There’s no escaping the economic blight in Southern Europe, and Vodafone this week announced that it was planning cuts to its Spanish workforce, with local unions suggesting that the action could affect as many as 1,000 people. You’ll remember that Vodafone wrote down its Spanish and Italian operations by almost £6bn at the back end of last year blaming poor market conditions—and things are clearly not looking up.
How long does a vote of confidence last? If you’re Lars Nyberg, the new former CEO of TeliaSonera, it lasts about about three and a half months. Back in October, shortly after he gave the firm’s head of mobile the boot with a statement that read like an homage to the bleak Nordic fatalism of [...]
Today the Informer feels like he has woken up in a parallel universe; one in which Apple is being vilified for its quarterly financial performance, while Nokia recorded an actual profit.
China has long been seen as a potential goldmine for foreign investment due to the sheer size of the market, but the trick is always going to be catering to niche audiences within the country’s substantial economic diversity.
The Informer offers his heartfelt commiserations to anyone out there with a world destruction fantasy. It turns out that December 21 2012 was the Mayan equivalent of April Fool’s Day. As the BBC’s Radio 4 delivered the news: “Yesterday we reported that, according to some Mayans, the world would end on December 21st. It didn’t.” The Informer’s break would have been a lot less restful had the apocalypse reared its head(s)—and even shorter than it felt.
Last week the Informer joked that Nokia might get turfed out of its recently sold headquarters to make way for a Chinese tenant. It could never happen, of course. Could it…? Huawei got all up in Nokia’s face this week by announcing the opening of an office in Helsinki. Statements of intent don’t come much more pointed than that.
OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod! Kate Middleton is having a baby!! It might be a boy!! Or a girl!!
Right, that’s that out of the way, let’s get on with the real news. Christmas will soon be upon us and what better time than this to de-clutter. So says Nokia Siemens Networks, anyhow, as it continues to jettison non-core assets.
Back in October a chum of the Informer’s from one of the big infrastructure vendors told him that Apple was auditing LTE networks before allowing operators to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device. The Informer made a few calls to people in the know and was told the story was true, although Apple maintained a stony silence and nobody else, operator or vendor, would go on the record. Until now.
For the third year in a row, revenues from Europe’s telecoms sector have dropped, according to ETNO, the trade body for the region’s operators. The group released its third ETNO Annual Economic Report and found that total revenue in Europe’s telecoms sector amounted to €274.7bn in 2011, a decrease by 1.5 per cent compared to 2010.
To put that in perspective, the last time Europe’s telecoms market was on the rise, David Tennant was still Doctor Who, Obamamania swept the US and Europe for the first time, and Justin Bieber hadn’t even been discovered. Those were the times.
The recent news that Disney is to further desecrate the temple of Star Wars by rebooting the franchise with two new episodes and a new film every two to three years thereafter was met with howls of pain by many of the Informer’s generation, who grew up with the first three movies. But we shouldn’t be surprised at this bid to wring yet more dollars from the Force, given that Yoda, once the most powerful Jedi in the universe, has for some time been reduced to mugging in Vodafone adverts to earn a crust.
The Informer imagines the walls of Greek operator OTE’s headquarters to be decked at present with soft focus posters extolling the various virtues of gardening, fishing, woodland walks and home baking. All those hobbies you never had time for during your working life but no doubt aim to enjoy once retirement comes around.
The UK is a nation from where great innovators such as Isaac Newton, Isambard Brunel, John Logie Baird, Alexander Graham Bell, James Dyson and Tim Berners-Lee have all hailed. Yet despite even the inventor of the World Wide Web coming from these shores, the UK is a nation at risk of being left behind in today’s digital age.
There’s a lot of furious activity going on in the telco services space right now. Feeling the heat from our Over The Top friends, carriers are feverishly investing in similar services and applications to maintain their place as a gatekeeper of the communications experience.
Europe. Once upon a time it led the world in mobile communications. Once upon a time it smiled a condescending smile across the Atlantic, towards the US, which didn’t really understand text messaging, was conflicted by a jumble of standards that it tried to pass off as technology competition beneficial to the consumer, and still favoured handsets with comedy telescopic antennas. Times have changed.
Anyone reading the news will have seen plenty of reputations on the line this week. For one, a US House Intelligence Committee report levelled more allegations at Chinese infrastructure vendors ZTE and Huawei than USADA has at Lance Armstrong.