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GSMA Highlights Key Trends Shaping the Future of Mobile

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The GSMA has published its second annual ‘Global Mobile Trends’ report, which provides exclusive data and analysis on the key trends shaping the future of the mobile ecosystem.

Published at Mobile World Congress Americas being held in San Francisco this week, the 2017 edition of this flagship report series compiles data on mobile subscriber growth trends across both developed and emerging markets, plus insight on: device innovation beyond the smartphone; the evolution from 4G to 5G networks; industry financial performance and growth outlook; competition and convergence; and statistics for every region worldwide.

“Our latest Global Mobile Trends report provides a comprehensive view of the opportunities and challenges facing the mobile industry as we move into a new era of ubiquitous connectivity,” said Laxmi Akkaraju Chief Strategy Officer at the GSMA.

“Built on best-in-class GSMA Intelligence data and produced by our in-house team of industry analysts, today’s report maps out how future networks and operator business models are evolving within a rapidly shifting industry landscape.”

Key takeaways from the 2017 edition of the Global Mobile Trends: Connecting the next billion: Five billion people are now connected to mobile networks, representing two-thirds of the world’s population. However, growth is slowing; it took four years to move from 4 billion to 5 billion subscribers and connecting the next billion will take longer still. Meanwhile, smartphone and mobile broadband growth is driving mobile internet usage and engagement, and new form factors are emerging beyond the smartphone.

Rapid 4G growth: Industry excitement around 5G overlooks the fact that 4G still has plenty of headroom for future growth. 4G is forecast to account for two-thirds of global mobile connections by 2025 (up from around a quarter today), driven by increasing 4G adoption over this period in major emerging markets such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.

The pathway to 5G: Early 5G deployments will likely target high-bandwidth applications as an extension to 4G, notably 8K ultra-HD video and VR/AR apps, although the US will focus initially on using 5G as a last-mile technology for home broadband. South Korea and Japan are likely to be among the first 5G markets, showcasing the technology at the Olympics in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

However, on a global basis, it’s expected that 5G networks will be rolled out at a slower rate than 4G and adoption is therefore also likely to be slower.

Transforming the network: A paradigm shift in network architecture is required to support the shift to 5G and Internet of Things that requires the creation of decentralised networks that combine a number of network technologies (e.g. small cells, LPWA), using software-controlled network functions, and running over both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Edge computing and network slicing will be needed to support major 5G applications. 

Telecoms and media converging: Convergence is now occurring at an industry level, as evidenced by the recent M&A boom that is creating telco-media conglomerates that seek to unlock new opportunities by combining content offerings with core network services; examples include Verizon/AOL/Yahoo and the proposed tie-up between AT&T and Time Warner.

However, investors have yet to price in a growth premium for converged telco-media plays, which continue to be valued significantly below major tech players.

The quintet of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix have collectively grown enterprise value 3.5x since 2010, with large telecoms operators remaining relatively flat over this period.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NCC, NSCDC Ink Agreement on Telecom Infrastructure Protection

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Nigeria Communication Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect critical Telecom infrastructure from vandalism and theft.

 

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC signed on behalf of the commission, while Abdulahi Gana, commandant-general of NSCDC signed for his organisation.

 

According to Danbatta, the commission is leveraging on the reach of NSCDC to protect telecom infrastructure.

 

He said that the infrastructure were being damaged and at times it could be unintended due to road construction.

 

The executive vice chairman said that the signing of the MoU had further lend credence to NCC’s commitment to secure the lives of Nigerians wherever they live, as well as protecting telecom infrastructure from vandalism across the country.

 

“We are concerned about this infrastructure and, therefore, we pray that through this partnership with NSCDC they will be protected.

 

“ These centres have been put in place to bring relief to Nigerians in distress.  They are provided to offer emergency services between the people in distress and the emergency agencies.

 

On pre-registered SIM Cards,  Danbatta said  that  NCC  would not allow unscrupulous few among the citizens to use preregistered SIM cards to undermine the security of the country.

 

“We must be seen to be doing everything within our mandate to end the use of unregistered SIM cards and, I want to warn those engaging in it to withdraw or the law will catch up with them.

 

“We will do all we can to make sure they are not in circulation. We have taken some measures, in addition to electronic forms to ensure we give a good example of those who willfully use the preregistered SIM cards to  commit fraud.’’

 

He also appreciated the assistance of the Corps to the protection of the centres which served as inter-face with the people.

 

Earlier, the NSCDC commandant-general,  Abdulahi  said that it was the corps mandate to protect critical national infrastructure, adding that they were ready to provide the equipment, and fire arms to protect the national infrastructure.

 

Gana said that the defence corps has offices not only in the 36 states but in the 774 Local Governments.

 

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Government should provide subsidy for LTE deployment in hinterlands- Adeyeye

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By peter oluka

Following the recent deployment of Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) network services in mainly in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, there are growing concerns on the inability of telcos and tier two service providers to replicate same feat in the hinterlands.

According to industry expert, Smile Communications with 800 MHz band spectrum operating a 4G LTE licence for nationwide coverage, it has the best spectrum to reach the rural areas.

But the odds against service providers are numerous.

In a recent interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Mr. OlusolaTeniola, the president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), suggested that reforms are needed in the telecom sector in a way that it identifies the opportunities that exists in truly exploring the emerging digital realm.

Nodding in agreement Mr. Aderemi Adeyeye, president, Enext Wireless Inc., traced the inability of operators to move to the hinterlands to lack of motivation or incentives from the government.

Although, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has tried to support the operators to meet the needs of the underserved areas, experts are of the view there are still economic bottlenecks facing the operators.

Adeyeye said in an interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, “In my view, a company like Smile Communications, by the nature of its ownership structure, shouldn’t be expected to have a national focus at the present. Yes, they want to deploy services and make money in the process; I mean there is a very little money for them from the rural areas, so they focus on the cosmopolitan areas where they could make money.

“We started our work when only Smile had LTE for deployment in Nigeria. You can see the quality of their network going down because the customer base has increased, but they are not investing in improving the quality. At the early stage Smile stood out in terms of Quality of Service (QoS). In Victoria Island, for instance, it stood out. Now Glo, MTN and other service providers are focused on LTE in VI and you can see Smile’s quality nose-diving.

“When you have limited spectrum and want to attract a lot of customers, you either have to improve on the engineering so that the spectrum could accommodate more customers or you have additional spectrum you could use to service a segment of the customer base.”

“I think currently, they are focused on getting the most out of their current investment because they seem not to be improving on the engineering of the 10 MHz. We could see it from our data. The way Smile could go to the rural areas is if government mandated them, which might not be advisable.

“Also, they could be given subsidy to achieve that purpose. We also have Bitflux which has a bigger spectrum with 30 MHz bandwidth and its license is also nationwide, even though the frequency is high at 2.3 GHz.

But, to Teniola, Nigeria cannot afford to miss the new Industry 4.0 paradigm which dwells, solely, on digitization.

“We needia reform of the telecom sector in a way that it identifies the opportunities that exists in truly exploring the emerging digital realm.

“The funding of all this is a steeple chase hurdle to the realization of this new future and it requires continuous change in the way regulation and policies are formulated.

“Right now, we are undergoing consolidation in the market what we seek are for the Government to react quickly to these changes and adapt as the technology adapts to the new Industry 4.0. paradigm”, he said.

 

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NCC, NSCDC Signs MOU on Critical Telecommunication Infrastructure Protection

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Left to Right: Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) during the sinning of MOU Yesterday.

Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, in line with the Board’s commitment towards achieving measurable and remarkable improvement in the quality of telecommunications services in Nigeria, received further concrete expression when the CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta and his counterpart at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the head office of the NSCDC yesterday.

The signing of the MOU is the climax of series of meetings, visitations and several discussions between the two organizations that will see greater security and protection provided for telecommunication facilities by the NSCDC’s department of Critical National Infrastructure Protection.

Vandalism and theft of telecom infrastructure and facilities have been central recurring challenges to the attainment of the parameters defining the applicable quality of service standards for specific services in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

This year, as part of the efforts of the Commission to ultimately halt the criminalities associated with telecommunication service provision, NCC has organised 6 Zonal Sensitization Workshops for Agencies in the security sector to deepen the understanding of each agency’s role in curbing the crimes undermining the quality of service in the telecom sector.

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