Tag Archives: Deutsche Telekom

It’s all about interpretation

It started late Friday for me when the Financial Post gave me ‘Fearing Huawei curbs, Deutsche Telekom tells Nokia to shape up‘, the article (at https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/fearing-huawei-curbs-deutsche-telekom-tells-nokia-to-shape-up-2) gives a few items and linking that to another post gave me a lot to consider. First we need to see “Deutsche Telekom has told supplier Nokia it must improve its products and service to win business installing the German group’s 5G wireless networks in Europe, according to internal documents and a source with direct knowledge of the matter“, the issue is twofold, yet the important part is not a given. Here we see the story behind ‘Nokia must improve its products and service‘, yet the story focuses on services, a little less on the product. So as we take notice of “the German group considered Nokia the worst performer among all suppliers in 5G tests and deployments“, yet because of the US bully tactics, Nokia is feeling a little too safe to be worried, which is nice for Nokia, but it is one of a few items hitting the European Telecom providers. The entire Nokia matter is shown with one simple statement “Deutsche Telekom’s willingness to give Nokia another hearing shows the difficulties mobile companies face over pressure from the United States“, it is more than bully tactics, the station we now see is that those giving in to the US are facing 2 larger ones, the first being the implementation by players like Nokia on a European front, the larger issue is not merely Nokia, the larger issues is seen in the IP Watchdog that gives us (as did the news a few days ago) ‘Huawei Sues Verizon‘, we are given that “Chinese telecom giant Huawei filed two lawsuits in U.S. district court, one in Eastern Texas and the other in Western Texas, asserting claims of 12 patents against Verizon Communications. The suits were filed after Huawei “negotiated with Verizon for a significant period of time”“, let me explain why it is a larger issue. 

Firstly, the fact that we see ‘negotiated with Verizon for a significant period of time‘ leaves us with the larger setting that this isn’t nothing, in addition, as the US was so proud to give the stage of 5G ready, we see that at least one vendor might not have been ready, no matter how this case slices and dices 5G, a dozen patents are in this, as such they can be checked and if so, the entire 5G bubble will explode (not burst) in the Trump administration face right in the middle of re-election. In addition, the fact that the US has not given one part of evidence setting the stage against the US at present gives a much larger scene over the optional backdrop of failing US equipment whilst they are trying to roll out 5G, in light of all this that earlier speculated 4-6 years delay for national 5G will optionally reach up to a decade, which means that the entire 5G setting is game over for the US (optionally depending on this trial). As I personally see it, the Trump Administration will have to rely on the brightest minds at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to investigate BEFORE the trial commences how big an issue it might be, if that is not done the Trump administration will end up with egg on its face whilst the 5G networking issue will hang around its neck like an anchor keeping them in place, it would be a global setback for them.

Now we cannot state that Huawei has a case or that Verizon is innocent, but a dozen patents will impede it as they need to be examined and the courts will take up to two years, no matter what delays are seen, if Verizon continues, all their revenue will go straight to China with a lot more in penalties, that was never in anyone’s cards.

Returning to the FP we also see: “It is well known that Deutsche Telekom is pursuing a multi-vendor strategy so that we are not dependent on just one supplier. This is an elementary part of our security philosophy,” said Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom’s head of technology and IT. “In 2019 we have made many steps together with Nokia to make Deutsche Telekom’s networks evolve towards 5G readiness, including all network domains, from radio and fixed access to transport and core, and continue to do so in 2020 and onwards.” Federico Guillen, Nokia’s president of customer operations in EMEA and APAC, said: “We continue to work extensively with Deutsche Telekom which is one of our most significant customers, both in Europe and the U.S.”” this all makes sense, there is no hidden agenda (or is there), most larger companies will not be set to the leash of one large giant, there is no opposition to that, but in this case we see that for some reason Ericsson is not considered, a Swedish company that is supposedly ready for 5G deployment, now we can say that Ericsson is a large player and it is (to some extent) the pride and joy of Sweden with as far as I can tell a much larger state of international readiness than Nokia ever was, as such why is the focus on Nokia? In this stage of 5G and the need to grow where a telecom player can, why is Ericsson not regarded as a backup for Nokia? When we realise that “in 2017 Nokia was dropped entirely from that market segment when Ericsson was handed a 30% share of Deutsche Telekom’s spending on it, reports in the trade press said at the time. It was the first of several wins for Ericsson“, Ericsson is indeed the other player, it seems like a desperate setting to have merely to keep Huawei out, so in this, these so called cut-throat players are unwilling to play hard ball. I wonder why? I have seen some of these players play fast and loose and play hardball as well and seeing the optional failure by Nokia and the subsequence unwillingness to consider Huawei, we see a puch from Germany orchestrated by the US, the EU 5G solutions will take a firm beating at present making them (optionally) ahead of the US and optionally behind other players, players that were never in such a high place before and that was before the patent infringement accusations, now the mess becomes a much larger setting.

All whilst we consider “Deutsche Telekom then suspended vendor talks to await the outcome of a debate in Berlin over the security of critical national networks, where senior lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party back the U.S. call to bar Huawei” in this I believe that the US has set the fate of Angela Merkel as well, when the US stumbles even once, and the beginning of that was shown 5 days ago (at CNN) with ‘Angela Merkel lambasts her party’s cooperation with far-right AfD‘, this 5G anchor is not merely around the neck of Merkel as well, it could limit the actions of the CDU and give power to the AfD. Even as we take notice of ““It’s a very big deal … the consensus amongst democrats that there would be no cooperation with far-right parties ended yesterday,” Kai Arzheimer, a professor of Political Science at the University of Mainz, told CNN. “So it was a historic day,” he added“, the impact is larger, when the US bully tactics are seen for what they are, and as the US remains debatable in not presenting any evidence against Huawei, there is every chance that the far right in Germany will get to shout that the CDU has reverted to being a puppet of the US and they will point at Deutsche Telekom, a group laced with cut throat profit makers as evidence, the moment that is accepted, the US will not merely lose Germany, at that point it needs to consider France, the Netherlands and Spain lost as well, Italy is a larger problem (for Huawei) but it is too early to shout on that. In addition, as 2 of the big 4 change course, especially as the patent infringements fire up the others will take money for promises and full steam reverse whatever plan they had, the waters will be too shallow and too dangerous to sail in the US domain.

All this remains an issue when we see the Huawei stage of affair as they give the world “Huawei negotiated with Verizon for a significant period of time, during which the company provided a detailed list of patents and factual evidence of Verizon’s use of Huawei patents. The two parties were unable to reach an agreement on license terms. “We invest heavily in R&D because we want to provide our customers with the best possible telecommunications solutions,” continued Dr. Song. “We share these innovations with the broader industry through license agreements.”“, this does not give any details of who is in the right, but if the Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. is anything to go by, the court took almost 5 years and in the end “On December 6, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided 8-0 to reverse the decision from the first trial that awarded nearly $400 million to Apple” in this there is a larger stage to patent infringements and in this it was a global impact, in the Huawei case it is more than merely infringement, if the US has a 5 years setback there will be a much larger stage and even as the US wants to push through this case, the world is watching. Not only has the US given accusations against Huawei without clear evidence for the world to scrutinise, the Patents will be open to read for all and this changes the stage to a much larger degree. The fact that the Apple issue went past Dutch, Australian, British, German and Japanese courts give rise to that, the Huawei case could be an equally large and for the US a much larger consideration towards indiscriminate judging of American values, the world will scream for evidence in the middle of an election campaign, it does not sit pretty to be part of this administration. OH and the Apple trial was merely about a phone, a 4G phone, the Huawei stage will be about 5G and the infrastructure, the stage where the US is screaming on Chinese intervention whilst Verizon is delivering all over the US equipment allegedly based on Chinese patent transgression would feel uncomfortable in anyone’s point of view.

There is however the other side, Verizon is still on the ‘There’s 5G. Then there’s Verizon 5G‘ horse. I get it, it is their marketing, so when we see ‘Not all 5G is the same‘ where their hype creation department (read: marketing) gives us “Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband has the power to deliver speeds more than 10 times faster than some other 5G networks” here we see a dangerous tune, that is when you disregard ‘Ultra Wideband‘, the stage becomes that they are about to go to court with a dozen patents linked to their name, patents owned by Huawei. And as we were treated last Thursday to ‘Verizon sticks behind ambiguous 2020 DSS rollout plan‘ (source: FierceWireless) we get the stage where their entire marketing needs to sit on their hands, the moment this gets to court and the Patent lawyers will go over every word and punctuation, when the Patent IT people will investigate the claims and this hits the news cycles 24:7, Verizon will need to steer in different directions and the US administration will push them, the last thing this administration needs is a global expose on Chinese patent infringement all whilst they are pushing non-Chinese hardware on a global scale, the entire Verizon issue, whether true or not will be tested in courts and that is a large bone to pick, even today the 9 years old case between Samsung and Apple is on the minds of too many people, this was a setback the US could have done without.

It does not matter at present who is in the right, this will drag on for years to come (as court cases on infringement do) and it will hinder 5G growth in the US and 5G deployment  in Europe, in all this Huawei has too much to gain and the lack of evidence on Chinese government interference claims will not help any, not until clear evidence is presented by the US administration, which is unlikely to happen.

This will be a new technology in waves of interpretation, it is so because the US never gave the rest of the world evidence on Chinese government dangers and that is about to backfire. When this hits the media, it is more likely than not that Verizon shares will plummet, it will plummet to below values they had on August 14th 2019 ($55.72), which would make it a 15% drop which in 5G terms translates to the first coffin nail that Verizon will have to swallow, I reckon that at that point corporate reorganisations will be the talk of the day at Verizon for weeks to come.

Can it be avoided?

That is hard to say, we need to see that interpretation goes both ways and the patent infringement accusations are a larger issue, until we see them investigated by qualified senior Patent lawyers (like the USPTO has) we are merely speculating and even after that, as the court starts it will impact and impact larger than expected. Avoiding that stage would have been the issue to a much larger degree and the talks that ended in no resolve might require a push from the US administration to get those resolved, still the accusation is in the air, that had to be avoided (as I personally see it), no matter what deal is struck, we see the accusations against Huawei whilst Verizon was optionally (and allegedly) using Chinese technology in their hardware. That part is now in the open, and questions will be asked internationally, if not by the governments, it will be a good stick for their opponents to use with any of their upcoming elections. 

Settling this beforehand was the larger economic need and it was not done (not judging whether the cases will have merit at present). That is what a lot will remember in the end, especially those who needed a big stick, Huawei just gave them a bat to end most matches.

 

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The assumption of right

This happens, it happens almost every day and we all (including me) see that happen. My view was that oil prices would go up. It is a logic set to demand and supply, a basic principle. As OPEC cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day, we would have expected a rise, maybe not directly, but overall when you get less of a product, the prices rise. It is the basic foundation of commerce; shortage tends to drive prices up. Yet a Forbes article proves me wrong (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/gauravsharma/2018/12/10/opecs-output-cut-not-enough-to-provide-short-term-70-oil-price-floor/#668312a8d58d).

This is fine, I never proclaimed to have all the answers, yet it does seem odd that less oil still drops the price from $80 to $51 in one month, and the logic is gone at my end of the table, yet I also know that oil prices are a little more complex, so I took this moment to learn a little. Gaurav Sharma gives us: “oil price is not just a story of supply; it is also a story of demand“. That part makes sense, yet this part only gives rise to changes if demand dampens and dampens by a whole lot. We see that with: “It cannot be ignored that Eurozone growth continues to disappoint, global trade is decelerating and China’s slowdown is a visible fact, and not just a forecast. We haven’t even mentioned the words “trade wars” and a prospect of further U.S. interest rate hikes“. Yes, so far I am on board, yet does that dampen the need for oil to THAT degree? This is precisely the setting when we consider: “If anything OPEC’s move provides U.S. drillers with a further incentive to pump more, and they already are, having made America the world’s largest producer of crude oil.” This implies that the need is changing; America needs less as they become self-reliant more. This explains the setting in the short term, yet it also gives rise to other dilemmas. As the US is using its own stock to keep cheap oil, we also see the change in the dynamics. Less money in the treasury through cheap oil, more costs (and optionally more jobs mind you), yet the budget and shortages of America (like $21 trillion debt) now has another not so nice tail. The interest on 21 trillion can no longer be fuelled with fuel. With a downwards economy, the debt will rise a little faster and there will not be anything left for infrastructure. Now, in this case none of this is the fault of the US Administration, or the current administration to be a little more precise. There is a lot wrong as the Clinton administration left the nation with surplus. I am not ignoring that 9/11 changed the game, yet the Obama administration had a clear directive to do something and that was not done. We can argue whether they had the options or not, we know that the war on terror has had a long-lasting impact. And the downward fuel price does not help. Yet cheap fuel is good for all the non-petrochemical industries and the people requiring cheap oil for heating.

The writer also gives us: “As things stand, a sustainable $70 oil price doesn’t look certain at all for 2019“. OK, I can only support that for as long as the US can keep up with the reductions that OPEC and Russia implement, when that stops working prices will go up, just how fast is unknown. It depends on the current storage and demand and I am not certain that this will not bite in 2019. I cannot academically argue with Gaurav Sharma and his 20 years of experience. His point might be valid, yet the Economic Times gives us: “WTI is forming Doji candlestick pattern and also near its long term Fibonacci retracement. Both are positive signs for crude oil prices“, If this happens within the next two weeks, my predicted increase of 15% comes true. Yet how is that chance? Focussing on merely my point of view tends to be delusional, which is why I liked the view by Gaurav Sharma. He gave me something to think about. It is Mike Terwilliger, portfolio manager, at Resource Liquid Alternatives, in New York who gave us (last week): “It’s a stunning market backdrop where everything from the adjectives used by the Fed chairman to whom is appointed head of trade negotiations can roil the markets. While the macro backdrop remains firm, with strong earnings and historically low unemployment, sentiment is unquestionably vulnerable. That would, in my view, fit the definition of an opportunity – a disconnect between the underlying and perception.” (at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/us-wall-st-tumbles-growth-trade-unnerve-investors/articleshow/66946928.cms)

I have always considered and known about ‘the underlying‘ and or versus ‘perception‘, no mystery there, yet are there factors we see to forget about? Part we get from the Guardian (May 2018) when we were given: “Demand is expected to average 99.2mb/d this year.” I am adding the part where that demand is not going to diminish over at least part of 2019. Even as we see more and more drive towards sustainable energy, most players are still all about presenting and not completely in the realm of achieving, hence oil demand remains stable (as far as stable tends to be), in addition we need to look at the oil futures. S&P global (at https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/121018-crude-oil-futures-stable-to-higher-on-opec-production-cuts) gives us: “risk sentiment remained heightened after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthize Sunday said that he considers March 1 to be a hard deadline for a trade deal to be reached with China and that tariffs will be imposed otherwise“. So basically the futures are rolling towards the up side making me correct, yet as long as the US can keep up with demand and as long as we see this continue, oil will remain stable and not push beyond $60 per barrel in the short term. MatketWatch is actually more optimistic towards the consumers of fuel. With: “Oil futures fell Monday to settle at their lowest in about a week on growing concerns surrounding a slowdown in energy demand“.

Why do we care?

We care because the drop in demand as projected and given by several sources is also the economic indicator that not all is well. This is seen in several sources. Goldman Sachs, via CNBC gives us: “We expect the U.S. to slow down to less than 2 percent by the end of next year and as a result of that you could see the market getting quite scared“, yet would be an overly optimistic view. We saw last week that the US Economy gained 43,000 jobs less than last year giving us a much less optimistic view on that part of the equation. Apple is falling down, tension on the Economy (specifically the US economy) is on the rise, some might say sharply on the rise. In addition, the Financial Post gives us: “Wall Street ignored trouble signs for months. Now it sees risks everywhere Markets face stomach-churning swings as economic uncertainty grows“. Even when we stick to the headlines, it was nothing really breathtaking. The US trade deal with China, the growth fears in the EU, they all link into a negative setting of the economy. Not recession, yet a negative impact due to no growth (too little growth is more accurate) and the events in France do not help either. In addition, there is now a realistic chance that Italy is entering recession territory. Even as it is possible to avert it, it will means that the Italian economy will end at a standstill (which is not a recession), yet in all this, with the Two large EU economies at 0 (France and Italy), it falls to Germany to bring home the bacon and sausages, implying that they are all eager and desperate to sink any notion of Brexit as soon as possible. As we see the jesters giving us that the UK can exit Brexit, that whilst they are seemingly unable to get a handle on the ECB and their everlasting lack of transparency, so whilst we see (at https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/ecb-chief-rejects-chance-to-adopt-eus-transparency-register/) the unsettling part “The European Central Bank’s President Mario Draghi has rejected calls from European lawmakers to have financiers who give advice and feedback to the ECB register as lobbyists, saying they merely provide “information”.” I merely see an extended reason to pursue Brexit stronger. I actually am in a state of mind to demand the right for targeted killing these so called ‘informers’, which is a massive overreaction, yet the need to get these information givers listed next to the lobbyists is becoming more and more essential. If any nepotism, or if any under the table deal is found within the EU, their exposure is essential. I believe that this will flush greed out into the open rather fast, but then I am merely one voice in all this.

It connects

You see, the QE is supposed to come to an end this Thursday, or at least the formal announcement to end it at the end of this month. However, when we consider Reuters: “the economy weakening, trade tensions darkening the outlook and headwinds still on the horizon in the shape of Italy and Brexit, financial markets are looking ahead to next year and just how the ECB will protect the bloc from a severe downturn“, not only does the rejection to officially end QE have an impact, it also means that suddenly demand for things like oil will suddenly spike, that means that reserves go down, oil prices go up and there the cost of living will impact harshly on Europe in winter and as such on American soil the need for a price hike will not really be one that people will cherish, and when we add to that the part that Germany also has a depressed economy to look forward to, we see the three great economic players all in a diminished form, implying that the economy will tank on the low side not merely in this year, it will have a depressed form of growth in 2019 as well. There will be all kinds of lessened good news, whilst the good news is not that great to begin with. It gives rise to the point that I might be wrong on the oil price as I expected it to grow by 15%, it might still go up yet not that much and it will come at a really high cost this time around.

Right or Wrong?

It does not matter in this case; the issues seen are openly visible and heralded throughout the net, magazines and newspapers. The issue of ‘the underlying‘ and or versus ‘perception‘ is at the heart of the matter. Even as energy and oil prices show certain paths in all of this, it does not make it a correct view (which is neither right not wrong), what we perceive in opposition to the underlying elements connected, that is the bigger picture of impact. It is also a new stage. As the politicians are fighting over the carcasses of opportunity and bonus structures, we see that Germany has a few other elements in play. It is not merely the manufacturing part of it all, it is infrastructure as well and that is where we get my earlier statement, a statement I gave 3 days ago in ‘Behind the facade‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/08/behind-the-facade/), if Huawei (minus one arrested exec) shows their value in Germany with the given quote, which came well over a day after my article (at https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/09/germany-is-soft-on-chinese-spying/), where we see: “In the terms of reference published last week by the German Federal Network Agency for its 5G auction, security was not even included in the conditions for awarding the contract. In October, the government announced: “A concrete legal basis for the complete or partial exclusion of particular suppliers of 5G infrastructure in Germany does not exist and is not planned.”“, as well as “For Deutsche Telekom and other network operators, the situation is clear: Huawei offers innovative and reliable products at highly competitive prices. Legally, Deutsche Telekom does not bear any liability for the security risks associated with Huawei technology. And the company does not care about the fact that Huawei’s price advantage is the result of a highly skewed playing field in China. In the world’s largest market, domestic providers control 75 percent of the market, giving them unbeatable economies of scale“, we see the hidden trap that some people related to Mr S. Tupid are now in hot waters (optionally with the exception of Alex Younger). Not only have they not given any evidence regarding the security risk that Huawei is supposed to be. Foreign Policy also gives us: “Given the massive cybersecurity and national security risks, the only responsible decision is for Berlin to follow the Australian, New Zealand, and U.S. lead and ban Chinese providers from the German 5G network“, yet there is no evidence, that was always the problem and so far there is more and more indicators (especially in Australia) that the claim “In none of these three countries will domestic suppliers be the primary beneficiaries“, which I regard to be false, on paper it does not impact ‘primary beneficiaries’, but it does harshly (in Australia at least) negatively impacts the competitors of Telstra, which amounts to the same thing (TPG, Vodafone, Vodafail et al). And when we go back to my writing in ‘Behind the facade‘, where I give the reader: “You see, Huawei can afford to wait to some degree, as we see the perpetuated non truths of devices being pushed forward, the replacements better do a whole lot better and they are unlikely to do so. When we see another failure in 5G start and we see transgressions and those screaming that ‘Huawei’ was a danger, the moment they cannot prove it and their ‘friends’ give us a device that is malicious, the blowback will be enormous. There is already cause for concern if we go by CNBC. They give us a few points that show the additional fear that America has on Huawei“, when the intrusions are not proven and Huawei shows to be a strength for consumers and businesses, heads will roll, there will be a demand for blood by the people, which means that politicians will suddenly hide and become ‘on the principle of the matter‘ and transform their perspectives into in all kinds of lethargic versions of denial.

That too is impacting the economy, because those on track to start pushing out new innovations on 5G will have a clear advantage over the other players and that pushes for success even more, will it come to pass? I cannot tell as there are too many elements in motion and the policies now in place are off course under optional revised in the future as Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will replace Angela Merkel if her party is re-elected as the biggest one.

We are seeing a few versions in the assumption of right, and we need to realise that the assumption of right and speculative version of what will happen overlaps one another, but they are not the same thing. States of delusion tends to be an impacting factor. Am I delusional to think that big business gives away greed? Am I delusional to consider that Huawei is not a danger? If we go by ‘the underlying‘ and or versus ‘perception‘ I am correct. You see, would China endanger the true power of economy where Huawei would become the biggest brand on internet and 5G requirement, using it for espionage when there are dozens of other methods to get that data (including Facebook policies implemented by Mr S. Tupid and Mrs M. Oronic). As this sifting of data exists on many levels in several ways, not in the least that the overly abundance of TCP/IP layer 8 transgressions happening on a daily basis and at least twice on Sunday), when we realise that, why would any Chinese governmental (namely Chen Wenqing) endanger a Chinese technological powerhouse? The logic is absent in all this. This gives us the light of Alex Younger opposing the others. He gave a policy setting of national need, whilst the others merely voiced all this ‘national security‘ banter on risks that do not even exist yet. Especially when we saw the Australian version of: ”5G will carry communications we “rely on every day, from our health systems … to self-driving cars and through to the operation of our power and water supply.”” Perhaps anyone can tell me how many self-driving cars there are at present or within the next 10 years?

And none of these клоуны (or is that Sarmenti scurrae) considered the step to start with Huawei 5G and replace them at the earliest convenience whilst you work out the bugs of your currently incomplete 5G solutions, the few that are out there for now, a simple business decision that is at the heart of any daily event, including military ones. A nice example there is the ugliest dinghy in US history (aka the Zumwalt class) where we see: “Zumwalt-class destroyers are armed with 80 missiles in vertical-launch tubes and two 155-caliber long-range guns“, which is an awesome replacement from the previous version that was regarded as a Ammo less Gun edition, in the face of continuing budget shortfalls, personnel problems and of course the fact that the previous edition was $1 million per shell, for its smart (GPS) capability. The mere elements that some sources gave out that shooting straight was an ability it naturally acquired as well as the fact that a $440 million ship was not given the budget to get its unique, 155-millimeter-diameter cannon that can shoot GPS-guided shells as far as 60 miles the 600 rounds of ammo at a total cost of $600,000,000. And that is apart from the $10 billion the Navy spent on research and development for the class. So perhaps people still have questions why I considered this monstrosity to be regarded as a ‘sink on the spot‘ project. The fact that The Drive gave us a year ago: “the Navy has steadily hacked away at various requirements, stripping planned systems from the design, in no small part to try and control any further cost overruns and delays. Close-in protection, ballistic and air defense capabilities, and various other associated systems are no longer part of the base design, something The War Zone’s own Tyler Rogoway explained in detail in a past feature, leaving it with limited utility despite its size and cost” (and apart from some minor issue regarding stability and stealthablity which we shall ignore for now) in that light the entire 5G redeployment after the fact and the ability are acquired, tested and evaluated, at that point re-engineering away the advantage that Huawei had built, did that not make sense within 10 seconds?

It is common business practice in IT, and has been for over 2 decades, that is why ASUS and not IBM rules the lay of the desktop land nowadays. so getting even would not have been the dumbest idea either, but no, we see all kinds of unfounded accusations and that is where those people are most likely to lose and out in the sunlight, when they cannot prove that claim, that is when we see on how some elements will soon be disregarded. In this Huawei has a nice advantage in Germany and Saudi Arabia. When they prove the elements there, we will see a large driven technology shift and those making the claims at recent days better have their stories straight.

Yet again, I might be wrong, my assumption of right might get sunk on false premise and nepotism, I do recognise that this has happened before and will happen again.

The assumption of right is at times hindered on delusional thoughts, as well as the need that the other players are straight shooter, and that definitely applies to all politicians, does it not?

 

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Calling a centre

It seems that BT is one of the first one making a step back, a step towards the old times. They are moving away from those bulk cheap Indian call centres. I wonder if they are just the first. The title ‘BT hires 1,000 UK staff after complaints over Indian call centres‘ is not wrong, but I feel it is misleading. The article (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/18/bt-hires-1000-uk-staff-after-complaints-indian-call-centres),

I have had my share of experience with Indian call centres. The quote “The recruitment drive follows reports from customers that they preferred speaking to people in UK call centres rather than Indian staff based in Bangalore and Delhi. BT said the new jobs would be “frontline roles” in customer care“. You see, there are many places where the solution might to some degree work, yet the UK is different in many ways. They excel in dialects and expressions, so when an Indian call centre has an employee that would speak ‘English’, the idea that all versions of English are the same, they will come back from a cold turkey dinner with an added icy cold shower.

The fact that 80% of the call must be repeated because the friendly voice on the other side did not understand it is at the core of what is wrong, and it is one of two massive issues. In all fairness, none are actually the fault of the friendly voice on the phone, they are the core of the issue the flaw of the boss of his/her boss, likely even one level higher. Talking to someone in England in BBC English works perfect for the person on the non-Indian side of the phone conversation, the person responding is for the most ignorant of the BBC English condition and before the Indian call centre operator realises it.

So when the call starts and that person hears “I needed a bullseye before going off to Bedfordshire, now the fast sausage and mash machine has gone bollocks and ate me card!

How long until the call centre operator gets a clue that the man is trying to get $50 from the ATM and it swallowed his bank card? It could take 10 minutes just to get that sentence translated. I know it is an exaggeration, but consider how inaudible some dialects are especially from people in places like Hounslow or Cardiff. Now most UK people have a small problem comprehending people from there, so how will someone in India have a clue? These examples are a little out there, yet considering the vast wealth of expressions and dialects, the issue remains and for BT and some banks, the Indian call centres are not a solution, they never were and I personally talked to people in the late 90’s where that prediction was clearly given, yet it was all about cutting costs and getting a solution where people could live with a degradation from 100% service to 80% service, not just in the UK, this issue is nearly global.

The second issue is even more of a problem, again, the kind Indian voice should not be blamed, for the simple reason that this was all management. To get a certain path, people were ‘taught’ scripts and clear paths of choices. Almost like the automated system when you call places like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone (and Vodafail too) and many others. The system that takes you from choice to choice, a path with 1-5 choices, the call centre person got a similar path, and for 70% it works, for 70% of the issues, that they are receiving a call for, that gets resolved. Yet the other 30% are out of luck. The system is unrelenting and the call centre was not allowed to deviate. Having have worked as a Technical Account Manager in the service field, I saw and have been through many iterations where the customer has that 1% flaw, a dozen a day, data fields can be a relentless one and as more systems interact, more flaws creep into the connectivity. Now add the language to the procedural part and yes, now 1 in 3 would have an issue and the call centre would see new escalations on how one would infect another and soon the system was unworkable, the call centre person never had a clue on how things went from bad to worse and the worst part is that this is not some average count, in this system, the issues stack, so we get issue on issue with an ever increasing population who go from ‘tolerating’ to ‘extremely oppositional’.

A flawed system that came into play from the need of cost suppression. A sales driven industry that would never properly value the power of quality service, interesting is that it took this long to realise it. or is the issue not really costs, but the need for having home shaped jobs, more and more are needed in a current economy where local jobs are essentially more important.

In all this, we now need to consider the following: “But while BT performed badly overall, data on how quickly telecoms firms resolved complaints undermine reports that customers find it hard to communicate with Indian call centre staff“. Here we see two parts, the first one is ‘how quickly telecoms firms resolved complaints‘, there was not a technology part, for the most the issue was communication, clear communication both ways, when you consider that the UK population side does not speak BBC English (apart from perhaps those in the BBC building, and those in that large London donut), so as far as I can tell, most issues could be easily resolved though ‘proper’ English and the actual issue when identified would be resolved almost immediately. The part ‘hard to communicate with Indian call centre staff‘ gives the other part from the resolution, but overall there is another question, how do the numbers hold up when every case from beginning to end is checked on timeframes and quality? The given statement might not hold up, for the simple reason that the operational system is still an issue that path will not be the greatest issue when it is all in the UK, but overall there is an operational side that is not addressed. What operational call centre solutions will become part of the BT frame? Because the data that follows will need to be monitored and even as places are ‘preparing’ for the new solution, the question that follows is ‘are the right metrics being considered?‘ When we take that into consideration, we would need to see who will be looking at those metrics. A sales person will look at different metrics than a solution, service or consultancy manager, even though the consultancy manager is about sales, it will be about the satisfaction of the sold solution, so there will be a much stronger overlap.

The question now becomes, what will be the next hurdles for BT?

The infrastructure and the technology is one, the IT and the call centre system will require different solutions today than most solutions offered a decade ago, are those solutions up to speed to remain scalable, evolutionary and easily deployable? You see, the Indians who developed those solutions have created a decade of infrastructure expertise, that knowledge is partially lost to the UK solution industry.

the final quote to consider is “It said staff had recently agreed to more flexible working hours, to make sure calls could be answered from the UK at the weekend and in the evenings. “This demonstrates the commitment from everyone at BT to work together to improve customer service and to make things easy for our customers,” said Barr“, part of this has always existed, many places, including in the late 90’s required solutions to be working for a longer time. In that part there are two solutions, one is the variable times, which are at the current core of the solutions, in some cases (possibly not in the case of BT) is to have a time zone coverage, where large corporations have coverage in Europe, the US and Australia, creating a near perfect 24 hour coverage. When one call centre shuts down, the other one starts, or has been operating a few hours, meaning that any issue not dealt with in call centre one, the one to the east will pick up those issues as well as the ones they receive until they shot down, this moves forwards and in that solution a global service system comes to play, that level of service is now more and more required, because saving money was only an option where sales is king, in a system where sales is no longer staying up to speed, services needs to create a pillow for new sales and new steps to higher revenue.

That time is now returning, or perhaps better stated, the core of business needs to return to their home fields. In a state where mobiles rule, where Telco’s can be started from a living room with the mere need to have access to bandwidth to sell on, the home field advantage relies on service and interactive response, that step is now the place for the larger home players to get back their consumer base and from that step, reclaim the foundation of income to return to those large players. The sharks are returning and they are getting rid of the pilot fish that have been feeding themselves on too much food, the shark has been hungry for too long.

In that example, we all understand that in the healthy environment the shark will need, allow and even require the pilot fish. Yet as its food supply has been reduced to a mere fraction of what it was, the shark needs to evolve into being better and more efficient in devouring the food it gets, as there is less. So it sucks to be the pilot fish, but for too long every shark had not one but 5-10 pilot fish around its teeth, that part can no longer continue, whether those 5-10 were ‘validly’ there. In the end, cutting costs for those banks might have been a jump that is a lot more expensive than they bargained for, which will be at the centre of the numbers that the new call centre solutions would be trying to show in the pursuit of growing their grades, qualities and key result areas. So where is the flaw in my last statement?

You see, past the shark we get the issue that it was about cheap that was not, which is not completely correct, it is the change towards the new location that is the new cost, not the lack of old profits. We can argue that the not predicting that change is short sighted, but is that the flaw of the past, or our obsessive need to lay blame in the now?

It seems to me that BT is only the first in many, for those who have the quality and the knowledge, this will be an evolving field of need. Personally I see that this could be a potential job bringer to places like Scotland and Wales. When this evolves into a separate global call centre with a global coverage, those who have it will come to a decent growing field, a field of need where for the last few years there was none.

You see, there is another side in this, in the last few weeks there have been reports from places like Digital India we see titles like ‘Digital India will take off on the strength of call centres in small towns‘ (at http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/digital-india-will-take-off-on-the-strength-of-call-centres-in-small-towns-ravi-shankar-prasad/) which makes perfect sense for their local market, a local market that has been evolving for some time now. Now consider the quote “There is enough data work available in the country (to be handled by these centres)”, which remains a fair call, yet the article is absent of international parts, which is a little odd, considering that this is about Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology. Yet, in that same line of thinking we now get lines like ‘Serco on the road to recovery with £250m sale of Indian call centre business‘, Serco seems to be on a road, leaving that outsourcing solution to Blackstone.

The issue is a little hard to set, as Serco has had its fingers in so many pies, many failing to a larger extent, so that issue on Call centres is not easily settled here, but consider the dive they took by ridding themselves of it at this time and at the massive discount it was sold at, it starts to form a speculated pattern. You see, the fact that Indian call centres are all growing in their local market, and ‘speculated’ must remain the operative word here, because the needs of one Telco, does not give way to an early summer feeling in the employment market. For that we need to take one additional look to the BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31762595), called ‘The country training people to leave‘, the quote there is ““British companies love us because our English is not accented. The brightest graduates from our universities fight to get a job here. We only take the smartest kids. And after we’ve finished training them they even get your British sarcasm,” says Tubbs“, which is actually at the heart of the matter for one of the Indian issues, yet the part that is not addressed is that India had grown a strong infrastructure. That part was shown in the NY Times a year earlier, “The 2.2 million vehicles a day that grind away on Manila’s crumbling road system cost the country 876 billion pesos a year, or more than $20 billion, in lost productivity and wasted energy, according to a recent study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. That is a serious drain on an economy of about $250 billion“, now add to that “Manila is plagued by power failures, chronic water shortages and an antiquated telecommunications system“, I am taking the airport out of that equation, which remains an issue too. The bottleneck was not addressing the growing options that required a massive overhaul, now it is too late, the power from Manilla in language was shown, making the move back to the UK an easy step. Consider the earlier BBC article, which gave “the government teaches thousands of people the skills they need to get jobs abroad“, we now have a rolling economy moving back to the UK, with additional options for workers who could be relocated to the UK should the call centres run dry on willing staff, even more optional is getting a hold of all that call centre staff, should the UK market not be providing enough early on, the UK has options to home grow a market they had lost, even more important is that this is a service filed Scottish workers could be trained in, giving additional solutions when the cost of corporate costs in the greater London area falls short, that is providing Birmingham does not pick up this opportunity.

As stated, it is speculated, but I see that BT has opened a door, a door that remains ajar for others to consider. Even if they are not in the UK, large US and Japanese corporations requires more and more the need for service solutions in the European timeline, the Indian solution was not the success they expected and the Manilla crises will continue at least 4-5 years, that is, if the infrastructure gets a massive overhaul as per immediate, if not, they lose the market too and Europe is hungry for real revenue, revenue that requires a service solution, one they had abstained form for too long.

Will this pan out correctly?

Even as the Philippine government is projecting a 15% growth from 2014 onwards, getting it from $11 billion, to $15 billion this year, the issue remains infrastructure, they have no real solution and the issues started to play in 2014, whilst no true overhaul had commenced, which means that it needs to address a near 32% growth and need in resources, whilst Manilla has no way to deal with it. This means that the summer drains will leave systems collapsing, something that we would start to see soon enough, it also means that those with Manilla support choices will need an alternative they did not bargain for. So the BT move is timely (in Philippine terms), if not essential to their path to repair.

Whatever comes next will be interesting to watch, because when that move does go forward, it becomes interesting to see how the larger corporations deal with their vested interest in places like Germany and France. In that regard, BT’s step (as stated by the Financial Times) comes with additional needs, as Sir Mike Rake saw the outsourcing as an ‘Achilles heel’, which might have been an understatement. In all that, Deutsche Telekom, who is connected in all this, might be seeing new trends to insourcing (pushing for could be a better word), as it also closes the door for the UK to leave the EEC as insourcing becomes more and more successful, which means many business players will be pushing for this success.

That part has additional reasons when we see that Sir Mike Rake, possibly UK’s largest Europhile in history gets to voice on how UK business at large does not want any form of Brexit, a move that can be given strength as call centres will grow in need within the EEC, which is just what the UK Conservatives hoped for, they just never expected to get saved by a call centre, which is amazingly hilarious in its own right.

 

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