CSPs are failing SMEs with 5G services, report claims

BearingPoint//Beyond office shot.
(Image credit: BearingPoint//Beyond.)


According to a new report from BearingPoint//Beyond, in collaboration with Omdia, the SME services market, worth $433 billion by 2025, is being overlooked by CSPs delivering 5G services, with 70% of resources aimed at just 1% of businesses in the enterprise sector.

The 5G research, titled ‘5G for SMEs: what does it mean for CSPs?’, reveals that whilst SMEs might make 99% of the world’s businesses, the majority of CSPs are focusing 70 percent of their resources on the one percent enterprise market. 

"Only one in three communication service providers (CSPs) view [SMEs] as a major source of future 5G revenue."

BearingPoint//Beyond report.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often viewed as the unfashionable end of the B2B universe – only one in three communication service providers (CSPs) view them as a major source of future 5G revenue,” the report says. “However, they can be an important asset in the 5G landscape.”

CSPs are approaching 5G like 4G

According to Omdia’s 5G World 2020 Global Insights Survey, two-thirds of CSPs identify large, multinational enterprises as the segment that will bring in the most 5G revenue. However, large enterprises that Omdia surveyed don’t put CSPs on their 5G priority list.

“CSPs are still trying to approach 5G the same way they approached 4G, with a clear focus on consumer and enterprise,” said Angus Ward, CEO at BearingPoint//Beyond. “However, 5G opens new opportunities for CSPs and one of them is the SME segment. Digitalization and COVID-19 have transformed the needs of SMEs and their awareness of the impact that new technologies such as 5G, IoT, and AI can have on their business to enhance productivity and efficiency, and boost sales.”

According to previous research from BearingPoint//Beyond, 73% of global SMEs see 5G as important to their business. Despite this, the company says that “not enough CSPs are recognizing SMEs as a major source of B2B revenue, especially on 5G”. 

"CSPs will have to address the different types of SMEs out there, their unique needs and the vertical context."

Angus Ward, BearingPoint//Beyond.

“We’re looking at a new type of SME, one that is seeking a partner that will orchestrate comprehensive partner ecosystems to co-create solutions to provide them with a better service,” said Ward. “For CSPs, this is a unique opportunity, especially considering SMEs see them as a strong candidate to fulfil this role. However, to realize this opportunity, CSPs will have to address the different types of SMEs out there, their unique needs and the vertical context. This will mean gradually developing a growing number of solutions with an increasing number of technology partners and vertical specialists.”

The full report, outlining the opportunities for SMEs and 5G can be downloaded here.

Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.