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?”

Malaysian Telcos Shift Gears to Enhance Cloud Offerings

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• Digi expanded its enterprise portfolio and strengthen its SME position with the launch Oracle NetSuite.

• Maxis is moving in the right direction with its Right Cloud to address the increasing multi-cloud demand in the market.

The last three months saw Celcom’s partnership with Google to offer Google Workspace to SMEs; Maxis’ acquisition of Peering One, a private and hybrid cloud provider; and TM ONE’s partnership with SAP to offer a range of the latter solutions from its infrastructure (Cloud alpha). Now, in the first half of September, there were already two significant moves by Digi and Maxis to enhance their cloud offerings:

1. Digi Business brings cloud-based ERP solutions to SMEs

Continue reading “Malaysian Telcos Shift Gears to Enhance Cloud Offerings”

New Directions in the ASEAN Cloud Market as Enterprises Advance Their Journey

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• The accelerated cloud adoption in ASEAN is driving the market awareness and maturity in the region. Enterprises are starting to look for more advanced features such as integrated cloud solutions with other ICT domains.

• New requirements are also driving competition and attracting global cloud players to expand their footprints to capture the high growth opportunity.

About a year and a half since the pandemic first hit the region, ASEAN enterprises had gone through various ICT transformations including accelerated cloud deployments to enable remote working. The awareness and maturity of cloud have significantly increased in the last 18 months. Based on our recent engagements with leading cloud providers and enterprises in ASEAN, some of the current key trends in the cloud market are the convergence with other ICT domains, hyperscalers’ momentum, and the beginning of edge computing.

Continue reading “New Directions in the ASEAN Cloud Market as Enterprises Advance Their Journey”

AWS Showcases Its Infrastructure Design to Offer Higher Performance and Cost Savings in ASEAN

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • While AWS is expanding its ASEAN footprint, in-country regions can be important to capture high-growth domestic opportunities.
  • Its custom and modular approach offers higher performance and reliability, but also enables cost savings through better resource management.

AWS has shared with analysts its capabilities and some details of its infrastructure design, including the data centers, networking, and server equipment that make up each of its regions.

Globally, AWS has 81 availability zones across 25 regions in 19 countries, comparable with other major cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud and ahead of niche players and market challenges such as Alibaba Cloud, Tencent, Oracle, and IBM.  Each of its regions has two or more availability zones, with newer ones consisting of at least three.  Each availability zone has multiple data centers to offer high availability and performance.  This is not new and has been a common approach by some leading global hyperscalers.  AWS has also been using a modular approach for its data center (a.k.a. Amazon Perdix) for over a decade.  All the availability zones are interconnected through its own metro fiber network.  It also uses cutting-edge 6912-fiber-count cables in its network. Continue reading “AWS Showcases Its Infrastructure Design to Offer Higher Performance and Cost Savings in ASEAN”

Digitizing Power & Utilities with 5G

Alfie Amir
A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • 5G is helping the power and utility sector to better automate some of its legacy systems, infrastructure, and processes.
  • 5G will continue to play an important role in helping the utility sector transition to smart grids and drive the industry into new operating models.

The power and utility industry was always a slow adopter of technology, but an old industry is beginning to embrace new ideas as part of the digital transformation journey.  There are many changes behind the scenes.  This is driven by smart grids, access to customer data, new regulation, and dramatic changes to the global energy market, and it encompasses power generation and distribution, a myriad of new competitors (brought on, in part, by new regulation), diversification, and increased usage of alternative energy.  There are also dramatic changes among consumers.  Major consumers of energy such as data center operators are pledging carbon neutrality.  To better compete, utility companies need to transform.  Business objectives like speed to market and operational agility need to balance a strong security posture with regulatory compliance.  As a new technology, 5G has been at the forefront of helping utility companies to lower operating costs, consolidate legacy environments, and be more responsive to the emergence of new market realities. Continue reading “Digitizing Power & Utilities with 5G”

Malaysia Enterprise Telecom Update Q2 2021: Major Cloud Developments

Alfie Amir
A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Microsoft’s move to open new data centers in Malaysia will drive cloud adoption and may attract other hyperscalers to build facilities in the country.
  • Domestic telcos are expanding their cloud capabilities through partnerships and acquisitions to address the high-growth market.

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 Malaysian Telecom Update Q1 2021 (April 29, 2021).

1. Microsoft’s Plan to Open Data Centers in Malaysia: Microsoft announced plans to strengthen its regional presence by establishing new data centers in Malaysia, adding 1 million skilled local professionals, and forming the MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations. Continue reading “Malaysia Enterprise Telecom Update Q2 2021: Major Cloud Developments”

ASEAN 5G Q2 2021 Roundup: Wider Industry Collaborations Driving Enterprise 5G Ecosystem

Alfie Amir
A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Indonesian telcos have launched 5G networks, while a Malaysian provider has detailed its deployment plan from this year until 2024. In more mature markets, telcos continue to expand their coverage and enterprise capabilities through new partnerships and collaboration initiatives.
  • 5G adoption has been revised slightly upward, driven by new launches and deployment commitments and wider industry collaborations.

Key Enterprise 5G Developments

April 2021 – Singtel Launches GENIE 5G-in-a-Box to Drive 5G Solution Development in Singapore: With 5G Garage and partnerships with AWS and Azure on 5G edge computing, Singtel is taking a further step with its 5G-in-a-box solution to accelerate enterprise 5G development in the country.  The portable and modular solution enables enterprises and device manufacturers to test and experience 5G networking as well as develop new applications anywhere with the need to join Singtel in its testing facilities.  Singtel also recently announced a Melbourne-based innovation center to focus on AI, cloud, and 5G solutions as part of its new enterprise strategy.  This could benefit its telco associates in the region such as AIS, Globe, and Telkomsel in driving the ecosystem and developing new 5G solutions in their respective countries.  (For more, please see Singtel and Ericsson’s GENIE 5G-in-a-Box Will Drive 5G Solution Development in Singapore,” April 13, 2021; and Singtel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places,” May 31, 2021. Continue reading “ASEAN 5G Q2 2021 Roundup: Wider Industry Collaborations Driving Enterprise 5G Ecosystem”