26 Apr 2021

This TechBurst Asia podcast will give you your GADGET FIX for 2021.

We will discuss Smartphones – which ones are doing well (Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi), which ones are struggling (Huawei, LG), and what features you can expect in the coming years (foldables, rollables).

We will look at the smart wearables market to see if Smartwatches have finally lived up to the hype, and to find out if anyone can catch the Apple Watch.

And finally, we’ll get the lowdown on the latest announcements from Apple about its latest iPad innovations, the launch of AirTags, and the new colourful iMacs.

To help us with this analysis, we are joined by one of the world’s leading device analysts, IDC Asia Pacific’s Bryan Ma. 


02:00 Who is winning the smartphone race?

04:00 LG exits the smartphone market – what mistakes did they make?

06:30 Why do so many smartphone vendors fail (Nokia, BlackBerry, LG)

08:50 How the China / US trade war has led to Huawei’s chipset crisis

14:30 What are the latest features (cameras, foldables, rollables)  that are driving the market?

18:00 What impact is 5G having on the smartphone market?

20:40 What the hell is a rollable phone? And do we need it?

22:00 When will Apple come out with a foldable phone?

23:00 Apple is releasing an iPhone software update with a new privacy feature that requires apps like Facebook to ask for the user’s approval to track them. Facebook hates this, I love it, what does Bryan think?

27:20 Can 5G’s speeds and low latency save AR/VR?

31:00 The latest on wearables – the big three vendors (Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei) are running away with it. Can Google save Fitbit? Should Samsung give up on the smartwatch market? And can anyone catch the Apple Watch?

39:00 Apple’s new product launches – the slick new iPads, colourful iMacs and surprise launch – Apple goes into tracking with AirTags. 

49:00 Bryan’s predictions – what will the world look like in 5 years for smartphones, wearables and AR / VR / Mixed Reality headsets.



12 Apr 2021

In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of initiatives that have raised global awareness about the importance of gender diversity, the challenge of the gender pay gap – as well as the issue of a lack of women in senior leadership positions.

But while these initiatives draw more attention to these issues, what I want to understand is has this attention led to progress. 

And our guest, Uma Thana Balasingam, is ideally suited to help me delve deeper into this question. In her day job, she’s the Vice President of the Partner & Commercial Organization for VMWare in Asia Pacific.  She has also been recognised by CRN in their “Most Powerful Women of the Channel” global list, and she also features in Singapore’s Top 100 Women in IT.

But she does so much more across the ICT ecosystem than just that. 

She’s also the Co-Founder of Lean In’s Singapore Chapter, which brings together its 4,000+ members to drive gender diversity in the workplace – and she is the Founder of Lean In Women in Tech Asia and  Women in Tech Singapore. 

Show Notes:

02:00 Intro to Uma – how she got where she is today

07:20 The opportunities the pandemic created for VMWare

10:00 How has the pandemic affected how you communicate with your internal and external teams?

14:00 What do you understand today from a business perspective that you wish you understood 5 or 10 years ago?

17:00 How has an introvert thrived in what many would think are extrovert roles?

20:00 We hear about gender equality and the gender pay gap, but the question is, are we really making progress?

24:00 The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 highlights the massive gender gaps in emerging jobs – what do we need to do to improve this?

31:30 Intro to Lean In Singapore 

33:30 What is unconscious bias? And can you give us examples of where you have experienced it?

42:40 The Provocative Questions. Uma and I agreed that I would be intentionally provocative in this section – asking her questions that some men might want to ask, but won’t because they are concerned they will be branded as sexist. 

64:30 What can men do to help create fair and equal environments for women?


Video Snippet: Uma’s Advice on How Men Can Become Part of the Solution


09 Apr 2021

The amount of data that we create, capture, copy, and consume is growing exponentially. In fact, according to IDC, the amount of data we will create in the next three years – will be more than the data we created over the past 30 years.

That sounds great, but it does raise a lot of questions. Like what are companies and governments doing with that data? Is our data being used ethically? What concerns should we as citizens – and consumers – have about the data that is being collected? And finally – does all that data actually lead to actionable intelligence. 

These are just some of the questions that we will discuss in this podcast. 

Today’s guest, Michael Conlin, will help delve deeper into these questions. He currently is the Chief Technology Officer for Definitive Logic, a US-based analytics and digital transformation specialist vendor, and was previously, the first ever Chief Data Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Show Notes:

02:00 The journey that led a psychology major to become the first Chief Data Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

09:00 The transition from the private to the public sector – what attracted Micheal to the DoD?

14:30 What was it like on Day 1 when you realised you were responsible for straightening out the data structure and strategy for the DoD’s 3.2 million employees and across its 13,000 operational IT systems?

20:00 The U.S. has a Border Czar, Bird Flu Czar & Cybersecurity Czar – was Michael the Data Czar?

23:30 What are the main differences between being a CTO/CDO in the public versus private sector – and what unique challenges did you face with the DoD?

33:15 Why do we still trust Facebook despite its data breach that released the personal information of 533 million users – but don’t trust the government with our data?

43:15 The role of Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

52:15 Who should be responsible for setting the rules and regulations relating to the acceptable and ethical use of data captured by companies, governments, etc.?

60:00 Microsoft recently signed a USD 22 Billion contract with the US military to deliver 120,000 HoloLens mixed reality headsets. If you were the CDO/CTO overseeing this for the military, how would you mitigate the risks – and what opportunities would you see for the devices?

67:15 You recently left the U.S. DoD and its 3.2 million employees for Definitive Logic and its 250 employees. What led to the change? 

71:30 The Fun Questions

  • How does an introvert like you thrive in situations that require you to play the role of an extrovert?
  • Tell us about your interesting hobbies, including being a blacksmith, enamelist, glass gaffer, goldsmith, sculptor & lapidary.
  • Prince William was recently crowned the world’s sexiest bald man – are you disappointed that you weren’t nominated? 


15 Mar 2021

I wanted to understand the pandemic’s impact on the DESIGN, BUILD & OPERATE phases of the Real Estate industry, so I pulled together an expert in each to create the first TechBurst Asia Podcast Panel.

The global pandemic has impacted every industry, but one industry that will face more impact than most is the Real Estate industry. In this podcast panel discussion, we’ll discuss…

  • Why it took a pandemic to kick-start innovation in an industry that is notoriously lax in adopting innovation
  • Why focusing on the human experience isn’t optional, it’s critical, to driving success
  • Work from Home – is it a passing fad or here to stay
  • Employee experience & well-being – will corporate empathy last in a post-Covid world
  • How what’s really changed is the speed of change


Tim Kobe
  • Founder & CEO, Eight Inc. 
  • Founder & Chairman, x8ventures
  • Author of the new book, Return on Experience
Thomas Jakob
  • Regional President, Bosch.IO Asia Pacific
Susheel Koul
  • Division President – Corporate Solutions, JLL Asia Pacific

Show Notes:

02:00 Intro to the guests, their companies and the role they play in the Future of Buildings

03:30 What’s something that the pandemic has fundamentally changed with your business?

08:40 Once you got over the initial shock of the pandemic, what opportunities did you identify that your companies should go after?

14:20 Let’s say that I am your customer – and that could be a retail store, an office tenant, building owner, or city. Not only am I trying to ensure that I can create a safe and secure environment for my employees/customers/citizens to return to, but also an environment they WANT to return to. What advice would you give me?

21:15 You each sell products & services to corporate clients, but people are the end users. How do you incorporate the consumer – or employee – or citizen experience into your work?

27:50 One positive that has come about as a result of the pandemic, is that governments have used the time to fast-track their sustainability initiatives – which will hopefully lead to more green & energy efficient buildings in the future. How has this increased focus on sustainability impacted your company and your clients?

33:25 You each possess a vision for what is possible – even if the market isn’t ready for it. Tell me about something your company has the capabilities to deliver, but you’re still waiting for someone to say, “yeah, let’s go for it”.

38:20 The pandemic has forced companies to care more about the welfare of their employees. The question is, will this corporate empathy last when we shift into the post-pandemic world?

43:00 What is your key takeaway that the audience should remember for the post-Covid future…

47:00 Fast and fun round of questions

  • What’s your prediction for when we get back to business as usual – or will we?
  • Tell me something about the future of work that will be fundamentally different post covid. 
  • Work from home – will it last in a post-covid world? 
  • Tell me something your company has done during the pandemic that makes you proud. 
  • In pre-Covid days, we all spent much of our time travelling around the world for our work. But those days are long gone. What’s the best – and worst – thing about not having the crazy travel schedule?

Video Snippet: Is Work from Home a pandemic fad – or is it here to stay?

08 Mar 2021

Confused by all the NOISE around 5G and want to know what’s REAL and what’s HYPE? I’ve got you covered with this “5G Podcast Primer”.

We hear a lot about how 5G will transform the way we work, live and play, but the question is, will 5G live up to the expectations?

To help answer this question, I recorded five TechBurst Asia podcasts over the past two months with global industry experts covering all aspects of 5G, including:

  • 5G Basics: why is 5G different from previous networks, what 5G can deliver today versus what it will deliver in the future, and the critical success factors for building a successful 5G business
  • 5G Current State Analysis: which countries are leading & lagging with regards to network deployments, 5G data monetisation, and consumer & enterprise 5G adoption
  • 5G Financials: funding models for 5G network deployments, data pricing options, and enterprise solution monetisation opps
  • 5G Solutions: which industries & use cases will drive the enterprise market opp, how to source innovation, and the importance of providing an end-to-end solution
  • 5G’s Emerging Trends: network infrastructure sharing, Private 5G, and OpenRAN

If you need to get up to speed with what’s really going on with 5G, these podcasts are a great place to start.

Links to each podcast are below along with a summary of the guest’s credentials & a summary of the topics covered.

You can subscribe to the TechBurst Asia podcast on your favourite podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Libsyn and more.

How to Digitise One of the Worlds’ Largest Conglomerates

🎧 CLICK HERE for podcast link 🎧

Michael Gryseels – Singapore / Bangkok

Topics Covered:

  • The status of 5G in Thailand & why it leads SE Asia in 5G deployments
  • The 5G use cases True Digital has prioritised & which industry verticals create to near term opps
  • The role Private 5G will play in Thailand & the industries (e.g. manufacturing, farming) that will lead the adoption
  • The Critical Success Factors for operators to be capitalise on the 5G market opp

Making Sense…and Cents…out of the 5G market opportunity

🎧 CLICK HERE for podcast link 🎧

Ferry Grijpink – Amsterdam

Topics Covered:

  • Funding 5G network infrastructure – standalone vs. network sharing
  • How to monetise consumer & enterprise 5G solutions via new solutions or services (e.g. tiered pricing)
  • The industries / use cases McKinsey believes will drive enterprise 5G adoption
  • Will OpenRAN be a game changer & how will the Private 5G market evolve?

What’s in store for SE Asia’s Tech & Telecoms Industries in 2021

🎧 CLICK HERE for podcast link 🎧

Mike Graham – Kuala Lumpur

  • Partner – PwC; TMT Lead for PwC’s SE Asia Consulting Practice; Chief Digital Officer – PwC Malaysia

Topics Covered:

  • How 5G in SE Asia will evolve in 2021
  • Why SE Asia telcos lag behind with regards to innovation
  • The operators considered “best practice” for deploying digital solutions
  • Views on OpenRAN & Rakuten Mobile‘s 5G network deployment

5G is Dead, Long Live 5G

🎧 CLICK HERE for podcast link 🎧

Danial Mausoof – Abu Dhabi

  • Global Sales Head, Enterprise Services – Nokia; Danial’s new role is the Head of Mobile Network Sales for Middle East & Africa

Topics Covered:

  • Why 5G is different from previous network technologies (3G, 4G)
  • The 5G Market Opp – the money IS NOT in the connectivity
  • 5G’s impact on Smart Cities
  • If I am a tech decision maker – why should I give a damn about 5G?

Are Telcos Ready for 5G? And Do Customers Actually Want It?

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Chris Lewis – London

Topics Covered:

  • Can telcos make the transition from connectivity provider to digital solution provider?
  • Funding 5g network infrastructure – should there be more network sharing?
  • Do customers actually want 5G?

The TechBurst Asia podcast is available on your favourite podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Libsyn and more.

You can also follow the TechBurst Asia podcast on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook.

02 Mar 2021

We live in a world where the latest technologies, including AI, 5G, and blockchain, have the capability to truly transform the way we work, live and play. The problem is, they don’t always live up to the hype. 

One reason is the supply and demand sides of the market don’t work together as effectively as they should, and that’s why we are lucky to have today’s guest, Michael Gryseels, with us because he sits at the crossroads of technology supply and market demand.

He’s currently the Executive Vice Chairman of Thailand’s True Digital Group and the Chief Digital Officer for CP Group, which is Thailand’s largest private company and one of the largest conglomerates globally. 

This combination of roles provides him not only with insights into the market’s requirements – but also the capability to launch solutions to meet those requirements. 

Prior to these roles, he spent nearly 20 years with McKinsey & Company, where he was a Senior Partner and led McKinsey Digital Labs in Asia.

Show notes: 

01:15 Intro to True Digital, CP Group and A Day in the Life of Michael

05:15 CP Group operates in 15 industry verticals. What process do you follow to identify the opportunities and source the innovation that will digitise these industries?

07:00 You have been in your roles for 3 years, can you give us some examples of the initiatives that you’ve implemented, or solutions that you’ve deployed, that you’re proud of?

10:00 Status of 5G in Thailand

  • Which 5G use cases has True Digital identified?
  • Does Thailand’s strong manufacturing sector create an opportunity for Private 5G?
  • What are the Critical Success Factors for operators to be successful in 5G?

15:10 Where would you like to see True Digital and CP Group in 2 – 3 years time?

17:15 When you look at the global mobile operators, which ones do you think are doing the best job at driving digital solutions?

19:00 When implementing digital solutions, companies often get stuck in what McKinsey defines as “Pilot Purgatory”. What advice do you have for companies to overcome this?

22:10 Which technologies do you think will have the biggest impact in the next 12 – 24 months?

24:00 Fun Questions

  • What do you know today about True Digital / CP Group / Thailand that you wish you understood when you started on this journey?
  • You have lived in 15 countries – and worked in many more. Outside of Thailand, where did you find the most exciting place to work?
  • When I was 16 years old, I had a blond mohawk, spent my after school hours skateboarding and attending as many punk rock shows as possible. What were you doing at 16?
  • Let’s say I have the power to turn back time – and I can turn you into a university student today. What would you study – and what would you want to do with your career?

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23 Feb 2021

We recently have talked about the future of 5G – and in this episode – we will take that to the next level.

We’ll discuss the models being used to fund 5G investments, the consumer and enterprise solutions and services that will help operators monetise those investments and discuss which types of operators are best suited to capitalise on the emerging opportunities.

We are joined by Ferry Grijpink, a Senior Partner with McKinsey & Company based out of Amsterdam. Ferry is also the Founder of the McKinsey Center for Advanced Connectivity and is their Global Lead for Digital and Analytics for the Telecoms, Media and Tech Industry.

Show notes:

01:00 Intro to Ferry Grijpink, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company

02:20 How can operators monetise consumer 5G solutions and services – beyond gaming

06:00 The 5G funding models – is network sharing the way forward?

09:30 What is OpenRAN – and can it become a game changer?

13:45 Why do operators struggle to provide solutions and services to the SMB market segment?

17:30 Which industry verticals and use cases will drive the Enterprise 5G market opportunity?

20:45 What role – if any – will operators play in the Private 5G market?

23:30 Which telecoms markets do you find the most exciting?

26:35 What advice do you have for operators to help them build the infrastructure, solutions and services to be successful in the 5G world?

28:45 The fun questions

– Which 5G buzzwords (e.g. OpenRAN, Private 5G, shared network infrastructure) will get the most hype in 2021?

– What do you miss about living and working in Asia?

– What would you do with your career if you weren’t in consulting?

Ferry has a new “5G Chart of the Day – all charts, no bullshit” newsletter. You can subscribe to it here:

Keep an eye out for Ferry & I talking on Clubhouse soon…

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01 Feb 2021

TechBurst Asia sat down with PwC Malaysia’s Mike Graham to discuss Southeast Asia’s latest tech trends and the annoying buzzwords and catchphrases we have been forced to endure during the pandemic. We also talk about our predictions for what WILL – and WON’T happen in 2021. 

Show Notes

01:00 Intro to Mike Graham and his multiple roles at PwC 

08:20 Review of 2020: Which companies managed the pandemic well – and not so well?

12:15 What positives can we take from 2020?

15:50 What will the big stories in 2021 related to 5G in Southeast Asia

23:50 Why have Southeast Asia telcos lagged behind the global telcos with regards to innovation?  

28:30 We keep hearing that during 2020, companies will implement 10 years of digital transformation in 2 months – can we keep the pace of change? 

32:00 Which buzzword (e.g. 5G, OpenRAN, Digital Twins, FinTech) will have the biggest impact in 2021?

34:30 Random tech chats about OpenRAN, Rakuten Mobile, Jio, Drones, Smart Cities, higher education’s role in PPP’s, etc. 

43:15 What WON’T happen in 2021?

47:00 What is the worst buzzword or phrase we created during the pandemic?

48:00 The importance of finding a way to decompress while working from home (spoiler alert: jigsaw puzzles help!)

52:00 PwC’s new B2B digital marketplace to help their clients source innovative solutions – and help start-ups reach enterprise customers. 

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11 Jan 2021

It is time we reset our 5G expectations.

In this podcast, we are going to take another look at 5G. In our last episode, we discussed whether Telcos will be able to monetise their 5G investments. We were pretty harsh in our criticism of the 5G ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think 5G will be a game changer. Rather, I just think we need to reset our expectations of capabilities and benefits that 5G will bring to the market.

In this episode, we sat down with Danial Mausoof, Nokia’s Global Sales Head for Enterprise Services, to discuss what differentiates 5G from traditional networks – and and whether 5G will become the tech industry buzzword that FINALLY lives up to the HYPE. 

Show Notes:

01:30 Danial’s career journey with Motorola Solutions & Nokia 

09:05 What differentiates 5G from the existing networks like 4G?

12:40 Today’s 5G networks deliver faster speeds, but there is still more spectrum to be allocated that will support future 5G services (e.g. mission-critical services). How do you see 5G deployments evolving?

17:00 Nokia recently released its “5G Readiness Report”, where it surveyed 1,628 global technology decision makers about “5G+ enabled digitalisation.” To start, what the hell is 5G+ enabled digitalisation?

19:50 In 2030, 5G+ spend in 2030 will reach $4.5 Trillion – but only $600 Billion (13%) will be for public connectivity. $2.2 Trillion (48%) will be on Edge Infrastructure / Cloud Platforms. How is this related to 5G?

22:10 $900 Billion (20%) of this spend will be on Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning – how is this related to 5G?

24:40 The final $800 Billion (18%) relates to the deployment of Private 5G networks. Why do we need Private 5G networks – and why are companies like John Deere and Bosch deploying them to support their manufacturing plants?

30:00 86% of decision makers already have some kind of a 5G strategy – what are the use cases that are driving the strategic focus on 5G?

33:00 72% of those surveyed say they plan to invest in 5G by 2025. What do these enterprises need to do to make sure they get a positive ROI on these investments – and what challenges will they need to overcome?

36:20 How will 5G impact Smart Cities?

39:00 Tough Question #1: What are the security implications for 5G?

43:20 Tough Question #2: Let’s say I am a tech decision maker managing the complexities created by the global pandemic – why should I give a damn about 5G?

45:20 Tough Question #3: 500,000 South Korean consumers have switched back to 4G from 5G – does that mean that we really don’t need 5G?

47:15 Tough Question #4: As an industry, we have failed to live up to the hype around the latest tech trends (e.g. 4G, IoT, or Smart Cities). Will we learn from our past mistakes – or will 5G follow a similar path?

49:15 What is something going on in the 5G ecosystem that we should be tracking? (spoiler alert: it is OpenRAN)

50:30 Tell me about a solution that 5G will enable that I – as a consumer – should be excited about. 

52:00 When do we have to start worrying about 6G? 

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17 Dec 2020

5G will be fast…is that enough?

In 2021, most mobile operators in the developed markets will have launched 5G – the question is – will they be able to monitise it. And more importantly, do customers even care about 5G?

Today’s guest, Chris Lewis, has over 30 years’ experience as a telecoms and ICT industry analyst, but don’t let that scare you. While many analysts pontificate about their vast knowledge, Chris’ insights are pragmatic and entertaining – which is why I like him so much. 

Chris is also one of the UK’s leading advocates for the visually impaired. Is the telecoms industry doing enough to drive inclusivity? Or are we creating yet another digital divide? And why doesn’t his guide dog Varley have his own Instagram account? 

Show Notes:

01:00 Intro to Chris Lewis, Founder of Lewis Insight and the Great Telco Debate

05:50 Connectivity – the invisible service 

07:30 Highlights from the 2020 Great Telco Debate

11:30 Telcos in a post-Covid world: are we creating a two-tier Telecoms industry?

14:00 Are the Telcos ready for 5G? And do customers actually want or care about 5G?

20:00 Telcos have a sustainability issue – should we see more network sharing?

24:30 What the future holds for the tech industry analyst industry

27:00 The key to career success – find something you are passionate about

29:00 Telcos tell us the future is mobile – in reality, the world runs on fixed. And why the hell do telcos still charge us for having a home fixed line phone when no one has one? 

36:00 Accessibility – are telcos doing enough to help? Chris is one of the UK’s leading advocates for ensuring people with disabilities get access to the digital lifestyle through his work on the boards of the  Royal Institute of Blind and Vision 2020 Technology For Life initiative. 

41:00 Telstra was ranked #1 globally in a recent ICT industry “Digital Inclusion Benchmark”, which ranks vendors’ focus on digital inclusion as part of their overall strategy. 

42:00 Why doesn’t Chris’ guide dog Varley have his own Instagram account?

48:30 How telcos can use emerging technology to support guide dogs. In a difficult year like 2020, where charities for the visually impaired have struggled to raise money, why hasn’t someone like Vodafone sponsored guide dog technology? Jon Buckthorp – over to you!

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