Wednesday, 08 December 2021 12:25

5G services revenue to reach US$600 billion by 2026 driven by consumer and IoT sectors

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Revenue generated by 5G services will reach US$600 billion by 2026, accounting for 77% of global operator-billed revenue, according to a study by Juniper Research.

The study finds that the adoption of 5G services by consumer and IoT sectors has been driven by an uptake of 5G-capable devices and attractive 5G subscription pricing models despite the semiconductor crisis caused by COVID-19.

Operator Revenue Strategies: Challenges, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021‑2026 calls on operators to leverage their 5G networks to develop new IP‑based services that generate additional revenue streams.

It considers laptops and mobile routers as emerging 5G-based consumer devices and as a key area of focus for operators over the next few years.

Multi-device subscriptions key to maximising 5G revenue
The research forecasts that as 5G coverage expands, revenue streams will diversify beyond smartphones. It recommends bundling multiple device subscriptions under a single recurring payment allowing operators to benefit from connectivity revenue from other consumer devices.

“Device vendors are capitalising on faster networks to add mobile connectivity to new consumer devices, and operators must respond by enabling users to access 5G across multiple devices under a single subscription, allowing subscribers to conveniently manage data,” comments research co-author Charles Bowman.

Cellular data to grow 300% over next five years
Cellular data generated will jump to 2,900 exabytes by 2026 from 720 exabytes in 2021, a growth of 300% over the next five years. This will be driven by an increasing demand for data over 5G connections and a substantial growth in cellular IoT devices.

Cellular IoT devices, including smart city devices, smart home sensors and connected agriculture, will grow substantially over the next five years, the study forecasts. By 2026, the research predicts the number of cellular IoT devices will reach six billion, exceeding the global number of smartphones for the first time.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 1 December 2021.

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    Vaccines have meant that the world has started to cautiously re-open, which means some normality may return in the form of face-to-face meetings and business travel. However, most companies are likely to retain remote and hybrid work practices. This will lead to a number of trends in 2022 that companies must position themselves to leverage for ongoing success.  

    Businesses have been under enormous pressure over the past two years to find new ways of working. This has brought technology and digital transformation to the fore as many organisations found their legacy systems did not support remote and hybrid working. This focus on technology will continue in 2022 as businesses look to move beyond the status quo to find a competitive advantage.

    Pure Storage has identified six key trends for 2022: 

    1. War for talent 

    The skills shortage is nothing new and, as the economy continues to recover, finding skilled workers is likely to get even more challenging. Workers now demand more flexibility, a dynamic work culture, and sound environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. Key areas where the skills shortage is likely to bite include containers, data analytics, and security. 

    2. Containers  

    Containers and Kubernetes are changing the way applications are built and run. Because they introduce efficiency, they are likely to become even more popular in 2022. For example, the number of start-ups focused on applying Kubernetes in the security space will increase in line with a general focus on vulnerability management and reporting capabilities. 

    3. Modern data protection 

    Information security has always been important but the last two years of remote working has brought this into stark relief. Attacks are rising and ransomware attacks in particular are costing companies significantly. Keeping immutable copies of data and being able to rapidly restore that data in the event of a ransomware attack is absolutely essential, especially as governments discourage ransom payments. Furthermore, this will see the rise of a ‘trust infrastructure’ that can address identity issues through the use of immutable technology like blockchains and security certificates. 

    4. Cloud 

    Cloud has exploded as organisations require anytime, anywhere access to systems. Organisations are embracing cloud operating models everywhere, even on premises. Doing so lets them automate operations, creating a flexible infrastructure that delivers on-demand access to data services. This is likely to increase, with more automation and orchestration tools to let organisations deploy cloud operating models seamlessly. Subscription and as-a-service models will also increase as organisations seek speed, resilience, and simplicity.

    5. Sustainability 

    Organisations are focusing strongly on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, and many governments will put pressure on organisations to do so. This will see companies invest in technologies that consume less power, such as flash storage. 

    6. The edge 

    The Internet of Things (IoT), facilitated by 5G, will mean more data is generated and collected at the edge. This will require robust distributed IT infrastructure that can manage and protect data centrally and at the edge. This includes large volumes of unstructured data collected through IoT sensors. In turn, this will drive a shift towards Web 3.0 based on edge computing, decentralised data networks, and artificial intelligence (AI). This will let distributed users and machines interact with data using peer-to-peer networks without the need for third parties, shifting the ownership of data to an open, trustless, and permissionless framework. 

    “Organisations have been running to keep up over the last two years and could be forgiven for facing some change fatigue. The trends that are likely to continue in 2022 aren’t new; however, they will have a significant effect on businesses, so it’s important to be aware of their evolution. Businesses should work with trusted partners to understand how they can leverage these trends to drive growth in 2022 and beyond,” Jobbins concluded. 

  • CES 2022: still a solid success despite half the exhibitors and 40,000 attendees

    From a new, COVID-test device that gives instant results just with your breath, to a colour-changing electric BMW to autonomous, electric farm robots that can hoe, weed, seed and more, through to ever-smarter smart home tech, including wireless energy at a distance to robots with ever more realistic facial expressions, and whether it is the latest GPUs, CPUs, start-ups, smartphones, TVs, flying cars, accessibility-friendly tech, fintech, wellness, wearables and much, much more - CES 2022 was definitely smaller, but it still succeeded in launching tons of terrific tech.

    iTWire has been at CES 2022 in person all week, and we've recorded dozens of video interviews from a range of different companies across the event, covering some impressive technologies, from all the sectors just described above and many more.

    But what was it like in the venue, and in Las Vegas itself in the middle of a global pandemic? One Uber driver told me that December 2021 was busier than he'd ever seen it, but since things ticked over to January 1, 2022, Omicron fears have seen the city's normal visitor-levels plummet.

    If that's the case, the 40,000 people and 2300 exhibitors that attended CES 2022 from at least January 5 to 7 was clearly a very much needed boost for the economy, and for all of the associated activity before, during and after the event 

    Compared to 171,000 attendees and 4,400 exhibitors in January 2020, the 40,000 attendance figure for 2022 looks low, but in the context of Omicron COVID-strain fears, it's fantastic, especially when you consider there were zero physical attendees at CES 2021 with COVID at the time forcing it to become a digital-only, virtual event. 

    Over the course of this week, we'll publish dozens of videos of interviews with people, companies and technologies that caught my eye, and which will hopefully catch yours, too - there really was some great technologies on display!

    {loadposition alex08}

    CES isn't just held in the Las Vegas Convention Centre, but across several venues, with a range of private company suites, meeting spaces and more, alongside the Pepcom and ShowStoppers side events, making it all combine to create the incredibe new technology CES experience.

    While there were visible gaps in various sections of venues where companies chose to pull out at the last moment, which you'll see in videos as I walk around, there's nothing like physically attending an event, even with the hassle of wearing masks, which Omicron made mandatory in all indoor settings.

    While you rarely saw people without masks in Las Vegas, you did see quite a few people whose noses had popped out of and above their masks, lowering mask efficiency for those people dramatically lower than wearing a mask intends to have happen. Hand sanitiser is also very widely available, although I always carried my own as a backup, and the vast majority of people were respecting mask wearing, and while it presumably happened to many people in Las Vegas during the time I've been here, I heard no reports of anyone testing positive.

    The CTA is the Consumer Technology Association, which puts CES on every year, and rather than providing a CES bag or backpack, insetad provided Abbott-brand COVID Rapid Antigen Tests, with two tests in the pack, and offered all attendees a second pack on Friday, the last day of the event.

    All the rapid antigen tests I took before I travelled, during my stay, and now my PCR test required to fly back, have all consistently and thankfully been negative, and I have followed maskign and sanitisation requirements, as well as using UV-C sanitisation boxes to sanitise masks, phones, glasses, AirPods, microphones and more on a regular basis.

    CES ended a day early

    Presumably to mollify the pressure the CTA was under to cancel CES completely for another year, the organisers decided to end CES a day early, on Friday, January 7 instead of Saturday, January 8.

    Of course, a lot of companies would have booked hotel rooms and flights based on the original schedule, with the decision taking place a few days before the show started, and with many attendees still in Las Vegas anyway and out and about on Jan 8, I was not a fan of the event closing one day early.

    CES is still massive, and while I was counting on that fourth day to see and capture even more cool tech and content from the event, and wish the decision hadn't been made to shorten the event, I can nevertheless understand CTA reluctantly deciding to do it, and pray the world's COVID-woes are much closer to being over so no similar action is needed in 2023.

    I'm going to leave you with two videos to start with - the first being BMW's full CES 2022 event, which has more detail than the few seconds of colour changing cars that you might have only seen on the TV news, or in short onlne videos, while the second video is the CES 2022 "Trends in Technology" event, held on the first of the two media days on January 3.

    There's plenty more post-CES content to come each day as I catch up on editing and posting all the content I captured across a wide range of companies - which even included interviewing the digital video twin, as such, of William Shatner - who really was answering a wide range of questions posed by CES attendees - with this video just one of the any to come.

    1. Here's that CES 2022 BMW presentation in full:

    2. Here's the highly-anticipated CES 2022 Trends in Technology presentation, in full!

     My trip to CES 2022 was supported by LG, eftpos Australia, ASCCA, the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, iTWire and my family. 

     

     

     

     

  • Five key trends that will shape the service provider landscape in 2022

    GUEST OPINION: 2021 saw the service provider ecosystem flourish in tough environments. Open RAN has evolved more than ever; the global 5G market has risen dramatically, creating low latency and enhanced security that give enterprises the power to implement breakthrough applications and increased AI/ML capabilities; and demand for infrastructure that powers 5G, IoT and UHD has continued to rise.

    The pandemic has highlighted the importance of home-based internet services in Australia, with data traffic reaching an all-time high of 9.58 million terabytes downloaded in the three months to June 2021. While demand for broadband connectivity is increasing, Australia's service providers are still faced with the challenge of preparing for 5G and introducing alternative services to generate future revenue growth.

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    1) ORAN will continue its march forward

    The industry has seen major strides with Open RAN this past year, and more than anything, it’s becoming an ecosystem play and the vendors who master that will lead the narrative. Next year, many new ecosystems will emerge, and the existing ones will be expanded to include more vendors. To hedge their bets, many of the same vendors will show up in multiple ecosystems. We will see operators start defining their ORAN strategies and invest in more ORAN initiatives with the help of key vendor ecosystems.

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    2) Private 5G will unlock new innovations

    The global private 5G market has been rapidly rising, and is set to reach $20 billion by 2028. With its low latency and enhanced security, private 5G will give enterprises the platform they need to implement breakthrough applications that require near-real time responses and actions, as well as faster data processing for AI/ML. The adoption of private 5G is set to transform sectors like health care, gaming, manufacturing and emergency services, with production deployments becoming more common over the next 18-24 months.

    Next year, we will see enterprise organisations begin the process to take advantage of these opportunities and in doing so, look to service providers to help them make significant progress toward rolling out next-generation applications and achieving breakout business value.

    {loadposition alex08}

    3) Demand for adoption of 400G will skyrocket

    The market for 400G is exponentially increasing as the world transforms digitally. Although there is no Moore’s law equivalent for the pace at which network traffic grows, a similar dynamic is in effect. Every new application and advancement depends on moving more and more data for it to succeed. Think 4K/8K and remote work or IoT and artificial intelligence and machine learning. Next up: the metaverse and virtual worlds.

    As traffic levels continue to grow, we will see network operators accelerate the adoption of 400G to future-proof networks for what lies ahead. What’s more, future looking network operators will get ready for the next big increase in demand by choosing platforms capable of supporting a seamless transition to 800G when needed.

    4) Metro networks will begin their much-needed transformation

    Metro networks will play a more critical role in new profitable and innovative services delivery, as the place in the network where connectivity, hosting and service experience converge. The metro is the future of services and will need to be reimagined in the coming year. As a result, we will see network operators move away from traditional siloed metro architectures built from the transport up to a refreshed design focused on service delivery, coupling IP connectivity with hosted elements and content, along with security and automation.

    Emerging 5G and edge services present a once-in-a-generation opportunity for service providers. Using concepts like network slicing, dynamic edge compute and automation, they will start to roll out exciting new enterprise and consumer applications on converged metro fabrics that simply weren’t possible before.

    5) Broadband market transformation will pick up steam

    There is a new service provider buying cycle in broadband network infrastructure buildouts driven by a variety of factors: evolving architectures, growth in work from home, increasing bandwidth and low latency demands, and new government infrastructure incentives. The performance ramifications of emerging service offerings to support 5G, IoT and UHD Video, among others, are pressuring network operators to seek new economies of scale to financially right size while they seek to boost capacity without increased costs. Consequently, the market will start to transition from centralised/traditional architectures to exploit distributed, horizontally and vertically disaggregated, and converged wireline and wireless broadband solutions.

  • Nokia Oceania official satisfied with 5G take-up in Australia

    A Nokia official in the Oceania region says he is satisfied with the uptake of 5G in Australia, pointing out that about 80% of the smartphones sold in the country are now 5G-capable.

    Robert Joyce, chief technology officer for Nokia Oceania, told iTWire in response to queries that the affordability factor was not affecting take-up.

    He added that in some cases operators allowed all 5G handsets on the 5G network since many operators' 4G/5G tariffs were the same.

    "For example, even a pre-pay SIM in a 5G handset can connect to Vodafone Australia's 5G network," he said.

    {loadposition sam08}Joyce has been in the mobile telecommunications field for more than 25 years and headed Radio Access Technologies for Qatar's Ooredoo Group before joining Nokia.

    He was responsible for setting up the globe's first 5G commercial network at Ooredoo Qatar in May 2018 and holds a doctorate from the University of Leeds, with the topic of his research being self-organising heterogeneous networks.

    Joyce said the incentive to take up 5G depended on the user. "I can't comment on the individual tariffs of the operators, but 5G is certainly faster than 4G, so I guess it depends on what you use your mobile phone for, as to whether you'd get more value from a 5G phone and associated subscription," he said.

    "If you're a heavy gamer or someone who uses their mobile phone for watching HD movies or tethering, then 5G is going to give you a much better experience. A recent study undertaken by one of the big crowd sourced companies suggests 5G users have an average throughput experience that's five to ten times faster than 4G.

    "Currently, the 5G networks in Australia are demonstrating peak downlink rates of over 5Gbps per second and represent some of the fastest networks in the world. Nokia provides network equipment/solutions to all three of the mobile operators here in Australia and we've set a number of 5G world records with them."

    A recent survey by Ookla, the company behind the popular Speedtest app, suggests however that 5G speeds have slowed down at the global level.

    "Over the past year from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021, the median global 5G download speed fell to 166.13 Mbps, down from 206.22 Mbps in Q3 2020," the survey noted. "Median upload speed over 5G also slowed to 21.08 Mbps (from 29.52 Mbps) during the same period."

    About industry use cases for 5G, Joyce noted that Australian mobile operators provided 5G coverage to more than 80% of population. "They do this by deploying 5G across multiple frequency bands including the 700, 850 and 900MHz bands that propagate much further than the higher bands such as the 3.5GHz band also used for 5G," he said.

    "Nokia recently demonstrated the effectiveness of the 700MHz band for 5G with TPG Telecom when we set a 5G range record of 148km between 5G handsets in a cell in Rural Queensland. It is this wide area coverage that will enable many of the 5G use cases we see being of value to Australian industries such as mining, oil and gas and transport. These physical industries need wide area, ultra low latency, robust coverage, exactly what 5G in the 700MHz band provides."

    Thus far, Australia had been 5G use in enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access, he said. "eMBB is effectively an enhanced 5G service to a smartphone, enabling a higher data rate, lower latency and all the benefits I mentioned.

    "And FWA is providing a fixed internet connection over 5G rather than the fixed line. In Australia, Optus and Nokia together launched Australia's first FWA service using Nokia's 5G fast mile FWA Gateway. This product has proven to be so good it is now the number one selling 5G FWA Gateway globally.

    "In future, Nokia thinks virtual reality and augmented reality will be some of the new killer apps as we see manufacturers start to produce smart glasses and other wearables that support VR and or AR."

    Joyce said it was a common misconception that one needed 5G mmWave for ultra-low latency. "While 5G mmWave and the massive bandwidths available within these bands will enable both low latency and super-fast data rates of 20Gbps and beyond, low latencies can actually be better provided by the legacy Frequency Division Duplex bands (FDD) like 700, 1800 and 2100MHz," he said.

    "This is because at 3.5GHz and mmWave, 5G is Time Division Duplex (TDD) based and this means that there can be a delay between the uplink and downlink transmissions. In FDD, this delay does not occur as we have simultaneous uplink and downlink transmission and therefore in theory FDD can support a lower latency than TDD.

    "Of course, there's a bit more to it than that, like Frame Structure and time slot duration, but future versions of the 3GPP standard will deliver low latencies across all 5G bands, not just the mmWave band."

    He said recently Nokia and its partners had been awarded over $3 million of government funding to investigate new and exciting 5G use cases.

    "The first of these projects is the 5G Connected Cobots project we're doing with UTS at the recently opened Nokia 5G Future Lab at UTS Tech Park, Sydney. This project will demonstrate how we can control Collaborative Robots (Cobots) connected over the 5G network ...with the brain of the Cobot actually running on a Nokia Edge Cloud rather than on the Cobot itself.

    "The second project we're involved with is the creation of the National 5G Industrial Incubation Lab with the South Australian Government in Lot 14, Adelaide. This lab will be aimed at demonstrating the use of 5G within industry and we'll initially be looking at connected airports, connected trains and power grid inspection/control using 5G. We're now three months into both projects so it's still in the early stage as we set up the labs, but we look forward to sharing the results of these projects as they become available."

    Joyce said with regard to the Open RAN Policy Coalition, it would be fair to say that Nokia was taking the lead in development of the technology for the project.

    A communications expert, Henry Kressel, recently listed the following as issues for ORAN:

    • The cost of implementing networks with elements from diverse customers and relying on open-sourced software as the glue may be more costly and troublesome than installing an integrated product suite from one proven vendor.
    • Maintaining and upgrading such a O-RAN heterogeneous network will require costly internal carrier resources, and hence may be costlier to maintain than current equipment.
    • The idea that such heterogeneous networks are more secure is an unproven assumption that has been challenged by a recent study in Germany.

    Asked about these hurdles, Joyce said: "Yes, that is an interesting point of view and security remains a key concern in O-RAN networks. That said, we see many of our customers progressing rapidly with O-RAN trials, including some in Germany that we are fully supporting, and we look forward to supporting our customers in the months and years to come should they decide to move to more open RAN architectures."

    As to whether these issues meant Open RAN was another pie in the sky project, Joyce did not agree. "We're already seeing different methods of network deployments taking place. Take Rakuten in Japan and DISH in the US: while neither of these networks can be classed as being official O-RAN compliant, both companies are pushing the boundaries of how operators may deploy their RAN, transport and core networks in the future," he replied.

    "At Nokia we know we can't predict the future, but certainly being open and involved with all possibilities sets us in the best position to support our customers whatever network architecture becomes the norm in the not too distant future."

  • How Qualcomm is pioneering and developing innovations for 5G
    in 5G

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    This week at the quarterly 3GPP RAN Plenary meeting, Qualcomm says that 3GPP reached a key milestone to realise 5G vision.

    After conducting a 5G Advanced workshop in June and multiple rounds of lively e-mail discussions with a large set of participating 3GPP companies, Qualcomm has approved a Release 18 (Rel-18) package, a set of projects that aims to deliver a balanced 5G Advanced evolution, which will address the short and longer terms needs of enhanced mobile broadband and expanded vertical use cases across the end-to-end 5G system.

    Qualcomm says 5G Advanced starts the second phase of the 5G decade, bringing a new wave of wireless technology innovations. It is envisioned to push technology boundaries in two broad directions: to strengthen the 5G system foundation that further improves speed, coverage, mobility, power efficiency, as well as to proliferate 5G to virtually all devices, deployments, and use cases.

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    Rel-18 is the inaugural standard release of 5G Advanced, and below are the key projects and the scope they entail.

    Strengthen the end-to-end 5G system foundation
    Advanced downlink/uplink Mimo: enhancing 5G massive Mimo performance and efficiency by delivering improved throughput, coverage, power consumption, reliability, and support for more device antennas for a wide range of use cases.

    Enhanced mobility: improving mobility for devices operating in sub-7 GHz and mmWave by supporting lower handover latency and improved robustness through lower layer mechanisms (i.e., layer 1 and 2 based inter-cell mobility), and more carrier aggregation and dual connectivity operations.

    Mobile integrated access/backhaul (IAB) and smart repeaters: expanding capability for IAB on cars/trains to extend 5G coverage in sub-7 GHz and mmWave deployments for users inside and outside the vehicle, as well as supporting repeaters with traffic awareness and beamforming capability via side control information in TDD spectrum for deployments at high bands.

    Evolved duplexing: identifying applicable and relevant deployment scenarios and use cases on the path to full duplex operations, focusing on non-overlapping subband full duplex that can improve network efficiency, latency, and coverage in TDD deployments.

    AI/ML data-driven designs: expanding wireless ML framework to optimise network energy saving, load balancing and mobility with enhanced data collection and signalling support, as well as to examine how AI/ML techniques can enable improved support of air interface functions, such as CSI feedback, beam management, and positioning.

    Green networks: defining base station energy consumption model, evaluation methodology, KPIs, and power consumption reduction techniques with and without user device assistance targeting system-level studies with various scenarios, which include sub-7 GHz urban/rural macro, urban micro, mmWave beam-based, and dual connectivity deployments.

    Proliferate 5G to virtually all devices and use cases
    Boundless extended reality (XR): following the Rel-17 study characterising XR traffic models and evaluating how 5G NR supports XR applications aiming now at defining the KPIs and QoS requirements, as well as supporting application awareness and power and capacity enhancements tailored for improved support of XR experiences over 5G.

    NR-Light (RedCap) evolution: expanding the NR-Light platform for reduced capability devices to further scale bandwidth possibly down to 5MHz and enhance low-power modes, while maintaining coexistence with Rel-17 NR-Light and other 5G NR devices.

    Expanded sidelink: building upon the C-V2X and Rel-17 foundation to expand into new spectrum types and bands (i.e., unlicensed and mmWave), as well as sidelink relays that can further extend 5G coverage in challenging scenarios.

    Expanded positioning: providing enhanced performance (i.e., accuracy) for positioning/ranging, including assessing techniques such as bandwidth aggregation and carrier phase measurement, as well as defining performance requirements for NR-Light positioning.

    Drones and enhanced satellites: defining drone communications with 5G NR, leveraging the LTE Rel-14 drone study, defining measurement reporting and signalling design; extending 5G NR satellite support into new bands (e.g., 10+GHz), improving coverage and mobility targeting voice support over satellite for regular smartphone form factor.

    Multicast enhancements: driving enhancements for 5G mixed-mode multicast, such as supporting multicast reception in inactive/idle mode and better system efficiency for multicast reception in RAN sharing scenarios.

    Qualcomm says there are Rel-18 projects beyond the ones that deliver additional improvements to the 5G system. This includes enhancements to dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), multi-SIM, in-device coexistence, small data transmission, quality of experience, carrier aggregation, and self-organising network/minimisation of drive test (SON/MDT).

    Nominal work for Rel-18 will start after completing Rel-17, expected in the first half of the next year. Qualcomm says it is working on some projects that will define the future of 5G.

    This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 14 December 2021.

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