STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

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 …

US cloud gaming market forecast

Cloud gaming: Telcos could take a share of the $18bn US market (chart)

US cloud gaming market forecast Source: STL Partners Video gaming is a huge business, generating more revenues than movies earn at the box office and in the home combined. Now the video games market is poised to expand again with the arrival of mass-market cloud gaming services, which enable consumers to play video games using any device with a screen …

Apple Glass: AR headsets timeline and impact on telecoms networks (chart)

In the Coordination Age, smart glasses could play a major role in boosting productivity. They would enable people to access information (hands-free) exactly when and where they need it. Over time, white-collar workers could benefit from being able to see 3D images of everything from architectural plans to colleagues on the other side of the world. Smart glasses could also …

Building a telco edge infrastructure: MEC, Private LTE and vRAN (chart)

We predict a Tier-1 operator will have more than 8,000 edge servers by 2025, supporting edge workloads across multiple domains. vRAN is unique among the use-cases we have modelled because it is an evolution of a core service. Private LTE, vCDN and MEC all involve connectivity, but represent new service offerings, for which the operator must attract new, primarily enterprise …

STL classics: The original Telco 2.0 two-sided business model (chart)

Since 2011, through the Telco 2.0 vision (our shorthand for ‘what a future telco should look like’), STL Partners has argued that telcos need to make fundamental changes to their business models in response to the commoditisation of connectivity and the ‘softwarisation’ of all industries, including telecoms. The debate around whether telcos should try complement connectivity with other services is …

The open RAN: Disaggregated and flexible (chart)

Introducing RAN architecture   Three layers of Open RAN There are now many distinct technologies and standards emerging in the radio access space that involve a shift away from traditional, proprietary radio hardware and network architectures, driven by single vendors, towards new, virtualised platforms and a more open vendor ecosystem. We have adopted ‘the open RAN’ as an umbrella term …

Partnering on telco edge computing: Hyperscalers’ edge strategy (chart)

Partnering on telco edge computing: Hyperscalers’ edge strategy (chart)

Hyperscalers are moving rapidly to expand their presence at the edge and create and exploit different opportunities. By 2018, Google, AWS and Microsoft Azure launched their stacks that support on-premise deployment and extend their services to hybrid cloud environments. Namely, Google Anthos, AWS Outposts and Azure Stack. Within the last year, all these hyperscalers have released versions of their solutions …

COVID-19 impacts on enterprise services and verticals (chart)

COVID-19 impacts on enterprise services and verticals (chart)

Source: STL Partners, based on a survey of 202 respondents (including operators, vendors and telco experts) between 21st April and 8th May 2020 STL Partners’ research into the impact of COVID-19 on telco enterprise expectations indicates that respondents are optimistic regarding enterprise services. Their view as to how specific enterprise verticals will fare is more divergent. Most respondents agree that …

AT&T placed a big bet on advertising, but can it pay off? (charts)

Content and ad tech investments drive AT&T’s advertising revenues up Source: AT&T Q4 2018 earnings report In June 2018, AT&T acquired Time Warner for US$109 billion and established its WarnerMedia unit (including Warner Brothers Studios and Turner Channels). The purchase quadrupled its advertising inventory, which was further extended with the purchase of a controlling stake in Otter Media (valued at …

Network intelligence and the emergence of the NSAPs

STL Partners conducted research, supported by Altran, into the emergence of a new category of services that are increasingly important to enable the next generation of network dependent services. In this article, we detail our findings. There is a resurgent interest in applications interfacing with networks With the advent of 5G, NFV and cloud native networking technologies there is a …