Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Orange Business acquires Enovacom for e-health

Orange Business Services agreed to Enovacom, a software developer based in Marseille and dedicated to e-health. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Enovacom's software suite facilitates the exchange, sharing and security of data between all players in the healthcare system. Its solutions are found in over 1 500 healthcare institutions in France and abroad. In particular, Enovacom software is used to manage and secure hospitals’ electronic exchanges with their various partners.

Enovacom will become part of Orange Healthcare.

“Incorporating the skills of a healthcare publisher like Enovacom enables us to move up the value chain to offer more comprehensive e-heath solutions to our customers and in particular to hospitals. By acquiring such an innovative and effective player, we are strengthening our growth strategy in the healthcare market, especially under the Territorial Hospital Groups (Groupements Hospitaliers de Territoire) reform, which has made communication between hospitals and equipment interoperability a major issue,” says Thierry Bonhomme, Deputy CEO of the Orange Group, in charge of Orange Business Services.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Altice restructuring spins out U.S. operations

Roughly 18 months after acquiring Cablevision Systems, the leading MSO in the NY metro region in a deal valued at $17.7 billion at the time, Altice N.V. announced a corporate restructuring centered on the separation of Altice USA from Altice Europe.

The separation is to be effected by a spin-off of Altice NV’s 67.2% interest in Altice USA through a distribution in kind to Altice NV shareholders.

Following the spinoff, the two companies will be led by separate management teams.

Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, will retain control of both companies through Next2 and will serve as President of the Board of Altice Europe and Chairman of the Board of Altice USA.

In addition, Altice Europe will reorganize its structure comprising Altice France (including French Overseas Territories), Altice International and a newly formed Altice Pay TV subsidiary.

“The separation will allow both Altice Europe and Altice USA to focus on their respective operations and execute against their strategies, deliver value for shareholders, and realize their full potential. Both operations will have the fundamental Altice Model at their heart through my close personal involvement as well as that of the historic founding team," stated Patrick Drahi.

Coriant supplies Packet Optical Transport for CELESTE

CELESTE, a leading Internet service provider in France, is leveraging its nationwide deployment of the Coriant 7100 Packet Optical Transport Platform to expand the range of flexible and resilient optical interconnect services for its enterprise customers.

The new CELESTE service offerings include guaranteed symmetrical bandwidth of 80 Gbps, with the ability to easily upgrade to 160 Gbps as B2B network access and interconnect requirements evolve.

The CELESTE fiber optic infrastructure, which spans over 2,500 kilometers, connects major metropolitan markets throughout France and includes access to international peering points.

Coriant said its 7100 Nano and 7100 Pico Packet Optical Transport Platforms enable CELESTE to efficiently utilize its fiber optic infrastructure to support delivery of high-quality B2B services connecting geographically-distributed enterprise sites, users, and IT resources.

"As enterprises evolve their wide area networking strategies in response to public and private cloud-based application demands, service providers require infrastructure solutions that can provide superior resiliency and scale with the flexibility needed to easily adapt to new requirements,” said Ronald Van der Kraan, Managing Director, Europe, Coriant. "We are pleased to be working closely with CELESTE and building upon our long-standing relationship to help them deliver a best-in-class customer experience as they expand their B2B service offerings throughout France.”

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

France's Iliad to acquire Ireland's Eir for €3.5 billion

Iliad, the fully-integrated operator in France with nearly 20 million subscribers, has agreed to acquire eir, the Irish telecommunications and broadband carrier, for approximately €3.5 billion.

eir, which was formerly the state-owned telecom monopoly in Ireland until 1999 (Telecom Eireann), is currently owned by an investor group including Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, GIC, and management.

The offer from Iliad is backed by NJJ Group, the private investment firm of telecoms investor and operator Xavier Niel, who is a prominent French businessman.  Niel is the founder of and owns 52% of Iliad where he serves as Deputy Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer. Under the deal, NJJ will own 32.9% of eir. Iliad SA will own 31.6% of eir. Shareholders Anchorage Capital Group and Davidson Kempner will retain a combined 35.5% share in the company, respectively 26.6% and 8.9%.

eir had revenue of €1.3 billion and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of €520 million in the financial year to June 30, 2017. eir has about 32% share of the retail fixed broadband market in Ireland. Its share of the retail mobile market is about 18%.

Some additional notes about eir's operations in Ireland as of 30-September-2017:

  • 1,061,000 total mobile customers
  • 48.5% of customers are on postpay contracts
  • eir has approximately 96% LTE coverage
  • Strong momentum in FTTH connections - 12,000 connections, 72% of customers new to eir
  • 1,700,000 premises passed with fibre, including 80,000 of the 300,000 rural premises 
  • 551,000 fiber broadband connections, 61% of total broadband base
  • 896,000 total broadband connections, up 42,000 or 5% year on year 
  • 25% of customers now on triple or quad play bundles
  • eir Vision TV service has a customer base of 71,000 customers, up 17,000 year on year

Iliad, which operates under the "Free" brand, had nearly 13.4 million mobile and 6.5 million broadband subscribers as of 30-September-2017. Its market capitalisation is approximately €12 billion.

Xavier Niel, Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe, said: "eir is an essential part of the Irish economy and we have closely followed its transformation over the last five years through the excellent work of its team. We are a long-term investor in the telecoms sector and bring global knowhow to eir. In our businesses in France, Monaco and Switzerland we have consistently delivered investment in infrastructure, while driving down prices for consumers.

Carl Leaver, Chairman of Eircom Holdings (Ireland) Limited, said: “Today marks an important milestone for eir, our customers and indeed for Ireland itself. Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe bring a wealth of global telecommunications experience which will be of huge benefit to eir and its customers. Coupled with the continued involvement of our existing shareholders, Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner, the company is well positioned to continue its operational transformation, underpinned by sustained investment, innovative products and services and improved financial performance”.

The acquisition requires regulatory consent from the government of Ireland and the EU.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

AWS activates new region in Paris, its 18th globally

Amazon Web Services activated AWS EU (Paris) Region, its 18th infrastructure zone globally for a total of 49 availability zones, and its fourth region in Europe, joining existing regions in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The new AWS EU (Paris) Region offers three Availability Zones.

AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require a rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks

For data sovereignty concerns, the new AWS EU (Paris) Region will ensure that corporate data is stored in France and will not move unless the customer moves it. AWS also operates three Edge Network Locations in Paris and one in Marseille.

By early 2019, AWS expects to activate another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region.

“For over a decade, AWS has been supporting French builders and entrepreneurs, in enterprises and startups, on their quest to reinvent and evolve their customer’s experiences,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We have tens of thousands of French customers using AWS from regions outside of France, but we’ve heard them loud and clear and are excited to deliver them an AWS Region in France, so they can easily operate their most latency-sensitive workloads or house any data that needs to reside on French soil.”

Sunday, December 17, 2017

EXFO to acquire Astellia for mobile subscriber awareness

EXFO has launched an all-cash voluntary tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Astellia, a provider of network and subscriber intelligence solutions for mobile operators. EXFO already holds 33.1% of Astellia's equity.

The offer is proposed at a price of EUR 10 per Astellia share, valuing the entirety of Astellia's equity (on a fully diluted basis) at approximately €25.9 million.

Astellia's real-time monitoring and troubleshooting solution optimizes networks end-to-end, from radio to core.  The company is based in France with significant operations in Spain and a strong presence in Canada, Lebanon, Morocco and South Africa.

"We aim to combine the two companies and create a global leader in the service assurance and analytics industry", said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's founder and Executive Chairman of the Board. "Combining our complementary base of customers, technologies and competencies, as well as our similar corporate cultures, will enable the development of game-changing solutions and services within a large market in rapid transition—all this in the best interests of our customers, employees and shareholders."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

France-IX deploys Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform

France-IX, the leading Internet Exchange in France, has deployed the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform in major data center sites in the Paris metro area to support high-capacity, low latency nx100G optical connectivity. Initially, three data center sites were connected this summer. The deployment will continue on the entire France-IX backbone during 2018.

Coriant said its G30 solution enables France-IX to simplify network operations and deliver affordable 100G services to its member community, which includes major carriers, high-growth international carriers, public cloud providers, content delivery networks, content and hosting service providers, as well as video game developer and digital distribution companies.

“A key part of our strategy is to anticipate Internet traffic growth and maximize the performance of our network to meet our members’ expectations for reliable and affordable Internet exchange services – today and into the future,” said Simon Muyal, Chief Technical Officer at France-IX. “After rigorous analysis of competing DWDM solutions, we selected the Coriant Groove G30 for its cost-competitive system density, power efficiency, and ease of operations that enables us to quickly scale optical capacity as the service demand cycles of our member community accelerate.”

Monday, October 23, 2017

Zayo diversifies fibre routes from Marseille

Zayo will diversify its fibre infrastucture in the south of France and will offer three fully diverse network routes out of Marseille.

Marseille serves as a strategic gateway and key aggregation point between Europe, Africa and Asia as well as connectivity for subsea cables AAE-1, SEA-ME-WE-5 and several others.

The first route, a low-latency route via Lyon that is fully operational and was announced last year, is available for both dark fiber and 100G wavelengths. The second dark fiber route traverses western France via Bordeaux. The third route connects to Strasbourg via Milan and onto Paris, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and other European markets. Zayo is deploying a coherent 100G wavelength system over the existing fiber, which is expected to be fully completed by the end of the year.

Zayo Completes Viatel Acquisition

Zayo completed its previously announced acquisition of Viatel for EUR 98.8 million.  The acquisition adds an 8,400 kilometer fiber network across eight countries to Zayo’s European footprint, including 12 new metro networks, seven data centers and connectivity to 81 on-net buildings. “The acquisition of Viatel’s European network business strengthens our strategic position in Europe and provides customers with access to our fiber network and...

Friday, September 8, 2017

EXFO to acquire Yenista for optical test equipment

EXFO agreed to acquire Yenista Optics, a privately held company based in Lannion, France, that supplies advanced optical test equipment for the R&D and manufacturing markets.  Financial terms were not disclosed and EXFO said the deal is subject to a number of conditions to be completed before closing.

Yenista Optics' product portfolio includes benchtop optical spectrum analyzers, tunable lasers, tunable filters and passive optical component test systems for network equipment manufacturers and optical component vendors. The company generated revenue of €5.2 million in 2016 and was profitable. The company owns more than 20 patents protecting its proprietary technologies on measurement techniques, optical filters and external cavity lasers.

EXFO said Yenista Optics is highly complementary to its own optical test portfolio, which largely consists of portable test equipment for the network service provider market.

"Yenista Optics has built an impressive product portfolio over the years for the high-end laboratory and manufacturing markets," said Germain Lamonde, Executive Chairman of EXFO's Board of Directors. "This  transaction, if completed, would allow EXFO to leverage Yenista's best-in-class technology across its global sales channels to expand market share."

Friday, September 1, 2017

Bouygues Telecom grows revenue, subscriber count

Bouygues Telecom reported sales of €2,434 million in the first half of 2017, 6% more than in the first half of 2016. Sales from network also rose 6% to €2,084 million and sales from network excluding incoming traffic rose 7% over the period. The increase in data usage resulting from the decline in voice and text usage is leading to a decrease in sales from network generated by incoming traffic. However, there is no impact on EBITDA, since this decline in sales is offset by reduced interconnection costs.

EBITDA was up €139 million versus the first half of 2016 to €547 million. The EBITDA margin rose by 5.5 points year-on-year to 26.2%. Operating profit was €215 million higher at €210 million. It included non-current income of €48 million, mainly related to the capital gain on the sale of towers to Cellnex, which more than offset non-current charges related to the roll-out of network sharing.

Some highlights:

  • In the first half of 2017, gross capex stood at €585 million, in line with the 2017 full-year gross capex target of €1.2 billion. 
  • Bouygues Telecom added 645,000 mobile customers in the first half of 2017, resulting in a total base of 13.6 million customers at end-June 2017. 
  • There were over 10 million mobile plan customers excluding MtoM at end-June 2017, with 240,000 new adds in the first half of 2017, of which 110,000 in the second quarter. 
  • In the fixed market, Bouygues Telecom signed up 133,000 new customers in the first half of 2017, of which 45,000 in the second quarter. 
  • Bouygues Telecom confirms its target of 1 million additional fixed customers by end-2017 versus end-2014. The Miami FTTH offer accounted for close to two-thirds of net growth in the second quarter of 2017. As a result, Bouygues Telecom had 171,000 FTTH customers at end-June 2017, more than twice as many as at end-June 2016. 
  • Bouygues Telecom is continuing to roll out FTTH, with 16 million premises secured at end-June 2017, 7 million more than at end-2016, and 2.6 million premises marketed, 0.6 million more than at end-2016. Bouygues Telecom confirms its target of 12 million premises marketed in 2019 and 20 million in 2022. In all, Bouygues Telecom had 552,000 very-high-speed customers at end-June 2017.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SFR and Huawei trial 4 x 4 MIMO enabling 628 Mbit/s

French telecom operator SFR and Huawei announced the completion of what is believed to be France's first pre-commercial field verification of 4 x 4 MIMO enabling a downlink throughput of 628.3 Mbit/s using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network.

Following the field verification, SFR plans to increase its investment in LTE technology as part of its objective of rolling out the fastest LTE network in France and provide customers an enhanced LTE experience.

Huawei noted that SFR began construction of its LTE network in 2012, and subsequently the increasing adoption of mobile video and real-time gaming services has led to mobile data traffic increasing at an average annual growth rate of up to 100% over the past two years. To address this rising demand, SFR launched a new unlimited data package in April this year and plans to focus investment on deploying a 4.5G network.

SFR is aiming to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of its customers in France by the end of the year, and plans to increase this to 99% during 2018. Huawei noted that 4.5G technologies such as carrier aggregation (CA), MIMO and 256QAM can help increase network capacity, with MIMO, in particular enabling improved capacity and coverage, as well as an enhanced user experience, without the need for additional spectrum or base stations.

During the recent tests with SFR that involved a commercial phone operating on the live 4.5G network, the partners verified that the use of 4 x 4 MIMO, combined with 2 CC carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, can deliver throughput of up to 628.3 Mbit/s. Huawei noted that this data rate can allow mobile users to play HD video reliably and meet customer demand for smooth video viewing services.

Huawei stated that 4.5G Evolution technology enables operators to begin the introduction of 5G technologies into their existing 4G/LTE networks. This also allows operators to trial 5G-like services and develop new business models that 5G will be able to support in the future.

Regarding the trial, Michel Paulin, chairman and CEO of SFR Group, commented, "SFR's 4.5G network has achieved an average downlink throughput of 300 Mbit/s in over French 221 cities… and it (aims to) further increase the average downlink throughput to 500 Mbit/s by 2018… and will actively promote sophisticated 4 x 4 MIMO smartphones to offer users the best LTE experience".

Friday, June 23, 2017

France-based Kalray raises $26m for Manycore Silicon

France-based Kalray, a fabless developer of high-performance, low-power 'manycore' microprocessors:

1.         Founded as a spin-off by technology investment firm CEA Investissement in 2008 and developer of the patented massively parallel manycore architecture, MPPA (massively parallel processor array).

2.         Offering manycore processors designed to enable high performance computing with low power consumption and low latency targeting embedded applications including autonomous vehicles and acceleration in data centres.
Has announced the completion of a new round of funding totalling $26 million that was led by new investor Safran, with participation from Asian investor, Pengpai, also a new investor, ACE Management, CEA Investissement, EUREKAP! Héléa Financière and INOCAP Gestion. Kalray has raised a total of over $65 million in capital and public funding from investors including Bpifrance.

Kalray stated that the new funding round will be used to accelerate the commercial exploitation of its existing solutions and to begin the development of the MPPA Coolidge, its 3rd generation of microprocessors, which is scheduled to be released in 2018. It also plans to expand its team, in particular its engineering team in Grenoble, and to strengthen its commercial network internationally. Leveraging a fabless model, Kalray has partnered with major chip company TSMC for production of its solution.

The company noted that since its spin-off from CEA in 2008 it has developed the massively parallel manycore architecture for its microprocessors that is protected by over 20 international patents. The MPPA technology is designed to increase processors' real-time processing abilities while maintaining low power consumption.

Kalray's microprocessors are utilised in two key markets - critical embedded applications (such as aeronautics/defence and autonomous vehicles), and data centres, for storage acceleration and high-speed networking).

The company stated that it is expanding its international presence, and now has 65 employees, distributed across its home base in Grenoble, France and its North American operation in Los Altos, California. Kalray also has an office in Tokyo, Japan.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Profile of Orange, a global operation with big ambitions, slow, steady growth – Part 2


Orange is perhaps the global carrier with operations in the most diverse geographies and cultures. From its headquarters in Paris, Orange (formerly France Telecom) now serves 265.162,000 subscribers worldwide with mobile, broadband, fixed telephony, TV and a range of advanced enterprise services. Part 1 covered the company’s recent performance indicators, this part will cover two growth segments for Orange: Africa and mobile money.

Ambitions for Africa

Orange currently is the No.1 or No.2 mobile network by market share in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East, where it has more than 120 million customers. As of last August, Orange had launched 4G in 9 of these countries, with network upgrades planned or underway in all of these markets. The stated ambition is for Orange revenue in Africa and the Middle East to grow 20% over the 2015 to 2018 time frame. For 2016, Orange reported Euro 5.2 billion in revenue from Africa and Middle East (12% of the group total). The company views this region as a strategic priority given the young and growing population, as well as the lower mobile penetration and broadband adoption rates compared with developed markets in Europe.

One obstacle to overcome in the region is the lack of financial services for large segments of the population. For the past few years, Orange is striving to develop a mobile money service that could turn this situation into a strategic differentiator for its mobile networks. Orange Money is its flagship capability for money transfers and mobile financial services, currently available in 17 countries and with more than 31 million customers. To manage risk associated with its electronic money operations, Orange has set up a dedicated organization, CECOM, based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. CECOM reports to the Orange Group and provides second-level control for the Orange Money business, which exceeded one billion Euros of transactions in June 2016.

For many subscribers, Orange Money is their first experience with an electronic bank but, over time, Orange Money is moving beyond basic banking. Earlier this year, Orange Money announced a partnership with Vivo Energy that enables customers to cash in and cash out money from their Orange Money account and pay in any of the 1,000+ Shell service stations operated by Vivo Energy. The services are already available in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar. Orange Money expects to have this operational across the rest of its common footprint by mid-2017.

The latest project in Africa is the expansion of the Orange brand in May 2017 to Liberia, where the former Cellcom Liberia has just become Orange Liberia. This was accomplished via acquisition of the Liberian operator Cellcom by Orange Côte d’Ivoire. Cellcom Liberia, founded in 2004, claimed over 1.6 million customers at the end of February 2017. The Republic of Liberia, which has a population of about 4.5 million, has a relatively low mobile penetration rate of 70%. Cellcom Liberia launched its 4G LTE network last year, with the construction of 29 sites. Now that it has taken over operations, Orange plans to accelerate the 4G network upgrade across the country, including in areas that are still awaiting basic telecom services. Approximately three-quarters of the population resides outside of the capital city of Monrovia.

Previously, in 2016 Orange acquired the second largest mobile operator in Burkina Faso from Airtel. Burkina Faso, with a population of approximately 18 million, has one of the strongest growth rates (5.8%) in the Economic Community of West African States, and a mobile penetration rate of about 80% as of last year. The deal with Airtel brought 4.6 million customers.

Also in 2016, the Orange brand replaced the Méditel brand in Morocco. Orange’s Moroccan subsidiary had 14.2 million customers at the end of September 2016, the second largest total within the group’s Middle East and African footprint, after Orange Egypt, and contributing close to 10% of its revenue in this region. The group's interest in Morocco goes back to 2010, when France Telecom invested Euro 640 million to acquire a 40% stake in Méditel. The Méditel network includes more than 5,400 km of optical fibre and more than 4,000 radio sites throughout the kingdom.

However, despite the many new markets and growing subscriber counts, the volatility of political and economic conditions in Africa always remains a worry. Over the past year, Orange said it was impacted by difficult conditions in Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Orange Brings mobile banking from Africa to Europe

Interestingly, several years after launching its Orange mobile banking service in African markets, Orange is now ready to bring it to Europe. In October 2014, Orange Finanse was introduced in Poland in partnership with mBank, the fourth largest retail bank. The company says Poland is where NFC (near field communication) has developed most fully in Europe, with 80% of payment terminals already equipped for contactless payments and more than 3 million users routinely using mobile payment services (Poland has a population of about 38 million).

Starting in July, Orange is launching a mobile bank for its home market of France. Launch materials distributed to the press state this new business is organised as Orange Bank SA, with capital of Euro 297,575,712 and a commercial relationship with Visa. In addition to standard banking services, Orange will provide money transfers via SMS, as well as a virtual assistant driven by artificial intelligence. Ultimately, Orange Bank aims to have more than 2 million customers in France, where it currently has around 30 million mobile users. Orange's ambition is to reach Euro 400 million in revenue in 2018 in the financial services field across all markets.

Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange has commented that the commercial launch of Orange Bank for the general public in July marks an important new chapter in the group's history, with Orange also a bank that places customer experience at the heart of its business model. He added that Orange Bank will build on the professional skills of its banking experts, the disruptive capability of its partnerships with start-ups and the traditional assets of Orange: its distribution network, its expertise in digital services and financial strength. By bringing together these different sources of energy, it aims to meet the expectations of customers in a way that will enable it to adapt as their needs evolve.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Iliad's Online launches cloud service based on Cavium ThunderX

Web hosting provider Online, a wholly-owned subsidiary of French telecom company Iliad Group, announced the commercial deployment of server platforms based on Cavium's ThunderX workload-optimised processors as part of its Scaleway cloud service offering.

Online offers a range of services to Internet customers worldwide including domain names, web hosting, dedicated servers and hosting in its data centre, and with several hundred thousand servers deployed is one of the largest web hosting providers in Europe.

For the deployment, Online is using dual socket, 96 core ThunderX based platforms as part of the Scaleway IaaS cloud offering. The Scaleway cloud platform is supported by Ubuntu 16.04 OS, including LAMP stack, Docker, Puppet, Juju, Hadoop and MAAS, and also provides support for standard features of the Scaleway cloud including flexible IPs, native IPv6, Snapshots and images.

Cavium's ThunderX products offer a 64-bit ARMv8-A based server processor designed for data centre and cloud applications. The devices feature custom cores, single and dual socket configurations, and high memory bandwidth and memory capacity. The products also include hardware accelerators, integrated high bandwidth network and storage IO, virtualised core and IO functionality and a scalable high bandwidth, low latency Ethernet fabric.

ThunderX products are compliant with ARMv8-A architecture specifications, as well as with ARM's SBSA and SBBR standards, and supported by major OS, hypervisor and software tool and application vendors.

Earlier in the year, Cavium announced it was collaborating with Microsoft to evaluate and enable a range of cloud workloads running on its flagship ThunderX2 ARMv8-A data centre processor for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

As part of the partnership, the companies demonstrated web services on a version of Windows Server developed for Microsoft's internal use running cloud services workloads on ThunderX2. The server platform was based on Microsoft Project Olympus open source, hyper-scale cloud hardware design.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thales to Acquire Guavus for Data Analytics

Thales agreed to acquire Guavus, which specializes in big data analytics, for US$215 million.

Guavus said it currently analyzes more than 5 petabytes of data every day on behalf of its customers, which include telecom and cable operators.  The company supports more than 20 major operators around the world, including the 5 largest North-American mobile operators (AT&T, Rogers, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon), 4 out of the top 5 Internet backbone carriers, and 7 out of the top 8 cable operators. Guavus is based in San Mateo, California and has about 250 employees, including 140 in Gurgaon (India).

Patrice Caine, Thales’s Chairman and CEO, commented: “Combined with our established expertise in other key digital technologies, the acquisition of Guavus represents a tremendous accelerator of our digital strategy for the benefit of our customers. The application to Thales’s core businesses of Guavus's technologies and expertise in big data analytics will strengthen our ability to support the digital transformation of our customers, whether in aeronautics, space, rail signaling, defense or security.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ekinops and OneAccess Plan Merger

Ekinops based in Lannion, France, a global supplier of next-generation optical networking equipment, and the major shareholders of OneAccess, a provider of network access solutions, announced that they have entered into exclusive discussions for a combination of their operations, with the proposed transaction to involve the acquisition of OneAccess by Ekinops.

The combination of the two companies would create a major player in transport solutions, Ethernet services and business routing sectors with combined annul revenue of over Euro 76 million (based on data for 2016).

As an initial step, Ekinops and OneAccess will consult with their employee representative organisations, with a view to finalising negotiations once the opinions of those organisations have been received.

Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, OneAccess' enterprise value is estimated at Euro 60 million, or approximately 1x revenue, representing an equity value of Euro 58 million. Ekinops plans to fund acquisition through a combination of cash and shares, as a part of which it would implement a capital increase for the equivalent of approximately 50% of OneAccess' equity capital, with this transaction subject to approval by its shareholders.

Subject to shareholder approval, on completion of capital increase transaction, OneAccess' shareholders would contribute all of their shares in exchange for 50% of the value in cash and 50% in Ekinops shares. The new Ekinops shares would be priced at the average share price, weighted by volume, of Ekinops shares on Euronext between 30 March and 15 April 2017, but within the range Euro 7.25 and Euro 8.21. On completion of the transaction, OneAccess shareholders would own 20%-25% of the new company.
In addition, an earn-out payment based on revenue generated of not more than Euro 6 million would be paid to OneAccess shareholders for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

France-based OneAccess, founded in 2001 and with around 350 staff, is a supplier of software and hardware platforms to telecom carriers and service providers serving large corporate and SME customers. The company claims nearly 130 telecom carriers as clients, including 29 in the global Top 100, and has four R&D centres, located in Velizy and Sophia Antipolis, France, Louvain, Belgium and Bangalore, India. In 2016, OneAccess generated revenue of Euro 58 million and EBITDA margin of 9.1%.

Through combining their operations, Ekinops and OneAccess would establish a major global supplier of optical transport and telecom network virtualisation solutions. The new company would have a total workforce of over 400 employees and combined revenue of Euro 76 million, with around 55% sales generated outside of France.

The transaction is currently expected to be completed during the summer of 2017.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bouygues Telecom partners with Altitude Infrastructure to expand FTTH

French telco Bouygues Telecom, operator of national IP fibre-based and mobile networks with over 16 million subscribers, announced it has entered into a framework agreement through which it will begin providing a FTTH service in partnership with Altitude Infrastructure.

Under the agreement, Altitude will provide Bouygues with fibre network technology to serve both retail and business customers across France. The companies plan to launch a trial phase in September 2017, with Altitude expected to start marketing the new fibre-based services in 2018. Bouygues noted that at the end of 2016 it had 3.1 million fixed broadband customers, including 121,000 signed up to FTTH services.

France-based Altitude is an established company that works with local authorities in France to build, develop, operate and market alternate networks. The company specialises in public initiative network (PIN) projects, through which networks are deployed where no existing operator wishes to invest in building infrastructure independently. PINs are backed by public funding and may require approval from local and European regulators.

The new agreement with Bouygues covers all of the PINs implemented by Altitude, although it will initially focus on two networks in the east of France that cover around 670,000 customers. To date, Altitude has passed approximately one million premises across France with FTTH infrastructure via 19 PINs in one region covering 15 departments and four urban authorities. As of September 2016, there were 3.2 million FTTH subscribers in France for all operators.

Regarding the agreement, Richard Viel, deputy CEO of Bouygues Telecom, commented, "Bouygues Telecom has already been a customer of Altitude Infrastructure's networks for its business clients for a number of years, the new partnership… (demonstrates) its ambitions in FTTH, specifically to be present in all of France's PINs… to enable Bouygues Telecom to reach its target of 20 million premises marketed by 2022".

Thursday, March 30, 2017

OneAccess launches OVP Design Studio for NFV

OneAccess Networks of France announced the launch of OVP Design Studio, a software tool designed to enable communication service providers and managed service providers to accelerate the creation and delivery of NFV-based services.

The new OVP Design Studio provides a graphical software tool with a 'drag and drop' design environment within which operators can model, design, test and validate complete virtual network function (VNF)-based service chains.

Once a service had been tested and validated, OVP Design Studio allows the user to export it either as an XML template or a network service descriptor (NSD) for integration into any NetConf-capable orchestration system, enabling a significant time-saving compared to current service design and deployment methods.

OVP Design Studio is designed to be used in conjunction with OneAccess' Open Virtualization Platform (OVP), a hosting platform featuring integrated vRouter for OneAccess and third-party VNFs. The solution is designed to simplify the process of creating virtual network services by quickly instantiating and interconnecting VNFs, defining the service parameters and troubleshooting the resulting service chain.

OVP Design Studio is a key element of the OneAccess OVP portfolio, which targets applications in branch offices where users wish to create virtualised deployment of on-premise services.

In October 2016, OneAccess Networks launched its OVP Linux-based middleware platform that enables lifecycle management of both OneAccess VNFs and those from third-party vendors. The platform included a drag and drop GUI that combines the NetConf, SNMP and CLI APIs in a single VNF management interface. OVP can also be bundled with OneAccess' range of white-box CPEs and VNF catalogue.

OneAccess unveiled a range of carrier-grade physical and virtual network functions designed to enable service providers to deploy NFV (network functions virtualisation) in an open and interoperable environment earlier last year. The solution includes OVP, a carrier-grade VNF catalogue and whitebox CPE.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

AWS Plans New Availability Region in France

AWS disclosed plans to open a new data center availability region in Paris, France during 2017.

This will be the fourth AWS Region in Europe. AWS data centers are currently running in Ireland and Frankfurt, Germany. An additional data center in the UK is expected to launch in the coming months.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

ZTE Picks Sequans for LTE-Advanced CPE

ZTE has selected Sequans Communications' Cassiopeia LTE-Advanced chipset platform for a new line of high-performance CPE for LTE networks operating on LTE bands 42 and 43, primarily used in regions including southeast Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and Europe.

The ZTEWelink WF830 is an outdoor, fixed wireless router matched with an indoor multiservice gateway that supports advanced networking and WLAN AP functionalities.. It offer dual-carrier aggregation and category 6 throughput. The unit could be used for advanced residential or small business services delivered over the LTE network.

“We chose Sequans technology for the WF830 because of the robust LTE-Advanced capabilities of the Cassiopeia platform that has been well-proven in the marketplace,” said Sanqiang Liu, Product General Manager, ZTEWelink. “Cassiopeia’s carrier aggregation capability is flexible and robust, allowing for advanced MIMO operation and very high throughput. Sequans’ support was excellent throughout, especially during the operator certification process.”

“We are pleased to contribute our technology to the new LTE-Advanced ZTEWelink CPE,” said Craig Miller, Sequans VP of marketing. “It provides very high LTE performance enabling integrated access for data, voice, and Internet in one powerful unit.”

The LTE-Advanced chip inside the ZTEWelink WF830 is Sequans’ Cassiopeia LTE-Advanced platform, compliant with 3GPP Release 10 specifications. Cassiopeia supports highly flexible dual-carrier aggregation that allows the combination of any two carriers of any size up to 20 MHz each, contiguous or non-contiguous, inter-band or intra-band. Cassiopeia also supports other Release 10 enhancements such as new MIMO schemes, enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) schemes for heterogeneous networks (HetNets), and improvements to eMBMS (evolved multimedia broadcast multicast service) or LTE broadcast. Cassiopeia features Sequans’ advanced receiver technology for improved performance. Cassiopeia can support additional optional features, including envelope tracking and secure boot, at customer request.

See also