This Week In Tech And Telco: Mergers and C-level Shuffles

Happy Friday! As ever, there’s more drama from Facebook as its top executives clash with Zuck over the combined, privacy-focused social media that he envisioned in a blog post last week.

But what else has been happening in the industry? With such a focus on Facebook and previously Huawei, this week we’ve taken a step back and tried to highlight some of the core telecommunications news from the past seven days. Enjoy!

PS. Let us know how you marked the birthday of the World Wide Web!


Facebook Loses Top Executives, Including Chris Cox

Two of Facebook’s top execs are leaving after disagreements with Mark Zuckerberg over the social network’s future.

The differences stemmed from Mr. Zuckerberg’s asserting control over his company by rolling out a plan to integrate the services into a single privacy-focused platform, according to six people involved in the situation.

Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, a member of Mr. Zuckerberg’s inner circle, and largely considered the company’s number three is one of the two executives leaving. Cox has worked at Facebook for 13 years and joined as one of its first 15 software engineers. The other is Chris Daniels, 43, who runs WhatsApp.

Equinix makes trio of C-level appointments

Equinix has repositioned three of its business leaders into new roles in a move to become more customer-centric.

Karl Strohmeyer, Sara Baack, and Eric Schwartz have been promoted to chief customer and revenue officer, chief product officer, and chief strategy and development officer respectively. The new roles are effective from early Q2.

The C-level reshuffle comes “to address the growing opportunity for Equinix as a strategic platform on which customers architect their digital business”.

F5 Networks announces an agreement to acquire NGINX

F5, the global multi-cloud application services provider, has announced the acquisition of NGINX, who develops open source applications, for $670M.

F5 will maintain the brand with current NGINX CEO, Gus Robertson, and founders, Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov, joining F5 to continue to lead NGINX. The deal adds significant DevOps talent to F5's existing NetOps expertise.

DE-CIX and Seaborn Networks Collaborate

DE-CIX and Seaborn Networks have teamed up for more interconnection possibilities.

Seaborn Networks has connected its Seabras-1 cable system between North and South America to DE-CIX New York.  From there, the cable system also gains direct access to DE-CIX's European exchanges in Frankfurt and Marseille.

With a direct connection to DE-CIX New York and its GlobePEER Remote solution, Seaborn‘s Seabras-1 customers can receive the following benefits:

  • Seabras-1 provides the lowest latency path between São Paulo, Brazil and DE-CIX New York
  • Turnkey solution that bypasses traditional interconnection challenges due to newly established direct connectivity to DE-CIX
  • Direct access to DE-CIX Frankfurt and Marseille via GlobePEER Remote
  • No additional cross connect fees to reach any DE-CIX customer globally
  • The most direct route to New York, avoiding hurricane zones of the Southeast US and the Caribbean
  • A more reliable and resilient path between Brazil, USA and Europe utilizing Seaborn’s 24/7 proprietary NOC and benefitting from 100% subterranean backhaul within Brazil

India dispute over local 5G standard

A dispute has broken out between India’s telecom standards body and the private industry, including telecom operators, equipment vendors and chipmakers over the development of local standards for 5G, which some fear could delay the rollout of the next-generation technology.

Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has blamed the Telecommunications Standards Development Society India (TSDSI) of pushing for modifications which don’t add much value to the already approved local specifications of the global 5G standards.

This is also being done without proper discussions with stakeholders, the association alleged.

The UK grabs a seat at the FTTH top table

Determined to shake its reputation as a full fibre laggard, the UK has seen FTTH penetration levels pass 1% for the first time.

The UK has been included in the FTTH Council's Global FTTH Index, for the first time, as penetration levels officially passed the 1% threshold in 2018. As of September 2018, the UK's penetration levels for combined fiber to the home (FTTH) and fiber to the building (FTTB) services stood at 1.5% of the population.

The UK was ranked as the 33rd best country in Europe for fiber penetration. While the country still languishes a long way behind the vast majority of its European neighbors, it is ramping up fiber network deployment, with the number of FTTH/FTTB subscriptions up by 87% from 2017.

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