Saturday, December 5, 2009

UT's India Opportunity

While the primary focus is the overall company restructuring and "refocus" in China and Japan, the Indian market provides a lot of opportunity for UT in the coming years. The main revenue driver for UT has been the BSNL multi-play contracts (Phase I, II, and II extension). Here is a summary of the contract:

"The expansion will see UTStarcom deploying its B1000 multi-service access node (MSAN) solution across India to add approximately 475,000 ports of capacity to BSNL’s existing broadband network, enabling additional subscribers to experience triple-play services."

Earlier in its first phase, UTStarcom deployed 1.3 million broadband subscriber lines for BSNL, with an additional 1.1 million broadband subscriber lines during the second phase.

UTs MSAN product was highlighted in the recent investor presentation as having MSAN services to over 27 million subscribers.

Here is a recent article on UTs perspective on the India market reaching 100 million broadband users:

"At a recently held event, UTStarcom MD for South Asia, Mr. Vijay Yadav said that with the use of television as an end user device, the broadband subscriber base can be reached to 100 million subscribers by 2012. He also called for opening of the last mile to private players. According to him in next few years communication over video will take precedence to communication over voice and hence television offered the ideal mode for delivery of broadband services."

Aside from the broadband opportunities (nearterm Phase III contract from BSNL), the ultimate payoff is when iptv can ramp.

Here is an article from Aksh raising $20m:

"Aksh OptiFibre said that it has receive approval from its board to raise $ 20 million in funds through the preferential route.
The company intends to utilize these funds towards the expansion of its IPTV and VoIP business verticals."

India is a place where UT has relationships with the major state-owned and private carriers
(MTNL, Reliance, Bharti, BSNL and Tata). There is also a current trend towards favoring non-Chinese suppliers.

"Chinese companies not allowed in BSNL’s Rs 10,000 cr ($2 Billion) project for Defence, says report"

The company has been particulary positive in India sparing it any cuts during this massive restructuring and Peter has mentioned the level playing field in India (or even advantageous to UT). The upcoming 3G license in India should also clear up spending plans.

"Union Communications Minister A Raja said on Thursday on the sidelines of the Indian Telecom event that the 3G auctions will happen on time as scheduled on January 14, 2010."

Side note: The win in Tiscali for UTs MSAN products give us shareholders some insights to the pricing as it was a $29.8m contract to be shared by UT and Infinera (interestingly a stock I had recently bought, which led me to finding out UT won a part of it). For Infinera, an 8 figure contract is a big deal. For UT, there isn't even a PR. Anyway, this contract should be completed by Q1 2010 per the article and UTs equipment goes ahead of Infinera.

The near term company goal is to get to profitability in the 1st half of 2010. The much reduced cost base provides them a better position to select contracts and execute better while waiting for the iptv market to ramp. While the TN product is something new, opens doors and the initial wins will improve broadband revenue and margins, the major growth driver going forward will still be centered with iptv.

Have a good weekend everyone.

No comments: