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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Telco-OTT Battle Is Looming In India As Net Neutrality Policy Is Reviewed

Posted by Matt Walker  on December 14, 2017

Globally, operators are experiencing a rough patch, with sliding core revenues combined with an ongoing need to invest and maintain their networks. The wide usage of apps and services provided by OTTs, purchased easily from a smartphone or other device (e.g. Apple TV, R... READ MORE

Tag(s): Regulations & policy, Mobile broadband, Over the top (OTT), Telcos, Content/video

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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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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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Commentary: US Senate Intel hearing & implications for Chinese vendors

Posted by Matt Walker  on February 14, 2018

What happenedThe US Senate Intelligence Committee held an open hearing on “Worldwide Threats” yesterday. Among many topics covered was the national security implications of US telcos deploying equipment from Chinese vendors. Huawei and ZTE, in particular. The six witnesses pr... READ MORE

Tag(s): Regulations & policy, Vendors

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Commentary: ZTE's fixed broadband win at Rostelecom

Posted by Matt Walker  on February 14, 2018

What happened Rostelecom recently awarded ZTE 70% of a large access network modernization project. ZTE will provide its C350M/C300M MSAN product for the first stage, using VDSL, and move to G.vectoring and G.fast in the second stage. Rostelecom is currently testing the... READ MORE

Tag(s): Fixed broadband, Vendors

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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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Facebook’s Plan To Design Its Own AI Chips Has Set Alarm Bells Ringing For Qualcomm, Nvidia And Intel

Posted by Matt Walker  on May 30, 2018

[Ed. note: see Sept. 2018 publication, Webscale Network Operators: 3Q18 Market Landscape] Rumors about Facebook’s likely entry in the hardware segment were put to rest after the company posted job openings for chip designers. Facebook was looking for candida... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Data centers, Webscale/Hyperscale, Artificial intelligence (AI), R&D, Chips

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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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Telco capex in 3Q17 up 4% YoY (preliminary); what’s in store for 2018?

Posted by Matt Walker  on November 21, 2017

Not all telcos have reported, but a large sample (of 60 companies) has spent US$50.2B on capex in 3Q17. That’s up 4% year-over-year (YoY), after adjustments for acquisitions.A 4% growth rate for telco capex is relatively high by recent standards (Fig. 1). LTE spending declines ... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Telcos,

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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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Egypt’s new capital will attract new investment but also lock country into Chinese loans and technology

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 5, 2018

Egypt is building a new capital city on a desert plot between the Nile River & the Suez Canal, to ease Cairo’s population boom. Labeled “the first smart city in Egypt,” the new, unnamed city ultimately aims to house nearly 6.5 million people. Chine... READ MORE

Tag(s): China, Greenfield, Smart cities, MENA

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Alibaba aims to undercut US chipmakers’ dominance

Posted by Arun Menon  on November 2, 2018

Alibaba entered the club of webscale network operators (WNOs) developing their own chips recently, joining Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The Chinese e-commerce giant announced plans, in September 2018, to develop its own customized neural network chip, called Ali... READ MORE

Tag(s): R&D, China, Chips

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Facebook stepped in it this time

Posted by Matt Walker  on November 15, 2018

Whether you've joined the #deletefacebook camp or not, it's hard to deny that Facebook has dug a deep hole for itself this time. Yesterday's NYT report was a harsh assessment of the company's trustworthiness. It's worse when combined with the late September news that F... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Data centers, Webscale/Hyperscale

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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 profi... READ MORE

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

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