LIVE FROM TIP FYUZ23, MADRID: Vendor, operator and cloud experts argued the telecoms industry must overhaul how it sells private networking, noting the sector’s traditional focus on technology is no longer sufficient to lure companies from vertical fields.

In a panel session, representatives from Vodafone Group, Dell Technologies and AWS explained private networks should be sold on the benefits they provide to companies rather than data rates and generations of mobile technology.

Jaime Diez, global head of cloud edge and mobile private networks at Vodafone Group (pictured, second from right), highlighted various customer demands. Some seek full control of the infrastructure, he noted, while others prefer a team effort with the operator. There was also demand for systems which still offer access to public networks when required.

He said the varied requirements mean a single-tier approach to selling private networks will no longer work and so operators must develop products “with different customer profiles”.

Diez believes operators must begin “speaking the customer’s language” instead of focusing on “our own properties like 5G, low-latency” and other technical elements.

Another important focus is removing friction from the process of deploying and running private networks, an area he noted remained “complex”.

Jillian Kaplan, head of global telecom thought leadership with Dell Technologies (pictured, second from left) agreed private network customers “don’t want speeds and feeds”, instead seeking information on what the infrastructure is “going to do to their bottom line; are you going to increase quality” or enable staff to be redeployed to other areas “to grow the business [and] decrease their operations cost”.

By changing the language, enterprises can “understand what we can do for them”.

Kaplan and Diez each agreed a paucity of industrial-grade 5G devices remains a barrier to uptake of the latest generation of private networks.

Sameh Naguib, global head of telco cloud business development at AWS (pictured, far right), highlighted an economic challenge in private network deployments, basically noting enterprises may not have the budgets for hefty up-front investments.

He mooted offering greater clarity around “the cloud economics, the subscription models” among other moves to “remove that economic barrier and allow enterprises to experiment” with the benefits private networks can offer.

Without such a move, it may prove difficult to show enterprises that the infrastructure will deliver “their business outcomes”.