Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Race Against Time

The Star Ledger in Minneapolis says that CenturyLink is in a race against time and technology. Without a cellular division, C-Link has to find a way to offset residential landline losses to protect its share price. (Share price affects debt interest. It's about $21B in debt.)

This statement hits the nail on the head: "To combat the problem, CenturyLink has sought to bolster revenue through diversification into business services such as cloud computing. But so far that hasn't made up for all the revenue loss in its traditional phone business."

The three problems with Cloud:

  1. Cloud income is much lower than telecom revenue.
  2. The CAPEX to get started is huge.
  3. The sales force has to be re-tooled to sell cloud services.

The article talks about how bundling lowers margin and revenue AND how TV revenue is thwarted by really expensive content purchases.

C-Link has 13.9 million phone lines in 37 states, despite losing 857,000 lines in a year.

Every telco is feeling the pinch though. The 2 RBOCs are betting it all on cellular. The RBOCs just split up the customers and spectrum that was Alltel. They re spending tens of billions on this EACH. This is to offset landline losses. And in the case of VZ to compensate for the poor ROI on its FiOS project.

Of course, the telcos are betting on business customers to save them. The virus there is that cablecos - specifically Comcast, Cox, TWC and Bright House - are stealing the SMB market from them.
This doesn't include lost revenue from OTT companies either.

This is just a look at the ILEC problem. CLEC's face a similar ordeal, since T1's are getting beat by cable offerings. Looming above that is the copper clipping and sunset of the PSTN. What then for ISP's reselling DSL and CLEC's reselling copper?

No comments: