Media & Services Blog

  • Is Read Hastings Right, Will Linear TV Disappear by 2030?

    by Michael Goodman | Dec 24, 2014
    According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, broadcast TV is like a horse and the horse was only good until we had the car.” In today’s video market &ld... ...
  • Last One Out, Please Keep The Radio On

    by User Not Found | Dec 24, 2014
    When every music streaming service has a catalogue of 30+ million songs and every music streaming service provides free listening, there needs something additio... ...
  • Why WIRE Will Struggle To Find Room In A Crowded Mobile Communications Market

    by Nitesh Patel | Dec 09, 2014
    Why WIRE Will Struggle To Find Room In A Crowded Mobile Communications Market Wire,is a free messaging and communications app that launched last week and which ... ...
  • Ultra HD achieves Ultra High approval ratings

    by User Not Found | Dec 08, 2014
    Our latest survey results are just in from the US and the results make very encouraging reading for the Ultra HD ecosystem. Awareness of the Ultra HD term itsel... ...
  • Sony and NVIDIA Reach for the Cloud Gaming Pot-of-Gold

    by Michael Goodman | Nov 25, 2014
    NVIDIA is joining Sony’s PlayStation Now as the latest major player in the gaming industry to tackle cloud gaming with the launch of the NVIDIA Grid Game ... ...
  • Why Apple Should Ditch TomTom and License Map Data from HERE

    by Nitesh Patel | Nov 25, 2014
    Apple’s decision to license map data from HERE was conceived at a point in time when Nokia owned map data provider Navteq, following a spectacular $8 Bill... ...
  • Peek-a-Boo Netflix, I See You

    by Michael Goodman | Nov 21, 2014
    Netflix, Amazon and other online video services have long been black holes, where massive amounts of viewership goes in but little to no information regarding t... ...
  • Highlights of NYC Television Week 2014

    by User Not Found | Nov 18, 2014
    The NYC Television Week Conference brought together many industry leaders to discuss the future of the TV ecosystem in a two days event broken-down by Content, ... ...
  • Thank You For The Music, The Songs I’m Watching

    by User Not Found | Nov 14, 2014
    Though there is not much special in YouTube Music Key, the music streaming and subscription service Google launched on Thursday 12 Nov, I wouldn’t call it... ...
  • Rovi Takes Fanhattan

    by Michael Goodman | Nov 10, 2014
    In an effort to continue to improve its search and discovery portfolio and develop a next-generation TV guide, Rovi acquired 4 year old start-up Fanhattan for a... ...
  • 3 Group Europe: Buying Not Selling

    by User Not Found | Oct 23, 2014

    It was great to update the Dossier on Hutchison’s 3 Group: it became clear that the company had transformed from what in my mind was a loose set of investment properties that head of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (Mr Li Ka-shing) might sell for profit at any time, into a solid integrated business which is growing its subscribers, revenues and profits both organically and through acquisition, and which is now a key part of Hutchison.  See all Dossiers here.

    3 Group acquired Orange Austria in 2012, and Telefonica’s O2 Ireland business this year. Orange will make it the substantial number 3 player in Austria; O2 will make it the clear number one player in Ireland. Its subscriber growth excluding those acquisitions has been positive; and EBITDA and EBIT conversion from loss to significant profit has to be a success story for 3 Group.  The one very weak spot has been Australia, where network issues have driven subscribers away from the Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) joint venture in large numbers, and large losses have been recorded (though small positive EBIT returned in 1H14).  Placing VHA in special measures is why 3 Group was renamed 3 Group Europe, with the removal of Australia from operational reporting.

    Back in 2011, 3 Group was notable for its early embrace of mobile data and over-the-top internet and social apps like Skype and WhatsApp, together with generous data allowances at low prices for customers. Its network quality image was pretty flaky though, and it relied heavily on roaming agreements. Now, the whole world is embracing OTT apps and has converted to mobile data as the key growth driver.  For its part, 3 Group continues to edge out in front with innovative customer propositions, which include free roaming across 3 Group territories (‘Feel At Home’) and unlimited data packages. And, its network quality reputation has been improved and is winning awards, while its reliance on roaming is much smaller.

    Where next for 3 Group?  It is understood to want to make acquisitions in Sweden and Italy, but cannot yet cut the right deal.  The UK is another market where it is performing well but is below scale: an acquisition here involving EE makes for an interesting scenario.  Yet such moves would merely amplify 3 Group’s growth potential.  More radical would be M&A in the domain of fixed telecoms - 3 Group is mobile-only at the moment. As things stand, it is already doing better than expected and better than some competitors – Vodafone makes a clear contrast in profit performance, as can be seen in the charts here.

    The new 3 Group Dossier explores the company’s strengths, vulnerabilities and future options.  And remember, Mr Li is an entrepreneur through and through, and if the price was right, he might still sell anything.


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