4G ProSe proximity services - a $17bn opportunity for mobile operators

Mobile operators could generate extra revenues worth US$17 billion from direct 4G device-to-device services known as ProSe (proximity services) by 2025. ProSe, or direct mode as it is better known, is a common functionality found in Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems, but was not available to cellular devices until very recently.

ProSe was first introduced to cellular systems by standards body 3GPP in LTE Release 12 of the 3GPP specifications. ProSe is a D2D (device-to-device) technology which allows LTE devices to detect each other and to communicate directly. It relies on multiple enhancements to existing LTE standards including new functional elements and a ‘sidelink’ air interface for direct connectivity between devices.

In comparison with existing D2D and proximity networking technologies, ProSe offers several distinct benefits, according to SNS, including but not limited to better scalability, manageability, privacy, security and battery-efficiency.

At present, efforts to commercialise ProSe are being spearheaded by the public safety and critical communications sector, amid the ongoing transition from legacy LMR systems to LTE networks.

The feature is vital to the UK for example, as its emergency services are being migrated onto mobile operator EE’s commercial network. ProSe allows personnel in the field to communicate directly with each other without using the network.

However, SNS believes that although initial investments in ProSe-enabled devices will be driven by the public safety and critical communications sector, there also exists a much larger opportunity in the commercial arena.

$17 billion to be made

Mobile operators can leverage ProSe to offer a range of B2B, B2B2C and B2C services that rely on proximity, including advertising, social networking, gaming, relaying traffic for wearables and V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) connectivity.

By the end of 2025, SNS Research estimates that mobile operators can pocket as much $17 billion in ProSe based annual service revenue. Up to 55% of this revenue figure will be attributable to proximity advertising.

The ProSe (Proximity Services) for LTE & 5G Networks: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts report presents an in-depth assessment of the ProSe market including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardisation, use cases, applications, business models, pre-commercial case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain and strategic recommendations.

The report also presents forecasts for ProSe-enabled device shipments and ProSe based mobile operator service revenue from 2018 till 2030. The forecasts cover multiple sub-markets and six regions.

SNS reckons the report package will be of value to current and future potential investors into the D2D and proximity networking ecosystem, as well as chipset suppliers, mobile device OEMs, mobile network infrastructure vendors, mobile operators, public safety agencies, critical communications organizations, retailers, advertisement specialists and other enterprises, who wish to broaden their knowledge of the ecosystem.

For further information concerning the SNS Research report see:

ProSe (Proximity Services) for LTE & 5G Networks: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts

Image Credit: Billion Photos / Shutterstock

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.