Sunday, December 1, 2019

Telefónica shifts its priorities and seeks to sell assets

Warning that its current telco business is "close to being exhausted," Telefónica announced a major restructuring that will see it divest from most of its markets in Latin America and refocus on its key European operations.

José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman & CEO of Telefónica, states: "At Telefónica, we have the mission of imagining the company we want to have for the future. It is up to us to design a company for the next 100 years. An ambitious, responsible and sustainable company, full of opportunities. A company that can face a revolution that provides so many opportunities and raises uncertainties. It is up to us to envision it, design it and build it, as others have done before us."

Telefónica Board approved 5 decisions to reshape the company:

  1. Prioritise Spain, Brazil, the UK and Germany, as key markets in which Telefónica can provide differential value to its customers and grow in a sustainable manner. Currently, Spain, Brazil, the UK and Germany are Telefónica's main markets.
  2. Operational spin-off of the businesses in Hispanoamérica. Telefónica cited particular conditions in these markets (macro and regulatory environment, greater competitive pressure, insufficient scale or volatility of currencies). Going forward, Telefónica will adopt a new model for these operations, which will now be managed as an autonomous unit with a dedicated team. The goal is to reduce the company's exposure to the region, while creating the conditions to maximize its value, both via growth, consolidation and potential corporate operations.
  3. Launch of Telefónica Tech, to boost growth in areas with greater potential. The new Telefónica Tech will serve the B2B segment, focusing on three businesses: cybersecurity, IoT and Big Data, and cloud. Telefónica Tech will integrate the global units currently dedicated to the development and provision of these services, in order to deepen management focus and achieve greater scale. 
  4. Creation of Telefónica Infra, to highlight the value of the company's infrastructure assets and develop alternative models of infrastructure deployment that accelerate growth. The new unit will leverage Telxius, in which Telefónica has a 50.01% stake. Telefónica Infra's ambition is to be one of the largest telecommunications infrastructure units in the world. The management team of this new company will focus on the development and monetization of towers, distributed antenna systems, data centres (including EDGE), greenfield fibre projects and submarine cables, among others.
  5. Evolving the operating model to increase agility, speed up execution and maximise synergies between all Telefónica units. Telefónica will adapt its corporate centre to the new reality of the company, focusing on all those activities that provide differential value to all the units of the new Telefónica – the operating businesses, Telefónica Tech and Telefónica Infra - eliminating some existing duplications with the structures of the operating businesses and reducing complexity. 


Telefónica's 3Q19 revenues by geography
 
AT&T to provide Telefonica with last mile wireless access in Mexico

AT&T Mexico will provide Telefonica Movistar with capacity in its 3G and 4G access network and any future network technologies nationwide.

Under the deal, Telefonica Movistar maintains its transport network and all of its platforms, without operational or geographical restrictions to meet the needs of its users and services. Telefonica Movistar will maintain sole control over its operations, including its client portfolio, operations, assets, administration, pricing, rates, billing systems, among others. AT&T will have no visibility or influence on Telefonica Movistar’s operations.

The migration of Telefonica Movistar traffic to the AT&T access network begins immediately and will continue to be implemented gradually.

"Based on our digital transformation, we are confident that this new approach will make us more agile to provide innovative, simple and transparent solutions that guarantee the best service experience to our customers," said Camilo Aya Caro, president and CEO of Telefonica Movistar in Mexico.

https://www.telefonica.com.mx/

GTT looks to sell subsea cables and European fiber network

GTT Communications has retained Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors in connection with the potential sale of the Infrastructure Division, which includes its terrestrial pan-European fiber network, subsea transatlantic fiber and data centers. This infrastructure was part of GTT's acquisition of Interoute and of Hibernia.

“The appointment of Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs is an important step in our process to explore the sale of our Infrastructure Division,” stated Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “This potential divestiture in no way alters the execution of GTT’s core strategy of providing cloud networking services to large and multinational clients as we deliver on our purpose of connecting people to any location in the world and to every application in the cloud.”


In November, GTT Communications reported revenue of $420.0 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, a decline of 6.4% compared to 3Q18, and a decline of 3.2% compared to 2Q19. The sequential revenue decline of 3.2% was attributable to a 0.9% decline in monthly recurring cash revenue, a 0.8% decline from foreign currency, a 0.7% decline in non-recurring and other revenue, a 0.6% decline in the runoff of non-cash deferred revenue, and a 0.2% increase in revenue credits.

Net loss for the quarter was $26.2 million compared to net loss of $23.4 million in 3Q18 and net loss of $33.3 million in 2Q19.

Net install trends improved sequentially over the course of the quarter and net installs were positive in October.

GTT to acquire KPN International for EUR 50 million

GTT Communications agreed to acquire KPN International for approximately €50 million in cash, on a cash and debt-free basis.

KPN International, which is headquartered in the Netherlands and is a division of KPN N.V., operates a global IP network serving enterprise and carrier clients.

GTT said the acquisition augments its the scale and reach of its Tier 1 global IP network in Europe. KPN International's network spans 21 countries, including long-haul fiber routes and metro rings in Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris. It has more than 400 strategic enterprise and carrier clients.

“The acquisition of KPN International deepens our market presence in the European region,” said Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “The world-class resources contributed from this acquisition, including a highly experienced team, international network assets and a deep roster of multinational clients, will help us deliver on our purpose of connecting people across organizations around the world and to every application in the cloud.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter 2019 subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals.

GTT acquires Accelerated Connections, expanding across Canada

GTT Communications has acquired Accelerated Connections (ACI), a Toronto-headquartered provider of managed networking, voice-over-IP (VoIP) and colocation services, serving large distributed Canadian enterprises. Financial terms were not disclosed at this time.

ACI operates a network connecting all of Canada's provinces, as well as two state-of-the-art data center facilities.



GTT's acquisition of Interoute adds 72K km of European fiber to its transatlantic cables

GTT Communications agreed to acquire Interoute, operator of one of Europe’s largest independent fiber networks and cloud networking platforms, for approximately €1.9 billion ($2.3 billion) in cash.

Interoute's European fiber backbone spans 72,000 route kilometers connects nearly 200 data centres and colocation facilities.  Interoute also owns 15 of its own data centers and 33 colocation facilities. Its customers include international enterprises, as well as the world’s major service providers, ICPs and OTT providers. The company also operates 18 Interoute Virtual Data Centres (VDCs) globally, including three in Asia-Pacific, which are tied into its fiber backbone. In October 2017, Interoute launched its "Edge SD-WAN" service.

Interoute offers transport services (wavelength, Carrier Ethernet, managed bandwidth, storage connect, IP transit, cloud connect) and infrastructure services (dark fiber and data center colocation).

Interoute reported revenues of €718 million and adjusted EBITDA of €165 million for the 12 months ending September 30, 2017.

GTT said the merger contributes significant infrastructure, edge and hosted services to its network, as well as over 1,000 strategic enterprise and carrier clients, primarily headquartered in Europe.

In January 2017, GTT acquired Hibernia Networks and its five subsea cables, including Hibernia Express, the lowest latency transatlantic cable system, and eight cable landing stations, new global points of presence, and key clients in the financial services, media and entertainment, web-centric and service provider segments.

GTT to Acquire Hibernia for Transatlantic Cable Network

GTT Communications agree to acquire Hibernia Networks, which owns the new Hibernia Express transatlantic cable systems and other terrestrial and undersea fiber assets, for $590 million.  The deal consists of $515 million in cash and approximately 3.3 million shares of GTT common stock, to be issued to the sellers at closing, valued at $75 million.

GTT operates a global Tier 1 IP network with owned and leased dark fiber assets including five owned subsea cables and eight cable landing stations. The company delivers global cloud services to multinational customers. GTT is based in McLean, Virginia.

T-Systems launches its Edge Computing platform

Deutsche Telekom'a T-Systems division introduced EdgAir - its low-latency platform for secure and powerful edge computing.

EdgAIR, which is based on OpenStack, is an on-prem solution designed to be like "a private cloud of things" connected to the enterprise network. Customers can connect their IoT applications via ready-made connectors. The applications themselves run as virtual machines or in docker containers as microservices and are thus independent of the underlying infrastructure.  T- Systems offers the platform in various sizes and designs (pole mount, ruggedized rack, standard rack).

"In combination with Time Sensitive Networks (TSN) and a very good Service Level Agreement, our managed platform EdgAIR can meet requirements such as real-time control of machines in a production hall," explained Albert Kroisleitner, Senior Product Manager Edge Platform & Solutions at T-Systems.

Each EdgAIR platform is also delivered with Edge Analytics. This tool enables data scientists and software developers to evaluate information on site. And thus quickly adapt processes and models (code to data).

Deutsche Telekom has already built its first campus network for customer OSRAM. Such networks form the basis for EdgAIR. Currently running on LTE, they will soon switch to 5G.

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/edgair-the-cloud-for-machines-586902

Etisalat tests Huawei's liquid-crystal-on-silicon optical cross-connect

Etisalat, the UAE-based telecommunications services provider, completed the first trial of Huawei's compact all-optical cross-connect (OXC) for transport networks.

Huawei's OptiXtrans series OSN 9800 P32C is a high-speed optical switch for the backbone or aggregation layer that is designed for fast grooming of large-granularity services and separated east-west deployment in a transport network.

Huawei said its new platform leverages liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) to push the optical switching capacity to Pbps level (Peta Bits Per second). It achieves the industry's highest compact 16-degree grooming capability. The device integration is nine times that of the traditional reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) solution, which can save 80% of the room space. Huawei has also developed an optical label technology to support end-to-end visibility of wavelength-level network status.

Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development at Etisalat, said: "This joint innovation project with Huawei is a result of Etisalat’s focus on its vision and strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’. This has motivated us to continuously invest to provide superior network services for our customers. This new solution with Huawei will enhance development of the infrastructure and simplify the network, reducing service provisioning time, and improving efficiency in operations and maintenance to provide an optimal network experience for customers.”

"We enjoyed working with Etisalat to complete the joint trial of compact OXC,” said Simon Lu, President of Huawei Transmission Network. “This is an innovative solution that will redefine and simplify the methodology to develop the optical layer in the transport industry. Huawei will continue to carry out technological innovation and research to provide Etisalat with intelligent, simplified, and ultra-broadband all-optical transmission ON2.0 solutions, helping Etisalat to achieve business success."

Panasonic sells its semiconductor group to Taiwan's Nuvoton

Panasonic Corporation will transfer its semiconductor business to Taiwan-based Nuvoton Technology, a division of Winbond, in an all-cash transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions, located in Nagaokakyo City, Kyoto, is a leading global supplier of semiconductor devices and solutions with products that focus on “Sensing” technologies such as Image Sensors, Image / Digital Signal Processors, “Microcontroller” technologies such as MCU, IC Card, Battery Management, Power Management and ”Component” technologies such as MOSFET, RF-GaN and Laser Diode.

Panasonic said it decided to exit semiconductors due to the aggressive expansion of competitors that would require huge investments to keep up.

Orange renews managed services contract with Ericsson in 5 countries

Orange has renewed a managed services contract with Ericsson in five European countries.

Under the three-year contract, that can be extended to five years, Ericsson will provide a fully managed end-to-end operations service to include network operations, field support, and maintenance, as well as a spare parts management service for Orange's fixed-line access, 2G, 3G, 4G and future 5G access. Network performance, optimization and network expansion are optional components and delivered in some of the countries.

The deal covers Orange operations in Spain, Belgium, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova, supporting about 40 million customers.

As part of the agreement, Ericsson will further transform operations by deploying Ericsson Operations Engine to capitalize on previous automation. The new AI-based Ericsson Operations Engine managed services model transforms operations to become data-driven, predictive and proactive.

BICS doubles footprint in Japan for 2020 Tokyo Games

Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games, BICS announced a major upgrade and expansion of its backbone in Japan, increasing capacity tenfold to support the expected growing demand for roaming and IP-based services.

The expansion includes the deployment of a second point-of-presence (PoP) in Tokyo, which connects to the local internet exchange points for BICS’ IP-based services. This will ensure reduced latency, improving end-to-end quality while directly connecting local customers to BICS’ global network infrastructure.

BICS has also extended its existing network infrastructure in the region with a new route from Hong Kong to Japan, and from Japan to LA, resulting in a tenfold increase in connectivity and significantly reducing latency.

“Japan is one of several territories in Asia which is leading the deployment of 5G and growing its Internet of Things ecosystem. This development requires reliable, high-quality and low-latency connectivity, and services which can support large increase in the cellular traffic and number of devices,” commented Malcolm Chan, MD, Asia Pacific, BICS. “Expanding our backbone in the region was therefore an important step to meet future demands, especially in light of the number of visitors expected to travel to Japan next year for the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

SK Telecom selects Ericsson's Cloud Packet Core

Ericsson announced a new agreement with SK Telecom to deliver a Cloud Packet Core for the carrier's 5G network.

Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core helps service providers to migrate to 5G Core (5GC) stand-alone architecture.

Jung Chang-kwan, Vice President and Head of Infra Engineering Group, SK Telecom, says: “By utilizing Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core network solution, which realizes simplified network operations, we will unleash the full potential of new 5G-enabled use cases with greater efficiency.”

Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “This deal, and the opportunity to work with SK Telecom’s Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI), has put us in the ideal position to further strengthen their 5G network. Delivering our Cloud Packet Core solution will positively impact SK Telecom’s network operations and will reinforce Ericsson’s position as a leader in 5G core.”

SK Telecom switched on its commercial 5G network in December 2018 after selecting Ericsson as one of its primary 5G vendors. Previously, Ericsson provided radio access network (RAN) products, including mid-band Massive MIMO.

See also