MWC18: Netcracker’s 5G Monetization Solution Readies Operators for 5G Business Case Journey, but a Winner Is Essential in 2018

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • Netcracker unveiled its new 5G monetization solution at Mobile World Congress 218, aimed at delivering the 5G use cases essential to justifying massive operator investments in 5G technology.
  • However, Netcracker must further sharpen its portfolio development and marketing on a breakthrough 5G use case, with e-health a leading candidate, to jump-start 5G monetization and avoid overextended, spread-out pursuit of effective 5G business cases.

At Mobile World Congress 2018, Netcracker launched its 5G monetization solution, publicizing growing operator demand for commercializing emerging 5G services, particularly during their transitions from 4G services to 5G services. Netcracker’s solution is developed to solve core 5G monetization challenges such as delivering the dynamic network slicing and distributed edge computing essential to executing new digital business models and extracting value from 5G offerings. Moreover, Netcracker is stressing that its solution meets the emerging requirements in building 5G use cases such as fixed wireless access, virtual/augmented entertainment and collaboration, remote medicine, and industrial robotics. By using open source software and distributed domain orchestration, the solution supports the cloud-native microservices architecture needed to lower the upfront costs of flexibly deploying services in order to arrive at delivering successful commercial 5G services. Continue reading “MWC18: Netcracker’s 5G Monetization Solution Readies Operators for 5G Business Case Journey, but a Winner Is Essential in 2018”

MWC18: Juniper Expands its “Bots” Portfolio with the Contrail Slicing Bot, Helping to Automate More Complexity

Glen Hunt – Principal Analyst

Summary Bullets:

Automates Complex Network Slicing Process: The Contrail Network Slicing Bot aims to simplify the highly complex process of defining, creating, provisioning and managing network slicing across both physical and virtual infrastructures. Network slicing is a fundamental tenet of all 5G architectures.

Addresses Skill Set Shortage: Juniper’s network Bots, including the Slicing Bot, help alleviate the lack of internal staff education and higher level skillsets required to use network automation tools, which are often complex and require deep network knowledge. The Slicing Bot uses a high level human friendly language to translate operator intent into actionable workflows.

Juniper’s “Slicing Bot” launch enables operators to leverage technologies such as machine learning, network telemetry and SDN control, to help reduce the complexity they face as they attempt to deploy virtual networks to meet the growing demand for faster time-to-service. The new Contrail Slicing Bot joins three other Bots, which the company launched in December 2017. The Bots enable operators to operate at a business level (i.e., intent) to help automate complex network functions that are often error prone and time consuming due to manual processes and the lack of operational skills. The three initial Bot applications offered by Juniper included PeerBot, TestBot and HealthBot, which address key pain points for operators; the new Slicing Bot tackles the highly complex, but essential process of carving up the network into virtual slices, a fundamental building block for supporting 5G services. Continue reading “MWC18: Juniper Expands its “Bots” Portfolio with the Contrail Slicing Bot, Helping to Automate More Complexity”

Four Mega Trends in Healthcare and the Ways Tech Can Help

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck – Research Director, Strategic Insights

While the healthcare system in the United States, and abroad, is a complex ecosystem with an array of interdependencies that are influencing the way the market is evolving, four major trends are having a strong impact circa 2018.

  • Shifts towards “Value-based Care”. Particularly in the U.S., the healthcare system is faced with significant rising costs due to a very large portion of its population moving into retirement age. In response, the U.S. government, the largest payer in the healthcare ecosystem, is taking steps to shift reimbursements towards “value-based payments.” A central tenet of this approach is to encourage a shift in industry focus from “paying for procedures” to “paying for outcomes”. While the business impact of this trend is to transfer increasing amounts of financial risk from payers to providers and patients, the theory is that it will also result in more targeted and effective treatment and care plans.
  • The need to protect profitability. As the movement towards value-based care shifts more financial risks to providers, many are taking steps such as scaling up through M&A, opening practices in desirable geographies and investing in specialties to protect their profitability. For example, hospital systems are opening urgent care facilities in suburban and rural areas, drug companies are merging and/or buying retail pharmacies, and healthcare payers are partnering with health systems to help promote wellness programs.

Continue reading “Four Mega Trends in Healthcare and the Ways Tech Can Help”

Verizon’s NB-IoT Plans: Expanding Options for Hedging Bets?

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

• Verizon and Ericsson announced successful trials of NB-IoT with plans to launch nationwide NB-IoT by the end of the year.

• Given the different use cases for LTE-M and NB-IoT, a dual-buildout strategy makes sense. However, with NB-IoT more widely deployed, Verizon’s decision to build out NB-IoT also enables it to hedge its bets in the event that an LTE-M ecosystem doesn’t emerge.

Verizon announced February 1 it will deploy NB-IoT technology across its network in 2018 after successful trials with Ericsson. The announcement represented an acceleration from previous plans which called for NB-IoT trials this year. The move was no doubt a competitive response to T-Mobile USA’s accelerated deployment plans, but there may have been other rationale that played into Verizon’s plans. Continue reading “Verizon’s NB-IoT Plans: Expanding Options for Hedging Bets?”

Looking for Light in Ericsson Results, but It’s Getting Dimmer

John Byrne – Service Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • Ericsson’s Q4 2017 results showed signs of progress, including significant adoption of its 5G-focused Ericsson Radio System (ERS), an improved position in the Chinese market, and the elimination or completion of a dozen unprofitable and/or non-strategic services engagements.
  • Unfortunately, the weak results, coupled with continued management upheaval, paint a picture of a company that remains adrift despite replacing a significant portion of its leadership team in the past 18 months.

Ericsson released its Q4 2017 financial results January 31, and as the company had already forecast, it was mostly bad news, particularly when it comes to reported results which reflected a 12% decline in revenue and a painful -34.5% operating margin compared to -0.3% in Q4 2016 and -10% in Q3 2017. However, in the spirit of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, there was some good news to offset the bad. To be clear, however, some of the news was just bad. Continue reading “Looking for Light in Ericsson Results, but It’s Getting Dimmer”

EXFO: Astellia Acquisition Foretells New Differentiation in Service Assurance Market

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • EXFO is advancing the completion of its acquisition of service assurance specialist Astellia, expanding its mobile assurance portfolio and customer footprint.
  • However, EXFO must use the Astellia acquisition to forge competitive differentiation in areas like fixed-mobile convergence assurance and 3D geolocation applications.

In December 2017, consolidation of the service assurance market heated up. EXFO announced the opening of its all-cash voluntary tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of assurance specialist Astellia that EXFO does not already own, following the off-market acquisition of 33.1% of Astellia’s equity. The move follows Nokia’s 2017 acquisition of OSS supplier Comptel, due in good part to Comptel’s FlowOne closed-loop service assurance assets. The acquisition bolsters EXFO’s existing service assurance footprint, adding Astellia’s base of 120 operator customers. Equally important, EXFO locks up Astellia’s mobile service assurance expertise, augmenting its existing fixed and mobile assurance portfolio. However, EXFO cannot rest on its laurels in nearing the completion of the Astellia acquisition. In 2018, EXFO must find ways to differentiate its portfolio through the integration of the Astellia assets, as operator demands for automated assurance in complex multi-play service environments will escalate and will not wait for slow-on-the-draw suppliers because of integration distractions. Continue reading “EXFO: Astellia Acquisition Foretells New Differentiation in Service Assurance Market”

Amdocs Industry Analyst Summit: Complexity Is Our Friend

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • On December 5-6, Amdocs held an Industry Analyst Summit to provide an update on its product portfolio, corporate strategy, innovation efforts, and customer attraction across its business lines.
  • One constant across the product and business line updates is an expectation that telecom networks and services will continue to get increasingly complicated – and that Amdocs will benefit by addressing that complexity and educating its customers.

Amdocs is a fixture in telecom networking and service enablement. It’s not surprising, then, that across our telecom networks research, assessments on the vendor and its positioning are plentiful, including:

Continue reading “Amdocs Industry Analyst Summit: Complexity Is Our Friend”