& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
    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 -ķ2.05 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   >   >>
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Interviews
    ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

    12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


    Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

    11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


    Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
    LRTV Custom TV
    We Can Make the World More Sustainable

    11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


    GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
    LRTV Custom TV
    Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

    11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
    LRTV Custom TV
    Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

    11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
    LRTV Custom TV
    BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

    11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


    A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
    LRTV Custom TV
    ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

    11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
    LRTV Custom TV
    Tackling 5G in Dallas

    11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
    LRTV Interviews
    Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

    11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Drivers & Potential of NGP

    11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

    11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Digital Object Architecture

    11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
    Upcoming Live Events
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
    Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
    Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
    Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    Live Digital Audio

    Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.