STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

Edge computing: Comparing priorities for app developers in retail, AR/VR, video and drones

Edge computing: Comparing priorities for app developers in retail, AR/VR, video and drones (chart)

To understand what edge computing developers need from telcos in order to develop the market, STL Partners interviewed seven start-ups from four key domains about their experience exploring edge computing. Each application developer was at a different stage of exploring edge computing and had been working with different types of edges. Our research focus was primarily on telecom edge (compute …

COVID impact on 5G network priority

COVID-19 impacts on network development priorities (chart)

Source: STL Partners, based on a survey of 202 respondents (including operators, vendors and telco experts) between 21st April and 8th May 2020 Research by STL Partners indicates that telecoms industry respondents believe COVID-19 would positively impact the priority given to network development in the near term, with the possible exception of 5G. Increased emphasis on network resilience, fibre and …

How to build trust in a self-healing network

AI in network operations: How do you build trust in a self-healing network?

One of the key challenges in the shift towards more autonomous networks is ensuring trust in the AI models supporting automation, especially for the network engineers who will still remain accountable for network performance even when they are relying on automated and intelligent systems. The goal of a self healing / self-optimising network is to monitor the network in real-time, …

5G-aliser August update: An ever-changing landscape

The latest update of the 5G-aliser, created in collaboration shows that August has been a somewhat positive month’s for the world of 5G – at least, compared to July! A handful of key drivers and making steady progress, many of which are digging themselves out from the slump they have found themselves in in previous months, such as spectrum availability. However, …

Percentage of consumers willing to purchase cybersecurity from their service provider

Telco opportunity in consumer cybersecurity (chart)

Source: STL Partners survey of 1100+ consumers globally, conducted in April-May 2020. Details of survey participants are included in the accompanying report. Our consumer survey found that the majority of consumers are willing to purchase cybersecurity services from their broadband provider and that, across consumer segments, there is a willingness to pay for security coverage beyond basic malware prevention. Operators …

5G core virtualisation is not aligned with wider telco cloud strategies

The goals of 5G core virtualisation are not aligned with wider telco cloud strategies

5G needs virtualisation. In relation to the mobile packet core, specifically, there are four main reasons for this: Scalability: to enable the capacity of the mobile core to be scaled up flexibly and dynamically to support rapidly growing data volumes Cost: the replacement of dedicated hardware appliances supporting network functions by Virtual Machines (VMs) – and other modes of Virtualised …

Typical network cost splits of active RAN sharing vs no RAN sharing

Typical network cost splits of active RAN sharing vs no RAN sharing (chart)

The largest part of the costs of building and operating a mobile network are in the radio access network (RAN). In 5G, where higher frequencies, especially in the mmWave bands, have limited reach, the cost implications of deploying more base stations will be significant. For example, based on our research into the cost breakdown across networks and IT for the …

Strategic options for telco-owned apps

Strategic options for telco-owned apps (chart)

Based on analysis of successful telco-run mobile apps, the starting point for success is delivering customer care and loyalty offerings to secure sufficient customer engagement. Following from this, telcos can evolve their apps into broader platforms – or cross-sell other telco apps – pursuing one of two alternative routes: Helping customers to manage their daily lives (e.g. by providing services …

Five viable business models for operators in edge computing

Five viable business models for operators in edge computing (chart)

The potential business model for operators varies depending on the operator’s existing capabilities and their levels of commitment to invest in the edge market. STL Partners has identified five key roles operators can play in the edge computing market. Telcos have opportunities at the edge but considering the strong competition, it’s crucial for them to leverage their early entry to …

Three cloud gaming business models

Three cloud gaming business models (chart)

Source: STL Partners, Shadow Advances in telecoms networks and cloud computing are enabling the emergence of cloud gaming, where games are stored and run on a remote computer and results are live-streamed to a gamer’s local screen. This means gamers no longer need dedicated, high spec gaming hardware, only a good quality internet connection. Although cloud makes high-end gaming more …

Four scenarios for the world post-COVID-19 in 2025

Four scenarios for the world post-COVID-19 in 2025 (chart)

It is hard to imagine what the world will look like, even at the end of 2020. The graphic above shows STL Partners’ best estimate of the mid-term outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even assuming the virus is defeated in the short-to-medium term, it will undoubtedly have a long-term impact on societies, businesses, governments and personal behaviours. Previous epidemics and …

Why telco innovation is broken and how to fix it

Why telco innovation is broken and how to fix it (chart)

Our research shows that to succeed in innovation, telcos must evaluate proposed new services or products much more painstakingly in three areas: User acceptance: making sure the product meets a real user need or requirement Market understanding: having a clear vision of where the ROI is coming from Business structure: making an objective decision about whether to build in-house, acquire, …

How and where can telcos play in digital health

How and where can telcos play in digital health? (chart)

STL has long argued that healthcare is an attractive vertical for telcos – it is highly localised, starting from a comparatively low base in digitisation, and demand for healthcare is steadily rising. In short, it is a big and sustainable market, looking for local digitisation partners who will also be around for the long haul. For telcos seeking to make a meaningful impact on …

Leading telco edge computing activities globally, July 2020 (chart)

Leading telco edge computing activities globally, July 2020 (chart)

The stages of edge planning and deployment as well as the level of commitment to invest in edge vary greatly among operators, with some already planning to build out edge compute infrastructure, while others are prioritising platforms. However, in terms of use cases, many operators are coalescing around a few key applications, such as video analytics and AR/VR, where they …

Will Verizon really jilt Nokia for Samsung in its cellular network?

Earlier this week, Nokia’s share price was hit by 8% by a rumour that Samsung would edge it out of Verizon’s radio network. What’s behind it? Is it a puff of smoke from a magician’s trick or a warning shot from a volcano of seismic moves afoot? Nokia’s market valuation is circa 20 billion Euros so 1.6 billion Euros is a costly rumour for its shareholders. I talked to my colleagues …

Telco Cloud July Update: Huawei & 5G SA – the start of NFV’s decline?

It’s still all change in the telco cloud space. This month, the focus has shifted away from hyperscale computing players, back onto traditional network equipment players. Huawei continues to dominate industry news, and we’re hearing about challenger function vendors too. More below. And look out for our webinar on Open RAN, where we explain what will really happen over the …

Five blockchain roles and business models for telcos (chart)

There are different roles telecoms operators can play in relation to a blockchain system and, across all these roles, a telecoms operator can provide new or better services to customers. Even without actively participating in the blockchain system, an operator could offer new services as a result of more efficient processes, greater agility, ability to enter new markets, etc. These …