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 held the Wave 2 Final for new recruits to its Telecom Infra Project- (TIP) affiliated UK Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC) at BT Tower in London, in October 2018.

The format was similar to the previous year’s inaugural Wave 1 event (BTwatch, #289), with alumni KETS Quantum Security returning to share learnings. The event was capped the following week by the annual TIP Forum ’18 (see separate report), this year also in London.

KETS was effusive in its appreciation of BT, the UK TEAC and TIP, claiming they had hugely raised the startup’s visibility, opened many doors, that BT has been incredibly open, and learning has been two-way. Its advice to new entrants was simply to ‘work hard’ to make the most of the opportunities.

While not as well-attended (or publicised) as 2017, the shortlist of six startups was arguably better attuned to BT, with the judging also seeming stronger (or perhaps just better prepared). Last year, the winners were all smaller startups from the UK (while others with global hyper-growth ambition perhaps ill-fitted). The latest finalists were all small, though only two domestic.

The audience included fellow TEAC hosts (Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Orange in France, and SK Telecom in South Korea), analysts, customers, and other interested parties. The judging panel was majority BT, supplemented by Facebook and TIP.

Although TEACs are ostensibly extensions of TIP and its global vision, in reality they feel more like affiliates of their host telco, in terms of both shortlisting and selection. In London, BT seemingly both selected the candidates and set this year’s focus on rural mobility and intent-based networks.

BT’s Telecom Infra Project UK Ecosystem Acceleration Centre judges, 2018

Judge Organisation Role
Axel Clauberg TIP Chairman (also VP, IP & E2E Infrastructure Cloud, DT; Wave 1 judge in 2017).
Paul Crane BT Director of Converged Network Research.
Jean-Marc Frangos BT Managing Director, External Innovation.
Mark Henry BT Director of Technology & Business Strategy.
Andy Jones TIP Consultant (ex-Vodafone).
Min-Sik Jun Facebook Network Infrastructure Sourcing.
Nazirali Rajvani EE Head of Network Solution Architecture.

Source: BTwatch.

‘Strange guy’ from California briefs on new networking world

Self-described ‘strange guy’ Jean-Marc Frangos took the reins this year (2017’s Mansoor Hanif has moved on to become CTO at regulator Ofcom, though he was a guest this year and later a speaker at TIP Summit ’18).

Frangos is BT’s Managing Director for Innovation with oversight including technology scouting. He positioned BT as inventor and pioneer (see also the separate BTwatch #300 timeline), as well as ‘distributor’, highlighting G.fast and quantum computing as recent areas of R&D leadership.

He recognised that Silicon Valley is currently obsessed with fields such as artificial intelligence, and that networking technology may not have been ‘cool’ since the photonics boom (and bust) nearly twenty years ago. However, he also spoke of a potential resurgence for networking, tying in with topology that is now changing the most since the optical heyday (but this time cloud-led) and the advent of the ‘exabyte era’. He made the point, though, that ‘software is eating the world, and is having networks for breakfast’, and acknowledged that not everyone is comfortable with the shift away from single-purpose hardware to a world where software is becoming central and driving innovation.

Frangos described this Wave’s rural mobility and intent-based networking focus as being ‘super-hard’ things to do, rather than just apparently random choices:

  1. For rural mobility, he emphasised the importance of frugality as well as performance (e.g. radio and software efficiency).
  2. While ‘AI’ is the buzzword for intent-based networking, Frangos also framed it around ‘zero-touch’ (including self-configuring/healing) translation of customer intent (internal as well as external, including network planners and designers) to network configuration without coding, manual intervention or human error, and with feedback loop. He sees all telcos pursuing this as fast as they can, and with future operating costs highly dependent on this technology.

Rural mobility is an ongoing challenge for BT, with the operator recognising the need for rural solutions to enable it to offer ubiquitous coverage, while also struggling to identify cost-effective ways to provide coverage in areas that may never be economically viable in their own right. The conundrum was one of the reasons why the telco joined with Facebook in the Open Compute Project initially, followed by TIP (BTwatch, #274, #284).

BT is also providing the network underpinning the Cisco-fronted RuralFirst project, which forms part of a UK government-backed 5G research programme (BTwatch, #295), and which is linked to TIP’s OpenCellular research (see above).

TEAC UK Wave 2 shortlist and winners 2018

Outcome Startup, Location (Founded)  Focus
Augtera Networks, San Francisco (2017)         
  • Highly-automated, operator and user intent- and AI-based adaptive, self-healing network, drawing on next-generation telemetry.
  • Observed that applying machine-learning to networks is remarkably difficult, with minimal related research.
  • Two years’ funding from Bain Capital.
  • Bloomberg a client of 18 months.
Winner Tethir, London (2017)
  • Wireless backhaul.
  • Use cases: bringing internet to trains, and building connectivity.
  • Patent imminent.
EINO, New York (2018)
  • Network automation with predictive, contextualised optimisation.
  • Differentiation: leveraging a curated set of external data.
Winner Accelleran, Antwerp (2013)
  • Small cells to densify network.
  • Claimed differentiators are very high-quality software, and openness (escape vendor lock-in).
Special Prize Jāṅgala, London
  • Humanitarian emergency internet access solutions, to deliver effective connectivity to displaced people.
  • Seeking help to make system more flexible — aiming to make as modular and self-configuring as possible (the operational environment can massively vary in terms of available connectivity, users, etc.).
  • Registered charity of which BT appears to be a corporate supporter and operational partner.
Fairwaves, Boston (2011)
  • Open-source, software-defined radio. Running on generic hardware.
  • Mission: lower cost of small cells.
  • Partners locally to complete solutions, e.g. power, tower, backhaul.
  • TIP participant. Vodafone trialling in Africa. Profitable.
  • Claims 80% reduction in capex/opex (comparison: Chinese vendor).

Source: Market Mettle; companies.

BT and TIP/Facebook: not quite joined at the hip

As at the 2017 event, TIP-frontrunner Facebook was very visible, including on the judging panel, on stage (Steve Jarrett, EMEA Head of Connectivity Programs), and in the audience (TIP is also headquartered in London).

With regard to TIP and Facebook, BT’s Frangos assured that it is not the ‘only way’, but he was also clear that TIP is now an important part of BT’s mix, with close alignment, including around disaggregation.

Axel Clauberg (TIP Chairman and a Deutsche Telekom Vice-President) placed TIP in the context of a telco environment where traditional services are shrinking, and the future business model for 5G is not yet understood and is causing “strange pain in the CFOs stomach” (put simply, ‘who’s paying?’). From his view, MNOs drove innovation in the 1980s, and worked together in the 1990s, but are now influenced by hyperscalers.

Echoing previous statements, which were to be amplified in subsequent comments at TIP Summit ’18, Clauberg (a Cisco veteran) was careful not to crucify incumbent suppliers, saying that the problem is not that telcos “don’t get enough from traditional vendors… [but that they] need more”.

International TEAC community grows

BT and SK Telecom are the first operators to confirm second waves of TEAC entrants, though there were hints that BT’s preparations may have been last minute, with the formal call for entries close to the deadline. SK Telecom’s Wave 2 was also lower-key than 2017, and possibly less ambitious.

Notably early frontrunner Orange does not appear to have a 2018 TEAC France cohort. The French operator was also a notably muted presence at TIP Summit ’18 where its European Big-5 peers made a concerted pitch for more earnest development cooperation.

Telecom Infra Project Ecosystem Acceleration Centre cohorts, 2017-18

Wave TEAC Startup Location Focus
October 2018 UK Wave 2 (BT) Accelleran Antwerp Small cell network densification.
Tethir London Wireless backhaul.
September 2018 South Korea Wave 2 (SK Telecom) AirHop San Diego Network automation and optimisation.
DevStack Daejeon OpenStack-based customised cloud environments.
Network Defines Seoul Peer-to-peer networks and blockchain.
April 2018 Germany (DT) Airrays Dresden Smart, MIMO antennas.
BISDN Berlin Open NFV architecture.
Imec-incubated Belgium Open, active phased-array antenna technology.
September 2017 UK Wave 1 (BT) KETS Quantum Bristol Quantum security hardware.
Unmanned Life London Autonomy-as-a-service, e.g. drones.
Zeetta Networks Bristol Open networking platform.
September 2017 South Korea Wave 1 (SK Telecom) KulCloud Seongnam-si Open 5G packet fronthaul capabilities.
Optella Irvine 5G wireless optical network solution.
Transcelestial Singapore Fast, capacious laser communication utilising nano satellites.
June 2017 France (Orange) Adipsys Valbonne Cloud Wi-Fi management.
Amarisoft Paris Open LTE software stack.
Athonet Vicenza LTE cloud software.
Horizon Computing Rocquencourt Data centre open hardware components.

Source: Market Mettle; companies.

For more on this story, including full coverage of BT’s presence at TIP Summit ’18, see the full November issue of BTwatch. Further coverage of TIP is also in Telefónicawatch #130 and Deutsche Telekomwatch #77.

Image: Market Mettle

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