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Showing posts from July, 2018

U.S. Internet Access Speeds are Growing Fast, and Will Grow Faster

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Major U.S. “cable TV and telephone” service providers (fixed network suppliers) can be divided into two groups: firms that might realistically consider expanding their service territories, and those that likely would not, or cannot, consider it.
For regulatory reasons, AT&T, Charter and Comcast likely would face antitrust opposition if they wanted to expand their fixed network footprints. CenturyLink likely does not wish to do so, and Frontier cannot afford to do so.  
Only Verizon has a glaring need to “catch up” with its major competitors, in terms of fixed network coverage, and likely would not face antitrust scrutiny. That explains the out of market expansion Verizon now plans, using fixed wireless as the access platform.
Comcast could in 2016 reach 110 million U.S. homes. Charter could reach 101 million homes. AT&T reached 122.5 million U.S. homes. Verizon could reach just 55.2 million homes. CenturyLink reached just 49.2 million homes; Frontier Communications only 32.6 mi…

Why SD-WAN Matters

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With the caveats that I do not primarily cover core networks or enterprise communications, I would still argue that importance of software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) is not that the market is so large, comparatively speaking, or even that SD-WAN eventually will displace legacy networking platforms.
Strategically, all core networks are evolving towards virtualization, which means all core networks will define, create and support virtual private networks as a basic assumption.
In other words, all WANs eventually become virtual private networks.
There are some related advantages for service providers, ranging from the possibility of offering differentiated classes of service as a core feature of such networks, to allowing more-efficient use of networks, to reducing operating cost and capital investment.
Customers might gain from ability to buy customized network features that match user core business models (whether there are requirements for latency, quality of service or bandwi…

Top Global Tech Execs "Favorite Apps" are Highly Fragmented

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One hears quite a lot these days about monopolies enjoyed by app firms such as Google, Facebook or Amazon, with many calling for antitrust action. So it might come as quite a surprise that top global technology executives have highly-fragmented "favorite app" profiles, with scores generally in low single digits, even for the "favorites."
In other words, as concentrated as consumer use appears to be, at least some consumers (top technology execs) show no comparable concentration of "favorites," though of course that does not answer the question of the amount of usage the favorite apps get.
Top tech executives globally have highly-fragmented sets of “favorite apps,” at least when asked to name them, unaided. Use of LinkedIn in India, at 11 percent, is the highest reported mention of a “favorite app.” Globally, LinkedIn is tops at four percent.
In China, Baidu gets seven percent mentions. In Japan, Gmail gets seven percent, while BBC is tops at eight percent. …

Walmart Weighs New Video Streaming Service

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A possible Walmart video streaming service aimed at rural and Middle America viewers is something of a “Fox News” strategy, aimed at a large segment of the potential audience whose cultural, religious and social views are distinct from those of urban viewers in big cities on the east and west coasts.

It is a risky thought. The U.S. online video subscription market is nearing saturation, so growth would have to come from taking market share. It will be an expensive proposition if Walmart produces some original programming. As Amazon Prime seems to have found, it is hard to create audience-attracting original programming.

Aiming for a cost that is less than Netflix or Amazon Prime, it is not yet clear whether the service would license content solely, or mostly; nor is it yet clear whether the service would include some original content.

Even if “free two-day shipping” is the main reason people subscribe to Amazon Prime, consumers still indicate that the video service is “very important.…

App and Platform Providers Move into Health

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It arguably is easier to “move up the stack” when a business already operates at the platform, app or device level. And that could be the case for Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft as they seek to create new roles for themselves in the health business.

Alphabet wants to leveraging its extensive cloud platform and data analytics capabilities in the health area, including health records, for example.
source: Business Insider
Amazon is moving towards distribution of  medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Alexa could become an in-home health concierge.
Apple logically sees itself as a medical device supplier. Microsoft operates Microsoft Health.

Ridesharing Might Increase Traffic, But Public Transit is Failing, Anyway

Nobody knows whether ridesharing services increase traffic, decrease it, or have no effect. It is likely all three scenarios are possible, depending on geography. In parts of the country that are relatively dense, with highly developed public transportation, ridesharing might increase traffic, if it shifts ridership from public transportation.
This is a relevant trend for mobile service providers since such networks are expected to play a growing role supporting autonomous vehicles that might replace much of the human-driven ridesharing supply.
Some now argue that ridesharing services increase traffic. Others will point out that passengers are shifting away from use of public transportation is falling anyway, for obvious reasons: jobs and the places people live are more scattered than in the past.
In many U.S. cities, buses and light rail simply are not flexible and convenient enough to move people where they need to go.
That is why ridership of public transit has been falling. U.S. …

Customer Cloud Infrastructure Spending Grows 50%

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Spending on cloud infrastructure services jumped 50 percent, year over year, in the  from second quarter of 2017, according to Synergy Research. Synergy estimates that quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues (including IaaS, PaaS and hosted private cloud services) are now comfortably over $16 billion.
“Revenue growth at Microsoft, Google and Alibaba far surpassed overall market growth rate,” says Synergy, but Amazon maintained its dominance with 34 percent market share.
Smaller providers are losing share. Of the top 25 cloud providers, only three other companies have seen their market share increase significantly, though none of the three has yet broken through the one-percent market share threshold.
Meanwhile IBM market share has been relatively stable at around eight percent, thanks primarily to its strong leadership in hosted private cloud services.
source: Synergy Research

How Comcast and AT&T Strategies Compare

It would not be stretching an analogy to say that, in the U.S. market, Comcast and AT&T have broadly similar strategies. Both are the most clearly committed to diversifying their roles within the internet and content ecosystems, and particularly focusing on ownership of content creation assets.
In its second quarter, for example, Comcast earned about half its revenue from consumer triple-play services, its “legacy.”
In its second quarter, AT&T earned perhaps $29 billion from traditional mobile and fixed communication services, about 75 percent of total revenue.
Roughly 25 percent of revenue was contributed by the video distribution and partial results of Warner Media for the second quarter. So it speaks volumes that AT&T now says it is a “modern media company.”
One has to suppose that the goal is to shift as much as half of revenue from voice, mobile communications or even internet access to content ownership and content distribution.
It is worth noting that in the consumer…

Carrier Wi-Fi, Shared Spectrum Change Use Cases, Business Models

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Carrier-grade Wi-Fi and spectrum sharing provide different value to actors within the ecosystem, changing the boundaries between private and public networks in new ways.
For mobile service providers, carrier-grade Wi-Fi mostly will be a way to incorporate unlicensed local networks as a core part of mobility infrastructure. Best-effort Wi-Fi mostly will remain a way to offload traffic from the mobile network.
For cable TV operators, carrier-grade Wi-Fi is a way to reduce the costs of entering the mobility business.
For business, government and other organizations, spectrum sharing will create new options for supporting private mobile networks that essentially compete with Wi-Fi as a local and private network platform.
Some entrepreneurs will see ways to create new wholesale venue communications businesses, offering indoor coverage to mobile service providers.
Fixed wireless internet service providers will see spectrum sharing as a way to remain relevant as bandwidth demands rise far abo…

As Important as SD-WAN is, It Will Remain a Niche Market for Service Providers

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With the caveat that it likely represents the future of most enterprise long-haul transport revenues, the SD-WAN market is a specialist segment of the market, very much akin to unified communications. It is important for enterprises and suppliers to enterprises.

It is a fundamental product for sellers of long-haul enterprise networking capacity. But the global SD-WAN market is rather a smallish part of total spending on public network communications services.

As for how big a revenue stream SD-WAN might eventually represent, just assume it displaces most of the present MPLS market.
source: Aryaka

For long-haul business connectivity providers, SD-WAN is as important as MPLS is, and private line used to be. As the humorous adage goes, "it may be a one-trick pony, but it's a good trick."
source: IHS

source: ITBrand

source: Transparency Market Research