Tech / Telecom news — 27 Mar 2017

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Amazon, the fifth most valuable firm, has 92% value linked to profits expected after 2020. To justify this, it will have to grow faster than any other big company in the past. But investors like the company’s long term vision, and the sheer breadth of its activities. The Economist, however, sees the impending threat of regulation (Story)

Fortune published this long, detailed profile of Jack Ma, Alibaba’s charismatic leader, who’s taken his company to a $264bn valuation, and who seems to have better political relationships than Jeff Bezos, both in China and the US, where he’s claimed 1m jobs will be created, by enabling Chinese people to buy American products (Story)

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Video

Increasing stress between Netflix and Hollywood, as the internet firm has become a giant player, spending 2x vs. HBO in content, and 5x vs. 21st C Fox or CBS. So the Majors are getting worried, even with the threat of Netflix “stealing” creative talent from them. Streaming drives most of the current growth in TV shows (Story)

Enterprise

The Hong Kong Competition Commission is analysing BT Global Services’ competitive practices, after the scandal in Italy, so people might start to get more nervous with the asset. BT is accused of having manipulated a contract process, by asking competitors to submit “dummy bids”, more expensive than its own (Story)

NETWORK TECHNOLOGY

SoftBank has a 5G trial under way in Japan, together with Ericsson, using 28GHz spectrum (a leading candidate for 5G deployments in Japan). This will involve indoor and outdoor environments and will cover both device mobility and stationary tests. The race is served vs. NTT (which is working with Samsung) (Story)

Dish has announced it will deploy a new NB-IoT network on the 700MHz spectrum acquired in 2008, for which the FCC requires they reach a 40% coverage this month, or a 70% by March 2020. However, several analysts interpret the company is just gaining time for a sale of this spectrum to other player (e.g. Verizon…) (Story)

BIG DATA & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Researchers at Elon Musk’s OpenAI have developed a new training mechanism for neural networks, easier and faster than conventional back-propagation / reinforcement learning. The approach is based on looking at the parameter optimisation problem in an isolated way from the neural network that it represents (Story)

It’s been a prolific weekend for Amazon analysts, with many analysis just published. This WSJ piece looks at the algorithms running behind the store, including the prioritisation decisions for third party products, which are now competing for a position in the “buy box” in a similar way as it’s done at Google’s search results (Story)

Regulation

Software is changing the world, also with impact on the law, as pressure mounts on governments to cope with new problems linked to use of software for car driving, financial decisions, or even national security. And it could also help with the law itself, through tools to make it more transparent and recover public trust (Story)

OPERATIONS

CenturyLink is testing virtualisation technologies to re-architect Central Offices into Data Centres (or at least that’s what the name of the project seems to imply). The objective is to simplify the operation of the fixed network by bringing “Data Centre economics and cloud agility” to operators’ Central Offices (Story)