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What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points in the development of the global telecoms industry.

Friday, March 30, 2012

RIM Rocked by Revenue Fall

Research In Motion, the maker of  Blackberry smartphones, said its revenues fell 25% year-on-year to 4.2 billion US dollars in the quarter ending March 3, 2012. During the quarter, RIM shipped approximately 11.1 million BlackBerry smartphones (compared with  14.9 million in the same period last year) and more than 500,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

RIM said it expects continued pressure on revenue and earnings throughout the year ending March 3, 2013. It added:  "Due to a desire to focus on long term value creation and the current business environment, RIM will no longer provide specific quantitative guidance. Some of the factors contributing to this include, ongoing weakness in the company’s U.S. smartphone business, an increased focus on selling BlackBerry 7 smartphones to grow the subscriber base in advance of the BlackBerry 10 launch, increasing competitive pressure in the company’s international markets and the introduction of certain new lower tier service pricing initiatives and a higher mix of sales coming from entry level products." source: RIM statement

Friday, March 23, 2012

Unicom Cranks up Capex


China Unicom said that its revenues rose 22.2% in 2011 to 209.15 billion yuan (33.1 billion US dollars), lifted by 182% growth in its revenue from 3G services. Unicom also said that it will spend 100 billion yuan on capex in 2012 (compared with 76.7 billion in 2011), as it aims to "eliminate blind spots in urban areas, extend coverage to developed townships and expand HSPA+ coverage." source: Unicom presentation

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Orange lays out Targets for New Services

At a meeting with Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, St├ęphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom-Orange, made the following commitments:

To roll out LTE networks in all Orange EU markets by 2015.

To make fibre-to-the-home available to 15 million households and 80% of businesses by 2020 in France.

To provide 3 million SIM-based NFC devices to EU customers in 2012, 10 million in 2013.

To launch Rich Communication Suite (RCS) services in 5 European countries in 2013 and  provide 20 million RCS phones in 15 countries by 2015, enabling seamless and pan-European service

To provide to one third of EU hospitals - and 20% of citizens - digitised health services (e.g. medical imagery, chronic disease management, prevention and wellness, secure medical data management).

To offer Orange customers the right to master, monitor and manage the personal information that they provide on Orange platforms for all Orange-managed services; and equip them with a personal data “dashboard” by 2015.

To roll out 3G by 2015 in all African and Middle-East countries where Orange operates and offer mobile coverage to over 80% of the population in this region. source: Orange statement

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mobile Momentum at China Telecom


China Telecom said its revenues rose 11.7% in 2011 to 244.94 billion Chinese yuan (38.72 billion US dollars), as a 53% increase in mobile revenues more than offset a 20% decline in wireline voice revenues. The operator forecast that its capital spending will rise to 54 billion yuan in 2012, up from 49.55 billion yuan in 2011 as it accelerates its "Broadband China, Fibre Cities" project. source: China Telecom presentation

iPad: Too Hot to Handle?

Apple said it sold more than three million units of its new iPad in the first weekend after the device went on sale, but some buyers complained that the tablet gives off too much heat.

In tests run by Tweakers.net, the new iPad reached 92.5 degrees Fahrenheit (33.6 degrees Celsius), compared to 82.9 degrees Fahrenheit (28.3 degrees Celsius) for the iPad 2. Apple responded by saying that the new iPad operates "well within our thermal specifications". source: TIME article

Thursday, March 15, 2012

China Mobile Flags Flowering of TD-LTE


Driven by a 45% increase in wireless data traffic revenue and a 6% rise in voice services revenue, China Mobile said its operating revenues rose 8.8% in 2011 to 528 billion Chinese yuan (83.4 billion US dollars). Its customer base climbed 11.2% to almost 650 million, including 51 million 3G subscribers (up from 21 million at the end of 2010). SMS and MMS revenue declined 1% to 46.46 billion yuan.

Planning to accelerate the deployment of TD-LTE, China Mobile forecast that its capex will rise slightly to 131.9 billion yuan in 2012, up from 128.5 billion in 2011. It predicted that by 2014 there will be half a million TD-LTE base stations in use worldwide serving more than 100 different devices and covering two billion people. source: China Mobile presentation

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

VimpelCom Predicts Steady Sales Growth


Multinational mobile operator VimpelCom said that its revenues grew 5% year-on-year on an organic basis to 5.9 billion US dollars in the fourth quarter of 2011. The group was boosted by a 13% increase in mobile subscribers to 205 million.

Revenues were up 10% in Russia, one of its largest markets, thanks to a 10% rise in mobile subscribers. Revenues were also up 4% in the Ukraine, but fell 1% in Italy. VimpelCom is aiming to grow revenues in the "mid single digits" each year between 2012 and 2014, while lowering capex as a proportion of revenue down to 15% by 2014 (in 2011, that metric climbed to 21% from 18% in 2010). source: VimpelCom presentation

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apple Raises the Tablet Bar

Launching its new iPad, Apple said the new model's "Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2." Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, enthused: “The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.”

Apple said the new iPad (Wi-Fi only) models will be available on March 16 for a suggested retail price of 499 US dollars for the 16GB model, 599 dollars for the 32GB model and 699 dollars for the 64GB model. It also cut the price of the lowest-spec iPad 2 to 399 dollars. source: Apple statement

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Feature phones Fuel Nokia Downloads

Nokia said that the Nokia Store, which retails apps and content, is now generating 13 million downloads a day (up from one million two years ago). The Finland-based firm added that Series 40-based feature phones now account for 30% of downloads, having grown 250% in a year.

Consumers can now purchase content and apps in the store using any of 150 mobile operator billing systems across 40 countries, Nokia said. The handset maker also said that Windows Phone Marketplace, which is run by its partner Microsoft, now stocks 65,000 apps. source: Nokia statement

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bharti Calls for $50 Smartphones

At the Mobile World Congress, Sunil Mittal, chairman and MD of Bharti Airtel said: “The difficulty we have moving forward to the next business model is the lack of a cheap smartphone... a 50 US dollar device would dramatically alter the landscape,” according to Mobile Business Briefing. Mittal added that the penetration of smartphones is only around 5 percent in India today, and much less in Africa. source: Mobile Business Briefing article

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TD-LTE Lift-Off at China Mobile

China Mobile president Li Yu told the Mobile World Congress that the giant mobile operator will have more than 20,000 TD-LTE base stations  in operation by the end of this year, growing to 200,000 by the end of 2013. source: Mobile Business Briefing article
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