The promise of 5G mobile networking is sky-high: enhancing our personal and professional lives through seamless IoT connectivity, larger-than-life VR and AR offerings, lightning-speed business communications, and new, never-before-seen wireless offerings. With 5G in the mix, communication service providers (CSPs) are eager to partner with developers, hardware vendors, computing services, and other enterprises to take advantage of everything this upgraded communication technology has to offer.

The challenge, of course, is monetization—pricing products and services around perceived value instead of consumption and ensuring every vendor involved gets their due.

James Messer, founder and CEO of Gotransverse, addresses this challenge in his latest Forbes aricle. “For all stakeholders to take advantage of the potential of 5G,” he says, “there needs to be a new service delivery model as well as new services.” His solution? The 5G marketplace. “Adopting a 5G marketplace will give CSPs, cloud services, developers, and third-party partners a digital, self-service portal where they can offer 5G products with different fee structures.”

In his article, Messer examines the potential for selling 5G services and best practices for monetizing those services. We encourage you to read his full insights in Forbes, but we’ll share the highlights here.

5G Services in the Digital Marketplace

A digital marketplace, notes Messer, is an online destination that connects individual buyers with various sellers, offering a "one-stop shop" for whatever they're looking for, including a unified platform to facilitate the transaction. Think Etsy, Amazon, or the Apple or Google App stores for general examples.

“In the case of a 5G marketplace,” says Messer, “it could evolve to offer services for consumers or commercial applications, including solutions for vertical markets.” As a model of a specialized marketplace selling 5G services, he suggests Salesforce AppExchange.

What makes these 5G marketplaces so appealing to both customers and vendors? Buyers want the same experience they get from the marketplaces they already frequent—they want to shop for the best products, services, and features at the best price, and they want a platform that can anticipate their preferences like a sales representative (or an Amazon algorithm) would as they compare products to find the best deals on everything they need with the convenience of online shopping.

“Standardization makes the concept of a marketplace for 5G services possible,” says Messer. “Interoperability is assured, so you can expect to see more organizations flocking to 5G marketplaces seeking new wireless enterprise solutions. […] Buyers can engage with the marketplace through multiple channels and will purchase many of these solutions via quote-to-order or procure-to-pay.”

Monetizing the 5G Marketplace

Of course, Messer notes, monetizing these 5G services in a marketplace will require more complex billing models and methods than many CSPs are accustomed to to translate unique services, such as network slicing (a model that enables service tiers based on performance or speed tiering), into revenue.

When deployed thoughtfully, McKinsey estimates that 5G technology will increase CSPs’ average revenue per user by up to 6 percent, as CSPs will no longer have to offer one size fits all services. Here are just a few scenarios Messer envisions in his article:

  • “Slice-as-a-service” offerings giving both business and personal customers bandwidth and service on demand.
  • Flexible services that enable “impulse” purchases, like increasing mobile pipelines to access streaming content or download multimedia
  • Real-time tracking and AI-powered forecasting enable dynamic pricing so CSPs can offer service discounts during low-load periods.
  • Enhanced mobile experiences such as high-speed mobile gaming or VR services.
  • “Smart stadiums” allow spectators to watch a game from multiple camera angles fed to their smartphones.
  • Hybrid wi-fi plans combining standard wi-fi with 5G for fast, ultra-stable internet.
  • Real-time, mobile-based translation services for international travelers.

The potential for new business and revenue-sharing models is limitless. Still, it must be powered by automated billing, giving marketplaces access to real-time data to enable revenue sharing and allocate fees for tariffs and taxes. Sound complicated? Well, it is. But, Gotransverse hasn't shied away. We've been working with several other technology vendors on a proof of concept as a Catalyst project for TM Forum to explore the potential of a 5G B2B2X marketplace.

“What is clear is that the market for 5G services is accelerating,” says Messer, “and vendors need to be ready to explore new ideas and new revenue strategies. The 5G marketplace is on the horizon, and it will have a flexible, agile infrastructure with a robust monetization platform that will invite innovation.”

Fortunately, the Gotransverse platform has marketplace billing built into its core framework. It's equipped to handle settlements rapidly and accurately to ensure sellers receive their much-needed funds promptly, and it's built to enable seamless integration with the other platforms that underpin a business, from CRMs to ERPs to order management and more.

At Gotransverse, we’re thrilled to be leveraging our expertise to support our B2B marketplace clients across the globe. To learn more about how the Gotransverse platform can streamline billing and settlements for your marketplace platform, we invite you to request a demo, and one of our experts will walk you through our platform and process.