Strategy Analytics, a world-renowned market research and consulting company, recently released a white paper entitled “Driving 5G Monetization with Network Slicing: Potential Business Models”. The report explains that for 5G networks to achieve commercial success, network slicing services are required as important enablers to effectively expand 5G market opportunities. The mobile ecosystem must focus on the development and enablement of network slicing service business models. Considering the go-to-market approach, the report proposes four business models, sharing and affirming ZTE’s practice and experience in the B2B2X model.

Strategy Analytics pointed out that in the face of the ever changing requirements of customers, monetization efforts by CSPs should focus on building unique capabilities and values of 5G. And network slicing can provide two main values for service operations, namely cost efficiency and differentiated service ability, by delivering network slice to multiple segments of customers. That helps expand market opportunities and gain revenue opportunities with SLA indicators other than data traffic.

Regarding how to build a slicing business model, Strategy Analytics proposed four potential business models: B2C, B2B2C, B2B and B2B2B, and pointed out that special attention should be paid to the role of “middle B” in the B2B2X model. In the B2B2C model, “middle B” bundles its specific services with slicing SLAs to improve the end-customer experience and realize the operator’s 5G network SLA capabilities. In the B2B2B model, “middle B” can solve the market fragmentation challenge faced by operators in many vertical industries. In the practice of 5G slicing, in partnership with China Mobile, China Unicom and Tencent, ZTE has verified the feasibility of the B2B2C model in cloud gaming slicing. Meanwhile, ZTE, China Telecom and Bluetron have developed the industrial machine-vision slicing application, which fully verifies the advantages of the B2B2B model.

Strategy Analytics believes that for most service buyers, slice is the behind-the-scenes tool to deliver and guarantee services, and is not directly presented in the form of products. Therefore, the ease of the use of slicing services is essential. Slice Store introduces a convenient self-service solution, in which sales staff, partners or end users can customize the required service parameters from an online store, and then a slice is instantiated automatically and the customized service will be delivered over that slice. From the perspective of the slice store introduced by ZTE in a number of commercial trials, the slice store has the following advantages: shortening service launch time based on templates, sharing network resources and reducing delivery costs, flexible pricing and billing models, dynamically monitoring KPIs and modifying slice service parameters.

As the world’s leading integrated communications solution and information technology provider, ZTE is the first to release a 5G end-to-end slicing solution, and has cooperated with a number of leading operators and industry partners to conduct network slicing + MEC field trials in areas of smart manufacturing, games/videos, smart grids, and smart transportation. Regarding the 5G slice commercialization and ZTE’s contribution, Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Service Provider Strategies at Strategy Analytics explains, “For 5G network slicing to live up to its potential, it is important for the mobile ecosystem to more fully consider and develop business models for network slicing services. Ease of use for end-users and partners is essential. Using a self-service slice store concept really opens up opportunities through support for the “middle B” in B2B2C and B2B2B business models to drive additional monetization for operators and their broader ecosystem partners.” She adds, “ZTE has been a leader in exploring the potential of network slicing to deliver additional value to mobile operators, ecosystem partners and end-users in a range of commercial trials.”

Click here to download the whitepaper.

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