Although Europe's four major telecom operators – Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica – had signed memorandum of understanding on the implementation of Open RAN (O-RAN) based networks in Europe in early 2021, Rakuten Mobile's ongoing operating losses have put uncertainty to O-RAN's future.
Compal Electronics and its networking device-making subsidiary Arcadyan Technology are both expanding their factory sites in Vietnam where COVID-19 infections are resurging, and they have claimed no impact thus far from the local pandemic.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019, the global economy and people's lives have been greatly affected. Going to banks, hospitals, shopping at supermarkets, religious activities, and other daily activities, for example, all came under restrictions. In addition, onsite exhibitions that used to have large crowds have now almost all turned to the online format, including major international exhibitions such as CES and COMPUTEX. Although there are many online exhibition solutions on the market, they all focus on product exhibits and lack a platform for follow-up business opportunities and communication, relying only on traditional email, text customer service, telephone customer service, and video conferencing. These traditional communication modes lack scheduling design and are unable to provide appointment communication services and interactive functions, which in turn weakens the effectiveness of the online exhibition.
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.
The popularity of Bluetooth LBS (location based service) apps is rising as the related applications can be used for direction-tracking or as electronic fences to trace and analyze the footprints of confirmed COVIC-19 cases, helping curb the spread of the coronavirus, Digitimes Research has found.
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.
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.
Taiwan-based quartz component suppliers including TXC, Siward Crystal Technology, Tai-Saw Technology and Harmony Electronics have all seen delivery lead times extended to nearly two quarters, thanks to growing demand for 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and EV-related applications, according to industry sources.
Broadband communication/networking device maker SerComm will raise funds through issuing up to 50 million new shares or domestic convertible bonds worth up to NT$3.0 billion (US$107 million) or overseas convertible bonds worth up to US$100 million for private placement, according to the company.
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.
Of export orders received by Taiwan-based manufacturers and exporters in 2020, domestic production accounted for 46.0%, slipping 1.4pp on year, according to a survey of overseas production for export orders conducted by Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The India government has canceled exemption of tariffs on imported PCBs, base station controllers, modules and cable harness used in production of telecom and communication/networking equipment in its fiscal 2022 (April 2021-March 2022) budget plan, raising concerns it could increase production cost.
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.
Niche-market PCB maker Allied Circuit has recently sent samples for 400G network switches to clients for validation, and is expected to start shipments in the second half of the year, according to industry sources.
Some Taiwan-based networking device vendors have seen their order visibility extend to the first quarter of 2022 thanks to the increasing popularity of Wi-Fi 6, 5G FWA (fixed wireless access), DOCSIS3.1 and other IoT applications, according to industry sources.
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.
Some networking device makers, including Wistron NeWeb and Arcadyan Technology, have said the shortages of some parts and components currently affecting the production of networking devices may ease a bit in third quarter 2021.
What kind of world will it be in 2030? The era of 5G with low latency, high speed and ultra-connectivity is maturing, and people are waiting for 6G that will leverage low orbit satellites to achieve decentralized bandwidth, opening yet another a new chapter of human life. By that time, at least 30% of the cars on the market will be electric vehicles (EV), and Level 5 self-driving cars combined with smart poles will bring about obvious changes in transportation, and smart cities will take shape. Under the ESG framework, efforts to improve information security using quantum technology will be rewarded; more efficient energy mechanisms will be connected to the super grid; the greenhouse effect will see improvements; people will be dreaming of a more stylish smart city; and we'll have new audio-visual experiences. These we can foresee and observe from the market side.
Networking device maker Accton Technology has said that it will kick off its shipments of 400G switch products as scheduled in June despite the impacts of confirmed COVID infections among its employees and the persistent shortages of some crucial components.