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, November 27, 2009

Orange Mulls "Perfect Storm"

Olaf Swantee, the global head of France Telecom's Orange mobile business, told a conference last week that the reduction in voice revenues, new regulation and the economic downturn had resulted in a "perfect storm" for operators and said the changes were structural and were unlikely to return once economies recover, according to a Reuters report.

"There are only so many hours in the day that people can phone and we're seeing voice ARPU (average revenue per use) decline quite significantly," the news wire quoted him as saying. At the same conference, Vodafone's European CEO Michel Combes mooted the idea of charging content providers and/or subscribers a premium in return for a guaranteed quality of service, according to Reuters. source: Reuters

Twentyfold Data Traffic Rise at O2 UK

O2, the U.K.'s largest mobile operator, said last week that data on its network had increased twentyfold in the past year, according to a report by Mobile Today. The report also quotes O2 as saying: "We have a small number of “hotspots” where customers may have lower levels of service than they expect. Typical symptoms include calls going straight to voicemail, dropped calls or difficulty in establishing a data connection." source: Mobile Today

To boost capacity, the operator, which is selling Apple's iPhone in the U.K., said it plans to add 200 new base stations in London alone in the next 12 months, 40 of which will be live by Christmas 2009. In 2010, O2 said other areas of the UK will see similar developments.

Derek McManus, Chief Technology Officer for O2 in the UK said: “In the past 12 months the mobile industry has seen an unprecedented change in demand [....] on mobile data networks. To put this in context, watching a YouTube video on a smartphone can use the same capacity on the network as sending 500,000 text messages simultaneously. source: O2 statement

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Broadband Boost for VimpelCom

VimpelCom Plans Capex Hike

VimpelCom, Russia's second largest mobile operator, said its revenue rose 3.5% year-on-year in the third quarter to 71.3 billion Russian rubles (2.48 billion US dollars), as its subscribers in Russia rose 13% to 51 million.

In Vietnam, a new market for VimpelCom, the operator said it had 1,071 base stations on air by the end of September, covering 24% of the total population, while in Cambodia, it had 370 base stations on air covering 47% of the total population. source: VimpelCom presentation

VimpelCom plans to increase capital spending in 2010 by 50% over 2009, according to a report by Interfax, which cites Chief Executive Boris Nemsic. source: Dow Jones/Total Telecom

Sunday, November 22, 2009

China Mobile To Push Mobile TV

China Mobile plans to launch a trial mobile television service on 3G handsets by the end of this year and is aiming to have tens of millions of users for the service before the end of 2011, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Chairman Wang Jianzhou also said the operator plans to launch "mobile reader services" next year and is working with Datang Telecom Technology Co., Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Hanwang Technology Co. on compatible devices, according to the report.

Wang Jianzhou also said that China Mobile will cut back on capital spending next year, according to the Dow Jones report. source: Total Telecom/Dow Jones

Monday, November 16, 2009

Orascom Sees Slower Growth

Orascom Telecom said that its total subscribers were almost 89 million at the end of September, an increase of 12% over September 2008. In the first nine months of 2009, in local currencies, revenues in Algeria increased by 6%, revenues in Pakistan were stable, in Tunisia rose 21%, in Egypt were up 6% and in Bangladesh soared 25%.

Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO, said: “While the economic environment has improved in recent months the competitive environment remains challenging; in this context OTH has continued to perform well, although 2009 will be a year of slower growth than 2008, in line with our forecasts." The group's capital spending in the first nine months was down 37% to 897 million US dollars. source: Orascom Telecom statement

Rapid Rise in Zain's Revenues

For the first nine months of 2009, Zain Group said its consolidated revenues rose 24%year-on-year to 1.78 billion Kuwaiti dinars (6.22 billion US dollars) as its customer base increased 28% to almost 72 million following Zain's entry into Saudi Arabia and Ghana.

"With improving currency stability in many of our African operations, we expect to attain better results in 2010 and beyond,” said Dr. Saad Al Barrak, CEO of Zain, which has a "commercial presence" in 24 countries. source: Zain statement

Mobile in Western Europe Now Shrinking

Friday, November 13, 2009

MTS Sees Growth in Russia

In local currencies, MTS said it expects single-digit year-on-year revenue growth in Russia and a single-digit year-on-year revenue decline in the Ukraine in 2009. In the third quarter, MTS's revenues in Russia rose 7% year-on-year to 56.27 billion Russian roubles (1.95 billion US dollars), while in the Ukraine revenues fell 2% to 2.22 billion Ukranian hryvnia (272 million US dollars).

Anticipating "investments in 3G, transport networks development, retail expansion and OPEX optimization initiatives", MTS said its capex in 2010 is likely to be between 22% and 25% of revenues, compared with 22% in both 2009 and 2008. MTS said it expects the Russian telecoms market to grow 6% a year from 2008 to 1.63 trillion Russian roubles in 2012. source: MTS presentation

SFR Sales Slip Slightly

Vivendi said that revenues in SFR, its French telecoms unit, fell 1.3% year-on-year in the third quarter to 3.09 billion euros, as a result of the impact of the "economic slowdown on roaming traffic and out of bundle usage and also the impact of a mobile voice termination regulated price cut."

At the end of September 2009, SFR's fixed broadband customer base had risen 15% year-on-year to 4.28 million. Vivendi said that Maroc Telecom's revenues rose almost 2% year-on-year to 694 million euros in the third-quarter, as its customer base rose 11% to more than 21 million. source: Vivendi statement

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Outlook Brighter For BT

Aided by currency movements, BT said that it now expects its revenue to decline between 3% and 4% in the year to March 31, 2010, rather than the 4% to 5% it had forecast. It also lowered its capital spending forceast for the year to March 31, 2010 to 2.6 billion pounds (4.3 billion US dollars) from 2.7 billion pounds.

In the third-quarter, BT's revenue fell 6% year-on-year, stripping out the impact of currency movements and acquisitions, to 5.12 billion pounds. BT blamed challenging market conditions for a 8% fall in underlying revenue in its global services division and 5% fall in its retail division. source: BT statement

Spain Leaves Telefonica Feeling Flat

Despite 6% organic revenue growth in Latin America, Telefonica said that its organic revenue grew 0.1% year-on-year in the third quarter to 14.13 billion euros. The company's revenues in Spain fell almost 7% year-on-year, but rose 2% in the U.K. in pounds sterling and climbed almost 6% in Germany.

Telefonica said capital spending in the first nine months of the year was 4.38 billion euros, down 19% on the same period in 2008. source: Telefonica statement

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clearwire Manages Modest Growth

Clearwire said that it had 173,000 subscribers for its mobile WiMax service at the end of September following net subscriber additions of 44,000 in the quarter. The operator's revenue increased by 13% year-on-year to 69 million US dollars in the third quarter.

During the quarter, Clearwire's mobile WiMax coverage increased by 67% to cover 10 million people as the company spent 400 million US dollars on capex compared with 129 million in the same quarter of 2008. It said it is still on track to provide coverage to 30 million people by the end of the year. source: Clearwire statement

Buoyant Quarter for SingTel

Driven by customer growth in Singapore and Australia, SingTel said its revenues rose 8% year-on-year, at constant exchange rates, to 4.1 billion Singapore dollars (2.96 billion US dollars) in the quarter ending September 30.

SingTel forecast that it will see single digit revenue growth in local currencies in Singapore and Australia in the year to March 31, 2010. It also expects its capital spending to be below 800 million Singapore dollars in Singapore and around 1.1 billion Australian dollars (1.02 billion US dollars) in Australia. source: SingTel presentation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Traffic Up and Revenue Down For Vodafone

Hit by falling voice revenues in Europe and slowing growth in India, Vodafone said that its organic revenues fell 3% year-on-year to 21.8 billion pounds (36.4 billion US dollars) in the six months ending September 30. The group's organic data revenue in Europe grew almost 18% year-on-year, compared with about 22% in the six months ending March 31.

Vodafone said that its data traffic in Europe has grown from less than 5 petabytes in the quarter ending December 31, 2007 to around 15 petabytes in the quarter ending September 30, 2009 and is now 2.5 times voice traffic. Still, the Newbury-based operator said utilisation of its European networks was still only at 30% in the quarter ending September 30 and that only 5% of sites are running at utilisation rates of 90% or more during busy times.

Vodafone said the HSPA+ roadmap will meet its needs for the next 2 to 3 years, as upgrading the network to a peak-rate of 21.6 Mbps from 7.2 Mbps will result in a 50% performance boost. It added that it can increase its backhaul capacity fourfold using ethernet microwave technology.

Vodafone also said it now has 83 million customers, 89,000 base stations and one million distributors in India. source: Vodafone presentation

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mobile Internet Boosts Brazil's Vivo

Brazilian mobile operator Vivo said its net service revenue rose 4% year-on-year in the third quarter to 3.79 billion Brazilian reals (2.2 billion US dollars), as mobile data revenues grew 40%, driven by a 76% rise in mobile Internet revenues. Vivo said usage of 3G data plans, through smartphones and data cards, grew 181% year-on-year.

In September 2009, Vivo's 3G WCDMA network, launched in October 2008, served 561 municipalities, reaching 60% of the population. source: Vivo statement

Vodacom Keeps Growing

Lifted by a 17% increase in customers, Vodacom said its revenue grew by almost 5% year-on-year in the six months to September 30 to 28.7 billion South African rand (3.88 billion US dollars) on a like-for-like basis.

Vodacom's mobile broadband customers rose 54% year-on-year to 964,000 in South Africa, while group mobile data revenues climbed 30% to 1.97 billion rand. The group forecast that it will spend 5 billion rand on capex in South Africa in the year to March 31, 2010 and 2 billion rand in its international operations, down from its earlier forecast of 3 billion rand. source: Vodacom presentation

Friday, November 6, 2009

Telecom Italia Tumbles

Telecom Italia said that its revenues fell almost 6% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter to 6.76 billion euros, as revenues in Italy declined almost 7%.

In the Italian mobile business, revenues fell more than 8% in the first nine months of 2009. The company blamed "a reduction in the number of handsets sold, shrinking sales of traditional value-added services (text messages) and content, as well as changing trends in regulated interconnection rates."

However, the company said its revenues in Brasil grew 1% in the first nine months as "revenues from products increased by 21.7%" and revenues from value-added services grew by 21.3%. source: Telecom Italia statement

Deutsche Telekom Down 3%

In the first nine months of 2009, Deutsche Telekom's revenue fell 3% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis to 48.4 billion euros. Revenue declined in most of the group's European operations and in the U.S., stripping out the impact of currency movements.

Deutsche Telekom said its U.S. business lost 77,000 net customers in the third quarter of 2009, compared with net customer additions of 670,000 in the third quarter of 2008 and 325,000 in the second quarter of 2009. The company blamed the turnabout on competitive intensity, "including handset innovation."

As it rolls out a UMTS/HSDPA network in the U.S., Deutsche Telekom said its cash capex in the U.S. increased year-on-year from 1.8 billion euros to 2.2 billion euros in the first nine months of 2009 due to currency fluctuations and cash payment timing differences. source: Deutsche Telecom statement

Qualcomm Sees Growth Ahead

Thanks to rising sales of WCDMA handsets, Qualcomm said that it expects its like-for-like revenues to rise between 2% and 10% year-on-year to between 2.55 billion and 2.75 billion US dollars in the quarter ending December 27. The chip company's revenues fell 19% year-on-year in the quarter ending September 27th to 2.69 billion dollars.

For the year ending September 2010, Qualcomm expects revenues to rise between 1% and 9% to between 10.5 billion and 11.3 billion dollars. source: Qualcomm statement

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

3G Sales Soar for Safaricom

Driven by a 94% increase in data revenues, Kenya's Safaricom said that its revenue rose 18% to 40.66 billion Kenyan shillings (541 million US dollars) in the third quarter. Safaricom said that revenues from mobile broadband services climbed 160% and revenues from its M-PESA money transfer service soared 248%. The operator said it now has 1.8 million "distinct" data users.

Safaricom said that its 2G mobile sites have increased to 1,972 from 1,741 in September 2008 and 384 sites have been upgraded to 3G. The operator is also rolling out WiMAX to corporate branch networks, small businesses and home workers. It added that the SEACOM undersea cable, which came into operation at the end of July, has increased its data capacity.

Safaricom has launched a new tariff, called Supa Ongea, that dynamically gives subscribers discounts of up to 90% based on the time and their location with on-net call charges ranging from 80 cents to 8 Kenyan shillings per minute.

The operator said its M-PESA customer base had grown to 7.9 million users as of September 2009, while the number of agents for the service has reached 13,326 compared with 4,230 in September 2008. source: Safaricom statement

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Belgacom Flat in Third Quarter

Belgacom said that its revenues in the third quarter were almost flat year-on-year at 1.48 billion euros. The operator said the number of SMS sent per customer increased 23% in the first nine months of 2009 to 71 per month, driven by the substitution of voice by SMS.

Belgacom reconfirmed that it still expects a revenue decline of about 1% in 2009 and capital spending to be between 10% and 11% of group revenue. In the first nine months, Belgacom's capex was 405 million euros - 101 million euros less than for the same period of 2008, which included the renewal of the football broadcasting rights for 105 million euros, covering three football seasons. source: Belgacom statement

China Unicom Passes One Million 3G Subs

China Unicom said it now has more than 1 million 3G subscribers, including 5,000 iPhone owners, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The Chinese operator also said that it expects to add an additional 1 million 3G subscribers each month. source: Dow Jones Newswires/Total Telecom

Handset Sales Boost KT

KT said that its revenues rose 4% year-on-year in the third quarter to 4.82 trillion won (4.07 billion US dollars) on a like-for-like basis propelled by 14% year-on-year rise in wireless revenues.

Mobile handset sales were up 36% year-on-year to 862 billion won, and boosted by sales of flat-rate data plans, KT's wireless data revenue climbed 11% year-on-year to 303 billion won. Wireless data ARPU rose 7% year-on-year to 6,980 won. source: KT statement

Monday, November 2, 2009

PT Telkom To Up Capex

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia plans to spend 20 trillion Indonesian rupiah (2.09 billion US dollars) in capital expenditure next year, up from a target of 17 trillion this year, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The company's finance director said that the company also expects its revenue to grow by a single digit (between 0% and 10%) in 2010, as it adds at least 10 million new mobile subscribers. source: Dow Jones/Total Telecom

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bharti's Revenue Growth Slows

Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile operator, said that its revenues rose 9% year-on-year in the quarter ending September 30 to 98.46 billion rupees (2.08 billion US dollars) as the total customers on its network climbed 42% to more than 113 million. Year-on-year growth in the previous quarter was 17%. Non-voice services made up 15% of Bharti's total revenues in the quarter ending September 30 - unchanged from the previous year.

During the quarter, Bharti's capital expenditure was 22.78 billion rupees. As of September 30, Bharti's network covered 83% of India's population using 99,501 network sites compared with 77% using 82,554 sites on September 30, 2008. source: Bharti Airtel statement

Software Sales Shore Up Alcatel-Lucent

Following a weakening in demand for second-generation mobile equipment, Alcatel-Lucent said that revenues fell 11% year-on-year, at constant currencies, to 3.89 billion euros in the third quarter. The Paris-based company said it continues to expect the global telecommunications equipment and related services market to be down between 8% and 12% at constant currency in 2009.

France Telecom-Orange has selected Alcatel-Lucent for an LTE field trial in Paris in both FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) and TDD (Time Division Duplex) modes. To date, 16 operators have selected Alcatel-Lucent's LTE solution for trials.

Boosted by rising sales to operators, Alcatel-Lucent's applications software revenue rose 16% year-on-year, at constant currencies, to 286 million euros in the third quarter. But the company said rich communications, which includes messaging and IMS had a softer quarter, after a strong first half, but "its prospects remain very solid given recent wins in IMS, especially in China and in the US."
source: Alcatel-Lucent statement