BTwatch
This release
: #300
November 2018: 106pp
Releases/year: 10+
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Executive brief

Group

Management Update: New CEO Jansen completes BT’s tough trinity [p.6]

  • du Plessis welcome highlights Jansen qualities
  • New triumvirate may sweep away old BT
  • Key appointment for BT Board

H1FY18‑19 results: Patterson reports progress as he edges towards door [p.11]

  • Financials: cost‑cutting puts a positive spin on ongoing shrinking
  • Investment rising, with ESN peaked
  • Lowth promotes stability, while pension still looks rocky
  • Table: Divisional round‑up
  • FT hints at BT‑DT deal on the QT, but BT down the list of DT global domination plans…

Acquisitions and disposals: Stemmer offloaded to Bechtle in Germany [p.18]

  • Italian asset sale could be moving closer

Regulatory: Ross calls for outcomes focus in new world of regulation [p.20]

Table: People movements [p.22]

BTwatch #300

BTwatch 300: Change is a constant [p.26]

  • Timeline: A brief history of BT

BT TSO

Networks: Wind River flags trials on the edge with BT [p.34]

  • BT collaborating widely on edge development

Up close and personal — insight into BT’s run-up to 5G [p.38]

  • Automation improving service now, and a foundation for future
  • Traditional metrics no longer fit for purpose
  • Three transformation goals backing four use cases, ultimately enabling 5G
  • Technology change needs cultural change
  • Ericsson already ensconced in intelligence drive

Partners: BT–Juniper Innovation Day [p.42]

  • Twenty years on: Juniper envisions Networking 3.0
  • Juniper positions itself to help operators pivot
  • Networking 3.0: hyperscale NGN
  • Cultural change and keeping people on board
  • BT’s advantage in driving the 5G network to the edge

Suppliers: Group adopts WeDo assurances on EE success [p.49]

  • BT spreading assurance work around

Telecom Infra Project: BT embraces TIP as faithful gather in London [p.51]

  • Smaller vendors cleaning up in a vacuum
  • Watson on vRAN, and the spirit of innovative co‑operation
  • Sutton advocates commodification, but recognises perils
  • TEAC UK class of 2018: BT focuses on rural and intent
  • Table: Telecom Infra Project Ecosystem Acceleration Centre cohorts, 2017–18

Consumer

5G: Cities named as EE switches on first UK 5G live trial [p.64]

  • Docklands 5G show
  • Gritty East End reality follows
  • Dense urban locations to see first 5G benefits
  • Table: EE’s planned 5G locations for 2019
  • Three UK accelerates to launch 5G in 2019

ESN: Airwave gets three more years, but ESN to launch in 2019 [p.69]

  • EE keeps own counsel as new deal evolves
  • ESN to arrive with baby steps not a big bang
  • Kodiak to have its moment
  • PAC keeping up the pressure

TV: BT and Sky deepen content-supply deal in UK and Ireland [p.74]

  • EE in talks to offer customised Apple TV STBs

Enterprise

InLinkUK: WCC deals the latest obstacle to InLink rollout [p.78]

  • New York City underlines InLink potential

Media: BT extends next-gen OB network beyond Premier League [p.81]

  • 5G developments to boost mobile broadcasting

Partners: BT Enterprise toys with VR learning [p.83]

Global Services

Dynamic Network Services: Google Cloud trumpeted as BT Connect partner [p.85]

  • Global Services to offer Riverbed’s visibility-as-a-service

BT Security: BT anticipates AI and quantum security with a human touch [p.88]

  • Quantum akin to a nuclear arms race
  • IoT another Pandora’s Box
  • Cognitive AI to merge with human mind for the bigger picture

Openreach

Management update: McTighe cosies up to Sky; echoes Virgin as common enemy [p.92]

  • Openreach’s new pals may cause tension at home

Fibre: Openreach steps up race to connect new homes [p.98]

  • Pressure from rivals with CityFibre on the rise

Further reading

Index

Symbols

6WIND 35
21st Century Fox
- Sky
-- NOW TV 74

A

Accelleran 35, 52, 55, 61
Accenture 52
Activ Financial 87
ADVA Optical Networking 35, 52, 54
Akamai 35
Amarisoft 55, 62
Amazon 35, 76, 85
- Amazon Web Services 35, 85
Apple 10, 44, 76, 102
- Apple Music 44
- iPhone 10
Arqiva 78
Artesian Solutions 80, 102
Athonet 34, 35, 62, 101
AT&T 45, 71, 76
Autonomy 62

B

Bain Capital 8, 61
Bechtle Group 18, 19
- Stemmer 18, 19, 101
Bell Canada 55
Berenberg 9
Bharti Group
- Bharti Airtel 52, 55
BlackBerry 23
BMV Group 87
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 13, 96
BT Group 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 34, 36, 38, 49, 51, 54, 65, 82, 92, 97, 100, 101
- Asia
-- Tech Mahindra 52
- BT Consumer 10, 11, 22, 26, 65, 68, 74, 76, 93
-- BT Cloud 85
-- BT TV 74
- BT Enterprise
-- BT Business & Public Sector 23
-- BT Fleet 17, 22
-- BT Ireland 23, 79, 102
-- BT Local Business 80, 102
-- BT Media & Broadcast 81, 82, 102
-- BT Northern Ireland 23
-- BT Wholesale & Ventures 23
-- InLinkUK 78, 79, 102
- BT Global Services 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 22, 23, 26, 36, 84, 85, 86, 87, 103
-- BT Americas 23
-- BT Connect 85, 86, 87
-- BT Federal 23
-- BT Germany 18
-- BT Italia 8, 18, 19, 101
-- BT Radianz 87
-- BT Security 23, 88, 89, 103
- BT Retail 23
- BT Technology, Service and Operations 33, 101
-- 21CN 66
-- Adastral Park 42, 43, 88, 97
-- Azure 85
-- Brightstar 36
- BT Tower 59
- Directors
-- du Plessis, Jan 7, 11
-- Hoettges, Timotheus 17
-- McTighe, Mike 92
-- Rake, Sir Michael 7
- EE 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 22, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 49, 60, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 76, 82, 102
-- Emergency Services Network 13, 69, 102
- Enterprise
-- BT Cables 17
- Executives
-- Ainger, Chris 82
-- Ali, Farhan 23
-- Allera, Marc 12, 14, 65, 76
-- Artley, Jennifer 23
-- Azvine, Ben 88
-- Black, Jim 22
-- Black, Kev 22
-- Burger, Bas 18
-- Canham, Rachel 22
-- Chalmers, Sabine 22
-- Cheung, Kwok 23
-- Crane, Paul 60
-- Cuevas, Maria 35
-- Dick, Brendan 23
-- Dunn, Jon 23
-- Foster, Alexandra 23
-- Frangos, Jean-Marc 60
-- Gasson, Kim 83
-- Guest, Richard 22
-- Higham, Rachel 36
-- Jansen, Philip 16, 23
-- Jones, Gavin 82
-- Karonis, Fortis 65
-- Key, Matthew 10, 101
-- Lancaster, Sharon 22
-- Lowth, Simon 7, 13, 15
-- Marquis, Simone 22
-- McCall, Greg 65
-- McQuade, Gerry 12, 14, 23
-- McRae, Neil 42
-- Meyer, Mairead 23
-- Mitchell, Andrew 23
-- Patterson, Gavin 6, 7, 11
-- Risse, Nadja 23
-- Ross, Cathryn 20, 101
-- Salam, David 38
-- Selley, Clive 7, 15, 93, 100
-- Sinha, Priya 22
-- Sloman, Carla 23
-- Sutherland, Graham 23
-- Sutton, Neil 85, 87
-- Ward, Conor 22
-- Watson, Howard 7, 36, 51, 52, 56, 65
-- Wellen, Tony 23
-- Whale, Andy 95
-- Woodend, Roger 23
- Ex-executives
-- Fitz, Daniel 22
-- Hanif, Mansoor 60
-- Hughes, Mark 23
-- Timmons, Emer 36
-- Varley, Wray 23
- Openreach 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 26, 67, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 103

C

Cambridge University 88
Centrica 22
Channel 4 76
Ciena 54
Cisco Systems, Inc. 52, 54, 60, 61, 87
CityFibre 99, 103
CK Hutchison 36, 67
- Three Group
-- Three UK 36, 67, 102
Comcast 93
Conservative Party (UK) 100
Credit Suisse 19

D

Deloitte 52, 55
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS, UK)
- Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 11, 13, 15
- Hancock, Matt 100
Deutsche Telekom 16, 51, 52, 55, 59, 60, 61, 62, 101
- Magyar Telekom Nyrt 54
- T-Mobile 38
Digital Britain 98, 100, 103

E

Eir 75, 102
Ericsson 38, 41
European Broadcasting Union (EBU / Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision / UER) 82
European Union
European Commission 24

F

Facebook 51, 53, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61
- OpenCellular 53
- Open Compute Project 60
Financial Times 16
Football Association
- Premier League 75, 81, 82, 102
Francis Crick Institute 22, 23

G

Gigaclear 99
Goldman Sachs 99
Google 85, 103
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, UK) 36
GTT 87
- Interoute 87

H

Hewlett Packard Enterprise 54
High Court 13, 14
Home Office (UK) 69, 70, 71, 72, 102
House of Commons
- Public Accounts Committee 70, 71, 72, 102
HP Inc 54
Huawei Technologies 35, 36, 64, 65, 100
Hyperoptic 99

I

IBM 85
Infinera 54
InfoVista 85
Institute of Economic Affairs 20
Intel 52, 54, 55
IPS Institute 72, 102

J

Juniper Networks 42, 47, 48

K

KETS Quantum 59, 62
Kingston Communications (KCOM) 23, 99

L

Liberty Global
- Virgin Media 7, 68, 78, 92, 93, 99, 102
- Virgin Media Business 78
Lime Microsystems 52, 54
Lloyds Banking Group 13, 22
Lumina Networks 35

M

M&G Prudential 99
Microsoft 34, 85
Ministry of Defence (MoD) 89
Motorola 69, 70, 71, 102
Motorola Solutions
- Airwave 69, 70, 71, 72, 102
- Kodiak 69, 71

N

National Audit Office 71, 102
Netflix 76
Nokia 52, 55, 83, 87
- Nuage Networks 87
NTT 52, 54

O

Ofcom 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 60, 68, 72, 95, 97, 100, 101, 102, 103
- PPC 24
- Price controls 24
- USO 20
Oracle 85
Orange 17, 38, 54, 55, 59, 62

P

Pace Micro Technology 93
Parallel Wireless 35, 52, 55
PHAZR 35
Phluido 55
Pirelli 95
Procter & Gamble 7
Prysmian 94, 95, 103
Pure Telecom 79, 102

R

RAVN Systems 50
Retelit 19, 101
Riverbed Technology 85, 86, 87, 103
Royal KPN 17

S

Salesforce 80, 85
Samsung 10
Scottish Football Association
- Scottish Premier League 82
SecureCloud+ 89
SK Telecom 52, 55, 59, 62
Spirent 35
Subex 50

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 68, 99
Tech Mahindra 52
Telecom Infra Project 35, 51, 59, 60, 61, 62, 101
- OpenCellular 53
- TEAC 52, 59, 61, 62
Telecom Italia SpA 52, 55
Telefónica 10, 36, 51, 54, 55, 78
- O2 UK 10
- Telefónica Europe 10
TeliaSonera AB 17
Telstra 55
Transport for London
- London Underground 71
Twitter 38

U

UEFA
- Champions League 82
United Nations 19
Unmanned Life 62

V

Vela 87
Verizon Communications 76
Visa 101
Vodafone 12, 21, 23, 51, 54, 55, 60, 61, 68, 72, 99
- UK 68, 72
VRtuoso 83, 102
VXFIBER 99

W

WeDo Technologies 49, 101
Wind River 34, 35, 101
World Communication Awards (WCA) 36

Y

YouView 76

Z

Zeetta Networks 62
ZTE 36

  • Industry entering new phase of programmability. Mindset shift needed, alongside technology change.
  • BT Chief Architect seeks ‘touch-of-a-button’ network control.
  • With operators’ rising network demands, Juniper sees vision of open and automated networks is only route forward.
  • McRae notes need for flexibility in an age where Fortnites can spring from nowhere.

Neil McRae, BT’s Chief Architect (and Managing Director for Network and IT Infrastructure), hosted an Innovation Day with Juniper Networks at Adastral Park in October 2018, themed around ‘Automating and Securing the Network’.

Attendance was sizeable and varied, including operational as well as R&D representatives, and not just locals and network specialists. Many were particularly keen to learn about capabilities and implications of next-generation programmable networks.

The headliners were McRae himself and Manoj Leelanivas (Juniper’s Chief Product Officer), who have known each other for around 20 years.

Thanks to its impact, the Innovation Day may now become an ongoing series, with McRae throwing down the gauntlet to other major suppliers to “help us [BT] work through [how] to deliver for our customers”.

Juniper positions itself to help operators pivot

Co-host Erol Bucukoglu, who leads Juniper’s BT customer team, put his company in context as data-infrastructure pioneer — with network automation, agility, and security at its heart. ‘Open’ is another byword, including Juniper’s explicit embrace of disaggregated multi-vendor infrastructure, and its role as trusted envoy bridging operators with the increasingly-important open networking communities.

Further drawing on its roots, Juniper pitches itself as a technology conduit between hyperscalers (the goliaths of the internet, and recent networking innovators) and operators. This is critical to Juniper’s vision for ‘Networking 3.0’ (mapped out by Leelanivas — see below), which draws proudly on the breakthroughs made with the hyperscalers, and in doing so offers the promise of solutions to operators’ toughest demands and even existential threats.

  • M40: memory lane — serendipitously, 2018 is the twentieth anniversary of the M40, Juniper’s ground-breaking internet router. This was the first to decouple network control and forwarding planes, a development credited with enabling the internet to scale. Possibly apocryphally, the very first M40 was said to have been deployed by BT itself, within its Futures Testbed at Adastral Park under Tony Dann (currently BT’s Head of Architecture Validation).

Networking 3.0: hyperscale NGN

Juniper’s Chief Product Officer Manoj Leelanivas provided a provoking tour of networking past, present and future, mapping it across three distinct chapters (or eras):

  • Networking 1.0 — the past era of God-Boxes.
  • Networking 2.0 — the present, as hallmarked by Scale-Out.
  • Networking 3.0 — the dawning age of Fungibility.

He did not say it, but it is easy to see Juniper with its internet routers as one of the harbingers of Networking 2.0, and now of Networking 3.0.

Diplomatically, neither did he precisely pinpoint operators’ current Networking location or trajectory, but it was clear that Juniper believes they need to accelerate their passage through Networking 2.0 and beyond. However, he did note that, even after considerable recent activity, it still takes AT&T days to ‘stand-up’ a new server, compared to just seconds for a hyperscaler.

Networking 1.0 (connectivity-led era)

The Networking 1.0 era ran for 20–25 years, peaking around 2005. This was connectivity-led, scale-up, largely-closed, human-operated networking, where complexity was embraced.

According to Leelanivas, this era’s demise was caused by over-engineered complexity.

“We pushed complexity to the limit, where that [Networking 1.0] era began breaking a little bit… and the second [Networking 2.0] era was born. And it wasn’t driven by service providers or operators, it was actually driven by the cloud service providers, the web-scalers, the ‘hyperscalers’. ” — Leelanivas.

Networking 2.0 (scale-out era)

Networking 2.0 is quintessentially about ‘where the internet lives’, marked by a shift from being connectivity- to data-led.

The internet data explosion forced hyperscalers to move away from complex scale-up infrastructure, and to create the simpler scale-out approach.

“If you look at some of the hyperscalers, how they did it, they did it by using two fundamental principles. One is, find the switch, or the router with the highest-possible MTBF [mean time between failures], whether it’s 20 years, 30 years… Don’t try to over-engineer and try to make it a 50-year MTBF solution because it’s very tough to do that. [Two is] find the most reliable, pluggable optics possible — again, don’t try to over-engineer it, because there comes a point where the complexity gives you diminishing returns.

“They looked at these two fundamental things and put it together with a fabric. It’s a simple principle: if you have enough of these, it’s OK to fail once-a-week. If you have enough of those pluggable optics, it’s ok to fail once-a-day, or twice-a-day. You can actually survive that. It makes the assumption that you don’t want to design a five-nines fabric, but you can actually design it through software and get the same fault tolerance aspects. Software makes the system reliable. ” — Leelanivas.

The scale-out approach represents a trade-off between capital and operating expenditure (capex/opex), necessitating that capabilities scale faster than expenditure rises (and without hurting reliability). As Leelanivas put it, network operation is a trade-off between scale, reliability, and efficiency: it is comparatively easy to achieve two of these; but really hard to achieve all three.

Networking 3.0 (applications-led era)

Networking 3.0, the future envisioned by Leelanivas, is applications-led, more open than ever, and cognitive (automated). Emerging examples of applications-led environments include SD-WAN and data centre micro-segmentation.

“Increasingly, there is disaggregation. You cannot do things [isolated] in a completely scalable fashion any more. There are things which need to be put together, where the best-of-breed has to come together in different layers. Sometimes, it needs to be ‘packaged’ together; it all depends how you want to address it… you’ve got to choose what’s right for the application. Again, the mindset has shifted from building from the ground [up] to building from top down. Everything is driven by the application. ” — Leelanivas.

This future will place disparate demands on resources, and will require applications to become more malleable and interchangeable — working across storage, compute, and networking to meet demand. Security will be fundamental at a core level (see later), and connectivity must be reliable and ubiquitous. A disaggregated network model will be crucial to address the complexity of ubiquitous application delivery, evolving the modularised approach used by hyperscalers to manage and orchestrate network resources.

Open standards are also deemed to be essential for Networking 3.0 to become viable, and Juniper is supporting this approach with the aim of bringing together solutions into compelling packages for network providers akin to the approach taken by Red Hat in the compute sphere.

With the application-driven challenges and complexities of this environment, Networking 3.0 will be dependent on developing cognitive capabilities drawing on areas such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning to be capable of operating smoothly and sustainably.

For full coverage of all the speakers at the event, including key themes and takeways, see the November release of BTwatch.

Image: Market Mettle

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