What’s up with… Syniverse + Twilio, Boingo, BT

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Mar 1, 2021

  • Twilio takes stake in Syniverse
  • Boingo snapped up by Digital Colony
  • BT’s Chairman is stepping down

A strategic investment in a network interconnect spceialist and the acquisition of an in-building wireless connecivity provider get our news juices flowing this Monday.

  • Cloud-based communications giant Twilio is to take a significant but minority stake in network interconnect specialist Syniverse with an investment of up to $750 million, the companies announced today. The move is part of a deeper relationship based on a wholesale agreement that will see Syniverse “process, route and deliver application-to-person (A2P) messages originating and/or terminating between Twilio’s customers and mobile network operators.” And there’s more: The companies are to “pursue additional potential financing transactions that may be in the form of a public market transaction or an additional equity investment.” According to sources cited by Reuters, this will result in Syniverse, which is currently majority-owned by the Carlyle Group, being acquired by a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will result in Syniverse stock being traded on a public exchange. Not surprisingly, the deal is likely to be very favourable to Syniverse shareholders, so Twilio’s stock got a lift today, rising by 4.7% to $411.23. For more on the deal between Twilio and Syniverse, see this announcement.
  • Boingo, which provides in-building connectivity to CSPs and enterprises via its DAS and Wi-Fi networks, is being acquired by investment firm Digital Colony for $14.00 per share in a deal that values Boingo at $854 million. The news sent Boingo’s shares up by more than 23% to $14.07. The news came as Boingo reported full year 2020 revenues of $237.4 million, down 10% year-on-year, and an operating loss of $9.1 million. In-building connectivity is going to be critical to CSPs and enterprises and Boingo is an expert at building and running such networks: Digital Colony could be buying a smart company at the right time at a very good price. 
  • BT’s Chairman Jan du Plessis, 67, is stepping down this year once a successor has been found. “BT is a fantastic company and it is a huge privilege and responsibility to be its Chairman. But after 17 years of demanding roles as Chairman of significant FTSE companies, I know the time is now right for me to step down and focus on other interests.” Read more.
  • We recently reported that Sigfox had signed up with Google Cloud to be its global backbone provider. Now two of its LPWAN rivals, Actility and Everynet BV, are bolstering their global LoRaWAN claims by executing ‘seamless network integration’ between Everynet’s carrier-grade national networks and Actility’s IoT platforms. The networks are interconnected through ThingPark Exchange, the first global LoRaWAN peering hub in the industry. ThingPark Exchange facilitates the activation of devices in any country for solution providers with a global footprint, Actility claims.
  • Ongoing 5G investments in China helped push the mobile core market to a “historical high” in the fourth quarter and full year 2020, according to research house Dell’Oro. Huawei is the market leader as a result of the China deployments, while ZTE also benefitted from that trend. The same trend also pushed the radio access network (RAN) market to record levels in 2020, according to Dell'Oro
  • Eight companies have signed up to participate in the SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC), a joint programme between UK state agency Digital Catapult and UK regulator Ofcom to “test interoperability and integration of open networking solutions,” starting with a focus on Open RAN. The initial participants are Accelleran NVPhluido IncEffnet ABBenetel LtdMavenirFoxconnNEC and Radisys. The initiative, which was first mootedlast November, will begin operations in May, with a combination of lab tests and “real world indoor and outdoor deployments.” Benetel issued its own statement about its involvement: Read it here.
  • Cognisant of the need for consistent training and reference points as network operators adapt to an increasingly cloud-oriented environment, an outfit called NaaS Compass has devised a series of training courses on all things network-as-a-service specifically for telco operations teams. NaaS Compass was founded by Johanne Mayer, a well-known figure in the telecom software sector and former Global Evangelist for Telstra’s NaaS offering. 
  • The European Commission, as part of its commitment to Smart Networks and Services, has allocated €900 million of research and innovation (R&I) funds towards 6G research under its Horizon Europe initiative and 5G initiatives under the Connecting Europe Facility Digital and other programmes. The EC hopes that the investments will foster “Europe’s technological sovereignty in 6G by implementing the related research and innovation programme leading to the conception and standardisation around 2025, as well as preparation for early market adoption of 6G technologies by the end of the decade.” Read more.
  • Cisco has finally closed its acquisition of optical components specialist Acacia for $4.5 billion. Read more.
  • Foreign exchange traders are another group stampeding to the cloud, at least according to a report by Fintech firm Integral, as reported by Reuters.  Two thirds of senior managers in the currency trading business expect to adopt cloud solutions to a significant degree by 2025, up from the 25% relying on the cloud now. The reason for the uptick, of course, is the pandemic, which accelerated the need for secure and reliable remote trading.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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