AWS Telco Symposium: 5G, Edge, and IoT Come Together

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • AWS partners with telcos in four primary domains: digital transformation and modernization; applied AI/ML; business automation; and monetization of 5G, edge, and IoT. At a recent virtual symposium, presentations on each area were replete with solutions and use-case examples, shedding considerable light on the breadth of AWS’s vision.
  • 5G, edge, and IoT are increasingly linked as key technologies that work together for telco growth. The event illustrated how AWS is already playing a key role as a partner and enabler, helping telcos bring new solutions to light as 5G emerges, while expanding its own opportunities.

AWS held a half-day virtual symposium on July 8 that focused on its telco business; the solutions the hyperscaler and its partners detailed were extensive, highlighting how telcos of all shapes and sizes have extensive relationships with AWS. Carriers often depend on the provider for much more than cloud infrastructure. While these alliances are often synergistic and reciprocal (as telco relationships also are with Microsoft and Google), and clearly the two ‘camps’ of telco and cloud provider can’t quite live without the other, there is also some level of ambiguity/co-opetition as they offer joint or highly enmeshed solutions to many of the same enterprises. Continue reading “AWS Telco Symposium: 5G, Edge, and IoT Come Together”

COVID-19: Some Countries Come Under Fire for the Potential Misuse of Contact Tracing Apps

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • As more countries roll out contact tracing apps to notify citizens when they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, concerns are emerging about how this data could be used.
  • Human rights organization Amnesty International called out the apps from Bahrain, Norway, and Kuwait for not anonymizing end-user data.

Amnesty International is issuing a warning that some of the new COVID-19 contact tracing apps may not just be an invasion of privacy but potentially put lives at risk. Contact tracing – the process of finding and notifying people who have interacted with an infected person so they can be tested and quarantine – is vital to allowing businesses, educational institutions, and governments to resume operations that are closer to normal even as the virus continues to spread. Continue reading “COVID-19: Some Countries Come Under Fire for the Potential Misuse of Contact Tracing Apps”

Mobility and IoT; Have Businesses Changed Their Spending Due to COVID-19?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData’s latest ICT survey includes questions on 2019 budget and 2020 spending plans for many technologies, as well as pre and post COVID-19 priorities and investment plans. The survey covers diverse areas from digital transformation to cloud services, software, hardware, networking, security, consulting, outsourcing, mobility, IoT, and more.

• Mobility and IoT spending appear relatively static, as the percent of the budget they represent hardly changed from 2019 to 2020. However, 12% of respondents said mobile spending may decrease due to COVID-19, and the percent of businesses planning to invest in subsets of IoT such as telematics, NFC, security and IoT platforms will also decrease due to COVID-19 concerns.

COVID-19 has put a damper on the spending plans of many businesses, especially in hard-hit verticals such as retail, travel and tourism, public and private transportation, retail banking, and non-essential businesses where people normally congregate. Continue reading “Mobility and IoT; Have Businesses Changed Their Spending Due to COVID-19?”

COVID-19: Mitigation Comes Ashore – Video Monitoring for Social Distance Management on European Beaches

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Surveillance tools are being used for maintaining health and safety as public beaches reopen in Europe this summer, but connected video cameras are only counting people and their locations, not scrutinizing their actions or identities.
  • Telefonica in Spain and Citymesh in Belgium have both announced new solutions this week.

Just as retailers and restaurants are limiting the number of customers entering their locations at any one time, local authorities are also seeking a way to safely re-open public spaces such as playgrounds and beaches as stay-at-home restrictions are gradually lifted. Limiting numbers of people in a given space is seen as essential to maintaining social distancing in the wake of the first wave of the coronavirus, in order to prevent it from spreading and causing new cases of COVID-19. While people-counting sensors at doorways and gates are useful in spaces with controlled or dedicated entry points, open spaces are more difficult to monitor – especially in beach environments where visitors arrive from multiple directions and where access is not tightly controlled. Continue reading “COVID-19: Mitigation Comes Ashore – Video Monitoring for Social Distance Management on European Beaches”

Virtual PTC LiveWorx Gets Its Message Across

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • PTC held a virtual version of its annual LiveWorx event on June 9, highlighting its own products but bringing in discussions from customers, partners, and leaders in related technologies such as augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital transformation.
  • The event worked pretty well with a combination of live and recorded events, losing some of the detailed product discussions while – needless to say – lacking the dynamism of the ‘Xtropolis’ exhibit hall that usually showcased new PTC and partner solutions.

PTC’s LiveWorx has always been a lively and informative show for those interested in areas such as CAD-enabled product development, product lifecycle management (PLM), manufacturing automation, augmented reality, the industrial IoT, and digital transformation. Rather than playing to the analyst community per se, the LiveWorx audience has always included existing and prospective PTC customers as well as a roster of its diverse set of strategic, go-to-market, and integration partners. Continue reading “Virtual PTC LiveWorx Gets Its Message Across”

What Is the Telco Edge?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• There are opportunities for operators to leverage edge technology as a key enabler to enhance the performance of applications that leverage their 4G LTE/5G networks. This is especially important for supporting new IoT use cases.

• Operators can provide Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) gear that are essentially micro data centers, collocated with base stations at the perimeter of their networks to process and store data nearer to where it is created. But they can also orchestrate other edge solutions along with cloud services hyperscalers, equipment vendors, and IT service provider partners.

There are many locations where operators can locate or orchestrate edge resources:
– Within their own network(e.g., at telco offices)
– At the perimeter of their network(e.g., at RAN or base station locations)
– At third party locations between the edge of the CSP and operator networks, or at the edge of a customer’s network
– Within customers’ networks(e.g., for retail and factory locations)

By locating a mesh of local or regional micro data centers adjacent to telco infrastructure to store and process data, there are benefits both for the operator and the enterprise customer. The benefits to the operator include lowering the cost of sending traffic to a remote data center or public cloud. Continue reading “What Is the Telco Edge?”

What’s New in Industrial IoT Services?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • In spite of a likely short-term dampening effect on technology spending due to COVID-19, many businesses are continuing to see the benefits of IoT, and mobile operators are meeting their demand through new capabilities.
  • Over the last six months, new roaming relationships, ecosystem alliances for application enablement, vertical solutions, and edge partnerships have deepened and broadened IoT service portfolios.

While we wait for significantly more ubiquitous availability of 5G, which we believe will be an enabler of further real-time ultra-low latency IoT capabilities in a few years, the IoT ecosystem remains active and engaged. Not only are there IoT applications which help detect and combat COVID-19 (seeCOVID-19: As IoT Ramps Up, Will COVID-19 Tamp It Down or Will the Ecosystem Find Ways to Help Detect and Combat the Pandemic?,” March 25, 2020); mobile operators have also added significantly to their portfolios over the last six months to make IoT offerings more compelling to businesses. These additions include edge alliances, partnerships for roaming and footprint expansion, application enablement and analytics, and vertical solutions. Continue reading “What’s New in Industrial IoT Services?”

5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• 5G and the ecosystem around it will be a major contributor to the economy and facilitate economic recovery post-COVID.

• Regulators need to provide greater certainty on spectrum availability to allow operators to plan their investment and activities to get new 5G services to the market in a timely manner.

2020 is expected to be the year of 5G. With leading carriers already launched 5G in 2019, the rollout of 5G was ramping up and new 5G-ready devices were in the product pipelines of major manufacturers. However, 5G’s momentum, like many other segments of the economy, has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key challenges for mobile operators is the availability of 5G spectrum. Mobile operators’ 5G rollout plans are often closely linked to the spectrum availability made by regulators. Unfortunately, the virus outbreak has led to some regulators putting planned spectrum allocations/auctions on hold due to health and financial reasons. Meantime, operators are also seeing a significant spike in mobile data services over the last two months. For example, in Spain, the telecom operators saw a 40 percent increase in IP traffic, a 25 percent increase in mobile data, and a five-fold increase in OTT messaging traffic (e.g., WhatsApp). Continue reading “5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key”

Verizon’s Multi-Layer Approach to IoT Security

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• While there are many approaches to IoT security, consumers and businesses still have reasonable doubt – will carriers and vendors be able to sway public opinion?

• Service providers talk about the need to provide security at every layer – at end and edge devices, for data in transit through multiple networks, and to cloud services providers and applications. Verizon is well on its way to realize this goal.

Every survey conducted by GlobalData on IoT (and every other one I have ever seen) over the past five years notes that the major barrier to adoption of IoT is still fear of the lack of end-to-end security and “the end” of data privacy. It doesn’t help that in-home devices such as cameras and voice assistants have already caused some famously embarrassing invasions of privacy. We are approaching a time when 5G-enabled low latency, high speed, and “massive” bandwidth availability may finally push IoT adoption towards the tens of billions of devices that have been predicted for years. But alongside this growth is a vision of billions of unprotected, unmanned devices in the field that are able to not only see and hear what humans say and use this data to sell products, but may cause serious breaches to business and government systems that have already been weakened by cyber-security malware and identity theft. Continue reading “Verizon’s Multi-Layer Approach to IoT Security”

COVID-19: Industrial Automation Has Become an “Essential” Business Process

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• The definition of an essential business during the pandemic is an evolving one and includes more than just grocery stores, drug stores, and financial services. As the food supply may be in danger, the definition has expanded.

• To keep industries running that affect the national food supply, companies that provide industrial automation solutions that help ensure that manufacturing lines of food and beverage companies keep going are now considered essential.

After I got over my horror that my son was still expected to go into his company office three times a week, I learned that his business was considered an essential one, according to state COVID-19 definitions. This is because his company keeps manufacturing companies, which include food and beverage manufacturers, up and running, through industrial automation, robotics, and machine vision technology. I interviewed my son to find out how this works. Continue reading “COVID-19: Industrial Automation Has Become an “Essential” Business Process”