Tech Insight: Ericsson Counters the Open RAN Threat and More…

neXt Curve Research Brief: Over the past three years, the Open RAN movement has transformed into an operator’s mission to realize a more open architecture in its networks into what sounds more and more like a vendor war on the “legacy vendors”, Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei. Much of this dynamic has been due to the divisive geopolitics between China and the US. The resultant elimination of low-cost, high-quality RAN system provided by Chinese ICT vendors drew interest in Open RAN as a possible economical option versus the two remaining incumbents who Dave Mayo of Dish Network dubbed “the Scandinavian mafia”.

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Industry Insight: Who Will Win 5G Gold?

Telco operators have great expectations of 5G and the industry hype mill has set very high bar for the value that 5G technologies and new market possibilities will bring to the communications sector. Is this excitement justified given the rapidly shifting ICT landscape? We are witnessing a dramatic change in the face of competitors and partners as new entrants into the communications service provider (CSP) space change the OTT dynamic and introduce a new breed of UTB (Under the Bottom) threat to traditional telco operators. Who will win 5G gold?

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The Future of Communications

In 2019, neXt Curve was selected among leading research and consulting firms from around the globe to provide research for Ofcom’s technology horizon study which is conducted every decade. Our report served as a key input into the Technology Futures report that was published in January 14, 2021. neXt Cure was tasked to articulate the key technology trends and dynamics that would shape the future of the communications industry which included the UK postal and broadcast services.

The outcome of our study was a technology horizon scan framework that was recommends to the Ofcom research team as a guide for the scoping and organization of their research program. The recommended framework identifies Four Knowns which are mega trends that are or continue to have an outweighed influence on the evolution of the communications industry.

  • Cyberphysical Experiences – The transition from multimedia communications of today to the conveyance of cyber physical experiences. (Retrospective Update: Metaverse & Digital Twins)
  • Everything will Communication – The realization of things, spaces, people, services, and content connected in accordance to the notion of the Internet of Everything.
  • Industry Change from the Top and the Bottom – The trend of OTT players or non-traditional operators, systems integrators and technology firms disrupting the industry landscape by capturing share and influence in frontier markets as the nature of communications evolves over the decade challenging traditional operators and ICT vendors. We described this trend as Under the Bottom or UTB.
  • Trust will be Challenged – Beyond security and privacy, the concept and foundations of trust will be challenged and compromised as social networking and communications technologies democratize media.
Source: neXt Curve

While we explored hundreds of specific technologies that could have transformative impact on the evolution of communications, we recommended six foundational technology domains and ten applied technology themes for further investigation which we detailed in the full report.

The executive summary of our study is provided below.

Industry Insight: IBM+Red Hat, The Great Cloud Brokerage Play

It’s official, IBM will now become the biggest Cloud broker play in the ICT universe with its acquisition of Red Hat for a whopping $34 billion in cash. It seems only yesterday that neXt Curve sat down with IBM to discuss the future of cloud and the future is the hybrid cloud. The cloud landscape is poised to change as cloud brokerage models are poised inject transparency (economic and service quality) and portability of workloads into enterprise cloud strategies. Are the walled public cloud gardens about to come down? 

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