We are covering this post simply because we think it is worth spreading the fact that in some countries cable operators are promoting the development of a greener industry. Saving energy sounds, under any circumstance we know of, like a good thing in our book. Let’s hope this kind of initiatives has a viral effect and spread to other markets quickly.
We have argued recently, based on a previous Intelsat blog post, that satellites are, indeed, hard to kill, simply because they reach places no other access technology can cost effectively reach. But, when it comes to autonomous cars and the connections they will need to be secure and reliable, we are not sure satellites will deliver a competitive offering. The reasons stated by this blog post that make satellites a competitive option are not considering some technologies being developed for cellular networks, such as LTE Broadcast, which would allow car manufacturers to update cars’ software and offer other key information related to changes in roads, etc. The only competitive position satellites will have over terrestrial connections will be in those places where there are no terrestrial connections, in which case the autonomous vehicle will probably revert to human driving.
We are seeing that new technologies are promising operators they will be able to engage with new services that in turn will bring new revenue streams to make up for for the ones they are loosing. However, as we have argued many times when we review those blog posts on new technologies, we try to point out that is innovation, new business models and new revenue streams will not be a direct consequence of launching new technologies, such as 5G. Most likely those innovative companies, over the top players, will be the ones benefiting from those technology investments. Thus, this blog post from the Telstra blog is a good reminder about what innovation means.
We really do not know how to solve this puzzle. When it comes to operators’ BSS systems, we just do not get it. In many markets, telecom service providers are the worst ranked when it comes to user satisfaction and in most cases the problem is related with billing. Now, the industry, which is packed with genius, must figure this one out because this is already becoming a chronic disease. Billing issues and lack of flexibility issues have been discussed for ages, and yet here we are again with a new study telling us what we already know: the industry is unable to fix billing issues or provide more flexibility to users to change plans or create those that better suit their usage patterns.
Some very fancy services and possibilities are coming our way, among then virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The latter is the main theme of this new blog post. Once again we are given an idea that AR offers a lot of potential for service monetization, but we end up hearing just one: advertising. And again, when it comes to new services, the telecom industry needs to wonder who is going to benefit the most out of these new services that at the end of the day are going to need a lot of bandwidth and infrastructure upgrades —such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC). And once again, the main telecom infrastructure investors, the mobile operators, are not near the monetization spots.
Brazil’s economy is going through a recession, but its mobile operators are beefing up their 4G networks
Some are arguing that Brazil could be experiencing the worst economic recession in its history. This could be true but mobile operators have been expanding its 4G networks to improve all its metrics: coverage, speed, capacity and latency. It seems that the World Cup and the Olympics have had a tremendous impact on the telecom infrastructure, now we hope those reports that correlate mobile infrastructure with economic prosperity are right.
If online conferences can work fine, why in the world are they still a source of so much frustration?
Online conferences can be very frustrating, especially when there are a lot of people —more than three— and some of them are in places where bandwidth is an issue. The author of this blog post argues that although a bad connection could be the cause of some of the issues, sometimes it is a matter of a poorly executed architecture or the use of an inefficient media server. If conferencing frustration seems so easy to fix, why do we continue to endure those annoying online meetings?
Seriously, we thought the debate about licensed or unlicensed spectrum was over. We are being told constantly that spectrum will be a scarce resource given how data is growing in current networks. The arrival of IoT is going to put more pressure on spectrum. In fact, spectrum will be so scarce in the next 20 years that research and development is now concentrating on the usage of light (Li-Fi). So, the author starts with an overdue question because we all know operators are going to be able to use both types of spectrum; the industry, believe it or not, has a name for it: HetNet. So, the Shakespearean headline should no longer be presented as binary.
Satellites have been killed so many times in the past that it is a miracle they are still alive. It seemed satellites were going to have a hard time to survive in a hyper fiber-connected world. That was because perhaps no one was able to predict how air travel and ships were going to increase in volumen. Now we know that even if fiber reaches all places in land areas, the sea and the sky will still be off limits. And satellite are the only available connection. Now we have to wonder if the next big threat for satellites comes from virtual reality, which could kill air travel and cruises and then, indirectly, satellites.
We have to note first that both AT&T and Ericsson are working together to sell their smart city solution to cities and this is important beyond the blog post we are about to review because those companies used to be supplier and buyer and now they are becoming both suppliers for the enterprise and, in this case, they are together, but in the future they may become competitors as well. Having clarified this, we find a blog post that argues that 5G is the foundation for smart cities, while we think the foundation for smart cities will be HetNet or a combination of technologies such as cellular technologies, in all their forms, Sigfox, LoRa, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee… We are still surprised that after four generations of mobile technologies, operators still want us to convince everybody their technology will be the dominant one, when all studies show that Wi-Fi carries much more traffic than cellular networks, why would 5G change that when many cities are literally covered with Wi-Fi?
The author of this blog post has definitively hit all our fleet with his statement that there are more known security breaches in on-premises systems than in the cloud. We are not being ironic here; it is true we really thought it was the opposite; the problem is that we do not have a source that may support our previous belief. That said, the author provides six good reasons why analytics is moving to the cloud and, yes, he says security is among them.
This is a short blog post from AT&T on network security and 4 things the enterprise needs to consider before implementing advanced network security. Those 4 measures highlighted in the article are probably accurate, right and they need to be always on any network administrator’s list. But the article just points to something which is clear and more worrisome: networks will always be exposed and, thus, they will never be completely secure.
There are technologies, such as LTE-Direct (Release 12) that sound like a great idea, but the industry does not seem to care much about them. Some technologies successes are clearly dependent on device manufacturers and, when this is the case, operators have a tough time to decide when it is the right moment to invest in them. It is happening with LTE-Broadcast and also with LTE-Direct. This scenario is not going to change any time soon as the market for devices is so competitive that for a manufacturer to add extra cost to its own devices with an extra feature, there must be a clear user demand for such feature; otherwise, they have no incentive whatsoever. But users have no way to try a new services if device manufacturers do not offer compatible devices; network operators have no incentive to launch the technology. If this feels like the catch-22 paradox, it is because LTE-Direct is a catch-22 situation.
All of us try to play with headlines and, in this case, the headline is quite misleading because the author says he is going to predict what claims to be unpredictable. In fact, the blog post is quite interesting in its predictions, how 5G will progress in 2017 and what areas are the key focus to many companies, especially Ericsson and Qualcomm, as stated by the post. What is important about this blog post is that most of the author’s claims are backed with sources and links to other articles; this provides more credibility to his arguments: 5G is all about connected cars, IoT, MEC, Fog Computing, and network slicing.
Mobile Edge Computing offers operational costs, but does it really offer new monetization opportunities for operators?
When it comes to Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), or even going beyond with Fog Computing, we can clearly see how operators may save in operational costs, especially when it comes to backhauling some applications that require a very low latency and a lot of processing power that ideally should not move back and forth through the network. But, when it comes to monetization, we believe that even though MEC offers new possibilities, mobile operators will not be the ones monetizing them. Every time mobile operators have upgraded to new technologies, over the top (OTT) providers are the ones capitalizing them first. Why would MEC be any different?