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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Global Telecoms Revenue Down 4%

Telecom service providers’ collective revenues fell 4.2% in 2009 to 1.65 trillion US dollars worldwide, according to Infonetics Research. The service providers cut capital spending by 5.9% to 295 billion dollars, Infonetics added. The world's ten largest service providers, ranked in order by 2009 revenue in US dollars, are AT&T, NTT, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, France Telecom, Vodafone, Telefonica, KDDI, and Comcast, according to Infonetics. source: Telecompaper report

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Russia Rebounds for VimpelCom

Lifted by growth in its mobile business, VimpelCom said that revenues generated by its Russian operations rose 1.9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2010 to 57.4 billion Russian roubles (1.84 billion US dollars). But a reduction in interconnection rates dragged down revenues in its recently-acquired Kyivstar business in the Ukraine by almost 5% to 2.57 billion Ukranian hryvnia (324 million US dollars). source: VimpelCom presentation

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vodafone Stems Revenue Decline

Vodafone said its organic group service revenue fell 0.2% in the quarter ending March 31 to 11.16 billion pounds (16.12 billion US dollars), as a revenue fall of 1.7% in (western) Europe offset rises in Africa, central Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

In the year to March 31, Vodafone said its organic revenue fell 2.3% to 44.47 billion pounds, but the multinational operator said it expects to return to a "low level of organic revenue growth during the year" ending March 31, 2011 and that capital expenditure will be similar to the 6.2 billion pounds it spent in the previous fiscal year.

Vodafone forecast that data traffic on its (western) European networks will grow 70% to 140 petabytes in the year to March 31, 2011, following a 100% increase in the previous year. It added that laptops account for 85% of the volume and that "the mix is now shifting to smartphones."  Vodafone also said that 7% of its cell sites have utilisation rates of more than 90% in the buisest hour of the day. source: Vodafone presentation

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sales Slip Slightly for Oi

Brazil's largest telecommunications company Oi last week said its revenues fell 0.4% year-on-year in the first quarter to 7.46 Brazilian reals (4.1 billion US dollars), according to Dow Jones Newswires. The wire service said the decline was caused by "falling fixed-line billing, which was only partially offset by growing mobile and data-transfer revenues." source: Total Telecom/Dow Jones

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cisco Overcomes Economic Challenges

Cisco said that its net sales increased 27% year-on-year to 10.4 billion US dollars in the quarter ending May 1. "We witnessed a return to strong balanced growth across geographies, products and customer segments that we haven't seen since before the global economic challenges began," said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco.

However, Cisco also noted that the quarter ending May 1 had 14 weeks compared with 13 weeks in the equivalent quarter of 2009, which "probably" contributed 4 to 5 percentage points of the 27% year-over-year growth.

Cisco forecast that its revenue in the quarter ending September 1 will grow between 25% and 28% year-on-year to between 10.68 billion and 10.93 billion dollars, boosted by the acquisition of Tandberg, which Cisco expects to contribute around $200 million in revenue. sources: Cisco statement and Cisco transcript

BT Sees Growth from 2012

BT said its underlying revenues in the year ending March 31 fell 4% to 20.91 billion pounds (30.38 billion US dollars), as its retail and wholesale businesses serving the U.K. market each saw their revenues fall 4%. BT expects its revenue in the year ending March 31 2011 to be approximately 20 billion pounds. It added that its revenue should begin to grow again in 2012/13 as its retail arm begins to capitalise on its investment in fibre and television-on-demand. source: BT presentation

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Latam Lifts Telefonica

Boosted by growth in Latin America, Telefonica said its revenue, in organic terms, grew 0.9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009 to 13.93 billion euros. Excluding the impact of regulatory measures, revenue growth would have reached 2.4%, Telefonica added.

Telefonica said that its Latin American operations contributed 2.1 percentage points of the organic growth, while it also saw healthy growth rates in the UK and Germany, excluding the impact of regulation, "driven by the increasing contribution from the mobile internet business." Capex in the first quarter was 1.19 billion euros (down -0.2% year-on-year in organic terms. source: Telefonica statement

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

U.S. and Germany Hold Back DT

Hit by lower fixed-line sales in Germany and lower mobile sales in the U.S., Deutsche Telekom said its organic revenues declined 3.3% year-on-year to 15.81 billion euros in the first quarter of 2010. Service revenues in the U.S. fell 2.5% as T-Mobile U.S. continued to lose customers, while fixed-line revenues in Germany sank 4%.

Deutsche Telekom said its 3G network in the U.S. now has almost 27,000 base stations (up 1,437 in the first quarter), providing coverage to 208 million people. Its goal is to provide HSPA+ coverage to 185 Americans by the end of 2010. source: Deutsche Telekom presentation

Friday, May 7, 2010

Telecom Italia Sales Shrink

Telecom Italia said that its organic revenues fell almost 5% in the first quarter of 2010 to 6.48 billion euros, dragged down by a 7% fall in domestic mobile  revenues and a 5% fall in domestic fixed-line revenues. TIM Brasil saw its revenues rise almost 4% on the back of a "significant growth in traffic volume." source: Telecom Italia presentation

China Pulls Down Alactel Lucent

Hit by a significant slowdown in China and tight component availability, Alcatel-Lucent said that its sales fell 8% year-on-year to 3.25 billion euros, adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations, in the first quarter of 2010. The Paris-based equipment maker's optics and wireline revenues were worst hit, falling 14% and 24% respectively at constant currencies. source: Alcatel-Lucent presentation

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Content Creation & Freelance Journalism

After six years writing for the Wall Street Journal and a further eight years experience with trade publications, I am an accomplished and skillful interviewer and writer, capable of turning technical and esoteric subject matter into readable and engaging copy. During more than three years at the GSMA, I wrote numerous press releases, FAQs, bylined articles, executive summaries and even the occasional white paper. Where required, I am able to work quickly and to tight deadlines.

For the 2011 edition of the Mobile World Congress, I helped the GSMA develop the conference programme and related content for its Mobile World Live television service, which broadcast live during the event.

If and when I have the capacity, I take on freelance journalism projects, assuming there is no conflict of interest with my media relations work.

For more details or to request samples of my work, please email: pringled@btinternet.com

Ericsson Expands Horizons

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg: "Less than 5% of the world's population has access to 21 Mbit/s or more in the air, at least 1.5 million installed GSM radio base stations must be replaced and in addition we see continued need for services in fields such as consulting, system integration and managed services. We estimate that our addressable market, including joint ventures, is worth 350 billion US dollars." source: Ericsson statement

Asia Growth Boosts Telenor

Telenor said its organic revenue grew almost 3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2010 to 23.95 billion Norwegian krone (3.96 billion US dollars) lifted by a strong performance in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand, together with mobile data revenue growth in the Nordics.

Telenor cut capital spending to 10% of sales in the quarter compared with 12% in the same quarter of 2009. It maintained its forecast that organic revenues will grow in the low single digits in 2010, but it forecast that capex will be between 13% and 14% of revenues, rather than the 14% to 16% it had anticipated, due to lower spending on its new operation in India. source: Telenor presentation

David Pringle

A former telecoms and technology correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, I provide content development, analytical and editorial services to organisations in the telecoms, media and technology sectors. 

Over the past 14 years, I have authored and edited a series of groundbreaking reports for STL Partners, including recent titles: Can telcos compete in the new TV market?Is augmented reality a game changer for mobile networks? and Making the metaverse useful.

At ten editions of the Mobile World Congress, I have worked for the GSMA's Mobile World Live television service, choosing topics, identifying and inviting guests, composing questions, conducting interviews and moderating panels.

I have moderated dozens of discussions at major telecoms events, including MWC and Rutberg & Co.'s Wireless Influencers event, asking speakers probing questions, prompting lively debates and ensuring the audience has an opportunity to participate.

My clients to date: A.T. Kearney, AVG, Bytemobile, CGAP, Cyber-Duck, Deloitte Consulting, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, FISITA, European Leaders, The European Commission, the GSMA, Hotwire PR, Huawei, IDG, Juliet Media, Mobile World Live, Motor Codes, Pictet, Policy Impact Partners, PRTM, Pyramid Research, Rakuten, Reuters, Rutberg, Qualcomm, Science|Business, ST-Ericsson, STL Partners (Telco 2.0), STMicroelectronics, Stratus, Syniverse, Telekom Austria, The World Economic Forum, Toshiba, VimpelCom and Waggener Edstrom.


August 2005 – January 2009: GSMA, Media Relations

During three and half years at the GSMA, I provided media relations support to the CEO and Chairman of the GSMA, as well as top executives from many of the world’s leading mobile phone companies.

I oversaw the GSMA's public policy media relations strategy encompassing everything from the case against roaming regulation in Europe to high taxes in Africa to the tight rationing of spectrum in India.

I was also responsible for media relations for the GSMA’s Development Fund, which is at the forefront of efforts to bring mobile services to people living on just a few dollars a day, and the GSMA’s programmes spearheading the development of mobile financial services.

In New York, I set up and hosted CEO-level briefings on mobile money transfer services with journalists from the Financial Times, Bloomberg and other top-tier media. In Macau, I worked with four mobile operators to run a major press conference incorporating live demos and video feeds of mobile payment services from across Asia.

As a result, the GSMA has had extensive coverage on the BBC, in the FT, the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The Economist, and many other major publications, as well as featuring in countless articles in the telecoms trade media. I have also written numerous articles and given many live television and radio interviews on behalf of the GSMA.

August 2000-August 2005: Technology and Telecoms Correspondent, Wall Street Journal.

I served as the European technology and telecommunications correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, covering Nokia, Ericsson, Vodafone, BT and other major telephone companies, as well as acting as deputy managing editor of Convergence, a technology magazine published quarterly by the Wall Street Journal Europe.

In my five years at the Wall Street Journal, I produced numerous front page news and feature stories, including several acclaimed articles featuring original insight and inside reporting on the struggle for supremacy between Nokia, Microsoft and Vodafone.


Feb 2000-July 2000: Staff reporter for WSJ.com
July 1999-Feb 2000: Stringer for Wall Street Journal Europe
March 1999-July 1999: Research analyst for The Yankee Group
Aug 1997-Feb 1999: Deputy Editor of Information Strategy, Economist Group
Feb 1996-Aug 1997: News Editor of Personnel Today
Aug 1991-Feb 1996: Editorial positions with various trade titles.

Media and Analyst Briefings

Choosing whether to brief journalists and analysts one-to-one, in small groups or via a press conference can be a tough call. Much depends on the complexity of your messages and the skills, time and energy of your primary spokespeople.

In my 14 years as a journalist, I have been on the receiving end of just about every format, from the turgid to the invigorating. Since then, I have run everything from major press conferences involving the CEOs of the world's largest mobile phone companies to one-to-one briefings with highly-specialised experts. I can advise on the best approach and design each specific briefing to ensure it has as much impact as possible.

For more information, please email: pringled@btinternet.com

Message Development

What are you trying to say and to whom?

Begin by writing down your primary target audience and a succinct one sentence summary of your main message in language that audience would understand. Then write two more sentences saying why this message is important. Follow up with supportive, but compelling, facts and figures. Finally, figure out detailed messages aimed specifically at particular groups of people.

Now you have a 'Message House' or a 'Message Hierarchy' or whatever you want to call it. You can use that document as the basis of a press release, a presentation, a FAQ, a blog entry, a video or even a Twitter post.

But before you do, stress-test your messages: Ask yourself the questions you really don't want a customer or a journalist to ask. Write down the answers. Are they convincing? If not, you aren't ready to go public with your messages.

For advice or input into message development, please email: pringled@btinternet.com

Media Training

Giving interviews to the media is a fine art. Say too much and you could get fired. Say too little and the journalist won't write. The subject needs to be on their guard, while engaging the journalist in a genuine conversation rather than making a contrived speech. In the media spotlight, walking the line between being dull and being indiscreet is a skill that needs to be honed over and over again.

Today, more and more journalists and bloggers are armed with camcorders or tape recorders, meaning they capture every word you say and much of your body language. And not all interviews are pre-booked affairs. At a trade show or conference, just about anyone with a Web site can approach you ad-hoc for comment. You need to be well prepared.

As tough as it gets
But giving live broadcast interviews is still as tough as it gets - slots are tight and you have little time to get your messages across. Moreover, it is easy to slip-up with television cameras pointing at your face.

I provide bespoke media training designed to meet the individual needs of trainees. I emphasize giving the trainee valuable practical experience and thorough and frank feedback based on my deep knowledge of how journalists work. As well as having being involved in literally thousands of media briefings either as a journalist or a spokesman, I have given dozens of broadcast interviews, many of them on controversial topics, such as mobile roaming charges.

For more details, please email: pringled@btinternet.com

Saturday, May 1, 2010

América Móvil Buoyed By New Subs

América Móvil said its revenue in the first quarter of 2010 rose almost 10% from a year before to 98.7 billion pesos (8.07 billion US dollars), with equipment revenues increasing 15% "buoyed by the fast pace of net subscriber additions and service revenues climbing 9%."  The pan Latin American operator said its service revenues would have risen 10% if exchange rates had remained constant throughout the quarter.

América Móvil said data services represented 21% of service revenues in the first quarter versus 16% in the year-earlier quarter. source: América Móvil statement

LG Hit by Shift to Smartphones

LG Electronics said its handset sales fell 20% year-on-year to 3.14 trillion Korean won (2.83 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2010 despite a 20% rise in shipments to 27 million. source: LG presentation