STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

Verizon 5G monetisation

Verizon 5G monetisation areas

Source: STL Partners Verizon was a pioneer, launching a 5G network based on millimetre wave (mmWave). The characteristics of this spectrum choice (i.e. limited reach and propagation) have challenged its ability to monetise the network with both consumers and business customers, despite the performance benefits that mmWave can deliver. It has since added low-band 5G (for extended 5G coverage) and, …

NFV and SDN deployment trends in North America

VNF and SDN deployments by primary category, North America, 2016 to 2021 The overall trends in North America are similar to those elsewhere: a strong rise in 5G core deployments (SA alongside NSA) together with a decline in other areas, particularly SD-WAN, which has in previous years been the leading category of NFV / SDN in the region. We observed seven deployments of NSA 5G cores in 2020, …

Commercialising 5G with SK Telecom

Commercialising 5G with SK Telecom

As one of the first in the world to launch 5G networks for both consumer and enterprise, SK Telecom (SKT) reported 5.48 million 5G subscribers at the end of 2020. The operator pursued a “5G Cluster” based approach to the development of its network and services. It created high density coverage in specific locations (e.g. stadiums, parks, business districts, factories) …

STL Basics: Edge computing types

As edge computing technologies and definitions are still evolving, different terms are sometimes used interchangeably or have been associated with a certain type of stakeholder. For example, mobile edge computing is often used within the mobile network context and has evolved into multi-access edge computing (MEC) – adopted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) – to include fixed and …

Telco-financial-services-top5

Top 5 telco financial services

  Our top 5 telco financial services is drawn from STL’s April 2021 report; Are telcos smart enough to make money work? which shows a growing number of telcos around the world are expanding into consumer financial services, offering loans, savings and insurance. Most telcos have the capabilities required to develop a compelling financial services proposition, except for three – …

telecoms network automation

Telecoms network automation: APAC prioritises innovation

Source: STL Partners telecoms survey, March 2021, 100 respondents According to our survey, automation is primarily driven by the need to reduce the operating costs of existing networks and services for operators in EMEA and North America. In APAC, on the other hand, automation adoption tends to be a necessary consequence of network development as they develop new network services …

STL classics: The original Telco Cloud business model

At STL Partners, we see a clear rationale for telco cloud beyond more flexible, agile, cost-effective, OpEx-centric networks and operations. Telco cloud is also about enabling further telecoms differentiation and growth through application and use case-specific networking, and ultimately about creating technology, practices and organisations fit for the Coordination Age. We have been talking about this transformation since 2012. In …

Digital health is among telcos’ top investment priorities in 2021

STL Partners believes that healthcare is a vertical that is well suited to telecoms operators’ strategic scope: Healthcare is a consistently growing need in every country in the world It is a big sector that can truly move the needle on telcos’ revenues, accounting for nearly 10% of GDP globally in 2018, up from 8.6% of GDP in 2000 according …

The Telco cloud Manifesto: A growth enabler in the Coordination Age

In 2018 STL partners coined the term Coordination Age to describe how connectivity between people, computers, applications and ‘things’ is generating volumes of analysable data and how the use of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence would create the conditions enabling governments, enterprises, and consumers to understand the world in ways which would be game-changing for society.  A world where resources …

5G energy consumption: A rapidly changing business climate

5G is where operators will be devoting most resources over the next decade. The massive investment required for deploying 5G plus the energy challenges associated with running 5G will ensure that 5G dominates operators’ carbon footprint. Retrofitting or replacing legacy operations is harder to justify (both economically and environmentally) than adopting best practice with new 5G and 5G-ready networks. Although …

Satellite and telco industry convergence: evolution not revolution

STL Partners conducted research through conversations with key stakeholders in both the satellites and telecoms industries. We held interviews with satellite vendors (e.g. manufacturers of satellites and ground equipment), satellite service providers (SSPs), and traditional mobile network operators (MNOs) to get a balanced understanding of attitudes across the wider ecosystem. In this article, we detail our findings on the impact …

Hyperscalers telco edge partnerships: Operators strategies

Although many operators acknowledge the opportunities that edge computing brings to their existing and future network, operators move to the edge remains relatively cautious. The uncertain ROI, as well as the varying requirements for different edge nodes, has not allowed most operators to develop a clear strategy towards their edge computing as they keep waiting for stronger demands to take …

cloud native

Mapping the telco’s cloud native approach

Based on operator interviews and market understanding, STL Partners mapped telco approaches to cloud native across two dimensions with the aim of drawing insights and wider recommendations for all telco leaders considering their stance on cloud native. Dimension 1 (the horizontal axis) reflects differences in telcos’ operating model visions, ambitions and capabilities. Dimension 2 (the vertical axis) is a measure …

A new kind of telco? How Rakuten is pursuing economies of scope

New technologies, together with a supportive policy agenda and more flexible spectrum licenses, are lowering the barriers to entry in telecoms, while cutting the cost of connectivity. These trends could give rise to a new kind of telco, as exemplified by Rakuten Mobile in Japan and Reliance Jio in India. Although global internet platforms, such as Google and Amazon, are …

Telco investment priorities: Healthcare and Government in top spots

Telco investment priorities: Healthcare and Government in top spots

STL Partners survey on telcos’ investment priorities for 2021 reveals that, among Enterprise verticals, Healthcare and Government are the top-rated sectors seeing the biggest acceleration in investment priority.  Healthcare is the most accelerated opportunity. Healthcare’s top spot seems predictable given that the world is in the midst of a pandemic. However there are challenges to success in this vertical. Indeed, …

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, …

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