IT Leader provides insight and guidance on issues impacting information technology and telecommunications professionals, focusing on overall market trends, strategic issues, and advice on supplier activities.
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?”→
• Security and networking are converging, the evidence is clear, both from a technological and strategic standpoint, with security threats increasing.
• The enterprise needs tools to manage the human aspects of security and networking convergence and the fist instrument they need is real industry examples proving the trend from vendors, ITSP, carriers, and industry analysts.
By design and necessity, the security and networking industries are moving towards consolidation. Security companies are buying networking resources and networking companies are snapping up security vendors left and right. If you address a room full of vendors from the security and networking markets and proclaim that the two markets are converging, you will get heads nodding sagely. But the reality on the ground is much more complicated. Much like a stone arch, something has to move before things begin to fall in the direction gravity is pulling them.
• Over the next six to 12 months, the observability market segment will evolve to include more comprehensive solutions which provide application-level observability data alongside systems-level data, delivered through pre-set parameters
• The future of observability is ML-powered predictive and prescriptive analytics to enable proactive responses that prevent problematic incidents
Accelerated digital business transformations are steering operations teams towards new observability stacks to oversee an increasingly diverse and distributed IT portfolio. Ops teams are overwhelmed with the move from monolithic apps to microservices where various service components within a single app must be secured and managed. New monitoring tools are emerging to help developers collaborate under DevOps models and gain automated visibility into the impact of modern coding on underlying systems. Observability solutions will shorten the lengthy feedback cycle involved before committing apps to code, enhancing the quality of apps moving through the pipeline.
• Telefonica Tech is partnering with C2RO to offer an AI-based customer analytics solution that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics.
• The solution uses edge computing, which enables analysis of data near the point at which it was generated, ensuring that sensitive information remains on site.
Applications of computer vision are vast, ranging from quality control in the manufacturing process to monitoring of grape health in vineyards. Computer vision can also be used to analyze people, with applications ranging from determining building occupancy and traffic patterns, to ascertaining whether individuals are wearing face masks and adhering to safety protocols.
Telefonica Tech is helping its customers realize the benefits of computer vision. It is partnering with Canada-based C2RO to offer enterprises AI-based customer analytics that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is designed to help organizations better understand customer behavior by providing insights into customer and visitor traffic patterns, dwell times, demographics (gender and age), and points of interest, as well as queue measurements. Telefonica’s Smart Steps platform provides the socio-economic information. The solution targets venues, retail organizations, and governments, and is positioned as a solution that can help organizations improve the customer experience and optimize store and venue layouts.
The offer uses surveillance cameras that are strategically positioned throughout a venue (there is no need to upgrade to AI-enabled devices). The AI-powered C2RO PERCEIVE solution is installed on a local edge server so that data is analyzed on-site. Images are not extracted from the venue and therefore adhere to GDPR guidelines. Telefonica Tech assists from start to finish with professional services that include the definition of technical requirements, assistance with hardware identification and procurement (although the C2RO solution is based only on cameras, Telefonica Tech can help assist with obtaining sensors and other devices for other in-store analytics solutions), server configuration, and solution maintenance and support. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is complemented and enriched with information and analytics from Telefonica Tech’s Smart Steps platform, which uses anonymized and aggregated mobile customer data to provide insights into population mobility and behavior.
• 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.
Despite public apprehension related to the privacy and accuracy of facial recognition, companies offering the technology continue to attract the attention of investors.
Suppliers of facial recognition technology are taking steps to address the ethical concerns raised by civil liberties organizations.
Despite the negative publicity around facial recognition, companies offering the technology continue to attract the attention of investors. This summer, U.S.-based Clearview AI raised $30 million from private investors; Israel-based AnyVision raised $235 million from SoftBank, Eldridge, and others. Both companies have been embroiled in controversy around the use of their technology by law enforcement, but neither seems to be hindered by it. Instead, both are using the opportunity to move the ethics conversation forward. Continue reading “Investment in Facial Recognition Forges Ahead Despite Ethical Concerns”→
• 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.
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”→
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).
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.