In the last three months, Microsoft has been on a tear building out its portfolio of 5G core and virtualized network service management technologies having acquired Affirmed Networks, and most recently, Metaswitch. The acquisition of these telecom tech companies by the leading enterprise IT technology company and cloud service provider may seem curious at first, but these transactions highlight the acceleration of a transformative trend that we at neXt Curve dubbed Under-the-Bottom (UTB) in our 2019 technology horizon study for Ofcom, the United Kingdom’s communications and media sector regulator.
Necessity is the mother of invention. There has been no moment of need in modern times as urgent as what we face today as humanity grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. In three months, the virus has spread to over 180 countries around the globe, infecting millions, and has arrested the largest and smallest of economies. At the same time, it has created an unprecedented need for connectivity and communications. Now, more than ever, unconventional thinking and leadership as well as innovative applications of technologies such as 5G are dire necessities for addressing the many COVID-19-related challenges that are disrupting millions of lives and jeopardizing trillions in economic value.
For years the Smart Home has promised to enrich the lives of consumers and has inspired waves of manufacturer innovation such as smart speakers, intelligent thermostats and much more. While these innovations have offered incremental improvement in our home lives, the consumer reality has been a deluge of devices and services, greater complexity, and less security. In truth, the Smart Home remains elusive, the problems it intends to solve unclear. Only when manufacturers reach beyond devices and services with purpose-driven “Smart Living” solutions at home will this market cross the chasm to rapid market growth.
The approval of the $26.5 billion T-Mobile and Sprint merger by a federal court in New York opens the gates for a long awaited deal close. Contested by thirteen US states as a marriage that would water down competition and cause harm to the consumer, the transaction is expect to create a formidable third telecommunications player in the US market. The hopes and fears associated with the combined company will depend on thoughtful integration and realization of compelling synergies that could substantially change the competitive dynamic of the US telecommunications industry.
The global race for 5G is on with operators in advanced markets such as the US, South Korea leading the way with the first deployments of 5G networks in their respective markets. Given all the excitement and hype that has shrouded 5G over the last couple of years, telecom operators around the world are under pressure to jump on the 5G bandwagon as governments push to position their economies for the digital era. Especially for the U.S. and China, 5G has become a strategic economic imperative that both countries believe will determine the economy and doctrine that will lead in our digital future. But what does the 5G race mean for the emerging and developing markets? Do operators in these markets have the opportunity to rethink the network to enable new economic possibilities in the era of 5G?
July has been a watershed month for AT&T as it enters into two major "cloud deals", one with Microsoft and another with the newly merged IBM and Red Hat. At first glance, the two deals seem oddly contradictory - a collision of proprietary Microsoft cloud (although about half of Azure workloads run on top of Linux) with open source cloud from the combined IBM and Red Hat. But why two cloud deals? What makes them different? What does it mean for the companies involved?
neXt Curve attended the largest consumer electronics trade show on the planet with over 180,000 in attendance to identify the deeper technology and market trends that are driving the rapid evolution of our digital lives and are expressed in the new digitally-enabled consumer applications from smart home, 3D sound to emotionally-aware robots.
The big story yesterday afternoon was Tim Cook's surprise letter to investors announcing that Apple's Q1 2019 revenue would come in far below the $89 to $93 billion guidance that it issued back on November 1st of 2018. Tim rattled off numerous factors that promoted Apple to issue a revenue warning one month prior their first earnings call of 2019. The most prominent factor - China.
neXt Curve attended the World Internet Conference 2018 in Wuzhen, China's premier conference on the digital economy and policy, which took place from the 6th to the 9th of November. This year's conference was sparsely attended by U.S. tech giants such as Apple and Google, but their absence didn't put a damper on the global scope of the event and its continued promotion of the Digital Silk Road.
neXt Curve attended the IoT Solutions World Congress 2018 in Barcelona to uncover what is hot and what is the real state of the Internet of Things, Blockchain and A.I. 2018 was the year of test beds, experimentation and pilots. We were curious to see what industries learned as they applied a rapidly-growing field of IoT technologies in discovering the use cases that matter.