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.
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 network is one of telcos’ key assets. The case for investing in it was once straightforward: the bigger and faster the better. Yet today, many forces are combining to cloud that picture, such as virtualisation, regulation, the success of Internet services, network sharing, market consolidation and in some cases saturation, to name a few. To kick off our ‘Future of the Network’ research stream, we outline the key questions determining future investments in the network and our forthcoming work to address them. In Part 2, we’ll outline the key disruptive forces on the network.