Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Archive for July 2009

Beating forecasts by analysts, telecom major Bharti Airtel posted a 22.2 percent increase in net profit for the first quarter of 2009-10 at Rs.2,647.95 crore (Rs.26.48 billion / $547 million).

The company’s total income during the period under review rose 22 percent to Rs.10,448.69 crore from Rs.8,567.8 crore in the same period a year ago, it said in a regulatory statement. The increase in profits was also because of a Rs.250 crore gain as pay-outs on its foreign currency loans fell due to rupee appreciation.

“This good performance validates our rural thrust and investments in the past three years,” said chairman and managing director of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal.

Bharti passed the 100 million subscriber milestone in its previous quarter, recording a highest-ever quarterly net addition of 8.55 million customers. Bharti now claims an overall customer base of 105.2 million as of end-June, a 47 percent year-on-year increase in its subscriber base. It has 102.4 million mobile subscribers, giving it a mobile market share of 24 percent.

Bharti did sound a note of caution regarding India’s challenging market due to stiff competition from existing players and new entrants. This has led to a drop in key parameters such as ARPU and minutes of usage, the company said. Meanwhile, the company said it is still in talks with South Africa’s MTN over a deal that could eventually lead to a merger. Both companies revived talks in May to create a leading global mobile group with more than 200 million subscribers and combined revenue of US$20 billion. The two are in exclusive talks till 31 July.

Source: SI& MBB

South Korean vendor LG Electronics claims it will continue to defy the general market slowdown after posting record-high quarterly net profit thanks in part to robust sales of mobile devices. It sold 29.8 million handsets in the three months to July, boosted by premium products such as the multimedia touch-screen phone Arena and steady sales of mid-range phones. In the second quarter LG’s total net profit rose 62 percent to KRW1.15 trillion (US$903 million) on revenues of KRW14.5 trillion (a 13.8 percent increase on the year-ago period). Its mobile division reported KRW5.14 trillion in sales, 25.8 percent higher than the previous year, and operating profit of KRW545 billion with a margin of 10.6 percent. Handset sales accounted for 95 percent of its mobile division revenues.

LG is the world’s third-largest handset manufacturer and aims to overtake number two rival Samsung by 2012. Although LG forecasts the global handset market to decline over 6 percent year-on-year to around 280 million units in the third quarter, it expects to enjoy its own “steady growth” with the introduction of future high-end devices. LG – a contender in home entertainment, home appliances, air conditioning and business solutions, as well as mobile communications – said it expects total company sales “to grow over 10 percent YoY as demand for LCD TVs and mobile phones continues to expand, with profitability comparable to last year’s level.”

Source: MBB, GSMA

Apple yesterday reported a strong growth in quarterly profit and revenue, boosted by sales of more than 5.2 million iPhones during the period. Revenue came in at US$8.34 billion for its fiscal third-quarter (ending June 27, 2009), compared to US$7.46 billion in the year-ago quarter, whilst profit was up 15 percent at US$1.23 billion.

The company’s gross margin was 36.3 percent, up from 34.8 percent a year earlier. Its iPhone sales represented a 626 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter and helped offset a seven percent decline in iPod sales.

“We’re making our most innovative products ever and our customers are responding,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, who only recently returned to work after six months medical leave. “We’re thrilled to have sold over 5.2 million iPhones during the quarter and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from our App Store in its first year.”

Apple’s latest quarter was one where it released a new, faster, version of its iPhone (pictured) and halved the price on an older model to US$99. Apple’s results were even better than had been expected, especially in light of the recession, with the company’s stock up 4.5 percent at US$158.39 in late trading yesterday. “Times are tough. Apple continues to post pretty strong numbers,” Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Bros., told AP News. “It’s pretty incredible. It truly is.” Apple said it expects revenue in the range of about US$8.7 billion to US$8.9 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, with diluted earnings per share in the range of about US$1.18 to US$1.23.

Source: Mobile Business Briefing, GSMA

HSPA is the fastest adopted mobile technology of all time – GSMA

Global HSPA connections will pass the 150 million mark by the end of the summer, the GSM Association announced Wedneday. With more than 300 networks across 127 countries and approaching 1500 HSPA enabled devices readily available, HSPA has firmly established itself as the world’s dominant mobile broadband technology and the fastest adopted mobile technology of all time.

According to Wireless Intelligence AsiaPac accounts for almost 50 million live HSPA connections today and will have over 56 million by this September. EMEA HSPA connections will pass the 50 million mark any day and will have reached almost 60 million by the end of September. The US currently has almost 32 million HSPA connections with the number expected to rise to nearly 37 million by this September. The Americas will have just over four million connections by the end of September.

The growth of HSPA is set to continue, with 200 million connections expected by Q1 2010.

  • With the number of mobile operators in and vendors committed to the GSM family of technologies (HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE) the success of HSPA mobile broadband is attracting a lot of attention from outside the ‘traditional’ mobile industry, GSM Association says.

The Association finds that the consumer electronics, automotive, energy and utility industries are beginning to understand the possibilities of embedding mobile broadband into their products. At the same time governments around the world are making the right spectrum available to support mobile broadband services today and into the future, ensuring their economies benefit from the GDP growth associated with the technology.

Source: Mobile Monday

Nokia-Messaging-Comes-to-Singapore-on-M1-2Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia and M1, one of the leading wireless carriers in Singapore, have announced today that a new, easy-to-use email service is coming towards the latter’s customers. The new service, none other than Nokia Messaging, comes to mobile phone users in the country with push email functionality, as well as with a rather affordable price tag – not to mention the fact that they can set up their email accounts in three simple steps.

M1 has also announced that its subscribers can now choose bundled data plans especially designed to fit the new service, while also stating that users in Singapore now have the chance to enjoy the Nokia Messaging solution on a range of 20 Nokia devices. One of the plans the carrier offers is the SunSurf Lite data plan, which comes at only 5.35 SGD per month.

The mobile phone carrier has also mentioned that the SunSurf Lite data plan offers users 20MB of free data, which allows them to enjoy the benefits of Nokia Messaging on any compatible device. Moreover, customers will also be able to enjoy the service’s features, including having emails pushed on their handsets, or support for email service providers such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail. At the same time, the service offers support for local Internet service providers, including Pacific Internet, Cyberway and Qala.

“Almost everyone has a mobile handset and an email account these days, making Nokia Messaging an excellent way to access email on the go. By turning this application into a very affordable value-added service that is available on a wide range of Nokia handsets, we are confident that it will meet the needs of the many M1 customers who want to keep in constant email contact without incurring high mobile data charges,” said P Subramaniam, M1’s chief marketing officer.

Vlasta Berka, general manager, Nokia Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei, added that the new service that came through the collaboration between the two companies was meant to meet the continuously growing demand towards easy access of emails directly from mobile phones. “Nokia Messaging eliminates all the factors that have been barriers to mobile email adoption: it is easy to access and set up, it is easy to use and one can have up to 10 email accounts per device per subscriber. The idea is to make mobile email and messaging available to everyone,” Vlasta Berka added.

Source: Softpedia

SingTel announced that its mio TV service has surpassed its 100,000 customer mark. Milestone coincides with the service’s second birthday; all new and existing customers will be given a special selection of ten movies which they can watch on-demand for free.

SingTel also launched Football Frenzy, Singapore’s first multimedia social football experience, which will be available across the company’s online, mio TV and mobile platforms for the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Italian Serie A soccer tournaments.

ESPN STAR Sports is a production partner for SingTel’s Football Frenzy offering, which includes four mio TV channels: three linear and one on-demand. SingTel holds the cross-platform rights to all 146 UEFA Champions League, 149 Europa League and 120 Serie A matches.

Asked whether the Football Frenzy experience had been created with the English Premier League (EPL) as their ultimate goal, Edward Yong, chief of content & media services group, SingTel, said it had been created around the UEFA soccer. “But we would like the EPL to see what we have done,” in optimizing these tournaments across all three platforms.

The entire Football Frenzy package, across broadband, mio TV and mobile will cost S$15.90 (US$11) per month for a 12-month package. There is no sign-up fee, no basic tier requirement for mioTV; the online offering can be accessed from non-SingTel broadband accounts; the mobile component is available only to SingTel Mobile customers.

Source: Television Asia

Will the Palm Pre be the last in a storied line of products, or will it mark the beginning of a new era for the once and former Palm, Inc.?

urlBeing a fan of palm’s handheld PDA (those mono-chrome ones), I always thought they would lead when it comes to making a great PDA phone/ smart phone. Looks like they have missed the boat along the way and never actually made that great effort until when they tried to revive the glory through “Pre”. “Pre” had created great pre-launch buzz in the industry and many dubbed the device as “iPhone killer”. But reality has been far from it. Lets look at the sales number.

According to Ed Snyder, co-founder and wireless industry analyst at Charter Equity Research, Palm sold 300,000 of the new smartphones in June, and another 75,000 in late May. Neither Palm nor sole-carrier Sprint have yet disclosed numbers, and some analysts put the June sales figure at 150,000. Snyder estimates that Palm will deliver about 1 million units during the first full quarter of manufacturing.

Apple’s new iPhone 3GS, with the 3.0 operating system, sold that many in its opening weekend. I guess the argument ends there.

Came across a great slide show “From Palm Pilot to Palm Pre: A Brief History of Palm’s Handhelds” @ network world paying tirbute. May be bit nostalgic for old fanboys of Palm PDA users.