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FORECAST
Wednesday | 11 October, 2017 | 9:05 am

Computers + Telecom

By Corinna Petry

Above: A Samsung chip made for wearable devices such as Smartwatches and FitBits. The data collected on the chips connect to the cloud.

Global connecting // Digital access for factories, large-scale users spur demand for high-tech solutions

CONTENTS   
> AEROSPACE
> AUTOMOTIVE
> COMPUTERS + TELECOM
> CONSTRUCTION
> DEFENSE
> ENERGY
> HEAVY EQUIPMENT
> TRANSPORTATION

 

October 2017 - Data flow and speeds are exponentially increasing and the need for ever more broadband capacity is pushing platform, server, software, hardware and cybersecurity vendors beyond the edges of what seems possible. The pace of growth in applications alone is breathtaking.

ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunications equipment and systems provider, recently told shareholders that the market has entered “a stage of continuous boom in 4G user population and data flow volume, warranting more extensive application of Pre-5G products.” 5G is short for fifth-generation wireless systems.

“Big video and the Broadband China Strategy will further accelerate the development of the fixed-line broadband market, while the IoT business [Internet of Things] will make revenue contributions to carriers as the IoT industry chain continues to mature,” executives said.

Mass-scale network automation is influencing the engineering and production processes downstream regarding what components are needed to realize the automation architecture, a key executive for Cisco Systems, a technology conglomerate based in San Jose, California, told bankers during a Sept. 12 meeting.

“Networks have never been more important; it’s the most critical asset in the company. Government customers tell me the network is their mission. But they are all looking to simplify, automate, connect more, move faster, be more agile and be more secure,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager for Cisco’s Networking and Security Business.

He, too, mentioned the launch of 5G capabilities next year by giant wireless networks, and said IoT is the next big thing. “You’re going to connect more and more devices to the Internet.” Customers are asking, “How do we deliver applications in the enterprise into the cloud. How do I build that very large?” Web-scale customers are not building routers or switches and connecting all that themselves any longer. Instead, Cisco is “building whole packages and putting it together. That is the predominant model in the networking business—this Web-scale model for Web-scale players.”

Goeckeler also cited apps. “Whenever anybody comes up with more bandwidth, more applications show up to consume that bandwidth and start to stretch it. Just when you think you have enough capacity, you need more capacity,” he said. “5G is just going to drive more bandwidth.”

On a broader scale, he suggests companies are compelled to grasp “how this digital world impacts their business,” and how should they adapt and adopt the latest developments. “Digitization arose on top of the connectedness created by networks. Now we must make that platform more ubiquitous, [yet each component] has to be less complicated than the way they are built today,” Goeckeler suggests.

Executives at Dell Corp. have observed the “velocity” of the data-hungry world. “We’ve had many bright spots over the past year, with good velocity in client servers, all-flash, hyper-converged infrastructure and software-defined data centers,” David Goulden, president of Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group, said during a Sept. 7 call with shareholders.

“The server business is firing on all cylinders. Right now, 14G [Dell’s latest EMC PowerEdge server] gets a lot of people excited. They like to see that there’s a roadmap out there. It’s kind of future-proofing their decisions [to] invest.”

Although the forecast is pretty rosy for the companies and consumers in first-world situations, the United Nations Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development advised the computer and telecom corporate leaders not to leave populations behind.

“Technology is crucial in empowering people to participate in our digital future, and in helping governments to better serve people,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated Sept. 18. “We must also address significant concerns such as cybersecurity, human rights, privacy, as well as the digital divide, including its gender dimensions.

“Broadband is a remarkable tool,” said Guterres. “Now we must do more to ensure that all enjoy its benefits. Developing countries face the very real risk of being left behind.”

Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia, said the definition of the digital divide is evolving from the original definition of being connected or unconnected, to “being connected with [a particular] speed of access. Those who live in the connected world benefit from connected health, connected education and smart transportation, and [from efficiencies that] the Internet of Things can provide.”

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