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neXt Curve Insights – April 2023


Welcome to the April 2023 edition of neXt Curve Insights. This monthly newsletter is a compilation of articles, media, and news that have been curated by the research team at neXt Curve with contributions from partner analysts as well as business and technology leaders.

The goal of neXt Curve Insights is to provide our readers with a regular cadence of coverage of the industry and tech trends and events that matter with the intent of fostering constructive discussion and debate on the future of technology, innovation, and the continuous reinvention of enterprise, industry, society, and our lives. 

I hope that you find this edition informative and inspiring.

Leonard Lee, Executive Analyst of neXt Curve

Top Posts

Check out the top social media posts on LinkedIn by neXt Curve analysts, associates, and partners. Follow neXt Curve and Leonard Lee on LinkedIn and be part of the conversation. Click on the image to view the post.

Something that neXt Curve has been talking about regarding a critical #5GAdvanced priority for quite some time – uplink. I was checking out Sidd Chenumolu, VP of Tech at DISH Network‘s keynote at Fierce Wireless‘ 5G Blitz Week event and enjoyed his presentation. 

I’m sure there is going to be a lot of debate about this, but Qualcomm‘s apparently has some serious AI silicon chops with their Cloud AI 100 accelerator card. Neither Qualcomm or NVIDIA score at the top in this benchmark.

For those of you who don’t know what CAMARA is, it is a project initiated by the GSMA to define open API’s for network exposure. It’s part of the big Open Gateway initiative announced at #mwc2023.

It made sense back then and it makes sense today. This is the last slide in a presentation I did for an innovation talk for software services company a year ago at the height of the #metaverse hype. Of course, since, the hype has imploded.

Many of you probably know that I attended #namm2023 a couple of weeks ago at the Anaheim Convention Center. I was struck by the notable shift toward headless guitars this year. This trend reminds me of the late Alan Holdsworth, the paragon of innovation as a musician, and inventor, and artist. Just want to recognize his influence on guitar music, the music industry expressed through the millions and generations of guitarists and luthiers who were and continue to be influenced by Alan.

I got the chance to preview Motorola Mobility (a Lenovo Company)‘s ThinkPhone and its ideal companion, my 30th Anniversary ThinkPad X1. I was especially interested in checking out the Think 2 Think features that Sergio Buniac and his team showcased at #CES2023

Top Headlines

These are the hot headlines in the tech and industry media that neXt Curve has curated for your consideration and attention. Executive analyst, Leonard Lee, provides a brief analysis of each story. Contact, Leonard at for a briefing on the details of his take (clients only).  




“Cradlepoint, part of Ericsson, announced today that it has acquired Israel-based Ericom Software and their advanced enterprise cloud security platform to solidify Cradlepoint’s SASE and zero trust offerings for hybrid 5G and wireline environments.

The Ericom acquisition is a key part of Cradlepoint’s strategy of building a full-stack enterprise security service optimized for 5G. Ericom’s zero trust and cloud-based security solutions will form the basis of the new Cradlepoint NetCloud Threat Defense cloud service, expanding the company’s mobile-capable and router-integrated SASE and zero trust portfolio of solutions for fixed-site, remote worker, in-vehicle and IoT use cases.”

The SASE + SD-WAN umbrella strategy will provide players such as Cisco, HPE+Athonet, and now Cradlepoint, with the capabilities they need to deliver private cellular (in particular 5G) as just another access technology that can be fired up in the context of a broadly integrated, cloud-managed, infrastructure. 

This approach should work well for Cradlepoint in their pursuit of the private 5G market for the enterprise. They will undoubtedly leverage the expertise of Ericsson in differentiating themselves in the enterprise market and as they work on an easier button for private industrial 5G.

Semiconductor sales suffer deepest decline since 2009

by Wallace Witkowski of MarketWatch

April. 6, 2023

“Worldwide semiconductor sales suffered their worst month in 14 years in February, dropping more than 20% year-over-year as the industry seeks to work its way out of an inventory glut that followed two years of pandemic-driven shortages.

Global sales in February plummeted 20.7% to $39.7 billion from the $50 billion sold in February 2022, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association late Thursday. The last time monthly sales dropped as much was in 2009, according to SIA data.
Japan ended up being the only region where sales increased, albeit a paltry 1.2% to $3.9 billion. Meanwhile, sales in China fared the worst following last year’s tech ban, dropping 34.2% to $10.97 billion in February. But those sales still managed to surpass U.S. sales, which fell 14.8% to $9.95 billion.

‘Global semiconductor sales continued to slow in February, decreasing year-to-year and month-to-month for the sixth consecutive month,’ said John Neuffer, SIA chief executive, in a statement. ‘Short-term market cyclicality and macroeconomic headwinds have led to cooling sales, but the market’s medium- and long-term prospects remain bright, thanks to growing demand across a range of end markets.'”

Through the Pandemic, the semiconductor industry has been on a tear with sales going through the roof through the course of the Pandemic driven by the sudden enterprise and consumer spend with the shift to work from home (WFH) and also sizable strategic stockpiling by Chinese companies such as Huawei in reaction to increasingly stringent and persistent U.S. sanctions.   

After two years of a so-called-chip shortage, the industry is now facing effectively what is technically a glut as demand has weakened dramatically across categories, in particular, memory where prices declines are forcing Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix to dramatically cut production and investment plans creating a “flipped” chip supply dynamic for the U.S. CHIPS Act strategy.

A hype-driven turnaround is expected with generative AI and the advent of ChatGPT. I’m cautious about sustained growth long term as the field of impactful and valuable generative AI applications will likely prove narrow due to the largely downplayed limitations of the technology and what will likely prove to be unexpectedly unfavorable economics and ROI,

“Weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate were all contributing factors for the precipitous drop in shipments of traditional PCs during the first quarter of 2023 (1Q23). Global shipments numbered 56.9 million, marking a contraction of 29.0% compared to the same quarter in 2022, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

The preliminary results also represented a coda to the era of COVID-driven demand and at least a temporary return to pre-COVID patterns. Shipment volume in 1Q23 was noticeably lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in 1Q19 and 60.6 million in 1Q18.”

The PC market continues to be a bugbear for the semiconductor industry across the board for logic and memory for the past several quarters. We have seen the impact of the quarter-on-quarter declines in shipments have severely impacted PC processor and memory sales at Intel, AMD, Micron, Nvidia, Samsung, and other chipmakers that are exposed to this troubled segment.

With the advent of Intel’s VPU-loaded Meteor Lake and smartphone-like Windows on Arm processors from Qualcomm, the hope is that the new AI hype will drive the demand for a new breed of AI-optimized PCs better capable of handling generative AI workloads. 


“Intel Foundry Services (IFS) and Arm today announced a multigeneration agreement to enable chip designers to build low-power compute system-on-chips (SoCs) on the Intel 18A process. The collaboration will focus on mobile SoC designs first, but allow for potential design expansion into automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), data center, aerospace and government applications. Arm® customers designing their next-generation mobile SoCs will benefit from leading-edge Intel 18A process technology, which delivers new breakthrough transistor technologies for improved power and performance, and from IFS’s robust manufacturing footprint that includes U.S.- and EU-based capacity.

As part of its IDM 2.0 strategy, Intel is investing in leading-edge manufacturing capacity around the world, including significant expansions in the U.S. and the EU, to serve sustained long-term demand for chips. This collaboration will enable a more balanced global supply chain for foundry customers working in mobile SoC design on Arm-based CPU cores. By unlocking Arm’s leading-edge compute portfolio and world-class IP on Intel process technology, Arm partners will be able to take full advantage of Intel’s open system foundry model, which goes beyond traditional wafer fabrication to include packaging, software and chiplets.”

The initial foray into mobile SoC designs is an odd one unless Apple is looking to make a big move to split their chip manufacturing between TSMC and IFS. That would seem like an odd and unnecessary move given that much of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and Mac assembly takes place in and around China with no sizable diversification of sourcing in the foreseeable future. 

Even with Arm engaged, what incentive other than mitigation of geopolitical risk and supply chain de-risking will chip designers like Qualcomm, Nvidia, and AMD need to engage IFS, arguably a competitor, to scale its leading edge business? 

There is also the matter of cost. With the cost of building leading edge fabs in the U.S. at least 50 percent higher than in Asia, IFS (as well as TSMC and Samsung) will likely have to charge a premium. Will chip designers need incentives to support the U.S. foundry business? CHIPS ACT II?

What about the risk of putting their portfolio in the still nascent IFS? Despite some positive news on their 5 nodes in 4 years strategy, Intel has yet to prove that it can reliably achieve and maintain process leadership against a more consistent and reliable TSMC making IFS a risky bet for chip designers facing a difficult industry outlook.

ZTE’s Q1 revenues up 4.3% year-on-year

by Juan Pedro Tomas featured in RCR Wireless

April 21, 2023

“Chinese vendor ZTE recorded revenues of CNY 29.14 billion ($4.23 billion) in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 4.3% year-on-year.

“As the external environment remains complex and volatile in 2023, it poses great challenges to corporate business operations. To cope with this, ZTE has adopted the business strategy of “precision and pragmatism for steady growth,” the company said in a release, adding that it “aims to enhance its foresight, resilience and adaptability to uncertainties by  positioning its business precisely, allocating resources efficiently, and optimizing processes continuously.”

ZTE had reported operating revenues of CNY 122.95 billion in 2022, up 7.4% year-on-year. Its net profits for full 2022 had amounted to CNY 8.08 billion, an increase of 18.6% year-on-year.”

Both of the big Chinese network vendor, ZTE and Huawei continue to demonstrate what can only be described as an irksome resiliency against trade sanctions and highly constrained access to chips and semiconductor manufacturing instituted by the U.S. government, its agencies, and allies. 

There is little doubt that both companies have been forced to make significant adjustments to their operations, technology sourcing, and engineering to deliver what continue to be highly competitive if not industry leading products years after measure have been put in place that policymakers in Washington had assumed would be debilitating if not terminal.

Both ZTE and Huawei continue to prove otherwise.

“AST SpaceMobile, Inc., the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced the successful completion of the first-ever two-way voice calls, directly to everyday unmodified smartphones using the BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) satellite. This is the first time anyone has ever achieved a direct voice connection from space to everyday cellular devices, demonstrating a significant advancement in AST SpaceMobile’s mission to provide connectivity to the nearly 50% of the global population who remain unconnected from cellular broadband. The first voice call was made from the Midland, Texas area to Rakuten in Japan over AT&T spectrum using a Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone.”

Needless to say, a significant achievement in satellite cellular communications, more commonly known these days as NTN (non-terrestrial network). It’s an interesting and pivotal twist to a race to space spurred by Apple’s introduction of its Emergency SOS satellite service in collaboration with Globalstar. 

Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony, has long touted AST as a pivotal part of his strategy to provide coverage 100 percent cellular coverage to Rakuten Mobile’s customers in the Japanese market.

The question is what is the TAM for connecting nowhere and the last 5 percent of the unconnected in Japan. Will it be enough to sustain the BlueWalker 3 constellation beyond test trials?

Today, the Commission has proposed new rules to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), make the most of their inventions, leverage new technologies and contribute to the EU’s competitiveness and technological sovereignty.

The proposed Regulations on standard essential patents, compulsory licensing of patents in crisis situations, and the revision of the legislation on supplementary protection certificates will create a more transparent, effective and futureproof intellectual property rights framework.

Today’s proposals will complement the Unitary Patent system, which will be operational as of 1 June. Their respective starting points are existing provisions and principles of international and EU IP law, but they each aim to make the patents system more effective by further eliminating Single Market fragmentation, reducing red tape, and enhancing efficiency. This solid patent framework will empower economic operators and competent authorities to better protect innovation while ensuring fair access, including during emergency situations.”

The recent proposal submitted to the European Commission could have destabilizing and detrimental implications for the future of global technology standards such as those for mobile wireless communications fostered by the 3GPP by deep regulatory intervention in how standard essential patents (SEPS) and FRAND licensing are treated in the EU market.

The proposed law subjects inventors or rights holders to an aggregate royalty rate and essentiality checks determined by a regional “expert” rather than rates long established through years of commercial FRAND negotiations.

Ironically, the proposal would introduce rather than reduce fragmentation into a global system that has settled on conventions that have fostered innovation and rewarded inventors for their multi-billions in R&D investments.

By favoring implementors, the European Commission risks undermining the global innovation economy by diluting the value of invention in their region.

Chart of the Month

The invention economy is the engine that fuels the invention economy. What is the invention economy? It is the economy that takes foundational R&D investments from the public and private sectors as well as academia and commercializes the resultant technologies. These technologies are then licensed and/or applied to drive innovations in products, services, and business models that are transforming industries, societies, and lives.

The United States continues to be the leader in R&D globally in terms of investments which reached $672 billion representing 3.45% of GDP in 2020. China came in a distant second with $375.7 billion in R&D investments representing 2.41% of GDP in 2020.

The global average R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 1.6% in 2020 according to The United Nations. Israel and South Korea lead the world in R&D investment intensity.  

Recently, there seems to be growing regional challenges to the conventions of the invention economy especially in regard to SEPs (standard essential patents). The recent proposal to European Commission seeks to revamp what is essentially a global consensus on FRAND licensing and determination of essentiality of declared patents for technology standards such as 5G.

As it turns out, the leading companies participating in 3GPP such as Ericsson, Qualcomm, Nokia, and Samsung come from the global top 10 ranking of invention economies (based on R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP) which includes the U.S., South Korea, Sweden, Japan, and Finland. China didn’t broach the top 10 ranking but Huawei and ZTE are leading contributors to 5G and beyond.

It’s important to recognize that billions are spent on the foundational research and develop that is the wellspring of transformative technologies such as 5G, AI, and quantum computing that are enabling and driving the leading edge of innovation.

The invention economy is the engine that drives the innovation economy. We should keep the motor oiled and running smooth with robust and fair IPR policies. Innovation is counting on it.

reThink Insights

Check out the articles and the research notes that neXt Curve published this month as well as press quotes by the media on topics related to our research agenda. 

Go to our neXt Curve reThink research portal for more content and insights associated with our research agenda.

neXt Curve Monthly Musings

Check out this month’s musings on all things in tech and industry that matter to technology and business leaders by neXt Curve’s Executive Analyst, Leonard Lee.

For real-time insights and commentary from Leonard Lee, follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

The Future of Personal Computing

This month, I had the chance to try out Motorola’s newly minted ThinkPhone which the company previewed at the Lenovo hub situated at the Mimi restaurant during CES 2023. The Motorola team was nice enough to gift one for a test run.

First off, the unboxing experience had a hardcore environmental friendly feel to it. The ThinkPhone came in what looked and felt like a box made of recycled paper or cardboard. The packaging was thoughtfully minimalistic. Given how big Lenovo is on sustainability and eco-friendliness, it does not surprise me that this agenda informed the design of the packaging.

The ThinkPhone is an elegant device sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor that is lightweight with a durable feel and a large, by-default color saturated 6.6” pOLED screen. The styling – classic ThinkPad, sleek, and modern. I had a chance to check out Motorola’s full line of smartphones for 2023 including the Razr and Edge lines. I have to say, they feel really good in the hand, at least my hand. 

I have been very impressed with the battery life of the ThinkPhone which gets me through a day and a half to two days of moderate use. I don’t end up using it as much as my iPhone 14 Pro on the road, but it still blows away the iPhone’s battery life. I suspect this could be because I have so many apps and background processes going on my seasoned iPhone. Still, the ThinkPhone has impressive battery life and should get the power business user through the day very easily.

The feature that I was very interested as the new Think 2 Think cross-device integration that Motorola demoed for me earlier this year at CES 2023 that integrates the user experience in some important ways between your ThinkPhone and ThinkPad Windows PC laptop. 

The installation and set up was pretty straight forward. Download the Ready For Assistant app from the Microsoft Store that use your ThinkPhone camera to scan a QR code and you are off to the races. 

Think 2 Think features: 

  • Unified clipboard
  • Unified notifications
  • File drop
  • Advanced webcam
  • Webcam subject tracking
  • Mobile desktop (with TV’s that support Android Miracast)
  • App stream (Android apps on Windows desktop)
  • Instance hotspot. 

Many of these features are those that make the Apple cross-device experience so compelling and sticky. 

I found that the Think 2 Think features work very well with my ThinkPad X1. I particularly liked the unified clipboard that automatically clips photos from the ThinkPhone camera for cut n paste on the phone or on my PC. I did noticed an improvement in my workflow between devices in a short time which will likely be a boon for business power users and creators.

Think 2 Think currently supports only the ThinkPhone and ThinkPads but Lenovo has plans to expand the feature to other Lenovo device brands.  

The Android/Windows mega-ecosystem continues to suffer from fragmentation, disconnection, and redundancy. With seemingly every player from Microsoft, Google, and Intel looking to bridge the platform divide, the cross-device experience is a persisting and confusing mess for end users and consumers who just want everything to work and work together. 

Think 2 Think is an important step in the right direction for Lenovo given that it is one of a very few major OEMs playing substantially in the PC and smartphone markets. The other being Samsung.

The key to making Think 2 Think stick with ThinkPad lovers is to make it transcend bloatware. In other words, commit to it and make it an integral part of the brand’s value for customers by delivering a trademark Lenovo cross-device, cross-platform experience. 

Bridging the confusing and clunky user experience chasm is the biggest favor that Lenovo could do for its customers both enterprise and consumer. Think 2 Think is a great start.

The Future of Cloud Computing

In the past year, we have seen the theme of hybrid cloud take on more gravity across the different areas of research that neXt Curve engages in the telecommunications, media, industrial IoT, and enterprise IT sectors.

This is not surprising as cloud computing seems to be undergoing an inflection point that I have suggested would happen for quite sometime. Consider that the cloud computing thesis has not been tested beyond its currently achieved state of maturity. What comes next is becoming clearer.

As I outlined in my piece last year on the economics of cloud computing, the economics are changing. We have seen the leading cloud service providers set a trend that has been adopted by a broader community of cloud software companies or SaaS providers. Since my article, cloud players have doubled the useful life of their data center assets both server and network.

The regularly disclosed benefit of this accounting adjustment has been an effective revamping of the cost structure of the business of cloud with a bottomline benefit for some of the top cloud properties of billions. This is an adjustment that enterprise CIOs might suggest to their CFOs that would very well change the financial dial of their cloud migration decision criteria as the gravity of spend shifts toward the edge.

As more CIOs realize, oddly due to the current global economic malaise, the cloud is expensive and optimal for a more narrow range of workloads and applications, the cloud service providers, especially those working the industrial edge and the telco cloud or RAN are discovering that cloud economics don’t translate well at the near or far edge of the network.

Hybrid cloud looks like it is here to stay. Edge cloud computing and on-premise, private clouds seem to be the next frontier for cloud. We just have to think about cloud differently to see the opportunities and the pitfalls as the economics of cloud continue to change and affect enterprise buying decisions. 

Telecoms Tech & Industry

Coming out of MWC 2023, one of the big headlines was the announcement of GSMA’s Open Gateway Initiative. The mission of the project is to foster an industry-wide “framework of universal network Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs), designed to provide universal access to operator networks for developers.” 

What this boils down to is a global registry and dare I say marketplace for network services that operators would provide access to developers through a library of standard network APIs.

The initiative was launched with the support of 21 mobile network operators including America Movil, AT&T, Axiata, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, e& Group, KDDI, KT, Liberty Global, MTN, Orange, Singtel, Swisscom, STC, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, TIM, Verizon and Vodafone.  

The Open Gateway Initiative espouses a technical project established in 2022 under the Linux Foundation called CAMARA. The CAMARA the technical working groups are charged with specifying the technical standards and frameworks for the universal network APIs that would be leveraged by the Open Gateway Initiative.

Some folks in the industry suggested that the Open Gateway Initiative would spell doom for Ericsson’s big bet on their Global Network Platform (GNP) which is a strategic extension of Vonage’s CPaaS platform and marketplace for 5G network services. 

Not so ironically, Ericsson is a big proponent of the Open Gateway Initiative. It is likely that GNP will support CAMARA’s API and the Open Gateway framework as the company demonstrated in its GNP trial in Spain with Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone just before MWC 2023. 

The bottomline, APIs are just interfaces to underlying services. They are not the service, which is a common point of confusion. In this case, the services will be mobile network infrastructure services.

Without compelling, differentiated network and MEC services, it is difficult to see developers getting excited about what the Open Gateway Initiative proposes in a substantial way until participating networks reach a minimum level of compelling infrastructure maturity and service coverage to support the next generation of mobile applications in the 5G era.

The good news would be that the Open Gateway Initiative will have the APIs, the framework, and the marketplace ready when the networks are ready to enable promised 5G revolutions.

Media Highlights

This month, neXt Curve participated in the following internally produced and third-party media events. More media content featured by or featuring neXt Curve is available on our reThink YouTube channel and our media center.

AI in Manufacturing:
The Good, Bad & Ugly

Leonard Lee of neXt Curve joins Martin Cloake and Jan Pingel of Industry 4.0 Club to talk about what is real and what is hype about AI in manufacturing.

The AI Digital Twin:
What is Digital Twin?

Leonard Lee kicks off a new neXt Curve webcast series with Rick Bullotta to talk about digital twin, what it is and how the concept will be impacted by AI.

How ‘Edge Native’ Impacts Cloud App Development and Performance

Leonard Lee of neXt Curve explains edge native and how it will impact the future of edge computing and the way we think about and build edge infrastructure. 

MWC 2023 Interview - Vardit Kuznik of Amdocs on 5G Modernization

Leonard interviews Vardit Kuznik of Amdocs on the topic of 5G modernization and transformation in a challenging environment for operators in 2023. 

Event Highlights

This month, neXt Curve participated in the following virtual and in-person industry and technical events. For our full schedule of industry events refer to our event calendar. We also encourage you to follow neXt Curve’s LinkedIn company page.

NAMM Show 2023

Date: Apr 13 to 15, 2023

Location: Anaheim, CA

Event Summary & Takes

Leonard Lee, executive analyst of neXt Curve attended the 2023 NAMM Show which is the National Association of Music Merchants show which took place in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Attendance this year notably bigger this year while not quite up to pre-Pandemic levels. Like so many other trade events, many brands held back or decided to take a pass.

This year, I was interested in whether 5G made any traction as a lever of innovation. Last year, I noted that the level of awareness of 5G was near absent among vendors and creators who simply didn’t know much about it and much less the 5G roadmap.

I was also interested in how social marketing and commerce has shifted in what we might consider a post-pandemic era. Metaverse was all the rage last year. Did it persist and progress at NAMM Show 2023? 

Here are our key takes from the NAMM Show 2023.

  • Over the past decade, Chinese musical instrument makers have been innovating leveraging digital technologies which they are infusing into the instrument themselves to make they more multi-functional, standalone (requiring fewer discrete/external effects and supporting equipment) and connected with a broadening range of options from BLE to Wi-Fi.
  • Endorsee marketing has changed significantly in the music industry with far fewer large name acts of yesteryear. The age of the legend seems to be over. Influencer marketing has taken over. Honestly, it’s not that impressive.
  • Sorry, hardly a peep about metaverse. Folks are over it. That being said, immersive audio and spatial music experience are still a thing but nascent. Production is not trivial nor is the massive size of the media in gigabytes.
  • YouTube is becoming less a go-to channel for music artist than Instagram and TikTok and even Facebook. This was surprising given the amount of artist and creator content on the platform. Many of the artists I spoke with prioritized other platforms largely due to audience and favorable algorithms that allow them to rapidly expand their reach and audience.
  • Generative AI does not pose an immediate threat to the practices of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CRO (Click Rate Optimization). Platform algorithms are continually changing requiring constant adjustments to SEO and CRO approaches. Gen AI (generative AI) tools maybe useful tools to support testing and analysis. It is too early to determine the impact that Gen AI will have on search engines. We are only getting a very preliminary taste with Bing Chat and Bard.  
  • In past NAMM Shows, crypto and Web3 was a subject of excitement and experimentation especially for royalty tracking, monetization, and event ticketing. This year, the interest has diminished significantly with very little mention in sessions or in the exhibition hall. It seems that most experiments have failed, and predictably so.  
  • The generative AI hype tsunami has not hit the music industry yet. There seems to be little interest in its use in composition and songwriting at the moment. This could change, especially on the production and engineering side. There is emerging concern about digital channels getting flooded with AI-generated content overwhelming audiences and making it more difficult for human artists to peak above the AI-generated noise.                                      

Related Media & Press Releases

  • NAMM Event site (link)

Companies Engaged: Vola, Ernie Ball, Peavy, Ibanez, Positive Grid, Lava Music, Analog Devices, Polyend, Rhodes, Vemuram, Two Rock, Neural, Benson Amps, Donner, SmackPac, Riversong Guitars, Natasha Guitars, Westminster Effects, Lyman Guitars, Grzenia Guitars, Bartolini, Godin Guitars, Ultimate Ears, Eminent Technology, Sound Particles, Divo, Jamstik, embodme, Yamaha, ESP Guitars, Ormsby Guitars, Bullet, Shark Guitars, Dean Gordon Guitars, Dingwall, Zylia, Soundflow 

NAB Show 2023

Date: Apr 15 to 19, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Event Summary & Takes

Leonard Lee, executive analyst of neXt Curve attended the 100th NAB Show which took place in Las Vegas, NV. Approximately 68,000 were in attendance at the 2023 event. The show is fast becoming a neXt Curve favorite as the broadcast sector is pressing a wide range of emerging technologies of interests to our research agenda, namely 5G, XR, edge cloud computing, and live volumetric and immersive media production.

2022’s NAB Show as a great first with a strong showing considering the show was making its post-Pandemic comeback. I had only two days at the event this year but made the most of it by avoiding scheduled meetings and letting serendipity be my guide. It ended up being the better strategy. I ran into many gems this year.

Here are our key takes from NAB Show 2023.

  • The challenges of producing immersive content has stymied the advancement of XR (extended reality) and the realization of an immersive revolution. One of the things that has drawn neXt Curve to the NAB Show is the thesis that we have held that immersive media applications in sports and events would deliver the experiences that might bring about an inflection point for XR. Based on our observations and interactions with leading broadcast tech companies, the production of immersive media content both live and prerecorded continue to face slow adoption. 
  • That being said, there are innovative companies that are experimenting with hybrid approaches that leverage traditional green screens, microLED backgrounds, and AR to drive blended reality content that is moving toward supporting immersive modalities of experiences and interaction.
  • Last year, we were tuned into 5G broadcast and the advancements being brought about by 3GPP Release 18 and the roadmap for 5G Advanced. While the technology is becoming increasingly capable and technically compelling especially with the broadening adoption of ATSC 3.0 for digital datacast, viable business models for operators and chipsets are the big decelerators of adoption.
  • There was talk about standalone 5G, but not 5G SA. We are talking about pop up, non-public, standalone 5G networks for the use in media broadcast say for King Charles’ coronation ceremony near Buckingham Palace for instance. It turns out to be a novel approach to quickly standup a purpose built and deployed network. It’s not so private in that it would leverage licensed or shared spectrum either leased from an operator or from a government.
  • There continues to be a large push by vendors to migrate production, editing, and rendering workloads to the cloud. That migration is not happening that quickly despite what appear to be some compelling and performant offerings from a wide range of vendors offering their software and services on hyperscaler clouds. As with other sectors that are rethinking the cloud value proposition, the broadcast industry seems to be taking a measured hybrid cloud approach lifting and shifting only where it makes sense as many are realizing the cloud is not cheap.                                                   

Related Media & Press Releases

  • NAB Show 2023 Event site (link)

Companies Engaged: AWS, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Dolby, Arista, Canon, DJI, Obsbot, LG, Unilumin, Blackmagic Design, Adobe, Synology, SuperMicro, Avid, Seagate, Rhode & Schwarz, AMD,, Dell Technologies, Evertz, Brainstorm, Ross, Verizon Business, Cradlepoint   

RSA Conference 2023

Date: Apr 24 to 27, 2023

Location: San Francisco, CA

Event Summary & Takes

Leonard Lee, executive analyst of neXt Curve virtually attended the premiere cybersecurity event, the RSA Conference 2023, to see what the community is talking about in the wake of generative AI hype, in particular ChatGPT, which presents a host of unknowns that enterprises, government agencies, and consumers will reckon with in the coming year and beyond.

This year’s hybrid event was very well done with some great speakers and session. We will try to make it in person next year!

Here are our key takes from RSA Conference 2023 event.

  • Generative AI is the threat du jour. With its rapid rise and general public access, generative AI presents a massive field of potential threats to enterprises and consumers that not only accelerate, scale out, and democratize existing cyberthreats but open the aperture for new varieties of generative AI-enabled cyberthreats
  • The cybersecurity community is still grappling with the topic of trust, not from what the community traditionally is familiar with which tends to be network and device oriented, but in the holistic sense that includes content and services that may be sources and accessed outside of the boundaries and jurisdiction of an organization. Deepfakes and the exploitation of biometric data are growing concerns with the advent of generative AI-enabled automation and distribution.
  • Zero Trust Privacy is a term and a concept that is increasingly occurring in discussions at RSA Conference and outside. It extends the conventional idea of Zero Trust for cybersecurity with a privacy twist. I see it as the principle of access to private data of consumers and users that is limited to only the most necessary to an organization needs to deliver services with the least privileged access (the conventional Zero Trust principle).    

Related Media & Press Releases

  • RSA Conference 2023 Event site (link)

Companies Engaged: Cisco, Trend Micro, Slim.AI, FBI, NSA, MITRE, Blackberry, Microsoft  

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