News Roundup

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #11

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Telecom Industry Struggles with 5G Monetization Amid High Expectations

At MWC 2024, leaders from major telecom firms including Ericsson, BT, and Samsung highlighted the industry’s primary challenge: monetizing the costly deployment of 5G technology. Despite the technological advancements and the potential of 5G, operators are finding it difficult to recoup investments and generate significant revenue growth from new services. Discussions also touched on the search for a “killer app,” with generative AI being pinpointed as a promising avenue for leveraging 5G infrastructure to unlock new revenue streams. The industry is exploring various strategies for growth, including specialization, improved customer engagement, and cost control, amidst concerns over market fragmentation and the rapid pace of technological change.

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Vodafone Challenges BT with Cost-Saving Broadband Switch Campaign

Vodafone has initiated a bold campaign, dubbed ‘The Great British Telecoms Switch,’ targeting BT broadband customers with promises of significant annual savings. The initiative highlights the potential for consumers to reduce their broadband bills by over £200 annually by switching from BT, EE, and Sky—providers using the Openreach network—to Vodafone. Emphasizing consumer rights, the campaign points out that many customers are not aware they’re overpaying for the same broadband service. Vodafone’s aggressive strategy includes compensating new customers with up to £100 for early termination fees and offering substantial savings for Small Office/Home Office clients. The move, backed by industry analyst support and targeting a lack of market awareness, is part of Vodafone’s effort to simplify switching providers and promote regulatory compliance amidst delays.

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US Teens Acknowledge Smartphone Upsides and Downsides, Pew Survey Finds

A Pew Research Center survey, conducted by Ipsos, has highlighted the complex relationship U.S. teens aged 13-17 have with their smartphones. Despite 70% believing the benefits outweigh the harms, a significant majority express relief during time spent away from their devices. This contradiction reflects concerns over smartphones’ impact on social lives, with girls particularly sensitive to the negative effects, leading some to consciously reduce usage. Surprisingly, conflicts over smartphone use between teens and parents are minimal, suggesting a mutual dependency. The findings suggest a growing awareness among teens about striving for a healthier digital life balance, especially in light of the pandemic’s lessons on digital vs. real-life interactions.

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Verizon Report Highlights Surge in Mobile Data Usage, Dominance of Video Content

Verizon’s Consumer Connections Report reveals a significant 129% growth in mobile network traffic over the past five years, with a notable 47% of consumer mobile traffic in the latter half of 2023 dedicated to video. The report, drawing from diverse data sources including third-party information, highlights the dominance of TikTok in user engagement among social apps in the U.S. Additionally, it covers the increase in NFL game-related mobile data usage and a marked rise in monthly mobile data consumption in cities. The report also notes a substantial growth in Verizon’s home internet subscribers and the popularity of Roblox. Despite some methodological variances and the use of data from various platforms and both Android and iPhone users, the overarching theme is the escalating consumption of mobile data, particularly for video and social networking applications, echoing broader industry trends.

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Iliad Targets Fifth-Largest Mobile Operator Spot in Europe with €10 Billion Revenue Goal

Iliad aims to become Europe’s fifth-largest mobile operator in 2024, leveraging strong growth across France, Italy, and Poland to hit €10 billion in revenue. Following significant investments in AI, cloud technology, and business connectivity, along with a strategic acquisition expanding its market presence to eight countries, the company exhibits ambitious growth. Despite a notable profit drop, Iliad boasts the highest revenue growth rate among Europe’s top telcos and leads in mobile and fixed net adds in its primary markets. The company’s recent moves, including the acquisition of Tele2, underscore its strategy to scale and play a significant role in the evolving European telecom sector, despite some ambiguity in its target metrics and comparison criteria.

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