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Want to boost 5G growth? Get the locals on board

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5G can unlock unprecedented innovation – if CSPs can get buy-in from regional stakeholders.

As the demand for smarter devices and bandwidth grows, the telecom sector is taking on the expensive and demanding work of upgrading existing infrastructure and building new networks in anticipation of 5G.

This is what communications service providers (CSPs) need to consider if they want to push the boundaries of how quickly data can be moved, in a profitable way.

Formulate the business case

CSPs are under pressure to demonstrate that 5G is worth the heavy investment. Yet many organizations are still determining the most valuable use cases for 5G. So predicting the ROI of these costly network expansions is complicated.

And 5G network deployments are not an easy process. The shift to the smaller, denser components of 5G is very different from the widely spaced cell towers of previous generations. These networks have a smaller range and will have to transport more data faster over shorter distances.

Network installation requires cooperation with more zoning plans from local and regional authorities. And because of their unique designs, 5G networks need visibility over wider geographic areas. Strategic identification of viable use cases is therefore essential.

Local strategies are key

Many of the touted 5G use cases solve problems that exist locally or regionally, such as the need for better connectivity on commuter trains and subways; location-based services for smart cities, ports and transport solutions; or even when several street lamps need to be powered.

A necessary first step to developing strategies will be understanding data and variables at a very local level, starting with mapping existing infrastructure and understanding current capabilities and capabilities. From there, CSPs can best understand where to upgrade infrastructure first, how to provide 5G access to different geographies, and what their future revenue potential is.

Customer demand is informed by the geographic, economic and social realities at the local level, so being informed at the local level is a big differentiator.

It is also important to understand the value of 5G for a given location. What are the needs of the area? Which use cases will generate the revenue needed to recoup the cost of the build? Customer question: is informed by the geographical, economic and social realities at the local level, so being informed at the local level is a major differentiator.

A more connected way of life

Consumer data and connectivity requirements only continue growing-and use cases are only getting more complex. For example, autonomous cars, one of the most acclaimed 5G applications, require a huge amount of data, along with a nearly interference-free connection, so that vehicles can communicate with each other and maintain public safety.

The desire to realize these innovative solutions is clear. And many of these new capabilities require the low latency or even real-time communications promised by 5G networks.

With that in mind, CSPs need to connect the dots between what local customers want and how they can upgrade and deploy 5G networks faster. To enable 5G for local customers, companies like ServiceNow and Accenture are teaming up to digitize network deployments with a strategic, efficient and accurate building process†

The takeaway? When the local benefits are shown and the local needs are known, CSPs can pave the way for a faster, easier transition to 5G.

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