Service Providers Blog

  • T-Mobile US Set to Close 4G Network Coverage Gap and Leapfrog ahead of Verizon, AT&T with First 5G Footprint Nationwide—Using New 600 MHz Low band Spectrum

    by Philip Kendall | May 02, 2017
    T-Mobile sets to Align 5G on Consumer and Consumer Mobility As with 4G, nationwide coverage using low band spectrum will be essential for 5G. T-Mobile US today ... ...
  • DNA Finland, TMobile Poland and Sunrise in Switzerland offer cheapest mobile broadband 1GB Plans in OECD.

    by David Kerr | Apr 18, 2017
    DNA Finland offer the cheapest plans across the OECD countries within the 1GB basket at just over USD $5. There is a huge range from cheapest to most expen... ...
  • Telus Wireless, Bell Mobility Canada and DNA Finland offer cheapest Mobile Broadband for 5GB tablet plans

    by David Kerr | Apr 18, 2017
    Telus Wireless and Bell Mobility Canada offer the cheapest plans across the OECD countries within the 5GB basket at just over USD $4, followed by DNA Finland at... ...
  • Wireless Operator Churn, Ebitda, CAPEX, OPEX KPI by Region

    by David Kerr | Apr 11, 2017
    My colleague, Phil Kendall has just posted our latest wireless operator benchmarking report that tracks the operational and financial performance of 261 active ... ...
  • AT&T, Orange, Colt, MEF and TM Forum Collaborate on Common SDN Business API Standards for Multi-Carrier SDN Service Orchestration at MWC 2017

    by Sue Rudd | Mar 02, 2017
    In the cacophony of MWC 2017 many did not notice the announcement that may have the biggest positive impact on Communications Service Provider (CSP) financials ... ...
  • Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards produce outstanding winners at MWC 2017

    by Sue Rudd | Mar 01, 2017
    Beyond the Hype at MWC 2017, the Global Mobile Awards recognize the real achievements of the industry market and technology leaders in 2016 that are already in... ...
  • 3 Group UK: Mr Trump May Help The Way Forward

    by User Not Found | Dec 09, 2016
    The recent meeting between US president elect Donald Trump and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is causing observers to imagine a merger between SoftBank's Sprint and T-Mobile USA, after Mr Son abandoned the idea two years ago due to regulatory opposition.  The meeting may have repercussions in the UK and other countries in terms of softening regulators' opposition to the merger of mobile operators.

    Three UK was denied its planned merger with Telefonica's O2 UK in mid 2016 after the opposition of the UK regulator was confirmed by the European Commission.  3 Group is currently taking the EC to court in an appeal against the verdict.  The similarity to the US/SoftBank situation is clear.

    The arrival of Mr Trump as president elect is also similar to the UK's Brexit vote and the arrival of a new British prime minister plus her newly appointed top politicians.  In both cases, a new populist/nationalist approach will allow business rules to be re-set.

    An SCIm mantra is: 'What cannot go on, will not go on.'  So it is with Three UK: denied the merger with Telefonica's O2 UK, and yet successful in Italy in merging with Vimpelcom's Wind, 3 Group remains sub-scale in the UK with insufficient resources to invest in 4G rollout (never mind 5G).  In Italy on the other hand it now ranks joint #1 in mobile alongside Telecom Italia and ahead of Vodafone, in terms of scale.  The new JV will be able to implement a recovery plan for 4G and later 5G rollout in Italy.

    Three UK needs something to change, if it is to recover.  It is not the style of its ultimate owner, Mr Li Ka-shing, approximately the 20th wealthiest person in the world, to settle for status-quo when that cannot deliver expected results.  Three UK currently competes against the three other larger mobile operators by hitting a sweet-spot in consumer pricing while offering an indifferent mobile data experience, with relatively weak 4G coverage.  However sweet the pricing, if the mobile user experience is too poor, subscribers will flee - as happened with Sprint in the USA. 

    Much more attractive to Three UK than any gradual organic recovery would be a merger., instantly doublling, tripling its scale or more.  This is why Three UK wanted to buy O2, and why it merged with Wind.  So if 3 Group Europe wins its case against the EC; if the regulatory climate softens after any Sprint/T-Mobile merger, or even if none of this comes about, then new scenarios may emerge.  

    The illustration below explores some options at high level.  It should not be a massive surprise if Three UK tries to merge with O2 again, or with Vodafone UK (in spite of a difficult experience in Australia along those lines - but with lessons learned), or with a media company if regulators remain opposed to four mobile operators concentrating into three.  One can imagine for example a 3/Vodafone JV where Vodafone prioritizes enterprise and premium consumer users, and Three UK prioritizes value consumer users.  Or a scenario where Three UK merges with Sky, which has just begun an MVNO service with Telefonica.

    These scenarios are explored in greater detail in SCIm's new report on the subject, and in the new Dossier on 3 Group Europe in SCIm.  For now, just remember: what cannot go on, will not go on!
    3 Group UK Scenarios

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