BTwatch
This release
: #297
July 2018: 52pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

Executive Brief

Group

Trading Update [p.6]

  • BT updates with sketchy Q1 report
  • DT keeping the faith with BT

BT flags quantum leap in internet security [p.8]

  • ADVA and ID Quantique lend a hand
  • BT ups the ante with blockchain
  • BT gets in on blockchain patent action

BT's strategic ambitions to become a platform company [p.11]

  • BT prominent in API proof-of-concept demos
  • Table: People Movements

Consumer

EE to launch first UK live 5G trial network… [p.18]

  • Figure: 5G Momentum Index
  • BT defends early 5G launch plans

EE follows through with convergence, Consumer ups prices [p.20]

  • BT signs bespoke advertising deal with Channel 4
  • BT aims to objectify sport
  • More alarms sounded over ESN
  • BT/EE: A watching brief
  • EE launches smart number technology for Apple users

Global Services

Open sesame for BT Global Services? [p.30]

  • Alibaba's focus on Europe tightens
  • National security concerns may affect any agreement
  • BT Americas chief talks up geopolitics and security

Security

BT sues Fortinet for infringing network security patents [p.33]

  • BT holds patchy litigation record, but Counterpane credentials may help
  • What's a civil suit between friends?

Openreach

Government, Ofcom and Openreach commit to fibre [p.35]

  • Government aims for invigorated competition in a more open market
  • Ofcom prepares itself for a makeover
  • Openreach takes its first steps to fall in line
  • Openreach ramps up superfast rollout in Scotland
  • Fog clears as Wales updates on Superfast Cymru
  • Pension 'complexities' delay progress on Openreach separation

Suppliers

Huawei and Nokia entwined for Openreach fibre [p.43]

  • Go with what you know
  • Huawei takes another security hit, but deepens BT roots

Further reading

Index

Symbols

21st Century Fox
- Sky
-- NOW TV 21

A

Accenture 31
ADVA Optical Networking 8
Airbus 9
Alphabet
- Google
-- Android 27, 33
-- DoubleClick 23
Amazon 11, 30
- Amazon Web Services 30
Apple 11, 27
-- iPhone 27
Arqiva 15, 21
Atos 9
AT&T 13

B

BearingPoint 13
Blue Coat Systems, Inc. 33
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 14, 15, 21, 24
- BBC Trust 24
- iPlayer 21
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 38, 39
BT Group 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 24, 27, 30, 41, 42
- Asia
-- Tech Mahindra 13, 15
- BT Consumer 14, 20, 22, 23, 24, 37
-- BT TV 21
-- Plusnet 24
- BT Enterprise
-- BT Business & Public Sector 14, 15
-- BT Ireland 14, 15
-- BT Northern Ireland 42
-- BT Wholesale & Ventures 14
- BT Global Services 6, 15, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33
-- BT Americas 32
-- BT Compute 32
-- BT Counterpane 33
-- BT iNet 13
-- BT Italia 9, 30
-- BT Radianz 15
-- BT Security 33
- BT Pension Scheme 41
- BT Technology, Service and Operations 8, 12
-- Adastral Park 8, 44
-- Azure 30
- Directors
-- du Plessis, Jan 37
-- Hoettges, Timotheus 7
-- Rake, Sir Michael 9
- EE 6, 7, 12, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27
-- 4GEE Wi-Fi 20
-- Emergency Services Network 12, 25
- Executives
-- Allera, Marc 14, 19, 24
-- Artley, Jennifer 32
-- Glass, George 11
-- Haines, Steve 14
-- Hindhaugh, Jamie 24
-- Hughes, Mark 44
-- Lowth, Simon 7
-- Patel, Mahesh 14
-- Patterson, Gavin 9
-- Petter, Ed 24
-- Sabey, Jim 31
-- Selley, Clive 43
-- Tatham, Martin 15
-- Watson, Howard 12
-- Whitley, Tim 8
-- Willetts, Helen 24
- Openreach 6, 7, 14, 15, 20, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

C

Cambridge University 8
Carillion 9
Channel 4 15, 21, 23
Cisco Systems, Inc. 30
CK Hutchison 19
- Three Group
-- Three UK 19, 22
Colt Technology Services 10
Communications Workers Union 40
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) 36
Credit Suisse 30

D

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS, UK)
- Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 37, 38, 39
- Hancock, Matt 38
Deutsche Telekom 7
Digital Britain 35, 38
Dolby Laboratories, Inc. 24
DTV Services
- Freeview 21

E

Enarpee Services 22
Ericsson 13, 14
Ernst & Young 14
European Union 7, 10, 32
- European Court of Justice 27
EXFO 13

F

Facebook 8, 11
Financial Reporting Council 9
Fortinet 33
Fujitsu 9

G

Google 9, 23, 30, 33

H

Hewlett Packard Enterprise 30
Home Office (UK) 25, 26
House of Commons
- Public Accounts Committee 25
HP Inc 9, 15, 30
HSBC 24
Huawei
- Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre 44
Huawei Technologies 9, 10, 31, 43, 44
- Neul 44

I

IAS 19 6
IBM 9, 15, 30
Infosys 13
Intel 9, 31
ITV 15, 21

K

KDDI Group 13
Kingston Communications (KCOM) 14
KPMG 9

L

Liberty Global
- Virgin Media 14, 36
Linux 13
Lockheed Martin 9

M

Meetic
- Match.com 33
Microsoft 9, 30
Morgan Stanley 9
Motorola 26
Motorola Solutions
- Airwave 25, 26

N

NEC 9
- Netcracker 13
Nokia 9, 24, 43
NTT 9, 13

O

Ofcom 7, 12, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42
- Strategic Review of the Telecoms Sector 38, 42
Omnicom Group
- Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 23
Oracle 30
Orange 12, 13

P

PCCW 10
Pricewaterhouse Coopers 9

R

Raytheon 9
Royal KPN 9

S

SK Telecom 9
SSE plc 19
- SSE Enteprise Telecoms 19
Standard and Poor's 7
Strategic Review of the Digital Communications Market 42
Superfast Cymru 40
Symantec 33

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 14, 15
Tech City 18
Tech Mahindra 13, 15
Technology
- 2G 12, 25
- 3D 24
- 3G 12
- 4K (Ultra HD TV) 13
- 5G 12, 13, 18, 19, 24, 35, 36, 37, 38
- ADSL 22
- Blockchain 10
- Broadband 7, 18, 20, 21, 22, 26, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40
- Fibre 7, 8, 19, 20, 21, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43
-- Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) 21, 22, 37, 39
-- Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) 20, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43
- G.fast 20, 22, 37, 43
- IP 6, 8, 22, 27
- mmWave 36
- OTT 21
- PSTN 12
- Quantum key distribution 8, 9
- Quantum Key Distribution 8
- VoD 21
- Wi-Fi 12, 14, 20, 27, 31, 38
Telecom Infra Project 8
Telecom Italia SpA 13
Telefónica 9, 10, 11, 19
- O2 UK 19
Telenor 13
Telstra 10
TM Forum 11, 12, 13, 32
Toshiba 8, 9
- Toshiba Research Europe 8

U

University of Cambridge 8

V

Verizon Communications 13
Viacom
- Channel 5 15
Vivendi 31
Vodafone 11, 12, 13, 26, 30, 31
- UK 26

W

Welsh Assembly 40
Wipro Ltd 13

Y

YouView 15, 21
- Halton, Richard 15

Z

ZTE 31

In what it anticipates to be a UK-first, EE is to activate a live 5G trial network in London’s Tech City during October 2018 through the upgrade of ten of its sites in East London.

The trial is being conducted in preparation for BT’s planned debut of the technology in late-2019 (BTwatch, #296), and is expected to deliver live mobile data speeds in excess of 1Gbps.

EE said it will use social media channels “in the coming weeks” to find participants for the 5G trial, comprising five small businesses and five homes, which will use prototype 5G broadband devices as part of the pilot.

At its recent results presentation, BT confirmed plans to launch 5G services within 18 months, putting a late-2019 debut on the cards (BTwatch, #296). The first iteration of 5G-branded services will not involve the more transformational elements of the new standard, with BT planning to offer enhanced mobile broadband as a first step.

In November 2017, EE trumpeted a successful demonstration of an end-to-end 5G test network at its UK labs, working in conjunction with vendor Huawei, recording download speeds of 2.8Gbps and sub-5 millisecond latency under laboratory conditions (BTwatch, #290)

BT defends early 5G launch plans

While BT was talking up its progress on 5G implementation, it was also forced to defend its plans to launch services by end-2019 (BTwatch, #296), and refuted other operators’ assertions that releases made prior to 2020 will be a watered-down, “5G Lite”, version of the technology.

Rivals have criticised EE’s focus on using emerging 5G standards to provide a boost to mobile data capacity, claiming that ‘true’ 5G services will not be available until standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) finalises Release 16, which will enable full-blown, standalone 5G services and is scheduled for finalisation in December 2019.

EE responded to the criticism with claims that it expects 5G to evolve, and insisting that this is the usual course of events for new network technologies.

“4G also evolved from launch to where we are now – we launched with 10MHz of spectrum, and now many of our sites have 65MHz live. All generations of mobile technology evolve from launch – there’s nothing different about 5G in that respect, and there’s no need for confusing terms like ‘5G Lite’. We’ve always been clear to our technical audience that we’re launching with non-standalone 5G, based on 3GPP Release 15 Option 3. And we’ll be very clear with customers about the capabilities of our 5G at launch, and as we introduce new features that enable new experiences.” – EE.

In an interview with industry publication Total Telecom, Marc Allera, Chief Executive (CEO) of Consumer, was disparaging of the criticism, and said, “to be honest, I don’t know what they mean by that – it’s either 5G or it’s not 5G; there is no such thing as ‘5G Lite’”.

“I know what we mean by 5G – we mean getting the equipment out there, getting the spectrum out there, and getting the devices out there. With the experience we have of successfully launching 4G, we know that we are not going to be able to roll out 5G across the whole country on day one… There is twelve-18 months to go and there are still a lot of unknowns, particularly the devices. However, some of the big unknowns are no longer unknown. In terms of spectrum, you can now tick that box. The equipment vendors are obviously working very hard with everyone.” – Allera.

Meanwhile, rivals, including Telefónica UK (O2 UK) and Three UK, were vocal in their criticism of the non-standalone 5G services EE is planning to launch.

“Any UK operator launching ‘5G’ before 2020 would be using a ‘lite’ version of 5G. Everyone in the world (including O2 in the UK) is expected to deploy 5G using a ‘non-standalone’ architecture to start with, but it’s the ‘standalone’ version which comes after that will offer the complete 5G experience. Effectively, this means that a 5G launch before 2020 will lack certain capabilities (e.g. super low latency, vehicle communications for autonomous driving, enhanced security).” – O2 UK.

CK Hutchison-owned Three UK referred to EE’s plans as “nothing more than a PR exercise”, as the operator’s Chief Executive Dave Dyson outlined plans for a 5G launch in 2020.

While BT is pressing ahead with its 5G testbed this year, rival operator Three UK will be conducting 5G equipment testing during the first half of 2019, alongside a network overhaul replacing its signalling equipment across the UK. Emerging UK fibre player SSE Enterprise Telecoms (BTwatch, #287 and passim) is to prepare Three UK’s network core for 5G across 20 data centres, in a project that began in April 2018 as part of a “multi-million pound phased” agreement, which will also see SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Three UK unbundle BT exchanges in the coming years.

Image: Dave Reed / Unsplash

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