• Of the 4,984 IT professionals queried in a recent Sophos cloud security survey, 56% report a surge in attack volume and 53% say the negative effect of security incidents has been more severe in 2022 than 2021.
• Nearly two-thirds admit limited vantage point into their cloud assets and configurations was cited as a major contributor to their security woes.
The migration to the cloud has been especially challenging for small and mid-sized businesses that often lack the internal expertise necessary to make the transition successfully. Cloud security is one of the most vexing issues, with SMBs too often lacking the resources to consistently monitor what are often complex cloud environments. In a recent Sophos survey of 4,984 IT staffers in 31 countries, the security vendor has found a sharp increase in the volume, complexity, and negative impact of attacks in the last year. An alarming 67% report that their organizations have been subject to a ransomware demand.
• While many of the largest telecom operators in the world are struggling to monetize next generation technologies and services supported by 5G, one small regional player in Australia is doing just that.
• Pentanet, a Perth-based, regional FWA provider is using its 5G mmWave spectrum to launch gigabit-services using mesh technology while it is also taking on cloud gaming with an exclusive Nvidia partnership.
Around the globe, telecom operators continue to face increasing margin pressure and competition from OTTs in their traditional communications space. This has prompted the industry to explore new revenue streams to combat competitive pressures. New 5G networks are commonly cited as an asset operators can leverage to create differentiated services, taking advantage of the increased speeds and latency made available by the technology. Some common areas often cited as early 5G opportunities for the telcos include services in content like AR/VR or cloud gaming, improved fixed broadband using FWA, smart cities, and industrial applications. However, for many operators breaking into these new markets has proved challenging. The investment in new platforms is cost prohibitive at a time when they need to maintain legacy services that make up the core of their business. Some operators are unable to invest in 5G standalone, or nationwide rollouts which limits the performance of their network. In many cases it is the largest telcos with the deepest pockets that have been able to bring next generation services to market, either for consumers or enterprise. However, there is one small telecoms operator based in Perth, Australia that is demonstrating how telcos can bring next generation services to market even on a small scale.
• Cybersecurity providers must differentiate and be relevant by assisting enterprise customers during the recession, with a business outcome led security approach that includes portfolio business cases.
• Commercial deals should include innovative pricing, offering better commercial initiatives and discounts between 10-20%.
The Global Telecom Sector in the Current Economy
A number of telecom operators have reported a decline in B2B revenue of up to 10% compared to the previous year. To add complexity, the majority of providers are simplifying their portfolios, digitalizing their operations and customer interfaces to reduce OpEx and improve customer experiences in a digital enterprise setting. Within this backdrop, recent announcements on the economy going further in the red will create turmoil in the telecom sector in the next two years, and result in companies failing to meet their projected forecasts.
• BT has partnered with Just Eat and Checkatrade to offer discounted packages for broadband and mobile as part of its Enterprise Customer Charter.
• Service providers everywhere are looking to exploit third-party channels to maximize their addressable market – especially in mass markets like SOHO/micro businesses.
BT announced partnerships with Just Eat and Checkatrade to offer discounts on business broadband packages and mobile deals as part of the UK incumbent’s Enterprise Customer Charter – its ‘blueprint to boost UK plc by exploiting cybersecurity, digital services, and purpose-driven goals.’
• Nokia’s Q2 2022 disclosures about its private cellular network market performance provide insights on the overall market, which is seen as a significant growth opportunity by a diverse cast of characters.
• Nokia experienced a slower new-customer growth rate over the last two quarters than in 2021. The company notes regional, seasonal, and go-to-market disparities with some verticals slower to adopt than others.
Nokia transparently discloses details of its private cellular wireless market performance to analysts each quarter, which not only provides insights on the vendor’s momentum, but also enlightens us with information on enablers and challenges that likely apply to most providers. As so many vendors and service providers see private cellular as a major growth opportunity, Nokia’s insights may help explain why the market is still at an early stage of enterprise adoption and why some provider segments appear to be doing better than others in gaining large numbers of new customers and associated revenues.
• Geopolitical dynamics are having a growing impact on the semiconductor market
• The EU and the US have passed legislation to improve their competitive position vis-à-vis Asian countries
The pandemic and its aftermath, and more recently the war in Ukraine, has created a world of rising inflation and supply-chain imbalances that is profoundly disrupting the semiconductor industry, giving way to worldwide shortages of chips and advanced microprocessors. The trend towards economic nationalism that predated the pandemic has also contributed to the increasingly geopolitical slant affecting the competitive dynamics in this technology market segment. Moreover, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has become a fundamental driver of the semiconductor industry, and China is fast becoming a leading power in AI applications. New US restrictions on the sale of AI chips to China demonstrate the strategic importance of AI for national economies to reach their digitization potential.
• WebAssembly is the industry’s latest buzzword, but with some substance for its ability to disrupt coding in modern web browsers.
• Not surprisingly, important themes including security, observability, and FinOps continued to dominate the conference and digitization initiatives in general.
The rising use of Kubernetes as enterprises strive for app modernization continues to drive advancements in emerging DevOps technologies. During the 2022 Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) conference, KubeCon, key technology themes included observability, application security, and FinOps (not surprisingly). Newer technologies such as WebAssembly caused a stir among show attendees.
• As operators modernize networks towards the goal of cloud native architectures, the multi-domain, cloud-oriented nature breeds complexity, which is the leading challenge today.
• To tackle this complexity, operators, vendors and a new breed of network platform vendor are turning to AI tools for orchestration management and assurance as well as APIs and open standards.
FutureNet Asia, a leading conference bringing the telecoms industry together to discuss strategic and commercial priorities was held this October in Singapore. The event saw leading players from the operator side including Bharti Airtel, Indosat Hutchinson Ooredoo, and Telenor Asia, the infrastructure side such as Juniper, Dell, and Intel, heavy representation from network enablement vendors such as Amdocs, BluePlanet, and Rakuten Symphony, and newer players with a focus on cloud-native and AI enabled networks like B-YOND and Robin.IO, come together to discuss the future of operator networks and how AI will play a role in delivering services in the 5G era. Operators like IOH shared their journey towards automated cloud native networks, including the challenges still ahead, while vendors like VMware and B-YOND discussed how they are assisting their operator partners in dealing with the complexity of these new architectures with automation, including the use of AI tools. Below is a discussion of some of the key challenges raised and how the industry is addressing them. Continue reading “From FutureNet Asia: Many in the Telco Industry See that AI and Open Standards are Needed to Tackle Complexity of Cloud Native Networks of the 5G Era”→
• UK regulator Ofcom is consulting on removing fax services from the UK’s universal service obligation (USO) for BT and KCOM.
• Once a core feature of office life, the history of fax machines goes way back, but they are set to be consigned to tech history.
The facsimile (fax) machine was ubiquitous in offices from the 1980s through the end of the 20th century, but the impact of email, the world wide web, and the relentless rise of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platforms is set to witness the demise of a technology that served users well in analog days (as long as there was paper and ink in the machine, no blockages, and not someone else using it already).