What’s up with… Cisco, GSMA, Google, VMware

via Flickr © Prayitno (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Prayitno (CC BY 2.0)

  • Cisco snaps up ThousandEyes
  • GSMA hooks up with the O-RAN Alliance, boasts of its members’ green credentials
  • Google linked to mobile investment in India
  • VMware has a great Q1

Analytics M&A and open RAN activity lead the way in this medley of comms industry eye-openers.

  • Cisco has agreed to acquire the wonderfully-named ThousandEyes, a network analytics company that has developed an “Internet and Cloud intelligence platform delivers deep visibility and insights into the digital delivery of applications and services over the Internet.” Cisco didn’t specify a price in its official announcement, but industry reports put the sun at about $1 billion. The news comes a day after network analytics firm Kentik scored new funding.
  • The GSMA is to collaborate with the O-RAN Alliance on efforts to “accelerate the adoption of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions that take advantage of new open virtualised architectures, software and hardware.” The efforts, it seems, will be focused on identifying a “roadmap for network solutions” that can be tracked and referred to by technology developers and the mobile operators alike. There are no details of exactly what the new buddies expect to come out of this collaboration, or when, but if the two parties can help unify the expectations and plans of the vendors, integrators and network operators involved in deploying systems based on O-RAN specifications then that would be a positive step for all. It’s worth noting, too, that this agreement adds to the existing relationship the GSMA has with Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and the collaboration between TIP and the O-RAN Alliance. “The goal for these collaborations is to help avoid fragmentation and accelerate the successful evolution of the industry towards a more intelligent, open, virtualised and fully interoperable RAN,” notes the GSMA.
  • Sticking with the GSMA… Desperate, it seems, to prove the green credentials of its network operator members, the industry body has issued a press release to show how CSPs are managing to deal with the traffic patterns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in an energy-efficient manner. The examples it provides are laudable, for sure – sustainability is an incredibly important topic – but we can’t help thinking that the release, and particularly its headline of COVID-19 Network Traffic Surge Isn’t Impacting Environment Confirm Telecom Operators, is only going to attract the attention of the seemingly growing number of deluded nincompoops who believe that 15th century agrarian lifestyles are the panacea to the world’s current challenges. You can hear them now… “Of course the mobile companies say the environment is fine, but my friend Brian Fogg says that’s not true and he has incontrovertible evidence stashed safely in his chicken coop!!  So let’s go and set fire to some vital communications infrastructure… I’ll bring the lighter fluid!” So, hats off to the operators and their sustainability strategies, and two fingers (in advance) to the simpletons set to feast on the GSMA’s stats buffet.
  • Investing in Indian operators is all the rage these days, it seems, as Google is reportedly interested in acquiring a 5% stake in Vodafone Idea, one of the mobile operators that has suffered from the competitive hammer blow delivered by Reliance Jio’s market entry and subsequent extraordinary growth. Vodafone Idea, the second largest operator in India with 329 million customers and a 28.5% market share (as of January), has the scale to survive but its finances are a mess and it needs new capital, which is exactly what Google might be able to bring to the table. Reliance Jio, which entered the market in 2016, is the market leader, with more than 376 million customers and a 32.6% market share. But the Google empire’s interest in India doesn’t stop there… Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has reportedly been exploring an investment in Jio Platforms, which counts Reliance Jio as one of its assets, but may have missed its chance, according to the Financial Times. Jio Platforms has attracted a string of investors lately, including Facebook, which snapped up a near 10% stake in April, after which a string of private equity giants followed suit.
  • VMware’s fiscal first quarter financials exceeded expectations as the cloud and virtualization software firm reported revenues of $2.73 billion, up 11.6% year-on-year, and an operating profit of $418 million, up 18%. That news, plus a forecast of further sales growth for the current fiscal period, sent the company’s share price up by more than 8% to $154.20 in post-market trading on May 28.
  • Ligado Networks (formerly LightSquared) says its investors have stumped up $100 million in “new financing” to help it develop its 5G-based industrial IoT vision using spectrum in the 1.6 GHz band. The FCC recently agreed to modify Ligado’s spectrum licenses to enable it to roll out low-power networks using that mid-band spectrum, but the decision is controversial and has been met with opposition from the US Department of Defense.  
  • Systems integrator and IT services giant Wipro has appointed Thierry Delaporte as its CEO and Managing Director effective 6 July. Delaporte was until recently the Chief Operating Officer of Capgemini Group, where he spent 25 years. 

- The Staff, TelecomTV

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