COVID-19: As IoT Ramps Up Will COVID-19 Tamp it Down or Will the Ecosystem Find Ways to Help Detect and Combat the Pandemic?

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets

• As many sectors of the economy are already negatively affected by COVID-19, the big ramp up of IoT that we have been anticipating, alongside the growth of 5G and edge computing, may also be in jeopardy.

• However, IoT may also be used to facilitate capabilities such as remote learning, remote health monitoring, working at home, enhanced public safety, and people tracking, much-needed technology for detecting and even helping to fight the disease.

With the global economy in a tailspin, technology providers within the IoT ecosystem are looking for ways to use their skills, software platforms, infrastructure, and connectivity platforms to help fight both the economic and health problems associated with COVID-19. Some of the areas where IoT is likely to be put to good use include:

Smart Detection: People Tracking/video surveillance and facial recognition with location permissions tracked via phone apps (used in China and Israel). HD cameras for body temperature monitoring.

Smart Healthcare: Remote patient monitoring and telehealth (thermal imaging for contagion monitoring, remote monitoring and diagnosis at home and during patient transfer, smart medical robots to care for quarantined patients)

Smart Home: Sinks to control soap and water flow for proper handwashing

Smart City/Public Safety: Patrol drones to enforce Shelter-in-Place laws, control centers for food and resource supply management

Smart Manufacturing: Remote equipment monitoring/repair, along with machine vision to detect anomalies. Remote command centers/IT and security management. Remote/OTA security and patches for connected equipment in manufacturing, utilities and oil and gas locations.

Wearables: Smart watches and fitness trackers for early detection. Smart rings for healthcare workers to track their own temperature and other parameters. Remote/OTA security and patches for wearable devices.

Some of these initiatives are causing legitimate concerns over privacy, as governments (in China and Israel for example) may use technology to control crowds, identify people who have been exposed to the virus through surveillance, AI, facial recognition, and video analytics, and even block their access to specific locations. Telecom operators are also involved because these controls are often dependent on exposing location and other personal data on users’ phones. 

Continue reading “COVID-19: As IoT Ramps Up Will COVID-19 Tamp it Down or Will the Ecosystem Find Ways to Help Detect and Combat the Pandemic?”

COVID-19: Communication Providers Step Up to Utilize Blockchain for New Use Cases, Including Helping People Impacted by the Outbreak

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Blockchain use cases are evolving, including new systems devised by service providers to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alibaba’s use of blockchain for more efficiently distributing financial payments to affected parties is a good example.
  • The industry has also seen an uptick in other telecom providers’ involvement in the blockchain market, resulting in a number of deployments aimed at improving business processes and enhancing service offerings.

Blockchain holds promise as an enabler for service providers for a wide range of internal and external (customer-facing) use cases, ranging from IoT and mobile device security to payments, supply chain management, asset tracking, and logistics. Retail, manufacturing, and healthcare companies have been identified as the most likely industries to take advantage of these capabilities, but there are many companies that can benefit from the secure trusted ledgers enabled by blockchain. At the same time, during the world’s COVID-19 pandemic, early blockchain use cases are appearing as parts of efforts to help combat the crisis, including Alibaba’s use of blockchain for more efficiently distributing financial payments to affected parties. Continue reading “COVID-19: Communication Providers Step Up to Utilize Blockchain for New Use Cases, Including Helping People Impacted by the Outbreak”

COVID-19: Netherlands Innovator Taps Blockchain and AI in the War Against COVID-19

Summary Bullets:

• VirusBlockchain deployed this week to identify and monitor COVID-19 free zones

• The blockchain monitoring system is backed by technology provider Qlikchain

This week the tech industry partnered with a public health consortium to launch a blockchain-enabled monitoring system aimed at keeping communities at bay from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Public Health Blockchain Consortium (PHBC) announced the new system which monitors healthy, uninfected individuals as they move between locations in order to automatically identify zones that are safe or unsafe. The system is built on a blockchain solution which combines AI, geographical information systems (GIS), and real-time information systems provided by virus surveillance providers.

Called VirusBlockchain, the system serves as a systematic, continuous, and anonymous verification of citizens and all workplaces in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. The project is unlike other approaches that would typically track infected persons. Continue reading “COVID-19: Netherlands Innovator Taps Blockchain and AI in the War Against COVID-19”

COVID-19: GlobalData Sees No Need for Forecast Changes Yet

Joel Cooper Senior Director – Market Data and Intelligence

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData has established daily monitoring to assess the possible impact on our core telecoms and pay TV forecasts from COVID-19. As and when required, we will adjust our projections.

• Our measured, evidence-based approach to reviewing and adjusting our forecasts is supported by recent telco executive statements on COVID-19, which point to it being too early to tell what the specific impact of COVID-19 will be on their businesses.

We are actively monitoring our telecoms and pay-TV forecast portfolio countries for possible impact from COVID-19, and are ready to revise our projections as and when required. GlobalData’s forecast coverage encompasses mobile (108 countries), fixed (98 countries), multiplay (22 countries), and pay-TV (57 countries; click here for more.

Our daily monitoring covers a large variety of dimensions related to COVID-19, including:

• The potential impact on GDP and employment.

• The impact on telcos’ 5G rollout projects – a slowdown in rollout could result from travel restrictions on staff responsible for network deployment as well as disruption to equipment shipments and manufacturing.

• The impact on telco retail operations – e.g., a shortage of staff in shops or shops closing down may have a negative impact on subscriber acquisition.

• The impact on telco call center operations (on-shore and off-shore) – a shortage of staff in call centers or temporary call center closures could have a negative impact on customer retention activities, renewals and customer support.

• The impact on telecoms revenue – for example, a telecoms ARPU uplift could potentially occur due to an increase in service usage resulting from reduced physical mobility (e.g., a rise in mobile/fixed data usage, mobile calls, video usage, and virtual meetings/conference calling).

• The impact on handset sales, driven by potential disruption in handset manufacturing supply chains.

Our evidence-based approach to reviewing and revising our forecasts is supported by recent statements from several telcos. Collectively, these statements highlight that it is currently too early to accurately assess the impact COVID-19 will have on telecoms markets.

On March 11, 2020, for example, Telecom Italia’s CEO, Luigi Gubitosi, made comments to the effect that it was at this stage difficult to determine the impact the epidemic would have on the company, but highlighted possible risk related to damage to the economy. In the U.S., AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and CFO John Stephens stated on March 10, 2020 that the company had not seen “a significant impact in its supply chain at this point.” Verizon has said it is yet to experience any material impact from the epidemic, mentioning that its supply of devices and network equipment have not, as yet, been affected, but acknowledging that both could be affected in the future. Deutsche Telekom’s CEO Timotheus Höttges made similar comments in February.

Furthermore, analysis of several previous epidemics shows that telecoms markets have proven broadly resilient to disruption caused by virus outbreaks. These cases support our view of taking a measured, evidence-based approach to revising our forecasts. We are fully aware, though, that the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in recent times and, as such, the relevance of these cases could be limited. Continue reading “COVID-19: GlobalData Sees No Need for Forecast Changes Yet”

COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective

Jonathan Cordwell – Principal Analyst, UK Health & Social Care Technology

Summary Bullets:               

  • Companies that have yet to jump on the remote working bandwagon may have their hand forced due to the self-isolation and social separation measures put in place by their respective national governments.
  • We will undoubtedly see an uptick in the adoption of telehealth technologies, including remote monitoring.

 

On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic. As of writing, there have been over 130,000 cases reported across 123 countries, areas or territories and almost 5,000 deaths from the virus, which emanated from Wuhan in China. We have witnessed a wide variety of responses to the threat including mass self-isolation in Italy, travel bans, fiscal stimulus packages, health insurance policy allowances, business and school closures, and the cancellation of large events such as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and HIMSS20 in Orlando, at which U.S. President Trump was scheduled to address the situation. Continue reading “COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective”

IoT Platforms Add Enhancements for Machine Learning, Application Development, Vertical-Specific Use Cases, Security, and Edge Computing

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData has completed its latest update on the enterprise IoT platform market. Not surprisingly there have been many vendor announcements over the last six months, including new partnerships and new technical capabilities.

• New features focus on updated edge capabilities, machine learning-powered security (and assorted other security enhancements), analytics improvements, further support for no-code application development, and vertical-specific IoT applications.

Over the last 12 months, the enterprise IoT platform market has evolved, with many new capabilities added and diverse go-to market and technology partnerships established. Examples of the latter include Microsoft’s collaboration with Winmate to build hardware, IoT devices, and embedded solutions; SAP and Verizon’s collaboration on analytics; Google’s integration with the Aeris connectivity management platform, and PTC’s partnership with Magic Leap to advance AR in the enterprise. Some of the new capabilities recently announced include the following: Continue reading “IoT Platforms Add Enhancements for Machine Learning, Application Development, Vertical-Specific Use Cases, Security, and Edge Computing”

Alibaba Cloud Continues Its Momentum in ASEAN as Competition Increases

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Alibaba Cloud strengthens its ASEAN presence with a new win in East Malaysia and its first event in Indonesia.
  • As competition intensifies, it is important for the cloud provider to expand its partner ecosystem, especially with the domestic players.

The Southeast Asia region (a.k.a. ASEAN) has been a new battleground for the hyperscalers for a few years. Cloud adoption is still relatively low compared to other markets. As the cloud becomes a commodity and the market grows, this opportunity has attracted global hyperscalers to expand their presence in the region. Alibaba Cloud opened its data centers in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Google announced in October 2018 that it will have its Indonesian data centers ready in early 2020, and AWS responded with a similar announcement in April 2019. These global hyperscalers are also offering their respective cloud stacks (e.g., AWS Outposts, Alibaba Apsara Stack, Google Anthos, and Azure Stack) for deployments in customers or third-party data centers to address the data residency requirement. They have also been strengthening their domestic presence by expanding the in-country sales forces and their partner ecosystem in the region through various collaborations with local providers, governments (such as universities), and other vertical players. Some of Alibaba’s recent initiatives include its partnership with SCC to offer Sabah Pay in East Malaysia and its first Cloud Day event in Indonesia. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Continues Its Momentum in ASEAN as Competition Increases”

What to Expect at MWC 2020 for the Enterprise

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• MWC is nearly upon us and GlobalData consumer, infrastructure, and enterprise technology analysts are anticipating the major topics and themes to be showcased at this year’s event.

• While 5G and IoT have been the two big (and broad) themes at the last two shows, this year’s focus may be more granular and, hopefully, will be based more on real-world solutions than on hype, as these technologies start to mature.

Every year at MWC, analysts prepare for a diverse array of one on one meetings, booth tours, and occasionally inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, as well as a barrage of media and marketing events aimed at getting analysts excited about new products and services and turning these into “story” ideas.

Assuming that coronavirus doesn’t further disrupt the event by the time it is scheduled (February 24th-27th) it is fairly easy to anticipate what we will see there. Like the last two years, this year’s show is going to be focused a lot on 5G, on IoT, and on new and improved offerings for both consumers and enterprises, including devices, services, applications, and infrastructure solutions. But since this is the third year in a row that 5G and IoT are the major themes (which is not surprising as MWC remains a show about the mobile industry and these technologies dominate the news cycle), we are hoping that this year will be more about the real world and less about the hype. Clearly IoT has been around for a long time, but has been somewhat disappointing so far in terms of revenues to the provider ecosystem. 5G has barely gotten started, but is already dominant in the service and product discussions of mobile operators and equipment vendors. Continue reading “What to Expect at MWC 2020 for the Enterprise”

UEM Update Shows Evolution to Advanced Analytics and “Zero Trust” Along with New Distribution Strategies

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData’s latest analysis of the unified endpoint management (UEM) market shows how the evolution from MDM to EMM to UEM has changed the market, although the same vendors remain on top.

• Each of the upper-tier vendors, including VMware, BlackBerry, and MobileIron, is responding to the market’s fluid dynamics in unique ways, to differentiate themselves and serve the needs of more sophisticated users.

Top vendors in the UEM market have expanded their core mobile device, application, and content management features to encompass endpoint configuration management, client-server application enablement, secure collaboration, mobility analytics, and IoT device and data management and security. This transition is primarily driven by the convergence of traditional and mobile endpoints. As enterprise endpoints are increasingly mobile, management and security paradigms must adjust to manage data and applications from diverse devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices) that can be active anywhere at any time. The need to conduct business on an ever-increasing variety of devices has also made enablement and innovation via mobility a business differentiator. And the massive wave of IoT devices still expected to flood enterprises in the coming years exacerbates the need to discover and manage an ever-broadening array of endpoints. Eventually, however, enterprise network vendors may take some share from UEM providers, by accomplishing the same level of mobile management and security through their equipment and services. In the meantime, UEM remains an important capability.

Continue reading “UEM Update Shows Evolution to Advanced Analytics and “Zero Trust” Along with New Distribution Strategies”

TM 5G Showcase Langkawi: Leading the 5G Race in Malaysia

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The 5G race in Malaysia is heating up with various initiatives announced by service providers.
  • Telekom Malaysia (TM) edges out the competition by leveraging its existing ICT portfolio, professional service capabilities, and R&D to offer end-to-end solutions.

The 5G scene in Malaysia is heating up, as the market is only a few months away from expected commercial availability. The regulator, MCMC, recently announced that 5G will be available to users by July 2020. Since the kickoff of the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) by MCMC in September of last year, the telcos have been making regular announcements about their progress. These include Celcom’s partnership with the police and municipal council on a smart city deployment in Langkawi, Digi’s launch of its 5G OpenLab in Cyberjaya, Maxis’ 3 Gbps in C-band 5G trial spectrum, and TM’s collaboration with players from other verticals to co-develop 5G applications in Subang and Langkawi. While MCMC has outlined 55 use cases in 32 sites across six states for the 5GDP, Langkawi has been the center of the attention, as the service providers placed most of their resources for their 5G initiatives on the island. Continue reading “TM 5G Showcase Langkawi: Leading the 5G Race in Malaysia”