What’s up with... Verizon, McAfee, Virgin Media O2

Manon Brouillette, the outgoing CEO of the Verizon Consumer Group.

Manon Brouillette, the outgoing CEO of the Verizon Consumer Group.

  • Verizon appoints new head of consumer business
  • McAfee agrees to $14 billion takeover deal
  • Virgin Media O2 boasts Gigabit broadband reach

A change of guard on the Verizon top table and a major cybersecurity M&A deal lead the way in today’s race for the news finishing line. 

Verizon has appointed Manon Brouillette as the new head of its Consumer Group, starting 1 January 2022 – she is currently Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO of the division, having taken that role in July this year. She will take over from Ronan Dunne, who will become a Strategic Advisor to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. The CEO praised the Irishman for the “incredible mark” he has made at the US operator, but that new role sounds like it comes with a basement office that has its own exit door... is it a case of “Your job here is Dunne?” I’m sure that’s just us being cynical... Read more

With cybersecurity unlikely ever to become a thing of the past, McAfee, one of the biggest names in digital security, has agreed to be acquired by a consortium of investors for $26.00 per share in a deal valued at more than $14 billion. The news lit a fire under the firm’s stock, which gained about 20% in value on Monday and is currently trading at $25.48. News of the deal, which would see McAfee become a privately-held company, came as McAfee announced a 24% year-on-year increase in revenues to $491 million – see this press releasefor further financial details. 

Fibre is the future for UK cable and mobile network operator Virgin Media O2’s broadband access network, but its current DOCSIS 3.1 infrastructure is serving it well currently and enabling it to boast that more than 90% of its network (about 14.3 million premises) has access to broadband services offering downstream speeds of more than 1 Gbit/s: By the end of this year, all 15.5 million premises will be passed by Gigabit-enabled broadband infrastructure, it says. Earlier this year, the newly-formed converged operator announced it plans to replace its cable broadband access lines with fibre access lines by the end of 2028. Read more.
Nokia has been highlighting some of the many cybersecurity challenges being faced by service providers and their customers in its 2021 Threat Intelligence Report. According to the report, “IoT botnets, a network of devices connected with malware, continue to grow in size and sophistication, due to the rising use of IoT devices, like ‘smart’ refrigerators and video surveillance cameras. One known as Mozi, which uses a peer-to-peer command and control protocol, has been used to create botnets consisting of around 500,000 individual devices. Mozi actively scans the network and uses a suite of known vulnerabilities to exploit additional IoT devices. IoT botnets are responsible for 32% of the malware incidents detected by Nokia's NetGuard Endpoint Security.” Read more.
Global data centre, colocation and interconnectivity services giant Digital Realty has turned to Ciena for the optical equipment vendor’s data centre interconnect (DCI) technology, which it will deploy in the Asia/Pacific region. “Digital Realty and Ciena will combine expertise to tackle the challenges of data gravity head on and focus on laying the physical and virtual foundations through Ciena’s DCI solutions and Digital Realty’s Metro Connect service, that aims to truly enable connected data communities and support transformative outcomes for customers across all industries,” notes the data centre company. Read more.
In Brazil, G8 Telecommunications has deployed Infinera’s GX Series Compact Modular Platform on its long-haul DWDM network to increase network capacity. “Deploying Infinera’s solutions on our network doubles the capacity we’re able to offer today across all distances, setting us up for success against our competitors,” noted Rogério Fernandes, CTO at G8 Telecommunications. Read more

Vodafone has expanded its European influence and brand by striking a partnership agreement with Telekom Srbija covering Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina that will enable the regional operator to “benefit from Vodafone’s global knowledge and experience as well as procurement capabilities.” In particular, Telekom Srbija will be able to tap into Vodafone’s expertise in digitalising its consumer product and service offerings, while via Vodafone Procurement Company, Telekom Srbija can “access category insights and strategy coaching, consultancy or end-to-end sourcing execution, resulting in cost optimisation and value creation.” And who doesn’t want that? Read more.

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