Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Orange outlines its 5-year strategic plan - Engage 2025

Orange will sell off some key infrastructure and work with RAN-sharing partners while re-focusing on its core home broadband, mobile connectivity, and financial businesses in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, under a new five-year strategic plan presented by company executives.

In terms of FTTH infrastructure, Orange will continue to invest on its own in order to fulfill its commitments in medium-density areas (AMII) in France, while engaging with partners in other areas. The company will create a subsidiary in France from 2020 - Orange Concessions - which will cover the 4 million Public Initiative Network (RIP) connections belonging to local authorities and for which Orange is the concession holder. In addition, the creation of this subsidiary will enable Orange to seize potential growth or consolidation opportunities in this market. In Spain and Poland, Orange also plans to share future FTTH deployments with other operators via FiberCos, potentially involving third parties. Orange will also continue to optimize its copper network in France.

In terms of 5G mobile infrastructure, Orange will rely on RAN-sharing agreements, whilst maintaining areas of differentiation. This was the impetus for the existing agreements in Poland and Romania and those signed in recent months in Spain and Belgium.

From a financial perspective, Orange aims to move from its current flat EBITDA to a growth rate in the 2% and 3% range on average for the 2021-2023 period. This will require reinventing the business.

The growth will be based on its historic business lines as well as a continued push into financials:

  • In France, services revenue will experience moderate growth in the 2020-2023 period, mainly due to increased FTTH penetration and mobile (5G) services, which secures market share and encourages the acquisition of new customers.
  • Spain will return to growth in 2021, with increasingly optimized use of its brands in order to capture their value potential, and increased B2B and wholesale opportunities, excluding those with international operators.
  • Europe will have growth that is better than the market average in each of its six countries, principally led by strong commercial momentum in convergence thanks to the deployment of ultra-high speed broadband.

In terms of CAPEX objectives, Orange is looking to benefit from RAN-sharing agreements. On a rolling, 12-month basis, eCapex will increase by approximately 50 million euros in 2019 and by around 200 million euros in 2020 due to the RAN-sharing agreements in Spain and Belgium. This will then stabilise in 2021 before starting to decline from 2022, once the bulk of FTTH deployment in France is completed. Excluding RAN-sharing agreements, the objective to reach a peak level of eCAPEX in 2018 will be met. The Group aims to reduce the eCAPEX/sales ratio to around 15% by around the end of 2023 compared to around 17% in 2018.


St├ęphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, comments:

“If I had to summarise Engage 2025, Orange’s new strategic plan, I would use two words: growth and sustainability. The first one is growth. We are going to grow our core business – connectivity – by adding to our competitive edge and by making the most of our network infrastructure. We are also going to foster growth beyond connectivity in Europe thanks to three elements which set us apart from our competitors, namely Africa & the Middle East, B2B IT services and financial services. To support this growth ambition, by 2025 Orange will have to reinvent itself and adapt to a constantly changing world. Artificial intelligence and data will be at the heart of this reinvention, both to improve customer experience and to make our networks smarter and the whole company more agile. Orange must also address the need for new skills while supporting all its employees. The second is sustainability. At Orange, we are convinced that in the years ahead strong economic performance will not be possible without exemplary performance on social and environmental issues.

https://www.orange.com/en/Press-Room/press-releases/press-releases-2019/Orange-presents-its-new-strategic-plan-Engage2025

Qualcomm packs a punch with its Snapdragon 865 5G

Qualcomm unveiled its latest flagship mobile chipset- the Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform, which combines an advanced 5G Modem-RF System with the processing capabilities to power the next generation of flagship mobile devices.

At a media event in Hawaii, Qualcomm execs previewed camera, audio, and gaming experiences that made possible by the whopping 15 TOPS of AI performance delivered by the new 7nm chipset. This includes the option for real-time translations of a phone conversation to another language. Imaging possibilities include the ability to capture in 4K HDR with over a billion shades of color, capture 8K video, or snap massive 200-megapixel photos.

Snapdragon 865 5G highlights:

  • Compatible with both 5G standalone and non-standalone modes  
  • Multi-gigabit downlink speeds of up to 7.5 Gbps 
  • Support for all key regions and frequency bands from 5G mmWave and sub-6, TDD and FDD, to SA and NSA modes
  • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)
  • 5G mmWave specs: 800 MHz bandwidth, 8 carriers, 2x2 MIMO
  • 5G sub-6 GHz specs: 200 MHz bandwidth, 4x4 MIMO
  • LTE including CBRS support
  • 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine packs 2x the performance of its predecessor. Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator pushes 15 trillion operations per second
  • Dolby Vision video capture
  • 8K video recording
  • 200 megapixel photos
  • Simultaneously captures 4K HDR video and 64 MP photos
  • Qualcomm Sensing Hub ensures highly accurate voice detection and always-on contextual awareness for smarter virtual assistants
  • Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU delivers up to 25% performance boost from its predecessor
  • Wi-Fi Standards: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6-ready), 802.11ad, 802.11ay, 802.11ac Wave 2, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n
  • Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6 technology features: MU-MIMO (Uplink and Downlink), 8x8 sounding, OFDMA (Uplink and Downlink), 1024 QAM, Dual-band simultaneous (DBS), WPA3 security support, Target Wake Time
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • USB 3.1, USB-C


“Snapdragon 865 supports the world’s most advanced 5G connectivity and features, raising the bar for what a mobile device should be,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “It’s the culmination of Qualcomm’s more than 30 years of wireless leadership and innovation.”

https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon-865-5g-mobile-platform

FCC targets $9 billion fund at 5G in rural America

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai intends to establish the 5G Fund, which would make up to $9 billion in Universal Service Fund support available to carriers to deploy advanced 5G mobile wireless services in rural America. 

This major investment in rural America would be allocated through a reverse auction and would target hard-to-serve areas with sparse populations and/or rugged terrain.  The $9 billion Fund also would set aside at least $1 billion specifically for deployments facilitating precision agriculture needs. 

“5G has the potential to bring many benefits to American consumers and businesses, including wireless networks that are more responsive, more secure, and up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks,” said Chairman Pai.  “We want to make sure that rural Americans enjoy these benefits, just as residents of large urban areas will.  In order to do that, the Universal Service Fund must be forward-looking and support the networks of tomorrow.”

The 5G Fund would replace the planned Mobility Fund Phase II, which would have provided federal support for 4G LTE service in unserved areas.  Pursuant to the Mobility Fund Phase II rules, wireless providers were required to submit 4G LTE coverage data in order to help the Commission target federal subsidies to unserved parts of the country.  The Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process gave stakeholders an opportunity to dispute these coverage maps by submitting speed tests to the Commission.  But in a report released today, Commission staff finds that the 4G LTE coverage data submitted by providers is not sufficiently reliable for the purpose of moving forward with Mobility Fund Phase II. 

https://www.fcc.gov/document/pai-announces-plan-launch-9-billion-5g-fund-rural-america

Semtech enters production shipments of 5G front haul

Semtech announced volume shipments of ClearEdge CDR platform for 5G front haul.

Current 5G wireless deployments (phase 1) utilize 25 Gbps optical links in front haul supported by Semtech’s complete ClearEdge CDR platform.

Semtech says future deployments of 5G will utilize 50 Gbps PAM4 optical links starting in late 2020 enabled by Semtech’s Tri-Edge CDR portfolio.

Semtech’s 5G wireless ClearEdge CDR Platform includes:

  • GN2139C: Bi-directional 24-26G ClearEdge CDR
  • GN2142: Bi-directional 24-28G ClearEdge CDR with Integrated DML driver
  • GN2146: Bi-directional 24-28G ClearEdge CDR with Integrated EML / MZM driver
  • GN2148: Single 24-28G ClearEdge CDR with Integrated VCSEL Driver
  • GN2149: Single 24-28G ClearEdge CDR with Integrated TIA
  • GN1081: 24-28G FiberEdge™ TIA
  • GN1086: Next generation 24-28G FiberEdge TIA

“Semtech continues to make great inroads with the 5G wireless business as we enable our customers’ next generation 5G wireless optical module designs. Volume shipments of our complete front haul chipset platform starting in the fourth calendar quarter of 2019 will enable millions of ports in the coming year. Our customers continue to prioritize our designs based on our performance, delivery and support,” said Raza Khan, Senior Market Manager for Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group. “In addition, Semtech is already leading the way to enable analog PAM4-based solutions in the data center market and creating a complete analog PAM4 ecosystem with the Open Eye MSA. Semtech will leverage this PAM4 leadership and enable a complete 5G wireless Tri-Edge CDR portfolio.”

CERN deploys Juniper switches

CERN has deployed Juniper’s QFX Series switches, EX Series Ethernet Switches for its new data center core network and is evaluating Tungsten Fabric to create a network built for extreme computing.

CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project is designed to observe up to 1.7 billion proton-proton collisions per second and produce a data volume of more than 7.5 terabytes per second. The data flow has to be filtered and reduced to a manageable level. The LHC experiments’ Trigger and Data Acquisition Systems handle data filtering, collection and infrastructure monitoring. Juniper’s switching portfolio provides high-throughput connectivity to support the data collection and infrastructure monitoring.

CERN’s Geneva data center network supports more than 15,000 servers and 260,000 processor cores. It enables researchers around the world to receive data from the LHC experiments for analysis. In the last 12 months, 370 petabytes of data have moved across the network.

“Juniper is very proud to be working with CERN by putting dynamic automation and a robust network in place and supporting the organization to embark on the next wave of scientific discovery to continue helping us to understand our mysterious universe,” said James Morgan, Vice President, Enterprise Sales, EMEA Juniper Networks.

BP to close its European data centers as it goes all-in on AWS

BP, a leading global energy business, is closing its European mega data centers and migrating all data and 900 key applications currently hosted there to AWS.

BP's two European mega data centers, the largest that BP operates globally, host data from across all BP’s businesses.

AWS said BP's data center migration has helped the organization to improve operational efficiencies, eliminate upfront capital expenditures, and quickly adapt to market changes. In its global Downstream business, BP’s refineries run AVEVA Unified Supply Chain (previously Spiral Suite) software, a crucial decision-making analytics platform, on AWS. By deploying AVEVA Unified Supply Chain on AWS, a problem that with legacy solutions would have required seven hours of calculation time, can now be performed in less than four minutes. BP has also successfully migrated approximately half of its 65 business critical SAP production environments to AWS, which has improved system performance and integrity.

Citynet deploys ADVA ALM fiber monitoring

Citynet has deployed the ADVA ALM fiber monitoring solution in its backbone network in western Austria. Built on the ADVA FSP 3000 platform and FSP 150 multi-layer edge technology, the regional backbone network is fully protected by round-the-clock service-agnostic monitoring and managed by ADVA’s Ensemble Controller. Citynet can instantly and precisely locate breaks that could threaten mission-critical services. Technical support and maintenance is provided by ADVA’s partner Componet.

“The ADVA ALM enables our repair teams to quickly detect and pinpoint any degradation in our fiber plant. It means no more wasted hours on futile site visits. With proactive maintenance we can also resolve many more issues before services are affected so that outages can be avoided altogether. In fact, the ADVA ALM is so effective that we expect the amortization within the coming months,” said Manuel Kofler, head of IT division, Citynet. “This simple device helps us deliver unbeatable performance and increase the value of our SLAs. Yet it’s the boost to sustainability that makes the ADVA ALM valuable both now and in the future. Reducing truck rolls is key to tackling our carbon footprint and protecting our environment in the long term.”

Independent Global Cloud Xchange to emerge from bankruptcy

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware confirmed Global Cloud Xchange's Plan of Reorganization, clearing the way for the company to successfully complete its Chapter 11 financial restructuring.

GCX will emerge from Chapter 11. following regulatory approval, as an independent company backed by the strong ownership of its existing senior secured noteholders. Through Chapter 11, the company will have reduced its debt by $150 million and gained access to new working capital to further its strategic plan.

GCX owns one of the world’s largest private undersea cable system spanning more than 68,000 route kms.

InterDigital files 3/4/5G patent lawsuit against Huawei

InterDigital filed a patent infringement action in the United Kingdom against Huawei seeking, among other things, a determination of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms for a license to InterDigital’s portfolio of 3G, 4G and 5G standards-essential patents (SEPs).

The InterDigital patents asserted are:

  • European Patent (UK) 2 363 008 – Enables the efficient control of carrier aggregation in 4G (LTE). In advanced mobile phones, carrier aggregation is key to achieving high data rates.
  • European Patent (UK) 2 557 714 – Supports the use of multiple antennae transmissions in 4G (LTE). The patent enables the use of flexible levels of error protection for reporting by the handset, increasing the reliability of the signaling.
  • European Patent (UK) 2 485 558 – Allows mobile phone users quick and efficient access to 4G (LTE) networks. One of the main technological challenges of developing LTE networks was efficient bandwidth usage for various traffic types such as VoIP, FTP and HTTP. This patent relates to inventions for quickly and efficiently requesting shared uplink resources — for example, reducing lag when requesting a webpage on a smartphone on LTE networks.
  • European Patent (UK) 2 421 318 – Relates to an enhancement to 3G known as High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), where efficient, fast scheduling of resources is key to optimizing the user’s experience. The patented invention decreases latency during HSUPA transmission by eliminating certain scenarios in HSUPA where scheduling requests may be blocked. A blocked scheduling request may prevent a smartphone from sending data. 
  • European Patent (UK) 3 355 537 – Also relates to HSUPA. The patented invention increases efficiency of bandwidth usage during HSUPA transmission by ensuring that mobile phones do not utilize resources allocated to them for HSUPA transmission in an inefficient manner.

“InterDigital is committed to constructive, arm’s-length negotiation, fair licensing, and the use of impartial arbitration when parties are simply unable to reach agreement,” said William J. Merritt, President and CEO. “We’re also committed to having our significant intellectual property and contributions to standards respected and enforced. We’re hopeful that Huawei will choose to resolve this situation through arbitration or negotiation, rather than holding out or through litigation in a favorable court, especially given the significant history of negotiation and arbitration involving the two companies.”

http://ir.interdigital.com/file/Index?KeyFile=401374476

See also