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Vodafonewatch
This release
: #166
July 2018: 42pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP: BEE revamp further erodes Group's Vodacom holding [p.6]

  • Vodacom seeks credit from bigger, more international BEE scheme
  • One hurdle cleared to a more amenable regulatory environment?
  • BEE obligations impacting partner ecosystem, too

Tunisie Telecom joins Partner Markets family [p.8]

  • Out of the comfort zone
  • Afrimax drops off the map; Iranian questions rising
  • Table: People movements

Group Technology: Vodafone lays down OpenRAN gauntlet to vendors [p.13]

  • Early days
  • Also RANs
  • TIP-backed Voyager sets sail in Spain
  • What's all the fuss about?
  • Table: Supplier participation comparison, next-generation RAN initiatives

EUROPE:  Region Vodafone roams and explores enterprise IoT growth [p.17]

  • Economies of scale
  • Beyond IoT connectivity
  • Maschinennetz gears up

Germany: VfD tests 5G SA base station with Ericsson, EMITE [p.21]

  • Testing, testing

Greece: VfGr firms up CYTA wireline add-on [p.22]

  • A useful, but potentially tricky, wireline add
  • Lots of loose ends

UK: VfUK dims Project Beacon in London [p.24]

  • Active withdrawal, passive resistance
  • Beacon gets fuzzy beyond London

VfUK puts 5G on trial [p.26] Africa, Middle?East?& Asia-Pacific Region Egypt Fixed-line expansion talks back on [p.29]

  • Froment-Curtil revies VfEg's fixed-line fantasy

India: Amdocs highlights billing revamp progress [p.30] New Zealand VfNZ primes for fibre assault with Vocus [p.31]

  • Not-so-fab four?

Vodacom Group: Tanzanian share buyout looks to move on a step [p.33]

  • A long conversation nears closure
  • Figure: Vodacom Tanzania, post-listing shareholder structure

Network supplier switch-out disrupts VdSA [p.34]

  • On a bad run

Mobecom SwitchedONBenefits tie-up expanded [p.35]

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Symbols 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 17

A

Accenture 9, 10
ADVA Optical Networking 15
Africa 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 28 
- Congo 35

- Egypt 29

- Ghana 30, 32

- Kenya 6, 32

- Morocco 8

- North Africa 8, 9

- South Africa 6, 7, 11, 17, 19, 34, 35

-- Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) 6, 7

-- Competition Commission 33

-- Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) 7, 35

- Sub-Sahara 8, 9

- Sudan 8

- Tanzania 33

- Uganda 9

- Zambia 9

Afrimax Group 8, 9
AIG 7
Alfa Group
- Altimo (Alfa Telecom International Mobile)

-- Turkcell (see Curkurova/TeliaSonera/separate) 32

Almadar Aljadeed (Al-Madar) 8
Amazon.com Inc. 25
Amdocs 14, 30
Americas
- Canada 11

- Latin America 9

- USA 9, 17, 23, 26

Analysys Mason 18
Aricent Inc. 14
Asavie 19
Asia-Pacific 9, 23, 26
- Australia 17, 29, 30, 31, 35

-- National Broadband Network (NBN) 29

- China 14, 29

- Fiji

-- Commerce Commission 31
- India 10, 30
-- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 29

- New Zealand 10, 31, 32

-- Commerce Commission (New Zealand) 31

- Singapore 23, 32

AT&T 14

B
Bharti Group
- Airtel 32

BT Group 13, 25

C
Caldera 10
CeBIT 18, 19
China Mobile 14
Ciena Corp. 14
Cisco Systems 14
Cukurova Holding
- Turkcell (see Altimo/TeliaSonera/separate) 32

Cyprus Telecommunications Authority
- CytaHellas 22, 23

CyTA 22, 23

D
Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange 33
Dell 7
Dell Technologies 7
- Dell EMC 7, 19

Deutsche Bahn 17, 19
Deutsche Telekom 14, 17
- Europe

-- Austria 17

-- Greece (see OTE) 22

-- UK (EE) 11

- Investments

-- OTE (see separate) 22

Device Insight 19

E
EE (see DT, FT) 11
EMC 7, 19
Emirates Airlines 8
Ericsson 11, 19, 21, 26, 34
Ernst & Young 9
Europe 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 23, 26
- Austria 17

- Croatia 17

- Cyprus 22

- Czech Republic 17

- France 10

- Germany 7, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21

-- Länder

--- Berlin 19

--- North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 7, 19, 21

- Greece 17, 19, 22

-- Government 22

-- Hellenic Telecoms and Post Commission (EETT, Greece) 22

- Hungary 17, 23

- Ireland 17, 19

- Italy 7, 10

- Netherlands 17

- Poland 17
- Romania 23
- Scandinavia 11

- Spain 7, 15, 17, 21, 23

- Sweden 11
- Switzerland 18, 32
- Turkey 10, 11, 32

- United Kingdom (UK) 7, 11, 13, 15, 24, 25, 26

-- Office of Communications (Ofcom) 26

European Union 9, 22
- European Commission 26

F
Facebook 13, 15
Fortinet 23
Fujitsu 14

G
Google
- Android 32

GSM Association (GSMA) 17
- Mobile World Congress 14, 21

H
HiWEB 9
Huawei Technologies 18, 19, 21, 29
Hutchison Whampoa
- Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 10, 29, 30

I
Intel 14

L
Largo Ltd
- WIND Hellas 23

Liberty Global 23
- Virgin Media 11

M
Mahindra Group
- Tech Mahindra 14

Market segments
- Fixed broadband 22, 30

- Network-sharing 24, 25

- Outsourcing 34

- Small- to medium-size enterprise (SME/SMB) 19

- Value-added services (VAS) 17

- Voice 35
Middle East 8, 9
- Dubai 8

- Egypt 29

-- National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) 29

- Iran 9

- United Arab Emirates 8

Millicom International Cellular
- Tigo Ghana 32

Mirambo Ltd 33 MTN 11, 32, 34, 35
- Ghana (Scancom) 32

- South Africa 34, 35

N
National Geographic Society
- National Geographic Channel 11

NCR 9
Netflix Inc. 25
Nokia 14, 19
NTT 14

O
Oger Telecom
- Cell C 11, 34

Orange
- Orange 14, 35

- UK (see EE) 11

OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT) 22
- Cosmote 22

-- Greece 22

P
Poste Italiane 10

R
Raya Holding
- Raya Telecom 29

Red Hat 14 Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) 6

S
Safaricom 6, 10, 32
- M-PESA 11

Samsung 7, 14
Sky Network Television 10
Spotify Ltd 25
Sprint Nextel 11
Syntonic 32

T
Technology
- 2G 13, 25

-- GSM 17

- 3G 13, 25, 26

-- Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)

--- MIMO 21
- 4G 13, 25, 29, 35
-- Long Term Evolution (LTE) 17, 19, 21, 29

--- LTE TDD 9
- 5G 21, 25, 26, 29
- AI 18

- Cloud computing 19, 21, 22

- Fibre 22, 23, 29, 31, 32

- IoT 7, 8, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 30

- IP 13

- Linux 15

- Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 17, 19

- OTA 21
- RAN 13, 14, 15
- R&D 7

- SIM 17, 18, 19, 25

- Smartphone 21, 32

- Spectrum 7, 17, 21, 24, 26

-- 800 MHz 19

-- 3500 MHz 26

- Tablet 21

- Telematics 9

- VDSL 22

Telecom Egypt 29
Telecom Infra Project 13
Telefónica Group 11, 13, 24, 25
- Europe
  -- UK 11, 24
TeliaSonera
- Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/separate) 32

Thebe Investment Corp. 6
Transnet 35
Tunisie Telecom 8, 9
Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/TeliaSonera) 32
Twenty-First Century Fox - Sky
-- Sky Italia 10

U
UPC 23
Usaha Tegas Group Holdings Bhd
- Maxis Communication, Malaysia 11

V
Verizon Communications 11, 32
- Verizon Wireless 11

Vocus Communications 31
Vodacom Group 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 19, 33, 34, 35
- Congo 35

- Group 6, 8, 11, 19, 33, 34

- Lesotho 11

- South Africa 6, 7, 11, 17, 19, 34, 35

- Tanzania 33

- Xlink Communications 19
Vodafone
- Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 10, 28

-- Africa 7, 8, 9, 10, 28

-- Asia 9, 23, 26

-- Australia 17, 29, 30, 31, 35

--- VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 10, 29

-- Egypt 8, 29

--- Raya Holding 29

-- Ghana 11, 30, 32

-- India 10, 30

-- Kenya (see Safaricom) 6, 10, 32

-- Middle East 8, 9

-- New Zealand 10, 31, 32

-- Pacific 9, 23

-- South Africa (see Vodacom) 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 19, 33, 34, 35

-- Turkey 10, 11, 32

- Europe Region 10, 16

-- Cable & Wireless Worldwide 25

-- Czech Republic 17

-- Germany 7, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21

-- Greece 17, 19, 22, 23

--- Hellas On Line (HOL) 23

--- Victus Networks 23

--- Zelitron 19

-- Hungary 17, 23

-- Ireland 17, 19, 22, 23

-- Italy 7, 10

-- Netherlands 17

--- VodafoneZiggo 11, 17

-- Romania 23

-- Spain 7, 10, 15, 17, 21, 23, 25

-- UK 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 24, 25, 26

--- Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd 24, 25

- Executives

-- Bianco, Francesco 10

-- Broumidis, Haris 19

-- Colao, Vittorio 18, 26

-- Deegan, Colman 10

-- Joosub, Shameel 6, 33, 34

-- Kuisch, Eric 21

-- Lorilloux, Murielle 23

-- Paris, Jason 10

-- Petty, Scott 26

-- Stanners, Russell 10, 31

-- Tait, Jamie 10

-- Tenorio, Santiago 13

-- Vanoosthuyze, Frederic 10

-- Ventura, Gianluca 10

- Ex-executives

-- Combes, Michel 11

-- Davies, Andrew 11

-- Fry, Paul 11

-- Geldmacher, Jan 11

-- Marsh, James 10

-- Ofodile, Uche 11

- Group 8, 9, 10, 23

-- Partner Markets 8, 9, 22

--- Africa (Afrimax) 8, 9

--- Kenya (Safaricom) 6, 10, 32

--- United Arab Emirates (du) 8

-- Vodafone Automotive (formerly Cobra Automotive Technologies) 7, 9, 18, 19

-- Vodafone Carrier Services 8

-- Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 8, 9, 11, 23

-- Vodafone Ventures

--- Device Insight (see separate) 19

- Investments & Associates

-- Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 11

- Products

-- Business 30

-- Infinite 19

-- Liberty (Malta) 23

-- One 30

-- Red 14, 23, 25

-- V by Vodafone 7

Y
YeboYethu Ltd 6, 7

Z
Zain (MTC) 8

  • Vodafone and Telefónica expand attempts to challenge established suppliers’ RAN modus operandi.
  • Initiative remains at early stages, though.
  • Vodafone still stand-offish on other industry open RAN programmes.

Vodafone upped gears in the OpenRAN project group, which works under the auspices of the Facebook-led open source engineering initiative, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). The overall aim of TIP is to upend traditional infrastructure supply chains, and OpenRAN is looking to play a prominent role.

Vodafone and Telefónica Group, both project group members, issued two separate requests for information (RFI) to the vendor community. TIP said in a statement that the aim is to “better understand and explore the existing market opportunities for technologies based on OpenRAN principles”.

Once technical specifications emerge from the RFI process, Vodafone and Telefónica will then make them available to the wider OpenRAN project group. The two operators will announce their findings, and unveil a shortlist of potential vendors, at the TIP Summit, due to be held in October 2018 in London.

Vodafone initially co-chaired a TIP virtualisation-RAN (vRAN) working group alongside UK rival BT Group (Vodafonewatch, #157), but that seems to have been superseded – as far as Vodafonewatch can determine – by the OpenRAN project group, set up in November 2017.

The aim of the project, led by Vodafone, is to develop “fully programmable RAN solutions based on general purpose processing [GPP] hardware and disaggregated software”. In parallel, the group is working to define GPP-based RAN specifications and test new network tools to ensure potential OpenRAN solutions meet “internal key performance indicators”.

What will not be lost on vendors, of course, is that by opening up the RAN in this way, operators are not only trying to encourage more innovation, greater network efficiencies, and wider coverage. They want to ensure customer lock-ins are no longer possible.

Early days

As the RFIs suggest, this is still early days for OpenRAN. The initial focus is on understanding which OpenRAN technologies could gain traction. While there is an emphasis on 4G solutions, 2G and 3G technologies will apparently be considered as well.

Under TIP’s remit, only RAN nodes that demonstrate “open interoperability” – from the perspective of the baseband processing platform, radio hardware, software, and business model – will be evaluated in the RFI process.

Santiago Tenorio, Head of Networks Strategy and Architecture at Vodafone, lauded the RFI stage as a “significant milestone for TIP as well as the entire industry”. He said it was the “right moment to deliver specific requirements and ensure focus by providing clarity on what we really need for our deployments”.

Also RANs

Tenorio further expected that OpenRAN’s RFI work will “help align” other open RAN initiatives that have “flourished recently”.

He was no doubt thinking of the ORAN Alliance, a recent coming-together of the xRAN Forum and the C-RAN Alliance. Among ORAN’s operator backers are AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, and Orange. Vodafone is not a member.

There is also an Open vRAN push from Cisco, which was unveiled at 2018’s edition of Mobile World Congress. It purportedly aims to create a “dynamic multi-vendor ecosystem”. Some suppliers are hedging their open RAN bets by being involved in more than one initiative (see the full report for a comparative table).

Dr. Sachin Katti, a Professor at Stanford University that helped lead the xRAN Forum in developing future RAN architectures and reference implementations, told SDxCentral that both TIP’s OpenRAN and Cisco’s Open vRAN were complementary to ORAN. This is because the two former initiatives, he reasoned, are more focused on interoperability testing and implementation. ORAN’s focus is on vRAN structures and architectures.

See the full July release for more on this story, including full vendor analysis and details of Vodafone’s TIP-backed Voyager trials in Spain.

Image: Atik sulianami / Unsplash

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