Light Reading

AT&T, Verizon Mulling Managed Services With Ericsson

Sarah Thomas

Ericsson is in talks with both AT&T and Verizon Wireless about managing their wireless infrastructure, according to an executive who shared details with the Bloomberg news agency.

Jean-Claude Geha, head of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s managed services business, tells Bloomberg the vendor is in discussions with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless about managed services, but he wasn't clear what aspects of the network they were interested in turning over to the vendor.

He did, however, note that there is "growing interest in outsourcing more traditional day-to-day operations and the running of network infrastructure."

Semantics aside, Current Analysis analyst Ed Gubbins says he wouldn't expect the vendor to take over all of the day-to-day network management operations. Rather, Gubbins notes that Ericsson has done a lot of work for major operators in managing network transformations, including data center transformations.

"And the larger trends toward SDN and NFV include transformations that provide a lot of opportunity for vendors' managed services businesses," the analyst adds in an email to Light Reading. Ericsson has also been touting its small cell managed services, but Gubbins says AT&T likely isn't interested in help there. (See Ericsson Launches Small Cell as a Service.)

Ericsson does already provide complete network management for Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) in the US and manages T-Mobile US Inc. 's OSS/BSS, but winning the big two in any capacity would be a major blow to competitors Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (See Ericsson, Sprint Enter Agreement and T-Mobile Swaps Out Amdocs BSS for Ericsson .)

Huawei, especially, has been making a big push into managed services, increasing its revenue 21% in 2013, more than Ericsson did, Gubbins notes, which could be why Geha is letting these "talks" slip. A win in North America, where its Chinese competitor doesn't have a strong presence, is a positive competitive development. (See Ericsson Reports Q1 and Huawei's Operating Profit Soars.)

All of the big equipment vendors have shifted their priorities away from hardware to software and services as their operator customers shift their focus as well. Ericsson, in particular, has made a name for itself in 4G know-how and SPIT-related managed services capabilities, which likely sparked the interest of AT&T and Verizon as they're thinking about evolving their LTE networks and crafting new policy-driven services.

Of course, what will be interesting to watch now is whether Ericsson's competitors will come forward citing their talks with the big two as well. Heavy Reading analyst Sarah Wallace, author of the recent report A New Era of BSS/OSS Managed Services, points out that Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) has roots in AT&T and the rest of the market is vying to help Verizon replace many of its homegrown systems, so it's plausible they are all holding discussions. (See AT&T Adds Amdocs, Juniper to Cloud Roster.)

For its part, Ericsson is forecasting an increase in managed services revenue this year, as Geha says it sees increased interest in outsourcing across the globe. Today it announced new managed services business in Romania with branches of the Greek national operator OTE S.A. , which is 40% owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT). (See Ericsson Wins Managed Services Deal in Romania and Ericsson Wins Managed Services, Kit Deal in Myanmar.)

Ericsson's stock was up slightly, by 0.5% to $12.14, in Tuesday morning trading.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
7/2/2014 | 9:47:20 AM
Not going to happen.
I watched how well Ericsson taking over Sprint's network worked for years in a support role for one of their larger vendors at the time.  The team was demoralized and it showed in the way the network was run and proably still is.  I saw situations where Eningeers working for Ericsson couldn't be bothered to buy required expansion equipment from Ericsson itself.  I assure you at least someone at Verizon or AT&T is keenly aware of this.  
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 4:17:57 AM
Re: Ericsson statement
It wasn't implied - it was specifically stated.

I can't help thinking Geha had either a rush of blood to the head or a scheme he thought was cunning, but which has backfired rather dramatically....
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/1/2014 | 5:32:34 PM
Re: Ericsson statement
I'm sure those two are very happy to hear their rival called out today. From

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported "premium" SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers.

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC's complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent.
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/1/2014 | 3:41:25 PM
Re: Ericsson statement
I wonder if any accredited university offers a PhD in public relations. It would be really easy to put together a world-class faculty.
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/1/2014 | 1:05:05 PM
Re: Ericsson v. Huawei
Margins in this business have been a challenge. Ericsson seems to be the one supplier that has figured out how to make money here. Interesting if U.S. operators are considering Huawei for managed services, given the paranoia over using their equipment.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.