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.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

VimpelCom Rides the Recession

Lifted by the acquisition of fixed-line operator Golden Telecom and favourable currency movements, VimpelCom's net operating revenues reached 66.8 billion Russian rubles (2.15 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of 31% versus the first quarter of 2008. Mobile revenue in Russia grew 12% year-on-year to 45.7 billion roubles boosted by a 17% rise in subscribers.

During the quarter, VimpelCom's residential broadband subscribers in Russia, including fibre-to-the-building and mobile broadband connections, increased by 300,000 to 1.5 million. Seeking to preserve cash, VimpelCom slashed capital spending 55% year-on-year to 3.9 billion roubles in the quarter.

Boris Nemsic, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, said: "The relatively minor impact of the economic environment on the operational side of our business reconfirms our belief in the resilience of the telecom industry." source: VimpelCom presentation

AT&T To Boost 3G Capacity

AT&T said it plans to begin LTE trials in 2010, with deployment earmarked to start in 2011. In the meantime, the U.S. operator is upgrading its HSPA network to offer peak downlink speeds of 7.2 megabits per second, while adding 2,100 new cell sites and boosting backhaul capacity by adding fibre-optic connectivity to thousands of cell sites. AT&T is aiming to introduce multiple HSPA 7.2-compatible laptop cards and smart phones beginning later this year.

AT&T said it has used 850 MHz spectrum in more than half of its 3G network footprint to improve overall coverage and in-building reception, with additional markets planned for later in the year. The U.S. operator is also looking to offload data traffic onto its Wi-Fi hotspots where possible. source: AT&T statement

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pakistan Drags Down Orascom

Hit by divestments and adverse currency movements in Pakistan, Tunisia and Algeria, Orascom Telecom's revenues fell 8% year-on-year to 1.2 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2009. Mobilink, Orascom's Pakistan operation, was also hit by the domestic economic and political crisis and its revenues fell 1% in local currency terms.

There was better news from Bangladesh, where banglalink increased subscribers 30% year-on-year to more than 10 million. Group capital expenditure in the quarter fell 32% to 210 million US dollars compared with the same period in 2008 as Orascom focused on generating cash. source: Orascom Telecom statement

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Capex Climbs at Digitel

Digitel of the Philippines has budgeted 350 million US dollars for capital spending this year, up from 300 million last year, to upgrade and expand its mobile phone network, according to a report by Dow Jones Newswires. Digitel now has 10 million subscribers and is aiming to add 5 million each year. source: Total Telecom/Dow Jones

Unicom Sees ARPU Falling Further

China Unicom told Reuters that it expects its ARPU to continue to fall in the second half of 2009 despite its recent launch of 3G services. source: Reuters

Hutchison Piles on Subs in Indonesia

Hutchison Telecom said that its subscribers in Indonesia rose 127% to 5.3 million at the end of March 2009 compared with a year earlier. But ARPU fell from 14,000 Indonesian rupiah to 10,000 rupiah (96 US cents).

In Israel, Hutchison's subscribers rose 3% to 2.9 million, while ARPU fell 6.5% despite a rise in 3G users. Hit by the recession and intense competition, Hutchison's subscribers in Thailand and Sri-Lanka both declined year-on-year. source: Hutchison statement

Friday, May 22, 2009

3G Drives Soaring Capex at MTS

Mobile operator MTS said that its revenue in Russia rose 7.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009 to 46.9 billion Russia roubles (1.51 billion US dollars) thanks to a 9% increase in subscribers. By contrast, in the Ukraine revenue fell 9% to 1.87 billion Ukrainian hryvna (245 million US dollars) as subscribers fell 9%.

Group capital spending rose 89% to 646 million US dollars as MTS aims to have HSPA-enabled networks launched in all regions of Russia and more than 40 cities in 2010.

MTS Russia's revenues from value-added services rose 22% to 8.47 billion roubles driven primarily by a 50% rise in data traffic revenue and a 30% rise in data content revenue. source: MTS presentation

Rising Profits at Cable & Wireless

Anticipating rising profitability at both its mobile operations and in its enterprise business, Cable & Wireless forecast that its capital expenditure will rise 4% to approximately 477 million British pounds (758 million US dollars) in the year to March 31, 2010.

In the year to March 31, 2009, underlying group revenue rose by 3% to 3.65 billion pounds, which C&W attributed to significant new IP, data and hosting contracts for its enterprise business, together with growth at its mobile business in Panama. source: C&W statement

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vodafone Slightly Down

After seeing a 0.4% fall in underlying revenues to 41 billion pounds (63.28 billion US dollars) for the year to March 31 2009, Vodafone said that its expects "recent revenue trends to continue." The impact of rising customer numbers in India and Africa and a 26% increase in data revenue (excluding messaging) to more than 3 billion pounds, were offset by lower growth in usage and double digit price declines in Europe. Revenue in Western Europe declined by 2.1% on an organic basis with Spain and Germany seeing the largest falls.

In India, revenue grew by 33% on a pro-forma basis, with growth slowing in the January to March quarter to 28% at constant exchange rates. In the year to March, Vodafone increased capital expenditure by 16% to 5.9 billion pounds, including 1.4 billion pounds in India. The Newbury-based operator is planning a similar level of capital expenditure in the year to March 31, 2010. source: Vodafone statement

Friday, May 15, 2009

Boost from Belgacom TV

Organic revenues in the Belgacom Group grew 0.3% year-on-year to 1.45 billion euros in the first quarter of 2009 thanks to rising revenues from Belgacom TV, mobile data services and the company's International Carrier Services division. Capital spending rose 5% to 135 million euros.

Belgacom reiterated its earlier guidance that group revenues will fall 1% in 2009 and capital spending will be between 10% and 11% of group revenue. source: Belgacom statement

Sales at SFR Slip

Vivendi of Paris said that underlying revenues at it SFR telecoms unit fell 1% year-on-year to 3.03 billion euros in the first quarter as revenues from fixed-line voice calls and equipment sales fell. However, mobile data revenues rose 36% compared to the same period in 2008 on the back of unlimited SMS and MMS offers, together with mobile Internet take-up by consumers and companies.

Maroc Telecom Group, also a unit of Vivendi, reported an underlying 2% increase in revenues to 640 million euros for the first quarter compared with the same period in 2008. source: Vivendi statement

New Mobile Subs Lift Oi

Oi, which recently acquired Brasil Telecom, posted an underlying 4% year-on-year rise in revenues to 7.49 Brazilian reals (3.59 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2008. Claiming to be the fastest-growing Brazilian operator last quarter, Oi said its cellphone customer base grew 45% year-on-year to almost 32 million clients. source: Dow Jones/Total Telecom

Portugal Telecom Focuses on Fibre

Aiming to provide optical-fibre coverage to one million households this year, Portugal Telecom increased its guidance for domestic capital spending by 10% to 650 million euros in 2009. The equivalent figure for 2008 was 647 million euros.

Boosted by rising wireline revenues and Vivo's improving performance in Brazil, Portugal Telecom reported a 2% year-on-year increase in revenues to 1.6 billion euros for the first quarter of 2009. In the quarter, Portugal Telecom increased capital spending by 57% year-on-year to 224 million euros. source: Portugal Telecom statement

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Turkcell Revenues Rise 12%

Boosted by rising subscriber numbers and minutes of use, Turkcell said that its revenues rose 12% to 2.1 billion Turkish lira (1.28 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2009.

As Turkcell prepares to launch 3G services, capital spending in the quarter climbed to 252 million US dollars from 193 million in the same period of 2008. Turkcell said it plans to commercially launch 3G services simultaneously in 81 cities of Turkey within the next three months. source: Turkcell presentation

SingTel Forecasts Growth Ahead

SingTel expects its operating revenue in Singapore to grow "at the single-digit level" in the year to March 31, 2010 boosted by an increased contribution from its IT and engineering business (including a full year contribution from SCS) and first time revenue from the roll out of its fibre network.

The group expects operating revenue at its Optus unit in Australia to grow in the low single digits thanks to growth in mobile and wireless broadband. Capital expenditure in Australia and Singapore is forecast to be 1.1 billion Australian dollars (1.04 billion the previous year) and 800 million Singapore dollars (710 million) respectively.

For the January to March quarter of 2009, SingTel's group revenue was up 10%, stripping out the impact of adverse currency movements, to 3.57 billion Singapore dollars (2.43 billion US dollars) boosted by the consolidation of SCS and growing demand for its mobile services in both Singapore and Australia. source: SingTel statement

BT Sees Sales Sinking

Britain's BT Group expects its revenue to decline by 4% to 5% in the year to March 31, 2010 from 21.39 billion British pounds (32.41 billion US dollars) the previous year. BT said its revenues will be hit by declining usage of fixed-lines in the UK, lower mobile termination rates, together with the impact of refocusing its BT Global Services division.

In this fiscal year, BT expects to deliver a 13% reduction in capital expenditure to around 2.7 billion pounds from 3.09 billion in the previous year.

London-based BT reported a 5% year-on-year decline in organic revenues for the January to March quarter to 5.47 billion pounds, while capital expenditure fell 2% to 758 million pounds. source: BT statement

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revenue Trends in the U.S. Telecoms Market Q1 2009

VimpelCom Cuts Back on Capex

Reacting to the deterioration in the economic climate in the CIS region, VimpelCom said it will cut capital spending to between 12% and 15% of consolidated revenue in 2009 from 25% in 2008. Last year, VimpelCom's capital spending rose 45% to 2.57 billion US dollars as it rolled out both 3G and fixed-line broadband networks.

By the end of 2009, VimpelCom operated fibre to the building (FTTB) networks in 47 cities and 3G networks in 40 cities. In the fourth quarter of 2008, VimpelCom's total number of residential broadband subscribers in Russia, including FTTB and 3G, increased by 0.4 million to 1.2 million.

Boosted by the acquisition of Golden Telecom and new mobile subscribers, VimpelCom, Russia's second largest mobile operator, said that its net operating revenues reached 10.12 billion US dollars in 2008, up 41% from 2007. source: VimpelCom statement

Zain Cuts Targets

Blaming the global economic slowdown, Zain told Dow Jones Newswires that it plans to cut capital spending to between 1 billion and 1.5 billion US dollars in 2009 compared with 2.59 billion dollars in 2008. Zain, which has mobile operations across Africa and the Middle East, also lowered its target for an increase in net profit in 2009 from 30% to 20%. source: Total Telecom/Dow Jones

Telekom Austria Slightly Weaker

After a 5% year-on-year fall in revenues to 1.2 billion euros in the first quarter of 2009, Telekom Austria said it expects its full year revenues to be "slightly weaker" than the 5.1 billion euros it had forecast. Telekom Austria said the decline in first quarter revenues was mainly due to lower voice usage and wholesale revenues in its fixed-line business.

Mobilkom austria grew its mobile broadband subscriber base by 42% year-on-year to 440,900 at the end of March 2009, while data revenues as a percentage of traffic-related revenues rose from 31.6% in the first quarter of 2008 to 37.4% in the first quarter of 2009. source: Telekom Austria statement

Telefonica Rides Latin American Growth

Boosted by 9% growth in its Latin American operations, Telefonica reported a 3% year-on-year rise in organic revenues to 13.7 billion euros for the first quarter of 2009. Although Telefonica's UK and German mobile businesses continued to grow, revenues in the group's Spanish mobile unit fell 9% to 2.17 billion euros, mainly as a result of lower handset, interconnection and voice usage revenues.

Telefonica's total capital spending fell 9% to 1.2 billion euros in the first quarter and the Madrid-based company reiterated its earlier guidance that revenues and operating income will increase between 1% and 3% in 2009. source: Telefonica statement

Monday, May 11, 2009

Telecom Equipment Revenue Trends Q1 2009

Most major western telecoms equipment suppliers have been hit by the ailing economy, falling demand for handsets and rising competition from China, South Korea and specialist smart phone manufacturers.

Revenues Slide At Nortel

Blaming its filings for creditor protection and the economic downturn, Nortel Networks said that its revenue in the first quarter of 2009 fell 29% year-on-year, stripping out the impact of currency fluctuations, to 1.73 billion US dollars.

Nortel said that R&D expenses were 341 million dollars in the first quarter of 2009, compared to 420 million for the first quarter of 2008. source: Nortel statement

Fixed-line Falls in Indonesia

Despite a 9% rise in mobile revenues, Telekomunikasi Indonesia reported a 2% year-on-year fall in total revenues to 14.7 trillion Indonesia rupiah (1.42 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2009 as fixed-line and IT services sales fell. source: Telekomunikasi statement

Growth Slows for Vivo

Fuelled by a 19% increase in subscribers, Vivo, Brazil's largest mobile operator, said its operating revenue rose 9% year-on-year to 4.02 billion Brazilian reals (1.95 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2009. Across 2008, Vivo's revenues grew 14%.

As Vivo increased 2G coverage to 84% of the Brazilian population and HSPA coverage to 399 municipalities, capital expenditure leapt 101% to 541 million reals in the first quarter of 2009. Vivo said "self-supported data and value added services" revenue grew 29% year-on-year to 442 million reals. source: Vivo statement

Friday, May 8, 2009

Telus Lowers 2009 Forecast

Citing the worsening economy, Telus of Canada cut its guidance for 2009, now projecting that revenues will grow between 0% and 3% to between 9.7 and 9.9 billion Canadian dollars (8.36 and 8.53 billion US dollars).

For the first quarter of 2009, Telus reported a 1% year-on-year rise in revenue to 2.38 billion Canadian dollars (2.05 billion US dollars), driven primarily by 3% growth in wireless revenue and 6% growth in wireline data revenue, more than offsetting the ongoing declines in local and long distance wireline voice revenues.

Telus increased capital expenditure by 48% to 474 million Canadian dollars in the first quarter to fund the build-out of wireless and wireline broadband. source: Telus statement

Canada's BCE Slips Slightly

BCE, Canada's largest telecoms company, said that operating revenues in the first quarter decreased by 0.5% year-on-year to 3.62 billion Canadian dollars (3.1 billion US dollars) as growth in wireless, video, and data revenues were offset by declines in local and access, long distance, and equipment revenues.

Capital spending declined 6% year-on-year to 482 million Canadian dollars despite BCE's rollout of more fibre and its plans to launch HSPA services in 2010. source: BCE statement

Mobile Data Deficit at Telecom Italia

Dragged down by regulatory and economic pressure on its domestic mobile operation, Telecom Italia said that its underlying revenues fell 4% year-on-year to 6.79 billion euros in the first quarter.

The performance of the Italian mobile unit was hit by a contraction in revenues from SMS and the sale of content value added services, regulatory-imposed changes to interconnection pricing and a reduction in the volume of handsets sold.

Telecom Italia, which reconfirmed its EBITDA targets for 2009, cut capital spending by 17% to 1.02 billion euros compared with the first quarter of 2008. source: Telecom Italia statement

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cisco Sees Stabilisation

Cisco said that "for the first time in many quarters, our global customers are seeing some stabilisation, a leveling out in their business." Even so, the company posted a 17% year-on-year fall in revenues to 8.2 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2009. The telecoms equipment maker also said that deferred revenue was 8.8 billion US dollars at the end of the quarter compared with 9.3 billion dollars at the end of the previous quarter.

Following a 24% fall in net income to 1.3 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2009, Cisco said that it now has more than 33 billion US dollars in cash and investments. source: Cisco presentation

Deutsche Telekom Stutters

Stripping out the impact of acquiring OTE and currency movements, Deutsche Telekom said that its revenues would have fallen 2% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009. Measured in US dollars, revenue growth at T-Mobile USA was just 4%, down from 13.5% across the whole of 2008.

However, in T-Mobile's European operations, non-voice revenue increased by more than 40% year-on-year to 432 million euros in the first quarter, while T-Mobile USA, which is now rolling out a 3G network rapidly, saw a 31% increase in non-voice revenues to 467 million US dollars.

Excluding OTE, the Bonn-based company said that it expects its adjusted EBITDA to be down between 2% and 4% in 2009 compared with 2008. source: Deutsche Telekom report

TIM Stalls in Brazil

Held back by an exodus of contract customers, TIM ParticipaƧƵes of Brazil said that revenues rose 0.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009 to 3.01 billion Brazilian reals (1.43 billion US dollars). Still, revenue from "value-added" services, primarily mobile broadband, rose 31% year-on-year to 430 million reals.

TIM's capital spending in Brazil fell 30% to 194 million reals in the first quarter, representing just 6.5% of net revenues. As it adopts a new marketing strategy, TIM expects to see higher revenue growth in the second half of 2009. source: TIM statement

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zain's Revenues Rise 25%

In the first quarter of 2009, the Zain Group achieved a 25% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenues to 567 million Kuwaiti dinars (1.96 billion US dollars) thanks to a 41% rise in customers fuelled in part by the rollout of new operations in Saudi Arabia and Ghana.

Zain, which has operations in 23 countries in the Middle East and Africa, said that currency fluctuations knocked more than 18 million dinars from its bottom line, but it still increased net profit by 3% to almost 76 million dinars. source: Zain statement

Fastweb lifts Swisscom

Boosted by 14% growth at Italian broadband unit Fastweb, Swisscom said that group revenues rose 1% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in the first quarter of 2009 to 2.92 billion Swiss francs (2.58 billion US dollars). Capital spending fell 16% to 351 million francs.

Swisscom maintained its forecast that, excluding Fastweb, revenue for 2009 will fall by up to 300 million Swiss francs to between 9.2 billion and 9.3 billion francs. It estimated that Fastweb's revenues will rise to 1.8 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros last year. source: Swisscom statement

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Operator Revenue Performance Q1 2009

Flat First Quarter for Telenor

With growth in Asia offsetting decline in eastern Europe, Telenor said that its revenues were flat on an organic basis at 24.78 billion Norwegian krone (3.91 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2009 compared with a year earlier. The Oslo-based company reduced capital spending by 35% year-on-year to 3.29 billion krone.

Telenor maintained its forecast that organic revenues, excluding its start-up operation in India, will be flat across 2009. It also estimated that capital expenditure will be between 15% and 17% of revenues, excluding licences and spectrum fees, in 2009 compared with almost 19% in 2008. source: Telenor statement

Subs Growth Slows at MTN

The MTN Group, with operations in 21 markets across Africa and the Middle East, said that its subscribers rose 8% during the first quarter to more than 98 million. In the same period of 2008, subscriber numbers rose 11% to more than 68 million.

MTN's group ARPU fell 6% during the first quarter of 2009, dragged down by the addition of lower-spending customers, seasonal factors, a slowdown in consumer spending and currency movements. source: MTN statement

Alcatel-Lucent Maintains Outlook

Hit by declining demand for its telecoms equipment in North America, Alcatel-Lucent reported a 11% year-on-year fall in first quarter revenue, at constant exchange rates, to 3.6 billion euros. However, revenues for its services segment rose 19% year-on-year at constant exchange rates to 797 million euros.

The Paris-based company continues to expect the global telecommunications equipment and related services market to be down between 8% and 12% at constant currencies in 2009. However, it still anticipates an adjusted operating profit around break-even in 2009. source: Alcatel-Lucent statement

Sprint Sales Down 12%

Losing customers and market share, Sprint-Nextel reported a 12% year-on-year fall in consolidated net operating revenues to 8.2 billion US dollars for the first quarter of 2009.

Capital expenditure amounted to 291 million US dollars in the quarter, compared to 1.4 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2008, which included 236 million dollars in non-recurring spending related to the deployment of WiMAX prior to the closing of the Clearwire transaction.

Sprint said that the ARPU it earns from CDMA data services increased about 5% from the fourth quarter, to more than 18 dollars and data services now represent more than 31% of total CDMA ARPU.

Anticipating a further shift towards prepaid services in the U.S., Sprint Nextel forecast that it will lose less wireless customers in 2009 than in 2008 and that full-year capital expenditures in 2009 will be consistent with 2008 levels, excluding WiMAX. source: Sprint-Nextel statement

Friday, May 1, 2009

Growing Comcast Cuts Capex

Benefiting from customer upgrades to digital and advanced video services, plus continued growth in high-speed Internet services, U.S. cable company Comcast said that its revenue increased 5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009 to 8.8 billion US dollars. Operating cash flow increased 8% to 3.4 billion dollars as Comcast cut back on capital spending by 19% to 1.2 billion dollars. source: Comcast statement

Telmex International Sees Strong Growth

Lifted by rising cable TV and Internet access revenues, Telmex International, which operates across Latin America, said first-quarter 2009 total consolidated revenues were 20.64 billion Mexican pesos (1.5 billion US dollars), 12% higher than in the same period of 2008. The Mexico-based company said revenue growth was 10% in Brazil, 37% in Colombia, 17% in Argentina, 37% in Chile, and 47% in Peru. source: Telmex International statement