STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

Five telco B2B edge computing services

Five telco B2B edge computing services

Operators have different strategic ambitions for how edge can play a role in growing their business. Some operators view edge as an opportunity to move up the value chain, and even become a ‘onestop shop’ to meet all customers’ technology needs. Other operators see edge as extending and enhancing their core business of offering network services and are focussed on …

2021 telecoms outlook survey

2021: A year of growth or efficiency-seeking?

We’ve been taking an early look at the input so far to our 2021 Telecoms Investment Outlook survey and the initial results suggest that there are some major changes afoot. Below is a sneak preview at what we’ve found so far from just under 100 industry executives. If you haven’t contributed, please take a few minutes to do so here. …

A predicted timeline of 5G developments, 2018–2026

A predicted timeline of 5G developments, 2018–2026

In June 2018, STL Partners made several predictions about the pace of 5G development. These predictions took into account factors acting as brakes and accelerants for 5G, and their potential impact on the overall ecosystem’s evolution. The intention was to get beyond the 5G hype to understand how quickly 5G would be in place and delivering the much-publicized benefits that have …

Private LTE/5G: What’s the opportunity?

Private cellular networks can address key enterprise needs including security, reliability, and coverage, and are expected to form an important part of wireless on-premise connectivity. Recent interest in private networks has surged due to the advent of 5G and recent developments in localised spectrum allocation (e.g. CBRS auctions in the US). However, enterprises today still face challenges when deploying private …

The UK consumer market: Convergence is king (Chart)

In the UK, the leading telcos have mostly eschewed expansion into the broader digital services market. That reflects the strong position of the leading global Internet platforms in the UK, as well as the quality of free-to-air television, and the highly competitive nature of the UK telecoms market – UK operators have relatively low margins, giving them little leeway to …

fixed wireless access forecast

Fixed wireless access: What’s the impact on 5G?

Fixed wireless access: What is the difference between 4G and 5G? 4G has already catalysed rapid growth of fixed wireless access (FWA) in numerous markets, such as South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, Italy, and the Philippines. This growth has been driven by the combined impact of mobile network operators (MNOs) commercialising FWA services to households in underserved urban areas, the …

Jio: Ready to solve India’s problems (chart)

Jio: Ready to solve India’s problems (chart)

Source: STL Partners analysis Reliance Jio was launched by the Reliance Industries conglomerate in 2016, ready to solve India’s problems. This followed a turbulent and challenging time in the Indian telecommunications sector which had taken a toll on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, among others. The historically interventionist government made it difficult for private sector telcos to make money. A change …

Telco data monetisation: Value by vertical (chart)

Monetisation of telco data has been an area of heightened activity for the last couple of years, and an aspiration for far longer.  Our recent research looked at the opportunity for telcos to create new revenue streams from their data and sale of associated products such as analytics and data platforms to their enterprise customers. Underpinning this research is a …

Telco cloud deployments from 2014 to July 2020 (chart)

After a slight drop in the overall number of deployments in 2019, 2020 is set to be a year of modest growth. The data for 2020 is split up into completed, ‘pending’ and estimated additional deployments. We have recorded 63 completed deployments between January and July 2020. Pending deployments (totalling 72) are those previously announced that we are expecting to …

Reliance Unlimit IoT stack and partners

Reliance Unlimit’s IoT technology stack (chart)

Source: STL Partners Unlimit was established in 2016 as the branch of Reliance Group (including Jio) to capture the opportunities presented by the development of the Indian IoT market. At the time, the market seemed ready to adopt IoT solutions and various Indian government initiatives were stressing the importance of the IoT for Indian economies. In order to capture this …

CFOs must drive telecoms business model change (chart)

CFOs must drive telecoms business model change (chart)

Source: Company accounts; STL Partners analysis Telecoms operator strategies have been centred around transformation, yet change has been slow. STL Partners believes CFO resource allocation models are limiting telco agility and innovation – the goals of transformation. Telecoms operators have been investing capital in ‘scarce’ spectrum and fibre networks to provide value to customers and keep competitors out – they …

How can telcos grow in the Coordination Age

Three ‘must dos’ for telecoms growth

Telecoms is still stuck in a rut As positive news about vaccines spreads increasing cheer in mid-November 2020, by and large, the capital markets have not revalued telecoms in the same way as other sectors. Figure 1: Telecoms stocks have not rebounded as much as most other sectors Source: FT.com sector indices …yet the industry has done well in COVID …

Edge computing use case: Advanced predictive maintenance

Use case description Predictive maintenance monitors data from sensors on equipment to ensure it is in good condition and flag pre-emptively if there is a need to repair it, eliminating the need for scheduled maintenance, adding AI to “condition-based monitoring” For this to work effectively, dozens of sensors need to be employed combined with machine learning/AI at the edge to …

Why telco cloud hasn’t delivered yet? (chart)

We believe that the reason it has not yet delivered is linked to how the technology has been deployed, both in terms of the technical architecture, and how the telco has organised itself to operate it. Most telco cloud deployments to date fall into two categories, driven by the operator’s starting point in making the decision to proceed: A function-first …

5G enabled use cases could increase GDP by $1.5 trillion by 2030 – up from previous forecast (chart)

5G enabled use cases could increase GDP by $1.5 trillion by 2030 – up from previous forecast (chart)

Source: STL Partners In October 2019, STL Partners forecast that the benefits of 5G-enabled use cases across eight key industries could deliver a potential $1.4 trillion increase in global GDP by 2030. In August 2020, we re-evaluated the 5G opportunity following an in-depth study of 5G’s impact on the transport and logistics industry and taking into account the consequences of …

5G business models for telcos: Which verticals to serve? (chart)

As connectivity has become commoditised, launching new network technology can no longer be relied upon to generate operator growth. 5G is a catalyst for business model change for operators seeking to move beyond connectivity into tailored vertical solutions, and the first step in this transformation is identifying the best vertical industry to target. Operators simply do not have the resource …

Digital twins and 5G in Industry 4.0

This article primarily draws on conversations with key players from Industry 4.0 and academia, held between April and July 2020. Respondents include representatives from a range of industry verticals, with a broad variety of job roles, to gain a snapshot of the existing attitudes and ambitions towards digital twins across both industry and academia. Digital twins and Industry 4.0 Industry …