Partners Are Gaining Traction with Private Wireless Networks
In September 2019, the FCC approved Initial Commercial Deployments in the CBRS (Citizens Band Radio Service) spectrum band which paved the way for a number of high-level industry stakeholder use cases including, notably, the ability for enterprises to own and operate Private Wireless Networks (PWNs) using cellular spectrum.
According to research group Dell’Oro, this nascent market is on pace to reach $2B by 2025. To get there, Channel Partners will play a key role in the proliferation of PWN deployments.
What is the level of channel partner awareness?
In our discussions, channel partners understand the value in PWNs including technical benefits such as performance, reliability, and security as well as the business benefit of empowering the enterprise to control its wireless destiny.
These partners are also aware of myriad use cases that may either span multiple industry verticals such as device enablement, remote security cameras, and scaling to connect tens of thousands of IoT sensors and controllers or that are industry-specific such as bridging the homework gap and digital divide, connecting robots and UGVs, or enabling point of sale securely and in real time.
And given the opportunity to generate more revenue, get stickier with customers, or get a leg up on competitors, partners are keen to explore how to start selling PWNs.
What is the learning curve?
Not surprisingly, because PWNs are still so new, it can be a challenge for some partners to recognize an opportunity. It’s often unlikely to find that no incumbent network exists (e.g., WiFi); the challenge and opportunity of course is to uncover techno-business requirements unfulfilled by these incumbent networks.
When faced with the possible buyer objection “I already have a network, why do I need another one?” partners need to probe for pain points and buying triggers such as cost or security or mobility. Ideally, partners should uncover multiple use cases, not just one.
We find that projects that require outdoor coverage or the ability to connect a high density of devices indoors are potential opportunities to further qualify.
What are the success characteristics?
At the end of the day, we’re plowing new ground with PWNs. However, we find partners that are getting traction with PWNs tend to have strong wireless practices and, therefore, PWN’s are not that big of a leap for them.
Specifically, these partners know how to recognize an opportunity. Importantly, they are equipped to have RF conversations with IT leaders.
Additionally, they are running into opportunities through the course of their normal business practices which may be focused on enablement of services, devices, and applications or business levers such as a lower cost barrier for connectivity, unlocking of data, process validation, or quality of service assurance.
It’s been observed that a rising tide lifts all boats. As the industry amasses more PWN deployments and success stories, partner momentum will accelerate.