Format: Nov 2019
Sector(s) Datesort descending
Cable & Wireless: UK vs. the 'exotics'

This report examines the medium-term prospects for Cable & Wireless. In 2003, analysts sensed a new dawn for C&W following the arrival of new management and the company's exit from the US.

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms 13 May 2004
French Broadband Market

The take-off of local loop unbundling in H2 2003 enabled France to record the highest rate of broadband market growth in 2003 in Europe. This torrid pace of growth continued in Q1 2004 due to retail price declines and 50% rises in ISP ad budgets year-on-year. Free, Neuf, Cegetel, Telecom Italia, Tiscali are offering LLU-based DSL offers, bundled in most cases with telephony.

Telecoms 1 June 2004
UK Digital TV Platform Growth

UK digital TV (DTV) growth is rocketing ahead, but how fast? Ofcom and BARB – the two ‘official’ sources – agree that growth has been faster since Q4 2003 and that Freeview is the main reason, but are issuing increasingly divergent estimates. Ofcom is, in our view, overestimating Freeview and BSkyB homes. We prefer BARB's methods and rely on its estimate of 48.1% of UK TV homes (11.7 million DTV homes).

Media 7 June 2004
3G in Japan

Although 3G mobile networks are being rolled out aggressively in Japan, instead of the promised land of increased voice and data revenue driving higher profits, revenue is stagnant and costs are rising. In this report we examine why and consider the lessons to be learned for European operators.




Telecoms, Mobile 13 June 2004
Global Games Market

The unveiling of new handheld gamers at E3, the games industry's annual gathering in Los Angeles, has resuscitated interest in the fast maturing market for handheld gamers. Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP), Nintendo's dual-screen GameBoy and Nokia's redesigned N-Gage QD are major product plays for companies that must each prove themselves again to be innovative or continue to decline.

Media 17 June 2004
Analogue Switch-Off

The structure of the UK broadcasting industry will be hugely influenced by the timing of the analogue switch-off. It will particularly affect ITV, whose licence fee is set by reference to the percentage of the population able to receive digital signals.

Media 21 June 2004
UK Broadband Market H1 2004

UK broadband take-up continued to be strong in H1 2004, with an estimated 1.1 million new home and business broadband subscribers expanding the base to 4.2 million. Take-up is being aided by aggressive price competition - many ISPs are now offering broadband packages below the critical price point of £20/month - and relentless marketing campaigns as the 'land grab' for subscribers continues.

Telecoms 24 June 2004
Online Advertising Europe 2004

Online advertising outperformed other media in 2003 in the three biggest European markets of the UK, Germany and France, a trend which we expect to continue in 2004-06. Paid search has been the principal driver of growth in the UK market (up 70% in 2003), but interest of advertisers has cooled as steep price rises have reduced its cost effectiveness as a customer acquisition tool. Paid search is taking off in France and Germany, and will fuel growth in 2004-06.

Media 14 July 2004
ITV Licence Fees

Ofcom produced a tough and rigorous document on ITV licence fee renewals. Although the paper is dense and difficult to understand, we think it is bad news for ITV. The likely licence fee settlement is going to be higher than commentators might have expected six months ago. The prime reasons are Ofcom’s proposed move to assessing the ‘digital dividend’ on the basis of digital viewing, not households and, second, taxing the benefits of the lower costs of the merged ITV business. The first of these is the more important financially since only about 57% of ITV viewing in digital houses is of the digital ITV service.

We have long been sceptical of claims that music download stores like iTunes, combined with hardball legal tactics against pirates, would rapidly turn around the fortunes of the music industry. The wildly successful iPod has driven the growth of digital music downloads, and is expanding the population of music downloaders that pay for music - but not forced a change of heart by file sharers! Music download sales are expanding but not fast enough to balance the decline in physical formats. Globally, we project sales of music downloads of $3.5 billion by 2010, about 10% of the total music market.

  • ITV
Media 20 July 2004
ITV audience and NAR under the CRR Remedy

Weak Q2 commercial viewing figures fuelled stories that ITV1 NAR could be approximately £100 million lower in 2005 unless audience share rallied in H2 2004. This was due to the Contracts Rights Renewal (CRR) remedy, imposed by the Competition Commission as a condition for the merger of the Carlton and Granada sales houses to create ITV Sales, which now controls over 50% of television advertising sales.

  • ITV
Media 4 August 2004
Sogecable and Spanish Pay-TV

This report examines pay-TV developments in Spain where Digital+, Sogecable's DTH pay-TV service, has just celebrated its first birthday (Sogecable [2003-23]). Sogecable financial targets for 2005 are within reach.

  • Sogecable
Media 1 September 2004
LLU in the UK II

Local loop unbundling (LLU) is about to become a reality in the UK. This is the main conclusion of our quantitative assessment of the cost savings to be realised from unbundling local exchanges following price declines to connection and rental charges by BT in May 2004, as well as those recommended on 26th August 2004 by Ofcom.

Fixed Line 8 September 2004
Virgin Mobile and MVNOs

MVNOs have attracted much attention recently. Virgin Mobile's IPO revealed attractive economics and discount MVNOs in certain smaller European markets have had success. This report considers the question of whether Virgin Mobile is a one-off or the start of a trend, and whether discount MVNOs can replicate their success in larger countries.




  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Mobile 13 September 2004
UK Mobile Call Charge Trends

The profitability of the UK 2G mobile networks depends on the continued avoidance of a price war. Are there any signs yet of retail price erosion? This report suggests that mobile prices have in fact risen in the last two years, despite the entry of ‘3’, the growth of Virgin Mobile and the regulatory pressure on termination charges.




Telecoms, Mobile 20 September 2004
Update on 3G in Japan

This note updates on 3G in Japan [2004-24] after visits to NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Vodafone Japan, and recent announcements in advance of Vodafone’s investor day next week. We conclude that the market's outlook remains poor and, in particular, Vodafone Japan will struggle.




Telecoms, Mobile 21 September 2004
Recorded Music 2004

Our annual assessment of the global recorded music market highlights the key drivers of the market's development – competition for the consumer wallet from mobile telephony, video games, DVD sales and live performances, as well as piracy.

Media 17 October 2004
NTL 2004

NTL’s successful reshaping of its balance sheet over the last two years since it emerged from Chapter 11 has meant that the company is now a reliable future generator of cash. Management disciplines have improved substantially. Unsurprisingly, the company would therefore also like to be considered as a growth stock.

Telecoms 26 October 2004
BSkyB Targets II

The BSkyB change of strategy announced last August by James Murdoch has claimed its first victim according to this report: the company's own original target of 30% operating margin by FY 2006/07. That leaves the company with just two of its core targets: £400 ARPU and 8 million subscribers by the end of 2005. Meanwhile, the profit target has been replaced by the long-term growth target of 10 million Sky Digital subs by 2010, over 25% with Sky+ boxes and more than 30% with multiroom subs.

  • Sky
Media 5 November 2004
TV-over-DSL in the UK

TV-over-DSL has been pioneered in the UK by HomeChoice and Kingston Interactive Television (KIT), but their combined customer base is only about 15,000. ISPs and telcos are considering TV as a potential extra application for the local networks they intend to build in urban areas by unbundling local loops. We define TV-over-DSL as the multicast distribution of conventional free-to-air (FTA), subscription and PPV channels over the copper wire to the TV set. Unicast on demand video (VoD) services is the subject of a forthcoming report because its characteristics and market context are entirely different.

Media, Telecoms 11 November 2004
Vodafone 3G Launch

Vodafone this week announced its formal 3G launch to great fanfare, with new handsets, services and pricing. This brief note gives our view on the launch and likely impact in Europe and Japan.




  • Vodafone
Telecoms, Mobile 12 November 2004