Some Wild Weeks for Mobility

Summary Bullets:

• There are some weeks, arguably some quarters, where few substantive announcements are made about mobility solutions, including enterprise mobility services (as opposed to 5G rollouts) and IoT. In the last two weeks, announcements from Ericsson, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon show a robust and dynamic industry.

• These launches were diverse: Verizon’s continuing MEC rollout and new reference customers, AT&T’s 5G win with the Air Force, AT&T’s Microsoft Azure Sphere-powered IoT connectivity offering, Ericsson’s acquisition of Cradlepoint, and T-Mobile’s new Magenta for Business price plans all show that opportunities in mobility and IoT are alive and well.

Enterprise mobility has often seemed like a sedate market, because smartphones and tablets are so baked in to the communications arsenals of enterprises; new, innovative offerings from the ecosystem are few and far between as every flavor of managed mobility seems to already be available. Even IoT, which is still considered a huge growth opportunity, has suffered from being put in the “enabler” category, with providers worrying about flat revenues and being reticent to introduce new capabilities as they wait for 5G to bring it back into the light via “massive” connectivity requirements. Continue reading “Some Wild Weeks for Mobility”

Who’s Winning the Wireless Private Network Race?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • There has been a small but meaningful trickle of news on private wireless (cellular) network deployments over the last couple of years from a cast of characters ranging from CSPs to equipment vendors, SIs, and enterprises themselves. The latest CBRS auction has also uncovered likely new entrants, including companies that lack their own cellular networks or want to own and manage their own deployments.
  • Interest in providing private wireless networks is not new; after all, this is essentially what WiFi has been providing all along. But using 4G LTE and 5G (over licensed, unlicensed, or ‘lightly regulated’ spectrum) for these networks is creating excitement from a wide swath of the telecom market. Will companies buy it?

GlobalData has been tracking the private wireless network market for several years because it is potentially a major disruptive technology. It promises to partially displace WiFi and wireline connectivity – at least for those use cases that need more consistent signal strength, security, higher speeds, and lower latency, with support for in-building, campus, and hybrid environments such as manufacturing facilities, warehouses, sports stadiums, mines, oil and gas fields, ports, airports, and other transportation hubs. Continue reading “Who’s Winning the Wireless Private Network Race?”

Enterprise IoT Platforms Continue to Advance

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • GlobalData completed its latest examination of the enterprise IoT platform market on August 26, which described, analyzed, and rated the top platforms in the market. This report focused on AWS, IBM, SAP, PTC, Microsoft, and Google.
  • These vendors added functionality over the last six months that included enhanced security, more automated processes for data ingestion, new analytics capabilities, integration with the vendor’s own or third-party software, vertical solutions, scalability and availability, and improved edge enablement.

IoT is a key growth market for a wide swath of technology solution providers and their business customers. As a result, the market for platforms that make IoT projects easier to deploy and manage, and more impactful to the companies deploying them, has grown significantly in size and scope over the past five years. There are hundreds of purported platforms on the market, but only a dozen or so stand out in the enterprise segment. These IoT platforms leverage data collected from devices and transform the data into meaningful, actionable information through filtering, visualization, and analytics. They also aid customers in building applications which use the data to help them automate processes and make decisions that transform their products, services, and business models, therefore enhancing their position in the market. Continue reading “Enterprise IoT Platforms Continue to Advance”

T-Mobile Opens Up (a Bit) About Its B2B Plans

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • T-Mobile held an analyst briefing on August 14 to discuss its plans for T-Mobile for Business, which included its aims to engage SMBs, the public sector, large enterprises, and MNCs with a newly merged T-Mobile-former Sprint organization and a newly minted set of wireline and wireless network assets.
  • The meeting introduced the new B2B team, which draws from both companies, but the call focused more on the breadth and performance of the new T-Mobile’s 5G network and on ‘Un-carrier’’ benefits of transparency, lack of complexity, and cost avoidance than it did on actual enterprise offerings, leaving us hoping for more insights in the future.

It is understandable that T-Mobile is proud of its new network, which provides 14x more capacity than each operator had prior to the merger, as well as complementary network assets with which it is hoping to realize $43 billion in synergies. T-Mobile now has a 5G network that covers 250+ million people, and once its integration with Sprint’s 2.5GHz assets is complete, it can also compete well on other factors such as speed and latency. It also finally has a wireline network – to be run by former Sprint executive Mike Fitz – so, in theory, it will be able to offer more of a converged network portfolio to companies that want end-to-end network capabilities. T-Mobile loves to compare its new network to that of its rivals, noting that it has twice the spectrum of AT&T and three times the spectrum of Verizon. It points out that Verizon’s 5G footprint is still only in 35 cities, where it is using expensive mmWave spectrum, which does not provide expanded coverage benefits and which will require Verizon to use technologies such as DSS to enable it to share 4G and 5G spectrum to broaden its reach. Continue reading “T-Mobile Opens Up (a Bit) About Its B2B Plans”

The Latest CBRS Auction Draws an Astoundingly Diverse Set of Applicants

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• On July 23rd, the auction for Priority Access Licenses (PALs) for CBRS began; each PAL consists of a 10 megahertz channel in the highly coveted 3.55-3.65 GHz band. 22,631 licenses will be offered, with seven licenses available for each U.S. county (or census tract). So far the auction has resulted in 271 qualified bidders.

• The applicants are an astounding array of companies from mobile network operators and cable companies, to wireless Internet service providers, electric utilities, universities, and large enterprises. They are excited about using CBRS spectrum to supplement existing networks for public or private use, or to roll out their own networks without having to engage with a service provider. In either case, the auction may have a significant effect on public and private wireless networks and on the race to offer 5G.

CBRS spectrum has been talked about for years as an exciting opportunity for service providers that don’t own their own wireless spectrum to get some – and to get highly desirable spectrum in the mid-band where operators see faster speeds or better coverage than for low-band or high-band (mmWave) spectrum, respectively, for LTE or eventually 5G. In January 2020, licenses were granted to companies that want to be part of the CBRS ecosystem by becoming providers of Spectrum Access Systems (SAS) that are essentially frequency coordinators that allocate access to companies that want to be part of a complex spectrum sharing scheme. SAS licenses were granted to Amdocs, CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google, and Sony, companies that hope to gain revenues from CBRS for a variety of reasons in a variety of ways (including mobile device and CBRS equipment sales, professional services, and revenues from coordinating secondary market access from PAL licensees that want to resell their spectrum to other companies). GAA users are companies that use spectrum allocated by the SAS providers and are in the lowest tier of a set of three tiers (including GAA at the bottom, PAL in the middle, and, on top, the incumbent Department of Defense and Navy organizations that get highest priority use of the spectrum). GAA users can access any portion of the 3.5 GHz band not assigned to higher tier users. Continue reading “The Latest CBRS Auction Draws an Astoundingly Diverse Set of Applicants”

Unified Endpoint Management: Solutions Evolve with Advanced Security, Analytics, and App Enablement

Summary Bullets:

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

• GlobalData’s latest update on the unified endpoint management (UEM) market sees market leaders (such as VMware, MobileIron, and BlackBerry) adding differentiated capabilities to foster greater adoption.

• New offerings include support for IoT devices, app performance monitoring, usage analytics, and threat management. Easy on-boarding for a remote-first workforce and integration of multiple platforms are also important to UEM customers, as COVID-19 offers unique challenges.

While UEM discovers, manages, and secures mobile devices and governs those devices’ access to enterprise applications and data just like its predecessor enterprise mobility management (EMM), UEM also provides management and control functions for traditional desktops and laptops, IoT devices, and applications used on diverse end-points. UEM also offers a wide range of additional features including secure collaboration, file editing, sharing and cloud-based file storage, mobile app customization and deployment, analytics for mobile devices and applications, and IoT device and data management and security. UEM has emerged as a mechanism for organizations to unify management of mobile and traditional endpoints as well as provision applications across multiple platforms. Continue reading “Unified Endpoint Management: Solutions Evolve with Advanced Security, Analytics, and App Enablement”

AWS Telco Symposium: 5G, Edge, and IoT Come Together

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • AWS partners with telcos in four primary domains: digital transformation and modernization; applied AI/ML; business automation; and monetization of 5G, edge, and IoT. At a recent virtual symposium, presentations on each area were replete with solutions and use-case examples, shedding considerable light on the breadth of AWS’s vision.
  • 5G, edge, and IoT are increasingly linked as key technologies that work together for telco growth. The event illustrated how AWS is already playing a key role as a partner and enabler, helping telcos bring new solutions to light as 5G emerges, while expanding its own opportunities.

AWS held a half-day virtual symposium on July 8 that focused on its telco business; the solutions the hyperscaler and its partners detailed were extensive, highlighting how telcos of all shapes and sizes have extensive relationships with AWS. Carriers often depend on the provider for much more than cloud infrastructure. While these alliances are often synergistic and reciprocal (as telco relationships also are with Microsoft and Google), and clearly the two ‘camps’ of telco and cloud provider can’t quite live without the other, there is also some level of ambiguity/co-opetition as they offer joint or highly enmeshed solutions to many of the same enterprises. Continue reading “AWS Telco Symposium: 5G, Edge, and IoT Come Together”

Cisco Fleshes Out Its IoT Vision at Virtual Summit

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco’s virtual IoT summit (held on June 18 as a special adjunct to Cisco Live) helped illustrate how its IoT products and those of its partners work together to provide end-to-end solutions to businesses in diverse industrial verticals and help bring together IT and OT constituencies.
  • Recent additions to the IoT portfolio include high-capacity and ruggedized networking equipment to meet industrial requirements, while Cisco’s intended acquisition of Fluidmesh and a variety of partner solutions add differentiated capabilities.

Cisco acknowledges that the customer’s need for visibility and security, IT/OT collaboration, and expanded connectivity is driving its IoT solution mix. It is optimistic about the road ahead for IoT, seeing new opportunities in smart cities, railways, utilities, public safety, manufacturing, oil & gas, ports, and mining. As organizations are converging to all-IP networks, they are also experimenting with use cases such as real-time traffic updates, automated power distribution, predictive maintenance, and wireless backhaul for fast-moving assets. This need for higher performance and bandwidth plays into Cisco’s core routing and switching product portfolio, so it is no surprise that two new products noted at the Summit were for network connectivity equipment. However, beyond routers and switches, the vendor also has products and platforms for IoT connectivity management, data control and exchange, edge computing, and cybersecurity as well as a lot of interesting partner solutions that add to its IoT opportunities. With these building blocks, in Cisco’s words, it can help “build a robust network, identify and secure devices, expand connectivity everywhere, extract data, and drive outcomes.” Continue reading “Cisco Fleshes Out Its IoT Vision at Virtual Summit”

Mobility and IoT; Have Businesses Changed Their Spending Due to COVID-19?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData’s latest ICT survey includes questions on 2019 budget and 2020 spending plans for many technologies, as well as pre and post COVID-19 priorities and investment plans. The survey covers diverse areas from digital transformation to cloud services, software, hardware, networking, security, consulting, outsourcing, mobility, IoT, and more.

• Mobility and IoT spending appear relatively static, as the percent of the budget they represent hardly changed from 2019 to 2020. However, 12% of respondents said mobile spending may decrease due to COVID-19, and the percent of businesses planning to invest in subsets of IoT such as telematics, NFC, security and IoT platforms will also decrease due to COVID-19 concerns.

COVID-19 has put a damper on the spending plans of many businesses, especially in hard-hit verticals such as retail, travel and tourism, public and private transportation, retail banking, and non-essential businesses where people normally congregate. Continue reading “Mobility and IoT; Have Businesses Changed Their Spending Due to COVID-19?”

Virtual PTC LiveWorx Gets Its Message Across

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • PTC held a virtual version of its annual LiveWorx event on June 9, highlighting its own products but bringing in discussions from customers, partners, and leaders in related technologies such as augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital transformation.
  • The event worked pretty well with a combination of live and recorded events, losing some of the detailed product discussions while – needless to say – lacking the dynamism of the ‘Xtropolis’ exhibit hall that usually showcased new PTC and partner solutions.

PTC’s LiveWorx has always been a lively and informative show for those interested in areas such as CAD-enabled product development, product lifecycle management (PLM), manufacturing automation, augmented reality, the industrial IoT, and digital transformation. Rather than playing to the analyst community per se, the LiveWorx audience has always included existing and prospective PTC customers as well as a roster of its diverse set of strategic, go-to-market, and integration partners. Continue reading “Virtual PTC LiveWorx Gets Its Message Across”