What should telcos and others do to maximise the strategic value of 5G to their businesses?
The transportation and logistics sector is one of the most promising industries for private LTE and 5G networks, as well as adjacent technologies such as edge computing and new Wi-Fi6E/7 versions. Although it offers opportunities for MNOs, some instances are challenging to address. Where can MNOs best meet enterprise needs?
In this update, we present a review of telco cloud deployments for the whole of 2022 and discuss trends that will shape the year ahead. Fewer deployments than expected were completed in 2022. The main reason for this was a delay in previously announced 5G Standalone (SA) core roll-outs, for reasons we have analysed elsewhere. However, we expect these deployments to be largely completed in 2023.
Our report forecasts $445bn in global demand for edge computing services in 2030. We explore the global demand for on-prem, network, and regional edge represented by 20 use cases and 16 verticals. The forecast helps telcos and other edge providers to identify which areas of the market and the value chain are most suitable for them to capture.
In this update, we present data and analysis on progress with deployments of vRAN and open RAN. It is fair to say that open RAN (virtualised AND disaggregated RAN) deployments have not happened at the pace that STL Partners and many others had forecast. In parallel, some very significant deployments and developments are occurring with vRAN (virtualised NOT disaggregated RAN). Is open RAN a networking ideal that is not yet, or never will be, deployed in its purest form?
Some leading telcos have slowed their roll-outs of 5G Standalone cores. Others have not. What is the delay? And why it is important to speed deployments now while minimising the risks.
There is now a valuable but specialised opportunity in building out fibre to support small 5G cells in high value areas. Which players should address it and how?
There is a proliferation of reports on the potential technologies and use cases that will be part of the 6G roll-out, but little distinction between what’s real and what’s hype. We identify what 6G is most likely to emerge by 2030, and what telcos and vendors should prioritise now.
Wi-Fi will retain its preeminent position for enterprise in-building connectivity, despite hype about 5G. New Wi-Fi 6/6E/7 generations are game-changers that entrench and extend its role and utility in verticals, especially with 6GHz spectrum. Telcos and policymakers should broaden their vision towards “network diversity” rather than solely focusing on 5G.
In this update, we present granular data on the 5G core, tracking the progress of deployments of both Non-standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA) network cores. We recorded 49 5G core deployments so far in 2022, 24 of which are SA launches.
Since we first published this report in 2019, telcos have made significant investments in 5G, but value continues to shift towards service differentiators. Transformation remains at the heart of most telecoms operators’ strategies but change has been painfully slow. This report explains why agility and innovation – the goals of transformation – will remain elusive until CFOs adopt new resource allocation models at their organisations.
We evaluate how enterprises are exploring private cellular and edge, the challenges they face in scaling existing proofs of concept and pilots and how they and telco operators can overcome them.
In this update we present more granular data into the RAN to track the shift towards disaggregation across vendor ecosystems. It is still very early days with open RAN and vRAN, with 33 deployments in total, but we expect this to accelerate over the coming year.
We found subtle but significant shifts at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress 2022 that show how the market’s need is changing to ‘connecting technologies’ rather than ‘connectivity’. This has deep implications for the industry and telcos in particular.
Live entertainment is evolving fast, as greater connectivity and digitisation allows for new experiences for both the audience at the venue and the people watching online. How can telcos play a more valuable role?
As standards for Wi-Fi and cellular become increasingly entwined, there has never been a greater technical possibility for convergence. This report explores the market view of future convergence from both supply and demand side perspectives.
The forces of divergence and convergence have shifted in favour of the latter, with the move to cloud native and software-defined networking. We evaluate how operators can take advantage of convergence to drive greater efficiencies, scale economies and service innovation.
The rapidly growing pool of IoT data is creating an enormous and complex attack surface that is a significant vulnerability for enterprises and the wider economy. How can telcos address the need for more sophisticated security and position themselves as trusted partners to enterprises?
New growth from 5G standalone, RAN and SASE is getting underway, amidst maturity and decline in foundational deployments.
With the rollout of 5G, the telecoms industry could coordinate the development of early warning systems to mitigate the impact of pollution, wildfires, floods, infectious diseases and other threats.
As public transport systems try to recover from the pandemic, 5G could help them to become more versatile, cost-effective and appealing. By providing reliable and flexible connectivity to transport operators and their customers, telcos could create considerable value for both individuals and society.
Airports are complex, multi-sector, multi-application, multi-stakeholder sites. They hold opportunities for both public & private 5G networks, although telcos need to choose their roles carefully.
We explore the recent developments in the private network market, regulatory activities and policies on local and shared spectrum, and the different deployment approaches and business cases for traditional telcos and the expanding range of other stakeholders.
This is part 3 of a 3-part series taking an in-depth look at how 5G pioneers have evolved their approaches to commercialisation since launch, navigating a maze of factors such as handset availability, technology immaturity and more. What should others take from their experience to date?
Global O-RAN capex forecasts 2020–2030, modelling operator investments across four migration pathways.
For uptake of Massive IoT connectivity to meet expectations in the B2C and B2B2C markets, telcos will need to dramatically improve coverage and simplify their propositions.
As 5G launches mature, we explore the 5G consumer propositions of 10 telcos to determine how operators are commercialising their 5G investments with this segment.
This is part 2 of a 3-part series taking an in-depth look at how 5G pioneers have evolved their approaches to commercialisation since launch, navigating a maze of factors such as handset availability, technology immaturity and more. What should others take from their experience to date?
5G is now the main driver of VNF deployment. But can telcos be cloud-native without being hyperscaler-dependent?
This is part 1 of a 3-part series taking an in-depth look at how 5G pioneers have evolved their approaches to commercialisation since launch, navigating a maze of factors such as handset availability, technology immaturity and more. What should others take from their experience to date?
STL Partners believes that telco cloud is a crucial enabler for operators’ success in the Coordination Age. In this manifesto we explain why.
Cloud native networking offers operators a promise of efficiency, automation and innovation to underpin their future in the coordination age. But it should also mean a new operating model, new skills and organisation that few feel they are ready for.
Operators’ pursuit of growth through 5G is tied to meeting the challenge of lower, cleaner energy and practical guidance on how to achieve this.
Will many other digital commerce and content companies follow Reliance and Rakuten into the consumer connectivity market?
Although eSIM technology delivers seamless provisioning and greater flexibility and security – all of which are key to scaling the IoT – adoption has been slow. What should operators do to catalyse a shift towards eSIM in the 5G era?
Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is becoming a mainstream proposition across urban, rural and developing environments. 5G is an important enabler but not the only one. Unusually, FWA will benefit almost all market players – fixed and mobile operators, vendors, investors and regulators. This report contains our 5-year forecast and recommendations for all players.
Based on extensive industry interviews and detailed modelling, 5G-enabled use cases can reduce carbon emissions in the energy industry by almost 1% by 2030. How – and what – should telcos, the energy sector and governments do to achieve this?
We review telcos’ current strategies to drive revenue streams beyond connectivity and enhance their role in the Coordination Age, and explore how they can better leverage 5G and other core capabilities to provide unique value in a B2B2X environment.
As connectivity has become commoditised, launching new network technology can no longer by relied upon to generate operator growth. This report outlines eight guiding principles for operators seeking to move beyond connectivity into tailored vertical solutions.
5G connectivity can make travelling by road faster and more efficient. This can drive productivity around the world and help the struggling transport and logistics industry to overcome its challenges.
We revisit our 2019 forecasts on the economic impact of 5G on industries, as well as re-evaluating the 5G opportunity in a post COVID world. We also include highlights from forthcoming research into the how 5G can drive efficiency and productivity in transport and logistics.
This report explores how the cloud gaming market is likely to evolve and what this means for telcos. Beyond providing better connectivity through 5G and edge computing, there are several ways in which telcos can add value to the cloud gaming ecosystem.
What should telcos do to bridge the gaps between current hype, actual performance, and future promises on 5G? We argue that a data-driven and forensic approach to roll-out and marketing will be the key, particularly in the uncertain economic environment driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and review the timelines for future applications.
The roadmap from today’s 5G hype to mass consumer adoption and 5G-enabled enterprise applications is far from clear. This report identifies the key factors that will influence 5G development, and plots them on the 5G-aliser, which we will update regularly to track progress in 5G supply and demand.
Telco cloud made big promises for the transformation of telecoms. It is a fundamental enabler for 5G and the exciting opportunities ahead. Why hasn’t it delivered yet – and what needs to change?
Network slicing is an opportunity for telcos to disrupt private networking, but it is new and unknown to enterprises. A ‘hand holding approach’, internal alignment and simplified pilots will be key enablers in its adoption.
The 4-yearly ITU World Radio Congress (WRC’19) which sets world policy on radio spectrum, most critically 5G this time, has just ended. What agreements were reached, and what do they mean for traditional telcos, new telcos, telco-sector vendors and regulators?
How telcos should be preparing for the seismic shift in the video games market signposted by Google’s new Stadia cloud gaming service.
Data volumes are growing inexorably. With the right deployment, how could 5G help to improve networks’ energy performance and curtail carbon emissions?
The unique benefits of 5G could unlock $1.4tn of value in eight key industries in 2030. What steps should operators take to deliver these benefits? What business and organisational transformation must occur to unlock this opportunity?
The unique benefits of 5G could unlock $740bn of value in manufacturing in 2030. This is based on models generated from 100+ interviews and surveys with senior manufacturing industry executives. What steps should operators, manufacturers and others take to achieve these benefits?
This report explores the impact of 5G on the healthcare industry. It illustrates the benefits and example use cases, as well as quantifying the potential efficiency gains, that 5G will enable.
The 5G network core is supposed to be fully virtualised and cloud-native. But formulation of the 5G standards has not been harmonised with the broader NFV project. What impact will this have on service innovation?
Telcos in South Korea and China have seen strong early demand for new 5G services. Where else is 5G commercially available, and what are the key lessons from early movers on 5G investments and positioning?
The advent of 5G and network slicing offer the prospect of a shake-up of the structure of wholesale and MVNO models. What should telcos, regulators, current MVNOs and potential new MVNOs do?
After considerable hype and uncertainty, the near term developments for 5G are now much more apparent, including which nations will go first, chip and handset availability, and the use of different spectrum bands.
Passive network sharing is a well-established practice, but 5G may force telcos to consider more active network sharing to overcome financial, technological and physical constraints. We explore 5G network sharing options and cost structures, drawing lessons from existing agreements.
The US operator is an enthusiastic proponent and strong early backer of 5G. Why, what does it know that is different from the norm and what should other telcos do about it?
Our predictions for 5G, based on our assessment of the opportunities and barriers it faces, including how and when it will impact different markets. Combined with other technologies and industry trends, 5G will change the shape of the industry, but not in the way that many expect.
Virtual reality and augmented reality have the potential to generate vast amounts of telecoms traffic, together with demand for edge computing, network slicing and other 5G capabilities. But when will these technologies come of age?
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