Friday, June 30, 2006

PAYMENTS://Market expansion will beat Google Checkout's take of PayPal's share

Google strategy regarding the new Checkout is pretty straightforward:
  • Enhance the shopping experience for users, even if they already have PayPal in many cases.
  • Make AdWords more attractive for advertisers. For every $1 spent on keywords, Google will wave fees on $10 of purchases. Google is actually subsidizing Checkout (2% + 20c is less than 1.95% + 30c that credit card companies charge in many cases), so it doesn't aim to create a new revenue source. It's all about volume (compare's free shipping strategy), and about prices as well (higher demand for keywords).

Will Checkout beat PayPal, which actually is a revenue source for eBay? I don't think so.
  • I think the market will expand. There is room for both.
  • Advertisers will not offer Checkout exclusively on their sites. That would be a dumb thing to do, as it would force users to sign up to something totally new.
  • The Yahoo! deal will allow eBay to match Google's Checkout. Yahoo! will push PayPal and Yahoo! Search Marketing could subsidize it. (AdWords + Checkout = YSM + PayPal.)

DIGITAL DIVIDE://Internet coming the Middle East

Arabic content accounts for less than 1% of the internet (and with Google, Amazon, Yahoo! and Microsoft scanning 1,000 book pages an hour, largely English content), that is not about to change.

Or is it? Google is setting up operations in Cairo and Syria is investing an incredible $2.7 bn to create an 'internet city'.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

REGULATION://KPN will lose its battle (this time)

KPN is suing the Dutch state, an 8% shareholder, for unequal treatment. KPN is regulated, whereas cablecos have no open access obligation and are allowed to cross-subsidize.

KPN has a good point of course, but in the end I believe the arguments of the press release and Marcel Smits' (CFO) radio interview are flawed and sometimes even paradoxical.

1. National coverage.
KPN claims cablecos have national coverage. However, telecoms is a scale business, so KPN has a large competitive advantage. What does Casema care if there is a company outside its coverage area? This could change however if UPC would be allowed to snap up Casema and Kabelcom. Once cablecos would consolidate into one national player, would KPN have a strong argument for regulation. The Netherlands are a pretty unique case (together with Belgium), because of the range of the cable networks. Elsewhere in Europe, I believe telcos will always have this competitive advantage. Let's just not hope for the US duopoly model, because that is not good for the broadband market.

2. Line loss.
KPN complains about losing customers. However, I think it is OPTA's mission statement to make KPN smaller. If altnets are to be sustainable, they need clients. And they can only come from KPN. Mission accomplished.

3. Choice.
KPN stresses the imporatance of looking at it from the customer's point of view. There is enough competition, so KPN can be deregulated. But then, why should the cablecos be regulated at all? There is enough choice as it is, right?

4. Innovation.
KPN accuses the cablecos of cross-subsidizing in order to roll-out new services (doesn't that implie rising prices?). In the press release however, there is this statement:
The cable sector, by contrast, has never been regulated. The result is rising prices, no access to cable networks for competing providers and a halt to innovation.

5. Regulation .
KPN is smart enough to propose open access to the planned FTTN/VDSL network. Asking for a regulatory holiday, as Deutsche Telekom does, would undermine the arguments for getting cablecos regulated. However, the street cabinets are simply too small to house alnets' equipment, so (unless you would plan double street cabinets at each location) I can only see resellers, not facilities-based competitors. And a wholesale/resale model requires regulation, I believe. (Look out for Australia too, for new developments.)

6. Structural separation.
KPN points to Britain, where Ofcom is retreating. However, the creation of Openreach was imperative for this to happen. And KPN opposes structural separation.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

VIDEO DISTRIBUTION://Comcast buys thePlatform

Comcast has bought thePlatform, as reports. Not a small one, presumably $80-100m. Back in February the ITVT blog had a worthwile interview with thePlatform CEO Ian Blaine.

Customers include Starz, Verizon Wirless, Amp'd Mobile, MSN, CNBC, ABC News, Court TV, National Geographic, Scripps and of course Comcast. ThePlatform powers video distribution over wireless, broadband or IP STBs. It is much like Brightcove, but that company also inserts ads.

It seems like a pretty striking deal. Comcast will not only enable its own content (which is limited) but also third party content to be distributed to various platforms. It looks like Comcast is extending its reach beyond its cable plant. Also, the upcoming alliance with Sprint Nextel (and TWC, Cox, Advance/Newhouse) can benefit from this technology.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

AUCTION 66://Investors bracing themselves

Take a look at Sprint Nextel. What's wrong here? If you ask Morgan Stanley, it could be the market, slowing growth, the end of the Embarq effect, delayed share buybacks and of course 'low visibility'. But what about Auction 66?

With the FCC AWS Auction #66 (1122 licenses, 90 MHz of spectrum in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands in blocks of 10 or 20 MHz) starting August 9, investors are being cautious. The FCC set a floor price of $2 bn but hopes for $15 bn.

Mobile operators will bid, especially T-Mobile. Leap Wireless and Clearwire (WiMAX) will participate. Sprint Nextel will bid through its joint venture with Comcast, TWC, Cox and Advance/Newhouse. DirecTV could bid together with EchoStar (what ever happened to their wireless BB plan, worth $1 bn?).
Google and Yahoo! will not join, but maybe Intel will (looks like Qualcomm and its MediaFLO network).

FREE SERVICES://GBuy and Jajah to launch

Microsoft and Vodafone plan to add (or expand) a new revenue stream: advertising. In itself, this requires changing to a new business model - no easy task. But it can be done, look at newspaper companies succesfully launching freebies. For users, this is good news: free services.

Enter Google and Jajah.

Google has a long history, or rather a strategy, of turning for-pay services into free services, supported by ads. Look at such services as Gmail and San Francisco WiFi. Now the Wall Street Journal adds some details to the upcoming GBuy trial launch (June 28?). The interesting thing is, the standard tariff (higher than PayPal's) could drop to zero for AdWords clients. The overlap with eBay sellers could be considerable.

Jajah (web-activated VoIP from regular phones and handsets) launches a free service, the Free Global Calling Plan. Free calls, fixed or mobile, for registered users. There is one catch: a 'fair use' policy, "which simply asks people to try to keep their calls within a reasonable amount of minutes. To this end, JAJAH will monitor the number of hours per individual user per day to assure that no single person damages the overall service."
I am curious to know how many minutes that actually is. The average phone call is something like 3 minutes for fixed and 2 minutes for mobile.

Monday, June 26, 2006

EARNINGS SEASON://Google Calendar to the rescue

Keith McMahon of TeleBusillis and myself collaborated on pitting ourselves against the upcoming earnings season. Check out the link on the right.
We will be updating this Google Calendar to make it future proof.

Friday, June 23, 2006

FUN://WPP's Martin Sorrell in Cannes carries Martin Sorrell's performance in Cannes. How's that for self-mockery!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

4G://Industry leaders create lobby forum

Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, KPN, DoCoMo and China Mobile have set up the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Forum. It's a lobby aimed at introducing 4G at acceptable investment levels (as opposed to the costs of UMTS licenses).

Questions raised:
  • The technology is far from decided: HSDPA, MobileFi (802.20), Flash-OFDM (Qualcomm/Flarion), Mobile WiMAX (802.16e), UMTS TDD or TD-CDMA (IPWireless), xMax (rather quiet recently), AIDAAS (little covered), iBurst (ArrayComm), WiFi (the 802.11r standard, which must still be way-off). What time frame are we looking at?
  • What will Sprint Nextel decide to do with its spectrum? How about DirecTV/EchoStar? And NextWave, Clearwire? Where is DoCoMo with its 4G experimenting?
  • Will there be an ITU ruling over which spectrum bands should be used? How about analog TV spectrum?
  • Where is the market (ie demand) going? Will their be true convergence? Do we need IMS before we can move to 4G?
  • Why are some big guys missing from this Forum? (Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint)

CONTENT://Sex sells

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves took serious aim at one of his megastars: "When I took over CBS, Angela Lansbury was the sexiest woman we had on CBS. It's gotten a little better since then, fortunately."

Now what's that supposed to mean?!?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING://PLoS still losing money

Nature obtained the Public Library of Science's annual accounts, and discovered it still loses money. PLoS now raises the fee authors pay (to $2000 or $2500) and plans the launch of PLoS ONE. Add in philanthropy, and PLoS thinks it can reach break-even this year or next.

BB CONSOLIDATION://What comes after O2/Be?

The O2/Telefonica acquisition of Be looks like it will be followed by other PTTs (see Telenor and Telecom Italia abroad or KPN in its home market), altnets (Versatel, QSC, freenet), mobile and satellite operators (Sky in the UK and maybe Italy), and even cable operators (UPC in Austria), not to mention retailers, raising their stakes in the BB market.

Some of the questions this raises:

Monday, June 19, 2006

SEARCH://Speed v. relevancy, availability, distribution and marketing

The subject of search commoditisation returned when Breakingviews stated that it is the hardware that supports Google's near-monopoly, not its algorithm (apparently responding to the New York Times article on the Googleplex).

However, there is more to it than just hardware (i.e. speed):
  • Relevancy: algorithm, index size, personalisation, localisation.
  • Availability: box in your explorer, toolbar, widgets, SMS-search.
  • Distribution: affiliated sites carrying the search engine.
  • Marketing: advertising, loyalty points, word-of-mouth.

TRIPLE PLAY://AT&T launches the 2Wire box 1 year late

AT&T plans the launch of the new Homezone service next month, according to the Wall Street Journal. The 2Wire STB takes center stage: it needs input from the Dish (EchoStar) service for TV content, and a broadband line for movie and other content from Movielink, Akimbo Systems and Yahoo! (photos and music).

The service is exactly one year late (not half a year, as the Journal suggests)and hardly adds anything as compared with the original press release (January 3, 2005).

One can argue that it is a good interim strategy: basically offering VoD (the Wall Street Journal unjustly presents this as a walled garden section of the internet - it really is just movies, plus your own photos and music) to counter triple and quad play services from cable operators. The box is very central. From the customer point of view it really isn't relevant which cables plug into the box (except that the in-home wiring could prove a limitation). Being late however limits the pay-back period of this service, as Lightspeed steams ahead.

Friday, June 16, 2006

WEB APPS://Google copies Yahoo!, watch out for Amazon

The Internet Giants are launching applications at increasing speed (see below). Some remarks:
  • It sure looks like Google is copying Yahoo!, adding content and paid services. Also, Yahoo! is losing momentum in the innovation space.
  • Amazon and eBay are more focused, allowing them to enhance their core business. The flip side being of course that having this core makes them vulnerable. Turning to entry barriers, I suppose Amazon has a higher one, having a huge physical network that none of the others will ever be interested in copying.
  • Amazon can fend off the others by copying the web applications game (remember the huge number of engineers they hired). This works well at fending off Wal-Mart et al as well.

eBay: core in auctions, payments and VoIP:
  • Enhance the core: integrate Skype into Marketplaces, offerAlerts through phone, SMS or IM and VoIP.
  • Auctions (aimed at Google, Yahoo!): trial for TV ads.
  • Paid search (aimed at Google, Yahoo!)
  • Distribute ads (aimed at Google): alliance with Yahoo!
  • Web 2.0 (aimed at Yahoo!, Google, MSN and Netscape (AOL)): social networks around Collectibles; blogs, Wiki; community journalism plans at Craigslist.
  • Retail (aimed at Amazon): eBay Express (new goods without auction, with shopping cart), build a store for Paradise Electronics in China. core in retail:
  • Enhance the core: Amazon Connect (author blogs), exclusive content (from Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Dixie Chicks, M. Night Shyamalan), print-on-demand, DVD-on-demand.
  • Paid search (aimed at Google, Yahoo!): Associated Sponsored Links.
  • Movie/TV and music downloads (to be launched), aimed at Yahoo!, MSN)
  • Alliance in China (aimed at Yahoo!/Alibaba): Joyo + Sohu.
Google: core in search:
  • Enhance the core: expand the Googleplex.
  • Office (aimed at Microsoft): Google Spreadsheet, Writely (to be relaunched), Google Calendar.
  • Content verticals (aimed at Yahoo!): Health, Real Estate, Finance, Shakespeare, Government search
  • Web 2.0 (aimed at Yahoo!): Picasa Web Album, Co-op, Notebook.
  • Paid services (aimed at Yahoo!): Earth Plus and Earth Pro, Picasa.
  • Classifieds (aimed at eBay): Google Base.
  • Payments (aimed at eBay): GBuy.
Yahoo!: core in search, communication, Web 2.0 and content aggregation:
  • Enhance the core (Web 2.0): Answers, Video.
  • Enhance the core (search): Project Panama (not public yet).
  • Enhance the core (content): columnists on Finance, launch Yahoo! Tech.
  • Retail (apart from comparison shopping; aimed at Amazon): acquired 10% of Korea's Gmarket.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

PLACE SHIFTING://Orb Networks trials at Vodafone Germany

Orb Networks has another trial, this time in Germany, for use of its place shifting software in Vodafone 3G devices. The 'Vodafone-Mein PC' trial runs until the end of September.

If it works well (a bandwidth issue, to be solved by HSDPA or WiFi) and is affordable (Vodafone may charge an extra 10 EUR/mo), it looks like a very compelling product. Organize your content at home, and have it available anywhere you have 3G coverage.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

WEB 2.0://Share some T.I.M. content

In the column on the right, I created links to my 'digests' and diary. These are Google Spreadsheet files, that I can share with my readers. Just drop me a mail at, and I will include your email address for access.

Monday, June 12, 2006

REGULATION://Amsterdam munifiber to be allowed after all

The Dutch CDA party has reversed its stance on munifiber once again. Tomorrow in Parliament it will not support an amendment to current law, aiming to keep municipalities out of the telecommunications markets. The party wants to allow munifiber, on the condition that the city would sell its interest after a couple of years.

KEYNOTE://Innovation in voice

The keynote Norman Lewis (France Telecom) gave at eTel is definitely worth a read (thanks to ?? for directing me there).

To summarize:

1. Voice has been around for a long time, without innovation. It's about time.
2. He takes the adage "voice = application" one step further. Voice can be embedded in all sorts of apps, just like time is embedded is much more than just watches. FT issues APIs and the web 2.0 movement will supply apps for it to be embedded in.
3. Telco strenght is in customer service and technicians; authentication and identity management; data. Hence they can lead the way.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

DIGESTS://Telecoms, Internet, Media: June 5-9, 2006

This weeks digests are in the new Google Spreadsheet formats:
Telecoms, Internet, Media

UPDATE: Versions with hyperlinks:
Telecoms, Internet, Media

Friday, June 09, 2006


The open access movement in scientific publishing scores two potentially significant points:
  • Gold road (journal publishing): the Public Library of Science plans PLoS ONE in 06H2. This platform will bundle research from every discipline, with added value. The latter sounds much like Web 2.0: search, tags (annotations and comments), ratings. How will this differ from ScienceDirect (from Elsevier Science)? I wonder what Stevan Harnad and Peter Suber have to say about this.
  • Green road (self-archiving): a JISC-sponsored report (Linking UK Repositories) calls for a major investment in repositories infrastructure. Focus points: search, resource discovery.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

FACTOID://McCaw gets WiMAX, as does Ballmer

As Clearwire extends service to Hunts Point, CEO Craig McCaw does his fellow 500 inhabitants a big service. Among them is Steve Ballmer. It better be a 99.999 service.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

REGULATION://Munifiber in the Netherlands will not happen

The Dutch Christian Democrat Party (CDA) has switched position in the Dutch munifiber debate. It will now support a new bill (amendment to existing laws), explicitly banning municipalities from engaging in any way in munifiber projects.

Dutch parliament is set to vote early next week.

This is a serious set-back for projects like Citynet in Amsterdam, as well as for anyone hoping to have a superior network at relatively low cost. It looks like the cablecos performed some effective lobbying. KPN too will benefit.

DUAL PLAY MARKETING://What's in a name?

Carphone Warehouse offers 'free broadband' (fixed voice + 8 Mbps ADSL for 21 GBP/mo). Orange UK the same (mobile + 8 Mbps ADSL for 30 or more GBP/mo). And now Tele2 Spain offers 50% off your line rental charge.

Basically, all it is, is cross-subsidising and continuously falling prices (equipment, wholesale, retail). Also, establishing a market position by sacrificing margins and aiming for large volumes. Finally, it will force the weak-of-cash out of the market.

TECHNOLOGY://Motorola spearheads DOCSIS and WiMAX

StarHub is nearing the launch of a DOCSIS 3.0 trial, as reported before (but perhaps pushed back a little: 06H2 instead of 06Q3).

This is remarkable for two reasons:
  • DOCSIS 3.0 will allow for speeds up to 100 Mbps, i.e. a VDSL2 rival. Or fiber, for that matter. If it works, the DOCSIS developments take a serious leap. Upgrade to 1 Gbps is possible.
  • Another serious playground for Motorola, besides Pakistan for mobile WiMAX (also 06H2).

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

OBSERVATION://KPN's stealth advance in the broadband market

KPN is buying Demon Internet (70k subs) from Thus for EUR 69m.

This is ISP #7 falling into the hands of the incumbent. I count some 400k subs, or 25% of the current 1.66m BB subs. No immediate reason for OPTA (regulator) to take action, as KPN's BB market share is still just 37.9% (or 39.5% including Demon).

Still, there are some relevant developments:
  • BBned is for sale and KPN is interested.
  • Also, Tiscali could at some point quit the market. Vodafone wants to enter the market, but prefers an infrastructure-light approach. Vodafone and Tiscali do have geographic overlap. What will T-Mobile NL do?
  • KPN also bought Enertel, but without Enertel Wireless (now Worldmax). Similarly, Iskon may have to drop its WiMAX license now that T-HT takes over the company. And Telefonica was not allowed to buy Iberbanda. In other words, WiMAX is a no-go area for many PTT's (but not all).
  • Casema and Kabelcom are for sale. Will the regulator allow UPC (Liberty Global) to expand further? Maybe Cogeco is interested!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

DIGESTS://Telecoms, Internet, Media, May 29 - June 2, 2006



· Telefonica: investor conference: targets for 2009; interested in buying out PT from Vivo; Moody’s affirms Baa1, lowers outlook to negative
· PT: Blackstone, Cinven, KKR, Permira and Providence plan joint bid
· FT: launches Orange brand for consumer services (TV, internet, mobile) in France and the UK June 1; launches Orange brand for business services (IP, IT, enterprise comms, mobile for businesses)
· Magyar Telekom (DT) expands stake in Makedonski Telekommunikacii (MakTel) from 51% to 61%
· T-HT (DT) acquires Iskon Internet (100k subs, label ‘MAXadsl’), EUR 13.7m
· Telekom Slovenije buys 75% of Ipko (ISP Kosovo)
· KPN: XS4ALL acquires Demon Internet (70k subs) from Thus, EUR 69m

· Millicom: talks to suitor
· Vodafone: 05/06, increases dividend and special dividend, stops share buy-back, strategy update, plans DSL; ratings reduced by S&P (A-, outlook stable) and Moody’s (A3, outlook negative)
· 2 Bidders (GSM, CDMA) for fourth license in Jamaica
· Celtel (= MTC) acquires 65% of Vee Networks (Nigeria), $1 bn

· Telio (VoIP, adapter): IPO, 3m shares, range NOK 31-37, trading starts June 2, first price
· AOL rumoured to put AOL UK up for sale (Guardian)

· Vox Mobile wins GSM license, Cegecom/SES wins UMTS license Luxemburg



Copper, xDSL, LLU:
o ComReg (Ireland) asks market to renegotiate LLU
o ONO launches as Telefonica reseller/LLU?

o UPC (Liberty Global) sues Amsterdam for starting work on ‘Citynet’
o NTELOS plans trial with Alcatel

o Ambiant places $10m in convertibles
o Hiawatha Broadband Comms trials in Rochester (Minn)

o Cox trials Camiant’s ‘PacketCable Multimedia’ policy-server for dynamic bandwidth allocation
o Comcast launches temporary doubled speed for downloading (‘PowerBoost’; free for 6 Mbps subs)
o Interkabel (790k subs in Belgium) orders IP NGN from Cisco, with pre-DOCSIS 3.0 (up to 600 Mbps)


o Hardware:
. Netgear intros ‘RangeMax Next ADSL2+’ modem router based on 802.11n
. Airgo, Caton and STM plan WiFi-enabled STB for in-home TV-o-WiFi
o Roaming:
. AT&T deal with WeRoam (total 18k hotspots in Europe)
o Muniwifi:
. New Orleans orders network from EarthLink (with Tropos, Motorola)
. Chicago issues RfP for citywide network

o Regulation:
. EU weighs taxing SMS (EUR 0.015) and email (EUR 0.0000001)
. Slovakia offers third mobile license, bidding deadline July 14
. International roaming: T- Mobile, Orange, TI, Telenor, TeliaSonera and Wind plan 50% tariff redux in European Economic Area (wholesale rate capped at 45 c/min October 2006, 36 c/min October 2007)
o MVNOs:
. CMT (Spain) threatens intervention if no MVNOs by 2007
. AOL Germany plans MVNO this year (Berliner Zeitung)
. Embarq plans service on Sprint Nextel
o Content & services:
. Virgin Mobile USA plans ‘SugerMama’ (ad supported free calls)
. Telcel (Mexico) launches TV with MobiTV
. The 4 German operators join in DVB-H trial

o Pace and Fujitsu plan STB for pay-TV
o Intel issues white papers
o BeotelNet (= Telefonija Serbia) launches network in Belgrade (with Aperto)
o NasionCom plans nationwide network in Malaysia
o Entel Chile plans nationwide network (with Alvarion)
o Iskon Internet (acquired by T-HT = DT) risks losing license for misuse of dominant market position
o Start Telecom plans network in 5 Russian cities by end 2006
o PeterStar plans launch in Kaliningrad late 2006/early 2007
o North Rock Comms plans launch of ‘North Rock Max’


o MantraGroup launchesmobiVoip’ for Palm OS (SIP-based, calls to PSTN)
o Volný (Czech Rep) plans wVoIP
o Bell Canada launches ‘Personal Communications Manager’ (SIP-based, for laptops) with Nortel and NewHeights
o Efonica plans service over secure network, based on Directed SIP P2P (DSP) technology from parent Fusion Telecomms Int
o Skype offers free conferencing from (= Vapps)
o FCC mulls tax

o Bai Shi Tong (= Shanghai Media Group) plans 50-80k subs in Shanghai by end 2006
o AT&T plans launch in Houston July/August, nationwide by end 2008
o Verizon intros ‘FiOS TV Widgets’ (free; interactive weather and traffic feature)
o NetCologne plans launch 2006

o Telekom Austria plans integrating fixed and mobile divisions
o FT launches new Orange brand and ‘Unik’ (mobile + voice-over-WiFi-over-Livebox)
o Agcom (Italy) probes F/M market for competitive advantages

o Net neutrality: US House Judiciary Committee approves net neutrality bill (‘Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006’)



· Google: launches Google Base in Germany; rumoured to plan music downloads; strategy update
· eBay: Skype deal with Dell (pre-installed on notebooks)
· Amazon: promo for Amazon Prime (three months free)
· Yahoo: launches Yahoo Video


· (IAC) adds blog search

WEB 2.0:
· Social networking: launches (beta; random friends)
· Video/image sharing: Cnet launches (free, unlimited); SharpCast opens; Yahoo! launches video uploads/sharing
· Blogs: SixApart launches Vox (formerly Comet; blogging platform with social networking features; free with ads) June 1
· ‘Nearly 50 MM Americans Create Web Content’ (Pew)




o News: Fox’ ‘X-Men 3’ brings in $120.1m in first 4-day weekend (Memorial Day record); plans US launch of ‘The Times’; plans launch of ‘Fox News Business Channel’ June 2006
o Vivendi settles tax dispute over sale of DuPont shares
o Disney: Disney Channel launches broadband channel
o TVN (Poland) buys 82% of Grupo (portal) from ITI Media

o CaiW acquires ONS CAI from ONS Groep
o The America Channel (planned launch late 2006) sues TWC and Comcast to block Adelphia deal
o Essent puts KabelCom (@Home ISP) for sale, possibly EUR 3 bn
o Cogeco Cable acquires Cabovisao (Portugal; 820k homes passed, 264k subs, 611k RGUs), EUR 465m


o Publicis: Whirlpool consolidates creative and media accounts ($120m) at Publicis and Optimedia
o WPP: Groupe Danone places media account ($75m) in review (currently at MediaCom); Nokia puts global account ($175m) in review (mostly at Grey)


· Google rumoured to plan music downloads

· Sling Media: Slingbox launched in the UK, GBP 180
· Orb Networks: intros ‘Orb MyCast’ (plugin for Nullsoft Winamp users); AMD plans ÁMD Live Entertianment Suite
· CinemaNow (Lionsgate, Blockbuster, Microsoft, Cisco, Melo Ventures) adds Buena Vista (Disney) content for download-to-own as well as Warner Bros
· Studios (Paramount, Sony, MGM, Universal, Warner) put Movielink up for sale
· Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Video

Thursday, June 01, 2006

OBSERVATION://Skype/Dell v. Google/Dell

Skype scored a deal with Dell to have its client pre-loaded on a new range of notebooks. That is somewhat remarkable, considering that:

  • Google and Dell recently signed a deal for Google apps to be pre-installed on Dell PCs.
  • Google and Nokia signed a deal to have Google Talk pre-installed on a new Nokia device.
  • Skype-parent eBay formed an alliance with Yahoo!

What can we conclude?

  • Deals are usually non-exclusive (except eBay/Yahoo! and AOL/Google).
  • Microsoft is the company conspicuously missing in the above (but the Messenger interoperability with Yahoo! is due this month).
  • As web apps are seeking to expand exposure, it must be the platform owners that benefit from upfront payments.

DIARY://Telecoms, Internet, Media June 2006


o IPO of Telio (VoIP Norway) (2)
o Telekom Austria integration plan (12)
o Vodafone details B-share arrangement (13)
o KPN: lock-up on state interest (8%) ends (early June) and publishes mobile cost system to calculate cost-based MTA (early June)
o Sprint Nextel closes acquisition of Nextel Partners (late June)

Earnings results:
o Bouygues (8)

o France Telecom launches Orange brand and ‘free’ BB in the UK (1)
o KT launches WiBro
o Disney Mobile (MVNO on Sprint) launches
o ACCA Networks starts WiMAX trial in Tokyo, with Alcatel

Auctions, RfPs:
o Deadline for bids on RfP from Mesa (Arizona) for muniwifi (2)
o Deadline for WLL license offers in Switzerland (6), winners announced (8)
o Deadline for bids on RfC from Singapore for Next Gen National BB Network (15)
o Iraq to auction 2-4 mobile licenses
o Egypt to award third 2G-license (late June, early July)

o WiMAX Conference, Chicago (7-8)
o IMS Evolution Summit, San Diego (26)


Products, services:
o (pay-per-call) launches (1)
o launches ‘Fishbowl with Bill Maher’ (1)
o Google to launch WiFi in Mountain View
o MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger to be interoperable

Events, conferences:
o eBay Live, Las Vegas (13-15)
o Supernova 2006, San Francisco (21)


o Extended offer for VNU shares ends (9), AGM (13)
o Aegis AGM (14)
o Time Warner Cable and Comcast plan closing Adelphia deal (late June, early July)

Launches, releases:
o NBC Universal launches Sleuth cable network (1)
o Movies: Nacho Libre (Paramount, 2), Cars (Pixar/Disney, 9), Superman Returns (Warner, 30)
o DVDs: Firewall (Warner, 6), 16 Blocks (Warner, 13)
o Sony launches Blu-ray notebook, $3500 (24)
o Samsung launches Blu-ray player in the US, $1000 (25)