Tech / Telecom news — 25 Jan 2017

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Verizon’s shares sank yesterday after a disappointing 4Q16 with wireless service revenues (-4.9%, on weak ARPA) not showing any sign of recovering, with T-Mobile dominating market momentum. Meanwhile, diversification still not moving the needle, with AT&T’s shorter-term approach looking more effective for now (Story)

Also in the US, data caps seem to be generalising for Fixed BB connections, possibly seen as a hedge vs. success of streaming video apps. Cox is now copying Comcast by imposing a 1TB monthly cap beyond which customers have to pay $10 for each additional 50GB. Unlike Comcast, they’re not limiting overage charges (Story)

Reliance Jio’s ultra aggressive commercial offer (still giving away voice and data for free) keeps re-shaping the Indian market drastically. RJio already has 70m customers, after mass defections from other players, and Bharti is suffering a lot, as shown by their recent announcement of a -55% yoy fall in net profit (Story)

Enterprise

Lots of problems for BT in the stock market, after a profit warning linked to an accounting scandal in Italy, and the need to pay back off-balance-sheet loans for £500m. The financial update also recognises a severe deterioration of BT’s global B2B unit, partly driven by a less relevant role of telecom operators in the space (Story)

SAP has a vision as an enabler for Europe to leave “digital recession”, and has increased its profit target for 2020 on this. They seem themselves as a tool for European companies not to “surrender to US” in the industrialised internet, as it happened with the consumer internet. And SMEs would play a key role in this plan (Story)

E-COMMERCE

Alibaba has presented a good 4Q16, with +54% revenue growth, beating analysts’ estimates, and shares went up, but remain under their IPO price from 2014. Analysts are linking this to the inability for Alibaba to grow beyond its core e-commerce business, with both cloud and digital media units still losing money (Story)

NETWORK TECHNOLOGY

Traffic data for all 4 US mobile operators have been published, showing monthly traffic per customer via cellular vs. WiFi. As we already saw, Sprint’s case is surprisingly balanced, with just 60% traffic on WiFi, vs. AT&T’s 72% , T-Mobile’s 67% and Verizon’s 69%. Facebook and YouTube dominate traffic for all carriers (Story)

BIG DATA & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Controversial quantum computing company D-Wave, which claims to be building quantum devices, against the opinion of some scientists, just announced a new breakthrough with a 2000-qubit computer which performs 1000x faster vs. standard CPUs or GPUs, making it a candidate to run complex deep learning algorithms (Story)

Cyber Security

Microsoft Ventures just invested in Illusive Networks, an Israel startup with a different approach to cyber security, which lets hackers enter the system, and is focused on deceiving them with an alternate, false corporate network, where they are then locked in (or expelled). Illusive is targeting large companies with this (Story)

M&A MOVES

Cisco moving from hardware to software, beyond its core, by acquiring a unicorn startup, AppDynamics, for $3.7bn. This company offers software and services to monitor performance of enterprise apps, and Cisco wants to integrate it to build end-to-end monitoring systems across applications and networking equipment (Story)