What’s up with… KPN, Dish and Netcracker, Orange, BT

  • KPN finds FTTH friend
  • Dish adds Netcracker to its software recipe
  • For Orange, the only way is ethics

The latest fibre broadband co-investment deal, another vendor selection for Dish and an ethical stance at Orange take pole position in today’s race for the news finishing line. 

  • KPN is forming a joint venture with pension fund ABP to pump more than €1 billion into a broader fibre broadband network rollout across the Netherlands that reaches more rural areas, including almost 1,000 villages. According to the operator, the investment will take KPN’s fibre access network within reach of an additional 700,000 households and 200,000 businesses during the next five years, in addition to the 2.5 million lines already planned by the telco. For further details, see this announcement (in Dutch).
  • Netcracker has snagged a key role at Dish Network, which is building a US nationwide Open RAN-based 5G network. The telecom software specialist is supplying a range of business support tools (customer order management, customer contract management, billing management, resource management, service management and orchestration) that will automate the interactions between Dish and its transport network services partners. For further details, see this announcement.
  • Orange has taken an important step in terms of its corporate and customer responsibility by setting up a Data and AI Ethics Council, an “advisory and independent body” that will “support the company’s implementation of ethical principles governing the use of data and Artificial Intelligence technologies.” Find out more in this press release.
  • BT is looking for a new Regulatory Affairs Director after Cathryn Ross announced she is leaving to “take on a new role outside the Group.” Ross led BT’s engagement on Ofcom’s Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review, which came to a head last week with a favourable outcome for the national operator. For further details, see this BT announcement.
  • Linksys and Fortinet are to team up on ‘Enterprise-Grade’ security for ‘Work From Home Networks’, with Fortinet announcing an investment of $75 million in Linksys, a subsidiary of Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT). Fortinet is a specialist in cybersecurity solutions. The two companies, along with Linksys parent FIT, plan to further develop Fortinet’s products and to optimize the performance and management of home networks for the just-emerged work from home (WFH) environment. “When organizations implement telework at scale, cyber criminals leap at the opportunity to exploit the numerous security gaps that arise,” observes Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO at Fortinet. “Security-driven networking - a strategy that converges networking and security across the connected environment, from the core, into the cloud, and to the branch and remote workers - enables organizations to see and defend today's highly dynamic environments while preserving an excellent user experience. We are excited to partner with Linksys to deliver enterprise-grade secure, reliable network connectivity for home-based workers.”
  • And while we’re on the ‘work from home’ topic, Microsoft, a WFH advocate due mostly to  its ownership of ‘Teams’, says it’s released findings from its ‘Work Trend Index“ entitled The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work — Are We Ready?” Probably not. Microsoft recommends that business leaders should resist the urge to see hybrid work as business as usual. It will require the rethinking of long-held assumptions. Good advice at any time and in any circumstances. Read more...
  • Laying out the roadmap to sustainable business models, O2 says its mission is to build a greener future. It claims it can demonstrate use cases for a range of green applications for 5G, including connecting smart meters and powering a smart home revolution; energy reduction via 5G connected vehicles and public transport and more. Detail and justification for potential carbon savings can be found in O2’s A greener connected future report, in partnership with IC&CO and Cenex. Read more…
  • Well, it's happened! The first deathless tweet sent by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey -- "Just setting up my twttr" -- has been sold at auction for U$2.9 million. It's right up alongside the Gettysburg Address as meaningful and poetic prose, so not a bad price for something that doesn't exist in physical form, only as a file in cyberspace. It was sold in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token) to Sina Estavi, the Malaysia-based CEO of blockchain company Bridge Oracle. Apparently the company solves a problem because "due to the nature of blockchain systems, they are not able to access real world data." However "Bridge oracle system is a technology through which external data can be injected." So there you have it. Wonder if it hurts or if there are side effects? Mr Estavi also gets a certificate of authenticity and ownership, verified and personally (digitally) signed by Dorsey himself. Also bundled into the deal is the tweet's metadata. The purchase, which was made in the "Ether" crypto-currency resides somewhere on the Ethereum blockchain, which keeps track and records of who owns the data file at any particular time. Comparing the purchase to "buying a Mona Lisa painting" ("There can be be only one, Highlander!" - but there are trillions of tweets), Sina Estavi tweeted, (of course he did), "This isn't just a tweet! I think years later people will realise its true value." Don't worry Sina, most of the world's population have already realised precisely what its value is... Meanwhile, hoisting himself aboard the NFT juggernaut, Basil Fawlty himself, using the nom de plume of "John Cleese", is auctioning a "picture" of New York's Brooklyn Bridge "drawn" on an iPad Pro for US$69,346,250.50. And he won't take a cent less. So far the bidding has hit the dizzy heights of $36,000, which as Mr. Cleese says, is prima facie evidence that "the world has gone terminally insane." It has, I know -- just ask my giraffe.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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