May 27, 2015

Gigabit Cable Attacks This Year


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Gigabit Cable Attacks This Year’. Cable operators are on the verge of a massive and remarkably easy capacity upgrade. Where it has begun, fixed incumbents are already being forced to deploy fibre. Gigabit WiFi is coming too, so mobile operators are very much concerned.

The report is part of the Executive Briefing Service and Future of the Network research streams, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

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May 26, 2015

Cable Disruption; 1m eNode-Bs; Google IoT; Bubble Dread! Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: NB In case you missed it last week, we’ve just published a new report ‘Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions’, which looks at the key disruptive forces on the network.]

Charter bids for TWC; the gigabit race, in consumer and in business; AT&T fibre build back on

The cable disruption continues. After the Comcast-TWC merger was shot down by the regulators, the original Charter-TWC proposal is back. Charter has apparently agreed to buy TWC for $55bn plus the assumption of $22bn in net debt, paid in a mixture of shares and cash, while it will also complete its acquisition of Bright House in parallel. That will leave Charter with 23m homes in service, as against 27m for the market leader Comcast. The assumption here is that a much bigger No.2 will be far more palatable to the FCC and anti-trust regulators than a much bigger Comcast. The deal could still fall apart, and as a result, there’s a $2bn break fee or “T-Mo bonus”.

Watch this space - a Telco 2.0 Executive Briefing on gigabit cable is coming this week

Continue reading "Cable Disruption; 1m eNode-Bs; Google IoT; Bubble Dread! Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 19, 2015

Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions’. 5G. SDN/NFV. Gigabit cable. WiFi. IoT. Spectrum policy. Vendor consolidation. Despite carefully-constructed business cases for future network investment, the goal-posts are always moving, and even the best-laid plans face possible disruptions - positive or negative. To kick off our ‘Future of the Network’ research stream, we outlined the key questions determining the business case for future investments in the network. This is Part 2, which covers critical network-technology disruptions, the impact of government and regulation, and the shifting vendor landscape.

The report is part of the Future of the Network research stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

Main Picture.png

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May 18, 2015

Apple, Samsung, KDDI, Verizon, Google, Comcast, Iliad: Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: We’ve just published a new report ‘Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions’, which looks at the key disruptive forces on the network.]

Samsung sales dive in China; Chinese MNOs cut 4G prices; KDDI is 57% WiFi

IDC has its reckoning of Q1 Chinese smartphone shipments out, and the message is pretty clear. Apple is No.1. Samsung’s shipments into China are down by 50% year-on-year. And the land-grab is over - the fraction of shipments made up by smartphones is approaching 100%, and growth is slowing down. For the first time ever, Q1 wasn’t a new record.

IDC China Shipments.png

Future growth will have to come the hard way, won from the competition rather than from new adoption. So we’ve got an answer to the question “Who’s going to win Chinese smartphones?” and it’s “Apple”.

Continue reading "Apple, Samsung, KDDI, Verizon, Google, Comcast, Iliad: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 12, 2015

Authentication Mechanisms: The Digital Arms Race


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Authentication Mechanisms: The Digital Arms Race’. The report argues that companies which provide quick and robust authentication mechanisms will be in a strategically important position in the digital economy, and this is sparking an arms race among the major Internet ecosystems - Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. This race is intensifying further as biometrics and wearables promise to make two-factor authentication easier and more cost-effective. What are the strategies of the internet players, and where do they need help?

The report is part of the Dealing with Disruption research stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

Authentication Thumbnail.png

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May 11, 2015

Chinese shipments; 5G; Q1s; Cisco x Tropo. Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: We’ve just published a new report on Authentication Mechanisms: The Digital Arms Race, which looks out how the Internet players are using authentication to secure a key control point in the digital economy.]

Chinese smartphone slowdown in Q1; Nigerian, SA penetration = US; Apple forecasts; ALU Q1

For the first time in six years, there’s been a slowdown in Chinese smartphone shipments, if IDC’s data is good. Q1 shipments were 98.8m, down 4.3% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Apple commands 14.7% of the market, ahead of Xiaomi on 13.7% and Huawei on 11.4%.

IDC argues that the market is approaching saturation - hence the swing by manufacturers like Xiaomi to exports into India and Africa. But it won’t be that easy.

Continue reading "Chinese shipments; 5G; Q1s; Cisco x Tropo. Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 7, 2015

How AT&T overtook Verizon in strategic business services


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘How AT&T overtook Verizon in strategic business services’. In Q4 2012 Verizon was No.1 in Strategic Business Services (SBS) and had just bought a huge data centre provider. In Q4 2014, AT&T had overtaken Verizon in revenues from this segment. What happened, and what are the lessons for other telcos in the Enterprise SBS market?

The report is part of the Executive Briefing Service and Cloud and Enterprise ICT research streams, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

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May 5, 2015

Skype, India, US Fibre, Nokia, Apple: Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: We’ve just published a new report on How AT&T overtook Verizon in strategic business services analysing the success factors behind, and lessons to be learned from, AT&T’s approach in the enterprise market.]

New Skype at the heart of Microsoft’s strategy; AT&T execs on voice; Twitter Q1s

Microsoft is up to some interesting stuff. A new test build of Office 2016 was just released. Windows 10 is coming in summer for x86 PCs, and then deploying to other platforms in a rolling, agile release schedule. Visual Studio is getting a variety of major enhancements in the current release-candidate, notably a tool to benchmark network requests across platforms. Project Astoria is meant to let Android and iOS apps run on Win10. Even Windows Update has been getting some investment.

But the really interesting bit is Skype for Business, which has gone through a major update.

Continue reading "Skype, India, US Fibre, Nokia, Apple: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 1, 2015

Amazon Web Services: Colossal, but Invincible?


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Amazon Web Services: Colossal, but Invincible?’. Amazon has just revealed that its cloud services arm is growing very fast and is surprisingly profitable. An analysis of the strategy that underpins the exceptional performance of Amazon Web Services provides important pointers about the future of the cloud computing market, how to balance the trade-off between convenience and cost, and where there may be scope for others (such as telcos) to succeed.

The report is part of the Dealing with Disruption and Cloud and Enterprise ICT research streams, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

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April 29, 2015

NokALU, Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook: Special Extra Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: We’ve just published a new report on Amazon Web Services: Colossal, but Invincible? analysing Amazon’s recently released results and their implications.]

Nokia-ALU; OFCOM spills 5G spectrum beans; Ericsson Q1; Chinese graft crackdown threatens vendors

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent are getting together. The deal includes the whole of ALU except for its submarine cable operation, which may be spun off or sold in a trade sale. (Did you know they still make some parts on the Enderby Wharf site in east London where the very first Atlantic cable was manufactured in the 1840s?) Nokia was apparently originally interested in the wireless infrastructure business alone, but ALU CEO Michel Combes persuaded them to take the whole thing on the grounds that the rump business wouldn’t work.

This German-language piece points out that, unusually, the French government was enthusiastically in favour of the takeover.

Continue reading "NokALU, Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook: Special Extra Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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April 14, 2015

The ‘Agile Operator’

New Research: 5 Key Ways to Meet the Agility Challenge

We’ve just published a new research paper ‘The ‘Agile Operator’: 5 Key Ways to Meet the Agility Challenge’. The report asks: What is ‘agility’, and what makes it meaningful to operators? We explored the concept and characteristics of ‘operator agility’ through 29 interviews with telco senior executives, found three main barriers and five key opportunity areas, and identified some surprising and important conclusions about both what it means and the key steps needed to achieve it.

The report is part of the Executive Briefing Service and you can read an excerpt of the report here. For more on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:


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Request for Input: The Agility Challenge - Find out how agile you are

STL Partners are also initiating the Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge, a survey which enables operators to gauge how agile they are. It takes about 10 minutes and we think that just completing it gives a good sense of the key areas of focus - though we’re also open to feedback on how to improve it (email contact@stlpartners.com).

Operators are invited to self-score across the 5 domains of agility highlighted above. Scores will remain confidential and operators will receive an anonymised benchmark of how they compare against the other Challenge participants.

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April 13, 2015

Chinese Forks, Indian OTT, 2Gbps cable, HP out of public cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: In case you haven’t seen it yet we’ve just published a new report on Google’s MVNO: What’s Behind it and What are the Implications? as part of our Executive Briefing Service.]

Apple pre-orders; 80% of Chinese users play with ROMs; Google pools 4G patents

Apple may have as many as a million pre-orders for watches in the US, after they went on sale on Friday. Two-thirds were the cheaper ones below $349. Horace makes the interesting point that iPhone sales might be the easiest way to quantify its results, as you can’t really use one without having an iPhone, but that still won’t be very easy as you’d need to disaggregate sales to existing users from platform net gains. Larry Dignan points out that once you’ve added at least one extra-cost option to the watch, you’re spending as much as you would on a new MacBook, which would probably be much better value.

Very shiny. Here’s another interesting statistic. A survey of Chinese Internet users, carried out by Tencent, shows 80% claimed to have installed an unofficial Android ROM at least once. Not only does this make you wonder about their sampling methodology, if it’s even close to the truth it suggests Android in China has wandered much further from Google having anything like “control” over the OS than we thought (read more about the problem and how Google might fix it in our new Google Executive Briefing). It also suggests a lot of software creativity going on in the interstices of the Chinese mobile market. The drivers were basically either curiosity - trying new stuff and getting new features quicker - or dissatisfaction - getting rid of carrier- or vendor-imposed cruft, fixing bugs, and trying to improve battery life.

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Continue reading "Chinese Forks, Indian OTT, 2Gbps cable, HP out of public cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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April 9, 2015

Consistency Counts: Why 3UK Did So Well in OFCOM’s Tests and EE is Not Impressed

In this week’s news, we noted the row between EE and OFCOM over the regulator’s recent Mobile Broadband Performance Report, an exercise to benchmark the data rates, latencies, and Web page load times on the UK MNOs’ 3G and 4G networks. EE doesn’t agree with OFCOM’s results, and is angry enough that it threatened legal action. But what are lawyers doing in this conversation? This ought to be a technical problem that we can solve with data!

The results are interesting. EE is the fastest operator, by a distance, on the straightforward large-file speed tests, and 3UK is the slowest. Which may seem surprising if you’ve read this Telco 2.0 Executive Briefing. However, 3UK won by an impressive margin on the Web page test (Figure 22 below) and by a lesser margin on the ping test. EE did quite poorly on the Web page test.

Screenshot from 2015-04-09 14:39:36.png

But what really got EE’s goat was this chart:

Continue reading "Consistency Counts: Why 3UK Did So Well in OFCOM's Tests and EE is Not Impressed" »

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Google’s MVNO: What’s Behind It And What Are The Implications?


How will getting into the MVNO business help Google shore up its business model? In our latest research ‘Google’s MVNO: What’s Behind it and What are the Implications?’, we examine Google’s objectives, how it could price the service, and the implications for telcos and other players.

One key driver is that despite ongoing growth in its core business, Google’s margins are starting come under increasing pressure as the following chart shows. The key to understanding why Google wants to become a mobile operator of sorts lies in how it thinks that action will improve its strategic position and reduce this downward pressure. There’s more background over on our research portal.

google mvno fig 1.png

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April 8, 2015

How to grow Enterprise / B2B2C Revenues by 50%?

Selling to and through enterprise and business customers is one of the key strategic opportunity areas for telcos, with growth potential of 50% over the next 5 years. The opportunity is much wider than pure communications - and the growth will be strongest in the more advanced services.

Whereas most telecoms operators have traditionally focused on the core communications component which is relatively static in terms of total value, the ICT Market is three to four times larger, and so-called ‘B2B2C’ (Business to Business to Consumer services e.g. Digital Advertising, Mobile Payments and Multi-factor authentication) will grow at 10%-50% to 2020 depending on sector (see forecast below for Western Europe).

Enterprise ICT forecasts in Europe April 2015.png
It’s not easy to achieve success in any part of the market and telcos worldwide have taken very different approaches, some with more success than others.

We’ll be exploring market forecasts, leading case studies, common features among the challenges and the successes, and expanding on our framework for strategic success in this area at a discussion and dinner in London for senior telco execs on the evening of Thursday 23rd April.

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The focus for this discussion will be Western European markets. We already have commitment from senior executives from several operators, and we can accommodate about five more people. So if you’d like to know more please email Senior Consultant Albane Coeurquetin ASAP.

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Telco 2.0 Strategy Report Out Now: Telco Strategy in the Cloud

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