Enterprise Mobility Services Market Energized by 5G, Edge, Private Networks, and New Devices 

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • For several years, enterprise mobility announcements such as new services, geographic expansion, new go-to-market strategies and alliances, new device types, and enhanced management platforms were few and far between.
  • This has changed with the advent of 5G and edge computing, massive IoT, mobile private networks, and devices and management services for ruggedized computers and wearables.

GlobalData has completed its annual review of the global enterprise mobility services market.  In 2021, there were many enterprise mobility announcements from US and global operators, as an energized operator ecosystem is eager to offer new services and capabilities again.  In part, this is due to new technologies such as 5G and edge, massive IoT, mobile private networks, and expanded usage and connectivity of new device types such as ruggedized computers, wearables, and frontline worker devices (e.g., barcode scanners).  Themes related to 2021 announcements can be divided into four main categories: 5G/edge, private networks, devices/management, and vertical solutions.

5G/Edge

  • Verizon expanded its 5G Ultra Wideband to 100 million people in 1,700+ cities, with speeds up to 10x faster than 4G LTE. Verizon also launched new plans for consumers and businesses, for both mobile access and broadband internet access.
  • AT&T and Microsoft partnered to deliver the first Azure Edge Zone in Atlanta, GA. The collaboration will combine AT&T’s 5G capabilities, via its AT&T Network Edge solution, with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
  • AT&T opened up sub-6 GHz 5G access for enterprise IoT deployments, with usage visibility and managed services via Cisco Control Center.
  • Verizon announced the availability of its mobile edge compute solution with AWS Outposts, a cloud computing platform that brings compute and storage services to the edge of the network on the customer premises.
  • Verizon announced an on-premises, private edge compute solution on Microsoft Azure. Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge is a cloud computing platform that brings compute and storage services to the edge of the network at the customer premises.
  • BT/EE will offer 5G solutions across the entire UK, as BT Group unveils new mobile and convergence ambitions; full integration of fiber, WiFi, and mobile networks will be complete by the mid-2020s, delivering highly secure, seamless ultra-reliable connectivity.
  • Telefónica Tech signed a collaboration agreement with Microsoft, combining Telefónica private 5G connectivity with Microsoft’s edge computing capabilities on the customer premises, to enable the automation and control of industrial processes.

Private Mobile Networks

  • Telefónica established regional network operations centers in Spain, Brazil, the UK, and Germany to manage private 5G networks on behalf of local enterprises.
  • Vodafone announced the launch of Mobile Private Network Collaborative Worker, featuring ruggedized wearables.
  • Verizon Business announced On Site 5G, a private 5G network solution. On Site 5G networks are custom-designed and managed by Verizon, allowing large enterprise and public sector customers to bring 5G Ultra Wideband to indoor or outdoor facilities.

Devices/Management Solutions

  • Orange Business made available a frontline worker device management service for ruggedized computers, featuring a partnership with Zebra; also new is ITSM e-bonding, the integration of customer ITSM platforms with Orange and FreeMove Alliance systems.
  • Vodafone and Mavenir developed a small-cell solution to provide indoor 4G connectivity for business customers. The plug-and-play equipment can ensure comprehensive mobile coverage in every corner of the office.
  • Deutsche Telecom and partner EBF developed eSIM Business Manager, which can link information from different systems and operator contracts for easy endpoint enrollment and activation.
  • Deutsche Telekom and EBF allied for device lifecycle management from ordering and assembly of mobile devices through delivery and management to return and exchange.

Vertical Solutions

  • Vodafone struck new partnerships with Accenture and Deloitte for managed security and healthcare, respectively.
  • AT&T announced that FirstNet reached 2.8 million connections among 18,500 public safety and other organizations (e.g. utilities, healthcare) and surpassed 95% of its nationwide Band 14 coverage with over 315 devices certified.
  • Deutsche Telekom launched a mobile option for 5G networking in cars in partnership with BMW. The deal involves the use of a ‘personal eSIM’ which turns the vehicle into another connected device.

The outlook for 2022 is promising.  5G is still a nascent technology but has energized the enterprise mobility (and IoT) markets with the promise of low-latency, innovative use cases generating new sources of revenue.  Mobile private networks are already considered a major opportunity, and the capacity and high bandwidth of 5G, especially when used along with edge computing and network slicing, will increase the likelihood of it becoming a disruptive technology.

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