Nokia win with T-Mobile solidifies 5G infrastructure spending outlook

Nokia win with T-Mobile solidifies 5G infrastructure spending outlook

So far this earnings season we’ve heard positive comments for the outlook for 5G network spending, particularly in the US. That’s the forward view, but the for actual spending in 2Q 2018 was a little different as Digital Infrastructure companies that sell 5G components to mobile carriers didn’t deliver robust growth. As we’ve seen before, network construction is a bit of a slippery thing, but as we get closer to the publicized launch date, activity picks up big time. With a 5G network race in the offing inside the US, we see the 5G agreement between Nokia and T-Mobile US kicking off what is likely to be a series of similar announcements in the coming weeks and months. Odds are AT&T and Verizon will not want to be viewed as lagging behind T-Mobile. Good for 5G infrastructure-related companies and those who serve them as well as the ones that build the actual network.

T-Mobile US (TMUS.O) named Nokia (NOKIA.HE) to supply it with $3.5 billion in next-generation 5G network gear, the firms said on Monday, marking the world’s largest 5G deal so far and concrete evidence of a new wireless upgrade cycle taking root.

No.3 U.S. mobile carrier T-Mobile – which in April agreed to a merger with Sprint (S.N) to create a more formidable rival to U.S. telecom giants Verizon (VZ.N) and AT&T (T.N) – said the multiyear supply deal with Nokia will deliver the first nationwide 5G services.

5G networks promise to deliver faster speeds for mobile phone users and make networks more responsive and reliable for the eventual development of new industrial automation, medical monitoring, driverless car and other business uses.

Source: Nokia, T-Mobile US agree $3.5 billion deal, world’s first big 5G award

AT&T and Time Warner launch WatchTV, with new unlimited data plans

AT&T and Time Warner launch WatchTV, with new unlimited data plans

The dust has barely settled on the legal ruling that is paving the way for AT&T (T) to combine with Time Warner (TWX), and we are alread hearing of new products and services to stem from this combination. No surprise as we are seeing a blurring between mobile networks and devices, social media and content companies as Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL) and now AT&T join the hunt for original content alongside Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu, which soon may be controlled by Disney if it successfully fends of Comcast to win 21st Century Fox.

While we as consumers have become used to having the content I want, when I want it with Tivo and then the content I want, when I want it on the device I want it on with streaming services, it looks now like it will be “the content I want, when I want it, on the device I want on the platform I choose.” All part of the overlapping to be had with our Connected Society and Content is King investing themes that we are reformulating into Digital Lifestyle – more on that soon.

In short, a content arms race is in the offing, and it will likely ripple through broadcast TV as well as advertising. Think of it as a sequel to what we saw with newspaper, magazine and book publishing as new business models for streaming content come to market… the looming question in my mind is how much will today’s consumer have to spend on all of these offerings before it becomes too pricey?

And what about Sprint (S) and T-Mobile USA (TMUS)…

 

Taking advantage of the recent approval of its merger with Time Warner, AT&T on Thursday announced WatchTV, a new live TV service premiering next week — and initially tied to two new unlimited wireless data plans.

WatchTV incorporates over 30 channels, among them several under the wing of Time Warner such as CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS, and Turner Classic Movies. Sometime after launch AT&T will grow the lineup to include Comedy Central, Nicktoons, and several other channels.

People will be able to watch on “virtually every current smartphone, tablet, or Web browser,” as well as “certain streaming devices.” The company didn’t immediately specify compatible Apple platforms, but these will presumably include at least the iPhone and iPad, given their popularity and AT&T’s long-standing relationship with Apple.

The first data plan is “AT&T Unlimited &More”, which will also include $15 in monthly credit towards DirecTV Now. People who pay extra for “&More Premium” will get higher-quality video, 15 gigabytes of tethered data, and the option to add one of several “premium” services at no charge — initial examples include TV channels like HBO or Showtime, and music platforms like Pandora Premium or Amazon Music Unlimited.

&More Premium customers can also choose to apply their $15 credit towards DirecTV or U-verse TV, instead of just DirecTV Now.

WatchTV will at some point be available as a $15-per-month standalone service, but no timeline is available.

Source: AT&T uses Time Warner merger to launch WatchTV, paired with new unlimited data plans