After being on the road for 11 of the last 12 days, I was looking forward to cooking again. However, I would be remiss if I did not describe our last meal in New York City. I was anxious to rest our last night and was planning on having an "acceptable" dinner. As I explained that to my wife a woman overheard me and commented that an "acceptable" meal seemed boring. I quietly agreed and sought out assistance over the web for a final Italian meal that was within walking distance of Times Square, not in Hell's Kitchen and not a tourist stop. I found a diamond in La Masseria. I strongly suggest reservations but they squeezed us in as we were just two. We passed several groups in the bar that had been waiting for a while. We began by sharing Fritto Misto Del Mare (fried calamari, shrimp and scallops). My wife order Gnocchi Al Taleggio e Radicchio (gnocchi in a cheeses sauce) and I Coniglio Alla Caprese (roasted rabbit in a wine sauce) and a half order of spaghetti in a basic Italian gravy. The meal was excellent. The recipe of the week is also Italian. It is Fettuccine with Ham and a Tomato Cream Sauce. Basically, Italian gravy, with ham and heavy cream added. It is lighter than the traditional pasta and ham in a cream sauce while keeping the increased flavor of dairy goodness. Delicious! Enjoy!
FiOS and U-verse
Verizon announced its earnings last week and showed very good growth and profitability in its wireless business. While AT&T's wireless numbers showed less profitability than Verizon's, they too were very good. Therefore, why the long faces from both these companies? Both saw continued erosion of margin, decrease in the number of customers and increased cost to support their wireline businesses. Moreover, while many consider FiOS and U-verse to be the future replacement for the companies' current wireline infrastructure, Verizon seems to be crying "uncle" even there. Earlier this year, Verizon announced that it would no longer seek to permission to provide TV services in all markets where FiOS is available and it would not expand into new markets. Verizon wireless is 50% owned by Vodafone, therefore the $16.3 billion in revenue reported by Verizon wireless is actually a little more than $8 billion to Verizon alone. That means it still is receiving more revenue from its declining wireline business, $10.3 billion than it wireless business. However, back to margins, wireless is experiencing 47.2% as non-wireless segments are delivering 20.8%. Verizon knows that IP communications and services is the future but they also need to reduce their operating cost and increase their penetration rate for FiOS. AT&T is having continued success with the iPhone as it reported 2.6 million new wireless subscribers. It also seems to be happier with its overall performance with 236,000 new U-verse subscribers, a 30 percent increase in IP data revenues and the first year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenue. ARPU for U-verse customers was about $160 as opposed to $146 for FiOS customers. However, AT&T may need to change its last mile strategy from copper to fiber as data rate expectations continue to grow. Currently, U-verse tops out at 24 Mbps and Verizon is upping the top end to 100Mbps. We will see in time which company does best at positioning for the future as it rewards its shareholders now.