Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday wondering

I know there are a lot of sell-side analysts, buy-side analysts, fund managers, industry analysts, consultants, IR and PR people who read this humble bloglet, and I would like to ask for your valued feedback on a question. Across the broad TMT supersector in Europe, which companies do you think have the best IR/PR/analyst relations functions, and why? Conversely, which have the worst, and why? I value your views and guarantee complete confidentiality. So, hollah at me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday ramblings

I've got plans for a couple of more substantive posts, but until those materialize, I may content myself with sporadic and short, quasi-Tweet output.

If you're a European interested in broadband, and you want to depress yourself beyond what you might normally expect from a Monday in January, then check out the latest update to the reliably humbling Akamai State of the Internet Report, just out today (registration required). If you consult the ranking of the world's 100 fastest cities by average connection speed on page 12, you'll see that you have to read down to number 48 before finding a non-Asian name, and even then it's a Romanian city. (I'm curious to see Hong Kong listed as number 46, with an average speed of 8.9Mbps. Given that fiber purist City Telecom has c.25% of the broadband market, and fiber offerings from competitors in the market are of similar scale (combined), this seems to imply that the DSL and cable customers in the market are getting pretty dismal throughput.) Also of interest will be the mobile statistics on pages 28 - 29, particularly the observation that just over one-third of mobile networks monitored saw content consumption double YoY in Q3 2010.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The United Colors of Diffraction Analysis

If there's one thing of significance that I can point to about this humble bloglet, it's that, once upon a time, it was a relatively ground-breaking thing, and as such, it apparently inspired others to launch their own. Or, at least, so I am told by some of those who did.

I remember an email exchange, I think on a Friday, with Benoit Felten, in which I urged him to start his own blog, and sure enough, the following Monday, Fiberevolution was born. Prior to this, he and I had been in touch for a number of years, kicking all-things-fiber back and forth via email, and he provided me with a number of insights which ended up in the pages of this blog. So, for me Fiberevolution was, in fact, a very natural evolution whereby Benoit emerged to meet the gaze of the public eye. His success in building the site into a trusted and credible brand within the industry has been little short of stunning.

One inherent trait of evolution is that it is perpetual, never-ending. As you may have heard already, Benoit has now taken his evolutionary journey to the next stage, establishing his own business dedicated to NGA research and consulting, Diffraction Analysis. I'm excited for him, as a friend and a respected colleague, and I have no doubt that it is destined for great things.

I'm also hugely gratified that he has chosen me to be an associate in this effort, alongside two other people I hold in very high regard, Herman Wagter and Costas Troulos. Thus, we start life as an Anglo-American/Dutch/French/Greek mash-up, with equally disparate backgrounds and areas of interest, but all unified under our shared interest in the fiber access (r)evolution and all the change that it may engender.

We'll all be at the FTTH Council event in Milan, and I'll hope to see you there.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday morning levity

I've posted both of these to Facebook previously, and no doubt some of you will have seen them before, but it's approaching 11:00 AM on Monday morning, so I reckon you could probably use a harmless laugh or two by now.

First, Steve Mobs of Mapple, addressing the faithful:

Secondly, Ronnie Corbett, from his Christmas special, with Harry Enfield standing in for the late Ronnie Barker:

Sunday, January 09, 2011

7:35 of sanity on "Mad Money"

I have followed the City Telecom story with a great deal of interest for many years, and have been fortunate to get to know NiQ Lai and to visit the company to see how it works. So I was pleased to stumble across this interview with Jim Cramer from late last year, following the release of the company's 2010 results - in which it blew the lights out. Cramer is a bit confused at a couple of points, but NiQ handles him graciously and is given the space to make his case very well. No sci-fi bullshit, no delusions of content-aggregation grandeur. Rather, an overtly stated love of over-the-top services, and an admission that offering the "fattest, dumbest pipe in town" is "kinda boring, but profitable." By the end of this year the company will end a decade-long build-out in Hong Kong, which appears ingenious in retrospect, but at the time it commenced, was well wide of industry consensus, and considered a suicidal act by some. The stock is nearly a "ten-bagger" over five years. Yet more proof, if it were needed, that consensus is often wrong.