Sunday, February 28, 2021

Week 8 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • TIM: 20Q4 & 2021-23 Plan Update Beyond Connectivity: 1. Unique commercial proposition, 2. Best technological infrastructure, 3. Further improve operational excellence, 4. Leaner organizational model; works with 5 factories: Noovle (cloud), Telsy (cyber security), Olivetti (integrated IoT), Sparkle (int wholesale), TIM Vision (content)
  • Proximus: 20Q4; guidance 2021: additional expenses (opex EUR 50m) for fiber migrations, IT transformation, cloudification, Mwingz (shared mobile network with Orange BE) roll-out (reducing capex), targets EBITDA EUR 1.750-1.775m, capex close to EUR 1.2b, to double fiber roll-out from 2020, net debt/EBITDA <1.6x, domestic rev close to 2020 level (EUR 4.285m), div 2021 and 2022 EUR 1.20 (floor); confirms #inspire2022 ambitions; opex redux CAGR 2020-22 1-2%, expands cost savings to EUR 400m over 2020-2025 (o/w half in 2020-22), targets domestic EBITDA to grow from 2022
  • Vodafone
    • Vodafone CZ plans strategic coop wit utility CEZ (70% state-owned)
    • Vantage Towers Intention to Float (ITF) in Frankfurt March 2021 of meaningful minority stake; rumored valuation: EUR 15b, to raise EUR 4b
  • Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global): CMA publishes responses from Sky & Vodafone regarding O2 merger; concerns on wholesale market for MVNOs and backhaul - O2 UK claims concerns addressed
  • Akamai: Investor Summit
    • 3-5 year Security targets: Application Security CAGR 20-25%, Network Security CAGR 20-25%, Security Services CAGR 10-15%, overall CAGR goal >20% (rev to more than double in 5 yr to $2.5b, addressable market $29b)
    • 3-5 year CDN targets: Edge Delivery CAGR 0-3%, Edge Applications >30%, Services CAGR 1-3%, overall CAGR goal 2-5% (addressable market $18b)
    • Financial targets Security: cash gross margin high 80s (2021: 86-87%), EBITDA margin high 40s (2021: 45-46%), oper margin mid 30s (2021: 34-35%), network capex low single digit (2021: 1-3%), R&D capex high single digit (2021: 8-10%)
    • Financial targets CDN: gross margin high 60s (2021: 68-69%), EBITDA margin mid 40s (2021: 42-43%), oper margin high 20s (2021: 26-27%), network capex low double digit (2021: 11-13%), R&D capex mid single digit (2021: 4-5%)
    • Total targets 3-5 yr: rev CAGR 6-10%, gross margin high 70s (2021: 76-77%), EBITDA margin mid 40s (2021: 44%), oper margin 30-32% (2021: 30%), capex mid teens of rev (2021: 16%)
  • Roblox: Plans IPO via direct listing 210310
  • Thomson Reuters: To invest $500-600m in AI, ML in 2 yr; to cut opex by $600m from eliminating duplicate functions, modernizing & consolidating technology, attrition, shrinking real estate footprint
  • Twitter: Analyst Day: Goals:
    • 1. Double development velocity by end 2023 (ie doubling the number of features shipped per employee)
    • 2. 315m mDAU (monetisable DAU; currently 85% from brand ads, 15% from performance ads; global digital brand + performance ads market $150b, Twitter market share 3%) 23Q4 (20Q4: 192m, implies CAGR 20%)
    • 3. more than double annual rev to $7.5b (2020: $3.7b) 
  • Snap: Investor Day: guidance: revenue CAGR 50%; Usage stats: 5b Snaps/day, Snap Map 250m MAU, advertising 90% self-serve, digital ad market US share 2% (reach <50% of smartphone uesrs), reach 13-24 year olds >90% (US, UK, Australia, FR, NL), reach 13-34 year olds >75% (US, UK, Australia, FR, NL)


  • Broadband Choices: report Internet Accessibility Index 2021 (based on speed & cost), ranking 169 countries: Denmark #1, Liechtenstein #2, US #3, NL #15
  • FTTH
    • Telefonica
      • Telefonica Chile sells 60% stake in fiber network to KKR (Global Infrastructure Investors III Fund), $1b, to close 21Q2; to establish OA wholesale company; to expand pops coverage from 2m to 3.5m by 2023 (FTTH, 40k FTTO lines, FTTS); reduces debt by EUR 400m
      • Telefonica Brazil plans fiber network spin-off to establish OA wholesale company FiBrasil, with investor (TBA 21Q1); Bloomberg: talks with Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ)
    • T-Mobile NL to add 1m HP by 2025 with #2 investment partner (not Primevest), TBA 21H1, to start in 10-15 areas
  • Mobile, 5G
    • Ericsson Mobility Report 20Q4 update: global mobile subscriptions (8b, penetration 102%, unique active subs 6b; net adds 19m), mobile BB subs 6.5b (net adds 100m), 5G subs 220m at 130 providers (net adds 70m), 4G subs 4.5b (net adds 90m); total global mobile data traffic 60 EB/mo (+51% yoy, +9% qoq)
    • EIB report Accelerating the 5G transition in Europe
    • Umlaut: T-Mobile NL best network worldwide (962 points), KPN (954) and VodafoneZiggo (945) also in Top 10    
    • Polsat Group sells 99.99% stake (2,069,656 shares) in Polkomtel Infrastruktura to Cellnex
    • Malaysia plans government-owned wholesale 5G network via special purpose vehicle ($4b in 10 yr; also: FTTH), to adminster spectrum for all MNOs (part of digital  transformation by 2030); Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Telekom Malaysia to build & manage hyper-scale data centres & cloud services
    • Google partners with Intel on cloud-native 5G; 3 main areas: 1. accelerating the ability of CSPs to deploy vRAN & ORAN solutions by providing next-gen infrastructure & hardware, 2. launching new lab environments to help CSPs innovate on cloud-native 5G, 3. making it easier for them to deliver business applications to the network edge; to develop reference architectures & integrated solutions for CSPs' for core network functions & edge network solutions
  • 6G
  • LEO


  • Video
    • ViacomCBS: Streaming Event: Paramount+ to launch 210304
    • Walt Disney
      • Launches Star tab (75 series, 280 movies at launch) in Disney+ in Europe, ANZ, Canada, Singapore; content from content from ABC, Hulu, FX, Freeform, Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, more
      • Disney+ price increases from 7 to 9 EUR/mo, 6 to 8 GBP/mo
      • Release dates
      • Rumor: Disney+ subs 40% in N America (40m), 30% in India, 30% in Europe & Latam
    • Netflix: 10 Golden Globes (on 42 nominations)
  • Music
  • Smart city
    • Las Vegas ordered smart city solutions from Siemens Advanta & Bluetech Park Properties, $7.5b in 6 yr (net-zero carbon footprint buildings within its own insular mini-city, automated multi-functional designs, renewable energy sources, photovoltaic super trees, various other interconnected innovations)
    • Egypt (Administrative Capital for Urban Development) orders smart city ICT (datacenter, cloud services, to be operated by Orange Egypt) from Orange Business Services for new administrative capital (45km east of Cairo on a greenfield site, 700 km^2); 5 pillars: safety, connectivity, integration, digitalisation, replicability; to launch 21Q2
    • Toyota starts smart city Woven City construction near Mount Fuji, 175 hectares, hydrogen-based, solar, robotics, AI, smart homes; appointed Bjarke Ingels Group as architects
    • Stockholm ordered Univrses app to scan & map city streets from any car, transmitting & processing data in real-time to help create a more detailed picture of the state of the city’s streets, measuring everything from road damage to congestion, the location of streetlights to the state of road signage

Twitter Analyst Day: the numbers

Analyst Day
  • Goals 2023:
    • 1. Double development velocity by end 2023 (ie doubling the number of features shipped per employee)
    • 2. 315m mDAU (monetisable DAU; currently 85% from brand ads, 15% from performance ads; current global digital brand + performance ads market $150b) 23Q4 (20Q4: 192m, implies CAGR 20%)
    • 3. more than double annual rev to $7.5b (2020: $3.7b)
  • Guidance 2021:
    • to grow workforce 20%
    • costs & expenses to grow 25%
    • rev to grow faster than expenses
  • Diversity goals 2025:
    • 50% women
    • 25% underrepresented
  • Long-term targets:
    • 50/50 from brand and performance ads
    • GAAP oper margin mid-teens
    • adj EBITDA margin 40-45%
  • New services:
    • to add Super Follows feauture: allows creators to charge for tweets (charge followers for access)
    • to add Communities feature: create & join groups around specific interests; 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Polsat Group sale & lease-back with Cellnex Poland

  • Sells 99.99% stake (2,069,656 shares) in Polkomtel Infrastruktura (NetCo: passive & active layers), excludes Core network & spectrum
  • Polsat to retain 207 shares = 0.01%
  • Price: PLN 7.1b = EUR 1.57b (PLN 7,070,292,853.20 = 3,416.17 PLN/share)
  • 2020:
    • rev PLN 958m
    • EBITDA PLN 673m
    • EBIT PLN 116m
    • cash capex PLN433m
  • Assets:
    • 7k sites, 37k systems, 11300 km transmission network, microwave links
    • Polsat Group is committed to order in NetCo a certain number of incremental sites and additional emission systems under specified timeframes: Cellnex to invest EUR 600m to add 1500 sites + active equipment in 10 yr; (Cellnex total portfolio grows to 128k sites in Europe)
  • Break-up fees:
    • PLN 179,500,000 payable by Cellnex (if it fails to obtain the antimonopoly clearance)
    • PLN 718,000,000 by either (for failure to comply with any of key completion obligations)
  • Plans Master Services Agreement with Cellnex for MNO Plus (renewable for 15 yr); monthly remuneration dependent on the number of sites and active infrastructure systems used and additionally ordered in the future by Polsat Group
  • Open to cooperation with additional tenants

Thursday, February 25, 2021

ViacomCBS Streaming event: all the Paramount+ details

  • Launch:
    • 210304 in US, Canada, Latam (18 countries); replaces CBS All Access
    • 210325 in Nordics
    • mid 2021 in Australia
  • Tiers:
    • 10 $/mo ad-free or 100 $/yr
    • 5 $/mo with ads or 60 $/yr (excl CBS local stations; launches June 2021)
  • Content:
    • To include entertainment, live sports, breaking news, local news & weather; to add linear channels
    • >30k episodes (incl 5k reality episodes, 7k kids episodes, 6k comedy), documentaries (4-5 originals on football per year), >2500 movies (incl 700 from Miramax; MGM titles), >1000 sports events/year, to add 36 original series in 2021, total >50 in 2021-22
  • Windows:
    • Select new films 30-45 days after theatrical release on Paramount+ (A quiet place Part 2 (in theaters 210917), Mission Impossible 7 (in theaters 211119) on Paramount+ after 45 days) (also MGM, Sony, Lionsgate: pay 1 window)
    • Other films after 90 days
  • Curation: to curate by brand & genre, recommendations, mobile downloads, feature 'On Now'
  • Quality: Originals in 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision
  • Brands: Paramount, CBS, MTV, Nick, Comedy Central, BET, Smithsonian Channel
  • Other streaming services:
    • Pluto TV (43m MAU o/w 30.1m in US), Showtime, BET+ (1.5m subs)
    • Showtime + CBS All Access 30m subs YE 2020 o/w 19.2m in US
  • Investments:
    • $15b in 2020 for content (incl sports rights)
    • Linear & streaming content budget to grow to $5b by 2024 (2020: $1b)
  • Targets:
    • 65-75m subs YE 2024 (YE 2020: 43.1m)
    • Streaming rev 2024 $7b (2020: 3.6b)
    • Pluto TV MAU 100-120m by 2024
Remaining questions:
  • Further roll-out schedule
  • Ad load (in terms of min/hr)
  • Number of simultaneous screens

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Spotify Stream On: event highlights

Investor Discussion Spotify Stream On
  • Plans Spotify HiFi tier (CD quality, lossless audio format) 2021 in select markets, to partner with speaker manufacturers
  • Plans geo expansion to 85 new markets (36 languages) to reach 1b potential subs in >180 countries
  • Total royalties pay-out 2020 $5b; released 1.8b albums in US in 2020; adds 60k tracks daily
  • Podcasts
    • ordered podcast series Renegades: Born in the USA (Barack Obama + Bruce Springsteen, 8 episodes)
    • orders exclusive podcasts from Anthony & Joe Russo’s AGBO prodco
    • orders podcast from Ava DuVerna
    • ordered new season of podcast series Tell Them, I Am (Higher Ground)
    • to add interactivity (polls, Q&A)
    •  to trial paid podcast subscriptions using Anchor podcast creation tool, hosts can charge 3, 5 or 8 $/mo with Spotify taking small share
    • to expand video podcasts;
  • Advertising
    • plans Spotify Audience Network: audio ad marketplace for originals, exclusives, podcasts, ad-supported music (via Megaphone (Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) tech, currently in US, Canada, UK, DE) & creation tool Anchor (podcast creation app, partners with Wordpress to turn text into audio, add video to podcasts))
    • to offer podcasts on Spotify Ad Studio (self-serve ad platform, currently in 22 markets), first for originals & exclusives in US (beta), to add 3rd-party podcasts
  • Launches creator tools
    • expands Marquee (allows artists to promote new releases through full-screen sponsored recommendations) to include self-serve buying experience for artists (allows their teams to book campaigns), first in US, Canada (summer 2021 in UK, IE, ANZ)
    • launches Discovery Mode (audience development tool, beta; select music artist teams want to prioritize for discovery)
    • expands Canvas to all artists, adds 25 languages

Monday, February 22, 2021

Week 7 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Orange
    • 20Q4; outlook 2021: EBITDA AL stable, capex EUR 7.6-7.7b, organic telecoms CF EUR 2.2b (3.5-4.0b in 2023), lverage (net debt/EBITDA AL) 2x medium term
    • Establishes Totem: towerco for FR, ES (25500 sites o/w 17000 in FR o/w 55% towers & 45% rooftops; 8000 in ES divided 50/50 over macro sites & rooftops), to raise colocation rate from 1.3 to 1.5 in 8 yr, plans 3000 build-to-suit sites; pro forma rev EUR 500m, EBITDA AL 300m, margin 57% [see 191204] - Considers partnerships with Vodafone (Vantage Towers), DT (Deutsche Funkturm), to keep control
  • Vantage Towers (Vodafone)
  • Liberty Global: 20Q4; merger Virgin Media UK with O2 UK to close mid 2021
  • VodafoneZiggo (Vodafone, Liberty Global): 20Q4 prelim; guidance exceeded (adj EBITDA growth 6%, PPE 20% of rev, TSR EUR 501m, synergies EUR 214m one yr early); Guidance 2021: adj EBITDA growth 1-2%, PPE 19-21% of rev, TSR EUR 550-650m; 1 Gb/s over Docsis 3.1 coverage 3m HP (o/w >1m subs), target 80% penetration YE 2021 (with >2m subs), nationwide early 2022; to upgrade Mediabox XL (1m subs) to Mediabox Next UI; plans IT systems integration; to migrate to fully digital operating model; Bonds: issued $91m Sr Secured Notes Nov 2020 (4.875%) at 104% to redeem 10% of SSN due 2027 (4.25%); Issued $200m SSR due 2030 (4.875%) to redeem $200m of SSR due 2027 (5.5%); Leverage incl vendor & handset financing 5.49x; IPO optional
  • Sunrise UPC (Liberty Gloabl): 20Q4
  • Tele Columbus: Mgt submits change-of-control confirmation; successful offer requires 50% + 1 share by 210315; plans rights offering 21Q2, EUR 475m
  • Bouygues Telecom (Bouygues): 20Q4; new governance: to separate Chair (Martin Bouygues) and CEO (Olivier Roussat); Bouygues Telecom appoints Richard Viel Chair & CEO
  • CETIN (PPF): Bloomberg: plans IPO, valuation EUR 4b



  • Telecoms
    • Telenet bundles Tadaam (FWA-over-4G + OTT-TV) with Base (mobile), 5 EUR/mo discount
    • MasMovil (KKR, Cinven, Providence): Launches MoneyGO for Yoigo subs: banking services (device financing, cc, loans up to EUR 60k)
  • Video
    • Walt Disney: Plans 10 original series for Disney+ in Europe (4 from FR, 3 from IT, 2 from DE, 1 from NL), target 50 by 2024
    • NBCU (Comcast): Hayu (reality) expands to 11 new countries: ES, PT, FR, IT, CH, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, PL, HU, CZ (earlier to DE, AT), 5 EUR/mo
    • YouTube (Google/Alphabet): To expand Shorts (short vertical videos) [a la TikTok] to US March 2021; to add 4K, downloads for offline viewing & DVR to YouTube TV; to launch in-video shopping
  • Web services
    • Google: Updates Google Meet, Classroom, Google Workspace for Education for e-learning with >50 new features
    • Facebook: To restrict users from sharing news in Australia in response to Media Bargaining Code
    • WhatsApp (Facebook): WhatsApp ToS to change (share payment & transaction data with Facebook in order to help better target ads), new conditions to be accepted by 210515, then few weeks for asking users to comply, then users to be blocked from reading & sending messages, then to delete inactive accounts after 120 days
    • IBM: WSJ: IBM puts Watson Health business (annual sales $1b) up for sale; brands: Merge Healthcare (analyzes mammograms & MRIs), Phytel (assists with patient comms); Truven Health Analytics (analyzes complex healthcare data)


France wants changes to DSA: each member state to have the right to fine tech platforms & force them to remove illegal content; proposes illegal content to also contain harmful content & disinformation

Saturday, February 20, 2021

SKO: living room television usage Netherlands Jan. 2019 - Jan. 2021


Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Weeks 6-7

Series - unscripted
Films - unscripted
Movies - scripted
Series - scripted

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Week 6 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • BT:  Hatch report (The Economic Impact of BT Group in the UK): gross value added (GVA) 2019/20 GBP 24b, supports 300k FTE, spent GBP 10.1 on UK suppliers, maintains 35k vehicles; spending by people on BT pension contributed GBP 2b, supports 26600 jobs
  • Proximus: Buys out Swisscom (22.4% for EUR 110m) and MTN (20.0% for EUR 107m = ZAR 1.8b, to record ZAR 1.2b book profit) from BICS for full ownership and strategic flexibility; EV EUR 569m = 4.4x EBITDA
  • Vodafone: Vantage Towers Moodys: Baa3, outlook stable
    • 45,500 fully controlled macro sites + 14,200 and 22,100 co-controlled macro sites in Cornerstone (50%) and INWIT (33.2%) JVs, 20/21 Adj EBITDA EUR 814m; debt EUR 2.3b, leverage 4.0 (Moodys: gross debt/EBITDA excl Cornerstone, INWIT 5.0x)
    • Positives: strong market positions, geographically well-diversified, high barriers to entry for competitors, high barriers to exit for customers, good earnings & cash flow predictability (supported by anchor long-term service contracts with Vodafone), expectation of medium-term EBITDA growth (driven by site additions, improving tenancies ratios, operational efficiencies)
    • Negatives: high customer concentration with Vodafone, short history of operating as a separate entity, expectation of negative free cash flow over the next 2 years (as a result of Vantage Towers' capital intensive model (7,100 contractual built-to-suit commitments that it is targeting over FY2022-FY2026) and planned dividend payments of EUR 280m to be paid in FY2022), starting net leverage of around 4.0x EBITDAaL with willingness to increase up to 5.5x
  • Telenet: 20Q4
    • Outlook 2021: rev (+1%) & Adj EBITDA (up 1-2%) to return to growth, Op FCF -1%, FCF 420-440m
    • Outlook 2018-2021: Op FCF CAGR lower end of current range 6.5-8.0%
    • Focus on 5 pillars: 1. Expand customer relations, 2. grow in B2B, 3. Customer approach simplified, digital-first, 4. Perfect networks, 5. Empower employees, agile structure
    • Eltrona deconsolidation [see 200225] reduces operationals from 21Q2: HP -47700, customers -9500, RGUs -18500, TV -9200, BB -5500, FT -3800
    • Other: expects to win VOO auction (21Q2), Wallonia may hold on to stake; talks with Fluvius on FTTH ongoing (currently full fiber for FTTO and greenfields); considers towers (>3000) monetisation in case of funding need or transformational transaction
  • MasMovil: Acquires controlling stake in Lucera: energy reseller
  • Vivendi: To spin off 60% of Universal Music Group (Tencent holds 20%, Vivendi to hold 20%) in IPO as special dividend end 2021 in Amsterdam 'to reduce Vivendi’s conglomerate discount'; EV EUR 30b; EGM 210329; Vivendi shareholders to receive 44%, Bollore Groupe (holds 27% of Vivendi) 16%; proposes ordinary div EUR 0.60 over 2020, AGM 210622
  • Twitter: 20Q4
    • outlook 21Q1: rev $940-1040m, oper income loss $0-50m
    • outlook 2021: headcount +20%, costs + expenses +25% (incl new datacenter), rev to grow faster than expenses, SBC expense $525-575m, capex $900-950m
    • CEO Jack Dorsey considers decentralised social network to be built by Bluesky team [see 191211]; plans to give people more choice over what they see through marketplace of algorithms
  • Match Group acquires Hyperconnect, $1.73b: social network S Korea, operates Azar (live video & audio chat platform) & Hakuna Live (live-streaming app for video & audio broadcasts)
  • Bumble: Sets IPO price at $43, to sell 50m shares - First trade $76.00, closes at $70.31


  • 5G
    • GSA report on 5G devices: total 558 announced (o/w 365 = 62% commercially available) in 20 form factors from 113 vendors, 294 smartphones & 113 FWA devices announced (o/w 251 resp 42 commercially available)
    • GSA report on 4G & 5G networks, technologies & spectrum: 806 commercial 4G networks (incl 421 FWA, 743 mobile); 156 invest in NB-IoT o/w 111 launched, 51 deply LTE-M; 413 operators in 131 countries invest in 5G (o/w 65 operators in SA 5G) o/w 144 in 61 countries commercially launched 5G
    • Qualcomm launches Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System (gen 4 5G modem-to-antenna solution; Release 16, 10 Gb/s, sub-6 GHz & mmWave, AI antenna tuning tech, upgradeable architecture) & X62 (for mainstream adoption of mobile broadband)
    • Personal (= Telecom Argentina) launches 5G in Buenos Aires, Rosario using DSS
    • Omantel launches 5G, no extra charge
    • Asia Pacific Telecom develops 5G-supported smart robots, with Foxconn Global Network (FHnet), to operate over SA Private 5G
    • Verizon opens 5G for sub-brand Visible (supports e-SIM)
  • 6G
    • Fraunhofer (5 institutes: IIS, HHI, FOKUS, IAF, IZM) launches 6G Sentinel research; focus on THz (100-300 GHz; very small cells, beamforming (Massive MIMO) integrated), flexible networks
    • CEA-Leti launches 6G research project RISE-6G, with 13 partners (Orange, TIM, NEC; Chalmeers University, Aalborg University, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, University of Notthingam; Consorzion Nazionale Interuniversitario Italiano, Centre National de la Recherche Sceintifique; SNCF, Fiat); plans 'smart & energy-sustainable technology advances, on reconfigurable intelligent surfaces that will enable programmable control'
  • LEO
    • Starlink requests FCC designation as Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) to comply for funding [see 201207] - Competitors (FBA, NTCA) oppose funding as Starlink to hit capacity ceiling (congestion) by 2028 (Starlink plans 12k sats, throughput per sat 20 Gb/s, peak bandwidth per user 1.7-2.7 Mb/s); Starlink current permission max 1m users, to raise to 5m
    • Telesat orders LEO fleet Lightspeed (at 1015 and 1325 km; Ka-band, first launch in 2 yr, commercial servivces 23H2) from Thales Alenia Space; total capacity with 298 sats 15 Tb/s, max data rates 7.5 Gb/s (20 Gb/s for hotspot)
    • Starlink beta to expand to ZA in 2022 (already in US, Canada, UK); opens for deposites, fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis - And to Spain - And global, where legal
    • Starlink (SpaceX) considers IPO
  • FTTH
    • Fern Trading
      • Jurassic Fibre (= Fern Trading) launches service in Barnstaple, max 950 Mb/s; to cover 10k premises by summer 2021
      • Swhish Fibre (= Fern Trading; plans 250k HP in 33 towns, 10 Gb/s) plans expansion in South Buckinghamshire
      • Vorboss (plans 250k FTTP lines by 2022) 75% stake acquired by Fern Trading


  • B2B
    • Deutsche Telekom: T-Systems adopts Cloud-First strategy, expands partnerships with AWS, Azure; to launch new cloud offering 210216
    • Swisscom: Acquires Webtiser (expertise in SAP Customer Experience, 40 omployees), expands SAP-unit to 440 employees
    • Multiscope Thuiswerk Monitor survey report NL: 44% of WFH staff (due to corona virus) bought office products, spending average EUR 359 = total EUR 400m; 48% received financial support from employer
    • Microsoft adds Bulletins (news, info) and Milestones (track progress of work items) apps for Teams
    • Metrigy report (survey of 476 firms): 47% of businesses globally use UCaaS

  • Wholesale
  • Mobile
  • Smart city
    • Plasencia (Spain) orders smart city solution for tourism from and Vodafone ES, EUR 374k
    • Sharing Cities program (London, Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas, Warsaw) reaches EUR 250m investments in retrofitting buildings with energy-saving measures, developing sustainable energy management systems for new & existing developments, shared electric mobility, smart street infrastructure
  • Video
  • Web services
  • Hardware
    • Amazon: Rumor: plans wall-mounted Echo device as smart home control by end 2021/early 2022; 10-13 inch, $200-250
    • Facebook: Rumor: plans Android-based smartwatch, with  health and fitness features


  • Spectrum
    • Nkom (NO) plans 5G auction Sep 2021: 2.6 GHz band (2x70 MHz in 14 blocks of 2x5 (minimum price NOK 25m) + 1x50; cap 80 MHz), 3.6 GHz band (3400-3800; 4 blocks of 40 (minimum price NOK 100m), 24 blocks of 10; cap 120 MHz), consultation until 210409
    • Ancom (RO) plans 5G auction 21Q3 (700, 800, 1500, 2600, 3400-3800; procedures by 21Q2; plans consultation on 24 GHz band
  • FT: EC considers forced payments by platforms to publishers for using snippets in search results, news
  • EU decides on e-privacy guidelines

Monday, February 08, 2021

KPN 20Q4 review: the 'other' highlights


  • Cost savings total EUR 278m; invested EUR 34m in working capital in 2020; book gain on sale of INS & Argeweb 29m; DTA (deferred tax asset) EUR 560m (no cash tax payment), lowers effective tax rate (with Innovation box from 25% corporate rate to theoretically 14%)
  • FTTH roll-out in 97 areas, total announced & under construction HP 650k; currently 70% of new FTTH subs buy 100 Mb/s
  • 5G-700 pops coverage 70%
  • Corona virus impact on 2020
    • adj rev 24-28m lower, indirect costs 10-15m lower, adj EBITDA AL 6-10m lower
    • revenues: no roaming income, delayed IT projects, phasing in Professional Services, currently 30 shops of 110 are open
    • costs: savings on travel, leased  car fleet, potentially office space
  • Maintains outlook & strategy [see 20112]

Outlook 2021

  • Adj EBITDA AL EUR 2.345b (+1%)
  • Capex EUR 1.200b (450-500m for FTTH, 700-750m for other); no current plan for mobile network densification
  • Opex savings from indirect costs EUR 100m
  • FCF 765m, div 13.6c (+4.6%)
  • B2C SR grow in 2021, SME SR to stabilise end 2021, Mass Market rev to grow by end 2021; overall B2B rev decline 70-80% of 2020 decline (-5.7%) i.e. c -4.5%
  • Leverage currently declines by 0.1-0.2 pp per year (leverage nearing 2.0 is less efficient)
  • Cash tax EUR 50-60m over 2022

Ambitions 2023

  • Adj EBITDA AL 2.450b
  • Capex 1.1-1.2b
  • FCF >870m, progressive div (CAGR 3-5%)

3 Strategic Pillars

  • Leverage & expand superior networks
  • Grow & strengthen customer footprint
  • Simplify & streamline operating model
  • Focus Consumer remains FMC, focus in ICT with partners (no interest in becoming the largest IT player)

ESG targets

  • 30% women in sr mgt by 2023
  • 100% circular by 2025
  • Carbon neutral by 2030, 50% CO2 emission in supply chain by 2040

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 5

  • Orders animated series Sonic Prime (Sega, Wildbrain), to premiere 2022
  • Orders animated sci-fi series Farzar (10 episodes) from Roger Black & Waco O’Guin
  • Orders season 4 (final) of comedy series On My Block (10 episodes)
  • Orders series Lincoln Lawyer (Neve Campbell)
  • Orders series The Chair (Bob Balaban, Nana Mensah, David Morse; 6x30 min)
  • Anime series Pacific Rim: The Black premieres 210304
  • Licenses spy thriller series Operation Buffalo (Australia, 6 episodes), premieres 210228
  • Sci-fi series Tribes of Europa (6 episodes) premieres 210219
  • Orders survival drama series Breathe (Martin Gero, Brendan Gall; 6x60 min)
  • Thriller series Behind Her Eyes premieres 210217
  • Orders comedy series Boo, Bitch (Lana Condor; 8x30 min)
  • Thriller series Dealer (France) premieres 210310
  • Rom-com movie Namaste Wahala (India, Nigeria) premieres 210214
  • Movie Crazy About Her (Spain) premieres 210226
  • Western movie News of the World (Paul Greengrass, Tom Hanks) premieres 210210
  • Orders movie The Mother (Jennifer Lopez)
  • Plans untitled movie about hedge funds vs Reddit investors on GameStop shares
  • Movie Moxie (Amy Poehler) premieres 210303
  • Orders movie Amnesty
  • Nears licensing deal for movie Passing (Rebecca Hall), $16m
  • Thriller movie Sentinelle (Olga Kurylenko; France) premieres 210305
  • Orders movie Ripple from 21 Laps
  • Docu series Amend, Fight For America (Will Smith, 6 episodes) premieres 210217
  • Sports docu film PelĂ© premieres 210223
  • Higher Ground Productions (Obamas) plans
    • films: Exit West; Satellite; biopic on Tenzing Norgay; The Young Wife
    • series: Great National Parks docus on US national parks; Firekeeper’s Daughter

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Week 5 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Telefonica: Moody's rates Telefonica Europe's hybrid debt (deeply subordinated, guaranteed fixed rate reset securities, fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Telefonica on a subordinated basis) Ba2, outlook stable - Issues first green hybrid bond, raises EUR 1b
  • Rumor: Vodafone ES plans InfraCo with Orange ES to pool towers (as alternative to MasMovil merger) - Rumor: MasMovil plans merger - To include ES & PT
  • Altice Europe: To sell 50.01% Hivory (10500 towers) stake to Cellnex at EV 100% EUR 5.2b; to add 2500 sites over 8 yr for EUR 900m [build-to-suit]; to close 21H2; SFR to remain anchor tenant under 18 yr lease (renewable in 5 yr periods); Starlight Holdco (49.01%) also sells stake to Cellnex; Cellnex total portfolio up to 120k sites in Europe
  • Delta Fiber (= EQT; currently 800k premises, target 1m end 2021) acquires Rekam (>50k lines), excludes RekamGlasDraad JV (Rekam & GlasDraad (= TINC, Mabin))
  • Shell Energy: Acquires 450k BB subs from Post Office
  • Box: Acquires SignRequest (NL), $55m: cloud-based electronic signature tool, can be integrated with many enterprise tools, to be relaunched as Box Sign summer 2021
  • Vivino: Raises $155m
  • RTL: Sells SpotX to Magnite, $1.17b (EUR 977m EV) in cash ($560m = EUR 468m) & stock (14.0m shares); to close 21Q2l acquired SpotX in 2014 (65% for EUR 107m) & 2017 (35% for EUR 123m); to focus on European ad tech via Smartclip and Yospace
  • BBC: Publishes report BBC Value for Audiences: funding freeze since 2010 reduced effective real-terms income by 30%, average 5m users at any given moment, 45m DAU


  • BT: 20/21Q3; maintains outlook 20/21: EBITDA GBP 7.3-7.5b, FCF GBP 1.3-1.5b (narrowed); 5G reaches 125 towns, 790k FTTP subs; Strategic Pillars: 1. build the strongest foundations , 2. create standout customer experiences, 3. lead the way to a bright, sustainable future; Ultrafast BB (>100 Mb/s) reaches 6.88m premises o/w 4.05m FTTP, current FTTP rate 42k premises/week
  • Swisscom: 20Q4; plans cost savings 2021 CHF 100m (on operational business), 2022 CHF 100m (on digital transformation); outlook 2021: rev flat CHF 11.1b (8.5 in CH, 2.4 in IT), EBITDA slightly down CHF 4.3b (3.4 in CH, 0.8 in IT), capex slightly up CHF 2.3b (1.6 in CH, 0.6 in IT), div CHF 22; broadband coverage targets: 80 Mb/s for 90%, 10 Gb/s for 39% YE 2021; 300-500 Mb/s for 90%, 10 Gb/s for 60% YE 2025; 5G coverage targets: 99% YE 2021 (with 5G+ forced expansion), 99% YE 2025 (with nationwide 5G+)
  • Orange BE: 20Q4, div 50c; outlook 2021: rev growth LSD, EBITDA AL EUR 320-340m, capex 200-220m
  • Vodafone: 20/21Q3; maintains 20/21 guidance
  • Telenor: 20Q4
  • DNA: 20Q4
  • Tele2: 20Q4
  • Alphabet: 20Q4; to extend useful life of equipment (servers from 3 to 4 yr, network equipment from 3 to 5 yr) from 2021, positive impact oper result 2021 $2.1b
  • Amazon: 20Q4; guidance 21Q1: net rev $100.0-106.0b (growth 33-40%), oper income $3.0-6.5b (incl $2.0b corona virus related costs); CEO Jeff Bezos to step down to and become Executive Chair 21Q3, Andy Jassy (AWS) to become CEO, Bezos to focus on Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post; to invest $2.5b in HQ2 in Arlington (Virgoinia) over 10 yr for 25k employees
  • Snap: 20Q4, Spotlight reached >100m MAU; guidance 21Q1: rev $720-740m, adj EBITDA loss 50-70m
  • Pinterest: 20Q4; guidance 21Q1: rev growth low 70s'priorities for 2021: the Pinner experience, advertiser success, shopping; plans int expansion
  • Spotify: 20Q4 - ESOP (31.9m shares at $322.11 = $10.3m) - CEO Daniel Ek 32,773,691 votes = 17.2% (same for DGE Holding, DGE Investments) -  Martin Lorentzon 21,176,660 votes = 11.1% - Holds 282,830,698 shares = 21.1% of Tencent Music Entertainment


  • FTTH
  • 5G
    • Lufthansa deploys 2 Private SA 5G networks at Hamburg site (3.7-3.8 GHz): 1 from Vodafone DE, 1 from Nokia; latency 7ms and 16 ms; Lufthansa manages both
    • NTT, AIS, Fujitsu, NEC, Activio, AGC, Exeo Asia, Loxley, Mobile Innovation establish 5G Global Enterprise Solution Consortium (5GEC) for APAC (first for Thailand): Private 5G (mgt services)
    • Chuan Chih develops terminal simulation systems & 5G vertical applications to help companies accelerate efforts to develop, build, operate & maintain 5G private networks
    • Cyta (Cytamobile-Vodafone) launches 5G with 70% pops coverage (target 98% in 12 mo), no extra cost
    • DISH orders access to towers, rooftops, utility transmission structures, billboards, convenience stores & other sites used for wireless infrastructure deployment from Vertical Bridge REIT
    • PwC report (Powering Your Tomorrow): 5G adoption to boost global economy by USD 1.3t by 2030
    • BCG for CTIA report: 5G to add $1.5t to GDP and 4.5m jobs in US over 10 yr
  • FWA
    • Voneus (Macquarie) launches FWA in Ouston and Perkinsville (County Durham), 30-50 Mb/s
  • LEO
    • Starlink (SpaceX) plans phone service; reaches 10k users of beta BB service


  • B2B
  • Smart City
  • Video
    • Netflix: Raises prices in Japan, Basic/Standard/Premium from 880/1320/1980 to 990/1490/1980 JPY/mo Rumor: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 plan AVOD service for live & catch-up TV
    • NAACP Image Awards nominations (winners 210327)L Netflix 14, Amazon 3
    • Golden Globes 2021 nominations (winners 210228): Netflix 20, Amazon 3 in TV; Netflix 22, Amazon 7 in movies
    • Writers Guild 2021 nominations: Netflix 10, Amazon 3
    • Screen Actors Guild Awards 2021 nominations (winners 210404)

  • Music
    • Sony: SME acquires AWAL(recorded music) & Kobalt Neighbouring Rights from Kobalt, $430m [Kobalt Music Group continues Kobalt Music Publishing, publishing collection society AMRA and Kobalt Capital]
    • Round Hill: Acquires 18k songs from Round Hill Fund One, $282m (incl The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, John Lee Hooker, Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson etc); to acquire 29% stake in set of 100k songs formerly of Carlin
    • Hipgnosis: Raises GBP 75m equity from Morgan Stanley & existing shareholders
    • The Music Acquisition Corp: IPO on NYSE, ticker TMAC.U, IPO rpice $10, via SPAC
    • SoundCloud: Rumor: plans service allowing users to pay creators directly; currently 175m MAU

  • Hardware
    • Apple: Rumor: to partner with Hyundai and PSA on electric cars - Rumor: to order Kia (= Hyuandai) to produce electric cars, $3.6b, to produce 100k EV cars/yr in Georgia by 2024 - Hyundai denies
    • Google: Partners with Ford, 6 yr from 2023: GCP, Android (incl apps: Assistant, Maps, etc) to be built into cars, establish Team Upshift to transform Ford
    • Xiaomi launches smartphone with 'quad-curved waterfall display'


  • CRC (Bulgaria) plans 3.6 GHz auction 210303, 3 blocks of 100 MHz; valid 20 yr, starting price $2.5m, submission by 210225
  • Ofcom (UK) proposes one-touch process for switching ISP
  • EC: nat roaming prices from Telefonica DE for 1&1 Drillisch not compliant with E-Plus acquisition conditions; Telefonica DE submits new rates, to be accepted by 1&1 Drillisch by 210219 (to increase earnings by EUR 30m in 2020)