Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Q4 tidbits

KPN Q4 results out today: big compression in fixed line margins (two percentage points in consumer, nearly four points in business), a 25k decline in customers tied in with call packages, annualized line loss at nearly 11% in Q4. It's difficult to disaggregate specific factors, but I assume that at least some of this is the more visible effect of cable VoIP. The company reckons that 9% of all broadband connections in the Dutch market had a VoIP subscription at the end of of 2005, giving a very precise estimate of 362k subscribers (75% cable/25% DSL-based) though we have strong reason to believe this is already ancient history, as recent reports point to cable alone having at least 450k subs at the end of Jaunary). The slide pack for this afternoon's presentation also includes (not before time!) municipal fiber as a new competitive variable it has to contend with. Posting may be somewhat sporadic over the next few days as I try to dig myself out.

UPDATE: Only one fairly anemic question on muni-fiber in this afternoon's presentation, from a bulge bracket broker, which I felt CEO Ad Scheepbouwer somewhat fumbled and mumbled his way through. The reply, as I understood it, was, "We are part of these discussions, sometimes in, sometimes out... we don't just want to put our money in some place where we don't know what the hell we are getting for it." He also asked Eelco Blok, head of Fixed Line, if there were any other recent developments worthy of note, and the answer was no.

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