As a conglomerate with growing investments across the Internet of Things and AI value chains, SoftBank is a unique and intriguing player in the telecoms industry. What exactly is SoftBank’s strategy, and does it give its telecoms businesses a competitive advantage?
Tag: Internet of Things
Telecoms is moving into its third age: the Coordination Age. Why was it so hard for telcos to adapt when content shifted from the physical to the virtual world with the growth of the Internet, and how can they learn from past experience to create new value in the next seismic change in telecoms and content?
The global digital economy is moving into a new age: The Coordination Age. A global need to improve the efficiency of resource utilisation is manifesting in industries and individuals as a desire to “make the world work better”. What role can telcos play in this, and will that ultimately mean the break-up of the telco as we know it?
We outline three potential roles for telcos in the IoT, describing twelve potential application areas and forty use cases, as well as the structure and trends driving change. Looking beyond this we ask which market areas are most attractive, and what should telcos do within them?
Artificial intelligence is improving rapidly thanks to the growing use of deep neural networks to teach computers how to interpret the real world. These networks use vast amounts of detailed data to enable machines to learn, further increasing demand for reliable, high-bandwidth connectivity. For example, the development of safe autonomous cars depends on millions of vehicles capturing enormous amounts of information about how human drivers handle cars when confronted with specific road layouts, weather conditions, traffic and accidents. The best artificial intelligence systems will be built using the best datasets sourced using 100% reliable connectivity provided by telcos.
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?
The evolution of eSIMs, supporting remote provisioning of mobile operators’ profiles, could allow new IoT devices and business-models to thrive. However, the promise is countered by fears that eSIM could enable Internet companies and device manufacturers to become connectivity gatekeepers. We analyse the threats, opportunities and practicalities, and give our view of the likely outcomes.
This report provides detailed analysis of the IoT ecosystem, the technologies enabling it, and how telcos can establish themselves within it, by presenting case-studies of strategies from AT&T, Vodafone, SK Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom. The report also discusses the connectivity needs of several different IoT use-cases.
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.
Online entertainment is increasingly dominated by 5 big platforms but 6 forces are likely to shape the market going forward and could have profound effects on the dominant platforms. We analyse the relative strengths and weaknesses of each player and explore the potential opportunities for telcos to compete and collaborate.
Baidu, China’s answer to Google, is one of the world’s leading Internet companies by market capitalisation. But can Baidu break out of the Middle Kingdom? Fast-growing smartphone maker, Xiaomi, is building a multi-faceted ecosystem and a tribal brand among young people. What impact will Xiaomi have in Western Europe and North America? DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, could become an anchor for a major ecosystem in the consumer robotics arena. But several obstacles may knock DJI off course.
Microsoft faces the post-monopoly era, having had to write off its $8bn adventure in mobile and cope with significant disruption across the piece. Collaboration and communications are key to its new strategy, leading to significant implications for telcos and others.
We believe that the global telecoms market is approaching a critical moment of change, as strategic drivers and enablers are combining to open the door to a fundamental shift in the industry. We show how and why with highlights of our recent research, and set the scene for a new vision for Telco 2.0 – what telcos should be in the future, and how to get there.
Both Alibaba and Tencent have created formidable Internet ecosystems within China. However, the increasingly competitive Chinese economy is now slowing, and their continued growth depends on weakening the control of Google, Facebook and Amazon over the global digital commerce market. In the first of two reports on China, we examine Alibaba and Tencent’s services, business models, and aspirations, and explain how and why telcos should support their international expansion.
As they seek new sources of revenue, many telcos around the world are attempting to disrupt adjacent markets, such as digital commerce, IT, entertainment and financial services. While many of these moves have proved to be too little, too late, several disruptive plays have had a significant impact on both the telco’s revenues and relevance. These include NTT DOCOMO’s Smart Life portfolio, Globe Telecom’s GCash service and KT’s media business. Why do some disruptive moves by telcos succeed and others fail?
What is ‘agility’ and what makes it meaningful to operators? We explored the concept and characteristics of ‘operator agility’ through 29 interviews with telco senior executives, found three main barriers and five key opportunity areas, and identified some surprising and important conclusions about both what it means and the key steps needed to achieve it.