LAGOS – Global telecom and communication service providers have been urged to do more to address the needs of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) if they are to see a return on their enormous 5G capital investments.
A new report, published by BearingPoint//Beyond, in collaboration with Omdia, highlights the potential of SMEs as a major source of future 5G revenue for CSPs.
The report estimates that SMEs around the world could generate up to $433 billion in revenues by 2025.
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However, this market segment remains vast and untapped with the majority of CSPs focusing 70% of their resources on the 1% enterprise market. Despite this revelation, not enough CSPs are recognising SMEs as a major source of B2B revenue, especially in regard to 5G.
Yet SMEs, many of which already see value in 5G, perceive CSPs as their trusted 5G go-to partner with 42% prioritising them to execute their 5G strategies.
“CSPs are still trying to approach 5G the same way they approached 4G, with a clear focus on consumer and enterprise. However, 5G opens new opportunities for CSPs and one of them is the SME segment.
“Digitalisation and Covid-19 have transformed the needs of SMEs and their awareness of the impact that new technologies such as 5G, IoT, and AI can have on their business to enhance productivity and efficiency, and boost sales. In fact, our previous research highlighted that on average 73% of global SMEs see 5G as important to their business.
“However, it’s clear that it’s not 5G technology that they’re after, instead SMEs understand that 5G is one part of a broader technology solution that they need. In fact, 93% of SMEs told us that it’s more important for CSPs to collaborate with an ecosystem of partners to build solutions that better fit their needs than to simply provision 5G services,” said Angus Ward, CEO, BearingPoint//Beyond.
The report argues that CSPs currently identify large multinational enterprises as the segment that will drive 5G revenues, however the large enterprises surveyed do not regard CSPs as their primary 5G providers.
In fact, the report finds that 72% of enterprises would prefer to work with a service provider that is not a CSP. Findings show that 31% of large multinational enterprises will choose cloud service providers to execute their 5G strategies and 34% even favour taking a D.I.Y. approach.
The report emphasises that CSPs should not squander the opportunity to support SMEs in realising their 5G ambitions, as SMEs look to digitalise their business amidst the deeply transformational impact of Covid-19.
“We’re looking at a new type of SME, one that is seeking a partner that will orchestrate comprehensive partner ecosystems to co-create solutions to provide them with a better service. For CSPs, this is a unique opportunity, especially considering SMEs see them as a strong candidate to fulfil this role.