Thursday, February 5, 2009

América Móvil Reaches 183 Million Mobile Users

América Móvil added 10.1 million subscribers in Q4 2008 -- the most it has ever added for a given quarter -- giving it a total of 182.7 million across all of the Latin American countries it serves. Net additions were 3.5% higher than those of the same period of last year. In Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador net additions were up by 87%,36% and 34%, respectively relative to the previous year. In the latter two countries, as in Mexico and Brazil, the postpaid base has been growing more rapidly than the prepaid one.

Some highlights:

  • Through 2008, América Móvil gained 29.3 million subscribers, 2.3% more than a year before. The company ended the year with 182.7 million wireless subscribers and 3.8 million fixed lines, for a total of 186.6 million lines.

  • In Brazil, América Móvil obtained 3 million subs in the quarter and in each of Mexico and Colombia 2 million. Tracfone, in the U.S. gained 743 thousand clients whereas Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and the Caribbean each registered approximately half a million net additions in the period.

  • In annual terms, the company's fourth quarter revenues were up 11.6% to 94.4 billion pesos, with service revenues rising 14.7% on the back of strong subscriber and data revenue growth.

  • Capital expenditures topped 68 billion pesos in 2008 whereas distributions to shareholders (via both share buybacks and dividends) reached nearly 52 billion pesos, for a combined total of 120 billion pesos. Except for 11.5 billion pesos that were financed in the market, the rest of the above-mentioned outlays was covered by cash flow.

  • At the end of the year our net debt stood at 121.5 billion pesos equivalent, which represented 0.88 times EBITDA (last twelve months). América Móvil's cash position represented approximately 85% of short term debt at the time.

  • In Mexico net additions in the fourth quarter were just shy of two million bringing to 6.4 million the total figure for 2008. América Móvil's subscriber base finished the year at 56.4 million clients. It was up 3.7% sequentially and 12.7% year-on-year.

  • Claro Brazil added three million subscribers to end December with 38.7 million, 28.1% more than a year before. At 8.5 million, net additions in 2008 were 34% higher than in 2007. They represented 28.7% of the total net adds of the market, making Claro the leader in subscriber growth for the year, both in the Brazilian market.

  • Colombia followed Brazil with just over two million net subscriber gains in the quarter-- 87.2% more than in the same period of 2007--and 5.1 million subs in the year, closing December with 27.4 million clients, 22.6% more than a year before.

  • Argentina obtained 553 thousand new clients in the fourth quarter, bringing to 1.9 million the year's total. Wireless penetration in the country has reached an estimated 113% and is the highest in Latin America.

  • Peru and Ecuador each obtained 455 thousand net additions each in the fourth quarter, to finish December with 7.2 and 8.3 million clients, respectively. In Chile, América Móvil almost doubled net additions from a year before--to 214 thousand--taking the subscriber base to three million.

  • In Central America, América Móvil obtained slightly more than one million net additions in 2008, of which 110 thousand were added in the fourth quarter. Combined subscriber base in the region ended December with 9.2 million, 12.3% more than in 2007.

  • América Móvil's operations in the Caribbean added 1.3 million subscribers in 2008, 554 thousand of them in the last quarter. The latter figure doubles that of a year earlier. In the U.S. our fourth quarter net subscriber additions, 743 thousand, were up 4.6% year-on-year, bringing to 1.7 million our net gains for 2008.

  • Overall data revenues for América Móvil climbed 37.0% in the fourth quarter relative to the same period of the prior year, more than twice as fast as service revenues, with data now accounting for 15% of service revenues. In just a year since launching 3G services in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, data revenues in those countries grew by 70%, 41% and 26%, respectively.

Infineon reports Sequential Quarterly Revenue Drop of 28%

Infineon Technologies reported revenues of Euro 830 million, down 28 percent sequentially and 24 percent year-over-year, for the quarter ending 31-Dec-2008. The sequential decrease reflects a decline in revenues in all of the company's operating segments due to significantly lower demand as a result of the global economic slow-down and inventory corrections throughout the electronics supply-chain. The company's Automotive and Wireless Solutions segments were most severely affected. Overall, the company's revenues were slightly better than forecasted, largely due to the stronger U.S. dollar against the Euro. Excluding effects of currency fluctuations, primarily between the U.S. dollar and the Euro, and acquisitions and divestitures, revenues decreased 32 percent sequentially and 26 percent year-over-year.

Infineon also noted the recent insolvency filing of Qimonda, in which it holds a 77.5 percent share.

As for its networking related activities, Infineon said revenues for its Wireless Solutions segment decreased significantly on a sequential basis, mainly due to the drastic market slow-down and inventory corrections at customers. In particular, one HSDPA customer reduced demand after its high level of demand in the preceding quarter.htttp://

Nokia Siemens Networks Debuts Multiradio Base Station

Nokia Siemens Networks introduced its Flexi Multiradio Base Station aimed at making the evolution from 2G and 3G to LTE faster, greener and more cost-effective. The new product builds on the company's Flexi Base Station platform by adding support to cover GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE - all running concurrently in a single unit.

A key feature of the Flexi Multiradio Base Station is the ability for new and existing 2G and 3G operators to use their existing infrastructure to deploy new network-wide technologies via software upgrade to 3G or LTE. The new Multiradio Flexi is also backward compatible with current Flexi Base Station, enabling capacity upgrades to existing Base Station sites. The product also fits CDMA operators who intend to migrate to WCDMA/HSPA or LTE.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the simplicity of running multiple radio technologies in a single Base Station means reduced OPEX from fewer site visits, simplified logistics, reduced maintenance and a smaller requirement for trained staff. The possibility to reuse GSM sites for WCDMA and HSPA also delivers savings from reduced rental costs and maximized reuse of existing infrastructure.

Energy efficiency is also improved in the Flexi Multiradio. An average 3 sector Base Station site running simultaneously GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA consumes as little as 790W, while pushing 60W output per sector for maximum capacity and coverage. The small and lightweight product is also rugged enough for outdoor use without shelters or air conditioning, further minimizing their environmental impact.

Flexi Multiradio Base Station features built-in IP/Ethernet connectivity for a unified transport network for the Single RAN. Operators can also benefit from using the common NetAct network management system for planning, optimizing and operating the Single RAN. For example, NetAct Optimizer enables easy and high quality refarming of WCDMA or LTE in current GSM 900 MHz frequency band.

Deployments of this new Flexi Multiradio Base Station will start from the beginning of 2010 onwards.

"Flexi Multiradio Base Station makes network evolution faster, greener and more cost-efficient than ever, and this launch makes Nokia Siemens Networks the only vendor which enables future technology evolution steps exactly with the same hardware without radio technology specific boards. Thanks to the industry's highest degree of integration, Flexi Multiradio Base Station is able to provide three technologies in one compact 3 sector Base Station of less than 75 liters", said Marc Rouanne, head of the company's Radio Access business.

Nokia Siemens Networks is also introducing a new Multicontroller platform for radio access, which will be the basis for its future radio network controller products, including GSM and WCDMA. The new product enables operators to cope with fast changes of the network, caused by huge subscriber and data traffic growth. The Nokia Siemens Networks Multicontroller is fully adaptable to various traffic mixes and is extremely scalable with growing capacity up to 35 Gbps. First deployments of Multicontroller are starting from the second half of 2010 onwards.

Corning Issues 2009 Forecast, Sees Strength in FTTH

Corning is prepared for a prolonged recession, "but well positioned in key growth markets to take advantage of opportunities when the economy turns," Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer, said at the company's annual investor conference in New York. The company has already taken a number of steps to lower its costs, including eliminating temporary and contract worker positions, extending manufacturing shutdowns, adopting a zero-based capital budget for 2009, cutting 3,500 full-time positions, suspending salaried merit increases, and consolidating some manufacturing operations.

However, Corning still plans to spend about $630 million on research, development, and engineering in 2009. The company cited progress with its Gorilla glass for portable display devices and its extension into the notebook computer and desk-top monitor space; advances with its Epic System and cell culture solutions; establishment of manufacturing processes for green lasers for microprojection in anticipation of 2009 sales; advances in mercury abatement for coal-fired power plants; and delivery of customer samples of thin-film photovoltaics for solar-powered energy solutions.

Corning said that although the 2008 telecom market was below expectations and the 2009 market is shaping up to be even weaker, telecom macro trends remain strong and the historic technology shift from copper to optical will continue. "Optical fiber is winning," said Clark S. Kinlin, president and chief executive officer of Corning Cable Systems. "The substitution of fiber over copper lines continues as bandwidth requirements in individual homes grow. Our ClearCurve product portfolio provides solutions for delivering high-speed bandwidth into the most challenging locations such as high-rise apartments and, soon, tight-fitting data center applications. These revolutionary technologies allow us to expand our leadership in the growing fiber to the home and enterprise network markets."

Here are some additional highlights from the telecom portion of the company's presentation:

2008 Recap --Telecom Market

  • Optical Fiber & Cable -- there was strong worldwide volume growth of 12-15%

  • Access network construction drove strong 1H

  • The Global recession impacted 2H growth rate

  • Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) saw strong growth of ~15% while DSL declined by ~25%

  • Private (Enterprise) Networks saw slight growth: ~3%

  • There was lower commercial construction offset by data center growth

For 2009, Corning is forecasting

  • The telecom market to be down 10-15% vs. 2008

  • Public Carrier Networks to be down ~10%

  • Private (Enterprise) Networks to be down by ~20%

Chunghwa Telecom Selects Ericsson for Next-generation Optical Network

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, has selected Ericsson to deploy a metro aggregation network for supporting its high-capacity broadband services, such as IPTV and e-health, for both fixed and mobile access.

Specifically, CHT has chosen Ericsson's Marconi Optical Multi-Service (OMS) solution as a key component in ties network. The OMS solution plays an important role in lowering the transport costs (per bit) by aggregating and grooming traffic in the metro network, with support for both telephony (TDM: Time-Division Multiplexing) and IP (Ethernet) traffic. It also provides a key link between different parts of the network, such as the fixed and wireless backbone network and CHT's all-IP fiber network. Under the agreement Ericsson will also be responsible for professional services, including network deployment, learning services and support. Financial terms were not disclosed.

According to Chunghwa's market forecast, there will be an eighty percent coverage of 30Mbps broadband network in Taiwan by 2011.

Denmark's TDC to Test NEC's Femtocell

TDC Mobile A/S, Denmark's largest mobile operator, is preparing for a potential roll-out of the NEC Femtocell solution in late 2009. The companies are conducting a friendly user trial involving several Femtocell Access Points deployed in consumer locations and connected to TDC's commercial core network system.

TDC will offer its customers a small low-power plug-and-play consumer device (Femtocell Access Point) to enable localized 3G coverage and dedicated capacity in their home while using their broadband connection as a backhaul.

NEC said it has commercial Femtocell contracts in place and several live trials underway with operators around the world.