August 27, 2014

Digital Asia 2014: Join Telkom Indonesia, Facebook, Globe, WEF, CitiBank, KT Media and many more for New Ways to Innovate & Grow in the Digital World

The region’s leading TMT players will be converging on Bali at the beginning of December for this year’s ground breaking Digital Asia 2014 event. Representatives from the world of telecoms, technology, the internet, advertising, financial services, content and entertainment will gather to exchange breakthrough ideas, case studies, methodologies and tools to grow significant new revenues for all parties in the next 12-18 months.

Taking place at the outstanding Ayana Resort and Spa on the 2-4 December, Digital Asia, run by STL Partners in collaboration with Telkom Indonesia, is focused on catalysing exciting innovations in communications, enterprise services, entertainment and digital commerce that leverage mobile, cloud and big data technologies.

Confirmed participants (at August 27th) from ABS-CBN, Carlsberg, CitiBank, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Facebook, Globe Telecom, Google, Indosat, KT Media Hub, MapR, Orange, PCCW Global, Shinetown, SingTel, Telekom Malaysia, Telkom Indonesia, and World Economic Forum.
Register Now to Secure Your Place.


With a captivating line up of topics to explore across the digital ecosystem, we’re excited to announce our detailed agendas are now live.

Some Agenda Highlights from the 3-day event:

Digital Asia 2014 agenda highlights.png

Register Now to Secure Your Place.

Key speakers include:

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August 26, 2014

US price wars; Comcast-TWC; Nexmo; Amazon Ads: Telco 2.0 News Review

‘Digital Asia 2014’ Executive Brainstorm and Innovation Forum, run by STL Partners in collaboration with Telkom Indonesia, is designed to equip 250 specially-invited business leaders from across the region’s telecoms, enterprise and technology sectors with new, breakthrough ideas, methods and tools on how to grow significant new revenues in the next 12-18 months leveraging Mobile, Cloud and Big Data.

Wave of US price-cutting - price war has begun, if it hadn’t already

With the Sprin-T deal in pieces, the FT reckons price war is inevitable in the US. We, of course, think it’s already started, as the Disruptive Strategy: VZW, AT&T, and Free.fr EB argues. ARPU and margins are falling for everyone except Verizon Wireless, and subscriber growth is unexpectedly strong, far more than could be explained by losses from Sprint. The pattern is surprisingly similar to that in France post-Free Mobile.

Screenshot from 2014-08-26 10:06:53.png

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August 19, 2014

Cable Operators are Broadband Operators. And they’re better at it than you are

Leichtman Research recently announced that the US cable operators now have more broadband subscribers than they have TV subscribers. The difference is not much - 49,915,000 broadband subscribers on cable in Q2 versus 49,910,000 TV. A gap of 5,000 subscribers in a 100 million-strong market might seem like a quirk that might well be put down to statistical noise, but this has been coming for some time. The following chart shows customers by product at Comcast since Q1 2011.

comchart.JPG

And the real news is in the net-adds numbers.

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Free-T-Mobile: Disruptive Revolution or a Bridge Too Far?


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Free-T-Mobile: Disruptive Revolution or a Bridge Too Far?’. Free’s shock bid for T-Mobile USA will stretch its finances and management capacity to the limit. Can Free’s package of tactics, technology, and procedures work in the US context?

You can read an excerpt of the report here. We’ll also be exploring the implications at Digital Asia (2-4 December, Bali), and are initiating coverage of a new research programme on Internet-Driven Disruption, and we’d really appreciate your input here. For more on any of these services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003


Extract chart from report:

Free T-Mobile Thumbnail.png

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August 18, 2014

Sprint price war; GVT; NII bust; China Mobile results; Apple tooling up for something - Telco 2.0 News Review

‘Digital Asia 2014’ Executive Brainstorm and Innovation Forum, run by STL Partners in collaboration with Telkom Indonesia, is designed to equip 250 specially-invited business leaders from across the region’s telecoms, enterprise and technology sectors with new, breakthrough ideas, methods and tools on how to grow significant new revenues in the next 12-18 months leveraging Mobile, Cloud and Big Data.

Digital Asia (formerly known as Batic) will take place on the 2nd-4th December at the Ayana Resort & Spa in Bali. Apply to participate now

DISH creeps towards Sprint; Sprint CEO declares more price war; FCC net neutrality consultation nears record

After Sprint pulled out of its bid for T-Mobile, the Satellite Cowboy, Charlie Ergen of DISH, has re-emerged as a player in the story. Bloomberg argues that a DISH-T deal would be palatable to the regulator and would bring more spectrum to the table. It might also be more deliverable than the Free-T option, although it would still leave T-Mobile as the only national operator with no fixed-line assets. Even Sprint, which doesn’t have an fixed access territory, is a major provider of Internet backbone and metro-fibre. Meanwhile, T-Mo acquired some 700MHz spectrum.

Continue reading "Sprint price war; GVT; NII bust; China Mobile results; Apple tooling up for something - Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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August 11, 2014

Hesse out at Sprint; DTAG Q2; Brazil; Amazon - Telco 2.0 News Review

‘Digital Asia 2014’ Executive Brainstorm and Innovation Forum, run by STL Partners in collaboration with Telkom Indonesia, is designed to equip 250 specially-invited business leaders from across the region’s telecoms, enterprise and technology sectors with new, breakthrough ideas, methods and tools on how to grow significant new revenues in the next 12-18 months leveraging Mobile, Cloud and Big Data.

Sprint walks away from T-Mo, leaves Dan Hesse behind; US service revenue slides; Satellite Cowboy rides again

If last week’s surprise was the Free.fr bid for T-Mobile, this week’s was surely the news that Sprint is walking away from the deal, and incidentally sacking Dan Hesse, the industry’s highest-earning CEO. Marcelo Claure, from Softbank’s distribution wing, Brightstar, takes over and is expected to slash prices.

Clearly, the price war is about to move into a new phase, which will only make the Free-T’s deal’s hyper-leverage more risky. John Legere of T-Mobile says they’ve passed Sprint for pre-paid and hope to pass them for total subscribers later this year.

No surprise, then, that Chetan Sharma reckons that US wireless service revenue fell 2% this year. 55% of the total is data, of which 68% belongs to the dynamic duopoly. Interestingly, he also reckons that the number of companies who make at least $250m a quarter from mobile is up sharply, almost entirely because of apps and adjacent players.

That isn’t cooling the deal fever, though. The Satellite Cowboy Charlie Ergen rides again, threatening to leap in with a bid for T-Mo, or perhaps to join a Free-led bid. DISH would add more cash and especially more spectrum to the mix.

Watch this space for in-depth Telco 2.0 coverage of the Free-T-Mobile bid

Continue reading "Hesse out at Sprint; DTAG Q2; Brazil; Amazon - Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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August 6, 2014

Connected Home: Telcos vs Google (Nest, Apple, Samsung, +…)


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Connected Home: Telcos vs Google (Nest, Apple, Samsung, +…)’. Since Google acquired Nest for $3.2bn, Apple and Samsung have also entered the complex battle for the connected home. We analyse in-depth why Google wanted Nest, the players’ goals and strategies, and what should telcos and others do to stay in the game?

You can read an excerpt of the report here. We’ll also be exploring the implications at Digital Asia (2-4 December, Bali), and are initiating coverage of a new research programme on Internet-Driven Disruption, and we’d really appreciate your input here. For more on any of these services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003


Extract chart from report:

Figure 1 - Nest vs Competitors market capitalisation relative to revenue.png

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August 4, 2014

Free vs T-Mobile; Apple Q3s; results roundup - Telco 2.0 News Review

‘Digital Asia 2014’ Executive Brainstorm and Innovation Forum, run by STL Partners in collaboration with Telkom Indonesia, is designed to equip 250 specially-invited business leaders from across the region’s telecoms, enterprise and technology sectors with new, breakthrough ideas, methods and tools on how to grow significant new revenues in the next 12-18 months leveraging Mobile, Cloud and Big Data.

US Disruption - will Iliad really get T-Mobile USA?

No question what the big surprise was this week. There’s a new bidder for T-Mobile USA and the new bidder is Iliad, the Free.fr/Free Mobile parent company and serial disruptor. It’s an audacious move to say the least.

But what’s the story - is it ‘Xavier Niel (majority shareholder in Iliad) does it again’, or is he ‘the dog that finally caught the car?’

T-Mobile’s turnover is $26bn, compared to $5bn for Free. T-Mobile’s market capitalisation is $25bn, plus $15bn of debt, while Free’s is $16bn. Free is offering $15bn in cash for 56.6% of T-Mobile’s stock, implying that they’re hoping to keep substantial existing shareholders on board - that will help with the financing, but requires Xavier Niel and company to play nicely with at least one big shareholder. This will be a new challenge - the combined company won’t be a startup any more.

Continue reading "Free vs T-Mobile; Apple Q3s; results roundup - Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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July 31, 2014

Google’s Big, Big Data Battle


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Google’s Big, Big Data Battle ’ Facing lockout from a growing chunk of the Internet and mounting competition from the Facebook-Microsoft alliance and Amazon, Google’s core business is under intense pressure. The search giant’s response is to innovate, offering consumers proactive recommendations, as well as reactive search results. Once an interesting sideline, Google Now has become fundamental to the Mountain View company’s future. Is the suggestion service good enough to maintain Google’s position as the world’s leading big data company?

You can read an excerpt of the report here We’ll also be exploring the implications at Digital Asia (2-4 December, Bali), and are initiating coverage of a new research programme on Internet-Driven Disruption, and we’d really appreciate your input here. For more on any of these services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003


Extract chart from report:

Figure 2 Google margins are steadily falling as volumes continue to rise.jpg

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July 22, 2014

Cloud 2.0: Your Input Requested Please


If you are a strategist or decision maker engaged in implementing or evaluating Cloud services, we’d very much value your input to our new Cloud 2.0 Programme here.

Building on several years of ground-breaking Telco 2.0 research into cloud services, we are initiating a set of activities that bring together leading thinking, practice and senior practitioners from telecoms operators, technology companies, and other industry facilitators.

Its goal is to accelerate the adoption of cloud services by telecoms operators both as a means to transform and develop operational agility and to provide external enterprise cloud propositions. The programme will be lead by Bob Brace, Senior Analyst, STL Partners/Telco 2.0 (formerly Head of Cloud at Vodafone), and will comprise a stream of dedicated research reports, sessions at our executive brainstorms, and other networking and information sharing activities.

If you’d like to input to the agenda and design of the programme overall, please take 5 minutes to input to our online research here, as we are collecting feedback on our plans, or contact us directly at contact@stlpartners.com. We will also be covering cloud at Digital Asia 2014, 2-4 December, Bali, and at OnFuture brainstorms in Arabia, Europe and the Americas.

cloud programme july 2014 slide.png

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July 7, 2014

Regulators, Orange, Telefonica, EU, Verizon, Samsung: Telco 2.0 News Review

‘Digital Asia 2014’ Executive Brainstorm and Innovation Forum, run by STL Partners in collaboration with Telkom Indonesia, is designed to equip 250 specially-invited business leaders from across the region’s telecoms, enterprise and technology sectors with new, breakthrough ideas, methods and tools on how to grow significant new revenues in the next 12-18 months leveraging Mobile, Cloud and Big Data.

Consolidation is go in Germany, but no in France

So while the European Commission clears the Telefonica buy of E-Plus, taking Germany down to three operators, the opposite is happening in France - Orange has walked away from the deal with Bouygues. That leaves only the options of a Free-Bouygues deal, or no deal at all.

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July 4, 2014

Keep Smiling: a Telco 2.0 tribute to Keith McMahon

KJM IMG_8928.jpg

We were shocked and saddened to learn this week of the early death of our colleague and friend Keith McMahon. It is a devastating blow for his family and friends, and a huge loss to us all. We understand from his family that he was diagnosed with a brain tumour last Friday 27th June, and died on Monday 30th June. He leaves a wife and two children of whom he was immensely proud, and to whom we offer our deepest condolences.

Keith started working with us in 2006, eventually closing down his Telebusillis blog to concentrate on his contribution to Telco 2.0. He had a fantastic grasp of the reality behind the numbers in almost every industry but particularly in telecoms, and a real talent for insight - the ability to find, understand, and express important issues well beyond the obvious. His analytical skills were backed by a wealth of practical experience gained in UK altnets and ISPs, in long-haul fibre builds throughout Latin America, and with Brazil’s biggest mobile operator.

He was a great and engaging presenter too - always colourful and often challenging, and a hugely enjoyable person to be with. He will be greatly missed by us all and the many clients, colleagues and friends he amassed throughout his busy and varied life.

Keith worked across our research and consulting business on many different projects, research reports and other publications. Among the many pieces that Keith either lead or contributed significantly to, in ‘BBC’s iPlayer nukes “all you can eat” ISP business model’ (2008), Keith was characteristically ahead of the curve in understanding the impact of video on broadband business models, and also showed his penchant for brutal attention-grabbing headlines, which he showed again in ‘Public Wifi: Destroying LTE/Mobile Value?’ (2011).

As well as contributing significantly to ‘Dealing with the ‘Disruptors’: Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft/Skype and Amazon’ (2012), he produced this gem on Amazon’s business model transformation. More recently, he was part of the team that delivered the Telco 2.0 Transformation Index.

As a person, Keith was warm, entertaining and fun to be with. He was highly intelligent, creative, and occasionally eccentric. He gave great value to clients and was a treasured colleague, even if his approach to deadlines evoked memories of the nickname he earned building telecoms networks in Latin America - ‘Il Pirata’.

Keith always signed his emails ‘Keep Smiling’. As hard as it is in the tragic circumstances of his early death, we would like to remember him with a smile, and hope this short video of Keith reflects a little of the qualities and the joy that we will remember him for.

(With thanks to Tom Davies at Keyline.tv for putting this video together.)

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July 2, 2014

Transformation: Vodafone needs a Telco 2.0 revolution

Our latest analysis shows that Vodafone, like AT&T and Verizon, needs a revolution in certain areas of its approach to transformation.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Telco 2.0 Transformation Index.png

STL Partners has today launched the most recent update to the Telco 2.0 Transformation Index, which features the addition of Vodafone to the 250+ page overall benchmarking report.

  • For a full description of the inputs and methodology behind the Transformation Index, see here
  • For the headline transformation scores broken down by domain, followed by an analysis of Vodafone’s current growth story, see here.
NB. We’ll also be discussing transformation at Digital Asia 2014 (Bali, 2-4 December) 2014.

Figure 1 below, taken from the updated benchmarking report, categorises the CSPs surveyed along two dimensions: what they can’t control (external market attractiveness, e.g. market maturity, regulation) and what they can control (execution within this context e.g. quality of service offerings, internal organisation and external partnerships).

Figure 1: Telco 2.0 Execution vs. Marketplace Attractiveness

T2TI Execution vs Market Attractiveness.png

One of the key findings from this chart is that Vodafone, AT&T and Verizon are operating in less attractive markets than their peers and, with the exception of Ooredoo, are executing on transformation less well also.

Focusing on Vodafone, one of the areas of execution STL Partners believes it can improve upon are its Service Offerings: specifically, as discussed here, it falls short of all of its peers except Ooredoo in this regard. The logical question, therefore, is why?

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June 30, 2014

Google I/O: Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: Plus, don’t forget to mark your diaries for OnFuture Arabia 2014, November 11-12, Dubai, and Digital Asia, 2-4 Dec, Bali.]

Google I/O: Android on your TV, your car, your watch; stock ‘droid phones at last; Glass, he dead; new big-data tools; Nest API

It’s been Google I/O this week. Among the major announcements, Google is having another run up the smart-TV hill with the selfexplanatory Android TV. This incorporates the API from Chromecast into a TV-specific version of Android, which also has voice recognition and natural language processing extensions to support searching for content hands-off. The API is also intended to let the user drive it from a mobile phone, rather than a remote control.

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June 26, 2014

Disruptive Strategy: ‘Uncarrier’ T-Mobile vs. AT&T, VZW, and Free.fr


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Disruptive Strategy: ‘Uncarrier’ T-Mobile vs. AT&T, VZW, and Free.fr’ T-Mobile USA’s ‘uncarrier’ strategy has delivered significant net additions, but is it a good strategy - and is the disruption promised by Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son already underway? We compare it to Free Mobile’s disruptive approach in France, and the results of its competitors’ responses.

You can read an excerpt of the report here We’ll be looking further at telecom disruption at OnFuture Arabia (10-12 November) and Digital Asia (2-4 November) 2014. Email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003 to find out more.

Extract chart from report:

The duopolists hold a lead but a new challenger arises.png

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Telco 2.0 Strategy Report Out Now: Telco Strategy in the Cloud

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