Current Analysis
Service Provider Infrastructure
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INTELLIGENCE REPORT SUMMARIES
Service Provider Infrastructure
Date  Report
Mar 28
Packet Design joins NEC/Netcracker’s Ecosystem 2.0 program, combining Packet Design’s analytics with NEC/Netcracker’s Transport SDN solutions to spur deployment of SDN applications, but operators are increasingly building their own solutions.

Mar 23
Cisco completes its $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics, providing a boost in the application monitoring capabilities of its digital transformation portfolio, but it now needs to take advantage of operator demand for application visibility.

Mar 23
IoT was, not surprisingly, big news at MWC. For IT vendors/systems integrators, the focus on IoT was largely buried into larger messaging around digital transformation; security, edge computing and ecosystem-building were the major IoT themes.

Mar 22
Oracle unveiled a new survey identifying operator challenges in using cloud and NFV technologies to improve the customer experience, but Oracle falls short in differentiating its cloud solutions and bolstering related vertical portfolio assets.

Mar 22
IoT was, not surprisingly, big news at MWC. For incumbent telecom vendors, the focus was less on new technologies like NB-IoT and Cat-M1, and more on broadening platforms and making a more direct pitch to target verticals than ever before.

Mar 21
IoT was, not surprisingly, big news at MWC. While every constituency had their own messaging priorities, silicon vendors were out in force to talk about automotive use cases, capabilities beyond connectivity and almost anything other than NB-IoT.

Mar 20
IoT was, not surprisingly, big news at MWC. While every constituency had their own messaging priorities, LPWAN network providers showed up to talk about network coverage and use cases. At least, that was the case for those who showed up.

Mar 20
Nokia’s new org changes and management shuffle reflect the new strategic direction announced in November 2016. The moves make sense on paper, but are surprising at a time when Nokia appeared to have put its post-merger ducks in a row.

Mar 20
Infinera’s Instant Network, launched at OFC 2017, broadens the scope of its instant bandwidth by adding bandwidth licensing pools, moveable licenses, and automated capacity engineering with license pooling differentiating from rival offerings.

Mar 20
Nokia is going after optical demarcation and DCI markets with a single platform to better compete in a more dynamic optical market. The move adds a significant competitor to the CPE and web-scale DCI segments.

Mar 17
ZTESoft launched its POWER strategy aimed at meeting strategic operator digital transformation demands. However the strategy is undercut by a confusing acronym and puts ZTESoft behind Huawei in marketing digital transformation solutions.

Mar 17
ADTRAN surpassed the 10 million vectoring ports shipped benchmark, becoming the third vendor to join this club. But, can ADTRAN leverage its vectoring success in driving adoption of its solutions in the emerging G.fast and FTTP markets?

Mar 17
At Mobile World Congress this month, the two topics mentioned most among microwave backhaul vendors were, not surprisingly, 5G and, somewhat surprisingly, E-band, which has been around for a long time but has recently seen a growth spurt.

Mar 16
The Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project hit the industry just before the start of Mobile World Congress. Reactions were generally positive from operators and VNF vendors, but MANO vendors just want to get on with the job.

Mar 16
At MWC17, telecom and IT hardware, software and services vendors focused less on “bells and whistles” and more on building the plumbing that will underpin emerging network architectures.

Mar 10
It has been a year since Nokia announced its AVA platform. While the introduction of more services leveraging the platform is a positive, the nature of cognitive platforms suggests the real benefit will be the additional data sources it gains.

Mar 9
At Mobile World Congress 2017, we expected 5G to be a major RAN topic, and it was. But in terms of commercial products, the three biggest RAN topics at the show were fixed wireless access, massive MIMO and cloud RAN.

Mar 7
HughesNet has launched its Gen5 satellite, capable of delivering 25 Mbps connections nationwide in the U.S., providing rural customers and other underserved consumers a potential broadband lifeline.

Mar 7
MWC17 saw the realization of a fully virtualized core network capable of supporting VoLTE. Nevertheless, while AI is making it even smarter for 5G, some major architectural foundations remain opaque.

Mar 3
EXFO acquires Ontology, boosting its service assurance and analytics portfolio with Ontology’s network topology discovery and service-chain mapping apps, but virtual network adoption barriers persist.

Mar 2
ADTRAN has expanded its software-defined access proposition to address impending 5G network buildout opportunities, with its new fixed access network sharing (FANS) concept a potential differentiator.

Mar 1
Netronome’s Agilio CX Platform was chosen to fuel multiple NFV infrastructure solutions from leading OEMs, including Ericsson, Juniper and Nokia, delivering sixfold more output per server, per dollar spent to service next-generation applications.

Feb 27
Nokia is showcasing a range of new RAN solutions at MWC. But ranking high among the vendor’s priorities is its massive MIMO and fixed-wireless access activities and what they mean for Nokia’s credibility in 5G.

Feb 24
Zeitgeist Content: With the lines between linear broadcast pay-TV and OTT blurring, operators are seeking out the best paths forward. For cable, telco and OTT providers, the end goals are the same: customer retention and revenue/margin protection.

Feb 24
With Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 only days away, it’s fair to consider any recent vendor news as a part of their MWC messaging strategy. If so, Affirmed’s IoT solution upgrade suggests we’ll be hearing more about the enterprise this year.

Feb 24
Ciena’s Waveserver Ai brings higher capacity, power efficiency and a server-like operational model to data center interconnect solutions, so operators can offer competitive high-speed, high-capacity services, but competitors are closing the gap.

Feb 23
Where Brocade acquired Ruckus for $1.2B last year, the sale of Ruckus (and Brocade’s ICX switch business) for $800M to ARRIS suggests a good deal. It’s also a deal that takes ARRIS out of its cable comfort zone and into new (enterprise) territory.

Feb 23
Possibly working on the premise that ‘it’s not bragging if it’s true,’ Calix has asserted another world first: symmetric Gigabit broadband via new G.fast kit. What’s also true is that hyperbole drives headlines, while customers drive revenues.

Feb 23
HPE expands its alliance with Red Hat, adding support for Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph in HPE NFV System 1.4 to accelerate operator digital transformation, but faces organizational barriers in spurring operator digital services.

Feb 23
Nokia’s new ‘anyhaul’ portfolio aims to win big in the emerging 5G anyhaul market with mobile transport solutions built upon its stable of mobile, microwave, IP, optical and fixed access technologies. The solution could be ahead of the market.

Feb 23
Nokia’s newly released Cloud SBC is fully virtualized, but then so are many of its “cloud-ready” competitors. Virtualized SBC architectures and media plane technology and economics are debated, but the market and Nokia need operator proof points.

Feb 22
Affirmed expands its virtualized IoT platform by adding NB-IoT support, but will need to rely on close partner Tech Mahindra to figure out how to drive IoT innovation by combining virtual network elements with analytics and enterprise IT systems.

Feb 22
Ericsson unveiled a slew of new radio access offerings in advance of Mobile World Congress, including radios supporting massive MIMO and new fronthaul technology. In a major 5G push, deployment ease and efficiency remain important emphases.

Feb 17
Subex previewed its digital transformation portfolio for Mobile World Congress 2017, including advanced analytics and IoT security solutions, but the announcement also pointed out the company’s challenges in fulfilling operator digital priorities.

Feb 16
Ericsson’s 5G Core System is capable of inter-carrier “federated network slicing”. Despite a lack of detail, it sets a new confidence-building 5G network benchmark for Ericsson; but until standards stabilize it could also be a “one-off”.

Feb 16
Voice over LTE and NFV represent the most complex integration challenges carriers have ever needed to negotiate. Challenges provide opportunities; systems integrators are in prime position to get a Tier 2/Tier 3 foothold now and more in the future.

Feb 15
After years of working together, Metaswitch closed in on longtime partner OpenCloud for its VoLTE application server. The combination looks promising, but Metaswitch must ensure its home base is not neglected in favor of demanding mobile prospects.

Feb 15
Nokia is incorporating support for low-latency, high-bandwidth mobile traffic into its NG-PON solutions, including its 7360 OLT series and several ONTs, aiming to win a sizeable portion of the high-potential and still-pending 5G ‘any-haul’ market.

Feb 13
Nokia will acquire Comptel for $370 million to expand its operator software portfolio and channels, especially for catalog-driven service orchestration, but faces integration and telco operations hurdles.

Feb 10
Nokia announced its worldwide IoT network grid as a service, targeting telecom operators and enterprise customers; access to its cloud packet core and global command centers for enterprise customers could serve as a valuable differentiator.

Feb 10
ip.access’s new Viper2020 allows unified management of a range of products – small cells, location-based services, neutral host radios and Internet of Things nodes. But the market demand for such combinations is unclear.

Feb 8
What’s the connection between AT&T’s work to open source ECOMP and its 2020 network function virtualization goals? The need to lean on a wide array of NFV suppliers and still be able to automate, orchestrate and manage all their functions.

Feb 6
Preparation activities in advance of 5G are ramping up as vendors and operators collaborate to define use cases. Additionally, market conditions have developed new options for services vendors with enterprise ambitions.

Feb 2
Nokia’s Velocix CDN Accelerates Sky’s VoD VeloNokia has garnered its first nationwide CDN deployment, with Sky UK leveraging Nokia’s Velocix platform to deliver VoD services to Sky’s broadband and satellite TV customers. But can Nokia carry its Velocix velocity into more operator accounts?city

Feb 2
ECI’s LightCARE application monitors network health to help preempt failures, ensure network reliability, and make maintenance recommendations to help increase user QoE; however, achieving true maintenance function automation may be challenging.

Feb 2
Nokia expanded its IMPACT IoT platform, adding enhanced security and pre-integrated applications targeting connected car, smart city and security/surveillance. Now it needs to take a proactive, services-led approach to help drive IoT momentum.

Feb 1
Nokia’s new 7705 SAR-Hm helps utilities modernize smart grid networks. The new router adds LTE and WiFi connectivity and enables automation to better manage grid devices, but organizational resistance could tend to slow implementation.

Jan 27
Cisco debuted its Infinite Video Platform Labs, and THX is developing a QoE streaming certification program with Conviva. Both video quality optimization solutions highlight the industry drive for improving the end-user viewing experience.

Jan 26
Ciena expanded the Blue Planet orchestration portfolio with internally developed, standalone network analytics capability. The endgame is autonomous carrier network automation, but first Ciena’s analytics needs proving beyond its native orbit.

Jan 24
RAN vendors’ 5G stories include big plans to penetrate enterprise verticals. But, RAN vendors lingering in the lull between mobile access spending waves aren’t waiting for 5G to win the enterprise.

Jan 24
Apart from operator buy-in to AT&T’s ECOMP, the end of 2016 saw vendors start to share the fruits of hard-won MANO templating experience. Suddenly, becoming “open” is looking like more like a competitive differentiator than ever before.

Jan 20
Zeitgeist Content: As the pay-TV world becomes increasingly non-linear, consumers are still very interested in live TV, evidenced by the rise in OTA TV penetration, the stunning success of DirecTV Now, and Hulu’s pending live TV service package.

Jan 19
Mediacom has proclaimed it now offers Gigabit access to ~1 million households in the Hawkeye state. While Iowa is home to several Tier 2 and Tier 3 operators already offering Gigabit services, Mediacom’s Gigasphere service is available statewide.

Jan 18
The Sonus SBC 5400 emulates some aspects of virtualized SBC (vSBC) flexibility, but on a purpose-built 2U platform. However, with vSBCs abounding and its overlap with Sonus’ existing SBC 5210, the company needs to make a stronger case for the 5400.

Jan 17
PacketFabric launched a new Ethernet packet transport services platform to deliver connectivity services to 11 healthcare markets in North America. The new single vendor SDN-based network is based on Juniper QFX10000 switches and software.

Jan 17
Infinera addresses growing cloud-scale subsea traffic demands with new platforms and spectrum management tools; with traffic projected to grow at 40% through 2025, new solutions are needed to deal with all the ‘elephants’ (100G flows).

Jan 13
The network core tends to get overlooked when talking about 5G. Carriers that have struggled to get even IMS implemented are now faced with yet more mountains to climb. NFV will help, but ‘NFV on steroids’ is needed to make the 5G core work.

Jan 9
Extending Ericsson’s partnership with Cisco to include a greater role for Cisco’s WLAN business is good, if overdue, news, but still light on product-level integration and non-committal in areas such as LTE/WLAN aggregation (LWA).

Dec 30 2016
Huawei co-founded the ECC with the goal of establishing broad industry cooperation on digital transformation platform standards. However, the ECC might have the opposite effect – more fragmentation – and could be viewed as China-centric.

Dec 22 2016
Vendors appear to be taking CSP demands to establish NFV interoperability across multivendor infrastructures seriously to drive commercial adoption. The big four Tier 1s are on board, but now others need to commit, sign up and actively engage.

Dec 22 2016
ZTE’s investment in Turkish integrator Netas shows ZTE will pursue ‘One Belt, One Road’ infrastructure opportunities. The initiative could signal a larger intention by ZTE to expand into new geographies and new verticals.

Dec 21 2016
Huawei touted several enhancements to its RAN portfolio in late 2016 in connection with the Mobile Broadband Forum event in Tokyo. The most important ones furthered the ‘CloudRAN’ vision presented by the vendor earlier this year.

Dec 20 2016
Acquiring former Mavenir Systems and Ranzure, Xura is aiming for an end-to-end virtualized 5G network. But with Xura, Mavenir and Mitel all having checkered acquisition histories, it remains to be seen if this new combination will work.

Dec 20 2016
Mitel will divest its mobile division to focus on unified communications/collaboration and free it from the unique challenges of the service provider market. But has the former Mavenir solution lost its window of opportunity?

Dec 19 2016
Nokia’s purchase of BDA startup Deepfield aligns with its focus on proactive cloud network management and security, and enhances Nokia’s cable operator proposition. Nokia and its peers must continue to seek out analytics innovation.

Dec 14 2016
Nokia updated its mobile services vision and portfolio in December. While evolution and innovation at the RAN remains a clear priority, its end-to-end approach encompasses dramatic changes to the core, an enterprise focus and services everywhere.

Dec 9 2016
Operators and vendors alike see virtual voice over LTE (vVoLTE) as a poster child for NFV. But, some pre-integrated vendor solutions, while making life easier for a carrier today, could raise vendor lock-in problems tomorrow.

Dec 7 2016
Cisco’s Cloud-Scale Networking drives the transition of central offices to data centers delivering automation and simplified service creation, using SDN, EVPN and segment routing technologies to stitch together a multivendor IP infrastructure.

Dec 6 2016
Nokia’s CloudBand open templating system aims to accelerate multivendor VNF lifecycle management. The system validates Nokia’s product strategy and VNF onboarding experience, but some operators may still favor carrier-led open MANO initiatives.

Dec 5 2016
Rising complexity provided substantial growth in managed service and vertical market engagements. As vertical markets increasingly look to telecom vendors for expertise with large-scale networks, is this the new normal?

Dec 2 2016
ADVA’s SmartWAN platform helps service providers offer virtual SD-WAN services and tap into VNFs from leading suppliers to deliver expanded high-value services; market confusion and the lack of market maturity may stall deployments.

Dec 1 2016
Altice USA has declared that it will skip DOCSIS 3.1 and transition its current HFC access networks to FTTH. Seemingly a groundbreaking move, on closer inspection, the HFC-to-fiber roadmap may not be as comprehensive, or fast, as touted.

Dec 1 2016
Ericsson announced Accelerated Network Build services, leveraging elements of automation, remote delivery, and cloud-based tools. The package is a differentiator in the near term that could force competitors with similar tools to follow.

Nov 29 2016
AT&T’s OTT streaming service debut, led by the DIRECTV NOW flagship, is a game-changing move on the pay-TV/video chessboard. While lacking some key content and functionality, DIRECTV NOW represents the strongest threat to cable TV since Netflix.

Nov 28 2016
Facing growing competition from a number of LPWA technologies, operators and traditional equipment vendors are deploying Cat-NB1 and Cat-M1. Each technology has its own optimal use cases, but true performance characteristics are not yet clear.

Nov 23 2016
Stateless operation is now seen as an imperative for ‘cloud-native’ applications. However, with IT, network and cloud players adopting different approaches, multi-vendor VNF data management may prove as difficult a problem to solve as NFV MANO.

Nov 18 2016
Infinera clarified the roadmap for its PIC-based Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE) as part its scalable transport networks strategy. However, the company will need to help operators better understand its new ‘meshponder’ products.

Nov 18 2016
Nokia updated its Motive CXS portfolio with machine learning innovations designed to automate customer care processes, but must convince operators to train personnel and adapt such techniques to their established operational and business practices.

Nov 17 2016
Comptel and Apttus recently unveiled a collaboration to deliver business-to-consumer applications built on the Salesforce Communications Industry Framework. Now, the framework must include security and assurance apps to drive operator adoption.

Nov 17 2016
Coriant introduced open line system (OLS) capabilities for its Groove G30 platform to cater to customers looking to generate cost savings and flexibility by deploying a disaggregated optical layer.

Nov 10 2016
GENBAND’s GENView Analytics Solution smartly pulls together GENBAND’s physical and virtual products’ operational and network data into a single offering. However, while advanced in software technology it does not differentiate GENBAND in analytics.

Nov 10 2016
The new Trump administration, with enviable dominance in both houses of Congress, could bring sweeping change to the FCC, DoJ, telecoms regulation and the market at large. Exactly how, and to what degree, is unknown. Much hangs in the balance.

Nov 3 2016
Accanto unveiled its StratOSS QM product targeted at driving transformation of service quality management. As the first in a product series, Accanto faces the challenge of completing the series launch to prove overall service transformation value.

Nov 2 2016
The 2016 Broadband World Forum offered its own spate of ‘October surprises,’ albeit of far less impact than those in the U.S. presidential election. Huawei and Nokia were both active as expected, but ZTE, ADTRAN and others made their mark as well.

Nov 2 2016
Operators want ‘cloud-native’ network applications; vendors say they will supply them. A microservices-based architecture is certainly the first step, and in this, smaller vendors currently seem to be ahead of the pack.

Nov 1 2016
Ciena announced WaveLogic Ai, a 400G coherent optical ASIC that promises to bring new capacity and performance options, along with support for software-centric networking, to the company’s entire optical product line.

Nov 1 2016
5G will require network transformations in the RAN and the network core. Yet, RAN innovations and requirements capture most attention. A presentation we delivered to European service providers last month details how to rectify that.

Oct 27 2016
Google Fiber, an almost self-proclaimed poster child for disruptive fiber buildouts and gigabit service enablement, has decided to “pause” its network expansion. Will Google Fiber’s stall spur rival operators to slow their fiber upgrades as well?

Oct 26 2016
Network operators, frustrated that suppliers are not adequately supporting the transformation to software-centric architectures, take to the stage at SDN World Congress to scold vendors.

Oct 25 2016
At its annual Users Group Extravaganza in Las Vegas, Calix unveiled the AXOS E9-2, which consolidates access and Layer 3 edge functionalities. With the Verizon NG-PON2 trial as its key operator reference, the E9-2 appears off to a strong start.

Oct 25 2016
Samsung’s inaugural 5G Summit shows how seriously the vendor is taking the make-or-break RAN opportunity that 5G represents. At the same time, the summit wasn’t all about Samsung.

Oct 21 2016
At its Analyst Event this year AT&T showed its progress in commercializing its SDN and NFV enabled platforms, and introduced a new technology now in development that could provide a radical new approach to more cost effective transmission systems.

Oct 20 2016
SDN World Congress 2016 did not disappoint, with successes contributing to renewed optimism on NFV’s fourth anniversary. However, while many roadblocks have been overcome by hard integration work, new ones arise all the time on the road to 5G.

Oct 17 2016
Cisco’s Ultra M is positioned to addresses smaller telco and vertical market mobile network opportunities, helps overcome complexity and barriers to market with a pre-integrated and tested solution, reduced scale but with full Ultra functionality.

Oct 17 2016
SpiderCloud is, in some ways, a natural to target Citizens Broadband Radio Service, and its strategy to target mobile operators more than neutral-host providers recognizes some important truths. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will succeed.

Oct 14 2016
Nokia debuted new G.fast micro-nodes and a cloud-based access controller to meet the evolving physical and virtual networking demands of operators. With several Tier 1 customer deployments, Nokia is off to a strong start in the G.fast race.

Oct 12 2016
Nokia’s NetAct Compact virtualized mobile network management solution is optimized for smaller and non-telecom mobile networks. The move fortifies Nokia’s targeting of verticals, but it must further develop support resources for non-telcos.

Oct 12 2016
Nokia’s demonstration of the new ‘F-Cell,’ a solar-powered small cell that can be deployed by drone, illustrates novel innovation. But, if it’s ever commercialized, will it be used for more than just emergencies?

Oct 11 2016
During its annual services event, Nokia outlined plans to transform its professional services portfolio and delivery in anticipation of a new industry landscape. With a strategy in hand, the question will be the vendor’s commitment to investment.

Oct 10 2016
Circa 2016, it’s inevitable that 5G would get a good deal of attention at Layer 123’s SDN World Congress event. If the event’s agenda is a fair indication, however, it’s unlikely we’ll learn much of anything new. And that’s not surprising.

Oct 10 2016
EXFO aligns with NEC/Netcracker SDN/NFV Solutions combining EXFO’s virtualized service assurance product with Netcracker’s AVP platform to meet operator demand for pre-integrated solutions. But can the alliance overcome NFV adoption barriers?

Oct 11 2016
AT&T is clearly aiming to be the leading pay-TV provider in the U.S. market, by offering DIRECTV to virtually any end user, regardless of network technology (satellite, wireline, wireless) or service model (linear or OTT).

Oct 7 2016
Three video solutions vendors stood out from the crowd at IBC 2016. Ericsson led the way with more than a dozen separate releases, while Cisco and Nokia also made their marks with key debuts. Meanwhile, other vendors missed the IBC limelight.

Oct 4 2016
InfoVista completed its acquisition of Ascom’s TEMS business, nearly doubling its annual revenues and global headcount. Even with the addition of the TEMS service testing and automated monitoring assets, InfoVista still has portfolio gaps to plug.

Oct 3 2016
TEOCO’s ASSET Design solution is now ready for evaluation of 5G deployment scenarios, but it already trails competitor 5G network design offerings and does not plug 5G-related gaps in the company’s overall portfolio.

Oct 3 2016
Multiplay providers are sitting on a burgeoning opportunity to exploit their established presence within the home to act as caretakers of the connected household. Taking on the role of digital content aggregators is a natural point of departure.

Sep 30 2016
Why did AT&T announce a powerline-related mobile broadband technology last week, when it wasn’t at liberty to disclose much about it (like, for example, how it works)? There are a few reasons why going public now made sense.

Sep 30 2016
Nokia is targeting global enterprises, the public sector and smaller operators with its Cloud Packet Core to provide mobile services. The move helps Nokia to access new markets, which is both a challenge and an opportunity for incumbent operators.


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