What’s up with… Telefónica, Radisys, streaming stats

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Oct 18, 2022

  • Radisys helps Telefónica with its broadband access network disaggregation plans
  • Telefónica chief piles the pressure on EC bigwigs and big tech
  • Almost 1 million UK consumers have cancelled streaming service subscriptions this year

In today’s industry news roundup: Telefónica teams up with Radisys to disaggregate its broadband access network; Telefónica chief urges Europe’s regulators to help spread the digital infrastructure investment load; UK consumers are cutting back on streaming spending as budgets get tighter; and more!

Telefónica has turned to Jio Platforms-owned telecom technology developer Radisys to help with its fixed broadband access network disaggregation plans. The giant Spanish operator is using the vendor’s Connect Open Broadband portfolio to “achieve greater network flexibility and programmability, to reduce the risk associated with supply chain shortages, and to make it easier to introduce new network solutions”. The Connect Open Broadband systems comprise hardware and software components, including “white-box combo-PON OLTs [optical line termination units], the Connect Broadband Access Controller (CBAC), and the Radisys Management System (RMS) software,” according to the vendor. Following lab tests of Radisys’s cloud-native disaggregated broadband solution, the two companies now plan to “deploy the technology in a live commercial network, supporting residential and enterprise customers in 2023.” Read more.  

Still with Telefónica…. The operator’s chairman and CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete has used his podium time at the 10th German-Spanish Forum in Berlin to proclaim that Europe “needs to move to the next level with a sufficient European strategic culture to immediately develop Europe’s strategic autonomy,” and that the region’s authorities need to play their part to ensure that European companies are not disadvantaged in any way. “Of the fifty largest global companies in the ICT sector by market capitalisation, only five are European, and they account for less than five percent of the total value. Europe’s regulatory and competition framework needs to be overhauled to ensure that everyone can contribute, and to build a Europe of values. EU regulation should encourage negotiation between operators and large traffic generators so that all players in the digital ecosystem contribute to the investment effort,” noted the CEO, referring to the current campaign by Europe’s major telcos, including Telefónica, to get the likes of Google, Meta, Microsoft and Netflix to cough up some greenbacks to help pay for broadband network rollouts – see No need for big tech to cough up capex fees to telcos, finds regulators' group BEREC.

Almost 1 million British homes have cancelled at least one of their streaming video services this year, according to Kantar Worldpanel, the London-headquartered consumer market research company. It has released its latest Entertainment on Demand data, which provides empiric evidence to support the generally accepted popular belief that inflation is forcing ever-increasing numbers of consumers to cancel their subscriptions to video streaming services as they seek to cut household costs and save money. The latest figures show that between January and September this year, 937,000 subscribers voted with their feet and their wallets. Expectations are that the figure will rise substantially for the rest of this year and on into 2023 as the UK’s economy continues to go from bad to worse and the reality of Brexit bites harder. Despite mass advertising cajoling the public to keep their subscriptions to watch “unmissable” (and extremely expensively produced) new series, such as the Lord of the Rings prequel “The Rings of Power’”, and the Game of Thrones origins series “House of the Dragon”, the subscriber exodus has continued unabated. Some 16 million UK homes currently pay for at least one video-on-demand service, while more than 5 million subscribe to all three of the most popular services, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. Taken together, those three services cost subscribers over £300 per annum on top of the £159 annual licence fee the public must legally pay to be able to watch the BBC. The streaming companies are putting a brave face on things and saying the decline in subscribers is a short-term blip but the reality is that, after years of growth and rising revenues, they are worried. A case in point is Netflix: It is launching a ‘cheap’ tier to its services that will feature advertising between and during shows, something it has said in the past it would never do and is anathema to subscribers who pay for the service because it specifically does not carry ads. 

New research, Tech and the Battle for Talent, commissioned by Virgin Media O2 and carried out by Censuswide, finds that 34% of UK workers say a lack of training in digital skills holds them back professionally and prevents them from attaining better salaries. The report estimates that if workers had better technical skills they would collectively be earning an extra £5.69bn a year. Furthermore, the lack of digital ability costs the overall UK economy £12.8bn a year. The research further reveals, quite incredibly, that even today 5 million people are still unable to perform the simplest routine computing tasks, such as sending an email! Simultaneously, 55% of enterprises and organisations across the UK say they are facing a shortage of personnel skilled in digital technologies and 83% registered their disquiet about the impact that lack of the talent is having or will have on their businesses. Enterprise respondents defined three main reasons for the staff shortages. Some 35% said it is because qualified staff leave to find better-paid jobs and no-one else in the company has the skills to step up and take their place. But surely, that is a problem easily fixed by offering increased salaries to new recruits? The second reason cited (by 32% of respondents) is because of a lack of training opportunities but this, too, must be easy to remedy. Reason three, also mentioned by 32% of respondents, is the inability to source and recruit staff with the skills required. Again, this is a pretty feeble excuse on the part of employers especially given that 55% of employees say that would be happier and more settled at work if their company invested regularly in new digital technologies and that 42% of employees would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they provided regular and meaningful training in the use of those new technologies. Overall, it’s a gloomy picture, with 72% of employees surveyed saying that they are frustrated daily by the complete absence or poor quality of workplace technologies and systems, which 67% say directly affects their performance and makes 48% likely to resign from their work within the next 3 to 6 months. To make matters even worse, 36% report that their employers rarely or ever provide any training in digital technology. Given those responses, it’s easy enough to see where the heart of the problem lies. 

Since February and the start of Putin’s special military operation (but definitely and absolutely not an invasive illegal war against Ukraine), we have been hearing a lot about the “friendship without limits” that now apparently defines the ‘forever’ tight political alliance between Russia and China. However, the mutual, warm back-slapping has cooled a bit in recent months as China has used carefully couched diplomatic language to issue veiled criticisms of the invasion. Nonetheless, China has happily been shipping trainloads of Middle Kingdom-designed and manufactured semiconductors to Moscow as the military powers there cast around for non-embargoed technologies to place in their depleting conventional weapons. It’s very interesting then to learn from Russia’s daily business newspaper, Kommersant, (as reported on The Register website) that whereas before the war started, the failure rate of imported Chinese chips was an acceptable but still poor 2%, it has now risen to 40%, a truly dire figure indeed. Kommersant blames the West’s economic sanctions for the problem while failing to acknowledge that Putin’s warmongering is the direct reason why they were imposed in the first place.

Even though there are more than 650 days to go before the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games begin, premium partner and official supplier Orange has started work at the Olympic arena “to take up the extraordinary technical and human challenge that Paris 2024 represents”, according to the giant French operator.  In order to offer an unprecedented connectivity experience to the 10 million visitors and 4 billion viewers expected, Orange will connect more than 120 sites, from major stadiums and arenas, to major squares such as Concorde, via airports, stations, training centres but also the Marseille Marina,” it added. Orange says it is the only telco partner (the Tokyo games had five) and that it will build a single, unified native IP infrastructure that will “enable all users and partners to benefit from a single interface”. It will also be making use of “a new standard for video transmission via the Orange 5G network, which will enable moving capture and sharing of 4K images with a latency of less than 80 milliseconds”. For more, see the video (in French) in this Twitter post.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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