The telecommunications industry landscape has changed in monumental ways in the last decade—with even more changes on the horizon. Long gone are the days where settlements included a handful of partners working to reconcile calls and messaging. Today, CSPs need to navigate complex joint ventures involving settlements from a wide variety of digital services including connectivity, IoT services and 5G.

To thrive in this new era, communication service providers (CSPs) will need to embrace an ecosystem of partnerships. Additionally, they will need the capabilities to manage non-usage-based settlements with partners. The telco landscape will only grow more complex in the coming years, but with innovative digital partnerships, CSPs can take advantage of the opportunity.

The opportunity

In the past, CSPs have been able to sustain strong revenues through their B2C voice offerings. In recent years, however, that market has become increasingly commoditized and profits have shrunk. To counteract these losses, the industry will need to capitalise on new revenue streams. Technologies such as IoT, 5G, network functions virtualization, software-defined networking and cloud-based platforms are creating significant opportunities for CSPs to build profitable partnerships and launch innovative services. Rather than delivering only connectivity, operators can become digital ecosystem enablers, co-creating new services with partners and customers.

According to Omdia, non-voice international wholesale revenues are poised to double between 2018 and 2025. The industry appears to agree when it comes to the future, as more than 70 per cent of operators estimate that B2B2X will represent at least half of their overall revenues by 2029, up from 10 per cent of revenues in 2019.

The potential use cases

Let’s run through several business areas where CSPs can capitalise on the evolving environment:

  • Co-branded digital content—CSPs can manage billing on behalf of a content provider like Netflix or Spotify and carry out revenue sharing for recurring and one-off charges.
  • Digital content and TV broadcasting services—Through partnerships with content providers, CSPs can offer TV broadcast services through set-top-boxes (STBs) or as internet protocol television (IPTV) services.
  • Enterprise connectivity—CSPs can lease dark fibre, connectivity services and corporate VoIP.
  • 5G services—As 5G becomes more ubiquitous, network slicing is poised to become a major opportunity for the industry.
  • IoT services—IoT will create opportunities in a wide range of industries, such as healthcare, telematics, inventory management, manufacturing, retail and utilities.
  • Transactional settlement—CSPs can settle charges for transactions by partners, such as subscriber lookups, summary aggregation, account tracking and invoicing.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)—A mobile network operator can offer IaaS to mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and IoT partners and perform settlements for various services needed. Settlement models can include subscriber bundle-based rating, tiered pricing based on latency, QoS and bandwidth.
  • Cloud/SaaS Offerings—CSPs can settle charges for offerings like cloud storage, computing resources, the rental of enterprise software and desktop applications and antivirus software.

The challenge

The partner ecosystems required to support these new use cases typically feature hundreds, if not thousands, of involved parties. With this level of complexity, legacy systems and disjointed platforms, which often rely on manual processes that require human intervention and lack a single view of the customer, will simply be incapable of keeping up.

The ecosystems of tomorrow will be even more complex. To win in the new era of ecosystems, CSPs need a business solution that can support end-to-end processes to seamlessly increase revenue opportunities by offering services with partners and providing additional value.

The solution

CSG is an industry leader in digital partner management and monetization. Our end-to-end solution, available both on-premise or as SaaS, is designed to handle the digital partner settlement lifecycle and can withstand the high volumes that digital services create. With CSG, CSPs will be able to efficiently manage the end-to-end lifecycle from customer quote management and partner onboarding to fulfilment, billing, settlement, and in-life management.

The benefits

By utilising an end-to-end solution, CSPs will see increased efficiency through automation, significantly reduced complexity and costs, quicker revenues, and increased customer satisfaction. We provide a 360-degree view of the customer and the flexibility to support a wide range of settlement models. As CSPs launch new digital services, more partners will need to be onboarded and managed. By utilizing an innovative, end-to-end solution, CSPs can manage and monetize new, lucrative opportunities.

To stay competitive in an ever-evolving industry, operators need to successfully navigate a complicated ecosystem of partners. CSG thrives on complexity and can help identify, capture, and capitalize on new opportunities. Through an end-to-end solution, CSPs can excel in the new era of ecosystems through digital partnerships.

By Finn Kornbo, Product Director, CSG

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