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”

ASEAN 5G Q3 2021 Roundup: Competition Heats Up

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The domestic competitions across ASEAN are heating up as providers are moving from network deployment to the solution development stage.
  • Leading providers are starting to commercialize their edge computing services and gain a first-mover advantage.

The enterprise 5G market in ASEAN is moving from network deployment to the solution development stage, led by early adopters such as the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.  Most telcos in these countries such as Globe, PLDT, M1, Singtel, Starhub, and AIS have enabled 5G standalone (SA) networks to support a wider range of enterprises applications through edge integration, lower latency, and network slicing.  The competition at the country level is also heating up, as providers are beginning to commercialize the solutions they have been developing through industry collaborations.  This includes Singtel’s edge computing and AIS’ 5G smart manufacturing solutions.  Service providers are also expanding their collaboration initiatives with enterprises from across verticals and are expected to launch more applications in the market in the near term.  AIS and Globe are Singtel’s associates; hence, the three providers could also gain an advantage in 5G solution development in their respective markets through knowledge and partner sharing. Continue reading “ASEAN 5G Q3 2021 Roundup: Competition Heats Up”

Connected Technology and Data Are Part of the Solution for Environmental Sustainability

D. Kehoe

Summary Bullets:

  • ICT contributes to a carbon footprint, but stats alone do not provide the full picture.
  • The industry is setting its own goals, but also enabling so many other sectors to be greener.
  • In the past two years, technology really kept us connected in the most challenging times.

GlobalData’s thematic research shows sustainability is one of the most important themes discussed in corporate boardrooms.  While previous decades have witnessed environmental movements, the current wave is unprecedented.  Each headline-grabbing event reinforces public opinion that companies must become more sustainable.  Sustainability is being reported in annual reports and established into corporate strategy.  Over the coming decade, the issue will further transform the way that business is conducted and extend across the supply chain.  Companies that take sustainability seriously now will be better placed to succeed, and technology will be part of the solution. Continue reading “Connected Technology and Data Are Part of the Solution for Environmental Sustainability”

5G War Begins Again in Malaysia as Launch Nears

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Service providers are picking up their pace again in developing 5G capabilities.
  • Solution co-creation is key not just in building solution capabilities but also in driving brand share.

Early Pace of 5G in Malaysia

Malaysia had an early start with 5G.  The race between service providers began in mid-2019 when Celcom launched the country’s first live 5G cluster trial that enabled various use cases across multiple verticals (for more, please see Celcom Leads the 5G Race in Malaysia with 5G Live Cluster Field Trial,” July 29, 2019).  This was only a few months after the launch of the very first commercial 5G network in the world.  Not long after that, Maxis announced a partnership with Huawei to deploy 5G and develop use cases, Digi partnered with Cyberview on the 5G OpenLab to co-create 5G smart city applications, and TM shared its plan to be the first provider to offer 5G standalone (SA) network.  The government, MCMC, also played key roles in driving the technology development in the country.  It established a 5G task force in December 2018, hosted a 5G event in April 2019, collaborated with telcos and other industry players to launch 55 use cases across 32 locations (5GDP), and planned for commercial availability of the technology in the first half of 2020 (for more, please see 5G Enterprise in Malaysia: Strong Push by the Government Despite Low Market Maturity,” October 17, 2019).  It was ahead of many other countries in the region. Continue reading “5G War Begins Again in Malaysia as Launch Nears”

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”

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”

KubeCon Europe 2021: Key Themes Centered on Observability and Service Mesh

Dunlap-100143
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:            

  • Prominent KubeCon themes included observability and service mesh.
  • New Relic and F5/NGINX made key announcements.

The open source software (OSS) community huddled up last week during KubeCon Europe, clearly affected by the past year’s strain on companies and DevOps teams, resolving to refine digitization via emerging technologies. Twice a year, KubeCon provides the industry with a developer-focused gauge of key trends and innovations related to app modernization, DevOps, and Kubernetes/container innovations. Continue reading “KubeCon Europe 2021: Key Themes Centered on Observability and Service Mesh”

The 5G Fixed Wireless Access Opportunity: Where Does It Fit Within Enterprise Services?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • In recent months, AT&T and Verizon have launched business services leveraging 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) that complement consumer versions introduced in 2019 or 2020.
  • We examine where these services fit into the rest of their business portfolios, how are they positioned, and potential pitfalls and competitive threats the operators need to look out for.

AT&T launched 5G FWA for businesses in March 2021, described as the “first nationwide business-focused broadband network.”  Customers can choose from Sierra Wireless or Ericsson/Cradlepoint routers and pay for either 50 or 100 Mbps speeds (on low-band 5G, as AT&T’s mmWave service is still limited).  The operator positions these services as fiber alternatives, where fiber may be unavailable, or hints that there may also be cases where customers may appreciate the speeds, flexibility, and easier provisioning of 5G.  It notes that it has 2.5 million business locations already served by fiber or wireless broadband (as LTE has been offered for two years) and the new 5G service offers equal control and security to fiber through closed, dedicated tunnels to the mobile network that are not accessible by other devices.  It is described as ideal for companies that have many distributed sites (such as large retailers), and along with fiber, these customers can count on AT&T for nationwide coverage.  AT&T usage examples include POS solutions for retailers, pop-up stores, and backup, with prioritization noted as an option.  AT&T has further launched an expanded portfolio with Cradlepoint that combines AT&T’s broadband network, data plans, and management with Cradlepoint’s 5G adapters, routers, and wireless WAN lifecycle management platform.  New vertical opportunities are noted by the partners; Cradlepoint offers a 5G mobile router for in-vehicle networks, as well as adapters that can integrate with AT&T’s SD-WAN service to position 5G as a primary connectivity option. Continue reading “The 5G Fixed Wireless Access Opportunity: Where Does It Fit Within Enterprise Services?”