Low-Power WANs Still High on the Agenda for IoT Providers

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• NB-IoT and LTE-M took several years to build market momentum due to the significant work required upfront by service providers and device makers.

• Despite that, low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) remains a fundamental aspect of leading IoT service provider strategies.

LPWANs for IoT did not achieve the kind of growth that analysts, network operators, device makers, and even potential users (like utilities and local governments) predicted 10 years ago. Even five years ago, the IoT industry confidently expected the advent of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M standards to kickstart deployments on a vast scale.

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Is the IoT Platform Market Consolidating or Falling Apart?

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• 2022 saw not only market leaders exiting the IoT platform market but also other changes in the IoT vendor ecosystem, including Semtech’s acquisition of Sierra Wireless and Telit’s acquisition of Thales’ IoT module business.

• These changes may signal a much-needed consolidation of a crowded, fragmented market but also show the difficulty of monetizing IoT platforms as standalone offerings.

The IoT platform market is more-or-less divided into two sub-markets. The first sub-market is the connectivity and device management platform market that has long been led by Ericsson and Cisco, both of which sell them to CSPs that in turn position them as enablers of managed services to enterprises along with IoT connectivity. CSPs generally have a revenue share arrangement with these third-party platform vendors. Many mobile operators such as Vodafone (GDSP), Telefónica (KITE), and Verizon (ThingSpace) have also developed their own platforms, as this gives them more control over feature sets and product lifecycles with the ability to add on capabilities such as hyper-precise location, rapid on-boarding, and usage visialization and analytics. It also allows the operators to avoid the revenue share deals, which erode profits. Operators use these platforms to enhance the value of their IoT connectivity services with the ability to offer VAS for management and visibility. In some cases, they do not charge the enterprise separately for connectivity management but use it as a built-in capability with which to entice enterprises to deploy IoT services via an easier to use end-to-end solution. Several operators have their own platforms but may use third-party solutions for particular customers. There are also vendors such as Huawei, Software AG, Nokia, and Telit that offer IoT platforms directly to enterprises.

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GSA Report Confirms Key Trends in Private LTE/5G While Highlighting the Difficulty in Tracking Deployments

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• The Global Mobile Suppliers’ Association (GSA) report demonstrates continued growth in private LTE/5G network deployments within key sectors and regions.

• The report is mostly consistent with GlobalData’s own market tracking data, but not always; variances in definitions and available data sources can account for discrepancies between the different databases.

The GSA has published its latest quarterly report on private cellular networks, adding data from another 66 new networks in Q3 2022 (and 214 during Q1 2022 to Q3 2022) for a total of 955. Its aggregate tracking statistics provide perhaps the most comprehensive view of trends in private LTE and 5G technology deployment over the last few years, given the participation of GSA members such as Ericsson, Huawei, Mavenir, and Nokia in the data collection. Among its key messages for Q3 2022 is that the three fastest-growing industry sectors had been mining, defense, and manufacturing. It also reports that manufacturing, education, and mining remain the three largest sectors in terms of number of deployments, although the actual size and scale of deployments varies by user type.

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Optelos Brings AI and Digital Twinning to the Sky

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Businesses depend on infrastructure to deliver energy, communications, and related services. Regular inspections of infrastructure are critical to maintaining a consistent supply.

• Optelos software utilizes the drone camera, providing actionable insights for the inspection of infrastructure such as damaged insulators in the electrical grid.

Asset inspections represent a significant cost for companies involved in industrial processes. According to GE Capital, on a worldwide basis, companies and governments spend $40 billion per year on asset inspections. Historically, inspecting and auditing infrastructure involves placing employees in dangerous places such as chemical refineries or underground ventilation shafts. Utilizing drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) removes the injury risk to employees who no longer need to be exposed to site-specific dangers. This reduces the likelihood of serious injury to workers still using traditional inspection methods that require the inspection team to be physically present.

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Hyperscalers’ Move in ASEAN – How It Will Change Domestic Telcos’ Strategy

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Hyperscalers are making a move in ASEAN, expanding their footprints in key markets.

• Telcos will need to redefine their product and go-to-market strategies in the cloud, edge, and enterprise 5G.

Hyperscalers Are Making a Move in ASEAN
Leading hyperscalers are aggressively expanding their presence globally, with ASEAN being one of the key markets (for more, please see ”Hyperscalers Making a Move in ASEAN,” September 27, 2022). From Singapore, hyperscalers expanded to Indonesia and are now further expanding their footprints in the other key ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced its Local Zones in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; Google Cloud is building new regions in Malaysia and Thailand; Alibaba Cloud opened new regions in the Philippines, and Thailand and has the widest presence in ASEAN; and Microsoft is planning to open new data centers in Indonesia and Malaysia. The move was driven by the growing demand for cloud services in the region accelerated by the pandemic. ”GlobalData Global IT Customer Insight 2022” shows that 75% of 166 ASEAN enterprises have increased their spending on cloud in 2022 while ”GlobalData Market Analyzer” (last viewed in September 2022) estimates that the cloud market in the region will double in the next five years from $16.3 billion in 2021 to $33.8 billion in 2026.

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NTT and VMware’s Partnership Demonstrates Need for Partnership in Edge Services Delivery

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• NTT and VMware integrated their respective private network and edge compute offerings – both were originally launched in 2021 – to offer the new Edge-as-a-Service.

• The partners will go to market jointly and coordinate sales, marketing, and customer co-innovations, with NTT delivering the managed service across its global footprint.

NTT Ltd. and VMware launched Edge-as-a-Service, a fully managed edge compute platform that runs on the Intel network and edge infrastructure and is complemented by NTT’s existing private LTE/5G offering based on technology from Celona. NTT is using VMware’s Edge Compute Stack, an integrated virtual machine (VM) and container-based stack to help organizations modernize and secure edge-native apps close to end users, while VMware – despite already offering a private cellular connectivity platform built on components from Druid Software and ASOCS – is now adopting NTT’s Private 5G as part of its edge solution.

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Fly by Wire

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Wireless, especially 5G and WiFi6/6E, are so popular, the wired seems old-fashioned.

• Use the right technology for the application and don’t discount a wired connection.

We all swim in a world of radio frequencies delivering us music, television, data, the beloved voices of our friends and family, or the dreaded drone of telemarketers. Both 5G and WiFi 6E are the hot topic in enterprise wireless spaces, touted for everything from stadium connectivity to mass IoT. The sheer engineering of these technologies is awesome to behold, and the tricks radio-frequency engineers have learned over the years to coax more and more performance out of allocated spectrum is truly wonderous to behold. It’s reached the point where the very idea of using actual wiring – be it copper or optical fiber – seems quaintly old-fashioned outside of data center environments.

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Airtel and IBM Bring Complementary Assets to Deliver 5G-Capable Edge Computing

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• IBM and Bharti Airtel announced their intent to deploy Airtel’s edge computing platform in India, which will include 120 network data centers across 20 cities.

• This is a positive development for both firms, but there is still work to be done in educating the market, co-developing solutions with customers, and expanding the partner ecosystem.

Airtel’s edge computing platform delivers a hybrid environment based on IBM Cloud Satellite and Red Hat OpenShift; the business value is significantly enhanced when combined with 5G. Maruti Suzuki India intends to use the edge platform to increase accuracy and efficiency for quality inspections on the factory floor. Through Airtel’s 5G connectivity and IBM’s secured edge computing, enterprises can deploy and manage workloads in near real-time.

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IoT M&A and Product Exits Consolidate a Fragmented Market but May Augur Trouble

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• The last two weeks have seen unusual levels of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity within the IoT ecosystem and the announced exit of an IoT platform from a major vendor.

• These changes confirm a need for consolidation in an overly complex and fragmented market with a way to provide growth and longevity for vendors by enlarging product scope.

M&A

  • On July 29, Telit, a US-based provider of IoT technology solutions including hardware and management platforms, announced its intention to acquire the cellular IoT products of Thales, a French vendor of aerospace, defense, security, and digital identity solutions. These include Thales’ portfolio of wireless communication modules, gateways, and data modem cards that support 4G LTE, LPWAN, and 5G. Telit notes that the acquisition will expand its presence in new industrial IoT segments including payment systems, energy, e-health, and security. It also enhances the company’s ability to respond to demand for cybersecure IoT solutions in modules and cellular connectivity. In turn, Thales will take a 25% stake in the expanded Telit business, which will be rebranded as Telit Cinterion.
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IoT Enhancements Among ITSPs Driven by Acquisitions and Alliances in 2022

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData’s latest report on IoT services from IT service providers (or ‘ITSP’ – please see: ”IT Services Provider IoT-Services Competitive Landscape Assessment”) highlights recent alliances and acquisitions that have given providers a deeper focus into industrial verticals or enhanced digital transformation capabilities with IoT and adjacent technologies.

• Looking at new services, partnerships, and recent alliances over the last six months, GlobalData ranks Atos as a ‘Leader’ in ITSP IoT services; Accenture, Capgemini, and IBM as ‘Very Strong;’ and InfoSys and Cognizant as ‘Strong.’

Recent key announcements from these providers not included in the aforementioned report (and others such as Tech Mahindra and Wipro) demonstrate how important recent acquisitions and alliances have been to fortify IoT offerings along with other digital transformation technologies such as AI, digital twins, 5G, edge, blockchain, and cloud services.

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