Although Europe's four major telecom operators - Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica - had signed memorandum of understanding on the implementation of O-RAN based networks in Europe in early 2021, Rakuten Mobile's ongoing operating losses have put uncertainty to O-RAN's future.
5G subscriptions are growing at a rate of about one million per day. 5G is expected to become the fastest adopted mobile generation in history, compared to 4G LTE. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, 5G subscriptions will reach 580 million, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2021. However, the penetration rate of 5G in Asia still varies greatly from country to country and now many countries are aiming to win in this 5G rollout competition.
Demand from the car sector has been strong, and foundry houses are stepping up efforts to rolling out more automotive chips. Apple's manufacturing partners are seeing COVID-induced disruptions to their production in Vietnam, and will have to move poduction of new-gen AirPods to China. And in China, construction of 5G base stations is slowing down this year.
Taiwan-based optical component suppliers are likely to brace for lower-than-expected sales in the third quarter of 2021 due to the low order visibility for their 5G optical components from telecom supply chain in China, according to industry sources.
Strong demand and tight capacity are pushing up foundry serivce quotes. Major Taiwan-based foundry houses are expected to report record-high sales in third-quarter 2021. The overall handset market may be weak, but 5G smartphone demand is picking up. Smartphone chip vendors expect their sales to be fueled by 5G offerings in third-quarter 2021. Servers are also gearing up for the 5G edge computing boom.
The Taiwan government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has teamed up with Pegatron and Keysight Technologies to develop a smart base station management system that complies with 5G O-RAN standards.
The Philippines' Globe Telecom created revenue growth of more than 60% of revenue in seven years, with its almost 9% in average annual growth higher than the average of 6.53% for 16 telecom firms that NYU Stern School of Business tracks around the world. Through its 100%-owned subsidiary Kickstart Ventures, Globe Telecom has successfully built a digital ecosystem that offers a variety of value-added services to generate substantial revenue.
US cable operators Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Verizon have seen huge growth in users as remote learning and working are still dominant. Meanwhile, small and medium DSL Internet providers who do not offer high-speed Internet connectivity are struggling, seeking bankruptcy protecion or suffering huge declines in revenue. These DSL providers are now being subsidized by the US government to upgrade to fiber network. This year, the US telecom market will continue to robust growth, as the US government plans to funnel US$3 billion out of the Biden administration's US$1.9 trillion COVID relief bill into paying for low- and middle-income families' Internet bills.
South Korea has the fastest downloading speed of 5G services at 380.5Mbps among eight key markets in Asia Pacific, followed by Taiwan, Australia and Japan, while Thailand is at the bottom with 122.5Mbps, according to Opensignal.
NXP Semiconductors and Jio Platforms (JPL), a subsidiary of Reliance, have announced a collaboration to implement a 5G NR O-RAN small cell solution that incorporates NXP's Layerscape family of multicore processors.
Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) has decided to start phasing out 2G and 3G technologies within the country in 2022 in a bid to encourage people to use smartphones and promote digital society.
Facebook, citing its internal data and surveys conducted by WARC, has indicated that Internet services in Vietnam has increased sharply in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Vietnam-based ictnews.
Qualcomm has made headway in the 5G mmWave solution market, securing related orders from many telecom operators and smartphone vendors in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand.
Indonesia-based digital telecommunications provider Indosat Ooredoo has completed the operational feasibility test on the 5G 1,800 MHz frequency band, a step forward in digital transformation in the Southeast Asian country, according to local media reports.
In an effort to reduce costs and meet emerging markets' demand, Samsung has chosen to place two thirds of its global production capacity at 360 million phones near Hanoi, Vietnam and one third in Noida, India. At the same time, a group of American brands led by Apple have asked their Taiwan-based OEMs to set up production facilities in India. Taiwan's three largest manufacturers Wistron, Pegatron and Foxconn all have production lines up and running in India. Before this, Taiwan-based notebook computer manufacturers had already moved their production to major ASEAN countries. It is a definite trend that manufacturers are relocating part of their production out of China into ASEAN countries and South Asia amid the changes in the US-China trade relations and the paradigm shift toward regional production.
Vodafone has announced the construction partners for its Open RAN (O-RAN) networks that are being installed in the southwest of England and Wales, setting the stage for the further advancement of the O-RAN market.
EZconn, a specialist in RF connectors and fiber optical devices, has said it expects its shipment momentum to stretch into the second half of 2021, having experienced robust sales for the first five months of 2021.