BBWN Bites: US Ponders Financing Huawei's European Rivals – Report
Also today, Verizon and NEC smarten up rush-hour traffic, DT dances with Netcracker, MediaKind sweeps in Broome as CTO, Comcast promotes Strauss, Ethiopans get their own TV and Wray Castle Group buys Wray Castle Holding.
US officials have considered issuing credit to Huawei's European rivals, including Nokia and Ericsson, to help them match the "generous financing terms" Huawei offers customers by leveraging its multi-billion-dollar lines of credit at Chinese banks, the Financial Times reported Monday. Congress also is considering whether to shell out "hundreds of millions of dollars" to encourage rural and small operators to rip and replace Huawei gear. And the Trump administration continues to seek an American all-in-one alternative to Huawei, encouraging Cisco and Oracle to expand their portfolios to include offerings in gaps like radio transmission products -- something both vendors rejected, FT reported.
In a proof-of-concept field trial, Verizon and NEC made the streets of an unnamed city smarter by using the operator's existing fiber optic cables and newly designed NEC optical sensors equipped with AI to gather data on traffic patterns, speeds and density. The fiber-sensing system co-existed with Verizon's existing Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) communication channels on the same fiber used to transmit data at 36.8 Tbit/s. Verizon plans to add 1,400 miles of fiber each month to the hundreds of thousands of miles it already has in place nationwide, it said. (See Verizon & NEC Drive New Smart-City Traffic Uses for Existing Fiber.)
After considering more than a dozen competitors, Deutsche Telekom chose Netcracker's Network Domain Orchestration solution delivered collaboratively through Agile methodology for its network and service automation initiative, the vendor announced today. This combo will allow DT to automate multi-domain network discovery and visualization; multi-layer traffic optimization; IP and optical backbone provisioning and multi-vendor network orchestration, Netcracker said. As a result, DT is poised to cut costs and complexity, automate many complex processes and gain end-to-end network insight.
Longtime Comcast exec Matt Strauss was promoted and is now chairman of Peacock, the NBCU streaming platform and service that's expected to debut in spring 2020. He also will lead NBCU Digital Enterprises group, reporting to Steve Burke, NBCU CEO.
MediaKind hired former Comcast exec Allen Broome as chief technology officer, after he consulted to the video software and services firm earlier this year. It's good timing, wrote Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner, as MediaKind plans to craft a virtualized, SaaS model for the OTT video and pay-TV service provider market. (Find out more: Former Comcast Exec Named CTO of MediaKind.)
Ethiosat -- a collaboration of the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), Ethiopian Broadcasting Channel and satellite operator SES -- is being called the country's first dedicated TV platform. SES's NSS-12 satellite serves more than 30 channels, including 12 in high-def, direct-to-home via a local satellite antenna. Previously, most of Ethiopia's content was broadcast from an orbital point that also served up content to the Middle East and North African countries, creating an "often confusing mix of content," said Amman Fissehazion, AEB chairman, in a statement. Consolidating Ethiopian content onto one orbital position will fuel TV growth -- content, audience and advertising, he said.
New holding company Wray Castle Group today announced it acquired telecommunications training provider Wray Castle Training, a unit founded in 1958. Wray Castle Group, managed by a former exec from Saudi Telecom and one from Zain Saudi Arabia, is divided into three divisions. They include telecommunications training; consulting to service providers on issues including strategy, regulation, MVNO, IoT, network deployment, planning and optimization and 5G; and
business transformation. That latter division has "successfully tackled some of the most difficult corporate transformations in the telecommunications sector," said Andrew White, CEO of Wray Castle Group in a statement.
Comcast Execs on the Move
Matt Strauss is now chairman of NBCU's Peacock streaming platform and service, as well as head of the NBCU Digital Enterprises group, while former Comcast exec Allen Broome is the new CTO at MediaKind.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.
(Home page photo by Vladislav Reshetnyak from Pexels)
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.