Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mobile telephony in crisis

A day doesn't go by without further indication that the crisis is deepening and hitting sectors previously thought to be shielded to a some extent. This piece of news also shows that consumers and businesses alike are unlikely to resume investments and spending before they are certain that the worse of the crisis is behind us. In the field of mobile telephony a sharp drop in capacity used by subscribers is to be expected and in particular in those patterns of usage rightly considered to be most expensive (roaming, mobile multimedia Internet...) Not too good news for GSM operators and companies like MACH, whose prospects of getting listed on a stock market have all but disappeared for the foreseeable future.

This is all rather good news for Jajah, (which I covered on my blog more than two years ago) as well as for Skype, because as consumers and businesses become more price sensitive they'll be looking for VoIP solutions that do not require of them to be incurring major upfront investments and that can be used without too much impact on operating expenses. Furthermore, I expect broadband ISPs, IPTV operators, video on-demand and providers of infrastructure and services for remote collaboration to do well as consumers spend more time at home and businesses cut back on their travel spending.

Mobile sales are slowing much faster than expected, and even Nokia, once a stock market favorite, is suffering the humiliation of downgrades

Only a few months ago, it looked like the mobile-phone industry might escape the worst of the global economic slowdown.

Those hopes are evaporating fast. Market watchers are now warning that sales are slowing faster than expected even in markets such as China, which had seen explosive growth for years. After a fourth quarter of 2008 that some analysts are calling disastrous, manufacturers could be stuck with millions of unsold handsets. Weaker players such as Motorola (MOT) and Sony Ericsson, which were struggling even before the downturn, could drastically scale back their ambitions or even leave the market.

Strategy Analytics, for example, officially predicts a 1% decline in global handset sales for the fourth quarter of 2008 as well as all of 2009.

growth has been slowing for years

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