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CES 2020: Global Service Provider Key Focus Areas

by Susan Welsh de Grimaldo | Jan 14, 2020

Overall at CES 2020, buzz and announcements around smart home and mobility (automotive tech) stood out, as did 8k TVs and flexible displays, as can be expected in the world’s largest consumer technology show. For wireless and converged operators, however, the main global operator showcases and announcements at CES 2020 tended to center around their business units, with emphasis on showcasing IoT for both enterprise and consumer (B2B2C) solutions and smart city. There were, of course, also some operator announcements around consumer media and network building block technologies. 5G showed some progress in devices – particularly laptops and routers, as well as some smartphones and an announcement by BMW on a 5G connected car; AR/VR/XR/BR  and healthtech wearables also were on display. (See Strategy Analytics blogs for a range of coverage of CES announcements and key takeaways).

Key buzzwords in operator announcments: Multi-access edge computing (MEC), AI, IoT solutions, smart/digital health, smart city, unified commerce, shoppable TV, short form OTT video, smart mobility, orchestrated business solutions,  digital transformation, B2B2C business models

Some operator announcements that stood out include:

Vodafone

AT&T

  • AT&T at CES focused on  a range of solutions, from mobile edge computing (MEC), pausable advertising, shoppable TV (WarnerMedia), smart buildings, smart health
  • AT&T participated as an exhibitor in the Digital Health Summit during CES

Sprint

  • Sprint used CES 2020 as an opportunity to focus on Sprint Business revamp of its converged solutions for business, introducing its three C’s:
    • Curiosity™ IoT with a redesign of its Sprint IoT Factory to support smaller businesses, as well introduction of “Internet of Payments” for unified commercewith partner Wirecard and international expansion into Australia in partnership with Telstra
    • Certainty℠ network design model
    • Capability™, secure orchestrated solutions

T-Mobile US

  • T-Mobile rising CEO Mike Sievert (current COO) participated in the Quibi keynote, announcing its plans to bundle and promote the short-form video service to its subscribers – see Strategy Analytics blog on Quibi

SKT

  • SKT CEO Park Jung-ho emphasized collaboration on AI, cloud and MEC, and mobility, as part of the company’s focus on moving to be an ICT conglomerate and extend collaboration
  • In its stand, SKT showcased on immersive experiences for consumers enabled by 5G and MEC, including “ ‘5G-8K TV’, ‘Callar for Sero TV’ (AR video call), ‘5GX Multiview’, ‘Jump AR Aquaworld’ (Interactive cinematic AR), ‘Watch & Play’ (Interactive game platform), and ‘ATSC 3.0 Multiview’”

NTT

  • NTT Ltd. For the first time exhibited at CES to showcase its vision/infrastructure for IOWN - Innovative Optical and Wireless Network and the building block technologies as well as use cases around smart city, smart healthcare and smart mobility; and the IOWN Global Forum that it launched in Oct 2019 with partners Intel and Sony.

Comcast

  • Comcast announced its xFi Advanced Gateway – one of the first Wi-Fi 6 certified devices in the US capable of delivering multi-gigabit speeds. The gateway is designed to provide very low latency for online gaming, 4K streaming and VR/AR applications.
  • The company also announced that its Xfinity xFi Advanced Security will now be included free (was $5.99/mo) for all xFi customers using the xFi gateway.

Amazon

  • Amazon introduced Fire TV Edition for Operators in North America, Europe, India and Japan. This will be a tailored version of the Fire TV streaming platform for cable operators or Telcos and other video service providers. First partners include Tata Sky in India and Verizon in the US. Consumers will be able to buy regular Fire TV streaming hardware from the operator retail stores or customized versions of the hardware that integrates the operators TV services into the Fire TV interface
  • Operators will be given ‘merchandising opportunities’ although details of what that may mean have not been shared yet.
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