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Friday, July 15, 2016

5G: The Efficient Engine to Virtual Infrastructure Optimization

5G: The Efficient Engine to Virtual Infrastructure Optimization

Ahead of his participation at TM Forum Live!, ACG Research’s Elias Aravantinos looks at how 5G technology can be the engine to optimize the different parts of the network to enable new, faster and more profitable services.

Infrastructure optimization
In an effort to address the demand for capacity and average revenue per user (ARPU) pressures, service providers are looking at 5G technology as the engine to optimize the different parts of their networks and deliver faster, new and more profitable services. In many cases, they realize that upgrading their physical infrastructure has limitations because of costs and inefficient time to market constraints, and they are looking for solutions, specifically virtualization, that scale their networks to meet the capacity demand while simultaneously delivering business value – savings.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nokia-ALU merger, can the new European force race to wireless top?

Following a trend I predicted in March 2015 (Intense market transformation and consolidation will be among the key 2015 wireless market features) Nokia recently announced it bought the French
networking supplier Alcatel-Lucent in a deal valued at $17bn (€15.6bn). The combined company will be called Nokia Corporation, headquartered in Finland, with Rajeev Suri, continuing to serve as CEO.

The company’s goal is to “create the foundation of seamless connectivity for people and things.”

Nokia plans to establish a €100m fund to invest in Internet of things startups in France following the
closure of the deal, which is expected toward the end of the 2015, that is if there are no serious delays.

ALU’s Value Proposition

Alcatel-Lucent propelled by its successful growth in core networking and routing, was ranked No. 2
in edge routers in 2014 behind Cisco. The new Nokia will definitely take advantage of that position as this core networking unit will add a large percentage to the company’s total revenue. In addition,

Alcatel-Lucent has managed to put together a serious wireless partner “ecosystem”, especially for
metro and small cell requirements.

Alcatel-Lucent is also poised to capitalize and lead on new technologies such as 5G as the company is exploring a new air interface on the Filtered OFDM, and its Qualcomm’s strategic small cell
partnership could be possibly expanded to enhance its future radio access portfolio.

Complementing this ecosystem is Nokia’s Flexizone and Flexi Radio, which covers macro and small
cell layer in addition to virtualization, as the company has virtualized most of its core, RAN, as well
as delving into NFV alternatives. Nokia also brings strategic partnerships with Dragonwave (mobile
backhaul) and Juniper Networks (IP/routing) to the table.

However, the companies do face obstacles common in all mergers. The difficult points in this deal
will be staff and product harmonization, especially related to existing customers. The company will
have to deal with issues such as orchestration of product overlaps, multiple business partners (internal and external), LTE customers’ relations, and common management across USA, Europe and China.
All of which could shake up the global market for quite some time.

Competitors, naturally, are digesting the impact of this gigantic deal but also realize that to stay
competitive they will need to adjust their strategies as well as introduce new products as more intensive competition is anticipated across all sectors. Historically, Ericsson is used to that pressure, but this case is definitely unique and more challenging; NokAlu  is expected to become a global leader in ultra-broadband, IP networking and cloud applications, has raised this competitive bar.

Investors should closely follow the new company’s milestones and stock as undoubtedly there will be many upturns and downturns before the company stabilizes. The core networking segment is a high-
margin, strong performing one that should add and increase the value of NokAlu’s stock. Today, if we benchmark Nokia and Ericsson’s stock, there has not been much volatility during the past year, but there is a respectful gap in the value per share. But this merger could be a game changer.

Once the merger and its accompanying issues have been address and processes, policies staff, etc., are integrated, Nokia will be strongly positioned with a highly efficient and complete end-to end portfolio across all sectors to capture 5G global contracts. With 5G expected to be multidimensional very few vendors with innovative product portfolios will be able to comply and implement providers’ demands but with this merge Nokia will.

Source: ACG Research

Thursday, April 16, 2015

ACG Research Announces New Principal Mobility Analyst

GILBERT, ARIZONA, USA, March 31, 2015 / -- Elias Aravantinos, a respected consultant in the ICT consulting and telecom industry has recently joined ACG Research, analyst and consulting firm, provides market shares and forecasts in the service provider equipment space, business modeling and TCO/ROI consulting services, service creation, strategic messaging and go-to-market strategies in managed all aspects of the networking industry.

Elias Aravantinos will extend ACG Research’s strong presence in the service provider space by bringing his extensive multidisciplinary background and experience in technology marketing and management consulting for large vendors and Wall Street firms in wireless infrastructure and mainly into the service mobility and WiFi segments for both ACG’s Europe and North America operations.

Mr. Aravantinos will be responsible for ACG’s service provider mobility division, delivering consulting and analysis for end-to-end mobility infrastructure, services and emerging business models. His professional experience includes working for KPMG where he lead an Identity Management Applications and Services, securing the company’s extranet; Lucent Technologies Lab where he designed a dynamic allocation spectrum model for the next-generation wireless networks, applying computational economics and optimization models; Columbia Institute for Tele-Information leading a strategic consortium of operators to understand the ultra-broadband network and the technology requirements to develop a set of wireless and wireline solutions. During the last five years, he has developed extended expertise into wireless technology projects, as well as microwave and mobile backhaul.

Elias is a pioneer in technology and business-related indexes and helps service providers and technology managers to understand the present and future trends. “Operators and SPs are challenged today, as there is a tremendous need for in-depth research and strategic analysis across various wireless technologies that form a very demanding and dynamic ecosystem,” says Elias Aravantinos. “I look forward to helping them address these issues and am really excited to be part of a strong team of thought leaders that will complement my passion, vision and expertise across different technologies.”

As capex shifts more toward wireless, operators are looking for the best services and innovative architecture to not only reduce churn but also to increase profitability, says Dr. Ray Mota. Having Mr. Elias Aravantinos who has expertise in the technology and business side of mobile and wireless technologies, will help ACG Research provide comprehensive services to MNOs and vendors as well as complement their requirements as they look to state-of-the-art service creation and business case analysis in areas of 5G, VoWiFi, VoLTE, backhaul and other wireless areas.” 

For more information about ACG’s mobility and WiFi services or to schedule a briefing with Elias Aravantinos, contact
ACG Research
ACG Research
email us here

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Linkedin to surpass Facebook's value as professional networks are more useful

A few days ago Facebook Inc announced that the professional version of its social network aimed at businesses will launch in the next few months. I wouldn’t disagree that Facebook is No.1 Internet social network with 1.35 billion monthly users. But we also shouldn’t forget Branchout back in 2010, a Facebook application for professional networking that raised $49 million over three rounds. Today that is the failed startup that attempted to create a “LinkedIn within Facebook” network, but the company’s assets have been acquired by 1-Page, an HR software company based out of San Francisco, listed on the Australian stock exchange. That deal was closed pretty much the same time with Facebook’s official announcement about the new professional network that could be considered as a switch into something new.

However the professional community today, is totally different to Facebook’s approach and envision. For most professionals and executives, Facebook is meaningless or even dangerous and they wont ever connect their Facebook profile with the upcoming professional one. When you meet other professionals all over the world, the first thing you do to keep in touch is to connect via Linkedin and network rather than a Facebook connection that will come later or even never. Linkedin today is where professionals meet globally, joining forums online, finding jobs, acquiring knowledge and create partnerships.

All this value is translated into a 40% share growth in the past 6 months, what investors care about, 20% more than Facebook Inc’s. Linkedin has created its own path, partly based on a typical social network’s principles, gaining full approval from its members that join at a rate of more than two new members per second. Perhaps that was the reason that made Facebook realize that it has to be there and gain market share, even if Linkedin is more robust and sustainable and will be hard to beat.
Based on Linkedin stats, more than 4 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages and in Q32014 total revenues advanced 45% on a Y-o-Y basis.
Concluding, if Facebook Inc plans to offer the professional network, closely attached to Facebook’s platform, it will most likely have limited success as most professionals are already settled with profiles and contacts in Linkedin. I don’t really see how Facebook will motivate this community to give up Linkedin or even add the new platform and a personal profile as we all have limited time to network, to build profiles/reputation and are interested into serious discussions and opinions. Finally Linkedin continuously offers new leading social features, as “Like Post”, “Write Post” that increase engagement and the high value content.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why LTE-M should play a major role in M2M evolution

Most M2M applications today do not need the higher bandwidth of LTE and 3G as data rate of a few hundreds kbps could meet their needs. The LTE-M extension aims to fulfill the specific energy, spectrum, cost, efficiency constraints of M2M communications, whilst not hindering current LTE devices to operate normally on the LTE network.
LTE-M is expected to be released by 2017 achieving the following

  • low power consumption and autonomy (i.e. up to five years for a device running on AA batteries), 
  • easy deployment 
  • interoperability, 
  • low overall cost, 
  • excellent coverage. 
LTE-M is likely to evolve further with discussion on including local mesh networking, very low cost modules (under $5), very long battery life ( even up to 10 years due to  long sleep cycles) and low data rates with two-way (including full-duplex) communication.

LTE-M should co-exist with other proprietary networks supporting backwards compatibility to the previous LTE standards in the same spectrum. Today, for example the LTE EPC will require scaling and densification to support a huge number of additional LTE-M devices similar to the requirement of an increased subscriber number as LTE rollout 

Thus, two different worlds need to coexist and share the same resources: first, the LTE core network with LTE users directly connected to the base station (eNodeB) through a LTE interface; second, the capillary (and heterogeneous) network with 
LTE-M or non LTE-M devices connected to a M2M Gateway via any air interface (LTE-M or 
not), while the M2M Gateway is interconnected to the LTE base station via a LTE-M 
interface. It might be also possible for LTE-M standalone devices (i.e., LTE-M devices which do not belong to any capillary network) to directly access the base station via a LTE-M connection. Some main features and research has been conducted in the EXALTED (EXpAnding LTE for Devices), an Integrating Project (IP) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by 2013.

However detailed security features and protocols need further research if need to be implemented. The security protocols should be applied at the application and data layer without compromising the energy efficiency of the device, inducing the minimal extra electrical consumption. Security should also be implemented at the SIM (embedded in the device) level, based on the SIM's hardware and operating system, components that are progressing, enabling high security for a minimal economical cost and a minimal energy consumption.

Today LTE Category 4-6 supports broadband M2M services at speeds of 300 kbps, expecting LTE Category 0, by 2017 to reach data speeds at up to 1Mbps.  LTE Category 0, Cat-0, has been already incorporated into the 3GPP standards, thus the possibility of using LTE as a main bearer for M2M communications has come a step nearer. Most 4G LTE mobile phones being used today are either category 3 or 4, and new developments are taking place for categories 6 or even 7.

Category 0 can perform really well under certain configuration and conditions. It is expected to reduce the complexity of an LTE modem relative to a single band Category 1 LTE module due to a modem's simplicity. Today, Cat-0 operates with only one transmit / receive antenna; has a single RF chain; the peak data rate is 1Mbps in downlink and uplink. That can be achieved by using reduced transport block sizes; among the limitations is the fact that it supports only half duplex capability.
In addition, an M2M unit does not usually require a display or UI, thus the processing power is now compared to a typical smartphone.  Low cost modems could be used that could be really cheap in a large scale,  where each could cost like a GSM modem (~$10). 
Today some interesting M2M applications among others include Energy Smart Metering and E-Health considered basic parts of tomorrow's networked society. Many startup companies heavily involved into IoT and M2M, should be able to provide efficiency and innovation into a variety of low cost solutions.