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  /  Project   /  Blog: Tech & Telecom news — Apr 25, 2019

Blog: Tech & Telecom news — Apr 25, 2019


PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Connectivity

At their 1Q19 results presentation yesterday, AT&T revealed a few more details on their plans for future pricing of 5G services, including the use of speed, instead of data volume, as the feature to define different service tiers, justified by the fact that speed is one of the key drivers of customers’ willingness to pay a premium (Story)

Video

AT&T’s 1Q19 results missed revenue expectations, with disappointing numbers both in traditional PayTV (-544K subscribers) and in their current video streaming offer (-83K DirecTV Now accounts). On the positive side, the company is progressing towards its deleverage targets and had positive postpaid phone adds (+80K) (Story)

The streaming video wars had already started pushing Netflix more into own content, after Disney decided not to renew its license deals. But now the problem is growing, with Comcast’s NBCU thinking to remove “The Office” and “Friends” (among Netflix’s most-watched shows) to keep them for their own streaming offers (Story)

Applications

Facebook’s shares rose +8% after hours yesterday, a sign that 1Q19 results have confirmed the good momentum for social apps that investors had already seen with Twitter and Snap this week. This is in spite of a $3bn provision for an expected FTC fine linked to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that penalized profits (Story)

Enterprise

Microsoft’s 1Q19 results showed the key role of the cloud as a growth engine, as they beat expectations with a +14% yoy revenue growth (to $30.6bn/Q) driven by a +73% increase in Azure, a slightly slower rate vs. last year, but still impressive. “Intelligent Cloud” segment now represents almost one third of total revenues (Story)

HARDWARE ENABLERS

Networks

The UK decision to allow Huawei’s equipment in the country’s 5G deployments, limiting the ban to the network core, is seen as one more blow to the US campaign against the Chinese vendor globally. Europe in particular is not following the American move, and claims that no actual spying risks have been found (Story)

Loon, the Google spin-off to offer broadband access in remote areas using floating balloons, have just received a $125m investment from HAPSMobile, a SoftBank subsidiary building solar-powered drones to deliver 5G connectivity, with a similar architecture to the one used by Loon. They claim there are plenty of synergies (Story)

SOFTWARE ENABLERS

Artificial Intelligence

A research team of neuroscientists has developed a “virtual prosthetic voice”, a system that decodes the brain’s vocal intentions and translates them into understandable speech, opening the way to new treatments to restore speech in neurological patients, but also to improvements in human-computer interfaces (Story)

A new paper published by scientific journal Nature proposes to analyze the behavior of AI systems in the same way as human behavior, and calls for interdisciplinary research in the field, as a response to the fact that algorithms are increasingly making decisions with “real value implications in society” (Story)

M&A

Activist fund Elliott Management has taken a €1.2bn stake in SAP, Europe’s largest software company, with a €136bn market cap, but for now it seems to fully support the company’s turnaround plans. SAP is moving to the cloud and prioritizing growth, but some shareholders have complained about declining margins (Story)

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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