What’s up with… TXO, DriveNets, Parallel Wireless

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Jan 11, 2024

  • Refurbished telecom kit supplier TXO secures another acquisition
  • DriveNets makes significant IP-optical integration headway with Acacia 
  • Open RAN vendor Parallel Wireless hits deployment milestone

In today’s industry news roundup: Refurbished telecom system vendor TXO expands its business with yet another acquisition; virtualised router specialist DriveNets integrates Acacia’s pluggable modules in an IP-optical breakthrough; Parallel Wireless’s Open RAN technology is now deployed at 1,500 mobile network sites across Africa; and much more! 

Refurbished telecom equipment supplier TXO’s shopping spree is still in full swing. A month after agreeing to take over Lynx UK, a specialist network decommissioning and engineering solutions provider, the company has now acquired Teqport, a German decommissioning and network solutions company. The deal, which is of an undisclosed amount, is tipped to expand TXO’s global presence and enable it to help the telecoms industry “enhance sustainability through circular economy solutions,” TXO noted in a statement. It also highlighted Teqport’s decommissioning and asset recovery expertise that enables operators to streamline their infrastructure, which translates to cost and energy savings, as well as an overall improvement in network quality. “Combining with Teqport in Germany and joining forces with Sebastian Neubeck [the co-founder and CEO of Teqport] and his leadership team show TXO is getting bigger, bolder and better as it prepares to take on 2024. We aim to become the premier circular economy services provider for the global telecoms industry,” said Darren Pearce, TXO’s group CEO. Neubeck added that under the TXO banner, Teqport will be making strides towards a shared goal of “driving a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly telecoms industry.” While TXO could not confirm the financial details of the purchase, nor the revenues of Teqport, it did tell TelecomTV that the German company is profitable at an operating income level.

Virtual routing system specialist DriveNets has completed the full integration of its Network Cloud platform with pluggable 400G ZR/ZR+ optical modules from Acacia, which has been part of the Cisco empire since a $4.5bn takeover in 2021. “The combined DriveNets-Acacia solution will ensure quick adoption of this innovative disaggregated networking solution and accelerate large-scale network rollouts,” stated DriveNets in this announcement. It also noted that the two companies have joint Tier 1 customers that will deploy the integrated solution (this appears to be a reference to AT&T in the US and KDDI in Japan). The move is notable for a couple of reasons. First, the full integration of a virtualised, disaggregated routing platform with a third-party optical networking module is the kind of alternative data network transport system setup that network operators have been craving for years, as it allows them to select best-of-breed technology in an efficient, scalable and modifiable deployment. Drivenets has been working towards this scenario for a while now and announced last September that its Network Cloud was the first disaggregated distributed chassis/backbone router (DDC/DDBR) to support ZR/ZR+ optics as native transceivers that can be plugged into the white box servers that run the routing stack. What will be interesting to watch now is whether DriveNets is able to strike similar integration deals with other pluggable optical module vendors and whether other DDC/DDBR vendors, such as Arrcus, follow suit in being able to offer an integrated multivendor routing/optical architecture. You can find out much more about this trend and the options that are in the mix (and those that are not) in this excellent Futuriom article written by Mary Jander. “Today’s announcement is further proof of the growth of disaggregated networking solutions and demonstrates that more operators are looking for open solutions that will allow them to mix elements from multiple vendors and avoid being locked to a specific end-to-end vendor solution,” proclaimed Nir Gasko, VP of global strategic alliances at DriveNets. “By collaborating with Acacia, we enable our joint customers to quickly adopt cutting-edge technologies and evolve their networks faster,” he added. Second, it’s a sign of the times that Drivenets is collaborating so closely with a partner that is, ultimately, part of the giant empire of one of its fiercest routing system vendor rivals, Cisco. DriveNets’s success with major network operators, such as AT&T and KDDI, comes at the expense of others, and Cisco is the service provider router market leader.  

Open RAN specialist Parallel Wireless has achieved a milestone with 1,500 sites now deployed across Africa, specifically in regions that previously lacked access to standard and high-speed mobile networks. The company explained that to do so, it had to overcome a number of challenges, such as unreliable electricity sources and physically inaccessible areas. To address these issues, Parallel Wireless partnered with telcos and governments in numerous countries, including Nigeria, Tanzania, Guinea, Ghana, South Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Malawi, to deploy hybrid networks tailored to specific needs of different regions. The solutions it has provided include 2G and 3G in rural areas, as well as 2G and 4G for urban and suburban regions. The company claimed that by expanding Open RAN adoption in the region, it proves the technology works at scale, and is allowing it to prepare telco networks for future 5G upgrades across Africa. Find out more.

SpaceX has used its Starlink satellite constellation to send and receive its first text messages over T-Mobile network spectrum using one of the direct-to-cell satellites the company launched six days earlier. Following the achievement, which took place on 8 January, SpaceX said it is now “uniquely positioned to rapidly scale” its direct-to-cell network and plans to swiftly launch a constellation of hundreds of satellites, as part of its goal to enable text services in 2024, and voice, data and internet of things (IoT) services in 2025. Read more.

There are plenty of wireless patent battles coming to a head in early 2024… As we previously reported, Nokia has struck a new intellectual property licence deal with smartphone vendor Honor, but is still grappling, somewhat acrimoniously, with Oppo and Vivo. It’s not alone. InterDigital, which develops and then licenses wireless and video technology to device and systems vendors, was recently awarded an injunction against smartphone vendors Oppo, Realme and OnePlus by a court in Germany. “The Regional Court Munich I ruled that Oppo, Realme and OnePlus infringe InterDigital’s 5G patent-in-suit, that InterDigital has acted in a FRAND [​​fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory] manner, and that Oppo, Realme and OnePlus are unwilling licensees who have not acted in line with widely recognised FRAND principles,” noted InterDigital in this announcement“This resounding victory is another example of the quality of our innovation and our leadership in licensing standardised technologies, such as 5G,” stated Josh Schmidt, chief legal officer at InterDigital. “Having been determined to be an unwilling licensee by the court in Munich, we urge Oppo to now meaningfully engage in negotiations and to take a fair and reasonable licence to our patented innovation,” he added. You can find out more about the current stand-off in this blog. In the meantime, InterDigital has renewed its patent licence agreements with Panasonic Entertainment & Communication: The renewals extend both Panasonic’s licence under InterDigital’s HEVC patents and its digital TV licence under InterDigital’s joint licensing programme with Sony.

There have been some interesting proclamations from senior figures at Samsung Electronics in recent days following the recent profit warning. First, co-CEO Han Jong-hee stated during a press conference at the CES event in Las Vegas that Samsung was plotting a new M&A strategy that could involve what the Korea Herald described as “megadeals”. Then, back in South Korea, the giant technology vendor’s chairman Lee Jae-yong highlighted the critical role of 6G R&D in the company’s future during his visit to the vendor’s Samsung Research hub in Seoul on 10 January. “Our survival and future hinge on securing new technologies like 6th generation (6G) communication,” stated the chairman, who stated that 6G will be a critical enabling technology for AI, autonomous vehicles and robots.

Dutch telco KPN has struck a new collective labour agreement with unions, including an average increase in salary of 8.5% over two years and more freedom of choice for employees on topics such as repaying student debt, free time, vitality and sustainability. The agreement is effective from 1 January 2024 and will last two years. According to Hilde Garssen, chief people officer and a board member at KPN, the move makes KPN “even more attractive as an employer”. It comes at a time when the telco industry, in general, is struggling to attract and retain fresh talent – see Telecom has a “talent problem”, warns Colt CEO Keri Gilder.

London-based Shaka, which is using eSIM technology embedded in mobile devices to allow brands to offer mobile packages to consumers via a quick and simple on-screen interface, has raised €1m in seed funding from Haatch, Purple Ventures, Antler, and a number of telecom sector angel investors. 

- The staff, TelecomTV

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