Malaysia enterprise telecom update Q4 2021 – acquisition season for telcos

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Maxis had one while Celcom made two acquisitions of ICT service companies in Q4 2021 alone.

• The acquisitions enable the providers to expand and enhance their portfolios, as well as challenge the existing players.

This report discusses major enterprise telecom events based on announcements from industry players in the recent quarter For more on the previous update, please see Malaysia Enterprise Telecom Update Q3 2021 – Even More Cloud Developments , November 17, 2021.

Professional services are becoming critical in the enterprise ICT market. New technologies are widening enterprises’ internal skillset gap and hence driving the need for managed services. As these service experts are becoming scarce, ICT providers are looking for inorganic solutions to enhance their internal capabilities and address the growing market demand. In the last quarter (Q4 2021), Maxis had one while Celcom made two acquisitions of service companies.

Maxis acquired MyKRIS: Maxis made its fourth acquisition in the last two years with MyKRIS, a managed network and security service provider. While MyKRIS’ networking portfolio somewhat overlaps with Maxis, it can enhance the latter’s services through network redundancy. More importantly, MyKRIS’ cybersecurity solutions and team of 70 experts can enable Maxis to expand its ICT portfolio particularly in cybersecurity through wider partnerships, and enhance its service capabilities. Besides, with accelerated technology adoption during the pandemic, cybersecurity requirements are getting more complicated. Cybersecurity is increasingly offered as an integrated solution with other ICT services such as cloud, networking, UC, and IoT. Aligned with Maxis’ direction in expanding its portfolio, the added capabilities can enhance its overall offerings and service delivery. Furthermore, the added capabilities can also enable Maxis to challenge competitors such as TM who has established cybersecurity practice through its CYDEC brand. For more, please see With MyKRIS, Maxis Makes Fourth Acquisition in 18 Months, Further Enhancing Its Enterprise Portfolio , October 14, 2021. Celcom acquired Bridgenet: Following its acquisition of Infront in November (for more, please see Celcom Acquired Infront to Enhance Cloud Service Capabilities and Go Beyond SMBs , November 8, 2021), Celcom made another deal in December with Bridgenet, an ICT service provider. While Bridgenet’s focus was largely on cybersecurity and networking, it has a range of other ICT solutions including cloud and UC. As Celcom is still new in the enterprise ICT market with a limited portfolio, Bridgenet’s solutions, partners, and experts can fast-track the provider’s strategy to expand its offerings and close the gap with competitors. The added capabilities can also strengthen Celcom’s position and enable it to expand its target market to the larger enterprise segment. For more, please see Celcom Ups Its Enterprise ICT Game with Bridgenet Acquisition , December 2, 2021.

In 2022, Celcom and Maxis are expected to add new services in their portfolio leveraging the capabilities from their acquisitions. There will also be enhancements in their existing services adding new vendor supports (e.g., multi-vendor SD-WAN) as well as integrating security with cloud and SD-WAN such as CASB and SASE. Further, the stronger professional services will also enable Celcom and Maxis to compete for more complex ICT projects such as enterprise 5G applications and multi-cloud services. They will continue to pressure the existing players such as TM ONE and other IT service providers leveraging their strong brands in the mobility and SME segments.

 

ASEAN 5G Q4 2021 Round-Up: Stronger Momentum in Vertical Collaborations

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Advanced telcos in ASEAN expanded their vertical collaborations and entered the trial and pre-commercialization stages of enterprise 5G applications while others started to form alliances with domestic players to co-create new solutions.

• Smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, and robotics are leading the enterprise 5G development in ASEAN, in line with the global trends.

Q3 2021 was about telcos moving from the network deployment to solution development stages (for more, please see ASEAN 5G Q3 2021 Roundup: Competition Heats Up, October 7, 2021). Moving into Q4 2021, telcos moved to the next development stage through wider collaborations with technology providers (e.g., network vendors, cloud providers) and other industry players to co-develop and trial new enterprise 5G solutions. While most telcos are still in the application development stages, providers such as AIS Thailand and Singtel Singapore are already in the field trial and pre-commercialization phases. In line with the global trends, applications like smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, and robotics are leading the enterprise 5G development. This is driven by tangible use cases such as improving operational efficiency and remote operation during the pandemic as well as wider involvement by players in the industry such as ABB, Bosch, Mitsubishi Electric, and Proton.

Continue reading “ASEAN 5G Q4 2021 Round-Up: Stronger Momentum in Vertical Collaborations”

ASEAN Network Challenges: Network Management and Security Get More Complex

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• Performance and reliability remain as key challenges for ASEAN enterprises largely due to carriers’ network limitations.

• Network management and security become crucial driven by enterprises’ rapid cloud adoption during the pandemic.

GlobalData interviewed 158 ASEAN decision makers earlier this year to further understand their challenges with current services and buying trends for new solutions. One of the topics is challenges in current network services. From the 12 challenges given, performance and reliability came as the top with 32% of enterprises rated it as a severe or major challenge. This is followed by network management 30%, security 27%, while management across cloud and unclear benefits rounded up the top five with 26% each.

Figure 1: Challenges with Network Services in ASEAN, 2021

Continue reading “ASEAN Network Challenges: Network Management and Security Get More Complex”

Malaysia Enterprise Telecom Update Q3 2021 – Even More Cloud Developments

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• The rapid increase in cloud demand is pushing providers to innovate and drive the market competition.

• Malaysian telcos continued to add new capabilities through acquisition and partnerships.

This report discusses major enterprise telecom events based on announcements from industry players in the recent quarter For more on the previous update, please see Malaysia Enterprise Telecom Update Q2 2021: Major Cloud Developments, July 27, 2021.

1. Maxis Launched Right Cloud: Maxis stepped up its cloud play with the launch of Right Cloud. Moving from the basic cloud service (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) player, Maxis Right Cloud offers multicloud solutions that manage workload across multiple environments. Further, it also offers Right Network, integrating its cloud with network services, and Right Expertise, for cloud professional services.

Continue reading “Malaysia Enterprise Telecom Update Q3 2021 – Even More Cloud Developments”

Malaysia Budget 2022 Enterprise ICT Takeaways: Sustainability and 5G Ecosystem

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• Sustainability is becoming increasingly important and should be part of enterprise ICT solution propositions.

• The TPM innovation hub will drive the enterprise 5G ecosystem and development in the country.

The Malaysian government announced the country budget for 2022 last week, allocating MYR332 billion ($80 billion) on operating and development expenditure as well as the COVID-19 Fund. The theme of the budget is mainly around economic recovery from the pandemic and there are also various initiatives in the overall ICT industry such as connectivity expansion in underserved areas, more funds for startups, and additional digital adoption grants for enterprises. However, sustainability and 5G ecosystem are rather new and would have higher impacts on the domestic enterprise ICT market.

Sustainability and Environmental

Initiatives: The government announced several initiatives such as the Voluntary Carbon Market to facilitate carbon credit trading and the Low Carbon Transition Facility to drive enterprises to adopt sustainability practices.

Continue reading “Malaysia Budget 2022 Enterprise ICT Takeaways: Sustainability and 5G Ecosystem”

PLDT Digicon: A Sustainable Smart City Starts at the Infrastructure Layer

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• A sustainable smart city should consider the deployment goals, but also the underlying infrastructure.

• PLDT checks most boxes in the infrastructure and technology layers as well as in the other ICT domains but it could consider further expanding its capabilities in the professional services and partner ecosystem.

PLDT’s Sustainable Smart City Initiatives

In the Philippine Digital Convention (Digicon) 2021, PLDT shared its initiatives and capabilities in driving sustainable smart city adoption and helping industries to achieve goals in the sustainability three pillars: economic, environmental, and social. On the application layer, PLDT offers a range of smart city solutions across verticals in line with the sustainable smart city goals. This includes remote learning in education, COVID response in healthcare, and emergency response in public safety. As an ICT provider, PLDT also continues to build the underlying infrastructure to enhance existing applications and enable new sustainable smart city solutions. It has 15 subsea cables including Jupiter, Asia Direct, and Apricot, and 12 point-of-presence (PoPs) across the world to offer reliable global interconnections. Domestically, it has over 540,000km of fiber providing high-speed connectivity nationwide as well as more than 4,000 5G base stations covering major Philippines cities. Besides connectivity, PLDT has 10 interconnected data centers that deliver 9,000 racks and 27 MW of power to host enterprises applications and workloads. Further, in line with its sustainability agenda, it is working to achieve 1.4 power usage effectiveness (PUE) for its facilities, source at least 20% of its data centers’ power consumption from renewable energy, and obtain Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) and ISO 50001 certifications.

Continue reading “PLDT Digicon: A Sustainable Smart City Starts at the Infrastructure Layer”

ASEAN 5G Q3 2021 Roundup: Competition Heats Up

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The domestic competitions across ASEAN are heating up as providers are moving from network deployment to the solution development stage.
  • Leading providers are starting to commercialize their edge computing services and gain a first-mover advantage.

The enterprise 5G market in ASEAN is moving from network deployment to the solution development stage, led by early adopters such as the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.  Most telcos in these countries such as Globe, PLDT, M1, Singtel, Starhub, and AIS have enabled 5G standalone (SA) networks to support a wider range of enterprises applications through edge integration, lower latency, and network slicing.  The competition at the country level is also heating up, as providers are beginning to commercialize the solutions they have been developing through industry collaborations.  This includes Singtel’s edge computing and AIS’ 5G smart manufacturing solutions.  Service providers are also expanding their collaboration initiatives with enterprises from across verticals and are expected to launch more applications in the market in the near term.  AIS and Globe are Singtel’s associates; hence, the three providers could also gain an advantage in 5G solution development in their respective markets through knowledge and partner sharing. Continue reading “ASEAN 5G Q3 2021 Roundup: Competition Heats Up”

5G War Begins Again in Malaysia as Launch Nears

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Service providers are picking up their pace again in developing 5G capabilities.
  • Solution co-creation is key not just in building solution capabilities but also in driving brand share.

Early Pace of 5G in Malaysia

Malaysia had an early start with 5G.  The race between service providers began in mid-2019 when Celcom launched the country’s first live 5G cluster trial that enabled various use cases across multiple verticals (for more, please see Celcom Leads the 5G Race in Malaysia with 5G Live Cluster Field Trial,” July 29, 2019).  This was only a few months after the launch of the very first commercial 5G network in the world.  Not long after that, Maxis announced a partnership with Huawei to deploy 5G and develop use cases, Digi partnered with Cyberview on the 5G OpenLab to co-create 5G smart city applications, and TM shared its plan to be the first provider to offer 5G standalone (SA) network.  The government, MCMC, also played key roles in driving the technology development in the country.  It established a 5G task force in December 2018, hosted a 5G event in April 2019, collaborated with telcos and other industry players to launch 55 use cases across 32 locations (5GDP), and planned for commercial availability of the technology in the first half of 2020 (for more, please see 5G Enterprise in Malaysia: Strong Push by the Government Despite Low Market Maturity,” October 17, 2019).  It was ahead of many other countries in the region. Continue reading “5G War Begins Again in Malaysia as Launch Nears”

Analytics in ASEAN: Low Awareness and Adoption, but Bright Outlook

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Awareness and adoption of enterprise analytics are still low in ASEAN.
  • There is a strong outlook in the near to midterm driven by digital transformation.

Low Awareness and Adoption

A GlobalData study with 158 ICT decision-makers in ASEAN shows very low awareness and adoption around analytics in the region.  The study reveals that only 23% of enterprises see analytics as very important criteria when considering new IoT solutions, 22% in cloud, 18% in unified communications, and 17% in cybersecurity.  Analytics was also among the least important criteria for respective solutions.  This shows that while most enterprises understand the general benefits of analytics (e.g., turning data into insights), many are still unable to relate analytics to their business objectives. Continue reading “Analytics in ASEAN: Low Awareness and Adoption, but Bright Outlook”

Should ASEAN Telcos Reassess Data Center Business?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:            

  • Major ASEAN telcos are considering selling their data center business.
  • As the demand is shifting, telcos should consider reassessing their data center business strategy.

In the last few days, three major ASEAN telcos – PLDT, Globe, and Indosat – were reported to be mulling over their data center businesses, worth around $500 million (USD), $200 million, and $200 million, respectively.

Not a New Trend, but Has Been Happening for Years

Having telcos exit the data center market is not new: Verizon sold its 29 data centers in the America region to Equinix in 2016; Tata Communications sold 17 facilities in 2016 and its data center arm sold a 26% stake in its Singapore business in 2019; Lumen completed the sale of its data center and colocation business in 2017; AT&T sold 31 of its data centers to Brookfield in 2018; Telefonica sold off 11 data centers in 2019 and confirmed the sale of additional four facilities in 2021; PCCW sold its data center business in 2021; and Singtel has announced that it is considering selling off its infrastructure, including data centers.  However, the trend is only recently coming to the emerging ASEAN region. Continue reading “Should ASEAN Telcos Reassess Data Center Business?”