In Blog

Look at ICT globally, and the ties that bind it, then suddenly you realize there are big connections in all that connectivity.

Those big connections are now upon us. IoT is connected to 5G. 5G is connected to big broadband networks. Telco transformation is connected to both. Customer aspirations are connected to new service rollouts. Regulation is connected to nearly everything, equally innovation seems to be driving everything.

Connecting the connectivity on a global level has always been a major theme in PTC. The PTC Annual Conference remains a key event where the most senior executives and thought leaders gather to discuss subsea, satellite, data centerand service provider trends.

PTC’19: From Pipes to Platforms is your opportunity to network and build connections. Be part of the uppermost discussions and explore how ICT is bringing the world closer together.

5G
This month has seen more big connections being made. Moving closer to big service launches, industry news was once again dominated by 5G. Industry commentators variously connected the success of IoT and 5G for service providers by making the rollout transformational, warning us not to forget the backhaul demands, while predicting indoor coverage to be the next major battleground.

As far as IoT is concerned, major fascination continues, but the hunt is on for identifiable actionable business cases. Many continue to fret about IoT security issues, and some suggest ways to harden IoT. Cybersecurity concerns are also pressing. Navigating security issues and compliance in your organization may become a major challenge in itself.

One study suggested fixed wireless may be the first incremental revenue opportunity in the 5G space. A major focus during the month was the impact the Verizon fixed wireless service might make in the marketplace. Some suggest getting a trusted relationship with early adopter populations will be key to 5G success for the industry. There is however general enthusiasm amongst business leaders for the potential of the 5G era.

Predictions, along with concerns, abound. Some muse there may be industry specific MVNO entities in the cities of the future.

Despite policy concerns in the U.S., some experts say it will still spearhead 5G adoption in the next seven years. Investment in the industry is certainly picking up after a mid-decade slowdown as 5G infrastructure including the base station market is being rolled out, although some regulators are also claiming they make positive impacts on broadband spend.

Policymakers maintain they are still heavily involved to maximize the potential for wireless innovation. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Ajit Pai, said it was a priority at the highest levels of the U.S. government. FCC policy on small cells, sometimes considered controversial, was welcomed as a victory for the wireless industry. The regulatory menu seems to be an ever extending to-do list. Privacy, particularly in the consumer space, remains an extremely hot topic compared with the level of past concerns worldwide. Robust legislation seems to be in the works. In the U.S., the net neutrality debate rumbles on.

Transformation: Block by Block
Those big connections will also impact what service providers do in the future. Some say a major evolution in network capability is needed for many. Others emphasize service providers must go digital to meet the upcoming marketplace realities although there is doubt if some service providers are really seeing the results anticipated.

One innovation that might transform the entire service provider sector may have arrived: blockchain, with successful trialing completed. New applications for blockchain in service provider networks were also announced. For those of us still needing some insights on blockchain, consider a McKinsey primer.

In such a dynamic industry, it is little surprise at the business level that industry players are the subject of buying and selling. Attention this month focused on the possible change of ownership for the Nokia submarine cable business, Australia’s NBN, and Global Marine.

Innovation
PTC is focusing attention on innovation. The 2019 PTC Innovation Awards are set to become a centerpiece of PTC’19, giving a showcase to activity in the Pacific region, recognizing individuals and companies that transform the ICT industry.

In the general industry upheaval, innovation intrigues, with the recognition of increasingly more examples. Would you swap your smartphone for a cellular wristwatch? The U.S. leads in the smart home stakes, according to reports. But is the smartest thing in your smart home a smart plug?

Nevertheless, times may be changing for everyone. Pew believes the use of digital services may have plateaued in the U.S. New technologies continue to fascinate and emerge from nontraditional locations. Some predict a gigantic ICT mediated revolution in health care mediated by robotic surgery, AI voice assistants, embedded IoT, telemedicine, and data sciences. In ranging and data collection capabilities, mobile health is said to be capable of eradicating tuberculosis.

Back on the Blog
In the PTC blog, we interviewed Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg to tell us why he believes massive new opportunities for satellite services are just around the corner, as new connections are made to consumers.

We covered the possibility of data centers going underground. In two podcast programs from Singapore, we explored the explosive build out of subsea cable projects in the Pacific, while noting the emergence of many competing interests on the ocean floor impacting the subsea sector. On the regulatory front, Europe’s most senior regulatory official, Johannes Gungl, explained why next generation networks, including 5G networks, will likely need new kinds of policymaking, especially as Europe wants to see a one trillion euro data economy unfold in the next decade.

On PTC-TV, industry leaders were giving us their views on pricing pressures in the industry, and what they mean. Hear from Mark Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global; John Tolton, VP, Business Development, The Sphere; Nigel Bayliff, CEO, Aqua Comms; and Gavin McMillan, Director, International Sales & Marketing, Sippy Software.

In all this connectivity, we are emphasizing the power of innovation with the continuation of the PTC Innovation Awards. Submissions are open. Hear what award winners from 2018 have said about the impact of the award on their businesses.

Those are significant connections. Mark your calendar for PTC’19.