The 4-yearly ITU World Radio Congress (WRC’19) which sets world policy on radio spectrum, most critically 5G this time, has just ended. What agreements were reached, and what do they mean for traditional telcos, new telcos, telco-sector vendors and regulators?
Telcos in South Korea and China have seen strong early demand for new 5G services. Where else is 5G commercially available, and what are the key lessons from early movers on 5G investments and positioning?
After considerable hype and uncertainty, the near term developments for 5G are now much more apparent, including which nations will go first, chip and handset availability, and the use of different spectrum bands.
Indoor wireless coverage is essential to many IoT and 5G use-cases, but it’s also horribly difficult to achieve. With new entrants and changing user demands the power dynamics are shifting, and operators need to make strategic decisions now to avoid losing their stake in this market.
At MWC this year we noticed a creeping upsurge in chatter about ‘network slicing’, as some pioneering operators held demonstrations at their stands. We investigate the fundamental question that remains unanswered – is there demand for network slicing?
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?
For the past 30 years, telecoms regulation has largely been designed to keep the market power of incumbent telcos in check. Now, the growing maturity of the market, the massive power of global digital players, and the pressing need for more investment are combining to prompt a regulatory rethink. How should telcos and regulators change their approaches to accelerate the cycle of growth and innovation?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Free’s shock bid for T-Mobile USA will stretch its finances and management capacity to the limit. Can Free’s package of tactics, technology, and procedures work in the US context?
The Japanese and French markets have both been disrupted through the entry of low-cost competitors offering substantial price reductions. We think that Softbank’s acquisition of Sprint is a signal that the same is to soon come in the US given Softbank’s experience as a successful disruptor in Japan. (January 2013, Executive Briefing Service).
Digital Commerce Flywheel December 2012
Telco 2.0 presents a new strategy report examining the evolution of cloud services; the current opportunities for vendors and Telcos in the Cloud market, plus a penetrating analysis on the positioning Telcos need to adapt in order to take advantage of the potential $200Bn global Cloud services market. This report offers over 140 pages of insightful commentary from those who’ve been working at the cutting edge, and includes an introduction to the sector’s key technologies and emerging trends, as well as detailed recommendations for Telcos and vendors. (December 2012, Strategy Report, Cloud and Enterprise ICT Stream.)
Cloud Strategy Report Image
Key trends, tactics, and technologies for mobile broadband networks and services that will influence mid-term revenue opportunities, cost structures and competitive threats. Includes consideration of LTE, network sharing, WiFi, next-gen IP (EPC), small cells, CDNs, policy control, business model enablers and more. (March 2012, Executive Briefing Service, Future of the Networks Stream).
Trends in European data usage
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).
UTF Image Jan 2012