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  • November 24, 2017

    TalkTalk Group Q2 2017/18 results: Growth at a cost

    TalkTalk continued to maintain positive broadband net adds in Q2 despite increased churn, and its on-net revenue growth turned positive as well, helped by the turnaround in subscriber growth trends and an overlapping price increase implemented during the quarter. The return to growth is taking its toll in marketing costs however, and the company is now guiding to a full year ‘headline’ EBITDA at the lower end of its previous given range, and this is after redefining ‘headline’ to exclude losses from its winding-down mobile business. Even this looks challenging given the cost trends in the first half of the year. The company’s new strategy of subscriber growth and focusing on the basics is probably the right one, but it is proving tough to implement in a slowing and increasingly competitive market
  • November 23, 2017

    Disruptive mobile business models – Is TPG going to be ‘Free [...]

    TPG plans to disrupt the A$18bn mobile market by launching its mobile network in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra by mid-2018 and build out its network to 80% of the population. It will deploy a small cell network across key metros, complemented by a traditional macro network. Free Mobile (France), 2degrees (New Zealand) and FreedomPop (US/Europe) have used disruptive business models to capture share from incumbents. Free Mobile and 2degrees captured about 18% and 23% of market share respectively, and FreedomPop has added approximately 2mn subscribers since launch. With four out of five key factors going in favour of TPG, a roaming deal will also likely accelerate market share gain. However, the incumbent MNOs in the Australian mobile market are already competing on price, coverage and data, and there are many MVNOs in the low ARPU prepaid segment offering competitive pricing and data

  • November 20, 2017

    Virgin Media Q3 2017 results: Building acceleration

    Virgin Media’s subscriber figures were flat on the prior year quarter, a robust performance in a slowing and increasingly competitive market, with ARPU growth still weak but at least not worsening. Project Lightning had another successful quarter, accelerating strongly and passing an additional 147k premises, which bodes well for subscriber acceleration into 2018. A recently implemented price increase should boost ARPU growth next quarter, on the basis that it successfully limits the retention discounting that characterised last year’s price increase, but such a boost will be limited by wider market pricing pressures
  • November 17, 2017

    Altice in crisis as formulaic model flounders in France

    The telecoms group has suffered a dramatic stock market correction following its Q3 results, as investors woke up to the continuous decline of its main unit, France’s SFR – leading its CEO to resign. Closure of a tax loophole will further erode SFR’s revenues by up to 4% in 2018. Despite being France’s largest fibre network, SFR’s broadband market share dropped 4ppts over three years. Notwithstanding grandstands on ‘convergence’ and expensive rights acquisitions, it is losing pay-TV subscribers – it looks unlikely to challenge Vivendi’s Canal+ in next year’s Ligue 1 auction. The mobile performance is notably better with the subscriber count stabilised and ARPU rising. Besides sustaining network deployments, to turn around SFR Altice needs to abandon short term fixes, invest in its workforce and customer service, and differentiate through valuable innovation – in other words the opposite of the model followed so far
  • November 13, 2017

    BT Q2 2017/18 results: Unresolved issues

    BT Group revenue growth dipped to -1.5% from an instance of rare modest positive growth in the previous quarter, albeit mostly due to a predicted price timing effect in Consumer and revenue growth predictably going from bad to worse in Global Services. The bright spots were continued strong 4% revenue growth at EE, with an acceleration in mobile-related revenue also helping other divisions, and strong growth of 5% in external revenues at Openreach driven by accelerating fibre adoption by competitor customers. A number of very important regulatory/policy/legal issues remain unresolved, including 5G spectrum auction rules, leased line pricing, FTTC pricing and FTTP roll-out rules, but without a number of these going BT’s way the outlook remains tough for at least the next 18 months
  • October 25, 2017

    Australia’s 5G roadmap – on your mark, get set, go…

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    While 5G standards are yet to be finalised, it is clear 5G will significantly increase network performance with improved connectivity, faster speeds and very low latency. However, to fully exploit the potential of 5G, the Australian telco market needs a policy framework that prioritises 5G and focuses on spectrum management and deployment strategies.
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    Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness
    October 20, 2017

    US ISPs hail the end of online privacy rules

    The Federal Communications Commission’s Privacy Order (FCC) was overturned by the Senate, clearing the way for ISPs to ramp up consumer data-driven advertising revenue. While Google and Facebook dominate digital advertising in the US as in other markets, the US is alone in removing regulatory barriers to ISPs taking a piece of the pie. US ISPs now have a self-regulatory regime for consumer rights on transparency, security and data breaches; but in the UK and EU, privacy advocates prefer enforceable rights
  • October 19, 2017

    Australian MVNOs are here to stay but…

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    Australian MVNOs have doubled their market share in the last seven years with BYO and non-contract mobile plans being the primary driver of Australian MVNOs’ success. While MVNOs are still appealing to Australian consumers due to price advantage, new network technologies and rising competition from MNOs both new and incumbent are increasing the competitive intensity.
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  • October 17, 2017

    Sky Q1 2017/18 results: Solid quarter, but challenges remain

    Sky made a strong start to fiscal 2018, with improved customer net adds across each of its markets versus the previous quarter, as well as group revenue growth at 5%. Operating profits switched back to growth, after the negative Premier League effect annualised out, with it now settled at the full cost of £1.4 billion per year. EBITDA growth hit 11%, or 15% excluding the effect of UK mobile and the Spanish OTT launch. Against the backdrop of continued uncertainty around the UK advertising market, attention has turned to the upcoming Premier League auction, though we think it unlikely that digital players will cause disruption
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    October 13, 2017

    Venture Advisory September 2017 report: Markets and company updat [...]

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    Venture Advisory September 2017 report: Markets and company updates
    $900.00
  • October 9, 2017

    Broadband pricing – more bang for your buck

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    As headline price competition continues to remain important, Australian RSPs are looking to other avenues to differentiate their broadband services. Data inclusions, media and bundles are emerging as the next frontier in the battle to capture greater share of the fixed broadband market for Australian RSPs.
  • October 6, 2017

    European mobile in Q2 2017

    European mobile service revenue growth witnessed a rare growth spike this quarter with growth rising to 0.5%, likely due in large part to the reduced impact this quarter from the European roaming cut regulation, but also helped by a slight softening of MTR cuts and continued ‘more-for-more’ price increases. In the upcoming September quarter this roaming regulation holiday will end and the full impact of ‘free roaming’ will be felt, with the impact intensified by the quarter containing the main summer holiday season, thus the spike in mobile service revenue growth is likely to more-than-reverse. ‘Worry free’ data has always had consumer appeal, but it appears to have also reached operator appeal given its improved economics, and given its reported success at improving ARPUs we expect zero-rated launches to continue

  • October 5, 2017

    New Zealand Mobile Market Outlook

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    Challenging times driven by increasing competitive intensity, rising data usage and transitioning to new network technologies
  • October 4, 2017

    UK Mobile Market Q2 2017

    Mobile service revenue growth continued to improve on a reported basis, rising to 1.1% from 0.3% in the March quarter, but most of this improvement came from a significant dip in the MTR cut drag, with underlying growth improving by a much more modest 0.2ppts. The quarter also benefited from the current round of in-contract price increases, which were more widespread and at a higher level than last year, and also from a brief holiday in the impact of roaming cut regulation, with the full abolition of retail charges only being implemented on 15 June, too late to have a major impact in the current quarter. Looking forward, the roaming regulation holiday will end with a jolt in the September quarter, with a full three months of zero retail roaming charges coinciding with the main holiday season for mobile consumers, which could impact market growth by up to 2ppts by our (tentative) estimates
  • September 29, 2017

    Augmented reality: Apple’s next 10-year bet

    Through innovations in processing, connectivity and cameras, Apple’s new device lineup dispels fears that the importance of integrated, profitable mobile hardware is in terminal decline. With the broadest range of iPhone price points ever, Apple is confidently balancing between profits and growing the valuable installed base. Apple’s long way to an AR future is now well paved, but a weakness in mapping could prove to be an Achilles heel
  • September 18, 2017

    NBN Corporate Plan 2018 – stepping on the gas…

    The NBN rollout has made significant progress over the past two years with one in two Australian premises now able to connect to the NBN. However, customer complaints around speed and the tug-of-war with the RSPs over CVC charges continue to persist with no concrete solutions on the horizon.
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    September 13, 2017

    Venture Advisory August 2017 report: Markets and company updates

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    Venture Advisory August 2017 report: Markets and company updates
    $900.00
  • September 1, 2017

    UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q2 2017:Dead cat bounce [...]

    UK residential communications market revenue growth bounced up to 3.6% in Q2, a full 1.4ppt improvement on the previous quarter and reversing the downwards trend of the previous two quarters. However, this was entirely driven by price rises at BT and Sky, with the ongoing market volume growth decline continuing at pace. In competitive terms, TalkTalk was the only operator able to improve its broadband net adds on a year earlier, and Virgin Media was solid with only a modest decline, leaving BT and Sky shouldering the worst of the slowdown, albeit with neither company doing particularly poorly given the market context. New customer pricing remains tight, with Virgin Media in particular becoming more competitive. Looking forward, we expect volumes to continue to slow, and for the pricing boost enjoyed in Q2 to largely drop out next quarter, leading to a renewed revenue growth slowdown.
  • August 25, 2017

    The 5G Evolution, Part 2 – Standards, Deployment and Challenges

    The 5G era will soon be upon us, with key stakeholders in developed countries progressing well towards commercial deployment in the early 2020s. Key challenges such as spectrum management and privacy and security will need to be addressed to ensure 5G successful implementation.
  • August 23, 2017

    ACMA review of the NBN and RSPs – it takes three to tango!

    As the number of consumers migrating to the NBN has increased, there has been a significant increase in consumer complaints. The Government has ordered the Australian Communications and Media Authority to investigate the issues and how those issues can be avoided or resolved.
  • August 17, 2017

    UFB Market to 2020 and beyond –Why the Kiwis are winning…

    For much of its history, New Zealand’s fixed broadband market was dominated by a single incumbent. This is no longer the case. Structural separation of the incumbent, along with the UFB Initiative, have thrown the fixed broadband market wide open, unleashing a competitive retail market that is a win-win for everyone.
  • August 16, 2017

    Virgin Media Q2 2017 results: Mixed quarter, but still the faste [...]

    Virgin Media’s subscriber figures in Q2 were a little mixed, with total homes and broadband figures weaker than a year earlier, but pay TV much stronger. ARPU growth fell though, largely due to price increase timing effects, leading to a modest dip in revenue growth. Project Lightning premises passed during the quarter rose to 127k, making at least some progress towards upping its run-rate after changing its roll-out management team and approach, the company declined to give indications of how this will evolve. The broader market context is still one of slowing broadband volume growth, and Virgin Media continues to take market share, being the fastest growing of the ‘big 4’ in both subscriber and RGU volumes
  • August 15, 2017

    The 5G Evolution, Part 1 – Enabling Technologies; a Revolutiona [...]

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    Starting from 2020, the next generation of mobile networks, known as 5G, will have profound impacts not just for major players in the telco industry, but for key players across multiple industries and sectors.
    $900.00
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    August 14, 2017

    Venture Advisory July 2017 report: Markets and company updates

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    Venture Advisory July 2017 report: Markets and company updates
    $900.00