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

  • DCMS, Ofcom and Openreach issue coordinated proposals on driving UK fibre adoption as the government pushes for extensive ‘full-fibre’ availability by 2025.
  • Prospect of deregulation in more markets for BT, but wider duct and pole access could please rival fibre altnets.
  • New Openreach volume-based fibre pricing to cause revenue hit, but could boost Consumer.

In what appeared a choreographed routine, BT, the government, and regulator Ofcom issued a series of commitments, promises and aspirations that collectively suggest there is a clear renewed effort building to overhaul the UK’s communications infrastructure, and the rules and regulations that govern it.

In late-July 2018, in the days before BTwatch went to press, a series of strategic announcements from the three players were released. In chronological order:

  1. On 23 July 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) released its policy paper the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR).
  2. Before markets opened on 24 July 2018, Ofcom followed up with its own policy position paper Regulatory certainty to support investment in full-fibre broadband.
  3. Within ten minutes of the Ofcom announcement, BT and Openreach unveiled new volume-based price cuts for communications providers taking up full and partial-fibre services.

This flurry of announcements followed earlier recommendations made to the government on the UK’s digital future by the National Infrastructure Commission in early-July 2018, which had called for a national broadband plan to be in place by the end of 2018, and a strategy to reach a fully fibre-based infrastructure by 2033. The DCMS plan is also driven by government ambitions to play catch-up with European peers on full-fibre penetration, and make fibre-to-the-premises available to half the country by 2025.

The review papers, research documents and product propositions collectively provide a basis for determining the probable path, and prospects of success for the refresh of the UK communications infrastructure, and these will be further analysed in future issues of BTwatch, particularly in relation to significance for 5G development and network convergence. Set out below, are the key goals and early talking points.

Government aims for invigorated competition in a more open market

The FTIR is intended to provide the basis for government policy and is expected to be supported by legislation in a number of areas. The government is also using the review document to compile a Statement of Strategic Priorities that will be passed on to Ofcom as it develops its new regulatory approach.

Key proposals highlighted in the initial FTIR document are:

  • Comprehensive and unrestricted opening up of access to Openreach’s physical infrastructure to rivals targeting both the business and consumer sectors.
  • Increased rights of entry and access for operators to install networks in leased or rented property (residential or commercial). The government is also taking steps to open up its own property estate to improve mobile coverage, and will require utilities such as energy and water suppliers to open their infrastructure to communications providers. It further intends to standardise rules around streetworks to facilitate network rollout while minimising disruption.
  • Regulatory reform including recognising levels of competition on a geographic level, and providing a longer-term view of regulatory conditions for investors.
  • Co-ordinated and complete switch from copper to fibre, managed by Ofcom.
  • Legislation to be introduced in the near-term that would obligate developers to offer full fibre in all new building developments.
  • Simultaneous publicly-funded investment in fibre for remote areas, running alongside commercial deployments.
  • Opening up more spectrum for 5G deployment. 700MHz spectrum is expected to provide widespread coverage, with higher bands deployed in built-up areas, and mmWave technology also recognised as contributing to network development.

While reserving the right to change its mind on closer inspection, BT broadly welcomed the publication of the government paper, describing it as “the right ambition, with the right focus on driving commercial investment through both competition and regulatory reform”.

For the rest of this article, including further details and analysis, see the full July release of BTwatch.

Image: BT

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