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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Laughing all the way to my independent operator

FT.com and MSNBC

France Telecom suffers in Polish market

France Telecom on Thursday cut its sales growth forecast for the year, blaming an erosion in the customer base of its Polish residential business. The partly state-owned French group’s shares fell 6.2 per cent.

In its scheduled third-quarter sales announcement, France Telecom had said it was expecting "nearly 3 per cent" pro forma sales growth in 2005. It had been targeting an increase of 3-5 per cent.

In many markets, traditional fixed-line connections have been under attack from services that allow people to make cheap telephone calls through the internet, such as Skype.

In Poland, however, France Telecom said customers had been shunning traditional fixed-line connections to rely on their mobile telephones instead.

Don't believe it! Poland is Skype's second-largest market after the US, and though mobile-use is growing in Poland, it's still only at 65-percent penetration. For more, see the WBJ (registration required).

Like-for-like sales at its Polish residential business fell 7.9 per cent in the third quarter as a consequence.

In contrast, like-for-like sales for its mobile division in Poland grew by 13.1 per cent – but this was not enough to compensate for the decline in fixed-line revenue, France Telecom said.

The French company, owner of the Orange mobile telephone brand, also said that it would reshuffle its assets in Poland. It is selling its 34 per cent stake in Centertel, Poland's second-biggest mobile telephone operator, to TPSA for 4.88bn zlotys (€1.2bn).

France Telecom will retain a controlling 47.5 per cent stake in TPSA. Michel Combes, the France Telecom executive in charge of "financial balance and value creation", said the move would simplify the structure of TPSA.

TP sucks. May it rot in hell.


Blogger Becca said...

Telecom companies all over are going to have an increasingly bad time. The internet will take over completely.
I live in Warsaw, my parents live in Brussels, my brother lives in Toronto and the rest of my family lives in the UK.
I heart Skype.

10/27/2005 10:21:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

The quality and price of TP phone calls are atrocious. Recently, I had an experience where I wasn't able to conduct my weekly skype call with my parents for a couple months due to unspecified problems with my TP (!) broadband connection. My folks were forced to call my fixed line (just where TP has been losing market share), and of course, I could barely hear them. However, if I called them, paying TP through the nose to do it, the connection was as clear as a bell.

Maybe it wasn't a conspiracy to make my connection so slow I was forced to make an expensive call - but then it was just terrible service. Either way, I'll do my best to keep from giving them any more of my business, those price-gougers.

Speaking of skype - I've found its an awful handy instant messenger. No need for Yahoo!Messenger or AIM, and you have the option of calling.

Only problem - no video capabilities

10/27/2005 11:57:00 PM  

Anonymous Kinuk said...

Skype is brilliant and I use it all the time to ring family in Canada, UK and friends pretty much everywhere in the world.

TP is appalling. For a while, I was using a phone number from Onet that allowed me to pay 35 groszy per minute(vat inclusive) to ring Canada and the UK. TPSA then yanked the fee to 95 groszy per minute for that number. Fortunately, onet got a different number and a court ruling prevented TP from sticking to the 95 groszy, so we're back to normal : 35 groszy.

TP sucks. I'm glad I can get broadband through other channels (Aster cable, a year into the contract and all is v good).

As Becca said, the telecom companies are going to feel the pinch.

10/28/2005 11:33:00 AM  

Blogger Michael Farris said...

Uh ..... skype? I'm not so much a luddite at heart as just horribly, terribly, terminally behind the times. I can't even figure out gadu gadu.

On another hand, I agree about TPSA, nothing has ever reduced me to incoherent howling rage in Poland as trying to use the phone system in the early 90's. On one memorable occasion an attempted call from Poznan to Zielona Gora kept getting some sort of automated message in Romanian.

On another hand, it used to be easy to job the phones (I never did this but I often heard about altered phones). Once for about two months, a phone in an underground passage was rigged so that you could call anywhere in the world for as long as you wanted for one local token (helpfully returned to you at the end of the call).

On yet another hand, a clever system that supposedly meant your international call to the states would appear on your bill there still managed to show up on the local Polish phone bill.

10/28/2005 11:54:00 AM  

Blogger Andrew said...

I still think Skype was one in a long string of poor acquistions for Ebay, though.

10/29/2005 04:45:00 AM  

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