The Sunday Brief

Connecting technology, telecommunications, and the internet

Value Creation – Long-term charts, Fab Five vs. Telco Top Five (February 17)

by | Feb 18, 2023 | TSB

Presidents Day greetings from snowy Colorado where the we are taking a long weekend. This was a fairly benign week for the Fab Five (-$25 billion) and the Telco Top Five (+$13 billion). Interestingly, after Apple’s stellar start to the year (+$358 billion or nearly 43% of the total Fab Five year-to-date total), three of the remaining Fabs are clustered at $135 billion. Overall, each of the Fab Five are up, with the biggest recovery being Microsoft (+$286 billion from the rough first week of 2023).

The Telco Top Five are also in the black, with each stock positively contributing to the group’s gain. Comcast continues to lead the pack (+$17 billion) and is now within $4 billion of the number #2 market capitalization spot currently held by Verizon.

The big news for Comcast this week was the introduction of their wireless bundle (which, unlike Spectrum’s. is only available to new customers). Full details of the bundle are in this BestMVNO report here. Definitely a starting point and not an ending point for Comcast. Like the earlier offers from Spectrum (e.g., free service but only if you buy the 1 Gbps plan), these take a lot of explaining by Comcast representatives. Simplification will yield better results.

More news came from the announcement by AT&T and Frontier that they would be cooperating more closely on fiber to the tower (FTTP) in Frontier’s service areas. From the looks of the announcement (here), AT&T will be housing some/ most of the electronics it would normally have in a hut at the cell site in a Frontier Central Office. This would not be possible without an abundance of fiber (an anchor tenant like AT&T helps defray mainline build costs) and AT&T’s decade-long work on Open RAN. Good move for both companies.

Finally, in the “all good things must come to an end” category, T-Mobile announced that their President of Technology, Neville Ray, would be retiring in October. We are working on the final title of our tribute Brief to Neville, but we think that “Did more with less” is probably the epithet for the architect of T-Mobile’s network evolution (although the runner-up, “Supreme cake maker” isn’t too shabby). We wish Neville well in his victory lap and post-Magenta life.

Details are below. Next week’s Brief is shaping up to be a long one, so keeping this interim short. Enjoy the long weekend!

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