Investment Analysts: Soft Telecom Capital Spending (CAPEX), but 5G in China to Grow 25% in 2020

Investor’s Business Daily reports that Goldman Sachs‘ Rod Hall and Bank of America‘s Tal Liani issued separate notes Tuesday and Wednesday which came to the same conclusion: Despite the ultra hyped 5G buildup, they see overall telecom capital spending remaining soft in 2020.

Hall said, “Telco capital spending trends look set to be muted with China being the only driver of growth,” in his note, issued Tuesday. He sees 5G growth in China of 25% this year, but predicts only a 2% hike in global telecom capital spending.

Hall added: “The carrier environment is challenged globally by flat or declining revenue streams with 5G thus far offering limited or no additional revenue opportunities.”

BofA’s Liani concurred in his Wednesday note. He sees global telecom capital spending up only 1% to 2% in 2020, despite 5G network build-outs. The 5G build-out may fail to impress U.S. wireless customers over the next 12 months, he adds.  “Contrary to the belief that the U.S. is an early leader with 5G, we see potential for users to be disappointed with either lack of coverage or lack of improvement, or both,” Liani said.  Here is an excerpt of his January 8, 2020 note to clients:

5G becomes mainstream, but the U.S. will likely lag:

5G traction remains front and center for 2020, and we expect the first phase of a major smartphone refresh cycle in 2H20, with all major vendors launching 5G devices. In 2019, we saw initial network build-outs, and we expect the device/semiconductor ecosystem to catch up in 2020, supporting and enabling ubiquitous 5G devices. However, some regions may lag behind, particularly the US where a lack of quality 5G spectrum injects delays vs. certain parts of Europe, China, Korea and Japan where mid-band spectrum is more readily available. Our top pick related to this theme is Qualcomm as the semi provider benefits from 5G devices and the China launch.

Verizon Communications and AT&T likely will lower spending on existing fourth-generation networks, says Goldman Sachs’ Hall. They’ll also pare back spending on wireline networks.  “Although U.S. 5G deployments should advance in 2020 our U.S. telecom team expects wireless capex to be roughly flat in 2020 as 5G increases are mostly offset by slowing non-5G spending,” Hall said.

Makers of electronic chips, network gear and fiber-optic technologies should gain from the 5G build-out, analysts say. Other5G stocks to watch will be tied to the deployment of “small cell” antennas, radio access network equipment as well as cloud computing infrastructure.  Goldman Sachs favors fiber-optic play Corning. It’s cautious on gear makers Nokia and Ericsson.

Liani said Apple’s expected launch of 5G iPhones in late 2020 could be a game-changer. However, he says consumers may be disappointed in the 5G network coverage and 5G speeds provided by VerizonAT&TT-Mobile US and Sprint.  That’s because not enough mid-band radio spectrum is available yet for 5G services, Liani said.

He calls Qualcomm one of the best 5G stocks to buy because it’s dependent on smartphone sales, not core network upgrades. Qualcomm‘s customers include Apple and Chinese smartphone makers.

In 2020, we see potential for mass device availability to usher in the first meaningful device upgrade cycle for 5G,” Liani added. “In 2021 and 2022, we expect the network equipment investments to potentially pick up once again as 5G usage accelerates and new applications emerge. Most importantly, however, spectrum availability drives both network upgrades and likely customer satisfaction with the new 5G networks.

Let’s close with an interesting graph from Dell’Oro Group which shows very little growth in telecom equipment/services through 2023:

 

Related image

Reference:

https://www.investors.com/news/technology/5g-stocks-telecom-capital-spending/

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Addendum:  BoAML – Hardware vendors bow to the white box:

Hardware standardization and white box networking continue and drive changes in IT equipment purchasing behavior. Hardware vendors are increasingly being forced to react to three major realities:

1) public cloud capex represents the majority of growth and some companies (e.g. Cisco) find it hard to penetrate,

2) software is taking the forefront, with vendors of traditional networking gear, like ADC, switching, or routing, facing significant pricing pressure and a new breed of competitors, and

3) the value is also pushed to semiconductors, with Cisco’s SiliconOne semiconductor strategy and the proposed acquisition of Acacia designed to address the associated risk and opportunity

Lastly, the trends of software-defined networking, white boxes, and cloud migration come together to support our fifth major trend for 2020: the shift to software-defined branch/campus offices. In our view, this trend began with SD-WAN, continued with Cisco’s Catalyst 9k introduction, and comes fully together with the acceleration of WiFi 6.

 

China to complete Beidou satellite-based positioning system by June 2020- to be used with 5G

The Nikkei Asian Review reported on Friday that China will soon be completing its Beidou satellite-based positioning system as it moves to reduce its reliance on America’s GPS in both in telecommunications and for its military.  The final two satellites for its Beidou satellite-based positioning system will be launched by June 2020, completing the 35-satellite network, Ran Chengqi, spokesperson for the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, told reporters in Beijing.

From modern farming to smart ports to a text messaging service, China is trying to build an ecosystem independent of the GPS and open it to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. This effort pushes decoupling between Washington and Beijing, which are poised to enter year three of a trade war, to the final frontier of space.

Over 70% of Chinese smartphones are equipped to tap into Beidou’s positioning services, Ran said. The system also plays a role in fifth-generation wireless communications (5G), an area where China’s Huawei Technologies is in the vanguard of technological development.

“The integration of Beidou and 5G is an important sign on the path toward China’s development of information technology,” Ran said. “As a major space infrastructure for China to provide public services to the world, the Beidou system will always adhere to the development concept of ‘China’s Beidou, the world’s Beidou, and the first-class Beidou,’ serving the world and benefiting mankind,” he added.

China’s goal for Beidou is to rely less on the US for both its telecommunications and its military and to build an ecosystem independent of the GPS that would be open to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

BeiDou-3 satellite system by 2020 …seanews.com.tr
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Beidou was named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation. Beidou said its services will be enhanced by the end of next year. For example, the level of positioning accuracy will improve from within 5 meters to within centimeters, an advance that will aid search-and-rescue missions and also prove crucial for self-driving vehicles. Both Beidou and 5G will be employed by self-driving buses set to begin operation soon in the city of Wuhan. Beidou will also differentiate itself from GPS by supporting communication through its constellation of satellites.

China has launched 53 Beidou satellites since 2000, including those no longer in operation. The navigational system began worldwide services in late 2018. Beidou started offering positioning services to private-sector companies in late 2011.

The economic scale of services and production of goods tied to Beidou will grow to 400 billion yuan ($57 billion) in 2020, according to Chinese media.

Beijing aims to expand the system worldwide. China and Russia have allied on satellite positioning. Chinese officials are also pouring resources into collaborating with global organizations representing the airline industry and other sectors.

Space is one of the priority areas of Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” plan for boosting self-reliance in vital technologies. By 2030, China aims to become a “space power” alongside the US and Russia. The launch of a Martian probe is set for as early as next year, followed by the completion of a Chinese space station around 2022.

References:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/China-tech/China-decouples-from-US-in-space-with-2020-GPS-completion

https://time.com/5755791/china-beidou-completion/

https://www.space.com/china-launches-beidou-3-satellite.html

 

China to launch first private 5G satellite by end of 2019

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network and Beijing Daily (see References blow)

China’s first private 5G low-orbit broadband satellite has passed factory tests and is expected to be launched at the end of the year, chinanews.com reported.  The 5G satellite is expected to be put into orbit via Kuaizhou-1A (KZ-1A) rocket by the end of December.

It is China’s first satellite developed by a commercial aerospace company GalaxySpace and weighs approximately 200 kg.  The launch will be the first Q/V band and 200-kilogram private (non-government owned) satellite.

China’s first private 5G satellite manufactured by GalaxySpace has rolled off the production line. (Photo – China News Service)
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With an orbit altitude of 1,200 meters, it will cover 300,000 square kilometers, roughly equivalent to 50 Shanghai cities.  The satellite will gradually provide 5G signal services to various places through ground stations. From this starting point, China has  taken the first step in its 5G “space communications” journey.

The satellite, made by Galaxy Space, will be launched via the domestically made KZ-1A carrier rocket at the end of December.  Xu Ming, founder of GalaxySpace, said the launch of the satellite could mark the first step of its “space internet” project.  The company wants to develop more low-cost, high-performance 5G satellites in the future, so as to fill digital gaps and connect the world with the 5G satellite network, he added.

“The coverage of 5G signals from the sky is huge, and the signals of each 5G low-orbit broadband satellite can evenly cover a range of 300,000 square kilometers. Large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen can easily achieve full coverage for autonomous driving, aircraft, ships, high-speed rail And other mobile platforms to provide high-speed, stable, low-latency 5G network connection services. “Liu Chang said.

“China Telecom has proposed to promote the integration of mobile phone communications and satellites through software and hardware technologies such as mobile phone multi-mode.” Biqi, the chief expert of China Telecom and a member of Bell Labs in the United States, who is participating in the World 5G Conference, told reporters that Among the operators, China Telecom is currently the only operator with satellite spectrum related resources.

In order to make commercial use of 5G satellite signals as early as possible, Liu Chang said that Galaxy Aerospace is indeed expected to cooperate with operators.

Low-orbit broadband communications satellites could overcome challenges that ground base stations currently confront in covering areas such as deserts and the ocean, and shed light on those living in places where communication signals rarely reach, the report said.

References:

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2019/12/13/china-to-launch-first-private-5g-satellite

http://bjrb.bjd.com.cn/html/2019-11/23/content_12431015.htm

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201912/12/WS5df20a57a310cf3e3557dc80.html

 

 

China ITU-R WP5D submission: work plan and working document for IMT-2020.SPECS

Introduction:

ITU-R WP 5D has received final submissions from 3GPP, Korea, China, ETSI/DECT Forum, TSDSI and Nufront; and then additional information for complementing the proposals of ETSI/DECT Forum, TSDSI and Nufront has been submitted by September 10th, 2019.

The draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] (Detailed specifications of the terrestrial radio interfaces of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020)) should be developed from the 33rd 5D meeting (December 10-13, 2019) in Sub Working Group-IMT Specifications.  The schedule calls for completion of that recommendation at the December 2020 ITU-R WP5D meeting.

Editor’s Note:

As ITU-R WP5D reports to SG 5, they must complete IMT 2020.specs at their Nov 17-19, 2020 meeting so that they can forward it for approval to the next scheduled SG 5 meeting which takes place the following week – Nov 23-24 in Geneva. Failure to do that will result in IMT 2020.specs to not be approved by ITU-R till 2021.

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

China proposes detailed work plan and working document towards Preliminary Draft New Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]:

Preliminary Draft New Report: ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]

Detailed specifications of the terrestrial radio interfaces of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020)

Note: China proposes that ITU-R WP 5D finalize this report at Wp 5D Meeting No. 36bis (17-19 November 2020).

Scope

This Recommendation identifies the terrestrial radio interface technologies of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020) and provides the detailed radio interface specifications. These radio interface specifications detail the features and parameters of IMT-2020.

This Recommendation includes the capability to ensure worldwide compatibility, international roaming, access to enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine type communications (mMTC) and ultra reliability and low latency communications (URLLC).

Keywords

IMT, IMT-2020, RIT, SRIT, eMBB, mMTC, URLLC

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Abbreviations/Glossary

eMBB Enhanced Mobile Broadband

IMT International Mobile Telecommunications

mMTC Massive Machine Type Communications

MTC Machine Type Communications

URLLC Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications

RIT Radio interface technologies

SRIT Set of Radio interface technologies

GCS Global Core Specifications

Related ITU Recommendations, Reports, Document and Handbook1

Recommendation ITU-R M.1036 Frequency arrangements for implementation of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in the bands identified for IMT in the Radio Regulations (RR)

Recommendation ITU-R M.1224 Vocabulary of Terms for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)

Recommendation ITU-R M.1579 Global circulation of IMT terrestrial terminals

Recommendation ITU-R M.1822 Framework for services supported by IMT

Recommendation ITU-R M.2083 IMT Vision – Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond

Report ITU-R M.2320 Future technology trends of terrestrial IMT systems

Report ITU-R M.2334 Passive and active antenna systems for base stations of IMT systems

Report IMT-R M.2370 IMT traffic estimations for the years 2020 to 2030

Report IMT-R M.2375 Architecture and topology of IMT networks

Report ITU-R M.2376 Technical feasibility of IMT in bands above 6 GHz

Report ITU-R M.2410 Minimum requirements related to technical performance for IMT‑2020 radio interface(s)

Report ITU-R M.2411 Requirements, evaluation criteria and submission templates for the development of IMT-2020

Report ITU-R M.2412 Guidelines for evaluation of radio interface technologies for IMT-2020

Report ITU-R M.2441 Emerging usage of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT)

1  The latest edition of the recommendation/ report in force should be used.

Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.OUTCOME] The outcome of the evaluation, consensus building and decision of the IMT-2020 process (steps 4-7), including characteristics of IMT-2020 radio interfaces

Resolution ITU-R 50 Role of the Radiocommunication Sector in the ongoing development of IMT

Resolution ITU-R 56 Naming for International Mobile Telecommunications

Resolution ITU-R 57 Principles for the process of development of IMT Advanced

Resolution ITU-R 65 Principles for the process of future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond

Document IMT-2020/2 Rev2 Submission, evaluation process and consensus building for IMT-2020

Handbook on Global Trends in International Mobile Telecommunication

The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly, considering

a) that IMT systems are mobile broadband systems including IMT-2000, IMT‑Advanced and IMT-2020;

b) that IMT-2020 systems include the new capabilities of IMT that go beyond those of IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced, and will interwork with and complement existing IMT and its enhancements;

c) that IMT-2020 is envisaged to expand and support diverse usage scenarios and applications that will continue beyond the current IMT;

d) that such systems provide access to a wide range of telecommunication services including advanced mobile services, supported by mobile and fixed networks;

e) that ITU has contributed to standardization and harmonized use of IMT, which has provided telecommunication services on a global scale and global operation and economies of scale are key requirements for the success of mobile telecommunication systems;

f) that IMT-2020 systems support low to high mobility applications (NOTE: but NOT fixed wireless) and a wide range of data rates in accordance with user and service demands in multiple user environments;

g) that the usage scenarios of IMT-2020 include enhanced Mobile Broadband, ultra-reliable and low latency communication and massive machine-type communication;

h) that IMT-2020 systems support not only human communications but also the machine type communications;

i) that IMT-2020 systems support ultra-reliable and low latency communications which are necessary in particular use cases;

j) that IMT-2020 also has capabilities for high-quality multimedia applications within a wide range of services and platforms providing a significant improvement in performance, quality of service and user experience;

k) that the key features of IMT-2020 are:

– a high degree of commonality of functionality worldwide while retaining the flexibility to support a wide range of services and applications in a cost-efficient manner;

– compatibility of services within IMT and with fixed networks;

– capability of interworking with other radio access systems;

– high-quality mobile services for maximum user experiences;

– user equipment suitable for worldwide use;

– worldwide roaming capability;

– further enhanced peak data rates to support advanced services and applications (10 Gbit/s for uplink and 20 Gbit/s for downlink) and enables 100 Mbit/s user experienced data rate;

– enhanced spectrum efficiency by three times higher compare to IMT-Advanced;

– high downlink area traffic capacity;

– ultra low latency over-the air;

– extreme connection density;

– ultra reliability communication success probability within 1 ms in certain condition;

– high speed mobility station ;

– enhanced energy efficiency mechanism;

l) that these features enable IMT-2020 to address evolving user needs in various usage scenarios;

m) that the capabilities of IMT-2020 systems are being continuously enhanced in line with technology developments;

n) the necessity of priority services (e.g. emergency calls shall be supported as higher priority than other commercial services);

o) that IMT systems are considered as the major candidate for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR);

p) that due to the large effective bandwidths required to support the very high data rates needed for the various services offered, allowances must be made for either much larger single carrier bandwidths (even as spectral efficiencies increase) or aggregation of RF carriers;

q) that for some scenarios of IMT-2020 requiring bandwidths of at least 100 MHz, and up to 1 GHz, there would be a need to consider wideband contiguous spectrum above 6 GHz;

r) that IMT-2020 will realize the Internet of Things (IoT) by connecting a vast range of smart appliances, machines and other objects without human intervention;

s) that applicable areas of IMT-2020 and beyond are expected to be expanded further to various specific verticals industrial applications to facilitate the digital economy, e.g. e-manufacturing, e-agriculture, e-health, intelligent transport systems, smart city and traffic control, etc., which could bring requirements beyond current capabilities of IMT;

t) that IMT-2020 should be able to provide these capabilities without undue burden on energy consumption, network equipment cost and deployment cost to make future IMT sustainable and affordable;

u) that other capabilities may be also required for IMT-2020, which would make future IMT more flexible, reliable, and secure when providing diverse services in the intended usage scenarios,

recognizing that Resolution ITU-R 65 on the “Principles for the process of future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond” outlines the essential criteria and principles used in the process of developing the Recommendations and Reports for IMT-2020, including Recommendation(s) for the radio interface specification, noting that Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.OUTCOME] contains the outcome and conclusions of Steps 4 through 7 of the IMT-2020 process, including the evaluation and consensus building, and provides the characteristics of the IMT-2020 terrestrial radio interfaces for the first release of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS],

recommends

1 that the terrestrial radio interfaces for IMT-2020 should be:

– “[name of candidate radio interface technology AAA in this Recommendation]”1;

– “[name of candidate radio interface technology BBB in this Recommendation]”2; and …………

– “[name of candidate radio interface technology ZZZ in this Recommendation]”n;

2 that the information provided or referenced in Annexes 1, 2, ・・・ and n should be used according to the terrestrial radio interfaces referred to in recommends 1 above as the complete set of standards for the detailed specifications of the terrestrial radio interfaces of IMT‑2020.

[Editor’s note: the Recommends part can be finished after discussed report M.[IMT-2020 OUTCOME].]

1____________________Developed by [name of proponent-1] as [candidate radio interface technology AAA].

2____________________Developed by [name of proponent-2] as [candidate radio interface technology BBB].

.

n____________________n Developed by [name of proponent-m] as [candidate radio interface technology ZZZ].

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An Annex for each 5D approved IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT should contain the following information:

Annex x

Specification of the [name of candidate radio interface technology in this Recommendation]1 radio interface technology

[Editor’s note: Annex x is a template for candidate radio interface technology by utilized GCS case.]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Background xx

x.1 Overview of the radio interface technology xx

x.2 Detailed specification of the radio interface technology

1____________________Developed by [name of proponent] as [name of candidate radio interface technology XXX].

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Reference:

ITU-R WP 5D China contribution submitted Dec 3, 2019:

China (People’s Republic of) Proposals on the Detailed WORK PLAN and the working document towards PRELIMINARY DRAFT NEW RECOMMENDATION itu-r M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]

 

2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing: China has built 113,000 5G base stations; 130,000 by the end of 2019

China secured 870,000 5G mobile subscribers in just 20 days after the country kicked off commercialization of the (pre-IMT 2020 standard) 5G mobile technology on October 31st.  About 113,000 5G base stations have already entered service and the number will hit 130,000 by the end of this year, marking China one of the world’s largest 5G deployments, the ministry said.

As China continues to expand its 5G market, it has never set limits on what percentage of the domestic market can be supplied and equipped by foreign tech brands, the nation’s top industry regulator said on Thursday, November 21st.  Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said the world is at a tipping point for large-scale 5G network construction, and it is wrong for any country to use the excuse of cybersecurity risks to practice trade protectionism.

“No country should ban a company in its 5G network rollout based on unproved allegations of cybersecurity risks,” Miao said at the opening ceremony of the 2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing. The event runs through Saturday.  China highly values cybersecurity and deeply understands that ensuring cybersecurity is a prerequisite for better growth of new-generation wireless technology, he added.  “China sticks to transparent, equal and fair principles when purchasing 5G telecom equipment. We never preset market shares for domestic and foreign enterprises,” Miao said.  “China welcomes global companies and research institutions to jointly build a 5G network and share the benefits of its development,” he added.

As the top industry regulator, the ministry will oversee Chinese telecom carriers’ bidding processes, and it encourages competition, Miao said, adding that delivering quality 5G products and services is the only way for companies to increase their market share in China.

The minister also called for international cooperation to accelerate the global rollout of 5G, highlighting the need to establish an international mechanism for recognizing 5G-related patents in a bid to build unified global standards.

Ke Ruiwen, chairman of China Telecom, said the telecom operator has established close ties with foreign companies and international associations to promote maturity of the 5G industry chain.

Foreign telecom equipment makers including Nokia and Ericsson as well as US chip giants such as Intel and Qualcomm have actively participated in China’s 5G testing and trial operations. Now they are scrambling to tap into opportunities in the country, which has built the world’s largest 4G network and is eager to do the same in the 5G era.

Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said the company is pleased to join hands with industry partners to accelerate development of 5G in China.

Qualcomm has partnered with Chinese smartphone makers to bring affordable and quality 5G handsets to the global market. Xiaomi Corp, for instance, said it will unveil at least 10 5G smartphones next year.

Nokia China President Markus Borchert said earlier this year that cooperation with multinational companies is highly regarded by the Chinese government. This makes the Finnish company more confident in the healthy, steady and sustainable development of China’s 5G industry, Borchert added.

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China is set to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million 5G users, according to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.

The number of 5G users in China is expected to be higher than that in Europe (205 million) and the United States (187 million) combined by that time, the association said.

Raymond Wang, partner with global consultancy firm Roland Berger, highlighted China’s commitment to further deepen opening-up and said Chinese companies have the confidence to compete with their foreign counterparts on the global stage.

References:

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2019-11/22/content_75434545.htm

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/21/c_138572698.htm

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