What’s up with… Huawei, BT, Telstra, Cardinality

  • Huawei’s sales dip by 5.9% in H1
  • BT staff plan further strike action
  • Telstra CEO boasts T22 strategy success 
  • Elisa Polystar closes acquisition of Cardinality

In today’s industry news roundup: Device sales weakness hits Huawei’s first-half sales; BT girds its loins ahead of further strike action; Telstra’s outgoing CEO boasts T22 strategy success; Elisa Polystar completes the acquisition of Cardinality; and more!

Huawei continues to feel the pain from the US sanctions imposed in 2019 and the subsequent political fallout that followed. For the first half of 2022, the Chinese’s vendor’s revenues declined 5.9% year on year to 301.6bn yuan (CNY) ($44.7bn) compared with 320.4bn CNY generated in the first half of 2021. Its net profit margin fell to 5% compared with 9.8% for the first half of last year. With demand for network infrastructure in its domestic market (where it is still a favoured supplier) remaining strong, Huawei reported sales increases for its carrier (telco) and enterprise units – up 4.2% to 142.7bn CNY and 27.5% to 54.7bn CNY, respectively. The company’s device division was the weakest performer, with sales falling 25.4% to 101.3bn CNY. “While our device business was heavily impacted, our ICT infrastructure business maintained steady growth,” commented Ken Hu, Huawei’s rotating chairman. Going forward, the vendor pledges to “harness trends in digitalisation and decarbonisation to keep creating value for our customers and partners, and secure quality development,” he added. See more.

BT is facing further strike action at the end of August as the tussle between the management and staff over pay rises continues. Following walkouts by staff at BT and its quasi-autonomous access network unit Openreach a few weeks ago, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced strike action by 40,000 members on 30 and 31 August. "It's disgraceful that one of the UK's wealthiest and most profitable businesses is refusing to pay a fair wage to its employees – the women and men whose hard work and dedication contribute so much to this company's success,” blasted CWU general secretary Dave Ward. "At a time when inflation is at its highest level in decades, and when this company is returning ever-increasing profits, paying out enormous amounts to shareholders and to its senior executive, it's totally unacceptable to treat the workforce in this appalling way,” he added. BT issued the following statement: “We know that our colleagues are dealing with the impacts of high inflation and, although we’re disappointed, we respect their decision to strike. We have made the best pay award we could and we are in constant discussions with the CWU to find a way forward from here. In the meantime, we will continue to work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected.”

Andy Penn, the outgoing CEO at Telstra, believes Australia’s national telco was able to weather the Covid-19 storm as well as it did because of the T22 strategy that was implemented in 2018. "When we launched our T22 strategy four years ago, we were, in part, responding to the operational and financial headwinds created by the rollout of the nbn,” Australia’s national wholesale broadband network. “We were also responding to the technology innovation we could see around us and the growing rate of digital adoption,” noted Penn as part of Telstra’s fiscal full-year results announcement. “We knew we needed to fundamentally transform the company, to simplify and digitise, to set bold aspirations and radical interventions and that is what we have done. Telstra is a very different company today and while, of course, there is always more to do, we are much better equipped to face the very exciting digital future ahead. What we could not have foreseen was Covid and the other seismic economic, political and social changes that have unfolded. While we are by no means immune, the transformational changes we made through T22 have prepared us well to manage through the uncertainty – we are a much simpler, more agile, more efficient, leaner, more customer-focused and more digitally enabled business.” According to Telstra, the T22 highlights achieved during the four years of the program include the “radical simplification of the business, including reducing the number of consumer and small business in-market plans from 1,800 to 20,” which is a remarkable consolidation, it must be said. The operator also noted that it now has 4.5 million customers signed up to the Telstra Plus rewards programme, “and engagement with members is high, with rewards store redemptions growing by more than 80% in FY22.” The Telstra Plus loyalty programme has been a big success for the operator. It has set itself a target of 6 million sign-ups for that scheme as part of its T25 strategy, which will be overseen by incoming CEO Vicki Brady, who takes over from Penn in September. Telstra reported full financial year revenues of AUS$22bn (US$15.6bn), down 4.7% year on year, and full-year profit of AUS$1.8bn (US$1.28bn), down 4.6%. For further details of Telstra’s financial performance, see this announcement

Elisa Polystar, the telecom software division of Finnish network operator Elisa, has completed the acquisition of Cardinality, a “supplier of cloud-native data management (DataOps), service assurance and customer experience analytics for communications service providers (CSPs) globally.” According to Elisa Polystar, the addition of Cardinality will enable it to “offer a powerful, telco industry-leading data management and AI-driven analytics and automation portfolio with comprehensive data ingestion and cloud-native capabilities, enabling simultaneous top- and bottom-line improvements for network operators.” Earlier this year, Vodafone unveiled a unified cloud-native network performance platform designed to analyse some 8 billion data points daily across its European markets in partnership with Google Cloud and Cardinality – see Vodafone taps Google Cloud to unify network performance insights.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee is to be granted a pardon by South Korea’s justice ministry to help overcome a "national economic crisis", Reuters has reported. Lee is already out on parole after serving 18 months in jail for bribery in a national scandal that resulted in the impeachment and conviction of the country’s then president, Park Geun-hye, in 2018. She was sentenced to 22 years for corruption but was pardoned last year

US operator Verizon says its messaging platform “processed 267 billion text messages and blocked delivery of more than 11 billion spam texts to wireless customers from senders misusing our consumer platform” in 2021 – read more, here

- The staff, TelecomTV

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