Monday, November 6, 2023

Telecom Italia to sell fixed network assets to KKR for EUR 22 billion

TIM agreed to sell its fixed network assets (NetCo) to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), a U.S.-based investment group.

The binding offer values NetCo (excluding Sparkle) at an Enterprise Value of 18.8 billion euros, without considering any upsides associated to the potential transfer of part of the debt to NetCo and to earn-outs linked to the occurrence of certain conditions that may increase the value up to 22 billion euros. The deal includes the contribution by TIM of a business unit - consisting of primary network activities, wholesale activities and the entire equity investment in the subsidiary Telenergia - into FiberCop, a company that already manages activities relating to the secondary fiber and copper network.

TIM has now signed a transaction agreement with Optics BidCo (controlled by KKR and with Azure Vista, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The parties expect the deal to be consumated in the summer of 2024.  

Windstream deploys VIAVI's Remote Fiber Test System

Windstream Wholesale has deployed VIAVI's Remote Fiber Test System (RFTS) into Windstream's Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) to enable dark fiber and wavelength monitoring.  Fiber routes are continuously and proactively monitored to detect cable damage (intrusions, bends, kinks, etc.). This llows Windstream to expand its OTDR capabilities on network routes where in-line OTDR is not available.

VIAVI RFTS includes FTH-9000 adaptive fiber test heads and ONMSi software. This centralized system combines strategically placed test heads in key network locations to constantly sweep the fiber with an OTDR test signal to identify and locate fiber faults and degradations. Incorporating this solution directly into Windstream's Dark Fiber and ICON network enables early detection of fiber breaks, elimination of reactive truck rolls, faster time to repair, and increased transparency of and visibility into a customer's network health and performance. Windstream Wholesale will integrate VIAVI outage and GIS data from the ONMSi platform into Windstream Wholesale's operational and portal software applications.

The capabilities are available on Windstream Wholesale's new high-count long-haul dark fiber builds including Tulsa to Little Rock to Memphis (T-Rock Express), Raleigh to Myrtle Beach to Jacksonville (Beach Route), and Montreal to Albany to New York City (CanAm2).

Customers will be able to leverage this tool in the first quarter of 2024.  

"VIAVI is proud to be a long-term partner to Windstream Wholesale, whose deployment and maintenance teams have relied on our test and assurance solutions to deliver high-quality fiber networks to their customers," said Luiz Cesar Oliveira, Vice President, Americas, VIAVI. "Service providers are increasing efficiency through enhanced visibility and intelligence as well as simplified troubleshooting processes. VIAVI RFTS is delivering capabilities trusted by carriers globally to the Windstream ICON network."

Red Hat releases Edge platform for small form factor compute

Red Hat announced the general availability of Red Hat Device Edge, a platform designed for resource-constrained environments which require small form factor compute at the device edge, including Internet of Things (IoT) gateways, industrial controllers, smart displays, point of sales terminals, vending machines, robots and more.

Red Hat Device Edge aggregates an enterprise-ready and supported distribution of the Red Hat-led open source community project MicroShift (a lightweight Kubernetes project derived from the edge capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift) along with an edge-optimized operating system built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With general availability, Red Hat Device Edge now also includes Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for more consistent Day 1 and Day 2 management of hundreds to thousands of sites and devices. 

Red Hat is working with partners and customers including ABB, DSO National Laboratories, Dynatrace, Guise AI, Intel, Lockheed Martin and more to deploy, test and validate that Red Hat Device Edge can extend operational consistency across edge and hybrid cloud environments.

Hong Kong's Digital Edge upgrades with Juniper QFX, MX and EX series

Hong Kong-based Digital Edge has deployed  a full stack of wired and wireless upgrades from the Juniper Networks QFX series, MX series and EX series, alongside access points and Mist AI solutions. 

Digital Edge provides carrier-neutral colocation and connectivity services via 17 data centers across six markets in the Asia Pacific region. With ongoing plans to expand its footprint and increase its capacity to 500MW over the next five years, Digital Edge selected Juniper to provide the scalable power, volume and space efficiency required for its campus and data center network upgrades – leveraging a full-stack suite of solutions to simplify infrastructure engineering and automate networking operations, all while improving operational efficiency as it continues to scale.

Within each data center, the high-throughput and low-latency QFX5120 Data Center Switch enables cross-connects, allowing customers to connect to their choice of digital resources or business partners and support a thriving digital ecosystem. In addition, for cost-optimized interconnections, the MX204 Universal Router provides Digital Edge with a high-density, reliable, and operational simplified platform between the company’s data centers. To power the campus, across several sites AP43 Wireless Access Points alongside EX2300 and EX3400 Ethernet Switches deliver hyper-reliable campus connectivity and intuitive AIOps capabilities.

Adtran announces Q3 revenue of $272.3m, cost reduction program

Adtran reported quarterly revenue of $272.3 million, slightly below the lower end of the guidance range.

GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 27.3%, and it was negatively impacted by an inventory write-off of approximately $21.0 million as a result of the exit from certain product lines in connection with our restructuring and the newly implemented and expanded business efficiency program.

Non-GAAP gross margin was 40.3%, and it was positively impacted by a more favorable customer and product mix and lower purchasing and transportation costs.

Adtran also announced a business efficiency program targeting a reduction of non-GAAP operating expenses of approximately $90 million for the year 2024 as compared to 2023 and a projected $15 million reduction in non-GAAP operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the third quarter of 2023; and a capital efficiency program which includes a site consolidation plan that management expects to generate proceeds up to $150 million and the suspension of the quarterly dividend.

ADTRAN Holdings’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, "We anticipate that the ongoing uncertainty affecting customer spending will extend into 2024. We are actively addressing the challenges in our industry and have implemented a business efficiency program to ensure improvement in long-term shareholder return. Through this program, we are aiming to lower our costs by $90 million by the end of 2024 as compared to 2023. Although the environment has proven to be very challenging, interest in our products continues to grow as we gained market share and added new customers during the quarter. We expect the combination of our continued growth in market share with our new operating model to substantially improve returns to all our stakeholders."