What’s up with… Juniper, Orange, UK broadband, Amazon

  • Juniper acquires service assurance specialist
  • Orange and Schneider team on industrial 5G
  • Britain’s broadband battle of wills (will they, won’t they…)
  • Amazon’s home drone sounds batty

A strategic acquisition by Juniper Networks and an industrial 5G collaboration are in pole position in this race for the news chequered flag.

Juniper Networks has agreed to acquire Swedish, software-oriented network monitoring tech specialist Netrounds for an undisclosed sum. Juniper says the dal, which is expected to close before the end of the year, will “enhance [its] automated WAN solutions to further simplify operations for service providers.” Netrounds recently landed a prime customer reference by being chosen to provide automated service assurance capabilities for Rakuten Mobile. This looks like a good acquisition: Netrounds is known as an innovative, cloud-oriented monitoring specialist and it looks like a tidy fit with Juniper’s focus on network agility and security. For more details on the acquisition, see this announcement

Orange and industrial automation and energy management specialist Schneider Electric have teamed up to deploy an indoor 5G network in a French factory. The network, which uses “experimental frequencies,” aims to “use 5G in a modern industrial environment to build reliable, scalable and sustainable connectivity solutions for future industrial needs.” Interestingly, the partners note that the network is currently capable of very high-speed and low latency connectivity but that network slicing will become available “over time.” The tests, though, have been using Schneider’s augmented reality applications.

Over-promising as per usual, only months ago the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, told the British public "it'll all be over by Christmas." Covid-19, that is — but, of course, it won't be. Now comes the news that another pledge won't be kept either. The national gigabit broadband network promised for 2025 will not be operational until 2033, just eight years late. Philip Jansen, CEO of the BT Group, says that's what will happen if the UK keeps plodding along at the current pace of technology deployment. However, he adds, it should be possible to claw back six years and have "gigabit capable broadband" available to everyone in the country by 2027 if £9 billion of savings are made by streamlining bureaucracy and cutting taxes in general, and business rates in particular, reports ISP Review. Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? Any such concessions would be of great competitive benefit to the incumbent telco. Jansen's intervention is timely in that the absolutely, positively, totally, completely and utterly final, final version of the government's broadband strategy will be announced with the Autumn 2020 Spending Review. That Review might be published in October, maybe in November or might not arrive until sometime in December, depending on how far the Johnson administration can stretch its already remarkably elastic notion of how long an Autumn can be made to last.

Amazon has come up with a few loony wheezes in its time, but this one is almost literally batty. Amazon owns Ring, the high-tech smart home security company which has, time and again, been roundly criticised for using surveillance capabilities straight out of the Orwell playbook. The latest must-not-have home protection device is the 'Always Home Cam,' a drone that launches itself across your living room if it senses a "potential" burglary in process, reports Silicon. Big Brother Watch calls the device "the most chilling home surveillance product yet." The drone's rotors are installed in a little cage to ensure that pets such as puppies, kittens and hamsters don't get minced by the rotors, just lightly trimmed around the nether regions as they run for cover under the sideboard. Tortoises should be OK though. 

The US has imposed export restrictions on SMIC, China’s biggest chip manufacturer, reports Reuters. US companies wishing to provide technology or services to SMIC will now need to apply for a special export license. The move is not unexpected: SMIC was deemed a potential security risk by the US authorities earlier this month.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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