The cable guys can at least be glad of one thing: They aren't the satellite folks. Dish Network reports losing 102,000 subscribers during the last quarter of 2008 despite some decent financial results. The company warns that things will get worse due to the cancellation of its reseller contract with AT&T and what are by now familiar economic and competitive woes. Satellite providers perhaps are in the worst shape of the bunch, since they generally lack an effective broadband offering.
There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace. Though the general feeling is that cell phones in general and the smartphone subcategory in particular are less vulnerable than wired telcos and cable operators, those sectors are feeling the pinch as well. This week, Nokia reported that it will cut 1,700 jobs due to falling demand. The goal is to cut about $909 million in costs annually, according to Reuters. The story says the cell phone market is expected to contract by about 10 percent this year, though things will improve after the first quarter.
Every sector is struggling, of course, but things seem a bit worse for the cable industry's video arms and the telephone company's legacy wireline businesses. These preexisting trends clearly are being exacerbated by economic conditions. Broadband is unlikely to suffer more than other areas due to its arrival as a key element of the way people live, including their ability to search for jobs and otherwise deal with financial challenges. Finally, which continue to sell.