STL Insights

Snapshots from our analyst team's latest research

5G-aliser-stl-partners-July 2021

5G-aliser: Can telcos launch new services without standalone 5G?

5G-aliser: Can telcos launch new services without standalone 5G? This quarter we drop two of our wildcard factors in favour of two newcomers, and discuss how telcos are developing their 5G services ahead of the launch of standalone 5G cores.  New factors on the scorecard This quarter we dropped COVID-19 and 5G conspiracy theories in the wildcards factors, as …

5G monetisation

Commercial 5G: Factors influencing the approach

The commercial 5G services of 5G pioneers SK Telecom, Verizon and Telstra focused on 5G-inclusive versions of mobile and data plans across consumer and business segments, with SK Telecom the only operator promoting 5G-specific applications early on. Some are now moving beyond the premium propositions that targeted early adopters/heavy data users with speed and data generosity, towards a mainstream audience …

Strengths and capabilities of different private network stakeholders

The different private network requirements and vertical dynamics, along with the need for flexible private network deployment options and scenarios, will drive various opportunities and business cases for new operators and owners to emerge across these industries. Traditional and new telcos have varying strengths and limitations across spectrum holdings/access, asset ownership, and telecoms and vertical expertise. In addition to leveraging …

Achieving eCommerce best practice through data advancements

There are clear benefits to operators who successfully implement A3 (analytics, artificial intelligence and automation) within their organisation. Analytics: Collecting and analysing data to drive better decision-making Artificial intelligence: Using computing capabilities to perform human cognitive functions Automation: Replacing or supporting activities that require human input with machines This is evident in the industry’s investment in multiple telco domains, albeit …

Telstra commercial 5G

Commercial 5G at Telstra

Telstra’s 5G commercial approach involves propositions in each of the highlighted categories below: Given that four of the top five key purchase criteria across all Australian telco customer segments are network-related (i.e., coverage, speed, reliability and security), Telstra strives to be the market’s network leader. It views its early and continuing investment in 5G as enabling it to stay ahead …


The case for disruptive innovation

Disruptive forces could help telcos discover new opportunities for innovation and growth in the longer term. John McDonald is a strategist in disruptive innovation in the health industry in Canada. He takes a highly strategic approach to building alignment on emerging risks and opportunities three to five years out, centred on disruptive innovation, helping corporates see the world like a disruptor, and helping disruptors …

O-RAN forecast

Four O-RAN deployment pathways

In June 2021 STL published a capex forecast as its first attempt at estimating the value of the O-RAN market. This O-RAN forecast is based on analysis of telco RAN capex and projected investment pathways for O-RAN. The assumptions are informed by public announcements, private discussions and the opinions of our Telco Cloud team. O-RAN capex will reach USD43 billion …

AI network-driven customer experience

AI for network-driven customer experience

Although customer-facing teams in marketing and sales have been quicker to adopt AI and automation than network operations teams, there is a growing understanding in telecoms that delivering a good customer experience must start with the network. Achieving this is easier said than done, since getting a full view of an individual customer’s experience of the network depends on bringing …

Consumer Internet of Things in 2021

Consumer Internet of Things in 2021

STL’s June 2021 report: Why the consumer IoT is stuck in the slow lane considers the key B2C and B2B2C use cases for Massive IoT technologies – how NB-IoT and LTE-M are evolving and the implications for telcos’ strategies in terms of the consumer Internet of Things. Despite the pandemic, the IoT continued to expand in 2020. In fact, in some …


4 digital healthcare application focus areas for telcos

In April 2021, STL developed a new sizing model for 217 digital healthcare markets that reflects the recent impact of the COVID pandemic on the health sector, with the goal of identifying the new opportunities and risks presented to operators and others attempting or considering investment in the market. Our model focuses specifically on four application areas within the digital …

The 4 foundations of 5G monetisation

The 4 foundations of 5G monetisation

5G commercialisation goes beyond the service propositions that contribute to a telco’s bottom line. STL Partners considers the following four factors to be foundational to 5G monetisation: Value-adding service propositions, specifically those built on top of network connectivity (5G), that can be commercialised (Services) A network architecture that can deliver the features and flexibility demanded by such propositions (Network/OSS) IT/BSS …

monetisation use cases

10 data monetisation in telecoms use cases

Big data monetisation in telecoms has been an area of activity for the last few years. However, telcos’ interest levels have varied over time due to the complexity of delivering and selling such a diverse range of products, as well as highly variable revenue opportunities depending on the vertical. Telcos’ appetite to pursue data monetisation strategies has also been heavily …

Agility flywheel

The telco agility flywheel

  In 2015, STL Partners published a report on ‘The Agile Operator: 5 key ways to meet the agility challenge’, exploring the concept and characteristics of telco agility, including what it means to telcos, key areas of agility and the challenges in agile-focused transformation. Today, the definition of agility remains as broad as in 2015 but many concepts of agility …


Can VodaPay transfer Alipay to South Africa?

Vodacom is working with Alipay to launch a lifestyle consumer application, merchant commerce and financial services platform that brings together to all ecosystem participants. What are the opportunities, and what will it take to succeed?


A3 technology: Where should telcos focus?

Prioritisation matrix for telco A3 capabilities STL recently explored potential enterprise solutions leveraging analytics, AI and automation (A3) capabilities that telcos can address across 200+ use cases across 14 industry verticals. We looked at vertical opportunities and sought to answer two questions: Which of the A3 technologies are most feasible for telcos to work with? and which verticals hold the …

The private cellular networking opportunity matrix

STL Partners represents the private networking opportunity across two dimensions: level of stakeholder alignment vs. degree of cellularity. With the aim of helping others evaluate the extent to which they can take advantage of private cellular networks, we identified 4 archetype situations below for deploying private 4G or 5G. Segment 1: The sweet spot for private LTE and 5G networks …

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