Ericsson warns on bleak mobile infrastructure outlook - Mobile World Live

Ericsson warns on bleak mobile infrastructure outlook

10 NOV 2016

Ericsson’s struggles look set to continue at least in the short-term as interim CEO Jan Frykhammar forecast that the total mobile infrastructure (RAN) market is set to fall by between 10 and 15 per cent this year, and by between 2 and 6 per cent in 2017.

Frykhammaer was speaking during Ericsson’s Capital Markets Day event in New York.

He and other senior executives have been hitting the road to visit operators on a charm offensive in recent weeks. The aim is to reassure leading operators and offset rivals’ approaches. The result is six bullet points summing up operator preoccupations, which by implication concern Ericsson too.

The six points are: higher speeds and decreased latency on 4G; new spectrum releases; increased focus on IoT and 5G; digital transformation, including OSS and BSS; transformation in the telecoms core; and cross industry synergies, for instance in media.

The trend for telecoms/media industry convergence, for instance AT&T’s recent bid for Time Warner, is a cause of excitement for Ericsson, said Frykhammar.

Such M&A activity confirms Ericsson’s own strategy, he said, which foresees increasing volumes of video transported on operators’ networks.

“The media agenda is super relevant,” he said. AT&T and Vodafone, which has acquired cable companies in a number of European countries, are both Ericsson customers.

Ericsson recently announced a new CEO, Borje Ekholm, who is joining in January. Predecessor Hans Vestberg was pushed from the company in July, following disappointing financial results. In Q3, Ericsson reported a slump in sales and profits.

Frykhammar did not provide any new information on the financials but confirmed his intent to cut costs.

“What is important is that we are taking measures we need to take around cost base,” he said.

As of Q1 next year it will break its reporting into three separate structures. The vendor now claims that its total addressable market for networks is $100 billion in 2016, with -2 to 0 per cent CAGR growth in the next two years. IT & Cloud is pegged as an addressable market of the same figure, with 5 to 7 per cent CAGR growth between now and 2018. Meanwhile the ‘Media’ segment has an addressable market of $12 billion in 2016, with 9 to 11 per cent CAGR.

At present, networks makes up about 75 per cent of net sales, with IT & Cloud making up 20 per cent and Media the final 5 per cent.

Ericsson says its total addressable market is expected to grow by 1 to 3 per cent in 2016-18.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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