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

  • BT’s AI strategy is to augment human expertise and experience with data analytics technology.
  • A quantum future, and threat, being prepared for at BT.
  • IoT security at risk of repeating past mistakes.

At the end of September 2018, Ben Azvine, Global Head of Security Research and Innovation at BT, gave a presentation, Future challenges and opportunities in cyber defence, at a Cambridge Wireless conference. While Azvine highlighted the current ongoing escalation of risks already apparent in the cybersecurity arena and the way in which these need to be addressed (BTwatch, #299), he also discussed likely evolution in the security sphere and the associated opportunities and threats.

Quantum akin to a nuclear arms race

Azvine said quantum computing will be key in future cybersecurity, enabling engineers and scientists to design new equipment at unprecedented speed. However, quantum computing presents a big threat too — if “the bad guys” acquire quantum capabilities “they could break 99% of the encryption we use today on our network”.

Estimates for a significant breakthrough in quantum computers vary wildly, from ten years to approaching fifty, but BT is participating in the race, building algorithms and mechanisms so that its networks will be prepared to address the threat.

In the summer, BT and partners announced the construction of the UK’s “first” quantum-secured, high-speed fibre network between BT Labs in Adastral Park and Cambridge University (see BTwatch #297).

IoT another Pandora’s Box

Azvine also described Internet of Things (IoT) as a huge opportunity and a challenge, and said that many people are making elementary mistakes similar to those made in the early days of IT; for instance, no patching and passwords that are hard‑coded into systems and easily accessible and hackable. Although a huge amount of work is underway on security for IoT, Azvine said in his view, it is not enough.

It is worth noting that in spring, BT Security announced it will play a “key advisory role” in the development of the UK government’s draft Code of Practice to introduce new cybersecurity and compliance measures to improve the security of IoT devices, as part of the state’s five-year, £1.9bn security initiative (see BTwatch #294).

AI to the rescue?

Azvine outlined how artificial intelligence (AI) will merit close consideration from a security perspective.

On the negative side, there is again the risk of the weaponising of the technology by bad actors. There is a further risk that the data pool AI is drawing from could be poisoned or tampered with, resulting in AI systems being trained to generate unwanted responses such as an autonomous car not recognising important road signs. Greater use of data analytics for AI also brings questions relating to user privacy, and the protection of data protection rights.

More positively, though, AI could be a powerful tool in detecting and predicting attacks.

Cognitive AI to merge with human mind for the bigger picture

Azvine said that over the last eight years, BT has been among a group of companies putting massive efforts into investigating how to use AI in cyberdefence systems, to protect against and predict attacks.

A clear finding of this work has been that AI will still need to be paired with human intelligence, and Azvine suggested that instead of fully automating processes, tools should be developed to augment and integrate the respective strengths of humans and machines. To facilitate human interaction with AI machines, BT is focusing on interactive visual analytics. Through this approach, people should be able to extract salient information from volumes of data to address threats using a range of visual techniques.

AI‑based systems (Azvine identified programmes called Saturn, Nexus and Tardis) are said to visually represent data in a way that spotlights irregularities based on what they have learned to recognise as normal behaviour. The human analyst is then able to consider unusual behaviour and investigate further drawing on their own knowledge and experience. “Our strategy is for human knowledge to drive the machine-based system and teach it,” said Azvine.

Another key element of the AI development is the creation of interactive systems that people without a data science or similar background can use to make decisions.

“We want devices that you can connect to an ordinary computer and manipulate with your fingers, and to have groups of people collaborating on interactive AI systems to identify anomalies. ” Azvine.

Virtual operations centres planned for speed and efficiency

Azvine outlined BT’s international security capabilities, noting it has 16 operations centres around the world from which it can launch investigations on issues anywhere on its global network.

However, this set‑up is expensive to configure and operate, and the telco is looking at using AI and virtual reality to create more flexible and responsive virtual ‘war rooms’ that can be established and staffed with appropriate expertise and capabilities quickly. These can be set up in minutes and access information from anywhere in the world, pulling in expertise for an investigation. The costs for working this way are much lower and the virtual war room can be shut down as soon as the investigation is over.

Image: Kevin Tadema / Unsplash

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