Blog

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A Telecom Analyst’s Take On CES 2018

Posted by Matt Walker  on January 19, 2018

For most of my career, I’ve been focused on the telecom industry and its components. I’ve been to dozens of telecom-focused conferences & exhibitions, in Asia and the Americas. I had never been to a consumer-focused show, though. In order to learn a bit (and check out som... READ MORE

Tag(s): Webscale/Hyperscale, Internet of things (IoT), Artificial intelligence (AI), Mobile broadband, R&D

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Understanding The Carrier-Neutral Market (And Why Revenues Will Pass $40B This Year)

Posted by Matt Walker  on December 11, 2017

MTN Consulting has just published a “Market Review” of the carrier-neutral network operator (CNNO) sector. The report assesses the key role that these tower, data center, and bandwidth specialists are playing in the downsizing of the telecom sector. While ma... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Data centers, Telcos, Fiber optics, Infrastructure sharing, Cell towers

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Indian Operators Divesting Tower Assets To Raise Cash

Posted by Matt Walker  on November 2, 2017

Faced with tough competition and high debt, Indian telecom operators are spinning off their tower assets to investors or independent tower companies to improve their financial situation. The 2016 sale of Tata Teleservices’ tower business (Viom) to ATC, an... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Regulations & policy, M&A, Mobile broadband, Telcos, Infrastructure sharing, Cell towers, India

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Cisco Buys BroadSoft For $1.9B In A Cloud & Collaboration-Driven Deal

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 23, 2017

Cisco Systems is one of the largest suppliers to network operators worldwide, including telcos. Its growth strategy from the start has been reliant heavily on acquisitions, and 2017 has been no exception. Today the vendor announced it would buy Gaithersburg, Maryl... READ MORE

Tag(s): Cloud, M&A, Telcos, Collaboration

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Early Telco Reporters Verizon & Rogers Provide Mixed Signals For Vendors

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 19, 2017

The first sizable telcos reported 3Q17 earnings this morning: Verizon and Rogers. Both can point to reassuring bottom line results. For the 9 months ended September, operating & net margins improved year-over-year, as did earnings per share. Rogers’ EPS throug... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Earnings, M&A, Telcos, Content/video, Infrastructure sharing, Cable TV

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Communications Sector M&A Dominated By Infrastructure In 3Q17

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 18, 2017

October’s seen a few mergers already, including Airtel-TTSL, a tower sale by Zain and the long-rumored Sprint-T-Mobile transaction (confirmed yesterday). Some interesting deals came out of 3Q17 too, especially in infrastructure markets.63 M&A transactions announced, includi... READ MORE

Tag(s): Data centers, M&A, Telcos, Fiber optics, Infrastructure sharing, Cell towers

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India’s RCom Under Pressure After Its Failed Merger With Aircel

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 12, 2017

Reliance Communications’ (RCom) long-planned merger with Aircel, part of Maxis, fell apart last week in the face of legal and regulatory hurdles. This news comes as multiple operators in India are struggling with debt and declining margins. Both RCom and Aircel f... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Earnings, M&A, Mobile broadband, Telcos, Infrastructure sharing, Cell towers, India

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Security Specialist Barracuda Reports 7% Revenue Growth; Margins Still An Issue

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 11, 2017

Barracuda Networks, a security/data protection solution vendor, yesterday reported $94.3M in revenues for the quarter ended August (~3Q17). That’s 7% growth from the prior year (June-August 2016). This growth rate would satisfy many companies, including ... READ MORE

Tag(s): Earnings, M&A, Security

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Third Quarter Earnings Season Around The Corner (And Yes, It’s Cloudy)

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 6, 2017

Over the next 3 weeks, companies across the communications sector will begin reporting third quarter (3Q17) results. Watch for telco progress The world has never been so reliant on secure communications, but the underlying market is in a bit of turmoil. The cloud and ... READ MORE

Tag(s): Cloud, Data centers, Earnings, M&A, R&D, Telcos, Content/video

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Comtech Expects Flat 2018; US Market An Issue?

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 4, 2017

If you follow telecom closely yet haven’t heard of Comtech, that’s no surprise. Acquisition of TCS in 2016 doubled the company’s size Comtech Telecommunications Corp. is far smaller than the biggest vendors in the  market (Huawei, Ericsson, Noki... READ MORE

Tag(s): Earnings, M&A, Mobile broadband, Telcos, Transmission

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Cloud R&D And Network Investment

Posted by Matt Walker  on September 24, 2017

A little accounting background: To expense or capitalize R&D There’s an ongoing debate in accounting circles (yes, they argue) about whether R&D spending should be expensed or capitalized. Under US GAAP, R&D is expensed. Another set of reporting stan... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Cloud, Data centers, R&D, Telcos

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Alibaba's revenue growth from cloud rises steeply, as it looks to outdo Amazon and Microsoft

Posted by Matt Walker  on March 5, 2018

Top US-based tech providers Amazon, Alphabet/Google and Microsoft dominate the cloud space but they are set to face stiff competition from China’s leading cloud provider Alibaba.MTN Consulting tracks these and similar operators of webscale (aka hyperscale) cloud networks as par... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Cloud, Data centers

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Microsoft & Google pressure Amazon’s prime spot in the cloud; Apple may be prepping for entry

Posted by Matt Walker  on December 20, 2017

After a decade of dominance in the public cloud market, Amazon’s top spot came under immense strain in 2017. Years of investment in networks & cloud services began to pay off for Microsoft’s Azure and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Apple is also making noises in the cloud.T... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Cloud, Webscale/Hyperscale

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Rocky path ahead for China Tower as it looks to go public

Posted by Subramanian Venkatraman  on July 10, 2018

Mobile tower infrastructure provider China Tower has won approval in Hong Kong for an IPO in what bodes to be the largest IPO in Hong Kong since 2010. Speculation is rife that the IPO could raise up to $10 billion for China Tower. That’s over twice the IPO of Chin... READ MORE

Tag(s): Regulations & policy, Cell towers, China, IPO

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Alibaba Takes On Amazon, Google, And Microsoft Head-On In India’s Cloud Market

Posted by Matt Walker  on May 31, 2018

It’s a battle between the emerging giant of the east and the pioneers of the west in the highly competitive Indian cloud computing market, as Alibaba prepares to take on the “big three”: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The Chinese ecommerce behemoth, w... READ MORE

Tag(s): Webscale/Hyperscale, Artificial intelligence (AI), Regulations & policy, India

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Content cost crunch on the horizon?

Posted by Matt Walker  on September 20, 2017

BackgroundFor several years, the telecom industry has faced a slow-growth climate. Telcos have adapted, cutting short-term costs as they position for longer-term cost reduction with efforts virtualization & software-defined networks. Most telco execs seem relatively confid... READ MORE

Tag(s): , M&A, Cloud,

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Mobile operators & towers: to own or not?

Posted by Matt Walker  on September 20, 2017

Over the last few years, the independent tower sector has grown dramatically. Much of the growth has come from asset spin-offs: a mobile operator sells some portion of its towers to a specialist, in exchange for cash and a commitment to lease the towers back. The logic is simp... READ MORE

Tag(s): Telcos, Fiber optics, Cell towers, , Small cells

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Can India use 5G to improve local vendors’ position in global supply chains?

Posted by Matt Walker  on August 14, 2018

In the six years since India’s last telecom sector reform, operators have made big investments in their networks, the country’s subscriber levels have grown, and prices have declined. 4G is now well established, and fixed line broadband finally has decent pr... READ MORE

Tag(s): India, Vendors, 5G, Capex, Regulations & policy

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Operators feel the pinch of rising labor costs

Posted by Subramanian Venkatraman  on December 7, 2018

Operators feel the pinch of rising labor costs  Global telecom operators are facing a cost crunch. Based on MTN Consulting’s analysis, annualized operating profit margins have fallen for five straight quarters, from 13.7% in 2Q17 to 12.7% in 3Q18. This profit dip co... READ MORE

Tag(s): Artificial intelligence (AI), Telcos, Labor costs

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Indian government’s decision to welcome Huawei for 5G trials receives mixed response

Posted by Subramanian Venkatraman  on January 15, 2019

Indian government’s decision to welcome Huawei for 5G trials receives mixed response  The Indian government’s recent decision to invite Huawei for 5G trials has sparked a debate between two opposing bodies. Indian telecom export body TEPC (or Telecom Equipmen... READ MORE

Tag(s): Telcos, India, 5G, Huawei

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AT&T and Verizon’s 4Q18 results hint at more layoffs as operators gear up for 5G

Posted by Subramanian Venkatraman  on February 13, 2019

The 4Q18 results of the two US wireless biggies AT&T and Verizon suggests that headcount reduction remains a common focus. Both operators need to reduce their debt burden ahead of the 5G push. Some highlights from their financial results: Capex drops as Verizon and A... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Telcos, 5G, Results, AT&T, Verizon

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