What’s up with…. AT&T, Mavenir, Orange

  • AT&T reports an encouraging start to the year
  • Mavenir opens Open RAN centre in UK
  • Orange settles in 2021 but still has pain in Spain

Decent starts to the year for two major telcos and yet another Open RAN R&D facility in the UK are the news frontrunners today. 

AT&T has added to the positive service provider news from the US major operators by reporting a 2.7% year-on-year increase in first quarter revenues to $43.9 billion. “We continued to excel in growing customer relationships in our market focus areas of mobility, fiber and HBO Max,” noted CEO John Stankey. “We had another strong quarter of postpaid phone net adds, higher gross adds, lower churn and good growth in Mobility EBITDA. We also continue to increase penetration in markets where we offer fiber broadband and we’re moving quickly to deploy more fiber. HBO Max continued to deliver strong subscriber and revenue growth in advance of our international and AVOD launches planned for June.” Yesterday Verizon reported a 4% increase in first quarter sales. For further details on AT&T’s progress, see this announcement

Mavenir, which has just announced a major new investor, has opened a Development Centre dedicated to Open RAN Radio software in Swindon, UK. “The investment is part of a larger programme to increase Mavenir’s presence and contributions in the UK” following the acquisition of small cells specialist ip.access and the opening of the Centre of Excellence for Multi Radio Access Technology in Cambridge. “The new Centre in Swindon is dedicated to software and system design for Open RAN Radio Units and is intended to broaden the future development of Open RAN-based systems,” notes the vendor in this press release. The UK is slowly becoming a hot-bed of Open RAN R&D: Vodafone has just announced an Open RAN lab at its UK headquarters; while the UK government is being advised to persuade British network operators to invest a certain level of their capex on disaggregated systems. 

Orange had a relatively settled start to 2021, with group revenues up slightly compared with a year ago at €10.3 billion. Growth mainly came from operations in Africa and the Middle East (up by 7.1%) and from Europe (excluding France and Spain). Orange’s home market is still struggling with the impact of the pandemic, as revenues in France were down very slightly compared with a year ago, while Spain is still showing severe signs of pandemic impact, with sales down 7.4%. The operator ended March with 216.6 million mobile customers across its group operations and 45 million fixed line customers (including broadband). It now offers 5G services in five countries, including France (where it has launched in 239 municipalities). See this press release for further details.

Speaking of Orange… Orange Poland has joined the telco clamour to announce its climate goals. It says it will reduce its CO2 emissions by as much as -65% and will harvest more energy from renewable sources - to hit at least 60% of its energy needs. The overarching goal, it claims, is to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2040 at the latest. In addition, the Polish telco says it intends to follow the principles of a closed-loop economy (see The $45-$80 billion circular opportunity for telcos) by striving to reduce its climate footprint throughout the value chain. It claims it already buys back older smartphones and recycles defective mobile phones in every Orange store. In addition it refurbishes and reuses several hundred thousand modems and set-top boxes every year. For further details, see this press release.

Inexpensive compute access is the chief reason a growing number of network equipment vendors (NEVs) and communications service providers (CSPs) are now exploring public clouds as a viable complement to their telco cloud platforms, according to a new report from ABI Research. As a result, the public cloud is set to spur new growth for the telco cloud market, which is forecasted to grow to $29.3 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27%. Low cost of ownership, little or no implementation risk, and increased business agility and innovation are some of the key drivers. Read more.

ADTRAN says it’s streamlining enterprise IoT evolution with a new LoRaWAN gateway, which will enable network operators, service providers, VARs and solution integrators to easily add support for growing enterprise IoT initiatives in their service portfolios and generate new revenue opportunities. Perfect for Smart Building applications, the enterprise can create more intelligent processes for a broad range of activities, including asset tracking, equipment monitoring, lighting controls, room occupancies, biometrics, motion sensing and contact tracing, the company claims. Read more…

...However, even low-powered IoT growth is an issue on a range of measures. Right now the main problem is security. Despite being flagged up as an under-recognised threat for years, ABI Research reports that the current growth rate – there are currently 8.6 billion IoT connections, and by 2026 that number will nearly triple to 23.6 billion - will usher in a a slew of new threat vectors and vulnerabilities as well as a new era of connectivity and productivity. Of course, at the same time, the looming security gaps offer a tremendous revenue potential for players in IoT security, including DSPs. “Concerns about security of the Internet of Things (IoT) are widespread,” says Michela Menting, Digital Security Research Director at ABI Research. Security gaps run the gamut from devices that are incapable of being secured to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and vendors often choosing to accept the risk rather than remediate it, as well as functional safety-type IoT devices that prioritize availability and cannot simultaneously ensure confidentiality. “There are limited IoT security solutions in the market, due in large part to the fragmented nature of the IoT itself,” Menting explains. Read more…

83% of businesses do not believe that environmental impacts are material to their business ‘right now’, according to a study polling more than 7,400 business executives, spanning 19 countries and 16 industries, undertaken by SAP. “Improving the Environment at Planetary Scale: A Survey of Business Drivers and Actions” explores the steps businesses are taking to improve the environment, and the challenges they face and found that the greatest percentage of respondents (29%) said industry regulations were an underlying reason for investing in environmental issues.  In other words most appeared to be acting in response to various pressures and expectations rather than from a sense of urgency about actual environmental impacts on their businesses today. Read more…

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