STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

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 …

The European telco market in 2020: What we had predicted

In 2015, STL Partners made some predictions about where we thought European telecoms was heading in the next five years. Now that we’re in 2020, we look back to see what we got right, and where we were less accurate. Prediction 1: There will be a retrenchment among telcos to traditional infrastructure-led activities with a focus on the network and delivering …

5G-aliser – June 2020 update: Geopolitics continues to dominate discussion, as coronavirus strains

Once again, it is the ongoing geopolitical clash between China and the US that takes centre stage this month, with the fallout of last month’s sanctions shaking up the industry and potentially redefining Huawei’s 5G position in multiple international markets. This month’s sustained intensity in the geopolitical arena are somewhat contrasted by the steady development in a number of key …

Deutsche Telekom smart home subscribers

Smart homes are not an easy win (chart)

Deutsche Telekom first launched its smart home proposition based on the Qivicon platform in 2013.  Without insight as to the apps that would drive customer adoption, it sought to give customers maximum choice of smart home devices and to remove barriers to take-up. Initial adoption was slow. In 2017, Deutsche Telekom integrated its Magenta SmartHome control functionality into Speedport Smart …

Telco Cloud June Update: Hyperscalers vs. Telcos, NFV Goes Mainstream

Are hyperscale cloud players attractive telco partners, or are they going after the connectivity business? The industry is awash with questions. We look at some of this below – as well companies to watch. Meanwhile, we’re seeing several networking technologies moving along the maturity curve. Our data shows that NFV is now mainstream. Technologies that were previously just hype (Open …

5G-aliser – May 2020 update: The China–US race to 5G is heating up

The month of May has seen a wide variety of developments in the world of 5G, from the fluctuating levels of spectrum availability to the introduction of AI-supported autonomous robots to help screen for the coronavirus. But no factor has been as prominent this month as that of the ongoing geopolitical battle between China and the USA, of which 5G …

Telco Cloud May Update: Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft (+ Open RAN)

With the “current situation” testing the resilience of networks the world over, the future of telecoms is front-of-mind for many. Are we moving to a new world of fixed network dominance? What will this mean for 5G investments? And what role will telco cloud play in enabling it? These questions are top of our agenda at the moment. We’ve also …