Friday, July 26, 2019

New T-Mobile to provide network access to DISH for 7 years

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint with the following conditions: Sprint’s prepaid businesses and Sprint’s 800 MHz spectrum assets be divested to DISH. Sprint and T-Mobile must also provide DISH wireless customers access to the New T-Mobile network for seven years and offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH during a transition period of up to three years. DISH will also have an option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile, subject to any assignment restrictions.

The T-Mobile + Sprint deal was first announced on 29-April-2019. Deutsche Telekom holds approximately 62% stake in T-Mobile US. Softbank holds an 83% stake in Sprint.

"The T-Mobile and Sprint merger we announced last April will create a bigger and bolder competitor than ever before – one that will deliver the most transformative 5G network in the country, lower prices, better quality, unmatched value and thousands of jobs, while unlocking an unprecedented $43B net present value in synergies. We are pleased that our previously announced target synergies, profitability and long-term cash generation have not changed," said T-Mobile CEO and New T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

“This is an important day for our country and, most important, American consumers and businesses,” said Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure. “Today’s clearance from the DOJ, along with our anticipated approval from the FCC, will allow the U.S. to fiercely compete for 5G leadership. We plan to build one of the world’s most advanced 5G networks, which will massively revolutionize the way consumers and businesses use their connected devices to enhance their daily lives. The powerful combination of 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will unleash endless possibilities.”

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobile-sprint-merger-doj-clearance

New T-Mobile and DISH Agreements that become effective upon completion of the T-Mobile+Sprint merger

Agreement to Divest Sprint’s Prepaid Businesses
The New T-Mobile will be committed to divest Sprint’s entire prepaid businesses including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint-branded prepaid customers (excluding the Assurance brand Lifeline customers and the prepaid wireless customers of Shenandoah Telecommunications Company and Swiftel Communications, Inc.), to DISH for approximately $1.4 billion. These brands serve approximately 9.3 million customers in total.

Agreements Upon Closing of Prepaid Divestiture 

Master Services Agreement for Network Access
Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid customers, as well as new DISH wireless customers, will have full access to the legacy Sprint network and the New T-Mobile network in a phased approach. Access to the New T-Mobile network will be through an MVNO arrangement, as well as through an Infrastructure MNO arrangement enabling roaming in certain areas until DISH’s 5G network is built out.

Transition Services Agreement to Support Prepaid Customers
The New T-Mobile will offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH for up to three years following the close of the divestiture transaction. The transition services provided by the New T-Mobile will result in the orderly transfer of prepaid customers to DISH and will also ensure the continued and seamless operation of Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid businesses following transition to DISH's ownership.

Agreement to Divest Sprint’s 800 MHz Spectrum Licenses to DISH
DISH has agreed to acquire Sprint’s portfolio of nationwide 800 MHz spectrum for a total value of approximately $3.6 billion in a transaction to be completed, subject to certain additional closing conditions, following an application for FCC approval to be filed three years following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. This will permit the New T-Mobile to continue to serve legacy Sprint customers during network integration, pending later FCC approval of the license transfer. The companies have also entered into an agreement providing the New T-Mobile the option to lease back a portion of the spectrum sold to DISH for an additional two years following closing of the spectrum sale.

Option for DISH to Take Over Decommissioned Cell Sites and Retail Locations
Following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint and subsequent integration into the New T-Mobile, DISH will have the option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile for five years following the closing of the divestiture transaction, subject to any assignment restrictions.

Agreement to Engage in Negotiations Regarding T-Mobile Leasing DISH's 600 MHz Spectrum
The companies have also committed to engage in good faith negotiations regarding the leasing of some or all of DISH’s 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile.

Zayo shareholders approve acquisition by Digital Colony Partners

Shareholders of Zayo Group Holdings approved all proposals related to the definitive merger agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV fund.

“Today’s favorable shareholder vote supports our view that this transaction is a very good outcome for shareholders and will enable Zayo to accelerate its growth and strengthen its industry leadership,” said Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO at Zayo. “The entire Zayo team is excited to work with EQT and Digital Colony to leverage our fiber assets to continue to fuel global innovation.”

The closing of the deal is expected to close in the first half of calendar 2020.

Private investors to acquire Zayo for $14.3 billion in cash

Affiliates of Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV fund will acquire Zayo Group Holdings for $35.00 in cash per share of Zayo's common stock in a transaction valued at $14.3 billion, including the assumption of $5.9 billion of Zayo’s net debt obligations. The offer price represents a 32% premium to the volume-weighted price average of the last six months of $26.44.

The Zayo Board of Directors said the sale of the company to Digital Colony and EQT Infrastructure is in the best interest of Zayo and all its stakeholders, as it delivers immediate and substantial value to shareholders, will strengthen Zayo’s financial flexibility, enabling the company to increase investments and better position itself for long-term growth and profitability.

The companies hope to conclude the deal by the first half of 2020.

Marc Ganzi, Managing Partner of Digital Colony, said, “Zayo has a world-class digital infrastructure portfolio, including a highly-dense fiber network in some of the world’s most important metro markets. We believe the company has a unique opportunity to meet the growing demand for data associated with the connectivity and backhaul requirements of a range of customers. We are excited to work alongside the management team and EQT to grow the business and expand its presence in the global market."

Dan Caruso, Zayo’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Digital Colony and EQT share our vision that Zayo’s Fiber Fuels Global Innovation. Both are experienced global investors in the communications infrastructure space, and they appreciate our extraordinary fiber infrastructure assets, our highly talented team and our strong customer base. I am confident this partnership with EQT and Digital Colony will empower Zayo to accelerate its growth and strengthen its industry leadership.”

Separately, Zayo reported consolidated revenue of $647.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019, including $555.2 million from the Communications Infrastructure segments and $92.0 million from the Allstream segment. Net income was $34.7 million, including $39.2 million from the Communications Infrastructure segments and a net loss of $4.5 million from the Allstream segment.

https://investors.zayo.com/home/default.aspx

VMware to acquire UHANA for telco AI

VMware agreed to acquire Uhana, a start-up focused on deep learning and real-time AI in carrier networks and applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VMware said it intends to add Uhana’s technology to its own Telco Cloud and Edge Cloud portfolio.

Uhana, which is based in Palo Alto, California, is developing a highly-scalable, low-latency, real-time stream processing and AI platform, deployable in the operator’s private cloud or public cloud infrastructure. It includes a high-performance stream processing engine that ingests subscriber-level network telemetry from a variety of data sources: the radio access network, the core network and optionally even the over-the-top (OTT) application directly, and processes the telemetry to provide real-time, per-subscriber visibility. It also includes an AI engine that discovers and predicts anomalies in the network and/or application, prioritizes them by their estimated impact, infers their likely root causes and automatically recommends optimization strategies for the best subscriber experience.

In a blog posting, Uhana co-founder Sachin Katti writes: "After the deal closes, with the addition of Uhana’s technology to VMware’s Telco and Edge Cloud portfolio, Uhana will further support VMware’s ability to serve the telecom industry and deepen intelligence in the journey to 5G. Uhana’s technology will empower intelligence and analytics for the VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience products."

http://www.uhana.io/about
https://blogs.vmware.com/telco/vmware-to-add-uhana-to-telecommunications-portfolio-harnessing-the-power-of-ai-for-mobile-networks/

VMware to acquire Bitfusion for virtualized hard acceleration

VMware has agreed to acquire Bitfusion, a pioneer in virtualization of accelerated compute with a strong focus on GPU technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bitfusion offers a software platform that decouples specific physical resources from the servers they are attached to in the environment. This enables better sharing of GPU resources among isolated GPU compute workloads, even allowing sharing to happen across the network.

For example, the platform can share GPUs in a virtualized infrastructure, as a pool of network-accessible resources, rather than isolated resources per server. Additionally, the platform can be extended to support other accelerators like FPGAs and ASICs. In many ways, Bitfusion offers for hardware acceleration what VMware offered to the compute landscape several years ago. Bitfusion also aligns well with VMware’s “Any Cloud, Any App, Any Device” vision with its ability to work across AI frameworks, clouds, networks, and formats such as virtual machines and containers.

VMware said the acquisition of Bitfusion will bolster its strategy of supporting AI- and ML-based workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators. VMware plans to integrate Bitfusion into the vSphere platform.

Bitfusion is based in Sunnyvale, California and Austin, Texas.

https://bitfusion.io/

VMware to acquire Avi Networks for cloud load balancing

VMware agreed to acquire Avi Networks, start-up offering multi-cloud application delivery services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Avi Networks, which is based in Santa Clara, California, delivers multi-cloud application services including a Software Load Balancer, Intelligent Web Application Firewall (iWAF) and Elastic Service Mesh. Avi’s central control plane and distributed data plane deliver application services as a dynamic, multi-cloud fabric which intelligently automates decisions and provides unprecedented application analytics and on-demand elasticity. Avi customers can dispatch services such as load balancing and web application firewall to any application using one centralized interface. Avi technology runs across private and public clouds, and supports applications running on VMs, containers and bare metal. The company claims hundreds of global enterprise deployments, including Fortune 500 companies representing the world’s largest financial services, media, and technology companies.

VMware said it will offer both built-in load balancing capabilities as part of VMware NSX Data Center, and an advanced, standalone ADC. Avi Networks will further enable VMware to bring the public cloud experience to the entire data center—automated, highly scalable, and intrinsically more secure with the ability to deploy applications with a single click.

Cignal AI: Optical spending shifts from telcos to cloud operators

Cloud and colo spending increased over 50% in North America, offsetting declines in other regions, with Ciena continuing to lead all sales to cloud operators, according to the most recent Optical Customer Markets Report from research firm Cignal AI.

In EMEA, traditional telco (incumbent and wholesale network operators) optical spending recovered and will grow by double digits during 2019. Spending growth by these operators is slowing in APAC as total spending reaches record highs. Huawei continues to lead this market in APAC, EMEA, and CALA, while Ciena leads in North America.

“Optical spending in North America continues to shift from traditional telco providers to the cloud and colo operators,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Optical Hardware at Cignal AI. “Despite traditional telco operators accounting for most spending, the rapid growth in cloud spending combined with traditional operators now adopting cloud architectures has permanently changed supplier R&D priorities.”

Additional findings in the 1Q19 Optical Customer Markets Report include:

  • Ciena Waveserver Ai market share continues to increase as cloud & colo spending grows. New compact modular platforms targeted at this market are entering the market in 2Q19 with Cisco, Infinera, and Nokia among those expecting stronger sales in the next quarter.
  • North American cable/MSO spending declined in the first quarter. However, moderate growth is still expected in 2019.
  • Enterprise and Government spending shows pressure from consolidation and Cloud and Colo encroachment and isn’t expected to recover in the next two years.


https://cignal.ai/2019/07/cloud-and-colo-optical-hardware-spending-increases-by-50-in-north-america/


Japan's Synspective targets Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites.

Synspective, a start-up based in Tokyo, announced US$100 million in funding for its efforts to deliver satellite data solutions using small sized SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites.

SAR satellites actively observe and acquire earth surface information by transmitting and receiving reflected microwaves. Compared to optical satellites, which depend on sunlight reflection, SAR can capture images of the ground surface in all-weather conditions and any time of the day or night.

Synspective's core technology was developed by the ImPACT program* led by The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. The company plans to orbit a constellation of small SAR satellites, allowing frequent observation of areas of interest. Clients for Synspective's geospatial data will include governments and private companies.

Synspective’s Co-founder and CEO, Motoyuki Arai, commented that “Synspective's first demonstration satellite is to be launched in 2020 and is steadily being developed. Customized solutions services have already been contracted by several companies, prior to launch. By providing objective satellite data, Synspective will contribute to the progress of the advancing world by supporting people's decision-making and impactful actions”.

Strategic Wireless Infrastructure Funds buys cell towers in Iowa

Strategic Wireless Infrastructure Funds Management has acquired a portfolio of cell towers located in various counties throughout Iowa.

“We believe this acquisition highlights our expertise and commitment to creating strategic partnerships not only with tower owners and developers but with the wireless operators as well. This was a complex and challenging acquisition that served to accentuate the unique experience and robust capabilities of our management team.”

The towers are at approximately 50% capacity, which management believes provides significant upside and value creation upon lease-up. Management expects to pursue additional wireless carriers, governmental agencies, radio stations, wireless internet service providers and others to help maximize occupancy on the towers.

Jerry Sullivan, CEO of Strategic Wireless, stated, “We believe this acquisition highlights our expertise and commitment to creating strategic partnerships not only with tower owners and developers but with the wireless operators as well. This was a complex and challenging acquisition that served to accentuate the unique experience and robust capabilities of our management team.”

See also