Join Telecom Times at MEF 2019

The MEF 3.0 PoC Showcase at MEF19 will feature demonstrations involving more than 45 service and technology providers

MEF19 is the global event showcasing network services for the digital economy, where transformation leaders converge and innovate. MEF19 focuses on accelerating the industry transition to dynamic, assured, and certified services across a global federation of automated networks. Emerging cloud-centric “MEF 3.0” services provide an on-demand experience with user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities. These services are orchestrated across automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV.

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MEF19 has a target audience exceeding 1,000 professionals from 270+ organizations and 35+ countries. MEF19’s content, networking, and special activities are designed to appeal to executives and other senior experts from communication and cloud service providers; enterprises; government organizations; network technology suppliers; systems integrators, open source projects, standards organizations; industry and financial analysts; investors; the press; and others.

Cisco to underpin AI powered contact center strategy with CloudCherry acquisition

Cisco is set to snap up CloudCherry, a Salt Lake City based Customer Experience Management (CEM) specialist that provides rich APIs, predictive analytics, and customer journey mapping with integrated sentiment analysis.

Cisco said the purchase of the firm, with the majority of its employees based in Bangalore, Indi, aligned with its strategy around the cognitive and collaborative contact center. This approach will see Cisco focusing on cloud analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to boost agent productivity and confidence, enabling them to provide more personalized customer experiences.

Upon completion of the transaction, the CloudCherry team will join Cisco’s Contact Center Solutions business, led by vice president and general manager Vasili Triant.

1551998238-bpfull.jpg“With CloudCherry, we’re augmenting our contact center portfolio with advanced analytics, rich customer journey mapping and sophisticated survey capabilities that all our customers can use,” said Triant.

“And with more than 17 integrated feedback channels available, CloudCherry can help us better understand and enrich the agent and employee experience as well! CloudCherry’s predictive analytics and journey-oriented solution helps companies understand the correlations between various factors that influence customer experience, ” he said.

“Predictive analytics help agents make journey modifications in real-time, such as up and cross-selling and enabling discounting or couponing to meet customer needs during the interaction, to improve first contact resolution and customer happiness,” Triant added.

In addition, Cisco said CloudCherry’s open API platform complemented its own open and cloud architecture approach, by simplifying how customer data is ingested from systems of records, transactional data, and other data sources.

“This enables our customers to fully leverage their business technology investments, while helping contact center agents close the feedback loop and improve customer loyalty and satisfaction,” said Triant.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and required approvals.

US network builder Spectrum Global Solutions highlights key demand uptick in 5G rollout lead-up

Florida-based comms network infrastructure specialist Spectrum Global Solutions has flagged it recently received US$3.6 million in new contract awards across all of the firm’s operating subsidiaries.

According to the company, the new contract awards include work orders from both new and existing customers, and are predominantly for infrastructure projects as network operators prepare for a nationwide implementation of 5G.

“We are pleased to announce over US$3.6 million in new contract awards,” said Roger Ponder, CEO of Spectrum Global Solutions. “Across the board, we are seeing network operators and carriers strengthen and expand their wireless infrastructure on the back of an ever increasing consumer demand for wireless data. These new contract awards in particular pertain to enhancing data infrastructure for the upcoming Super Bowl through improvements to hospitality facilities’ telecommunications and security infrastructure.

“As we continue to expand our service offering to support the rollout of 5G, which requires a large number of small cell deployments rather than a fewer number of larger towers as was traditionally seen, our opportunity pipeline continues to grow at a rapid rate. I look forward to continued operational execution on this front and long-term shareholder value creation,” said Ponder.

US adds 46 Huawei affiliates to Entity List, extends export licence

The United States Department of Commerce has added a further 46 Huawei affiliates to its Entity List, a move the Chinese telecommunications technology manufacturer claims is politically motivated and has “nothing to do with national security”.

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said on 19 August it had identified 46 additional Huawei Technologies affiliates that “require inclusion on the Entity List,” as part of a routine review of all Entity Listings. 

Since May, the Department has added over one hundred individuals or organisations to the Entity List in connection to Huawei. The new restrictions on the freshly identified affiliates are effective from 19 August.

Huawei was added to the US Entity List, which identifies foreign parties prohibited from receiving certain items from US-based organisations, after the Department of Commerce decided the company was “engaged in activities that are contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests”. 

“We oppose the US Commerce Department’s decision to add another 46 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List,” Huawei hit back in a statement. “It’s clear that this decision, made at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security. 

“These actions violate the basic principles of free market competition. They are in no one’s interests, including US companies. Attempts to suppress Huawei’s business won’t help the United States achieve technological leadership,” the Shenzhen-based firm added.

“We call on the US government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List,” it said.

While adding 46 new Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, the US Department of Commerce also granted a 90-day extension to the Temporary General License (TGL), authorising limited transactions involving the export of items by US companies to Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates that are subject to the Entity List. 

The Department said the decision to extend the TGL is intended to give US consumers  the necessary time to transition away from Huawei equipment. 

“As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognise that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “Simultaneously, we are constantly working at the Department to ensure that any exports to Huawei and its affiliates do not violate the terms of the Entity Listing or Temporary General License.”

Huawei claimed that neither the expanded Entity List, nor the 90-day export licence extension will markedly affect its business. 

“The extension of the Temporary General License does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly. Today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way. We will continue to focus on developing the best possible products and providing the best possible services to our customers around the world,” the company said. 

Indeed, Huawei Chairman Liang Hua noted, “neither production nor shipment has been interrupted, not for one single day”. 

Despite these claims, Huawei has taken significant action against the US Government over other moves to restrict its trade with US entities. Earlier this year, Huawei filed a complaint in a US federal court challenging the constitutionality of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which bars US Government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services.

Through this action, Huawei sought a declaratory judgment that US restrictions targeting Huawei are unconstitutional, and a permanent injunction against these restrictions.

“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort,” explained Guo Ping, Huawei Rotating Chairman, at the time. 

“This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers. We look forward to the court’s verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people.”

GlobalData: T-Mobile, Sprint merger rescued by Dish Network

By GlobalData Senior Analyst Tammy Parker

Following news that the US Department of Justice has approved the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, Tammy Parker, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, offers her view on the impact on the US mobile sector

“T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint took a giant step forward, thanks to an unlikely rescue from Dish Network, which pulled a rabbit out of its hat to set itself up as a fourth national wireless operator and retain spectrum that it was likely going to have to hand back to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Rival mobile operators are likely breathing a sigh of relief. Although the new T-Mobile is gaining scale that will enable it to compete more aggressively, the entry of Dish as a fourth national operator is not a significant threat.

Dish has no track record in building out a nationwide wireless network or conducting business as a wireless MVNO or network operator. Furthermore, it has the distraction of dealing with the ongoing decline of its core satellite pay-TV business as customers shift to over-the-top streaming services.

The deal with Dish Network is a tremendous victory for T-Mobile and Sprint, which now expect to complete their merger before year’s end. Though T-Mobile is giving up Sprint’s 800 MHz spectrum and the Boost, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid brands to Dish in exchange for $5 billion, T-Mobile will get to keep all of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz and PCS spectrum, which is key to its ambitious 5G rollout plans.

It will also potentially be able to lease some or all of DISH’s 600 MHz spectrum to flesh out coverage.  The agreement is also a face-saving win for Dish Network, which could be forced to relinquish certain spectrum licenses it holds if it does not meet network buildout requirements by March 2020.

Dish now has leverage to convince the Federal Communications Commission to modify terms of Dish’s spectrum licenses to enable it to build out a 5G broadband network capable of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

However, T-Mobile and Sprint still need merger approval from the California PUC, and they need to convince opposing state attorneys general to give their blessings to their merger and drop a multi-state lawsuit opposing it. Furthermore, numerous Democratic presidential contenders are lined up to oppose this deal and will do their best to drum up public opposition in coming weeks.”

Motorola Solutions ads to video security arsenal with purchase of US mobile video firm WatchGuard

Motorola Solutions has purchased WatchGuard, a US-based primary mobile video specialist, expanding its video security platform that currently includes fixed cameras and advanced analytics from Avigilon and license plate recognition (LPR) cameras and software from Vigilant Solutions.

Motorola said WatchGuard designs and manufactures in-car video systems, body-worn cameras, evidence management systems and software.

“Its solutions enable law enforcement users to capture, manage, store and share high-quality video evidence. The company manufactures its products at its Texas headquarters,” it added.

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“An integrated, secure mobile video solution can enhance safety and efficiency for public safety users,” said John Kedzierski, senior vice president, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “WatchGuard provides industry-leading capabilities, from capturing an incident from more than a dozen vantage points to technology that enables users to recover and upload video from events hours or days after they happened.”

“We are excited to join the Motorola Solutions team,” said Robert Vanman, founder, chief executive officer and chairman, WatchGuard. “This acquisition enables us to continue providing market-leading mobile video solutions to existing customers while also leveraging Motorola Solutions’ global footprint and growing video security solutions portfolio.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mivatek opts for new name, business model

US mobile-cloud video-IoT specialist Mivatek Smart Connect is changing its trade name to Miotta, effective January 1, 2019.

The new name Miotta stands for Mobile IoT Territorial Autonomy, as the company expands into PaaS and SaaS technology.  Previously gearing its platform towards the B2C video-verified security and safety market, as well as producing a number of connected smart devices (sold direct to consumer), Miotta will now provide internet/cellular service providers, system integrators, and brand owners with multi-site smart home, business, and community safety/protection services.  These systems will feature critical call-center assistance and video collaboration.

The autonomous premises PaaS and SaaS mobile-cloud can also be used for Data Analytics, AI, Mobile-Push, and Brand Relevancy, helping companies gain customers’ premises data awareness, and increased business.  

In addition, Territorial Autonomy allows for the management of multiple premises under one app.

The Miotta mobile-cloud can also serve multifaceted ‘Smart’ entities, including Smart Homes, Smart Wellness, Smart Business, and even Smart Communities.  Recent deals with Asia-Pacific Telecom in Taiwan, and the Sha Maison Retirement Community in Chiba, Japan, are perfect examples of these applications. 

Sha Maison used Miotta turnkey PaaS and SaaS for Concierge-Managed Smart Community Projects providing connected wellness, protection and peace-of- mind service to its residents.  It is the first battery-powered, Wi-Fi based Smart Community system in Japan, and has helped turn each of the community’s 1,000 units into “smart units”: all units, as well as all common areas in the community, now feature Wi-Fi connected video, security, safety, and independent living devices for video-verified collaborative protection, control, and wellness. 

Miotta’s mobile-cloud Video-IoT PaaS and SaaS runs Asia Pacific Telecom’s (APT’s) Home Guardian program – a connected premises program available to APT’s 2.6 million cellular customers.  The turnkey mobile-cloud allows APT to offer call-center assisted multifaceted RMR (recurrent monthly revenue) service, increase ARPU (average revenue per user), enhance premise awareness, and achieve brand relevancy.

Mivatek CEO Joe Liu

According to Joe Liu, CEO of Mivatek, “Our mobile-cloud can auto-setup, -aggregate, and -provision multi-sites’ connected devices seamlessly.  It will also allow our customers to offer autonomous local premises protection across multiple sites, along with easy-to-access, global management capabilities.  Plus, the turnkey nature of our PaaS and SaaS mobile-cloud will make for a fast and easy implementation.”    

The company has kicked off the name change on all of its corporate materials, its website, and all social media platforms.