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Asia Pacific: operators investing heavily in the telecoms sector

Ranine Awwad

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Asia Pacific: operators investing heavily in the telecoms sector

The Covid-19 pandemic has shed light on the importance of digital connectivity in the Asia Pacific region. The Telecom industry has been reporting huge growth over the past few years with nearly 500 million new subscribers since 2014. 

According to a GSMA report, by the end of 2025, Asia will bring almost 700 million new mobile internet users. On the other hand, the number of mobile subscribers will reach 3.0 bn with a 70% penetration rate. China, Indonesia, and India are the largest smartphone markets globally. Together, these three countries will account for over 40% of global connections in 2025. China mobile established itself as the major telecom operator in the Asia Pacific in 2020, exhibiting a brand value of over 49 billion U.S. dollars, according to Statista.com.

Asia pacific mobile operators will invest over $400 million on their networks within 5 years. Around 80% of this investment will be spent on 5G network deployment. In fact, the region is home to the most advanced 5G market. GSMA report states that 12 markets have officially announced plans to launch 5G services while nine markets are already operational. South Korea, Australia, and China are leading the way.

In the Asia Pacific region, the digital economy became crucial amid the lockdown. Transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail are investing in digital transformation to cope with the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  However, around 240 million people in the Asia Pacific lack mobile internet coverage, according to the GSMA report. Nevertheless, the report estimates that mobile data consumption will grow more than threefold in 2025. The availability of affordable high-speed networks will generate 28.9 GB per month compared to 9.2 GB per month in 2019.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital transformation as it came to facilitate remote working and healthcare services. However, Covid-19 will result in 18% fewer 5G connections in the Asia Pacific region in 2020 than previously expected.

Telecom operators have focused on ensuring connectivity. However, some countries have been suffering from Internet shutdown. According to Access Now, authorities in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Pakistan have been ordering internet shutdown. Internet Shutdown also happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a serious impact on accessing healthcare information and remote working tools.

Ranine joined Inside Telecom as an Investigative Journalist. Her extensive fieldwork and investigations shed light on many socio-economic issues. Over the past few years, she has transformed her key findings into in-depth analytical reports. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication.

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Digicel Tonga upgrades its LTE network

Karim Hussami

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Digicel Tonga upgrades its LTE network

When offering any network service, companies or telecom operators should consider improving the quality of the service in order to boost coverage and provide capacity and speed.

Each network wireless broadband communication demands a different solution, therefore, 4G require LTE, which is Long-Term Evolution and a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals.

Digicel Tonga has successfully implemented a network-wide upgrade to LTE on all its cell sites.

Tonga’s leading telecommunication and entertainment provider, Digicel Tonga, announced “The completion of a major TOP 1.8million network upgrade. All sites are upgraded to LTE network and Digicel Tonga is the first operator to achieve this on the island.”

“The upgrade has been implemented in all cell sites across the islands of Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u and ‘Eua, and was set to boost coverage and provide improved capacity and speed,” Digicel Tonga said in a statement.

25 percent of the company’s sites were upgraded to LTE during the first phase of the upgrade project which started in late 2019, while the second phase of the upgrade started in May 2020 to bring the remaining sites up to LTE.

Customers are using 77% more data than they did in June 2019 because of the upgrade allowing for additional data capacity using the latest LTE technology.

Digicel Tonga CEO, Anthony Seuseu said; “We simply want to give every Tongan the best mobile data experience and become their digital lifestyle partner. We are now living in a time where our online and digital experiences are part of our lives.  The TOP $1.8million investment in our data network over the last 12 months is a major milestone for Tonga to celebrate and be proud of. We are the first and only operator to upgrade all our towers 100% LTE in Tonga.”

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Telecom Network Infrastructure Market is set to reach USD 100 billion by 2026

Inside Telecom Staff

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Telecom Network Infrastructure Market is set to reach USD 100 billion by 2026

According to a recent study from market research firm Global Market Insights, Speedy internet penetration across the globe will offer prolific growth opportunities to telecom network infrastructure market. High adoption of wireless devices is a key impetus to the market growth. People are extensively adopting wireless devices across the globe, which has intensified the need for development of existing telecom network infrastructure.

Various telecom companies are endeavoring to expand their network infrastructure to support the ever-increasing base of cellular users. Governments and telecom companies are outlaying huge amounts in upgrading current telecom infrastructure and developing advanced technologies, which will spur telecom network infrastructure industry growth.

In addition, the advent of 5G technology is likely to be instrumental in the industry growth as it is compelling telecom operators to upgrade their capacities to support the commercialization of the technology.

A research report published by Global Market Insights, Inc., predicts that telecom network infrastructure market is likely to surpass a valuation of $100 billion by 2026.Several supportive proposals for commercialization of 5G technology are urging telecom service providers to enhance their existing telecom infrastructure. Since the need to commercialize next gen 5G network has grown-up, it has enabled companies to implement advance telecom infrastructure. Compared to conventional 4G and LTE network, 5G network offers enhanced speed capacities together with improved bandwidth.

Rise in the prevalence of cyber threats across wireless telecom networks has become a key concern due to increasing number of wireless devices being deployed worldwide. Cyber criminals nowadays can easily access confidential information inside a telecommunication infrastructure. Cyberattacks on telecoms service providers have also grown substantially, creating a big challenge for firms when it comes to safeguarding their network assets.

Rising need for superior cellular connectivity in rural areas is helping with the growing adoption of base stations. Microcells are projected to foresee high demand since they are more suitable base stations that can be used for providing connections in isolated rural places.

Telecom network infrastructure in North America is relatively developed and is among the frontrunners in the adoption of the 5G. Moreover, positive investment outlook is likely to present unprecedented growth opportunities to North America telecom network infrastructure industry. The regional federal authorities have introduced several initiatives to transform telecom network infrastructure, especially to support 5G spectrum.

Many government authorities, such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) have been endeavoring to improve their regulatory frameworks and attract huge investments for deploying 5G telecom infrastructure.

Several major telecom operators across the world are carrying out 5G network trials to expedite the commercialization of 5G technology. Various new products and services are being introduced by telecom network infrastructure companies to encourage 5G network. For example, in October 2019, Nokia rolled out Time-sensitive Packet Switch (TPS) Nokia 1830 to support cloud-native architectures and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), both time-critical service components in 5G. The latest product enabled telecom operators upgrade their existing networks to 5G cloud RAN economically.

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Huawei has lost the Romanian 5G market

Ranine Awwad

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Huawei has lost the Romanian 5G market

Romania was one of the first countries worldwide to follow US decisions on banning Huawei from the deployment of the 5G network. According to CMS law, in December 2019, the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) launched public consultations for its 2020 action plan aiming to publish tender rules and requirements for the deployment of the 5G network.

On July 5, 2020, the Romanian government released legislation for public debate that will be used to determine which company carries out the installation for 5G networks in the country.

Under the new law, companies controlled by a foreign government, which lack a transparent ownership structure, a history of unethical behavior or are subjected to an independent justice system in their own country are not eligible to participate in the deployment of the 5G network. Huawei is one of the companies that does not comply with the law. However, the new terms came out without explicitly mentioning the company. The Chinese Telecom giant was banned from participating in the deployment of high-speed internet technology following sanctions by the United States. “Huawei refuses to reveal its corporate structure or explain its connection to the Chinese Communist Party”, according to a blog post published by US mission in Romania on January 28, 2020.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was always against awarding Huawei a license for the deployment of the 5G network. On August 21, 2020, he signed a memorandum with US President Donald Trump in which they agreed to avoid the security risks that accompany Chinese investments in 5G telecommunications networks. “We don’t want to end up with critical systems being operated by companies which are not trustworthy,” said Iohannis, according to Balkans Insight.

Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung are among the alternative telecom operators to Huawei.

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