In previous blogs we’ve spoken about the changing telecoms environment, the impacts that the smart home will have on consumer preferences and the future of the MVNO market.
However, one stone we’ve yet to turn over in detail is that of the opportunity in B2B and why some MVNOs could diversify and capitalise on the solutions 5G will enable.
It’s easy to think that when there are already brands dominating the B2B space there’s no room for new entrants, or to suppose that a brand won’t stretch, especially if they significantly under index or have a very marginal representative market share.
Gartner predicts that by the end 2021 there will be 25 billion connected things in use. And with the pandemic instigating a wave of everything from connected living and home working to IoT innovation to address urgent social and healthcare needs, I say that’s perfect conditions for growth and innovation for MVNOs.
Historically MNO activity has been about offering a great service and price for business communications, with the level of ‘managed service’ options increasing based on the size of the organisation.
Traditionally, B2B has lagged behind the consumer segment in terms of innovation and pricing. More often than not this has come down to complexity.
However, it’s surprising how even the most paired back of offers could cut through if executed well. Some small boutique telecoms and IT suppliers are proving that you can successfully compete against the big boys because they are taking the time to develop exciting and targeted bespoke services. They are of course more agile and it translates into focused and targeted marketing strategies.
5G steps this all up a gear and presents new options for product and service innovation – everything from smart cities delivering intelligent traffic routing, through saving water with sensors on water pipes to robots picking our defected product on manufacturing lines.
And that’s only part of the story. We’ll see more and more fixed and mobile convergence in the coming months. It’s now a necessity to manage teams working from home, or more erratic hours in an office.
Network virtualisation and cloud technologies are leading the way in terms of creating fully integrated fixed, mobile and IT solutions to support this. Put a customer service wrap around it, one that solves the pain many businesses face, and you’re well on the way to a successful and differentiated strategy.
And that’s the key – anyone can integrate services, but not everyone can deliver a standard of customer service that helps its customers grow, innovate and compete.
Certain segments will be facing different pressures, be that a buoyant switching market as we see in the insurance and utility sector, regulation that drives change in the financial services industry, or the adoption of IoT in the manufacturing and logistics sector.
Understanding these operational opportunities and difficulties is where the opportunity lies. But the real winners will be those who don’t just solve the problems but do it in a way no one else can. Skill will be critical. Me too won’t wash. Companies need to tap into the ‘extraordinary’ from their service providers so that they can achieve the extraordinary. And they are willing to pay for it if the ROI is proven. Tap into that and you have boundless growth potential.
About the author
Managing Director at Graystone Strategy
James has over 25 years of experience working in the telecoms, MVNO and retail industries. He is an expert in subscription based business models, CRM, direct and indirect channel management and major proposition development and launches. He has held a number of Marketing Director & Consumer Director roles with mobile networks and retailers and now advises boards and start-ups on business and marketing strategy.