What’s up with… BT, e&, T-Systems

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Oct 17, 2023

  • BT stitches together its multi-cloud Global Fabric
  • e& shows off at Gitex
  • T-Systems unveils its digital twin

In today’s industry news roundup: BT has launched its international multi-cloud network-as-a-service offering, dubbed Global Fabric; e& heads to Gitex with 5G network slices, an automated store and an electric vehicle charging network; Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems has launched a digital twin solution based on Nvidia’s Omniverse platform; and much more! 

BT has unveiled Global Fabric, a multi-cloud network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering that, according to the operator, “is designed to be flexible, scalable and resilient both in the quality of connectivity and the convenience of pay-as-you-use. By combining the power of cloud and networks, customers can optimise application performance, user experience and cost.” The platform, via an “e-commerce-like interface”, enables enterprises to select the connectivity and services they need and BT has built up quite the menu of options, as Global Fabric is pre-integrated with more than 630 digital service providers and more than 700 datacentres, comprising services and functionality from “the world’s largest public cloud providers,” including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, “private clouds, network, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and secure access service edge (SASE) solutions,” stated BT in this announcement. And this isn’t a best effort service: “Unlike the internet, Global Fabric will be ‘deterministic’ – customers will be able to trust BT to deliver the predictable application experience they expect by selecting the optimal end-to-end paths for their applications and workloads as they move to and between multiple clouds and end users,” the operator claimed. And as well as appealing to the cloud demands and international connectivity needs of major enterprises, BT is also pitching its Global Fabric as a green network. “The new high-capacity, fully programmable network is built with state-of-the-art equipment offering improvements in efficiency, sustainability and resilience. BT estimates that when fully rolled out, Global Fabric will use 79% less electricity than its current global networks. This means customers on the new network will be able to reduce their Scope 3 carbon emissions,” added the operator, which claims the network gives it “the most direct coverage of hyperscaler clouds of any connectivity provider in the world.” Bas Burger, CEO of BT Business, noted: “Global Fabric will future-proof customers’ connectivity by providing flexibility to ensure they’re always connected so they can always be productive. They’re facing a new wave of digital revolution with AI [artificial intelligence], IoT [internet of things] and automation driving demand for simplicity and better multi-cloud connectivity. Customers can achieve better total costs, boost app performance and user experience, all while complying with regulations and mitigating cyber threats. Global Fabric means multi-cloud works better on BT.” Let’s hope, for BT’s and Burger’s sake, that Global Fabric doesn’t turn out to be the telecom sector’s latest ‘Emperor’s new clothes’.   

The annual Gitex tech show is underway at the Dubai World Trade Centre, so expect to hear plenty of news from the major Middle East players this week. One of those is, of course, e& (aka Etisalat), the ambitious digital service provider that has global aspirations and has been making a lot of noise on the international stage over the past year or so, most notably via its investment in Vodafone Group and its €2.2bn investment in PPF Group’s telecom assets in central and eastern Europe. The company has rocked up to Gitex with news of a 5G standalone core platform-enabled network slicing offer – part of e&’s network-as-service (NaaS) efforts – that has been enabled through a collaboration with Huawei. The operator is also showing off its automated telecom store, which enables consumers to shop for communications products and services without having to queue or engage with anyone (in the same fashion as an Amazon Go store), and has announced the soft launch of an electric vehicle charging network

T-Systems, the enterprise services division of Deutsche Telekom, has unveiled a digital twin offering, running on Nvidia’s Omniverse, a cloud services platform that enables the development of advanced 3D applications and pipelines. T-Systems’ enterprise customers will be able to develop “complex 3D pipelines” using the platform as well as universal scene description (OpenUSD – a framework for interchange of 3D computer graphics data) applications for digitalisation in the industrial domain. It will allow various teams to collaborate remotely via “photorealistic visualisations and simulations of, for example, production lines and industrial facilities”. Omniverse will run on T-Systems’ European cloud platform and T-Systems will help customers migrate across to it. Its first customer, a “major German automotive producer” is already up and running on the platform, according to the company. T-Systems, which will also provide DevOps, data intelligence and consulting services, is targeting customers across the manufacturing and automotive industries, as it believes the platform will help them “boost innovation, increase the efficiency of their planning process, eliminate costly errors” and reduce barriers to a swift industrial digitalisation. Find out more.

Ericsson’s CEO Börje Ekholm had quite a lot on his mind as he presented the Swedish vendor’s third-quarter numbers. But in his webcast commentary he managed to note, in response to a question from a financial analyst, that “we believe networks in the future are going to be much more open, and we're always better off leading that.” He was referring to Ericsson’s recent deal that will see Telefónica, one of the telco community’s most vocal Open RAN supporters, develop its virtual RAN and Open RAN strategy using Ericsson’s Cloud RAN platform, including a non-real-time RIC platform (and associated rApps) for aspects of network management. Last week, of course, Ericsson caused some open networking community blood to boil as the head of its networks business unit, Fredrik Jejdling, appeared at the Fyuz event in Madrid (via a video link) to profess its support and love for Open RAN, the alternative radio access network architecture that the Swedish giant has been doing its best to undermine for the past few years. The tide, it seems, has most certainly turned at Ericsson. 

Turkcell has appointed its third CEO in less than five weeks. The Turkish operator has selected Ali Taha Koç, formerly an Intel engineer and the head of information technologies for the Turkish state, as its new CEO with effect from 13 October. His appointment comes after Murat Erkan quit suddenly on 11 September following four and a half years at the helm of the telco, before his successor, Bülent Aksu, took the reins for just 11 days, leaving on 25 September without disclosing the reasons for his decision.

In an effort to boost its marketing solutions capabilities, NTT Docomo is acquiring 51% of Intage Holdings, a Japan-based provider of marketing research and consulting services. The Japanese operator has completed a public tender offer at a total cost of around ¥47.1bn ($315m), which means that Intage Holdings will become a subsidiary of NTT Docomo after the purchase settlement is finalised on 23 October. According to the operator, the pair will “work closely with a variety of companies, including manufacturers, retailers and service providers, helping to make their marketing more consumer centric and thereby enriching the lives of consumers”. Read more.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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