5G: Ensuring Business Continuity in a Future COVID (Pandemic) Situation

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • 5G network slicing can be used to readily deliver an enterprise-grade broadband experience directly to employees working from home.
  • By moving enterprise data and applications to the 5G edge, enterprises can ensure performance and security for employees accessing remotely.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, millions of workers globally have been driven from their offices and into their homes as we all collectively make an effort to stop the spread of the virus. While these efforts are noble and necessary, they have had a profound impact on the ability of enterprises to continue operations as normal. Companies around the world were by and large unprepared for this scenario. Going forward, enterprise will look to build in resiliency to these types of crises, with some experts warning COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic we experience. In the near future, 5G can be an important technology to help build in resiliency and ensure acceptable levels of business continuity during future societal disruptions. Continue reading “5G: Ensuring Business Continuity in a Future COVID (Pandemic) Situation”

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”

Console Connect Coming to Australia Fills Out PCCW’s SDN Offerings

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • The arrival of Console Connect in Australia fleshes out PCCW’s software-defined infrastructure offerings in the market, although integration of some features is still lacking.
  • Software-defined interconnect (SDI) is not new to Australia, and PCCW faces existing competition; however, the company is well positioned to manage cross Australia-to-China workloads.

PCCW’s expansion of the Console Connect platform into Australia is a positive move for the company. PCCW already offers its SD-WAN services (Viptela and VeloCloud) in the country. The addition of its cloud-focused Console Connect to the portfolio of networking services available in the country will complement its SD-WAN offering by giving enterprise customers more visibility and control over bandwidth and performance as enterprise workloads are increasingly hybrid and multi-cloud. Software-defined networking and cloud interconnect are high-growth areas within the Australian market. According to GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts to 2024: ICT in Australia (February 21, 2020), spend on SD-WAN is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 19.6% to reach USD 114 million, while enterprise spend on cloud management platforms will grow at a five-year CAGR of 16.6%, reaching USD 526 million. Continue reading “Console Connect Coming to Australia Fills Out PCCW’s SDN Offerings”

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”

5G SD-WAN Paired with Slicing and Edge Could Deliver Fit for Purpose Networks

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• Integrating a 5G underlay into an SD-WAN solution can help deliver network performance with more functionality to remote sites.

• 5G technology like network slicing and edge computing can deliver a fit for purpose networks to drive better application performance and improve security.

SD-WAN is increasingly important to branch networking, enabling remote sites to be spun up more quickly and cost effectively. 5G can integrate with SD-WAN to be considered as an active-active connection with a lower cost per byte and will be able to support the branch or remote sites with performance in terms of bandwidth and latency that can begin to compare with MPLS.

As 5G matures operators will be able to offer network slicing. Network slices can be created with 5G’s capabilities – enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC) – to support applications that require these attributes. Instead of the traditional network services that are more static and often manually configured, enterprises have better ability to spin up/down services dynamically based on metrics such as bandwidth, latency, throughput, security, geography coverage, session, and reliability. This will enable operators to offer different slices with varying resources over a single mobile connection, optimizing the network based on application. 5G will be even more compelling once network slicing becomes automated and part of the self-service catalog. Continue reading “5G SD-WAN Paired with Slicing and Edge Could Deliver Fit for Purpose Networks”

Vodafone Business Provides a Glimpse of the Future of Networking

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• Vodafone is developing an intent-based infrastructure, which is an automated platform to deliver desired business outcomes.

• Enterprise customers should consider the trends related to the evolution of network solutions and include the evaluation of digital platforms and roadmap when sourcing a new WAN supplier.

Vodafone has articulated and shown how the right digital platforms and software-defined capabilities can enable the network of the future. As enterprises pursue digital transformation, they often think cloud first before worrying about whether the network can support the major shift in workloads. To support a hybrid, multi-cloud environment, the network needs to be flexible to deliver the right performance for different applications, in a dynamic fashion. And yet, customers often do not have full visibility into how their network and applications are performing. It can also be problematic to determine network issues without the tools that provide end-to-end visibility. This will likely get more complex when enterprises begin to adopt 5G, edge computing, and IoT. Continue reading “Vodafone Business Provides a Glimpse of the Future of Networking”

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”

An Intriguing Networking Choice: Passive Optical LAN (POL)

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• With growing bandwidth needs due to things like Wi-Fi 6 and video, options like POL can provide long-term investment protection benefits

• POL can reduce operating expenses, both administratively and from a power/cooling standpoint

The networking journey is always one of change, yet there are some technologies that we’ve used for literally decades that are not up to the challenges of growing bandwidth and device density. Indeed, new services such as Wi-Fi 6 are driving the need for more bandwidth, especially on the backhaul. Copper Ethernet cables are a great example of where a great technology is beginning to run into the harsh limits of physics. To achieve even 10 Gigabit speeds excessive care has to be taken with thick, less flexible cables and distance limits of 100 meters for properly installed cabling systems (Cat6a or Cat7). With bandwidth rising to 40Gbps and 100Gbps and beyond, it becomes a matter of much discussion on how we support networks going forward, especially in new construction. Nobody wants the expense of upgrading a building’s network cabling because bandwidth needs have exceeded its limited capacity.

Continue reading “An Intriguing Networking Choice: Passive Optical LAN (POL)”