Vodafone Issues 5G/IoT Call to Action to UK Government in Advance of COP26

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

• In a new report, Vodafone warned that current initiatives underway by the UK government are insufficient to help meet aggressive carbon emission reduction goals, including a 2035 78% reduction target.

• Vodafone and its research partner WMI Economics offered solutions designed to help jumpstart progress on these aggressive goals by deploying 5G and IoT to a host of vertical segments, notably agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation.

UK telecom operator Vodafone warned in September that the UK government has much more to do to meet aggressive emissions reduction targets that call for a 78% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2020. The company believes its Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can help.

In a new report issued in conjunction with political communications consultancy WPI Economics, Vodafone pointed to slow progress in important sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, and transport where IoT could potentially deliver important progress. In these three sectors alone, Vodafone estimates that existing IoT technology has the ability to reduce between 11.7 million and 17.4 million metric tons in annual greenhouse gas emissions – at the high-end, that would represent 4% of total UK emissions, or approximately the total emissions in the Northeast of England. The benefits of IoT vary by population density – Vodafone estimates that in city centers, 87% of the benefit would come from smart transportation solutions; by contrast, agriculture would drive 38% of emission reductions in rural areas.

TOTAL POTENTIAL ANNUAL CO2 SAVINGS FROM DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
BY SECTOR AND SCENARIO

Source: Vodafone/WPI Economics “Connecting for Net Zero: Addressing the climate crisis through digital technology” (September 2021)

In order to fully realize these emissions reductions, Vodafone issued a call to action for the UK government. Among its recommendations:

• Set clearer targets and benchmarks for the adoption of digital technology within the company’s 2050 zero net emissions strategy.

• Incentivize adoption of IoT and 5G technologies in key sectors to accelerate emissions reductions.

• Increase the weight given to carbon reduction technologies and vendors’ internal carbon reduction targets in procurement processes.

• Expand the role of UK programs such as Digital Catapult and Connected Places Catapult that are tasked with accelerating digital technology innovation and adoption in high impact sectors of the economy.

• Allocate £500 million of public funding to regional innovation centers focused specifically on IoT and 5G applications that can reduce carbon emissions.

• Enable interoperability among solutions by introducing regulation to drive common security and data standards in IoT devices.

• Introduce a regulatory and policy framework that “creates the right signals for investment” in mobile networks across the UK.

For all the focus on the lead-up to COP26, the next annual UN climate change conference happening in Glasgow, Scotland in November, Vodafone also offers another, less altruistic rationale for focusing on 5G-based digital solutions to reduce carbon emissions: jobs. According to the September report, Vodafone estimates that 5G could add £6.3 billion to the value of UK manufacturing by 2030 and create 175,000 additional jobs across the economy.

Continue reading “Vodafone Issues 5G/IoT Call to Action to UK Government in Advance of COP26”

AT&T and Verizon Showcase Two Approaches to Environmental Sustainability

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T announced a new initiative designed to help its customers dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company still has work to do on internal ‘greenification.’
  • Verizon is taking a different approach, issuing its second and third $1 billion green bonds recently to fund a host of renewable energy contracts.

AT&T arguably took a leadership position among U.S. telecommunication operators, announcing August 31 that it will drive a reduction of a gigaton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions —1 billion metric tons — by 2035, in conjunction with a consortium of partners that includes Microsoft, Equinix, Duke Energy, and a number of research universities. A gigaton is equal to roughly 15% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 3% of global emissions based on 2020 estimates. Continue reading “AT&T and Verizon Showcase Two Approaches to Environmental Sustainability”

H1 2021 CapEx Up Modestly for U.S. Operators, but Supply Chain Challenges Loom

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

  • Through midyear, U.S. network operators have performed as expected on capital expenditures, posting a modest increase in spend over last year’s COVID-dampened investment. T-Mobile USA stands out with a large year-to-year increase as it embarks on aggressive 5G buildout plans.
  • H2 2021 spending appears likely to also be up slightly compared to 2020; however, as evidenced by revised AT&T guidance, looming supply chain challenges could stymy some plans, particularly in fiber deployment.

A GlobalData analysis of U.S. operator financial results based on mid-year 2021 earnings releases shows capital expenditures (CapEx) spending increased just over 7% compared to COVID-impacted H1 2020. In total, the nine publicly reported carriers spent $38.5 billion in CapEx. GlobalData estimates that the big three operators that account for nearly 70% of total U.S. CapEx – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile USA – spent just over $26 billion, up 6.1% from H1 2020. Continue reading “H1 2021 CapEx Up Modestly for U.S. Operators, but Supply Chain Challenges Loom”

Industry Mulling Impact of AT&T-Microsoft Core Deal

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T announced it will transfer its mobile network to the Microsoft Azure cloud, beginning with the 5G core.
  • Other operators are likely to make a similar transition, though many will take much longer to do so than AT&T.

AT&T certainly grabbed the headlines – and stole some of the already dim MWC Barcelona spotlight – with its announcement June 30 that it will move its 5G network to Microsoft’s Azure for Operators cloud, beginning with its 5G core. Continue reading “Industry Mulling Impact of AT&T-Microsoft Core Deal”

25G PON Goes Live, Needs More Deployments to Break into Mainstream

Summary Bullets:

  • 25G PON is market ready and likely to become the technology of choice for operators seeking faster-than-10 Gbps FTTP now and in the near future.
  • Emir Halilovic, Principal Analyst

    The future of 25G PON directly depends on the magnitude of early operator demand and adoption of advanced use cases requiring 25G-specific capabilities.

The Nokia/Proximus announcement of world’s first 25G PON deployment at the end of May was a significant milestone for the global broadband industry. It primarily showed that the 25G PON technology is market ready and significantly outperforming XGS-PON, which is only now becoming mainstream. It also symbolized the increased importance of Europe as a competitive battleground for fixed broadband, which will only continue heating up with increased broadband investment fueled by national broadband plans and post-COVID recovery funds. Finally, the launch served to validate unique capabilities of Nokia’s Quillion chipset, currently the only vendor solution capable of delivering 25G PON. Continue reading “25G PON Goes Live, Needs More Deployments to Break into Mainstream”

Vodafone Radio Contract with Samsung Is Small in Size but Large in Significance

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

  •  Samsung has traditionally found itself outside of the sphere of influence with European operators, but a combination of emerging vRAN and O-RAN technologies and geopolitics is creating a new opportunity.
  • The company’s O-RAN deal with Vodafone UK, announced in June, is small in size but could represent the beginning of a long tail of opportunity.

Vodafone UK announced in June it will deploy new radio technology from Samsung, including virtualized radio access network (vRAN) solutions as well as open RAN (O-RAN) compliant radios. For both technological and competitive reasons, the new deal – while relatively small in size – could be large in its impact. Continue reading “Vodafone Radio Contract with Samsung Is Small in Size but Large in Significance”

Subsea Deployments Driving Growth and Innovation for Many Vendors

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

  • Subsea cable deployments have represented a small but significant share of revenue for many vendors. However, that is changing as demand for broadband capacity continues to increase.
  • These vendors are also finding that subsea deployments serve not only as a source of growth, but as an ideal venue to showcase their latest product capabilities as well, particularly in 800G coherent optics.

Recent announcements by a number of subsea cable providers are showcasing a number of key trends: not only is subsea capacity more in demand than ever, but these deployments are also serving as an ideal technological proving ground. Continue reading “Subsea Deployments Driving Growth and Innovation for Many Vendors”

Automation, AI, Cloud, and Services – The Foundation for 5G

Glen Hunt – Principal Analyst

Summary Bullets:

Fulfilling the Promise of 5G – 5G requires a fully automated and intelligent network infrastructure capable of delivering high speed broadband and new enterprise and industrial network services.

Taming Complexity – AI and agile cloud-based resources are necessary to deliver a fully digitized and flexible services environment, simplify complex network management and reduce operational costs.

5G network expectations have been well articulated, but meeting these lofty expectations is another matter. Today’s networks are multi-layer, multi-technology, and multi-vendor, which adds to the depth of the challenge at hand. The goal is to deliver new network and application services in a manner that satisfies on-demand user expectations over a network infrastructure that grows more complex over time.

The good news is that automation and AI technologies are steadily ramping up to address the complexity inherent in these multi-X networks; however, before automation and AI can be instrumented, the network infrastructure must be made programmable, a monumental task. The following analysis explores each of the key capabilities needed to establish an intelligent 5G network and note significant advances in vendor solutions. Continue reading “Automation, AI, Cloud, and Services – The Foundation for 5G”

Homeworkers May Be the True Market Opportunity for 5G Fixed Wireless

John Byrne, Service Director

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators and vendors have been targeting the U.S. market recently with a number of new offerings that enable enterprises to provide a secure IT and communications environment for their employees that are increasingly likely to work-from-home even after the pandemic subsides.
  • 5G proponents have thus far struggled to identify workable use cases for 5G fixed wireless, particularly as a replacement for fixed broadband. The incremental enterprise opportunity may represent the true 5G FWA use case.

Google became the latest big company to embrace an extended – and perhaps permanent – employment paradigm in which many employees will be working from home, at least part-time, for the foreseeable future. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced March 5 that Google will allow approximately 20% of workers to stay home permanently, and most employees will be able to work from home two days per week. Google joins a host of companies embracing hybrid working environments even once pandemic restrictions have fully eased. Continue reading “Homeworkers May Be the True Market Opportunity for 5G Fixed Wireless”

Huawei Software and Services Lays the Foundation for an Ecosystem Play

Andy Hicks, Principal Analyst

Summary Bullets:

  • At Huawei’s recent analyst event, the company said that it was placing greater emphasis on building a services and software partner ecosystem.
  • Although Huawei has historically not built much of a partner ecosystem outside its local deployment and maintenance relationships, it now has several pieces in place to make more progress in the area.

At the annual Huawei Analyst Summit (HAS) in April 2021 – the second year it was conducted largely virtually – Huawei’s Software and Services leadership went into detail on its advancements and strategies for the group. Discussions touched several times on Huawei’s desire to build up its partner ecosystem, both to expand the innovation it can deliver to clients and to extend its reach to additional service provider business lines. Huawei has historically maintained a substantial ecosystem in local country network deployment and operations field forces, but its progress on building a service creation ecosystem has been less apparent. At HAS, Huawei executives made clear they understand that developing an ecosystem is vital to its goal of emphasizing software and services as a means to enhance customer loyalty and diversify its revenue stream in the wake of ongoing hardware supply chain challenges. Continue reading “Huawei Software and Services Lays the Foundation for an Ecosystem Play”