About this weblog

What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points about the global telecoms industry. I use it as an electronic notebook to support my work for Pringle Media.

Friday, March 26, 2021

China Mobile Bets Big on 5G

China Mobile reported a 3% increase in revenue for 2020 to 768 billion Chinese yuan (117.4 billion US dollars).  Wireline broadband revenue increased by 17.4% year-on-year and reached 81 billion yuan, while revenue from applications and information services increased by 22.4% year-on-year and reached 101 billion yuan. 

At the end of 2020, the number of mobile customers reached 942 million of which 165 million customers used 5G. The average handset data traffic per user per month increased by 39% to 9.4GB. However, China Mobile also reported a 1.2% fall in Internet of Things connections to 873 million.

In 2020, China Mobile said it invested 102.5 billion yuan in 5G, adding: "Our cloud-based and centralised standalone (SA) core network commenced operations in September 2020. Throughout the year, we built and put in use around 340,000 new 5G base stations, bringing the total number of 5G base stations to a cumulative 390,000, providing 5G services to all prefecture-level cities, selected counties and key areas in China."  Source: China Mobile statements

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Mobile Data and Mobile Money Boost MTN


MTN reported a 12% increase in group service revenue to 170 billion South African rand (11.7 billion US dollars) for 2020.  Revenue in Nigeria rose almost 15% and in Ghana almost 17%, while growth in MTN's home market of South Africa was 1.6%. The group saw a 28.8 million increase in subscribers to 279.6 million. 

Fintech revenue rose by almost 24% as the number of active mobile money users increased by 11.7 million to 46.4 million, generating a monthly ARPU of 1.2 dollars. The total value of mobile money  transactions in 2020 was 152 billion dollars, as MTN processed 12,400 transactions per minute (up 35% from 2019). "While COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of mobile financial services, growth in fintech revenue was moderated by reductions in transaction fees to support our customers, lockdown restrictions on agents and a slowdown in economic activity," MTN said.  It also reported that its new aYo insurance joint venture had 11 million registered policy holders and 6 million active policies by the end of 2020. In total, aYo generated 10.5 million dollars in premium income. 

Digital revenue increased by 27% in 2020. "We expanded our instant messaging platform ayoba making good strides in the year, to record 5.5 million monthly active users, an addition of 3.5 million. It has now been integrated into 16 MTN markets and can be downloaded across many other markets on the Google Play store, Apple App Store and via the ayoba website as an OTT offering. In the year, ayoba expanded its services to include music, gaming, channels and money transfer. Streaming service MusicTime! is now live in nine MTN markets, and 15 opcos live with MusicTime in the ayoba app." 

MTN said it is aiming to have 100 million mobile money users and 100 million ayoba users by 2025.  Source: MTN report

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

China Telecom Talks Up 5G

In 2020, China Telecom increased revenues 4.7% to 394 billion yuan (60 billion US dollars), as wireline service revenues rose 5.5% to 119 billion yuan. It reported 86.5 million "5G package subscribers", representing a penetration rate of 24.6%.

Revenue from "smart family" packages (containing broadband, a home platform, applications and security services) reached 11.1 billion yuan, representing an increase of 37.5%.

The telco also said it is rolling out "5G innovative applications" such as remote control, machine vision, and automated guided vehicles. By the end of the year, China Telecom had signed contracts with nearly 1,900 customers for its 5G industry applications, with more than 1,100 use cases being launched. Source: China Telecom statements.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Financial Services Push Pays off for Orange


Orange's revenues fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 10.9 billion euros on a comparable basis. Across the year, revenues were up 0.3% to 42.3 billion euros, driven by a 5.2% increase in Africa & Middle East, which saw strong demand for 4G and Orange Money, and a 1.6% rise in France.  However, 2020 sales elsewhere in Europe were down 3.5% and enterprise revenues down 1.4%.

Orange Money's revenues rose almost 22% in the fourth quarter, meaning the business generated more than 500 million revenues for the full-year. At the end of 2020, the Orange Money customer base comprised 21.9 million active customers, up 20% year on year.

Orange also reported a 70% rise in net banking income to 69 million euros in 2020. At December 31, 2020, Orange Bank’s customer base in France and Spain, including the mobile insurance offer, was almost 1.2 million customers. It added that Orange Bank Africa, launched at the end of July 2020 in Côte d’Ivoire, already has over 350,000 customers, more than half of whom have taken out loans.  Source: Orange statement

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Financial Services Fuels Growth for Vodacom

Vodacom Group, which is majority owned by Vodafone, reported 6.7% year-on-year growth in group revenue (on a normalised basis) for the quarter ending December 30th to 25.1 billion South African rand (1.68 billion US dollars).  The increase was driven by 4.2% service revenue growth and sales of equipment and non-service revenue in South Africa.

The group's financial services revenue was a key growth engine. Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, said: "Supported by a significant increase in demand for our Airtime Advance product and a healthy increase in insurance policies, our financial services business remains a very strong performer having increased revenue by 24.3%, as the business continues to scale. Our partnership with Alipay will add new dimensions to our financial services’ proposition and in particular VodaPay, which will become our single lifestyle super app."

Revenues from the mobile money payment service M-Pesa increased 10.1%, largely the result of a 7.7% increase in customers. The group reported that almost 16 million people - or just under half of its international customer base (customers outside of South Africa) - are now making use of M-Pesa. Including Safaricom, monthly M-Pesa transactions amounted to 24.2 billion US dollars, up 58% year-on-year.  Source: Vodacom statement

Monday, November 16, 2020

Vodafone Reports Slight Recovery

The Vodafone Group reported a 0.4% decline in service revenue on an organic basis for the quarter ending September 30. For the six month period, service revenue fell 0.8% to 18.4 billion euros, as "good underlying momentum was offset by lower revenue from roaming and visitors," Vodafone said. 

Vodafone also reported that its 1-Gigabit capable fixed-line network now passes 52 million homes and it has launched 5G in 127 cities across nine European markets. In Africa, its M-Pesa financial services platform processed almost 13 billion transactions over the past 12 months. Source: Vodafone report

Friday, October 30, 2020

Google Sees Advertising Perk Up

Alphabet reported a 15% year-on-year rise in revenues at constant currency for the third quarter to 46.2 billion US dollars, after reporting flat revenues form the second quarter. Google search and other advertising revenues were 26.3 billion dollars in the quarter, up 6% year-over-year as advertiser spend began to pick up in August. YouTube advertising revenues were 5 billion dollars, up 32% year-on-year, "driven by ongoing substantial growth in direct response, followed by a rebound in brand advertising."

Google Cloud revenues were 3.4 billion dollars for the third quarter, up 45% year-over-year, while "other revenues" were 5.5 billion dollars, up 35% year-over-year, primarily driven by growth in Play and YouTube non-advertising revenues. In its Other Bets division, which includes the self-driving vehicle developer Waymo, revenues in the third quarter were 178 million dollars, while the operating loss was 1.1 billion dollars. Source: Alphabet collateral

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Telefónica Takes Another COVID Hit

Dragged down by the pandemic, Telefónica reported a 4.5% year-on-year fall  in revenues to 10.46 billion euros for the third quarter of 2020 on an organic basis.  That compares with a 5.6% decline in the second quarter of 2020.

The Madrid-based group estimated that COVID-19 had a negative impact on group revenue of 591 million euros in the third quarter compared with 729 million euros in the second quarter, as handset sales picked up. It said its operations in Spanish-speaking Latin America accounted for 31% of the total impact, followed by Spain with 26%, the UK at 20% and Brazil at 15%. Germany accounted for just 5%. Source: Telefónica statement.