What’s up with… Colt, AT&T, AWS

Colt CEO Keri Gilder, DSP Leaders World Forum, May 2020

Colt CEO Keri Gilder, DSP Leaders World Forum, May 2020

  • Gilder takes the helm at Colt
  • AT&T finally gets called out over ‘5G Evolution’ effrontery
  • AWS takes its Outposts to UAE, KSA

There’s some interesting people news in today’s collection of chin-stroking announcements, as well as a ruling that can be filed under what us Brits call ‘the bleedin’ obvious’…

  • Keri Gilder is the new CEO at Colt Technology Services, taking over with immediate effect from Carl Grivner, who has stepped down after five years at the helm. Gilder, who joined Colt 18 months ago, was Chief Commercial Officer, a role she commanded when appearing during our recent DSP Leaders World Forum 2020 panel discussion on Connectivity and the Resurgence of Telecoms in the Global Economy.
  • It only took a year-and-a-half, but AT&T has finally been called out as a barefaced cheek artist for using the term ‘5G Evolution’ to describe its juiced-up 4G service, an outrageous move that attracted the opprobrium of its rivals (and a lawsuit from Sprint) when first used in early 2019. Now, having moved at the speed of a dodgy GPRS data connection, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the US advertising industry’s self-regulation body, has ruled that AT&T’s use of "5G Evolution" and "5G Evolution, The First Step to 5G" in its advertising “will mislead reasonable consumers into believing that AT&T is offering a 5G network and recommended that the claims be discontinued.” (That clearly discriminates against unreasonable consumers, of which there are many surely? Anyhoo…) AT&T claims it can’t smell its own BS, noting in response to the recommendation that it "respectfully disagrees with the reasoning and result reached by the Panel majority," but that “as a supporter of the self-regulatory process, it will comply with the NARB's decision.” How very gracious!
  • Still with AT&T… the US operator has, through gritted teeth, announced the closure of its DIRECTV Latin America operations in Venezuela since US sanctions prohibit it from contracting with the Venezuelan government to carry state channels, something its Venezuelan license insists it must do. “Because it is impossible for AT&T’s DIRECTV unit to comply with the legal requirements of both countries, AT&T was forced to close its pay TV operations in Venezuela,” the carrier noted. As a result, millions of poor Venezuelans just lost their only TV entertainment through the lockdown. This short TV report from Australia’s News.com.au highlights how important DIRECTV is to Venezuela’s disadvantaged population. 
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) says its Outposts offer is now available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Outposts is a managed network edge service that allows customers to deploy AWS infrastructure, services, APIs and tools to “virtually any customer data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a consistent AWS experience.”
  • Just as the US hoists up its 6G pants, so two of China’s leading telecom lights join forces to peer into the next generation of mobile broadband connectivity: China Unicom and ZTE, among other things, plan to use their new partnership to explore “the in-depth integration of 6G with satellite networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet of Vehicles, and the Industrial IoT.
  • Nokia has confirmed its significant role in the FTTH rollout plans of Openreach, the semi-autonomous fixed access division of BT. The Finnish vendor is one of three OLT and ONT suppliers to Openreach, but with the use of Huawei gear capped by recent UK government rules and ADTRAN still new to the party and having its gear tested, Nokia’s ISAM (Intelligent Services Access Manager) technology looks to be the primary gear of choice as the UK operator aims to hit its target of 4.5 million premises passed by the end of March 2021, a major leap from the current 2.6 million.
  • Swiss operators Salt and Sunrise have teamed up to invest up to CHF 3 billion ($3.1 billion) in an open access FTTH network that will pass 1.5 million homes. Work on the network is set to start in the fourth quarter of this year. For more details, see this press release.
  • Here’s an interesting one for all you software coders out there… Tech engineering and integration giant Altran, which was recently acquired by Capgemini, has developed a tool that uses machine learning to predict bugs in source code and suggests tests to fix prospective problems. For more, see this announcement.  
  • Darryl Edwards has left Ribbon Communications following the successful acquisition of ECI Telecom, the Israeli optical transport and virtualization technology vendor he helped to grow. Edwards was the CEO at ECI for almost eight years.
  • 5G New Radio (NR) comprised up to 40% of the total radio access network (RAN) equipment market during the first quarter of 2020, according to research firm Dell’Oro. It also notes that the market returned to growth in that period, which is encouraging. 
  • Industry body the Broadband Forum has released two white papers ahead of the completion of two specifications, focused on Quality Attenuation and IP Capacity Metrics and Measurements, designed to help improve access network performance. 

 - The staff, TelecomTV

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