Light Reading

BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
4/28/2005
50%
50%

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) ended months of speculation today by naming the companies that will supply the equipment for its 21st Century network, or 21CN (see BT Names 21CN Suppliers ).

The biggest shock is that British vendor Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI) is NOT among the eight key suppliers, each of which will bring a range of partners. Only yesterday, Marconi was tipped as a "certain" 21CN winner by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (see Analyst: Marconi in Line for 21CN ).

Marconi's share price plunged 44 percent on the news this morning, dropping to 270.5 pence, from 482 pence.

Other highlights include the involvement of Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the access and transmission categories, and the notable exclusion of Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) from the access category.

Here's the list of winners:

Access: Multiservice Access Nodes (MSANs)
Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd., an existing supplier of DSLAMs to BT, is supplying its GeoStream Access Gateway. That choice looks like good news for metro optical vendor Meriton Networks Inc. (see Meriton, Fujitsu Make a Match).

The only other MSAN supplier is Huawei, leaving shortlisted vendors Alcatel and Marconi out in the cold, a decision that will surprise many (see Huawei Picked for BT's 21CN and BT Shuns Marconi for 21CN).

Metro Routers and Switches
Alcatel, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Siemens Communications Group are the chosen ones for the metro nodes (see Alcatel Picked for BT's 21CN, Cisco Picked for BT's 21CN, and Siemens Picked for BT's 21CN).

Alcatel is providing its 7750 Service Router, the former TiMetra IP platform, and its 5620 Service Aware Manager (see Alcatel Eyes Video Market).

Analysts at Lehman Brothers noted that Alcatel's inclusion in the metro category but exclusion from access is "on balance, a slight negative."

Core Routers
No surprises here, as BT will use Cisco and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) gear, though Juniper isn't named as a preferred supplier.

That honor goes to its partner Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), which will supply Juniper's M320, T640 and TX Matrix routing platforms and its own element management system.

In addition, Lucent's Worldwide Services and Bell Labs divisions will provide "network planning, integration, deployment and support," said the vendor in an official release (see Lucent, Juniper to Supply BT 21CN).

Network Intelligence, or I-node Technology
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY) is the sole supplier for systems that BT says "includes softswitches, network intelligence, and bandwidth management capabilities." (See BT Picks Ericsson for 21CN.)

Transmission, Optical Equipment
Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and Huawei are the winners here. Ciena, which says it is supplying "switching and transmission and Ethernet transport platforms," had been expected to participate (see BT Picks Ciena for 21CN).

Table 1: BT's 21CN Preferred Suppliers

Access Metro Core I-Nodes Transmission
Fujitsu Alcatel Cisco Ericsson Ciena
Huawei Cisco Lucent Huawei
Siemens
  • Access -- the access domain in this context is the aggregation equipment (multiservice access node -- MSANs) which will link BT�s existing access network, initially carrying voice and data services from end users on to the 21CN core IP-based network.
  • Metro nodes provide the routing and signaling functions for the unified 21CN network for voice, data, and video.
  • Core nodes are the high capacity, large scale routers providing cost efficient connections between metro nodes.
  • i-node is where the service execution functionality is located -- in essence the intelligence that controls services. In the 21CN context, this includes softswitches, network intelligence, and bandwidth management capabilities.
  • Transmission includes the optical fiber transport infrastructure that connects all nodes in 21CN but also the electronics that convert the signals carried at high capacity over the cables connecting the MSANs, metro, and core nodes. Much of the optical fibre infrastructure is already in place and today we are announcing the preferred suppliers for the optical electronics.
    Source: BT Group plc


  • The key to BT's decisions appears to be economics. "In order to achieve world class delivery of the programme, the selection of suppliers has been about much more than choosing technology and selecting partners," says BT Wholesale CEO Paul Reynolds in a prepared statement. "The commercial agreements, which the company expects to conclude over the summer, will include open standards and a focus on whole life costs."

    In other words, the margins are razor thin, and Marconi says it didn't make the final selection because it couldn't meet BT's commercial needs.

    "This is a disappointing outcome from a very competitive tender process," said Marconi CEO Mike Parton in a statement. "Our products performed extremely well technically, but we have been unable to meet BT's commercial requirements."

    Marconi notes that it will "continue to supply equipment and services to BT under the various, multi-year frame contracts it has in place."

    Given Marconi's long history with BT, its exclusion will come as a serious blow. The price squeeze will likely have favored Huawei, though, given its reputation for providing decent quality but low-cost technology.

    BT's decisions will have significant implications for all the vendors involved, as the 21CN will provide a shop window into which other major carriers making their own next-generation network plans will peer closely.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

    (59)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Page 1 / 6   >   >>
    jes
    50%
    50%
    jes,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:12 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers

    I guess BT's primary criteria was just the cost, not much the technology..
    ALA is considered to be one of the best in the Access, and not selecting ALA is, just based on the cost advantage coming along with Huewai's products, though its techincally inferior. ALA is a proven Access leader among RBOCs and the Europe..

    BT decision to leave Marconi is a major blow to Marcnois future...
    hyperunner
    50%
    50%
    hyperunner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:11 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    All the suppliers in this deal have trimmed margins to the bone, and in some cases beyond. Like the GIGBE contract last year, in some ways it's better not to be a winner here! (Only kidding - it's better to have some revenue than none).

    I'm puzzled over the split in Juniper supply. Siemens will be supplying the ERX boxes in the Metro portion of this network to do classic BRAS. But then Lucent is supplying the M,and T-series core routers. Is this another way for BT to screw margin out of its suppliers? In other words continue to play off Siemens against Lucent? Also, these are the exact boxes BT is using today in these parts of the network - so shouldn't it be called the 20CN?

    I like the comment about BT needing Bell Labs to do the "network planning, integration, deployment and support". IMHO it'll need a few Nobel Laureates to work out how to nail up an end to end service over this mish mash of different boxes!

    Marconi stock price is in real trouble - down to -ú2.05 just now. That's a 42% drop on the day. Ouch.

    hR
    MP_UK
    50%
    50%
    MP_UK,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:11 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers

    Have to disagree here. It's true that Alcatel have a very sucessfull DSLAM that works well, but it's totally out of date for a next gen network. It's an ATM DSLAM (although you can get a GE port) it doesn't do VoIP, IP routing, MPLS, etc.

    The Huawei box is, as far as I can make out, the most advanced DSLAM available - in terms of protocols supported. FTEL's new DSLAM is up and running, and should be stable for 21CN timescales. Both these companies are very competative on price, and (particularly in the former case) give good support.

    Marconi builds a nice DSLAM, with support for lots of protocols. I guess they couldn't / wouldn't sell it cheap enough, a shame for them.
    Scott Clavenna
    50%
    50%
    Scott Clavenna,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:10 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    Out? Looks like they're in to me, at least for the TiMetra Router (7750).

    Scott
    OSXman
    50%
    50%
    OSXman,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:10 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    What does this mean?

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/05...
    MP_UK
    50%
    50%
    MP_UK,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:09 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers

    Alcatel are out of the access (DSLAM / MSAN) space, but in, with the 7750, in the Metro space.

    HTH
    ozip
    50%
    50%
    ozip,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:09 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    Perhaps this is the path of all things but in conjunction with trimming margins to the bone, I understand that these guys have demanded unprecedented disclosure of IPR. This leads down a slippery path for the equipment business who survive on margin exceeding 50% where guys like Dell survive on 12%. Although I would alway argue that many of the vendors waste their good fortune, for some of them it funds risk taking that results in innovation and new technology, and drives the venture business. Change this model and provide all of the IPR to every customer (sounds very ultaistic, just like the GPL) and you end up with only (I mean only) the products that the customer want now and innovation is left to the customers. In my expereience, telco demand the innovation that 50% brings but only want to pay 12%, you cannot have it both ways. If you want to see how this works out, take a look at Cablelabs and the data projects.

    OZIP
    materialgirl
    50%
    50%
    materialgirl,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:08 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    Where is VoIP in all of this? No softswitch, media gateway or SBC was mentioned.
    Access Master
    50%
    50%
    Access Master,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:08 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    Marconi have been digging this whole for themselves for years, their arrogance is well renowned in BT circles.

    As for Huawei, the rumour is this was definately not a cost measure. Huawei have reportedly been the best performing supplier in the whole tender process. Quite a feat considering they have only been here a couple of years; the most interesting rumor I have heard is that Huawei are considering a bid for Marconi as this would give them a ready built service organisation.
    Graham Beniston
    50%
    50%
    Graham Beniston,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 3:17:07 AM
    re: BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers
    Ericsson claim that Media Gateways and SBCs are part of the Metro Node equipment, which they describe as "complex". They claim not to know any further details. BT have agreed to brief me on SBCs next week.
    Page 1 / 6   >   >>
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

    3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


    Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Win Video, Win All

    3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


    Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

    3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


    Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

    3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


    Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

    3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


    Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
    LRTV Custom TV
    JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

    3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

    3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


    David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
    Between the CEOs
    Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

    3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


    LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

    3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


    Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

    3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


    More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
    LRTV Documentaries
    The Rise of Industry 4.0

    3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


    Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Getting Connected With eLTE

    3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


    Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
    Upcoming Live Events
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
    May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Hot Topics
    AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
    Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
    Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
    The Rise of Industry 4.0
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
    Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
    Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
    Cats with Phones
    Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
    "No, you hang up."
    "No, YOU hang up."
    Latest Comment