Technology Bulletin

    • Vodafone UK Launches Live OpenRAN Network for Rura...
    • Sep 8, 2020
    • Vodafone UK has become the first UK mobile operator to switch on an OpenRAN 4G site, partnering with Mavenir, the industry’s only end-to-end cloud-native ... View More
      Vodafone UK has become the first UK mobile operator to switch on an OpenRAN 4G site, partnering with Mavenir, the industry’s only end-to-end cloud-native Network Software Provider for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). (September 2, Total Telecom) Jan Stryjak's key takeaways: Not only is this about cost-effectively extending 4G services to rural communities, but more importantly, it is about introducing new suppliers into the radio network after the Huawei ban. OpenRAN is gaining momentum in Europe, with operators given an extra incentive to diversify their vendor portfolio. While this is "only" a 4G service, it will be interesting to see how this develops as 5G picks up speed.
    • Qualcomm Will Bring 5G to $125 Phones From Motorol...
    • Sep 8, 2020
    • Partners such as Motorola, Xiaomi and Oppo will introduce devices based on Qualcomm's upcoming 5G-enabled 4-Series Snapdragon chips. (September 3, CNET) ... View More
      Partners such as Motorola, Xiaomi and Oppo will introduce devices based on Qualcomm's upcoming 5G-enabled 4-Series Snapdragon chips. (September 3, CNET) Jeff Fieldhack's key takeaways: We’re only 18 months into 5G sales and the headline numbers highlight the steep price erosion in the market.  These price points will allow global carriers to accelerate sales and adoption and begin seeing 5G investment returns.  Specs used to take two to three years to fall from premium to entry – today it is between one year and 18 months. Expect mmWave to hit the 4-series by H2 2021 or early 2022.
    • Deadline Closing in on Huawei - at Least in Terms ...
    • Sep 8, 2020
    • Huawei has a stockpile of about 10 million Kirin 9000 chips that will support shipments for about half a year, one telecom expert said, as the "deadline&qu... View More
      Huawei has a stockpile of about 10 million Kirin 9000 chips that will support shipments for about half a year, one telecom expert said, as the "deadline" for production of the Kirin 9000 is drawing near after the US government moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei Technologies from global chipmakers. (September 6, Global Times) Peter Richardson's key takeaways:  This provides for a limited run of Mate 40s, most of which will be sold in China given no GMS. And the 10m unit number assumes Huawei has all the other parts it needs to produce the Mate 40 – no small task in itself. There is a glimmer of hope – that suppliers can obtain licenses to continue selling merchant components to Huawei, but this is unlikely to include TSMC.    
    • Deadline Closing in on Huawei - at Least in Terms ...
    • Sep 8, 2020
    • Huawei has a stockpile of about 10 million Kirin 9000 chips that will support shipments for about half a year, one telecom expert said, as the "deadline&qu... View More
      Huawei has a stockpile of about 10 million Kirin 9000 chips that will support shipments for about half a year, one telecom expert said, as the "deadline" for production of the Kirin 9000 is drawing near after the US government moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei Technologies from global chipmakers. (September 6, Global Times) Peter Richardson's key takeaways:  This provides for a limited run of Mate 40s, most of which will be sold in China given no GMS. And the 10m unit number assumes Huawei has all the other parts it needs to produce the Mate 40 – no small task in itself. There is a glimmer of hope – that suppliers can obtain licenses to continue selling merchant components to Huawei, but this is unlikely to include TSMC.    
    • Smartwatch Brands Adjusting Supply Chain Deploymen...
    • Sep 1, 2020
    • Some smartwatch vendors have adjusted their supply chains, either by switching related suppliers or relocating production bases, to adapt to changing global mic... View More
      Some smartwatch vendors have adjusted their supply chains, either by switching related suppliers or relocating production bases, to adapt to changing global micro situations in order to sustain the highest amount and stable benefits over the past two years. Among the top-5 vendors, China-based Huawei and Garmin, whose manufacturing bases are located in Taiwan, have not made much changes to their supply chains, but Apple, Samsung Electronics and Fitbit are those that have been forced to overhaul their supply chains, including efforts to build manufacturing facilities in India. (Digitimes, August 31) Neil Shah's key takeaways: Moving outside of China could help suppliers in the smartwatch market to scale faster.  Further, Google's acquisition of Fitbit will contribute to rejigging of the supply chain in coming years.  The intent and pressure to move design and manufacturing outside of China also means an opportunity for suppliers to scale up their relationship with growing brands like Apple. Samsung looking to start manufacturing in India makes it a key market for suppliers to set up base.
    • Apple Supplier JDI to Sell Plant to Sharp for $386...
    • Sep 1, 2020
    • Struggling Apple supplier Japan Display plans to sell a smartphone screen factory and the land it sits on to Sharp for 41.2 billion yen ($386 million), the comp... View More
      Struggling Apple supplier Japan Display plans to sell a smartphone screen factory and the land it sits on to Sharp for 41.2 billion yen ($386 million), the company has announced. A deal for the Hakusan liquid crystal display plant in Ishikawa Prefecture, along with the sale of equipment there to a customer believed to be Apple, will earn Japan Display $668 million while cutting excess capacity that has weighed on earnings. (Nikkei Asian Review, August 28) Jene Park's key takeaways: With the decline in LCD prices and Apple products shifting to OLED display, JDI wants to bring down LCD production capacity.  JDI is known to be developing low-power small OLEDs, so it is expected that it will be more aggressive on the OLED business. Sharp is expected to increase LCD production capacity, targeting the gap in LCD supply caused by the transition to OLED. With Samsung Display completely stopping its LCD business from 2021, Sharp is expected to support Samsung with LCDs. The Hakusan plant, in particular, is known as the plant that Apple has invested in before. Therefore, there is a possibility of some Apple connection in this Sharp deal.
    • Samsung Display Recognized for Pinhole Tech Perfor...
    • Sep 1, 2020
    • Samsung Display will call its smartphone [pin]hole display technology Iris Ring, the company said on Wednesday…The company said it received the Hole Area... View More
      Samsung Display will call its smartphone [pin]hole display technology Iris Ring, the company said on Wednesday…The company said it received the Hole Area Clarity verification from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for no color difference in the areas around the hole. UL verified the 120Hz OLED panel used for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung Display said. They received a Delta E rating less than 2, meaning there was no discernible difference visually in colors around the hole and the remainder of the panel. (The Elec, August 27) Ethan Qi's key takeaways: No surprise on the UL rating as Samsung Display has been at the forefront of hole display innovations.  We expect Iris Ring to become a critical display solution across Samsung’s 5G smartphones moving forward.
    • FCC Completes 3.5 GHz Spectrum Auction Raising $4....
    • Sep 1, 2020
    • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has completed the 3.5 GHz spectrum auction (Auction 105) – raising $4.585 billion…FCC will reveal the n... View More
      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has completed the 3.5 GHz spectrum auction (Auction 105) – raising $4.585 billion…FCC will reveal the name of winners later. There were 271 eligible bidders including AT&T, Cox, Shenandoah Cable TV, USSC, and Windstream, among others. Bidders won 20,625 of 22,631, or more than 91.1 percent, of available licenses…The auction of Priority Access Licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz band, which was designated as Auction 105, made available the greatest number of spectrum licenses ever in a single FCC auction, the telecom regulator said. (telecomlead, August 26) Ankit Malhotra's key takeaways: This auction is a part of the 5G FAST Plan by the FCC – a comprehensive strategy to ‘Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology’.  The FCC will also open 280 more megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G in the C-band in December.  FCC generated $20 billion in 600 MHz spectrum just 3 years ago, of which T-Mobile was the biggest winner.   The list of winners will be announced soon, but expectations are Verizon will have been the most aggressive given their lack of mid and low-band spectrum ownership.
    • Apple Plans to Start Selling Online in India Next ...
    • Sep 1, 2020
    • Apple Inc. is poised to open an online store for the first time in the fast-growing smartphone market of India next month, according to a person with knowledge ... View More
      Apple Inc. is poised to open an online store for the first time in the fast-growing smartphone market of India next month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, taking advantage of a relaxation of once-strict prohibitions against foreign direct retail. The online store will be ready for operations just ahead of the festive Dussehra-Diwali spending season, according to the person, who asked not to be named discussing confidential plans. The iPhone maker, which lobbied New Delhi for years to get around regulations that force companies such as Apple to source 30% of components locally, had originally planned to start online sales within months after the government relaxed the rule last year. Those plans were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. ​(Bloomberg, August 25) Jene Park's key takeaways:  Things are finally coming together in India with Apple’s made-in-India strategy and low-cost iPhones helping the company to make further inroads in the world’s number two giga-market.  The company’s dominance in India across the high-end coupled with declining ASPs driven by the SE 2020 will support online growth, as the company also pushes into brick and mortar with another (rumoured) outlet opening in Bangalore.     We see 2021 as pivotal, with the company likely to focus on the $250-450 range with the SE, as well as older flagships. 
    • Forcia Clarion Launches New AI Face Recognition Se...
    • Aug 25, 2020
    • Forcia Clarion has introduced a new AI face recognition service — SAFE-DR (Smart Access For Enterprise-Drive Recorder) — to its cloud-based vehicle ... View More
      Forcia Clarion has introduced a new AI face recognition service — SAFE-DR (Smart Access For Enterprise-Drive Recorder) — to its cloud-based vehicle management system. It will start providing the service from September 2020. (Clarion) Soumen's key takeaways:  The new camera-based system, which can be integrated with a smartphone as well, will help prevent road accidents. As the automotive industry is slowly moving towards autonomous vehicles, security is a rising challenge for automakers and technology players. This system will help prevent theft of vehicles. Passengers too will feel safer in using shared vehicles. The driving data will be stored in a dedicated server. This will open a new business opportunity for memory storage players and security players. Driving will be easier and safer with this AI-based face recognition system. Forcia Clarion is taking one step ahead towards developing fully autonomous vehicles.

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