Network Slicing is a way to run multiple networks on one infrastructure. In theory, it could mean that telcos could run mobile broadband and IoT networks over the same physical network, and also offer greater agility within those networks. We explore the theory and its challenges, examine use cases, what would be needed to make it happen, and look at five business case scenarios.
Mobile World Congress 2017 seemed busier and more diverse than ever – so congratulations to our partners at the GSMA. In previous years there has been an announcement or keynote that provides a unifying theme, but not so this year, although behind the scenes we identified a fundamental driving force. Our report of this year’s Congress analyses themes of transformation, 5G, IoT, AI and others, and distils the key messages from Barcelona.
5G deployments will need new allocations of radio spectrum, particularly to achieve promised speeds, and target new IoT use-cases. However, the official process for releasing new frequencies is slow and cumbersome. Some countries may short-circuit the process. At the same time, the rationale for new sharing mechanisms, that allow industrial and vertical players to acquire spectrum for their own networks, outside of MNO control, is growing. What should telcos do?
There’s a lot at stake in 5G, and many players are understandably pushing their own views and strategies hard. Our latest analysis summarises the story so far, the barriers, players and timelines, and how we see it playing out.
This report explores how Net Neutrality legislation has evolved significantly, looking at the general shape and specifics in the EU, US, India, Brazil and other territories. In general telcos can differentiate some aspects of broadband access with pricing or “specialized services”, but Internet app-blocking or paid-priority are disallowed. While legal challenges are ongoing, the way ahead seems much clearer, and we explore how telcos should focus on and enable interesting non-Internet connectivity opportunities around 5G, NFV and IoT.
Although the shape of the cloud industry turned out better than expected, most telco strategies in the cloud haven’t delivered. We investigate why, what has led to success, and what telcos need to learn to do differently.
The mantra of MWC 2016 was “5G, the cloud, and the Internet of Things”. We think that, underlying the buzzwords, there is a more profound reality for telcos. This is that they need to encompass many of the learnings and techniques of the IT industry to transform to a new breed of truly agile player. Fast.
5G was one of the dominant topics at MWC 2016, and a key theme was the push by many infrastructure vendors and chipset manufacturers to bring forward the timeline for development of an early version of 5G. Some leading operators are also stepping up to support this vision. Fortunately, the “early 5G” group’s wish-list is relatively simple: it’s about capacity, cost, and carbon dioxide.
As LTE adoption passes 50% in North America and 9% worldwide, we review the operators who did best and worst and draw conclusions for the mass adoption phase of 4G. The analysis provides a valuable template for all players in the 4G race, and has important implications for plans for 5G.
The last few years have seen attempts by many leading telecoms operators to refresh their business model and generate new sources of growth and value. Now many digital initiatives are being scaled back. Telefonica and Telenor, two companies in the vanguard of the ‘drive to digital’ have both disbanded their digital organisations. In the first of two reports, STL Partners explores why efforts to yoke platform and product innovation businesses to a traditional infrastructure business have proved so difficult. The financial and operational constraints associated with traditional telecoms – particularly the need for long investment cycles in ‘one-function’ infrastructure – have made achieving the switch to ‘agile digital innovation’ all but impossible. But all that may be about to change and the future could be a little brighter.
It’s reasonably clear that standard cellular networks will only carry a fraction of the data of the Internet of Things (IoT), but how should telcos be involved in the fast growing range of low cost, disruptive networks that will carry the bulk? We examine the alternatives and outline strategic options.
Huawei’s business performance in recent years has been impressive, based on sticking closely to what its customers wanted and making the results easy to buy. But fierce price competition will challenge near-term profit ambitions, and Huawei’s 5G vision is ahead of the market. So could things be about to change?
Enthusiasm for creating novel so-called “digital” services is pervasive in the telecoms industry. There is a major shift afoot in the way telcos create, integrate, sell and manage value-added propositions. But how much is enabled by – or dependent on – the network itself? In recent years, most investment has been solely for improved connectivity, but there are signs that future network capex might drive new service opportunities directly, rather than just by empowering 3rd parties.
In the first of two reports, STL Partners evaluates how several powerful forces, within and beyond the control of telcos, look set to change the shape of the European market and considers the options for how these forces might develop going forward.
A primary benefit envisaged of ‘5G’ networks is that latency (i.e. delay times for users) will be massively reduced. This would deliver major benefits for many applications providing that the software for those cloud-based applications is located near enough to the users at the edge of the network. This is likely to drive a massive change in the architecture of …
A primary benefit envisaged of 5G networks is that latency (i.e. delay times for users) will be massively reduced. This would deliver major benefits for many applications providing that the software for those cloud-based applications is located near enough to the users at the edge of the network. This is likely to drive a massive change in the architecture of the cloud and the network industries. This report outlines likely scenarios and identifies some early moves that are starting to play out now.
5G. SDN/NFV. Gigabit cable. WiFi. IoT. Spectrum policy. Vendor consolidation. Despite carefully-constructed business cases for future network investment, the goal-posts are always moving, and even the best-laid plans face possible disruptions – positive or negative. To kick off our ‘Future of the Network’ research stream, we outlined the key questions determining the business case for future investments in the network. This is Part 2, which covers critical network-technology disruptions, the impact of government and regulation, and the shifting vendor landscape.