Also today, Telecom Italian's chairman might leave, AT&T is right on its SDN goal and Mexican authorities approve FWA provider's spectrum sale.
Openreach this week told ISPs it is postponing future guidance on its plans for hybrid fiber Gfast "ultrafast broadband," capable of 100 Mbps-plus. The operator's Gfast deployments will continue, but it is reviewing rollouts beyond March 2020, according to a press report. Openreach's Gfast network was available to 2.17 million UK premises by the end of June 2019 and is widely expected to reach 2.73 million by March 2020, parent company BT said in its second-quarter earnings report. That was almost double the 1.12 million premises who could access the fixed-access network via this copper-based, fiber-interfacing technology. However, the UK government and a growing number of UK altnets are focusing solely on fiber, regardless of customers' current needs or operators' plans to build upon Gfast as a more profitable path to fiber.
Telecom Italia Chairman Fulvio Conti may resign, about 16 months after he was appointed to the position in May 2018 by US activist fund Elliot -- the same fund now making waves at AT&T. Elliot controls about 66% of TIM's 15-person board, Reuters reported. Conti is mulling over the move "in light of the renewed climate of trust and collaboration within the board and between the shareholders," he said in a statement. Soon after becoming chairman, Conti and French media group Vivendi -- which is the top investor in TIM at 24% -- accused him of favoring Elliott and both sides have been at odds since.
Three fourths of the MPLS tunnel traffic on AT&T's core network is controlled by SDN and is on-pace to reach 100% in 2020, said Mike Paradise, VP of network cloud and infrastructure operations. The carrier installed automated, internally developed software controllers to replace its existing physical appliances that required manual resets, he said. Benefits include more cost savings, faster reconfiguration speeds, accelerated deployment of new services and improved customer experience, Paradise noted. MPLS tunnels carry AT&T's broadband, enterprise and mobile traffic, and determine what physical traffic to take between cities. By adding SDN controllers which absorb network control plane data, AT&T automatically manages traffic on logical and physical paths within optical and packet networks. (See AT&T's Fuetsch: 'We Really Didn't Have a Choice' on Open Networking.)
Swiss operator Sunrise keeps hitting speedbumps on its way to acquire Liberty Global's Swiss division, UPC Switzerland. Activist investor AOC, whose stake in Sunrise totals less than 3%, opposes the $6.4 billion deal. (See Eurobites: Sunrise/Liberty Deal Catches More Flak.)
Mexico's Instituto Federal del Telecommunicaciones (IFT) voted to transfer 10 2.5GHz licenses from fixed-wireless-access provider Ultravision to mobile provider Radiomovil Dipsa, part of Telcel TeleGeorgraphy reported. That transfer will give Telcel 30.79% of Mexico's mobile spectrum, placing it only behind AT&T Mexico's 33.64%. The third largest allotment goes to Telefonica Moviles Mexico (Movistar), which has 17.36%.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results