What’s up with… VMware & Broadcom, Orange, Aviz Networks

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Dec 1, 2023

Source: Broadcom

Source: Broadcom

  • Broadcom is axing almost 1,300 VMware jobs
  • Orange now has a chief AI officer
  • Open networking startup raises $10m from Cisco and others

In today’s industry news roundup: Almost 1,300 jobs are being cut at VMware’s Palo Alto headquarters by new owner Broadcom; Steve Jarrett has been elevated at Orange to the role of chief AI officer; open networking software developer Aviz Networks has raised $10m from a number of investors, including Cisco; and much more!

Having closed the $69bn acquisition of VMware on 22 November, chip giant Broadcom is now starting the process of slimming down the operations of the cloud platform and virtualisation specialist by axing an initial 1,267 VMware jobs, according to a report from Bloomberg that cites documents filed with the California Employment Development Department. VMware has about 38,000 employees currently. The cuts will start being made at VMware’s Palo Alto headquarter on 26 January 2024, according to the documents. Another report, this time from Reuters, noted that two VMware business units – End-User Computing and Carbon Black – have been put under strategic review by Broadcom, which suggests they will be put up for sale or closed. 

Steve Jarrett has been appointed as the chief AI officer at Orange. (Does that make him the CAIO?) Jarrett, who was previously the telco’s senior VP of data and AI, has been developing AI applications, such as software tools that shut down mobile network elements when they are not being used in order to improve energy efficiency, at the operator for a number of years already. The news was announced during the operator’s Open Tech Day in Paris on Thursday, where Bruno Zerbib, the chief technology and innovation officer (CTIO) at Orange, talked about the importance of AI as part of the telco’s approach to an open and agile way of working. In a post on LinkedIn, Jarrett noted that the “recognition is largely just a reflection of the great work done by our incredible team of engineers and researchers across our 26 countries. We are making strong progress towards our mission of using AI to ‘superpower’ all of our employees, our networks, and our customer experiences.” 

Aviz Networks, which has developed a software stack that supports the SONiC open-source network operating system, has added Cisco Investments to its latest funding round, which now stands at $10m. Other investors in the round include Moment Ventures, Accton and Wistron. The funds will “accelerate customer momentum for Aviz’s multi-vendor, GenAI-based networking stack along with adoption of SONiC based open networking,” the company noted in this announcement, in which it claims to now have 30 customer engagements around the world. SONiC (software for open networking in the cloud) is an open source network operating system (NOS) based on Linux that runs on switches from multiple vendors. In April this year, Aviz Networks created the Open Networking Experience Center for SONiC (ONE Center) in collaboration with the Linux Foundation (LF), The Open Compute Project (OCP), Celestica, Cisco, Edgecore, NVIDIA, Ragile, Supermicro, Wistron, and Keysight. “This collaboration brings industry-leading organisations together to further accelerate the adoption of SONiC… and provides an unparalleled experience to organisations testing and evaluating SONiC for their next-generation network architectures, at no cost,” the company noted in this press release.  

Romanian telco Digi, which is trying to build a competitive position in Spain, has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire assets that would need to be divested by Orange Spain and MásMóvil if their planned €18.6bn merger gets the regulatory green light. Digi has stated it would invest €2bn during the following seven years and create about 1,500 jobs if it acquired assets from the merged entity. Orange and its Spanish peer MásMóvil intend to divest spectrum, a consumer unit or a brand to Digi, as well as offering the latter access to their infrastructure, though the mix of assets and agreements could change. In June, the European Commission sent a statement of objections over concerns that the proposed union between Orange and MásMóvil “may reduce competition in the retail supply of mobile and fixed internet services as well as of multiple-play bundles in Spain.” The two players announced plans to merge their Spanish operations in July 2022 – see Orange and MásMóvil commit to €18.6bn Spanish merger.

América Móvil, the mostly Latin American empire of multi-billionaire telecom investor Carlos Slim, has increased its overall shareholding in Telekom Austria to 58%, the company noted in a stock market filing. América Móvil initially took a controlling stake in Telekom Austria in 2014. 

Microsoft is to invest £2.5bn in AI infrastructure in the UK, it announced this week. “Over the next three years Microsoft will spend £2.5 billion ($3.2bn) to expand its next generation AI datacenter infrastructure, bringing more than 20,000 of the most advanced GPUs to the UK by 2026. The single largest investment in its 40-year history in the country, Microsoft will grow its datacenter footprint across sites in London and Cardiff and potential expansion into northern England,” the tech giant noted. Read more.  

- The staff, TelecomTV

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