From the weíve-been-here-before department comes a report in the Australian Financial Review†saying Telecom NZ has put its Australian telecommunications company AAPT back on the market. Telecom NZís 10 percent stake in Hutchison Telecommunications Australia is also on the block.
By my count Telecom NZ has put AAPT on the market ten times in a decade. This time the AFR reports thereís an auction run by Macquarie Bank.
Telecom NZís problem is that there are few potential buyers for the business. Telstra is the obvious choice, but there are likely to be regulatory barriers. Most of the other telcos are wallowing in debt or have other calls on their capital.
The interesting remaining parts of AAPT Ė the retail arm was sold to iiNet in 2010 Ė are mainly fibre assets and data centres. Most of the rest is, well, letís just say not attractive.
Whatís clear here in New Zealand is that Telecom NZ†chief executive Simon Moutter has been emptying the cupboards and looking down the back of sofas finding ways to raise money and restructure the business. Any non-core Telecom NZ asset is potentially for sale and Moutter needs a war chest to chase the lucrative opportunities being sniffed out by Telecom Digital Ventures.
Windows Phone appears to be gathering momentum.†The Wall Street Journal reports†sales of Nokiaís Lumia phones have increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. In the most recent quarter, to the end of September, the company sold Ďat leastí eight million phones. Thatís up from 7.4 million in the previous quarter and double the same time last year. This squares with reports from Europe than Windows Phone has an 8.2 percent share in the continentís top phone markets.
Boom times are here for wireless Lan hardware makers with IDC Research†reporting ANZ sales jumped 42 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared with a year earlier. The research company says the growth is set to continue for the next four years. This being driven by a growth in smart phones and tablets
An interesting aspect of the IDC figures is the different strategies used by service providers in Australia and New Zealand. On the other side of the Tasman carriers rely on mobile spectrum to support mobile connectivity, while here Telecom NZís roll-out of a wi-fi network based on phone boxes to offload mobile data from 3G and 4G networks means the two markers are on diverging paths.