Amdocs Industry Analyst Summit: Complexity Is Our Friend

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • On December 5-6, Amdocs held an Industry Analyst Summit to provide an update on its product portfolio, corporate strategy, innovation efforts, and customer attraction across its business lines.
  • One constant across the product and business line updates is an expectation that telecom networks and services will continue to get increasingly complicated – and that Amdocs will benefit by addressing that complexity and educating its customers.

Amdocs is a fixture in telecom networking and service enablement. It’s not surprising, then, that across our telecom networks research, assessments on the vendor and its positioning are plentiful, including:

Read more of this post

Network Slicing: Technology or Business Innovation?

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • As a concept for running diverse logical networks over a common physical infrastructure, network slicing has been linked closely to 5G network transformations and 5G’s aspirations of servicing the needs of consumers alongside myriad industries.
  • As it gets put into practice, however, a number of questions around slicing still need to be resolved: How granular will slices be? Which networks and network elements will be sliced? How open will slicing be to third parties? What can network prioritization teach us? Most of these questions revolve around business considerations, not technology considerations.

Last week, the GSM Suppliers Association, along with a who’s who of telecom networking vendors and industry associations (Nokia, Huawei, ETSI, GSMA, NGMN, IEEE, 3GPP), hosted its 2017 Network Slicing Summit, billed as “the first virtual event on 5G technology to serve all industries.” We had the honor of delivering a presentation as part of the summit. You can view a copy of it here. Read more of this post

After Years of Halfhearted Green Initiatives, the KPN-Led Sustainability Initiative Might be a Sign of a Real Movement Afoot

John Byrne – Service Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• KPN is taking a leadership position in driving its vendor community toward more sustainable practices. Other operators are likely reviewing KPN’s “Circular Manifesto” as a template for how they should revise their own sustainability initiatives.

• Telecom technology and software vendors are increasingly being pushed by their key operator customers to commit to adopt manufacturing and production practices that rely on reusable or recyclable components, as well as renewable energy sources.

Dutch network operator KPN, which provides mobile and fixed-line service to nearly 40 million customers in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain, caused a stir in October, announcing an aggressive environmental initiative that could become a model for operators looking to beef up their “sustainability” credentials. Read more of this post

5G: The Coming Business Transformation

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • The basic tenets of 5G are well understood: what we’ll use it for, when it will arrive, that it will be a major opportunity with a solid base of subscriptions within the next five years.
  • A number of other commonly held beliefs about 5G – that it will drive business innovation and core network transformations, introduce network slicing and represent a platform for spectrum innovation – must be questioned.

Last week, the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley convened a forum on “Network Transformation in 5G.” We had the honor of delivering the opening presentation. You can view a copy of it here.

The main message was simple – if not necessarily comfortable. Read more of this post

Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2017: From Connected Cows to 5G Core Network (R)evolution

David Snow – Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • This year’s Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum included a strong focus on 5G core network evolution.
  • Unlike discrete access technology evolution, the 5G core network must evolve smoothly into a radically new form (and so must carrier organizations).

This year’s Huawei Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF 2017) was held in London and boasted a record attendance of 1,400. Nevertheless, that particular number (of people) was completely eclipsed by the ‘number clouds’ appearing on massive screens behind Huawei’s CEO, Ken Hu, as he delivered his opening pitch. Driven by the increasing number of machines which will be connected to the 5G network in the coming years, cows – connected cows; one billion of them – were his first 5G use-case illustration. Read more of this post

AT&T and Verizon Send Shot Across the Bow of TowerCos with Tillman Alliance

John Byrne – Service Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T and Verizon announced a joint venture with Tillman Infrastructure under which Tillman will build hundreds of cell towers across the country. Both AT&T and Verizon will lease and co-anchor towers built under the agreement.
  • The deal is likely designed to pressure ‘big three’ tower companies Crown Castle, American Tower and SBA Communications to negotiate more favorable terms, but it is not clear Tillman has the clout to have much of an impact on operators’ bargaining positions.

AT&T and Verizon announced a joint venture with Tillman Infrastructure on November 13th under which Tillman will build hundreds of cell towers across the country. Both AT&T and Verizon will lease and co-anchor towers built under the agreement. The operators indicate that the deal enables them to build towers exactly where they are needed; in practice, the Tillman deal provides AT&T and Verizon with an alternative to leasing space from tower companies such as Crown Castle, American Tower and SBA Communications. Read more of this post

Looking at the Good & Bad News in Q3 2017 Telecom Vendor Financial Results

John Byrne – Service Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • Revenue was down year-to-year for Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco and even ZTE, which had carried positive growth for H1 2017. But, vendors are generally doing a good job driving out costs in order to increase profitability.
  •  On their face, Ericsson’s Q3 2017 results reflected a company facing multiple challenges and a lengthy road to recovery. However, there were signs of light indicating that the fundamental business may return to solid footing once painful restructuring initiatives are completed.

The Bad News: Revenues Down

With the results now in for Q3 2017, it’s clear it was a rough quarter for many vendors. Results were perhaps most striking for ZTE (consolidated results shown), which experienced a nearly 8% decline compared to the prior year quarter. ZTE’s results were a distinct reversal from the first half of 2017, in which the company grew revenue 13% year-to-year. Read more of this post