Telstra’s Edge Platform Is Set to Lead the Way in the Australian Edge Market, but May Have Company Soon

Summary Bullets:

M. Rogers

• Telstra is looking to build a commanding lead in the enterprise edge platform solutions marker in Australia, announcing the roadmap for its platform and early use cases.

• While Telstra’s offering is comprehensive and unique in the market, like cloud, edge will have room for all kinds of players and Telstra will see more competition as the market matures.

Telstra recently updated the market with its roadmap for its new “Telstra Edge Compute” platform that launched its first solution. Telstra Edge Compute is comprised of various existing Telstra products as well as new ones developed through partnerships made over the past several years. Essentially the company is stitching together the results of the last few years of product development (Telstra Adaptive Networks, Telstra Adaptive Cloud, and Telstra Adaptive Edge) and partnerships (Ericsson/Cradlepoint, Microsoft Azure, and AWS) to provide an all-in-one “edge” solution to the market. In this case, “all-in-one” includes network and connectivity (Telstra 5G, NBN, or third party), SD-WAN, security (next generation firewalls, secure cloud gateways, endpoint security, secure network architecture, and monitoring), storage and compute infrastructure from Telstra, AWS Outposts or Microsoft Azure Stack, and Telstra IoT capabilities wrapped in professional services and service management led by Telstra’s consulting arm Telstra Purple.

Telstra’s edge is an extension of existing customer cloud and data center environments. As such, the Telstra Purple professional services component will be key. Like the cloud migration journeys many enterprises have undergone over the past several years, Telstra envisions a similar edge migration journey. Customers will undergo application, infrastructure, and security architecture discovery with Telstra guiding customers towards a mix of on-premises, edge and cloud deployments, and connectivity types based on application performance requirements.

Continue reading “Telstra’s Edge Platform Is Set to Lead the Way in the Australian Edge Market, but May Have Company Soon”

Field Solutions Group: The Rural Telco Tier 1s Should Keep an Eye On

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • FSG, a telco focused only on regional and rural Australia, is set to become Australia’s fourth MNO in 2022 as it builds out a 200-plus tower network.
  • The company has valuable spectrum assets, a unique neutral host approach, and a focus on critical verticals to become a threat in the enterprise 5G market in rural areas.

A little-known, fledgling telecom company called Field Solutions Group (FSG) has quietly become Australia’s fourth mobile network operator.  The company, which focuses specifically on providing FWA, NBN, and mobile services to regional and rural Australian businesses and government organizations, has an ambitious plan to build out more than 200 mobile towers in regional and rural Australia by 2023.  Currently, the company only offers FWA on its ‘Regional Australia Network,’ but through government grants from the Mobile Blackspot Program, technology partnerships with Optus, and the recent acquisition of Tasmanet, the company hopes to be a disruptive fourth MNO option for regional and rural governments and businesses.  While the company is small, earning AUD 18.8 million in FY 2021 (ended June 30, 2021), the company has a few things working in its favor that could enable it to become a real challenger to the largest telcos when competing for business and enterprise 5G revenues in rural and regional Australia over the coming years. Continue reading “Field Solutions Group: The Rural Telco Tier 1s Should Keep an Eye On”

An Aussie Broadband Over the Wire Merger Makes Sense, and Could Make Trouble for the Australian Telco Market

Summary Bullets:

M. Rogers

• Aussie Broadband has made a proposal to acquire Over The Wire for A$344 million, which if it goes through would make the combined company a top-five telco in the country.

• On the enterprise side there are lots of synergies, particularly with Aussie Broadband’s Carbon platform lining up with Over the Wire’s managed services capabilities.

Rapidly growing telco Aussie Broadband, made headlines last week when it made a non-binding offer to acquire business focused telco and managed service provider Over The Wire (OTW). After the leak both companies made official announcements to the ASX that an offer had been made to the tune of A$5.75 per share (equivalent to A$344 million). While both companies have clearly stated this does not mean a deal is imminent, and the official due diligence period will not come to an end until November 30th, the move makes a lot of sense and could create a real national level competitor in the enterprise telecoms and ICT services market, from the two upstarts.

Continue reading “An Aussie Broadband Over the Wire Merger Makes Sense, and Could Make Trouble for the Australian Telco Market”

Capgemini Looks to Opportunities in Australian Government and Industry with Empired Buy

Summary Bullets:

M. Rogers

• Capgemini’s recent acquisition of Empired caps off a spending spree on Australian applications and data specialists that suggest a shift in focus to grow its business in Asia Pacific

• Capgemini’s broad capabilities paired with Empired, a Microsoft specialist strong in Western Australia with many clients in minerals, energy, and government, offers unique opportunities for growth in areas like industrial IoT

Capgemini Sets its Sights on Australia

French systems integrator, consultancy, and IT services provider Capgemini announced plans to purchase Empired, an Australian cloud and digital services provider based out of Perth. The acquisition brings over 1,000 professionals to Capgemini and augments the IT services provider’s footprint in Australia and New Zealand. The deal is expected to close at the end of 2021 for $233 million. Empired has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide within Australia. It also has significant operations in New Zealand and a sales office in the US.

Continue reading “Capgemini Looks to Opportunities in Australian Government and Industry with Empired Buy”

What Is Driving the Unique 5G Success in China and South Korea?

m rogers
M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • China and South Korea are leading the world in adoption for 5G services on the back of heavy CapEx investment to deliver rapid coverage and next-generation speeds early on from launch.
  • Adoption is also being driven by the development of value-added services and use cases for 5G technology in both consumer and enterprise segments.

China and South Korea: Leaders in 5G

5G is now here.  Around the world, operators are in the midst of their network buildouts and device vendors are pushing 5G-capable handsets, tablets, and wearables to the market.  However, two countries stand out in the speed at which consumers and enterprise have adopted 5G services.  According to GlobalData’s mobile broadband forecasts, by the end of 2020, China and South Korea outpaced the world in 5G adoption with 26% and 24% 5G subscription penetration of the population, respectively, compared to the global penetration of 5% at the end of the same period (for more, please see: Global Mobile Broadband Forecast,” June 25, 2021).  This rapid adoption of 5G is beginning to help operators in these markets grow revenue from mobile services, with overall 2021 mobile service ARPU in China and South Korea expected to rise. Continue reading “What Is Driving the Unique 5G Success in China and South Korea?”

Whatever Happened to AT&T’s AirGig?

m rogers
M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:            

  • AT&T’s announcement of Project AirGig in 2016 was a compelling and novel way to think about providing high-speed broadband services.
  • Following a press conference and tease of a 2021 release in 2018, AT&T has gone silent on the project, prompting questions about its future.

Bygone BPL

During the mid-2000’s, broadband over power line (BPL) technology (using power lines to simultaneously transmit data signals) was an exciting topic in the telecommunications industry.  The hope was the technology could deliver speeds equivalent or greater than ADSL and provide a cheap and effective means of connecting rural communities and improving broadband infrastructure in brownfield areas without the need to lay new fiber.  The IEEE developed standards, and various governments, carriers, and even utilities launched trials and services.  While the technology caught on for some utilities as a means to monitor the health of their own grids, most if not all commercial attempts to develop a consumer access product failed.  Failures were blamed on a few factors, including radio interference easily impacting unshielded power lines, complications managing right-of-way access with utilities, and slower than predicted data rates.  Today, BPL for consumer access is all but dead; however, at the end of 2016, AT&T announced a new project, ‘AirGig,’ with a lot of similarities. Continue reading “Whatever Happened to AT&T’s AirGig?”

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”