Sunday, January 24, 2021

Week 3 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

General

  • Telefonica DE: CMD: Strategy update; confirms outlook 2020; raises div to 18c over 2020, sets 18c as floor for 2021-23; 3 growth pillars: 1. Mobile growth: grow market share in rural areas & reinfoice urban, 2. Smart bundling (fixed & mobile, incl FMS) based on tech agnostic approach, 3. Attack in B2B (esp SME) opportunity; takes 10% stake in FTTH venture Unsere Grüne Glasfaser, to invest EUR 100m in FibreCo; target full 5G coverage (>100 Mb/s) by 2025, to sunset 3G 2020-21; to add 1500 built-to-suit (BTS) mobile sites (via Telxius) by 2025; guidance 2020-22: cum rev growth >= 5%, margin higher, capex/rev 17-18% in 2020-21, normalising from 2022; to be climate neutral by 2025
  • Deutsche Telekom: Merges T Infra NL (3150 towers & rooftops; rev EUR 60m, EBITDA AL 30m, plus EUR 250m loan) with Cellnex NL (984 towers acquired 2016-17 for EUR 492m) for 38% stake to be held by newly established DIV, total 4314 sites (incl 180 build-to-suit sites), DT to deconsolidate, Cellnex expects rev contribution EUR 63m, FCF to increase EUR 30m, T-Mobile NL to lease for 15 yr (automatic renewal 10 yr); establishes Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV, independent mgt, focus on European digital infra (fiber, tower, datacenters, open to institutional investors, DT to hold 25%), DT contributes EUR 400m, Cellnex EUR 200m, with dealflow agreement for future transactions in European towers (Cellnex to co-invest for 51% stake) `
  • Orange: Establishes Orange Concessions, 50/50 with consortium of La Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts), CNP Assurances, EDF Invest, call option for Orange to take control & consolidate, to close end 2021; co-control; 23 PIN networks, 4.5m FTTH lines (plugs) (built or to-be-built), valuation EUR 2.675b [ie sells 50% stake for EUR 1.33b]; roll-out & maintenance by Orange - To decide on towers 210218
  • Elisa: Establishes JV with Lounea (western Finland, #4 operator) to create nationwide FTTP network
  • VOO (= Nethys (= Enodia), Brutele): Rumor: Brutele (owned by 30 munis) to sell to Enodia
Results
  • Telia: 20Q4
  • ProSieben: 20Q4 prelim; Mediaset Spain raised stake by 3.43% to 13.18%
  • Netflix: 20Q4    
Other
  • Sunrise UPC: Integration leads to reorganisation and job cuts (significantly less than 30%) (Sunrise had 1763 FTE, UPC CH 1500)
  • Amazon: CIRP: Amazon Prime reaches 142m subs in US YE 2020 o/w 52% on annual tier
  • Iliad: Targets carbon neutrality by 2035, 10 pledges
  • Tele2: Launches new sustainability strategy, 4 focus areas: 1. Advance circular economy to combat climate change, 2. Maximize potential through an inclusive and diverse workplace, 3. Boost innovation for sustainability, 4. Protect children in a connected society

Networks

Fixed

  • Finder (Australia): 85% of users stream online o/w 36% experience buffering weekly, 16% daily
  • France gvt allocated EUR 570m for FTTP rural expansion (total EUR 3.57b)
  • Ookla Speedtest Global Index (Dec 20): global average FBB 96/52 Mb/s, MBB 47/13 Mb/s; FBB: Thai #1 (308), Sing #2 (245 Mb/s), HK #3 (227), RO #4 (191), CH #5 (189), NL #26 (136); MBB: Qatar #1 (178), UAE #2 (178), S Korea #3 (169), China #4 (156), Australia #5 (113), NL #9 (101)
  • EC approves public funding for FTTI (12k schools) in Italy, EUR 325m
  • FTTH

Wireless

  • Telekom DE and Telefonica DE to share several hundred sites (incl active network) for 4G (800 band) in grey areas in 2021 - Also between Vodafone DE and Telefonica DE
  • Agcom (IT): average data consumption 20Q3: 9.2 GB/mo (+48%)
  • 5G
    • Inventec and Affirm (Microsoft) partner to develop smart industry solutions
    • Salt Home (FWA over 5G & 4G; with Gigabox: outdoor antenna, WiFi 6 router) coverage reaches 2m pops (>50%); max 400 Mb/s over 4G, 1 Gb/s over 5G
    • Mobily (KSA) demos network slicing (RAN, Core & transport; separates critical traffic from general internet traffic) for FWA (over 5G and 4G) in Riyadh, with Nokia; enables prioritising customers (service tiers for consumer or enterprise) and premium services (voice, data, gaming, home office apps etc)
    • SmarTone (HK) launches 5G SmarTransport Safety Monitoring System, with Route 3: provides video footage from tunnels and highways to control room (motion-detection cameras, ML/AI analytics
  • LEO

Services

Video

  • Youfone: To expand to BE on Proximus networks (fixed & mobile), to launch April 2021
  • Pluto TV (= ViacomCBS): Expands to FR 210208, 40 channels; next to expand to IT, end 2021
  • Lionsgate: Expands Lionsgate Play to Indonesia
  • Newsplayer+: Launches in UK; live news channels, 2.50 GBP/mo; channels: Al Jazeera, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg’s Quicktake, Euronews, Newsmax, Africanews, Germany’s DW-TV, France 24, China’s CGTN, India’s NDTV 24×7, Israel’s i24, Russia’s RT, Australia’s Ticker, Turkey’s TRT, US network NewsNet
  • Critics’ Choice Awards TV nominations: Netflix 26 (6 for The Crown, 6 for Ozark), HBO 22

Smart city

  • Turk Telecom launches smart city platform (50 services: next-generation transportation, energy, environment, health, life, security) in 9 cities

Regulatory

Spectrum

  • Subtel (Chile) plans 5G auction 210208: 700 MHz (2x10 MHz), AWS = 1800 & 2100 MHz (2x15 MHz), 3.5 GHz (150 MHz), 26 GHz (400 MHz), valid 30 yr; Claro, Entel, WOM interested, to be awarded 26 GHz spectrum without tender
  • PTS (Sweden) raises SEK 2.32b from auction (2.3 & 3.5 GHz, valid 25 yr until 451231); Telia SEK 760m for 120 MHz in 3.5 GHz band, Net4Mobility (= Te;e2, Telenor) SEK 666m for 100 MHz in 3.5 GHz band, 3 Sweden SEK 491m for 100 MHz in 3.5 GHz band, teracom SEK 400m for 80 MHz in 2.3 GHz band

Platforms


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Netflix 20Q4: better than expected, no more need for fund raising, market cap approaching USD 250b

Netflix 20Q4 results
  • Shareholder letter
  • Presentation
  • Global paying subs 204m, net additions 8.5m
  • ARM USD 11.02 (-0.4%)
  • Revenue USD 6.64b (+21.5%)
  • Operating income USD 954 million (+108%), margin 14.4%
  • Net income USD 542 million (-7.6%)
  • Delta cash USD -183m
  • Cash & equivalents at end USD 8.24b
  • Cash spent on streaming content USD 3.85b (TTM USD 12.5b)
Targets
  • 2021 oper margin 20% (raised from 19%), to grow margin average 3 pp/yr
  • 2021 FCF around break-even (raised from between -1b and break-even)
  • "We believe we are very close to being sustainably FCF positive"
  • "We believe we no longer have a need to raise external financing for our day-to-day operations"
  • To repay 210201 bond maturing out of cash, to maintain $10-15b in gross debt
  • Plans SBB (as in 2007-11)
Viewing stats first 4 weeks
  • The Midnight Sky 72m
  • Over the Moon 43m
  • We Can Be Heroes 53m
  • Holidate 68m
  • The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two 61m
  • Just Another Christmas 26m
  • Barbarians 37m
  • Sweet Home 22m
  • Selena: The Series 25m
  • Alice in Borderland 18m
  • Lupin expected 70m
  • The Queen’s Gambit 62m
Other
  • Currently >500 titles in post-production or launch preparation
  • To provide update on LT stock performance in each Q4 report
  • To roll out Shuffle Play globally 21H1
  • Share price after close +13% to USD 565, market cap USD 249b

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Week 2 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

  • Deutsche Telekom: FD: plans to sell T-Mobile NL, EUR 4-5b, PE candidates: Apollo, Cinven, Providence, Warburg Pincus, Apex - Handelsblatt: to sell T-Mobile NL or sell minority of T-Mobile NL + IPO of infrastructure [Deutsche Funkturm]
  • Orange: Spins off Orange Ventures, allocation EUR 350m; focus on cybersecurity, digital enterprise, mobile financial services. e-health
  • Telefonica: Telxius Telecom (Telefonica Infra 50.01%, KKR 40%, Pontegadea (Amancio Ortega) 10%) sells Europe & Latam units (30722 towers in ES, DE and Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile; EBITDA AL TTM EUR 190m) to American Tower, EUR 7.7b cash (pro forma 30.5x EBITDA AL), capital gain EUR 3.5b, reduces net debt EUR 4.6b, reduces leverage 0.3 pp; ATC to expand tower network by 3300 in DE, Brazil for $500m by 2025
  • BT: Establishes BT Digital 210401, appoints Harmeen Mehta (formerly Bharti Airtel, BBVA, HSBC, BoA) to head as CTIO: accountability for IT, digital innovation, BT-wide business transformation, data & product strategy - Appoints Howard Watson CTO: network strategy, network transformation & service platforms, cyber & information security; establishes Technology Advisory Board with Daniela Rus, Mike Young, John Stecher, Shweta Sharma, Steve King, Dame Wendy Hall; CSTP Mike Sherman exits, roles move to Digital and CFO
  • Vodafone
    • Vodafone UK transfers 50% stake in Cornerstone (Telefonica O2 UK 50%; 14200 macro sites, 1400 micro sites; 2019/20 EBITDA AL GBP 111ml leverage remains 3.0-4.0, distributes 100% of excess cash) to Vantage Towers (total 82k macro sites in 10 countries), reaches Master Services Agreements for 8 yr; to add 1200 new macro sites by 2025 & 1950 new passive tenancies by 2024 (FY EBITDA GBP 17.5m by 2026E)
    • Vodafone IE launches sub-brand Clear Mobile: low-cost, SIM-only, online-only; 13 EUR/mo for unlimited voice, text, data (max 5 Mb/s)
  • Bouygues Telecom: Capital Markets Day (Ambition 2026) - Details
  • Elisa: Acquires camLine Group (industrial software) for smart factory applications
  • MasMovil (KKR, Cinven, Providence): Nowo (Portugal, won 1800 spectrum for EUR 54m) to enter PT market with 4G network
  • Gamma: 20Q4 trading statement, expects 2020 EBITDA above forecast; full results 210323
  • Snap: Acquires StreetCred (platform for location data)
  • Poshmark: Prices IPO at $14, raises $277m from 6.6m new shares, valuation $3.5b (fully diluted)
  • Affirm: Prices IPO at $49 (range was 41-44), valuation $11.9b, raises $1.2b by selling 24.6m shares; symbol AFRM - First trade at $90.90, closes at $97.24 (+98%) 
  • Walmart: Plans fintech company, with Ribbit Capital

Networks

General

  • Deutsche Telekom: Launches Access 4.0 platform (A4; software-defined, disaggregated, highly automated, microservice-based), first for FTTH line in Stuttgart, also supports other telco edge (incl Open RAN); BNG (Broadband Network Gateway) functionality developed by RtBrick

Fixed/FTTP

Mobile/5G

  • United Internet: To start mobile network construction summer 2021
  • GSA: 5G ecosystem at 201231: 559 devices (278 smartphones, 108 FWA devices, 26 hotspots, 9 laptops, 8 tablets) announced across 20 form factors from 108 vendors o/w 335 (233 smartphones, 35 FWA devices, 16 hotspots, 1 laptop, 6 tablets) commercially available
  • Vodafone Greece launches as #3 5G network in Athens & Thessaloniki, target 40% pops coverage by 220331
  • NBN demos long-range mmWave FWA over 5G, with Ericsson, Qualcomm, Casa Systems: 1 Gb/s at 7.3 km
  • 3 UK plans Private 5G at Port of Felixstowe, GBP 3.4m, with Cambridge University, Blue Mesh Solutions, Ericsson, Siemens (part of UK gvt 5G Trials & Testbeds Programme); remote-controlled cranes via CCTV, IoT sensors, AI to optimise the predictive maintenance cycle
  • O2 UK plans 5G mobile based platform to broadcast events in stadiums and other venues, with Digital Catapult, Global Wireless Solutions, Rohde & Schwarz, DTG; receive GBP 1.3m from UK gvt (5G Create); total investment GBP 2.3m
  • Nokia partners with GCP (Google) to jointly develop cloud-native 5G core solutions to develop the network edge as a business services platform for enterprises

WiFi

LEO
  • Starlink receives Ofcom (UK) approval for terminals (CPE); plans UK trial: 84 GBP/mo for 100-150 Mb/s, equipment GBP 440
  • Eutelsat raises EUR 200m debt from EIB to roll out Konnect VHTS (Very High Throughput Satellite) programme
  • OneWeb downsizes target LEO constellation to 7k sats (from 48k) - Raises $400m from SoftBank Group (350) & Hughes Network Systems (50); total raised $1.4b fully funds 648 sats by YE 2022

Services

IPTV

  • AT&T closes AT&T TV Now (originally DirecTV Now: OTT-TV) for new subs; adds AT&T TV tiers without contract: Entertainment Plan 70 $/mo (65 channels), Choice Plan 85 $/mo (65 chanels + RSN + HBO Max for 1 yr), Ultimate 95 $/mo (130 channels), Premier 140 $/mo (140 channels); plans contain less storage (20 hr; 500 ht for 10 $/mo), no Android TV STB
  • Community Fibre (London) launches TV service, with Netgem, 10 GBP/mo for BB subs: 135 channels, streaming (VOD (30k hr), catch-up (25 services)), 4K STB`; also fixed telephony service, unlimited nat fixed & mobile calls 10 GBP/mo
  • Swan (MNO Slovakia) plans Anroid TV based IPTV service for STB and smart TV

B2B

Bundling with non-telco service

Broadband-only

  • Jazztel (= Orange ES) launches BB-only 600/600 Mb/s service, 30 EUR/mo (add-on unlimited nat fixed & mobile calls 3 EUR/mo)

Smart city

Video

Gaming

Regulatory

Telecoms

Platforms

  • Google
    • Google Search sued by Rumble over “unfairly rigging its search algorithms” to place YouTube above Rumble in its search results
    • NOS: royalties rev 2012-2019 through NL to Bermuda EUR 128b, avoided EUR 38b in US taxes, paid EUR 25m in tax in NL
  • Amazon: Connecticut starts investigation of e-books market - Sued in CALS for driving up prices 30% in collusion with Big 5 publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster)
  • Facebook:
  • Capitol Hill attack 210106:
    • Platforms ban POTUS Trump after assault on Capitol Hill (210106): Reddit, Amazon (AWS), Twitch, Shopify, Twitter, Google (Play Store), YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Apple (App Store), Discord, Pinterest, Stripe
    • PGA Tour
    • Facebook halts political spending
    • Facebook removes content containing 'stop the steal'
    • Twitter updated coordinated harmful activity policy, deleted 70k Qanon accounts
    • Parler sues Amazon (AWS)
    • List of worries over content moderation
    • Reports: downloads for alternative social networks (MeWe, CloutHub, Signal, Telegram, Rumble) rise
    • YouTube bans Trump for 1 week
    • Amazon removes Qanon merchandise
    • YouTube blocks Trump channel for uploads and live streams
    • Snapchat permanently bans Trump's account from 210120
    • Airbnb cancels bookings in Washington DC week to inauguration day 210120
    • Google suspends political ads in US around inauguration
    • Bumble (social net) (re)instates political filter to block terrorists involved in Capitol Hill attack (also: Tinder, Match)


Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 1-2

Movies - scripted
Series - scripted
  • Animated series Kid Cosmic premieres 210202
  • Orders season 3 of The Umbrella Academy (10 episodes)
  • Series Lupin (France, Omar Sy, 5 episodes) premieres 210108
  • Series Bridgerton to have 8 seasons
  • Bonding: Season 2 premieres 210127
  • Snowpiercer Season 2 (Sean Bean, 10 episodes) premieres 210126 (also on TNT)
  • Orders series The Lincoln Lawyer (David E Kelley, 10x60 min) from A+E Studios
  • Orders series Feria (Spain)
  • Movie Below Zero (Spain) premieres 210129
  • Series Firefly Lane (Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke) premieres 210203
  • Comedy series The Crew (about NASCAR, Kevin James) premieres 210215
Movies - unscripted
Series - unscripted

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Proximus Fiber Update - and where it came from

The Proximus FTTH strategy evolving from 2016 up to 2021. Presentation and Q&A for the latest session (Fiber Update) available.

20161216: Fiber for Belgium

  • FTTH expansion from 2017, currently 6k homes on active fiber in greenfields; recently switched to GPON for brownfields in Brussels; 99% (very) satisfied; pilot in Veurne; FTTO YE 2016: 6100 businesses; plans FTTP expansion from 2017 (currently 6k business FTTO subs)
  • Fiber capex EUR 3b in 10 yr; total capex 2017-2019 1b EUR/yr, capex/rev remains <18%, fiber to account for 1/3 of capex by 2019; net debt/EBITDA remains ~1; div stable at 1.50 EUR/share; first in Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Gent, Namen, Roeselare; focus on dense areas that also have many enterprises; target 85% of businesses (p2mp GPON); >50% of homes (p2mp GPON); LT target 100% coverage in urban areas; also Deurne, Hasselt; FTTO: 40% after 3 yr, 65% after 5 yr, >85% after 10 yr; FTTH: 7% after 3 yr, 18% after 5 yr, 40% after 10 yr, >50% after 15 yr; churn down, ARPU up; consumer: regain market share; business: upsell, retaining customers, putting them on a higher value product and enabling adjacent IT solution sales
  • Outside cities: no FTTH but average distance to optical node (fiber distribution point) to be reduced to 350 meters (currently 530 meters); FTTC + ultra-vectoring at 17-35 MHz (250 Mbps at 300 meters, 200 Mbps at 400 meters); end-to-end fiber only for enterprises; possibly G.fast for MDUs, but preference for fiber technology: GPON, wall mounting + underground (~50/50), in time decommmission copper
  • Short-term opex (maintenance) per customer reduction from fiber 20% (lower power, less real estate, longer equipment lifecycle); also avoid renewal costs of copper; plans opex savings EUR 150m 2015-19 (from the 2015 level), total gross savings EUR 400m; densify mobile network in dense urban areas
  • Cost per home EUR 1,000; cost of in-home wiring is included; focus on dense areas, wall-mounting, pre-termination of homes that are passed (~70%; Belgium has relatively few MDUs and few ducts on the distribution side; machinery needs to scale up, targets roll-out speed at peak >4% of total homes per year; capex flattish after 2019: enterprise (more expensive per customer) will go down; consumer becomes more expensive per home; to reduce IT spending from SDN/NFV, standard software solutions; fiber is not regulated; may look into co-investment, however:: "So it’s fully funded by Proximus and we prefer to do it on our own and be the owner of the fiber that we lay in these areas." fiber against Docsis 3.1: speed, symmetry, latency, reliability; house value in the Netherlands increased 3% from FTTH

20200331: Capital Markets Day: #inspire2022

  • 4 pillars: 1. accelerate connectivity products & services, 2. digital transformation initiatives to improve NPS, opex CAGR negative 1-2%, remove all legacy IT by 2025, 3. achieve profitable growth by 2022, partnerships (Micosoft Azure), 4. embed sustainability & digital inclusion throughout the organisation
  • To launch 5G 200401
  • To expand FTTH plan by 800k HP to 2.4m by 2025 (instead of 2030), increases capex to 1.3b EUR/annum until 2025, financed by higher debt (EUR 600m), assets sales (EUR 700m), dividend reduction 20% (to min EUR 1.20 2020-2022), partnerships
  • To launch FTTH (1 Gb/s) subscription add-on, 15 EUR/mo
  • Establishes Network Business Unit (wholesale)
  • Targets 2020: FCF (EBITDA - capex) 780-800m

20201127: JV with EQT Infrastructure V [via Delta Fiber]

  • To close 21Q1
  • To connect 1.5m premises in medium dense Flanders by 2028 to open FTTP
  • To be owned 49.9% by Proximus, EQT 50.1%
  • Target 4.2m premises (= 70%) in BE by 2028 remains; interim target 2025 raised 30%

20201208: Fiber in Brussels

  • Plans full FTTH coverage (600k HP) in Brussels (Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest) by end 2026
  • Partners Actiris, Bruxelles Formation, VDAB Brussel (600 jobs)
  • Target 4.2m HP YE 2028 (currently 400k, rollout in 16 cities)
  • Plans 50k in Brussels YE 2020, to add 100k/yr from 2022
  • Ultimate coverage target BE 70%

20210115: Fiber Update

  • Ownership
    • Eurofiber JV (0.5m HP in medium dense Wallonia by 2028) to be 50.1% owned by Eurofiber, Proximus 49.9%
    • May consolidate EQT and Euriber JVs by acquiring 2 shares; has option to add 10% in EQT Flanders JV
    • Blended ownership of Belgian FTTP 76% (80% incl extra 10% in Flanders JV)
  • Coverage
    • Reached 460k FTTP premises in 16 cities (80 building streams) YE 2020
    • New target to 4.2m HP (70%) by 2028
    • 100% owned FTTH in dense Flanders & Wallonia 100% of Brussels: 2.2m HP by 2028
    • Target >150 building streams in 2021, agreements in place with >30 cities; to add ~600k premises/yr in 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026
  • Capex/Opex
    • Brownfield costs per HP to be reduced 10% in 2021-23, further 10% in 2024-26
    • Partners expertise used for less dense areas
    • Plans copper phase-out max 5 yr after fiber launch
    • Capex peak in 2022 <EUR 1.3b; JVs save EUR 500m capex 2020-25
    • Opex/customer -55%
    • Fiber/non-fiber capex to rebalance from 20/80 in 2019 to 40/60 in 2025 on own network
    • JV funding: partners equity injections 20-30%, 60-70% from JV debt, remainder (10-15%) from EBITDA
  • Technology
    • JVs deploy passive AON networks (P2P), allowing unbundling (3rd-party active layer)
    • Proximus to build own active layer in 100% owned network
  • Commercial
    • Adds wholesale services on all FTTH networks
    • Speed-based retail pricing, from 100 Mb/s: 350 Mb/s +5 EUR/mo, 500 Mb/s +11 EUR/mo, 1 Gb/s +15 EUR/mo
    • Fiber gains Residential: ARPC +10%, gross gains x2; fiber gains Enterprise: churn -25%, data ARPU +22%; migration rate after 3 yr 70%; overall fiber gains: ARPU +EUR 7, churn -25%
  • Corporate
    • Cumulative FCF 2021-25 unchanged from CMD 200308
    • Div policy unaffected: 1.2 EUR/share in 2020-22, return to div coverage in medium term


Bouygues Telecom Capital Markets Day: Ambition 2026

Targets: outgrow the French market
  • 2026 service revenues >EUR 7b (2020: 4.9), EBITDA AL 2.5b (2020: 1.5), margin 35% (2020: 31), FCF 600m (2020: 250)
  • Capex 2021-25 1.5b per yr, 2026 1.4b; (includes costs of replacing Huawei, 2021 includes EIT integration 140m), capex/rev from 25% in 2020 to 20% in 2026
  • Plans to sell datacenter (proceeds 2021E 200m)
  • Growth in 2 stages: 2021-23 faster growth, margin stable (growth in fixed, densification mobile, integration EIT), 2024-26 ongoing growth, economies of scale
Mobile: become #2 MNO
  • Continues more-for-more strategy, consolidate 2nd ranked mobile network, become #2 MNO by adding 4m subs
  • To increase coverage to 28k sites in 2023, 35k in 2026 (2020: 21k), to quadruple mobile network capacity by 2026
  • Expects average market usage of mobile data to double by 2023 to 20.4 GB/mo, again double by 2026 to 40.8 GB/mo
  • Plans 5G Core from 2023
Fixed: to add 3m FTTH subs
  • To add 3m FTTH subs based on more-for-more strategy, best devices, double coverage from 17m HP YE 2020 to 35m YE 2026 (27m YE 2022)
  • To double market share in business market
  • To expand wholesale fixed offering
Press release and presentation available (210115).

Monday, January 11, 2021

Week 1 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

  • Orange:  Orange Bank acquires Anytime (banking for SOHO & SME)
  • Telefonica: Rumor: to sell Movistar Chile; Liberty Latin America, Claro, Entel interested
  • Altice Europe: EGM approves Next offer
  • Vodafone:
  • Vivendi: Tribunal in Lazio rules that Vivendi can exercise full voting rights with Mediaset stake
  • Roblox: Raises $520m at 45.00 $/share for $29.5b valuation from Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer Investment, Warner Music etc; plans IPO through direct listing
  • Niantic: Acquires Mayhem (gaming platform)
  • Atos: Offer for DXC Technology (enterprise services, spun off from HP in 2017), $10b
  • Google:
    • Workers establish Alphabet  Workers Union
    • Rumor: to invest $100m in ShareChat, total $200m with Snap, Twitter, others; valuation >$1b [see 201125]
  • Amazon:
    • Buys 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, 7 from Delta, 4 from WestJet, to be activated 2022
    • Launches Housing Equity Fund, $2b in 5 yr: preserve & create >20k affordable housing units near headquarters in Washington State’s Puget Sound region; Arlington (Virginia), Nashville (Tennessee)
  • Twitter: Acquires Breaker (social podcasting app) to build Twitter Spaces, Breaker app to close 210115
  • eBay: Rumor: to sell S Korean unit (Gmarket); MBK Partners, Affinity Equity Partners, KKR, Anchor Equity Partners interested
  • LG acquires controlling stake in Alphonso (data analytics, media planning & activation, video AI capabilities), $80m

Networks

FTTH

  • KPN: Acquires 3 networks from Digitale Stad (Delta Rijssen Glasvezel Investeringen), 7700 premises: rural Westerveld (Drenthe), Lingewaard, Berg en Dal (Gelderland)

5G

Hardware

Video

  • General:
    • Critics Choice Super Awards: winners The Boys (Amazon), Palm Springs (Hulu), Soul (Disney), Netflix (5 awards: Da 5 Bloods, BoJack Horseman, The Old Guard)
  • Cyfrowy Polsat launches SmartDOM bundles (BB, FT, OTT-TV): Basic 20 PLZ/mo, Comfort 30 PLZ/mo (45 channels)
  • Netflix:
    • Viewing stats: series Bridgerton viewed (>2 min) by >63m HH since premiere (201225); movie We Can Be Heroes viewed by 44m HH since premiere 201225, movie Midnight Sky viewed by 72m in first 4 weeks
    • Pauses filming due to corona virus
    • Leases production studio space at 2 facilities in S Korea
    • To raise prices UK Feb 2021: Basic, Standard, Premium from 6, 9, 12 to 6, 19, 14 GBP/mo
  • Walt Disney:
    • Star (tab within Disney+ [see 201210]) to contain ABC and Hulu titles
    • Disney+ raises prices (on addition of Star tab) 210223 in Europe for new subs (for existing subs from 210823) from 7 to 9 EUR/mo or from 70 to 90 EUR/yr
    • Disney+ distr deal with StarHub for Singapore from 210223
  • WarnerMedia (AT&T): HBO Max to end distr via Amazon Channels (in exchange orders AWS)
  • Discovery: Launches in US with apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, iOS, Android, web; to add discovery+ Channels (24/7 feeds of favorite shows) end Jan 2021; linear Discovery channels on rival OTT-TV platforms (Philo, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV) remain; distr deal for Discovery+ with Vodafone for 12 European countries (100m subs): UK (mobile only), IE, DE, Turkey (mobile only), IT, ES, PT, RO, GR, CZ, HU, Iceland; free promos varying by country; distr deal with Amazon Prime Video for Amazon Channels frrom later in 2021 - Launches also in Europe (NL, IT), replacing Dplay and Eurosport Player - Reconsiders JV Joyn in DE (with P7S1) - Distr deal with Starzplay for MENA
  • Quibi (closed): Sells >75 series & docus to Roku, to be added to Roku Channel (AVOD), 
    rumored price <$100m 
  • Struum: Plans launch of a la carte streaming service. licenses titles from >30 VOD services (total 20k titles); 10 $/mo for 100 credits, to be redeemed for programs, number of credits case-by-case; may refer to services for subscriptions 

Regulatory

Telecoms
  • Ofcom (UK) confirms EE (BT), Vodafone, 3 UK (CK Hutchison), O2 UK (Telefonica) as bidders in 5G auction (700 MHz, 3.6-3.8 GHz)
  • Orange FR & Free (Iliad) share rural sites & passive infra, 5 yr from 20Q1
Platforms
  • Italian court rules against ‘discriminatory’ Deliveroo rider-ranking algorithm
  • US POTUS Trump signs Executive Order banning 8 Chinese mobile apps: Alipay (= Ant Group), QQ Wallet & WeChat Pay (= Tencent), CamScanner, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate (= UCWeb = Alibaba Group), WPS Office (= Beijing Kingsoft Office Software)
  • Kenya launches Digital Services Tax 210101 for ownloadable & streaming digital content: 1.5% of gross transaction value (excl VAT)
  • Platforms ban POTUS Trump after assault on Capitol Hill: Reddit, Amazon (AWS), Twitch, Shopify, Twitter, Google (Play Store), YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Apple (App Store), Discord, Pinterest, Stripe
  • Google: CMA (UK) starts antitrust investigation into 3rd-party cookie removal for Chrome browser by 2022, to be replaced by Privacy Sandbox (framework for delivering targeted advertisements without letting personalized user data enter the hands of third parties)
  • Amazon: CCI (India) asks competitors info in antitrust case over treatment of large 3rd-party sellers [see 200914]
  • Facebook:
    • High Court Vienna in case against Max Schrems: GDPR (based on Art 6) doesn't require Facebook to obtain users' consent to use their data (covered by user contract); Schrems to appeal at OGH (Austrian Supreme Court) to se if consent based on contract is sufficient
    • Italy court upholds fine (EUR 3.8m, originally EUR 350k) for copying location app (Nearby) from  Business Competence’s app Faround
    • WhatsApp updates ToS from 210208 outside EU/ UK: mandates data-sharing with Facebook (no opt-out)


Monday, January 04, 2021

Week 53 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Mobile

  • Auctions
  • 5G
    • Dtac (= Telenor, Total Access Comms, Thailand) orders 5G RAN from Nokia - Launches 5G-700 201224, target 2k sites by mid Jan 2021
    • TIM Brasil launched 5G based on DSS in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba; to expand to Salvador, Fortaleza, Recife, Belem, Campinas, Santos, Florianopolis (total 12 cities) by March 2021
  • 6G: S Korea to invest SKW 5.8t ($5.3b) in 2021 on ICT R&D o/w SKW 17.2b ($15.7m, EUR 12.8m) on 6G

Traffic

  • DNA (Telenor): average FWA usage July-Aug 2020: FWA 5G modem 576 GB (75% over regular 5G modem, 250% over 4G modem), regular 5G modem 330 GB, 4G modem 168 GB, 3G modem 38 GB; average mobile usage July-Aug 2020: 5G 59 GB (32% over 4G), 4G 44 GB, 3G 10 GB; usage by media: 40% video, 10% social networking, 1% music
  • New Year's Eve

    • 3 Denmark: total mobile data usage 2020 320TB (+44%), usage per customer +39%, outgoing texts -5%, outgoing calls +21%; plans 4G upgrade in 2021
    • Telenet New Years Eve mobile traffic: 4.31m texts (-47%), 100 GB data (-24%) [due to corona virus: at home, using WiFi]
    • WhatsApp New Years Eve voice & video calls 1.4b (+50%); 55m live broadcasts on Facebook & Instagram; Messnger group video calls US doubled from average day
    • KPN New Years Eve traffic: 248 TB over mobile (+26%; 2019: 197); 1.8m SMS (2019: 2.4m); 3.8m voice calls (2019: 4.1m)
    • VodafoneZiggo New Years Eve traffic: mobile 185 TB (+28%); fixed peak 540 Gb/s over WiFi (+55% yoy; 2019: 350 Gb/s)
    • Vodafone NZ New Years Eve mobile traffic: data +80% yoy to 630 TB (2019 NYE: 350), SMS -11%

Telecoms

  • Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global): Competitors file complaints against O2 merger: could lead to higher mobile prices [see 200908]

Media

  • ESPN (Walt Disney): ESPN+ raises price of annual tier 210108 from 50 to 60 USD/yr for new subs (for existing subs from 210302) (monthly tier remains 6 EUR/mo, bundle with Disney+ & Hulu remains 13 $mo until 210326 [see 201210]); UFC PPV events price to rise from USD 65 to 70
  • Quibi (dissolved): WSJ: to sell content catalog to Roku

Internet

Platforms