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Technology Bulletin

    • COVID-19 Pandemic to Delay 5G Rollouts in Europe b...
    • Aug 4, 2020
    • The COVID-19 pandemic will delay the rollout of 5G networks in Europe by 12 to 18 months, according to a recent report by PwC. According to the report, Europea... View More
      The COVID-19 pandemic will delay the rollout of 5G networks in Europe by 12 to 18 months, according to a recent report by PwC. According to the report, European telcos’ investment spending over the next two years will fall by €6bn-€9bn ($7.1bn-$10.6bn). “Telcos need to act urgently to address the squeeze on their 5G investment plans. Specifically, they must review their 5G business cases and deployment timetables, given the significant growth and changing pattern of demand for network capacity that has emerged due to the COVID-19 lockdown,” PwC said. (RCR Wireless, July 31) Aman Madhok's key takeaways:  Delays bring serious risks and knock-on effects from reduced delivery of innovative services to cashflows – all of which compromise long-term 5G business cases for operators; these will likely need to be revised.   On the vendor side, expect major rethinks from these operators in terms of capex allocation. Further, many emerging technologies could also take a hit, for example, V2X, IoT and the like.  
    • BMW, Tencent Tie up to Launch Computing Centre for...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • German automaker BMW and Chinese tech giant Tencent have teamed up to launch a computing centre for developing semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles (AVs) in ... View More
      German automaker BMW and Chinese tech giant Tencent have teamed up to launch a computing centre for developing semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles (AVs) in China. (Reuters) Soumen's key takeaways:  Since BMW is looking to launch its L3 AV in China in 2021, the D3 (Data Driven Development) platform will play a huge role in data collection, simulation, validation and testing. As BMW has already tied up with NavInfo in February 2020 for collecting local data in China, this partnership will give a huge boost to BMW towards starting AV pilot testing. This deal will help Tencent to reduce dependency on the gaming segment. Tencent was trying aggressively to enter this future space of the mobility market. BMW has already been working with Baidu from 2014 in China for the introduction of AVs. The automotive industry is transforming into a connected and autonomous ecosystem but none of the automakers have expertise in data and computing systems, hence they need local players to build their own ecosystem.
    • Mitsubishi Performance Hits an All-Time Low
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • The automaker sold 139,000 vehicles globally during April-June, a 53% YoY decline.  It projects an operating loss of $1.33 billion in FY21, the biggest in ... View More
      The automaker sold 139,000 vehicles globally during April-June, a 53% YoY decline.  It projects an operating loss of $1.33 billion in FY21, the biggest in the past 18 years.  (Reuters) Aman's key takeaways:  Mitsubishi has bet its growth on the ASEAN region where it is stronger than the competitors. The automaker’s sales in this region fell 70% during the period, representing 17% (down from 25%) of its global sales. Since COVID-19 came to ASEAN later than other regions, it is likely that the recovery of Mitsubishi sales will be delayed.
    • Renault Electric Car Zoe Outsells Tesla, Volkswage...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • Renault delivered a shock in its latest sales figures to anyone who had only paid attention to Tesla’s stock chart. The French carmaker’s all-electr... View More
      Renault delivered a shock in its latest sales figures to anyone who had only paid attention to Tesla’s stock chart. The French carmaker’s all-electric Zoe out-muscled the Model 3 as Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle in the first half of the year. (The National) Fahad's key takeaways:  Renault's four-door electric hatchback Zoe bested Tesla’s Model 3, Volkswagen’s electric Golf and Nissan Motor’s Leaf to become Europe's top-selling electric vehicle.   Zoe has seen its sales increase steadily YoY. The affordable price of this subcompact, coupled with the incentives provided by French and German governments, has led to the sales of over 38,000 units in the first six months of 2020. Zoe is one of the biggest names in the electric vehicle market and has helped position Renault as a major player in the future of mobility. Since its launch in 2009, Zoe hasn't undergone major changes except for a few redesigns and upgrades. The new Zoe has a 10-inch TFT cluster and EASY LINK infotainment system with a 9.3-inch portrait screen that features real-time charging information, and Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™. Iconic models also include a unique seat fabric that is made from 100% recycled material. Zoe provides a comfortable drive in urban centres because of its narrow, boxy shape and manoeuvrability.  VW's long-awaited ID.3 has entered the market and PSA Group is promoting two new electric models, the Peugeot 208 and the Opel Corsa. The competition will be fierce in the second part of the year.
    • Mobileye Further Strengthens Its Position in Front...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • Ford is partnering with Mobileye to use the latter’s EyeQ technology in its vehicles from 2021 (CNBC) Aman's key takeaways:  It ... View More
      Ford is partnering with Mobileye to use the latter’s EyeQ technology in its vehicles from 2021 (CNBC) Aman's key takeaways:  It is a big win for Mobileye considering Ford sells some 4 million vehicles annually. Mobileye will further increase its market share (from the current 70%) in front ADAS systems.  Ford aims to gain a competitive advantage by enhancing its Co-Pilot 360 technology with sensing capabilities provided by EyeQ. Ford might further expand the partnership by using EyeQ in AVs designed by its subsidiary Agro. Mobileye collects mapping data from millions of vehicles through its REM (Road Experience Management) mapping system. Ford’s inclusion will further strengthen Mobileye's mapping system.
    • Latest EV Subsidies in Europe Make Renaults Free i...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • Car buyers in Europe can now get their hands on a brand-new electric vehicle (EV) for less than the typical cost of a mobile-phone contract. Thanks to the gener... View More
      Car buyers in Europe can now get their hands on a brand-new electric vehicle (EV) for less than the typical cost of a mobile-phone contract. Thanks to the generous subsidies, some are even free. (Bloomberg) Vinay's key takeaways:  Electric-car sales are rising in Europe, boosted by generous subsidies, as policymakers look to support major sources of employment and economic activity. This year, Germany’s subsidies are as much as 9,000 Euros per EV and in France about 7,000 Euros per EV.  The generous subsidies temporarily solve the major challenge of high ownership costs currently associated with EVs. However, in the long run, the challenge of high cost still remains, until such time cost-effective and emerging technologies help to naturally bring down the cost of EV batteries and drivetrains.
    • NPCI Launches UPI AutoPay Feature for Recurring Pa...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on Wednesday, launched its one-stop fintech payment solution- UPI AutoPay in a virtual event of Global Fintech Fe... View More
      National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on Wednesday, launched its one-stop fintech payment solution- UPI AutoPay in a virtual event of Global Fintech Fest. The feature is dedicated to recurring payments and can be used for multiple financial purposes such as utility payments, booking bus pass, train tickets, paying DTH subscriptions among others. (The Economic Times, July 23) Arushi Chawla's key takeaway: This 'set it and forget it’ feature is not just great for the end user, but shows the NPCI’s commitment to strengthening its domestic digital payments platform and supporting the overall ecosystem
    • AT&T Says Its 5G Network is Now Available Nationwi...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • AT&T said on Thursday that its 5G network is now available nationwide. The company says its 5G is now available to more than 205 million consumers in 395 co... View More
      AT&T said on Thursday that its 5G network is now available nationwide. The company says its 5G is now available to more than 205 million consumers in 395 coverage markets across the US. ​ (The Verge, July 23) Jeff Fieldhack's key takeaways: AT&T announces new/aggressive 5G plans starting at $35/month for 4 lines on the same day the carrier claims to have achieved low-band 5G 'nationwide coverage' (aka over 200m POPs).  US 5G sales have been mediocre at best. Aggressive new plans and new 5G devices will accelerate 5G sales in 2H20.  Look for at least one carrier to go aggressive to steal Fall 5G iOS subs. Other carriers will likely follow. 
    • France Effectively Forcing Huawei Out of 5G Networ...
    • Jul 28, 2020
    • French authorities have told telecoms operators planning to buy Huawei 5G equipment that they won't be able to renew licences for the gear once they expir... View More
      French authorities have told telecoms operators planning to buy Huawei 5G equipment that they won't be able to renew licences for the gear once they expire, effectively phasing the Chinese firm out of mobile networks, three sources close to the matter said…France's cybersecurity agency ANSSI said this month it would allow operators to use equipment, including Huawei's, under licences of three to eight years. But it added it was urging telcos not currently using the Chinese company's gear to avoid switching to it. (Rthk.hk English News, July 23) Gareth Owen's key takeaways – options for operators:  This follows last week’s UK announcements that all MNOs will have to cease procuring 5G equipment from Huawei after 2020 and will have to replace all Huawei 5G equipment by end-2027. With most MNOs in Europe using Huawei equipment for at least part of their 5G networks, the alternative options will be Nordic incumbents Ericsson and Nokia, or challenger Samsung Networks. Samsung is dominant in South Korea and has several deployments in the US, but is not a major player in Europe as it does not support legacy 2G/3G – resulting in lack of support for so-called ‘single RAN’ solutions. To overcome this, Samsung is proposing a 5G overlay network solution connected to 4G, and the company claims many European MNOs are removing their ‘single RAN’ requirements. The problem is these solutions need a lot of spectrum, which many European operators lack. We believe that this will act as a catalyst in the UK for open RAN, which basically sub-divides the RAN into separate units, thus enabling new players to offer just parts of the RAN rather than an end-to-end solution. However, open RAN is still an immature technology and will not be suitable for dense urban areas for several years. Nevertheless, the vendor diversity issue will act as a catalyst for open RAN research and eventual adoption across Europe and elsewhere.
    • Wistron to Sell Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing and...
    • Jul 21, 2020
    • Wistron Corp. held a Board of Directors Meeting today and approved to sell Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing (Kunshan) Co., Ltd, Wistron Investment (Jiangsu) Co., ... View More
      Wistron Corp. held a Board of Directors Meeting today and approved to sell Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing (Kunshan) Co., Ltd, Wistron Investment (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd, and related businesses to Luxshare Group. The transaction value is tentatively set as RMB3.3 billion [US$472m]… Post the transaction, the company will be more aggressive to invest in and develop future technologies while targeting new business areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive, and health care to further enhance its product portfolio and profitability. (CTimes (Global Electronics in Taiwan), July 17) Brady Wang's key takeaways: The estimated completion of this deal is the end of this year. This means Luxshare has less chance to be the EMS for iPhone 12 in 2020. However, Luxshare will enter into the iPhone assembly business and start from old models.  In order to mitigate the impact of tariff imposed by the US on the trade war between the US and China, it's expected to see more factories moving out of China to Vietnam or India. Due to the increased cost of smartphones but the difficulty in increasing their selling price, the margins for iPhone assembly are getting lower and lower.

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