SingTel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places

Summary Bullets:

m rogers
M. Rogers

• Singtel has announced a new strategy alongside its financial results, which includes a renewed focus on digital business and the expansion of its NCS unit internationally.

• While Singtel has identified the right trends to click into for NCS, the Australian and Chinese markets will be challenge and there could be other opportunities with its subsidiaries in ASEAN.

Singtel announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2021 ended March 31, 2021 on May 28, 2021. Singtel reported a difficult year across the group, in part due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as structural changes with the NBN in Australia and more generally across the telco sector. However the company did share some bright spots, for example the performance of its NCS business. Further, as part of the associated analyst and investor presentation Singtel presented a new strategy going forward with the hopes of capitalizing on key growth trends in digital and ICT markets in Asia-Pacific region. These include “B2B digital services growth,” “digital ASEAN opportunity,” and “rapid digitalisation fuelling infrastructure demand.

What’s the Plan?

Continue reading “SingTel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places”

Rakuten Has Ambitious Plans to Become a Mobile Cloud Network Provider

Summary Bullets:

m rogers
M. Rogers

  • Rakuten Mobile is taking the cloud-native, open RAN-based mobile network it built in Japan and commercializing it as an open, end-to-end solution for other operators.
  • While Rakuten’s mobile network solution is competing with similar recently launched products from leading technology companies like Microsoft and VMware, they all might have trouble convincing their target operator customers.

Rakuten Mobile, Japan’s fourth mobile operator, made headlines in the mobile industry in 2020 for launching its 4G mobile services using a cloud-native, fully virtualized mobile network, one that works on the principles of open RAN.  (Open RAN is a set of specifications for open and interoperable radio access networks allowing for disaggregation of portions of the radio access network, namely the radio unit [RU] as well as the distributed baseband and core baseband units, and for those subsections to be supplied by different vendors).  However, the company has taken lessons learned from the buildout of its own 4G and 5G cloud-native network and is now trying to productize this into a solution called Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).  In addition to providing a solution for mobile operators, Rakuten is reportedly developing enterprise use cases for 5G edge computing for industry and IoT that can be also supported by the platform. Continue reading “Rakuten Has Ambitious Plans to Become a Mobile Cloud Network Provider”

5G and Land Mobile Radio (LMR): Partners in Supporting Tomorrow’s Critical Communication Industry

Summary Bullets:

m rogers
M. Rogers

• The mobile industry is increasingly developing 5G use cases to support critical operations in heavy industries like construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

• Despite advances in 5G solutions, many industrial customers still prefer to use legacy systems for critical workloads like voice and location, citing simplicity and reliability and concerns around security of IP networks.

The mobile industry continues to promote 5G as the wireless generation built for the enterprise. As 5G rollouts progress across the globe, operator initiatives continue to focus on ways the technology can be applied to enterprise use cases. One common area operators are trying to develop is the use of 5G in heavy industry like construction, mining, manufacturing, and oil and gas. These industries often require workers to be in dangerous environments and require constant communication between workers and equipment, including traffic that spans voice, location data, machine telemetry, and environmental sensors. Operators like Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telstra, AT&T, and China Mobile are at various stages of working with enterprises in verticals like healthcare, energy, mining, construction, manufacturing and government to develop ways to deploy 5G networks into their critical operations. The low latency and high bandwidth nature of the technology allows for real-time collection and processing of large amounts of data that can be used to enable remote operations, automation, enhanced security and a myriad other use cases.

Continue reading “5G and Land Mobile Radio (LMR): Partners in Supporting Tomorrow’s Critical Communication Industry”

The Bridge Alliance’s Federated Edge Hub Has the Potential to Drive the Future of Enterprise 5G

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• The Bridge Alliance’s Federated Edge Hub has the potential to drive adoption of 5G MEC solutions in the enterprise segment.

• However there are challenges related scale, skills, and solution sets that could be addressed through industry partnerships.

Breakthrough for MEC Interoperability

On March 16, the Bridge Alliance, an industry group of 33 operators, largely based in Asia Pacific, announced that two of its members, South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) and Singapore’s Singtel, trialed a proof of concept for multi-access edge compute (MEC) interconnectivity. The trial saw SKT and Singtel simultaneously stream the mobile game “World of Warships” running on a virtual game server deployed by gaming infrastructure company Gamye, into the MEC environments of the telcos and connected to smartphones using a standalone 5G network. The interconnection service, which Bridge Alliance has named the Federated Edge Hub, plans to add two more operators to the platform sometime in th near future, namely Australia’s Optus and Thailand’s AIS. While the proof of concept demonstrates a use case of 5G and MEC for consumer services, the real potential of the Federated Edge Hub lies in developing solutions for the enterprise.

Continue reading “The Bridge Alliance’s Federated Edge Hub Has the Potential to Drive the Future of Enterprise 5G”

Philippines on the Cusp of Cloud Revolution

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • While the Philippines is a rapidly growing cloud market, hyperscalers have not yet announced any plans for a Philippines region.
  • However, digital transformation, increased cloud usage, edge computing, and growing international connectivity offer opportunity for Philippine vendors to work with hyperscale providers.

GlobalData expects the Philippines to be a strong market for growth in cloud-based services that serve the enterprise (including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) as well as the consumer segment (e.g., streaming video, social media, and e-commerce). Based on our GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts to 2024: ICT in Philippines (August 28, 2020), enterprise spending on cloud services will grow from USD 1.8 billion in 2020 to USD 2.6 billion in 2024. Furthermore, cloud-based service usage is booming in the consumer segment as well, with social media and content streaming growing rapidly. Based on our Philippines Mobile Broadband Forecast (December 24, 2020), streaming mobile video users will grow from 53 million in 2020 to 80 million in 2024, while mobile social media users will grow from 75 million to 80 million over the same period. Continue reading “Philippines on the Cusp of Cloud Revolution”

SK Telecom’s 5G Smart Port Highlights Blueprint for How to Build Out Enterprise 5G

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• SKT’s partnership to build out 5G-IoT test beds for Smart Ports in Busan will help the company develop repeatable vertical solutions in a critical industry.

• The move highlights SKT’s leadership in 5G and points to lessons learned around strong investment in network and an intensive focus on developing vertical specific use cases.

On October 14th, 2020, SK Telecom announced a partnership with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Busan Port Terminal Corporation that will see the partners develop a 5G test-bed in Busan for the development, testing, and eventual deployment of Smart Port services. The aim of the project is not only to develop services for the port in Busan, but to develop an industry solution set that can be readily applied to ports across South Korea. SK Telecom has already outlined IoT asset tracking and close circuit video analysis as initial use cases that will be deployed. This is another announcement for SKT around working with industry to develop novel 5G solutions. For example earlier this year SKT partnered with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power to create a “Smart Plant” solution. Continue reading “SK Telecom’s 5G Smart Port Highlights Blueprint for How to Build Out Enterprise 5G”

IoT in New Zealand: About Outcomes, Not Networks

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • Vodafone NZ localizing its global IoT platform for New Zealand will help win domestic customers.
  • Overall, carriers need to move the IoT conversation away from connectivity to applications and outcomes to move up the value chain.

Earlier this week, Vodafone New Zealand announced it would be bringing new IoT capabilities to businesses in New Zealand. Specifically, the company has launched a local version of its IoT Global Data Service Platform (GDSP) called ‘Connect’ that will be delivered via Vodafone NZ’s XONE innovation labs. Vodafone NZ had previously offered only the global version of the IoT management platform, but updates to policy, software, and other support features could be hampered by latency issues. The move is important for Vodafone NZ’s ambition in the Kiwi IoT market. Rival carrier Spark has made recent investments into developing IoT solutions for New Zealand businesses that go beyond SIM management platforms. Spark now has productized solutions for asset tracking and management as well as a parking solution for both SME and enterprises. In a sign that it is gaining lost ground, Spark saw IoT connections grow 60% year over year to end June 2020. Vodafone NZ, however, is still the market leader in terms of connections and has the international advantage through its affiliate companies’ global networks. Localizing this solution will now help grow domestic-only customers with broader offers. Continue reading “IoT in New Zealand: About Outcomes, Not Networks”

Cloud-Network Convergence: Double-Edged Sword for Carriers, but an Opportunity Emerges in the Edge

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • Hyperscale cloud providers continue to invest in expansion of networking solutions and network adjacent partnerships with SD-WAN vendors and data center providers.
  • As hyperscale networking solutions become more advanced and the cloud edge moves closer to end users, some carriers may be crowded out of the cloud-network convergence market.

Hyperscale cloud providers and global network carriers have been building stronger relationships and deeper integrations around WAN and networking solutions. The partnerships are a natural fit as more enterprises move business-critical workloads to cloud platforms. These workloads require high-bandwidth, high-throughput, low-latency, secure, and reliable connections from virtually any location these days to connect to the major cloud platforms. Continue reading “Cloud-Network Convergence: Double-Edged Sword for Carriers, but an Opportunity Emerges in the Edge”

5G: Ensuring Business Continuity in a Future COVID (Pandemic) Situation

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • 5G network slicing can be used to readily deliver an enterprise-grade broadband experience directly to employees working from home.
  • By moving enterprise data and applications to the 5G edge, enterprises can ensure performance and security for employees accessing remotely.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, millions of workers globally have been driven from their offices and into their homes as we all collectively make an effort to stop the spread of the virus. While these efforts are noble and necessary, they have had a profound impact on the ability of enterprises to continue operations as normal. Companies around the world were by and large unprepared for this scenario. Going forward, enterprise will look to build in resiliency to these types of crises, with some experts warning COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic we experience. In the near future, 5G can be an important technology to help build in resiliency and ensure acceptable levels of business continuity during future societal disruptions. Continue reading “5G: Ensuring Business Continuity in a Future COVID (Pandemic) Situation”

Console Connect Coming to Australia Fills Out PCCW’s SDN Offerings

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • The arrival of Console Connect in Australia fleshes out PCCW’s software-defined infrastructure offerings in the market, although integration of some features is still lacking.
  • Software-defined interconnect (SDI) is not new to Australia, and PCCW faces existing competition; however, the company is well positioned to manage cross Australia-to-China workloads.

PCCW’s expansion of the Console Connect platform into Australia is a positive move for the company. PCCW already offers its SD-WAN services (Viptela and VeloCloud) in the country. The addition of its cloud-focused Console Connect to the portfolio of networking services available in the country will complement its SD-WAN offering by giving enterprise customers more visibility and control over bandwidth and performance as enterprise workloads are increasingly hybrid and multi-cloud. Software-defined networking and cloud interconnect are high-growth areas within the Australian market. According to GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts to 2024: ICT in Australia (February 21, 2020), spend on SD-WAN is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 19.6% to reach USD 114 million, while enterprise spend on cloud management platforms will grow at a five-year CAGR of 16.6%, reaching USD 526 million. Continue reading “Console Connect Coming to Australia Fills Out PCCW’s SDN Offerings”