Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, Vodafone lead AT&T, Verizon for enterprise 5G
Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, Orange, China Mobile, and Vodafone have ranked top, apparently in order, in an assessment of 20 mobile network operators for enterprise 5G connectivity. These five are “clear leaders in this space”, said author ABI Research, and head the market from a second ‘mainstream’ grouping that includes US pair AT&T and Verizon, European stalwarts Telefónica, Telia, and BT, plus Singapore-based Singtel.
A press statement lists this second group in order, as: Verizon, Telefonica, Telia, AT&T, Singtel, BT. A third group of nine ‘follower’ telcos has also been identified for supply of enterprise 5G. The third group is ordered as follows: KT, KDDI, LGU+, NTT-Docomo, STC, Etisalat, Bharti Airtel, Telstra, and Softbank. Deutsche Telekom is praised as overall leader for “the most diversified product portfolio”, with more flexible deployment models and pricing.
Praise is also reserved for China Mobile, Orange, and Vodafone; China Unicom, second in the ranking-list, is not mentioned again, curiously. China Mobile is recognized for network slicing trials and “enterprise-specific standardization work”; Orange is notable for its “ecosystem partnerships”; Vodafone scored well for developing a “complete digitization platform in attractive business models, which are particularly easy to deploy”.
The study, available here, rated the 20 firms’ enterprise 5G products – which cover various private, shared, sliced, and public 5G network allocations for enterprises – for “innovation and implementation”. ABI Research set 12 criteria, including: deployment flexibility (ranked by number of monetizable services); scalability and modularity (by how 5G is incorporated into an ‘end-to-end digitization platform’); ecosystem influence (by number of joint-innovation labs).
Other criteria included tech contributions (evaluated by the number of slicing trials and 3GPP SA6 contributions for mission-critical apps), and implementation capabilities (ranking their regional reach, enterprise reach, ease of implementation, ecosystem partnerships, enterprise deployments, and complementary LTE offerings for enterprises).
Leo Gergs, senior analyst for telco enterprise strategies and private networks at ABI Research, said: “Our assessment clearly identifies key aspects that network operators should consider to realize their enterprise 5G ambitions. At the heart of this, carriers need to understand that enterprises do not see value in deploying 5G connectivity as such, but in the applications, it will enable.
“Therefore, network operators need to integrate cellular connectivity into a much wider technology platform, including artificial intelligence and data storage and device management capabilities. To be able to offer this in an attractive pricing structure, it is imperative that network operators depart from a connectivity-focused business model and fully embrace either a network-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service model.”
His comments echo the line from Software AG yesterday, about its work with Singapore-based StarHub as a ‘blueprint’ for carrier-led enterprise 5G. The Germany-based firm, which works with 20 carrier partners of its own for IoT data management, says StarHub’s strategy is progressive because it wraps the 5G element into a broader enterprise IoT play. The article is available here.
Gergs at ABI Research commented: “This assessment serves as a critical call to action to mobile network operators around the globe. For the operators considered in this assessment, it highlights critical aspects that need to be refined in their enterprise strategy. For remaining operators, it should act as a wake-up call to get their enterprise offerings in place sooner rather than later.
“Enterprises are still waiting for the 5G enabled capabilities that were promised to them more than two years ago. This disappointment makes them consider non-cellular technology alternatives. Carriers must therefore understand that the window of opportunity is closing for CSPs to gain traction in the enterprise 5G world.”