Displaying items by tag: Strategy

Uber’s growth slows as it prepares for IPO

Written on Sunday, 17 February 2019 13:37

US ride-hailing colossus Uber disclosed its financial earnings for the final quarter of 2018 which showed its revenue growth has slowed ahead of its much anticipated stock market debut.

The financial figures released by Uber indicated that for the final three months of the year its loss amounted to $865 million, compared with $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The San Francisco-based firm reported revenue of $3 billion, which represented a 25 percent increase from a year earlier. Uber remains a private company, but routinely discloses some earnings information.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has managed to guide Uber through choppy waters since assuming the CEO role from Travis Kalanick.

He is also being tasked with the responsibility of steering the high-value startup to a stock market debut this year, and has promised greater transparency as he seeks to restore confidence in the global ridesharing leader that has been hit by a wave of misconduct scandals and has become embroiled in a series of legal battles regarding its services, particularly in Europe.

Revenue for the full year rose 43 percent to $11.3 billion, with Uber's annual loss shrinking 15 percent to $1.8 billion, according to an official statement from the startup.

Uber operates its’ rideshare business in dozens of countries and has expanded to new areas including food delivery, electric scooters and bikes. The company is recognized as the largest of the venture-backed startups with a presumed valuation of some $70 billion.

Uber CFO Nelson Chai expressed his satisfaction with Uber’s financial results and said, “Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform. Our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities."

Based on gross bookings, Uber Eats has apparently become the largest online food delivery business outside of China.

Published in Apps

Google set to spend $13bn in US data centre expansion

Written on Sunday, 17 February 2019 12:32

US technology behemoth Google has announced that it will spend $13bn in expanding its US data centre network.

Published in Finance

In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today launched off-the-shelf Internet of Things (IoT) packages to help operators win new business in vertical IoT markets.

In addition to enabling operators to achieve a fast time to market, the packages simplify the set-up and operations of enterprise IoT services.

Built on the Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) infrastructure that provides the necessary global IoT connectivity and services support, the applications include IoT sensors, user applications and business models suited to specific sectors. Nokia WING's managed service approach also offers a pay-as-you-grow business model, giving operators the flexibility to quickly scale up IoT services as required.

The new market-ready solutions for WING eliminate the challenges facing operators developing their own IoT services.

These include the need for specialized expertise, the complexities of combining fragmented IoT connectivity infrastructure and the risk and effort of setting up and working with multiple service providers globally. Nokia works with best-in-class partners on Nokia WING vertical applications portfolio and continues to develop the IoT ecosystem.

The four new solutions announced today by Nokia include:

  • Smart Agriculture as-a-Service: Sensors capture environmental, soil and crop data that is then analyzed to provide insights that help farmers manage crops more effectively, potentially saving costs on irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Livestock Management as-a-Service: Tracking devices and biosensors monitor animal health and welfare to provide ranchers with early alerts if abnormalities are detected, protecting valuable livestock and improving yields.
  • Logistics as-a-Service: IoT sensors enable tracking of the global movement and condition of goods through the complete supply chain to help enterprises instantly identify incidents and even predict future events to optimize delivery and logistics process efficiency.
  • Asset Management as-a-Service: Connecting products anywhere in the world enables their status and performance to be monitored centrally, helping enterprises provide a better service to their business and consumer customers.

Nokia is trialing Agriculture as-a-Service with an African operator and working with a leading services and consulting firm on Asset Management as-a-Service to help them offer more advanced services.

Brian Partridge, Vice President, 451 Research, said: "Nokia addresses a wide spectrum of challenges through its WING IoT infrastructure-as-a-service so its early traction with customers isn't a surprise. Most telecom operators desire a more prominent role in the IoT value chain that builds upon secure and reliable domestic or global connectivity. Nokia's announced plans to offer end-to-end vertical applications on top of the WING global infrastructure is a logical next step. We believe that this approach benefits Nokia's WING telecom customers and the enterprises they serve in addition to vertical application partners who can benefit from WING's market scale and go-to market channels."

Ankur Bhan, Global Head of WING Business at Nokia, said: "The IoT is a growing opportunity for operators to win new enterprise customers and significant additional revenue in a diverse range of vertical markets. With minimal upfront investment, an operator can now quickly get a service to market and generate IoT revenues. We expect these vertical solutions to encourage more operators to connect to Nokia WING, expanding its global footprint and broadening the range of capabilities and services that will become available. We already have several more vertically-focused as-a-Service packages in the development pipeline."

Published in Telecom Vendors

Ericsson has launched its critical communications broadband portfolio for service providers. This will enable service providers to meet the business-critical and mission-critical needs of industries and public safety agencies as digitalization and modernization of land mobile radio communications increases.

When communication is disrupted by minutes, seconds, or even milliseconds, it can have huge consequences for business operations, or serious implications for public safety. The need for fast and reliable communication is therefore paramount.

Such critical communications are used in many areas: from first responders and nationwide emergency services to workforce safety in enterprises. There is a growing demand for business and mission-critical broadband for such use cases. Service providers need to deliver the highest level of availability, reliability and security to meet this demand.

To meet critical communications users’ needs, Ericsson has developed a new portfolio comprising three offerings: critical network capabilities; critical broadband applications;\ and flexible deployments for both local private networks, and nationwide mission-critical LTE networks.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “We see growth opportunities for service providers and government operators by addressing new segments with LTE/5G networks. Our critical broadband portfolio will enable our customers to effectively secure the critical communication needs of sectors such as public safety, energy and utilities, transportation, and manufacturing.”

Critical network capabilities

This offering includes advanced features for critical network performance and covers the following: high network availability; multi-network operation with spectrum sharing techniques; and coverage and capacity for critical applications. It also includes network security capabilities that ensure network services are maintained even when the infrastructure is under attack. Finally, quality of service, priority and preemption all guarantee latency performance and capacity requirements during high load and congestion. 

The critical network capabilities include new features that simplify the rollout of broadcasting services across nationwide areas. Another new feature enables radio access sites to operate in fallback mode, should the network connection fail. This offering also includes deployable systems that allow temporary coverage for disaster recovery and operations in rural areas without existing coverage.

Critical broadband applications 

This offering covers Ericsson Group-Radio that provides mission-critical push-to-talk, data and video services. This will enable, for example, blue light personnel such as the police to be more effective in performing community services that require advanced mobile broadband.

Flexible deployments for private networks

New business models are emerging for industries. From owning and operating their own networks, critical industries are now procuring private networks and services that leverage service providers’ existing network assets and operations – without compromising required local control. 

Ericsson’s flexible deployments for private networks range from network slicing to fully dedicated networks, enabling service providers to offer scalable, critical broadband network solutions and services for critical industries.

Ericsson also offers managed services for private networks, with solutions based on AI and automation that predict and prevent events while reducing OPEX. These solutions enable service providers to reduce time-to-market and onboard new industries, while securing critical service level agreements.

Critical broadband will enable industries to increase efficiency through the following: enhancing workforce productivity and safety; massive onboarding of devices and sensors; real-time location of assets and equipment; and data collection to boost equipment and personnel performance and avoid downtime.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Hélène Auriol Potier has been appointed Executive Vice President, International at Orange Business Services. She joins Orange from Microsoft where she spent 10 years, most recently as General Manager, Artificial Intelligence, Western Europe.

“Hélène’s deep knowledge of B2B customer needs, as well as her expertise in digital technologies will help our customers shape their innovation and is a perfect match with our ambition to become a leader in a new global, data-driven ecosystem where people, objects and business processes are all connected both inside and outside the company. This is what we envision as the “Internet of Enterprises,” said Helmut Reisinger, CEO, Orange Business Services.

Bringing information technology industry expertise gained in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia, Auriol Potier will help drive forward the company’s growth in areas that are key to support multinational companies in their data journey, including IoT, SD-WAN, cloud, analytics, big data and cyberdefense.

This strategy has already delivered significant results for Orange Business Services, with over 100 new major international customers signed up in 2018.

In cloud services and cybersecurity for example, Orange Business Services has posted seven consecutive years of double-digit growth globally, putting it well on the way to meeting its ambition for 50 percent of cloud revenues to come from outside France by 2022. This has also been driven by key acquisitions in the industry, including Basefarm and the opening of new data centers in Amsterdam and Atlanta.  

With 60 percent of the world’s data expected to come from enterprises in 2025 (vs 30 percent today)[1], Orange Business Services continues to transform its core service portfolio, including network services with the development of its software defined network (SDN)-based offerings, including Flexible SD-WAN. That solution was recognized as Best Enterprise Service in the 2018 World Communications Awards and attracted many new customers, including Siemens, one of the biggest SD-WAN deals ever signed.

Thanks to the Orange international focus on innovation, the company has pioneered a co-innovation approach that facilitates collaboration among the customer, Orange experts and partners to deliver new ideas, test them and bring them to market.

Successes include a project where Orange and its partner Foxtrot Systems are developing a proof of concept to optimize logistics using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for one of its largest European manufacturing customers. With a collaborative open ecosystem of internal talent and partners, Orange Business Services is poised to continue developing innovative solutions to benefit its customers.

Ericsson beats expectations in Q4

Written on Friday, 25 January 2019 09:17

Swedish telecom vendor Ericsson has surprised analysts with reduced losses in Q4 driven by the increase of sales revenues and costs reduction. Sales as reported increased by 10% Year-on-Year and sales adjusted for comparable units and currency increased by 4%. Costs related to revised Business Support Systems (BSS) strategy impacted Digital Services operating income in Q4.

Published in Telecom Industry

US operator forced to cut jobs from its media division

Written on Thursday, 24 January 2019 12:22

US telecommunications behemoth Verizon has announced that it has reduced its workforce in its media division in an effort to realign and restructure its overall business strategy.

Hundreds of jobs are expected to be lost from the operators’ media unit which includes former internet giants such as Yahoo and AOL. A source close to Verizon said the amount of jobs lost amounts to 7% of the overall staff.

Verizon’s media unit has been a successful extension to its comprehensive ICT portfolio - popular news sites such as the Huffington Post and TechCrunch generate large visitors to their websites on a daily basis.

Whilst the number of jobs being lost remains speculative, the reputable Wall Street Journal has reported that around 800 positions will be lost following the decision by Verizon to overhaul its business strategy.

The unit's chief executive Guru Gowrappan, who took over in October 2018, made the changes after a strategic review which determined the group would prioritize "Yahoo's member-centric ecosystem" along with ad technology and video products.

Responding to AFP, Verizon Media said in a statement: "Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future."

Verizon, which also operates one of the largest US telecom networks, last year wrote down the value of its Yahoo acquisition by some $4.6 billion.

Published in Telecom Operators

Germany and Canada both considering banning Huawei from 5G

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:07

The Canadian and German government are reportedly both seriously considering excluding Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei from its 5G networks due to security concerns.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US telecommunications behemoth AT&T has been roundly criticized by its rival operators in the United States who have described its 5G marketing as ‘overhyped’ and ‘misleading’.

US operator Verizon has urged those within the industry to resist the temptation to overhype and subsequently under-deliver on the promise of next-generation technology. In a statement released by Verizon, it’s CTO, Kyle Malady pointed out that whilst new technologies including AI, virtual reality and Internet of Things would all be underpinned by 5G, he stressed the importance of being realistic in terms of what operators can actually deliver in relation to the revolutionary technology.

AT&T launched a mobile 5G service towards the end of 2018, and claimed that it was offering the service to select businesses and consumers in 12 US cities via a mobile hotspot device provided by Netgear. The network operator has adopted an ambitious approach to 5G and was also pushing its 5G Evolution program which promised users speeds faster than your standard LTE.

In addition to this, it was also disclosed in a previous statement by AT&T that Android devices from the operator will display a 5G E logo pop-up on the home screen which would indicate they have connected to AT&T’s 5G evolution experience.

However, critics have claimed that the service provided by AT&T should not be considered as a 5G network offering. Verizon’s CTO said, “If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behaviour designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology.”

Although not mentioned by name, Verizon’s comments appear to be directed at its main rival AT&T.

Verizon is still preparing for its mobile 5G launch after deploying a fixed wireless access service in October 2018.

In another apparent swipe at AT&T’s Android device move, Malady also cautioned on the industry to only commit to labelling something 5G if new device hardware is connecting the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities.

The CTO added, “Verizon is making this commitment today: we won’t take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5.”

T-Mobile
Also turning up the heat was T-Mobile US, which didn’t pass up the opportunity to seemingly mock AT&T on Twitter, while making the same point as Verizon. “Didn’t realise it was this easy, brb updating,” the operator said on its official Twitter account, with the message accompanied by a video of someone taping a 9G sticker on a smartphone.

Published in Telecom Operators

US tech giant signs content agreement with Samsung

Written on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:22

US technology behemoth Apple has signed a new agreement with Samsung in relation to its streaming and content services in an effort to offset a decline in iPhone sales. The deal brokered between Apple and the South Korean conglomerate will enable the use of iTunes streaming services on Samsung smart TVs.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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