What’s up with… Jio Platforms, 5G ARPU, Infoblox

via Flickr © Keith Cooper (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Keith Cooper (CC BY 2.0)

  • Jio Platforms has yet another new investor
  • Strategy Analytics has good news about 5G ARPU
  • Infoblox uncovers a DNS snag in 5G and edge rollout plans

We’ve got a fine fix of 5G and finance items in this roundup of news tidbits…

  • KKR is the latest private equity firm to take a stake in Jio Platforms, which runs giant Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio as part of its digital services portfolio. KKR has invested INR113.67 billion ($1.5 billion) for a 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms, valuing the Indian outfit at INR 5.16 trillion ($68 billion). KKR joins Facebook, Silver LakeVista Equity Partners and General Atlantic in becoming a recent stakeholder in Jio Platforms, which has raised INR785.62 billion ($10.4 billion) from selling shares to those companies in the past few weeks.  
  • The research team at Strategy Analytics has bad news for the mobile sector – total global revenues are set to slump by 2.6% this year and won’t stabilize until 2023, when 5G service revenues make “a stronger contribution” to overall revenues. But here’s an interesting, and encouraging, snippet from the press release: “Strategy Analytics estimates that 5G ARPU was 80% higher than 4G in Q1 2020.” Obviously it’s early days for 5G services – there were only about 75 live commercial 5G networks globally at the start of this month and “user-linked 5G connections will grow to over 200 million by year-end,” according to the research house – but service providers can take some cheer from that insight. 
  • Few CSPs believe their DNS (domain name system) systems are capable of supporting edge computing and 5G next generation core deployments, according to research commissioned by security technology firm Infoblox and conducted by Heavy Reading. “Networks will need to leverage the benefits of distributed DNS technology that can enable network managers to meet users where they are—at the network edge,” noted Infoblox in its press release.
  • Bharti Airtel has acquired a “strategic stake in Voicezen, an early stage startup focused on conversational AI technologies,” a market that is expected to be worth $15.7 billion by 2024 (according to MarketsandMarkets).The value of the investment wasn’t revealed. The Indian operator says Voicezen is the third startup to become a part of the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program. The others are: Vahan, which uses AI to match job seekers with employers; and Spectacom Global, which creates digital content that helps consumers discover health and fitness training initiatives and programmes.
  • HPE took a defensive stance after reporting a 16% year-on-year decline in revenues for its fiscal second quarter that ended on 30 April to $6 billion and an operating loss of $834 million. It noted that the “global economic lockdowns since February significantly impacted our fiscal Q2 financial performance,” and has withdrawn its full year outlook. “We are taking decisive steps to navigate the near term uncertainty, while ensuring we align resources to priority growth areas so that we are well positioned to accelerate our edge-to-cloud strategy and address the needs of our customers in a post-COVID-19 world,” noted president and CEO Antonio Neri. As a result of the financial hit and current economic conditions, HPE announced a three-year cost-cutting plan that will reduce its annual operating costs by $800 million per year once fully implemented. 
  • IBM is set to make an unspecified number of redundancies as it adjusts to its more cloud-oriented strategy under new CEO Arvind Krishna and the market conditions brought about by the current global pandemic, according to this truncated version of a Wall Street Journal report. IBM had more than 350,000 staff at the end of 2019. It withdrew its full year financial guidance when it reported its first quarter financials last month.
  • MEF says 24 service providers now offer a combined total of 77 certified MEF 3.0 SD-WAN and Carrier Ethernet (CE) services. Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise and Telia Company were the first operators to become MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certified. MEF 3.0 SD-WAN is a service definition that enables CSPs to communicate their services and requirements in a unified way.
  • Intel, NASA and T-Mobile are the founding members of the 5G Open Innovation Lab (5G OI Lab), a program designed to help developers, start-ups, enterprises, academia and government institutions use 5G technology for the development of new applications and markets. The Lab has selected 17 companies as members of the first cohort that will participate in the 12-week virtual program.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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