enablement of network-as-a-service (NaaS) models. Telecom service providers will also have to consider how they fund future investment in both infrastructure and enterprise-oriented solutions.

Gary Barton, Research Director, Enterprise Technology and Services at GlobalData, comments: “Telecom service providers have largely been excluded from the revenue benefits of investment in 4G and fiber broadband by the rise of over-the-top (OTT) services such as public cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS). APIs offer the opportunity for telcos to directly monetize access to their networks by making users pay at the point of contact.”

Despite the emerging success of 5G as an alternative to wireline connectivity and in enabling advanced industry-specific solutions through the deployment of private networks, telcos are again at risk of missing out on high margin sales.

Barton continues: “At the moment, telcos are often overlooked in favor of systems integrators when it comes to solutions addressing advanced industrial use cases. Opening up APIs to developers will allow providers to incubate new propositions for their 5G networks and offer innovative solutions to enterprises.”

Another key element is improving the customer experience for enterprises when consuming network services.

Barton concludes: “Enterprises have become accustomed to the on-demand nature of cloud services. Network and access solutions need to catch up. Enabling NaaS methodologies will also enhance the mission criticality of telcos for enterprises by better supporting key applications and services.”

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