News Commentary

New York, NY (6/17/2022) – The telecom services market is rapidly evolving, and thanks to various technological innovations as well as high consumer demand, it is expected to grow significantly. One of the major drivers of this market is the proliferation of smartphones around the world and particularly in emerging markets, which elevates demand for data connectivity and for related technologies. As a result, governments around the world are investing in creating new infrastructure for telecom services. Currently, the Asia-Pacific region has the largest share of the market, accounting for about 33% in 2021. And, according to data provided by Precedence Research, the telecom services market was valued at USD 1.73 Trillion in 2021 and is projected to reach approximately USD 2.65 Trillion by 2030, while growing at a CAGR of 4.85% from 2022 to 2030. uCloudlink Group Inc. (NASDAQ: UCL), Lumen Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: LUMN), Nokia Oyj (NYSE: NOK), Vodafone Group Public Limited Company (NASDAQ: VOD), CommScope Holding Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM)

5G technology is expected to play a major role the how this industry develops in the near future. The global 5G services market size alone was valued at USD 47.3 Billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52.0% from 2022 to 2030, Grand View Research indicates. In the forefront of the 5G revolution is the enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) technology. Thanks to eMBB, 5G network operators are capable of delivering enhanced broadband capabilities for applications, such as high-speed cloud-based gaming, AR/VR, UHD video, and uninterrupted video calls. The initial phase of the rollout is expected to focus on a 5G wireless non-standalone deployment model. eMBB provides extremely high data speeds for residential and commercial use.

uCloudlink Group Inc. (NASDAQ: UCL) reported earlier this week that, ‘the Company’s operating subsidiary, HONG KONG UCLOUDLINK NETWORK TECHNOLOGY LIMITED, has expanded its existing relationship with Ctrip Travel Holding (Hong Kong) Limited (“Ctrip”), an operating subsidiary of Group Limited (NASDAQ: TCOM; HKEX: 9961), through various contracts whereby UCLOUDLINK will provide international data connectivity services and products through Ctrip’s platform.

Ctrip will continue to act as a selling agent for UCLOUDLINK’s data connectivity services and products through Ctrip’s platform. UCLOUDLINK will also provide its standard and customized international data connectivity services to Ctrip’s self-run tour groups and those run by third party travel agencies on the Ctrip platform.

Despite being affected by the emergences of the Omicron variant and the increasing global uncertainty, global tourism is roaring back with a robust momentum unseen since 2021. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the data shows that during the first quarter of 2022, Europe welcomed almost four times as many international arrivals (+280%) as in Q1 of 2021, with results driven by strong intra-regional demand. In the Americas arrivals more than doubled (+117%) in the same three months.

‘We have been working with Ctrip for many years and are pleased to deepen our relationship with a leading global one-stop travel platform. Against the backdrop of the travel boom at the start of 2022 that is set to drive up the global spending on travel-related services, we build upon the years-long business alliance with Ctrip to further expand the availability of our international data connectivity services and related products for customers worldwide, allowing them to stay connected with the help of UCLOUDLINK’s reliable, better, high-quality internet data connectivity services and accessories, whether it is for traveling, remote working, or remote learning.’ said Chaohui Chen, CEO of UCLOUDLINK.

As a pioneering technology solution provider in the era of 5G Cloud, in addition to its data connectivity services, hyper-connectivity solutions and relative products, UCLOUDLINK is also spearheading the development of the PaaS and SaaS platform by introducing cloud SIM and hyper-connectivity technology, which is designed to offer uninterrupted, seamless and high-speed internet connection without limitation. Looking forward, UCLOUDLINK will join forces through its extensive global partner ecosystem to expand the applications of our services, solutions, and products as well as make the world better connected without limitation.”

Lumen Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: LUMN) announced this week details for its planned fiber optics network build in the state of Texas. By the end of 2023, the company will deliver over 120,000 new fiber passings in the first phase of deployment in the state. Brightspeed plans to add 160,000 more passings in its Texas operating territory – for a total of up to 280,000 – in subsequent years of the network build. “We believe all customers should have access to the highest-quality, most user-friendly internet service possible. Brightspeed’s mission is to expand and accelerate the availability of internet connectivity that will enable our communities to thrive,” said Chris Creager, Chief Administration Officer of Brightspeed. “We have an incredible team in place that knows how to execute this critical copper-to-fiber technology transformation. We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring our Brightspeed services to the customers in our Texas footprint.”

Nokia Oyj (NYSE: NOK) has reported this week an FTTH deal with all-fiber service provider Wire 3. The Florida-based operator is rolling out a 10Gb/second network along Florida’s Atlantic Coast including the cities of Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach. Wire 3 is growing its network from Jacksonville to Miami, with planned deployments in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie counties. The deal includes fiber access nodes for the central office, fiber modems for customer homes, service routers, Wi-Fi gateways and Nokia’s Altiplano broadband network controller. Jason Schreiber, Chief Technology Officer, Wire 3, said: “We are laser-focused on growth and want to get to 15,000 homes passed a month. When it comes to subscriber activation and service provisioning, automation will be key. We are using Nokia’s Altiplano platform which will be our main OSS Platform and all other systems will integrate and work through it.”

Vodafone Group Public Limited Company (NASDAQ: VOD) announced this week that its partner, AST SpaceMobile, which is building the first and only space-based cellular network accessible directly from standard mobile phones, has confirmed it plans to launch its BlueWalker 3 test satellite during the week of August 15, 2022. The actual launch date remains subject to change and is contingent on a number of factors including, but not limited to, final testing, final integration, ground transport, timely readiness of the launch vehicle and other unknowns including, but not limited to, weather conditions or technical problems. “This revolutionary technology supports our mission to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by more than 5 billion mobile subscribers today moving in and out of coverage, and bring cellular broadband to approximately half of the world’s population who remain unconnected. We want to close the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.”

CommScope Holding Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM) announced last month a new cloud-to-edge suite of next-generation XGS-PON solutions built to facilitate the rapid global growth in FTTP deployments. Around the world, service providers are facing ever increasing competitive pressure to deploy new fiber networks or upgrade existing ones in response to exponential consumer demand as well as new opportunities in government and private sector infrastructure funding. To address this challenge, CommScope is introducing a new cloud-to-edge XGS-PON solution built with industry standards, supporting a 10G future. The suite achieves this through three primary attributes: a flexible architecture; open, interoperable components; and dynamic, cloud-based operation. The cloud-to-edge solution allows service providers in both greenfield FTTH and fiber-deeper scenarios to bridge multiple network topologies and take advantage of SDN efficiencies to prepare their networks for the future, regardless of what the future will require.

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