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Ring! Ring! Hot News, 4th May 2009

Vodafone Qatar IPO; Tellabs looking up; ZTE growing fast, sells CDMA gadgets, gets gig for LTE smartphone; Ericsson profits fall 30% to general relief; Qwest profits rise 37%; more litigation at Sprint; Sprint outsources its network to Ericsson; ALU renames WiMAX “Wireless DSL”; more horrible results at Motorola; Android gadgets to save them “by Christmas”; Palm Pre, considered cheap; Palm lines up another gadget behind the Pre; Vodafone free trial reveals remarkable numbers of people googling for Google; Acer gadget with two SIM cards; more Apple netbook chatter; crisis at T-Mobile UK; fibre diet improves latency; Telcommunicator on Singaporean fibre; Enck on possible UK fibre; Wikimedians on implementing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Pirate Bay in court again; Phorm’s…unusual…PR strategy; Google Books litigatin’; David S. Isenberg, much less stupid than his network

Signs of the upturn, or at least the bottom. Vodafone Qatar floats, raising $1bn; not so sure about boss Grahame Maher’s remarks, though.
“In any other country in the world this would not be possible. Qatar has demonstrated again that it is the leading global economy with this successful result.”
The leading global economy? Perhaps so. 65% of the shares went to 82,000 Qatari individual buyers, or an average of about eight grand each.

Tellabs CEO Rob Pullen was being demonstratively cautious, but they’ve pencilled in a few percentage points of growth this year too. Nothing like what’s happening at ZTE, however, where their handset shipments are growing at a 30% clip, with more than two-thirds of production going for export.

A notable customer is US regional carrier MetroPCS, which already offers some ZTE CDMA devices, and which is also planning to get ZTE smartphones for its LTE network, which is intended to roll out in 2010.

And Ericsson’s profits fell 30 per cent. Which counts as good news these days! Qwest, however, saw profits up by 37%.

Telco USSR news: Sprint Nextel loses one of its many, many lawsuits with a regional affiliate, iPCS, which claims that the joint Sprint/Clearwire WiMAX net breaks their noncompete agreement. Meanwhile, Sprint is trying to save 20% of OPEX by outsourcing everything to Ericsson. Alcatel-Lucent, by the way, is talking about WiMAX as “Wireless DSL.

Another US crisis club, Motorola, has some news; mobile devices lost $509m, the rest made something under $250m. But apparently there will be Android gadgets by Christmas; it all hinges on that.

Palm’s survival hinges on the Pre going over well; after last week’s news that it was undergoing the challenging movie queen trials, it looks like the margin on the devices is not going to be fantastic. Possibly, as iSuppli estimates that it costs about as much as an iPhone to make, but will sell for much less, they are hoping to triumph on volume - which does make you wonder why they didn’t start off with a GSM version. Speaking of which, there’s another Palm device coming which will have a GSM/UMTS radio, but won’t have some of the Pre’s features. Right.

If you’re suffering with the economy, this weekend may have helped a little, as Vodafone offered a free trial of mobile broadband. The most interesting information that resulted is that the eighth most common search string sent to Google is “Google”, which suggests there may be limits on the possible market for a phone with two SIM cards. However, you can be fairly certain that people will pay for whatever netbook/webpuck/thingy Apple comes up with.

Deutsche Telekom’s main shareholders - Blackstone, and the German government - are not happy with T-Mobile UK. And it seems they are looking for a sale or a radical fix, with suggestions that 3 might go beyond their existing radio network joint venture and buy the thing. Which would, come to think of it, settle a few of the outstanding spectrum issues in the UK.

Yet another reason for fibre; check out the graph showing the network latency experienced by one subscriber after Lafayette, Louisiana deployed a muni-fibre network. See also: Tim Poulos on the Singaporean national FTTH roll-out.

James Enck points to an LSE study on the benefits of public investment in fibre - they reckon £15bn in investment would create 700,000 jobs.

There’s a podcast from the Wikimedia Foundation over at Telephony Online about their mobile activities; you might also be interested in this presentation at OSCON about the local Wikipedia available for the OLPC and iPhone.

More Pirate Bay legal troubles, this time in Italy; Phorm is trying to combat its rotten image by starting an anonymous website that attacks its critics. That’ll do it. And more and more legal issues are bubbling up around Google Book Search.

And there’s a gripping conference address from David S. Isenberg here.

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