Introducing new factors • This quarter we ditched COVID-19 and 5G conspiracy theories in generic factors as these have largely stabilized and are less relevant than new emerging ones • The first new addition is the computing stack / billing for advanced communications • 6G is the second new factor, given the growing interest and investment in the world • We have also renamed “the US-China trade war and other geopolitical issues “Into” geopolitical tensions “, which better reflects the multifaceted regional tensions affecting the development of 5G, ranging from security to competitive dynamics in network equipment and software …

Introduction of new factors

This quarter, we ditched COVID-19 and 5G conspiracy theories in generic factors because they have largely stabilized and are less relevant than emerging news.

The first novelty is the IT / billing stack for advanced communications

6G is the second new factor, seeing an increase in interest and investment around the world

We have also renamed “US-China Trade War and Other Geopolitical Issues” to “Geopolitical Tension,” which better reflects the multi-faceted regional tensions affecting the development of 5G, ranging from security to competitive dynamics in equipment and industries. network software, as well as net neutrality.

After more than a year of monitoring the development of 5G, the bottom line remains that the disruptive and innovative elements of 5G are not possible without an autonomous core and reliable indoor coverage. This is reflected in the results of the 5G-aliser analysis, where supply increased from 10% to 19% year-on-year through July 2021, but demand grew more slowly from 10% to 16%, mainly due to the progression of factors affecting both. supply and demand, rather than purely demand-side factors (shown in red).

Another key driver is the implementation of next-generation billing IT stacks that can handle much more dynamic, flexible and modular connectivity services. For example, the main Asian operator we spoke with is leveraging its 5G network to offer high-end connectivity services, including a game optimization solution for consumers, but its billing platform is the main obstacle. to the marketing of some of them.

While MWC hasn’t brought too many announcements of breakthroughs in the industry, TelcoDR’s $ 100 million investment in the Totogi billing platform caused a stir, illustrating the growing importance of the computing stack. billing for the monetization of 5G services. STL Partners analysts are skeptical that an AI-based billing platform that can adjust rates based on a carrier’s local market dynamics will significantly increase ARPUs, but the capacity billing services in a more flexible and modular way will soon be a table issue for Telcos.

Until technology matures, 5G services will remain limited

The ideas of telecom operators on what they want to do are starting to crystallize, but the actual 5G services beyond the cloud, early edge and FWA are not convincing.

The key points to consider in the services are:

AR / VR: Some telecommunications operators are making bets here, experimenting with initiatives, but nothing on a large scale. Orange, NTT Docomo, China Mobile are the biggest experimenters, while BT has also launched an AR service in its sports app.

5G devices: There is a risk that semiconductor chip shortages will impact some devices. This could affect high-value devices like smartphones, but it’s more likely to spill over into lower-cost IoT sensors or V2X communications. Aside from the shortage of chips, the other challenge with 5G devices is that few (or none) of them are compatible with all spectrum bands.

Go from premium to mass market: Some telecom operators (for example Telstra – see Profile of STL partners) have taken a premium approach to 5G services, but do not have a clear strategy on how to move from a premium strategy to a mass market strategy for consumers

Find the highlights of our 5G-aliser discussion, with Total Telecom, STL partners and Disruptive analysis

Addressing infrastructure and skills costs

Finally, and coming back to the issue of 5G autonomous cores and network coverage, there are many moves in the industry that are fundamentally aimed at overcoming infrastructure costs and skills shortages.

Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia are all making noise about their 5G base stations under 20 kg. This is important because the reduced weight means that only one engineer can set up the base station instead of having to hire a crane.

AT & T’s deal with Microsoft and DISH’s deal with AWS – both are about how to manage the cost of developing network technology at scale. AT&T has been a big proponent of a DIY approach to developing its NFV / SDN technology. However, its deal with Microsoft suggests it is reaching an inflection point, where it potentially begins to compete with major vendors. Although he has put together a very large software team, he really cannot compete with the global vendors? By unloading his Network Cloud technology at Microsoft, AT&T obtains much more funds and expertise to expand its work. The ultimate question is, if AT&T feels it can’t really be its own software player, is it viable for any other operator?

How is the deployment of autonomous 5G changing 5G services? See how operators are handling new technology at this year’s live Total Telecom Congress

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