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?”

Improving 5G Availability and Speeds through Mid-band Spectrum and Massive MIMO

Summary Bullets:

S. Soh

• The time is ripe for mobile operators to ramp up their 5G deployment to enhance their coverage and speeds to support new applications.

• Mobile operators with substantial mid-band spectrum and deployed massive multiple-input and multiple-output (M-MIMO) technology can deliver faster speeds and achieve service differentiation.

The deployment of 5G is well underway and people around the world are having a taste of the next-gen experience. GlobalData forecasts 5G subscriptions will reach 861 million by end of the year, doubling the figure in 2020. The availability of 5G is also rising in major cities, based on a study conducted by Ookla (Global 5G Benchmark Report Q1 – Q2 2021). The study defines availability as the percent of users on 5G-capable devices that spend the majority of their time on 5G, both roaming and on-network. Besides coverage, the availability of 5G-capable phones is a key factor in driving adoption. According to GSA, there were over 600 commercially available 5G devices in August 2021, which included mobile phones from major brands such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Google, and Xiaomi. While the initial focus was in launching 5G commercial services, the race now is about increasing availability and speeds.

Continue reading “Improving 5G Availability and Speeds through Mid-band Spectrum and Massive MIMO”

Event Platforms Bloom in a World Gone Hybrid


Summary Bullets:

G. Willsky

• The best event platforms enable execution of hybrid events spanning in-person and virtual attendees.

• Event organizers benefit disproportionately from event platforms as compared to attendees.

When COVID-19 arrived, virtual meetings became de rigueur seemingly overnight. Almost as soon as vaccines began to be administered and a pandemic ‘exit strategy’ took shape, team collaboration platforms graduated from facilitating ‘meetings’ to enabling ‘events’. What features do event platforms typically possess and are these platforms worthy of accolades? Let’s find out.

Team collaboration platforms have expanded to include large-scale, multi-session events and conferences. Such affairs are reminiscent of the pre-COVID world when no one thought twice about jetting to destinations near and far to cram into hotel venue rooms or convention centers. The best platforms today reflect the need for some to join from the comfort and solitude of a home or office while others navigate crowds traversing miles of institutional carpeting stretching under their feet. Vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom have invested heavily in fortifying their event capabilities.

Continue reading “Event Platforms Bloom in a World Gone Hybrid”

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”

Carrier Global Domination Dreams Conquered by Pragmatism

R-Pritchard 071521

Summary Bullets:   

  • The refocused geographical target of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems ICT solutions business highlights a fundamental shift in ambitions from carriers’ earlier global domination goals in the enterprise market.
  • Market evolution, technology developments, and commercial reality (the need to lower costs) have made carriers refocus onto more sharply defined target geographies and customers.

In the heady days of the 1990s, when telecom markets in the Western world opened up to competition, carriers developed plans for global domination – sometimes on a go-it-alone basis, but more often than not via partnerships and joint ventures. Who today remembers Global One (Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom/Orange, Sprint), Unisource (KPN, Swisscom, Telia), and Concert (BT-MCI, then BT-AT&T)?  Billions of dollars were spent investing in worldwide expansion ambitions, but nobody emerged as triumphant in the battle to dominate the global enterprise market.  More recently, Telefonica has been reducing its footprint in Latin America, Vodafone has refocused on Europe and Africa, and BT has been selling off its in-country assets outside of the UK.  T-Systems will still support key strategic accounts under its revised strategy, reflecting a reduction in MNC account ambitions which is salient across the whole sector. Continue reading “Carrier Global Domination Dreams Conquered by Pragmatism”

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”

Platform Equinix: How the Data Center and Cloud Ecosystem Transforms the Global WAN

SiowMengSoh
S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • New network service offerings are emerging and giving enterprise customers more options; the Equinix and Coevolve partnership is a good example.
  • Cloud connectivity and network edge services will become more important in supporting different IT workloads, and enterprises are better served by service providers that have a strong partner ecosystem.

Even for multi-national corporations (MNCs), there are now alternative providers to global carriers and system integrators for wide area network (WAN) services. With the adoption of cloud services, the ongoing shift to enable remote working, and business uncertainties (e.g., travel, retail, and hospitality), the network solution needs to be more agile to adapt to changing requirements.  The Equinix and Coevolve partnership is just one example. Continue reading “Platform Equinix: How the Data Center and Cloud Ecosystem Transforms the Global WAN”

UK Enterprises Heading for a High-Fiber Diet

Summary Bullets: Rob Pritchard

  • CityFibre is reportedly in talks over a GBP 1 billion stake sale to fund further UK fiber rollout.
  • BT has also stated that it is looking for a joint venture partner to invest in Openreach’s extended fiber rollout.

You wait years for a full-fiber rollout; then three come along at the same time. UK infrastructure providers have been looking to accelerate their fiber network rollouts, increasingly with the backing of financial/institutional investors. Continue reading “UK Enterprises Heading for a High-Fiber Diet”

Cisco Aims to Facilitate Events Suited for the Post-Pandemic World

Summary Bullets:

Gregg Profile Photo
G. Willsky

• Socio’s platform enables execution of hybrid events spanning in-person and virtual attendees.

• Event organizers benefit disproportionately from the platform as compared to meeting attendees.

In May 2021, Cisco announced its intention to acquire Socio Labs, an event management platform provider. The acquisition is expected to finalize in Cisco’s Q4 fiscal year 2021 (May-July) subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. Cisco declined to reveal the value of the transaction.

Socio’s platform enables execution of hybrid events mixing in-person and virtual attendees. As the end of the COVID-19 pandemic draws nearer, “hybrid” has emerged in the lexicon to represent a new normal in the workplace – a blending of in-office and virtual employees. Cisco’s new events capability is a corollary to that reality.

Continue reading “Cisco Aims to Facilitate Events Suited for the Post-Pandemic World”

Facebook Workplace Is Poised to Become a Significant Threat to Collaboration Players

Rob Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

  • Facebook enterprise collaboration tool Workplace is being used by seven million paying subscribers, up 40% year-on-year.
  • Facebook is leveraging its internally developed platform, brand, customer base, and deep resources. Other providers of collaboration tools should pay attention.

The collaboration market is set to witness additional competition, as Facebook is becoming an important player with its Workplace software tool.

Everyone knows Facebook is big; more than three billion users worldwide prove that. But it’s a relative secret that Facebook is also big – and growing – in the business market, with more than 200 million customers.  Within that base, Facebook supports in excess of 30,000 organizations using Workplace, including seven million paid subscribers. Continue reading “Facebook Workplace Is Poised to Become a Significant Threat to Collaboration Players”