Mobile Network Operators

Part
01
of three
Part
01

MNOs - Challenges

Technology disruption has impacted the traditional MNO space driving innovation and forcing companies to solidify substantial investments to cope with the transformation and increased competition. The issues surrounding 5G deployment, security, the introduction of eSIMs, increased market saturation, and the appearance of MVNOs are among the most important challenges faced by MNOs over the last few years.

5G deployment issues

  • The United States has only limited capability when it comes to the infrastructure of the currently installed wireless base that will be used as a framework for future 5G systems.
  • The characteristics of the millimeter waves and their propagation pose a challenge to the MNO industry. The technology is vulnerable to environmental factors such as humidity, rainfall, and fog, and has major range limitations. T-Mobile stated in 2019 that the millimeter wave technology will not be scalable beyond dense, urban environments.
  • Pessimists see the capital expense required and lack of new use cases as major current drawbacks in 5G deployment. They believe MNO underestimate the challenge of leveraging 5G for new business models and think that investment in IT enablement can be delayed without a significant downside.
  • Due to the current drawbacks in the high-frequency spectrum range (which is severely affected by obstructions such as trees or buildings), carriers will need to deploy several small cellular radios (cells) around any areas that get a 5G signal.

Security

  • Experts alerted that the use of 5G components manufactured by untrusted companies could potentially expose U.S. entities to security risks such as the introduction of malicious software and hardware, component flaws, and counterfeit components caused by sub-standard manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures. 5G services, hardware, and software provided by untrusted entities can increase the risk confidentiality compromise of the network assets.
  • British intelligence issued a report flagging suspicions about the security of Huawei's 5G system. This reinforces the view that the Chinese company shouldn't play a role in providing equipment for commercial wireless systems in the United States.
  • Although U.S. networks are secure, data traveling overseas through untrusted telecommunication networks is potentially at risk of manipulation, disruption, interception, and destruction.
  • Since 5G will use more components than previous wireless network generations, the proliferation of 5G infrastructure can allow for more attack vectors. Given the challenge, the effectiveness of 5G's security enhancements will be decisive to the widespread implementation and configuration of this new technology.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) introduces additional security concerns, as it requires more vulnerable devices to be connected to mobile networks. While the devices don't currently pose a threat individually, the synchronicity of action between them could impact mobile network availability if potential security breaches are not properly addressed.
  • Mobile malware is another security concern for MNOs, with multiple capabilities ranging from SMS SPAM, generation of DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service), and data-theft.
  • Sprint's customer data was hacked twice in 2019. Such breaches have made MNOs realize that they need to protect more than just the data being transferred over their systems.

eSIMs (embedded SIMs)

  • eSIMs disrupt the telecommunications industry by allowing clients to purchase data connectivity from whomever they choose. They allow for dynamic over-the-air service provisioning once a network is selected. The introduction of eSIM technology, paired with the possibilities that 5G brings, has enabled tech companies that are not telecommunications providers to compete with the telecoms of tomorrow.
  • eSIMs are expected to offer a more open market and increased competition between telcos and MVNOs, as well as other tech companies looking to enter this market.
  • IoT adoption is being driven by the implementation of eSIM technology by removing one of the biggest roadblocks to cellular IoT deployments, which is the need to hold a SIM-bearing inventory for multiple SKUs and manage it over long distances. eSIM enables readily available connectivity and in-market localization, enabling scalable IoT deployments.
  • MNOs will need to revamp their business models with the introduction of eSIM technology.

Market saturation

  • The technology advancements introduced over the last few years have pushed MNOs to face increased competition and price pressures to cope with the market saturation that derived from the introduction of new industry players. Operators have created targeted offers for specific segments (youth, military, elderly, immigrants) and have been forced to innovate to keep up with these changes.
  • For example, Republic Wireless developed Bonded Calling, a service that uses cellular to improve the quality of Wi-Fi calls.
  • Operators are embracing digital transformation by becoming more flexible, efficient, and customer-centric in their operations and cost structure.

MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators)

  • 5G will enable a new generation of MVNOs by giving companies like Snap a readily available ability to sell network services to their subscribers. While MVNOs, startups, and tech businesses purchase the technology that enables them to offer these services such as 5G broadband in bulk from traditional MNOs, their proliferation poses a challenge to MNOs with increased levels of industry competition.
  • Unlike AT&T’s $3.5 billion roll-out cost for 5G, MVNOs don't need to invest to enter the industry and start competing for customers.
  • To cope with the changes, MNOs such as T-Mobile U.S., Sprint, and AT&T operate in the MVNO via sub-brands acquired through in-market takeovers.
  • The space has low barriers to entry and several different ways in which an MVNO can operate: full MVNO, light MVNO, branded reseller, and MNO sub-brands.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

MNOs - Trends

MVNOs are embracing innovation and transformation, and are expected to continue down this path in the upcoming years. The introduction of 5g networks, OTT partnerships, value-added services, innovating privacy protection regulation policies, and IoT deployments, are some current or predicted trends in the United States mobile network operators industry (MNOs).

Vaster 5g Availability

  • Driven by business and consumer demand, governments and carriers alike are pushing the deployment intending to roll out 5G networks widely. One of 5G's key benefits is its low latency. A virtually lag-free connection can allow for several applications, such as self-driving cars that can communicate with each other in real-time.
  • 2019 was the first year in which 5G comprised more than half of operators' capital expenditures in North America, which reflects the evolution from LTE to 5G.
  • AT&T and Verizon activated 5G networks in several U.S. markets since late 2018. Sprint joined in 2019, and T-Mobile announced plans to roll out nationwide 5G coverage by the end of 2020. In 2019, T-Mobile launched coverage in 30 US cities, AT&T in 22 cities, and Sprint in 9 half-cities.
  • This level of network construction and upgrade requires large capital amounts. U.S. carriers are expected to spend an estimated $275 billion on 5G infrastructure, including over $100 billion on new 5G antenna sites.
  • As per GSMA Intelligence, North America will be a global leader in 5G adoption, with a projected subscriber amount of 345 million by 2025. Over one-quarter of global mobile revenue derives from North America, which is the largest market for mobile in the word.
  • Rural areas will likely be the last to have services available, as infrastructure is still lacking.

OTT partnerships and value-added services

  • Regional OTT (Over-The-Top) video players are finding new ways to penetrate local markets through strategic partnerships with MNOs. As mobile surpasses TV in being the main growth channel for content delivery, MNOs are starting to lay a central role in service distribution.
  • Mobile has become a widely accepted medium for video content delivery. Access to high-quality mobile streaming is growing, and the surge in bundling deals and MNO partnerships incentivize viewers to consume content on their mobile devices. While 79% of households still pay for traditional satellite or cable services, cord-cutting rates are increasingly accelerating in the United States.
  • MNOs are becoming increasingly important as a vital marketing and sales channel for content services and premium OTT video, and are expected to keep supporting the growth in OTT video consumption over the next 10 years. This is expected to increase the use of mobile data plans and mobile-first consumption through higher-margin visual entertainment offerings.
  • This trend is expected to keep growing, as more MNOs bundle or subsidize content at no additional charge to encourage customer retention and provide additional value within their service plans. Value-added services are increasingly important as operators are transferring over to cloud computing and data storage services.
  • Between 2011 and 2017, pay-TV operators and telecoms closed 332 deals with OTT service providers. These tend to focus on different strategies, such as service integration into plans, commercial agreements with revenue sharing, marketing as a brand and sales tool, white-labeled or co-branded offerings, and carrier billing arrangements.

Security

  • In 2020, network security will become increasingly important. Encryption is expected to evolve from a niche sector to a more pervasive technology.
  • MNOs are taking the lead in identity authentication applications. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint collaborate on a Mobile Authentication Taskforce, which introduced the ZenKey ™ mobile authentication platform, a service designed to connect mobile network subscribers and service providers with easier and secure authentication, registration, and transaction authorization protocols while eliminating the need for passwords. Eliminating the reliance on passwords as main identity authentication can reduce fraud.
  • Mobile Connect, an initiative developed by the four largest U.S. wireless carriers, implements multi-factor authentication combining the carriers' proprietary, network-based authentication capabilities with other methods to verify a user's identity, delivering a seamless experience that can help drive rapid customer adoption and scale.
  • Network-based authentication has several advantages over alternative methods. Mobile Connect-aligned solutions can verify a user's identity using information only an MNO possesses; such as cross-referencing an attempted purchase with records of previous online behavior, or SIM location history.
  • Mobile Connect is supported by 57 operators in 30 countries, which makes it available to 3 billion consumers across the globe.

IoT deployments

  • According to Grand View Research, the cellular IoT market in the United States will triple in size, reaching $2.3 billion by 2025.
  • Verizon is developing ThingSpace, a web-based platform designed for managing IoT deployments. By 2018, 14,000 developers were registered on this platform.
  • MNOs are moving into the "smart home" and IoT services space, providing internet connectivity for an increasing array of devices, while also processing and analyzing the data they collect.
  • Industry experts estimate that about 21 billion connected devices are collecting and sending data across the network to IoT applications in 2020. This presents a great opportunity for MNOs, which have seen a steady decrease in mobile voice and data revenues over the last few years.
  • On February 7, 2020, US Cellular announced the launch of its LTE-M IoT network, which covers over 90% of its cell sites nationwide and is planned to cover the entire LTE network within the second quarter of the year. The LTE-M network is a secure, reliable, and cost-effective way for businesses to connect IoT devices in urban, rural areas, and hard-to-reach environments.
  • The IoT market is a dynamic one for MNOs. To stay competitive, they'll need to build capabilities that enable them to offer services at a low cost. IoT and M2M devices are still behind, providing MNOs with an ARPU of $2 to $5 per month, as opposed to the $41 to $49 that corresponds to voice and data services in the USA.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

MNOs - Sources of Information

Examples of sources of information that professionals in the requested industry use when searching for information and marketing include Lightreading, VanillaPlus, Capacity Media, RCR Wireless News, Opensignal, location based service providers, and telecom regulators.

1. Lightreading

  • Lightreading is a considered to be the leading research-led telecoms news and events digital media platform. It employs a team of journalists and editors across the US, Canada, and Europe.
  • Lightreading is an independent research and events portal and also hosts annual events that are specifically tailored to online communities such as Security Now, Connecting Africa, and Broadband World News.

2. VanillaPlus

  • VanillaPlus is a Europe-based telecoms IT magazine. It published articles regarding billing, OSS, customer care, service, and revenue & fraud management.
  • It also shares reports and articles regarding major technological changes that are projected to impact the communications market, and provides guidance for "CSPs and Enterprises on how they can drive operational efficiencies, prevent revenue leakage and increase profits."

3. Capacity Media

  • After many years of publishing content and running conferences, Capacity Media is now an established and trusted source of critical information when it comes to global telecom leaders.
  • Capacity Media consists of Capacity Magazine, Capacity Conferences, and International Telecoms Week (ITW), and is known to provide detailed insight and analysis for the overall telecom community.

4. RCR Wireless News

  • RCRWireless has been the leading wireless industry news providers since 1982. The publication delivers insights and analysis, catering to mobile and wireless industry professionals, as well as decision makers, policy-makers, and investors.
  • This publication is largely focused on the US market as it aims to deliver daily coverage on VoLTE, test and measurement, RF testing, PIM testing, mobile carriers, small cells, heterogeneous networks, NFV, SDN, wireless infrastructure, DAS, telecom software, cloud computing, big data analytics, densification, mobile backhaul and BSS / OSS.

5. Opensignal

  • According to Opensignal, the independent body is the "global standard for understanding the true state of the world’s mobile networks based on measurements of real user experience."
  • Opensignal is able to deliver answers regarding the real-world experience that an operator’s customer is having. The independent body offers a range of solutions that are able to provide answers and support different teams within the operator, all backed up by Opensignal's data science for unprecedented accuracy.

6. Location based services providers

  • For signaling data, MNO professionals turn to location based services providers to help them filter, stream and manage millions and millions of events each day within their network.
  • Location based services providers will publish content on how to mitigate risk and prevent fraud, and articles regarding how to effectively use location based services to help mainly corporate customers with their problems.

7. Telecom regulators

  • MNO professionals will consult press releases and regulations published by telecom regulators which usually operate as national regulatory authorities.
  • Telecommunications regulatory agencies are the governing bodies that work in the interests of consumers to "ensure that the services delivered match the advertised services as well as protecting consumers from malicious or dangerous content online."

Research Strategy:

For this request, we searched for sources that offer information and advice directed at entities that operate as mobile network operators (aka, wireless service providers, wireless carriers, cellular companies, or mobile network carriers) or telecom companies. Specifically, we focused on those that mention mobile networks or present general or marketing information centered on the topic, assuming that mobile network operator professionals would consult them when seeking information and marketing. Additionally, we studied a listing of renowned digital media publications that are useful for data on the most recent telecoms provided by Phoenix Career, which offers assistance to the telecommunications and IT sectors, to find potential sources. Using this strategy, we were able to identify seven sources of information for mobile network operator professionals.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The propagation characteristics of the millimeter waves pose a challenge to the market, with the technology being vulnerable to environmental conditions like humidity, fog and rainfall. Besides, there are also major limitations with respect to their range, as they can only work well over relatively short distances and should have clear line of sight. T-Mobile, one of the giants in the U.S. Telecom industry, notably admitted in 2019 that the millimeter wave technology would never be able to scale beyond dense urban environments."
  • "This poses a major challenge to the reach of 5G in rural areas, which is a major knock against the market."
Quotes
  • "In recent weeks several major developments affecting the roll out of 5G systems in the United States highlight the promise and the difficulties for near-term deployment of this transformative technology."
  • "British intelligence issued a report signaling its deep suspicions about the security of Huawei’s 5G system, which reinforces the view in the U.S. that the Chinese company should not play a role in providing equipment for commercial wireless systems."
  • "A major issue in the next few years will be the capital costs of installing the needed 5G infrastructure and software upgrades in the U.S. Effective deployment will require hundreds of thousands of new cell sites, new or upgraded connective nodes and central switches, new software and redesigned mobile devices. Cost estimates run into the hundreds of billions of dollars for the full transition."
  • "AT&T will also need to absorb the costs and management complexity of buying and integrating Time Warner as well. If Sprint and T-Mobile succeed in merging, that transaction will add to already high debt levels in those firms." "High costs and debt levels will at a minimum slow deployment, with the result, among others, of allowing the subsidized Huawei systems in China and countries in Europe and Asia which adopt its products, to establish a lead in practical applications of the new technology."
  • "In this emerging scenario it is also important to recall that the leading U.S. innovator in wireless communications is Qualcomm, which is facing an impending judgment in a case brought against it by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accusing it of anticompetitive intellectual property licensing practices."
Quotes
  • "OTT players are offering core telco services such as voice or messaging, and the media space is becoming their domain. Tech and Internet companies are also increasingly active in growth areas, such as cloud space and services, competing with telcos for clients and revenue. They are tying customers to their own ecosystems, while making reliance on traditional operators a thing of the past."
  • "With carrier-neutral connectivity (for example, e-SIM), many tech and Internet companies are enabling seamless changes between operators and eliminating the hassle of changing telecom providers. Hence, digital players are systematically attacking existing telco profit pools and will continue to do so—eating up telcos’ revenues and margins."
  • "As the overall digital market grows—an additional billion middle-tier customers for telcos, mainly in emerging markets, is expected by 2025—the door for new over-the-top (OTT) entrants is opening. These digital natives are offering the same staple services of voice, messaging, and video calls that used to be the domain of traditional telcos. In particular, OTT players such as Apple’s FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, Tencent QQ or Tencent’s WeChat, and WhatsApp threaten to cannibalize these staple offerings with innovative, easy-to-use, and even more-attractive messaging and communication services."
Quotes
  • "Use of 5G components manufactured by untrusted companies could expose U.S. entities to risks introduced by malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components, and component flaws caused by poor manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures. 5G hardware, software, and services provided by untrusted entities could increase the risk of compromise to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of network assets. Even if U.S. networks are secure, U.S. data that travels overseas through untrusted telecommunication networksi is potentially at risk of interception, manipulation, disruption, and destruction."
  • "5G will use more components than previous generations of wireless networks, and the proliferation of 5G infrastructure may provide malicious actors more attack vectors. The effectiveness of 5G’s security enhancements will in part depend on proper implementation and configuration."
Quotes
  • "Consumption of mobile data boomed, as masses of new wireless customers used their handsets to spend ever-increasing amounts of time online. Companies responded by investing heavily in their wireless networks, even as subscriber growth slowed. As a result, the average ratio of capital spending to revenues has remained stubbornly high, at around 15 percent, for the major players."
  • "Excess complexity also pervades the systems and product lineups of mobile businesses. One company we know had 600 IT systems; another had 3,000 prepaid plans. Many wireless operators therefore stand to benefit from taking a fresh look at the needs of their businesses and customers and eliminating superfluous systems. "
  • "Many mobile operators have essential processes that are more complex and labor-intensive, and therefore more costly, than they have to be. These include dealing with business partners, budgeting, preparing compliance reports, and other essential functions. We estimate that just 20 to 30 processes generate 45 percent of the average operator’s operating costs."
Quotes
  • "Pessimists focus on the lack of actual new use cases to emerge so far and what they see as a wobbly commercial rationale, not to mention the huge capital expense required."
  • "Our experience suggests that many operators are underestimating the challenge if they want to leverage 5G for new business models. At the same time, if pilots and enhanced mobile broadband (E-MBB) are the core focal points for pure 5G in the next few years, along with (to a lesser degree) fixed wireless access and enhancing IoT with 5G capability, investment in IT enablement of new business models can be delayed without much downside."
  • "Industry leaders seem to predict significant implications for the core network, which would need to be upgraded to allow operators to offer 5G services (for example, network slicing and quality guarantees) to customers. Adding millimeter wave to the frequency portfolio will also have substantial impact—both in network architecture (for example, densification by adding small cell sites and overlay design through software virtualization to create additional layers of network abstraction) as well as from an operational process. "
Quotes
  • "Thanks to eSIM technology — powered by the possibilities of 5G — tech companies that would never consider themselves telecommunications providers today could compete with the telecoms of tomorrow. For phone carriers, this presents both a major disruption and a massive opportunity. "
  • "eSIMs will disrupt the telecom industry by allowing consumers to go online and purchase data connectivity from whomever they choose. They also allow for dynamic over-the-air provisioning once a network is selected. For Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) — resellers of mobile network operators’ communication services — it’s a potentially huge boon. But for tech companies or device manufacturers hoping to harness 5G, eSIMs’ built-in connectivity is a game-changer. "
  • "Unlike AT&T’s $3.5 billion roll-out cost for 5G, an MVNO has no obligation to erect cellphone towers, open retail locations, or purchase smartphones in bulk for resale. The only thing it needs to buy in bulk is 5G access. As communication service providers (CSPs) try to fight the future as “dumb pipes,” MVNOs can leverage 5G’s unique ability to slice the network into dedicated and independent sub-networks. "
  • "Giving companies like Snap, who aren’t currently in the cellular service business, a turnkey ability to entice subscribers through discounted contracts and customer-only features will drive down their own churn rates and drive up average revenue per user (ARPU). Keep in mind, it may also help line the pockets of MNOs, as they sell their 5G broadband in bulk to startups, tech businesses and MVNOs. "
  • "Whether telcos like it or not, services like Snapchat Mobile are coming. For MVNOs, offering bulk access to their 5G network services could prove to be a lucrative business opportunity, but they will also need to find new ways of creating value for their customers if they don’t want to be left behind."
Quotes
  • "High-frequency spectrum is the key to that massive pickup in capacity and speed, but there are drawbacks. The range isn't great, especially when you have obstructions such as trees or buildings. As a result, carriers will have to deploy a lot more small cellular radios, creatively named small cells, around any areas that get a 5G signal. "
Quotes
  • "Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing concern as more vulnerable devices are connected to mobile networks. These devices don’t pose a threat individually (at present), but synchronicity of action could impact mobile network availability and Quality of Experience. "
  • "Mobile Malware continues to proliferate with multiple capabilities ranging from generation of DDoS attacks through to SMS SPAM, data-theft etc., all of which cause support HEADACES – and costs – for MNOs."
  • "These new services, using network ‘slices’ with defined reliability, latency et al will enable MNOs to better monetize their investment in 5G. They will also enable a new breed of IoT and application services e.g. autonomous vehicles, AR/VR applications, and medical IoT to name a few. This evolution will have benefits, but it will also put even more of our personal data at risk, as well as our safety in some circumstances."
  • "MNOs are aware of these security challenges and are turning to trusted vendors that can provide the visibility and threat detection capabilities they need across their multi-vendor, virtualized, containerized network and service infrastructure. However, these security challenges aren’t all bad as they also represent some clear opportunities."
  • "Security isn’t a choice though – it’s a necessity – and for MNOs to monetize 5G successfully the right security capabilities will be critical."
Quotes
  • "Mobile network operators (MNOs) T-Mobile U.S., Sprint, and AT&T Communications all operate in the traditional MVNO space via well-known, pre-paid sub-brands. Each was acquired through an in-market takeover."
  • "AT&T and T-Mobile adopted similar sub-brand tactics in recent years, acquiring smaller-scale MNOs in the form of Cricket Wireless (July 2013) and MetroPCS (May 2013), respectively. Both migrated their users off legacy CDMA platforms and onto their own networks to compete in the low-budget MVNO space."
  • "Relatively low barriers to entry alongside the myriad ways in which an MVNO can operate—Full MVNO, Light MVNO, branded reseller, or MNO sub-brand—are factors that have been conducive to a healthy MVNO sector over the years. However, success in the sector is far from guaranteed. Recent years have seen a number of MVNOs bite the dust, including the likes of PTEL Mobile, RingPlus, Roam Mobility, and The People’s Operator USA."
Quotes
  • "Competition and price pressures – especially as MNOs create their own targeted offers for specific segments (youth, military, elderly, immigrants) as they face market saturation – means more than ever that MVNOs need to innovate and differentiate on value proposition and cost structure."
  • "One area where MVNOs have focused is on strong Wi-Fi first value propositions to lower costs and improve service quality."
  • "For example, in the US, Republic Wireless developed Bonded Calling, using cellular to improve the quality of Wi-Fi calling. Google Fi has been a pioneer in using multiple host networks with intelligent switching between networks as well as a Wi-Fi first approach with built-in security."
  • "MVNOs are also embracing digital transformation to be more flexible, customer centric, and efficient in operations and cost structure."
Quotes
  • "The Mobile Authentication Taskforce, comprised of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, will announce the next phase of the ZenKey ™ mobile authentication platform at MWC Los Angeles later in October. ZenKey represents an innovative collaboration between the four U.S. mobile carriers to connect mobile subscribers to service providers by providing easier and highly secure registration, authentication and transaction authorization. "
  • "ZenKey makes logins easier and at the same time helps to eliminate passwords, which are a pain point for consumers, a source of lost business and revenue for service providers, and an attack opportunity for fraudsters. It also can provide added protection for service providers who want to keep passwords as one security factor but want a more secure second or third factor than SMS one-time-PINs."
  • "Removing reliance on passwords as a primary identity authenticator, it can also reduce fraud that occurs when a cybercriminal uses stolen login credentials to gain access to online accounts."
Quotes
  • " Notably, Sprint’s customer data was hacked twice within the past year, one of which infiltrated Boost Mobile customer pin numbers, the other being a hack into Samsung’s ‘add a line’ website."
Quotes
  • "Britain's intelligence establishment has concluded that Chinese networking giant Huawei's "software engineering and cybersecurity processes" continue to be beset by unresolved "defects." In addition, engineering and risk management improvements that the U.K. government has demanded of Huawei, which it has promised to make, have yet to be put in place."
Quotes
  • "Moving device designs from a plastic SIM card to an embedded SIM (eSIM) chip may seem like a small change. In practice, much more than the form factor itself changes. Switching to eSIM brings new features aimed at improved scalability for IoT deployments."
  • "eSIM, along with remote provisioning technology, removes one of the biggest roadblocks to cellular IoT deployments: the need to hold SIM-bearing inventory for multiple SKUs and manage it over long distances. eSIM enables in-market localization and out-of-the-box connectivity, resulting in operational efficiency and improved customer experience, and ultimately, enabling scalable IoT deployments."
  • "With so many enterprises attracted to IoT applications for these top eSIM use cases, mobile operators are poised to tap into rapid IoT growth. At the highest level, eSIM technology allows mobile operators to quickly onboard significantly more cellular connected devices into their networks."
From Part 02
Quotes
  • ""In wireless, we expect service revenue in the U.S. to increase modestly over the next year based on slight subscriber growth and modestly higher ARPU. We believe that T-Mobile will grow service revenue about 5%-7% while AT&T and Verizon will be experience 0-2% growth and Sprint will be down modestly. While competitive pressures have moderated over the past year, we still view the U.S. wireless industry as mature and highly competitive with four nationwide carriers. We believe the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint would have a positive impact on the competitive dynamics of the U.S. wireless industry in the near-term if the combination closes.""
Quotes
  • "Telcos around the world will look to offer 5G globally in 2020. Across the industry, expect to see 1GB access move to 10GB and 10GB aggregation to 100GB in order to cope with 4G growth and to lay the groundwork for new 5G-bearing core networks."
  • "Fuelled by consumer and business demand, carriers and governments alike are pushing the deployment forward with the ambitious goal of rolling out 5G networks more widely."
  • "Notably, Sprint’s customer data was hacked twice within the past year, one of which infiltrated Boost Mobile customer pin numbers, the other being a hack into Samsung’s ‘add a line’ website. Breaches like these have made network operators and telcos realise that they need to protect more than just the data being transferred over their systems."
  • "In 2020, holistic network security will become more important than ever and expect to see encryption transition from a niche play to a more pervasive technology."
Quotes
  • "Further, AT&T plans to activate networks based on the new 5G New Radio guidelines in a dozen U.S. markets by the end of 2018. In addition, AT&T plans to expand its current LTE network, including its upgraded 4G LTE network, dubbed 5G Evolution (despite offering sub-5G speeds). Verizon is planning to launch 5G service in five cities by the end of 2018, Sprint intends to activate a 5G network in 2019, and T-Mobile has announced plans to roll out nationwide 5G network coverage by the end of 2020."
  • "Such network construction requires enormous amounts of capital. T-Mobile, for example, is expected to spend roughly $5 billion on its mobile network infrastructure in 2017.202 Over the next seven years, U.S. carriers are expected to spend an estimated $275 billion on 5G infrastructure, including more than $100 billion on the construction of new 5G antenna sites."
  • "Value-added telecom services, by contrast, typically complement or supplement basic services, with examples including voice mail, email, and data storage and processing services.179 Value-added services are increasingly important, as operators are moving into data storage and cloud computing services, internet advertising and content, and television services. Operators are also moving into “smart home” and IoT services, providing internet connectivity for a growing array of devices, and processing and analyzing the data they collect."
  • "Verizon is also developing ThingSpace, a web-based platform for managing IoT deployments. So far, Verizon has 14,000 developers registered on the ThingSpace platform."
Quotes
  • "North America will be a global leader in 5G adoption, with total subscribers projected to hit 345 million by 2025. More than one quarter of global mobile revenue comes from North America, which can be attributed to the continent's historically high consumer spending on mobile services, GSMA Intelligence found."
  • "High subscriber penetration and significant customer spending on mobile adoption indicates that North America will be worth $280 billion in revenue by the end of 2019; this makes the US the largest market for mobile in the world, according to the report."
  • "5G is the next wave of mobile connectivity, following LTE, 4G, and 3G. While 5G hype has permeated the enterprise, the technology is coming to fruition, as demonstrated in the report. 2019 will be the first year in which 5G comprises more than half of operators' capital expenditures in North America, reflecting the evolution from LTE to 5G, the report said."
  • "Between 2018 and 2025, mobile operators are projected to invest $353 billion in capital expenditure in the US, which is more than any other country, establishing the US's dominance in the mobile area."
  • "Between 2018 and 2025, mobile operators are projected to invest $353 billion in capital expenditure in the US, which is more than any other country, establishing the US's dominance in the mobile area. North America's impressive 5G adoption will bolster economic growth in the continent, according to the report. In 2018, mobile services and technologies already generated 4.2% of GDP in North America, amounting to $937 billion of added economic value. This mobile ecosystem also supported 2.3 million jobs, indirectly and directly."
Quotes
  • "North America region accounted for the largest market size in 2015 owing to the larger acceptance of technology in the region. The countries such as the U.S. and Canada are one of prominent and early adopters of the upcoming and emerging technologies. Thus, the factors are creating opportunities for the MM wave technology in different applications."
Quotes
  • "One of the key benefits is something called low latency. Latency is the response time between when you click on a link or start streaming a video on your phone, which sends the request up to the network, and when the network responds, delivering you the website or playing your video."
  • "That lag time can last around 20 milliseconds with current networks. It doesn't seem like much, but with 5G, that latency gets reduced to as little as 1 millisecond, or about the time it takes for a flash on a normal camera."
  • "That responsiveness is critical for things like playing an intense video game in virtual reality or for a surgeon in New York to control a pair of robotic arms performing a procedure in San Francisco, though latency will still be affected by the ultimate range of the connection. The virtually lag-free connection means self-driving cars have a way to communicate with each other in real time -- assuming there's enough 5G coverage to connect those vehicles."
  • "5G is slowly inching from years of promises -- ever since Verizon talked about moving into the area three years ago -- to becoming reality. Beyond a big speed boost, 5G has been referred to as foundational tech that'll supercharge areas like self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality and telemedicine services such as remote surgery. "
  • "The 5G network is designed to connect a far greater number of devices than a traditional cellular network does. That internet of things trend you keep hearing about? 5G can power multiple devices around you, whether it's a dog collar or a refrigerator."
Quotes
  • "T-Mobile says it's launching in 30 cities this year, AT&T will have 22 cities, while Sprint will have its nine first-half cities. But it's unclear how wide the coverage will be. Globally, China, Japan and South Korea are racing to build out their 5G networks, with Europe turning on its own 5G networks now. "
  • "Surprisingly, Sprint has the widest 5G footprint by the first half of the year, with more than 1,000 square miles of coverage across nine cities. That's not a huge amount of area."
  • "Also, while some see 5G helping to improve coverage for everyone, rural areas will likely miss out for a while, since they lack the infrastructure to support all those cell radios. "
Quotes
  • "To aid in troubleshooting and customer support, many Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) add software below the mobile operating system (i.e., between the operating system and the firmware) to gain visibility into a device’s interaction with their infrastructure. This software is typically outside the purview of the mobile operating system provider, making it difficult to detect. It can also serve as a threat vector that can be updated over the air to add new capabilities."
  • "Recently, Kryptowire discovered an example of this supply chain issue in an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) product that sent PII, call logs, SMS messages, and contact information to a foreign country without permission, user consent, or user knowledge.""
  • "Software or firmware installed by the MNO or OEM is typically outside the purview of the mobile operating system provider, making it difficult to detect. "
Quotes
  • "Mobile network operators are taking the lead in identity authentication. It was announced last week that the four largest operators in the United States – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon – have agreed to collaborate on a Mobile Authentication Taskforce."
  • "With 87% of users stating they would prefer just one login, and 86% saying they have left a website when asked to register, it seems clear the old method of simple usernames and passwords has had its day."
  • "At a time when online and digital services are commonplace, security and authentication are issues that affect us all,” comments Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA. “Through strong collaboration, the taskforce announced today has the potential to create impactful benefits for U.S. customers by helping to decrease fraud and identity theft, and increase trust in online transactions."
  • "The advantages of network-based authentication over alternatives are numerous. In addition to requiring one-off authentication codes, as might a security application, Mobile Connect-aligned solutions can verify identity by making use of information only an operator possesses; for instance, by assessing an attempted purchase against records of previous online behaviour, or other indicators such as SIM location.""
  • "These superior credentials are not lost on operators: Mobile Connect is now supported by 57 operators in 30 countries, making it available to over 3 billion consumers worldwide. This being the case, it is becoming harder to see the case for downloading a separate over-the-top apps, from a perspective of either security or convenience."
Quotes
  • "It’s no secret that content generation, distribution, and consumption are disrupting television. In fact, by the end of 2017, there were 120 million aggregate over-the-top (OTT) subscriptions in the United States alone, indicating that the Internet is gradually overtaking TV as the standard way people consume media."
  • "In fact, traditional media houses that conventionally owned vast archives of legacy movies and television content are reinvigorating and amplifying their growth through OTT-based distribution models. Many pay-TV operators are rolling out standalone subscription-based OTT services. Dish’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now are successful examples of affordable standalone services in the United States."
  • "Mushrooming partnerships and acquisitions are quickly reshaping the video media landscape. Potential partners, particularly among OTT video providers and traditional mobile network operators (MNOs), are vying for collaboration to capture the greatest market share, creating business alliances and product offerings that are constantly evolving. The ultimate challenge lies in knowing what offerings to create and whom to partner with to maximize revenue while gaining customers. "
  • "Between 2011 and 2017, telecoms and pay-TV operators struck 332 deals with OTT service partners. Partnerships tend to focus on three strategies: marketing simply as a brand and sales tool, service integrations into tariff plans or technical integrations into the user interface, and commercial agreements with revenue sharing, carrier billing arrangements, and white-labeled or cobranded offerings."
  • "Regional OTT video players are penetrating local markets by entering into strategic partnerships with MNOs."
  • "Mobile is surpassing TV to become the main growth channel for content delivery; MNOs are playing a central role in distribution as cord cutting accelerates"
Quotes
  • "Grand View Research forecasts the cellular IoT market in the United States alone will be $2.3 billion by 2025, tripling in size within seven years."
Quotes
  • "Giving companies like Snap, who aren’t currently in the cellular service business, a turnkey ability to entice subscribers through discounted contracts and customer-only features will drive down their own churn rates and drive up average revenue per user (ARPU). Keep in mind, it may also help line the pockets of MNOs, as they sell their 5G broadband in bulk to startups, tech businesses and MVNOs. "
  • "Whether telcos like it or not, services like Snapchat Mobile are coming. For MVNOs, offering bulk access to their 5G network services could prove to be a lucrative business opportunity, but they will also need to find new ways of creating value for their customers if they don’t want to be left behind."
Quotes
  • "The Mobile Authentication Taskforce, comprised of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, will announce the next phase of the ZenKey ™ mobile authentication platform at MWC Los Angeles later in October. ZenKey represents an innovative collaboration between the four U.S. mobile carriers to connect mobile subscribers to service providers by providing easier and highly secure registration, authentication and transaction authorization."
  • "ZenKey makes logins easier and at the same time helps to eliminate passwords, which are a pain point for consumers, a source of lost business and revenue for service providers, and an attack opportunity for fraudsters. It also can provide added protection for service providers who want to keep passwords as one security factor but want a more secure second or third factor than SMS one-time-PINs."
  • "Removing reliance on passwords as a primary identity authenticator, it can also reduce fraud that occurs when a cybercriminal uses stolen login credentials to gain access to online accounts."
Quotes
  • "Your carrier has a unique ability to identify and protect your mobile Identity. ZenKey uses this ability to convert your wireless carrier’s network into a secure conduit between you and your favorite apps and websites. This results in an easier and more secure way for you to create, log into and use your accounts."
Quotes
  • "Developed collaboratively by the four largest U.S. wireless carriers, the prototype reveals the taskforce’s approach to multi-factor authentication, which combines the carriers’ proprietary, network-based authentication capabilities with other methods to verify a user’s identity. Once the user signs up and provides consent, the solution then generates a device-based ID that serves as the user profile at the center of the authentication process."
  • "“This initiative expands upon our global operator initiative, Mobile Connect, to bring standardized authentication and identity services to the US market,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “The solution aims to deliver a seamless experience for service providers from many sectors, helping to drive rapid adoption and scale.”"
Quotes
  • "ThingSpace gives you all the tools to prototype, test, connect and manage your IoT devices on Verizon's secure and reliable network."
  • "Managing your IoT product lifecycle shouldn't require a roster of vendors and point solutions. ThingSpace Services gives you access to APIs and tools so you can manage your device lifecycle, including connectivity, security, location, software and data streaming all in a single platform."
Quotes
  • "Potentially the most disruptive new trend impacting networks is the arrival of the Internet of Things, or IoT. Industry experts predict that by 2020, about 21 billion connected devices will be collecting data and sending it across the network to IoT applications. For service providers, the pending IoT boom presents a milestone opportunity as their mobile voice and data revenues slow."
Quotes
  • "US Cellular announced on 7 February 2020 the launch of its LTE-M IoT network, initially covering more than 90% of its cell sites nationwide, with plans to cover the entire LTE network in the second quarter of the year. The mobile operator describes the LTE-M network as ‘a reliable, secure and cost-effective way for businesses to connect large amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in both urban and rural areas and hard-to-reach environments,’ giving examples of applications in areas such as fleet and asset management, tank monitoring, smart metering and others. US Cellular currently supports several LTE-M modules including the Telit ME910C1-WW, Telit ME910C1-NA, Quectel BG96 and u-blox SARA-R410M, with additional vendors coming soon."
Quotes
  • "The core market for MNOs is mobile voice and data. According to GSMA Intelligence, the MNO ARPU for mobile voice and data is between $41 to $49 per month in USA3. IoT and M2M devices, on the other hand, typically provide an ARPU of $2 to $5 per month4. Some of the IoT Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are offering connectivity at very low prices. To stay competitive in this dynamic market, MNOs need to build capabilities that help them offer low cost per connection."
  • "In addition, there are many types of IoT services, each with specific performance or economic requirements. Based on comparison of four different types of IoT services (Figure 2), we can see how different IoT service types demand different requirements. For instance, a connected car service or a smartphone service drives a large amount of signaling traffic over the control place due to mobility events, whereas smart meters interact infrequently with the network and therefore generate far less signaling."