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”

700MHz Spectrum Plays a Pivotal Role in Delivering 5G Coverage

SiowMengSoh
S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • 700MHz spectrum is a strategic band for operators to achieve better coverage including indoor and rural areas.
  • Mobile operators around the world, particularly in China, are using 700MHz spectrum to accelerate coverage expansion.

The deployment of 5G is gathering momentum around the world.  The number of 5G subscriptions reached 414 million globally in 2020, and GlobalData expects the number to more than double in 2021.  China is leading in 5G adoption, with its number of subscriptions representing 76% of the global figure in 2020.  GlobalData expects this to be the case in 2021 as the world continues to learn about 5G through the lens of China.  Globally, many operators have been awarded mid-band spectrum, typically in the 3.5GHz range, to kick-start 5G deployment.  With additional spectrum including between 80 MHz and 100 MHz of net new spectrum, operators can deliver much faster data speeds with 5G as compared to 4G, to demonstrate the value of 5G to both consumer and business customers.  However, the propagation characteristics of 3.5GHz spectrum mean that the coverage range from the cell site is more limited than the low-band spectrum (i.e., sub-1GHz such as 700MHz).  This means mobile operators need to increase the number of cell sites to achieve the same coverage area that they would using the lower frequency band.  It is also more difficult to penetrate walls and ultimately affect the coverage indoors, which is a problem in urban areas when using the higher band. Continue reading “700MHz Spectrum Plays a Pivotal Role in Delivering 5G Coverage”

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”

Whatever Happened to AT&T’s AirGig?

m rogers
M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:            

  • AT&T’s announcement of Project AirGig in 2016 was a compelling and novel way to think about providing high-speed broadband services.
  • Following a press conference and tease of a 2021 release in 2018, AT&T has gone silent on the project, prompting questions about its future.

Bygone BPL

During the mid-2000’s, broadband over power line (BPL) technology (using power lines to simultaneously transmit data signals) was an exciting topic in the telecommunications industry.  The hope was the technology could deliver speeds equivalent or greater than ADSL and provide a cheap and effective means of connecting rural communities and improving broadband infrastructure in brownfield areas without the need to lay new fiber.  The IEEE developed standards, and various governments, carriers, and even utilities launched trials and services.  While the technology caught on for some utilities as a means to monitor the health of their own grids, most if not all commercial attempts to develop a consumer access product failed.  Failures were blamed on a few factors, including radio interference easily impacting unshielded power lines, complications managing right-of-way access with utilities, and slower than predicted data rates.  Today, BPL for consumer access is all but dead; however, at the end of 2016, AT&T announced a new project, ‘AirGig,’ with a lot of similarities. Continue reading “Whatever Happened to AT&T’s AirGig?”

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”

Turning Fiber into Business Services

Summary Bullets:

• Amidst all the fiber network hype and almost daily announcements of new infrastructure plans, Vodafone’s launch of Ethernet services over CityFibre networks means that UK enterprises can now start to benefit from them.

• Enterprises should be aware how fiber expansion can offer an enhanced work from home experience and how emerging technologies (e.g., hollow core fiber) may support advanced services.

Fiber network roll-out announcements have been coming thick and fast recently, but now UK enterprises can finally benefit from actual services, marking a key staging post.

Over recent weeks, there have been announcements on fiber deployment from CityFibre, BT/Openreach, Virgin Media O2, and numerous smaller altnets – including Upp’s announcement on June 1, 2021 that it will invest GBP 1 billion to deploy FTTH to a million premises by 2025.

So far, the focus has been on investment models, premises passed, and connection speeds – which has been of interest to analysts but less so to enterprises. Any actual services have tended to focus on the consumer segment, but now businesses of all sizes and resellers stand to benefit from these fiber builds.

Vodafone has announced that it is launching Ethernet services over its partner CityFibre’s network in Cambridge, Coventry, and Peterborough, with Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Portsmouth, and Southend-on-Sea to follow. The new service is positioned as offering a tailored private data network on a single or multiple premises, and as a complement to Vodafone’s full-fiber (FTTP) broadband.

Continue reading “Turning Fiber into Business Services”

SingTel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places

Summary Bullets:

m rogers
M. Rogers

• Singtel has announced a new strategy alongside its financial results, which includes a renewed focus on digital business and the expansion of its NCS unit internationally.

• While Singtel has identified the right trends to click into for NCS, the Australian and Chinese markets will be challenge and there could be other opportunities with its subsidiaries in ASEAN.

Singtel announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2021 ended March 31, 2021 on May 28, 2021. Singtel reported a difficult year across the group, in part due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as structural changes with the NBN in Australia and more generally across the telco sector. However the company did share some bright spots, for example the performance of its NCS business. Further, as part of the associated analyst and investor presentation Singtel presented a new strategy going forward with the hopes of capitalizing on key growth trends in digital and ICT markets in Asia-Pacific region. These include “B2B digital services growth,” “digital ASEAN opportunity,” and “rapid digitalisation fuelling infrastructure demand.

What’s the Plan?

Continue reading “SingTel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places”

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”

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”

Dell to Spin Off VMware – Steady as She Goes for Now

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • The spinoff of Dell from VMware is long-term good for VMware customers.
  • Enterprise IT buyers and enterprise IT rivals to Dell need make no changes for the immediate future.

On April 15, 2021, Dell announced plans to spin off its VMware business, which will likely net Dell around $9 billion (USD) that it can used to pay down debt or go on an acquisition spree. Dell currently owns 81% of VMware, which it gained during its acquisition of EMC in 2015.  Beyond the obvious need to reduce its debt, it is widely believed that VMware (which still had its own stock) and Dell will both have higher values when they are evaluated as separate entities.  Michael Dell will remain chairman of the board for both companies. Continue reading “Dell to Spin Off VMware – Steady as She Goes for Now”