Asia Pacific is on track to become the world’s largest 5G region by 2025, led by pioneering 5G markets such as Australia, China, Japan and South Korea, according to the latest edition of report authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA.
Launches of commercial 5G networks in these markets beginning next year will see the Asia region reach 675 million 5G connections by 2025, more than half of the global 5G total expected by that point.
“The Asia Pacific region has experienced rapid migration to mobile broadband networks and smartphones over recent years and is now set to play a pioneering role as we move into the 5G era,” said Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General. “Mobile operators in Asia will invest almost $200 billion over the next few years in upgrading and expanding their 4G networks and launching new 5G networks in order to accelerate the growth of Asia’s digital economies and societies.”
Asia 4G to Grow Rapidly Ahead of 5G Commercialisation
The early 5G launches in Asia, based on 3GPP Release 15, are expected to focus on enhanced mobile broadband services, supplementing the capacity and capabilities of existing mobile broadband networks, particularly in dense urban areas, the report says. However, 5G’s next phase (3GPP Release 16) will lay the foundation to support a range of future 5G use cases and innovations, including massive connectivity and low-latency services such as Internet of Things (IoT), critical communication services (e.g. remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, smart grids) and virtual reality.
As 5G commercialisation approaches, 4G also continues to grow rapidly and is now Asia’s dominant mobile technology. The region is home to some of the world’s most advanced 4G markets in terms of adoption, such as Japan and South Korea, as well as emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, which are seeing an accelerating migration to 4G. By 2025, it is expected that 62 per cent of Asia’s mobile connections will be running on 4G networks and 14 per cent on 5G.
BT this week announced the availability of ipushpull’s live data sharing and collaboration services to members of the BT Radianz Cloud, one of the world’s largest, secure networked financial communities.
ipushpull, a London-based fintech, provides financial markets firms with secure cloud-based data and document sharing services to help speed up decision making, boost productivity and improve efficiency. Its platform allows real-time data to be securely and simultaneously shared between applications — such as trade blotters, Excel, databases and messaging functions. Users can also edit and share live updates on multiple applications across teams, breaking down information silos and providing consistency across the business. The platform also establishes and maintains an audit trail of context and data usage helping firms meet their regulatory compliance obligations.
The Radianz Cloud links a community of thousands of brokers, institutions, exchanges and clearing and settlement houses. Through a single, resilient and secure network connection, members can reliably access thousands of applications and services from more than 400 providers critical to the every-day running of the global financial sector.
For fintechs such as ipushpull, the Radianz Cloud provides a ready-to-exploit market reach and commercial structure to help them to grow quickly. For large financial institutions, it offers a source of innovation delivered to the stringent service levels and commercial frameworks that address their contractual or compliance expectations.
AlipayHK and Globe Telecom’s GCash announced the launch of a cross-border remittance service between the Philippines and Hong Kong, powered by Alipay's own blockchain technology.
Touted as the first blockchain-based cross-border digital wallet remittance service globally, the platform is operated by Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group.
The new service will provide round-the-clock, real-time money transfer between the two countries at a competitive exchange rate with much lower transaction fees. With a few taps through AlipayHK’s mobile phone application, money will be transferred within seconds to a GCash user, claims Alipay.
Through the blockchain platform, the sender and receiver are also able to track their money with every step of the way – from when the remittance application was made, until when the receiver successfully obtains the money. All information stored, shared or uploaded through the blockchain remittance platform is further encrypted with the most advanced protocols to protect the user’s privacy.
Coriant has introduced a new white box platform, the first in Vibe series aimed at cost-efficient service aggregation from access to the core
The new Coriant Vibe X90 Programmable Packet Platform leverages packet disaggregation and open software control to enable service providers and web-scale operators to dramatically reduce operational costs compared to traditional transport IP routing solutions, said Coriant.
Designed for carrier-class resiliency, the compact 2RU Coriant Vibe X90 Programmable Packet Platform supports 900 Gbps of full-duplex switching capacity in single node configurations and scalability up to 2.7 Tbps in stacked configurations, with further scalability enabled in POD configurations.
This makes the Vibe X90 ideal for IP transport network applications where cost-efficient Layer 2/3 service aggregation is required for a dense mix of 1G, 10G, 25G, and 100G interfaces, including in Provider Edge and Central Office environments. To maximize flexibility and cost-efficiency, the ONIE-enabled Vibe X90 platform leverages merchant silicon with support for large packet buffers and large forwarding tables.
The new standard, known as IEEE 1934, relies on the reference architecture as a universal technical framework that enables the data-intensive requirements of the IoT, 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
The OpenFog Consortium was founded more than two years ago to accelerate adoption of fog computing through an open, interoperable architecture
The OpenFog Reference Architecture, released in February 2017, is based on eight core technical principles - security, scalability, openness, autonomy, RAS (reliability, availability, and serviceability), agility, hierarchy and programmability. The reference architecture, and now the IEEE standard, addresses the need for an interoperable end-to-end data connectivity solution along the cloud-to-things continuum.
NTT DOCOMO announced that it will launch a new global IoT connectivity solution next month for Japanese .
The new 'Globiot' is a combination of services that will help enterprises identify and use the most advantageous connectivity options suited to their IoT equipment deployments overseas.
It will provide global connectivity via local SIM/eSIM (Embedded Subscriber Identity Module) or roaming, as well as advise customers on appropriate business models. It will also provide support with operation and maintenance and advise customers about relevant IoT regulations and necessary certifications overseas.
DOCOMO has provided IoT connectivity services using docomo IoT KAISENKANRI Platform since 2012 and commercialized an eSIM solution for IoT equipment in 2014.
Leveraging DOCOMO's global experience and accumulated expertise, its global IoT solution "Globiot" will enable Japanese enterprises to reduce the time and cost of researching, preparing and launching global IoT operations.
According to NTT DOCOMO, Japanese enterprises have found it troublesome to arrange Internet connections for automotive and other IoT equipment they need to operate overseas, such as equipment for construction, agriculture and production operations. In particular, having to deal with varying IoT regulations and authentication procedures in each overseas region has slowed the pace of global expansions for these companies.
China Mobile and NTT DOCOMO announced that they will launch an eSIM solution next month to enable cross-vendor SIM profile switching from DOCOMO to China Mobile.
This solution allows DOCOMO customers from Japan with IoT equipment in China to switch the mobile numbers (profiles) of their IoT equipment from DOCOMO to China Mobile even with different SIM vendors adopted by the two operators, thus eliminating the need to replace physical SIM cards.
Up until now, different mobile operators were required to use the same vendor to overwrite eSIM profiles when switching between their mobile networks. The new GSMA 3.1 specifications adopted by this eSIM solution, however, allow the overwriting of eSIM information of operators who use different SIM vendors, making this the world's first multi-vendor eSIM system.
By doing away with the need to replace physical SIM cards, the new system will enable smooth switching between mobile networks when companies send connected automobiles or construction, agriculture or production machinery from Japan for use in China.
DOCOMO commercialized the eSIM solution in 2014 and launched a commercial service with Telefonica Brasil S.A. (Vivo) in 2015. DOCOMO and China Mobile International signed an IoT Service Agreement including eSIM solution in November 2017.
DOCOMO has also been pursuing various eSIM projects through partnerships with international mobile operators including IoT World Alliance, SCFA and Conexus. Gradual expansion to Europe, Asia, Middle East and America is planned. DOCOMO said it will continue to support the global expansion of customers' IoT services leveraging its eSIM solution and global IoT solution "Globiot".
Smart devices and appliances in homes are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and as a result, the number of vulnerabilities smart device owners face is also multiplying. With no regulations around smart-device security, manufacturers are left to create their own proprietary standards for communication. It’s easy to see how basic principles of modern security are often neglected, resulting in millions of unprotected products shipped to market.
Given that smart devices inherently lack security, they can be hacked using a wide range of existing methods. These range from simple brute forcing login credentials to more sophisticated exploit techniques, which include reverse engineering firmware or operating systems to find zero-day vulnerabilities. Services and exploits used to hack Internet of Things (IoT) devices are already being sold on the Dark Web.
Botnets, which can be rented on the Dark Web, make it easy to infect thousands of devices at once with a script kiddie method by adopting someone else’s malware program for one’s own purposes. Given that manufacturers save money by using the same default login credentials for every device they produce, in real terms some IoT devices can be hacked in about 30 minutes. A Google search of a particular IoT device can reveal the default password even quicker.
Some exploit techniques are complex and expensive, and as such, remain less common for now. There are significant numbers of high-level hackers, however, with deep technical expertise who develop sophisticated malware that is then sold on to hackers lower down the cybercrime hierarchy. As soon as exploiting IoT vulnerabilities on a large scale becomes commercially viable these high-level hackers will inevitably develop this ‘complex’ IoT-specific malware.
But even simple brute force techniques can cause chaos. Everything from daily activities including times and locations, online habits, family and personal interests, as well as sensitive, private information, becomes available when hackers infiltrate homes.
Home IoT devices also open up possibilities for attacks such as service disruption ransomware in which a heating system or smart TV is taken down, blackmail ransomware, in which a victim has to pay to avoid compromising smart camera footage from being published, or home break-ins in which smart security systems are disabled.
CSPs: Gatekeepers of Data and Privacy Protection
Communication Service Providers (CSPs), however, are well-positioned to benefit from the surging growth of consumer IoT devices. IoT covers many areas from vehicle fleet management, route optimization, fuel management, and so on. Healthcare is also a fast-growing area with smart medical infrastructures helping relieve some of the burdens of patient monitoring from healthcare institutions such as elderly care, connected pacemakers and portable patient monitors.
From a CSP perspective, the infrastructure needs to be able to support some IoT-specific challenges, including of course cybersecurity. Unlike the mobile device world, these infrastructures typically combine vast numbers of low-cost devices transmitting small amounts of data at a low bandwidth and lacking an endpoint security solution.
That said, an entry point for CSPs that doesn’t require huge infrastructure investment is security for smart home devices. CSPs are typically already trusted brands in the home, providing telephony and internet services. They already run and secure networks, provide content services such as TV and have established billing relationships and bundling services.
Growing The User Base
IoT offerings that use existing infrastructure, such as broadband and mobile networks, to provide new security, convenience and entertainment services can enable CSPs to grow their user base, margins and revenue per customer.
IoT security offerings can be cost-effective to deploy and manage because they largely rely on an existing networking and organizational infrastructure. For example, CSPs can leverage Wi-Fi mesh networks that are generally easy to configure and provide advanced security features. What's more, when an update or patch is required it can be easily pushed over the network, without much intervention by the user.
Since the development of new technologies and services are not always a core CSP competency, CSPs will need to partner with innovative product development companies who can provide an end-to-end cybersecurity solution for IoT device, protection that starts at the residential gateway and extends into the cloud.
For example, the correct partner can provide protection that addresses all of the vulnerabilities smart devices are at risk of; safeguarding the residential gateway/network edge and using cloud-based security, artificial intelligence and machine learning to keep the smart homeowner safe.
This approach ensures malicious activity, including zero-day threats, are efficiently detected and constantly updated, and applied to smart homes as well as identifying and blocking attempts to ‘back door’ the smart home network. It also ensures service providers retain a balance between network edge and cloud-based security.
From the consumer perspective, this is simply one more service that dovetails with existing CSP services. However, it is a powerful one that provides peace of mind, strengthens loyalty to the brand, and guarantees CSPs lucrative new revenue streams in the fast-changing world.
THE EDITOR'S DESK