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Connectivity Unleashed – Dan Jeffery at MWC Barcelona

MWC Barcelona had a Connectivity Unleashed theme and provided over 61,000 people to meet face to face for potentially the first time in 3 years. The event saw over 1,900 exhibitors with over 49% of attendees at Director level and above from 124 countries.

Personally, it was my first MWC and I thoroughly enjoyed it even with a face mask. Despite the show’s capacity being around 60% to pre-covid times, it was a positive environment to be in. Also, with less people in attendance it was slightly easier to get from Hall 1 to 5 to 7 for those ill-planned back-to-back meetings!

The technology and information at booths only improved my knowledge and understanding of the market. I’m not a technical expert by any means but it really helped to join the dots of the last 2.5 years I’ve worked at neuco. Whilst I was impressed by the robot making drinks, I found the robot dogs somewhat scary and don’t even get me started on a robotic cat!

The AI telling me I was ‘hairless’ caused some laughs amongst my colleagues and aside from that, it was a pleasure to be in Barcelona with Laurie and Alistair.

Of the 6 key themes, here at neuco we took particular interest in 5G Connect. After over 100 meetings in 3 days between the 3 of us and around 25,000 steps per day each, the weekend was certainly needed to recover!

5G Connect was dominated by the talk on Open RAN with lots happening in the ecosystem. Whether it was existing partnerships being showcased or the opportunity to discuss new ones, collaboration seemed to be key. Several companies were providing demonstrations as an end-to-end solution or showing how powerful collaboration can be with the 5G Open Lab as one example. Rakuten Symphony acquiring Robin.io was major news for the Symphony sales effort as well as their new agreement with AT&T.

For all the positivity around Open RAN, John Baker, SVP of Business Development at Mavenir, was highly critical of Ericsson and Nokia for creating confusion. Clearly, the likes of Mavenir & Parallel Wireless are disruptors to the market but how much longer can Ericsson or Nokia protect their legacy and delay for?

As we move closer to deployments of more 5G networks, the market only looks to grow for those with 5G use cases or equipment providers on the networks. We’ve seen record sales years for some and whilst there are of course supply chain difficulties, hopefully the next 12-24 months will see further growth.

From a recruitment perspective, the conversations were very positive with ambitious hiring plans across different functions. Whether it was new commercial roles through internal growth or expansion into new verticals/regions, the market seems very buoyant. Of course, I can’t mention recruitment without asking if there’s a software-based company who doesn’t have a need for Software Engineers?

Also, it’s an exciting time for product and presales functions as new services or solutions are being developed and need either taking to market or sold. The demand for the fine balance between a technical understanding but being confident enough to have an external conversation, is only going to increase.

Most importantly from the event, I feel that a barrier was taken down by having face to face conversations and really appreciate the time from everybody I met. Dare I say it, I’m already looking forward to 27 February 2023 for the MWC23!

Connectivity Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Connectivity industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as Sky, Orbit Fab, Casa Systems, and A5G Networks.

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

Click here to download now.

The current state of the connectivity industry

In episode #56 of The Tech That Connects Us, we had the opportunity to sit down with Ollie Anderson, SVP, Americas at Benetel

We had an in-depth conversation about everything connectivity related, from how he got into the industry (after a stint in the military) through to the more intricate details of his role and the current state of the market. 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it!

Which specific technology do you think has had the biggest impact on our industry?

“In my view, wireless broadband. It’s one of the biggest things and has enabled a lot of the content industry, a lot of the social media, mobile, you know, video distribution to do to handsets, etc. 

So, I think that has been the biggest thing. And now, going into the future, I think we are going to see more of augmented reality, virtual reality applications coming towards the consumers and being used at the industrial enterprise side, all enabled within wireless connectivity.”

How has the pandemic impacted the connectivity from your perspective and the industry?

“The need for connectivity has grown. And people have been realising that we need reliable connectivity. And now, when, when most of the world is working from home, we are using conferencing tools, just like we are today. So, I think the need for connectivity has grown immensely.”

Which region do you see as having the largest growth area between APAC and the Americas?

“So we see a lot of growth in Europe and in Americas at the moment. Both regions are extremely active and roll out 5G and so on. So, America, as far as Europe is a very active place for us.”

What do you anticipate being the big hot topics in the connectivity industry over the next 12 months?

“I think we are going to see a lot of private 5G solutions and deployments being done specifically for private networks, enterprises, industrial networks, and those alike. 

I think that will be clearly a trend. You see a lot of the cloud providers, for example, lining up their 5G solution offerings and bringing that functionality closer to the enterprise.”

If you’d like to listen to the full episode, click here to access it!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The 2022 Key Trend for the connectivity industry.

For episode 54 of The Tech That Connects Us we were joined by François Duchêne – VP Wireless Solutions EMEA at Casa Systems.  

Tom Wilding and Alistair Wilson spoke with Francois about OpenRAN, Private networks and 5G, as well as what the future hold for Casa Systems. 

One question they asked Francois was what will be a ‘key trend’ for 2022 in the connectivity industry. 

Here’s what Francois had to say… 

“I will say even more acceleration, not only in terms of the 5G but in terms of the connectivity you get for global IoT. 

The industry is changing in multiple areas. With 5G we are moving to 5G as a standalone to allow the slicing capabilities on everything in their network providing public edge computing. 

We’ll see more private manufacturing in these areas and the global IoT connectivity as we’re seeing more and more connectivity of multiple devices including cars, phones, watches etc. So we’ll see a rise of smart cities allowing all devices to have narrowband IoT connectivity. 

This connectivity needs to be international as well. Because we’re living in a world where everything is moving and these vehicles are travelling all over the world and will need to be connected.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What does the future hold for the connectivity industry?

Joining John Clifton and Tim Meredith on episode 52 of The Tech That Connects Us was Luis Beute VP Global Sales for Content Providers at Qwilt.

Luis takes us through how he made the jump from telecommunications to CDN and moved halfway around the world to do it too. Focusing on how he has taken as many lessons from colleagues and partners as from managers and mentors, this was a really great insight into Luis and his approach to balancing work and life.

One question we put to Luis was ‘what does the future hold for the connectivity industry?’, read on to find out his answer.

“I haven’t been a good visionary ever, but I’ll do my best. I believe as part of the habits we’re adopting because of COVID now there are many things we want to do from home that we used to do in person that virtual reality can really help with.  

In certain sectors it is already happening, take the real estate, for example, there are companies where you don’t need to visit the premises you are thinking of purchasing, it can all be done via VR. It’s also being adopted in the retail sector to some degree too. 

So VR has some future, but it’s also going to require some infrastructure characteristics that are yet to be widely adopted and that might take some years. 

5G, has already opened some doors but will continue to open more. If you think about it, what did you lack when we were only working with 3G? I’d say you weren’t missing many things. But then when 4G came along you can now watch very good quality videos on mobile for example. I think 5G will do the same, but more from an automation side including low latency.  

One of the applications for 5G I’ve been discussing is connected cars. This will take many years, as there needs to be the technology and the regulation for this. I’ll liken the advance of this technology to when e-commerce first launched, there was a lot of resistance from people to put your credit card number on the internet, so can you imagine sitting in a car without driving it or having somebody you know driving it? 

So a lot of the future advances will come down to the regulations and infrastructure around the applications of these technologies. I believe that this way has no return, I can’t say how long it will take but that’s the way we’re heading as an industry.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What can the connectivity industry and everything associated with being connected learn from its past?

Episode 44 of The Tech That Connects us saw Omae Qaise the Founder and CEO of OQ Technology join Laurie Scott and Tom Wilding to cover 5G, IoT, the evolution of M2M, Albert Einstein & Elon Musk. 

In a moment of reflection, Omar was asked what can the connectivity industry and everything associated with being connected learn from its past? Here’s what he had to say. 

 “One of the biggest lessons learnt is that the model of developing your technology, your hardware and your own ecosystem from scratch which has often been the way with traditional satellite and communication business isn’t the right approach. 

 The problem is, there are still many new space companies and startups going in the same direction. This is a major difference when you look at the mobile telecommunication industry, they’ve been through that phase and nowadays there are standards, you have GSM, LTE or 5G and there are multiple operators, chip vendors, and hardware manufacturers who all follow a standard. You can connect sensors to phones, and phones to operators just by changing a sim card. Could you imagine if all operators used different sized and shaped sim cards? 

 That’s why the satellite industry is expensive. Connectivity specifically is down to the hardware. If we want to change this then we need to tap into the existing ecosystem that everyone understands and uses from North pole to South, from Australia to America to India. That is the mobile technology that our satellites can be used for as cell towers in the sky. Users can connect seamlessly, and they won’t know if they’re connected to a terrestrial network or a facility network. This is a first in the world because mobile chips they’re very cheap, and the connectivity is cheap and that’s because millions of engineering hours have been put into scaling that technology. There is already an ecosystem, with lots of participants and players. 

 If you compare a 4 or 5 dollar cellular chip with a satellite alternative, firstly each satellite operator have their own chips, which start at a few 100 dollars, not including a device! Now imagine if the 5 dollar cellular chip could do the same job as the satellite chip and the terrestrial chip, it’s not something that’s unheard of but it’s yet to be scaled. 

 This is really going to open up a lot of opportunities, allowing access for a lot of users and enable mobility between terrestrial and satellite technologies. That will then funnel into big data of massive machine communication, which is one of the biggest aspects of the 5G revolution.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Disruptiveness of Kubernetes.

On Episode 41 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Dan Jeffery were joined by Subha Shrinivasan Senior Director, Customer Success at Robin.io.

Subha has over 20 years of experience across virtualization, datacenter, and cloud-native technologies. It was a great chance for us to talk about all things Kubernetes and more specifically the future of Kubernetes. 

Here’s what Subha had to say when it comes to Kubernetes. 

“Kubernetes is a very disruptive technology, and it’s going to disrupt two or three major trends we are seeing in the market. The first one is that it’s going to completely disrupt AI and machine learning. AI and machine learning are going to be the heart of every business in a few years from now, there won’t be a business that doesn’t use an AI or machine learning stack.

So, there is not going to be an AI or machine learning stack that is not deployed on Kubernetes, in the future at least 90% of the workloads that are built on EMR will be hosted on Kubernetes. 

Here’s why. See unlike other technology stacks such as AI and machine learning, which are actual services with technology that are constantly changing, it’s not just one application it’s a combination of multiple applications or what we call an application pipeline, that is stitched together to deliver AI or machine learning as a service. You don’t want to be locked into one technology stack, you want to be able to have the flexibility of being able to combine different stacks and adapt them for the use case.

Secondly, the integration with DevOps is going to be extremely critical as there is continuous innovation, development and improvisation going on. Machine learning is like a feedback loop, you derive certain analytics, you pass it back. So, it’s a process of continuous development. If you get locked into one technology stack or one infrastructure that is like this giant gorilla which is difficult to move, then you’re not going to be able to use machine learning efficiently and your results won’t be accurate. Then your predictive analytics will fail.

Kubernetes plays a major role in this because the way it is designed is that it’s very flexible to changes in your deployments. It’s logged into the infrastructure and then nothing is logged and sealed into the infrastructure, so you’re able to continuously move around the pods, you’re able to continuously move around the infrastructure and you’re able to use the same infrastructure and build any application or integrate with the DevOps stack and be able to move in a matter of a few hours or minutes rather than taking days and disrupting existing infrastructure.

My prediction is that there’s not going to be any Amazon stack in the future without coordinators on the platform.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.