Sunday, June 28, 2020

Week 26 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


Deutsche Telekom
SoftBank to sell 198.3m T-Mobile US shares o/w 133.5m to be offered to public (to be listed 200624) and max 10.0m to be bought by DT; Marcelo Claure (SoftBank COO) to buy 5m shares; T-Mobile US to distribute rights to shareholders as of 200625 (to buy 0.05 share); SoftBank's stake to be reduced to 8.6%, DT's rises to 43.5%; SoftBank to raise $21b - Sells 143m shares at $103 each + greenshoe 10.75m shares

Reviews banking partners


Gvt IT considers CDP raising stake to ~25% (by buying out Vivendi) to force networks merger with Open Fiber

Rumor: Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) builds stake

Sells Digital Money Myanmar stake (34.2%) to Yoma Strategic Holdings, EUR 67.7m

TPG shareholders approve VHA merger, to close 200713, name change to TPG Telecom 200629    

Acquires MVNO Euro-Information Telecom (EIT; brands: Auchan Telecom, Cdiscount Mobile, CIC Mobile, Credit Mutuel Mobile, NRJ Mobile; >2m subs) from Credit Mutuel, EUR 530m + earn-out EUR 140-325m, to close end 2020; distr deal with Credit Mutuel/CIC (4200 branches)

Acquires 30% stake in Instadrone (drone pilot service); part of Solid-19 initiative

Altice Europe
Sells remaining Altice USA stake (17.9m shares)

Sidewalk Labs plans to spin out more smart city companies
Rumor: to acquire North (Canada), $180m: smart glasses; raised $160m

AWS order from Formula 1 for racing performance stats
Leases warehouse (1.5m ft^2) in NYC (Maspeth, Queens) & office/warehouse property under construction in Red Hook (Brooklyn)
CMA (UK) approves acquisition of 16% stake in Deliveroo
Buys naming rights for Seattle's new NHL home: to be named Climate Pledge Arena
Rumor: to acquire Zoox, >$1b: self-driving tech [see 200526] - Confirms, to remain stand-alone business, rumored price >$1.2b
Launches Smart Stores program in India at >10k stores: QR code to see items in stock, discounts, reviews

Facebook Gaming app rejected by Apple App Store for iOS
Acquires Ready at Dawn Studios (VR studio, created Lone Echo)
Instagram expands Shopping to more businesses (incl creators) - Expands Reels to FR, DE [a la TikTok, see 191112]
Trials Forecast app (developed by NPE Team) in US, Canada: crowd-sourced predictions (eg on corona virus)

Launches first shoppable show (Snap Original): The Drop - Has 229m DAU o/w 100m in US, reaches 90% of 13-24 year-olds in US

WWDC: launches macOS 11 Big Sur (based on new Arm processor Apple Silicon, based on Arm tech, for MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Pros; already in iPhones, iPads, Watches; to run iPhone & iPad apps on Mac, replacing Intel), iOS 14 (for iPhone, iPod Touch; adds Widgets, App Library; launches digital car key feature), iPadOS 14 (improves Apple Pencil), watchOS 7 (adds sleep tracking feature), tvOS 14 (adds Home app, supports multiple users for Apple Arcade games), launches Translate app for live conversation translation; updates Safari, Maps, Siri; Weather app, HomeKit; launches Mac mini for developers; to launch AirPods 3 21H1; HomePod to support 3rd-party music streaming services

Acquires CyberX (security), rumored price $165m
Raises $150m at $5.5b valuation, considers IPO

KKR raises stake to 6.61% (from 5.21%), EUR 31m

Sells Lagardere Studios to Mediawan Alliance (= Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse, MACSF, KKR), EUR 100m; Mediawan plans series of deals


Launches wholesale-only FTTH-service in ES; 966k FTTH lines in Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Valencia

Talks with Fluvius to cooperate on future data network in Flanders, decision by early 2021; ambitious FTTH project could be next step; Fluvius builds open access FTTH for both consumers & businesses in urban & rural areas, 1 Gb/s and in future more

CEBR for Openreach: nationwide FTTP in UK to increase productivity by GBP 59b by 2025 (500k jobs extra, 400k remote workers)

Eir's IFN (Ireland's Fibre Network) reaches 47 towns (total 848 locations); tarfget coverage 84% o/w 90% FTTP

KPN plans FTTH in Etten-Leur town (proposes Hybrid DSL/LTE for rural locations)
KPN reaches 2.4m HP, to add 1m; to end single-line repairs on copper networks

Verivox FTTH ranking: 1 Cologne (80%), 2 Munchen (75%), 3. Hamburg (72%), 4. Hannover (19%)    


Slovakia postpones 5G auction (700, 900, 1800 bands)
IMDA (Singapore) hands 5G licenses to SingTel and JVCo (= StarHub, M1): 100 MHz in 3.5 GHz band + 800 MHz mmWave each; M1/StarHub order RAN from Nokia for SA 5G-3500; M1 orders 5G core from Nokia; M1 orders mmWave RAN from Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei; SingTel orders equipment (RAN, core; 3.5 GHz & mmWave) from Ericsson - TPG Telecom awarded local 26/28 GHz licenses


Wind Tre (CK Hutchison) plans 5G launch end 2020 in 10 cities, target 70 cities YE 2021
Verizon plans DSS for nationwide 5G 2020: users keep using 5G tech outside 5G UWB coverage but in lower bands - Trials repeaters from Pivotal
1&1 Drillisch (newcomer DE) plans Open RAN & fully virtualized 5G network; proposes national roaming obligation for existing MNOs
EU awards funding to 11 research projects under Horizon 2020 framework (5G-PPP), focus on transport & industry
Verizon partners with incubator Digital Catapult to launch a 5G accelerator program in UK, focus on edge computing
NTT acquires 5% stake in NEC for 5G tech, JPY 60b = $560m
Vodafone Business plans Private 5G at Ford Motor campus in Dunton (UK)
Equinix launches 5G and Edge Proof of Concept Center (POCC) in Dallas
Vodafone IT partners with Filarmonica della Scala: concerts broadcast over 5G (26-28 June 2020 at, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram)


Proximus adds Apple TV as alternative STB (V7, based on Android P); Apple TV 4K 32 GB for EUR 70 with 4P subscription or EUR 200 stand-alone; adds Pickx app for Apple TV
Google launches group video calling for devices with Googla Assistant (incl Nest Hub Max)
DT plans open IoT Hub (platform, marketplace) for developers, operators, partners, suppliers 20H2; to establish Deutsche Telekom IoT GmbH 200701
AT&T ends Watch TV (skinny OTT bundle, 15 $/mo)
TV Vlaanderen/Telesat (= M7 = Canal+ = Vivendi) launches OTT services TV Light 10 EUR/mo, TV Basic 15 EUR/mo, TV Plus 20 EUR/mo

Amazon: To end support for Dash Wand (shopping device) 200721
Facebook: To end sale of Oculus Go VR headset
Microsoft: Closes all 83 retail stores permanently; charge $450m; to focus on online support at

Distr deal with Comcast: access on Xfinity X1 & Flex platforms

Peacock distr deal with Google for Android, Android TV, Chromecast devices; promo: free access for users to Peacock’s Premium tier until 201015 - And with Vizio (SmartCast) & LG (Smart TVs)
Adds 9 original series for Peacock launch 200715
Walt Disney
Disney+ to expand to PT, BE LU, NO, DK, SE, FI, Iceland.200915
To withdraw Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior in UK, content moves to Disney+
CivicScience: limited interest in bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu
Orders companion podcasts for HBO Max series from iHeartMedia (with WarnerMedia)
Warner Bros distr deal with Epic Games for in-game (Fortnite) screenings
To merge Films & Series package with Elisa's Viihde Aitio’s content into a standalone streaming service in Finland 20Q4, to be called Elisa Viihde Viaplay
Acquired by Tencent, to miantian brand for 6-12 mo; 25m active users in 13 countries
Distr deal with Play (PL): 6 mo free
Sued by Conan Doyle estate over movie Enola Holmes (about Sherlock Holmes's sister)
Amazon Prime Video
Rumor: to add live programming 24/7 to Prime Video - Denies
Reaches 100m MAU watching on TV
Trials 15 sec multi-segment videos for creators, on mobile [a la TikTok]


Network sharing
ACM proposes guidance on network sharing, consultation until 200814

Google Image Search to label (Fact Check) misleading photos & videos
Launches auto-deleting data (location & search history) from YouTube, Search
Plans paying News media in DE, Australia, Brazil for content on Google News & Discover; to create new News section, to include some paywalled content paid by Google

To fund computer science education & teacher professional development for every elementary school (154) in Dallas (78k students) - And in Prince George’s County (132 schools, 49k students)

Federal Court DE (overrules lower court, backs Bundeskartellamt): abuses market dominance to gather information about users without their consent; users to opt-in for combining WhatsApp or Instagram data with Facebook data
To warn users before sharing older content (>90 days) - To label posts from public figures when problematic; to remove posts that incite violence or attempt to suppress voting
Pathmatics: highest-spending 100 brands (Home Depot, Walmart, Microsoft, AT&T, Disney) accounted for $4.2b = 6% of ad rev in 2019 [see 200620]

Rumor: DoJ & state AGs plan investigation into Apple App Store

ACM (NL) to act against fake likes, fake reviews, fake followers (force exit business practices; fines)
FR, UK, ES, IT offer US to initially only include automated digital service companies for digital tax system; OECD targets agreement by Oct 2020

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Week 25 in Telecoms, Internet & Media


Liberty Global
Sees some logic in Benelux combination (VodafoneZiggo + Telenet)

Considers expansion in Africa to Nigeria, S Africa
Appeals Court upholds EUR 249m fine in case from Digicel (Caribbean)

EU approves studio 50/50 JV (Buendía Estudios) with Atresmedia

Plans to sell indirect Turkcell stake (47.1% of 51%), $530m - Sells stake to Turkey Wealth Fund, $530m

Acquires Wilmaa (OTT-TV tech, 10 employees)

Establishes Molotov Solutions: buisness services division

Epic Games
Bloomberg: Epic Games (makes Fortnite) raises $750m at $17b valuation from T Rowe Price, Baillie Gifford, KKR

Raises $500m from Sompo (insurer Japan)

ACCC (Australia) issues objections against Fitbit acquisition [see 191101]: build an even more comprehensive set of user data, further cementing its position and raising barriers to entry to potential rivals; feedback by 200710, decision by 200813
Launches Keen (developend by Area 120 & People and AI Research (PAIR) team): app (for Web & Android) to curate content around topics [a la Pinterest]

Needham on media assets (Prime Video, Twitch, music, media ads): rev 2020E $66.7b, value $333b (or $500b = 38% of EV incl 1.5x hidden value multiple)

Acquires Mapillary (Sweden): crowdsourced database of street-level imagery


Fibrus targets 145k FTTP premises by YE 2025, GBP 85m
KCOM raises GBP 30m debt from Lloyds Bank

Virgin Media UK raises max speed to 600 Mb/s (with TV); launches 516/36 service (over Docsis 3.0) as stand-alone (without TV)

Rumor: gvt DE to invest EUR 1.1b in dead spot coverage

M1 (Singapore) trials 5G for unmanned aircraft, with Airbus, Infocomm (IMDA), Port Authority, TeamOne Technologies (modem)
MTN (SA) plans 5G based on DSS and 3.5 GHz band after temporary spectrum is retracted; core network is Release 15 compliant; current temporrary service accessible for 4G subs at no extra cost
AT&T expands 5G (850 MHz band) to 137 new markets (total 327, 160m covered pops), target nationwide summer 2020; 5G+ network (39 GHz band) in 35 cities
Verizon plans laptop (Lenovo Flex 5G) for 5G UWB; also China Mobile, Sunrise, EE (BT)
Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 690: midrange 5G processor
Telekom DE reaches 12k 5G antennas in >1000 towns, 16m covered pops (target 40m = 50% mid july 2020, 40k antennas YE 2020); acquires 10 MHz additional 3G spectrum; reaches 1 Gb/s in 3.5 GHz band; 4G to 5G RAN upgrade with Ericsson & Huawei - Launches campaign (With 5G, nothing separates us anymore)
5G Blueprint (5G research project) launched by 28 partners from NL, BE, CH, CZ (KPN, Telenet, Eurofiber etc); EUR 10m grant from EU's Horizon 2020 program
EC adds 11 new projects under 5G-PPP venture, to launch Sep 2020 (total investment: EUR 400m + EUR 1b from private companies)
O2 CZ plans 5G launch July 2020 in Kolin, Prague, Vinohrady, Nusle, Dejvice, Bubenec with 50 base stations, in 3.7 GHz band, max 600/100 Mb/s
T-Mobile US focuses on 600 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands
Telus launches 5G (NSA, max 1.7 Gp/s) in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto; to add 26 markets by YE 2020; no additional cost for unlimited subs; with smartphones (Samsung Galaxy 5G S20, LG V60 ThinQ 5G, Motorola Edge+); with Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung

Network sharing
Vodafone UK connects Devauden (Wales) under Shared Rural Network initiative [see 200120]
Rumor: Slovak Telekom & Orange Slovensko consider shared FTTH network (currently 680k and 526k FTTH HP)

Ookla Speedtest Global Index (May 20): global average FBB 77/41 Mb/s, MBB 34/11 Mb/s; FBB: Sing #1 (205 Mb/s), HK #2 (183), Thailand #3 (170), RO #4 (159), CH #5 (156), NL #24 (113); MBB: SK #1 (100), UAE #2 (100), China #3 (97), Qatar #1 (89), NL #5 (74)


Fox no deal with Ziggo yet; Ziggo: cost would triple to >EUR 100m [= 2.6 EUR/sub/mo incl BTW based on 3.86m subs], currently 10% pay for Eredivisie Live [10.1 EUR/mo/paying sub incl BTW based on 350k paying subs paying EUR 35m], proposes same fee for Fox as currently

ViacomCBS plans CBS All Access relaunch 2021 as 'super service', with 15k hr of Viacom & CBS content added, total 15k hr (currently 15k hr)

Discovery considers D2C strategy    

Spotify content deal with Kim Kardashian for podcasts in Innocence Project - Partners with DC Comics & Warner Bros for exclusive podcasts

Sky IT launches Sky WiFi over Open Fiber FTTH (1 Gb/s down, 300 Mb/s up) in 26 cities, with hub from Comcast; 3P (voice, BB, Sky Q TV) in 3 tiers: Sky Wifi Smart 30 EUR/mo (FTTH, TV, calls on a per minute basis; activation fee EUR 49), Sky Wifi Ultra 33 EUR/mo (same conditions plus Sky Wifi Pods mesh network, EUR 99 activation fee), or Sky Wifi Ultra Plus 38 EUR/mo (with unlimited national calls to fixed & mobile, EUR 99 activation fee)    

VodafoneZiggo launches virtual concert hall Larger Than Live (at, with Mojo; first concert 200709 from Ziggo Dome, 11 EUR/ticket    

WhatsApp launches mobile payments (based on Facebook Pay, secured by 6-digit PIN or fingerprint) in Brazil (after trial in India): free payments & transfers, charges 3.99% for selling businesses - WhatsApp Web to add voice calls

Trials feature (voice tweets) to add audio (max 140 sec) to tweet

Tencent plans smart city in Shenzhen: Net City, 2m m², with NBBJ (architect Seattle)


EU launches antitrust investigations into Apple Pay (terms, conditions and other measures for integrating Apple Pay in merchant apps and websites on iPhones and iPads, Apple's limitation of access to the NFC functionality (“tap and go”) on iPhones for payments in stores, and alleged refusals of access to Apple Pay) over distortion of competition & reduction of choice & innovation - And into Apple App Store (mandatory use of Apple's own proprietary in-app purchase system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps; concerns the application of these rules to all apps, which compete with Apple's own apps and services) over distortion of competition for music streaming services on Apple's devices; follows complaints from Spotify and anon e-book/audiobook distributor [Rakuten]; Apple charges companies 30% from in-app purchases and 30% on subscriptions for the first year, then 15% thereafter - No legal deadline

WTO rules that Saudi Arabian gvt actively promoted and supported the beoutQ pirate operation since the beginning

Friday, June 12, 2020

Week 24: main events in Telecoms, Internet, Media


Partners with Belfius for cross-selling  (exclusive digital banking for Proximus subs, Proximus services tailored for Belfius subs), to launch early 2021
OTT video
Reelgood report US market: Netflix #1 in subs, Amazon #1 in content (films, series, high-quality films), Netflix #1 in content (high-quality series), HBO Max most expensive, Apple cheapest
Bans US Police for 1 yr of using facial recognition tech Rekognition, awaiting stronger regulations to govern ethical use of facial recognition tech; IBM and Microsoft also stop selling facila recognition tech to US police
Launches Facebook News (section) in US on mobile [see 191018]
Launches Messenger Kids app (video chat and messaging) in Sub-Saharan Africa
Snap Partner Summit: for developers: launches new developer products & partnerships across Snap Kit, Snap Games, Bitmoji ecosystems; launches Snap Minis (for developers to deliver experiences through Snapchat); launches new camera & AR experience for developers, Creators & Snapchatters; adds SnapML to Lens Studio desktop app (allows developers to bring their own ML models); for Snapchatters: launches Local Lenses (decorate surrounding buildings in VR space based on AR); adds partners for Scan (PlantSnap, Yuka, others); partners with Headspace (access to meditations); plans new Snap Originals: Coach Kev (Kevin Hart); content deals for Discover section with Disney, ESPN, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, NBA, NFL; launches Happening Now (breaking news section, content from WaPo, Bloomberg, Reuters, NBC News, ESPN, NowThis, E! News, BuzzFeed News etc); launches Here For You To Help (access all information related to emotional & physical well-being.) - Expands e-commerce to FR


Gigaclear increases plan for Herefordshire and Gloucestershire  (with Fastershire) from 70 to 110k premises
CityFibre to add 10k jobs in 3 yr ; recent roll-out starts in Leicester, Derby, Portsmouth, Inverness
KPN plans FTTH in Terneuzen;  target 50k premises (= 30% of total) in Zeeland YE 2021
CableLabs releases Docsis 4.0 specs:  10/6 Gb/s, 1.8 GHz of spectrum, enhanced security, low latency, Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX), Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD, max 1.8 GHz) - VodafoneZiggo plans no upgrade to Docsis 4.0 within 5 yr
Traficom (FI) awards 26 GHz (5G) licenses  until 331231for mainland (excl Aland) to Telia, Elisa, DNA: EUR 7m each for 800 MHz each; 24.25–25.10 GHz band reserved for local operators - Elisa's 5G reaches >1m covered pops in 25 cities
Arcep (FR) plans 5G auction 200920-200930 for launches end 2020;   110 MHz available in 11 blocks in 3.5 GHz band; coverage requirements for 2023 & 2028; 4G requirement: 240 Mb/s at 75% of footprint YE 2022
T-Mobile PL launches 5G service 200609  in Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Poznan, Wroclaw, Lock, Opole, Czestochowa, Rzeszow, Bielsko-Biala, Kielce, Upper Silesian Industrial District, 1600 base stations, 6m covered pops
Nevion survey of global broadcasters:  65% consider 5G for remote production, 61% for distribution (to replace DTT, satellite, cable), 33% for OTT, 29% for contribution
Vodafone DE expands 5G  to 500 antennae (700 MHz & 3.5 GHz), total 160 locations Elisa expands 5G to Salo (city #26)
Cellnex plans edge computing solutions  (based on Intel tech) for MNOs, with Lenovo & Nearby Computing
Bell Canada launches 5G  in Montreal, the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, with Ericsson & Nokia; with smartphones; 5G access add-on 10 CAD/mo (promo: free until 210331 - Plans campus network with Western University in London (Ontario)


Telefonica DE
Closes sale of 10100 towers  (excl RAN; sale & lease-back) to Telxius (Telefonica 50.01%), EUR 1.5b
Rumor: plans selling Warner Bros gaming division, $4b; Take-Two, EA, Activision interested
Liberty Global


Changes Executive Committee, incl Michaël Trabbia (CEO Orange BE) to become group Chief Technology & Innovation Officer
Fitch: BBB-, outlook stable
Closes bond issue: EUR 650m,  6 yr (mature 260617), 2.375%, demand for EUR 2b, supports Odysée 2024 Plan
Liberty Global
Proxy adviser Glass Lewis opposes CEO Mike Fries pay package  (up to $123m over next 5 yr); to vote against 2 directors: JC Sparkman (due to compensation policy concerns) & J David Wargo (for being on too many audit committees)
Reuters: plans IPO; current valuation $10-12b; rev 2020E $1b (+38%), 2021E $1.5b; backlog YE 2019: $2.2b


WSJ: EU plans antitrust investigation over treatment of 3rd-party sellers (scooping up data from 3rd-party sellers and using that information to compete against them); fine max 10% of global rev California and Washington state also
Removed 30k Chinese, Russian, Turkish accounts linked to government propaganda - Deleted 170k Chinese state-backed accounts pushing propaganda