Telstra’s T25 to extend 5G coverage and offer enhanced customer experiences

Australian network operator Telstra has unveiled a strategy it is calling T25, with the main aim of extending 5G coverage across Australia, as well as enhancing its customer service.

Telstra said that the T25 strategy is likely to come into effect by July 2022. The T25 strategy also aims to bring down the telco’s annual fixed costs by $366 million.

Telstra noted that the new plan will build on the operator’s previous T22 strategy. “T22 has been one of the largest, fastest and most ambitious transformations of a telco globally. Today we are a vastly different company, one poised for growth as our society and economy increasingly digitizes and we all work, study, transact and get our entertainment online,” Telstra’s CEO Andy Penn said.

“If T22 was a strategy of necessity, T25 is a strategy for growth. And in its implementation, we will be using exactly the same disciplines and governance that we used for T22 – the metrics and the milestones, the roadmaps and the scorecard which we will make transparent to you. And this is why I am confident it will be a success – why change a winning formula when you don’t need to,” Penn said.

T25 is Telstra’s strategy for growth, which is broken down into four pillars:

  • Provide an exceptional customer experience you can count on
  • Provide leading network and technology solutions that deliver your future
  • Create sustained growth and value for our shareholders
  • Be the place you want to work

Telstra said it aims to further invest in 5G with the goal of increasing the reach of its 5G network from the current 75% of the population to 95% population coverage.

“Our customers will keep enjoying our investment in 5G, which will deliver approximately 95% population coverage by fiscal year 2025 – including a 100,000 square kilometer increase in our 4G and 5G network footprint, substantially increasing regional coverage,” Penn explained.

“Over the next 3-5 years, this will be supported by our continued 5G network rollout and the doubling of metro cells to increase density for greater capacity and speed. As a result, we expect 80% of all mobile traffic to be on 5G by fiscal year 2025,” the executive added.

Penn also highlighted that Telstra will also extend its 4G coverage to 100% of its network by 2024, enabling the carrier to “continue to lead in composite coverage, speed and performance for 4G and 5G as we close 3G.  This will set us up well for early planning on 6G, which will clearly be on the agenda by the end of T25,” Penn concluded.

Telstra, which had launched 5G in May 2020, is currently using its spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band to provide 5G technology across Australia. Some of the cities in which Telstra offers its 5G service are Canberra, Central Coast, Brisbane, Sidney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hamilton, Melbourne and Perth.

In May last year, Telstra upgraded its 5G radio access network (RAN) coverage footprint across Australia, connecting a cloud-native 5G Core (5GC) network to handle new 5G standalone traffic.

Telstra used equipment from Swedish vendor Ericsson for the network upgrade.

References:

Introducing T25: our plan for growth and enhanced customer experiences

https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/australias-telstra-announces-t25-strategy-accelerate-growth-2021-09-15/

 

Telstra announces strategic plan to boost 5G coverage

 

IQ Fiber to launch service in Jacksonville, FL after majority investment from SDC Capital Partners

Start-up network operator IQ Fiber has received a majority investment from SDC Capital Partners, which also owns a 48% stake in Midwest fiber provider Allo Communications.   The transaction provides IQ Fiber with significant equity funding to complete the first phase of its all-fiber network build, passing more than 60,000 homes in the Jacksonville area.

“Consumers deserve a smarter internet choice,” said IQ Fiber CEO Ted Schremp. “High-speed internet has become a necessity and is truly the heartbeat of the modern home. With the launch of IQ Fiber, Jacksonville residents will soon have access to a state-of-the-art, 100% fiber-optic network with gigabit upload and download speeds, simple subscription plans and service experts who live and work in our community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with IQ Fiber in its initial launch in Jacksonville and are excited about the larger opportunity in Northeast Florida and beyond,” said Clinton Karcher, partner at SDC. “IQ Fiber’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service, coupled with state-of-the-art fiber network infrastructure in an underserved market, creates a formula for success.”

IQ Fiber plans to offer simple month-to-month rates with no hidden fees, surcharges or surprise price increases. IQ Fiber’s three service plans will deliver symmetrical internet speeds between 250 and 1,000 Mbps, with whole-home Wi-Fi service always included.

Fiber to the home represents the state-of-the-art for the delivery of broadband services, yet it is accessible to only 36% of the U.S. population. Compounding the consumer challenge, approximately 83 million Americans can only access broadband through a single provider. With today’s announcement, Jacksonville will soon have the freedom to choose a 100% fiber-optic network with simple, no-hassle plans, supported by local experts.

Though its initial plan will see it offer service in Jacksonville starting in early Q2 2022, CEO Ted Schremp said the company is eyeing an opportunity to expand across at least four counties, including Duval (where Jacksonville is located), Clay, Nassau and St. Johns.

“That four county area represents an opportunity for us that is five times bigger than our initial Phase I build,” he said. “So we know we’ve got not just opportunity to get this first 60,000 that we’ve announced, but plenty of additional opportunity as we go forward just inside this little corner of Florida that’s growing as quickly as it is.”

The company is deploying an XGS-PON fiber network and plans to offer three service tiers with symmetrical speeds of 250 Mbps for $65 per month, 500 Mbps for $75 per month and 1 gig for $85 per month. Those prices include taxes as well as whole-home Wi-Fi, Schremp said. While it’s not alone in providing the latter, he pitched it as a differentiator for consumers who just want simplicity and a good customer experience.  The company states on its website:

Our 100% fiber-optic network is built for the modern home. With symmetrical speeds, your entire can stream, game, and work from home all at the same time and it won’t slow you down.

“A gig to the side of your house is useless if you went to Best Buy and bought a router five years ago and are just bumping along, and the average consumer just really doesn’t know how to contend with that,” he said. “The reality is they’re looking at the service provider to solve that for them and certainly that’s good for us in terms of the management of churn and the delivery of the full speeds.”

More than anything, Schremp said IQ Fiber is “trying to be what the incumbents are not.  The incumbents here are Comcast with their traditional HFC [hybrid fiber coax] service, AT&T with some fiber build and a lot of legacy DSL and we know it can be done better,” the CEO said. “We certainly know that consumers react positively to choice. They certainly are irritated by the practices of many of the incumbent providers. And we’re trying to deliver the converse of that.”

References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210915005165/en/SDC-Capital-Partners-Closes-Investment-in-IQ-Fiber

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/operators/iq-fiber-prepares-to-take-at-t-comcast-florida

 

Hiber in deal with Shell for remote IoT monitoring of wells via HiberHilo

Dutch satellite asset tracking start-up Hiber has signed an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to provide worldwide well monitoring systems. The global framework agreement will allow all Shell entities and subsidiaries to use the HiberHilo product worldwide for Industrial IoT applications.

HiberHilo, launched in October 2020, is an end-to-end IoT system that makes adds data and security to monitoring. Based on satellite technology, the system will enable oil and gas companies to measure real-time well temperature and pressure at disconnected wells in remote and offshore locations. HiberHilo is already installed in Shell operations in the North Sea. Shell is considering using HiberHilo for various operations in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“After testing HiberHilo, the opportunity was clear,” said Ian Taylor, Global Principal Technical Expert for well integrity at Shell. Operations in South-east Asia, the Middle East, and Africa are considering HiberHilo.

“HiberHilo is a simple solution to help oil and gas companies improve safety, optimize operations, and reduce their environmental footprint,” said Coen Jansen, Hiber’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We’re thrilled to be working with Shell toward a technologically cleaner future. Hiber’s mission is connecting everything everywhere to deliver productivity and sustainability in global industrial IoT,” he added.

Shell plans to use HiberHilo to reduce travel to and from wells in remote locations. The system will also let the company to gain more data on their well performance and better monitor well integrity issues, improving the safety of remote and offshore oil and gas wells.

Image Credit:  Hiber Global

Hiber, founded in 2016 in the Netherlands, designs, builds and operates end to end solutions for the Internet of Things, focused on industrial uses such as well integrity or heavy equipment monitoring.  The company is working on a network of 50 satellites aimed at making the ‘Internet of Things’ available all over the world.  Its Hiberband network is described on their webpage as follows:

Hiberband is the world’s first LPGAN (Low Power Global Area Network) and it changes everything. It’s low cost thanks to using tiny nano satellites at a low orbit of just 600km above Earth. Unlike traditional satellite and cellular operators who launch gigantic, super expensive satellites at 60x higher with much higher costs.

Low orbit also means low power with modem batteries lasting 5-10 years. Just one of many factors that make experimenting with Hiberband-enabled devices a developer’s dream. We’ve even secured priority on our own dedicated frequency. Which is why everyone at Hiber believes Hiberband is the future of IoT connectivity.

Hiber acquired a new space permit in July 2020. On 29 February, the company launched a second-generation satellite into orbit through a SpaceX launch. A second Soyuz rocket launch followed in March. At the end of March, Hiber received an investment of  26 million EUROs to further expand its IoT satellite network.  The funding came from the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund), the EU’s innovation agency, which has a €278 million Innovation Fund. The EIC co-invested with an innovation credit provided by the Dutch government and existing shareholders. Other investors include Finch Capital, Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Hartenlust Group. Hiber’s satellite constellation tracks and monitors machines and devices in harder-to-reach places.

References:

https://hiber.global/

https://hiber.global/press/hiberhilo-shell-deal/

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/hiber-signs-iiot-agreement-with-shell–1397276

Hiber signs deal with Shell for remote IoT well monitoring system

 

Shell hands major IoT contracts for oil well and refinery monitoring to Dutch startups

IoT satellite network startup Hiber secures €26M in funding round led by EU’s innovation agency

https://hiber.global/press/hiberhilo-wts-venture/

 

 

T-Mobile US CFO on the Big Hack, Verizon Tracfone, Supply Chain Shortages, and FWA

Peter Osvaldik (photo below), executive vice president & chief financial officer (CFO) of T-Mobile US provided a business update today at the BofA 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference

Selected Quotes:

“With respect to the (well advertised) data breach, T-Mobile US is not immune to criminal acts, but we have a responsibility to our customers which we take very seriously. We acted quickly to shut down the attack, investigate and get in touch with the consumers that were impacted. We definitely saw some temporary customer cautiousness. But now, several weeks later, consumer flows have normalized. We’re taking significant steps to enhance our security.”

“$750M annual T-Mo revenues would go away if Verizon is successful in acquiring Tracfone, which is clearly a competitor.  We feel good in that space, especially with Metro by T-Mobile as the leading pre-paid service provider.”

“The network experience will become more compelling with 5G, especially mid band (2.5GHz) 5G with 300M bit/sec targeted speeds and the massive capacity that brings.  We’re exactly in the right spot as we take these assets and deploy them at breakneck speeds.”

“We are the 5G (U.S.) leader and that lead will continue to grow. We were first to bring a differentiated rate plan (Magenta MAX) that won’t slow you down.”

“Certainly, from a network perspective, we’re not experiencing any supply chain issues. From a home broadband (FWA) perspective, sometimes demand did exceed supply. We’re already seeing increasing supply there. We feel very good about our momentum on the home broadband side of the house.”

“Samsung has really fallen behind the eight ball relative to other OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] on the global supply chain issue.” Osvaldik noted that Samsung discontinued its Galaxy Note smartphone “which many of our customers just loved,” and that many of the company’s S-series smartphones “are in very short supply.”

“A lot of our customer base are very significant Samsung lovers, and so we probably saw a little bit more of the supply chain issue there. Others (wireless network operators) that have an Apple oriented customer base have been less impacted.”

“The demand we’re seeing for FWA, with download speeds of 100 M bit/sec and soon to increase, is very strong.  We have a target of 7 to 8M FWA customers by the end of 2025.  We’re confident we’ll receive our target (number of subscribers) this year.”

“Large enterprises and government are a tremendous opportunity for us.  It’s opened up a lot of conversations with government organizations. We’re very pleased with the traction we’ve seen.”

Peter Osvaldik Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Osvaldik, Executive Vice President & CFO, T-Mobile

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References:

https://investor.t-mobile.com/investors/default.aspx

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/t-mobile-cfo-samsung-has-really-fallen-behind-eight-ball-/d/d-id/772085?

Belgian trial of FWA using Pharrowtech’s mmWave technology

Vlaio has agreed to support a trial of fixed-wireless internet access (FWA) in the 60 GHz band using semiconductor start-up Pharrowtech’s mmWave technology. Belgian cable operator Telenet and wireless equipment supplier Unitron are also participating, with the trial services expected to start for homes and businesses in 2022.

The trial will focus on validating the performance of Pharrowtech’s mmWave technology, to help the company move towards commercialization of its products. Pharrowtech said its CMOS process technology makes mmWave services in the 60 GHz band a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to fibre roll-outs. The technology is reliable and robust enough to cope with the outdoors environment, while delivering superior performance compared to alternatives in the market, in urbran or rural areas, the company said.

The Vlaio grant will be used to support preparation and execution of the Telenet field trial of Pharrowtech’s mmWave RFIC technology using Unitron’s network elements. Beamforming and mesh control software developed by labs at the Flemish research institute Imec will also be used in the trial.

Telenet, which is controlled by the Liberty Global group, said it has multiple use cases in mind where FWA could bring benefits such as reducing installation and roll-out costs. The operator last year started exploring a cooperation on FTTH roll-out in Flanders, but has yet to commit to a technology for its next network upgrade after Docsis 3.1. In the US, operators such as Mediacom and Alaska Communications are already exploring FWA services.

Pharrowtech was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from Imec, where the founding team led CMOS IP generation and prototype development in mmWave wireless systems for more than fifteen years. In 2019, the company secured more than EUR 6 million in seed funding from imec-Xpand, Bloc Ventures and the KBC Focus Fund, and in June this year the company released its first evaluation board.

Pharrowtech CEO and Co-Founder, Wim van Thillo, said: “We are extremely pleased that VLAIO is supporting us to roll out our technology with these leading partners. This field trial perfectly represents the massive business opportunity that mmWave FWA offers. Even in areas as densely populated as Belgium, operators struggle to deploy gigabit internet services fast enough. This project will establish our technology as a key complement to fiber for fast and economical high-speed internet deployments everywhere.”

Unitron CTO, Stephen Deleu, said: “With this VLAIO project, UnitronGroup will expand its knowledge in the higher frequency ranges and discover new wireless applications for ultrafast broadband communication. UnitronGroup is the market leader in multiple high frequency technologies, and collaborating with knowledge partners helps us strengthen our position. As a key technology partner for multiple telecom operators, our role in this ambitious project is to provide the FWA customer and distribution node elements. We are excited to be part of this consortium and looking forward to the insights and outcomes of this VLAIO project.”

Telenet, Director Network & Infrastructure, Luk Bruynseels, said: “For Telenet it is paramount to keep on investing in innovative ways to deliver digital services to our customers. We have multiple use cases in scope where FWA technology brings opportunities and important benefits by reducing installation and roll-out costs. This VLAIO project is a great opportunity for Telenet to gather and share all required knowledge and expertise within the consortium to ensure we meet the expected outcome of the project.”

References:

Pharrowtech, Telenet, and Unitron secure public funding for Fixed Wireless Access field trial

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/telenet-to-trial-fixed-wireless-broadband-with-pharrowtech-platform-for-60-ghz-band–1397038

O-RAN Alliance tries to allay concerns; Strand Consult disagrees!

The O-RAN Alliance reiterated its commitment towards Open and intelligent Radio Access Network (RAN) and said its board has approved changes to O-RAN “participation documents and procedures” to allay concerns of some participants who may be subjected to U.S. export regulations.

The O-RAN Alliance became aware of concerns regarding some participants that may be subject to U.S. export regulations, and has been working with O-RAN participants to address these concerns. The O-RAN Board has approved changes to O-RAN participation documents and procedures. While it is up to each O-RAN participant to make their own evaluation of these changes, O-RAN is optimistic that the changes will address the concerns and facilitate O-RAN’s mission.

“O-RAN is an open and collaborative global alliance operating in a way that promotes transparency and participation of our member companies in the development and adoption of global open specifications and standards,” said Andre Fuetsch, Chairman of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and Chief Technology Officer of AT&T.

“We remain fully committed to working together in the alliance to achieve the goals and objectives of O-RAN as quickly as possible,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, Chief Operating Officer of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and SVP of Strategy and Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom.

This comes after Nokia halted its work in the Open RAN industry alliance over concerns that it may face penalties from the U.S. government for working with blacklisted Chinese entities.

John Strand’s comments:

This statement is not solving the Chinese security problem.  Even with the proposed changes, the five founding members, including China Mobile, still have a veto. The statement from O-RAN Alliance raises more questions than it answers. Who are the member companies, do the network operators agree with the O-RAN Alliance statement? How about contributors and the license adopters?

Strand Consult wants to create the transparency O-RAN Alliance are fighting against, and I share the concerns of the EU and the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee when it comes to transparency. At the same time, we believe it is a great idea for O-RAN Alliance to become WTO (World Trade Organization) compliant like other professional telecom standard bodies. What’s the problem for ORAN Alliance to be WTO compliant? It’s hard to see any downside.

Strand Consult doesn’t believe the changes will satisfy WTO requirements nor does it align with the practices of professional standards organizations nor with shareholder practices of U.S. and EU publicly traded companies.

Last year Strand Consult exposed the 44 Chinese companies involved in the O-RAN Alliance three of them on the entity list.

The O-RAN Alliance proposes changes to mitigate Chinese involvement. However these changes will probably not satisfy WTO compliance rules. Here are some relevant report from EU/WTO and European Commission (EC) on OpenRAN: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tbt_e/principles_standards_tbt_e.htm

https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/library/commission-publishes-study-future-5g-supply-ecosystem-europe

https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/redirection/document/78778 (page 76).

The EC’s report is based on publicly available information and an interview with a legal expert on the WTO rules and EU Regulation No 1025/2012. It notes the following concerns with the O-RAN Alliance’s proposed changes:

  • First,  the  required  transparency,  i.e.  all  essential  information  is  easily  accessible  to  all  interested parties, is only partly fulfilled, e.g. the O-RAN specifications are not accessible at  the homepage.
  • Second, the procedure is not open in a non-discriminatory manner during all stages of the  standard-setting process, because the founding members have access to more information than the contributors during the process.
  • Third, although interested contributors have opportunities to contribute to the elaboration of  the specifications, the founding members have a privilege, because they have the necessary minority of more than 25% to block proposals.

Overall, proof that the O-RAN Alliance complies with the various WTO criteria is  still missing, although some of their members assure this compliance is in place. “Consequently, such an independent  assessment is needed, which, however, cannot be realized within the context of this project.”

The O-RAN Alliance does not satisfy the openness criteria laid down in WTO Principles  for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations. The O-RAN Alliance is a closed industrial collaboration developing technical RAN specification over and above 3GPP specifications or ITU-R recommendations.

3GPP was formed after 2G (GSM) was developed this means that 3GPP did not develop 2G but 3GPP ensured backward compatibility for every G. Note that 3GPP specifications define the technical specifications for a complete mobile cellular network 2G/3G/4G/5G.  ITU-R recommendations only cover the radio access interface technologies, e.g. ITU M.2150/IMT 2020 for “5G.”

It is possible that some U.S. firms could be satisfied with the O-RAN Alliances proposals, but the fact remains that Chinese companies still exert disproportionate authority on this industry group. It is not yet clear with U.S. President Biden or the NTIA will weigh in on the matter.  If not, this could be interpreted as placating, or even going soft on China.

Strand Consult discloses on its website that it is a company providing knowledge to the mobile industry, specifically mobile operators and their managers, executives, and boards of directors. Strand Consult only sells knowledge to mobile operators, and Strand Consult has done this for 25 years (see About Strand Consult below).

About O-RAN ALLIANCE:

The O-RAN ALLIANCE is a world-wide community of over 300 mobile operators, vendors, and research & academic institutions operating in the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry. As the RAN is an essential part of any mobile network, the O-RAN ALLIANCE’s mission is to re-shape the industry towards more intelligent, open, virtualized and fully interoperable mobile networks. The new O-RAN standards will enable a more competitive and vibrant RAN supplier ecosystem with faster innovation to improve user experience. O-RAN based mobile networks will at the same time improve the efficiency of RAN deployments as well as operations by the mobile operators. To achieve this, the O-RAN ALLIANCE publishes new RAN specifications, releases open software for the RAN, and supports its members in integration and testing of their implementations.

About Strand Consult:

There are six focus areas:
– The mobile broadband market
– The MVNO market
– The market for Value Added Services
– Next Generation Prepaid Services
– The Smartphone market
– Digital strategy for the Telecom and Media industry.

We have spent many man years researching and publishing a series of comprehensive reports and workshops focused on these areas. Market players that have ambitions of being successful within these areas can either try to gain an overview themselves, find solutions and purchase external consultants to help them on their way, or alternatively use Strand Consult’s reports – with or without workshops -to acquire the knowledge they need to be successful in the future.

You can read more about some of our reports here:
Successful Strategies for the Mobile Broadband Market

References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210913005701/en/O-RAN-ALLIANCE-Remains-Fully-Committed-to-its-Mission-Towards-Open-and-Intelligent-RAN

https://strandconsult.dk/about-us/

Dell’Oro: Worldwide Telecom Equipment Revenue +10% Year over Year

Dell’Oro Group has completed its 1H2021 reports on “Telecommunications Infrastructure programs” including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core & Radio Access Network (RAN), Service Provider Router & Switch markets. The data contained in these reports suggest that the positive trends that characterized the broader telecom equipment market extended into the second quarter, even if the pace of the growth slowed somewhat between the first and the second quarter.

1H21 Total Telecom Equipment Market Chart - DellOro

Preliminary estimates suggest the overall telecom equipment market advanced 10% year-over-year (Y/Y) during 1H21 and 5% Y/Y in the quarter, down from 16% Y/Y in the first quarter. The growth in the first half was primarily driven by strong demand for both wireless and wireline equipment, lighter comparisons, and the weaker US Dollar (USD). Helping to explain the Y/Y growth deceleration between 1Q and 2Q is slower growth in China.

The analysis contained in these reports suggests the collective global share of the leading suppliers remained relatively stable between 2020 and 1H21, with the top seven vendors comprising around ~81% of the total market.

Huawei is still the overall market leader by some margin, despite its sales and marketing challenges in many other parts of the world.   Huawei’s market share slid below 30%, though that still almost double the share of its nearest rivals Ericsson and Nokia.  Within the mix, Dell-Oro estimates Huawei and Nokia lost some ground between 2020 and 1H21 while Cisco, Ericson, Samsung, and ZTE recorded minor share gains over the same period.

Additional key takeaways from the 1H2021 reporting period include:

  • Following the Y/Y decline in 1Q20, our analysis suggests the overall telecom equipment market recorded a fifth consecutive quarter of growth in the second quarter.
  • The improved market sentiment in the first half was relatively broad-based, underpinned by single-digit growth in SP Routers and double-digit advancements in Broadband Access, Microwave Transport, Mobile Core Networks, and RAN.
  • Aggregate 2Q21 revenues were in line with expectations, however, within the programs both Broadband Access and Microwave Transport were surprised on the upside while Optical Transport and SP Routers came in below expectations.
  • From a regional perspective, China underperformed in the quarter, impacting the demand for both wireless and wireline-related infrastructure.
  • Ongoing efforts by the US government to curb the rise of Huawei are starting to show in the numbers outside of China, not just for RAN but in other areas as well.
  • Though Huawei is not able to procure custom ASICs for its telecom products, the supplier is assuring the analyst community its current inventory levels is not a concern over the near term for its infrastructure business.
  • The majority of the vendors have through proactive measures been able to navigate the ongoing supply chain shortages and minimize the infrastructure impact. At the same time, the supply constraints appear more pronounced with higher volume residential and enterprise products including CPE and WLAN endpoints.
  • Even with the unusual uncertainty surrounding the economy, the supply chains, and the pandemic, the Dell’Oro analyst team remains optimistic about the second half – the overall telecom equipment market is projected to advance 5% to 10% for the full-year 2021, unchanged from last quarter.

Two of the key telecom revenue drivers will be the RAN and Broadband Access markets, both of which have been growing at a strong pace this year so far: The RAN market is set to grow at between 10% and 15% this year, which means it could be worth as much as $40 billion, while the increasing number and size of investments in fibre broadband access networks around the world is driving growth in the Broadband Access market, which Dell’Oro reports was worth $3.6 billion during the second quarter alone.

 Dell’Oro Group telecommunication infrastructure research programs consist of the following: Broadband Access, Microwave Transmission & Mobile Backhaul, Mobile Core Networks, Mobile Radio Access Network, Optical Transport, and Service Provider (SP) Router & Switch.

SpaceX and KDDI to test Satellite Internet in Japan

KDDI, Japan’s second-largest mobile provider, has emerged as one of SpaceX’s partners in rolling out high-speed wireless Internet coverage via satellites, according to Nikkei Asia.  It’s all part of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s goal of connecting the entire world to the internet via satellites.

SpaceX has launched hundreds of Starlink telecommunications satellites with the goal of fully starting services in Japan by the end of the year. KDDI and SpaceX will begin a network proving test in Japan this month, and coverage is expected to be commercially available next year.

The two companies will start by offering internet service to customers living in mountainous regions and islands for no additional charge. The satellite network will also serve as backup in case terrestrial telecom lines are disrupted during natural disasters or blackouts.

Once Satellite Internet service coverage increases, Starlink could field a network for smart devices, which would be used for data collection in sparsely populated places or for drone operation in otherwise hard-to-access areas.

The transmission of visuals and other large pieces of data will allow officials to remotely monitor volcanic eruptions or floods or inspect bridges and electrical towers.

For farmers, Starlink will allow them to monitor weather and crop conditions so they are better informed of when to fertilize or harvest.

Terrestrial telecom infrastructure involves a web of base stations, switching stations, fiber optic cables and backbone networks. Starlink will connect data transmissions between phones and base stations to backbone networks via satellites.

The new service is expected to provide a low-cost communications infrastructure for low-population areas because it renders fiber optic cables unnecessary. KDDI will add satellite communication antennas to base stations and install a new SpaceX transmission station at the Yamaguchi Satellite Communication Center.

Japan still has a few areas with incomplete telecom networks. At the end of March, about 9,900 people lived in locations with no mobile coverage. Even in areas with wireless coverage, it is often hard to connect with devices on islands.

KDDI covers over 90% of the population with 4G communication, but so-called platinum frequency band only extends over 60% of the land area.

A Starlink satellite can exchange signals across more than 1,000 km with low latency. The satellites orbit at lower altitudes than conventional communication satellites, which hover about 36,000 km above ground. The lower altitudes are said to enable faster communication compared to normal satellite services.

Such satellite networks services need approval from Japan’s communications ministry before operations can begin. The ministry amended rules in August that opened the doors to SpaceX launching internet services in Japan. Both SpaceX and KDDI plan to obtain licenses by the end of the year.

Back when KDDI has been strong in satellite control signals ever since the company was known as Kokusai Denshin Denwa. The carrier has collaborated with SpaceX on the technological front since last year.

This current partnership entails SpaceX providing the satellites while KDDI takes care of terrestrial telecom connections.

Musk mentioned “two quite significant partnerships with major country telcos” in June during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Although Musk did not disclose the companies’ names, it turns out that KDDI is one of them.

SpaceX will use the service rollout in Japan, where customers expect high-quality connections, as the model for a global network.

SpaceX has been launching Starlink satellites at a rapid pace. About 400 units alone were sent into space in 12-month period starting May 2019, according to NASA. More than 1,500 of the satellites are believed to be currently in orbit.

Musk’s company will continue launching satellites until it forms a constellation of over 10,000 units. There are over 3 billion people worldwide without internet access. The expansion of services would enable the global spread of digitalization.

A satellite network will be essential for making sixth generation communication a feasible reality. Driverless vehicles and similar applications will use 6G. To prevent latencies and disruptions in service, terrestrial base stations will need to work together with satellites and aerial communication drones.

Other players are jumping into the satellite telecom business. Amazon.com is spending $10 billion to create a network of over 3,000 satellites. Japanese counterpart Rakuten Group has partnered with a U.S. startup with the goal of launching satellite-powered mobile services in the next fiscal year.

NTT, Japan’s leading telecom group, has teamed with Sky Perfect JSAT Holdings on developing what are essentially data processing centers in space. Those services are expected to go live in 2026.

References:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Telecommunication/SpaceX-and-KDDI-team-up-to-eliminate-wireless-blind-spots-in-Japan

Reports and Data: Telecom Cloud Market to grow at CAGR of 19.7% through 2026

The global Telecom Cloud Market is projected to grow at a CAGR  of 19.7% in terms of value, from 2019 to reach USD 59.25 Billion by 2026, according to a new report by Reports and Data. OTT (Over-the-top) consumers demand more flexibility in scheduling, arranging videos, live events, and recording of favorite shows, thereby pushing the service providers to opt for more resources, infrastructure scalability, and computing resources to cater demands. By adopting a cloud-based workflow, video service providers can efficiently hand off duty for the infrastructure and networking supporting their OTT services. Telecom cloud can be instrumental in meeting the needs of OTT service providers, thus resulting in the growth of the market.

The telecom cloud market Modernization of IT platforms is estimated to fuel the growth of the market in the forecast period. As some of the largest communication service providers across the globe modernize their networks, they facilitate large enterprises to transform the way they involve with a progressively digital world. By leveraging IP-based technology, UCaaS (Unified Communications-as-a-Service), embedded communications (such as voice, chat, and video built into web and business applications) and other novelties on an IP network, communication service providers and the organizations they cater to can provide enhanced service to their customers and reap higher margins by reducing their expenses along with the lower total cost of ownership delivered by software-defined real-time communications (RTC).

Increasing demand for over-the-top cloud services is one of the significant factors influencing market growth. The telecom cloud leads to low operational costs, which is expected to drive the market growth in the forecast period. By deploying cloud computing, service providers can host services and software at a considerably lower cost. Provisioning and virtualization software allows organizations to efficiently assign computing resources, thus lowering the cost of hardware. Service providers can locate facilities at low-cost locations, provisioning, which cannot be replicated by most enterprises, resulting in low up-front costs.

Additionally, the proliferation of the internet, especially in developing nations, is expected to propel the growth of the telecom cloud market in the upcoming years.

Key participants include AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, BT Group PLC, CenturyLink Inc., Orange Business Services, NTT Communication Services, Singapore Telecommunications Limited, and Telstra Corporation Limited, among others.

Key findings from the report:

• By offering, solutions contributed to a larger market share in 2018 as the solution offerings in the market comprise unified communication and collaboration (UC&C), content delivery network (CDN), and other solutions.
• By service type, SaaS dominated the market in 2018 and is expected to witness a growth rate of 19.2% in the forecast period. The swift growth of on-demand services among consumers has resulted in a high demand for this service type in the telecom cloud market.
• By organization size, small & medium-sized enterprises are expected to witness a higher CAGR of 20.5% in the period 2019-2026 as services and solutions have the potential to produce enhanced efficiency, quality, and business productivity.
• By industry verticals, BFSI (Banking, financial services and insurance) held the largest market share in 2018 and is expected to grow at a rate of 19.6% in the forecast period.
North America dominated the market in 2018 and is expected to experience a growth rate of 19.1% in the forecast period. The market dominance of North America is attributed to the presence of leading telecom companies mainly in the U.S. and Canada

The growing concerns pertaining to spectrum crunch in the developing nations are driving the market for telecom cloud as it helps telecom companies to increase their profitability in the telecom market. In countries with a high population, especially Countries in the Asia Pacific region, the telecom cloud plays an instrumental role in enabling telecom market players to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Incorporating cloud computing platforms into telecommunication allows Network functions virtualization (NFV) to virtualize servers, networks, and storage augments the utilization of available system resources and lowers infrastructure cost. Besides, network virtualization offers the implementation of numerous applications and features an open environment. Thus, telecom cloud virtualization is linked to many significant advantages, including enhanced scalability, flexibility of deployment, and a reduction in cost of the equipment, which permits reiteration of application software, better support for resolving faults, and enhanced security, among others.

References:

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/551144717/telecom-cloud-market-size-worth-usd-59-25-billion-at-cagr-of-19-7-by-2026

https://www.reportsanddata.com/report-detail/telecom-cloud-market

 

LightBox Internet Coverage Map finds 4X as many unserved in U.S. then FCC report

LightBox has released its nationwide internet connectivity map, a first of its kind, showing that nearly 60 million Americans remain unconnected to the Internet. This new map layers the location of approximately two billion Wi-Fi access points on top of LightBox’s national Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric, which details the precise geospatial extent, address(es), occupancy classification, and number of business or dwelling units for structures across the United States.

LightBox said the map was created by combining the company’s granular location data with information from 2 billion different Wi-Fi access points. The result is a highly-detailed picture of broadband connectivity across the country.

LightBox Internet Connectivity Map, Census tract-level aggregate view. Red indicates very poor connectivity, orange poor connectivity, yellow ok connectivity, and green good connectivity. White areas indicate locations with no connectivity detected.

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Through its granular location fabric and geospatial expertise, LightBox says it has developed the necessary foundation for a true broadband availability map. Combined with ISP data on broadband serviceable locations, LightBox could produce a nationwide broadband connectivity map that would offer the most precise analysis of true accessibility.

“Accurate and granular maps based upon precise location data, serviceability, and analytics are required for government investment to be targeted and rapidly deployed to the communities in need,” says LightBox CEO Eric Frank. “LightBox has created this map based on our national Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric.  Geospatially overlaying Wi-Fi location data has identified the gaps in connectivity.  Whether the gaps are a function of lack of adoption or lack of service can now be tracked and appropriate remedies can be set in motion.”

LightBox has taken an approach which yields significantly greater precision. “We have combined two granular data assets to construct a precise view of connectivity in the US. This new map shows which structures have active internet and identifies connected structures with low adoption relative to the number of housing units. Where available, we can also layer in speed test data to understand where internet is operating below broadband speeds,” explained Zach Wade, VP of Data Science for LightBox. “What’s even more exciting is that we can update this view monthly to deliver an audit mechanism that tracks where and when new internet locations go online.”

The evolution of federal and state programs to map broadband with greater accuracy will allow government to apply rigor to complex broadband infrastructure design and investment—a process that Georgia, which produced the most granular broadband map to-date, has proven requires high-precision maps to execute accurately and equitably. “We simply couldn’t have built the master location fabric for broadband maps in Georgia without LightBox’s unparalleled data solutions,” said Bill Price, former Senior Strategist for Georgia, now VP of Government Solutions at LightBox. With LightBox support, Georgia was able to identify upwards of 400,000 additional unserved locations over traditional mapping approaches. LightBox can provide state-level mapping currently and encourages being informed of any updated locations not currently tracked.

The 60 million unconnected U.S. residents cited by LightBox is more than four times higher than the 14.5 million Americans the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said were unserved in its most recent Broadband Deployment Report. That FCC report included data through the end of 2019. In May, BroadbandNow released its own report which found 42 million Americans lack access to terrestrial broadband.

The FCC’s broadband coverage data and maps have long been a source of anger and indignation for many in the telecom industry, given both are used by the FCC and state-level officials to determine eligibility for broadband funding. The agency’s reliance on providers’ self-reported coverage statistics (known as Form 477 data) has repeatedly been highlighted as a key flaw.

An FCC official recently told Fierce Telecom it is in the process of collecting more granular data for fresh coverage maps. However, the release of new maps is likely a year or more away.

The map available on the LightBox website displays a nationwide view of internet connectivity rates across the country, aggregated at the Census tract level. Interested parties may contact LightBox for access to the complete map, which shows data down to each location.  For researchers seeking additional insights, LightBox has several hundred data layers that can be readily overlayed on this map.   Some of the more popular data sets leveraged by LightBox clients include demographic data, boundary data, purchasing data, internet speed test data, climate data, fiber location data and measuring tools.

Currently covering about 97 percent of the United States, LightBox is hard at work filling in the gaps, including for tribal lands and US Territories.

About LightBox:

LightBox is the world’s leading real estate information and technology platform. Through operational excellence and a passion for innovation, LightBox facilitates transparency, efficiency, insight, and prediction for real estate investment and location analytics. LightBox customers include commercial and government agencies requiring definitive real estate data and powerful workflow solutions, including brokers, developers, investors, lenders, insurers, technology providers, environmental consultants, and valuation professionals. LightBox is backed by Silver Lake and Battery Ventures.

For more information about LightBox services, contact Caroline Stoll at cstoll@lightboxre.com

References:

First Nationwide Internet Connectivity Map that Links Broadband Serviceable Locations and Wi-Fi Access Points

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/lightbox-beats-fcc-to-punch-fresh-broadband-map