Services Automation Gets Its Day in the Sun

New service automation software provides flexibility for easy upgrades

Service providers are looking to compete more effectively today, while preparing their networks to support more dynamic, on-demand and customized service options in the coming years. With ubiquitous fiber and Carrier Ethernet standardization, a key area of differentiation for carriers is service deployment speed and service-level agreements (SLAs).

New service automation software is emerging that helps carriers evolve their network and OSS toward an on-demand service delivery capability that provides flexibility for easy service upgrades or changes as a customer grows.

BT to spend another $82.6 million on fiber rollout

UK fixed-line incumbent BT has unveiled plans to spend another £50 million ($82.6 million) on extending fiber broadband services to homes and businesses over the next three years.

In a statement, the operator said the extra investment would benefit more than 30 cities in the UK and more than 400,000 additional premises.

It will mainly focus on equipping city cabinets that were not part of BT’s (London, UK) original plans, deploying fiber to cabinets that serve apartment blocks and laying additional fiber to new build sites in cities.

TeliaSonera spends $72 million on fiber assets

Sweden’s TeliaSonera has announced several acquisitions aimed at boosting its presence in the country’s high-speed broadband market.

In a statement, the operator said it had spent a total of SEK473 million ($72 million) on controlling stakes in fiber players Zitius, Quadracom Networks and Riksnet.

NZ government backs Chorus on funding shortfall

New Zealand’s government has sided with telecoms infrastructure player Chorus in its assessment of the impact that regulated price cuts would have on planned investment in a nationwide broadband network.

According to a government report prepared by Ernst & Young, price cuts mandated by New Zealand’s telecoms regulator for access to copper-line networks would leave Chorus (Auckland) with a funding shortfall of about NZD1 billion ($825 million) assuming it did not implement any cost-saving measures.

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio form network-sharing partnership

Indian operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have announced a network-sharing plan aimed at avoiding “duplication of infrastructure” and lowering costs.

The companies said they would share inter- and intra-city fiber-optic networks, submarine cable networks, towers, internet broadband services and other technologies that might emerge in future.

Besides avoiding duplication and freeing up capital for other projects, the operators said that comprehensive network sharing would help to “preserve the environment”.

AT&T considering more widespread fiber deployment: report

Set to launch a ‘gigabit’ fiber-based service in Austin, Texas this week, US telecoms giant AT&T is reportedly considering plans to extend the deployment of super-fast broadband services to other cities in the country.

According to a report from the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, Randall Stephenson, the operator’s chief executive, told attendees at an investor conference in New York that he saw “lots of other opportunities around the country … for Austin-type projects”.

BT Openreach chief executive to quit in Spring 2014

UK operator BT has announced that Liv Garfield, the chief executive of its Openreach division, will step down in Spring 2014 to join water company Severn Trent.

Garfield has been responsible for overseeing a £2.5 billion ($4 billion) commercial rollout of fiber broadband services by Openreach, BT’s (London, UK) local access network business.

BT also says she played a “pivotal role” in developing the business case for that fiber deployment in her previous role as Group Strategy Director.

Chorus withdraws dividend guidance on regulatory uncertainty

New Zealand’s Chorus has withdrawn its full-year dividend guidance, blaming the ongoing regulatory uncertainty over wholesale pricing for its move.

The company – which rents capacity on its broadband network to retail service providers, including Telecom New Zealand (Auckland, New Zealand) – had previously issued dividend guidance of NZD0.25 per share, but its financial plans have recently been thrown into disarray by regulatory proposals to lower the price of it services.

Deutsche Telekom agrees 546 million euros takeover of GTS Central Europe

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has announced a €546 million ($731 million) takeover of GTS Central Europe aimed at allowing it to provide fixed-line services in parts of central Europe where it is currently a ‘mobile-only’ player.

The German incumbent said the takeover would also allow it to provide cross-border services to business customers – addressing an important pillar of its strategy for European regeneration.

Chorus says regulation will jeopardize fiber investment plans

New Zealand network player Chorus has lashed out at new pricing regulations for jeopardizing its plans to invest in a new fiber-optic network.

In a statement published on its website, the operator described recent regulatory proposals as a “black hole” that would put funding at risk.

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