News bites: Adtran's big little customer mix

Also in this news roundup: Chunghwa is aiming to buy and build a lot of base stations to grow 5G in Taiwan, plus some other headlines.

Small is the new big

Adtran said its Q4 revenues rose 12.3% year-over-year to $130.1 million on the back of more broadband equipment sales. The company's CEO Thomas Stanton noted during the company's earnings conference call this week that its four customers making up 10% or more of its revenues was a company record.

What's also interesting about that customer breakdown is that those 10% customers for Adtran are usually Tier 1 carriers (they need the most stuff, they buy the most stuff). This time it was different. Three of the four 10% customers were distributors that tend to sell and cater to smaller carriers. "Those customers are actually – those three – are actually selling to hundreds of carriers, and they're typically in the Tier 3 segment," Stanton said during the Q&A session, according to a transcript.

As the pandemic caused carriers of all sizes to upgrade their broadband networks, Adtran cashed in. The company added 35 new service provider customers during the quarter, bringing its total to 134 for the year. "Our fiber access portfolio has led the way in terms of both new customer acquisition and revenue growth," Stanton said during the call.

Chasin' more base stations

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom reported this week that it had 11.3 million mobile subscribers, representing a 6.1% year-over-year increase. The company didn't break out its 5G subscribers within that group, but its CEO and Chairman, Chi-Mau Sheih, said in a statement that the company was "pleased to report the number of 5G sign-ups had exceeded our annual target more quickly than anticipated."

Sheih said the iPhone 12 launch in Taiwan is "expected to bring 5G subscribers to adopt higher price plans." He said the carrier's 5G buildout will continue apace as it aims to "build and accumulate more than 10,000 base stations by the end of 2021."

In other news...

  • You can get a COVID-19 test in a vending machine at the Oakland Airport for $149.
  • California's Santa Maria Valley is paying tourists $100 to stay for a minimum of two nights.
  • A Maine animal shelter is raising money by offering to put your ex's name on a piece of paper and place it in a cat's litter box.

Have a good weekend, kitties.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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