Frank Rayal

Telecom industry management consultant.

Author Archives: Frank Rayal

5G Spectrum Costs: The Value of 3.5 GHz Spectrum

Interest in the 3.5 GHz band is increasing as its set to become the global 5G spectrum band. We recently undertook a study for a new research report* of global 3.5 GHz band to uncover the impact on the 5G deployment timelines and ecosystem. One of the fundamental questions is putting figures on the value of the 3.5… Read More »

5G Workshop: Demystifying 5G for Decision Makers

5G as a platform for private networks and enterprise applications is more than just another service provider technology. Enterprises, neutral host service providers, building owners, asset management companies and many others are asking about the potential impact of 5G. We have prepared the 5G workshop to provide the facts – not sell the hype of 5G. The objective… Read More »

Telecom is a Utility!

It’s official! Telecom is a utility! The admission comes from service providers themselves. Service providers struggled to monetize value added services to keep from being dumb pipes. Now, it seems that they have resigned themselves to being a utility and are happy to be the pipe. This admission came at the TMT M&A Merger Forum in London last… Read More »

3.5 GHz Spectrum Valuation Setting New Records

Results from the recent UK spectrum auction and the minimum price set by the Korean regulator show record 3.5 GHz spectrum valuation. UK operators paid £1.16 Billion ($1.64 Billion) for 150 MHz. In Korea, the regulator asked for close to $2.5 Billion for 280 MHz. For comparison, the 3.5 GHz UK spectrum is more than 5x the price paid… Read More »

The True 5G Value Proposition: It’s not about Speed and Latency!

It is common to pin the 5G value proposition on its performance, mainly capacity* and latency. These features will enable applications that operators can monetize. However, I will argue here that capacity and latency are secondary to realizing the full 5G value proposition. Capacity and latency make for big headlines and are easy to grasp by the common… Read More »

The Cost of 5G

In my earlier post, I outlined a few myths about 5G to avoid the cascading technology trap. Here, I like to extend the discussion and share a few data points on the cost of 5G networks. Over the past few months, our team has analyzed vendors’ roadmaps and product features, assessed spectrum and its cost, and developed deployment… Read More »

5G Myths and the Cascading Technology Trap.

There are a few myth about 5G that I came about in discussions with executives, investors, smart city officials and other parties active in technology development and planning for new services. Two examples: Don’t bother deploying a certain IoT technology – for example LoRaWAN or similar technology – because 5G will serve all these applications (e.g. street lighting,… Read More »

Is Blockchains a Buzzword?

Is blockchain just a buzzword, or can we expect real applications? If it is for real, where’s the opportunity? Xona’s thoughts on these questions are in the video below. Here, I give my own take on these questions. 

The AI-Telco Intersect Opportunity: A Dehype!

Artificial intelligence is in yet another hype cycle – the fourth since the 1960’s. What is different this time from past hype cycles is that it is driven by data from the bottom up as opposed a top-down approach in previous hype cycles. The pervasiveness of connectivity and the Internet make AI applicable in many industries, including telecom.… Read More »

Observations from MWC 2018

The Xona Partners team was at Mobile World Congress and compiled a set of takeaways focusing on industry trends (link). Here, I wanted to add some personal observations on MWC 2018 which is a good barometer of the state on the wireless industry. But I don’t think you can judge based on the size of the event. Rather, it’s… Read More »

Is There Room for Innovation in Telecom?

Startups lead innovation in the technology world. But is there room for startups in the telecom world? And, what is the future of innovation in this industry? Innovation is one of the themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress which is starting next week, so will the ecosystem address this question? Is telecom a utility play? Services providers… Read More »

Power Consumption: Bitcoin Mining vs. Mobile Base Stations

One of the criticisms of blockchain technology center on power consumption and the cost of mining. The electricity consumed in mining operations is high and continues to grow as mining difficulty increases in response to increasing processing power. Some think that blockchains is wasteful technology that is not compliant with a 21st century outlook for a green economy.… Read More »

Blame it on the Internet!

Look at how well the price of Bitcoin correlates with its search trend. As Bitcoin raced to a record high nearing $20,000 earlier this month, so were the number of searches. We can see the same thing happening in 2013-2014 when a mini hype bubble developed focusing on narrow segments of people. Today’s hype bubble is more wide-spread and… Read More »

Executive Workshops: AI, Blockchains and 5G

We designed workshops in emerging technologies to help executives gather the important facts and get a head-start on establishing a strategy to leverage innovation. Each workshop is delivered by a sector practitioner with insights into both technology and market aspects. Artificial Intelligence: Xona eXponent Workshop on Artificial Intelligence Blockchains: Xona eXponent Workshop on Blockchains The workshops could be customized to… Read More »

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Transformation of Telcos

This past week, I had the pleasure to moderate a panel on digital transformation and to join my Artificial Intelligence-expert partners at Xona in conducting a workshop on AI at TMT Finance World Congress to a crowd of ecosystem professionals. It is ironic that an industry that is a catalyst to the transformation of many other industries is… Read More »