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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Windows 8 Sees Strong Start

Microsoft said that it has sold 40 million licenses for its Windows 8 operating system for tablets and PCs in the first month of sales of the new software. source: Telecompaper article. Research firm Asymco estimates that approximately 350 million Windows devices are sold worldwide each year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wireless Infrastructure Market on the Slide

The global wireless infrastructure equipment market was worth 11.3 billion US dollars in the third quarter of 2012  - down 10.3% year-on-year, according to ABI Research.  The analyst firm said that Huawei was the leading vendor with 24.3% of the radio access network (RAN) market, followed by Ericsson with 22.9% and Nokia Siemens Networks with 22.4%. Alcatel-Lucent ranked fourth with 14.3% and ZTE fifth.

“There is no question that the RAN market has been squeezed in 2012, although we have seen improvements in Q3, being 8% down from the 14% decrease we saw in Q1,” said Aditya Kaul, practice director, mobile networks at ABI. “Even with Q4 bringing in the traditional Christmas cheer, 2012 will end up 10% down at the very least, which is bound to cause market share shifts, especially in the top three.” source ABI Research statement

Monday, November 19, 2012

Windows and Android Neck-and-Neck

Across the PC, tablet and smartphones markets, Windows and Android are neck-and-neck at about 350 million device shipments apiece in 2012, according to Asymco.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cisco Claims Wireless Market Share Gains

Cisco reported a 5.5% year-on-year increase in revenue to 11.9 billion US dollars for the quarter ending October 27, 2012.  The increase was driven by a 30% rise in "service provider video" revenues, a 38% rise in wireless revenues and a 61% rise in data center revenues.

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco said: "Cisco is at the center of the major market transitions -- cloud, mobility, video -- and yet we believe the largest market transition lies ahead of us, as the Internet of Everything becomes a reality. Cisco has the unique ability to turn information that will flow across networks into new capabilities and richer experiences. The Internet of Everything will create unprecedented possibilities for businesses, individuals and countries, and Cisco is poised to lead and fully maximize the opportunities of this evolution." source: Cisco statement

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why the PC will linger on

This post is sponsored by the Enterprise Mobile Hub and Blackberry

It is too soon for most enterprises to pension off the PC

“The PC era is drawing to a close.” We hear that refrain increasingly often these days.
But is it really? Are we approaching a time when an enterprise CIO can just issue PCs to some specialist employees, such as graphic designers and programmers, and everyone else can have a tablet, with a keyboard for a cover?

At first glance, that appeared to be the consensus emerging from the “State of the Mobile Nation” debate in London sponsored by Hotwire PR and organised by Helen Keegan, Heroes of the Mobile Fringe. But there were some caveats.
“I think we are absolutely moving into a post PC world,” said Azeem Azhar, founder of PeerIndex, which measures people’s standing on social networks.  “What ties us back to our laptops and desktops are certain types of applications and use cases that we can’t get on to the tablet, but as soon as those use cases move across, the convenience of the tablet takes over.” Tablets have already proven to be the ideal tool for one-to-one sales presentations, meaning they have already secured a strong foothold in the enterprise market.  

So, is it time to pension off the PC? Not so fast. Azhar noted that many people use PCs to get access to specific applications, particularly Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. While there are cloud-based workarounds, such as the CloudOn app, that enable you to edit Microsoft Office documents on a tablet, their usability depends heavily on how much latency there is in the network. Although they can work very well, sometimes there may be a couple of seconds delay between hitting a key and the appropriate number appearing on your spreadsheet.
Research firm Gartner said in June that Microsoft still has more than 90% share of the office productivity market on PCs (mostly because no other product is 100% compatible in features or format).
In fact, I suspect Microsoft Office will become a key weapon in the tablet wars:  Tablets running the newly-released Windows 8 operating system are likely to ship with Microsoft Office – a key selling point for an enterprise buyer. But how many enterprises buy tablets?

In companies with a bring-your-own-device culture, many employees already own tablets running rival operating systems. Therefore, a CIO’s strategy for phasing out PCs is highly dependent on if and when full Microsoft Office becomes available for these rival platforms. Note, the word “full”. Commentators are speculating that Microsoft will produce a lighter version of Microsoft Office for iOS and Android that will lack some features. If you can’t add comments to a Word document, for example, that will be a showstopper for many employees.
Microsoft may have to walk a fine line between supporting its operating systems and its Office product suite. If Office doesn’t work properly on many tablets and smartphones, small companies, in particular, may abandon the productivity suite in favour of alternatives from Google, Apple or others. In this scenario, Microsoft might lose traction in a key segment of the market.

PC graveyards?
In any case, programmers and other creative types, such as graphics designers, seem unlikely to give up their PCs for the foreseeable future, primarily because they need a large screen and lots of processing power.  “You know those airplane graveyards in Nevada? Well, we have a 27 inch monitor graveyard in our office,” Eamonn Carey, EMEA director of kiip, which gives people rewards for their achievements in games, told the London panel. “Except for one little corner of the office, which is where the developers sit, where the 27 inch monitors are always turned on because coding on a 13 inch screen or 15 inch screen… is terrible.”

Tablets and smartphones are cannibalising the time spent on PCs, but the PC is far from dead, added Benedict Evans from Enders Analysis. “You are seeing a move away from one platform to many platforms.” Russell Buckley, who chaired the session, summarised the discussion by citing an analogy made by Steve Jobs: We are entering a world where there will be cars (smartphones and tablets) and lorries (PCs). Lorries will be needed for the heavy lifting, but the vast majority of people will have cars that they use most of the time.

But CIOs might want to keep a large fleet of lorries on the road for some time to come. If they haven’t got the right productivity apps, an employee’s “car” might feel more like a bicycle.
This post is sponsored by the Enterprise Mobile Hub and Blackberry. 

Messaging Revenues Begin to Fall at Vodafone

Vodafone said that its service revenue fell 1.4% year-on-year in the quarter ending September 30th on an organic basis, after rising by 0.6% in the previous quarter. It said that service revenue rose 0.6%, excluding the impact of cuts in mobile termination rates. Group revenue in the six months ending September 30 was 21.78 billion British pounds (34.61 billion US dollars).

Service revenue climbed 18% in Turkey, 17.4% in Ghana and 11% in India, but fell 14.4% in Australia, 12.8% in Italy and Spain and 10.7% in Greece. In Germany, revenues rose 1.8%, but were down 3.2% in the UK.

Vodafone said that its revenue from messaging services fell 3.3% in the six months to September 30th even though volumes rose 1.3%. The UK-based group said: "We are adopting a new strategic approach to consumer pricing and bundling in Europe, in order to offer customers worry-free usage and, at the same time, stabilise ARPU. We are launching new tariffs including unlimited voice and SMS, and much larger data allowances than before. Pricing will be radically simplified as a result, giving clear visibility of the cost of ownership and, thereby, lower complexity for IT and billing." source: Vodafone statement

Thursday, November 8, 2012

U.S. Sales Slide for Deutsche Telekom

Stripping out the impact of currency movements, Deutsche Telekom's revenue fell 3.2% year-on-year to 14.65 billion euros in the third quarter. Revenues declined 1.3% in Germany, 5.2% in the rest of Europe and 5.9% in the USA.

In Germany, DT's mobile service revenue was down 0.5%, shored up by a 21% rise in mobile data revenue. DT said U.S. service revenue fell 8.4% "impacted by transition to Value plans". source: Deutsche Telekom presentation

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bharti Boosted by Digital TV

Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile operator, said that its revenues rose 17% year-on-year in the quarter ending September 30 to 202.73 billion Indian rupees (3.72 billion US dollars).  Revenue from mobile services in India and south Asia rose 14% and digital TV revenues were up 26%, while revenues in Africa climbed 6% to 1.097 billion US dollars.

Bharti said that it had 185.9 million mobile customers in India on September 30, 2012, including 5.4 million active 3G customers. It added: "Our 4G services currently launched in Kolkata, Bengaluru and Pune are based on TD-LTE technology and offer a wide range of services to our customers including rich content, superfast access to High Definition (HD) video."

The company also noted: "Airtel digital TV has 7.5 million customers on its Direct-To-Home (DTH) platform. ....We currently offer a total of 304 channels including 15 HD channels and 5 interactive services." source: Bharti statement

Telefonica Sees Sharp Decline in Europe

Telefonica said that its underlying revenue in the third quarter fell 1.6% year-on-year to 15.54 billion euros, as a 3.8% rise in revenues in Latin America failed to offset a 6.8% decline in Europe. In local currencues, revenue rose 4.1% in Germany, 2.3% in Brazil, 17.7% in Argentina and 29.9% in Venezuela, but declined 15.3% in Spain and 5.4% in the UK.

The Madrid-based telco said: "Revenues in the first nine months of 2012 totalled 46.52 billion euros, virtually unchanged year-on-year (-0.3%; -1.6 % in the third quarter). This performance reflects the company’s high diversification, a key differentiating factor in the current environment characterised by adverse economic conditions, more intense competition and negative effects of regulation in some countries. Excluding the negative effect of regulation, revenues rose by 1.1% year-on-year versus the first nine months of 2011." source: Telefonica statement

Monday, November 5, 2012

Galaxy SIII Shipments Top 30 Million

Samsung said that it has sold 30 million Galaxy SIII smartphones since the model was launched five months ago, compared with 10 million Galaxy SII in the first 150 days. source: Mobile Business Briefing