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Ericsson, Nokia and Dell help T-Mobile US tap 5G enterprise opportunity

T-Mobile US has launched a raft of new enterprise 5G services in partnership with some big industry names, aiming to capture the much-hyped revenue opportunity in this space.

The US mobile operator introduced 5G Advanced Network Solutions (ANS), a suite of managed network solutions aimed at enterprises and government organisations. It has signed up Dell, Ericsson and Nokia to help it deliver ANS, and it pitching global sailing league SailGP as its reference customer, although there are apparently other also using the services.

ANS is about helping enterprises to fully unlock their data, to use it and process it quickly, and add in the likes of AI, robotics, and AR/VR to problem-solve, create immersive experiences, run smart analytics and so forth. It comes in three flavours: public mobile network, private mobile network, and a hybrid version. Customers can choose to add compute to each option or use their own compute provider, T-Mobile said.

The first option is pretty straightforward; it’s essentially T-Mobile pitching its 5G network as the best in the country, providing fast speeds and low latency for applications like smart meters, tracking, and that sort of thing. The hybrid version adds in higher speeds and dedicated reliability for certain demanding applications, such as immersive VR training, and computer vision and inspections, but it’s cheaper than a fully private solution, the telco explained. The latter is for those with specific latency and reliability requirements, and highly demanding applications like industrial automation in a factory or fully autonomous robots.

Dell will provide edge computing for the private network solution, while network partner Nokia is pitching in with its Digital Automation Cloud Private Network solution and will also provide kit for the hybrid version. Ericsson will provide private 5G hardware and software the telco said, also talking up its long relationship with the vendor, whose RAN and core will effectively power ANS.

“There’s no lack of interest in private networks or edge compute solutions, but enterprises are really hungry for simple solutions that tie back to business outcomes,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Senior Research Director, ABI Research, in a canned statement from T-Mobile.

“That’s why it’s so exciting to see how T-Mobile has approached this space with 5G Advanced Network Solutions — with a focus on simple solutions, flexibility and performance,” he said.

Indeed, T-Mobile seems to be clear on its target market, directing potential customers to its “simple, and ready-to-deploy supercharged network solutions.” It doubtless has a lot to offer to business customers, for whom 5G could be a game-changer in terms of network connectivity, and they have a lot to offer to T-Mobile too.

In this industry we have long discussed the potential of the enterprise space when it comes to helping telcos capture revenues and recoup the costs associated with 5G deployment. While consumers may pay a little more for a faster service, that market is really still about data bundles. But the business market provides a wealth of opportunity for new applications that run on high-speed, low-latency 5G networks, and technologies like network-slicing open up service levels that should be highly attractive to certain enterprise customers.

There has been a lot of talk of late about telcos missing the boat when it comes to the opportunity presented by enterprise private 5G networks. With the ANS launch, T-Mobile US is ensuring that it at least has a ticket. And given that this is its second business services push in as many weeks – its fixed wireless access drive included a new business service and new equipment for that market – T-Mobile clearly has its sights set on more than just the consumer space.

 

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