Publications

Format: Jun 2018
Sector(s) Datesort ascending
Iliad - Destiny

Iliad is among the very few European altnets that have made unbundling a profitable business, despite France's highly contested market for broadband. This report examines Iliad's current positioning in this market, and the development of the media side of the triple play to grow ARPU and differentiate the brand

  • Iliad
Fixed Line, Telecoms, Non-UK Telecoms 23 September 2006
Vodafone chooses wholesale broadband from BT

Vodafone is taking the first step in implementing its convergence strategy in the UK by buying broadband from BT Wholesale; while we believe the strategy is misguided, Vodafone’s approach is at least cautious 

The company is at least unlikely to be losing money on the product, and is perhaps just sensibly testing the water for positive consumer interest in a bundled package from Vodafone

We expect the water to be very cold - results from Orange, NTL and BT suggest continued very low consumer interest in fixed-mobile convergence, and we doubt that Vodafone will fare much better

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 14 September 2006
Pipex acquisition of Bulldog and Toucan, wholesale deal with Cable & Wireless

Pipex’s acquisition of the Bulldog and Toucan customer bases establishes it as a significant player in the UK residential telecoms market 

Counterbalancing the good news, churn stood at a record high in recent years of 11.8%, while ARPU grew by only £3 compared with Q1 2006 after discounting exceptional factors and changes in accounting policies. Multiroom growth has also slackened

High churn and weak ARPU growth suggest a steady spin-down among Sky movie subs, placing even greater importance on the long term success of Sky Broadband in revitalising subscriber growth and building margins

Telecoms 7 September 2006
European Mobile Revenue Growth – June 2006 quarter

In the attached slides, we examine the service revenue growth trends in the top five European mobile markets (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) over the last six quarters (ending in the June 2006 quarter), focusing particularly on the latest trends. The analysis is based on the published results of the mobile operators, although we have had to make estimates where the operators have not reported recent figures (only Virgin Mobile), or their data is not complete or inconsistent. A copy of the underlying data in spreadsheet format is available to our subscription clients on request.

A merger would not be a panacea for either company and carries the risk of distracting them from more urgent issues, but closer collaboration, if well managed, could help both

Closer collaboration could help NTL address some of the issues of scale now facing Flextech and improve its ability to acquire premium content, whilst helping ITV to develop a more coherent new media strategy

Telecoms 5 September 2006
H3G results: the lengthening path to profitability

H3G has extended its deadline for hitting EBITDA breakeven, with this now around 12 months later than its previous forecast, we believe due to management failing to understand the extent of its churn problem 

The Zune Marketplace is no match for the iTunes Store, with a smaller repertory of music and no video to supply the Zune, since Microsoft has announced it will soon sell video for the top-end Xbox 360, around which its ‘home-entertainment’ strategy is based

We figure the costs of switching to the Zune are low, but Microsoft will be lucky to sell 1 million Zunes in the Christmas quarter – if it does, revenue will rise by less than 1%, so the Zune is of limited interest, whether successful or not

  • Hutchison 3G
Telecoms 3 September 2006
UTV and SMG merger could revive commercial radio sector

The prospect of a merger between Scottish Media Group (SMG) and UTV (formerly Ulster Television) provides exactly the positive news the commercial radio sector needs at this time. The merger would bring together two national stations, Virgin Radio and TalkSport, under the same ownership, creating opportunities to increase these stations’ audiences, grow their revenue yields, and improve profitability whilst, at the same time, reducing operational costs by combining their management and sales functions.

  • SMG
Media 29 August 2006
NTL Q2 results

NTL’s Q2 results were again adversely affected by merger-related costs

Google’s phenomenal ascent is built on its domination of search, now the main growth driver of online advertising and accounting for 59% of the UK internet ad market which we estimate will be worth £2 billion this year or about 13% of total ad spend

Telecoms 21 August 2006
UK DTV Platform Growth

The UK continues to be the largest and fastest growing national digital TV (DTV) market in Europe. We now expect 75% of UK TV homes to be equipped with digital reception by the end of 2006, rising to over 85% by the commencement of digital switchover in autumn 2008.

We have argued that mobile operators offering free broadband makes little sense from an economic perspective, and it now appears that it has little draw for consumers as well (which is lucky given its very high cost)

A large number of mobile operators are launching ‘convergence’ offers in Europe (including Vodafone across all its major subsidiaries), and this poor result in the UK suggests that this will prove a needless distraction for them

Media 15 August 2006
Poor ratings exacerbate commercial radio woes

The latest RAJAR radio data (Q2 2006) delivered further bad news to the commercial radio sector, whose audience share has fallen year-on-year in all but four quarters of the last eight years to the benefit of the BBC. Commercial stations’ share of listening has dropped from a peak of 51% in Q2 1998 to below 43% this year, a level last witnessed in 1993. In the intervening thirteen years, commercial radio has launched one national and 124 local analogue stations, as well as 163 digital stations, although this unprecedented growth in supply has apparently failed to stimulate any long-term gains in share.

Market leaders Orange and Free increased their DSL retail market shares, while (newly IPOed) Neuf just managed to hold its retail market share (including AOL FR), while that of smaller ISPs (as a group) declined

Media 13 August 2006
BT FY 2006-07 Q1 results: revenue growth looking more vulnerable but overall performance continuing to improve

Group revenue growth remains positive, but intensifying competition in residential services and the absence of further big wins in corporate contracts mean that it looks more vulnerable than it has for some time 

  • BT
Telecoms 27 July 2006
UK Mobile Consumer Trends

In the attached report we are publishing the 2006 edition of our regular review of UK mobile user trends, based on a survey of 1,000 adults. We look at handset ownership, replacement trends, handset manufacturer choice, network operator choice, camera phone ownership and usage, 3G handset ownership and usage and, finally, interest in Mobile TV.

We cannot see how Phones4U can fulfil the volume requirements without significant damage to its business and competitiveness, and Vodafone may also suffer from a vengeful CPW encouraging its subscribers to churn away. Vodafone appears to not understand that it is its competitors that are driving up subsidies rather than its business partners, and is instead trying to shoot the messenger

CPW has less to lose from the weakest two operators leaving than one might think, and the continued lack of differentiation from the operators means that its core business model is still very much secure

Telecoms 27 July 2006
Vodafone June quarter KPIs: excuses, excuses…

Vodafone blamed a harsh competitive environment and the timing of Easter for its low revenue growth in core markets reported this week. Its growth did at least not decline again, although we expect that Vodafone will again prove to be underperforming its competitors as they report their figures over the coming weeks 

CPW will also benefit from its partnership with AOL for portal advertising, content and other internet-based applications, relatively small but fast-growing value-added services in which CPW has little experience or market position, which will prove important in terms of both customer retention and margins.

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 25 July 2006
Sky Broadband: All power to the portal

True to pre-launch speculation, BSkyB has entered broadband with a price-cutting bang that will have sent tremors round the rest of the industry.

  • Sky
Telecoms, Media 20 July 2006
AOL UK internet access sale

AOL UK offers buyers of its internet access business the prospect of instant scale in broadband, enabling 1,000 exchanges to be unbundled on a shared LLU basis. However, it has relatively few of the telephony customers which are necessary to exploit full LLU 

Media, Telecoms 16 July 2006
Sogecable and the Spanish game of football bluff

Spain’s top football club FC Barcelona (Barça) has threatened to withdraw its broadcast licence from Sogecable unless it matches an offer from Mediapro that is almost double the current annual fee for the two football seasons commencing 2006/2007 

The present TV advertising slump appears due to a uniquely British combination of very rapid digital TV growth and singular advertising airtime regulations that include the Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) remedy 

  • Sogecable
Telecoms, Media 16 July 2006
UK Cable Prospects

The UK market for fixed line telecoms services is undergoing huge change. Local loop unbundling is increasing price erosion in both broadband and telephony. BSkyB, BT and Orange are all planning to launch video services provided over DSL. Fixed line players unable to offer more than one service over the same network infrastructure are up for sale.

The cuts are not as bad as many had feared, and the impact on service revenue for the GSM operators will be de minimus: less than 1% at worst and a probable positive impact for O2, depending on the future level of RPI inflation. The impact will be far worse for H3G and reduce growth by about 3-4% each year until 2010/2011 

Telecoms, Media 6 July 2006
A busy week in UK broadband

BT’s launch of ‘Total Broadband’ represents a timely improvement in the value proposition for BT’s residential broadband customers but its impact will depend crucially on the success of BT Vision and other related services yet to be launched 

Telecoms 21 June 2006
ITV1 NAR plunge in 2006

ITV plc national advertising revenues (NAR) from ITV1 fell by £50 million in 2005. This was caused chiefly by a loss of more than 6% in weighted share of commercial impacts in 2004, which enables a proportionately similar reduction in 2005 ITV1 NAR under the CRR remedy. It was offset by total TV NAR growth of about 2.5% in 2005 

BT is clearly positioning its new, 21CN-based wholesale services as an economically viable alternative to both DIY and wholesale LLU 

  • ITV
Media 18 June 2006
New media and creative industries

Here are the main points of the evidence I gave on 9 May 2006 before the House of Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media & Sport joint meeting with Trade and Industry Committee. I was questioned by the chairman, John Whittingdale MP OBE, and committee members, John Price MP and Helen Southworth MP.

Pipex’s strategy is sophisticated, but its success depends to a large extent on implementation problems at Carphone Warehouse and Tiscali 

Media 13 June 2006
Orange and Wanadoo in the UK: a match made in France?

Orange’s new ‘free broadband’ offer brings savings of up to 60% for Orange UK customers who pay for broadband, and may appeal to a great many of them 

  • France Telecom
  • Orange
Telecoms 12 June 2006

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