STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

The adoption of eSIMs in IoT scenarios

For the next three years, the eSIM adoption will be shaped by the following factors. A decisive rise of the use of eSIMs in smartphones will balance the attention on eSIM between consumer segments and the enterprise IoT segment. In the enterprise IoT segment, cars will remain the key adopter of eSIMs. The key driver of eSIMs outside of connected …

5G-aliser March 2021

The 5G-aliser: One year on

Building on solid foundations After a hiatus as we kicked off the new year, we are back with the latest edition of the 5G-aliser. We first launched our tracker of the 20 key factors that could make or break 5G growth nearly a year ago, in March 2020. So how has the outlook for 5G evolved over the last year, …

Telecoms priorities: A snapshot from our State of the Industry survey

5G made a genuinely astonishing leap in terms of priorities over 8 months. Back in May 2020, net sentiment was negative such was the doubt raised by COVID over near term 5G plans in many markets. In Q1 2021 it’s “full speed ahead!” – apparently, although commentary in the survey suggested that the business case for 5G, and best way …

Edge computing use case: AR/VR gaming and simulation

Use case description Location based AR/VR game play is becoming increasingly popular (e.g. PokemonGO) This requires a lot of data processing for both location awareness and running the virtual reality game, especially for multiplayer gaming where the game needs to know where players are in real time Consumers expect consistent connectivity/ quality of content Likely at the network edge, to …

Skilling up telcos for A3: New roles and where they fit (Chart)

Our recent research explored the steps telcos are looking to take and should take in order to pursue data-driven strategies in automation, analytics and AI (A3).  Our surveys on industry priorities suggest that operators recognise this need, regardless of whether they are focused on their core connectivity business or seeking to build new value beyond connectivity. A corresponding organisational shift …

Different hyperscalers have different telco strategies: comparison between Azure, AWS and Google Cloud (Chart)

The above illustration shows somewhat the distinction between AWS’s and Google Cloud’s offer to telcos compared with Microsoft Azure’s. There are examples where telcos are relegated to a subordinate role in relation to Microsoft Azure, too: as a customer for NFaaS and as a mere platform and channel for Azure’s and its partners’ edge compute-enabled services. However, we do believe …

UK high level post-covid digital health forecast

The telco health opportunity: Now or never

We know from looking at examples like TELUS, Telstra, Orange, KPN, Telia, etc. that building a new business in the healthcare vertical is not a quick win for telcos. It requires significant time and effort to understand where, as a telco, you can bring the best value in your local healthcare market. You have to build these services and capabilities …

Telco data monetisation: COVID-19 insight services

Telco data monetisation: COVID-19 insight services

A key area of interest for telecoms operators seeking to build new businesses from their core assets is data analytics, aggregating their rich customer insights to bring value to customers in advertising, government, and other industry verticals. Singtel’s DataSpark has had some success in telco data monetisation with propositions for customer groups such as: Land-use and transport planners to understand …

AI strategy: To centralise or not? (chart)

Though only a handful of telecoms operators, including Telefónica and Elisa, have an ambition to drive new revenue growth through development of their own IP in AI, all operators will need AI to permeate their internal processes to compete effectively in the long term – it is the next logical phase of cost efficiencies the industry has been pursuing over …

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 …