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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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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Weak network spending climate becoming more apparent

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 31, 2017

Fidelity’s “Communications Equipment” index is up nearly 11% so far this year, tracking just a few points behind the S&P 500’s YTD gain of about 15%. Looking ahead, though, the communications equipment sector remains challenged, something 3Q1... READ MORE

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

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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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Decades-Long Copper Retirement Process Is Just Starting For Verizon And AT&T

Posted by Matt Walker  on October 13, 2017

Incumbent telcos in markets like the US have built their networks gradually, over many decades. In the access plant, the trend towards more fiber began in the 1990s – but applications, products, and overall economics have come together just in the last several yea... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Fixed broadband, Regulations & policy

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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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China Mobile To Go (More) Global?

Posted by Matt Walker  on September 29, 2017

Buying opportunities During the 2008-9 financial crisis, some wondered (including me) if the relatively flush Chinese operators would use the downturn as a buying opportunity into overseas telco markets. China Mobile seemed promising, given its (now even higher) cash r... READ MORE

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

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Rising Costs Plague India’s Tata Teleservices As Competition Intensifies

Posted by Matt Walker  on September 27, 2017

Tata Group is looking for a clean break Tata Teleservices (TTSL) has family ties to one of India’s biggest industry groups, but that hasn’t helped it escape the “Jio effect” in recent years.  With just 8.7 million subscribers and ... READ MORE

Tag(s): Regulations & policy, Mobile broadband, Telcos, Fiber optics, Infrastructure sharing

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Running Converged Networks Is Costly; A View From Thailand

Posted by Matt Walker  on September 23, 2017

Mobile operator AIS to consolidate ownership in CS Loxinfo Thailand’s largest mobile operator AIS announced this month it would spend $79M to buy a 56% stake in CS Loxinfo, an enterprise-focused fixed line operator. AIS is picking up 42% from a Thaicom ... READ MORE

Tag(s): Fixed broadband, Regulations & policy, Mobile broadband, Telcos, Fiber optics

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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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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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Jio sends shock waves across the telecom industry with new FTTH broadband service and JioPhone exchange offer

Posted by Subramanian Venkatraman  on July 26, 2018

Jio sends shock waves across the telecom industry with new FTTH broadband service and JioPhone exchange offer The recently concluded Annual General Meeting (AGM)1  of Reliance Industries is sure to leave Reliance Jio’s competitors in jitters, as Jio unveiled... READ MORE

Tag(s): FTTx, Smartphones & devices

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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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Improving Africa's connectivity: more subsea cables are a good start

Posted by Matt Walker  on December 3, 2018

Over the last two decades, submarine cables have become a key growth enabler for trade and communication between Africa and the rest of the world. Subsea cables play this role elsewhere, but the effect is newer in Africa.   With recent investments, Africa's p... READ MORE

Tag(s): Capex, Africa, Submarine, Fiber optics

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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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Transition to autonomous vehicles poised to have a big impact on telcos

Posted by Matt Walker  on January 18, 2019

I’m one of those people who loves driving, but not picky about the actual car. I’ve driven some rusty, falling-apart junkers in my life, lots of forgettable rentals, and too many SUVs – I like driving them all. As long as I’m not stuck in traffic. What ... READ MORE

Tag(s): Telcos, 5G, Cars

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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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