Intelligence Brief: Is 5G a smartphone lifeline?

first_img Tags Intelligence Brief: Assessing latest developments in 6G and healthcare Covid19GSMA IntelligenceGSMAismartphones Intelligence Brief: Does intent matter in network automation? Author GSMA Intelligence Related As countries around the world ease pandemic-related restrictions on consumers and businesses, it is abundantly clear operators and smartphone vendors now inhabit a fundamentally changed economic landscape. Covid-19 (coronavirus) sent shockwaves through every sector of the economy, and while it has been better insulated than some, the telecom industry will inevitably feel the effects of the 3 per cent global GDP contraction the IMF predicts for this year.Operators and smartphone vendors are now facing the ominous dual prospects of a severe global recession and a prolonged slump for traditional in-store retail, where most phones were sold before the pandemic.Through the economic gloom, there is nevertheless some good news for smartphone manufacturers. At a basic level, lockdowns have, if anything, further demonstrated the critical importance of mobile devices for enabling everything from remote business transactions to staying connected to friends and family to prevent social isolation.Beyond this, there are at least two more positive notes which should help the industry this year:Despite some delays, many countries have forged ahead with planned 5G rollouts this year. The rollout of the new networks should be a boon for smartphone vendors, as it is during this time that operators are the most likely to engage new manufacturers and make changes to their roster of suppliers.Although brick-and-mortar smartphone retailers face enormous challenges as a result of the pandemic, operators and vendors have spent years developing robust online sales channels which can fill the gaps left by traditional retail.So we expect that, like most consumer categories, smartphones will be in for a bumpy ride, but ongoing 5G rollouts and a new emphasis on digital retail channels offers hope and should form a lifeline for the industry which will help it ride out the economic turbulence ahead.New launches, new opportunitiesEven as the pandemic raged, operators were still making moves to prepare for the 5G era: in May, with lockdowns still implemented across much of Europe, Oppo and Vodafone, for example, announced a deal to bring Oppo 5G handsets to customers across the continent. These kind of moves are by no means limited to Europe: in a recent survey, 81 per cent of operators globally indicated they planned to make changes to their smartphone vendor roster in 2020.And the most important factor they consider when adding a new vendor? 5G compatibility (see chart, right, click to enlarge). The Oppo/Vodafone deal is a perfect example of what many operators will look to do as 5G becomes more prevalent: add a vendor which can bring a full complement of 5G handsets available at a variety of budget-friendly price points.And the price point of the handsets should start to matter now more than before the pandemic, when our survey was in field. With millions unemployed and countries facing a dire economic outlook, it is safe to assume an annual or bi-annual device upgrade, often with only minor improvements over the last model, will for some consumers be put on hold for the foreseeable future. Instead of incremental upgrades, the operators we surveyed are betting support for 5G network technology is what will drive consumers to invest in a new smartphone. Obviously, operators will therefore prefer manufacturers which have an array of affordable 5G handsets available, which poses a significant problem for those who do not.Of the top three smartphone vendors in the world, only Samsung is currently well positioned to succeed in this emerging landscape where operators emphasise 5G compatibility above all else. The others have significant challenges to overcome:Apple has not yet released a 5G iPhone, and there is a great deal of uncertainty as to whether it will do so this year.Because of the US-led sanctions, Huawei phones lack a full complement of Google applications, putting them at a significant competitive disadvantage.As we discuss in a new report, this creates room for smaller players to manoeuvre, potentially enticing operators into new distribution deals if these manufacturers can differentiate on 5G capability or on the (increasingly important) price factor.A seismic shift in retail strategyWhile operators and vendors are betting big on 5G phones to withstand the forecasted economic downturn, they must simultaneously adapt to a threat to their largest channel of smartphone sales: the high street retailer. The worsening economy and the emergence of post-lockdown social distancing measures pose an existential threat to brick-and-mortar shops.Before lockdowns, operators reported a majority (52 per cent) of their smartphones were sold in-store, but also said they expected stronger growth in online sales over the next two years. As we have seen elsewhere, the pandemic condensed multiple years’ worth of predicted industry trends into a few short months, and with high street retailers facing massive obstacles, we expect online sales to overtake in-store in short order. In fact, AT&T in the US and Virgin Media in the UK have already announced they will be closing some or all of their retail outlets as a result of the pandemic.For a device segment often thought to be reliant on “hand feel” to guide purchases, the rapid shift to online as the dominant sales channel could further complicate an already challenging situation for smartphone manufacturers. Vendors with strong and established direct-to-consumer online sales channels are obviously best positioned to succeed in this new landscape, and we may see the arrival of new marketing strategies as vendors look to reorganise around online channels in the medium- and long-term. But for the short term at least, because operators seem prepared to rely on their speedy new 5G networks to drive interest in new handsets, it is here that smartphone manufacturers must also focus their attention to stay aligned with operators and maximise their opportunities to forge new alliances.The way forward for vendorsVendors must adapt to operators’ laser-focus on their 5G networks and the reduced importance of brick-and-mortar retail in order to thrive in the post-lockdown world. But how can smartphone manufacturers best navigate these challenges?An important step for vendors is to understand operator plans for driving 5G uptake and tailoring their messaging to build on this theme. One way to do this is to emphasise the importance of new phones in influencing 5G upgrade intent among consumers: our research shows that across seven markets which have or will launch 5G in 2020, a brand new 5G handset can boost upgrade intent by about 10 per cent. Knowing where their customers stand on 5G is one of the keys for vendors to unlock new strategic partnerships with operators that will help both thrive in the new economic landscape.Vendors can also ensure they are supporting the move to online sales by shifting the co-marketing resources given to operators to market their devices to online and social channels. This can help to smooth the transition and avoid a precipitous decline in device sales.These strategies will allow manufacturers to adapt to the challenges that the pandemic has ushered in. They will also have long-term benefits for both operators and vendors, as the current state of affairs is likely to be more than temporary. Preparing for the new normal is important and necessary for the industry to withstand the turbulent times ahead, and move with confidence into the next phase of the 5G era.– Jason Reed – lead analyst, Digital Consumer, GSMA IntelligenceThe editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Backcenter_img Intelligence Brief: Assessing recent spectrum developments AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore1 24 JUN 2020 Blog Read more HomeBlog Intelligence Brief: Is 5G a smartphone lifeline? Previous ArticleOculus lays out Go obsolescence planNext ArticleFoxconn plots fresh India investment last_img read more

Whalers Out; Greenport Wins Title

first_imgOne day both Pierson’s boys and girls basketball teams were basking in the glow of success, having achieved their primary goal: a berth in the Suffolk County playoffs, which offers a road to the state tournament and ultimately a state championship.Both awaited the next step, and it was a rarity: a doubleheader, with both teams playing their opening games the same day at home on February 14.And, just like that, the season was over. First, the Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers were upset by Stony Brook 47-44. (See separate story.) The next game the boys team, favored to beat Port Jefferson, and was eliminated 43-32.The boys had an excuse. Will Martin, the team’s top scorer, was out with a torn ACL, and Martin provides the firepower the team needs to run on. The senior, who went over the 1000-point career mark last month, is a relentless and energetic machine, pressing the action on both sides of the floor.The Whalers struggled without him, though give the Royals credit: Port Jeff played a hustling defense that left Pierson struggling to run a coordinated offense. After hanging in for most of the first stanza the Whalers went stone cold, tallying a single point from that point until halftime.Port Jefferson wasn’t exactly scorching the threads either, but the double-digit lead proved insurmountable since the home team lacked the offensive power to make a charge.E.J. Burke and Henry Brooks each scored 10 for Pierson. The team finished with an 11-10 overall record and went 10-3 in League VIII.The giddy Royals, 8-12 overall but only 1-9 in League VII, mounted a spirited celebration at the final buzzer, but it proved a Pyrrhic victory—waiting in the wings was Greenport and the Suffolk Class C title game, once again played at Suffolk Community College’s Selden Campus on Friday.The Porters were motivated on two fronts: not only were they still smarting from last year’s upset to Stony Brook in the finale, but also by the perception that this team is destined for more than just a county title—this team has the look of a state title contender. And now they’ll get their chance to go upstate. The Porters dispensed the Bears with ruthless efficiency, 71-41, and now await the NYS Class C playoff seedings to find out who’s next. They are 19-2 on the season and they won the League VIII title with an undefeated record.It was over early: Greenport is a deep and talented team, but there is a special player here: the sophomore Ahkee Anderson, an honor student off the court and the undisputed leader of the team on the floor. He took off early, scoring nine points and dishing out for several more scores as the locals opened a 25-9 win. Anderson, a legitimate Suffolk Small Schools Player of the Year candidate, took the foot off the pedal at that point and finished with 21 points and nine assists.It’s by no means a one-man team, however. Julian Swann, a six-foot, four-inch bruiser, controls the paint and the boards. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds on the night. The locals employ three starting guards, and all of them can burn: Jordan Fonseca had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Greenport and Jaxan Swann added seven assists and three steals. Jaxan Swann is the only senior of the group, so there are a lot more wins in the bag before this squad is finished.Alas, the season is over for two other local teams. East Hampton lost a heartbreaker to Glenn 92-89 in triple overtime on February 14 in the opening round of the Suffolk Class A playoff, Southampton was eliminated by Amityville, another Suffolk team with state title aspirations, on Friday. Sharelast_img read more

Global Affairs Canada Funds CDEMA’s COVID-19 Logistics Hub Operations

first_imgInternationalNewsRegional Global Affairs Canada Funds CDEMA’s COVID-19 Logistics Hub Operations by: – July 22, 2020 Share Sharing is caring! (Media Release) Canada continues to show its commitment to the fight against COVID-19 in the region by partnering with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), with its latest approval of funds to support the establishment of the Integrated Regional Logistics Hub (IRLH). A total of CAD$401,359.53 was re-allocated from the Targeted Support to CDEMA Project, towards the operations of the hub, which will ensure the supply of Personal Protective Equipment and other medical supplies to the frontline workers of its 18 Participating States.“Canada is proud to support CDEMA in establishing the Integrated Regional Logistics Hub. We believe this is a key element of the regional response to COVID-19 that will support CDEMA states with much-needed personal protective equipment and medical supplies, and serve as a foundation for future disaster response efforts in the region,” said, High Commissioner Marie Legault.Executive Director (ag) of CDEMA, Elizabeth Riley explained, “Analysis of past significant hazard events in CDEMA Participating States has identified logistics as a fundamental area to be strengthened in our Regional Response Mechanism. This critical and timely support from the Government and people of Canada for the Integrated Regional Logistics Hub will strengthen CDEMA’s capacity to support our Participating States in times of greatest need.”“As the designated lead in the management of logistics operations for the supply of COVID-19 medical supplies to CARICOM countries, CDEMA is deeply appreciative of the partnership with diverse partners: the Government of Barbados, the Barbados Red Cross and the World Food Programme”, said Riley.The IRLH, located in Barbados, serves as a primary repository and transshipment point for COVID-19 relief supplies. Where direct delivery cannot be facilitated to the States, the items will be delivered to the IRLH for organization and storage before national, sub-regional or regional transit.The funds will also aid in upgrading the emergency telecommunication systems and facilitate training of personnel in logistics and warehouse management through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM).Canada is proud to maintain a close relationship with CDEMA and the Caribbean. Tweetcenter_img Share Share 71 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Couple says ‘I do’ during total solar eclipse, in the path of totality

first_img Related ABC News.(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) — Newlyweds Samantha and Cameron Kuhn had an out-of-this-world wedding today during the total solar eclipse. They celebrated with their closest friends and family in the path of totality in St. Joseph, Missouri.“Being able to do the wedding on the day of the solar eclipse couldn’t be any more perfect,” bride Samantha Kuhn, 28, told ABC News.After completing their vows, the bride and groom joined their guests, all wearing certified solar eclipse glasses, in a field behind the altar to take in another “rare and wonderful” occasion — the total solar eclipse.“I’ll go out and have about 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality and just take in that moment,” the bride said on “Good Morning America” this morning in anticipation of the ceremony. “It’s going to be amazing.”The astronomy-loving bride has been obsessed with all things celestial since she was in the third grade, even wanting to become an astronaut.“Once I realized the planets were out there and we were all suspended in this solar system, I couldn’t wrap my head around it but I loved that. It completely fascinated me,” she told ABC News.So when her now-husband Cameron Kuhn popped the question, picking the day was a no brainer.“The coolest part about this, the eclipse is kind of like a time stamp,” the groom said. “It will stand out in everybody’s memories even more.”The wedding had heavenly touches and an outer space motif including DIY “galaxy globe” centerpieces — similar to snow globes, but full of glitter instead — for the reception tables.While the wedding party waited for the total eclipse to happen, they listened to instrumental music that “kind of sounds space soundtrack-y,” said the bride.She also sported a magical braid to show off her galaxy-colored hair of blue and fuchsia hues.And she couldn’t walk down the aisle without her space-themed high heels, also planning ahead with matching lace-up flats to dance the night away at the reception.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more