Russian operator MTS has introduced a new service for corporate customers intended to help them work with emerging 5G technology. Scouts from MTS StartUp Hub, the operator’s innovation and investment center, will select projects using 5G to offer to corporate partners of the operator, as well as MTS units.
Projects on entertainment, media, M2M and IoT, electronic health and augmented/virtual-reality services for businesses are among those planned. Selected startups will be hosted by the startup accelerator of MTS, which is based in the exhibition center VDNKh in Moscow. They will be able to use various tools and platforms supplied by the operator. The best projects will be offered grants totaling up to RUB 500,000 (US $6,638.00).
With the rollout of 5G, a great expansion is taking place in various functionalities that require high speed and bandwidth. From the enterprise standpoint, IoT and M2M are among the most promising, while entertainment and media applications will also be major sources of revenue. Seeking to develop these applications and make themselves more competitive in the emerging marketplace than they could be by just offering traditional services and connectivity, MNOs are partnering with technology developers to bring new suites of 5G-enabled products to market.
MTS is taking a bold stance in this regard. Rather than developing functionalities and then offering them to business clients, it is engaging with clients up front to assess their needs and then provide custom solutions. Of course, since these are startups, the operator is investing capital in them, but the results should be very beneficial to MTS.
The chosen projects will constitute a real-world showcase for MTS’s 5G capabilities and for its cutting-edge innovation. Not only will they demonstrate the power of the operator’s high-speed network under challenging conditions, but they will, it is to be expected, reveal the operator’s competence to design advanced applications. And finally, since the grant-winners will become paying customers of MTS’s 5G network—and presumably very heavy users of bandwidth—they will become a steady revenue stream for the operator.