BT Group (LON:BT.A) has teamed up with Dell EMC to look for new ways to manage network traffic, the FTSE 100 company has said. The new collaboration comes against the backdrop of regulatory pressure on the former telecoms monopoly to improve performance of its network division Openreach.
BT’s share price has slipped into the red in today’s session, having shed 0.42 percent to 293.15p as of 14:28 BST, largely in line with losses in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having given up 0.38 percent to 7,404.98 points so far today. The telco’s shares have lost more than a quarter of their value over the past year, and are down by a little over a fifth in the year-to-date.
BT announced in a statement today that it had inked a research collaboration deal with Dell EMC aimed at exploring a new way of managing network traffic. The collaboration involves a proof-of-concept trial, set to take place at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Suffolk, which will explore how disaggregated switching can create flexible networks which are more responsive to customer needs.
The former telecoms monopoly will work with Dell EMC to look at a number of potential use cases as part of the trial as the company evolves its network strategy to maximise the benefits of SDN (software-defined networks), NFV (network functions virtualization) and programmable silicon.
“We’re determined to ensure that BT’s network continues to be world-class and able to deliver the services our customers need,” Neil J. McRae, chief architect for BT, commented in the statement.
The collaboration comes as the FTSE 100 group looks to improve the performance of its network division Openreach, having been forced by industry regulator Ofcom to give more independence to the unit. The company has also offered to spend up to £600 million on upgrading internet speeds for more than one million rural homes. BT’s proposal, however, was recently slammed by the Scottish government which argues that the offer risks extending the group’s monopoly in rural areas.