Omdia: Global smartphone shipments plunge in Q1-2020; Mobile communications revenue to drop 4.1% in 2020

Omdia reported today that global smartphone shipments dropped by 16.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 as vendors struggled to manage coronavirus-driven production shutdowns, product-launch delays and depressed consumer demand.

Shipments in the first quarter fell to 274.4 million units, down from 329.9 million during the same period in 2019, according to the Omdia Smartphone Intelligence Service. This plunge impacted all the major smartphone brands, with nine of the top-10 OEMs suffering shipment declines compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Editor’s Opinion:  The decline will be much greater in Q2-2020 due to all the lockdowns all over the world.  Who needs a smartphone when you’re confined to your residence?  I hardly use mine at all as I prefer a laptop or tablet when at home.

“Early in the first quarter, the smartphone market was sent reeling by the shutdown of production at facilities in China, which halted the manufacturing of phones and their key components,” said Jusy Hong, smartphone research and analysis director at Omdia. “While concerns about this situation have been alleviated, the smartphone brands also faced new challenges, including disrupted launch schedules for new phones. Even more troubling for smartphone makers is a major decline in global demand due to government lockdown mandates.”

Despite expected rebounds in some countries, the rest of the year is expected to be challenging for smartphone OEMs. Omdia forecasts global smartphone shipments will decline to 1.20 billion units this year, down 13.1 percent from 1.39 billion in 2019.

OEMs feel the pain in the first quarter
Almost across the board, smartphone OEMs faced significant declines in unit shipments compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Samsung retained the top position, with 58.9 million units shipped during the first quarter—a 17 percent decline compared to the first quarter of 2019. Second-ranked Huawei saw its shipments decline by more than 17 percent, to 49 million units, down from 59.1 million in the first quarter of 2019.

Apple, in third place, saw shipments decline to 38.5 million units, down from 43.8 million a year earlier. The 12.0 percent decline comes during the first quarter, historically the weakest period of the year for Apple.

Rounding out the Top 5 are Xiaomi and OPPO. Out of the Top 10, Xiaomi experienced the second least severe decline in the quarter, of 8.2 percent. Only Tecno, in 10th place, attained a lower decrease better with a 7.6 percent year-over-year decline. Xiaomi shipped 25.3 million units in the first quarter, compared to 27.5 million units in 2019. OPPO, on the other hand, suffered a 19.2 percent decline, with shipments falling to 20.4 million units, down from 25.2 million a year earlier.

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Realme bucks the downturn
The rest of the Top 10 is made up of vivo, Realme, Motorola, LG, and Tecno. The bright spot here is Realme, which achieved year-over-year growth based on its continued success in India. seventh-ranked Realme was the only top-10 OEM to attain growth during the quarter, with shipments totaling 6.1 million units, up 88 percent from 3.2 million during the first quarter of 2019.

For the others in this group, the first quarter brought significant challenges. Looking at vivo, company shipments declined 19.9 percent, falling from 24.3 million units last year to 19.5 million this year. Motorola, in eighth place, saw shipments decline 35.4 percent to 5.5 million units. While Motorola finally launched its updated RAZR, featuring a foldable display, the publicity surrounding that high-profile device was not enough to support the overall performance of Motorola’s product portfolio.

With or without the impact of the pandemic, LG continues to struggle with its mobile handset division. Shipments declined to 5.4 million units, down from 8.6 million units a year ago—a drop of 37.4 percent. Rounding out the top 10 is Tecno, which saw units decline by a relatively modest 7.6 percent, declining from 3.8 million units last year to 3.5 million units in the first quarter.

First-half struggles
“The smartphone market will face major struggles in the first half of 2020 as different countries experience the initial shock and recovery periods at different times. That’s why OEMs are more afraid of second-quarter sales results,” Hong said. “However, Omdia does expect the smartphone market to start to recover in some countries and regions in the second half of the year.”

Early in the first quarter, the most severe impact on the smartphone market was the shutdown of production and supply chain facilities in China. However, fears over a prolonged closure of essential production, supply chain and logistics operations in China have been alleviated, as signs point to economic activity ramping up quickly in the country.

Smartphone makers in the first quarter also had their product-launch plans disrupted by the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain, where many companies had planned to roll out new products.

“Because of the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress, and uncertainty in the supply chain, original product schedules had to be re-evaluated,” said Gerrit Schneemann, senior analyst, smartphones, at Omdia. “However, OEMs seem to have found their footing on how to address new device launches going forward.”

Demand disaster
The impact of the outbreak on the smartphone business has now shifted almost completely to the demand side of the equation.

“Although handsets can be produced at nearly normal levels, the markets for these handsets are mostly in some state of shutdown,” Hong said. “Some countries have made more progress in dealing with the outbreak, while others are still in the midst of fighting the pandemic, and still others won’t feel the full effects of the pandemic until later in the year.”

In Europe, where some countries have been under strict lockdown rules for some time, initial efforts have been made to ease restrictions. Similarly, South Korea has taken steps to open up. In other countries, like in some parts of the United States, only the last few weeks of the quarter were impacted by broad stay-at-home orders, while consumer behavior had remained unrestricted until then.

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Earlier today, Omdia issued this press release:

Coronavirus crisis deals a $51 billion blow to the global mobile communications industry outlook     Mobile revenue to drop 4.1 percent worldwide; regional impact to vary
 

LONDON (April 30, 2020) — Mobile services represent critical infrastructure that’s allowing people to stay connected during the coronavirus crisis. However, that doesn’t mean these services are immune to the pandemic’s economic shock, with 2020 market revenue now expected to come in about $51 billion short of the previous forecast, according to Omdia.

Worldwide mobile communications services market revenue will total $749.7 billion this year, down from the prior forecast of $800.3 billion. This compares to $781.5 billion in 2019. Annual revenue will fall by 4.1 percent this year, with the decline amounting to $31.8 billion.

“Mobile phone companies around the world are experiencing usage spikes as more countries encourage or enforce social distancing and work-from-home rules to slow the spread of the COVID-19,” said Mike Roberts, research director at Omdia. “However, the spikes aren’t enough to overcome the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior. These rules are having a dramatic impact on various regions of the world, halting new subscriptions and upgrades in the United States, while slashing revenue for operators in Europe.”

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Consumer uptake of 5G will be slower than previously forecasted, due to the economic situation as well as the possibility of delays in 5G network deployment and in the availability of 5G devices. Omdia will release more details on 5G shortly.

In the Americas, mobile service revenue is set to decline by 3.7 percent to $237 billion in 2020. Most of that loss will come in the United States as both net additions and upgrades to higher data plans slow or stop altogether.

Europe will suffer the largest impact of the crisis, with mobile service revenue falling 9.1 percent to $131 billion, representing a downgrade of 9.3 percent compared to Omdia’s previous forecast. This decline will be driven by significant reductions in mobile prepaid revenue and a dramatic drop in inbound roaming revenue.

Vodafone UK, for example, said mobile Internet traffic has increased by 30 percent and mobile voice traffic by 42 percent due to the crisis. At the same time, mobile service providers are seeing new business grind to a halt as retail stores close and consumers stop buying new phones as job losses mount. One example of this widespread trend is AT&T, which is closing 40 percent of its retail stores in the United States.

The Middle East and Africa will see a 3.9 percent decline in mobile service revenues to $84 billion, representing a downgrade of  8.4 percent from Omdia’s previous forecast. Major factors for the decline include the impact of low oil prices on Gulf economies and the fragility of economies and health care systems in parts of Africa.

While the impact of the coronavirus on the mobile market is significant in every region, it pales in comparison to the impact the crisis is having on sectors such as travel, tourism, hospitality and retail, which have suffered partial or complete shutdowns. The International Monetary Fund now expects the global economy to contract by 3 percent in 2020, according to its latest World Economic Outlook, which was released earlier this month.

“The massive contraction will clearly impact every segment of the economy, including mobile, but how long it will last in each country and region is virtually impossible to predict,” Roberts said. “One bright spot is that in China, the first country hit by the pandemic, there are signs that the mobile market and broader economy is starting to come back to life.”

Given the high level of economic and commercial uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Omdia will be producing a full revision of its global mobile forecasts next quarter.

About Omdia
Omdia is a global technology research powerhouse, established following the merger of the research division of Informa Tech (Ovum, Heavy Reading and Tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research portfolio*.

We combine the expertise of over 400 analysts across the entire technology spectrum, analyzing 150 markets publishing 3,000 research solutions, reaching over 14,000 subscribers, and covering thousands of technology, media & telecommunications companies.

Samsung and Huawei dominate global 5G smartphones; Samsung expects sales to be down significantly due to COVID-19

Strategy Analytics reports that Samsung has become the leader of the 5G smartphone market, shipping 8.3 million handsets across the world during the first quarter of 2020 for a 34.4 percent market share. The South Korean conglomerate took advantage of its strong global distribution networks and operator partnerships and the popularity of its S20 5G and S20 Ultra 5G devices to top the ranking.  Strategy Analytics stated that the biggest markets for 5G smartphones were China, South Korea, the U.S. and Europe.

Huawei was the #2 global smart phone vendor with a 33.2 percent market share after shipping 8.0 million 5G smartphones, nearly all in China.  Note that Apple isn’t listed because the Cupertino, CA company has yet to announce a 5G smartphone.

The top 5 was rounded out by three other Chinese vendors – Vivo, Xiaomi and Oppo – with 12.0 percent, 10.4 percent and 5.0 percent of the global market, respectively.

Table 1: Global 5G Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q1 2020
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The Strategy Analytics report stated that worldwide shipments of 5G smartphones in the first quarter of 2020 came to 24.1 million, easily topping shipments of 18.7 million in 2019 as a whole.  That’s despite the firm’s earlier forecast that global smartphone shipments would be down 25% in 2020.

Chinese smartphone vendors captured 61 percent of top 5 vendor 5G smartphone shipment volumes in Q1 2020, with the majority of those volumes going to the China 5G market. This reflects the speed with which Chinese operators have rolled out 5G networks, as well as the underlying demand for 5G smartphones, despite the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down large parts of China during the Q1 2020 period. As China continues to ramp up economic activity, Strategy Analytics expects 5G shipments to this market to continue to expand dramatically in 2020.

Samsung Electronics disagrees with that forecast as they warned in today’s earnings report that 5G infrastructure investments may face reductions or delays – both internationally and domestically – during the second quarter of 2020.

Sales and profits of set products business, including smartphones and TVs, are expected to decline significantly as COVID-19 affects demand and leads to store and plant closures globally.

In the second half, uncertainties driven by COVID-19 will persist as the duration and impact of the pandemic remain unknown. The Company plans to focus on optimizing resource allocation in the short term, while continuing to strengthen its technology leadership and develop innovative set products.

The Mobile Communications Business aims to strengthen its product lineup by introducing new premium models and expanding offerings of 5G models for the mass market. The Networks Business will focus on developing technologies and enhancing global competitiveness to reinforce the 5G business.

For the Consumer Electronics Division, under the risk of current economic uncertainties, the Company will closely monitor the market situation and will continue to focus on minimizing negative impacts by investing in efficient marketing and promotions tailored to each region and by optimizing its logistics.

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A shrinking smartphone market and store closures will lead to an “inevitable” drop in earnings for the current quarter, Jong min Lee, Samsung’s vice president of mobile, said along with other important items on Samsung Electronics earnings call.

In the first quarter, overall market demand drastically decreased quarter-on-quarter as a result of supply chain issues in China caused by the COVID-19 break — outbreak only in this quarter and travel restrictions in the last few weeks of the quarter following the global spread of the pandemic. As the impact of COVID-19, including those on logistics, began to take effect in March, our smartphone shipments also decreased quarter-on-quarter. However, we maintained sound profitability quarter-on-quarter by efficiently deploying marketing investment by improving overall product mix while increasing the sales portion of our premium and 5G model.

Now let me move on to the outlook for the second quarter. With the global spread of COVID-19, demand is expected to drop sharply in most regions due to the economic downturn caused by lockdown across the globe and a corresponding decline in consumer sentiment. As the market shrinks and effects of store closures continue to have direct impact, a drop in sales of our major products and overall performance seems inevitable. Although market uncertainty is higher than ever, we will focus on improving cost effectiveness and strengthening online and B2B channels. In case there are additional disruptions at our production sites, we will respond by effectively utilizing our diversified manufacturing capabilities around the globe. However, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees as well as preventing community spread. We have been thoroughly implementing disinfections and prevention measures in our offices and production facilities in all regions.

For the network business, it is possible that investments in 5G networks will be reduced or delayed domestically and internationally as more effects of COVID-19 unfold.

Finally, I will share our outlook for the second half. In the midst of uncertainties such as the possibility of the prolonged pandemic and the timing of market recovery, we expect the competition to intensify further as companies try to recover from weakness in the first half. For the mobile business, while continuing to offer differentiation in the premium segment with new foldable and Note model launches, we plan to widen the range of choices for our customers and enhance competitiveness within each price range by introducing 5G models to our mass market lineup.

In addition, we will also improve operational efficiency across all areas, including R&D, production, supply, channel and marketing. For the network business, despite uncertainties around the 5G invest plan, we will continue to strengthen our technological competitiveness while improving our 5G business compatibilities globally for the mid- to long term. Thank you.

References:

https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/blogs/devices/emerging-devices/emerging-devices/2020/04/28/samsung-leads-in-5g-smartphone-shipments-in-q1-2020

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4340829-samsung-electronics-co-ltd-ssnlf-on-q1-2020-results-earnings-call-transcript

Strategy Analytics: Global Smart Phone Market to Decline 25% in 2020

https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-electronics-announces-first-quarter-2020-results

 

Highlights of Cisco Roundtable: Expanding the Internet for the Future: Supporting First Responders and Society at Large

The agenda at Cisco’s April 28th  roundtable “Expanding the Internet for the Future, Today: Supporting First Responders and Society at Large,” was focused on how the coronavirus is impacting our use of the internet from expanded online learning for students and adults alike to increased telehealth platforms (more on this subject below).

The discussion featured guest panelists including representatives from AT&T, Comcast, Cox Communications, Facebook, Verizon, and the University Texas-Gavelston Medical Branch. The panelists first took turns giving their individual perspectives on the current state of the internet before shifting focus on innovating to meet the demands of the future.

The conference opened with host Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Mass Scale Infrastructure Group at Cisco sharing some choice illustrative Cisco Webex data. So far this month, Cisco has hosted more than 20 billion virtual meeting minutes. For perspective, that is up from a mere 14 billion last month. These March 2020 totals doubled the meeting minutes from February. Around the globe, traffic appears to be leveling off or decreasing from recent highs.

Speakers included AT&T’s FirstNet SVP Jason Porter (a long time colleague and September 2020 IEEE ComSocSCV workshop speaker) and Andrés Irlando, president of Verizon’s “public sector” that sells services to public-safety officials.

Almost all roundtable participants said they have been working overtime during the past few weeks to make sure doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and first responders remain connected as they fight COVID-19. “This was like a fire, flood and tornado in every single city at the same time,” said AT&T’s Porter commented on the demand for FirstNet services.  Jason and other speakers said their networks have managed to meet that demand, and that traffic growth is beginning to plateau.

However, “this gives us a peak at what the future looks like,” argued Verizon’s Irlando, explaining that traffic likely will start to decline as most Americans return to work, but some things won’t return to the way things were.

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Cisco has a website to help healthcare providers transition to virtual healthcare.  There you will find resources for scheduling, conducting, and joining virtual consultations between Doctors and patients.

Telemedicine, Telehealth And Online Doctor Visits

Telehealth and complex video session between Doctor and Patient

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During the second half of the roundtable, panelists each shared the vision on ways to revolutionize the current model to provide access for people around the globe. Ideas ranged from the importance of government subsidies when it comes to building this infrastructure in some areas, to reverse auctioning portions of spectrum to cover more isolated communities. Facebook Vice President of Connectivity Dan Rabinovitsj floated the idea of allowing spectrum sharing in more remote areas without facing fines as well as the idea of utilizing the recently opened 6 GHz band for internet access around the globe. As individuals posed questions, Cisco executive Stephen Liu touched on the idea of a flexible consumption system to revolutionize the traditional service model.

“This allows Service Provider customers to procure equipment fully loaded with all the bandwidth they need, but only pay for what they use based on licensing. That way, if surges occur such as what happened with COVID-19, the capacity can be added immediately and paid for at a later time. The licenses can be pooled as well so that capacity could be moved from lower traffic areas into high traffic areas,” Liu said.

A huge problem for telehealth is insurance coverage.  Light Readings Mike Dano wrote in a blog post:

One of the biggest obstacles was how healthcare insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, account for telehealth services. Prior to the pandemic, healthcare pricing generally discouraged the use of videoconferencing and phone calls for doctor’s visits, but new rules implemented due to COVID-19 now incentivize the practice, King explained.

In the telecom sector, the FCC is working to promote telehealth offerings. Earlier this month, the agency voted to adopt a $200 million telehealth program as part of Congress’ CARES Act.

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Currently, billions of people remain without internet access despite efforts to close the digital divide. Today, Cisco published the “Cisco Inclusive Future Report 2020” estimating that bringing those currently with internet access online would increase the worldwide economy by nearly $7 trillion and “would lift 500 million people out of poverty.” More than one-third (35%) of people in developing countries lack access to the internet compared to 80% of individuals in more “advanced economies.” The report also discusses the problems inherent with so-called digital literacy meaning a person’s basic understanding of using the internet, one of the principal roadblocks preventing “digital inclusion.” Internationally, nearly one-quarter of adults lack such digital literacy.

As the coronavirus continues to take its toll on populations and economies around the globe, the inadequacies of our digital infrastructure have been thrust into the spotlight. Current barriers to internet access has innumerable disadvantages for humans and economies around the globe. As has been illustrated during this pandemic-induced grand digital experiment, a well-equipped digital infrastructure has far-reaching social and economic implications for humans around the globe.

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Image: Cisco

References:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/cisco-virtual-roundtable-how-to-solve-digital-divide-impacting-remote-workforce-and-online-classrooms/

https://www.lightreading.com/services/verizon-atandt-cisco-others-eye-telehealth-growth/d/d-id/759256?

https://www.webex.com/webexremotehealth.html

 

 

SCF: Small Cells are the Key to Unlocking Private LTE/5G Cellular Networks

The Small Cell Forum (SCF) today published its analysis of the burgeoning market for small cell-based private networks, outlining market drivers, use cases and recommendations for LTE-based networks, and examining their evolution to 5G. The research shares insights gained by leading deployers of how different public and private sector organisations are benefitting from robust cellular connectivity, customised to their specific applications.

SCF235 Private Cellular Networks with Small Cells is available for download from the SCF website.

The comprehensive paper includes:

  • SCF’s market analysis which reveals that, by 2025, the largest adopter of private networks will be local government, including networks to support public safety and smart cities
  • A study of new business models created by integrators and third-party providers operating in this space that can work in partnership with MNOs – for instance, by leasing their spectrum or by enabling MNOs to provide services based on a shared network
  • Data showing that when deploying private LTE today, small cells have significant cost advantages
  • A discussion of the critical need for different spectrum and deployment methods being adopted around the world, such as CBRS in the United States
  • Examination of vEPCs supporting RAN-agnostic networks, and the role of edge computing in small cell-based private networks

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Private networks are custom designed for the specific needs of an organisation such as an enterprise or local government. They can provide higher quality mobile connectivity than Wi-Fi, and have a more extensive ecosystem of technology suppliers, system integrators and service providers than proprietary solutions. Cellular devices also have the capability to roam seamlessly between private and public global mobile networks.

With LTE technology, new types of spectrum and the emergence of a new breed of service providers, commercial conditions are ripe for enterprises and government to leverage small cell-based private networks for their business-critical and mission-critical connectivity needs. The paper focuses on understanding these early adopters and how they are using private networks to better achieve their organisation goals.

Role of Private LTE in Revolutionizing Wireless LAN

Role of Private LTE in Revolutionizing Wireless LAN

The research was made possible by an extended collaboration of leading private network providers, brought together by Small Cell Forum, including; AT&T, CommScope, Corning, Crown Castle, Ericsson, ExteNet Systems and Reliance Jio.

Keyur Brahmbhatt, lead author and Senior Product Manager at ExteNet Systems, said: “Private LTE networking technology is a significant opportunity for the telco sector that can be deployed today with existing technology, rather than needing to wait for 5G. It has already enabled new business models, tailored service offerings and access to new or difficult to reach verticals, and allows organisations to integrate diverse sensors, machines, people, vehicles and more across a wide range of applications and usage scenarios.”

Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu, Chair of Small Cell Forum, said: “This paper represents a comprehensive body of work highlighting the clear benefits Small Cells provide in deploying private cellular networks of all types, as well as providing real-world case studies of successful systems. Our future work in this area will focus on how to manage private networks, and the impact 5G will have on private network architectures and technologies. At the heart of this will be collaborations with enterprises to capture detailed requirements specific to key sectors that will benefit most.”

SCF aims to help enterprise, industry and government understand the potential benefits of private networks to support their digital connectivity needs, while helping private network service providers better understand the benefits which are most valued by the different types of customer. The paper identifies barriers to the growth of private networks and recommends industry actions to address them.

About Small Cell Forum:

Small Cell Forum develops the technical and commercial enablers to accelerate small cell adoption and drive wide-scale densification.

Broad roll-out of small cells will make high-grade mobile connectivity accessible and affordable for industries, enterprises and for rural and urban communities. That, in turn, will drive new business opportunities for a widening ecosystem of service providers.

Those service providers are central to our work program. Our operator members establish the requirements that drive the activities and outputs of our technical groups.

We have driven the standardization of key elements of small cell technology including Iuh, FAPI, nFAPI, SON, services APIs, TR-069 evolution and the enhancement of the X2 interface. These specifications enable an open, multi-vendor platform and lower barriers to densification for all stakeholders.

Today SCF members are driving solutions that include:

  • 5G Components, Products, Networks
  • Dis-aggregated 5G Small Cells
  • Planning, Management and Automation
  • 5G regulation & safety
  • Neutral Hosts & Multi-operator
  • Private and Public Network coexistence
  • Edge compute with Small Cell Blueprint
  • End-to-end orchestration

The Small Cell Forum Release Program has now established business cases and market drivers for all the main use cases, clarifying market needs and addressing barriers to deployment for residential, enterprise, rural & remote, and urban small cells. It has also established initiatives relating to both public and private (MNO) coordination. The Small Cell Forum Release Program website can be found here: www.scf.io

New ITU-T SG13 Recommendations related to IMT 2020 and Quantum Key Distribution

by Leo Lehmann,  Chairman of ITU-T SG13 with background information and editing by Alan J Weissberger

Backgrounder:

ITU-T SG13 is the lead ITU-T study group on: future networks such as IMT-2020 networks (non-radio related parts), mobility
management, cloud computing, and trusted network infrastructure.  The work is assigned to questions of which the following are related to the non radio aspects of IMT 2020:

Q.6: Quality of service (QoS) aspects including IMT-2020 networks
Q.20: IMT-2020: Network requirements and functional architecture
Q.21: Network softwarization including softwaredefined networking, network slicing and orchestration
Q.22: Upcoming network technologies for IMT-2020 and future networks
Q.23: Fixed-mobile convergence including IMT-2020

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ITU-T SG13 Chairman’s Summary:

The recent (since October 2019) published IMT 2020 (non radio) related recommendations from ITU SG13 are the following:

  • Y.3154 (Y.NetSoft-SSMO) Resource pooling for scalable network slice service management and orchestration in the IMT-2020 network.  [see below this article for SG13 liaison to GSMA related to Network Slicing]
  • Y.3108 (Y.IMT2020-CEF) Capability exposure function in the IMT-2020 networks
  • Y.3132  (Y.FMC-MM) Mobility management for fixed mobile convergence in IMT-2020 networks
  • Y.3133 (Y.FMC-CE) Capability exposure enhancement for supporting FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) in IMT-2020 networks
  • Y.3173 (Y.ML-IMT2020 -Intelligence-level) Framework for evaluating intelligence level of future networks including IMT-2020
  • Y.3174  (Y.ML-IMT2020 -Data-Handling) Framework for data handling to enable machine learning in future networks including IMT-2020
  • Y.3175 (Y.qos-ml-arc) Functional architecture of machine learning based quality of service assurance for the IMT-2020 network
  • Y.3154 (Y.NetSoft-SSMO) Resource pooling for scalable network slice service management and orchestration in the IMT-2020 network

Not directly related to IMT 2020, but generally related to network orchestration and optimization is Y.3652 (Y.bDDN-req) “Requirements of big data driven networking” as an useful new document in the Y.365x series.

In addition, SG13 has published two new recommendations for networks to support quantum key distribution (QKD) [1] :

  • Y.3800 (Y.QKDN_FR) Overview on networks supporting quantum key distribution
  • Y.3801 (Y.QKDN_req) Functional requirements for quantum key distribution networks
  • Y.3800 describes the basic conceptual structures of QKD networks as the first of a series of emerging ITU standards on network and security aspects of quantum information technologies. SG13 standards for QKD networks – networks of QKD devices and an overlay network – will enable the integration of QKD technology into large-scale ICT networks.

Complementing these activities SG17 standards provide recommendations for the security of these QKD networks.

Note 1.    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a technology using quantum physics to secure the distribution of symmetric encryption keys which solves the problem of key distribution by allowing the exchange of a cryptographic key between two remote parties with information-theoretic security, guaranteed by the fundamental laws of physics. This key can then be used securely with conventional cryptographic algorithms.

The threats posed by quantum computing have a wide range of impacts since public key algorithms such as Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) are widely used in various security protocols and applications. How to design quantum-safe cryptography that can resist quantum computing attacks is a problem that must be considered for ICT systems to ensure security in the “quantum era”.

In general, there are three possible means to combat quantum computing attacks:

  1. Enhancement of current crypto system: Doubling the current key size can resist Grover’s algorithm which provides a quadratic speed-up for quantum search algorithms in comparison to search algorithms on classical computers. However, this is only suitable for symmetric key systems.

  2. Design of new public key system: Utilizing new mathematical problems which have not been cracked by current quantum algorithms, e.g., lattice-based and code-based cryptography algorithms, which are more often called post-quantum cryptography (PQC). However, even if those new mathematical problems might be proven as robust against known quantum algorithms, they will not be proven secure against quantum algorithms that might be created in the future.

  3. Use of QKD to replace public key based key exchange mechanism: The security of QKD is based on quantum physics principles, which can effectively avoid the threats caused by the increase of computational power or algorithmic “backdoors” faced by traditional public key algorithms. QKD is already proven as robust against quantum algorithms that might be created in the future.

According to Wikipedia, Quantum key distribution is only used to produce and distribute a key, not to transmit any message data. This key can then be used with any chosen encryption algorithm to encrypt (and decrypt) a message, which can then be transmitted over a standard communication channel. The algorithm most commonly associated with QKD is the one-time pad, as it is provably secure when used with a secret, random key. In real-world situations, it is often also used with encryption using symmetric key algorithms like the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm.

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Liaison Q & A between GSMA and ITU-T SG13 on Network Slicing – Important output liaison from March 2020 SG13 meeting:

Question #1: Network slicing is one of the main features of 5G networks and has been defined by 3GPP. GSMA NEST (NEtwork Slice Type) would like to understand how ServiceProfile from 3GPP TS 28.530 fits into IMT-2020 network slice configuration?

Question #3: What is the relationship between ITU-T NST (Network Slice Template) and GSMA GST (Generic network Slice Template) and 3GPP ServiceProfile?

Answer: ITU-T Q21/13 has recognized the necessity of translation processes from GSMA GST into 3GPP ServiceProfile. Q21/13 is studying the processes with the analysis of IMT-2020 use-cases, and trying to define useful parameters and information for the processes without overlap between SDOs.

Separately Network Slicing will be further defined in 3GPP Release 16.

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About Leo Lehmann:  

Since April 2015, Le​o Lehmann, PhD has been the elected Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future networks including cloud computing, mobile and next-generation networks). Prior to his election, Leo was the ITU-T SG13 vice-chairman and working party co-chairman since October 2008.

Leo works full time at OFCOM -Switzerland, taking care of the regulation of mobile and fixed/mobile converged networks.  Prior to joining OFCOM (Switzerland’s regulator) in 2002, Leo held senior management positions in network engineering, system design and services at major telecommunications players on both the vendor and operator side of business.

From 2012 until 2014, Leo also was Vice-chairman of the ITU-T Focus Group on Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG DR& NRR). Afore he was the Rapporteur on “multimedia service mobility management” in the ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia Services) for many years.

An internationally recognized expert, Leo has worked in telecommunications for 24 years and has experience in private industry as well as the public sector.

As a designated expert on Next Generation Networks and Future Networks including 5G and Multimedia, he has contributed papers and talks at many conferences and workshops.  Dr Lehmann is one of the winners of the best paper award of the ITU-T Kaleidoscope event 2011 “The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services.”

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References:

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/03/12/itu-t-sg13-non-radio-hot-topics-and-recommendations-related-to-imt-2020-5g/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/05/18/ieee-comsoc-papers-on-network-slicing-and-5g/

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regional-Presence/Europe/Documents/Events/2018/5G%20Greece/Session%203%205G%20standards%20ITU%20and%20Italy.pdf

https://www.itu.int/md/T17-SG13-190628-TD-WP1-0384  (Network Slicing Requirements-ITU TIES users only)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_key_distribution

https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage.html

ZTE reports Q1 revenue & profit declines; boosts R&D; telemedicine diagnosis with hospitals to fight COVID-19

ZTE reported operating revenues for the first quarter were CNY 21.48 billion – down from 22.02 billion or -3.23% from the previous year.  Net profit declined to CNY 780 million from 863 million or -9.58% year-over-year.  ZTE’s net profit after extraordinary items rose 20.5% to CNY 160 million.

The company said the quarter was marked by the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken to alleviate the distress cause by it, as well as by the deployment of new infrastructures such as 5G and the Industrial Internet.  ZTE’s R&D costs in the quarter increased to CNY 3.24 billion, comprising over 15.1% of revenues and up 1.2% from the year earlier.

Zte Corporation Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images ...

ZTE CORPORATION –a joint stock limited company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China with limited liability. As at 31 March 2020 There were 483,643 shareholders in total (comprising 483,330 holders
of A shares and 313 holders of H shares). 

Here are the shareholders holding 5% or above or top 10 shareholders:

  1. Zhongxingxin Telecom Company Limited
  2. HKSCC Nominees Limited
  3. Bank of China Limited
  4. Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Ltd
  5. NSSF Portfolio #101
  6. Central Huijin Asset Management Co. Ltd
  7. Shenzhen Huitong Rongxin Investment Co. Ltd
  8. Nanjing Xinchuangxing Consulting and Management Partnership Ltd
  9. New China Life Insurance Company Ltd
  10. Shenzhen Investment Holding Capital Company Ltd
  11. Guangdong Hengjian Asset Management Company Ltd.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

ZTE continued to strengthen its R&D investment to build up its core competitiveness. For the three months ended 31 March 2020, the research and development costs amounted to RMB3.241 billion, 15.1% of operating revenue, increased by 1.2% compared to the same period last year.

During the first quarter of 2020, ZTE has placed great priority on its employee health and global customer services by promptly building and upgrading a remote office and customer service platform for all its employees. Moreover, the company has coordinated with partners to fight against COVID-19 and facilitate the resumption of production with digital means in an orderly manner. The company has been proactively promoting the new infrastructure-related services, and has managed to maintain the steady growth of its businesses during the review period.

Meanwhile, ZTE has been actively practicing social responsibilities. The company has collaborated with operators to guarantee the communication services of the front line against COVID-19. It has constructed 4G/5G networks and telemedicine diagnosis systems for hundreds of hospitals in China.

Teaming up with industry partners, ZTE has been committed to empowering various industries to fight against COVID-19 by leveraging its leading technological strength like 5G and AI. Specifically, ZTE has released 5G remote diagnosis and mobile diagnosis services, as well as the smart video cloud solution for epidemic prevention and control.

Moreover, the company has launched the family “cloud classroom” services to support online education. Featuring high efficiency and collaborativeness, ZTE’s secure remote office solution has enabled users of different industries to have remote office services during the outbreak of COVID-19, thereby facilitating the safe and rapid resumption of work and enhancing economic resilience.
With the acceleration of new infrastructures, such as 5G and the Industrial Internet, ZTE has been actively involved in the deployments of operators’ 5G infrastructure, and constantly scaled up its 5G production capacity. Meanwhile, the company has solidified cooperation with top industry players to promote the digital transformation of power, transportation, finance, government affairs and other key industries.

By the end of the first quarter of 2020, ZTE has consecutively secured significant shares for the 5G RAN, 5G SA core network, 5G transport centralized procurement of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The company has constructed 5G demonstration networks in multiple cities in China, achieving Giga+ 5G continuous coverage experience. Moreover, the company has completed 5G commercial deployments in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and other major 5G markets.

In addition, ZTE has sustained high growth in market shares in optical networks, as well as in the segments of Metro WDM and Backbone WDM. The company and its partners have jointly explored 86 application scenarios and carried out over 60 demonstration projects on a global scale, building a series of 5G intelligent manufacturing demonstration projects along with top industry players.

With respect to terminal devices, ZTE has unveiled its first 5G video smartphone ZTE Axon 11 5G. The company has continuously strengthened its 5G terminal devices cooperation with more than 30 operators worldwide. It has embarked on the 5G terminal market in Japan by partnering with operators.

Looking ahead , ZTE will pay close attention to the global epidemic situation, and make reasonable coordination accordingly with its global customers and partners to cope with the global epidemic. The company will strongly concentrate on its major businesses while leveraging the opportunities of new infrastructure construction, expecting to create more value for its telco customers.

References:

https://res-www.zte.com.cn/mediares/zte/Investor/20200424/E3.pdf

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20200424e1.html

ZTE reports Q1 revenue & profit declines; boosts R&D; telemedicine diagnosis with hospitals to fight COVID-19

ZTE reported operating revenues for the first quarter were CNY 21.48 billion – down from 22.02 billion or -3.23% from the previous year.  Net profit declined to CNY 780 million from 863 million or -9.58% year-over-year.  ZTE’s net profit after extraordinary items rose 20.5% to CNY 160 million.

The company said the quarter was marked by the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken to alleviate the distress cause by it, as well as by the deployment of new infrastructures such as 5G and the Industrial Internet.  ZTE’s R&D costs in the quarter increased to CNY 3.24 billion, comprising over 15.1% of revenues and up 1.2% from the year earlier.

Zte Corporation Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images ...

ZTE CORPORATION –a joint stock limited company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China with limited liability. As at 31 March 2020 There were 483,643 shareholders in total (comprising 483,330 holders
of A shares and 313 holders of H shares). 

Here are the shareholders holding 5% or above or top 10 shareholders:

  1. Zhongxingxin Telecom Company Limited
  2. HKSCC Nominees Limited
  3. Bank of China Limited
  4. Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Ltd
  5. NSSF Portfolio #101
  6. Central Huijin Asset Management Co. Ltd
  7. Shenzhen Huitong Rongxin Investment Co. Ltd
  8. Nanjing Xinchuangxing Consulting and Management Partnership Ltd
  9. New China Life Insurance Company Ltd
  10. Shenzhen Investment Holding Capital Company Ltd
  11. Guangdong Hengjian Asset Management Company Ltd.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

ZTE continued to strengthen its R&D investment to build up its core competitiveness. For the three months ended 31 March 2020, the research and development costs amounted to RMB3.241 billion, 15.1% of operating revenue, increased by 1.2% compared to the same period last year.

During the first quarter of 2020, ZTE has placed great priority on its employee health and global customer services by promptly building and upgrading a remote office and customer service platform for all its employees. Moreover, the company has coordinated with partners to fight against COVID-19 and facilitate the resumption of production with digital means in an orderly manner. The company has been proactively promoting the new infrastructure-related services, and has managed to maintain the steady growth of its businesses during the review period.

Meanwhile, ZTE has been actively practicing social responsibilities. The company has collaborated with operators to guarantee the communication services of the front line against COVID-19. It has constructed 4G/5G networks and telemedicine diagnosis systems for hundreds of hospitals in China.

Teaming up with industry partners, ZTE has been committed to empowering various industries to fight against COVID-19 by leveraging its leading technological strength like 5G and AI. Specifically, ZTE has released 5G remote diagnosis and mobile diagnosis services, as well as the smart video cloud solution for epidemic prevention and control.

Moreover, the company has launched the family “cloud classroom” services to support online education. Featuring high efficiency and collaborativeness, ZTE’s secure remote office solution has enabled users of different industries to have remote office services during the outbreak of COVID-19, thereby facilitating the safe and rapid resumption of work and enhancing economic resilience.
With the acceleration of new infrastructures, such as 5G and the Industrial Internet, ZTE has been actively involved in the deployments of operators’ 5G infrastructure, and constantly scaled up its 5G production capacity. Meanwhile, the company has solidified cooperation with top industry players to promote the digital transformation of power, transportation, finance, government affairs and other key industries.

By the end of the first quarter of 2020, ZTE has consecutively secured significant shares for the 5G RAN, 5G SA core network, 5G transport centralized procurement of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The company has constructed 5G demonstration networks in multiple cities in China, achieving Giga+ 5G continuous coverage experience. Moreover, the company has completed 5G commercial deployments in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and other major 5G markets.

In addition, ZTE has sustained high growth in market shares in optical networks, as well as in the segments of Metro WDM and Backbone WDM. The company and its partners have jointly explored 86 application scenarios and carried out over 60 demonstration projects on a global scale, building a series of 5G intelligent manufacturing demonstration projects along with top industry players.

With respect to terminal devices, ZTE has unveiled its first 5G video smartphone ZTE Axon 11 5G. The company has continuously strengthened its 5G terminal devices cooperation with more than 30 operators worldwide. It has embarked on the 5G terminal market in Japan by partnering with operators.

Looking ahead , ZTE will pay close attention to the global epidemic situation, and make reasonable coordination accordingly with its global customers and partners to cope with the global epidemic. The company will strongly concentrate on its major businesses while leveraging the opportunities of new infrastructure construction, expecting to create more value for its telco customers.

References:

https://res-www.zte.com.cn/mediares/zte/Investor/20200424/E3.pdf

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20200424e1.html

Verizon Q1 earnings beat; loses postpaid phone & Fios TV subs, adds Fios internet subs; 5G & fiber build-out on track

Verizon reported higher-than-expected adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2020 – a period where the coronavirus pandemic weighed on the carrier’s wireless business.   Verizon was forced to close 70% of its stores because of the stay at home orders. Verizon said its networks performed strongly in the face of increased traffic stemming from the many  shelter in place orders throughout the U.S. (see Network Usage Patterns chart below).
Verizon said it’s experienced a 9% increase in wireless data use as compared to typical network usage, as well as a 38% increase in voice over LTE minutes of use, a 45% increase in VoLTE call times, and a 65% increase in virtual private network usage. Use of collaboration tools is up 10 times its usual traffic volume, and gaming traffic is up more than 200% than typical. Video use is up 41% over baseline.

Verizon had 115.6 million wireless postpaid connections across its business at the end of March, including tablets, smartphones and other gadgets like smartwatches. Verizon’s pay-television service – Fios video – lost 84,000 connections in the quarter and the company added 59,000 Fios internet connections.

Verizon lost 68,000 postpaid phone connections during the first three months of the year, compared with a net loss of 44,000 such connections during the same period a year earlier. Retail store closures led to a “significant drop” in customer activity, the company said.  Postpaid phone customers are considered lucrative because they typically pay bills monthly under longer-term contracts and are less likely to switch carriers. In sharp contrast, AT&T added 163,000 postpaid phone subscribers during the first quarter.

Total revenues for wireless products and services was essentially flat, seeing just a 0.5% decrease year-over-year to $22.6 billion. While wireless service revenue grew in both the consumer and business segments, Verizon said, that growth was countered by sharp reductions in equipment revenue because in-store customer engagement was limited by social distancing measures. Consolidated operating revenues for the company were down 1.6% to $31.6 billion.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers tempered its financial forecasts for the rest of the year, lowering its profit goals (see Matt Ellis’ remarks below) and withdrawing its revenue targets. In the first quarter, the company reported a slight drop in wireless subscribers as gains in business accounts were offset by a steep decline in new consumer accounts.

Verizon increased its bad-debt reserve by $228 million based on the number of customers it expected won’t be able to pay their bills. It and other carriers signed a pledge with the Federal Communications Commission not to cut off service for 60 days or charge late fees to consumers facing pandemic-related hardships.

“We were in a position of not really having any idea what the impact of the social distancing and shelter-in-place would [be],” said Matt Ellis, Verizon’s chief financial officer.  Verizon hasn’t disclosed how many customers have stopped paying, but Mr. Ellis said many consumers continue to pay their wireless bill even when they can’t pay their car loans or mortgages.

Verizon’s Progress towards their 2020 Goals:

Strengthen & Grow Core Business
•Driving digital sales through enhanced experiences
•Strengthened mmWave spectrum holdings through Auction 103

Leverage Assets to Drive New Growth
34 Ultra wideband cities live; 5G network build on plan
•BlueJeans acquisition announced in April expands portfolio

Drive Financial Discipline & Strength in Balance Sheet
•Disciplined spend with focus on operational efficiencies
•Scenario planning to navigate uncertainties

Infuse a Purpose-Driven Culture
•Continuing initiatives to drive meaningful difference to society
•Leading brand perception related to COVID-19 response

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

CEO Hans Vestberg (English grammar is not very good and not corrected here) talked up VZ’s 5G and fiber plans on today’s earnings call:

When it comes to leverage our assets and we’re growing in the future our 5G plans and our fiber plans the build out of that are on plan. We were also a little bit ahead of plan when we ended the first quarter. And can I report still today we are on plan with the 5G and fiber. Of course, our challenge is out there when it comes to COVID-19 and so on.

But our team are finding new ways and innovative ways to actually do the deployment. There are ways of dealing with approvals from the municipalities set by new ways. And we have great collaborations from many of the municipalities to do it. There might be problems going forward but I am also confident that my team are very innovative in the field and see that we continue to drive hard on this.The 5G is still very much in the middle the center of our strategy. And as you heard me saying before we’re in the middle of the execution and we’re not halting that. We’re keeping it up all the time and the team is doing great work there. And we see opportunity with 5G going forward both with building all the cities, the 5G mobile edge compute as well as making this nationwide 5G still this year.

On top of that we increased the CapEx guidance in the quarter because we felt that it was a good time for us to continue to see that we have robust networks as we went into a moment in time we don’t really know how the network would be used. At the same time of course sending a message that we think is a good return on investment on that incremental CapEx.

Editor’s Note:  We find it beyond unbelievable that Verizon is such a 5G cheerleader, especially CEO Hans Vestberg, when the company is not even a member of 3GPP and doesn’t attend 3GPP (5G architecture and 5G core) or ITU-R WP5D meetings where IMT 2020 radio aspects (RIT/SRIT) are being standardized.  Yet their U.S. network provider competitors are all 3GPP members and attend 3GPP as well as ITU meetings.  The competitor list includes AT&T, T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, Charter, C-Spire, and other network service providers.

Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said:

For adjusted EPS, we are revising our original guidance of 2% to 4% growth and are now guiding to a range of negative 2% to positive 2% change from the prior year. Our new estimated range is based on a scenario that assumes significant headwinds prevail throughout the second quarter.

We have limited visibility into the second half of the year, which will depend on various potential operating environments. We will continue to assess the impact of COVID on our business, including our bad debt reserve and expect to provide an update on our next earnings call based on how things develop between now and then.

You can watch Verizon’s earnings call webcast here.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.verizon.com/about/investors/quarterly-reports/1q-2020-earnings-conference-call-webcast

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4339873-verizon-communications-inc-vz-ceo-hans-vestberg-on-q1-2020-results-earnings-call-transcript

https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizons-wireless-business-slowed-by-coronavirus-11587730044

Verizon Q1 earnings beat; loses postpaid phone & Fios TV subs, adds Fios internet subs; 5G & fiber build-out on track

Verizon reported higher-than-expected adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2020 – a period where the coronavirus pandemic weighed on the carrier’s wireless business.   Verizon was forced to close 70% of its stores because of the stay at home orders. Verizon said its networks performed strongly in the face of increased traffic stemming from the many  shelter in place orders throughout the U.S. (see Network Usage Patterns chart below).
Verizon said it’s experienced a 9% increase in wireless data use as compared to typical network usage, as well as a 38% increase in voice over LTE minutes of use, a 45% increase in VoLTE call times, and a 65% increase in virtual private network usage. Use of collaboration tools is up 10 times its usual traffic volume, and gaming traffic is up more than 200% than typical. Video use is up 41% over baseline.

Verizon had 115.6 million wireless postpaid connections across its business at the end of March, including tablets, smartphones and other gadgets like smartwatches. Verizon’s pay-television service – Fios video – lost 84,000 connections in the quarter and the company added 59,000 Fios internet connections.

Verizon lost 68,000 postpaid phone connections during the first three months of the year, compared with a net loss of 44,000 such connections during the same period a year earlier. Retail store closures led to a “significant drop” in customer activity, the company said.  Postpaid phone customers are considered lucrative because they typically pay bills monthly under longer-term contracts and are less likely to switch carriers. In sharp contrast, AT&T added 163,000 postpaid phone subscribers during the first quarter.

Total revenues for wireless products and services was essentially flat, seeing just a 0.5% decrease year-over-year to $22.6 billion. While wireless service revenue grew in both the consumer and business segments, Verizon said, that growth was countered by sharp reductions in equipment revenue because in-store customer engagement was limited by social distancing measures. Consolidated operating revenues for the company were down 1.6% to $31.6 billion.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers tempered its financial forecasts for the rest of the year, lowering its profit goals (see Matt Ellis’ remarks below) and withdrawing its revenue targets. In the first quarter, the company reported a slight drop in wireless subscribers as gains in business accounts were offset by a steep decline in new consumer accounts.

Verizon increased its bad-debt reserve by $228 million based on the number of customers it expected won’t be able to pay their bills. It and other carriers signed a pledge with the Federal Communications Commission not to cut off service for 60 days or charge late fees to consumers facing pandemic-related hardships.

“We were in a position of not really having any idea what the impact of the social distancing and shelter-in-place would [be],” said Matt Ellis, Verizon’s chief financial officer.  Verizon hasn’t disclosed how many customers have stopped paying, but Mr. Ellis said many consumers continue to pay their wireless bill even when they can’t pay their car loans or mortgages.

Verizon’s Progress towards their 2020 Goals:

Strengthen & Grow Core Business
•Driving digital sales through enhanced experiences
•Strengthened mmWave spectrum holdings through Auction 103

Leverage Assets to Drive New Growth
34 Ultra wideband cities live; 5G network build on plan
•BlueJeans acquisition announced in April expands portfolio

Drive Financial Discipline & Strength in Balance Sheet
•Disciplined spend with focus on operational efficiencies
•Scenario planning to navigate uncertainties

Infuse a Purpose-Driven Culture
•Continuing initiatives to drive meaningful difference to society
•Leading brand perception related to COVID-19 response

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

CEO Hans Vestberg (English grammar is not very good and not corrected here) talked up VZ’s 5G and fiber plans on today’s earnings call:

When it comes to leverage our assets and we’re growing in the future our 5G plans and our fiber plans the build out of that are on plan. We were also a little bit ahead of plan when we ended the first quarter. And can I report still today we are on plan with the 5G and fiber. Of course, our challenge is out there when it comes to COVID-19 and so on.

But our team are finding new ways and innovative ways to actually do the deployment. There are ways of dealing with approvals from the municipalities set by new ways. And we have great collaborations from many of the municipalities to do it. There might be problems going forward but I am also confident that my team are very innovative in the field and see that we continue to drive hard on this.The 5G is still very much in the middle the center of our strategy. And as you heard me saying before we’re in the middle of the execution and we’re not halting that. We’re keeping it up all the time and the team is doing great work there. And we see opportunity with 5G going forward both with building all the cities, the 5G mobile edge compute as well as making this nationwide 5G still this year.

On top of that we increased the CapEx guidance in the quarter because we felt that it was a good time for us to continue to see that we have robust networks as we went into a moment in time we don’t really know how the network would be used. At the same time of course sending a message that we think is a good return on investment on that incremental CapEx.

Editor’s Note:  We find it beyond unbelievable that Verizon is such a 5G cheerleader, especially CEO Hans Vestberg, when the company is not even a member of 3GPP and doesn’t attend 3GPP (5G architecture and 5G core) or ITU-R WP5D meetings where IMT 2020 radio aspects (RIT/SRIT) are being standardized.  Yet their U.S. network provider competitors are all 3GPP members and attend 3GPP as well as ITU meetings.  The competitor list includes AT&T, T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, Charter, C-Spire, and other network service providers.

Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said:

For adjusted EPS, we are revising our original guidance of 2% to 4% growth and are now guiding to a range of negative 2% to positive 2% change from the prior year. Our new estimated range is based on a scenario that assumes significant headwinds prevail throughout the second quarter.

We have limited visibility into the second half of the year, which will depend on various potential operating environments. We will continue to assess the impact of COVID on our business, including our bad debt reserve and expect to provide an update on our next earnings call based on how things develop between now and then.

You can watch Verizon’s earnings call webcast here.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.verizon.com/about/investors/quarterly-reports/1q-2020-earnings-conference-call-webcast

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4339873-verizon-communications-inc-vz-ceo-hans-vestberg-on-q1-2020-results-earnings-call-transcript

https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizons-wireless-business-slowed-by-coronavirus-11587730044

FCC to open up 6 GHz band for unlicensed use – boon for WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously today to open up all of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, creating a new range of 1,200 MHz in the 5.925–7.125 (6 GHz) band for Wi-Fi services. This increases the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi by nearly a factor of five.

The 6 GHz band is currently used by microwave services such as wireless backhaul, utilities and public safety applications. Unlicensed devices will share this spectrum with the incumbent services under rules crafted to protect those licensed services, the FCC said.

The FCC’s decision authorizes indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200 MHz and standard-power devices in 850 MHz in the 6 GHz band. An automated frequency coordination system will prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services.

In 850 MHz of the band, the FCC will allow standard power unlicensed use under an automated frequency control (AFC) system to protect incumbent users. The entire band can be used for indoor unlicensed use at very low power without AFC, and the FCC is proposing a new class of devices that can operate indoors and outdoors across the entire band.

Unlicensed WiFi Forward has said that opening up the GHz band. combined with the FCC’s plan to free up 5.9 GHz spectrum, also for unlicensed WiFi, will add at least $183.44 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years.

Cable operators supported the proposal, while broadcasters argued for protecting the electronic news gathering (ENG) already using the band by reserving 80 MHz for them, saying there was too much risk of harmful interference to that even-more-crucial service in a time of pandemic.

  • FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly called it “a fantastic day for unlicensed services and the millions of Americans who use them.” He said that other than the 5.9 GHz slice, no other spectrum provided as great an opportunity given its proximity to the 5 GHz band that currently carries most of the WiFi load.  He strongly disagreed with those who said unlicensed didn’t need the entire band. In addition to broadcasters wanting a sliver reserved for ENG, wireless companies had suggested auctioning some of the upper portion of the band for licensed use.   “Today’s action is also very timely, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of our WiFi systems in keeping those in isolation connected to the outside world,” he said.
  • FCC chairman Ajit Pai noted the pandemic had changed nearly every aspect of daily lives, with WiFi allowing for distance learning and virtual telehealth, and “stream Tiger King on Netflix.”  Pai said it was a bold step to increase the supply of WiFi spectrum, increasing midband spectrum for unlicensed by almost a factor of five. He said the item would help promote IoT but also insure incumbents are protected from harmful interference.
  • FCC commissioner Brendan Carr said that the pandemic may give a sense of what trasnformative innovations freeing up that spectrum could unleash, including two-way video connections to help students and teachers interact or virtual reality shopping from the safety of home.
  • FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the pandemic has ushered in remote work as never before, and WiFi has never been more important. “[W]ith this decision on unlicensed spectrum we do well by the law, we add more permissionless airwaves to the wireless economy, and we expand the democratizing force of having more WiFi in more places,” she said, adding an “amen.”
  • “Even for those who can’t afford the new equipment that will take advantage of the new spectrum and the latest iteration of WiFi, speeds for their devices should increase as existing WiFi traffic moves to the new spectrum,” said commissioner Geoffrey Starks. “Low-income consumers purchasing discounted broadband plans will realize the full benefits of their subscriptions, as the WiFi channels within their homes become less congested and data flows more freely. The new spectrum is also expected to spur new efforts by many broadband providers, retailers, restaurants, and others that offer free public WiFi access at hotspots across the nation.”

“Today the U.S. Federal Communications Commission forever altered the future of WiFi. Thanks to their action, a new generation of innovation is now possible,” said Scott Harwell, SVP at Cisco. “With today’s vote, the FCC authorized 1200 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum to be opened for indoor WiFi use. This is a bold action, taken with deep knowledge of both the technology trajectory of WiFi and demand from consumers and businesses alike. Bold action is needed, as we are all discovering as we work from home, learn from home, and play at home – and stream more video than ever before. Those of us who helped build WiFi and who are responsible for its future send congratulations and thanks to the FCC. We promise to make good use of this resource.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The U.S. regulator started consulting on the plans in 2018, and equipment makers have already been preparing for the new band. The Wi-Fi Alliance expects the first access points for the new band will hit the market by Q4.

The industry group has given equipment working in the 6 GHz band the designation Wi-Fi 6E (IEEE 802.11ax) and expects to have the first such devices certified in early 2021. The alliance said its members have been quick to embrace the new band, with initial forecasts expecting more than 316 million Wi-Fi 6E devices will enter the market next year.

Benefits of Wi-fi 6 (802.11ax)

The FCC also opened a consultation on a proposal to permit very low-power devices to operate across the 6 GHz band, in order to support high data rate applications such as wearables and mixed reality devices. The notice also seeks comment on increasing the power at which low-power indoor access points may operate.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-opens-6-ghz-band-wi-fi-and-other-unlicensed-uses

https://www.multichannel.com/news/fcc-opens-all-of-6-ghz-band-for-unlicensed

FCC to vote April 23rd to open up 1200 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum for WiFi

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/what-is-wi-fi-6/