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Vodafonewatch
This release
: #173
March 2019: 70pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Deals: Vodafone takes connected-car turning with AT&T [p.6]

  • Where will AT&T road trip lead?
  • Duo going Dutch, beyond automotive
  • Continental shift in road safety
  • Vodafone's connected-car convoy

Network: Vodafone's TIP push starts to shake up supply chain [p.12]

  • On the road, in the lab
  • OOPT, we did it again
  • DCSG decision time
  • Table: TIP goes 'end-to-end' with interop demo at MWC
  • Another MWC, another TIP project group
  • Table: Vodafone's TIP top-ups at a glance

Vodafone gets more NFV vim from VMware [p.19]

  • VMware onboards Kubernetes…
  • …and Ericsson
  • Keep it simple, lads

Sedona bags Group deal for SDN-based services [p.22]

  • On the road to automation
  • Vodafone vote of confidence

Partnerships: TDC links up with Vodafone on NB-IoT [p.24]

  • Vodafone growing Nordic roots

People [p.27]

  • Table: People movement highlights

Products and Services: Vodafone trumpets launch of Super WiFi [p.30]

  • OpCos in Greece and Portugal get a head start

Supply Chain: Infinera 'cracking into' Vodafone, post-Coriant buyout [p.32]

  • Two become one

EUROPE REGION

Albania: VfA opens door to 800MHz delivery [p.34]

Czech Republic: CTÚ makes moves towards 5G auction [p.35]

  • Been there, done that
  • Huawei matters

Germany: BNetzA ploughs on with 5G auction after failed blocker [p.37]

  • Read remains coy as Drillisch gets in the game

Greece: Fuzzy roaming rules [p.40]

  • Political cover-up
  • Table: Not playing by the BNetzA rulebook

Italy: Italian staff next in Read's firing line [p.42]

  • More top-down cuts on the way
  • Culture might need work, too

Spain: VfS cosies up to Huawei at MWC [p.44]

  • 5G muscle (and Huawei) on display at MWC
  • Huawei not the only 5G NR game in town
  • 5G moves in Europe

UK: Execs open up on 5G risk assessment, Huawei thoughts [p.48]

  • VfUK re-asserts Group line that RAN is low-risk
  • Core and transport layers ring-fenced, though
  • Group stresses testing and certification as key, but pressure still on for ban
  • Awkwardness to manage elsewhere, too

CityFibre reveals last two cities in FTTP rollout with VfUK [p.53]

  • Coventry sent
  • Phase Two now in focus
  • VfUK raises pressure on dark fibre

REST OF THE WORLD REGION

India - Vodafone Idea: Scandinavian big-two tout retention of VfI business… [p.57]

  • …but Chinese counterparts stay in the game, too

Vodacom Group: Vodacom Business Africa resets in bid for growth [p.60]

  • Partner Markets works another Angola
  • Table: Vodafone's African presence, March‑2019
  • Safaricom taps Allot for QoS and security enabler

Vodacom latest to adopt OneNumber service [p.63]

  • Low-key launch suggests OneNumber caution

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 16, 25, 66

5G Automotive Association 7, 65

A

Aditya Birla Group

 - Idea Cellular 57

ADVA Optical Networking 15, 17

Affirmed Networks 11

Africa 6, 13, 18, 27, 29, 32, 59, 60, 61, 67

 - Angola 61, 67

  --  Burkina Faso 61

 - Congo 59, 61

 - Egypt 24

 - Ghana 27, 28, 59, 61

 - Guinea 61

 - Kenya 20, 28, 61, 62

  --  Lesotho 61

 - Malawi 61

 - Mozambique 61

 - Namibia 61

 - Nigeria 60, 61

 - Rwanda 61

 - South Africa 24, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64

 - Sub-Sahara 61

 - Tanzania 59, 61

 - Uganda 61

 - Zambia 60, 61

Afrimax Group 61

Airspan Networks 16

Albtelecom 34

Alcatel-Lucent 64

Altran Technologies, SA 15

Americas

 - Argentina 13, 18

  --  Aruba 31

 - Canada 28, 41

 - Colombia 13

 - North America 6

 - Peru 13, 18

 - USA 7, 8, 36, 51

  --  States

   ---   Califormia 25

Antin Infrastructure Partners 54

Apple 63, 64

 - iPhone 63

Aricent Inc. 16, 18

Asia-Pacific 32, 58

 - Australia 24, 29

 - China 12, 14, 36, 44, 48, 50, 51, 58, 64, 67

  --  Government 51

  --  Hong Kong 64

 - India 13, 24, 29, 51, 57, 58, 67

  --  Government 51, 58

  --  Licence Circles

   ---   North East 43

 - Malaysia 61

 - Mauritius 61

 - New Zealand 29, 59, 67

 - Singapore 61

 - South Korea 10

AT&T 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, 65

Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)

 - India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 24, 29, 31, 51, 57, 67

B

Barclays plc 28

 - Barclays Bank 28

BCE Inc. 18

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) 58

Bharti Group 18

 - Airtel 18

BlackBerry 64

BMW Group 10

Bosch Group, The 10

Botswana Telecommunications Corp. 61

British Standards Institute (BSI) 51

BT Group 16, 17, 18, 28, 54

 - Openreach 54, 67

C

China Unicom 14

Ciena Corp. 17, 50

Cisco Systems 17, 31, 50

Citigroup 39, 43

CityFibre 53, 54, 67

Coriant 17, 32

D

Dell 20

Dell Technologies 20

 - Dell EMC 20

  --  VMware 19, 20, 21, 65

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 18

Dennis Publishing 64

Deutsche Telekom 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 51, 66

 - Europe

  --  Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom) 59

  --  Czech Republic 35

  --  Hungary (see Magyar Telekom) 17

  --  UK (EE) 28, 29

 - Germany 37

 - Investments

  --  Magyar Telekom (see separate) 17

 - Systems Solutions

  --  T-Systems 15

 - USA 7, 51

DHL Worldwide Express 61

Drillisch AG 37, 38, 39, 40

E

EE (see DT, FT) 28, 29

Elisa 24

EMC 20

 - VMware 19, 20, 21, 65

Ericsson 10, 21, 25, 28, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 57, 58, 65, 67

Europe 6, 10, 28, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 41, 47, 51, 66

 - Albania 27, 34, 66

  --  Electronic & Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) 34, 66

 - Central Europe 28

 - Czech Republic 24, 27, 35, 36, 66

 - Denmark 24

 - Estonia 24

 - Finland 24, 46

 - France 25, 31, 41, 61

 - Germany 9, 10, 11, 24, 25, 29, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 47, 51, 64, 66, 67

  --  Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 37, 39, 40, 41, 51

  --  Länder

   ---   Bavaria (Munich) 10

   ---   Berlin 17

   ---   North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 25, 47

 - Greece 24, 31, 35, 39, 66

 - Hungary 24, 27, 35

 - Ireland 24, 25, 43, 47, 66

 - Italy 24, 27, 28, 38, 42, 46, 64, 66

 - Malta 27

 - Netherlands 8, 24, 27, 31, 35, 43, 66

 - Norway 24

 - Portugal 27, 31

 - Romania 24, 35, 47

 - Scandinavia 24, 36

 - Spain 13, 14, 17, 24, 35, 43, 44, 64, 66

 - Sweden 28, 46, 58

 - Turkey 12, 13, 18, 24, 29, 39, 43

 - United Kingdom (UK) 10, 17, 24, 25, 28, 29, 35, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 60, 61, 64, 66, 67

  --  British Standards Institute (BSI) 51

  --  Office of Communications (Ofcom) 52, 54, 67

European Automotive-Telecom Alliance 10

European Union 22, 35, 65

European Commission 10, 11, 35, 66

F

Facebook 13, 17, 18, 32

Fira de Barcelona 45

Ford Motor Company

 - Volvo 10

Fujitsu 14, 15

G

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) 7

General Motors 7

 - OnStar Corp. 7

Globacom Ltd 61

Goldman Sachs 54

Google

 - Android 43

GSM Association (GSMA) 21

 - Mobile World Congress 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 30, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 57, 65, 66

H

Hargreaves Lansdown 28

Helios Investment Partners 59

 - Helios Towers Africa, Ltd. 59

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise 16, 31

Huawei Technologies 10, 12, 25, 36, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 58, 66, 67

Hutchison Whampoa

 - Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 29

Hyundai 10

I

IBM 7

Iliad 42

Intel 10, 13, 15, 16, 18

J

Juniper Networks 17, 20

K

Kia Motors Corp. 10

L

LG Electronics 45

Liberty Global 11, 43

 - UPC Germany GmbH

 - Unitymedia GmbH 11

Lime Micro 15, 16

LinkedIn Corp. 27

M

Magyar Telekom (see DT) 17

Mahindra Group

 - Tech Mahindra 16

Manchester United 47

Market segments

 - Mobile broadband 35

 - Mobile virtual network (MVNA/MVNE/MVNO) 38, 39

 - Network-sharing 39, 40

 - Value-added services (VAS) 19, 41, 53, 62

 - Voice 21, 25, 35

Marvell 15

Microsoft 29

Middle East 32

 - Egypt 24

 - Israel 25

Mirambo Ltd 61

MTN 18

N

Nokia 10, 17, 20, 25, 44, 46, 49, 50, 57, 58, 66, 67

NTT 14, 15, 16

O

Oger Telecom

 - Cell C 28, 29

Old Mutual plc 28

Orange

 - Orange 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 65

 - UK (see EE) 28, 29

P

Palm 64

Phluido 15, 18

Q

Qualcomm 10, 11, 16

Qwilt 15

R

Rogers Communications 28

S

Safaricom 28, 61, 62, 67

 - Executives

  --  Rerolle, Thibaud 62

Samsung 45, 63, 67

SK Telecom 10, 18

Sky Network Television 59

Sprint Nextel 12, 16, 18, 51, 65

T

TCL Communication 64

TDC 24, 65

Technology

 - 2G 12, 18, 24, 58, 65

  --  CDMA 36

  --  GSM 21

 - 3G 39, 58, 65

  --  Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)

  --  MIMO 45, 46, 58

 - 4G 12, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24, 39, 45, 49, 50, 57, 58, 59, 65, 66

  --  Long Term Evolution (LTE) 8, 9, 17, 21, 63, 67

  --  VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) 21

 - 5G 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 57, 58, 65, 66, 67

 - AI 9, 22, 23, 25, 27

 - Cloud computing 7, 19, 20, 21, 24, 30, 45, 60, 65

 - CWDM 17

 - Ethernet 18

 - Fibre 28, 44, 50, 52, 53, 54, 67

 - FTTC 52

 - FTTP 53, 54

 - IoT 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 24, 25, 27, 39, 65

 - IP 13, 14, 15, 17, 22, 25, 65

 - M2M 10, 60

 - MPLS 61

 - Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 8, 24, 25

 - OTA 45

 - PC 45

 - RAN 12, 13, 14, 18, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 58, 65

 - R&D 10, 44

 - RF 25, 46

 - SIM 24, 25, 39

 - SIP 25

 - Smartphone 9, 45, 47, 63, 64

 - SMS 35, 63

 - Spectrum 34, 35, 36, 38, 41, 57, 58

  --  700 MHz 35

  --  800 MHz 34

  --  900 MHz 12, 18, 34

  --  1800 MHz 34

  --  2100 MHz 34

  --  2600 MHz 34, 45

  --  Digital dividend 34

 - Submarine 32

 - Tablet 47

 - WAN 8

 - W-LAN 17, 18, 30, 31, 45, 65

Telecom Infra Project 13, 16, 32, 65

Telecom Italia 15, 17, 18

 - Telecom Italia Mobile 17

Telefónica Group 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 29, 32, 37, 39, 44, 51, 66

 - Europe

  --  UK 29, 51

Telenor ASA 24, 29

TeliaSonera 24

Telstra 18

TomTom 10

T-Systems 15

TUI AG 29

Tunisie Telecom 61

Twenty-First Century Fox

 - Sky

  --  Sky Deutschland 29

U

UniCredit Group 27

United Internet 39

Usaha Tegas Group Holdings Bhd

 - Maxis Communication, Malaysia 29

V

Vector Limited 29

Verizon Communications 7, 22, 64

 - Verizon Wireless 7

Vodacom Group 13, 18, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 67

 - Congo 59, 61

 - Gateway Communications 32, 61

 - Group 13, 18, 28, 46, 59, 60, 61, 67

 - Lesotho 61

 - Mozambique 61

 - South Africa 24, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64

 - Tanzania 28, 59, 61

 - Vodacom Business 29, 60, 61, 67

Vodafone

 - Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP)

  --  Africa 6, 13, 18, 27, 29, 32, 59, 60, 61, 67

  --  Asia 32, 58

  --  Australia 24

   ---   VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 29

  --  Egypt 24, 28, 61

  --  Ghana 27, 28, 59, 61

  --  India 13, 18, 24, 51, 57, 58, 67

  --  Kenya (see Safaricom) 20, 28, 61, 62, 67

  --  Middle East 32

  --  Mozambique 61

  --  New Zealand 8, 29, 42, 59, 67

 --  Pacific 32

  --  South Africa (see Vodacom) 13, 18, 24, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 67

  --  Turkey 12, 13, 18, 24, 29, 39, 43

 - Board of Directors

  --  Jonah, Samuel Esson 27

 - Europe Region 33, 34, 66

  --  Albania 27, 34, 66

   ---   Cable & Wireless Worldwide 32

  --  Czech Republic 24, 27, 35, 36, 66

  --  Germany 9, 10, 11, 24, 25, 29, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47, 51, 64, 66, 67

  --  Greece 24, 31, 35, 39, 66

  --  Hungary 24, 27, 28, 35

  --  Ireland 24, 25, 28, 39, 43, 47, 66

  --  Italy 24, 27, 28, 38, 39, 42, 46, 64, 66

  --  Malta 27

  --  Netherlands 8, 24, 27, 31, 35, 43, 66

   ---   VodafoneZiggo 8, 27, 43, 65

  --  Portugal 31, 39, 43

  --  Romania 24, 35, 47, 66

  --  Spain 14, 17, 24, 30, 35, 39, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 64, 66

  --  UK 10, 13, 17, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 35, 39, 42, 43, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 60, 61, 63, 64, 66, 67

   ---   Weve 29

 - Executives

  --  Bateson, Emma 27

  --  Beal, Matthew 21

  --  Bond, Mark 29

  --  Carton, Paul 28

  --  Casey, John 29

  --  Cuba, Yolanda 28

  --  Della Valle, Margherita 42

  --  Essam, Ahmed 30

  --  Gastaut, Stefano 6

  --  Heeran, Fran 20

  --  Novellone, Nicola 28

  --  Petty, Scott 48

  --  Pradel, Karsten 27, 39

  --  Read, Nick 7, 25, 36, 39, 42, 48

  --  Rossini, Andrea 28

  --  Tenorio, Santiago 13, 23, 45

  --  Vishant, Vora 51, 58, 67

  --  Wibergh, Johan 19

 - Ex-executives

  --  Amzallag, David 22

  --  Haase, Barbara 29

  --  Parker, Ross 29

  --  Rose, Cindy 29

 - Group 20, 27, 29, 30, 60, 66

  --  Headquarters 42

  --  Partner Markets 24, 61

   ---   Africa (Afrimax) 61

   ---   Estonia (Elisa) 24

   ---   Finland (Elisa) 24

   ---   Iceland (Vodafone Iceland) 24

   ---   Kenya (Safaricom) 28, 61, 62, 67

   ---   Scandinavia (TDC) 24, 65

  --  Vodafone Carrier Services 25, 32, 60

  --  Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 27, 60, 61

  --  Vodafone Ventures 11

   ---   Affirmed Networks (see separate) 11

  --  Investments & Associates

   ---   Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 7

 - Products

  --  Business 6, 7, 8, 27, 28, 65

  --  Liberty (Malta) 11, 43

  --  marque 64

  --  Mobile Broadband 10, 28, 35

  --  Terminals

   ---   Smart 31

  --  V by Vodafone 27, 39

Vodafone Iceland 24

Volkswagen 10

W

WPP 29

X

Xiaomi Inc. 45

Z

ZTE Corp. 36, 51, 58, 67

  • Vendor’s telco cloud infrastructure active in 15 Vodafone markets.
  • Vodafone hatches plans with Orange to make VNF onboarding easier.

Vodafone flagged what appeared to be a rapid expansion of its Telco Cloud relationship with US-based IT infrastructure specialist VMware. At Mobile World Congress (MWC), held during late-February 2019 in Barcelona, the partners announced that VMWare’s infrastructure services were “live” in 15 of the 22 countries where Vodafone has a presence, and were carrying “increasing amounts” of subscriber traffic on more than 300 core network functions.

No timeframes or usage indicators were provided, in order to gauge expansion speed. However, Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone, used prepared remarks to highlight “accelerated time-to-market” and “associated economic benefits” from transitioning to network functions virtualisation (NFV) as part of a wider shift to Telco Cloud infrastructure. Agility and flexibility were beginning to be realised through software-defined infrastructure, he said.

Vodafone’s ultimate goal is to bring uniformity to its operations and management (O&M) across fixed-line and mobile services, and avoid having to reinvent the O&M wheel every time new services come on board. The Group said it is focused on building a cloud infrastructure foundation that speeds up deployment of current 4G services, while introducing 5G “readiness”. Another key aim is to avoid requiring “disruptive and expensive re-platforming”.

“We’ve teamed up with VMware based not only on its technology leadership and innovation, but the ability to get operational deployments up and running within our requirements. ” – Wibergh.

Pat Gelsinger, the energetic Chief Executive of VMware – who recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a women’s school in Kenya – was not so scripted when assessing progress made with Vodafone. Speaking on the supplier’s earnings conference call for the quarter to 31 December 2018, he claimed – rather dramatically – that “everybody was a bit astonished by how well that partnership is going for both companies”. Vodafone had now reached Telco Cloud scale, he added.

In September 2017, VMware officially announced its NFV win with Vodafone Group, and described it at the time as its “largest ever telco deal. The Dell EMC-owned vendor supplies Vodafone with its vCloud NFV virtual infrastructure management platform, including the vSphere server virtualisation system and NSX management and security suite. It also provides the Group with its Carrier-Grade Support system, designed to aid NFV implementation (see Vodafonewatch, #134, #144, and #159). The deal looked to position VMware as a central enabler within the Group’s Ocean network-as-software programme, and it is now evident the vendor has retained a key role as references to Ocean have petered out and Vodafone’s Group Technology has pivoted from NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) to a broader Telco Cloud strategy (see Vodafonewatch, #166). Juniper Networks, Mirantis, and Nuage Networks have also been referenced as Vodafone Telco Cloud shipmates.

VMware onboards Kubernetes…

VMware highlighted at MWC that vCloud NFV not only supports deployment of OpenStack infrastructure, but also Kubernetes – a cloud-native orchestration system that can automate the deployment, scaling, and management of container-based applications. Proponents of cloud-native architecture – which include Vodafone – typically cite greater scalability, automation, and resilience compared with traditional virtual network functions (VNF) running in a virtualised environment (based on the likes of OpenStack or VMware).

Fran Heeran, when he was Head of Cloud & Automation at Vodafone – he now works at Nokia – said it was no longer sufficient to merely virtualise existing functions, but to embrace cloud-native technologies, such as containers and micro-services (see Vodafonewatch, #163). According to Heeran, cloud-native applications consumed about 40% fewer resources compared with software based on virtual machines.

VMware runs a certification programme designed to help VNF vendors simplify onboarding to its Telco Cloud platform. The vendor claims to have certified more than 105 VNFs from 85 vendors.

…and Ericsson

In the run-up to MWC, VMware and Ericsson announced a five-year alliance agreement to “simplify” NFV for communications service providers. The deal adds a bit more muscle to VMware’s Telco Cloud portfolio, making it easier to run Ericsson VNFs on the vendor’s vCloudNFV platform. They also established a VNF Certification Lab to ensure “industrialised software deployment”, and what it called “operational best practices”. Aside from VNFs, Ericsson brings to the VMware table its billing and charging solutions, automation capabilities, and orchestration.

Matt Beal, Head of Technology, Strategy & Architecture at Vodafone, gave the alliance his approval.

“We have worked jointly with Ericsson and VMware for many years, and have implemented Ericsson’s EPC [evolved packet core], PCRF [policy and charging rules function], UDC [user data consolidation], and MSC [mobile switching centre] virtual network functions on VMware vCloudNFV. The combination of software from both companies accelerates time-to-market for new services and enables our customers to fully embrace the opportunities of services like VoLTE [voice over LTE] and 4G/5G. ” – Beal.

Keep it simple, lads

NFV simplification and time-to-market acceleration looked to be key drivers behind reported plans, hatched by Vodafone and Orange, to agree a common approach to NFV infrastructure (NFVi). According to a report by Light Reading, the two operators – and no doubt the industry as a whole – want to address the difficulty of VNF testing across different NFV environments. The same report said Virtual Infrastructure Manager, based on OpenStack, was under consideration as a common platform.

Markus Wuepping, Head of the Cloud Centre of Excellence at Vodafone, fretted about the risk of having a different NFVi configuration for every VNF deployment. “You’d end up with a multi-silo deployment in our networks, which defeats the purpose of moving to cloud and leveraging the same shared infrastructure for multiple VNFs”, he said.

According to Rabi Abdel, Network Virtualisation and SDN/NFV Lead Architect at Vodafone, the new NFVi will need to be more compliant with other enabling technologies.

“Network-intensive applications generally require high throughput and low latency, so the NFVi will need to support various acceleration technologies, like Smart NICs [network interface card] and DPDK [data plane development kit], that VNFs can access in a standard way. For compute-intensive applications, the infrastructure will include support for FPGAs [field programmable gate arrays] and GPUs [graphics processing units] and again, we need to make these capabilities available to the VNFs in a standard way. ” – Abdel.

According to the Light Reading report, the GSM Association (GSMA) is preparing an “imminent” announcement related to NFVi.

Image: VMware

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