Digital solutions supporting consumer health and wellness are proliferating, driven by the take-up of wearables and a growing supply of data from consumers, advertisers, insurers and healthcare providers. In this report we explore the ecosystem, and discuss the key players and opportunities, the likeliest areas for disruption, and the potential opportunities for telcos, as well as presenting case studies of the digital health strategies of Google, Apple and Microsoft.
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.
Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) have catapulted to prominence in the enterprise networking world in the last 12 months, driven by the growth of demand for access to cloud applications, and businesses’ desire to control WAN costs and complexity. SD-WAN may be a new “intermediary” layer in the network which has the potential to disrupt telcos’ enterprise aspirations, particularly given that it is dominated by vendors and specialist providers rather than telcos. SD-WAN may reduce operators’ MPLS and WAN services revenues and could potentially restrict future NFV/SDN opportunities. But SD-WAN also offers opportunities, where it is embraced – tactically – as part of operators’ enterprise portfolios.
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.
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.
The telecoms industry often puts so-called OTT (over-the-top) players like Google and Facebook at the forefront of its concerns, as they pose new competition for services and applications. But what about encroachment of companies “underneath” the telcos, displacing them from their core asset, the network? Telco 2.0 examines the strategic threats and opportunities from wholesale providers, outsourcers and government-run broadband networks. (January 2012, Executive Briefing Service, Future of the Networks Stream).
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Over the last 10 years, Nokia has sustained a keen interest in applications and services as a complement to its dominant position in hardware and operating systems. It’s hard to say that they’ve made any progress in making a business of it.