The Register Columnists


Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Woman serves at beginning of tennis game. Photo by Shutterstock

Sky’s CEO drops MVNO bombshell at results conference

At the announcement of its results this week, Sky said that it was planning MVNO services based on the O2 network, which is run in the UK by Telefonica. Faultline has been forecasting a move by Sky into cellular for the past four years and is surprised that it has taken this long for the move to emerge. The core Sky news was …
Faultline, 21 Oct 2016
Snow White waves goodbye. Photo copyright Disney

Disney aims for Netflix. If the deal was made, it would shoot itself in the foot

Analysis People that invest in Netflix and people that invest in Disney should never meet each other – they would not get on. But it seems there is a danger, according to the Wall Street Journal, that the two shall be thrown together in an unholy Alliance. While we can totally see the logic of such a deal, and how theoretically it …
Faultline, 10 Oct 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Ericsson strikes partnerships with Intel and Google for pay TV

Ericsson said at IBC this week that it will partner Google to allow Android TV set tops to work with its MediaFirst TV Platform. It will also partner Intel to look for ways of bringing video processing more efficiently to the cloud. It has been re-engineering Microsoft’s Mediaroom since it acquired it three years ago, and many …
Faultline, 12 Sep 2016
Woman watches TV with cat, uses remote to change channel. Photo by Shutterstock

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

The upfront market for broadcast and cable networks has taken an unexpected U-turn from last year’s dip, seeing an increase in advertising sales of $800m to $18.6bn in the most recent completion. According to research firm Media Dynamics, this 4.5 per cent increase in TV ad revenue is a blow to OTT video platforms on PCs and …
Faultline, 15 Jul 2016
Who and tangerine: photo BBC

BBC's Britflix likely dead before the ink has even dried on the news

Analysis Anyone hearing this week that Britain’s BBC is set to launch against Netflix with a service touted as “BritFlix” will almost certainly get the wrong idea and believe it is actually going to happen. The move is being touted merely because the recent government review of the BBC encouraged the ancient British public broadcasters …
Faultline, 20 May 2016
Woman pays for something online with her credit card. Photo by Shutterstock

Experian Audience Engine knows almost as much about you as Google

We have grown so used to credit reference giants like Experian knowing almost as much about us as Google, but unlike Google, they put this information up for sale. This is perhaps why we have forgotten that Experian could form the basis of one of the most powerful personal intelligence systems in the world. And that it is a …
Faultline, 09 May 2016

BT Sport takes Elemental step of software encoding

Analysis BT has been as bold over distribution technology as the content itself for its sport channels, but then it had to be given Sky’s entrenched position in sports rights in the UK. BT Sport succeeded in at least ruffling Sky’s feathers and arguably making serious inroads firstly by biting into the English Premier League pie and …
Faultline, 05 May 2016
Yahoo! branded bus

What's wrong with the Daily Mail Group buying Yahoo?

Analysis Right now MailOnline parent the Daily Mail Group is worth at most £2.5bn, and the few content assets that Yahoo! is supposed to be selling, are already worth way more than that. But the issues go deeper. DMG – parent both of the Daily Mail print newspaper and the massively successful online site Mail Online – has no magic …
Faultline, 18 Apr 2016

Hey cellcos: Guess who's got your backhaul still? That's right. Big daddy BT

One of the things that will not be answered by any amount of discussion about 5G is how the huge increase in bandwidth expected in next generation cellular gets backhauled. But at Faultline we have assiduously tracked the ownership of fixed line assets throughout the US and Europe, anticipating the rising cost of backhaul to …
Faultline, 16 Feb 2016

An on-demand video subscription isn't just for Christmas... Oh. It is

Premium video content is a must have for the Christmas period and to avoid missing out consumers are signing up to a multitude of over-the-top (OTT) services, but this will only be a festive fling for a large proportion. According to results of a recent survey from UK subscription and billing specialist PayWizard, 69 per cent …
Faultline, 21 Dec 2015
IBM CEO 'Ginni' Rometty

Clearleap buy ushers IBM’s entry into video

Big Blue is splashing more cash on beefing up its cloud-based offerings, last week acquiring Clearleap along with its video platform for an unspecified amount. Clearleap counts HBO, TWC, Verizon and BBC America among its customer list, and provides video services that deliver content to multiscreen devices, as well as an open …
Faultline, 14 Dec 2015
Buffering icon

Video still causing mobile data traffic to shoot through the roof

Currently, there are as many mobile subscriptions as people in the world, and every second, 20 new mobile broadband subscriptions are activated. This, and the increased video consumption on mobile devices, is pushing data consumption to new heights - mobile data traffic in Q3 2015 was 65 per cent higher than the previous year, …
Faultline, 24 Nov 2015
Kids on wall. Pic: US Army/Capt Emily Skolozynski

Will the Ericsson/Cisco alliance work or simply break?

The reasons for an alliance between Cisco and Ericsson are just as good as the reasons against it. Both want to own ALL of the territory around carrier deployments, but Ericsson comes from dominance in the wireless sector and Cisco from the IP segment, both wired and wireless. And similarly both of them fear incursions from …
Faultline, 16 Nov 2015

Would Dutch T-Mobile sale open door for Deutsche to buy KPN?

A simple statement this week leaked to Bloomberg that T-Mobile Netherlands is about to be put up for sale, uncovers a wealth of potential intent from all quarters. Immediately everyone is guessing who might buy it; our question is what does this allow to happen after that sale has gone through? We have often given the opinion …
Faultline, 26 Oct 2015
Dolby Vision display (left), standard display (right)

No 4King way: Dolby snuggles its high-def TV tech into MStar SoCs

Dolby Laboratories seems to be one step closer to pushing its version of High Dynamic Range into the TV ecosystem, with a collaboration announced this week with mega smart TV player MStar Semiconductor, which said it would deliver a Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD SoC to go into TVs next year. This fits in with our assertions at …
Faultline, 16 Oct 2015

You know HOOQ? We don't either. But it's bringing the Asia Pacific OTT fight to Netflix

Analysis Netflix is used to local spoilers blocking its international expansion as it enters new markets - in Canada it had to face off with Crave TV, in the Nordics it battled with ViaPlay and HBO Go and in the UK it came up against Sky’s Now TV. But in Asia, it faces perhaps its most formidable obstacle yet in HOOQ. HOOQ was first …
Faultline, 06 Mar 2015
Long exposure shot showing patterns made my moving lightsabers

Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

Analysis Veteran US antenna team Ethertronics has brought out what it describes as an active antenna system that can offer beam steering for Wi-Fi. The system sits in either the client end of Wi-Fi to stimulate the return path or in an Access Point and will work with any Wi-Fi chip architecture and boost performance by between 15 per …
Faultline, 20 Feb 2015
Beats headphones

Hey Apple - what's the $178bn for? Are you down with OTT?

Analysis After posting a record-breaking quarterly net profit of $18bn, on the back of sales of 74.5 million iPhones, Apple is sitting on $178bn in assets – despite a share buyback programme that has spent $103bn on its own stock, with $57bn of that occurring in the past 12 months. This is a staggering amount of cash, and it is only …
Faultline, 16 Feb 2015

Half a billion wearables... and guess whose kit has to support all that data, asks Cisco

Analysis Video will continue to be the primary engine of mobile data growth over the next five years, but will be reinforced by an explosion in M2M (machine-to-machine) applications and particularly wearables as a subset of that, given they are more data-intensive. As a result, total mobile data traffic will reach 292 exabytes (292 x …
Faultline, 06 Feb 2015

Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

Analysis Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report paints a pretty grim picture for 4K adoption. As well as charting IPv6 uptake, an important step forward to catering for the billions of new connected objects that account for the Internet of Things (IoT), the report finds that internet speeds in many countries still lag behind the …
Faultline, 19 Jan 2015
Samsung 48-inch UE48HU7500T 4K TV

It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

CES 2015 With CES in full swing, the industry’s favourite buzzword is cropping up all over the show floor and in the headlines. But the surveys and reports that are emerging still aren’t painting a picture of 4K’s success on the sales floor, as two datasets show that 4K has still yet to take off. Both Futuresource Consulting and the …
Faultline, 12 Jan 2015
top of the bt tower

If BT gets EE, it will trigger EU treasure hunt for fixed lines

Opinion The agreement announced earlier this month for BT to enter exclusive negotiations with EE is part of what we have discussed now for the past two years: a re-pricing of the premium associated with cellular businesses, in favour of those based on fixed lines. This trend will continue and it is the yardstick by which you can …
Faultline, 31 Dec 2014
Credit: David Shankbone

Competition probe opens door to Canal+ Spain for Rupert Murdoch

Analysis It is over six months since Telefonica tabled its bid to buy 56 per cent of Spain’s pay TV operator Canal+ from the Prisa Group on top of the 22 per cent it already owned and at last it is facing the competition probe we predicted it would at the time. The other 22 per cent owned by Mediaset, the Italian commercial broadcaster …
Faultline, 08 Dec 2014

Netflix: Sacre vache! French resistance from the vestibuleurs de consommation

Analysis Netflix has so far skipped neatly over all the French hurdles that have tripped up many lesser foreign invaders in what has become a minefield of bureaucracy and xenophobia, especially for US multinationals. To some extent, Netflix has turned its French resistance to its advantage, gaining valuable publicity on the back of it …
Faultline, 01 Dec 2014

Brit mobile firms in FOURPLAY TUSSLE – how very French of them

About 10 years ago, Faultline wrote a report on the economics of quad play. We hardly sold any (about 20), and the reason was, one of our resellers told us, was that “quad play” was old hat. The truth is that quad play is very much “new hat” and this report was perhaps a decade ahead of its time. People made the mistake of …
Faultline, 24 Nov 2014