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Mar 4, 2019 | 3 minute read

Digital commerce in the 5G world

written by Anatoli IIakimets

5G is the next generation of mobile networks that will drastically increase performance and enable new use-cases across three dimensions:

  • Massive machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will accelerate the adoption of M2M/IoT leading to emergence of many new use-cases including remote control, infrastructure monitoring, health, connected cars and many others.
  • Ultra-reliable low latency communications will allow to achieve latencies as low as 1ms which enable delivery of new services such as near-real time data processing, remote control and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR).
  • Enhanced mobile broadband will enable 10x to 100x faster networks comparing to 4G allowing fixed-like services to be delivered to business and consumers through mobile connections.

Although still in its infancy, 5G is growing rapidly with the number of 5G connections expected to reach almost 1.5 billion by 2024. New use-cases and capabilities enabled by 5G will accelerate enterprise digital transformation across verticals, such as:

  • NEW TOUCHPOINTS. In the world where people, devices, equipment and cars are connected wirelessly at any time, increasing the number of interactions will happen through emerging touchpoints. Consumers and enterprises will interact with businesses to experience and order new products in near-real time with AR/VR, chat bots and a multitude of connected devices. For example, new pay-per-view content can be ordered directly from a connected car through an entertainment system. Enterprises will be able to order new stock based on data from sensors in the equipment and applications connected to the network.
  • NEW PRODUCTS and SERVICES. Increased speeds, low latency and the adoption of M2M/IoT use-cases will enable new B2C and B2B business models based around on-demand services delivered anywhere in the world at any time. Manufacturers will be able to sell hardware products in on-demand fashion with new value-added services. Financial services will be equipped to charge customers depending on their level of activity, including usage-based car and equipment insurance. Telecom service providers will be able to allow subscribers to granularly configure their service based on various parameters including speed, bandwidth and quality of service.
  • NEW EXPERIENCES. Enormous amount of data generated in the connected world will provide enterprises with valuable information on how their B2C and B2B customers use their products and services. This will allow enterprises to build an understanding of customer usage patterns, locations and profiles to design personalized offerings. Combined with the on-demand business models it will enable real-time hyper-personalization of products and services. 

Commerce Requirements

In order to drive the sustainable business growth in the 5G world, enterprises will need to employ a commerce solution that enables the delivery of new hyper-personalized offerings across traditional and new touchpoints:

  • Diverse new business models will require commerce solutions to have comprehensive product management capabilities. It will need to support products and services with different payment methods including one-time, flat-rate, subscription-based, usage-based. On top of that it will need to support partner-enabled offerings as enterprises will extensively bundle their own and third-party offerings.
  • Emerging touchpoints will require service providers to have comprehensive APIs on top of their commerce platform. The APIs will provide quotation and ordering through any channel, be it a vending machine or a connected car. Many of the touchpoints in the 5G ecosystem will be owned by third parties, which means that the APIs have to be well-documented, so that the third parties’ developers will be able to develop applications on top of them.
  • To deliver hyper-personalized experiences commerce platform will need to provide comprehensive capabilities for promotion management and offering personalization. It will have to leverage data from diverse sources including billing, interactions, account profile to deliver personalized offerings with custom prices in real-time. Promotions will have to be defined both for large customer segments, as well as, microsegments and individual customers.