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Armand Musey  

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CMCSA, DTV, I, S, T, TMUS, TWC
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  • U-verse Is The Regulatory Key To The Proposed AT&T/DirecTV Merger [View article]
    Thanks for the feedback
    Jun 25, 2014. 01:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U-verse Is The Regulatory Key To The Proposed AT&T/DirecTV Merger [View article]
    U-verse is fiber to the node (OTCQB:FTTN) -- see: http://soc.att.com/1pQ...

    However, in some areas the fiber is brought closer to the premise than in others. This is the main reason U-verse speeds are often quite different in different service areas. Verizon's FiOS is fiber to the home (FTTH). This offers consumers superior speeds, but is much more expensive to deploy.
    Jun 20, 2014. 01:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Road To Approval For A Sprint / T-Mobile Merger May Run Through DISH Network [View article]
    If a S and TMUS merger is going to be challenging, a S, TMUS and DISH merger is probably dead in the water. Not only would it take the market from 4 to 3 major players, but also eliminates the only potentially viable new entrant - DISH.
    Mar 18, 2014. 02:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Road To Approval For A Sprint / T-Mobile Merger May Run Through DISH Network [View article]
    That's entirely possible. But for now it seems T-Mobile's efforts are focused on a potential merger with Sprint.
    Mar 18, 2014. 12:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Road To Approval For A Sprint / T-Mobile Merger May Run Through DISH Network [View article]
    I didn't say T-Mobile and Spring can't survive on their own - that's not the issue. AT&T and Verizon dominate the industry and the FCC would undoubtedly like to see a stronger third player to increase competition. At the same time, they don't want to eliminate the fourth player.

    It's an accepted anti-trust strategy to make room for a new entrant to maintain a competitive balance in order to get approval for a merger. But you are right, such a strategy needs to be credible. If they want, Sprint and T-Mobile can make it credible by giving DISH appropriate inducements. That was my point. Whether they will try to do this or not or not is another issue.
    Mar 18, 2014. 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Road To Approval For A Sprint / T-Mobile Merger May Run Through DISH Network [View article]
    DISH, especially if they partner with someone (maybe Google), is certainly potentially formidable wireless competitor -- they've already spent billions to acquire over 56 MHz of spectrum nationally and are working to get more. They have the industry relationships, the customer base, the capital, the spectrum and perhaps most importantly, the need to be in the business due to their declining core video service.

    As I mentioned in the article, if DISH entered with started a scotched earth war, it would not happen for a few years during which time they would have time to build a network. Some credible industry analysts have even suggested that existing customer satellite dished could even be retrofitted to serve as repeaters. I am not sure it that's viable, but if it is that could really accelerate any buildout.
    Mar 18, 2014. 11:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intelsat's Year-End Results Highlight Dependence On Next Generation Epic Satellites [View article]
    Sure, feel free to reference with attribution.
    Feb 25, 2014. 02:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intelsat's Year-End Results Highlight Dependence On Next Generation Epic Satellites [View article]
    Thoughts on SES vs. Intelsat:

    Revenue: For historical reasons, SES's business mix includes more media traffic with longer-term contracts than Intelsat. It has less point-to-point network traffic than Intelsat and fewer US government contracts. This point-to-point traffic is seeing the greatest price and demand pressure due to increased replacement by fiber and soon by next generation high throughout satellites. The US government has been reducing its use of satellite service as troops are coming back from Iraq and Afganizstan

    Strategy: As it is more media oriented, SES is less threatened by new high throughput satellites (the increased capacity doesn't really help broadcast type applications). But it has invested in a high throughput system, O3B, which could help it get new point-to-point business in countries near the equator. The verdict is out on how successful O3B will be, but it probably won't canabilize much of SES's core business and could provide some upside.

    Capital Structure: Intelsat has much more leverage than SES (roughly 4x vs 8x EBITDA). If the satellite capacity market is doing well, Intelsat shareholders would benefit more, but right now the opposite seems to be happening.
    Feb 25, 2014. 02:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons The Comcast/Time Warner Cable Anti-Trust Concerns Are Overblown [View article]
    Most anti-trust and FCC attorney's I've spoken to don't see much of an issue with this deal getting approved.
    Feb 24, 2014. 05:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons The Comcast/Time Warner Cable Anti-Trust Concerns Are Overblown [View article]
    Sports programing in NY and LA plus NBCU does not, in my view, make a programming powerhouse - certainly not compared to some of the largest content providers. If the fact is that they also have network stations in each market is the problem, then it is a vertical integration (content with distribution) issue. The FCC addressed them with the Comcast/NBC merger and those guidelines will likely be extended for this deal. If they have to sell a station in LA and NYC to get the deal done, that won't be a big price.
    Feb 24, 2014. 05:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons The Comcast/Time Warner Cable Anti-Trust Concerns Are Overblown [View article]
    I think you mean vertical integration problems - content and distribution under the same ownership. The plan addresses these issues.

    The current anti-trust guidelines don't the envision vertical integration as a problem unless the combined entity has over 30% of the national market share of pay television households (even this number is flexible). The merger plan is to sell about 3M homes specifically to keep under the 30% threshold - many of the southern California customers are the ones specifically targeted for divestiture. Moreover, the merger allows the DoJ and FCC to extend the content price controls for competitors that we negotiated as part of the Comcast/NBC merger.
    Feb 19, 2014. 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons The Comcast/Time Warner Cable Anti-Trust Concerns Are Overblown [View article]
    The reason some sectors in the economy are dominated by are large companies is because they often have economies of scale that they pass on to consumers that prevent smaller competitors from being effective. This is why you buy your car from GM or Honda and not the local auto builder down the block. If you want to see really bad cable systems, look at some of the smaller providers without economies of scale.

    Comcast and Time Warner have a powerful reason to pass saving along to consumer -- they are losing customers right and left to satellite, Hulu and even LTE now. To grow, or even to remain stable, they need a better value proposition for consumers. This deal might give them the room to do so which they may or may not take advantage of. But in any case, there is no reason to think this gives them an opportunity to raise prices.

    Simply put the companies don't compete, so merging does not make the industry any less competitive. And they aren't likely to compete in the future because overbuilding is simply not cost effective in most areas. This is why TWC and Comcast aren't overbuilding because they are having trouble maintaining market share in their own areas -- there is no reason for them to build into each other's areas.
    Feb 18, 2014. 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons The Comcast/Time Warner Cable Anti-Trust Concerns Are Overblown [View article]
    I am not sure why you think the merger it's a terrible deal for consumers. Consumers can't chose to switch between Time Warner and Comcast now. So combining the companies doesn't reduce competition or choice.

    If anything, the merger improves buying power of the combined company when buyering content. This could give them the resources to upgrade their systems and stem their subscriber losses. Maybe this won't happen, but there is no reason to think consumers would suffer higher prices or reduced choice as a result.
    Feb 18, 2014. 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why The Wireless Tower Operators Haven't Participated In The 2013 Market Rally [View article]
    Wi-Fi and small cell offload is commonly understood to be about 50% by most industry sources. Check the original on the report you cite. Here are some sources:

    1) http://bit.ly/1dI7iPI
    2) http://bit.ly/1dI7iPJ
    3) http://bit.ly/rFe83i
    Aug 26, 2013. 08:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why The Wireless Tower Operators Haven't Participated In The 2013 Market Rally [View article]
    Thanks for the comments.

    Yes, the tower companies say they are not hurt by wi-fi as it is mostly urban areas where they don't operate. But wi-fi offloading, totals approximately 50% of total wireless traffic today and is rapidly growing. With those numbers it's clearly not limited to core urban areas. Lots of people in rural and suburban areas use wi-fi in businesses, coffee shops and in their homes. This is especially true as people are increasingly canceling their landline phones - just look at how the rural telcos are struggling.

    As per the merger comments - I think there is a misunderstanding. Of course the combined company needs to support both sets of subs. But my point is that large wireless companies, who are spectrum constrained, are buying smaller ones who generally have much lower spectrum utilization. This allows the larger one to expands their capacity without adding more towers. For example, if a wireless operator at 90%+ of capacity (I know capacity metrics aren't this simple, but space is short) and then buys a competitor at 40% of capacity, it gets room to grow without adding additional towers. The AT&T/Leap transaction is an example of this type of capacity expansion via merger.

    I acknowledge the fees to tower operators receive when a wireless company adjusts the master lease agreements to add additional spectrum. But that gives the tower a fraction of the incremental revenue compared to when a wireless company splits a cell site. As spectrum prices have leveled, wireless companies are increasingly adding spectrum as opposed to splitting cells. Adding spectrum and splitting cells are, to a large extent, interchangeable ways to increase capacity on a wireless network. If tower companies were seeing accelerating demand in line with wireless demand growth, spectrum prices wouldn't be flat.
    Aug 18, 2013. 04:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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