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 Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Saudi telco Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has announced that it has achieved its objective to cover 60% of the population in 31 provinces in the central and western regions of the country ahead of schedule; the obligations were set out by the Communications and IT Commission’s (CITC’s) Universal Service Fund (USF). Under Project No. VII, which aims to increase connectivity in twelve provinces in Riyadh and 13 provinces in Qaseem, Mobily has constructed 216 new towers, while 197 existing base transceiver stations (BTS) in the two regions were upgraded, thus increasing coverage in 1,147 communities. Meanwhile, Project No. VIII, which aims to improve telecoms services in six provinces in the Mecca region, saw Mobily build 137 new towers, while 80 BTS were upgraded; 80% of the targeted population in 759 communities gained access to telecoms services following the expansion.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the CITC awarded the two USF projects to Mobily in December 2013: the first project encompasses 1,868 communities in the provinces of Qaseem and Riyadh, while the second seeks to increase connectivity for nearly 330,000 residents of Mecca province. The regulator has also received approval for its Fifth Operational Plan, which will see three projects funded by the USF: Project No. IX covers 1,130 communities in Madinah and Hail; Project No. X will improve connection to almost 1.2 million people in Aseer Province; while Project No. XI will encompass 457 communities in Tabuk. All three contracts were expected to be awarded in 2014, although no further details have emerged.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 09:09:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobilink, Pakistan’s largest cellco by subscribers, has extended 3G coverage to Muzaffargarh, Muridke, Okara and Kharian, increasing the number of cities within its 3G footprint to 24, Pro Pakistani writes. Users in these four cities will have free access to 3G services for two weeks, after which customers will have to subscribe to one of the operator’s plans to continue using the service.

In a related development, Warid Telecom has started trialling 4G services for pre-paid customers. The cellco has already begun serving Long Term Evolution (LTE) corporate and contract users on a trial basis in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Peshawar.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 09:07:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Armenian mobile network operator VivaCell-MTS has announced the expansion of high speed dual carrier (DC)-HSPA+ technology on its network. Initially launched in the capital Yerevan last November, coverage is now available in 48 cities and towns plus 567 villages – an area which is home to 86% of the population, Telecompaper reports. Earlier this year smaller rival Orange Armenia expanded its own 42Mbps DC-HSPA+ network to 310 new markets across the country, adding to the five cities where the technology had already been deployed since its initial launch in Yerevan in January 2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 16:05:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 November 2012

Orange Slovakia has disclosed its plans to reach a total of 633 municipalities with its 3G mobile network by the end of this year, up by 30 from the current total of 603 (and 137 cities already under the 3G footprint). Orange’s existing coverage reaches 78% of the population with HSPA+ (21Mbps) services, and a near-50% DC-HSPA+ (42Mbps) footprint.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, 15 November 2012 14:13:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 November 2012
Mobile Telephony of Serbia (MTS), the wireless arm of fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija, has upgraded its 3G infrastructure to HSPA+, the company announced yesterday. The boosted network will deliver download speeds of more than 10Mbps to end users, with potential upload speeds of 3Mbps. MTS’s 3G network covers 75% of the population including all major cities, towns, and roads. MTS added that the upgrade would ease the transition to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:25:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Italy’s largest cellco by subscribers, Telecom Italia Mobile, will launch LTE services on 7 November, according to COO Marco Patuano. At launch the company’s 4G network will cover Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples, and coverage is expected to extend to a further 20 cities by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Vodafone Italy is expected to unveil its LTE offering on 30 November, while 3 Italia is planning to inaugurate services by the end of 2012. Wind has yet to announce a launch date, and two weeks ago called on its rivals to pool their resources to help roll out a national wholesale LTE network

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:22:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 August 2012
The Qtel Group today celebrated the launch of 3G services by Tunisiana, the leading mobile operator in Tunisia, which is part of the company’s portfolio of leading brands.
With launch coverage extending to 48 percent of the population, Tunisiana will offer 3G services in the regions of Tunis, Sfax, Sousse, Djerba, Cap Bon, Hammamet and Nabeul.  The aggressive rollout will soon be extended to cover 71 percent of the population by the end of the year, with 87 percent coverage planned for early 2013.
Qtel Group companies continue to roll-out improved networks and enhanced services for customers across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, recognising the major social and economic benefits that such improvements bring. According to the World Bank, a 10 percent increase in mobile broadband penetration drives 1.4 percent increase in GDP for low to middle income countries.
Nasser Marafih, CEO of the Qtel Group, commented that the Tunisiana team really did something exceptional in bringing 3G services to its customers only three months after receiving the license and just in time for the holy month of Ramadan. By giving faster internet access to more Tunisians at competitive prices, they are helping to fulfill two of their Group’s highest priorities: providing superior customer experience and offering the best broadband service possible.
Tunisiana’s license allows the company to deploy an HSPA+ network on both 900 Mhz and 2100 Mhz bands, providing for deeper indoor coverage for customers and high definition voice quality.
Ken Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Tunisiana said that with this network, they are able to provide a quality 3G offering that will deliver the best customer experience in Tunisia.  Most importantly, Tunisiana will continue its tradition of providing affordable, flexible offerings for all Tunisians, including the lowest price 3G handset. The Tunisiana offering will include flexible tariffs allowing for daily, weekly and monthly usage.
The Qtel Group continues to execute a unified, broadband?ready strategy for introducing high-speed Internet services across multiple markets around the world, to provide an enriched experience for its 84 million customers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 12:47:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Brazil’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vivo Participacoes, says it has reached its goal of 3G coverage of 85% of the population, well ahead of its target date of April 2016. In a statement, the cellco said it achieved the magic figure last Thursday, at which date its third-generation network served 2,832 municipalities out of a total of 5,566. Launched in 2010, Vivo’s ambitious rollout plan envisaged covering more than four-fifths of Brazil’s people with mobile internet access of up to 10Mbps within six years, in line with the regulator Anatel’s licensing terms – although even then, it said it was confident it could reach that goal by 2012. Local online news site Globo reports that Vivo is in the throes of connecting the last antenna as part of the project, serving the town of Rancho Alegre in Parana state, where 4,000 people live.

Although Vivo has hit its 3G target in terms of population coverage, it is still short of achieving its goals when it comes to towns and cities served. Currently, the cellco’s coverage is in less than half of all Brazil’s municipalities – and is especially weak in those with less than 30,000 inhabitants. Nonetheless, Vivo says it will continue with its aggressive plans for mobile network rollout to meet its coverage obligations.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 13:34:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 June 2012

State-owned telco Une-EPM has begun offering commercial services over its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, the first of its kind in the country. At present the mobile broadband service is available to 80% of the populations of Bogota and Medelin, but will be expanded to Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Bucaramanga later this year. Une intends to achieve 90% population coverage by end-December 2012, and sign up 120,000-180,000 subscribers by that date. Une is offering pre- and post-paid plans with maximum download speeds of up to 12Mbps, with download limits of 6GB or 12GB for monthly contract subscribers and 1.2GB, 4GB or 8GB for pay-as-you go users. Post-paid subscriptions start at COP89,900 (USD49.78) per month, plus COP33,400 for the USB modem.

Commenting on the launch, Une president Marc Perret Eichmann said: ‘4G will contribute to the development of the country, putting it at the forefront of telecommunications infrastructure in the region.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:32:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 2012

According to a report published by Brazilian consultancy firm Teleco, local cellcos Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) and TIM Brasil have failed to meet their licence requirements for 3G coverage. Under the terms of their 3G licence awards, Brazil’s mobile operators were required to roll out a 3G signal to all cities that had a population of at least 200,000 in 2006 (a total of 130 cities) by 30 April 2012. However, as the deadline date passed, the group’s survey found that whilst Vivo and Claro had covered all cities, TIM Brasil was still to provide coverage in three locations (Ipatinga, Santarem and Santa Maria), while Oi was deficient in terms of 3G coverage in 24: Arapiraca, Macapa, Ilheus, Itabuna, Vitoria da Conquista, Caucaia, Juazeiro do Norte, Cariacica, Serra, Aparecida de Goiania, Montes Claros, Ribeirao das Neves, Maraba, Santarem, Caruaru, Paulista, Petrolina, Colombo, Embu, Franca, Hortolandia, Itapevi, Maua and Sumare.

As at 31 March 2012 Brazil’s mobile operators had rolled out 3G networks to a total of 2,883 municipalities. At that date, the country was home to 50.9 million 3G mobile connections, of which 43.5 million were W-CDMA handsets and 7.4 million were 3G data devices/dongles. At the same date America Movil-backed Claro was the market leader in terms of the W-CDMA handset segment, while Vivo led the way in terms of numbers of data terminals connected.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:10:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile phone users was 986 million in 2011, with a year-on-year increase of 14.81 percent, according to a study by Analysys International. 3G users were 128 million. The penetration rate of mobile phone was over 70 percent and penetration rate of 3G was 13 percent. The growth of mobile phone users will slow down. It will reach 1,111 million in this year. The popularity of smartphone and demands for bandwidth required by mobile internet will accelerate the transition that 2G mobile phone users move to 3G networks. It is predicted that user group of 3G will develop in this year and the number might exceed 300 million and the penetration rate of 3G may exceed a quarter.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:06:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 November 2011

Iran has officially introduced a third national mobile phone operator, named Ritel, the Tehran Times reports, without citing any additional information. Ritel was reportedly unveiled in a ceremony held in Tehran on Monday. The brief news item makes no mention of network coverage details or the cellco’s ownership structure.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Iran is home to two active national mobile phone operators, Mobile Communication Company of Iran (MCI) and South African-owned MTN Irancell. In October 2009 the government awarded a third national concession to a consortium headed by Tamin Telecom. The licence was officially handed over to Tamin in April 2010, but at the time of writing – and in spite of its licence terms (which stipulated 2G network coverage of eight main cities and 1,421km of roads within nine months) – Tamin is not yet believed to be operational. It has said it plans to cover 60% of the population with its 2G network and 40% with its 3G network by 2014.

At this stage it is unclear whether Ritel’s operating licence is a brand new concession or the revoked licence previously issued to Tamin Telecom. The latter seems unlikely, as in October 2010, despite its lack of progress, telecoms watchdog the Communication Regulation Agency (CRA) announced that the country would not be offering another 3G licence until Tamin’s exclusivity expires in 2013.

Thursday, 24 November 2011 15:21:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 November 2011

According to Tech Central, MTN South Africa plans to double the number of 3G base stations in service across the country during the next two years to 6,000, extending wireless broadband access to previously underserved parts of the country. However, in order to do so, the cellco must re-farm a block of pre-existing spectrum in the 900MHz band. Chief technology officer Lambo Kanagaratnam said that MTN hopes to have 150 900MHz 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) in service by the end of 2011, with 900MHz services extended to around 1,000 BTS within the next twelve months. Within two years the operator hopes to cover between 80% and 85% of the South African population with its 3G network. Rural areas earmarked for coverage include: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Free State, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

In related news, Kanagaratnam said that the cellco will continue to press ahead with its trials of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, despite the lack of available frequencies in the country. As such, MTN intends to demonstrate the 4G service – which it piloted in Gauteng in July – in Cape Town at the AfricaCom conference this week.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:34:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 29 September 2011

Telefo­nica Czech Republic says that its 3G network now covers 61% of the Czech population, in 1,016 towns and cities. Telefonica plans to cover 66 % of the Czech population by the end of the year.

"We want to make high-speed data available to as many people as possible. Only during summer our engineers commissioned 127 3G transmitters," says Dvorjancanský, marketing director of Telefonica Czech Republic. "Following our network sharing agreement with T-Mobile, we have already covered 228 sites with the 3G signal from the beginning of our cooperation," adds Jirí Dvorjancanský.

The 3G network sharing with T-Mobile was launched at the beginning of the second quarter, as planned. The coverage roll out is in line with the plans of the two operators and precisely follows their agreement.

High speed data in the O2 network is currently used by 1.3 million customers. 900,000 of them use Internet in their mobiles and 400,000 use Internet in their laptops. These numbers represent customers who actively use data services, i.e. they download at least 50 kb in a month.

Source: Cellular News


Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:12:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 January 2011

Armenian mobile operator ArmenTel has expanded its 3G network footprint to encompass the cities of Ararat, Armavir, Artashat, Ashtarak, Vardenis, Vedi, Gavar, Yeghvard, Masis, Metsamor, Hrazdan and Sevan as well as dozens of village communities, reports PanArmenian.Net. The online journal goes on to say that hand in hand with the UMTS network expansion the telco is deploying additional 3G-enabled base stations in the cities of Abovyan, Vanadzor, Gyumri, Echmiadzin and Yerevan, to improve capacity on its existing network infrastructure. As a result of the latest upgrade works, the operator’s 3G signal is now available to 2.5 million Armenians, equivalent to 81.1% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:25:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 13 January 2011

According to Armenia’s Minister of Transport and Communication, Manuk Vardanyan, the country was home to more than 2.77 million mobile users at the end of 2010, a cellular penetration rate of 86%. Cellular services are provided by the country’s three incumbent operators – ArmenTel, K-Telecom (VivaCell-MTS) and Orange Armenia – and have been bolstered in recent years by the introduction of 3G, he said. The minister added that 4G is currently being introduced throughout the country, and TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that only last month, VivaCell-MTS launched its LTE network on a ‘test-commercial basis’. It plans a full commercial launch in February this year starting in Yerevan before expanding coverage to Armenia’s other regions. VivaCell-MTS paid AMD990 million (USD2.7 million) for a 4G concession in November 2010. Meanwhile, fellow operator Armentel is said to be in discussions with the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia as it seeks to secure a 4G concession.

In a related story, Orange Armenia has revealed that its mobile subscriber base reached 500,000 at the end of last year. ‘The year of 2010 was important for the company, which launched full-fledged operations throughout Armenia,’ said Orange Armenia CEO Bruno Duthoit. ‘This year marked a lot of innovations, new offers, extension of the coverage, construction of the customer base and investments,’ he added. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the cellco, which is owned by France Telecom, had 45,000 mobile broadband customers at the end of September 2010, and its 3G network provided access to 93% of the population. In December 2010 it upgraded its national network with High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and high definition (HD) voice services, employing the services of Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to carry out the modernisation of the core and access network which will enable Orange to provide high quality voice calls and data speeds of up to 14.4Mbps in main cities.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 13 January 2011 16:58:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 11 November 2010

Nepalese teleco Ncell/Spice Nepal, majority owned by Nordic telecoms firm TeliaSonera, has launched the country’s first 3G services at the base camp of Mount Everest, reports Reuters. Currently, the service is primarily targeted at the tens of thousands of climbers and trekkers who visit the mountainous region in the Solukhumbu district every year, and who have previously been dependant on expensive satellite phones for their communication needs. However, Ncell said TeliaSonera would spend over USD100 million next year to expand mobile coverage to around 90% of the population. Spice Nepal previously offered services under the Mero Mobile banner, but changed its brand name to Ncell in March this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:07:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 09 September 2010

MTS Belarus yesterday launched commercial 3G/3.5G mobile services covering all regional centres of the country and 39% of the population. The cellco simultaneously launched several new products for handset and laptop users to take advantage of the new network, and revealed plans to expand its W-CDMA/HSDPA/HSPA+ coverage to 18 towns and cities with more than 50,000 residents by the end of this year, as well as across additional suburbs of the capital Minsk. It aims to cover all municipal centres by mid-2011. According to the cellco's website, MTS's 3G network supports HSPA+ data rates up to 21.6Mbps, and it is offering a range of 3G internet packages for USB dongle users, with an offer for existing data service users to exchange their 2.5G EDGE modems for a new 3G model, for a nominal fee until the end of October 2010. MTS Belarus also offers video calling and has launched its own-branded smartphone, 'MTS Android', with HSDPA 7.2Mbps capability. Also on 1 September MTS's mobile television service received an upgrade to become available on the new 3G network. At the same date an unlimited monthly web browsing package for 3G/3.5G mobile handset users was launched, 'Unlimited Internet with Opera Mini'. It has also introduced specialised 3G/Wi-Fi routers targeted at small and medium businesses. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTS Belarus is the largest mobile operator in the country, recording 4.6 million subscribers at the end of June 2010 and a 44.6% share of the market.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 09 September 2010 10:59:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |