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, October 31, 2014

Samsung's Smartphone Sales Plummet

Samsung Electronics reported a 30% year-on-year fall in sales in its IT and mobile division to 24.58 trillion Korean won (22.89 billion US dollars) in the third quarter. Samsung blamed a "weak smartphone product mix" and declining average sale prices related to price reductions for older models. Samsung is anticipating increased competition in the fourth quarter, as rivals launch new models. source: Samsung presentation

Rapid Uptake of Apple Pay

Consumers in the U.S. activated more than one million payment cards for use with Apple Pay in the first three days after the service became available, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He made the remarks during an on-stage interview at The Wall Street Journal's technology conference in Laguna Beach, California. "Visa and Mastercard have told us, if you sum up everyone else that's in the contactless mobile payment at the point of sale, we're already number one," he said. "Not just number one, but we're more than the total of all the other guys. And we've only been at it a week." source: Macworld article

Thursday, October 30, 2014

China Telecom Reports Revenue Fall

China Telecom reported a 3.9% year-on-year fall in operating revenues to 77.64 billion Chinese yuan (12.7 billion US dollars) in the third quarter. In the first three quarters of 2014, the number of mobile subscribers in the group fell by 4 million to 182 million "due to the increasing market competition driven by the launch of LTE services and strengthened marketing promotion by the peers." However, China Telecom said the number of 3G subscribers rose 9.4 million to approximately 113 million. 

The group said it started to roll out 4G handset service in 16 cities in late July and further expanded to 24 more cities in early September, "effectively fostering" a rebound in the number of mobile subscribers" with a cumulative net increase of 1.33 million in the third quarter." source: China Telecom statement

Bharti Looks Forward to Digital India

Bharti Airtel reported a 7% year-on-year increase in revenue to 228.45 billion Indian rupees (3.72 billion US dollars) in the quarter ending September 30. In India and south Asia revenues were up 12% (boosted by a 23.5% increase in digital TV sales), while revenues rose 6.4% in Africa, as measured in local currencies.

In a statement, Mr. Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said: “Airtel's revenue growth in India has further accelerated to 12.3% in Q2. We continue to see strong momentum in mobile data which has grown by 74% in this quarter. Airtel's pioneering 4G roll-out in 15 cities is now witnessing stronger customer acceptance. On the regulatory front, the recent TRAI recommendations on making more contiguous spectrum available in the upcoming auctions have the potential of transforming the industry. We believe that this is critical to realise the exciting vision of "Digital India" that the Government has articulated."

Airtel said data revenues now account for 10.1% of overall Africa revenues up from 6.6% in the corresponding quarter last year. It also reported that active Airtel Money customers have risen to 5.3 million, with the total value of transactions crossing 3.3 billion US dollars during the quarter ending September 30th. source: Airtel statements

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Facebook Warns of Slower Growth Ahead

Facebook reported a 58% year-on-year increase in revenue in the third quarter to 3.2 billion US dollars, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, driven by a sharp increase in mobile advertising. The social network forecast that its revenue will grow between 40% and 47% in the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, daily active users climbed 19% year-on-year to 864 million - about the same growth rate as in the previous quarter.

The social network said mobile advertising revenue represented 66% of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2014, up from  49% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2013. Payments and other non-advertising services generated 246 million dollars in the quarter, a 13% increase from the same quarter last year.

On a call with analysts, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, said: "Over a five-year time frame, we have a number of services which we think are well on their way to reaching one billion people: WhatsApp, Instagram and search are a number of them. And once we get to that scale, then we think that they will start to become meaningful businesses in their own right. And I think that the right way to think about that, as I've tried to say repeatedly on these calls, is not that we're going to try to monetize them very aggressively in the next year or two, because I really think for each of those categories, the right strategy is to first focus on connecting one billion plus people in reaching the full potential before very aggressively turning them into businesses." source: Facebook statements

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mobile Data and Pay TV Lift América Móvil

América Móvil said its service revenues rose 4.7% year-on-year in the third quarter, lifted by a 15.2% increase in mobile data revenues and a 14.7% increase in Pay TV revenues.   The group's third quarter revenues totalled 221 billion pesos (16.29 billion US dollars), 13.7% more than in the year-earlier quarter, reflecting, among other things, the consolidation of newly-acquired Telekom Austria from July 1st.

The groups's wireless subscriber based shrunk in Mexico by 2.7%, offset by a 3.3% increase in Brazil (see chart).  América Móvil also reported growth in wireless subscribers in much of Latin America and the US. source: América Móvil statement

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ericsson's Revenue Rises in the East

Ericsson said its sales rose 3% year-on-year in the third quarter on a like-for-like basis to 57.6 billion Swedish krona (7.94 billion US dollars). On a reported basis, sales were up 9% (see graphic).

The Stockholm-based firm said the revenue uplift was mainly driven by growth in the Middle East, China, India and Russia, partly offset by sales decline in North America. source: Ericsson statement

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Orange Slows Decline in Revenues

Orange reported a 2.3% year-on-year decline in revenues in the third quarter on a comparable basis to 9.81 billion euros. The Paris-based group said: "The gradual improvement in the revenue trend since the beginning of the year ...is related primarily to France, Belgium and the Enterprise segment, while the Africa and the Middle East segment continued its steady growth."

Orange said it has significantly expanded its 4G networks, covering 71% of the population in France, 66% in Spain, 59% in Poland and 81% in Belgium as at 30 September. It also launched 4G services in Romania, Slovakia and Moldova. "4G+ deployment has started in France, with services launched in Strasbourg and Toulouse in July, and coming to Paris very soon," Orange added. "In France, deployment of fibre optics intensified; 3.257 million households had connectivity at 30 September 2014, an increase of 684,000 households (+27%) with connectivity in nine months." source: Orange statement

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Verizon Catching AT&T

Comfortably outpacing arch-rival AT&T, Verizon reported a 4.3% year-on-year increase in revenues in the third quarter of 2014 to 31.6 billion US dollars. (AT&T reported a 2.5% increase to 33 billion dollars).

Verizon's wireless revenues rose 7%, while wireline revenues fell 0.8%, dragged down by falls of more than 4% in wholesale revenue and enterprise revenue.  Verizon said it activated more than 10 million 4G devices in the third quarter taking the total to almost 60 million. source: Verizon presentation

Sales of Smartphones Keep AT&T Growing

AT&T reported a 2.5% year-on-year increase in revenues to 33 billion US dollars in the third quarter, lifted by a 4.9% increase in wireless revenues. However, a 44% increase in wireless equipment revenues (primarily the sale of smartphones) accounted for all of that growth - wireless service revenues actually fell 0.2%.

Across the first nine months, AT&T also reported a 2.5% in revenues to 98 billion dollars. In 2014, the giant US telco has, so far, spent 16.83 billion dollars on capex - a 8.1% increase on the previous year. That represents a fairly aggressive capex-to-revenue ratio of 17% source: AT&T statement

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Apple Sees Double-Digit Growth Ahead

Apple said it expects to earn revenues of between 63.5 billion and 66.5 billion US dollars in the quarter ending December 28th. That would represent an increase of between 10% and 15% on the 57.6 billion dollars Apple earned in the same quarter last year.

In the quarter ending September 27th, Apple's revenues rose 12% to 42.1 billion dollars. While iPhone revenues climbed 21% and Mac revenues 18%, iPad revenues fell 14%. Source: Apple statement

China Mobile Reports First Revenue Decline

China Mobile reported revenues of 156.55 billion Chinese yuan (25.58 billion US dollars) for the third quarter of 2014, a year-on-year decline of 2%. That probably represents the first revenue fall in the history of the company.

The leading Chinese telco reported that its customers sent 149.5 billion SMS messages in the quarter down from 188.6 billion the previous year. Moreover, the volume of voice calls (measured in minutes) fell slightly. In a statement, the company noted: "In the first three quarters of 2014, the mobile communications sector in Mainland China was already in the phase of high penetration rate, and the room for development in traditional communications business was severely restricted. At the same time, the impact of the competition from mobile Internet became more evident."

China Mobile also reported that it now has almost 41 million 4G customers on its network, up from less than 3 million at the end of March. source: China Mobile operating data

Friday, October 17, 2014

Google Leans Heavily on Own Sites

Google reported a 20% year-on-year increase in revenue to 16.52 billion US dollars in the third quarter of 2014 (see chart). The growth was primarily driven by advertising on Google's own sites and non-advertising revenues, such as the sale of apps and software. The Internet giant said that YouTube, Android/Play and Chrome are all "demonstrating high consumer success."

Google said the average cost-per-click (paid by advertisers to Google) decreased approximately 2% over the third quarter of 2013 and remained constant from the second quarter of 2014. source: Google statement