Technology Bulletin

    • Vodafone UK Replacing Huawei Kit With Open RAN
    • Nov 9, 2020
    • Vodafone UK revealed plans to deploy open RAN in 2,600 network sites by 2027, in a major commitment to using the technology to replace a large chunk of Huawei&r... View More
      Vodafone UK revealed plans to deploy open RAN in 2,600 network sites by 2027, in a major commitment to using the technology to replace a large chunk of Huawei’s equipment, which it has been ordered to strip out by the government. (Mobile World Live, November 2) Gareth Owen's key takeaways:  Other UK MNOs have downplayed open RAN, but Vodafone is one of the most vocal advocates of the technology.  Although the operator has decided to limit deployments to the most rural area, it is still a significant commitment to open RAN if it ultimately deploys to all 2,600 sites.  No news on vendors but with Vodafone keen to avoid established vendors, US vRAN software company Mavenir must fancy its chances, while Qualcomm and maybe Xylinx are strong candidates on the chip side.
    • NPCI Imposes Cap On Share Of UPI Transactions
    • Nov 9, 2020
    • In a statement on Thursday, NPCI said that third party applications providing payments services via UPI can process a maximum of 30% of the transaction volumes ... View More
      In a statement on Thursday, NPCI said that third party applications providing payments services via UPI can process a maximum of 30% of the transaction volumes starting Jan. 1, 2021. The 30% cap will be calculated on the basis of the total volume of transactions processed in UPI during the preceding three months on a rolling basis. (Bloomberg Quint, November 5) Arushi Chawla's key takeaways:  The of intention of setting market share upper limits is to protect consumers by setting up a more robust UPI ecosystem.  WhatsApp Pay stands to benefit over the short term as it plays catchup to incumbents Google Pay and PhonePe, which are estimated to control 80% of the market.
    • Apple Faces Shortages of Vital iPhone 12 Chips Man...
    • Nov 9, 2020
    • Apple is grappling with a shortage of vital chips that manage power consumption in iPhones and other devices, people with knowledge of the matter said, complica... View More
      Apple is grappling with a shortage of vital chips that manage power consumption in iPhones and other devices, people with knowledge of the matter said, complicating its ability to meet holiday demand for the latest version of its marquee gadget. (Bloomberg, November 5) Brady Wang's key takeaways:  Not surprising as 5G device power management chip requirements are much higher, especially as the number of cameras increases.  For example, S20 5G vs S10 4G PMIC requirements are 12 vs 6.  Combine this with stockpiling on uncertainty and shortages are bound to happen. 
    • AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and More Form Alliance for...
    • Oct 19, 2020
    • 5G networks may be in the early days, but a new group made up of some of the biggest names in wireless and tech have joined to form ATIS’s "Next G Al... View More
      5G networks may be in the early days, but a new group made up of some of the biggest names in wireless and tech have joined to form ATIS’s "Next G Alliance" aimed at leading in 6G and beyond…The goal of the alliance is North American 6G market leadership, spanning the full range from R&D, manufacturing, standardization and market-readiness. (Fierce Wireless, October 13) Ankit Malhotra's key takeaways:  Beginning stages for 6G and this is in-line with decades long timelines for next-gen tech development.  To be sure, nationalistic goals – especially in light of China’s 5G leadership – will be a driver for R&D and public policy initiatives. 
    • Wisconsin Blames Foxconn, Says $3 Billion Factory ...
    • Oct 19, 2020
    • The state of Wisconsin was supposed to provide Foxconn with $3 billion in subsidies over the next few years to support the construction of a massive LCD display... View More
      The state of Wisconsin was supposed to provide Foxconn with $3 billion in subsidies over the next few years to support the construction of a massive LCD display factory in the state. In a Monday letter, the state informed Foxconn that the company wouldn't get the first installment of the $3 billion because Foxconn wasn't holding up its end of the deal. Under Foxconn's 2017 agreement with the state, Foxconn would be eligible for the first round of subsidies if it hired at least 520 full-time employees to work on the LCD panel factory by the end of 2019. Foxconn claimed that it had cleared this bar by hiring 550 employees in the state. But Wisconsin found that Foxconn had only 281 employees who counted toward the requirement. (ARS Technica, October 13) Jeff Fieldhack's key takeaways:  We reported last summer the Foxconn plant was only one small admin building and behind schedule.  What this highlights is that tech manufacturing – despite the promise of billions in subsidies – remains extremely difficult to pull off in the US, even for industry leaders.  
    • Chinese Groups Go From Fish to Chips in New ‘Great...
    • Oct 19, 2020
    • Chinese companies are rushing into the country’s semiconductor sector, spurred by a multibillion-dollar government plan to boost the industry to counter g... View More
      Chinese companies are rushing into the country’s semiconductor sector, spurred by a multibillion-dollar government plan to boost the industry to counter growing technological pressure from the US…More than 13,000 Chinese enterprises registered as semiconductor companies in the first nine months of this year…The numbers are double the monthly average of last year, with registrations jumping more than 30 per cent in September alone. Many companies entering the industry have no experience in semiconductors, coming from sectors such as auto parts or seafood.  (FT, October 13) Tarun Pathak's key takeaways:  Some of this does look like “a blind rush into chips” and there is acknowledgement of issues around this.  However, the scale of this initiative implies China Inc. is in this for the long term, and that makes strategic sense especially given recent history.
    • iPhone 12 Launch Draws Mixed Reaction in China
    • Oct 19, 2020
    • Apple's iPhone 12 launch drew mixed reactions in mainland China on Wednesday, with fans cheering a 5G model for their favourite brand while others planned t... View More
      Apple's iPhone 12 launch drew mixed reactions in mainland China on Wednesday, with fans cheering a 5G model for their favourite brand while others planned to wait for upcoming devices from local rivals like Huawei… In its second-largest market by revenue, Apple's announcement was feverishly discussed on social media. With over 6 billion views, the tag 'iPhone12' ranked as the no. 1 topic on China's Twitter-like Weibo. (Gadgets 360, October 14) Mengmeng Zhang's key takeaways:  Loyal 4G iPhone upgraders and the Huawei vacuum is likely to bring domestic launch success for Apple.  In fact, globally, we see iPhone 12 family sell-in to be larger than the iPhone 11 opening year sell-in, despite launching a month later.  Yes there’s some tit-for-tat trade risk from China, but at this point, we don’t think Beijing will enact restrictions significantly impacting long term domestic manufacturing.
    • Verizon Announces Its Nationwide 5G Network
    • Oct 19, 2020
    • Verizon is making a big expansion of its 5G network: the carrier is now rolling out nationwide support for the new networking standard, which will reach more th... View More
      Verizon is making a big expansion of its 5G network: the carrier is now rolling out nationwide support for the new networking standard, which will reach more than 200 million people… The new DSS 5G network means that Verizon can now support sub-6GHz 5G and offer phones that only support that version of the networking standard. (The Verge, October 13) Jeff Fieldhack's key takeaways:  The rollout via Dynamic Spectrum Sharing lets Verizon instantly catch up to AT&T and TMO on 5G rollout brags.  The marketing wars have now begun with all carriers offering $500-$800 rebates on iPhones.  Clearly this helps with the Apple 5G launch as there is significant pent-up demand from iOS subs waiting to upgrade to the 12.
    • Equinix Collaborates with Nokia for Global IoT Pla...
    • Sep 28, 2020
    • Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world's digital infrastructure company, today announced it has been selected as a strategic supplier for Nokia's World... View More
      Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world's digital infrastructure company, today announced it has been selected as a strategic supplier for Nokia's Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) managed service, in a collaboration to bring next-generation edge architectures and services to market. WING allows operators without an IoT footprint to gain fast entry to the IoT market or to help operators expand an existing IoT business. (PR Newswire, September 23) Gareth Owen's key takeaways:  Highlights the trend of big colo providers expanding their edge footprints, positioning as neutral interconnects between big cloud networks and SPs and enterprise networks.  As Nokia diversifies into services, Equinix provides broader reach with its access to 10,000 businesses – including more than 1,800 networks and 3,000 enterprises.
    • Smart Cities in India: Framework for ICT Infrastru...
    • Sep 28, 2020
    • The White Paper highlights the Role of digital technologies for smart cities, discusses the key smart solutions, deliberates the need of Global Standardization ... View More
      The White Paper highlights the Role of digital technologies for smart cities, discusses the key smart solutions, deliberates the need of Global Standardization and connectivity related aspects specific to smart cities, and tries to identify the framework for ICT Infrastructure for the success of Smart Cities Mission in India. (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, September 22) Priya Joseph's key takeaways:  Security and privacy are major themes across the whitepaper, with the word ‘security’ mentioned over 100 times.  This highlights security in IoT and newer tech products and services is not just a feature, but a priority.  The paper also calls for a framework to allocate a unique, secure and un-cloneable identity to every device connected to the ‘Civic and/or Critical Infrastructure’, and an Addressing Scheme to allocate unique addresses to each device connected in any network.

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