Displaying items by tag: investment

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

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has vowed to work closely with Polish authorities in order to ensure it plays a key role in the buildout of its 5G networks.

Reports are claiming that Huawei executives will meet with officials from the Polish government in a bid to iron out any major security concerns that the country may have following the ongoing allegations that the Chinese vendor is a risk to national security.

Huawei also became embroiled in controversy last month, when one of its executives was arrested on suspicion of espionage.

Huawei’s senior standards manager in Europe, Georg Mayer, insisted that there has been no slowdown of sales of end-user equipment in Poland despite the negative press.

However, he acknowledged that if the negative press and scaremongering regarding Huawei’s security continues then it will eventually negatively impact business.

Huawei has reportedly offered to build a cybersecurity centre in Poland in another effort to show its commitment to addressing the security issues that have come to the fore in recent months.

In addition to this, Huawei’s head fiure in Poland, Tonny Bao, said the company was ready to establish a cyber security focused operation in the country “if authorities accept this as a trusted solution”.

The company has set up information security labs in Germany and the UK, designed to assure authorities its equipment is safe.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Indranil das, Head of Digital Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa has outlined a comprehensive 5-step framework that is specifically designed to enable communication service providers to prosper in the ‘digital economy’.

The future is digital, and digital service providers will lead the way. From enhancing the way you engage with your customers to automating operations, service providers reach new levels of programmability, access and agility – levels that digital natives call home.What does it mean to become a digital service provider?

Here is a 5-step framework that can help service providers prosper in the digital economy:

Step 1: Build your Cloud Infrastructure:

Cloud infrastructure is the foundation for 5G & IoT. The scale and performance requirements of 5G and IoT demand a different approach to digital infrastructure. Increase speed, efficiency, and agility in offering new services while reducing risk and shortening lead time while you transform the network.

With an open and pre-integrated NFVI solution which can be deployed both at central and distributed sites and organizations will be better prepared to manage all workloads.

Step 2: Quick Time to Market with VoLTE:

Whether you are a service provider with millions of customers or just thousands of users, you have your own cloud datacenter, or you want a full-stack solution for VoLTE services, there is an industrialized solution that will suit your requirements.

The same is true if you are an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) or mission-critical service provider looking for an easy way to get both mobile broadband and voice services over LTE and Wi-Fi ready in your network in one step. You can deploy VoLTE in weeks now allowing a quicker time to market.

Step 3: Boost revenue with digital BSS:

Digital business support systems are critical to uncovering new revenue streams. Customer experience is vital for a successful transformation to a digital business, and digital business support systems are in the center of this change.

Businesses cannot deliver an agile digital customer experience with the transformation of the ‘front-end’ experience alone – it needs to be a complete business transition – to put in place the end to end tools and processes to make real the goal of delivering a truly digital, simple, ‘one-click’ business.

Customers experience simplicity and ease in administering their accounts through the ability to find information online, compare offerings, make online purchases, and get fast and automated deliveries. This results in real, measurable business improvements from simplification including much faster time-to-market and better customer experience.

Step 4: Explore new revenue streams via network slicing:

The IoT era has the potential to transform industry and society, and with 5G on the horizon, countless new business models become a possibility. IoT services come with their own complex connectivity and performance-related challenges.

As such, operators must invest in technologies to meet efficiency and flexibility demands of these new services – making an alternative approach necessary in order to maximize revenue generation. That’s where network slicing comes in – providing the capability to enable new business models across a broad industry spectrum.

Network slicing is a powerful virtualization capability and one of the key capabilities that will enable flexibility. This solution allows operators to segment the network to support particular services and deploy multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure.

Step 5: Embrace cloud native design principles:

In the next few years all telecom applications will be cloud natively designed so as to increase efficiency and utilization of the cloud infrastructure. Benefits include increased speed of software upgrades and releases plus improved granularity, and enhanced automation through already embedded features in the NFVi layer (Cloud infrastructure for NFV).

Adapted software architecture makes much better use of cloud data center resources. In the case of 5G, the new ETSI standardized 5G Core functions will be cloud native and container based. This is expected to start during 2019.

Ericsson’s digital services blueprint will equip organizations with the tools needed for today’s technological landscape. By finding the right blueprint for their businesses, they can reach new heights of agility, access and automation.

Published in Telecom Vendors

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

US operator set to spend $1bn on addressing climate change

Written on Thursday, 07 February 2019 12:29

US telecommunications behemoth Verizon has pledged its commitment to helping the environment in an effort to address climate change by investing $1bn in green-friendly projects.

Verizon had been actively pursuing funding for its environmental commitments by using lower-cost bonds that appeal to a growing block of environmentally-sensitive investors. This week the US operator borrowed $1bn courtesy of a so-called green bond which basically allows them to spend the proceeds on projects that will create a positive impact on the environment.

The injection of capital will significantly help Verizon fulfill its promise from 2018, when it said that it intends to cover at least half of its energy use with renewable sources by 2025. It was further disclosed that new projects will include solar and hydrogen fuel cell electricity production at its existing properties and other investments will be made in larger solar and wind farms in areas in close proximity to its facilities nationwide.

Jim Gowen, Vice President for Verizon’s global supply chain expressed his delight at the investment boost and said it illustrated further proof of its commitment to creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Gowen said, “This is now a real game changer. The whole goal of this new bond was to focus on a new, unique funding source.”

In addition to this, the bond issue was a huge success from a financial perspective. Wall Street underwriters had eight times more orders to buy bonds than bonds to sell which ultimately allowed them to reduce Verizon’s borrowing cost below the rate on its typical corporate debt. Verizon declined to specify the exact borrowing rate.

Green bond issuance rocketed to $167 billion worldwide last year, which represented almost a quadruple increase from the level in 2015. Projections appear to indicate that it has resonated with investors so much so that the sector issuance this year could hit $200 billion, according to Moody’s Investor Service.

The new initiative is one way the investment community is seeking to address the risks of climate change at a time when the federal government has renounced many such efforts. So far, most of the borrowing has been by government entities, but more corporations are getting in the market, too. 

Verizon last year added 200,000 LED bulbs, Gowen says. Some money will also be spent on the company’s reforestation program a commitment to plant 2 million new trees by 2030 including 250,000 in areas hit by the series of major hurricanes in 2017 like Puerto Rico and Miami.

Verizon plans to spend the $1 billion in three years or less. And he’s already thinking about how the company could spend more with additional green bond issues. “I already have plans and I’m setting up my next $1 billion. We see this as a great funding mechanism in the future.

Published in Telecom Operators

US operator suffers drop in its revenue as it prepares for 5G

Written on Tuesday, 05 February 2019 08:13

US telecommunications operator Sprint has posted a disappointing performance in its financial returns for Q4 in 2018.

Published in Telecom Operators

Taiwanese electronic colossus Foxconn has now admitted that it is currently reassessing its plans to invest in a new $10bn factory in Wisconsin.

When first announced it was hailed as a significant win for US President Donald Trump who had promised rust-belt states that he would breathe new life into the manufacturing sector and create millions of jobs.

However, that deal now may be dead in the water due to the ongoing dispute between Beijing and Washington that is becoming increasingly toxic. 

Foxconn manufactures devices and components for a host of the world’s leading technology leaders including Apple, and had previously unveiled its plans to build the $10 billion plant to make LCD flat screen televisions which would also in turn create around 13,000 new jobs.

The investment was vetoed by $4bn in controversial tax concessions which were embraced by Trump who said the deal was another illustration of his campaign promise which was to put America ‘first’ again. Trump has also tried to strong arm other tech giants like Apple offering them tax breaks if they move manufacturing back to the United States.

Trump appeared with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou at a groundbreaking ceremony proclaiming and stated that, "This is just the beginning. This is one of the largest plants in the world."

However, the global economic climate roiled by Trump's trade war with China where Foxconn has most of its assembly lines -- has led officials at the Taiwanese company to look again at the plans.

"The global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed. As our plans are driven by those of our customers, this has necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin," Foxconn said in a statement Thursday.

However, Foxconn has moved swiftly to deny it’s pulling out of the proposed investment and released an official statement saying it is remained committed to building its science park in Wisconsin and wants to help create 13,000 jobs". 

Woo told Bloomberg, "We’re not scrapping our plans at all. However, given the global economic conditions and the trade tensions between China and the US, its’ impossible to say that we can always stay committed to our original plan without any change."

Published in Government

Oracle, in collaboration with Redington, a leading distributor and an Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) partner operating across Middle East and Africa launched a dedicated Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) in Dubai to enable knowledge share and ready availability of Oracle Cloud to help Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN)members develop and implement transformative cloud projects across the Middle East.

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