5G has been a technology on the cusp of going mainstream for some time. Now it’s finally set to take off, and the managed service providers (MSP) that are proactive about the opportunity stand to find some big opportunities in the years ahead.
Research from GSMA found that across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, the number of next-generation connections will increase from 4% in 2022, to 41% by 2030. This will add $130 billion to the economy and, as GSMA notes, will underpin much of the innovation and new services on mobile-based platforms for years into the future.
The MSP Opportunity
5G allows for far more mobile and local IT infrastructure. For example, 5G will help to optimise edge mesh networks, and give MSPs the ability to offer faster, more reliable, and highly secure services over 5G connections. It will give new value to the kinds of services that MSPs might offer in a limited fashion currently, including:
The first step for many organisations will be to determine if their IT environments will benefit from 5G in the first place. MSPs will be able to kick-start a new level of engagement with their customers by offering network assessments and developing return on investment (ROI) calculators for organisations considering 5G.
For those organisations that do want to take the plunge with 5G, MSPs have an opportunity to support customers on their journey, suggesting architecture and services mixes that weren’t possible prior to adopting the technology.
Mobile Device Management
One of the key benefits of adopting 5G will be the increased mobility that it offers. However, organisations will continue to be wary of the number of remote and mobile devices with access to their networks, and MSPs can expect a new wave of demand for mobile device management solutions, that they can design and roll out for their customers.
The Rapid Acceleration of the Edge
Organisations will look to move larger and more critical workloads to edge locations, relying on 5G to enable remote sites to do what only a local network would have previously. With this comes the need for a host of migration services, and management support when those edge sites might not have access to the same level of IT support. This is where managed services come in.
Private 5G Networks
Finally, there will be some organisations that want the benefits of 5G while maintaining control over the environment. Similiar to how cloud services can be public, private, or hybrid, so too can 5G deployments, and for MSPs, offering the management and maintenance of a private 5G network on an as-a-Service basis will be a key opportunity, particularly among larger enterprises.
MSPs have an opportunity to deepen their stickiness with their customers by helping them unlock the full potential of 5G and then assisting them with maintaining and rolling out new innovations as the 5G technology continues to mature.
As the popular saying goes, much of the innovation that 5G will unlock hasn’t even been thought of yet. MSPs have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the opportunity to be part of that right now, and ride the wave of customer demand when it really starts to accelerate over the next year or two.