Publications

Format: Sep 2018
Sector(s) Datesort ascending
The PVR and Adding Value

The Personal Video Recorder (PVR) will play a central role in contesting the digital TV landscape in the UK over the course of digital switchover and broadband expansion. BSkyB’s market leader Sky+ will be present in over 60% of its Sky Digital homes as the central media storage unit and intelligence hub.

The product, however, has a massive cost to Orange’s economics, and we cannot see how lowering churn or offering extra services can possibly compensate for this – the strategy appears to be driven by French rather than English economics 

Media 30 March 2006
Mobile Video Downloads

Mobile video services (along with music) have been heralded as the ‘killer applications’ set to deliver the revenue and customer satisfaction long promised by 3G. In our report Mobile TV: Trials and Tribulations [2005-20] we addressed live TV services; in this report we now consider non-live video downloading services. We conclude that while this is currently the largest ‘media’ mobile service (excluding ringtones) and it may continue to grow strongly in the short term, the market opportunity is ultimately limited due to the small size of video files downloadable over 3G, and that live TV and PC-based downloads will eventually force the market into decline.

The cause of subscription take-up already falling behind management targets set in mid 2005 is the CanalSat DTH basic rather than the Canal+ premium service, now under pressure from rival DSL and DTT services 

Telecoms 28 March 2006
Spanish Free-to-Air TV

With the launch of two new analogue terrestrial services and a relaunch of digital terrestrial television (DTT), the Spanish government has opened up the country’s free-to-air (FTA) TV market. Although we expect the government to assist the new analogue terrestrial entrants, we anticipate that both will struggle to become profitable. Meanwhile, the DTT space will be more interesting for the takeover opportunities that it presents to the leading terrestrial commercial groups.

Fastweb’s high service model increasingly appeals to the business segment but aggressive competition on the residential segment is eroding ARPU 

Media 24 March 2006
BT Wholesale Broadband Access Speeds

BT Wholesale will launch IPStream Max, a rate adaptive ADSL product, on 31st March 2006, providing a downstream data rate greater than 6.5Mbit/s – a line speed that should support a wider range of good-quality video applications – to 25% of UK telephone lines

We believe that its focus on 3G is to blame, and the company seems poised to repeat this mistake with a focus on the latest industry fad, convergence 

Telecoms 22 March 2006
Iliad FY 2005 results

Sharp rise in EBITDA margin to 31% in 2005 as Free increases the share of unbundled (on-net) subscribers from 53% to 70% and retains tight control of marketing spend in the 'landgrab' for customers in France

The new management is teeing up the core UK business for a successful turnaround 

  • Iliad
Telecoms 20 March 2006
UK PC Video-on-Demand

This companion report to UK TV VOD [2005-24] concludes that the number of PC-based video-on-demand (VOD) services in the UK is set to explode in the near future. Rising broadband penetration, to 35% of UK homes at the end of 2005, is leading every major content owner, aggregator, broadcaster, service provider, and network operator to develop a PC VOD service. Will this response to the interest in personalised media consumption enable the PC to take over from the TV as the main source of video entertainment? The short answer is no, although we expect the market for PC-delivered VOD to grow dramatically in the next 2-3 years.

Sky Italia subscriptions, now totalling 3.71 million, have increased by almost 0.5 million subscribers in the last year. Low SACs, low churn, and yet high ARPU, show that Sky continues to benefit from strong natural growth in a pay-TV market that is experiencing a new lease of life thanks to the eradication of piracy post merger of Telepiu with Stream 

Media 17 March 2006
Internet and Telephony Market Statistics Q4 2005

Broadband connections continued to increase strongly in the UK in Q4 2005 with 935,000 net additions, taking the UK total to just over 9.8 million connections and household broadband penetration to 35%. For 2005 as a whole, the UK broadband base rose by 60% - one of the fastest paces in Europe. Cable connections account for 27% of the broadband market with more than 99% of other connections provided via DSL.

Sound market fundamentals mean that the growth-based rationale for the bid should prove feasible 

Telecoms 13 March 2006
EMI-WMG Merger Prospects

Talk of a merger between the recorded music divisions of EMI and Warner Music Group to create the third largest recorded music group has been simmering for at least six months. After two failed attempts in the past six years, the logic of a merger continues to be strong and scale is an even more compelling objective given the continued difficult conditions in the recorded music market, despite rising digital sales in line with our forecasts. The question is when, not if and we believe that the time is fast approaching, judging by investment bank and private equity interest in the music publishing assets of each company.

We continue to expect group revenue growth to remain positive in spite of the impact of local loop unbundling

Media 10 March 2006
Mobile TV update: technology and consumer demand still very uncertain

Mobile TV hype remains alive and well, but the DVB-H and DAB-IP standards are not progressing fast given a lack of European-wide spectrum

Telecoms 6 March 2006
Vodafone: all change?

Vodafone’s discussions with Softbank to exit Japan could remove its most troubled and ill-fitting subsidiary, but only if the structure allows for a clean break, which will require tricky financial engineering given Softbank’s limited ability to pay

We estimate that savings for the typical French contract customer would actually be around 5%, and therefore not worth the extra handset cost and inconvenience involved 

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 6 March 2006
Cable & Wireless UK business update. "My gaff, my rules."

C&W UK’s new Chairman John Pluthero’s turnaround strategy involves shedding 27,000 business customers and focusing on 800 of the largest accounts

Viability is a major concern. Although the Freeview channels and much of the on-demand content will be free, subscriber acquisition costs probably will exceed £200, while per subscriber on-demand revenues are unlikely to amount to much more than £1 or £2 per month 

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms 1 March 2006
Sogecable FY 2005 results

Sogecable FY 2005 results recorded the first net profit (€7.7 million) since 2001, two and a half years after the merger with Vía Digital. With the after effects and restructuring costs of this merger behind it, the question we examine in this note is what growth can Sogecable's pay-TV business look forward to and what extra contribution will be made by the national free-to-air (FTA) analogue channel Cuatro, which launched on 7th November 2005?

Under rules agreed with the EC no one party could win all six packages. The surprise is that BSkyB has only won four, the other two going to Setanta. Although BSkyB has won the four ‘best-looking’ packages, it must pay an extra £97 million per annum for two thirds as many games 

  • Sogecable
Telecoms 27 February 2006
LLU in the UK III and BT - revenue meltdown?

Over the past 18 months, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has seized on LLU as a catalyst for change, forcing BT to cut its LLU prices by up to 70%, separate its access services division from the rest of the business and commit legally to improve provisioning processes. Now the race is on to exploit LLU before growth in demand for broadband tails off, the merged NTL/Telewest emerges from restructuring and BT launches new services based on its ADSL2+ local loop upgrade and later, its £10 billion ‘Twenty-First Century’ network initiative. Two of the three surviving LLU pioneers have been sold to major players and AOL, Wanadoo, CarphoneWarehouse and BSkyB have all announced plans to implement LLU.

Telecoms 15 February 2006
BT FY 2005/06 Q3 results: light at the end of the tunnel?

Global Services is now established as the main engine of growth at BT

The company will take a significant cash hit in the early years of the project but CPW’s new-found scale in fixed telephony means the strategy is likely to succeed 

Telecoms 13 February 2006
Cable & Wireless - take away the number you first thought of...

C&W UK has warned of a sharp drop in organic EBITDA for C&W UK in 2006/07

The main underlying culprit was churn; as we predicted, this has risen as the subscriber base matures, choking off subscriber growth and increasing costs 

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms 7 February 2006
H3G - WePay, but you pay more

H3G’s new UK prepay tariff ‘WePay’, launched this week, offers the appealing gimmick of paying customers to receive phone calls. Less appealing is the 32% outbound calling price rise accompanying this change, and the estimated net impact of a 10-20% price rise.

However, we do not share NTL management’s optimism concerning the power of the ‘quadruple play’ – to date triple play has proved attractive to less than one third of cable households

  • Hutchison 3G
Telecoms 2 February 2006
Music Publishing 2006

This report on Music Publishing 2006 [2006-02] updates our views on the prospects of the sector in the context of the continued difficulties of the recorded music market (Music sales continued to decline [Jan 2006]). The music publishing sector has been resilient to these difficulties for a decade by maximising its benefits from each of the new revenue streams.

Media 31 January 2006
Vodafone KPIs - strategic issues

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 27 January 2006
Music sales continued to decline in 2005

As predicted by Enders Analysis in August 2005, global recorded music sales declined by 2% during 2005

Media 26 January 2006
Mobile TV trial results

The UK’s first two trials of broadcast mobile TV, run by Arqiva/O2 and BT Movio/ Virgin Mobile, reported results in the last week. 3G-based mobile TV is already available in the UK, but its one-to-one nature severely limits the number of simultaneous users; for a mass market service, a broadcast network is required.

The arrival of 21CN, possibly in 2008, will see the launch of rate adaptive ADSL2+ services (up to 18Mbit/s) which should allow around 50% of customers to receive downstream data rates of 8Mbit/s

Telecoms 23 January 2006

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