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: https://ferrycgrijpink.substack.com/

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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04 Nov 2019
TechBurst Asia sits down with Tata Communication’s Anthony Bartolo to discuss disruption in telecoms, including the impact IoT, eSIMs, vSIMs, iSIMs, NB-IoT & 5G will have on the industry.
Show notes & Time stamps
01:30 Intro to Tata Comms & Anthony Bartolo
03:00 What role does a fixed operator like Tata Comms play in the IoT space?
07:00 What is an embedded SIM (eSIM) and how will it transform the telecoms industry? And why have most telcos resisted it?
11:30 eSIM use cases (e.g. Device Manufacturers getting into the connectivity game, connected cars) and the new business cases that will emerge
19:15 How did lifts/elevators become the hot topic with eSIMs?
21:00 While Tata Comms, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom & Telstra have moved forward with eSIMs, why have the other Tier 1 mobile operators been resisting eSIMs
23:20 What’s next? The shift to virtual SIMs (vSIMs) – and how this creates opps for brands like Amazon, Google & Facebook – and also the owners of SuperApps like Grab, Uber & GoJek.
29:00 What’s the future? Integrated SIMs (iSIMs) – connectivity built into the chipset – and everything comes “Born Connected”
32:25 Why have the telcos struggled with IoT? And why has Light Reading coined it IoVFT (Internet of Very Few Things)?
35:00 Why has NB-IoT done so well in China – and not lived up to the hype in the rest of the world?
40:55 What’s the current state of 5G – and what opportunities will it create for enterprises?
44:10 What advice would you give to a telco that is starting down the IoT solution path?
46:00 What’s next for Tata Comms?
48:00 What technology will have the biggest impact on your life in the future?
49:45 Silicon Valley or Singapore – where’s the best place for the next generation of entrepreneurs?