Monday, September 3, 2018

Idea Cellular and Vodafone India complete merger -- 408M mobile users

Idea Cellular and Vodafone India completed their merger, creating India's largest telecom service provider with over 408 million mobile subscribers, 340,000 sites, and 1.7 million retail outlets and 15,000 branded stores.


The new company, Vodafone Idea Limited, is now operational and ranks as the No.2 operator worldwide by subscriber count, behind China Mobile. Its mobile network covers approximately 92% of India's population.

Vodafone Idea is structured as a partnership between Aditya Birla Group and the Vodafone Group. Following completion of a capital injection process, Vodafone will own a 45.2% stake in Vodafone Idea and Aditya Birla Group will own a 26.0% stake, both on a fully diluted basis. Vodafone will also separately hold a 29.4% stake in the combined entity resulting from the merger between Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers.

Vodafone Idea claims a #1 market share position in 9 of India's telecom circles, and 32% overall market share by revenue for all of India. In terms of spectrum, the company holds extensive 1850 MHz licenses and an "adequate number" of broadband carriers. It also controls about 235,000 kilometers of fiber. Both the Vodafone and Idea brands will continue to operate. Mr. Balesh Sharma has been appointed CEO of the business.

"Today, we have created India’s leading telecom operator.  It is truly a historic moment.   And this is much more than just about creating a large business.  It is about our Vision of empowering and enabling a New India and meeting the aspirations of the youth of our country.  The “Digital India”, as our Honourable Prime Minister describes it, is a monumental nation- building opportunity," stated Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Limited.

Some highlights:

  • During the twelve months to 30 June 2018, Vodafone India and Idea generated revenue of INR585bn (€7.1bn) and EBITDA of INR107bn (€1.4bn). Vodafone Idea is expected to generate INR140bn (€1.7bn) run-rate cost and capex synergies, equivalent to a net present value of approximately INR700bn (€8.5bn)
  • The merger is expected to generate Rs. 140 billion annual synergy, including opex synergies of Rs. 84 billion, equivalent to a net present value of approximately Rs. 700 billion.
  • The equity infusion of Rs. 67.5 billion at Idea and Rs. 86 billion at Vodafone coupled with monetization of standalone towers of both companies for an enterprise value of Rs. 78.5 billion, provides the company a cash balance of over Rs. 193 billion post payout of Rs. 39 billion to the DoT.
  • Additionally, the company has an option to monetise an 11.15% stake in Indus, which would equate to a cash consideration of Rs. 51 billion7.
  • As of 30 June 2018, net debt was INR 1092 billion.

https://www.vodafoneidea.com/





Vodafone sells its mobile towers in India to American Tower

Vodafone India completed the sale of its standalone tower business in India to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited (a unit of American Tower) for an enterprise value of INR 38.5 billion (EUR 478 million).

Vodafone India is merging with Idea. Both parties announced their intention to sell their individual standalone tower businesses to strengthen the combined financial position of the merged entity. Completion of Idea’s sale of its standalone tower business to ATC is also expected in the first half of this calendar year.

Completion of Vodafone+Idea merger is expected to complete in the first half of the current calendar year.

  • In June, Idea Cellular Ltd. received approval from India's Department of Telecom to increase the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in the company to 100%. Previously, it faced a 67.5% limit.

DOCOMO tests edge computing for video processing

NTT DOCOMO has commenced a proof-of-concept (PoC) video IoT solution that will enable the interpretation and analysis of video data sourced from surveillance cameras using edge computing. DOCOMO will test the effectiveness of using edge computing to interpret and analyze video data. The edge computing will supplement processing performed in the cloud. As a first step, the PoC will test and evaluate the sourcing of data from surveillance cameras, aiming to develop a solution that uses existing cameras, requires no wired connectivity and does not involve the transmission of large quantities of data.

DOCOMO also confirmed a strategic investment in Cloudian, a Silicon Valley-based leader in enterprise object storage systems and developer of the Cloudian AI Box, a compact, high-speed AI data processing device equipped with camera connectivity and LTE / Wi-Fi capabilities, facilitating edge AI computing with both indoor and outdoor communications.

DOCOMO said the transfer and processing of large volumes of video data to the cloud have been a lengthy process involving significant delays and placing a considerable burden on cloud infrastructure and communication networks. Edge computing could help deal with these shortcomings and herald a new era of high-speed image recognition.



Cloudian raises $94 million for hyperscale data fabric

Cloudian, a start-up offering a hyperscale data fabric for enterprises, raised $94 million in a Series E funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $173 million.

“Cloudian redefines enterprise storage with a global data fabric that integrates both private and public clouds — spanning across sites and around the globe — at an unprecedented scale that creates new opportunities for businesses to derive value from data,” Cloudian CEO Michael Tso. “Cloudian’s unique architecture offers the limitless scalability, simplicity, and cloud integration needed to enable the next generation of computing driven by advances such as IoT and machine learning technologies.”

The funding round included participation from investors Digital Alpha, Eight Roads Ventures, Goldman Sachs, INCJ, JPIC (Japan Post Investment Corporation), NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc. and WS (Wilson Sonsini) Investments.

“Computing now operates without physical boundaries, and customers need storage solutions that also span from the data center to the edge,” said Takayuki Inagawa, president & CEO of NTT DOCOMO Ventures. “Cloudian’s geo-distributed architecture creates a global fabric of storage assets that support the next generation of connected devices.”

Cloudian brings its S3 API interface to Azure Blob Storage

Cloudian, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, is extending its hybrid cloud object storage system into Microsoft Azure.

Cloudian HyperCloud for Microsoft Azure leverages the company's S3 API interface to Azure Blob Storage. Cloudian said the world's largest Industrial Internet enterprise is using Cloudian HyperCloud for Azure to connect its Industrial Internet of Things solution to Azure Blob Storage.

"Cloudian HyperCloud for Azure is a game-changer for public cloud storage, enabling true bi-modal data storage across multiple cloud environments," said Michael Tso, Cloudian CEO and co-founder. "For the first time, customers have a fully supported, enterprise-ready solution to access their choice of cloud platforms from their S3-compliant applications. Customers can be up and running in minutes by launching HyperCloud from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace."

NXP acquires OmniPHY for automotive Ethernet

NXP Semiconductors has acquired OmniPHY, a provider of automotive Ethernet subsystem technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NXP said OmniPHY's interface IP and communication technology along with NXP’s own automotive portfolio will form a “one-stop shop” for automotive Ethernet. The companies’ technology synergies will center on 1.25-28Gbps PHY designs and 10-, 100- and 1000BASE-T1 Ethernet in advanced processes.

“Our heritage in vehicle networks is rich and with our leadership positions in CAN, LIN, and FlexRay, we hold a unique viewpoint on automotive networks,” said Alexander E. Tan, vice president and general manager of Automotive Ethernet Solutions, NXP. “The team and technology from OmniPHY give us the missing piece in an extensive high-bandwidth networking portfolio.”

"We are very excited to join NXP – a leader in automotive electronics, for a front-row seat to the autonomous driving revolution, one that will deliver profound change to the way people live,” said Ritesh Saraf, CEO of OmniPHY. “The combination of our teams and technology will accelerate and advance the delivery of automotive Ethernet solutions providing our customers with high quality and world-class automotive Ethernet innovation."

Vodafone tests Huawei's cloud-based Broadband Network Gateway

Vodafone recently completed the second phase test of Huawei's cloud-based Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) solution in a fixed broadband scenario.

The phase I testing was performed in December 2017 and focused on 52 functional tests of the solution, while the phase II testing, completed in May 2018, focused on the Vodafone Portugal service architecture including internet access and VPN services. Both phase I and II have been completed successfully.

Phase II testing covered access, authentication and accounting for home broadband users in various scenarios. It also included performance, reliability and security testing of cloud-based BNG systems. Vodafone and Huawei verified functionality of the cloud-based BNG solution using virtual network functions (VNFs) as the control plane and also using physical network functions (PNFs) as the user plane.

Huawei says its BNG solution features a Control & User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture, which decouples the control and user planes of traditional BNG architectures. The control plane integrates the user management functions of multiple BNGs and shifts their resources to the cloud. In addition to automated service provisioning and network O&M, the solution deployment in the cloud also enables global resource sharing, elastic capacity scaling, flexible architecture adjustment and network capability exposure.

Jeffrey Gao, President of Huawei's Router & Carrier Ethernet Product line, stated: "Cloud-based BNG is an innovative implementation of Huawei's Intent-Driven Network in the context of network service cloudification. The Intent-Driven Network decouples traditional networks into an elastic, reliable bearer layer and an agile service layer. This creates a simple architecture enabling the rapid and flexible adjustment of resources. This solution helps operators improve the efficiency of their network operations, reduce O&M costs and smoothly evolve network services to the cloud."

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