What’s up with… Mavenir & AWS, global services growth, Telus

  • Mavenir gets closer to AWS
  • Growth is slowing in the global telecom services sector
  • Telus unveils GenAI-based customer support tool

In today’s industry news roundup: Mavenir and AWS are to co-invest in technology that will make it easier for telcos to migrate workloads to the hyperscaler’s platform; IDC forecasts slowing growth in the global telecom and pay-TV services sector; Canadian operator Telus is the latest to develop a customer services tool that makes use of generative AI; and much more!

Open RAN and core platform vendor Mavenir has struck a five-year Strategic Collaboration Agreement (SCA) with cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) which, the companies claim, will “revolutionise the deployment of telecom workloads running on AWS.” The partners will “jointly architect Mavenir’s technology to streamline the development, testing, integration, and application of cloud-native solutions – harnessing the high availability, scalability and security capabilities of AWS services to create a new telco-grade deployment model that is set to transform how operators launch 5G, IMS (IP multimedia subsystem), radio access network (RAN) and future network technologies.” They will “co-invest in developing functionalities, such as enhanced dynamic autoscaling, automation, and reliability enhancements, for communication service providers (CSPs) to enable migration to AWS.” Bejoy Pankajakshan, Mavenir’s chief technology and strategy officer, stated: “Building on our long-term partnership and individual leadership in cloud technology, Mavenir and AWS are now working together to leverage the key attributes of the public cloud to enable unprecedented adaptability of telco workloads. As part of this collaboration, we are combining our strengths to support the ambition of operators to migrate into the public cloud, delivering uniquely optimised solutions that ensure fast and efficient deployment – and a dramatic reduction in total cost of ownership [TCO],” he added. That’s a key claim, as public cloud supporters have long said network operators can save a lot of money by shifting as many workloads as possible onto hyperscaler platforms, while many operators have struggled to identify those savings. Mavenir and AWS are at least pitching this proposition from a position of experience, as they have both been heavily involved in the rollout of the greenfield 5G network built out in recent years by Dish Network in the US.   

The global market for telecom and pay-TV services grew by 2.1% to reach $1,509bn in 2023 but is on course to grow by just 1.4% this year to be worth $1,530bn, according to a forecast from research giant IDC. The market’s growth slowed down during the second half of 2023 and, as a result, “the growth rate recorded for the full year was approximately one percentage point lower than IDC’s previous forecast. This deceleration primarily resulted from slower-than-anticipated progress in the Americas, where a combination of sluggish economic growth, relatively high inflation, and saturated markets created an unfavourable environment for market development,” noted IDC in this announcement. As the chart below shows, there was scant growth last year in the Americas, while the Asia Pacific and EMEA regions saw growth of 3% and 3.3% respectively.


And if IDC’s forecasts are accurate, it looks like Asia Pacific and EMEA will be fueling what little growth is expected over the next four years, as the chart in this press release shows. 

Canadian operator Telus has taken the wraps off its generative AI (GenAI)-based customer support tool. The solution is powered by AI engine Fuel iX and AI chatbot service Microsoft OpenAI, and delivers “fast, easy and intuitive responses to customer queries,” according to the telco. Claiming that its service is among the first customer-accessible GenAI solutions from a Canadian organisation, Telus noted that the tool has advanced natural language processing capabilities and accesses more than 1,000 customer support articles to deliver answers to many commonly asked questions. The telco added that it was built by prioritising data privacy “at every layer of development”. Find out more.

Following media speculation that emerged last week, French satellite provider Eutelsat has confirmed that it is considering various options to “partner with external infrastructure investors” for its ground network. The company stressed that this analysis is in a preliminary state, so there “can be no certainty that it will lead to a specific outcome”. Last week, a Bloomberg report suggested that Eutelsat is exploring options, including a potential sale, for its ground network portfolio, which values it at more than €800m.

Optus, the Australian operator that has been struggling since a massive outage hit its operations in November 2023, has appointed a new CEO to lead the telco into a new governance model that aims to reset its strategy and rebuild customer trust. Stephen Rue, the current chief of Australia’s national wholesale operator, National Broadband Network (NBN), will take on the CEO role at Optus in November 2024. He was elected following “an extensive internal, external and international search” for a new chief to succeed Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who quit less than two weeks after a network outage left 40% of the country’s population without mobile services. Optus also announced the introduction of a new decentralised governance model, in line with a plan by its parent company Singtel Group, which will see the Optus CEO and executives report to the Optus board (including Rue). Together, they will work to “reset strategy and rebuild customer trust in the Optus brand.” Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO and a board member at Optus, argued that the Australian unit remains “a strategic long-term commitment” for Singtel. “In today’s uncertain economic environment, businesses need greater independence and agility to better navigate the market and we believe the new governance model will set the Optus management up for success and help Optus restore and cement its position as a leading player in the Australian telecommunications market.” Commenting on the appointment, Rue stated: “My job will be to take care of Optus’ customers, people and business and to provide strong competition and choice. I look forward to accelerating the transformation at Optus, so fellow Australians continue to have the choice of a strong alternative telecoms provider and the country as a whole can harness the power of digital connectivity to drive economic participation and social inclusion.” Until Rue steps into his new role in November, Michael Venter will continue serving as interim CEO. As for NBN’s leadership – the operator stated that CFO Philip Knox will become the interim CEO in due course following Rue’s resignation, until it finds a new CEO.

The annual shareholders’ meeting of towers giant Crown Castle is shaping up to be a fractious one, as the company’s current board has issued an appeal to shareholders to vote for its selection of directors and ignore the four nominations put forward by former Crown Castle executive Ted Miller and Boots Capital Management. That alternative quartet have “skillsets and perspectives” that “are not additive and do not reflect current industry dynamics and the competitive ecosystem,” noted the company’s board in this announcement

Telcos are set to spend $26.6bn on telco cloud infrastructure and services in 2024, rising to $64.9bn in 2028, as they attempt to deal with the increasing volumes of data (especially mobile data) running over their networks, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The analyst firm defines telco cloud as “the process of implementing cloud technology, services, and architecture into telecommunications networks” and its research focus includes telco investments in infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) capabilities. The research firm has estimated that the expansion of 5G networks and the arrival of cloud-native 6G architectures will lead to a 110% increase in the volume of cellular data traffic over the next four years – from 1,929 EB (exabytes) in 2024 to 5,347 EB in 2028: Data-intensive internet of things (IoT) use cases, such as automated manufacturing and vehicle infotainment systems, are expected to contribute to that data surge. To manage this significant data growth, the report urges operators to leverage cloud-based network management systems, so they can automate the management of network resources in real time and at a local level, including through the use of machine learning (ML). Read more.

Huawei has reportedly had a stellar start to 2024, according to a filing made by its parent company, Huawei Investment & Holding, with China’s National Interbank Funding Center. According to the filing, the Chinese vendor generated revenues of 178.5bn yuan (CNY) ($24.7bn), up by 37% year on year, while its net profit grew by more than 560% to CNY 19.7bn ($2.7bn). The filing did not include any breakdown of the numbers, but it would appear some of that growth will have been driven by its consumer division, which develops and sells the vendor’s own smartphones: A recent report from research firm Omdia suggests Huawei’s smartphone shipments increased enormously during the first three months of this year, while another industry analyst firm, Canalys, reported that Huawei regained its smartphone market leadership in China during the first quarter of this year. Huawei reported a near 10% increase in annual revenues to CNY 704.2bn ($97.5bn) for 2023.     

- The staff, TelecomTV

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.