WiFi 6 and Its Benefits to Enterprises

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • WiFi 6 is entering the market and will offer higher capacity, better security, and more efficient resource/device management.
  • As a successor to the current WiFi standard, it will be widely adopted in the mass market. There are also several benefits to enterprises.

What’s New

WiFi 6, which is based on the IEEE802.11ax standard, is a logical progression of the current WiFi technology (IEEE802.11ac). It comes with various new features and updated technologies to offer higher network capacity and security as well as better device management. WiFi 6 has a theoretical peak speed of 9.6 Gbps, almost triple that of its predecessor (WiFi 5). This is achieved through updated wireless technologies such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) antenna systems. However, the gain in capacity is not just about offering a higher speed, but also about addressing the larger number of WiFi devices served by an access point (AP). Continue reading “WiFi 6 and Its Benefits to Enterprises”

TPG Needs the Merger with VHA, and to Grow Business Customers

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• TPG is facing headwinds in growing its revenue and there is limited room to expand its margins. It needs to find new ways to grow its business.

• The merger with VHA will give TPG mobile capabilities and greater scale to compete with Telstra and Optus; but it also needs to pursue growth from the business segment.

TPG released its H1 FY2019 results in late March 2019. Total revenue for H1 FY2019 (ended 31 December 2019) declined 1.5% YoY to A$1.24 billion, but underlying EBITDA and NPAT improved 2.8% and 3.5% respectively. Revenue and EBITDA growth was mainly due to improvement in its Corporate division, but the growth was offset by the decline of Consumer division due to the DSL to NBN migration and iiNet home phone decline. Within Corporate, growth was mainly driven by the Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) fibre contract (contributed A$22 million of growth), which will not deliver long-term growth. While TPG has not been able to grow its revenue in H1 FY2019 compared to the same period in the previous financial year, it has been successful in reducing costs to improve its margins including a reduction in employment and overhead costs. With the consumer market challenged by competition and NBN migration, there is limited upside. There is also limited room for further cost reduction, so business-as-usual is not an option for TPG. Continue reading “TPG Needs the Merger with VHA, and to Grow Business Customers”

NEC Collaborates with UniKL to Gain an Early Advantage in the Malaysia SD-WAN Market

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • NEC completed its SDWAN trial with UniKL and was selected as the technology partner for the university’s SDx Center of Excellence.
  • While the collaboration offers an early-mover advantage, NEC needs to expand its ecosystem of partners to grab the bigger market opportunity in the country.

NEC Corporation announced the completion of its SD-WAN trial with the University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in Malaysia on March 22, 2019. The initiative, which was funded by the Japanese government, used NEC’s own solution, ‘SD-WAN Security Common Platform,’ and covered several use cases such as virtualization and monitoring of end-to-end network traffic in multivendor environments, dynamic routing optimization based on application requirements, and central configuration of network switches across the university campuses. Following the successful collaboration, NEC has also been selected as the technology partner for UniKL’s newly launched SDx Center of Excellence, which brings together industry experts and researchers to co-develop solutions based on the latest networking technologies such as SDN, IoT, and 5G. Continue reading “NEC Collaborates with UniKL to Gain an Early Advantage in the Malaysia SD-WAN Market”

SD-WAN is Maturing – Should Enterprises Change Their Expectations?

Summary Bullets:

• Customers should approach SD-WAN with an open mind when it comes to costs and understand that savings may come from knock-on benefits.

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

• Customers should conduct their own trials into whether the internet is appropriate for a given application.

Cost Savings vs. Quality

Much of the initial hype about SD-WAN focused on cost saving. However, those looking to buy an SD-WAN solution should keep an open mind to cost and be aware that if savings are realized they may not come from the cost of their WAN solution. Indeed, initial experience suggests that SD-WAN solutions sometimes increase the cost of an enterprise’s overall spend on WAN. The complexity of managing SD-WAN means that it is not an inherently cheap technology. WAN savings may come over time as more and more MPLS is phased out of WAN architectures, but initial experience suggests that abandoning MPLS from day one is a risky approach and often results in unsatisfactory network performance. Continue reading “SD-WAN is Maturing – Should Enterprises Change Their Expectations?”

Singtel Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance Its IoT Portfolio

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Singtel is strengthening its IoT portfolio through a partnership with Microsoft by integrating a range of Azure capabilities into its network.
  • Its service coverage is still limited in Singapore, China and Australia (Optus) compared to the global IoT networks offered by competitors.

Singtel announced its partnership with Microsoft in February 2019 to launch an AI-powered IoT network over Microsoft Azure. This is achieved through integration of Singtel’s IoT network into Microsoft Azure cloud capabilities, including IoT Hub, IoT Edge, and other machine learning and cognitive services. Singtel has a comprehensive IoT portfolio with software-defined network capabilities, a range of technologies including LPWAN standards, a private IoT network for added security (‘IoTConnect+’), competitive pricing (as low as SGD1 per month for 10 MB on NB-IoT) and various solutions across industry verticals. The additional capability gained from the partnership with Microsoft complements the carrier’s IoT portfolio. The AI capabilities enable the carrier to deliver more efficient services, especially in the orchestration and automation of applications and workloads across IoT stacks (e.g., devices, network and clouds), thus accelerating enterprises’ business outcomes and the ROI. The cloud services offer scalable deployments, addressing the high upfront investments required by enterprises to implement IoT use cases. It also enables Singtel to retain its IoT leadership in Singapore and address the increasing demand in the key Asian hub. GlobalData research shows that 62% of 1,664 global enterprises interviewed (including 65% of 57 in Singapore) are making major or large investments in IoT in the next three years. The access to Microsoft’s vast range of development tools, developers and other packaged solutions enables the carrier to further strengthen its own IoT platform capabilities, while IoT Hub offers an additional platform option to its customers in addressing diverse market demands. Continue reading “Singtel Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance Its IoT Portfolio”

Traditional Thinking About the Campus Network Is Holding It Back

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • Traditional thinking around campus networking as ‘wired’ and ‘wireless’ is holding back transformational change.
  • The business needs campus networks to be agile, secure, and operationally efficient, meaning wired and wireless networks must be considered as a whole rather than as individual parts.

We all need to begin thinking about the campus network as a holistic combination of LAN/WAN, wireline, and wireless access components, rather than as separate parts. For decades, we’ve looked at ‘wired’ and ‘wireless’ as separate and disparate buying decisions, sometimes even when purchased from the same vendor. As an industry, wired and wireless are still treated as separate markets: in analyst reports, in market shares, and by the press, customers, and vendors. Even the vendors on the forefront of combined campus networking still have separate engineering and sometimes even business units for these functions. The growing need to automate common tasks, apply policy across the network, and integrate security means we need an upgrade to how we think about campus networking. Continue reading “Traditional Thinking About the Campus Network Is Holding It Back”

Will Maxis’ New Enterprise Strategy Work?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Maxis redefined its enterprise strategy to grow its business in the managed services market.
  • The provider needs to tackle the real needs of enterprises instead of just replicating best practices.

The practice of consumer telcos entering the enterprise managed service market is not uncommon, especially for telcos playing in a mature market. Telcos are looking to expand their revenue streams, as business from the traditional services (e.g., data, broadband, voice) is no longer growing. Maxis, a leading consumer mobile provider in Malaysia, started this journey as early as 2010, although the consumer mobile market was still growing at that time and there was no critical need for the service provider to look for new business areas. The move was mainly driven by technology leadership, following ‘best practice’ from other global leaders at that time. Today, while the provider is still playing in the enterprise managed service market, the driver has shifted from technology leadership/innovation to a real need to grow revenue in the segment and hence the overall business. Without much success in the past (with only 1.4% growth in 2017 and 3.1% decline in 2018), Maxis recently shared its new strategy to grow its enterprise service (managed services, cloud and IoT) by threefold in five years, focusing on leveraging connectivity assets and replicating industry best practice. While the strategy looks promising, will it work for Maxis in the Malaysia market? Continue reading “Will Maxis’ New Enterprise Strategy Work?”

Vocus Looks Like a New Company Starting Out on a Three-Year Turnaround Journey

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • Vocus’ results for the first half of the financial year do not look great. Revenue is stagnating and EBITDA is declining.
  • There is, however, some optimism as the company embarks on its three-year turnaround journey. The company has a new leadership team and its network assets remain a key differentiator.

Vocus has reported its results for the first half of the financial year (H1 FY 2019) and updated investors on the outlook for the company. Revenue for H1 FY 2019 was flat (growth of barely 1% YoY) and underlying EBITDA dropped 10% compared to H1 FY 2018. Consequently, underlying NPAT declined 29% and net leverage ratio increased to 3.1x. Net debt increased $88 million to $1,089 million. The company grew revenue from its New Zealand operations, its enterprise, government and wholesale (the bulk of the growth is from the project revenue associated with the construction of the Coral Sea cable system). However, the growth was offset by the decline in its retail business in Australia; consumer declined 12% and SMB declined 27%. Overall, the financial results are not looking too good for the first half of the financial year. Continue reading “Vocus Looks Like a New Company Starting Out on a Three-Year Turnaround Journey”

Alibaba Cloud Looks for Growth Outside of China, and Indonesia Is a Good Target

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • Alibaba Cloud is gaining a stronger foothold in Indonesia with its second data centre, a growing partnership ecosystem and an initiative to support start-ups to develop their business through a cloud-native approach.
  • Alibaba needs to grow its international presence, and it is establishing an early presence in markets such as Indonesia where competitors do not yet have a local presence.

Alibaba Cloud has launched a second data centre in Indonesia after launching the first data centre 10 months earlier. The second data centre enables Alibaba Cloud to increase capacity, provide higher availability and improve disaster recovery capabilities. The company also launched the Internet Champion Global Accelerator Program to support the growth of start-ups and local talents. The program will provide training, mentorship and venture capital opportunities to enterprises and professional services. The program is launching in Jakarta, and it will be extended to Bali in January 2019, as well as other global markets in the future. This is a strategic move since start-ups and SMEs in general are more ready to adopt a cloud-native approach and can become heavy cloud users as they scale up. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Looks for Growth Outside of China, and Indonesia Is a Good Target”

SDN and the Future of Networking

Joel Stradling – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• Demands of innovative collaborative communications and cloud-native applications are placing tremendous pressure on legacy WANs.

• As companies virtualize more and more IT functions and migrate apps to private and public clouds, the resulting network looks very different to legacy static and hub-and-spoke network configurations.

• Corporate networks need to evolve to support greater automation, more self-serve, and better operational simplicity and agility.

• New SD-WAN services are the key to effective control and management of network traffic within disruptive technology domains; such as cloud-native migration, 5G, IoT, big data analytics, augmented reality, and machine learning.

• The new era is identified by networks being applications-led; as opposed to being connectivity-led.

Introduction

A panel of industry thought leaders gathered at the Vodafone Global HQ in Newbury on October 3, 2018 to address the following questions:

• What does the future of networking look like?

• How will how SD-WANs will make an impact on corporate networks?

• What are the opportunities and challenges in the industry for SD-WAN technology?

The following blog summarizes the main insights and discussion highlights that emerged during the panel debate.

Old Making Way for the New

The majority of existing corporate WANs in use throughout the business world are based on IP/MPLS technologies. In the past several years there has been a strong desire on the part of enterprise buyers of IT and network systems to also leverage Internet VPN, in parallel with private IP VPN services, to take advantage of a far lower cost-base for non-critical corporate data traffic. Continue reading “SDN and the Future of Networking”