Millennium Bridge at dusk, London


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

  • Active network-sharing agreement with Telefónica UK in London starts to unwind, as previously mooted.

Kyle Prigg, Head of Networks at Vodafone UK (VfUK), told reporters at a London press briefing that the OpCo had started the process of disentangling itself from an ‘active’ network-sharing arrangement with Telefónica UK in the capital city. In this way, VfUK can better plan for surging growth in data traffic volumes, asserted Prigg.

The winding down of the arrangement, where VfUK was responsible for network rollout in the south of London and Telefónica in the north, has been on the cards for some time.

In June 2017, Vodafonewatch reported that the two operators had “repurposed” and “strengthened” their relationship after revisiting the terms and scope of their Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure joint venture (JV). The realignment included a more arm’s length approach to their shared network operations in London (Vodafonewatch, #156).

Cornerstone’s long-term network consolidation programme, covering both active and passive sharing in London and other parts of the UK, comes under the auspices of Project Beacon.

Active withdrawal, passive resistance

VfUK maintains that the redrawing of the network-sharing partnership with Telefónica in London will allow for faster delivery of capacity, plus the ability to build new sites more quickly. It can also pursue an independent spectrum re-farming strategy once freed from the active-sharing arrangements.

Each operator, once the winding down process is complete, will be left with its own base station assets. They will then be able to make separate investments in software as they see fit. Prigg did not say when he expected all active ties to be cut. He emphasised, however, that existing passive network-sharing arrangements will remain in place across London.

VfUK did not put a figure on the costs involved, but, in mid-2017, a spokesperson said anticipated outlays were covered within existing capital expenditure plans.

VfUK’s desire to stop sharing active network elements, such as antennae and base stations, highlights difficulties in maintaining such a relationship if the two partners do not share closely aligned goals on coverage and capacity. And VfUK and Telefónica appear to have often rubbed each other up the wrong way in a fraught JV (Vodafonewatch, passim). While active network-sharing promises more cost saving than the passive alternative – largely restricted to sharing towers and power supplies – greater risks are involved. Service performance might be compromised, for example, if traffic is handled by two different operators. This was clearly a concern for VfUK and Telefónica when they revised their Cornerstone relationship, insisting on reciprocal performance-level commitments and guarantees. There are also strategic issues to consider. If one operator wants to upgrade to a faster network, which needs additional hardware on the site, it requires acquiescence from the other operator.

Beacon gets fuzzy beyond London

Unlike the JV arrangement in London, which is restricted to 4G, Project Beacon in the rest of the country covers 2G, 3G, and 4G. Each operator is responsible for managing both active and passive network elements in different parts of the country.

Prigg would not comment directly on whether VfUK would like to similarly wind down network-sharing agreements with Telefónica in other parts of the country, but he appeared not to rule it out. “All options are on the table”, he said. Prigg acknowledged, however, that a complete severing of all network-sharing ties – both active and passive – would be “complicated”.

VfUK’s relationship with Telefónica is apparently not so strained rule out new network-share arrangements. Prigg said the operators were in discussions regarding 5G and “whether to share or not”.

Beacon 1, which involves the decommissioning and consolidation of sites to achieve near-nationwide 4G coverage for both Cornerstone parents, was originally in line for completion by end-March 2018. Progress, however, was slower than expected, but appears to be picking up pace. Speaking in June 2018, Prigg said the initiative was about 95% complete, up from less than 70% one year ago.

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