Political Battles and Ongoing Restructurings Serve as Backdrop for MWC19

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:
• The wireless industry prepares to converge once again in Barcelona at MWC19.
• In addition to new 5G product and service launches and customer wins, political and financial concerns will serve as significant backdrops this year.

MWC19, the wireless industry’s largest event of the year, kicks off February 25 in Barcelona.

For network infrastructure vendors, MWC19 will serve as a launch point for a host of new products and services. Expect a number of 5G “plumbing”-related announcements from a host of vendors, including:

• Massive MIMO advancements
• Solutions designed to allow operators to support both 4G/LTE and 5G on a common core
• Similarly, flexible and programmable transport solutions that can support a host of to-be-developed 5G network slicing use cases
• Advancements in IoT platforms designed to help network operators do a better job of bringing the “connected X” proposition into a host of enterprises.

However, while 5G will obviously take center stage, as it has for the past three years, politics and financial concerns will serve as significant backdrops for this year’s event.

Huawei has endured a U.S.-backed campaign against it over the past year that has threatened its 5G prospects across the UK, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere. It will need to announce 5G-related deals at this year’s event to signal that it still has the support of a critical mass of the industry to thrive in the 5G era. Given the current urgency around this issue, Huawei will need to address security concerns more directly in its MWC19 messaging.
Continue reading “Political Battles and Ongoing Restructurings Serve as Backdrop for MWC19”

Ciena Sharpens Its Focus on Network Automation, Creates a Separate Blue Planet Division

Glen Hunt – Principal Analyst

Summary Bullets:

  • Ciena can now promote Blue Planet as an independent automation solution which can assist operators to create new services, automate service orders, and reduce O&M complexity.
  • Separating Blue Planet’s priorities from those of Ciena’s equipment business, packet and optical transport, enables it to better address multivendor network transformation opportunities.

Ciena noted in its Q4 2018 financial reporting that several mega trends were affecting its business: an increased need for greater bandwidth and what it termed ‘adaptive automation.’ In a recent (February 2019) blog post, the company announced its intent to form a separate independent operating division focused on providing intelligent automation solutions. A key question is: why establish a separate operating division for Ciena software and services? Continue reading “Ciena Sharpens Its Focus on Network Automation, Creates a Separate Blue Planet Division”

Looking Into the Crystal Ball: GlobalData’s Most Intriguing Predictions in Telco Technology & Software in 2019

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • GlobalData recently published its comprehensive set of 2019 predictions across mobile and fixed access, transport and routing, and telco software and services.
  • The predictions here represent some of the most intriguing industry trends that vendors and operators will need to track closely in the coming year.

Shifting RAN Vendor Landscape: It’s too difficult to predict whether more countries will follow the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan in erecting barriers to Huawei and ZTE’s participation in their network infrastructure markets. But, in any case, what has already transpired – combined with the cloud of uncertainty it casts over the future – will likely have several near-term effects in 2019. Continue reading “Looking Into the Crystal Ball: GlobalData’s Most Intriguing Predictions in Telco Technology & Software in 2019”

Nokia Partnering Up to Sharpen Focus on Enterprise Market: Is a CSP Clash Inevitable?

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • Nokia continues to expand its partner and channel initiatives to better pursue enterprise opportunities, including a strategic alliance with Infosys announced in November.
  • The company sees major opportunities in the enterprise but may ultimately have to decide if pursuing them is worth alienating traditional CSP customers.

Over the past year, Nokia has been stepping up its focus on moving outside its traditional target market of communication service providers (CSPs) in a bid to diversify its revenue stream and tap into growth opportunities to offset flat or declining CSP spending. Based on the company’s ‘Future X for Industries’ vision, it believes there will be a EUR 22 billion market by 2023 for digital automation in the enterprise segment. Continue reading “Nokia Partnering Up to Sharpen Focus on Enterprise Market: Is a CSP Clash Inevitable?”

Cisco Continues to Chug Along, Despite a Steady Stream of Executive Departures

John Byrne
John Byrne – Service Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary:

Since taking the reins at Cisco in 2015, CEO Chuck Robbins has projected an image of stability, even as the company navigates tricky challenges like the move from hardware-centric to software-defined networks. However, the company has seen a steady stream of executive departures since Robbins’ tenure began.

Continue reading “Cisco Continues to Chug Along, Despite a Steady Stream of Executive Departures”

ZTE Back in Business, but Not “Business as Usual”

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:                 

  • After paying a $1 billion penalty, establishing a $400 million escrow account, appointing a new board, a new CEO, and a new slate of other executive leaders, ZTE has now begun the process of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.
  • With a lengthy ten-year probationary period now underway, ZTE must convey to the market that it is a committed and trustworthy partner in order to thrive in the emerging 5G era.

ZTE began its second phase of life – the “after” phase – over the weekend after receiving final clearance from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) officially removing ZTE from the “Denied Persons List.” The resolution brings to an end a three-month shutdown since the BIS imposed sanctions on ZTE in April for not complying with terms of a settlement reached with the BIS in March 2017. Continue reading “ZTE Back in Business, but Not “Business as Usual””

ZTE’s Forced ‘Hibernation’ Prompts Changes in GlobalData Coverage

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • In light of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s April 15, 2018 activation of the denial order suspending ZTE’s export privileges for seven years, and ZTE’s May 9, 2018 announcement that it has ceased major operating activities, GlobalData has adjusted all its ZTE Company Assessment and Product Assessment rankings to ‘Vulnerable.’
  • If and when ZTE is able to return to normal operations, we will update these reports and ratings accordingly. However, if the U.S. Department of Commerce does not reverse its ruling, ZTE’s ability to continue as a going concern will be jeopardized.

The ongoing, existential threat to ZTE from the stiff sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce last month has required GlobalData to revise its product and company rankings across the board to our lowest rating of ‘Vulnerable.’ The revisions affect ZTE assessments across all of our coverage areas, including Mobile Access, Fixed Multimedia Access, Transport & Routing, IP Services Infrastructure, Service Enablement Ecosystem, and Support & Operation Services. In total, we rank ZTE hardware, software, and services offerings in 20 categories. Continue reading “ZTE’s Forced ‘Hibernation’ Prompts Changes in GlobalData Coverage”