Tech / Telecom news — 15 Feb 2017


Results at T-Mobile US were good, with almost 1m postpaid and more than 2m total net adds, in the 15th consecutive quarter with more than 1m (!), and a double digit revenue growth (+11% yoy), with equipment sales offsetting a lower than expected service revenue growth. Beyond that, churn is falling -0.26pp yoy (Story)

Verizon’s recent launch of (relatively cheap) unlimited data is a reaction to T-Mobile market share gains, with leaders now starting a price war they would expect to win with superior resources. But they will suffer, as they’re relatively weaker in spectrum, and will need money to keep up with the traffic demand they’re triggering (Story)


Verizon keeps struggling to capture growth in next-gen video, including the need to exploit a partnership with new content producer AwesomenessTV, where they own a 24.5% stake acquired for $160m. They now seem to have abandoned their initial idea to build a “premium short-form mobile video service” with this (Story)

Meanwhile, traditional content players like Comcast’s NBCU are also trying to adapt and go after the audience, which is shifting to new formats. NBCU is now working with internet media company BuzzFeed to create new TV content that will leverage BuzzFeed’s innovative reporting skills for news (Story)

Facebook has revealed some more information on their plans to become a video-centric player, and in particular on a business model that they expect to evolve from current direct payments to content producers (and/or particular celebrities creating videos for the platform) to advertising revenue-share agreements (Story)

Facebook also increasing distribution efforts, with new video apps under way for key streaming TV platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV. This complements the content creation strategy, as the move could attract more professional content, including music videos from big labels (Story)


AT&T just announced that by the end of June they will be launching their LTE-M network for the internet of things, a narrowband, low power connectivity infrastructure that will take advantage of current LTE spectrum (& sites), and that offers similar performance vs alternative technologies like LORA or SigFox (Story)


People saying that data is the new oil might have to review this claim if startups like Gamalon, a Boston-based company led by MIT alumni, succeed. They just revealed they’re working on “Bayesian Program Synthesis” algorithms, able to learn with much smaller training datasets vs. e.g. current Deep Learning tools (Story)


In a really disturbing trend, an increasing number of companies seem to be deploying office sensors to keep track of employees, capturing data on how people move and talk while at work. This is justified as a way to anticipate workplace problems, such us space optimisation or security risks. But it doesn’t look too good… (Story)


SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son keeps working to build what he’s described as the “Berkshire Hathaway of tech”, and just announced the acquisition of the Fortress Investment Group, a US asset manager, for $3.3bn. This could have synergies with SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund, but would increase debt ratio to 4.3x EBITDA (Story)