BTwatch
This release
: #303
March 2019: 68pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Strategy: BT and Openreach spark heated debate on UK fibre [p.6]

  • McTighe calls for state help to secure a fibre future

FTTH conference: Speakers [p.7]

  • UK finally makes its mark in full fibre
  • Building a network no‑one wants — yet…
  • Mesch winds up BT, calls for a regulatory refocus
  • Hyperoptic wants Ofcom to focus more on offering alternatives
  • Sherman plays up the generation gap
  • The Sherman and Mesch SmackDown

Transformation: Beyond the heat, a little light… [p.12]

  • BT taking to the streets for access revolution

BT Italia scandal casts long shadows [p.13]

  • Ex CEO Patterson gives forth

BT TSO: BT selects Ciena’s data centre interconnect platform [p.15]

  • Watson outlines 2019 priorities

Suppliers: Industry pushes back on Huawei ban prospect [p.17]

  • Fact‑based assessments and UK processes as a guide
  • Huawei stands up for itself…
  • …BT stands by its partner
  • … and Huawei notes BT putting money where its mouth is

People [p.20]

  • Table: People movement highlights

Social Responsibility: BT backs charity Jangala to develop low‑cost Wi‑Fi [p.22]

CONSUMER

5G: Mavenir and Nokia tapped for future 5G, VMware in at the start [p.24]

  • EE flags key 5G partners at MWC
  • OnePlus and Qualcomm also in on the act
  • Allera on 5G

Networks: Allera hints at 5G sharing with Three [p.26]

  • BT defends interests under rural coverage pressure

Products and Services: EE launches inclusive data offers [p.30]

  • Zero‑rated data, with net neutrality protections
  • Data Pass offers a long‑term binge opportunity

BT expands BT Sport availability, keeps up monetisation [p.32]

  • Further developments planned as BT commits to content innovation

Suppliers: BT renews contract with Synchronoss for BT Cloud [p.34]

  • Paywizard deal expands to cover PPV

ENTERPRISE

Contracts: BT supplies LoRaWAN network to Northumbrian Water [p.38]

InLinkUK: Another rollout blow for InLinkUK [p.39]

Partners: Resilient smartnumbers deal renewed [p.41]

Products and Services: BT and Mavenir promote new shared vRAN solution [p.42]

  • BT hopes to appeal to landlords and operators with a problem shared
  • Operators on board as 5G approaches
  • Open to Open RAN
  • Mavenir on a roll

Pelipods put to work in Final Mile offering [p.45]

GLOBAL SERVICES

Partners: Kollective role in Qumu BT deal flagged [p.48]

OPENREACH

Fibre: Universal FTTP promised for Salisbury in 2020 [p.5]

  • Copper retirement plans step up a gear
  • Building a fibre environment to Openreach’s liking
  • Copper closure entwined with PSTN plans
  • New ribbon cables to take fibre further, faster

Products and Services: Openreach aims for improvements with chatbots and analytics [p.54]

  • Openreach praise for quick Qlik analytics
  • fast self-install offers Consumer head‑start

Digital Britain: New unit to target state funding [p.57]

Networks: On‑demand and fibre‑only offerings edge forwards [p.58]

Competitors: TalkTalk maintains Openreach role in fibre goals [p.59]

  • Openreach a long‑term partner for TalkTalk network future‑proofing
  • Vodafone raises pressure on dark fibre
  • Cooperation on sharing bigger masts mooted
  • Virgin Media updates on Lightning

Regulatory: Ofcom asks for views on Openreach [p.62]

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Symbols

21st Century Fox 20

 - Sky

  --  Sky Sports 36

A

ADVA Optical Networking 21, 24, 44

Alphabet

 - Google

  --  Android 26

Amazon 30, 31, 36, 64

 - Amazon Prime 30, 31, 64

América Móvil 34

Apple 30, 32, 64

 - Apple Music 30

AT&T 34

B

BoxNation 32, 35

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 33

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 57

BT Group 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 22, 24, 41, 48, 54, 58, 60, 62

 - BT Consumer 19, 21, 25, 26, 34, 36, 56, 61

  --  BT Broadband 32, 34

  --  BT Cloud 34

  --  BT Infinity 21

  --  BT TV 32, 35, 36

  --  Plusnet 14

 - BT Enterprise

  --  BT Facilities Services 14

  --  BT Ireland 40

  --  BT smartnumbers 41

  --  BT Wholesale & Ventures 45

   ---   InLinkUK 39, 64

   ---   Pelipods 45

 - BT Global Services 13, 21, 41, 47, 48, 65

  --  BT Italia 13, 14

  --  BT Radianz 65

  --  BT Security 21

  --  BT Technology, Service and Operations 15, 63

   ---   Adastral Park 14, 22, 44

   ---  Innovation Martlesham 22

 - BT Tower 42

 - Directors

  --  Kirkby, Allison 20

  --  McTighe, Mike 7

 - EE 12, 14, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 35, 36, 43, 64

 - Emergency Services Network 21, 28

  --  MBNL 26

 - Executives

  --  Allera, Marc 19, 26

  --  Artley, Jennifer 48

  --  Auguste, Bernie 21

  --  Bathia, Anika 21

  --  Beer, Jackie 20

  --  Bouji, Rewa 20

  --  Calder, Marianne 20

  --  Cameron, Richard 13

  --  Catton, Neil 20

  --  Chatham, Jason 21

  --  Coulson, Nigel 21

  --  Diss, Jo 20

  --  Draper, Elizabeth 21

  --  Evans, Peter 40

  --  Hindhaugh, Jamie 33

  --  Hunt, Priya 21

  --  Jenner, Angela 21

  --  Jones, Gavin 43

  --  Kirkpatrick, Andrew 21

  --  Korzeniewski, Paul 21

  --  Ladha, Neynes 21

  --  Loxley, Tim 21

  --  Maddison, Amanda 20

  --  Maltarp, Damien 40

  --  Marshall, Danny 21

  --  McQuade, Gerry 40

  --  Milligan, Katie 61

  --  Pollard, Mark 21

  --  Selley, Clive 50

  --  Sherman, Michael 7, 10

  --  Sims, Chris 38, 40

  --  Swinden, Matt 21

  --  Tendler, Alice 21

  --  Thomas, Carl 21

  --  Watson, Howard 16, 48

  --  Whale, Andy 53

 - Ex-executives

  --  Alvarez, Luis 13

  --  Patterson, Gavin 11, 14, 20, 63

  --  Sciolla, Corrado 13

 - Openreach 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 65

C

CBRE Group 14

CBS 53

Ciena 15, 63

Cisco Systems, Inc. 15, 48

CityFibre 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 50

CK Hutchison 26

 - Three Group

  --  Three UK 19, 25, 26, 28, 43

Comcast 36

Communications Workers Union 14

D

Dell EMC 24

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS, UK)

 - Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 65

Digital Britain 57

E

ECI 58

Electricite de France 45

 - EDF Energy 45

Electronic Communications Code 12

Equinix 21

Ernst & Young 20

European Union 18

F

Facebook 44

FTTH Council 6, 7, 63

Fujikura 53

G

Gemini 48

General Electric Co. (GE)

 - NBC Universal

  --  National Broadcasting Company (NBC) 36

Goldman Sachs 10

H

High Court 39

HTC 25, 64

Huawei

 - Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre 18, 19

Huawei Technologies 17, 18, 19, 24, 58, 63, 64

Hyperoptic 7, 8, 9, 10

I

IndyCar 36

Inmarsat Ventures 21

Internet Service Provider Association 61

ISS 14

J

Jangala 22, 63

Juniper Networks 15

K

Kingston Communications (KCOM) 20, 61

Kollective 48

KPMG 13

L

Liberty Global 61

 - Virgin Media 20, 32, 35, 36, 50, 61

M

Mavenir 24, 42, 43, 44

Microsoft 32, 54

 - Xbox 32, 64

Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL) 26

MTV 30, 31, 64

N

National Security Agency (NSA, USA) 18

Netflix 31, 36

Nokia 24

 - Nuage Networks 15

Northumbrian Water 38, 64

NTT 64

O

Ofcom 6, 7, 9, 14, 27, 28, 31, 36, 51, 53, 54, 60, 61, 62, 65

 - USO 12

OnePlus 25, 26, 64

P

Paywizard 35, 64

Persimmon 12

PricewaterhouseCoopers 13

Procter & Gamble 20

Q

Qlik 54, 55, 65

Qualcomm 26

Qumu 48, 65

R

Resilient plc 41, 64

 - smartnumbers 41

Riverbed Technology 48

Rolls-Royce plc 8

S

Salesforce 41

Samsung 32, 64

SFR 34

Sprint 25

Superfast Cymru 57

Synchronoss Technologies 34

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 36, 56, 59, 65

 - FibreNation 59

Tata Group

 - Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) 48

Technology

 - 3G 19, 36

 - 4K (Ultra HD TV) 33

 - 5G 6, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 42, 43, 44, 63, 64

 - Broadband 8, 36, 40, 55, 56, 57, 61, 65

 - Cloud radio access network 44

 - Ethernet 54, 55

 - Femtocells 43

 - Fibre 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 40, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 65

 - Dark fibre 60

 - Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) 54, 57

 - Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) 6, 7, 8, 9, 50, 52, 53, 54, 61, 63, 65

 - G.fast 53, 56, 59, 61, 65

 - GSM 17

 - HD 35

 - HDR 33

 - Internet of Things 38, 45

 - IP 16, 58

 - LTE 38

 - LTE-M 38

 - M2M 45

 - Microwave 11

 - NB-IoT 38

 - OTT 32

 - PSTN 16, 52, 58

 - Smart TV 32

 - Ultra High Definition 33

 - Unified Communications 21, 41, 48

 - VoD 36

 - Wi-Fi 22

Tele2 20

Telecom Infra Project 22, 24, 44

Telecom Italia SpA 13

Telefónica 21, 26, 43

 - O2 UK 28, 43

Telstra 25

Top-Up TV 35

Transport for London 20

 - London Underground 20

TVPlayer 31

U

UEFA

 - Champions League 14

V

Verizon Communications 34

Visa 21

VMware 24

Vodafone 19, 26, 28, 43, 50, 54, 60, 65

 - UK 26, 28, 60

W

Walt Disney Company, The

 - ESPN 32, 36

Welsh Assembly 57

Westminster City Council 39, 64

Wipro Ltd 20

World Poker Tour 36

Y

YouView 21

  • BT is hoping to bring operators together with an indoor coverage solution fit for 5G.
  • Virtualisation support from Mavenir looks set to enable flexible antenna sharing, subject to industry clearance.

BT Enterprise’s wholesale unit demonstrated a new mobile small cell solution which it claims will enable the effective provision of indoor coverage from multiple operators.

Unveiled at a BT Tower event in early-March 2019, BT believes the virtualised node offering is the first of its kind globally and will help provide good indoor coverage using higher frequency, short-range spectrum in 4G – and soon, 5G – networks.

BT hopes to appeal to landlords and operators with a problem shared

Currently, owners of large premises tend to invest in Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) to deliver multi-operator coverage, which are expensive to deploy and upgrade. Smaller premises can provide indoor coverage with a femtocell, but that limits connectivity to one mobile operator. They are also not suitable for public spaces – such as shopping centres, hotels, libraries, universities, stadia, concert venues and hospitals – where everyone wants connectivity, whichever network they use.

Working with network software developer Mavenir, BT has developed a virtual radio access node that can reportedly host up to four operators, with each able to control and manage its own virtual segment of the cell as if it were its own dedicated infrastructure through its own media gateway. The solution is scalable, and will be targeted at businesses and premises of all sizes.

BT expects to offer the node as “a neutral, hosted solution, with an open fronthaul,” which will provide operators with more flexibility, and not require new sharing agreements between operators before any modification or update can be implemented. “It’s the independence and ability to work as an individual operator yet on the shared infrastructure [that] is the real benefit,” according to Gavin Jones, Managing Director of Mobile Operator, Media and Broadcast Divisions within BT Enterprise.

Field trials of the new node are expected in 2019, following the completion of more lab-based and testbed trials.

BT expects to white-label the new small cell solution, but predicts that resellers will find significant demand among landlords who increasingly need to provide good indoor coverage on multiple networks as to attract new business tenants, and which currently requires duplicated deployments and substantial investment.

Operators on board as 5G approaches

Speaking to BTwatch, Jones said that the new node had already been showcased for EE and Telefónica Group’s O2 UK business, and had received “a very, very warm reception from both”. The telco has also been cleared to submit the solution to the forum managing the Joint Operator Technical Specifications (JOTS) for the UK, and meetings with Vodafone and Three UK are anticipated in the near-future.

JOTS are mutually agreed standards for shared access equipment and solutions in the UK that are set by the country’s network operators.

Jones predicted a swell of demand for products in the line of the new BT small cell as 5G begins to emerge later in 2019, and predicted that the offering would help address the challenges of densification in an economically viable form.

“The estimates are something like there are up to 50,000 small cells externally [in the UK], up to 100,000 internal small cells in buildings and other facilities. As 5G evolves, you have to have something that allows everyone to be unique, that is absolutely scalable, that [can] be upgraded, evolved and changed, and [do so] in almost a kind of cookie-cutter fashion that hundreds of thousands of endpoints require.”

“I think with 5G we’ve absolutely got the use cases [for small cells]. We’ve absolutely got the parts coming together in terms of spectrum, in terms of the bandwidth required. We’ve absolutely got other things playing into it, like radiation levels and the fact that you can’t turn up the macro sites any further without creating harm. I think everything is coming together for massive volume, for a solution that is capable of meeting those volumes — in the timescales, with the flexibility — while addressing all operators.” — Jones.

Open to Open RAN

Jones stressed that BT is “absolutely on-board” with ensuring the node would fall in line with emerging open-RAN (O-RAN) standards.

He noted that both BT and Mavenir are involved with O-RAN standard development through the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). Mavenir is also a member of the O-RAN Alliance which emerged in 2018 from the merger of two other RAN-focused bodies, the xRAN Forum and C-RAN Alliance.

While BT is not currently listed as an operator partner for the O-RAN Alliance, there had been indications towards the end of 2018 that TIP-backed O-RAN efforts and the work of the alliance could be merged together (BTwatch, #300). Further news of closer collaboration has not since emerged, however.

Mavenir on a roll

Working at research facilities at Adastral Park, Mavenir is responsible for the virtual network functions of the new node and is acting as BT’s software partner for its trials.

Mavenir is also a collaboration partner alongside ADVA Optical Networking at BT’s Community Lab for the Facebook-backed Telecom Infra Project (TIP) (BTwatch, #294). The lab, which opened in February 2018, focuses on cloud-based and virtualised radio access network development.

The software vendor was also recently flagged as a contributor to BT’s work on mobile edge computing (see separate report).

Image: Mavenir

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