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Verizon Communications Inc. (Verizon, or the Company) is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services. Formerly known as Bell Atlantic Corporation, we were incorporated in 1983 under the laws of the State of Delaware. We began doing business as Verizon Communications Inc. on... More
Wednesday, Dec 181:41 PM
Wednesday, Dec 181:41 PM| 1 Comment
- Verizon (VZ +0.6%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.1%) have filed paperwork requesting the FCC sign off on spectrum swaps related to the high-frequency (urban-friendly) AWS-1 and PCS bands. No dollar figure is attached to the proposal.
- The #1 and #4 U.S. mobile carriers are looking to swap AWS-1 spectrum in 285 counties, and PCS spectrum in 153 counties. The proposal highlights the extent to which carriers are scrambling to improve their spectrum positions as mobile data traffic growth refuses to let up.
- The proposal appears to be separate from the rumored sale of rural-friendly 700MHz. spectrum by Verizon to T-Mobile. Bloomberg recently reported a deal is close, and would involve T-Mobile paying Verizon with a mixture of cash and urban spectrum.
Friday, Dec 134:25 PM
Friday, Dec 134:25 PM| Comment!
- Bloomberg reports Verizon (VZ -0.6%) is close to a deal to acquire Intel's (INTC -0.7%) TV unit, whose planned Web TV service never got off the ground. Intel was previously reported to be asking $500M for the unit.
- Verizon is once more said to be interested in using Intel's TV assets, which include set-top software and cloud DVR tech, to launch a Web TV service of its own in areas not covered by FiOS. The broadband/pay-TV providers whose networks Verizon will have to leverage to offer the service won't be thrilled to hear that.
- The report's timing coincides with that of a WSJ report stating Sprint is thinking of launching a bid for T-Mobile USA in 1H14. Verizon investors have taken the report in stride.
- Previous: Verizon, T-Mobile reportedly close to spectrum deal
Friday, Dec 132:29 PM
Friday, Dec 132:29 PM| Comment!
- Bloomberg reports Verizon (VZ -0.5%) is close to a deal to sell its 700MHz. A-block spectrum (good for rural areas) to T-Mobile USA (TMUS +0.6%) for a mixture of cash and urban spectrum, and could announce a sale next week.
- The much-rumored deal would help T-Mobile expand its rural coverage, and allow Verizon to improve its 4G coverage in cities where it's investing heavily to cope with surging 4G data traffic.
- The report comes shortly after the FCC delayed the auctioning of 600MHz. spectrum badly coveted by T-Mobile and Sprint to mid-2015.
Friday, Dec 1312:55 PM
Friday, Dec 1312:55 PM| 4 Comments
- New polling from Harris Interactive confirms that consumers streaming video content prefer the practice of binge viewing.
- The news isn't a shocker to Netflix (NFLX -0.2%) and Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) which have been pointing toward their own viewing data for quite a while.
- Redbox Instant (VZ, OUTR) could be the next streaming service to bring on TV shows for binge viewing, according to media buzz.
- The read-through for broadcasters (CBS, AMCX, FOXA, DIS, CMCSA) is mixed. Advertising rates could suffer if more viewers are willing to wait until series are available for streaming, but the payoffs for quality content are getting higher and higher. Just this week, CBS CEO Les Moonves tipped off that Amazon paid $700K per episode for streaming rights to Under the Dome - while AMC Networks knows full well that without Netflix hit show Breaking Bad would have broken down.
Thursday, Dec 121:32 PM
Thursday, Dec 121:32 PM| 2 Comments
- The FCC has reached a deal with major U.S. carriers (VZ, T, S, TMUS) to make it easier for consumers to unlock their phones. The deal will guarantee postpaid users can unlock their phones once their contracts end, and will reportedly also cover some prepaid phones.
- In addition, carriers will have to approve or deny unlocking requests within two business days, and (according to sources) will also have to notify consumers when their phones become eligible for unlocking.
- A big increase in the number of unlocked phones in use could results in higher customer churn, as users no longer find it necessary to buy a new phone and (if they want a subsidy) agree to a new contract to switch carriers. At the same time, it could lower phone subsidy expenses.
- Previous: FCC wants carriers to allow unlocking
Monday, Dec 99:16 AM
Monday, Dec 99:16 AM| Comment!
- Verizon (VZ) confirms it's acquiring CDN owner EdgeCast Networks. No price tag is given, but TechCrunch reported over the weekend Verizon is paying $350M+. The companies hope to close the deal in early 2014. (PR)
- Akamai (AKAM) investors aren't responding well to the news; shares -2.5% premarket. The deal could both strengthen an Akamai rival, and end Verizon's partnership with the CDN market leader.
- Verizon notes EdgeCast has 6K+ customers, and says the business complements that of TV Everywhere uploading/encoding service provider upLynk (acquired earlier this year).
- Separately, at a UBS conference talk (webcast), Verizon predicts its $130B purchase of Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake (financed using both debt and equity) will boost EPS by 10%.
Sunday, Dec 86:28 PM
Sunday, Dec 86:28 PM| 3 Comments
- TechCrunch reports Verizon (VZ) is acquiring content delivery network (CDN) EdgeCast for $350M+. EdgeCast counts Yahoo, Twitter, Pinterest, and Hulu among its clients, has been profitable for the last four years, and was on a $100M/year revenue run rate as of July.
- Thus, assuming EdgeCast is still growing, Verizon may be paying just ~3x forward sales. CDN market leader Akamai (AKAM) trades at 4.5x 2014E sales.
- Acquiring EdgeCast could unravel an enterprise CDN partnership Verizon has with Akamai. With telcos increasingly looking to offer their own CDN services, Akamai has been trying to turn a threat into an opportunity by offering carrier CDN solutions. In addition to Verizon, AT&T and Orange are clients.
- As for Verizon, the company could leverage its IP infrastructure and sales reach to grow EdgeCast's sales to third-parties, and (perhaps more interestingly) use EdgeCast's network to underpin an expansion of its online/mobile video offerings.
- This year has already seen Verizon add mobile support for certain FiOS channels, and acquire TV Everywhere encoding tech provider upLynk. The telco has also been reported to be eying the assets of Intel's Web TV unit, with the idea of offering a Web TV service in areas not covered by FiOS.
Friday, Dec 66:04 PM
Friday, Dec 66:04 PM| 5 Comments
- FCC chairman Tom Wheeler discloses a much-anticipated auction of broadcast TV spectrum to mobile carriers won't take place until mid-2015. Under prior chairman Julius Genachowski, the commission had set a June 2014 target date for auctioning the airwaves, which reside in the rural-friendly 600MHz. band.
- Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS), who badly need more low-frequency spectrum to expand their rural coverage, have been hoping the auction would happen sooner rather than later. Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), who own ~75% of all sub-1GHz. U.S. mobile spectrum, currently offer better rural coverage in many regions.
- Earlier this week, Wheeler hinted the FCC's auction rules will favor the likes of Sprint and T-Mobile, who have been calling for restrictions to be placed on how much spectrum Verizon and AT&T can purchase.
Friday, Dec 61:20 PM
Friday, Dec 61:20 PM| 4 Comments
- With its 4G rollout largely complete from a coverage standpoint (~300M Americans now covered), Verizon (VZ +0.7%) is making good on its promise to ramp network capacity. By turning on a new network in the high-frequency AWS band (good for urban areas), Big Red has tripled its 4G capacity in markets such as NYC, Chicago, and Seattle, and increased it by 150% in downtown L.A. and S.F. Dozens of additional markets will be added soon.
- On paper, the spectrum-rich network can support speeds of 100-150Mbps. Though most users won't see such numbers, the network should allow Verizon to take the U.S. 4G speed crown back from AT&T (T +0.6%), which is reallocating 2G/3G spectrum to improve its 4G capacity.
- The launch comes as Verizon admits soaring mobile data traffic has led to network congestion in markets such as NYC, Chicago, and S.F, and promises to increase capex to address the issue.
- Verizon's 4G network edge is a major reason why it has continued gaining postpaid share in spite of its premium pricing. AT&T just discounted its Mobile Share plans for certain users in an effort to better compete against Verizon and others.
Thursday, Dec 512:23 PM|Thursday, Dec 512:23 PM| Comment!
Thursday, Dec 53:19 AM
Thursday, Dec 53:19 AM| 1 Comment
- AT&T (T) is reportedly thinking about bidding for spectrum licenses owned by Verizon Wireless (VZ), which bought the assets for $2.4B and may receive up to $2.75B in any deal.
- An AT&T bid could put it up against T-Mobile US (TMUS), whose marketing strategy has included targeting AT&T in the companies' battle for customers.
Tuesday, Dec 34:28 PM
Tuesday, Dec 34:28 PM| 5 Comments
- New FCC chairman Tom Wheeler: "Spectrum is finite ... A key goal of our spectrum-allocation efforts is ensuring that multiple carriers have access to airwaves needed to operate their networks."
- Wheeler also made note of an April DOJ filing calling on major upcoming FCC spectrum auctions (due in 2014, at the earliest) to be designed to guarantee smaller carriers get enough low-frequency airwaves (better for rural areas).
- The remarks have been praised by Sprint (S -1.8%) and T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.9%), who have been calling for such rules themselves. Bigger rivals AT&T (T -0.2%) and Verizon (VZ +0.7%), who between them own ~75% of the country's low-frequency mobile spectrum, probably aren't as pleased.
- Sprint, which obtained a huge chunk of high-frequency (2.5GHz.) spectrum through the Clearwire deal, claims it would need 13-15 2.5GHz. cell sites to cover as much ground as one 700 MHz. site. T-Mobile is reportedly looking to buy unused 700MHz. spectrum from Verizon.
- AT&T is set to acquire high-frequency (1.7-2.1GHz.) spectrum through the Leap Wireless deal, but (no doubt to appease the FCC) plans to have Leap sell 700MHz. spectrum it recently acquired for $204M.
Wednesday, Nov 276:02 PM
Wednesday, Nov 276:02 PM| 10 Comments
- The WSJ reports the Department of Health and Human Services plans to have H-P (HPQ +9%) replace Verizon's (VZ -0.2%) Terremark unit as the Web hosting services provider for the much-criticized Obamacare health-insurance marketplace site (HealthCare.gov).
- The department reportedly awarded H-P a contract over the summer, before the site went live and ignited a firestorm of criticism due to performance, reliability, and security concerns.
- While the dollar value of the deal is unlikely to significantly move the needle for either H-P or Verizon, the department's switch could have PR implications. Both H-P and Terremark are trying to gain ground in a hotly competitive cloud infrastructure market currently dominated by Amazon.
- The report comes on a day in which H-P nearly made new 52-week highs on account of its big FQ4 revenue beat.
Monday, Nov 257:28 PM
Monday, Nov 257:28 PM| 8 Comments
- Bloomberg reports Intel (INTC) has set an asking price of $500M for the assets of its would-be Web TV service, and is hoping to reach a deal by year's end.
- Though lacking any revenue, the business does have some potentially valuable IP and software assets stemming from startup acquisitions, as well as Intel's efforts to create a unique set-top UI and cloud DVR for its service.
- Verizon and Liberty Global have already been rumored to be talking with Intel about possibly buying the unit.
- Bloomberg's sources indicate Verizon (VZ) is looking to use the Intel unit as a springboard to offer its own Web TV service, one that would expand its TV reach to areas not covered by FiOS. Verizon has reportedly been asking content owners if it would need new contracts to offer a Web TV service, or if it could simply amend its FiOS deals.
Monday, Nov 254:03 PM
Monday, Nov 254:03 PM| 17 Comments
- The most popular shorts according to Goldman's Hedge Fund Monitor which analyzes the positions of 783 funds with $1.6T in assets (in reverse order, i.e. the last in this list is the most heavily shorted): SYY, KO, TGT, BMY, SNDK, UPS, SLB, GE, CVX, PFE, CAT, COP, EMC, PG, NFLX, WMT, JNJ, DIS, CRM, VZ, IBM, XOM, T, GILD, INTC.
- A quick scan finds Netflix making both the top 25 list of most heavily shorted and the top 20 list of most concentrated longs. List of 20 longs is here.
Wednesday, Nov 2011:06 AM
Wednesday, Nov 2011:06 AM| 1 Comment
- Shortly after Reuters reported T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.1%) has approached Verizon (VZ +0.7%) about buying spectrum, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo has confirmed his company is willing to sell its unused A Block spectrum.
- However, Shammo insists (perhaps as a negotiating tactic) Verizon is willing to deploy the spectrum itself if it doesn't received a fair offer.
- The spectrum resides in the 700MHz. band, which is well-suited for low-density areas where range is more important than bandwidth. By contrast, Verizon's traffic problems are largely in high-density metro areas such as NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco, where its ramping 4G capex to relieve congestion.
- Shammo has also made cautious remarks about 2014 U.S. enterprise/macro conditions. "The good news is that the macro enviro is not getting worse, but not getting better ... In the U.S. we still have too much uncertainty around what tax reform looks like."
- Big Red's enterprise mobile sales have been healthy, but its wireline business sales have been declining, thanks to voice line disconnections and strong data services competition. Verizon's global enterprise wireline revenue fell 3% Y/Y in Q3 to $3.67B, and small business wireline revenue fell 3% to $650M.
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