Wednesday, April 11, 2007

James Enck shuts it down and other matters

A blogger that I often read, James Enck in his EuroTelcoBlog, has announced that he is closing it down because of a major job change. James is leaving his post at Daiwa in London apparently to join a high powered Wall Street team (he doesn't say who). For one reason or another, blogging is not part of the game where he is going, though he doesn't exclude that he could reappear in the blogosphere. I enjoyed reading James from time to time and took note of his interest in FTTx solutions, probably the only way that fixed-line operators can stay significantly ahead in the bandwidth and speed categories. Best of luck to James at his new position.
I also shuffled through some statistics from the Latvian Telecommunications Association on market shares on the total voice (fixed and mobile) market. Tele2 is the biggest by a slight margin (in terms of users) with 32.4 % in 2006, followed by Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) at 31.8 % . Lattelecom had 21.1 %. The total market grew, however, by 14.6 % and the share of "other" voice providers grew to 14.7 % of the market from 4.7 % in 2005. Most of this growth is due to the appearance of Bite as a serious competitor during the year. In early 2007, they chalked up user 200 000, a person in the town of Jelgava who got 200 000 free minutes on the Bite network as a prize.
What is a bit confusing is that there is certainly some duplication of users -- most mobile users are also on the Lattelecom net, if not as voice callers from home, then as DSL subscribers (there are more than 100 000 of them). Also, fixed voice is folding into internet. Many of the 100 000 + DSL subscribers and those using other internet services are surely using Skype a lot. Skype says Latvia is one of the densest user locations relative to population.
In essence, except for charge by the minute mobile calling, the voice market is relatively meaningless as voice becomes a feature of flat-rate internet. In a few years, as reasonably priced flat-rate mobile internet spreads, voice (mobile Skype and the like) will also become a feature of this service. So soon, there will be little reason to talk about voice :).


Juris said...

What I am waiting impatiently for is at least one of the major players in voice market to start offering voip access to their equipment for the customers. Perhaps this way Lattelekom could potentially at least keep their declining income from fixed line voice at a certain level.
I would not even mind if the rates for this service would stay the same as for traditional connection to their networks (despite the last mile of copper or gsm cell has always been referred to as one of the major cost positions for telcos).
This would dramatically lower the costs and raise availability for PBXes where the purchase of additional bri or pri isdn cards has always been a painful question.

Lostminer said...

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