Did China Smartphone Sales Increase over Single’s Day?
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In today’s rapidly evolving telecommunications landscape, the significance of digital transformation for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) cannot be overstated. As the industry witnesses a surge in technological advancements and changing consumer expectations, MVNOs face unprecedented opportunities as well as challenges. Digital transformation serves as the catalyst that empowers MVNOs to remain competitive, enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and unlock new revenue streams.
This whitepaper looks at the changing MVNO landscape and how MVNOs can go “DIGITAL” – Differentiated, Intelligent, Growing, Integrated Telco that is Agile and always Listening.
• MVNO landscape
• Why should MVNOs go digital?
• Challenges faced by MVNOs for digital transformation
• What can MVNOs do?
• Test how DIGITAL is your MVNO?
PAX Global Technology’s H1 2023 revenue fell 14.7% YoY to $456 million, as the company’s electronic payment terminal business was constrained by slowing global economic growth and high-interest rates. Meanwhile, revenue from its payment terminal-related services segment surged 35.6% YoY during the period, mainly due to the growth in revenue generated from the Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, maintenance, and installation services.
During PAX’s earnings call, CEO Jack Lu discussed a few key topics including the adoption of Android smart solutions, macroeconomic challenges and forward-going management strategies.
Macroeconomic Situation and Payment Trend
CEO Jack Lu: “Despite short-term macroeconomic challenges, the proliferation of electronic payments continues to be a significant and ongoing global trend. The continued advancement of payment technology, along with growing consumer appetite for convenient and secure payment options, as well as the cashless initiatives promoted by governments worldwide, have continued to open up new opportunities for PAX solutions.”
Our analyst take: “PAX’s strong portfolio across different sectors, combined with its POS terminal management platform, offers a one-stop solution for businesses. PAX is helping businesses scale their operations by providing seamless payment options. The company has strategically set up a dedicated division called Zolon to expand business Internet of Things (BIoT). PAX’s service segment revenue is expected to receive a further boost from its BIoT solutions, including SaaS (e.g. MAXSTORE) and commercial POS solutions (e.g. Elys). The enterprise IoT solution will mainly target cloud-based services for businesses to secure recurring revenues.”
CEO Jack Lu: “Looking ahead, the global payment industry continues to embrace a prosperous future. PAX will continue to explore more potential business opportunities by acquiring banks, PSPs and distribution partners, offering future-oriented payment solutions for merchants and consumers across the globe.”
Our analyst take: “The payment industry has undergone fundamental changes in recent years, with a surge in the global acceptance of electronic payment options among consumers and merchants. Governments and financial institutions worldwide now place greater emphasis on their electronic payment acceptance infrastructure and are aiming to implement a more efficient and transparent financial ecosystem. The huge value and potential of the payment terminal market will be further unlocked going forward. PAX’s ongoing strategy is aligned to capture this huge market opportunity and we believe its expanding global presence and increasing investment in R&D will help it drive innovation and increase market share.”
Ford continues to demonstrate its understanding of the opportunity that it needs to address with the migration of its business model to subscription and the recruitment of Peter Stern from Apple to run its Integrated Services division.
The company is taking a leaf out of Tesla’s book and will offer its BlueCruise advanced driver assistance products on a subscription-only basis. This is not as counterintuitive as it sounds as new car buyers will be able to purchase the service for three years with an upfront payment of $2,100. Since it will be marketed as an option in the usual way, it is unlikely to change the purchase experience of new car buyers very much. Furthermore, as so many vehicles are purchased on leasing schemes, there is a good chance that the buyer of the new vehicle would have changed the vehicle before the three-year period has elapsed.
This is how Ford seeks to introduce users to the idea of subscription, but there remain some features that will never work on a subscription basis. Two of these are Mercedes’ idea of asking customers to pay $1,200 per year to improve the driving performance of their EVs and BMW’s idea of asking customers to pay $180 per year for heated seats. This is a very common strategy employed by consumer electronics companies and has also been used to good effect by Tesla.
However, the vehicle-buying public has been paying one-off fees for hardware options for decades and I suspect that there is going to be a lot of resistance to paying $15 a month to keep one’s bottom warm in winter. Hence, the right approach is to charge for the options exactly as they have been for years and to offer subscriptions for services rather than products.
Advanced driver assistance sits right in the middle as it requires extra hardware to be present but is almost entirely driven by software which will need constant updating. Furthermore, much like a chauffeur that needs to be paid on a monthly basis, it is not a very large conceptual jump to be seen as a service rather than a hardware option.
Tesla has already prepared the market for this and so Ford has a pretty good chance of winning adoption with this model. Ford has also recruited Peter Stern who spent six years at Apple (Time Warner before that) running its subscription services.
The idea here is obviously to ensure that when it comes to Digital Life in the vehicle, Ford is ready with an appealing option for each activity with which the user will engage. This will go from a media consumption offering to transport-related services such as smart parking, which saves the user from driving round and round looking for a parking spot.
The market for digital services in the vehicle could be very large indeed especially as consumer spending on vehicle transportation declines over the next 20 years. Ford is again doing the right thing in attempting to address this market, but it will need to ensure that its user experience remains relevant in the vehicle as Apple and Google will be only too happy to sell their services and those of third parties via their user experiences instead.
This is the key challenge that all OEMs face over the next 20 years and Ford remains one of the few automakers outside of Tesla that appear to understand what is happening to their industry and seem to be addressing it in the right way.
(This guest post was written by Richard Windsor, our Research Director at Large. This first appeared on Radio Free Mobile. All views expressed are Richard’s own.)
New Delhi, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – July 25, 2023
Global cloud service providers will grow capex by an estimated 7.8% YoY in 2023, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Cloud Service. Higher debt costs, enterprise spending cuts and muted cloud revenue growth are impacting infrastructure spend in data centers compared to 2022.
Commenting on the large cloud service providers’ 2023 plans, Senior Research Analyst Akshara Bassi said, “Hyperscalers are increasingly focusing on ramping up their AI infrastructure in data centers to cater to the demand for training proprietary AI models, launching native B2C generative AI user applications, and expanding AIaaS (Artificial Intelligence-as-a-Service) product offerings”.
According to Counterpoint’s estimates, around 35% of the total cloud capex for 2023 is earmarked for IT infrastructure including servers and networking equipment compared to 32% in 2022.
Chinese hyperscalers are spending less due to slower growth in cloud revenues amid a weak economy and difficulties in acquiring the latest NVIDIA GPU chips for AI due to US bans. The scaled-down version – A800 of the flagship A100/H100 chips – that NVIDIA has been supplying to Chinese players may also come under the purview of the ban, further reducing access to AI silicon for Chinese hyperscalers.
Based on Counterpoint estimates, Microsoft will spend proportionally the most on AI-related infrastructure with 13.3% of its capex directed towards AI, followed by Google at around 6.8% of its capex. Microsoft has already announced its intention to integrate AI within its existing suite of products.
AI infrastructure can be 10x-30x more expensive than traditional general-purpose data center IT infrastructure.
Though Chinese players are investing a larger portion of their spends towards AI, the amount is significantly less than that of the US counterparts due to a lower overall capex.
The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global Cloud Service Providers Capex’ report is available. Please contact Counterpoint Research to access the report.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
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Over the past few weeks, tech giants Meta and Google announced that they will no longer be publishing Canadian news on their platforms within Canada following the passage of Bill C-18, or the Online News Act, due to concerns over financial liability imposed on them by the Act. The new law requires large news aggregators operating in the country to pay for the news links they post on their platforms. Meta has already informed news outlets, including The Globe and Mail and The Canadian Press, that their contracts will end at the end of July and that Meta will no longer post the news outlets’ content.
What is Bill C-18 and what is the goal it intends to reach?
Section 4 of the Online News Act states the purpose of the bill is:
“…to regulate digital news intermediaries with a view to enhancing fairness in the Canadian digital news marketplace and contributing to its sustainability, including the sustainability of news businesses in Canada, in both the non-profit and for-profits sectors, including independent local ones.”
In layman’s terms, the government wants to increase the visibility of smaller local news outlets to expand the portfolio of news sources and to avoid the dominance of the few large news publishers who have contracts with large media aggregators like Meta and Alphabet (Facebook and Google). The way this legislation intends to reach its goal is by imposing a ‘link tax’ on these large media aggregators, which means they will have to pay for the news links that they post on their platforms. These media platforms will be expected to keep a roster of the ‘eligible journalists’ that are posted on the platform to ensure there is transparency on the news outlets and to ensure there is enough representation from underrepresented groups. These regulations aim to hold the media platforms accountable to ensure they are giving more news sources an equal opportunity to be promoted on these large platforms.
Tech giants’ concerns with Bill C-18
Despite the goal of equal news source opportunity, these tech giants are choosing to block Canadian headlines rather than comply. Google announced concerns that led it to pull from the Canadian media market:
Google explained in their statement that the definition provided for ‘eligible news businesses’ is very broad with low standards for journalistic integrity, which could risk the spread of propaganda and fake news. This gives rise to the issue of Google having to pay these outlets and provide them with profit and a platform to peddle poor information. This is currently prevented through qualifying criteria for journalism tax credits to be considered in Canada.
As Google pays proportionally for these headings, the act also stipulates that there is no ‘undue preference’ in the rank of relevant searches that Google currently uses. This means that there is a chance these bad actors could achieve a higher ranking in the searches and therefore reach Canadians a lot easier than with the current Google algorithm, which aims to return the most reliable and relevant sources.
On the flip side, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will be responsible for qualifying who is considered an ‘eligible journalist’ and will be able to control the content that Canadians have access to. Although this could help control the foreign ‘eligible journalist’ who may peddle propaganda, it will also give more control to the government regarding what news Canadians will have access to that could eventually create a bubble. There is little information about the checks and balances that are in place by the CRTC to moderate these eligible news sources.
The new bill would require Google to pay news outlets for the links they provide, but ultimately the link is driving visitors to the publisher’s website. This means that instead of free marketing of the news article on Google (which is currently happening), the news outlet would get free marketing plus a pay cheque from Google. Aside from the journalistic morale that Google outlined before, from a business perspective, it makes very little sense for Google to participate as they would be paying the client and also providing them with a free service.
Status and the expected implications
This is past being a bluff from these large tech companies; the media industry has seen the power these giants have, as a similar legislation change happened in Spain which caused Google News to shut down for almost seven years, although ultimately it ended up returning after there were changes to the law. The CRTC announced this week that the ministry is drafting regulations that will address the concerns these media platforms have with the legislation. The ultimate fear of these tech giants is that there is an undefined financial liability that they will be responsible for, so the goal of these drafted regulations is to answer exactly how much these tech giants will be expected to pay if they do decide to keep their services in Canada.
Despite the turmoil this has caused in the Canadian Media market, other governments are also aiming to find ways to limit the media control these privatized media platforms have over the spread of news within a country. US states are exploring similar ways to enforce more competition in the news. Meta and Alphabet’s revenues would take a harder hit if the two companies follow the same course of action in the US as well.
CSPs are showing an increasing interest in leveraging the benefits of RAN virtualization and cloud-native technologies and vendors are responding to this demand. As a result, future RAN networks are expected to evolve gradually towards Cloud RAN based solutions, which will be deployed alongside traditional, proprietary 5G networks.
In contrast to traditional RAN networks, the baseband unit of a cloud RAN base station is split into two units: a Distributed Unit (DU) and a Centralized unit (CU). Today, the vast majority of commercially deployed DU basebands run on x86 processors. However, alternatives to Intel’s x86 platform, based on ASICs, GPU and RISC-V architectures are expected to become widely available during the next three years.
Cloud RAN platforms typically use PCIe-based accelerator cards to process the compute-intensive Layer 1 workloads. There are essentially two types of accelerator architecture: look-aside and in-line:
However, there is a marked difference in the approach of vendors towards Layer 1 acceleration, with some vendors supporting the look-aside option, some supporting the in-line option, while others plan to offer both options.
Counterpoint Research’s latest report “Cloud RAN Platforms – Why Are Vendors Adopting Different Layer 1 Acceleration Strategies?” provides details of the cloud RAN platform configurations offered by various incumbent and challenger vendors and discusses the reasoning and underlying strategy behind their technology choices and partnerships.
Table of Contents
Key Cloud RAN Platforms
This report is available to clients of Counterpoint Research’s 5G Network Infrastructure (5GNI) Service.
Our analysts Gareth Owen, Ethan Qi, Ivan Lam and Shenghao Bai will be attending the Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2023 event from 19th – 20th April, 2023. You can schedule a meeting with him to discuss the latest trends in the technology, media and telecommunications sector and understand how our leading research and services can help your business.
Click below (or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a meeting with him.
About the event:
HAS 2023 is themed “Thrive with Digital, Striding Towards the Intelligent World”. We will explore our vision for the intelligent world, built on technological advances that are taking productivity to entirely new levels. We will further delve into digital transformation and the new opportunities it presents for communities and industries around the world, as well as its crucial role in sustainable development.
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PAX Global Technology, one of the world’s leading providers of electronic payment terminal solutions and related services, posted strong revenue of $1,003 million in 2022, showing great resilience in a period of economic challenges such as interest rate hikes and higher inflation. The growth was primarily driven by the strong performance of Android-based payment terminals. Fintech is playing a central role in the advancement of digital and cashless economies by providing greater efficiency, convenience and accessibility to consumers. However, PAX’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions such as the MAXSTORE platform are enabling payment service providers (PSPs) and acquiring bank (financial institution that processes credit or debit card transactions on a merchant’s behalf) to combine core payment services with financial and non-financial applications in a much more flexible and cost-effective way.
Merchants can operate digitally and process orders more efficiently with the use of Android SmartPOS terminals. These terminals also provide valuable insights into consumer behavior, enable the development of automated marketing campaigns, and help to manage inventory more effectively, among other benefits. PAX’s expertise in Android SmartPOS technology and its MAXSTORE platform offers a centralized and seamless way for merchants to navigate an increasingly complex business. The MAXSTORE platform had well over 8 million managed devices by the end of 2022.
Undoubtedly it’s a massive challenge, but our industry has the technical know-how and resources to make a difference, and our hope is we can bring more awareness to many of the areas Unconnected.org is focusing on – themes such as education, healthcare access, financial inclusion, job opportunities. These are things we take for granted but we believe should be a human right.