What’s up with… Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Turkcell, Alef, Ampere
- Deutsche Telekom pores over bids for its tower assets
- Private networks action from Ericsson + Turkcell and Alef
- Server chip specialist Ampere preps IPO
Reported bids for Deutsche Telekom’s towers unit, the latest developments in the private wireless networks sector and a planned IPO by a new age server chip developer are the top news items in today’s roundup.
Deutsche Telekom is currently reviewing multiple bids for its tower assets, including offers from Vodafone spin-out Vantage Towers, a consortium led by private equity firms KKR and GIP (Global Infrastructure Partners), American Tower, and Cellnex, according to a report from Reuters. The news agency’s anonymous sources suggest the multiple bids include offers for a minority stake or even a 51% majority stake in DT’s towers arm, which the German operator has had in its corporate shop window for a while: It comprises about 40,000 towers and is currently valued at about €18 billion. Telekom’s CEO Tim Hoettges has previously said he prefers an ‘industrial partnership’ with another towers company, but the Reuters report notes that DT is weighing up all of its options. Interestingly, Orange’s towers unit TOTEM has not been mentioned in the list of potential bidders, though has been regarded as a good fit as the regulatory hurdles for that combination would not be onerous. (See Deutsche Telekom CEO goes fishing (again) for towers deal.)
Ericsson has struck a partnership with Turkcell “to identify and analyze potential use cases for potential engagement opportunities in industries via a fully-dedicated, on-premise Ericsson Private Networks solution.” The companies are to check out private network use cases and opportunities in Turkey in sectors such as smart manufacturing, oil and gas, ports, airports, energy and utilities, and mining. Read more.
And still with private networks… Edge API platform developer Alef has unveiled its Mobile Toolkit, which, it claims, will empower enterprises to deploy their own private network within 60 minutes with a few simple API calls, removing network complexity of working with traditional carriers, and without 5G or knowledge of 3GPP standards.” The options for enterprises looking at the potential of private networks is growing fast and becoming increasingly hard to compare, but it’s good to see there are software-based options that are pushing the boundaries on the ‘ease of deployment’ front. Now they all just need to be tested and verified.
Ampere, which develops 64-bit Arm chips for data centre and edge servers, has filed for an IPO but without sharing any financial details. The four-year-old company, founded by former Intel executive Renee James, has raised $426 million in six rounds of funding and has made some significant inroads into the server chip sector, which is dominated by Intel and AMD: Earlier this month, Microsoft launched Azure Virtual Machines (VM) based on the Ampere Altra Cloud Native Processor.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a broad range of recommendations to India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) about the planned auction of spectrum that includes major cuts to the floor price of prime 5G airwaves. TRAI’s full set of recommendations can be found here, but the key suggestion is that the reserve price of mid-band 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.7 GHz band should be more than 35% lower than previous recommendations to encourage participation and uptake by the country’s operators, most of which are having their toughest time financially for years following years of consolidation and burgeoning debt piles. Not that the prices are cheap, even if the DoT accepts the regulator’s suggestions, as the prime 5G spectrum price floor would still be 3.17 billion Indian rupees (US$41.8 million) per MHz. TRAI’s recommendations follow vocal and public requests from major operators such as Bharti Airtel for the prices to be lowered, and TRAI’s report notes that its recommendations follow the receipt of “comments” and “inputs” from multiple recommendations. The auction is due to take place this year, with both Bharti Airtel and market leader Reliance Jio keen to launch 5G services as soon as possible. For more insights and background, see this article from Mint.
European telcos are reportedly spitting feathers after BT was provisionally awarded a €1.2 billion contract by the European Commission to run its Trans European Services for Telematics between Administrations (TESTA), a private intranet-type backbone network, reports Politico. The EC is apparently reviewing its decision after complaints were made that the deal had been awarded to a company based outside the European Union, though it seems BT bid and won the deal via its Belgian subsidiary, which was a smart move.
A few months later than originally planned, SD-WAN and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) specialist Aryaka has launched its service point of presence (PoP) in Paris. “This deployment answers the growing need specific to the EMEA market and region,” notes the company in its announcement about the PoP. “Aryaka's European customers, which include Schenck Process, HMS Host, Giti, and Delachaux, have confirmed the need for better proximity to data centers and high-performance WAN connectivity. The Paris PoP answers their demand and underlines Aryaka's growing importance in the region as an alternative to legacy telecom operators,” it adds. The company already has more than 40 PoPs in locations around the world.
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