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, July 31, 2013

Airtel's Revenue Growth Stabilises

Bharti Airtel said that its revenues rose 9.2% year-on-year in the quarter ending June 30th to 202.64 billion Indian rupees (3.35 billion U.S. dollars), driven by a 12% increase in revenues in India. Its revenues also rose 9% in the previous quarter. Airtel's international revenues (in Africa and elsewhere in South Asia) grew 5% year-on-year in rupees and 1% in U.S. dollars. source: Bharti Airtel statement

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Telefónica Ekes Out Organic Growth

Telefónica said its revenues rose 0.5% year-on-year in the second quarter on an organic basis to 14.42 billion euros. Revenues in Latin America rose 10.4% in the second quarter, up from 6.8% growth in the first quarter. Revenues declined 8.8% in Europe, less than the 10.5% in the first quarter.

César Alierta, executive chairman, said: "The quarter shows a clear intensification of the commercial activity, especially in high value segments, driven by a robust demand in mobile data, resulting in a strong growth of smartphones, and ultra-broadband (fiber, VDSL)." source: Telefonica statement

Mobile Advertising Surges for Facebook

Facebook said it earned 1.6 billion US dollars from advertising in the second quarter of 2013, up 61% year-on-year.  It reported that mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 41% of advertising revenue in the quarter (up from 30% in the previous quarter).  Payments and other fees accounted for 214 million dollars in revenue, an increase of 11% from the same quarter in 2012.

Facebook also reported that it now has 1 million active advertisers, driven by a significant growth in local businesses. The leading social network also said that its "Facebook for Every Phone" service has now passed 100 million monthly active users.  The company said: "In just two years, Facebook for Every Phone has successfully put Facebook into the hands of millions of people around the world with limited access to the Internet, giving them the power to connect and share." source: Facebook statement

Revenue Decline Accelerates at Orange

Orange (formerly France Telecom) said its revenues fell 4.8% year-on-year on an organic basis in the second quarter of 2013 to 10.32 billion euros. That is an even steeper decline than in the first quarter when revenues were down 4.1%. In Poland, revenues were down 9.9% and in France 7.5%, partially offset by a 2.5% rise in Spain and a 4.4% rise in  emerging markets.

Despite the revenue decline, Orange has slightly increased capital spending in the first half of the year. CEO Stéphane Richard said: “ We are maintaining the roll out of our high-speed fibre and 4G networks and are seeing real appetite for very high-speed broadband from our customers who are showing a willingness to pay a premium to access these services." source: Orange presentation

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apple's Growth Engine Splutters

Apple said its revenue rose 1% year-on-year in the quarter ending June 29 to 35.3 billion US dollars, fuelled by a 15% rise in iPhone revenues. However, iPad revenues fell 27%. Apple said it expects revenue in the current quarter to be between 34 billion and 37 billion dollars, compared with just under 36 billion dollars in the same quarter of 2012. source: Apple statement

Smartphones Move the Needle for AT&T

AT&T said that its revenues grew 2.6% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in the second quarter to 32.1 billion U.S. dollars. Wireless revenues were up 5.7%, while wireline revenues fell 0.9%. AT&T said that smartphone data usage per device climbed 50% year-on-year. source: AT&T statement

Friday, July 19, 2013

Europe Drags Down Vodafone

Vodafone said its group organic service revenue fell 3.5% in the quarter ending June 30th to 10.16 billion pounds (15.5 billion U.S. dollars). Service revenue fell in Germany (-5.1%), the U.K. (-4.5%), Italy (-17.6%) and Spain (-10.6%), but rose 13.8% in India. Vodafone also reported that it has upgraded almost half its base stations in Europe to support peak data speeds of 43Mbps, up from 16% a year ago, as data traffic on its networks climbed 60% year-on-year.

Vittorio Colao, CEO, said: “We have made a good start to the year in our areas of strategic focus: growth in emerging markets has accelerated, we now have over 5 million customers benefiting from Vodafone Red, and 4G is live in ten markets. In addition, the proposed acquisition of Kabel Deutschland will create an excellent platform for our unified communications strategy in our most important market. Although regulation, competitive pressures and weak economies, particularly in Southern Europe, continue to restrict revenue growth, we continue to lay strong foundations for the longer term.” source: Vodafone presentation

Verizon Top Line Ticks Upwards

Verizon reported revenue growth of 4.3% in the second quarter of 2013, up from 4.2% in the first quarter, but down from the 4.5% growth recorded across 2012. source: Verizon presentation 

Microsoft's Surface Struggles

Microsoft reported a 6% decline in revenues in its Windows Division, on a like-for-like basis, to 4.41 billion US dollars in the quarter ending June 30th. It said: "Increased commercial sales of Windows were largely offset by the impact on revenue of a decline in the x86 PC market."
Microsoft also reported that the Windows Division's operating income fell 1.3 billion dollars, "primarily reflecting product costs associated with Surface and Windows 8, including the charge for Surface RT [Microsoft's tablet computer] inventory adjustments of approximately 900 million dollars. Sales and marketing expenses increased 344 million dollars, reflecting advertising costs associated with Windows 8 and Surface." 
Amy Hood, CFO of Microsoft, said: "We reduced the price of Surface RT by 150 dollars to 349 dollars per device. As a result of this price change, as well as inventory adjustments for related parts and accessories, we recorded a 900 million dollars charge to our income statement.....we believe this pricing adjustment will accelerate Surface RT adoption and position us better for long-term success." source: Microsoft statement

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Americas Buoy Ericsson

Ericsson said its like-for-like sales rose 7% year-on-year (adjusting for for currency movements) in the second quarter to 55.3 billion Swedish krona (8.37 billion U.S. dollars). The Stockholm-based company reported that networks sales increased 8% year-on-year, with strong growth in North America and Latin America as well as Western and Central Europe, while sales continued to decline in North East Asia.

Ericsson Hans Vestberg, President and CEO said: "We implemented our strategy to capture new market share in the network modernization projects in Europe starting in 2010, despite their initial lower margins. Now that these projects gradually come to an end, we can conclude that we have been successful in gaining market share and regained leadership in Europe. It is also encouraging to see that we are now starting to engage in new business, based on this footprint, regarding capacity and LTE projects in Europe.

"We continue to strengthen our leading position in 4G/LTE. The vendor selection processes for 4G/LTE in Russia and China continue and to date we have been awarded contracts by two large operators in Russia. During the quarter we also reached one billion subscribers in networks managed by Ericsson." source: Ericsson presentation

Nokia Sales Fall by One Quarter

Nokia said its net sales fell 25% year-on-year at constant currencies to 5.7 billion euros in the second quarter, dragged down by a 33% decline in sales in its devices and services division and a 17% fall in revenues at Nokia Siemens Networks. The decline was particularly steep in Greater China.

Nokia said total smartphone volumes increased quarter-on-quarter to 11.7 million units from 11.1 million units in the first quarter 2013. The 11.7 million figure was composed of 7.4 million Lumia smartphones and 4.3 million Asha full-touch smartphones.

Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said: "We are very proud of the recent creations by our Lumia team, from the Lumia 520 - our most affordable Windows Phone 8 product which has enjoyed a strong start in markets like China, France, India, Thailand, the UK, the US and Vietnam - to the Lumia 1020, our star imaging product which we unveiled to the world last week. Overall, Lumia volumes grew to 7.4 million in the second quarter, the highest for any quarter so far and showing increasing momentum for the ecosystem." source: Nokia statement

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time for a New Productivity Miracle

This post is sponsored by the Enterprise Mobile Hub and BlackBerry

Coding skills honed in the consumer apps market could be profitably applied to the Industrial Internet

The wireless Internet is spreading into the deepest, darkest corners of industry. Everything from aircraft engines to power turbines to blast furnaces are now being equipped with sensors that can transmit performance data back to analytical applications. Heavy industry’s newfound enthusiasm for connectivity should be a boon for the global telecoms sector and those app developers who can transfer their skills into the industrial market.

There could be a lot of money in play: The so-called Industrial Internet could add 2.2 trillion euros to European GDP by 2030, if smarter machines can increase productivity growth by 0.75 percentage points above the baseline.  That was one of the findings of a report released by venerable U.S. industrial conglomerate GE at its recent Minds + Machines conference in London. (Click here to read my report of the event for Science|Business).
Waiting for another industrial revolution?

At the conference, held in derelict Battersea Power Station (see picture), executives from GE, airline Alitalia, power generator GDF-Suez International and energy distributor Northern Power Grid all waxed lyrical about how sensors, connected to wireless networks, could be used to harvest big data from industrial equipment and drive process improvements.

In other words, heavy industry is seeking to tap the technologies and concepts that are widely used in smartphone apps (wireless connectivity, data analytics, social networking, crowdsourcing, low cost sensors, geo-fencing, etc.) on a massive scale. The clear message from the conference: There is considerable scope to use these technologies to reduce downtime, slash waste and identify and implement more efficient processes – today industrial equipment is often monitored manually by under-employed human beings.

Enterprise apps outpace the IT market
The rise of the Industrial Internet explains in part why the market for enterprise software solutions is one of the few bright spots in a sluggish global ICT market. Research firm Gartner expects enterprise software sales to grow 6.4% in U.S. dollars in 2013 (up from 4.7% in 2012), compared with 2% for the overall IT market. Similarly, Forrester Research predicts “CIOs will focus their biggest spending increases on software, where growth globally will be 5.7% (in local currency terms) in 2013 and 7.3% in 2014. Analytics and applications in general and SaaS applications in particular will attract the fastest growth of any IT spending category.”

While the majority of industrial sensors will be connected using short-range technologies, such as Wi-Fi, many will be connected via mobile networks. That implies there will be more need for mobile provisioning, mobile device management (MDM) and over-the-air encryption, particularly for sensitive applications, such as connected health monitors or military equipment. So, the good times should continue for enterprise mobility management specialists.

But mainstream app developers should also take note. As the Industrial Internet takes shape, it will need some of the skills of the tens of thousands of software developers currently eking out a living trying to sell games and other consumer-orientated fare through app stores.  In particular, there will be big demand for the data analytics tools currently being applied by social networking apps, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare.

Writing code to track the wear and tear of jet engines is likely to be more lucrative than figuring out new ways to propel an irate avian through the air.

This post is sponsored by the Enterprise Mobile Hub and BlackBerry

Monday, July 15, 2013

Enterprise IT Spending Forecast Lowered

Forrester Research expects IT spending by businesses and enterprises to rise by 4.6% in local currencies this year. In U.S. dollar terms, spending will rise by 2.3% to 2.069 trillion dollars, Forrester said. Those figures are lower than its forecasts in January of 5.4% and 3.3% respectively. source: TechCrunch article

Friday, July 12, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chinese Telcos Grow Fastest

Among the top twenty largest telcos in the world, only two are seeing double-digit revenue growth: China Telecom and China Unicom, according to analysis by GSMA Intelligence. source: GSMA Intelligence statement

Monday, July 1, 2013

BlackBerry Sees Shipments Slip

BlackBerry's revenue in the quarter ending June 1st rose 9% year-on-year to 3.1 billion US dollars. However, BlackBerry said it shipped 6.8 million smartphones and about 100,000 tablets in the quarter, compared with 7.8 million smartphones and 260,000 tablets in the same quarter in 2012.  source: BlackBerry statement