Podcast #55: 5G FWA Update – Connecting Next Half Billion Households

The consumer demand for high-speed home broadband continues to grow at a rapid pace as companies adopt the hybrid working culture. Even personal content consumption has increased, be it for music and video streaming, gaming or other applications. And as billions of consumers across the globe continue to wait for reliable home broadband, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in conjunction with 5G is proving to be a great solution for last-mile connectivity.

In our previous podcast in 2020, we discussed why FWA is a killer app for 5G in helping bridge the digital divide. It’s nearly two years since, and there have been some developments with increased FWA deployments. From factors driving the growth of FWA to prices of CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) and how the ecosystem is changing with geopolitics, we discuss all this in the podcast.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Jan Stryjak is joined by Senior Analysts Tina Lu and Parv Sharma to talk about the key trends in the Fixed Wireless Access space. We have also covered the 5G vs 4G FWA subscription forecast, factors that are holding back the growth of FWA in certain regions, and more. 

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Podcast Chapter Markers

01:19 – Tina highlights the current broadband connectivity situation across the globe.

03:16 – Tina explains why Fixed Wireless Access is touted as the Killer App for bridging the digital divide.

05:42 – Tina talks about key factors that are driving the growth of Fixed Wireless Access.

07:55 – Parv on the pricing of CPE and how it affects the growth of Fixed Wireless Access.

09:40 – Parv talks about how the FWA CPE ecosystem is changing after the limitations in the US due to geopolitics.

11:29 – Tina on 5G vs 4G FWA subscription forecast.

12:56 – Tina on factors that are delaying the growth of Fixed Wireless Access in some regions.

15:35 – Parv talks about the top FWA CPE players in the market.

17:46 – Final comments from Parv and Tina.

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Podcast #54: Private Networks – What are the Key Trends, Market Drivers, & Challenges

Private Networks, especially in relation to 5G, were one of the hot topics of discussion at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 22) in Barcelona earlier this year. They have been gaining momentum with deployments across different scenarios such as manufacturing and mining, and for connecting devices like smart meters and sensors. Private Networks also have several other use cases that require high-quality and secure communication environments, such as ports, logistics, and transportation to name a few.

We recently published a report on Private Networks highlighting how major vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson are now selling network equipment to enterprises and bypassing the operators. There are also new entrants, including hyper scalers offering simplified solutions and reducing entry barriers for enterprises. We have also highlighted key trends, market drivers, and challenges in the report, and have discussed some of them in this podcast.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by Research Director Gareth Owen and Research Analyst Charu Paliwal to talk about Private Networks. The discussion focuses on some of the case studies and key deployments, spectrum availability, and challenges for private 5G networks among others.

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Podcast Chapter Markers

01:56 – Charu talks about some of the key findings and trends from her research on private networks.

03:38 – Charu further talks about verticals that are seeing the most traction.

06:45 – Gareth sets context on 4G LTE vs 5G private networks.

09:52 – Gareth talks about opportunities for hyper scalers.

11:37 – Charu on how the market is developing within the CBRS space and device availability.

14:25 – Gareth on challenges faced by private network players.

18:17 – Charu highlights some more challenges from her research on private networks.

19:45 – Closing thoughts from Charu and Gareth.

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Podcast #53: How Trade-Ins, Sustainability & Awareness are Driving Refurbished Smartphone Growth

Refurbished smartphones are cost-effective alternatives for consumers looking to save money when buying a smartphone. Apple and Samsung are the top brands in this secondary smartphone market, allowing users to purchase popular flagship smartphones at a much lower cost. Even as shipments for the global market for new smartphones grew 4.5% YoY in 2021, shipments for the global refurbished smartphone market witnessed 15% growth, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Refurb Smartphone Tracker. Factors such as attractive trade-in programs, consumer awareness of sustainability, and certified pre-owned smartphones led to this growth.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by Research Director Jeff Fieldhackand Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza to discuss the refurbished smartphone market. The insightful discussion focuses on key topics highlighting the refurbished market performance in 2021, key regions contributing to the growth, and key OEMs. The three also touch upon topics like geopolitics, sustainability, right to repair movement, and much more.

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Podcast Chapter Markers

01:17 – Glen on how the refurbished market performed in 2021. 

02:41 – Besides attractive trade-ins, what are the other factors driving sales?

03:58 – Jeff talks about the key factors driving the growth in the US and EU. 

05:59 – Jeff further talks about geopolitics and what OEMs are doing to diversify and ensure low-cost operations?

07:55 – Glen talks about the leading OEMs in the refurbished market. 

09:42 – Jeff deep-dives into the right-to-repair movement and which components need the most repairs.

14:10 – Eco ratings and sustainability initiatives from top smartphone brands.

17:22 – Last comments and recommendations for OEMs from Jeff and Glen.

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Podcast #52 – Digital Cockpit to Drive Future Connected Car Experiences

Modern cars now feature an array of advanced digital technologies such as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) that offer things like lane assist, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and more. And as things progress towards the next level of autonomous driving, the digital cockpit will play a crucial role in unlocking future connected car experiences. Besides offering personalized experiences and seamless connectivity to drivers and passengers, a digital cockpit will also enhance driver safety.

But who are the key players in the automotive industry that are offering the technology stack to power these new experiences? What does Qualcomm’s announcement of its Digital Chassis mean for automakers? And lastly, what are EV (electric vehicle) makers doing to improve range, build more fast-charging stations, and integrate new battery chemistries?

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by analysts Soumen Mandal and Mohit Sharma for an insightful discussion on autonomous and electric vehicles (EVs). The discussion also touches on connected cars, touchscreen infotainment systems with guided maps, ADAS, CES 2022 announcements, and more. At the end of the podcast, Soumen and Mohit also talk about the key trends they are seeing in the automotive industry.

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You can download the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

 01:20: Soumen talks about the performance of the automotive industry in 2021 and trends that we are likely to see in 2022.

02:48: Mohit touches on the impact of semiconductor and component shortages, and how things are looking.

03:55: Soumen discusses some of the important automotive announcements from CES 2022.

06:41: Mohit shares some insights on digital cockpit features

08:27: Soumen on connected car ecosystems and new features.

10:32: Autonomous driving is a hot topic, and Mohit deep-dives into what we are seeing.

16:24: Soumen talks about the development and deployment of fast-charging stations.

19:33: Mohit shares more details about new materials in EV batteries, driving range, and range anxiety among other things.

22:33: Soumen and Mohit talk about long and short-term trends they are seeing.

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Podcast #51: Smartphone Battery – Not all mAh are Created Equal

Smartphones have become a big part of our daily lives. From advanced processing power to vivid high-refresh-rate displays and stunning cameras, there is a lot that modern smartphones offer. But whether you are at home, in office, or traveling, it is the battery that decides your smartphone’s ability to communicate, complete a transaction, or click photos at any given time.

Smartphone battery technology has evolved over the years. Smartphones now pack higher capacity batteries along with faster charging speeds and more. But when choosing a smartphone, the only available battery capacity information is the mAh (or milliamp hours) number, which is not enough. So, what are the other battery parameters that one should look for when buying a new smartphone?

In the latest episode of the ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by special guest Olivier Simon, DXOMARK’s battery unit director. Olivier shares some insights on DXOMARK’s smartphone battery evaluation, factors that affect battery life, and more. Olivier further deep dives to explain what mAh and watt mean and how do they translate into the experience when it comes to smartphone battery life. He also has some tips for OEMs on how to design smartphones keeping the battery aspect in mind. For consumers too, he has some advice on how to buy a smartphone with a battery life that fits their needs.

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You can download the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:07 – Olivier talks about his experience and background.

02:22 – Olivier on the main driver for DXOMARK to cover the battery space.

04:59 – Olivier on battery specs, focusing on what mAh means.

07:52 – DXOMARK’s battery testing procedure.

10:32 – Olivier on smartphone battery testing process with radio environment.

15:56 – Testing battery charge and recharge cycles.

20:41 – DXOMARK’s battery scores and testing results.

23:10 – DXOMARK’s advice to OEMs for optimizing battery performance.

25:25 – Any clear winner between Android and iOS in battery autonomy?

27:44 – Does smartphone AP from a different manufacturer impact battery performance?

31:53 – Advice for consumers when buying a smartphone this holiday season.

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Podcast #50 – Disruptive Trends Shaping the Next Decade & Beyond

It is always interesting to talk about the future. But in the absence of any magical crystal ball, getting your prediction right needs experience, vision and good judgment. Now, a lot has changed over the past couple of years, with the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic driving some new use cases of technologies. Many of these use cases will shape the digital future.

These two years have seen the fall of big smartphone brands like LG and Huawei, even as the pandemic-triggered pent-up demand helped boost other OEMs’ sales. COVID-19 has also caused semiconductor shortages across industries. Then there are geopolitical issues that are expected to slow down some technological advancements while accelerating others.

We discuss all this and more in this special edition of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’ that focuses on our tech predictions for the next decade and beyond. Host Peter Richardson is joined by Tom Kang and Neil Shah to discuss some of the disruptive technology trends that we will see in the future. Partners at Counterpoint and friends, Tom, Peter and Neil share their views on 6G, smart glasses, foldables, OEM strategies, mobile network operators, quantum computing, tech cold war, and much more.

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You can download the podcast transcript here.

Chapter Markers for Counterpoint Tech Predictions

02:15 – Tom on changing dynamics of smartphone OEMs.

03:14 Neil on the house of brands and strategies.

04:43 Neil further talks about 1+N strategies.

05:45 Tom on services play by hardware companies.

07:38 – Neil discusses brands focusing more on IoT space.

08:34 Peter on Extended Reality (XR).

11:37 Tom shares his predictions for 6G, smart glasses and foldables.

13:36 – Neil on existing 5G network, iterations and transition to 6G.

15:33 Tom talks about drivers for 6G, smart glasses, and more.

18:56 – Neil on tech companies and operators.

21:10 – Peter talks about wearable devices and their importance in healthcare.

22:40 – Neil further talks about wearables, healthcare and e-commerce.

24:06  Tom talks about the tech cold war getting intense.

26:36 – Neil on OEMs becoming more vertically integrated.

27:17 Peter weighs in on the future of precision agriculture.

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Podcast: How a Low-Power Edge AI Chip Company is Driving Intelligence in Consumer Devices

As home security solutions such as security cameras are now used in several households, there is an increasing need for AI (Artificial Intelligence) inferencing at the edge. Typically, the security solution relies on machine learning models to identify objects or faces in the CCTV footage – for example differentiating between a cat and a human. The data is then sent to the cloud for analysis and sent back to the device. But this can be problematic when there is poor internet connectivity.

Ergo, a tiny 7x7mm Edge AI chip from a company called Perceive, aims to solve issues with AI inferencing at the edge. The chip enables rapid processing on edge devices, for example facial recognition, or alerting to certain sounds, such as glass breaking or a dog barking. This can trigger actions without resorting to cloud-based systems. This type of solution can also offer enhanced data security and user privacy, as the data does not leave the device. The edge AI inference chips can be used in connected devices such as smart speakers as well, where many commands can be processed on the device, rather referring to the cloud. There can be many other applications in the future including drones, autonomous vehicles, and much more.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by David McIntyre, VP of Marketing at Perceive. David talks about AI inferencing at the edge using a tiny chip called Ergo. He deep dives into problems solved by inferencing on edge devices over the cloud, use cases, and savings made related to space onboard, costs and power. The podcast discussion also focuses on potential applications where solutions like Perceive’s Ergo chip can be used.

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Podcast Chapter Markers

00:58 – A little bit about David, his role at Perceive, and what solutions the company offers.

02:31 – What is an edge inferencing device and what problems does it solve?

06:01 – How do you go about training the model for inferencing at the edge?

10:27 – The Ergo chip and its headline features?

13:17 – The number of sensors that can be used in Ergo chip-based devices?

14:09 – Does the solution need any external memory?

15:32 – Privacy and security aspects when keeping inference data locally?

18:21 – Where Ergo is being deployed?

20:38 – The support Perceive offers to device makers?

22:31 – What are you most excited to see with edge AI inferencing applications in the coming years?

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Podcast – Global Smartphone Market: Musical Chairs

The global smartphone market has been through a bumpy ride during the last couple of years — US sanctions on Huawei, COVID-19, ongoing component shortages and LG’s exit to name a few. Some smartphone makers, such as Huawei, LG and Samsung, have been impacted more than others by these events. At the same time, Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo and OnePlus have benefited from the events by filling the void.

The US postpaid market is heavily dominated by Apple and Samsung, whereas the prepaid market has players like Nokia HMD, Motorola and Alcatel. LG’s exit from the market has opened opportunities for others. Similarly, in the absence of Huawei, Xiaomi has been dominating in Europe, driven by CIS markets. It also briefly surpassed Samsung to become the top smartphone vendor globally. OPPO, realme and vivo are also gaining share in Europe, China, India and the SEA. The MEA market is also getting interesting where Transsion Group’s TECNO, itel and Infinix are gaining share.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by senior analyst Harmeet Singhwalia and analyst Aman Chaudhary to discuss the changing dynamics of the global smartphone market. The discussion deep-dives into different regions, from the US to Europe, Asia, SEA and MEA, to highlight the top smartphone vendors and their strategies.

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You can download the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:50: Samsung has been the top smartphone vendor globally, but last year we saw Huawei surpassing it briefly, and this year it is Xiaomi. So, how are the dynamics changing globally?

6:22: How has LG’s exit impacted the US prepaid smartphone market?

11:14: Huawei was a big player in Europe, so who are the beneficiaries in the region, and how are the dynamics changing there?

15:52: China is the world’s biggest smartphone market where Huawei has control with over 30% share. But with Huawei facing production difficulties after the US sanctions, how has the China smartphone market changed?

20:51: We move to India where Xiaomi is holding steady for several quarters, and brands like realme are the fastest growing. While COVID-19 lockdowns affected offline sales, what are brands like Samsung doing to regain share?

26:32: The SEA region is getting very interesting as it is turning to be a production hub for companies like Samsung. The MEA region, on the other hand, is seeing a shift from feature phones to smartphones. What can you tell us about the smartphone market in these regions?

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Podcast: How Xiaomi, Qualcomm are Delivering 5G, AI-based Experiences to Consumers

Mobile handsets have evolved with every new cellular generation, both in terms of form factor and capabilities. From advanced photography and videography to high-speed internet connectivity and the console-like mobile gaming experience, all these capabilities are unlocked by the system on chip (SoC). Qualcomm is the leading SoC company globally and is driving these advanced technologies and smart entertainment experiences across various devices, form factors and price tiers.

In these ‘work and learn from home’ times, on-device AI enabled by the SoC is playing a crucial role. From adding background blur to photos and videos to making you look good, and canceling ambient background noise to optimizing the cellular signal strength and battery life, there are a lot many AI capabilities that SoCs deliver. As OEMs employ these intelligence and feature-packed SoCs in their devices, they strive to deliver the best and advanced experiences. Fast-growing OEMs like Xiaomi are working closely with Qualcomm to leverage AI and other features of the Snapdragon 7- and 8-series platforms and bring intelligent experiences to the end users.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Neil Shah is joined by Kedar Kondap, Vice-president of Product Management at Qualcomm, and Adam Zeng, Senior Vice-president of Xiaomi and President of Xiaomi Smartphone Department. Kedar shares some interesting insights into the AI capabilities of the latest flagship Snapdragon 888 Plus mobile platform, how Snapdragon Elite Gaming enhances mobile gaming, and the evolution of foldable form factors. Adam also talks about how Xiaomi as an OEM and a key partner, is leveraging the platform capabilities in terms of AI, 5G, camera and display R&D to bring the best experiences to its consumers.

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You can download the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers:

2:02 – How is the Snapdragon 888 Plus different from the Snapdragon 888 in terms of features and capabilities it unlocks?

5:04 – How does 32TOPS AI performance transform experiences from camera to voice, battery life, and more?

8:21 – How is Xiaomi leveraging AI on Qualcomm chipsets to bring cutting-edge features across the Mi portfolio?

10:13 – As gaming has become a top use case in this 5G era, how does the Snapdragon 888 Plus SoC with Snapdragon Elite Gaming enhance the experience?

15:08 – How are things changing in China with 5G, and how is Xiaomi prepared as 5G unlocks cloud gaming and AR experiences?

16:40 – The Snapdragon 765G was the best-selling SoC that brought 5G experience to the mass market. So, what are your expectations with the Snapdragon 778G?

18:44 – With foldable smartphones, how do you see display and camera tech evolve?

23:14 – How does foldable form factor make it difficult from the engineering perspective when it comes to things like mmWave antennas and display?

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