Clive Selley CEO of BT took the stage to discuss his company’s history of innovation – taking the audience through the telegraph then the Electrophone in 1890 where sermons and concerts were broadcast. The BBC eventually killed the Electrophone business off. He alluded to the Victorian age equivalent of something like Spotify. From there, we fast-forwarded to 2014 now serving 170 countries worldwide. In the U.K., the company is a wireline, broadband and TV provider.
It sells a lot of wholesale product which has increased competition greatly in the country. Selley discussed how new disruptors are coming – such as Google providing broadband via drones, which makes our industry great.
It sold its wireless network in 2002 and doesn’t own its own network. In TV, they are a distributor and producer of content.
The company has a new network architecture replacing the PSTN core – SDIN is powered by GENBAND and they are targeting five nines of reliability. Selley says there is resilient access via dual pairs of SBCs with the ability to route around failed components. GENBAND is helping supply real-time services locally and globally.
The SDIN network is growing in traffic around 100 percent each year and there are now hubs in Asia, Europe, Middle East and in Miami. It’s a global network supporting IP Exchange customers across the globe.
It has also partnered with Dolby on their audio conferencing business – allowing greater noise-suppression, spatial separation and more.”This is another example of partnering to innovate in order to differentiate and drive growth,” he proclaimed.
It will be coming back to the mobile market but won’t build or buy due to cost. Moreover, there are five national operators in the U.K. and only 60 million people which is a very high ratio.
They studied how mobile operators are moving to LTE and customer data usage is rising very rapidly. As a result, a significant investment in core and backhaul networks is necessary. BT happens to have high bandwidth pipes and strong assets in these spaces. They also have 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots. They just don’t have a cellular network.
Seventy percent of cellular usage in the U.K. is in the home or primary place of work and cellular coverage in these areas is generally poor. As a result, they will deploy low-cost femtocells to create self-organizing networks of small cells, with data traffic carried on their fiber network, create a new
LTE core via new spectrum they recently purchased and broker an MVNO for ubiquitous coverage outside the home and office.
Businesses will get access in the next few weeks followed by consumers.
This session tied in nicely with the rest of the GENBAND message from Perspectives14 – disruption will continue, new business opportunities are everywhere and carriers have to seize these opportunities as fast as they can while understanding customer needs and tuning technological innovations accordingly.