Displaying items by tag: Asia

Xiaomi replaces Samsung as India’s top smartphone supplier

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:16

India’s smartphone market has finally seen a change at the top, with Chinese vendor Xiaomi now leading with shipments close to 8.2 million units in Q4 2017, according to research firm Canalys. Despite annual growth of 17%, South Korea’s Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.

The smartphone market in India grew by a modest 6% overall, in line with Canalys forecasts, following the seasonal dip as vendors and channel partners take stock after a busy Q3. Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo rounded out the top five, while total smartphone shipments were just shy of 30 million units.

“Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst. “Its results are commendable, given it entered the market just three years ago. Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations.”

Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50% of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27% and second-place Samsung at 25%.

“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers, losing market share in the sub-INR15,000 (US$240) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter.”

Despite Samsung’s ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for its devices has been weak, Doshi adds. But it has far superior R&D, and a better hold on the supply chain due to its strong components business.

“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.”

Xiaomi’s success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions. Considerable business in the world’s largest two smartphone markets will build confidence in its partners as well as future investors.

“But growth in 2018 will be hard to come by,” added Doshi. “As Xiaomi’s market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi could become second largest smartphone vendor by 2018

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 08:06

Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in Q3 almost doubled from a year ago, according to research from Strategy Analytics. It’s forecast that Xiaomi could become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor by 2018, overtaking OPPO, Huawei and Apple, if current momentum continues.

Global smartphone shipments grew 5 percent annually to reach 393 million units in Q3 2017. Samsung maintained first position with 21 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Apple held steady at 12 percent and Huawei at 10 percent.

Global smartphone adoption growth in Q3 can be attributed to first-time buyers across emerging markets in Asia and upgrades to flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe, according to Strategy Analytics Director, Linda Sui.

Xiaomi soared 91 percent annually with 27.7 million shipments for a record 7 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 4 percent a year ago. Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi Note 4, is proving wildly popular in India, according to Strategy Analytics, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Reliance Jio.

Samsung shipped 83.4 million smartphones worldwide in Q3, rising 11 percent annually from 75.3 million in Q3 2016. This was the company’s fastest growth rate in almost four years. Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere, according to Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston.

Apple grew a below-average 3 percent annually and shipped 46.7 million smartphones for 12 percent marketshare worldwide in Q3, holding steady from the same level a year ago. Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in many countries, Mawston said, such as Germany and China.

Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 9 percent in Q3 2016. Huawei continues to close in fast on Apple and the battle for second place in the smartphone market, said Strategy Analytics Director, Woody Oh. Huawei is performing well across Asia, Europe and Africa, Oh said, with popular Android models such as the P10 and Nova 2.

Published in Telecom Industry

PLDT, NTT Communications, PCCW Global, SoftBank, Facebook and Amazon have selected TE SubCom to install a high-capacity transpacific cable system scheduled to launch in 2020. TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. Company, is an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology.

“The demand for bandwidth in the Pacific region continues to grow at a remarkable rate, and is accompanied by the rise of capacity-dependent applications like live video, augmented and virtual reality, and 4k/8k video,” said Koji Ishii of SoftBank, co-chairperson of JUPITER consortium.

The JUPITER cable system will connect the following locations: Maruyama, Japan; Shima, Japan; Los Angeles, California; and Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines. The new transpacific route will provide greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers, as well as optimal connectivity to data centers on the West Coast of the United States.

“JUPITER will provide the necessary diversity of connections and the highest capacity available to meet the needs of the evolving marketplace,” Ishii added. “TE SubCom has a proven record of success in the design and implementation of innovative, scalable and robust transoceanic cable systems, making the company the most reliable choice for the JUPITER supply partner.”

Sanjay Chowbey, president of TE SubCom, said submarine cables continue to have a critical impact on the global economy, as well as cultural, educational and medical advancement around the world.

“It is our privilege to help facilitate the growth of global connectivity and provide reliable, high-capacity and low-latency transmission to regions where bandwidth is at a premium,” Chowbey said. “We look forward to the next phases of what will be a high quality and industry leading system implementation.” 

Published in Infrastructure

STC’s Q3 net income up 18.2% to reach SAR 7.5bn

Written on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 08:50

Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Saudi Arabia’s largest telecom company, announced the company’s interim financial results for the period ending at 30 September 2017. The group’s net income for the 3rd quarter of 2017 increased 18.2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year, and for the 9 months period of 2017, net income reached SR 7.5 billion, an increase of 10.4 percent compared to the comparable period last year.

The company’s operating profit for the 3rd quarter increased 23 percent compared to comparable quarter last year, while earnings per share for the 9 months period of 2017 grew to reach SR 3.76 compared to SR 3.41 for the comparable period last year.

STC CEO, Dr. Khalid Biyari, said the results reflect growth in enterprise and wholesale sectors which achieved revenue despite a decline in consumer revenue during the period. The results were also achieved, he said, despite various economic and regulatory conditions in the domestic market.

STC adopted a strategy years ago to focus on diversifying sources and introducing innovative programs to achieve operational efficiency. Therefore, net income for the 3rd quarter increased 18.2 percent compared to the comparable period last year, and for the 9 months period of 2017 net income increased 10.4 percent compared to the comparable period last year.

Dr. Biyari said that STC, through its various subsidiaries, works “hard and steadily side by side with public and private sector in the Kingdom to establish a contemporary environment for the digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and to establish a modern environment that contributes to the spread of the digital environment.”

STC’s growth strategy adopted recently seeks to achieve the kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the NTP 2020 which means entering into major transformation. The telecom sector, said Dr. Biyari, is seeking new opportunities outside of traditional services. The transformation will provide STC with new opportunities outside its core business, and thus its market capitalization will rapidly increase. 

“As an example of a new era for Sales and Distribution, (STC channels) was re-launched recently with an  innovative digital vision and new spirit as an important selling and distribution arm of the group, which is an important part of the transition to digital channels in the service of our clients and providing innovative new services,” Dr. Biyari said. “This will be followed by successive steps in the near future that will bring us closer to our objectives in meeting the customers’ needs and achieve attractive returns for the investors.”

In accordance with the approved dividend policy for three years starting from the 4th quarter 2015 which was announced on 11 November 2015, and have been ratified during the General Assembly Meeting on April 4th 2016, STC will distribute a total of SR 2,000 million in cash dividend for Q3 2017, representing SR 1 per share.

Published in Infrastructure

Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with St Luke's Eldercare (SLEC) to co-develop and conceptualize innovative solutions for the elderly. As part of the MoU, Nokia and SLEC are trialing Asia's first fall prediction video analytics application.

SLEC is an aged-care service provider with an extensive network of senior care centers around Singapore, providing center-based daycare, day rehabilitation and nursing services; and home-based medical, nursing and therapy services.

The solution leverages Nokia Bell Labs' proprietary video analytics technology to create an unobtrusive and continuous monitoring system to determine the likelihood of an elderly person falling. The personalized and predictive solution will analyze information about walking speed, gait width and step width, and predict and send an alert when there is an increased risk of the person falling.

This application will be integrated into Nokia's IMPACT IoT Platform in the next phase, to allow the caregiver to view and collect information from the solution and other sensors that the elder is using.

"Our partnership with Nokia aligns with our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our patients, clients and caregivers, and our long term vision of transforming community care,” said Dr. Kenny Tan, Chief Executive Officer of SLEC. “We hope that by trialing this solution with Nokia, it will enable significant improvements on fall risk prediction, early intervention, and care provision before seniors suffer an injury." 

A joint study on eldercare IoT innovation, developed by Nokia and the Eden Strategy Institute, revealed that one-in-three elderly Singaporeans is likely to experience a fall once a year, with resulting injuries contributing at least S$1 billion to total healthcare costs.  

Being an experienced aged-care service provider with an extensive network of senior care centers around Singapore, SLEC's role is to provide guidance and feedback on the software development process.

"Nokia is committed to transforming digital healthcare and our innovative solutions aim to make a real difference in the lives of people,” said Danial Mausoof, head of Strategic Marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan for Nokia. “By empowering the elderly to live independently through personalized and predictive solutions, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience, accelerating a digital future and reimagining healthcare in Asia."

Published in Internet of Things

WhatsApp, which is one of the world’s most popular messaging applications - has finally announced a strategy for the monetization of its service in an effort to address issues regarding its ‘sustainability’. Concerns have long been raised over its sustainability, but now the application which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $22 billion has revealed its plans.

WhatsApp published a blog post in which it outlined its plans to launch a new innovative service that specifically targets large businesses, with green tick verification badges and a host of other communications tools. In addition to this, it also plans to introduce a ‘free app’ for SME’s.

A spokesperson for the messaging platform said, “Over a billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.”

Analysts have claimed that WhatsApp have identified a gaping hole in the market for businesses all over the world, especially those located in Asia, where the platform is a staple, use the service as a free way of connecting merchants and consumers. On the company’s blog post it highlighted information gathered from a survey it conducted, which indicated that users prefer when businesses use WhatsApp as it makes them feel more comfortable buying from a retailer that establishes a connection between the invisible sides of a digital transaction.

The blog post added, “We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic.”

The issue of monetization has always been an issue for technology products as companies have to engage in an education process in order to convince users to get past the notion that digital services are ephemeral enough to not warrant a cost. That’s fine, but tech firms have overheads and employees to pay, which makes it extremely challenging in the sense that one of the biggest problems in the industry are its most integral.

WhatsApp COO, Matt Idema confirmed that the firm does plan on introducing fees for businesses, but claimed that he didn’t yet have the details of what services would be monetized. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said: “We do intend on charging businesses in the future. Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today’s announcement means we’re introducing third-party ads. The answer is no.”

The COO also disclosed that WhatsApp will commence tests on tools that enable users to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. This could for example allow you to communicate with financial institutions such as a bank over a recent transaction which you believe to be fraudulent - or with an airline over a cancellation or a delay.

WhatsApp continues to appear reluctant to want to go down the advertising route, which is in stark contrast to its parent company, Facebook, whose entire business is funded by huge advertising revenues. Facebook began introducing sponsored posts in its Messenger app in July of this year as it seeks new ways to engage users of its messaging service with advertising clients. However, it’s plain to see that Facebook is now pushing for WhatsApp to make its acquisition worthwhile.

Published in Apps

SK Telecom successfully develops 5G signal booster

Written on Monday, 21 August 2017 06:20

SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider, announced that it has successfully developed a 5G repeater, a means of boosting 5G signals, and applied it to its 5G trial network deployed near Gangnam Station in Seoul.

The 5G repeater is designed to improve signals in blanket/shadow areas by amplifying 5G radio signals. With the deployment of the 5G repeater, 5G networks will be able to provide a dense coverage by eliminating shadow areas.

The 5G repeater – built with SK Telecom’s independently developed 5G relay technology – is expected to resolve the issue of 5G coverage limitations caused by the propagation characteristics of radio signals at super-high/above-6GHz frequency bands.

Moreover, the Gangnam area in Seoul is one of the most difficult places to plan/build a network due to the presence of a large number of radio wave obstacles and high-density data traffic. SK Telecom’s successful deployment of the 5G repeater carries a significant meaning as it will now be able to build 5G networks in other traffic-concentrated downtown areas with greater ease. 

“SK Telecom is moving closer to launching a commercial 5G network by applying key 5G technologies to our 5G trial network in Gangnam, an area with the highest data traffic,” said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center of SK Telecom.  

Published in Telecom Operators

Qualcomm has released additional findings of a landmark study, The 5G Economy. The new research, conducted by leading industry and economic analysis firm IHS Markit, examines the potential economic impact of 5G for the Taiwan market.

IHS Markit research indicates that 5G represents an outstanding opportunity for Taiwan, currently the major supplier of component, semiconductor and contract manufacturing services to the Information and Telecommunications Technology (ICT) sector, to move beyond its traditional role by focusing on additional areas higher up in the value chain.

Under the existing industrial structure and policy environment, 5G holds the potential to unleash $134 billion in gross output of goods and services and support 510,000 Taiwanese jobs in 2035, according to IHS Markit.

Taiwan is well positioned, the study claims, to play a vital role in the emerging global 5G supply chain and many Taiwanese firms are investing in 5G, particularly in applications built for Massive IoT (MIoT). However, the study found Taiwan will need policies that encourage innovation and investment in higher-value aspects of the 5G value chain to stimulate additional output and employment.

“These respected researchers confirmed our strong belief that 5G will be a fundamental game changer,” said Jim Cathey, senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific and India, Qualcomm International, Inc. 

“The ‘5G Economy’ study also reinforces our confidence in the tremendous opportunity for further collaborations with the mobile ecosystem in Taiwan. Together with our Taiwanese partners we will continue to accelerate and drive the future of 5G technology in IoT, mobile and compute, enabling Taiwan to access the global economic benefits of 5G.”

Jim Diffley, vice president of IHS Markit and chief economist of IHS U.S. Regional Services Group, said: “As a regional technology hub, Taiwan has played an important role in the spread of mobile technologies globally in recent decades. The $134 billion in 5G-related gross output that Taiwan will directly and indirectly support by 2035 indicates that Taiwan has the opportunity to pursue economic growth strategies that are consistent with its Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan.”

These new findings on 5G’s economic impact on Taiwan are an expansion of the landmark ‘5G Economy’ global research study announced by Qualcomm in January 2017 and can be found here: https://www.qualcomm.com.tw/invention/5g

Published in Internet of Things

Singapore’s Singtel is launching in phases, near-gigabit speeds on its LTE-Advanced network at selected high-traffic outdoor locations across the island. At 800Mbps, it is Southeast Asia’s fastest Gigabit-class LTE mobile data peak speed, delivering up to 60 percent faster download speeds than prevailing LTE services.

Mr. Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer at Singtel, said, “As a leader in network innovation, we are committed to pushing the limits in network speeds, coverage and capacity, so we can continue delivering Singapore’s best mobile experience to our customers. We look forward to rolling out more network technology enhancements this year.”

The near-gigabit transmission speeds are achieved by scaling pre-5G technology solutions, 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (4x4 MIMO) and 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), coupled with triple carrier aggregation of spectrum exclusive to Singtel.  

Mr. Martin Wiktorin, President of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and Philippines said, “We are pleased to again partner with Singtel on this important step in the journey towards 5G. In delivering Singtel’s Gigabit-class LTE network, we are enabling an enhanced consumer experience as well as supporting Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, which will see the increase in bandwidth intensive applications.”

Singtel customers with Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphones can enjoy the 800Mbps peak speeds at the outdoor areas of Shaw Centre, ION Orchard and Tang Plaza on Orchard Road. Full deployment at Orchard Road, Raffles Place and Clarke Quay is slated for the end of August. More Cat 16 smartphones supporting 1Gbps speeds are scheduled to be launched later this year.

The 800Mbps service augments Singtel’s nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds. In addition to having Singapore’s widest outdoor 4G coverage as rated by IMDA for 10 consecutive quarters, Singtel was also recently named the fastest telco in Singapore by global metrics leader, Ookla.

Published in Telecom Operators

Thaicom Public Company Limited, one of Asia’s leading satellite operators and provider of integrated satellite communications services, announced an agreement with iSAT Africa Ltd FZC. (iSAT), a leading African telecommunications provider and a subsidiary of Wananchi Group Holdings, to provide iSAT’s key customer in East Africa with fully managed satellite telecommunications services including satellite backup of its fiber network.

Under the agreement, Thaicom will provide Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity via the     THAICOM 6 satellite in the case of fiber network outages.  The full-time, managed service will enable iSAT Africa to provide their client with a fully redundant and highly available backup solution for the provision of uninterrupted broadband services. 

“We have seen an increase in the need for reliable and cost-effective satellite communications in Africa,” said (Nile) Suwansiri, Chief Commercial Officer with Thaicom. “Therefore, we intend to continue expanding our reach and providing our clients with the best possible solution for their business requirements. Thaicom has many years of experience in providing leading telecom operators across Asia with premium cellular and internet backhaul. Our African customers can now benefit from Thaicom’s experience in providing managed network backhaul services as well.”

Munish Sharma, Chief Operating Officer with iSAT Africa said, “We are pleased to partner with Thaicom for yet another solution to provide better services to our customers.  ISAT is at the forefront of innovation, while offering flexible managed services across Africa and other parts of the world in the field of VSAT, Broadcasting, Voice, GSM Backhaul and Fiber. Data demand throughout the world is being driven by the increased popularity of connected devices—and Africa is going in the same direction. Satellite services are playing a key role in the development.”

He further added, “Satellite is ideal to extend iSAT’s fiber network via Internet Protocol in Africa to places that are not connected to terrestrial networks.  iSAT’s fiber networks cover Africa, Europe, Asia and America.  Our collaboration with Thaicom will assist to fulfil the growing demand and offer data services by way of a resilient fiber network while maintaining high standards of Quality of Service (QoS).”

The managed internet backbone and related services provided by Thaicom are based on a point-to-point satellite link between Thaicom’s designated teleport and our customer’s remote site, thus providing uninterrupted access to the network.

Published in Satellite Industry
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