Telecom

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  • January 28, 2015

    UK mobile user survey: High on networks, low on convergence

    Customer movement between operators shows susceptibility to dynamism in branding; O2 are picking up the majority of EE churners as customers move to the new “cool brand” while EE pull in Vodafone churners tempted by the new “best network”. O2 have the lowest churn though the lion’s share move to Vodafone and H3G churners are more evenly picked up by the other three. Customer perceptions of own operator network quality are high among the big 3 with no less than 75% of customers reporting theirs is the best network. O2 is the best regarded while H3G is the least best regarded highlighting a stark contrast between the (prospective) merging parties. Consumers report little interest in quad play and indeed operators in the both fixed and mobile markets have publicly confirmed the same from other market research. However the arrival of converged players in the form of a merged BT/EE or Vodafone re-entering the fixed space will see operators seeking to change this.

  • January 27, 2015

    H3G and O2: Three and two makes Three

    The posited deal merging H3G and O2 would create a new largest UK mobile operator with 40% market share, with massive synergy benefits available from cutting overlapping network and operations costs. Regulatory hurdles would be very significant, and the remedies required may well counteract the benefits of reduced network operator competition, as they will be designed to do. For Vodafone and EE, the impact will be mixed; a potentially aggressive competitor is removed, but their preferred positioning as being the best mobile networks is under threat.

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  • January 26, 2015

    End of Netflix tightrope just in sight

    In marked contrast to its Q3 2014 results release, Netflix reported a strong Q4 with respect to paid subscriptions that was ahead of company guidance and consensus expectations. The positive news about subscriber numbers, which saw a sharp jump in share price immediately after the results, was heavily reinforced by Netflix’s announcement of its aim to expand its global base from 50 to 200 countries over the next two years and generate a material profit from 2017. As usual Netflix provided no international details other than to say that LatAm had passed the 5 million milestone in Q4. Elsewhere, BARB data suggest that Netflix passed the 4 million milestone in the UK, while it is still too early to assess the longer term potential of its September launches in France and Germany.

  • January 16, 2015

    Ofcom fibre margin squeeze test: Putting pressure on BT Sport cos [...]

    Ofcom has decided to implement a fibre margin squeeze test on BT, starting in March, which will include the costs of BT Sport as part of the calculation. Ofcom has stated that on its preliminary figures, BT does currently pass the test, but given earlier statements we conclude that it does not have a lot of headroom. This will make it challenging for BT to absorb the extra costs for its Champions League rights hitting from July without breaching the test, and even harder to absorb an increased cost for Premier League rights, reducing its incentive to bid aggressively in the upcoming auction.

  • December 17, 2014

    Women at Work 2014

    Underpinned by a legislative regime since the 1970s designed to prevent sex discrimination and unequal pay between men and women, the UK has enjoyed successive and ever bigger waves of young women gaining the education and skills to enter the work force as professionals, now standing at 5 million strong. The UK also boasts 1 million female-led companies and the digital age has greatly expanded the opportunity for entrepreneurship for women to be their own bosses. The workplace inflicts a stiff ‘motherhood penalty’ that produces a yawning gender pay gap for women in their 40s and 50s as men more readily gain access to managerial and executive positions, radiating from there to board positions, where Lord Davies’ initiative for FTSE companies has led some to endorse the merit of a diversity of directors on boards. On the whole, however, employers often overlook the potential to optimise talent management practices to accommodate maternity and support the work-life balance of employees, prevent sexism and unequal pay, and offer women an equality of opportunity to accede to top jobs. Companies that do so could be more likely to establish a lasting competitive advantage and the UK economy will gain too from releasing the talent and energy of women at work.

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