BTwatch
This release
: #301
December 2018: 54pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

Executive brief

Group

Research & Innovation: Watson calls for convergence and collaboration [p.6]

  • McRae talks tough with vendors…
  • … but has positive words for Huawei

Restructuring: Facilities management outsourced in restructuring step [p.10]

Suppliers: BT to remove Huawei from EE core as controversy rumbles [p.12]

  • Tensions rise between UK watchdog and vendor
  • Political pressure builds across the West

People [p.15]

  • Table: People movements

Consumer

5G: EE to use network slicing for football broadcasts in 2019 [p.19]

ESN: Emergency Services Network enters network coverage testing phase [p.20]

  • ESN products revealed to date
  • telent on a roll
  • LinkedIn chat reveals continuing concerns, suggests 5G research could help

Products & Services: Launch of Smart Hub 2 and Complete Wi-Fi for BT Plus customers [p.24]

  • Smart Hub 2 capabilities trumpeted
  • BT still adding gloss to packages

Tarriffs & Pricing: Pressure builds on BT pricing practices [p.27]

  • CMA provides added impetus

Television Services: BT-backed YouView ties with Amazon, VOD 365 [p.29]

Enterprise

Public Sector Contracts: BT cops IT implementation contract with police chiefs [p.31]

  • Northern Ireland provides further good news

INLINKUK [p.32]

Global Services

Cloud Services: BT's cloud disperses [p.35]

Contracts: BT has good SD-WAN chemistry with IXOM [p.36]

BT Security: BT Security plans European surge [p.38]

Openreach

Networks: Forward-focused Openreach tripping up on current capacity problems [p.41]

  • Openreach on the case
  • Openreach trials going slower to speed up

Competitors: Openreach ready for fibre build battle royale [p.44]

  • Brexit raises its head
  • Openreach faces new kid on the block for full-fibre
  • FibreNation in search of street cred
  • Ofcom gets 'flexible' on fibre regs

Further reading

Index

Symbols

21st Century Fox
- Sky
- NOW TV 29
Sky Sports 50

A

ADVA Optical Networking 7
Alphabet
- Google
- YouTube 19
Amazon 28, 29, 35
- Alexa 29
- Amazon Prime 29
- Amazon Web Services 35
Apple 24
Arqiva 29
Aviva 15

B

Betfred 28
BMW 17
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 15, 28, 29
- iPlayer 29
Broadband Forum 6, 19
BT Group 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 27, 45
- Asia
-- Tech Mahindra 9
- BT Consumer 19, 24, 45
-- BT Cloud 35
-- BT Scotland 15
-- BT TV 26
-- Plusnet 24
- BT Enterprise
-- BT Business & Public Sector 15
-- BT Facilities Services 10
-- BT Fleet 17
-- BT Ireland 33
-- BT Wholesale & Ventures 15
-- InLinkUK 32, 50
- BT Global Services 9, 15, 34, 35, 36, 39, 51
-- BT Americas 15
-- BT Global Communications India 9
-- BT Security 15, 38, 39, 51
- BT Pension Scheme 15
-- Spencer, Paul 15
-- Thoresen, Otto 15
- BT Technology, Service and Operations
-- 21CN 12
-- Adastral Park 9, 49
-- Azure 23, 31
- Directors
-- du Plessis, Jan 45
-- Rake, Sir Michael 45
- EE 8, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 50
-- Emergency Services Network 12, 20, 50
- Executives
-- Allera, Marc 19
-- Brown, Kevin 15
-- Burger, Bas 15
-- Chamberlain, Gillian 33
-- Dick, Brendan 15
-- Hindhaugh, Jamie 19
-- McRae, Neil 7, 13
-- Meller, Hila 38
-- Murnaghan, Paul 32
-- Selley, Clive 44, 45
-- Watson, Howard 6, 8, 9
-- Watson, Marc 26
-- Wood, Jane 15
- Ex-executives
-- Galvin, Mike 15
-- Hanif, Mansoor 8
-- Hughes, Mark 15
-- Reynolds, Paul 47
-- Staples, Damien 15
- Openreach 15, 20, 21, 25, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51
Business in the Community 15

C

Capgemini 15
Carillion 21
CBRE Group 10, 49
Cisco Systems, Inc. 7
Citrix 35
CityFibre 44, 47
CK Hutchison
- Three Group
-- Three UK 22
Communications Workers Union 10, 49
Competition and Markets Authority 28
Cushman & Wakefield 16

D

Deloitte 15, 31, 50
Deutsche Telekom 48
DMSL 15

E

ECI 43
Eleven Sports Network 26, 28
Emirates Airline 9
ExCel Arena 19

F

Facebook 28
Football Association
Football League 28

G

Google 35
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, UK) 13

H

Home Office (UK) 20, 21, 23, 50
Huawei
- Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre 13
Huawei Technologies 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 19, 42, 43, 49

I

IBM 35
Indian Institute of Science 9, 49
INEX 33
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- Broadband World Forum 6
ISS 10, 49
ITV 29
IXOM 36, 51

K

Kingston Communications (KCOM) 11

L

Liberty Global
- Virgin Media 24, 26, 46, 47
LinkedIn 15, 23

M

M&G Prudential 47
- InfraCapital 47
Microsoft 23, 31, 35
Motorola 20, 21, 23, 50
Motorola Solutions
- Airwave 20, 21, 22, 23

N

National Police Chiefs Council 31
Netflix 29, 50
Nokia 7, 36, 42
- Nuage Networks 36
Northern Ireland Public Sector Shared Network 32, 50

O

Ofcom 8, 11, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51
- USO 11

P

Phones4u 14, 49
PricewaterhouseCoopers 14

Q

Qumu 39

R

Renault 17

S

Samsung 24
Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6, UK) 13
Setanta 28
Setanta Sport 28

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 24, 25, 29, 46, 47, 51
- FibreNation 46, 47, 51
Tech Mahindra 9
Technology
- 2G 23
- 3G 23
- 5G 6, 7, 8, 13, 19, 23, 49, 50
- Artificial intelligence 29
- Broadband 6, 8, 11, 15, 19, 24, 25, 27, 41, 43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51
- Convergence 49
- Fibre 24, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51
- Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) 41, 43, 48, 51
- Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) 42, 46, 47
- G.fast 24, 42, 43, 45, 51
- IP 33
- OTT 29
- Unified Communications 39
- VDSL 41, 43
- VDSL2 41, 42, 43
- Vectoring 43, 48
- Wi-Fi 6, 7, 8, 24, 25, 32, 49, 50
Telecom Infra Project 7, 8
Telecom New Zealand 47
Telefónica 14, 22
telent 20, 21, 50
The Climate Group 17
Twitter 10

U

Ultimate Fighting Championship 26
United Nations 17

V

Vodafone 14, 22
- UK 14, 22
Volkswagen 17

W

Which? 27, 50
Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) 6, 8

Y

YouView 15, 29, 50
- Halton, Richard 15

Z

ZTE 13

  • BT’s CTIO is driving home the message on the need for more industry-wide cooperation on technology development.
  • More acerbic Chief Architect demands vendors pull their finger out on openness and automation.

In a series of recent speeches to the industry Howard Watson, BT Group Chief Technology and Information Officer, has reiterated BT’s commitment to converged infrastructure encompassing fixed, mobile and wireless technologies. During the Broadband World Forum in Berlin in October 2018 he made a call for close cooperation between standards bodies considering the evolution of Wi-Fi standards, and those working on 5G specifications.

“Those of us who work at the 3GPPP and at the Wireless Broadband Alliance [standardisation bodies for 5G and Wi-Fi respectively], I urge them to work together… Our labs are working hard to see how Wi-Fi 6 can act as a slice of 5G, enabling seamless connectivity.” –Watson.

Further expounding on the convergence theme at Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum, he acknowledged that the integration approach was not without challenges, and that “it does run the risk of becoming a little bit complicated”.

“I don’t want any more network operations centres. I don’t want any more different teams that are having to spend 24/7 time monitoring networks and monitoring services.” — Watson.

To address the threat of complexity, Watson also returned to the theme of cooperation and collaboration across the industry — a point he pushed at the recent Telecom Infra Project forum in October 2018 (BTwatch. #300). Watson is calling on rival operators to work more closely on the fundamental of infrastructure and new service standards to enable them to continue competing on the front line through service differentiation.

The BT CTIO also expects vendors to play their part in embracing openness saying, “we truly need interoperability, and we need everybody to play their role as part of that ecosystem.” It also appears Watson hopes that existing industry bodies will be able to support the sector in working towards common goals.

“I believe that bodies like GSMA, 3GPP, NGMN, Wi-Fi Alliance and ETSI will continue to play a central role in helping us to deliver multi-connectivity at a network level, and that will result in that seamless experience at the consumer level.” — Watson.

… meanwhile, McRae talks tough with vendors…

As Watson called for collegial cooperation and cooperation across the sector, Neil McRae, Chief Architect at BT, was more blunt in his comments on the future of the ecosystem, launching another broadside at vendors.

At an industry conference focused on software-defined operations and autonomous networks, McRae warned suppliers to shape up, or ship out, when it comes to enabling automation in service delivery. Using slightly colourful language a trait of the BT man McRae said automation was not a choice, but a “freakin’ necessity”.

Echoing comments made during his presentation at the recent joint BT-Juniper Innovation Day (BTwatch, #300), he called on vendors for more product development that supported automation, and the ability to draw on real-time telemetry data, rather than collecting network data at intervals using simple network management protocol. “We are heading for a world where milliseconds of delay will kill certain [services]”, he warned.

Part of his team’s mission, added McRae, was to inform the rest of BT’s organisation about the importance of automation for customers. In more optimistic mode, he noted positive supplier reaction to the demands of BT (and no doubt other operators).

“Increasingly, the vendors are responding to our needs for technologies that can play a role in an automated network. Cisco, Nokia, Juniper, Huawei… ADVA has done a phenomenal job in this regard. Basically, if we can’t see a path to automation [from a product], we won’t buy it.” — McRae.

Automation is hardly a new theme for McRae. In late-2017, he maintained that, without “unprecedented levels” of automation, the 5G vision would be derailed (BTwatch, #291).

… but has positive words for Huawei

While BT is removing the vendor from its core mobile network (BTwatch, #301), Huawei still appears set to play a role in future infrastructure development with BT Group, and McRae has been adamant in the merits of the partner.

“There is only one true 5G supplier right now and that is Huawei — the others need to catch up….I’ve been to Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen recently and there’s nowhere else in the world where you can see [such 5G development].”

“The other suppliers need to learn from Huawei — the others are held back by old telco issues.” — McRae.

Image: BT / Twitter

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