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Nokia announced today it is working with Rakuten to build a new mobile network in Japan. Nokia will provide full turnkey services to plan, manage, deploy and integrate cloud RAN, AirGile cloud-native core network technology and several Nokia software functions.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the Rakuten Group offers more than 70 services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members across the globe. Rakuten will leverage its experience as an IT company and its membership base of more than 100 million users in Japan as it enters the market as a Greenfield mobile operator and digital service provider.
Rakuten's distributed cloud network, along with Nokia and Rakuten's work to automate the network build and deployment process, will help reduce network operation costs and enhance operational efficiencies.
Nokia will provide turnkey deployment and integration of the new radio network leveraging a 'zero footprint' site approach with remote radio heads connected to cloud RAN software on the edge cloud, to speed deployment and network scalability.
Nokia is working with Rakuten on several underlying core functions to maximize automation, AI and machine learning to reduce the cost of operations to a fraction of legacy networks.
The network will be deployed across Japan - including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya - and use Nokia Cloud RAN, AirScale radios (remote radio heads) and the Nokia AirGile cloud-native core, incorporating technologies such as Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem, Session Border Controller and Telco Application Server for the fast roll-out of services such as Voice over LTE.
Rakuten and Nokia are completely aligned on the Future X network vision and it is being implemented in Rakuten's brand new mobile network operation in Japan. The building of the network is underway and user trials in Tokyo have already begun.
Yoshihisa Yamada, Representative Director and President of Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. said: "We are delighted to work with Nokia on co-creating and deploying an open virtualized radio access network. Together, we have managed to disaggregate the current RAN platform by separating hardware and software, and implementing the Radio software as a Virtual Network Function running on Rakuten Cloud Platform (RCP)."
John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan, said: "This is a groundbreaking deployment that is at the forefront of cloud native technology and digital transformation in Japan. By combining the latest technology in cloud and automation with Nokia's hardware, software and services, Rakuten will emerge as the first Japanese service provider to use a full cloud-based service model."
Europe’s largest telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom has warned that if governments across the continent decide to implement a ban on Chinese vendor Huawei, then the rollout of 5G networks could be delayed by at least two years.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, has been released on Can$10 million bail by a Canadian court. The Chinese telecom executive faces a US extradition bid on charges related to alleged violations of Iran sanctions.
She was ordered to surrender her passport and will be subjected to electronic monitoring whilst she stays in Vancouver. Her lawyer said she was not deemed a flight risk, as she did not want to ‘embarrass China.’
The daughter of Huawei’s founder, Meng is accused of lying to bankers about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions. She faces more than 30 years in prison if she is convicted.
The extradition process, scheduled to start on February 6, could take months or even years.
Her arrest has shaken China's relations with Canada and the United States, with concerns that it could derail a US-China trade war truce. President Donald Trump has said he "would certainly intervene" in the case if it can help strike a deal with China.
Meanwhile, the US State Department called on China to "end all forms of arbitrary detentions" after Michael Kovrig - a North East Asia senior adviser, and former Canadian diplomat - was detained in Beijing. The international crisis group (ICG) said in a statement that it has received no information about Kovrig since his detention and is concerned about his health and safety.
Former Canadian ambassador to Beijing, Guy Saint-Jacques, said Kovrig's detention was likely linked to Meng's case.
"There is no coincidence in China," Saint-Jacques told AFP. "In this case it is clear the Chinese government wants to put maximum pressure on the Canadian government."
European telecommunications vendor Nokia has announced that it has completed the first outdoor pilot of 5G New Radion on 3.5GHz frequency with Singaporean operator StarHub.
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.”
Chinese telecommunications colossus ZTE has attributed its first-half net profit success to its investment in 4G infrastructure and handsets. The world’s fourth-largest vendor of smartphones has hit its projected first-half net profit target forecast of 30%.
Analysts said that domestic telephone network providers continued to invest in 4G infrastructure provided by ZTE, and the firm also enjoyed a significant growth in the sales of its mobile devices. ZTE’s profit was $344M, whilst revenue rose by 13% which incidentally was also ZTE’s projected target.
In a statement released to the press, ZTE acknowledged that the organization has been presented with many new opportunities and expressed its vision to deploy 5G products and services. 5G standardization is expected to be established in 2018.
The statement read, “Looking to the second half of 2017, the company faces new opportunities," ZTE said in a statement in Chinese. "4G users and traffic will enter a peak period and pre-5G products will have more application, while 5G's standardization, technology and testing will experience a breakthrough."
ZTE reported more growth in relation to its telecom equipment sector, disclosing that revenue in that business grew by 13%. Its telecoms sector focus primarily on constructing infrastructure such as communications towers and accounts for 60% of overall revenue. ZTE’s remarkable financial results were cemented with the fact that its consumer business had also increased by a whopping 24%.
In March of this year, ZTE was left reeling after it was found guilty by the US Commerce Department for breaching US trade rules. It was fined almost $900M for breaking exports regulations. It’s the only smartphone vendor with a real presence in the US, and it has recovered well since that setback earlier this year, remaining the fourth-biggest vendor in the US after Apple, Samsung and LG.
ZTE executives have insisted they will continue to aggressively invest in wireless and 5G technology, whilst also revealing it aims to invest more in international marketing in the second-half of 2017. Revenue from ZTE’s smallest business area which is government and enterprise services has declined by 18%.
In addition to this, ZTE confirmed that it has agreed to sell 10.1% of its smartphone subsidiary Nubia for 727 million Yuan. That will reduce its equity in the company to 49.9%.
Gartner, Inc. unveiled its top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 list based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100: IT vendor, Apple was the largest vendor with more than $218 billion in IT revenue — approximately $79 billion larger than the No. 2 vendor, Samsung.
For the first time, Gartner published a ranking of the top 100 largest tech companies in the world based on estimates for their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. Technology business leaders can use the Gartner Global Top 100: IT to benchmark competitive performance against a shift from the Nexus of Forces (the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information that drive new business scenarios) to digital business as the driver of IT purchasing.
"The needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs are focused on growth and are more focused on realizing business outcomes from their IT spend," said John-David Lovelock, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The Nexus of Forces has been the focus of attention for many years; however, the impact of digital business is giving rise to new categories."
The top three vendors (Apple, Samsung and Google) can attribute much of their size to their solid alignment with the Nexus of Forces, according to Gartner. Microsoft was a large and influential company when the Nexus of Forces began, having grown to market leadership during the web and e-business phase, and has managed to pivot to remain relevant.
IBM gained its size and market dominance in the very earliest IT markets when servers, storage and consulting services dominated, according to Gartner. The need for these devices and services, along with mobile phones and PCs will remain — cloud will underpin all digital business initiatives — but they will become more commoditized and less of a driver for new projects and spending.
As enterprises increasingly digitalize their products and services, digital giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) can become involved in, or even take over, the digital experience. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in will involve at least one of the top seven digital giants.
"Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers," said Mr. Lovelock. "Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants."
The focus of the digital giants has mainly been in the consumer, citizen and employee world. Because the digital giants have not yet been as focused on business to business (B2B), there is an opportunity for other companies to take the lead.
"In the B2B world of selling technology solutions to large enterprises, some of the digital giants have already had significant impact," said Mr. Lovelock. "For example, Amazon Web Services' cloud is disrupting enterprise hardware and software businesses dramatically. Apple's iOS devices are dominant within enterprise mobility, and Google's presence beyond search into browsers, cloud office and more is growing."