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Showing posts from June, 2018

IoT "As a Service"?

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Turning products into subscriptions (everything as a service) is a big business shift many believe is irresistible. Automating the process of buying staple products or discretionary products Is a way to lock in repeat business. And some would note that 41 percent of all consumer purchasing is repeat business.
Communications providers have some experience with turning products into services. Hosted business voice (hosted IP PBX or hosted IP telephony) provides a recent example, where a recurring subscription replaces a customer’s need to own and manage a business phone system.
Smartphones often are functionally subscriptions, not “products.” Even if consumers actually buy their devices, they often do so as two-year payment plans. And as support for many devices now routinely lasts for only three years, for many consumers “ownership” of a smartphone resembles a “phone subscription.”
Most of the time, a user is making monthly payments on a device. By the time the device is fully paid for…

PTC Academy Bangkok: For Those Who Are Fast Moving into Top Management, Need to Make Things Happen, Need Knowledge Fast

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Thankfully, nearly all employees who work in the communications business do not need an MBA to do their jobs. They really do not need to know about strategic challenges, the evolution of business models, or revenue and cost drivers.
Most employees do not need to read trade media, blogs, tweets or other media to stay up on the latest high-level developments in the business. They do not need to meet with regulators, financial analysts, investors and potential business partners.

But all “C” level executives must do at least some of those things, because their job responsibilities require that they have a fairly good understanding of the key trends shaping the business and the firms within their own segment of the business.
Nor do most up and coming associates get much exposure to the issues and concerns that would be required of them if they move up closer to the “C” ranks.
And that is how PTC’s Academy hopes to help. PTC Academy is a "mini-MBA" crash course in two days that in…

Amazon Makes Another OTT Move

Amazon just spent $1 billion to buy online pharmacy PillPack, which PillPack, which supplies medications direct to home in 49 U.S. states, excluding Hawaii. The U.S. pharmacy business currently represents about $400 billion in sales value, so it might be obvious why Amazon wants in.

On the day the deal was announced, incumbent pharmacy suppliers and pharmacy benefit managers lost about $20 billion in market value. The same thing has been happening to virtually all other retailers whenever Amazon decides to enter their segment of the business.
Telecom industry professionals should understand the business issue quite well. What Amazon is doing is taking out the middleman, a process called disintermediation.  
Telcos encountered this some time ago. Skype, Google, Facebook and others now supply messaging and voice services themselves, allowing their users to communicate without buying a service other than internet access from any internet service provider.
Netflix and others now offer video…

Skinny Bundles and Viewer Preferences

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The thing about WatchTV and other skinny bundles is that they are, by definition, “skinny.” They also tend to feature packages of channels that do not cost much, which is one key way of limiting  retail prices.
The problem for perhaps many potential buyers is that such bundling of less-costly channels also means some broad interest but expensive channels (ESPN and other sports) are not in the bundles.
source: Nielsen
And here you might glean some of the logic behind the Time Warner acquisition. Several of the most-expensive channels (TNT, CNN, TBS) are in the WatchTV bundle, and AT&T owns all three.
Still, as more users are discovering, purchasing multiple subscriptions often is needed to assemble a menu that matches (more or less) any single person’s interests. In part, single ad-supported channels sometimes are not available to buy, at all, as contracts might prevent it, in some cases, while business models are unattractive for suppliers, in other cases.  
source: Digitalsmiths
The …

Does 5G Access Cause, or Only Reflect, Underlying Innovation?

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Some observers seem to believe rapid 5G mobile adoption equates to broader economic activity related to 5G (applications, platforms, devices). So early 5G adoption provides an advantage.
Some of us do not really agree with that assessment. As with some other measures of adoption, rapid 5G adoption might simply reflect other developments, rather than causing them.
Some believe supplying high-speed internet access boosts economic growth. Others might argue that high economic growth drives higher incomes, which in turn leads to more availability and use of high-speed internet access.
In other words, faster broadband tends to follow economic success, not cause it. If that is the case, then early 5G deployment simply is a reflection of economic growth drivers already in place.
source: Ericsson

Mobile Media Consumption Now Approaches TV Levels

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There is a simple reason why some tier-one mobile service providers believe they will profit from mobile entertainment and advertising: that is where people increasingly are spending their time consuming internet-delivered media content. And advertising “follows eyeballs” (audiences).
Until recently, U.S. digital media consumption did not rival television or radio media consumption, but digital media consumption now exceeds TV and radio combined, while most other categories of media consumption are decreasing.
One can see the same trend in China, where digital media consumption is greater than television, for example. And digital media consumption also has moved from the desktop to the mobile device.
source: comScore
source: eMarketer
One can ask legitimate questions about whether any mobile service provider can create an advertising platform to compete (at some level) with the likes of Facebook, Google or Amazon. But the logic of trying to do so is clear enough.
Media consumption on mo…

Media and Telecom Debt Bomb?

If an anticipated wave of big media and communications mergers happens, a significant number of big firms are going to come under scrutiny for their new debt loads. Right now, AT&T is in the spotlight, but either Disney or Comcast or maybe both will face scrutiny as well, as their debt loads are going to climb, depending on which firm winds up buying the Twenty-First Century Fox assets.
But those moves perhaps illustrate the risks firms in the media and communications industries now might have to undertake in order to reposition for the next phase of industry change.
Adding debt to acquire new assets is a gamble many firms will conclude they must make. For media firms, it now appears that Netflix has changed the game, forcing both a new global distribution focus and a need to shift beyond traditional distribution to streaming alternatives at greater scale.
For tier-one access providers, the issue longer has been the maturation of the access business (fixed and mobile) and the sear…

Where is the Edge and What Does One Do There?

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One practical issue with edge computing is that not everybody uses the same definition of “edge,” even if everyone seems to agree edge computing means putting compute capabilities at the logical edge of a network.
As with many earlier architectural decisions app providers and transport providers must address, the issue boils down to “intelligence at the network edge” or “intelligence in the network core,” even if some functions might logically need to be centralized, while others can be distributed.
Consider even the hyperscale data center. Is such a computing facility, by definition located “at the network edge,” functionally a “core” or an “edge” function? Functionally, many would have to agree, it functions as a “core” element, not an edge element, though the webscale data center actually resides at a particular edge.
The important point is that for all the other endpoints, any particular data center actually “acts” like a “core” element, as it is remote.
The Linux Foundation defin…

Big Assumptions Underlie Big Forecasts for 5G

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How big 5G revenue streams could be depends largely on how big an impact 5G can have in enabling all sorts of other businesses requiring 5G connectivity and features (low latency, ultra-high bandwidth, retail user costs as low as provided by fixed networks).
In the area of what 5G might provide, in terms of connectivity revenues, hinges largely on incremental new activity, above and beyond what retail customers are willing to spend on 4G.
If most customers wind up substituting 5G for mobile internet access, there will be some incremental revenue potential, but not so much incremental revenue growth. If 5G winds up supporting many new use cases (sensors, for example), then brand new revenue will be created.
Just how much revenue depends on connection volume more than per-connection prices, which might be quite low.
On the other hand, perhaps 60 percent to 90 percent of total 5G-enabled revenue might come from applications, platforms, devices and other services to implement 5G-using app…

FairlawnGig Claims 50% Take Rates for its Municipal Broadband Service

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FairlawnGig, an open access internet access network serving the city of Fairlawn, near Akron, Ohio, now is poised to expand outside Fairlawn. The gigabit services is sold to consumers for $75 a month. Prior to FairlawnGig’s launch, the fastest available internet access speed sold in the area was 50 Mbps.
It appears take rates are highest for the 300-megabit speed package, costing $55 per month (boosted from the initial 150-Mbps level). Business services sell for $500 a month, with speeds up to 100 Gbps.
FairlawnGig says it gets a 50-percent “sign up” rate, which might mean the initial take rate is quite high, compared to most other new internet access services launched by a competitor in any U.S. market.
FairlawnGig also sells phone service for $25 a month.
The city has 3,579 houses, of which 3,320 are occupied. The city also counts about 800 businesses. Assuming it cost $10 million to build the network, that implies a cost of perhaps $2284 per location, if the full cost of the $10 mil…