Category Archives: General

The Triumvirate Standoff and the New Telecom World Order

We are at a defining moment in the evolution of telecom. Forces are building across a fault line between service providers and Internet giants. Both sides appear to have reached a wall. It’s a matter of time before an earthquake reshapes the scene.  For service providers, the challenge lies in hard-to-scale rigid networks and a culture steeped in conservatism that… Read More »

Virtualize or Perish: The Software Transformation Challenge!

Telecom service providers are facing a challenging dilemma. While they are sitting financially comfortably, the forward-looking service providers know that they are required to implement sweeping changes in how they deliver services. Otherwise, they stand the risk of being relegated to commodity dumb pipe provider by visionary entrants with new service models. Thus, in facing the risk of marginalization,… Read More »

Why Are Telecom Service Providers Interested in Open Source?

Open source in telecom networks is an emerging concept that could disrupt the telecom value chain. Hardware solutions make up the vast majority of today’s telecom network infrastructure. In recent years, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN) solutions began to appear in networks – a trend that will accelerate in the future. While virtualization provides a leap in… Read More »

Will Smart Parking be the NB-IoT Killer App?

The outcome of the IoT connectivity standard battle which is in full swing today will hinge on a number of factors. One critical factor is the application of the technology. Applications vary in requirements as well as in barriers of entry. While IoT promises huge economic potential at a macro-economic level, it is a major challenge for any… Read More »

5 Reasons Why Smart Cities Fail

Beyond the hype of Smart Cities lies a number of challenges that have made the realization of smart cities a slow and arduous process. Some of the top challenges in my experience are the following: 1- Budget: cities operate on very tight budgets. The budget allocated to information technology is a relatively small part of the overall budget.… Read More »

The Mushrooming IoT Alliances!

Many industry associations emerged on the scene within the last 8 – 18 months reflecting both the heightened interest in the general IoT space and the need for interoperability in a fragmented market. These alliances can be categorized broadly into two groups: industry collaboration alliances and technology alliances focused on ensuring interoperability among devices. For the home automation space,… Read More »

Observations and Trends in Wireless Communications from MWC16

The 2016 edition of MWC had two key themes: 5G and IoT. Both themes are positioned as potential revenue drivers for MNOs, but they are diametrically opposed propositions. These themes enforce the status of the MNOs as connectivity providers. Connectivity is a (necessary) commodity; 5G and IoT will take time to unfold as bounded by the requirements of… Read More »

IoT in the Home: Funding

Smart home startups took $454 million in investor funding in 2014, an increase of 57% over 2013[1]. Among the largest deals in the space over the past six months include a $38MM Series B from Bessemer Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures to August (smart locks) and a $31.8 million Series B to connected home software platform… Read More »

IoT in the Home: Emerging Trends

The adoption of wireless technologies for connectivity has shaken up the home automation market unleashing a number of trends: The race to own the gateway. Home automation devices connect to the Internet through a gateway in the home. A standalone hub, cable set-top boxes, xDSL routers, a tablet may all serve as potential gateways. Established and startup companies… Read More »

IoT in the Home: Market Players

Home automation is an active market with many players approaching it from different angles: Technology giants: Apple (HomeKit, iOS), Google (Nest, Android), Samsung and Microsoft (Xbox, Windows) best exemplify this segment. These companies leverage the operating system of mobile devices, their incumbency in the Internet platform business, and the Cloud infrastructure to expand into the connected home market.… Read More »

IoT in the Home: Market Characteristics

The home automation market is undergoing a progressive transformation propelled by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. In addition to cellular technologies, home automation devices integrate different local and personal area technologies to connect among peripherals. This led to a new phase of evolution in home automation systems where wireless technologies enable connectivity for monitoring and control from… Read More »

International Carriers’ Path to The IoT Gold Mine

The following excerpts are from a paper we recently published in collaboration with Hot Telecom on the business opportunity for wholesalers in IoT. Here, I capture the opportunity for the enterprise and transport sectors, but we also address the consumer sector. You can download the paper at this link to begin exploring recommendations for international wholesale carriers. Opportunities in… Read More »

Will 5G Be Irrelevant?

Last week I had the privilege to discuss the latest wireless industry trends with colleagues at the RAN and Backhaul conference. We discussed 5G in addition to host of other topics ranging from architecture to virtualization and much in between: spectrum, Het Nets, IoT, etc. As I contemplate the proceedings, I came to wonder about the relevance of… Read More »

Cellular IoT Connectivity: Threats and Opportunities

There has been a flurry of activities related to wide-area Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. The market recognizes that existing technologies, and more importantly business models and cost structures do not scale to meet IoT application requirements. A number of competing solutions have emerged and are today vying for commercial validation which scales through standardization. Hence, there is… Read More »

Meeting the Cost Requirements for IoT Devices

It seems many are convinced that the magic number for device cost in cellular M2M applications is $5. What should be the cost of a module, and how critical an issue is the device cost to start with, is a topic of debate and although I have my view on it, it is not what I will address… Read More »