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  • October 1, 2020

    Commentary: Webscale Capex in 2Q20

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    As WNOs have grown, they’ve developed more sophisticated offerings in the cloud, often targeting specific vertical markets with customized platforms, including telecom. This is impacting how telcos build their networks and develop services. In the last year, webscale partnerships with telcos have expanded, spanning workload shift, joint development, and service partnerships – often supporting 5G. In January, our research partner MTN Consulting flagged the need for more collaboration between telcos, WNOs, and carrier-neutral providers as essential for 5G success as telcos aim to lower their capex outlays.
  • September 24, 2020

    Australian Advertising Market Outlook 2020: COVID-19 impact will [...]

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    The story of the year is obviously the impact of COVID 19 and the associated economic slowdown. The -6.8% decline in FY20 AdEx will, among other things, hasten the trend to digital advertising.
  • September 21, 2020

    WMG IPO: A bet on streaming

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    Len Blavatnik has partly cashed in his investment in Warner Music Group (WMG). The shares issued were not new, and are non-voting, so the IPO did not raise funds for the future and will not change Blavatnik’s control of the business and its day-to-day running.
  • September 17, 2020

    Mobile industry reshape continues in the UK: EE ends its relation [...]

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    EE has announced the ending of its relationship with Carphone Warehouse, hot on the heels of a similar announcement from O2 a few months ago and the recent closure of Carphone Warehouse high-street stores
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  • September 17, 2020

    Australia consumer and SMB broadband pricing trends – Broadband [...]

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    Broadband services are critical enablers for access to information, employment, markets and key services. Consumer demand for broadband services has grown rapidly in the last decade with household penetration increasing to 85% in 2019 compared to 64% in 2009. This report analyses the competitive environment in the fixed broadband market, focussing on consumer price trends. In particular, we analyse the major RSPs – Telstra, Optus, TPG and Aussie Broadband to evaluate their broadband offerings in the retail market.
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  • September 15, 2020

    European mobile in Q2 2020: Sounding a more cautious note

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    Service revenue growth in the major European markets worsened by 3.5ppts this quarter, as a loss of roaming, prepay, and business revenues hit almost all operators. The UK was hardest hit as prepay and out-of-bundle usage was offloaded to Wif-Fi, and there was an accounting drag as a consequence of the ending of the relationship between O2 and Carphone Warehouse. Conversely, performance in the Italian market was almost flat as prepay usage was up and there was a degree of reprieve from competitive pressures from Iliad. Elsewhere, the French market was hard hit by the loss of inter-continental roaming as far back as February as China began to shut down but other fundamentals appear to be robust. In Germany, O2’s revenue trend was hardest hit but it maintained its strong net adds momentum. While the lockdown provided a break from ‘a very intense promotional environment’ in Spain, that intensity resumed as soon as lockdown lifted with particularly compelling converged bundle offers from Vodafone and Yoigo.
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  • September 8, 2020

    Surging online retail in the UK- Record growth during lockdown

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    The reopening of the high street from 15 June came as welcome news for businesses which had seen sales decimated since lockdown was enforced on 28 March. However, even as restrictions eased, shoppers stayed away, with high street footfall across the UK down by 48% in July year-on-year
  • September 7, 2020

    Australian Small Business Survey: 5G broadband battleground for O [...]

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    This report presents the survey results across 602 small businesses and highlights their views on willingness to pay, churn intentions and their views on 5G mobile and fixed wireless broadband. The survey was targeted towards the IT decision makers in small businesses, which this survey defined as having an employee count of between 5 – 20 employees.
  • September 2, 2020

    CNNO Playbook: Crown Castle

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    The big three U.S. telcos (AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) have historically owned and operated their own towers. However, with rising debt and heavy costs involved in deploying the networks, the big three telcos spun off their tower assets to independent tower companies. AT&T and T-Mobile sold their tower business to Crown Castle; and Verizon disposed of its tower assets to American Tower. It was a win win situation for both the parties, as telcos could monetize their tower assets and pay off their debts. In exchange, tower companies could gain a long term customer. The exit of the big three telcos from the tower space led to the market dominance of American Tower, Crown Castle and SBA in the U.S. tower market segment.
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    August 31, 2020

    Nine, Seven results: COVID impact disguises accelerating FTA reve [...]

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    As we have said previously, the FTA advertising revenue market faces major structural headwinds as audiences transition away from linear television. Both Seven and Nine reported declines in their core FTA advertising businesses in FY19 and FY20. The decline in linear FTA advertising revenue in 1H20, before COVID-19 hit, was 7% YoY. This was an acceleration of the decline compared to FY19, but the effect was of course swamped by the impact of COVID-19 in the second half. As expected, COVID-19 had a disruptive and negative impact, particularly in Q4. This is reflected in the FY20 revenue results, but will flow through into FY21 because the longer-term economic impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns have yet to be felt. To counter this trend and the one-off impact of COVID-19, Seven and Nine are managing the decline of the FTA market by following through with their investments in digital platforms (BVOD), improving yields on existing content, developing programmatic and addressable TV solutions, and cutting costs. SevenWest and Nine were also able to make gains in cost reduction and new revenue growth that kept them in the black. These green shoots give some hope for a digital rebound in the wake of the COVID-19 disruption. However, it will be several years before BVOD is enough to significantly offset FTA declines.
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  • August 27, 2020

    The Australian tower market 2020

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    This report assesses the Australian mobile communications tower market and the drivers for tower and small cell demand in Australia. The rollout of 5G and renewed interest in small cell technology is an opportunity to reconsider the financing and ownership of potentially shareable infrastructure.
  • August 27, 2020

    Webscale Playbook: Tencent

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    Tencent’s meteoric rise into one of the leading internet businesses coincides with China’s internet boom that started at the end of 20th century. According to the ITU estimates, just ~1.8% of China’s total population were internet users in the year 2000 – two years after Tencent was founded – that has now exploded to about 64%. Tencent’s initial journey began with the desktop-based instant messaging offering, QQ (initially QICQ), which slowly gained popularity and provided the company with a strong footprint in the domestic market. The start of the new decade saw more users going mobile with the increased cellphone penetration in the country, which led Tencent to launch its popular mobile instant messaging app, WeChat (Weixin in China) in 2011.
  • August 27, 2020

    New Zealand Telco Market Outlook

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    We anticipate a negative-growth telecommunications market over the next few years, with broadband growth offset by declines in mobile and fixed voice.
  • August 25, 2020

    UK mobile market in Q2 2020 – Recovery interrupted

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    The sector was hit harder than expected by COVID-19 with service revenues declining by 7% overall vs a decline of just 1.6% in the previous quarter. Many telecoms operators across Europe have become more negative on the near-term outlook than they were a couple of months ago with full year guidance now downgraded by almost all players
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  • August 24, 2020

    UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q2 2020 – Things [...]

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    Consumer broadband, telephony and pay TV market revenue growth plummeted to -6% in Q2 (from -2% in Q1), with all of the ‘big 4’ operators’ revenue growth taking a substantial hit. The reduction in premium sports channel revenue was by far the largest factor, with there being some other lockdown-related negative factors, such as the opportunity cost effect of extra services offered for free by the operators to help their customers during the crisis
  • August 21, 2020

    Virgin Media UK – Indeterminately boosted

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    Virgin Media had its strongest subscriber performance for years in Q2, with its (ex-Project Lightning) existing base footprint showing positive growth to add to the subscribers gained on its Project Lightning network extension. This was partly due to temporary factors, with both Openreach and Sky not able to do in-home installations for part of the quarter, but the company has reported some sustained momentum, with the crisis boosting demand for higher speed broadband, and has decided not to implement its usual annual price increase in H2 to avoid the usual accompanying churn and customer dissatisfaction, instead choosing to prioritise subscriber growth to compensate for the ARPU shortfall.
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  • August 20, 2020

    Optus 1QFY21 and Vocus FY20 earnings update: revenues fall amidst [...]

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    Both Optus’ and Vocus’ revenues were impacted by COVID-19. Both operators saw mobile revenues decline in the last quarter, as consumers relied more on fixed broadband while working from home. Pre-COVID-19, we noted rising pressure on mobile ARPUs due to competition and increased consumer interest in cheaper plans. We forecast that COVID-19 would exacerbate these pressures, and this has been validated by Vocus’, Optus’ and Telstra’s results this week.
  • August 18, 2020

    BT UK – COVID-19 hit, fibre promise

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    BT’s first full quarter under the shadow of COVID-19 revealed a mix of negative impacts not entirely as predicted, by ourselves or indeed BT itself. The suspension of sport certainly had an impact on BT Sport revenue, but only about half of what we had feared (less than £50 million versus around £100 million), and Openreach was also relatively unaffected, perhaps having returned to full service levels quicker than anticipated. There was a strong negative impact on B2B revenue, but this was much more focused on SMEs than large corporates, with Global’s financials largely unaffected (so far), and mobile (which BT had not specifically warned about) was hit hard across consumer and (especially) B2B, with the results of the other mobile operators suggesting that the effect was market-wide.
  • August 18, 2020

    ITV UK H1 2020 results

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    There may be light at the end of the tunnel. After Q2 advertising revenues dropped 43% YoY, ITV has noted that there has been an upward trajectory (July down 23%, August appearing to be even better). This would leave ITV’s advertising revenues down between 15-25% for 2020 (ITV is unwilling to give forecasts). It appears that advertisers are beginning to think further ahead than they have for months—anecdotally, while around 80% of ad revenue is normally booked prior to the month’s start, this had reversed to about 20% in Q2.
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  • August 17, 2020

    Telstra and nbn Co FY20 update: increasing wireless and enterpris [...]

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    Telstra’s and nbn Co’s FY20 results show the early impact of COVID-19, but also contain indications of underlying shifts in the industry. We expect rising competition for fixed broadband subscribers as the mobile network owners (MNOs) try to maximise returns from the 5G mobile investment by launching 5G fixed wireless. Telstra’s announcement it will roll out 5G fixed wireless will step up this rivalry.  
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  • August 14, 2020

    Update: Foxtel SVOD growth can’t prevent major restructure

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    Last year we reported on Foxtel’s battle with its OTT rivals, and its attempt to capture a share of the OTT market. In 2019, we had a number of concerns about Foxtel. With the release of the News Corp FY20 results on 11 August 2020, this report examines whether our concerns were justified. In summary, we think that the last twelve months have largely borne them out, with the exception of Kayo cannibalisation.  
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  • August 12, 2020

    Art of the deal – Microsoft swoops for TikTok

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    Microsoft hopes to buy TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance before President Trump’s Executive Order halts transactions with the company in mid-September. Twitter is now in the game, but is unlikely to prevail
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  • August 12, 2020

    O2 UK: COVID and loss of Carphone bite

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    Along with the rest of the mobile market, O2’s results were harder-hit by COVID than expected, with service and total revenues down by 9% and 4% respectively
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  • August 11, 2020

    Sky UK Q2 2020 results – Emerging from the worst?

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    Sport is back, but its recent hiatus amid the COVID-19 crisis hit Sky hard, with Q2 revenue plunging 12.9% year-on-year. EBITDA remains flat for now, with sports rights cost absorption postponed but not cancelled