International Telecommunication Union   ITU
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, 21 July 2016

Bangladesh’s mobile market leader GrameenPhone has activated its 10,000th 3G base transceiver station (BTS), announcing that its latest expansion work has brought its 3G network coverage to approximately 90% of the population. As reported by the Daily Star, GrameenPhone officials claimed that theirs is ‘the fastest 3G network rollout’ in the region in terms of population coverage, whilst the company’s next target is ‘to cover the rest of the country within a short time.’ TeleGeography notes that the W-CDMA/HSPA+ network was launched in October 2013 and reached 70% population coverage in January 2016, with GrameenPhone’s latest announcement claiming that it has covered an additional 20% of the population in less than six months, including many rural areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:27:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 February 2016

France’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep) has invited applications for the award of available 3G/4G spectrum in the French overseas territories (‘departement d’outre-mer’, DOM) of Guadeloupe, Guyana, Reunion, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy. The watchdog will auction spectrum in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands (yet unallocated overseas), along with additional frequencies in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands. All interested parties are invited to submit their applications by 10 May 2016. The regulator will award up to four licences ‘per zone’, each with specific deployment obligations; Arcep said that the authorisations in Guyana will come with obligations to improve the coverage of the two national highways (NR1 and NR2). In regards to Reunion and Mayotte, Arcep decided to set the commercial launch of 4G services for 1 December 2016, due to the ‘particularly fragile’ competition environment since the November 2014 merger of SFR and Outremer Telecom.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, back in July 2013 Arcep unveiled a ‘broad public consultation’ covering mobile frequency assignments in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz spectrum bands, with a view to facilitating the introduction of LTE. The process was successfully concluded in February 2014, and a formal tender was expected to be introduced in 1H14, only for the regulator to miss its self-imposed target.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Friday, 05 February 2016 09:14:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Moov Togo, a majority-owned subsidiary of Maroc Telecom, has finally been given the official go-ahead from the government to launch its 3G mobile service. To date, the company’s 3G ambitions have been scuppered by regulatory red-tape. The cellco was ostensibly promised a 3G licence in July 2012, after previous negotiations in 2011 broke down amid disagreement on the cost of the concession, with the subject referred to the government for consideration. The impasse was only broken on 13 January 2016 when, during a cabinet meeting, the government adopted a decree allowing the Minister for the Digital Economy, Cina Lawson, to authorise Moov to operate a 3G network. Agence Ecofin notes that the cellco’s permit allows it to offer the advanced mobile service until 2021.

The cellco’s mandate requires it to undertake ‘significant investments in infrastructure, [including] the extension of access cover, the densification of areas covered and [to actively] participate in the creation of jobs and particularly those for Togolese citizens in management positions’. The government says the move to license Moov Togo is designed to rebalance a market in which, to date, only Togo Cellulaire (Togocel), a subsidiary of state-owned fixed line operator Togo Telecom, has been able to offer 3G services. That being said, the powers that be have been somewhat slow in driving change.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in July 2014 the government announced plans to begin the process of auctioning off a third mobile licence via an international tender. The ministry confirmed that the tender for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services would hopefully be concluded by October that year but, with no news forthcoming, in November 2015 the League of Consumers of Togo (LCT) wrote to Cina Lawson’s office demanding that the government redress the woeful state of mobile services by licensing a third operator. In an open letter, the LCT accused the ministry of turning a blind eye to what it termed the ‘indifference, carelessness, callousness and especially the ease with which mobile operators Togocel and Moov deal with consumer complaints, despite the alarming cries [of end users]’, and pointed out that more than a year had passed since Togo launched the tender for the award of the third licence to set up a new firm offering 2G, 3G and 4G services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 15:29:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Telkom Kenya, which offers services under the Orange Kenya banner, has announced the rollout of its 3G network in Kajiado County, having deployed 41 base stations across the region as part of plans to expand its data coverage across the nation. In a press release confirming the development, Vincent Lobry, Orange Telkom’s CEO, claimed that the company’s 3G rollout had helped boost both its customer base and revenue significantly, saying: ‘We have a steady growth in our subscriber base to over three million as well as an exponential growth of revenues since we began the transformational plan for the business.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 07:38:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

4G subscriptions in China reached 225.467 million at the end of June 2015 according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), with China Mobile accounting for 189.662 million of that figure – neither China Unicom nor China Telecom provide subscriber figures for 4G use.

The world’s largest cellco by subscribers, China Mobile has reported a recent slowdown in its overall user growth, adding just 1.812 million customers in the second quarter of 2015 to 817.196 million, compared to 8.750 million in the first three months of the year. Indeed, the operator’s 3G user base has declined sharply over the last six months, falling from 245.753 million at end-2014 to 214.815 million as the 4G segment has gathered speed with its 4G customer base more than doubling from 90.064 million to 189.662 million.

Similarly, China Unicom reported that its overall user base fell to 289.307 million at end-June from 294.751 million three months earlier, whilst its combined 3G and 4G user base climbed to 151.788 million from 151.364 million. Telecom’s customer base, meanwhile, grew to 191.440 million as at end-June 2015 from 188.820 million in the previous quarter, with its 3G/4G users making up 131.000 million of that number, compared to 124.850 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 07:24:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 June 2015

Cameroon’s state-owned national telecoms operator CamTel has reportedly hired Chinese equipment supplier Huawei Technologies for the deployment of its GSM network, writes Investir au Cameroun. Rollout has begun in the capital Yaounde, according to unnamed company sources, and tests have already been carried out on the network, with deployment expected to begin in the country’s largest city Douala next. CamTel was awarded a 15-year licence for the establishment and operation of a mobile telecoms network in September 2014, and said it plans to begin offering GSM mobile telephony and data services in 2015. The state-owned company will join three other network operators in the wireless market: MTN is Cameroon’s largest by subscribers, with a total customer base of 9.658 million at the end of 2014 (a market share of 58.1%), ahead of second-placed Orange Cameroun with 6.277 million (37.8%), while a third operator, Vietnamese-owned Viettel Cameroon, launched the country’s first 3G wireless services under the brand Nexttel brand in September 2014.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:26:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Mobile operator Orange Bissau last week launched an ultra-high speed 3G+ mobile service in the capital Bissau, and the cities of Bafata (central region) and Gabu (east region), according to its marketing director Mauricio Mane. Orange intends to extend its service coverage to other major cities within the next two months, he said. Access costs for the new service are XOF250 (USD0.43) for 30MB of data (valid 24 hours), or XOF29,000 for 8GB of downloads, valid for one month. The cellco began testing its HSPA-based 3G+ services in February 2014, and now aims to extend the live service To help support increased data demand on the new network, Mane said: ‘Orange has invested in a fibre link to Dakar [the capital city of neighbouring Senegal] which has more than enough capacity,’ to support its needs in Guinea-Bissau.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:52:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom Lesotho, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has finished rolling out 3G across its entire wireless network, reports Pubic Eye News, citing company executive Johnny Dos Santos. As such, around 94% of the population are now able to access Vodacom’s 3G data services. ‘We firmly believe that access to communication services has been a driving force for development in Lesotho and that it continues to be transformational as we work to make accessible, voice, internet and m-pesa services for Basotho,’ Dos Santos said, adding: ‘We continue to drive this by providing low cost devices and connecting as many Basotho as possible to the network through heavy investment in both 3G and LTE services, as well as affordable tariffs and bundled packages services.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:51:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Telkom Kenya (operating under the Orange brand) has expanded its 3G network to a further 14 urban areas across the country, as it seeks to grow its data services business. Following the rollout of 3G services to Eldoret and Nakuru last year, the firm has now launched its 3G network in Isiolo, Othaya, Keruguya, Kenol, Mwingi, Loitokitok, Namanga, Mai Mahiu, Gilgil, Bomet, Eldama Ravine, Siaya, Webuye and Kilgoris. Orange has also revealed that its data business grew by 50% in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by the provision of high speed broadband to 35 county governments and through the improvement of its network across the country. ‘Part of our KES2.5 billion (USD27.3 million) investment last year was dedicated to the rolling out of 3G network across the country, and the transformation of our operations to enhance service delivery,’ commented Orange Kenya CEO Vincent Lobry. He added that the business is strengthening its national broadband reach with the laying of transport cables across the country. By the end of Q1 2015 an additional 27 urban areas will be connected to the Orange 3G network.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Africa | Mobile
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:34:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 10 November 2014

Airtel Zambia disclosed in a press release that it is upgrading its base stations across the country with a view to improving internet access for its customers. To date, 58 3G cell sites have been upgraded with faster technology since July 2014 while a further 242 site upgrades are expected to be completed by end of the year, according to the statement issued by the cellco’s head of corporate communications, Yuyo Kambikambi. So far 14 sites have been upgraded in Central Province, twelve in Copperbelt, eight in Southern province, seven each in Eastern, Lusaka and Northern provinces, plus three in Western province.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July 2014 Airtel Zambia announced plans to invest around USD80 million in its network this year, on top of the almost USD270 million that had already been spent by India’s Bharti Airtel since it acquired the cellco back in 2010. As part of these plans the cellco was said to be planning to roll out 147 4G-enabled cell sites in Lusaka and Copperbelt this year. At that date the operator also issued an update on the current status of its infrastructure, with it claiming to have one of widest geographical network footprints in the country, with a total of 1,096 base stations up and running.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 10 November 2014 15:34:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Zanzibar Telecommunication (Zantel), which is majority owned by UAE-based Etisalat, has launched its 3G network in mainland Tanzania, strengthening its telecoms portfolio in the country. At the launch ceremony in Dar es Salaam, its chief executive Pratap Ghose, said the new high speed network would ‘revolutionise’ the company’s service offering, with its director of enterprise solutions, Mohamed Ahmed Seif, confirming that from launch the 3G network is currently operational in Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar (since May 2012). Going forward, Zantel intends to extend its 3G coverage into other regions.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 10 November 2014 15:28:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 16 June 2014

The Iraqi government has reportedly granted the country’s three national mobile operators – Zain Iraq, a unit of Kuwait’s Zain Group, Ooredoo subsidiary Asiacell and Orange affiliate Korek – permission to utilise 3G frequencies, effectively bringing an end to a lengthy stalemate. Reuters quotes a statement by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers as saying that the trio now have ‘the right to use third-generation frequencies’, without providing specific details. The assertion was backed up by Hayder Ahmed, head of corporate communications for Zain Iraq, who told Reuters that the Council’s decision was ‘a positive step for the development of the telecom industry in Iraq’, even if his company had yet to be made aware of the government’s launch conditions.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as recently as March 2014 Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) was determined to preside over a two-step process, which would see a quick, closed 3G auction, followed by the introduction of a fourth mobile player further down the line. Meanwhile, the government said it remained keen to combine the two processes, potentially delaying the country’s introduction of 3G technology even further. Based on previous statements by the regulator, the 3G licences are expected to comprise 15MHz of spectrum in the 2100MHz band.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:41:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chinese state news agency Xinhua has announced the launch of China’s first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), T.Mobile, on Sunday. The provider piggybacks on the network of China Telecom but is currently limited to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, although the operator plans to expand to other areas of the province. T.Mobile is a unit of Chinese firm Telephone World Digital Group (TWDH), not to be confused with the preferred T-Mobile moniker of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (DT). TWDG is one of 19 companies granted MVNO licences, with others including a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba and retailers Suning, and D.Phone. The other MVNOs are due to launch shortly, and Suning and D.Phone began taking pre-orders for their service on 1 May.

The potential impact of MVNOs on China’s telecoms market is widely disputed, with many commentators expecting the high prices levied on virtual providers by network operators to limit their effect on competition. Xinhua cited several unnamed industry insiders as saying that the poor prospects for profitability would hamstring the MVNOs ability to drive competition, with one executive from China Telling Communication noting that each MVNO would require one million active subscribers to reach break-even. Nevertheless, some areas of the sector remain optimistic about the introduction of privately-owned MVNOs into a market previously controlled by three state-backed entities, namely China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. Zou Xueyong, the secretary general of China’s Industry Association of Mobile Virtual Network Operators, remained adamant that: ‘Virtual operators will help push forward reforms in the telecom industry and drive down prices of telecom services.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:40:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iraq has granted its three mobile operators the right to provide 3G services, reversing an earlier decision to hold a multimillion dollar auction and ending years of stalemate. The General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers announced the approval of granting mobile companies operating in Iraq the right to use the 3G frequencies, Reuters reported. The statement did not provide further details and it was unclear when the operators - Zain Iraq, Asiacell and Korek - will receive the frequencies required for 3G. Hayder Ahmed, head of corporate communications for Zain Iraq, the country's top mobile operator by subscribers, told Reuters that the Council's decision was "a positive step for the development of the telecom industry in Iraq", but added his company had yet to be told the government's conditions for launching 3G.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:37:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 May 2014

Airtel Gabon has announced details of its 3G mobile network expansion plans, following the official launch of its commercial W-CDMA/HSPA+ services in the Gabonese capital Libreville. At the launch event, Airtel Gabon officials including CEO Antoine Pamboro said that the cellco will gradually cover the whole country, following the first-phase commercial launch which currently covers only the northern part of Libreville, Agence Ecofin reported. The area covered by the W-CDMA/HSPA+ network runs from Downtown to Agondje Stadium, the CEO clarified, adding that the second phase will take place in the next quarter and will focus on covering southern Libreville, an area defined as extending ‘from downtown to PK12, including Owendo’, the executive elaborated. He continued that by the end of the third quarter of 2014 a third-phase rollout will introduce 3G services to Gabon’s second largest city, Port Gentil. Pamboro stated that a fourth-phase 3G deployment scheduled to be completed by the end of the year will see 3G coverage reach all provincial capitals.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:26:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), through its mobile divisions Smart Communications and Digitel (Sun Cellular), is on course to achieve 100% coverage of the country by the third quarter of this year, having already completed the rollout of a 650km submarine fibre cable linking Palawan province to the rest of its national backbone. The PHP861 million (USD19.3 million) Palawan link formed part of a wider fibre-optic rollout programme, which now spans more than 78,000km. Speaking to reporters in November 2013, PLDT/Smart president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno said that the group’s 3G coverage would stand at ‘75% to 80% by first quarter’ of 2014. The 3G network provides more capacity, faster data rates and richer data and video applications than a second-generation network.

PLDT has allotted PHP32 billion for capital investments this year. The amount will be spent largely on expanding and improving the group’s network coverage including the ultra-fast 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Backbone
Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:23:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan has completed the long-awaited auction of third- and fourth-generation (3G and 4G) concessions, awarding 3G licences to Mobilink, Telenor Pakistan, China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak/Zong) and Pakistan Telecommunications Mobile Ltd (PTML/Ufone), whilst Zong was the only winner of 4G spectrum rights. ProPakistani writes that Zong and Mobilink each won 10MHz in the 2100MHz band whilst Ufone and Telenor were awarded 5MHz apiece in the same range. Zong also walked away with a further 10MHz in the 1800MHz band for 4G services. Under the terms of the auction, providers were only eligible to bid for a 4G authorisation if they had won 10MHz of 3G frequencies, and whilst Ufone had also expressed an interest in bidding for 4G rights, its failure to secure a 10MHz 3G lot made it ineligible to bid for an 1800MHz licence. Ufone will have a second opportunity to acquire the frequencies, however, with sector watchdog Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) revealing that the unsold 4G licence would be sold off at a later date. The sale raised a total of USD1.112 billion for state coffers with the two 5MHz lots and the 4G lot each selling for their reserve prices of USD147.5 million and USD210 million respectively, whilst the 10MHz blocks sold for USD306.92 million and USD300.9 million, the Chinese provider paying the larger sum.

Commercial 3G services are expected to be made available within the next month, the cellcos having already deployed 3G networks in anticipation of the auction date. Capitalising on its 4G win, Zong has launched a new marketing campaign titling itself as Pakistan’s first and only 4G network, accompanying the programme with a change of logo. Whilst currently the smallest of the bidding cellcos in terms of subscribers, Zong’s 4G coup is expected to give the provider the edge needed to close the gap with its larger rivals. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zong represented 18.0% of Pakistan’s wireless market at the end of 2013, compared to 28.2% held by Mobilink and 25.0% and 18.7% claimed by Telenor and Ufone respectively. Backed by China Mobile, the world’s largest cellco by subscribers, Zong is well-positioned to exploit its 4G advantage, benefiting from substantial economies of scale, especially given its parent company’s ongoing Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network rollout in China, and its imminent re-entry into the Chinese fixed broadband market. Indeed, CommUpdate noted earlier this month that Zong had also purchased licences to enter the fixed market in all 14 of Pakistan’s regions.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:14:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has opened bidding for 3G concessions and has completed the first four rounds of bidding, ProPakistani writes. Bids have been entered for four blocks of spectrum, two of 2×5MHz and two of 2×10MHz, all in the 2100MHz range. After three rounds of bidding, the two smaller blocks (B and C) have not moved above the reserve price of USD147.5 million, whilst of the two larger blocks, block A had edged up to USD306.92 million from the base price of USD295 million, whilst block D had increased to USD300.9 million. Incumbent cellcos Mobilink, Telenor Pakistan, China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak/Zong) and Pakistan Telecommunications Mobile Ltd (PTML/Ufone) are competing for the spectrum rights, whilst Warid has elected not to participate in the auction. Bidding is due to continue until winners are determined, potentially extending the auction to a second or third day: ProPakistani cites unnamed cellco officials as saying that bidding is expected to carry on to a second day. Bidding for 4G concessions, meanwhile, will take place upon the completion of the 3G sale.

Marring the auction somewhat was an eleventh-hour bid to close down the tender, with a challenge filed with the Supreme Court shortly before the sale was due to begin. The petition, submitted by the Watan political party, claimed that the USD1.3 billion revenue targeted by the auction was far less than anticipated by the government and that the PTA were under-valuing the spectrum. Challenging the legality of the sale, the petition also alleged that the participating cellcos were defaulters on bank liabilities and that the auction had not followed the rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA). The apex court dismissed the allegations, however, allowing the tender to go ahead as planned.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:09:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Indian-backed cellco Airtel Chad has received the nation’s first 3G/4G licence, Biztech Africa reports. The concession obliges Airtel to activate 3G services in the capital, N’Djamena, within six months although the cellco expects to achieve that goal in just four months. Airtel expects to extend 3G services to most major cities within a year. Commenting on the development, the CEO of Airtel Africa Christian de Faria noted that mobile services are more readily available to most Africans than many other basic services – such as electricity, sanitation and financial services – and ‘as a result wireless communications services can play a unique role in addressing social, economic and environmental issues.’ No details regarding the price of the licence, or the frequencies included in the concession were available.

Chad’s Minister of Posts and New Information Technologies, Daoussa Deby Itno, added: ‘Chadians in N’Djamena and elsewhere need good quality data services. Students expect broadband internet in universities, traders expect high speed internet for their operations and physicians, amongst others, expect to be connected to the various operations that they have with the outside world. Everyone needs reliable connectivity.’

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Chad’s broadband and wireless markets are amongst the least developed in the region and the development of these segments has been identified by the government and international aid organisations as a key factor in alleviating a number of social and economic problems afflicting the country. Internet access in Chad has long been hindered by the nation’s landlocked status, and the country is one of only a handful still dependent primarily on satellite links for international connectivity. According to the latest figures from sector watchdog the Office Tchadien de Regulation des Telecommunications (OTRT), at the end of 2012 there were some 1.987 million internet users, 99% of which connected via the 2.5G GPRS/EDGE networks of Airtel and its cellular rival Tigo Chad.

Source: TeleGeograhy.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:50:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh’s largest cellco by subscribers GrameenPhone has announced that its 3G W-CDMA/HSPA+ network coverage now covers all 64 of the country’s district headquarter cities, following its commercial launch of the 2100MHz service on 8 October 2013. In a press release, the Telenor subsidiary stated: ‘GrameenPhone is now the largest national broadband service provider. Some 40% of our customers are currently under 3G coverage and approximately 85% of 3G enabled devices can access the 3G network.’ GrameenPhone won the largest-bandwidth (2×10MHz) 3G licence in Bangladesh’s September 2013 auction and covered all seven of the country’s main divisional capital towns plus other densely populated cities by the end of the year, before reaching the 64-city national footprint in less than six months from launch, which it called ‘the fastest 3G rollout in the history of Telenor Group, and a critical part of our ambition to provide internet for all.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:39:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 27 March 2014
Telecom Cook Islands has launched 3G mobile data services. Initially the service is only available on Rarotonga, TeleGeography writes. The launch is supported by increased international bandwidth through satellite operator O3b Networks, which was successfully trialled in December last year. Telecom Cook Islands offers a range of "Anytime" postpaid plans starting at NZD 30 with data inclusions ranging from 100 MB to 1 GB. Prepaid data packs start at NZD 10 for 100 MB and range to NZD 50 for 1 GB.

Source: Telecom Paper.

3G | Tariffs
Thursday, 27 March 2014 14:56:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 February 2014

Brazilian mobile operators TIM Brasil and Oi have still to meet some of their 3G network coverage requirements ten months after the deadline has passed. Both firms were required to be covering 15% of municipalities with less than 30,000 inhabitants by April 2013 but, according to a report from news portal Convergencia Digital which cites figures from local consultancy firm Teleco, TIM has missed the target in 426 towns while for Oi the figure is 425 towns.

As reported in TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last month, all four of the country’s main operators – Vivo, TIM, Claro and Oi – met the end-2013 coverage deadlines for larger cities, namely to be offering services in all cities of over 100,000 inhabitants and half the cities with between 30,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. The coverage targets were stipulated in the 3G licences awarded back in December 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:53:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Algerian telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms (ARPT) has published its Decision No.1/SP/PC/ANRT/2014, dated 8 January 2014, which outlines the terms and conditions of deployment of 3G commercial services in optional wilayas. According to the document, the launch of 3G services in additional towns and areas is subject to authorisation by the regulator. The concession will be issued at the request of the operator and the application must be accompanied by a deployment map outlining the coverage level in the municipalities, with list of 3G-enabled base transceiver stations (BTS) in the specified mandatory provinces. Further, the regulator will carry out verification checks on a sample of sites at the end of each year. Deployment of 3G services in the optional municipalities will be allowed when an operator has met its coverage and quality of service (QoS) obligations for its obligatory provinces.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the watchdog issued the final licences for the provision of 3G services in the country to all three applicants—Mobilis, Ooredoo Algeria (Nedjma) and Djezzy – on 3 December 2013. Mobilis was granted exclusivity in the towns of Batna and Laghouat and must also cover Algiers, Constantine, Ouargla, Oran, Annaba, Tipaza, Biskra, Sidi Bel Abbes, Setif, Tlemcen, Blida, Tizi-Ouzou, Djelfa, El Oued, Tiaret Tebessa and Ain Defla by the end of its first year of operation. For its part, Nedjma has exclusivity in the town of Bejaia Ghardaia; by end-December 2014 the operator must also provide 3G coverage in the towns of Algiers, Constantine, Ouargla, Setif, Chlef, Blida, Tlemcen, Boumerdes, Tipaza, Biskra, El Oued Sidi Bel Abbes, Medea, Ain Defla and Djelfa. Meanwhile, in the first year Djezzy was granted exclusive coverage of Bechar Skikda, in addition to coverage of Algiers, Constantine, Ouargla, Oran, Blida, Mostaganem, El Oued and Ain Defla. All three operators must achieve coverage of 80% of the population by the end of the seventh year of operation.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:48:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 06 January 2014

Qatar’s Ooredoo Group has announced what it claims to be the launch of the first commercial 3G network in Algeria by its local subsidiary. In confirming the development, the company said that the opening of the infrastructure to the public came within just hours of receiving the regulatory green light to do so. At launch Ooredoo Algeria’s (formerly Nedjma) third-generation network covers ten major cities across the country, namely: Algiers, Constantine, Oran, Ouargla, Setif, Djelfa and exclusively in Bejaia, Chlef, Bouira and Ghardaia. Customers looking to take advantage of the higher speeds available over the 3G network will not face any additional charges compared to connecting to the 2G infrastructure, though they are required to contact the cellco to request a second 3G number and adding it to their existing SIM card. The decision to enable customers to use their original SIM card to access 3G services at the existing rates for 2G services would, Ooredoo said, ensure that the new network was widely available to as many people as possible, supporting the operator’s vision of broadband access for all in Algeria.

Speaking in the wake of the network launch, Joseph Ged, Ooredoo Algeria CEO, said: ‘We’re proud to say that our 3G network went live within ten days of finalising the licensing process and within twelve hours of receiving final approval from the regulator. Ooredoo has launched the first commercial 3G service in Algeria, delivering a historic moment of technological benefit for the people of our country and contributing to the development of a knowledge-based economy for all.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:22:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Algerian mobile operator Ooredoo Algeria (formerly Nedjma) anticipates that around two million subscribers will migrate to its 3G network once the technology has been commercially launched in the country. Agence Ecofin quotes Ooredoo Algeria’s CEO Joseph Ged as saying that the company has been preparing for the 3G upgrade since 2011, and has invested more than USD1 billion on equipment for the modernisation of its system. Further, the executive revealed that the upgrade project has accelerated in recent months, adding that ‘the service disruptions that have occurred on the network and that many consumers have complained about’ are due to the ongoing network overhaul.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Algerian telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms (ARPT) issued the final licences for the provision of 3G services in the country to all three applicants—Mobilis, Ooredoo Algeria (Nedjma) and Djezzy – on 3 December 2013. Not long after, ARPT published the 3G network coverage obligations for all three licensees, with Ooredoo granted exclusivity in the town of Bejaia Ghardaia; by end-December 2014 the operator must also provide 3G coverage in the towns of Algiers, Constantine, Ouargla, Setif, Chlef, Blida, Tlemcen, Boumerdes, Tipaza, Biskra, El Oued Sidi Bel Abbes, Medea, Ain Defla and Djelfa.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:12:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 31 October 2013

Algerian telecom regulator ARPT has awarded 3G licences to the three candidates, Algerie Telecom Mobile (Mobilis), Wataniya Telecom Algerie (Nedjma) and Orascom Telecom Algerie (Djezzy). The three existing operators met the technical and financial requirements of the licensing regulations, the ARPT said.

Vimpelcom, the controlling shareholder of Djezzy, said the licence will cost DZD 3 billion (USD 40 million) and be valid for 15 years. The ARPT will grant the final licences with the relevant coverage obligations after payment of the fees, satisfaction of the conditions in the tender documents and receipt of clearances and approvals from various government authorities. Djezzy, which has been the subject of government restrictions on its foreign currency transactions, received an exceptional approval from the Bank of Algeria to acquire foreign equipment for the 3G roll-out, Vimpelcom said.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:40:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 September 2013

Wireless operator MTN Guinea (Areeba) has announced that it is now authorised to provide 3G services in the country after signing a Convention de Concession de Licences with telecoms regulator L’Autorite de Regulation des Postes et Telecommunications (ARPT) on 16 August 2013. According to the company’s press release, the licence will provide MTN Guinea with an ‘opportunity to have a greater number of sites covered by March 2014’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2011 MTN’s rival Orange Guinea launched the country’s first 3G network based on W-CDMA/HSPA technology in the capital Conakry. In February 2012 Cellcom Guinea followed suit by deploying its own W-CDMA-based network, also in Conakry.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Africa
Monday, 30 September 2013 07:32:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Bangladesh's four mobile operators have secured 3G spectrum after an auction on 08 September organised by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Grameenphone, the largest mobile operator in the country, acquired 10 MHz in the 2,100 band for USD 210 million. Robi, Banglalink and Airtel each acquired 5 MHz for USD 105 million. Teletalk, the sole state-run mobile operator, will be awarded 10 MHz spectrum for USD 210 million. The BTRC sold in total 35 MHz of spectrum for USD 735 million, the Dhaka Tribune reported. A total 40 MHz was available in the auction. The reserve price was USD 20 million per MHz. Citycell, the oldest operator, sat out the auction after it was unable to raise the necessary financing.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, 30 September 2013 07:29:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Mobile operator Kar-Tel, which offers services under the Beeline Kazakhstan brand, has ‘significantly expanded’ its 3G network in western Kazakhstan region, according to an unconfirmed report by Telecompaper. The new 3G base stations were deployed in the Karatobe, Zhalpaktal, Zhangala and Fyodorovka agglomerations during 1H13, following launches in Bokeyorda, Kaztalovka and Zhanibek.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:19:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

All five of Bangladesh’s private sector mobile network operators – GrameenPhone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel and CityCell – filed applications for 3G licences yesterday afternoon, the deadline for submissions, and will now compete for three concessions up for grabs in the auction on 8 September. It had been feared that issues over taxes and other fees would cause the operators to boycott the 3G licensing procedure. State-owned Teletalk – which is currently the sole W-CDMA/HSPA network operator in the country having been permitted to launch services ahead of the competition – will officially receive the fourth national 3G licence following the auction. There have been no reported applications from prospective new mobile market entrants, either foreign or domestic.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:17:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 25 July 2013
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) unleashed a tariff war in the 3G data segment on Thursday as the company slashed monthly tariff by 50%, offering high-speed mobile internet at half the price of competitors like BhartiAirtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. The move by the country's third-biggest mobile operator comes a few weeks after its rivals lowered 2G and 3G rates, but only for data usage beyond standard package limits.

Data adoption in India has been slow, but is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets boom with users consuming more online content.

RCom has reduced the monthly tariff for 1GB data on 3G to Rs 123 from Rs 250. This is even cheaper than the company's 2G monthly tariff that of Rs 125. "We want a data tsunami and want to liberate customers from high prices and slow speed," RCom president and CEO (wireless) Gurdeep Singh said.

When contacted, most of the other companies refused to comment. However, industry analysts say that a price cut may not be far away as companies are scouting for heavy data users.

3G adoption in India has been slow as high prices and not-so-efficient services have kept users away. Only about 5% of the country's 850 million mobile users have subscribed to 3G services, which are estimated to account for 3% of mobile revenue of telecom carriers. Companies are also fighting hard in the data space as voice tariffs - one of the lowest in the world - have remained more-or-less muted over the last many months and operators have rather done away with freebies and discounts here to shore up revenues.

Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had last month cut the prices of their internet data plans, but the lower rates were valid only beyond the stipulated standard package prices. Currently, Vodafone charges Rs 250 monthly for 1GB data package of 3G and Idea and Bharti also offer a near-similar plan. Their reductions had come for data usage beyond the 1GB limit.

RCom has 3G services in 13 circles that include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and North East. The lower tariffs are for all kind of connections - pre-paid, post-paid, new and old. RCom has also reduced prices for 2GB and 4GB pack on 3G network.

Source: The Times of India.

Thursday, 25 July 2013 07:36:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Vodafone India is being threatened with another fine relating to its 3G roaming services. The operator is already appealing against a penalty of INR5.50 billion (USD92.8 million) for offering its customers the ability to roam onto partner networks in parts of the country where Vodafone itself does not hold 3G concessions. The Comptroller and Auditor General is now calling for an additional payment of INR5.49 billion to cover the radio spectrum fees that Vodafone would otherwise have had to pay for the 3G roaming service, Business Line reports. A note from the regulator states: ‘Since Vodafone has been earning revenue using the spectrum allotted through a bidding process to another operator, the company should be made liable to pay a penalty.’

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in the lead-up to the 2010 3G auction, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had confirmed that inter-circle roaming would be allowed. Aware that pursuing pan-India 3G spectrum would be a risky and certainly costly affair due to the high volume of bidders and limited frequencies available, providers had sought clarification regarding roaming agreements as a potential solution. In December 2011, however, the government performed an apparent volte face and declared such agreements illegal. Legal challenges to the DoT’s policy U-turn rattled through the courts until April 2013, when the Supreme Court ruled that cellcos could continue providing 3G services outside of their licensed areas to existing customers but would not be allowed to sign up new subscribers in those areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 08:11:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 July 2013

Brazilian owned telecoms group Oi, formed through the restructuring of Telemar Participacoes’ former operating divisions Brasil Telecom, Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Coari Participacoes and Telemar Norte Leste, says it deployed an additional 65 new antennas for 2G and 3G mobile services in May. BNamericas quotes the carrier as saying that it has also increased the capacity of another 303 previously deployed cell sites, while installing more than 53,000 ‘Oi Velox’ nodes to support the offer of broadband services across the country, excepting Sao Paulo state where it is yet to offer it on a commercial basis.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database Oi was the leading player in the domestic fixed broadband segment at 31 March 2013, with a market share of 31.9%, ahead of its closest rival cableco Net Servicos (31.2%) and third-placed Telefonica Brazil (20.6%). Oi plans to invest BRL6 billion (USD2.8 billion) in its networks and services in fiscal 2013 and is forecasting EBITDA of between BRL9.0 billion and BRL9.8 billion for the full year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 15 July 2013 07:53:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Centrafrique has announced that it has become the first operator in the Central African Republic to launch a 3G network. The mobile broadband network, which it says offers maximum downlink speeds of 21Mbps – ‘ten times faster than EDGE’ – has launched in Bangui, where the cellco claims to offer ‘maximum coverage’. Although the precise technology deployed by Orange has not been confirmed, the cellco is presumed to have rolled out a Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) platform.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Orange competes with Telecel-RCA, Azur RCA (formerly Nationlink) and Moov Centrafrique in the country’s wireless sector, claiming second place in the market with a 32.4% market share at 31 December 2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 15 July 2013 07:45:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Omani telecoms operator Nawras has embarked on the second phase of its nationwide network modernisation programme, which will see mobile broadband speeds boosted and network coverage widened. Work will begin in Quriyat and in September will continue along the Batinah coast from Al Suwaiq towards Shinas. At present, all Nawras sites in Salalah are being upgraded as capacity is doubled along with the speed of the Nawras 3.5G network. In addition, 4G LTE technology is being deployed in the city to support residents and visitors attending the annual Salalah Tourism Festival in August. ‘We have already delivered a huge difference in the broadband internet experience of our customers living and working in the area covered by the first phase of Network Turbocharging,’ said Nawras chief executive Ross Cormack, adding: ‘With faster speeds and greater capacity, Nawras is making it easier and more enjoyable to be online with a pre-paid or post-paid broadband internet plan.’ So far, Nawras has invested around OMR60 million (USD155 million) in the first phase of its ‘Network Turbocharging’ programme, which includes upgrading the core network, building new base stations and adding 3.5G technology to every existing 2G site from Al Bustan to beyond Al Musannah. Furthermore, last month a third 3G data carrier was activated on the 900MHz frequency band, increasing the speed, capacity and indoor coverage of Nawras’ mobile broadband services.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:00:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 05 June 2013

Tigo Senegal, a unit of Millicom International Cellular (MIC), has confirmed it is looking to launch a 3.5G mobile network in the country based on HSPA+ technology and capable of delivering maximum download speeds of 21Mbps. Agence Ecofin reports that the cellco signed a supply contract with an as yet unnamed vendor in April this year, and that deployment of the new system is already underway. Upon completion, Tigo says HSPA+ services will be available in

177 new areas, covering 14 administrative regions of Senegal, an improvement on its existing footprint, which numbers over 300 cell sites. By October 2013 the carrier hopes to have covered Dakar and its environs, with the area of Touba set to be added in December 2013 – a total of 310 settlements. Tigo has invested more than XOF25 billion (USD49.4 million) in the renovation and expansion of its network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:52:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 June 2013

T-Mobile Czech Republic has announced the expansion of its dual-carrier (DC) HSPA+ network to the cities of Hradec Kralove and Plzen, with plans to further extend the footprint to Karlovy Vary and Prague (centre) by the end of the month. As a result of the latest service expansion, the cellco says its DC-HSPA+ infrastructure, which is capable of delivering maximum download speeds of 42Mbps, now covers 20.46% of the population in 42 towns and cities, and comprises 720 base transceiver stations (BTS). In a press release, T-Mobile said that although the percentage coverage figure ‘does not seem high‘, the signal from the cities also covers adjacent sites, boosting HSPA+ availability to another 67 municipalities.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 03 June 2013 07:46:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lebanese cellco Alfa has commercially launched its LTE 4G mobile broadband network, with coverage initially in central Beirut, offering data services for USB dongle modems, tablets and Wi-Fi routers for post- and pre-paid users, with support for 4G mobile handsets ‘coming soon’. Alpha built its 4G network in cooperation with European vendors Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, and according to the operator’s press release, its planned deployment of around 300 active LTE base stations by the end of 2013 will cover roughly 40% of the population, representing approximately 25% of a 1,200 base station network necessary for nationwide coverage. The LTE coverage footprint will be expanded to Jounieh and Kesrouan by November this year, while other cities are scheduled to receive coverage in 2014, including Tripoli, Sidon and Zahle. Alfa, which is state-owned but managed by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT), is offering consumers (post- or pre-paid) several new data packages aimed at 4G usage, including 10GB, 20GB and 40GB bundles (costing USD99, USD119 and USD149) whilst business customers can purchase packages up to 100GB (USD249). Voice call support for 4G handset users (via the 3G/2G network) is expected by the end of June 2013, Alfa has disclosed, whilst it estimates that voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) will be available on the network by the end of 2014.

Users outside of 4G coverage zones will automatically access 3G data services. At the launch, Lebanon’s minister of telecoms, Nicolas Sehnaoui, said that further 3G coverage improvements would also be going ahead to provide comprehensive high speed data services (whilst stating that the 4G launch will take some of the data traffic pressure away from 3G networks). Sehnaoui noted that Alfa and rival cellco Touch would complete respective projects to deepen 3G indoor reception, strengthening their 3G coverage in many locations, ‘between the end of August and the end of this year.’

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Monday, 03 June 2013 07:45:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 23 May 2013

Haiti’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Digicel has announced the launch of the first HSPA+ network in the country, with the service available to both pre- and post-paid subscribers. Digicel advertised an average download speed of up to 3Mbps for the service, depending on the location, the device capabilities and the network traffic, whilst theoretical peak HSPA+ speeds reach 21Mbps. The Digicel group markets 3.5G W-CDMA/HSPA+ services under the ‘4G’ banner, in common with many operators in the Americas/Caribbean region. Previously, Digicel Haiti offered 2.5G data services on an EDGE network, whilst its rival Natcom (backed by Vietnam’s Viettel) was the first in the country to launch W-CDMA services and operates a 3.5G HSDPA/HSUPA network. According to Digicel’s Haiti CEO Damian Blackburn, ’with Digicel 4G we have now built the first and most reliable 4G cellular network in the country, giving customers the fastest mobile data speeds – all backed by Digicel’s best service and best value.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 23 May 2013 13:06:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 December 2012

Algerian operators will launch 3G and m-payment services in the first quarter of next year, postal and ICT minister Mouusa Benhamadi announced to the local press. He said that the 3G licensing process would begin at the start of the year and services would begin before the end of March. The minister explained that 4G licensing was rejected due to the elevated cost of handsets, greater investment by operators, the requirement for a specific frequency band and the need for more base stations, authorisations to build them and the availability of necessary locations. Algeria launched a tender for 3G licences in September 2011, but suspended the process and delayed it several times due to a legal dispute between the government and Orascom Telecom Algeria, which operates under the Djezzy brand. In his latest statement to the press Benhamadi recognised that Algeria was behind in some services, such as m-payment, adding that Algerie Telecom, Mobilis and the postal service would introduce an m-payment service by the end of January

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:35:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cameroon's ministry of posts and telecommunications has chosen Vietnam's Viettel as the winner of the country's third mobile operator's licence. The new operator, expected to provide 2G and 3G services, will cover 81 percent of the country when it begins operations, the minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean-Pierre Biyiti Bi Essam, said in a statement. Currently, Cameroon has some 11 million subscribers, representing a population penetration of around 50 percent. The existing operators are South Africa's MTN and France Telecom's Orange Cameroon. Three other operators - India's Bharti Airtel, Maroc Telecom and Korea Telecom - were also in the running for the licence.

Source: Telecom Paper.

3G | Africa | Mobile | Operators
Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:33:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chinese CDMA-based wireless provider China Telecom has introduced pre-paid vouchers for 3G services, offering customers a cheap, flexible alternative to its existing data plans, China Daily reports. The vouchers are available in denominations of 60MB, 150MB or 300MB, the smallest of which costs CNY10 (USD1.59). A spokesperson for the operator noted that data use per subscriber in October 2012 was 130% higher than twelve months earlier, adding: ‘Data traffic management is a very important task for telecom carriers, especially when they enter the mobile internet age.’

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that whilst China Telecom has the fewest 3G subscribers of the three cellcos – with 59.72 million at the end of September 2012, compared to 66.86 million and 75.60 million held by China Unicom and China Mobile respectively at that date – it has the greatest level of 3G penetration in its customer base, with more than a third of its users on 3G plans in mid-2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Mobile | Tariffs
Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:26:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moscow, Russia – November 22, 2012 – Rostelecom OJSC (the “Group”) (MICEX - RTS: RTKM, RTKMP; OTCQX: ROSYY), Russia’s national telecommunications operator, announces that the Group has fully launched its first commercial 3G+ network in the Irkutsk region, through the Group’s subsidiary, Baikalwestcom CJS (BWC). Rostelecom is planning to launch 3G networks in 26 Russian regions in 2013.

Pavel Zaitsev, Senior Vice President of Rostelecom, commented: "Our subsidiary, Baikalwestcom, has historically been a regional mobile market leader, and the launch of this next-generation network will further strengthen its position. All of our mobile subscribers in the Irkutsk region will now benefit from a significantly enhanced user experience using our 3G+ infrastructure and our high-speed Internet access when surfing the web, browsing social networks, and viewing video content. Customers can now access these services anywhere using their smartphones, tablets or USB modems on their laptops. Since the network’s test launch mobile data traffic has almost doubled and we are confident that demand for mobile Internet will continue growing rapidly thanks to our competitive tariff plans for this service.”

The HSPA+ technology that we used to build our first network in the Irkutsk region, supports transmission speeds of up to 21 MB/s. The network is therefore 3G+, as the first 3G networks in Russia only supported transmission speeds of up to 3.6 MB/s. The Group has completed the installation of over 300 base stations. Rostelecom’s 3G+ network is now available across several of the Irkutsk region’s cities and towns, providing access to 70% of the region’s population. The network will be further expanded in the first quarter of 2013.

Source: Rostelecom.

3G | CIS
Thursday, 20 December 2012 14:58:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 December 2012

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) has awarded WiMAX licences to three operators to increase the availability of internet access in the nation. Neda Telecom, IO Global and Arianna Network Services were each awarded a licence for a fee of USD520,000. The MCIT said in a statement that between 20% and 30% of subscribers to telecoms services currently have access to the internet, though with the issuance of the trio of WiMAX licences, and the allocation of 3G licences earlier this year the ministry hopes to increase access to around 80% of the population within two years.

Telecom minister Amirzai Sangin added: ‘to change Afghanistan into [an] advanced technological and e-government country, implementing of advanced technologies is necessary and provides great facilities to the residents of the country. 3G and WIMAX technologies [will] provide fast internet services for the people of Afghanistan.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 14 December 2012 10:57:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 26 November 2012

UK data volumes over UK mobile broadband have more than doubled over the past year, with an average of 246 MB of data consumed for every active SIM, according to the latest Infrastructure Report update from Ofcom. Mobile broadband coverage continues to improve. The number of UK premises that cannot receive a 3G signal (and are therefore in a 3G 'complete not-spot') has fallen to 0.9 percent from 1.2 percent, while the number of premises that can receive a 3G signal from all mobile operators has increased to 77 percent from 73 percent. Ofcom estimates that 0.3 percent of premises are in 'complete not-spots' (they have no 2G mobile coverage) while 6.1 percent of premises are in 'partial not-spots' (they are not served by all the operators). It also found that many households are using femto cells to improve in-home coverage, with over 207,000 femto cells deployed.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, 26 November 2012 12:25:50 (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)  #     | 

Macau ended September with 1.53 million mobile subscribers, up from 1.51 million in August, according to figures from regulator DSRT. The number of 2G subscribers has been falling in line with the transition to 3G and comprised 6,991 2G postpaid subscribers and 209 2G prepaid users at end-September. The number of 3G postpaid subscribers totalled 554,715, up from 552,614, and the 3G prepaid base stood at 970,704, up from 951,545 a month earlier. However, Macau's fixed-line user base slipped to 162,668 from 163,065 from 163,366 fixed-line subscribers a month earlier. Of the total, 107,607 are residential lines and the remainder are commercial telephone lines. The number of internet subscribers grew to 142,920 from 142,004, and includes 769 dial-up users and 142,013 broadband customers.

Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, 15 November 2012 13:53:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 November 2012

Chinese cellco China Unicom has booked revenues of CNY185.192 billion (USD29.436 billion) for the nine months to 30 September 2012, up by 18.7% year-on-year. Of the total, CNY42.72 billion was attributed to Unicom’s burgeoning 3G business, up by 29.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2011. The cellco claimed 66.863 million 3G users, more than double the 30.230 million represented by Unicom in September 2011. ARPU for 3G users was CNY89.1, and average monthly data usage per customer was 143.4MB. Turnover from its GSM business however experienced a 6.2% drop on an annualised basis, falling to CNY50.39 billion. Meanwhile, Unicom’s fixed line operations saw a slight boost of 1.9% y-o-y to CNY62.443 billion, with non-voice revenues contributing 69.4% to the total, compared to 63.0% twelve months earlier.

Despite an increase in costs and expenses for the nine-month period of 18.3% to CNY177.93 billion, Unicom reported net profits of CNY5.45 billion (+29.4% y-o-y). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were CNY54.78 billion (+12.7%) with an EBITDA margin of 35.1%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:52:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator MTS Belarus has announced that the number of people signed up to its 3G mobile internet services increased by 12% in the three months ended 30 September 2012 to more than 800,000; the cellco closed out June 2012 with around 715,000 3G users. MTS is driving uptake for mobile broadband by continuing efforts to modernise its network. It now claims to cover the entire territory of the Republic with a total of 1,698 base transceiver stations (BTS), of which half are able to support dual-carrier HSPA+ with maximum download speeds of 42Mbps. In the third quarter the operator added 3G in a number of new locations in the Brest region (Baranovichi), Shavrova (Vitebsk), Grodno and Lida, Neman (Minsk), Borisov (Minsk region) and in parts of Mogilev.

In a separate development, MTS Belarus says it hopes to complete the deployment of its Ethernet network in the Serebryanka residential quarter in Minsk by 15 November 2012. Upon completion, customers signing up to its ‘Household Connect’ tariff plans will be able to get a 5Mbps (maximum) connection free for the first month. MTS already offers the Ethernet service in the Chizhovka residential quarter in the capital.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:36:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Airtel Nigeria, the local mobile unit of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, has expanded coverage of its 3.5G wireless network in Oyo State, enabling the cellco’s subscribers in the region to access mobile broadband at higher speeds, Vanguard reports. ‘Oyo State is central to the operations of Airtel, and in our quest to recreate a uniquely wholesome telecoms experience in line with our vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians, we are renewing our contract with the Oyo people by empowering them to succeed through our ‘3.75G’ network footprints, innovative offerings, pocket-friendly value propositions and customer-focused initiatives,’ Airtel Nigeria’s COO and executive director, Deepak Srivastava, said at a ceremony in Oyo State capital Ibadan to re-launch the Airtel brand. In February 2012 Airtel announced that it had boosted the maximum download speed available across its third-generation network to 42Mbps, following the implementation of Dual Carrier HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+) technology. At that date, the network was available in parts of all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:34:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 

The Bangladeshi government announced that it will hold a 3G spectrum licence auction early next year and expects customers to be able to use 3G services by the middle of 2013, The Daily Star reported online. The 3G auction guidelines will be finalised by December after consultation with stakeholders, the auction should be held in January or February of next year, said Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Bose said this after the first consultation meeting was held on 11 October by the telecommunication ministry, in the presence of a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) official, for the four private mobile operators. At the meeting, the operators asked the ministry to reduce the starting price for the auction from the proposed USD 30 million per 1 MHz of the spectrum. Bose said the ministry is consulting with the Finance Ministry in this regard. He also said the price will be finalised after taking into consideration neighbouring countries' experiences and Bangladesh's socio-economic situation.


The draft guidelines say the auction will involve 10 MHz spectrum from the 2,100 MHz frequency band, but the operators would like to purchase 5 MHz of the spectrum to save costs. Given the exponential rise in demand for data and the fact that Bangladesh is a populous country, 5 MHz spectrum bands would yield poor quality of service, according to Bose. A total of five 3G licences are available, of which three have been assigned for the current private operators, one for state-owned Teletalk, and one for a new entrant

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:17:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh is set to introduce a 3G service through state-run mobile operator Teletalk on 14 October, bdnews24 reported online. A senior official at Teletalk said that the company would publish advertisements in newspapers about its 3G service this month. The initial price for a 3G-enabled SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) will be BDT 1,500 and existing users will get preference.

 Preparations are complete to provide the services to over 300,000 subscribers in the capital initially after the inauguration. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Teletalk had nearly 1.4 million subscribers in August of whom only 25,000 subscribers were using its internet connection, while the six mobile phone operators had a combined 99.5 million subscribers.


Being the state-run operator, Teletalk was given the opportunity to launch 3G experimentally before other operators. It was supposed to launch the service in March for six months but deferred the launch for technical reasons. The recent 3G licence draft guideline says the spectrum will be auctioned next January. Teletalk will have to take the 3G spectrum, spending the same amount of money as others even if it does not take part in the auction, it says. Apart from Bangladesh's private operators Grameenphone, Banglalink, Citycell, Airtel and Robi, foreign companies will also be able to take part in the auction.

Source: Telecom Paper.

3G | Operators | Tariffs
Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:16:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 October 2012

Croatia’s T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT) reports that it has expanded its 3G W-CDMA/HSPA mobile network coverage throughout central and eastern regions. The expanded 3G footprint includes Bjelovar, Daruvar, Pakrac, Virovitica, Slatina, Nasice, Pozega, Garesnica, Orahovica, Pitomaca, Kutjevo, Lipik, Pleternice and ‘many smaller settlements’ as well as road coverage.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:46:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 October 2012

According to the Solomon Star newspaper, Solomon Telekom Company has rolled out 13 new base transceiver stations (BTS), as part of its ongoing project to boost its mobile presence across the sovereign state. The rollout was overseen by Irish wireless network solutions provider Altobridge. A Telekom spokesperson commented: ‘Following the completed [deployment] of the 13 towers another nine new sites are in progress in terms of civil works and installation. By the end of this year there will be 50 new towers built in various communities and another 50 for next year’.

Telekom’s network currently covers 47 locations across the Oceanic state, which consists of nearly 1,000 islands. 3G connectivity is currently offered in the towns of Honiara and Auki (both situated in the Malaita province), although Telekom’s website claims that ‘other locations [are] soon to follow suit’. In late-November 2011 Solomon Telekom’s sole wireless rival Bemobile launched a 3G dongle in Honiara, marking its subscribers’ first taste of 3G connectivity.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:31:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN South Africa has announced LTE network plans and says it expects to have 400–500 LTE sites live by the end of 2012. CTO Kanagaratnam Lambotharan said the mobile operator already has 250 sites ready to go, and it's aiming to launch in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. It's also looking at Cape Town, he added, but said that there are some challenges to refarming the spectrum needed to roll out LTE there. This might result in Cape Town not receiving a full 2x10MHz carrier in the 1,800MHz band MTN is re-farming, Lambotharan said. According to MyBroadband, the investment in LTE forms part of more than ZAR 5 billion MTN is spending on its network in SA this year. This includes aggressive investment in the company's 3G network. So far in 2012, MTN has deployed 696 new 3G sites, with a target of reaching as many as 1,176 by the end of the year. That compares to 598 new 3G base stations in 2011. The company has also deployed a total of 317 3G base stations in the 900MHz band, covering parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. As part of the focus on 3G and 4G, MTN is stepping up its roll-out of its own fibre infrastructure to connect its base stations. It now has over 1,000 base stations connected to its own fibre. 3G population coverage has reached about 65 percent, Lambotharan says, adding that the operator wants this to reach 80-85 percent by the end of 2013.

Source: Telecompaper

3G | Africa | LTE
Monday, 01 October 2012 12:45:43 (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, 24 July 2012

Zimbabwe’s largest cellco Econet has relaunched its mobile WiMAX broadband services, having slashed its prices and made available once again its mobile WiMAX USB modems which were previously taken off the shelves whilst it concentrated on marketing its 3G cellular mobile broadband services instead. As TechZim reports, Econet is now offering a ZTE TU25 mobile WiMAX dongle modem for a one-off price of USD45 and internet access for USD0.025 per MB, compared to a previous pricetag for the same modem of USD175 two years ago (with a cost per MB of USD0.15). The mobile WiMAX service was launched commercially in April 2010 by Econet’s Ecoweb ISP unit, but its high prices made it unattainable to the average internet user, and marketing of the service to new customers was suspended after five months as Econet focused on its 3G network development, and repositioned WiMAX as a fixed-wireless service, offering indoor modems as part of its ‘@Home’ and ‘@Work’ WiMAX packages. The relaunch of mobile WiMAX packages appears to be timed to fight the challenge from rival ISPs launching the technology, including Utande, by undercutting their prices.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:59:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Unicom has revealed that it expects to see a larger revenue contribution from its 3G subscriber base this year than from its 2G customers. Lower cost smartphones from domestic suppliers such as ZTE have helped boost Unicom’s subscriber base by 20% year-on-year to the end of April. ‘We are not as focused on the number of new users, we want to make sure we are adding good quality customers,’ company president Lu Yimin said, before reiterating an outlook previously given in March that the company’s 3G business will be profitable this year. Unicom’s 3G subscriber base stood at 51.8 million at the end of April, behind China Mobile’s 61.9 million. However, 3G subscribers make up 24.3% of Unicom’s total subscriber base, compared with 9.2% for China Mobile.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:28:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Vodafone India and Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL, also known as MTS India) have joined the recent trend of slashing rates for 3G-based services. According to the Times of India, Vodafone, following similar action by Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communication (RCOM), cut the price of its pre-paid data plans by 80% to INR0.02 (USD0.0004) per KB whilst lowering its post-paid packages with the new prices ranging from INR25 per month for 25MB of data to INR1,599 per month for 12GB. An unlikely addition to the 3G tariff war was SSTL. Although the operator maintains that data services are the core of its operations, as one of the providers to have its licences revoked by the Supreme Court earlier this year, its future in India is uncertain. SSTL increased the amount of data on its ‘MBlaze’ packages, offering 750MB of usage for INR198 per month, up from 200MB, whilst its 350MB and 512MB offerings were upped to 1GB and 2GB.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:26:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Macau’s Bureau of Telecommunications Regulation (DSRT) has postponed the country’s planned switch-off of 2G services for Macanese subscribers to 1 January 2013, from the previous deadline of 9 July 2012. Cellcos in the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) will provide exclusively 3G services to their subscribers from the start of next year, with their 2G networks to be restricted to offering roaming-only services for tourists from that date. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows the penetration of 3G services in Macau reached 95% of all mobile subscribers in the territory at the end of March 2012, when there were 1.35 million 3G customers. The regulator stated that there were 30,000 remaining 2G subscribers at the end of May 2012, and noted that some residents remained concerned about the full transition to 3G service, and therefore decided to allow more time to complete the switchover.

The SAR’s largest cellco, Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau (CTM) said that it welcomed the DSRT’s decision to extend local 2G services until the end of this year, giving more time for ‘residents to get acquainted to 3G service while enabling telecom operators and the government to further discuss the service transition in details in accordance with the actual response of the market.’ CTM added it was making efforts to help senior citizens and members of vulnerable groups in society to complete 3G network migration, with special packages offered including ‘CTM Elderly Buddy’.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:36:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 2012

Golan Telecom and HOT Mobile, the wireless unit of Israeli cable operator HOT Telecommunication Systems, have separately announced the commercial launch of mobile services in Israel, reports Haaretz. Both companies are offering services over third-generation networks, having emerged as the two winners of 3G concessions auctioned by Israeli authorities last year. Golan, which was awarded its 3G permit after a number of other would-be players failed to meet the financial obligations of the licence, has struck a deal with existing cellco Cellcom in order to ensure wide network coverage at launch, while HOT Telecommunication Systems, which acquired iDEN wireless trunking operator MIRS Communications in July 2011, is partly utilising Pelephone’s infrastructure. The new network launches come a day after Alon Holdings Blue Square Israel introduced its low-cost mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) YouPhone.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Broadband | MVNO | Operators
Friday, 22 June 2012 15:10:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Millicom-owned Tigo, Ghana’s second largest cellular operator by subscribers, has unveiled the country’s first unlimited mobile internet plans which offer customers time-based rather than volume-based tariffs. The cellco’s acting general manager, Obafemi Banigbe, told local news portal Joy Online: ‘With this unlimited internet plan… our subscribers can read the news, search on Google, listen to music, watch videos, download and stream movies and not bother about their internet volume finishing.’ Mobile handset users can access the internet with rates starting at GHS0.99 (USD0.53) per day, rising to GHS22.99 for a whole month. Laptop and tablet users, meanwhile, are offered rates from GHS1.99 a day to GHS39.99 a month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:26:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tanzanian fixed and mobile operator Zantel has launched 3G/3.5G mobile services based on HSPA+ technology on the island of Zanzibar, to improve internet access for the local population and afford them access to services such as multimedia (text, graphic, video and animation), mobile broadband internet access and improved voice call services. Commenting on the launch, Zantel’s chief commercial officer Ahmed Mokhles said: ‘Zantel’s superior internet connectivity has gained popularity and is of high demand in Tanzania, and now the Zanzibaris will be able to enjoy the fastest internet speed.’

The operator’s new service is promising maximum download speeds of 21Mbps via its E 3131 modem, which is priced at TZS60,000 (USD39), and 7.2Mbps on the cheaper E 303 modem (costing TZS30,000). The cellco is also supporting handsets and devices on the new network it said, including smartphones such as the BlackBerry and iPhone, iPads, tablets and other 3G modems and routers. ‘We will also be offering data bundles to our customers giving them flexibility and choice to subscribe to a package that suits their lifestyles. Our customers can now enjoy internet for [as little as] TSZ500 for 30MB [bundle] and TZS3000 for 250MB,’ added Mr Mokhles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:25:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

China’s ZTE Corporation has announced the signing of a deal with Swedish mobile operator Hi3G Access worth USD74 million to expand its 4G and 3G cellular infrastructure. Under the ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ ZTE says it will deploy several thousand UMTS/LTE TDD/LTE FDD base stations, as well as auxiliary microwave and data transmission equipment over the next three years. ‘We are very glad to ink the deal with Hi3G in Sweden where the two companies launched the world’s first multi-mode LTE network,’ said Huang Zheng, CEO of ZTE Sweden. ZTE’s ‘Uni-Ran’ solutions have been utilised to help Hi3G to integrate three modes and five frequencies into one network, with commercial operations launched at the end of 2011, under the claim of being Europe’s first large-scale LTE-based TDD network. Hi3G Sweden’s CTO Jorgen Askeroth said recently of the deployment: ‘Over the past twelve months, Hi3G Sweden and ZTE went all out to deploy the LTE network in Sweden. ZTE offers professional support and achieved the target commercial launch date of 15 December 2011. As of now, TDD performance is better than expected.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that via a March 2012 contract between the two companies, Hi3G’s existing 2600MHz LTE network (launched in December in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo) is being expanded across southern Sweden using the 800MHz digital dividend frequency band.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 11:58:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following the rejection of its initial bid by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinCom), Tunisiana has been awarded licences for fixed line and 3G mobile operations. The Qatar Telecom (Qtel) subsidiary will pay TND205 million (USD131.52 million) for the concessions, TND44 million higher than its earlier bid. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, Tunisiana has enlisted Chinese vendor Huawei for the rollout of its 3G network infrastructure.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 11:47:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom operator Tunisiana Telecom has received the required licences to operate fixed line and 3G mobile services in the North African country. According to reports, the Ministry for Information Technologies and Communications said that the operator will pay $132 million for these rights.
The minister claims that this bid will enhance considerably the competitiveness of the Tunisian communication market and ensure easy access to the fast speed Internet countrywide.
The operator is expected to launch its 3G network in July 2012, while it will offer its fixed-line services in early 2013.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 22 June 2012 10:05:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 March 2012

Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) Ltd (MTML), the Mauritian mobile unit of India’s Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) says it will launch 3G mobile services this year, after securing the necessary frequencies from the government. The Economic Times says final plans for the launch will be confirmed after the cellco’s board meeting next month. China’s ZTE has been selected to supply the hardware and software upgrades. MTML will be the third operator to offer 3G in Mauritius: Orange and Emtel have already deployed UMTS networks and between them have signed up an estimated 230,000 users. MTML has garnered approximately 20,000 GSM customers within its first three months of operation, the Indian parent said. Moreover, MTNL says it plans to roll out 3G services in other African markets if it is successful in efforts to secure UMTS concessions where it operates.

In other Mauritius news, Bloomberg reports that the government of Mauritius may consider listing shares of national PTO Mauritius Telecom (MT), although no concrete plans have yet been finalised. The African nation’s prime minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is quoted as saying the he has ‘no problem’ with listing MT shares on the country’s local bourse, provided the state keeps a majority stake in the venture. He added that the country also has to ‘live with’ its earlier decision to sell a 40% stake in the telco to France Telecom-Orange.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:42:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat Afghanistan announced the launch of its 3G services, claiming a first in the country. Etisalat is yet to reveal the coverage of the network, or specific plans or packages for 3G services. Started in 2007, Etisalat Afghanistan is a 100 percent subsidiary of UAE-based operator Etisalat. The launch was marked at a ceremony at with government officials at the communications ministry.

Source: Telecompaper.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:33:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 26 March 2012

UAE’s leading mobile operator Etisalat has launched third-generation (3G) network services in Aghanistan, as per a statement made by the company. The operator claims that it is the first operator in the nation to provide 3G services.

However, the operator is yet to provide details regarding which areas of Afghanistan will receive 3G services, Currently, the operator’s network covers 30 provinces in the country.

As per reports, Etisalat has invested over $300 million in Afghanistan since 2007 and accounts for 3.5 million customers in the country.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, 26 March 2012 09:19:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 March 2012

Azeri mobile operator Azerfon, which provides mobile services under the Nar Mobile brand, has announced the launch of its third-generation network in parts of the Baku Metro. According to a report by news agency Trend, which cites the company’s CEO for business development and communications Leyla Nasrullayeva, 3G services are available at the stations of Sahil, Nasimi, 28 May, Memar Ajemi, Azadlig and Darnagul. Azerfon, which according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database was awarded Azerbaijan’s first 3G licence in December 2009, plans to expand its 3G network to all metro stations in Baku by May 2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 16 March 2012 16:14:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 24 February 2012

Zambia’s smallest mobile network operator by subscribers, Zamtel Mobile, has reportedly inaugurated a third-generation network, the Zambia Times reports. The cellco, a subsidiary of local fixed line incumbent Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (Zamtel), has used the occasion to reveal that it hopes to increase its market share to at least 16%, up from the 10% it claims to currently hold, by the end of 2012, with Zamtel chief commercial officer Amon Jere claiming that the 3G launch demonstrated the company’s commitment to becoming a market leader in both fixed and mobile services. At launch it is understood that the 3G network comprises some 250 base stations across the country, and Mr Jere said that moving forward, his company would seek to continue innovation in new products, including the introduction of cheaper internet services, with a view to boosting subscriber growth.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 24 February 2012 09:13:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 08 February 2012

Ukraine’s Ukrtelecom reports that its 3G mobile subscriber base increased in December 2011 by 4.5% or 34,000 users, to reach 790,200 active SIMs as of 1 January 2012. As reported by CommsUpdate, Ukrtelecom is in the process of selecting a buyer for its W-CDMA/HSPA-based cellular operations, after accepting second-round bid proposals up to a deadline of 25 November 2011. In September Ukrtelecom announced it was transferring all assets of its mobile business from its internal Utel division into a newly formed company, TriMob, for sale, effective from 1 January.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 11:44:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 25 January 2012

­The UMTS Forum has announced that global connections to the 3GPP family of Third Generation/IMT-2000 mobile networks have passed the one billion mark.

Representing almost a fifth of all mobile connections worldwide, the one billion total spans customers of WCDMA, HPSA/HSPA+ and LTE networks. This figure also includes around 50 million subscriptions to TD-SCDMA networks -- the Chinese 3G system.

Global 3G connections are boosted by a further 225 million CDMA2000 1xEV-DO subscribers, mainly in Asia and North America. Standardised separately from 3GPP, 1xEV-DO is the technology recognized by the ITU as part of the IMT-2000 family of third generation systems.

Of almost 400 3GPP-family 3G networks worldwide, the vast majority (over 385) have now implemented HSPA that gives data speeds in the 2-14 Mbps range. Furthermore, around 140 network operators are using HSPA+ technology to deliver even higher peak theoretical speeds of up to 42 Mbps for their customers.

After the first LTE networks launched commercially in December 2009, commercial LTE deployments now number almost 50 networks, with over 150 operators committed to launch the technology. In a second step, 4G/LTE-Advanced -- recently standardised by ITU -- will be commercialised by 2015, promising theoretical peak data rates in the region of 1 Gigabit/s.

"The commercial success of 3G around the world is unarguable, with 3GPP/UMTS as the leading standard", states UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé. "Capitalising on that success, 3GPP/LTE will become the global wireless standard, around which current mobile technologies will converge for the benefits of customers in terms of roaming, interoperability, and a seamless mobile broadband experience".

Taking the end of 2009 as "Year Zero" for commercial LTE deployments, there are fast approaching 10 million subscriptions to LTE networks.

"While forecasts vary, some observers predict that LTE subscriptions will ramp up faster than the birth of 3G a decade ago", notes Bienaimé. "As the classical constraints on consumer uptake are removed - notably terminal availability and pricing -- it's already looking likely that demand for LTE will hit mass market volumes from 2013."

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 09:45:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 20 January 2012

China is on track to surpass 1 billion mobile connections before the end of the current quarter, fuelled by growth in 3G which will soon account for a quarter of the country's connections. According to Wireless Intelligence, China ended 2011 with 973.7 million connections, up about 16 percent year-on-year. The number of 3G connections surpassed 200 million in Q4 and accounted for 22 percent of the total. Market penetration is estimated at 72 percent, up almost 10 percent from a year ago. ­3G is now accounting for almost 80 percent of new connections in the country and 3G net additions in Q4 are estimated at 26.8 million out of a total 34.2 million. China Mobile remains the country's market leader, with an estimated 648.7 million connections in Q4, giving it a 67 percent market share. However, 3G connections account for just 8 percent of China Mobile's total base. 3G accounted for 20 percent of the total at second-placed Unicom, while third-placed China Telecom had 26 percent of its base migrated to 3G.

Source: Telecom Paper.

3G | Mobile
Friday, 20 January 2012 11:33:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 19 January 2012

Kyrgyz mobile operator Megacom has announced the commercial launch of its third-generation wireless network, offering services such as videocalling, mobile TV and high speed mobile broadband. Services are initially available in the capital Bishkek, but the company plans to expand 3G network coverage to Kant, Tokmok and Kara-Balta in Chuy province by March 2012, with other regions, including Naryn, to follow later in the year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:43:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kyrgyzstan mobile operator Megacom has launched its 3G network in Bishkek. The Chuya region also will be covered with the network soon, and 3G services will be launched in other regions later. Megacom said customers will have access to data services up to 30 times faster and the cost of 1MB of traffic will be three times cheaper. Customers can choose from three types of billing: an anytime rate for 3G or GPRS at KGS 1.95 per MB, subscribe to a bundle of data and pay as little as KGS 0.23, or take the plan for tablets and USB modems and pay KGS 1.5 per MB during the day and KGS 0.75 at night. The Huawei E173 USB modem supporting speeds up to 7.2Mbps is available for KGS 1,650 and come­s with 10MB data per day free for 30 days.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:38:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Albania’s telecoms watchdog the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (Akep) has invited interested parties to bid for a third 3G concession by 24 February. The licence will authorise the use of 2×15MHz of paired spectrum in the 1950MHz-1965MHz and 2140MHz-2155MHz bands and an unpaired 5MHz spectrum block in 1910MHz-1915MHz range. Akep has set a minimum bid of EUR12.5 million (USD15.8 million) for the concession, the same amount stipulated in its previous 3G tenders. As with the existing 3G concessions, the licence requires that the operator’s network must achieve population coverage of 35% in the first six months, 65% within twelve months, and 85% in 18 months.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Akep awarded the nation’s first 3G licence to Vodafone in November 2010, with a second granted in June 2011 to Albanian Mobile Communications (AMC). Akep’s decision to issue concessions individually has been widely criticised by the country’s four cellcos, which have expressed their concern that single licences might encourage anti-competitive behaviour.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:36:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Pakistan's Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has set the date for the country's often-delayed 3G auction as the 29th March 2012.

PTA Chairman, Mohammed Yaseen told the Reuters news agency that the base price for the auction would be $210 million.

"We're expecting 10 to 15 potential investors in the initial bidding process," Yaseen told Reuters.

The 3G licenses will vary from 8 to 15 years in duration, and there will be a $31.5 million deposit for any bidders.

Any incumbent mobile networks awarded a 3G license will be able to offer services immediately, although new entrants will not be allowed into the market until March 2013. This is due to an agreement not to offer any new radio spectrum when the government sold a 26% stake in the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunications Company in 2006 to Etisalat.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:34:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of subscribers using Zain Jordan’s 3G services reached 700,000 by the end of 2011, according to the company’s CEO Ahmad Al Hanandeh. The chief executive told local daily The Jordan Times that the number was likely to double in 2012, as a result of legislation exempting smartphones from tax. In August last year, the government removed the sales tax on high-end handsets, reducing the price to end users by between JOD88 and JOD100 (USD123.77 and USD140.65). Zain launched its 3G service in March last year and had signed up 41,000 subscribers by the end of that month. Jordan’s third mobile provider, Bahrain-backed Umniah, announced late last year that, having previously abstained from 3G offerings on the grounds that the market was not ready, it too would launch a foray into the 3G sector in 2012. In its announcement, Umniah noted that the increasing availability of smartphones had influenced its decision.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:08:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 30 November 2011

­The number of mobile subscriptions in the Middle East (see note) will cross the 250-million mark during 2012, reaching 271.27 million at end-2012 and rising to 352 million at end-2016, according to forecasts by Informa Telecoms & Media.

Additionally, the average mobile penetration rate for the Middle East will cross the 100% mark in 2012: It will rise from 97.72% at end-2011 to 107.09% at end-2012, exceeding the mobile penetration rate in North America (US/Canada) for the first time. (The mobile penetration rate in North America at end-2012 will be 102.77%.)

Iran will continue to be the biggest mobile market in the Middle East by subscriptions with 82.91 million subscriptions forecast for end-2011, rising to 122.13 million at end-2016. Saudi Arabia has the next biggest mobile market in the region by subscriptions, with a 50.8 million active mobile subscriptions forecast for end-2011, rising to 71.32 million at end-2016.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 15:48:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Comcel, a leading mobile phone operator in Colombia, has reportedly announced the launch of the new HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access) technology in the main cities of the country, in an attempt to provide users access to high speed internet on their mobile phones.

According to reports, the new technology will enable users to browse mobile internet at speeds up to four times faster, between 1 and 1.2 megabytes per second. Further, Juan Carlos, President, Comcel has reportedly said that the service will initially be offered in Bogota, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla and Pereira.

Further, as per sources, mobile operator Tigo’s internet services are currently limited to USB modems, but the operator has hinted at plans to make this service available to users on their mobile phones in the near future. 

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 15:37:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iran has reportedly received a third mobile phone operator by the name of Ritel to offer users in the country with mobile services. Prior to this, Iran played host to two mobile phone operators, Mobile Communication Company of Iran (MCI) and South African-owned MTN Irancell.

According to reports, the government had awarded a third licence to Tamin Telecom in October 2009, however the operator is not yet operational, but has however revealed plans to cover 60 percent of the population with its 2G network and 40 percent with its 3G network by 2014.

Sources claim that there have been speculations regarding whether the licence awarded to Ritel is a new licence or the one issued to Tamin Telecom. Details regarding Ritel’s coverage area or the ownership structure are yet to be disclosed.

Source: Wireless Federation

3G | Mobile
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 15:15:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 November 2011

According to preliminary data from Lithuania’s Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT), the number of broadband customers in the country stood at 956,000 at the end of the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 12% year-on-year and up 4% quarter-on-quarter. Of that total, 716,000 were fixed high speed internet subscribers (an increase of 2.2% over Q3 2010) and the remaining 240,000 were mobile broadband subscribers (up 8%). Revenues from retail broadband access services grew only 0.05% quarter-on-quarter to LTL91.4 million (USD35.8 million).

The regulator reports that fixed telephony subscriber dropped 3% during the third quarter of 2011 to reach 718,000 at the end of September, while revenue generated by fixed telephony services also declined by 3% during the period to LTL65.7 million. Mobile telephony turnover also fell to LTL239.3 million during 3Q11, down 1.1% compared to the second quarter. The RRT’s preliminary data states that 3G network subscribers totalled 1.077 million at 30 September 2011, accounting for 22% of the overall active mobile customer base. Overall, Lithuania’s telecommunications market generated revenue of LTL598.9 million in Q3 2011, down 1.1% quarter-on-quarter and a drop of 9% year-on-year. Capital expenditure on telecoms infrastructure totalled LTL80.9 million, down 14% over the previous quarter Q2 but up 20% from the year-ago period.

Thursday, 24 November 2011 15:28:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 
Indian operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Tata Teleservices have demanded their 3G licence fees be returned if their intra-circle roaming pacts are considered illegal, reports the Business Standard. In a letter to India's telecommunication minister Kapil Sibal, top executives of these companies said they were assured by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that bidding in the 3G auction took place with the clear understanding that such agreements were legal and permissible.
Any determination now that this might not be the case would fundamentally alter the legal and economic basis on which the business case for 3G bids were evaluated, according to the operators' letter. The letter was signed by Sanjay Kapoor, Bharti Airtel's chief executive for India and South Asia; Himanshu Kapania, managing director of Idea Cellular; Srinath N, Tata Teleservices' managing director; and Vodafone India's managing director and chief executive, Marten Pieters.
The top three companies, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, have signed a pact to mutually provide 3G services in areas where they do not hold 3G spectrum rights. However, part of the DoT and the telecoms regulator Trai have since questioned the legality of the roaming agreement, as it may allow the operators to provide 3G services without paying the necessary fees for the spectrum. The government is currently seeking legal advice before taking a final decision on the agreement's legality. In the letter, the companies quoted the DoT's answer to the operators regarding roaming, that the roaming policy is applicable to the licences and not to the specific spectrum bands, and roaming will be permitted.
Source: Telecom Paper

Thursday, 24 November 2011 15:16:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Azercell, launched 3G services on Friday, just over two weeks after receiving its concession from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). The TeliaSonera subsidiary becomes the second operator in Azerbaijan to offer next-generation services.

‘The launch of 3G services in Azerbaijan will provide our customers with mobile broadband that is up to 20 times faster than the current 2G technology,’ said Tero Kivisaari, TeliaSonera’s President of Business Area Eurasia. The Swedish company now offers 3G across its entire European footprint.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 24 November 2011 15:09:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 23 November 2011

MTS, a unit of Sistema Syam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), has reportedly added around 800,000 customers in the month of October alone, with the launch of two low cost Android smartphones – MTS MTag 3.1 and MTS Livewire priced under US$ 100.

According to reports, a spokesperson for MTS has said that they were able to get 7,95,523 customers in the festive month of October because they gave the CDMA consumers the option to choose from a variety of Android phones at different price points and they also initiated a lot of awareness campaign across the country. He added that the launch of the two smartphones in the festive season helped propel their growth.

As per sources, pre-paid users received 150 minutes of calls, 150 SMSs and 150 MB of data free every month for 12 months, with the smartphone. Whereas postpaid users were offered a 12 month contract during which users had to pay Rs 250 each month, against which they received 250 minutes of calls, 250 SMSs and 250 MB of data free each month.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 09:57:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Mozambican mobile operators mCel and Vodacom Mozambique (VM) have been formally issued with national 3G licence extensions, which are valid for 15 years apiece. Under the terms of the licences, as set out by the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), the pair are obliged to expand their 3G networks to all districts of the country by 31 December 2015, with a particular focus on the so-called ‘development corridors’ and tourist resorts, as well as improving their existing networks in areas which are considered to be strategic locations. INCM president Isidoro da Silva confirmed that the licences encompass frequencies in the 1900MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands. mCel CEO Mamudo Ibraimo indicated that the first cities to benefit from his company’s nationwide 3G focus will be Quelimane, Chimoio and Mocuba.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in September 2006 state-owned mCel was awarded the country’s first UMTS 3G concession, while its sole rival at that date, VM, opted not to submit an application at that time. In 2008, however, VM had a change of heart and successfully acquired a 3G licence from the INCM; its W-CDMA network had been expected to launch in the third quarter of 2009, but eventually began offering commercial services in February 2010. The latest move effectively brings mCel and Vodacom in line with yet-to-launch third player Movitel, which received its own 15-year UMTS concession in January 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:43:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to industry research reports, the mobile data usage in India has gone up by almost 35 percent between June 2011 and September 2011. Sources suggest that analysts have credited the rise in data usage to increased availability and affordable pricing, not just for people living in urban areas, but for people from different income segments.

As per reports, there were a total of 26 million mobile internet users in March 2011 which went up to 35 million in September 2011. Industry analysts predict tremendous growth in mobile data usage and expect this number to increase to 41 million users by the year end.

India saw the introduction of the 3G services towards the end of last year, which has increased the use of the internet on mobile handsets, due to increased speeds and better features. Further, easy accessibility and competitive pricing are significant in contributing towards the increased adoption of the mobile phone in the country.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:37:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Azercell and Bakcell, the two largest mobile operators in terms of subscribers in Azerbaijan, have been awarded 3G licences by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). As per reports, both the operators have rolled out the required infrastructure are may introduce the 3G services in the coming months. Prior to this, Azerfon was the only telecom operator in the country licensed to provide 3G services. The company received the license in December 2009 for $ 13,900 and launched its 3G network across Baku and other man cities in the same month. As per sources, the ministry has also asked all three mobile operators to submit proposals for providing Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services.

As per reports,  communications and IT minister Ali Abbasov had said a couple of months back that the procedure for issuing licenses to these operators was in its last phase and only few  minor technical issues were remaining for the operators to resolve to fulfill all the licensing requirements.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 11:55:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 07 November 2011

Having bagged what its parent company noted was its first third-generation concession in Central Africa, Airtel Congo, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms giant Bharti Airtel, has announced the launch of 3.5G services in the country. According to IT News Africa, the cellco has rolled out HSPA technology, offering theoretical downlink speeds of up to 21Mbps, with Beston Tshinsele, managing director at Airtel Congo stating of the development: ‘We are grateful to the Republic of Congo, represented by The Honorable Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technology of Communications Thierry Moungalla today, for issuing the licence through the country’s regulator – [the] Agence de Regulation des Postes et des Communications Electroniques – and sharing our vision of enhancing the country’s telecommunication platform … Our 3G platform will allow subscribers to combine the enormous potential of the internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other devices.’

Tiemoko Coulibaly, CEO of Airtel Africa Francophone, meanwhile outlined the Indian company’s wider expectations for 3G deployment across Africa, noting: ‘3G technology will give our customers the opportunity to interact with data in a different way … This is why Airtel doesn’t see 3G as a product but a platform that enables the community expand its social and commercial horizons, alongside the rest of the world.’ According to the executive Airtel expects to continue rolling out 3G technology across all regions of operation in Africa with the objective of building the largest 3G network on the continent.

In order to achieve these goals, and as previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month it was revealed that Finnish telecommunications equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) had inked a deal with Bharti Airtel to expand the operator’s 2G infrastructure and deploy 3G networks in seven African countries. Under the agreement, NSN agreed to manage end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the 2G and 3G networks for Airtel in the markets of Madagascar, Malawi, Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The vendor will provide its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Stations to expand network coverage to underserved areas, including smaller towns and villages in the seven countries. NSN is using its FlexiHybrid microwave radio to address growing data traffic and provide the platform for a cost-effective transition to 3G, and potentially 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in the future. The company will also provide its NetAct network management system for effective network monitoring and management.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 07 November 2011 08:40:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Botswana, the country’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, has expanded its third-generation network to the cities of Lobatse and Serowe, reports cellular-news. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Orange Botswana commercially launched its 3G network in July 2009, with services initially available in the country’s two largest cities, Gaborone and Francistown.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 07 November 2011 08:30:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Lebanon's government has announced that the country's two mobile networks will be formally permitted to launch 3G services following several delays. Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui also announced that the service would be fixed at the equivalent of US$19 for 500Mb of data downloads.

Lebanon's two state-owned - but francished operators, Alfra and MTC, will offer 3G subscriptions and will announce the rates for other packages in early November. There had been concerns earlier this summer that legal action from an ISP, Cedarcom could delay the launch as it is claiming that the government doesn't have the authority to issue the 3G licenses.

The company also claimed that the regulatory regime is blocking it from selling landline DSL based services, which it considers to be unfair and unjust competition. The two networks, which while state-owned, are managed by two private companies, Zain and Orascom Telecom, recently awarded contracts to deploy HSPA enabled 3G networks. The managing companies have renewing one-year contracts to look after the networks - which the government has repeatedly attempted to privatise but the sale has been blocked by political problems.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, 07 November 2011 08:27:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azercell and Bakcell, the two largest mobile operators in terms of subscribers in Azerbaijan, have been awarded 3G licences by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). As per reports, both the operators have rolled out the required infrastructure are may introduce the 3G services in the coming months. Prior to this, Azerfon was the only telecom operator in the country licensed to provide 3G services. The company received the license in December 2009 for $ 13,900 and launched its 3G network across Baku and other man cities in the same month. As per sources, the ministry has also asked all three mobile operators to submit proposals for providing Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services.

As per reports,  communications and IT minister Ali Abbasov had said a couple of months back that the procedure for issuing licenses to these operators was in its last phase and only few  minor technical issues were remaining for the operators to resolve to fulfill all the licensing requirements.

Source: Wireless Federation

Monday, 07 November 2011 08:20:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 October 2011

Gabon’s Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ARTEL) has awarded a 3G mobile licence to the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, Airtel Gabon (formerly Zain), which is aiming to launch the country’s first W-CDMA/HSPA network and high speed mobile internet/data services. ‘Official sources’ quoted by Afrique Info and reported by Telecompaper said that the 3G licence is the first of its kind awarded in the country, although TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Gabon’s fourth cellular licensee, Azur, was awarded a combined 2G and 3G concession in February 2009. However, Azur, which launched a commercial network in October 2009, currently offers only 2.5G GSM/GPRS services.

According to GlobalComms, Gabon’s government launched a 3G licence tender in July 2010, but the deadline for submissions to ARTEL passed two months later with no announcement of winners, and the next development did not occur until December that year when Airtel began discussions with the regulator with the aim of obtaining an UMTS concession. In the same month rival Libertis declared that it would be seeking to acquire a 3G licence ‘early in 2011’, following the finalisation of the cellcos’ parent Gabon Telecom’s 100% privatisation. Airtel and its competitors are keen to deploy third-generation services ahead of the January-February 2012 African Nations football tournament co-hosted by Gabon.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 17 October 2011 08:07:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Acording to Anatel's data, Brazil ended Aug/11 with 30.5 million 3G mobile accesses, 24.6 million of them were WCDMA and 5.9 million were 3G data terminals (13.6% of the cellulars in Brazil are 3G).

From the net adds gotten in August (2,075 thousand), 1,863 thousand were via WCDMA devices and 212 thousand via 3G data terminals.

Anatel considers as mobile broadband all the WCDMA accesses and all the data terminals, 3G or not. By Anatel's criteria, there were 31.6 million mobile broadband accesses in Aug/11, being 24.6 million WCDMA handsets and 7.0 million data terminals, which presented net adds of 150 thousand accesses in aug/11.

Claro is market share leader in accesses via handsets WCDMA and Vivo via Data Terminals.


Tuesday, 11 October 2011 07:59:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 07 October 2011

Azerbaijan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Azercell, is set to receive a licence to provide third-generation services in the country. According to a report by Azerbaijan Business Center, the State Commission for Radio Frequencies is discussing the allocation of 3G radio spectrum to the cellco. Ulviyya Hasanzadeh, head of Azerbaijan’s Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility Department, has said that the operator will make an official statement regarding the receipt of 3G spectrum in the near future.

‘We have long been technically ready to provide 3G services, and the only obstacle for us was to obtain the required frequencies, the question of allotting of which is currently at final stage of discussion. Upon receiving a licence for 3G services we intend to proceed their rendering in Baku, Absheron and major cities of Azerbaijan, and may cover 80% of the country,’ she commented.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) began reviewing an appeal by Azercell and Bakcell earlier this year over the award of UMTS concessions, after the pair initially failed to submit the relevant documents required by law detailing network rollout progress and planned coverage. Last month the ministry said it was in the final phase of completing the necessary documentation and procedures concerning the award of 3G licences to Azercell and Bakcell. Azerfon is currently the only cellco in the country to hold a concession to provide third-generation services. The company was awarded its licence in December 2009, launching its 3G network in Baku and other main cities the same month.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 07 October 2011 13:13:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
French mobile and broadband operator Bouygues Telecom will increase its 3G+ network speed to up to 42 Mbps, ten times its current maximum, CEO Olivier Roussat told journalists. 01net reports that the upgrade will start in Paris, Lyon and Marseille before the end of the year, followed by ski resorts in February 2012 and all of France's large cities by the middle of 2012. Within 18 months two-thirds of data traffic will be carried over this new technology, he said.
The move is an interim measure until the launch of LTE services. Roussat expects delays in obtaining authorisations to install new LTE base stations, especially in Paris. The first LTE base stations are not expected to be up and running until the end of 2012. The operator also said it was working on a femtocell to extend mobile internet coverage in homes for LTE. Unlike its rival SFR, Bouygues will not use femtocell for 3G+.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 07 October 2011 13:02:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 29 September 2011
The three major operators in China signed-up 5.27 million new mobile customers in August to bring the joint total to 999.83 million, figures from the operators show. China Mobile led in subscriber additions as it signed-up 5.78 million new customers in the month to bring its total to 627.63 million mobile subscribers. China Mobile also reported that it had 40.32 million 3G customers.
Meanwhile, China Telecom signed up 2.59 million mobile customers in August to bring its total to 113.53 million, which includes 25.61 million 3G users. China Telecom also ended the month with 72.48 million fixed broadband customers as it signed-up 1.07 million new subscribers in the month.
The company continued to see its local access line subscriber base fall as it lost 480,000 customers in August, bringing its total to 171.45 million. China Unicom had 186.10 million mobile customers, including 27.87 million 3G subscribers, as the operator gained 2.36 million new subscribers in August. Unicom also had 53.76 million fixed broadband subscribers, up by 767,000, and 94.70 million local access line subscribers, down by 268,000.

Source: Telecom Paper

Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:29:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Algeria has invited bids from operators for the country's first 3G licences. According to the terms of the tender outlined by state telecoms regulator ARPT, bids are due on 7 October and it will announced the winners on 23 October. The winners will be able to launch commercial services by the first quarter of 2012.
Further details on the pricing and spectrum available were not released. Algeria counts three mobile operators: Mobilis, owned by incumbent Algerie Telecom; Nedjma, controlled by Qatar Telecom; and Djezzy, started by Orascom Telecom.

Source: Telecom Paper

Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:25:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­India's Bharti Airtel has announced that it has been awarded a GSM and 3G license in Rwanda, expanding its African continental footprint to 17 countries.

The company added that it plans to invest over US$100 million in the country over the next three years. According to the statement, this also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda. Sunil Bharti Mittal, CMD, Bharti Airtel said, "Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel's footprint in East Africa."

According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4%, as of July 2011.

Last year, the regulator, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said that it would award a fourth mobile license when conditions were correct. However, last month, the regulator cancelled the mobile network operating license held by another network operator, Rwandatel for allegedly failing to meet its license conditions. The market now has just two networks, until Airtel launches its network.

The company may have the option of buying the defunct Rwandatel network to speed its launch into the country.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:23:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 06 September 2011

Telkom Kenya, the largest provider of integrated communications solutions in Kenya, has launched 3G services in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, providing subscribers with an internet speed of 21 Mbps. The service provider operating under the flagship of Orange plans to expand the service to other regions as well in order to cater to the ever increasing demand for data related services.

According to reports, Mickael Ghossein CEO Telkom Kenya states that a new internet era has begun where Orange will steadily take the lead in offering innovative products and services while providing simplicity through customer experience and maintaining value proposition to the customer. He also confirmed that users would be able to browse for as low as 0.40 cts per MB, with these rates being applicable across all its internet platforms.

Orange also unveiled a 3G shared broadband WIFI router which will allow upto 10 users to connect to the internet simultaneously, thus minimizing cost. As per reports, Ghossein stated that the service would be using multiple pole technology which separates voice and data channels, assuring users that the quality of data will remain unaffected even when there are multiple subscribers using voice services. This service also comes with parental control software enabling customers to manage internet abuse.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, 06 September 2011 09:22:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Si.mobil is a mobile network based in Slovenia and it has announced plans to enable 3G services across its 900 MHz radio spectrum. Once the implementation has been rolled out, it is expected that 85% of the population will have access to mobile broadband internet.

Earlier, Si.mobil is known to have stated that it was looking to reconstruct close to half of its GSM network, in addition to revamping it by the use of UMTS 900 technology; eventually, to facilitate data transfer rate of up to 21 Mbps.

Si.mobil's UMTS network is expected to reach out to the upper Gorenjska region and the whole of eastern Slovenia, constituted by the Štajerska, Koroška, Posavje, Dolenjska, and Ko?evsko, by the close of October. At the time of the transition, 20-minute interruptions at all the base station undergoing upgrades are foreseen. Given that the nearby base stations can possibly pitch in with their coverage capability, major service interruptions are not predicted.

Other than augmenting the UMTS 900 technology, Si.mobil is also looking to enhance a portion of its existing UMTS network with HSPA+ technology.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, 06 September 2011 09:15:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 26 July 2011

­The government of Niger has announced plans to issue 3G licenses via a statement on the state controlled television, reports Reuters.

"These licences can go to any operator who desires them," according to a statement on state TV overnight. "Operators already set up here and who have global licences also have a chance to acquire one."According to the Mobile World analysts the country has around 14.4 million mobile phone users, which represents a population penetration level of 23%. There are four mobile networks.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 10:11:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Econet Wireless' Burundi subsidiary has launched the country's first 3G network following a US$10 million network upgrade.

The service is being launched in two phases, the first phase will cover the capital city Bujumbura and the second phase will cover the other key provinces. Econet customers are being offered the services in three packages targeting mobile, domestic or business users.According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, Econet Wireless is estimated to have around 185,000 subscribers, and a market share of 11.7%. The country as a whole has a mobile population penetration level of less that 16%.

Burundi, a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa is one of the ten poorest countries in the world.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 10:10:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan's government has announced plans to issue a tender for 3G and 4G licenses next month. There will be an auction of some sort for the new license, while the incumbent GSM operators will be able to then buy a similar license for the same fee offered by the new entrant.

Announcing the plans for the license tender, Eng Amirzai Sangin Minister of (MCIT) said: The growth and vitality of the telecommunications sector in Afghanistan is one of the most remarkable success stories of the recent past. Since 1382 (2003-2004), when the first two licenses were issued for GSM mobile services, mobile telephone subscribers have increased from zero to 17 million subscribers. More than US$1.6 billion has been invested in modern infrastructure, services now reaching over 80% of the population and sustaining over 100,000 jobs nationwide."

There are currently five licensed mobile networks in the country and according to figures from the Mobile World analysts, their market shares are: Roshan (28.5%); MTN (24.5%) ; Etisalat (24.3%); Afghan Wireless (22%) and Afghan Telecom (<1%)

The 3G/4G tender package will be available to all interested parties on 1 August 2011.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 10:05:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The three major operators in China signed-up 10.56 million new mobile customers in June to bring the joint total to 906.77 million, figures from the operators show. China Mobile ended the month with 616.79 million mobile subscribers as it attracted 5.62 new customers in June. China Mobile also reported that it had 35.03 million 3G customers. China Unicom had 181.61 million mobile customers, including 23.95 million 3G subscribers, as the operator gained 2.27 million new subscribers in June.
Unicom also had 52.32 million fixed broadband subscribers, up by 1.06 million, and 95.46 million local access line subscribers, down by 387,000. Meanwhile, China Telecom signed up 2.67 million mobile customers in June to bring its total to 108.37 million, which includes 21.54 million 3G users. China Telecom also ended the month with 70.09 million broadband customers as it gained 1.23 million new broadband subscribers. The company continued to see its local access line subscriber base fall as it lost 250,000 customers to bring the total to 172.22 million.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 10:03:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Bakcell and Azercell are bracing up for receiving two 3G licenses respectively. It has been affirmed by Ali Abbasov, Azarbijan’s Communications and Information Technologies Ministry that in the coming couple of days, the aforementioned licenses will be awarded.

At the moment, Azerfon happens to be the only operator that boasts of a 3G license while the nation has been contending with regard to the failure to give out more licenses to other operators.

According to Abbasov, the mobile operators will be awarded corresponding license for providing 3G services in the coming days, weeks and months. On the other hand, a lot depends on the networks that face technical issues in rendering 3G services.

As per sources, there are three GSM networks in the country, in addition to one CDMA operator. There were more than 8.3 million subscribers in Azerbaijan as on March 2011, accounting for 99% penetration level in terms of population.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 09:39:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Somaliland-based telecoms operator Telesom has unveiled a third-generation network in the autonomous region, SomalilandPress reports. The new network offers services such as high speed mobile broadband and videocalling. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Telesom managing director Mohamd Salah Abdi, said: ‘This is a testament of our commitment to innovate the market by deploying 3G network service in Somaliland which will allow our customers to have video and audio streaming, video chat and high speed internet access the first in the Horn of Africa. This 3G technology will offer advanced mobile broadband services to not only Telesom consumers but also to the business community in Somaliland.’ Telesom was founded in Hargeisa, Somaliland in 2001.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 09:26:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Brazil’s national telecoms regulator Anatel says the country was home to 26.3 million 3G mobile devices (including modems) at the end of May, up 73% on the same time a year ago. Of the total, some 19.8 million 3G devices were W-CDMA handsets, while the remaining 6.5 million were 3G modems, it said. By the start of June 3G devices accounted for more than 12% of total mobile connections in the country, it added. 3G networks currently provide coverage in 1,523 cities and municipalities across the country, representing 75.4% of the population. In a separate release, the regulator reports that the total number of fixed broadband connections reached 15.8 million at end-May, up 29% year-on-year.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 09:15:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

CEO of Jordan Telecom, Nayla Khawam, has announced plans to invest JOD50 million (USD70.3 million) in developing faster 3G and internet services. The statement was delivered in the wake of a pledge last week from rival telco Umniah Telecommunications and Technology Company to launch its own 3G network in 2012.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database 3G services were launched by Jordan Telecom in March 2010 and within twelve months it had 300,000 customers using the service. Jordan’s only other 3G provider, Zain Jordan, claimed 41,000 3G users at the same date.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 09:10:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 10 June 2011

­Lebanon's interim Telecoms Minister, Charbel Nahhas has confirmed that the country's two mobile networks will launch their 3G services by the middle of this summer.

"No one can stop us from launching the 3G, and not even a new government, because we have already signed the contracts needed for that purpose," Nahhas told The Daily Star.There are concerns that legal action from an ISP, Cedarcom could delay the launch as it is claiming that the government doesn't have the authority to issue the 3G licenses.

The company also says that the regulatory regime is blocking it from selling landline DSL based services, which it consideres to be unfair and unjust competition. Nahhas said the overhaul of the IT infrastructure would pave the way for private firms to compete by providing the best Internet services at competitive prices. But he added that there are some aspects of risk incurred by the telecommunications sector and cited Lebanon's experience in this respect.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 10 June 2011 11:53:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 19 May 2011
With overall 2010 broadband penetration at 11 million subscribers who are mostly using DSL, there is a growth opportunity for the broadband wireless sector in India, according to a study by Maravedis. The 3G subscriber base in India will reach 41 million by the end of this year. Bharti Airtel is expected to lead the market in terms of the number of 3G subscribers.
3G players have moved ahead with their rollouts while BWA licence holders are lagging behind evaluating various technologies such as Wimax and TD-LTE. India represents a USD 4 billion capex opportunity for TD-LTE by 2016. The TD-LTE subscriber base in India will reach 2.25 million by the end of 2012, and by 21 million by the end of 2016. By the end of this year, 3G-enabled handsets will dominate the device category with an 80 percent market share.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 19 May 2011 09:23:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 May 2011

­Mobile subscriber numbers in Zimbabwe trebled from early 2009 to mid-2010, whereas fixed line subscriptions remained stagnant. With demand for voice services increasingly met, future growth is predicted to occur around mobile Internet and broadband provision. Both mobile operators and Internet access providers will benefit from this second wave of growth. However, increasing political instability in the run-up to elections expected to be held in 18 to 24 months and a business environment not always conducive to proper process are expected to have a negative impact on market prospects.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the Zimbabwean mobile communications market earned revenues of $372.2 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach $1,343.7 million in 2016. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 20.1 per cent, considerably lower than the phenomenal 40.6 per cent revenue growth experienced from 2008 to 2009. However, declining growth rates are expected when markets become increasingly saturated.

"Mobile operators are the largest contributors to telecommunications revenues in Zimbabwe," notes Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst Protea Hirschel. "As 3G networks expand, mobile operators compete more directly with Internet access providers. These, in turn, have entered the voice market, adding to competition."

Unfulfilled demand, initially for voice and increasingly for data services, is one of the main drivers of growth for mobile communications. Fixed lines are unlikely to meet this demand in Zimbabwe.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, 12 May 2011 09:10:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 18 April 2011

Following yesterday’s auction, Israel’s Communications Ministry has revealed that Mirs Communications and Marathon Investments have secured 3G licences. The two companies offered ILS705 million (USD206 million) and ILS710 million respectively, and are set to join Cellcom, Partner and Pelephone in the country's 3G mobile services market. Mirs already provides 2G services in Israel, and Marathon is controlled by Xfone, the parent of international calling company Xfone 018.

Golan Telecom, part-controlled by the founder of French telecoms groups Iliad, and Select Communications both dropped out of the bidding process. The move is the latest step by the watchdog as it tries to increase competition in the sector, and follows the issuing of licences for MVNOs, as well as ordering existing operators to cut interconnection fees by nearly 80%.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 18 April 2011 13:48:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Brazil closed out the month of February with 23.5 million registered 3G mobile devices, up 14.34% on the same time in 2010, according to data published by the regulator Anatel. Further, it said that in terms of overall mobile users, the country was home to more than 207.5 million SIMs at the same date – a cellular penetration rate of 106.9% – thanks to net gains of 2.43 million users in the month. Vivo had a 29.55% share of the mobile market at end-February, equivalent to 61.34 million accesses, down from 29.93% of users a year earlier.

Second-placed TIM Brasil ended February with a market share of 25.16% (up from 23.65%), while Telecom Americas (Claro) had 25.47% (25.50%). The country’s fourth largest player Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) saw its share shrink to 19.47% from 20.56% in February 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:52:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to ABI Research's latest release of its "Mobile Subscriber Market Data" series of databases, the mobile industry concluded 2010 with 5.5 billion subscriptions. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for a whopping 53% (2.9 billion) of the total. One-third of this can be attributed to India's huge 2G market; another one-third to China.­As of December 2010, China had 860 million subscribers, although 3G subscriptions accounted for fewer than 50 million, or roughly 5.5%.

"While there are wide differentials in disposable income, it is still surprising how slow China's 3G rate of growth has been," comments ABI Research practice director Neil Strother. "Literacy rates are high, familiarity with the Internet is also high through PC use in extended families as well as ubiquitous Internet cafes. And yet, 3G adoption has been muted." At the end of 2010, China Mobile's TD-SCDMA subscriber base stood at more than 20 million, China Unicom's WCDMA had 14 million subscribers, while China Telecom had more than 12 million CDMA subscribers.

"3G is generally still viewed as a luxury service in China," notes research associate Fei Feng Seet. "China Unicom reported its 2010 Arpu for WCDMA subscription at US$18.75 per month, which is three times the US$6 monthly ARPU for GSM." Despite the launch of 3G networks, mobile consumers have not jumped into upgrading their subscriptions immediately as rapidly as in other markets. In fact over the past year, 2G has gained about 80 million subscribers. Demand for 3G data services should pick up in the next two years as prices drop and more consumers require mobile data. 3G is forecast to reach 36% of China's subscribers by 2016. It is unclear whether all the operators will be issued TD-LTE 4G licenses or whether the FDD version of LTE will also be an option in 2014.

Source: Cellular News

3G | Revenues
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 14:33:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 March 2011

MTC has revealed that it ended 2010 with a total 1.53 million active customers, an increase from 1.28 million compared to the previous year.

According to the company, revenues for the year were little changed due to the cuts in termination rates, while EBITDA improved to $785.8 million from $748 million in 2009.Capex increased from $260 million to $410 million, almost half of which went to 3G network roll-out. The 3G investment helped data revenues grow 50% over the year, to 7.6% of total revenues by September 2010. Capex was higher than net profit for the year and a record for the company since its start.

MTC added that it was opposed to the regulator’s latest policy to cap off-net retail voice prices, stating that this is unprecedented for a regulator to intervene on retail prices. However, the company is positive on the country’s new communications law, which should allow it to gain a technology and service-neutral licence.

Source: Wireless Federation

Friday, 18 March 2011 12:11:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 15 March 2011

After some controversy earlier this year over the legality of their 3G license, Zain Jordan has finally launched its HSPA enabled 3G network in the country, breaking the monopoly held by Orange Jordan.

Zain's Network Department Director Youssef Abu Mutawe said: "Zain had set aside JD 120 million to invest prior to launching the HSPA+ technology. Today, the Zain network is able to offer high speed internet services which can reach up to 21 Mbps during phase one, and up to 42 Mbps in the near future."

"The new network will cover around 97% of Jordan's populated area. Providing the service with equal quality in all governorates is an unprecedented phenomenon and contributes to the overall efforts that aim to provide internet penetration in the whole of Jordan."

Mutawe added that the number of HSPA+ stations reached 1000, covering the whole kingdom as well as the main highways.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 15:21:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 04 March 2011

Bharti Airtel has revealed that it has garnered 500,000 users on its 3G network in less than three months. The company launched 3G services on 14 December 2010 and has since expanded the offering to seven cities. It owns concessions allowing it to deploy 3G networks in 13 of India’s 22 telecoms service areas.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Bharti finished 2010 as the largest wireless operator in India, claiming a 20.7% share of the subscriber market.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 04 March 2011 09:37:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Airtel Zambia is set to launch 3G services in the second quarter of this year, reports the Lusaka Times. 150 W-CDMA base stations have already been deployed, and the Bharti-owned company says it will roll out an additional 300 sites by the end of September.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the cellco is the largest in Zambia, claiming an approximate 63% share of wireless subscribers at the end of 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 04 March 2011 09:34:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The number of 3G subscribers in China has passed the 50 million mark - three years after the networks first launched their commercial services. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) says that it expects the numbers to surge to 150 million by the end of this year.

According to statistics from China Mobile, it had a total of 22.6 million 3g users in January, while China Unicom had 15.47 million and China Telecom attracted 13.64 million.

"Now telecom carriers have a large number of subsidized 3G phones available to attract users", which will intensify the competition between China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, said Kevin Wang, research director of China operations at the US-based research company, iSuppli Corp told the China Daily newspaper.

For historic comparison, at the end of May 2010, the country had 20 million 3G subscribers, and 38.64 million by the end of October 2010.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 04 March 2011 09:32:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 01 March 2011

With its major rivals having already introduced 3G services, Indian mobile network operator Vodafone Essar has confirmed that it expects to roll out its own third-generation offering by the end of this fiscal year. According to The Hindu, the cellco’s director of enterprise and carrier business, Naveen Chopra, told local press that trials were still ongoing, and that commercial services would be introduced in a phased manner during March. In addition, the executive noted that the deployment of Vodafone’s 3G services would likely be undertaken on a city-by-city basis, rather than either state-wide or nationwide.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week, Aircel became the most recent Indian cellco to inaugurate its 3G services after nine companies were awarded concessions following the completion of the government’s much-delayed auction in May 2010. Vodafone Essar paid INR116.18 billion (USD2.55 billion) for licences in nine of the country’s telecoms circles: Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Calcutta, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (E) and West Bengal.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 01 March 2011 14:24:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 11 February 2011

Mobile operator Zain Iraq, a subsidiary of Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain, expects to sign up between 15,000 and 18,000 new cellular users a month after commencing services in Kurdistan, the firm’s chief executive, Emad Makiya, said in an interview with Reuters. According to the executive, initial operations began in Iraq's northern Kurdish region last October, although an official launch will take place in the first quarter of 2011.

Makiya said that total subscribers for 2011 are expected to increase by around one million from roughly twelve million users at 31 December 2010. In terms of revenue, Zain Iraq expects its 2010 turnover will be around 10% higher than 2009’s USD1.34 billion, whilst 2011 sales are expected to rise even higher: ‘The plan is to be 16%-17% above what we have done last year [2010] as far as the revenue [goes],’ Makiya said.

Priorities for 2011 include the launch of 3G services in Iraq (following regulatory approval), and the introduction of a pre-paid option for RIM’s BlackBerry handset. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Zain Iraq is the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a market share of 51.7% at 30 September 2010, followed by Asiacell (34.8%), Korek Telecom (11.2%) and SanaTel (2.3%).

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 11 February 2011 11:45:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 February 2011

Vodafone’s Irish mobile unit says that increasing popularity for smartphones and mobile broadband packages were behind its strong subscriber growth in the last three months of 2010. The company ended the year with around 2.217 million mobile users, thanks to 34,000 net additions in Q4, up from 2.145 million a year earlier. The company reported that almost one in two devices sold by Vodafone Ireland in December was a smartphone – predominantly Apple's iPhone and Google-based Android handsets. Including the operator’s fixed line and DSL businesses, the total subscriber figure rose to 2.4 million at the year end.

Vodafone said mobile quarterly minutes of use (MOU) per customer grew 5% year-on-year, to 273 minutes in 4Q10. In addition, the cellco said data traffic increased by around 5% in the fourth quarter, aided by the poor weather experienced in the country, which forced a large number of people to work from home during December. However, blended average revenue per user (ARPU) fell by 6.9% to EUR34.90 (USD41.8) a month.

The cellco also announced the launch of a new device designed to boost 3G signal coverage indoors. Vodafone’s ‘Sure Signal ‘device is a femtocell that uses a fixed line broadband connection to create a 3G signal for its network if there is none available, or boost weak signal. The device, which will go on sale in about two weeks, will cost less than EUR100.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 08 February 2011 16:13:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Portugal Telecom has confirmed that its 40% owned subsidiary, CVMóvel had submitted a application for the awarding of a 3G mobile license in Cape Verde. CVMóvel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the CVTelecom Group, follows T+ and Cabo TLC de São Vicente, the other two companies that have submitted applications to ANAC, the telecoms regulator.

It is worth recollecting that applications could be submitted from August 2010 until last Monday.

The result of the tender will be disclosed in March 2011.

The licenses include 2x15MHz of paired spectrum in the bands 1920-1980MHz / 2110-2170 MHz and 5 MHz of unpaired spectrum in the 1900-1920 MHz band, for each one of the rights of frequency, and the allocation of one nationwide right of frequency use in the range reserved for GSM services.

The country currently has two mobile networks, T+ and Cabo Verde Telecom. Estimates from the Mobile World analysts is that the country has around 496,000 subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 97%.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 08 February 2011 16:08:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator Zain Iraq, a subsidiary of Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain, expects to sign up between 15,000 and 18,000 new cellular users a month after commencing services in Kurdistan, the firm’s chief executive, Emad Makiya, said in an interview with Reuters.

According to the executive, initial operations began in Iraq's northern Kurdish region last October, although an official launch will take place in the first quarter of 2011. Makiya said that total subscribers for 2011 are expected to increase by around one million from roughly twelve million users at 31 December 2010. In terms of revenue, Zain Iraq expects its 2010 turnover will be around 10% higher than 2009’s USD1.34 billion, whilst 2011 sales are expected to rise even higher: ‘The plan is to be 16%-17% above what we have done last year [2010] as far as the revenue [goes],’ Makiya said.

Priorities for 2011 include the launch of 3G services in Iraq (following regulatory approval), and the introduction of a pre-paid option for RIM’s BlackBerry handset. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Zain Iraq is the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a market share of 51.7% at 30 September 2010, followed by Asiacell (34.8%), Korek Telecom (11.2%) and SanaTel (2.3%).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 08 February 2011 16:05:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 January 2011

­3G technology will account for 82 percent of total mobile subscriptions in Puerto Rico by 2015, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

"Puerto Rico's shrinking fixed voice market, in combination with a growing demand for data applications and contents, brings new revenue opportunities to local operators, both in the fixed and mobile segments," says Eulalia Marin-Sorribes, Research Analyst at Pyramid. "As Puerto Rico has the highest 3G penetration in Latin America, operators are now trying to make customers use the technology for services beyond SMS and MMS by promoting the use of smartphones," says Marin-Sorribes.

"Mobile applications, such as mobile banking and mobile advertising, could become rich revenue lines for local companies, particularly taking into account Puerto Rico's relatively high GDP per capita," she says. Operators are trying to encourage customers to use 3G technology for services beyond SMS and MMS by promoting the use of smartphones.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
3G | Revenues
Monday, 24 January 2011 11:43:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Armenia chief executive officer Bruno Duthoit has told reporters that his company has now signed up 555,000 mobile subscribers, up from 306,000 at the end of September 2010. The CEO’s comments are quoted by PanArmenian.Net which adds that the cellco is now looking to increase in 3G network capacity by 30% this year.

Duthoit told a news conference that the capacity increase will hopefully redress recent issues experienced by subscribers to its mobile internet services. He confirmed that whilst some users may be having technical problems, on the whole, the network is performing satisfactorily.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:40:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Brazil added 29 million new mobile phone subscriptions in 2010, the second highest result recorded by Anatel, losing only to 2008 (29.7 million). With the new activations, the country has reached the mark of 202.9 million phones, a concentration of 104.7 phones per 100 inhabitants, according to data released by the National Telecommunications Agency. Out of the total lines, 167.1 million are prepaid (82.3%) and 35.8 million post-paid (17.7%).
Currently, 16 states already have more than one mobile phone per capita. Vivo is the market leader with 29.7% of mobile phones in operation, followed by Claro (25.4%), TIM (25.1%) and Oi (19.4%). GSM is the predominant technology that works with 87.8% of mobile phones. The year ended with 20.6 million 3G connections, an increase of 138.1 percent in the year.

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:31:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

Pakistan’s secretary of the Cabinet Division, Abdur Rauf Chaudhry, has said that the government is hopeful that 3G services will be available to the country’s mobile users by the end of 2011, with legislation governing the auction of 3G concessions expected to be soon presented to the government and Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for discussion and approval. According to, speaking at a seminar organised by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Rauf said that the local manufacturing of 3G handsets remained an important factor, adding that the government would consider recommendations made by the industry. PTA chairman Dr. Mohammed Yaseen meanwhile said that by the end of March 2011 the regulator aims to have set its own plans in motion for moving forward with the 3G sale process, once the overarching policy is approved by the government.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:54:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Airtel Kenya, the country's second largest cellco by subscribers, has announced that it has added two million subscribers to its network since August 2010, effectively doubling its active subscriber base. The mobile operator credits the latest customer additions to the reduced tariffs that it introduced in August. As previously reported in CommsUpdate, in August 2010, the cellco, then known as Zain Kenya, cut end-user call charges from KES6 to KES3 across all networks for both pre-paid and post-paid customers. CEO Rene Meza told a press conference: 'With the drop in tariffs, we have seen an increase in volumes, both in users and in minutes'. Meza added that the average monthly minutes of use (MoU) had tripled since August.

Going forward, Meza announced that the cellco is poised to launch its long-awaited 3G network in March 2011, following a KES25 billion (USD296 million) rollout. 'The beginning of our data journey will start towards the end of this quarter', Meza said, adding that the operator also intends to double the number of 2G bases stations currently deployed across Kenya.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:46:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 January 2011

The total number of registered SIMs in Brazil reached 202.9 million at the end of last year, thanks to the net addition of 29 million phones over the twelve-month period. The net gain was the second largest annual increase ever reported by national regulator Anatel; a record 29.7 million new mobile phones were added in 2008. By 31 December 2010 cellular penetration in the country reached 104.7%, with pre-paid services accounting for the overwhelming majority of lines (167.1 million, or 82.3%) and contract customers the remainder (35.8 million, 17.7%). In addition, GSM continues to be the most popular technology, used by some 87.8% of mobile phones, although Anatel reported 20.6 million 3G connections by the year-end, an increase of 138.1% year-on-year.

Vivo Participacoes retained its leading position in the market as at 31 December, with a 29.70% share of subscriptions, compared with 30.14% in September. America Movil (Claro) was the second largest player with a 25.40% market share, down slightly from 25.47% three months earlier. Third place was taken by TIM Brasil with 25.10%, up from 24.52% previously, while fourth-placed Oi had 19.40% of the market, down from 19.51% in September.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:34:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 January 2011

­Vodafone Albania has launched the country's first 3G network, with coverage initially available in the capital city-Tirana and its suburbs. By starting the 3G operations initially in Tirana and soon in other cities, Vodafone will provide Internet speed of up to 14.4 Mbps.

Upon the 3G services launch, Mr. Haris Broumidis, CEO of Vodafone Albania stated: "We are pleased to offer to the inhabitants of Tirana the 3G technology experience, which will provide them fast access to internet, a number of new services and the most advantageous tariff plans. Vodafone Albania as the leading and most innovative telecommunications company in the country, believes that 3G will revolutionize the way Albanian families and businesses use their mobiles and access to internet".

After Tirana, 3G services will be extended to all current and new Vodafone customers across the country within 18 months.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 14 January 2011 10:17:03 (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)  #     | 

­Due to low penetration rates, an expanding economy, deploying 3G networks, and declining smartphone prices, mobile data revenue is expected to triple over the next five years in Peru, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The mobile market will be the main source of revenue growth and Peru's principal revenue generator throughout the forecast period. Pyramid expects mobile revenue to expand at a CAGR of 6.6 percent over the next five years, going from generating $2.2 billion in 2010 to $3.1 billion by 2015, indicates Juliana Gomez, Analyst at Pyramid Research. "Mobile data, driven by 3G deployments and higher adoption of enhanced data services, will experience a revenue increase from $355 million in 2010 to $1.07 billion in 2015," she adds.

Over the forecast period Telefonica will remain the market leader; however, the merger of America Movil-Claro and Telmex Peru this year will intensify competition. "Telmex will complement its multiplay packages with mobile services, and both companies will invest to grow their data business, particularly mobile Internet," says Gomez. In addition, America Movil's Claro continues to expand its 3G network and has gained market share by leveraging data services.

The Peruvian market has shifted to GSM as a result of Telefonica's decision to migrate from CDMA to GSM and Claro's adoption of this standard in 2006. "After launching a 3G network (UMTS/HSPA) in 2008 Claro continues the expansion of its 3G network throughout the country to further support mobile Internet services. Movistar and Nextel have followed suit launching 3G networks," she says. Pyramid expects 3G technologies and 4G technologies to represent 54 percent and 7 percent, respectively, of total mobile subscribers in 2015.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, 13 January 2011 16:45:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 December 2010

New research from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that 14% of the global wireless subscriber base is now connected to a 3G network, with the regional figure varying between 35% in Western Europe to just 6% in Africa. At 30 September 2010 there were 694 million 3G users scattered across the world, from a grand total of 5.12 billion wireless subscriptions. According to GlobalComms, of the wireless total 48.6% of subscribers were located in the Asia-Pacific region, with Latin America accounting for the next largest share, at 10.7%, and Western Europe at 10.1%. The Middle East is the smallest in terms of subscribers, accounting for 279 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter, equivalent to 5.4% of the total.

3G subscriber growth is clearly driving the market as a whole. ‘Subscriptions to third generation networks increased by over 40% in the twelve months ended 30 September 2010’ said Tig Harvey, Research Director at TeleGeography. ‘Compare that figure to the 15% recorded by the market as a whole, and you get some idea of just how important the UMTS platforms now are,’ she added. What's more, the next generation of networks are now coming on stream, just in time to provide new impetus to the industry in 2011 and onwards. According to TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service there are currently 13 Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in commercial operation, with a further nine due to be unveiled before the end of the year, including high profile launches by Verizon Wireless and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. 'Since the launch of the first W-CDMA network in 2001, it has taken ten years for 3G to achieve 14% penetration of the wireless subscriber base; this is indicative of how quickly new technologies permeate the global wireless market, and is one pointer towards the future success of LTE,' Harvey added.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:56:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Solomon Islands has confirmed previously rumoured plans to offer the country's third mobile license, just a few months after the country's second network, B-Mobile launched its services.Communications Commissioner, Nick Williams, made the announcement in Honiara this morning, noting that the licence will include an option to offer 3G services.

Mr Williams says he hopes to be able to award the licence by March next year and to see the operator begin its service within 6 months.The incumbent operator had blocked the launch of the country's second mobile network, B-Mobile for nearly ten months after its license was originally granted.

When the second license was tendered in 2009, Digicel applied for a license, but was rebuffed. Digicel had actually been granted a license in 2006, but Solomon Telekom successfully sued to block the network launch pending a review of its monopoly status.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:52:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Latest figures from ABI Research indicates that there are currently more than 500 3G network commitments, and over 300 WiMAX and LTE announcements worldwide. This equates to more than two billion of the world's population being covered by high-speed data networks. The demand for speedy data networks continues to rise across the globe.

"While many networks in US and Europe are working towards complete coverage for 3G services, some mobile operators in other regions find themselves tangled up with government bureaucracy, which impedes progress in upgrading the network technology," comments ABI Research mobile services research practice director Neil Strother. "India has at last concluded its 3G spectrum auction after repeated delays; Thailand's attempt to catch up with 3G licensing has once again stalled due to reorganization of the telecoms regulator."

ABI Research estimates that nearly 82% of the population in Western Europe is currently covered by 3G networks, while only about 12% of Asia-Pacific's population has access to 3G services. "3G coverage in the Asia-Pacific region is set to rise dramatically in the next few years as Chinese and Indian operators such as China Unicom and Bharti Airtel begin actively rolling out new data networks," notes ABI research associate Fei Feng Seet.

Network sharing has became more common in a number of mature markets. For example, French mobile operator SFR will be sharing the rural build-out of its UMTS network with domestic rivals Orange France and Bouygues Telecom. Meanwhile, T-mobile and Orange UK have formed a new joint venture called "Everything Everywhere" in a bid to share costs and spectrum.

Source: Cellular News

3G | Wifi WiMax | World
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:53:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Three years after launching the first 3G W-CDMA/HSPA mobile network in the Ukraine, Ukrtelecom has announced that it has signed up ‘almost 600,000’ active 3G mobile users, approximately 500,000 of which are using mobile broadband internet services. Still the country’s sole UMTS network operator, due to an impasse in national licensing plans, the soon-to-be-privatised group had reported 485,000 mobile subscribers at end-June 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:24:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 11 November 2010
Mobile operator MTS Turkmenistan has launched commercial 3G services in the capital city Ashgabat. The network currently covers the downtown area and international airport. The operator uses HSPA+ technology for its services, with speeds up to 21 Mbps download and up to 11 Mbps upload. Turkmenistan is the last country where MTS operates to launch 3G services, and the Russian operator now offers 3G across its CIS footprint. This includes more than 360 cities and towns in Russia and an advanced CDMA network covering more than 200 cities in Ukraine.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:36:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 05 October 2010 is reporting that the Kingdom of Jordan is on track to implement and enforce competition in the fixed telecoms market before the end of 2011. According to the report, Orange Jordan, the country's sole fixed line provider, looks set to lose its monopoly as the government starts to enforce local loop unbundling (LLU), allowing other operators the chance to offer fixed services. ‘We took a decision on LLU, a decision has been taken by the regulator and now we are going into the application of the LLU. I think you will see actual enforcement by the second half of next year,’ said Marwan Juma, Jordan's minister for ICT. Furthermore, Juma insisted that LLU will be implemented and enforced in a way that will ensure greater competition. ‘What is typical with LLU is that the incumbent will resist as much as possible, that is just standard worldwide, but the regulator has sharp teeth now to ensure that it is being applied fairly and that people have access to infrastructure and we hope that will lower the cost,’ he said.

Juma also confirmed that Jordan will gain a second 3G operator next year, with a third operator likely to follow. Orange Jordan, which launched its 3G network in March, is currently the only 3G provider in the country. The company was awarded the 15-year licence in August 2009 for JOD50 million (USD70 million), with twelve month exclusivity period from the launch of its 3G service.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 15:34:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel's recently purchased mobile operator in Malawi – which remains under the Zain trademark for an interim period – has launched commercial 3G services. The Nyasa Times reports that the cellco is offering users of its UMTS network free video calling and free access to websites including Facebook, Twitter and BBC for a promotional 30-day period, whilst it is also running an Apple iPad promotion. ‘Today we move Malawi forward in terms of technology towards a new generation of mobile phone services,’ said Saulos Chilima, managing director of Zain-Airtel Malawi, adding: ‘What makes the 3G experience with Zain even more exceptional is that we are offering the most affordable rate of one tambala (MWK0.01 [USD0.00007]) for every kilobyte downloaded.’ After its acquisition of the Zain Africa portfolio around three months ago Bharti Airtel announced an injection of USD100 million over three years into its networks in Malawi. In June 2010 the Indian group finalised the acquisition of the majority of the African assets of Kuwait-based Zain Group, in a deal valued at USD10.7 billion. The company took over Zain’s operations in 15 countries, including Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda. The Zain identity and brand in these 15 operations will continue to be used for an interim period under a temporary agreement.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 15:04:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Tunisia's state-controlled mobile network operator, Tunisie Telecom has been awarded a 3G license, the Reuters news agency has reported, citing a statement from the Telecommunications Ministry. Tunisie Telecom is majority owned by the state while Dubai's TECOM Investments and Dubai Investment Group jointly hold 35 percent.

The statement did not give further details, but a government official who declined to be named told Reuters that Tunisie Telecom had paid US$80.2 million for the license.

There are currently three mobile network operators in the country - the state controlled Tunisie Telcom which is the sole landline operator, and Tunisiana, which just operates a mobile phone network. Earlier this year, France Telecom's Orange launched a 3G network in the country, in cooperation with Investec, a Tunisian subsidiary of the Mabrouk group. Orange holds 49% of the joint venture. The company was awarded its operating license in June 2009.

According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the country has 9.95 million mobile phone users, which represents a population penetration level of 94%.

Source: Celllular News

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 14:51:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 23 September 2010

Brazilian mobile operators Vivo Participacoes and TIM Brasil have forged ahead with 3G network expansion in 2010, while rivals such as Telecom Americas (Claro) and Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) have not, according to a report from local research house Teleco.

The group’s findings suggest Claro currently has 3G coverage of 396 municipalities – the same as at end-2009 – while Oi has failed to invest in improving its UMTS footprint and still serves 168 municipalities, as it did at the start of this year. However, Vivo boasts the widest coverage of 655 municipalities as at August 2010, up from 579 at the start of the year, and TIM Brasil is the fastest expanding cellco with 155 cities covered with its 3G signal, compared to 35 at 31 December 2009.

Source: TeleGeography


Thursday, 23 September 2010 07:35:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 19 July 2010

Brazilian mobile operator TIM Brasil is looking to increase its 3G coverage to reach 60% of the urban population by the end of 2010, up from the current figure of 35%. Estadao reports TIM Brasil chief marketing officer Rogerio Takayanagi as saying the firm will achieve this goal as a result of increased investments in infrastructure, which will total USD7.5 billion over the next three years.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 19 July 2010 12:29:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 02 July 2010

Residents in the Turks and Caicos Islands now have three choices of mobile telephony provider with the launch earlier this month of Islandcom Wireless, the country’s first 3G network operator. Islandcom’s range of W-CDMA-based pre- and post-paid services includes video calling and high speed internet access with international roaming. In September 2008 the company formed a partnership with Bermuda Digital Communications (BDC), a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network, which provided new investment to begin building an UMTS network in March 2009. 17 3G base stations have been rolled out and by the end of the year will be expanded to 19 sites across the islands, including North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Grand Turk.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:17:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 04 June 2010

China's 3G users have exceeded 20 million and are estimated to reach 150 million by the end of next year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China's offical news agency, Xinhua reported, citing the Economic Daily.

The recent MIIT report shows that in the first quarter of 2010, the China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network has covered over 238 cities, and its rival, China Unicom, has covered 335 cities with its WCDMA network, while China Telecom covered 342 cities with its CDMA based network. In all, China's 3G base-stations have reached over 367,000 in number.

In contrast with the rapid growth of 3G users, the 3G mobile phone prices have declined dramatically. Prices vary from 3,000 yuan to 1,000 yuan, which is in the same level as traditional 2G mobile phones.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:28:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­MTS says that it has launched its 3G network in Belarus, offering peak download speeds of up to 21Mbps. The network is currently available in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and will be expanded to the major cities and regional centers of the country by the end of the year.

In addition, the company has now fulfilled its 3G license requirement for the commercial 3G network in Russia following the launch of the network in the last remaining federal subject, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. MTS now has commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects.

The conditions of the 3G license that the firm was granted in April 2007 stipulated that the mobile network operator had to launch commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects by May 2010.

During the first quarter of 2010, 3G traffic on MTS' network in Russia grew 10.9 times year-on-year. The share of 3G in total traffic has increased to 59% in Q1 2010 from 28% in Q1 2009. The most avid 3G users reside in Sochi, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Novorossiysk, Surgut, Kemerovo, Samara, Kazan and Vladivostok, where 3G was launched for some time now.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:22:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Moldovan state-owned incumbent telecoms operator Moldtelecom has announced the commercial launch of W-CDMA/HSDPA services under the brand ‘Unite 3G’, following total network investment of MDL250 million (USD19.2 million). The operator already provides mobile CDMA2000 1x and 1xEV-DO services, first introduced in the capital Chisinau in March 2007 under the 'Unite' banner. Moldtelecom’s new 3G offering provides services such as mobile broadband at download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps, videocalling and high quality voice services. At launch, the third-generation network covers 68% of the population, including all the country’s major cities and regional centres, as well as many rural regions. In the near future the company plans to increase maximum downlink speeds to 21Mbps and add television to its portfolio of services on offer. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Moldtelecom was awarded a licence for the provision of 3G mobile services in December 2008 by the country’s telecoms regulator ANRCETI, after paying USD8 million. Chinese equipment vendor Huawei won a tender held in May 2009 to supply the 3G infrastructure, beating off competition from Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent Romania and SIS Solutions & Services.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:00:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The oft-delayed sale of Indian 3G spectrum has finally been concluded, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced, revealing that the auction raised more than double the expected amount for the government. After 34 days of bidding, seven of the nine operators that had successfully applied to take part in the sale process came away with 3G licences, although no single operator was able to lay claim to a pan-India concession, with the most that any cellco managed to win being frequencies in 13 of the country’s 22 telecoms circles.

Three of the participants – Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Aircel – acquired 2x5MHz paired spectrum in 13 circles, although due to the manner of the bidding the trio paid significantly different amounts for their respective concessions, with licence prices decided on a circle-by-circle basis. Bharti’s 13 licence areas will cost it INR122.95 billion (USD2.66 billion), the highest paid by any of the seven 3G auction winners, while Aircel will pay just over half of that, INR64.99 billion, for its 13 licences; RCOM meanwhile will be charged INR85.85 billion. Idea Cellular bagged the next highest number of circles – eleven – paying INR57.69 billion, while both Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Vodafone Essar will be permitted to offer third-generation services in nine circles, paying INR58.64 billion and INR116.18 billion respectively for their concessions. STel, which only launched 2G services in December 2009, rounded out the successful bidders, claiming three circles for a total of INR731 million. The two operators that came away empty-handed were Etisalat and Videocon.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 15:32:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A mobile network has been launched by France Telecom’s Orange in the North African country of Tunisia. The venture has been launched in co operation with Investec, a Tunisian subsidiary of the Mabrouk group and Orange holds 49% in the joint venture.

One billion dinars (around EUR500 million) will be invested by Orange Tunisia to set up the network and to launch the operations. Majority of Tunisia’s major cities is already covered by this network and it will be doubled by the end of the year.

According to Didier Lombard, Chairman of France Telecom, Orange is proud to associate itself with Marwan Mabrouk to build Tunisia’s first genuine convergent telecoms operator and together they are committed to a project that will transform the Tunisian telecommunications market, and which in turn will help the country on its way to joining the world’s most competitive economies.

A network of nine shops and 400 distribution outlets will benefit Orange Tunisia. Almost 1,500 people will be hired by the company by the end of this year.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 14:34:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­France Telecom's Orange has launched a mobile network in the North African country of Tunisia, in cooperation with Investec, a Tunisian subsidiary of the Mabrouk group. Orange holds 49% of the joint venture.

Commenting on the launch, Didier Lombard, Chairman of France Telecom said: "Today, Orange is proud to associate itself with Marwan Mabrouk to build Tunisia's first genuine convergent telecoms operator. I have full confidence in this kind of partnership, which brings together a strong local actor with a global operator. Together we are committed to a project that will transform the Tunisian telecommunications market, and which in turn will help the country on its way to joining the world's most competitive economies. Our commitment to this partnership also enjoys a particular intensity thanks to the historic, cultural and economic ties that traditionally exist between France and Tunisia." The company was awarded its operating license in June 2009.

Orange Tunisia will invest one billion dinars (around EUR500 million) to launch operations and install the country's first 3G network. This network, which will be operational from day one, already covers the majority of Tunisia's major cities. Overall coverage will be doubled by the end of the year. From its launch, Orange Tunisia will benefit from a network of nine shops and 400 distribution outlets. In addition, the operator will employ 1,500 people by the end of the year.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 14:12:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 May 2010

­Romania's Cosmote has announced the commercial launch of its 3G network. The 3G services are available in 11 cities of the country: Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj-Napoca,Timisoara, Constanta, Galati, Craiova, Brasov, Moinesti, Oltenita, Orastie, plus almost 300 localities.

Covering almost 58% of the population, the 3G network offers Internet access with speeds of up to 21.6 Mbps. In addition to 3G, Cosmote offers mobile internet services with speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps on its existing CDMA network.

Also, recently the company upgraded its existing GPRS data network to EDGE.

Upon the 3G mobile broadband services launch by Cosmote Romania, company CEO, Mr Stefanos Theocharopoulos, commented: "We are very pleased to offer 3G services to our customers. Mobile broadband is already demonstrating its enormous market potential and Cosmote is fast establishing its position as a strong player in Romania. Through faster data speeds, a high quality network fully aligned to all communication needs and best traffic volume at the most advantageous tariff plans, Mobile Internet users can now enjoy the Cosmote 3G experience. This is another step forward in our development plans that confirms our promise to keep offering relevant propositions to our customers".

Source: Cellular News

Monday, 03 May 2010 14:39:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned Indian telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has announced the launch of a 3G mobile TV service, Telecom Talk reports. The new service it is claimed will offer MPEG4 picture quality and will be available in both the Delhi and Mumbai circles. MTNL has partnered with content provider Apalya Technology to offer the service, alongside vendor Alcatel-Lucent and IPTV service provider Aksh Optifibre, the latter of which already offers a fixed IPTV product, ‘iControl’, via the telco. Commenting on the launch, Dr Kailash Choudhari, managing director at Aksh, said: ‘We are proud to launch India’s first 3G mobile TV in Delhi and Mumbai. 3G Mobile TV as a value added feature epitomises convergence in technology realising ... live television viewing on the move.’ The new service utilises Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Streaming Server, which supports all types of standard-based media formats and dynamic switching from high-bit rate to low-bit rate streaming based on network coverage and bandwidth availability.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 03 May 2010 14:10:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Tripling of 3G communications capacity has been planned by national fixed line and mobile operator ArmenTel by the end of 2010. Working under the Beeline trademark of its parent Vimpelcom, more than 100,000 subscribers currently use the cellco’s mobile internet services, including 3G.

The Russian parent of the telco after the successful trials of a test LTE network in Kazakhstan has planned to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Armenia.

According to Armentel CEO Igor Klimko, it is very important to note that the decision on frequency harmonisation, in which the LTE network construction will be permitted in Armenia, will also have an impact on its plans and it is felt that frequencies within 700MHz-800MHz harmonisation will be optimal. Mixed views have been generated by the rivals of the telco.  4G service based on LTE technology is intended to be generated by VivaCell-MTS during 2010. Orange Armenia has made it clear that it does not plan to replace 3G+ (HSPA) technology with 4G.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010 07:13:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 25 March 2010

Ukrtelecom, Ukraine’s sole UMTS-based 3G mobile network operator, had signed up a total of 432,200 subscribers to its W-CDMA/HSPA-based services by the end of January 2010, reports Interfax-Ukraine. The state-run firm launched the 3G network in November 2007 under the ‘Utel’ brand, and offers pre- and post-paid retail mobile broadband services as well as wholesale connections to other cellcos.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 25 March 2010 10:57:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Turkcell's 3G network ended 2009 with coverage of 72% of the population. ‘We have established more base stations in the first six months since we launched the 3G technology than all the base stations we established for 2G technology over six years,’ said Ilter Terzioglu, deputy director general at the company. Terzioglu added that his company had sold almost 300,000 3G modems and netbooks/notebooks by year end from a total subscriber base of 35.4 million. As of 31 December 2009 Turkcell had invested USD7.6 billion in its operations, including licences.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 25 March 2010 10:06:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 12 March 2010

Brazilian mobile operator TIM Brasil plans to extend its 3G mobile network coverage to around 60% of the population by 2012, BNamericas quotes the company’s chief executive Luca Luciani as saying. In an interview, the CEO went on to say he expects the country’s overall telecoms market to expand by more than 5% per annum, in revenue terms, over the three-year period.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, TIM Brasil is controlled by European telecoms operator Telecom Italia and ended 2009 with 41.1 million subscribers, up 12.9% from the end of 2008, and representing a market share of 23.6%. Total net additions in the fourth quarter came to 4.7 million lines, or 20.2% of total market net additions. Average revenue per user (ARPU) was BRL27.0 in 4Q09, a growth of 1.7% when compared to the previous quarter. The cellco’s GSM network covered 94% of the country’s urban population, serving around 2,958 cities, as at 31 December 2009. As for data coverage, TIM provides GPRS technology to 100% of its footprint, while 77% is covered through EDGE technology, it said. In addition, TIM’s 3G coverage included more than 57 cities at the end of 2009 – reaching 30% of the urban population in Brazil.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 12 March 2010 14:30:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moroccan operator Wana has launched its GSM mobile services under the name Inwi. The third mobile operator said its network covers three-quarters of the population. Wana, which already offers CDMA fixed wireless and mobile voice and internet services under the name Bayn, was awarded the GSM licence in early 2009. The new mobile services include a prepaid offering with per-second billing as well as four postpaid plans with free on-net calls and a range of corporate offers.

Inwi also offers daily and weekly unlimited SMS plans, BlackBerry services, prepaid and postpaid 3G mobile internet using a USB modem, a Windows Live Messenger service, roaming and a wide range of handsets from Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. The company will compete against incumbent Maroc Telecom and Meditel on the GSM market.

Source: TelecomPaper

3G | Mobile
Friday, 12 March 2010 14:28:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Jordan has launched its 3G+ network, expecting that some two million Jordanians will be covered by the service by the summer of this year. The 3G services will be offered in the market in three phases, Orange Jordan's CEO Nayla Khawam said during the launch in Amman. Under the first phase, the services will initially cover west Amman, Irbid and Zarqa, while in April the network coverage will expand to cover the entire capital. Orange also plans to cover Aqaba with 3G services by late April. During the summer, network coverage will have reached most urban locations in Jordan, delivering services to approximately 70 per cent of populated areas, which translates to around two million people, she said.

In August last year, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission granted the group a JOD 50 million licence to introduce 3G services. The group will enjoy a year of exclusivity from the date when the service becomes commercially operational, after which other mobile operators will be allowed to introduce 3G services should they meet the same conditions met by the group. Khawam said the 3G network will deliver a host of new services, such as video calling, mobile broadband, access to exclusive personalised and live TV - all of which will be reasonably priced in accordance with regional standards.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 12 March 2010 13:53:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 March 2010

Orange Jordan has launched its 3G network and has said that some two million Jordanians will be covered by the network by the end of the summer. The W-CDMA network will be rolled out in three phases, according to Orange Jordan's CEO Nayla Khawam. Under the first phase roll out will include west Amman, Irbid and Zarqa, while in April coverage will be expanded to cover the entire capital and Aqaba. By summer 2010 network coverage will include most urban locations, delivering services to approximately 70% of populated areas, equivalent to around two million people.

In August last year the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) granted Orange a JOD50 million (USD70 million) licence to introduce 3G services. The company will enjoy a year of exclusivity, beginning today, after which other mobile operators will be allowed to introduce 3G services should they agree to the same licence conditions.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 11:00:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh's telecom minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has told journalists that 3G licences will be awarded via a qualitative ‘beauty contest’ procedure rather than a straightforward monetary auction, local newspaper The Daily Star reports. The minister said the state did not want to repeat mistakes made in the country’s WiMAX auctions, where licence prices were pushed up too high. Ahmed Abou Doma,CEO of the country’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Banglalink, agreed, saying: ‘We welcome the telecom minister's comment on arranging a beauty contest to award the 3G licence, rather than monetary bidding... [which] ensures fastest and widest 3G coverage along with the highest service levels and quality for the customers.’ Market leader GrameenPhone, though, raised concerns about the potential for non-transparency when using selection methods other than a highest bidder auction.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:27:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarusian Telecommunications Network (BeST), which trades under the banner life:), has signed up more than 200,000 3G mobile users and is aiming to increase this to 500,000 by the end of the year, e-Belarus reports citing its CEO Ozcan Ermis as saying. Of the total, between 90,000 and 95,000 subscribers are classed as subscribing to plans which include mobile internet, while the remainder are using 3G services on an ad hoc basis. To date, life:) is the only Belarusian GSM-operator to have deployed a commercial 3G network. It hopes the head start will enable it to secure a roughly 70% market share of the UMTS segment.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, BeST signed up its one millionth user on 28 December 2009, and reported a fourfold increase in customers over the year to give it around 11% of the overall market by the start of 2010. On 3 November 2009, life:) launched the country’s first 3G network offering high speed internet connectivity at downlink speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and providing new services such as videocalling. The operator, which is 80%-owned by Turkish telecoms company Turkcell, with the remaining 20% in the hands of the Republic of Belarus, said that its 3G/3.5G network was available to residents in the capital Minsk and other major cities at launch.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:14:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 March 2010

Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced that since launching its first 3G service on 30 July 2009 it has attracted over five million subscribers to the network. As reported by CommsUpdate on 30 July 2009, Turkcell deployed its 3G networks to all 81 Turkish provinces, covering over 60% of the population at launch. The network has since been expanded to cover 70% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:25:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sources in Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies (MCIT) have revealed that third-generation base stations in the autonomous republic of Nakhchivan will provide 21,000 mobile subscribers with 3G network coverage by May, according to News.Az. It is hoped the expansion of 3G infrastructure to towns and villages in the area will help promote the use of broadband internet, mobile TV and videocalling services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Azerfon is the only wireless operator in Azerbaijan to have been awarded a licence from the MCIT to provide 3G services. Shortly after receiving its concession in December 2009, Azerfon launched its 3G network in Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Shirvan, Nakhchivan, Mingachevir, Tovuz and Shamkir, as well as in the Absheron Peninsula.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:17:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It appears that there could be some light at the end of the tunnel, with the Indian government having unveiled a new timetable for the long-delayed auction of third-generation spectrum, the Economic Times is reporting. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has revealed that the sale process itself will now commence on 9 April 2010, with the regulator adding that it would issue the notice inviting application (NIA) for bids today, 25 February 2010. Under the revised schedule applications are due by 19 March, and pre-qualification of bidders is to take place on 30 March 2010, with mock auctions following on 5 April and 6 April.

However, according to the Business Standard, in an official statement the DoT has confirmed that it is now only planning to auction off three UMTS licences, rather than the four originally planned. The fourth is not expected to offered until an undetermined later date, due in part to the fact that spectrum is unlikely to be available until at least 2013, according to the regulator. The reserve price for 3G spectrum has been set at INR35 billion (USD750 million), although it is widely expected that with competition for the licences so fierce the winning bids will eclipse that. State-owned telcos Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) have both already been given spectrum to roll out services in their respective circles of operation.

Alongside the 3G development, the government has also clarified the timeframe for the sale of wireless broadband spectrum, noting that the auction for such frequencies will commence two days after the 3G sale has closed. The reserve price for WiMAX spectrum has been set at INR17.5 billion, and it is understood that two concessions will be offered.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:03:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 February 2010

Military-owned telecoms company Viettel has revealed that it plans to become Vietnam’s third 3G W-CDMA provider in March. The director of Viettel’s HCMC branch, Tran Minh Huy, told local newspaper Vietnam Daily that next generation services will be launched commercially once trials in more than 20 provinces have been concluded. The cellco says it will deploy 100,000 3G base stations during 2010. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, rival mobile operators Vinaphone and Mobifone launched W-CDMA-based services in October 2009 and December 2009 respectively, but initial take-up has been slow due to high handset costs.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 15 February 2010 14:31:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 14 January 2010

Indian state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced that it hopes to have attracted around one million 3G subscribers by the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Economic Times. Despite signing up just 35,000 3G subscribers at end-June 2009 having launched commercial services in February 2009 interest has climbed significantly, with SS Sirohi, BSNL’s principal general manager (Value Added Services), noting: ‘We have received good response and have about 700,000 3G users and by the end of this fiscal, we should have crossed a million.’

With the auction process for 3G spectrum in India still having yet to take place, BSNL and fellow state-owned telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are the only two operators to have received frequencies, and are looking to take advantage of the head start. ‘We are present in 300 cities and towns, which will be increased to 760 over the next three to four months,’ Sirohi said, while also adding that BSNL is focusing on introducing a variety of Value Added Service (VAS) offerings to drive its 3G tariffs: ‘Apart from cheap calling rates, we are also offering cheap video calling, video streaming and full track download. We will soon offer videoconferencing and other interesting applications.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 14 January 2010 11:05:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Outremer Telecom, which provides telecoms services in the French overseas territories, has announced the commercial launch of its 3G networks in Guadeloupe and French Guiana. The new offering, launched under the ‘Only’ brand, will enable customers to access services such as mobile broadband via laptop or wireless handset.

The company already operates third-generation networks in the territories of Martinique and Reunion.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 14 January 2010 09:47:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Zia Ahmed, the head of the Bangladesh Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has announced that guidelines for 3G licensing will be complete by June 2010, ahead of an open auction of at least four UMTS network operating concessions by the end of the year. A number of major international telecoms companies have already indicated their interest, Ahmed added, whilst other BTRC officials were quoted in a report from AFP saying that UK-based mobile giant Vodafone Group had approached the regulator for permission to apply for a licence. India’s Airtel also seems likely to place a bid, after its proposed offer for a majority stake in the Bangladeshi mobile unit of Warid Telecom recently received regulatory approval.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 11:46:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 11 January 2010

The executive president of Venezuelan mobile operator Digitel says he expects the company to reach 300,000 3G subscribers by March this year, up from 100,000 at end-2009, reports BNamericas quoting local press. Alberto Sosa also revealed that Digitel expects to end 2010 with 8.5 million GSM/3G subscribers, up from approximately seven million at present, following investment of USD400 million over the last three years. Digitel plans to expand 3G coverage to regions such as Valle de Caracas this year, whilst it has so far deployed at least 300 HSDPA base stations operating in the 900MHz band. The 3G/3.5G network covers over 100 towns/cities in 20 states, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 11 January 2010 10:55:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Vietnamese mobile operators Viettel and MobiFone are hoping to launch 3G services before the end of the year. MobiFone is required to cover 100 percent of populated cities in 63 provinces with 3G services from December 2009. The company is reportedly in the final stages of rolling out 2,400 base stations. The operator plans to roll out 7,700 base stations over three years, VietNamNet writes. Rival Viettel is set to complete 3G tests in Ho Chi Minh City and plans to launch 3G services before year-end, six months ahead of schedule. Viettel is required to launch 3G services by June 2010. VinaPhone was the first Vietnamese operator to launch 3G services on 12 October this year.
Source: TelecomPaper
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 16:17:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The French telecoms regulator, Arcep has finally awarded the country's fourth 3G license - to the sole bidder in the latest round, Free Mobile, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Iliad group. Free Mobile has also taken numerous commitments, on commercial, contractual and technical levels, with respect to hosting mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). Among other things, it has committed to hosting full MVNOs on its network.Free Mobile has committed to launch its services within two years, and to cover at least 90% of the population with its 3G network within eight years.

This call for applications was a follow-up to those issued in 2000, 2001 and 2007. Three of the four 3G licences were awarded at the outcome of the first two calls for submissions: to SFR and Orange France in 2001 then to Bouygues Telecom in 2002. As the call for applications carried out in 2007 produced no results, a new procedure for awarding a licence for 5 MHz in the 2.1 GHz band was launched by the French government on August 1st 2009.

Arcep will award the frequency licence to Free Mobile in January 2010. The remaining spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band will be allocated through a new call for applications, which will be issued in the first half of 2010 and be open to all players. Finally, with a scheduled launch in the second half of 2010, Arcep is preparing the allocation procedures for the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz-band spectrum which will enable the deployment of LTE and WiMAX networks.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 22 December 2009 15:52:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 21 December 2009

BNamericas reports that Peruvian digital trunking specialist Nextel will launch mobile broadband services over its own 3G network tomorrow, citing local newspaper reports quoting company president Miguel Rivera. The executive said that Nextel Peru has invested USD125 million to deploy the 3G network.

Nextel won 3G spectrum in the 1900MHz band in 2007 and spent much of 2009 trialling the technology before launching an operational centre for 3G services in San Borja in October. Rivera previously said the operator planned to offer 3G services across its entire area of operations, but has since clarified this by saying that it will offer mobile telephony services in just three districts during the first months of 2010, with plans to expand coverage to 100 new districts during the rest of the year. Nextel will offer the service over a network deployed by Chinese company Huawei. The monthly cost of the post-paid service will be PEN99,219 soles (USD34.76).


Monday, 21 December 2009 09:00:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BNamericas reports that Costa Rica's state-owned telecoms monopoly ICE has signed an agreement with the environment, energy and telecommunications ministry Minaet which paves the way for a much anticipated mobile spectrum auction. Costa Rica is due to be one of the last countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to liberalise its mobile telephony market, as required by the Central America and Dominican Republic free trade agreement with the US (CAFTA-DR). President Oscar Arias is expected to now instruct telecoms regulator Sutel to launch an auction, possibly before the end of the year: Digicel, Cable & Wireless, America Movil, Millicom and Telefonica have all expressed interest in entering the market. Some 100MHz of frequencies in the 850MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands will be up for grabs. The new licences are expected to be awarded by June 2010.

In related news, ICE said it has already sold 2,377 3G connections since the new network went live last week. In addition, some 1,711 TDMA customers had migrated to the new network, retaining their numbers.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 21 December 2009 08:58:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vietnamese mobile operator MobiFone has officially launched its W-CDMA/HSDPA network, local news source VietNamNet reports. MobiFone’s subscribers are now able to enjoy services such as videocalling, mobile TV offering 32 channels, and high speed internet at download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. The company has launched a number of mobile internet packages ranging in price from VND3,000 (USD0.16) per day to VND50,000 for 30 days. MobiFone is the second cellco in the country to provide 3G services, after Vinaphone launched its offering in October this year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MobiFone is majority-owned by state-run national PTO Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Corporation (VNPT) through its Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services (VMS) division. It was awarded a licence to provide third-generation services in April 2009.

In a separate but related story, military-run cellco Viettel has launched trial 3G services in 17 cities and provinces in preparation for a commercial launch in early 2010. Viettel first launched trial 3G services in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2009, and has now expanded the service to Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Can Tho in the south, together with some northern provinces.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 21 December 2009 08:55:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 09 December 2009

Orange Kenya has announced plans to start trials of its 3G service this week. CEO Michael Ghossein told Business Daily that the trials were a major strategic shift in Orange Kenya's revenue model. According to industry watch body WCIS, Orange Kenya has 6 percent of the mobile market compared to Safaricom's 77 percent, Zain's 14 percent and Yu's 3 percent. Telkom said it believed that 3G could give it the impetus to increase its revenues significantly.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 15:14:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 December 2009

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) has issued a licence to provide third generation wireless services to mobile operator Azerfon, APA-Economics reports, citing Azerfon’s general director Gido Helbich. Azerfon, which operates under the Nar Mobile banner, has already deployed a 3G network across the country and plans to initially launch services in the 2100MHz frequency range in Baku, Absheron and other regions of the country. All mobile operators are expected to receive licences from the MCIT in due course, each for the price of AZN11,000 (USD13,600). A separate report by the same news source states that the country’s two other GSM operators, Azercell and Bakcell, have not received their licences as they have not yet submitted the relevant documents detailing the operators’ 3G network rollout progress and coverage, among other things. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Azercell was the country’s largest cellco by subscribers at 30 September 2009 with a customer base of around 3.69 million, followed by Bakcell with an estimated 1.59 million and Azerfon with 1.45 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 10:30:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Guido Helbich, the general director of Azeri mobile operator Azerfon, has told a press conference that the company will launch third-generation services by the end of 2009, reports. The cellco plans to complete tests of the W-CDMA/HSPA network within the next two weeks, following which commercial services will be made available in Baku, Absheron and the autonomous republic of Nakhchivan, with plans to expand to other regions in the near future. Helbich also revealed that the company has so far invested USD20 million in its 3G network. As reported by CommsUpdate, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) awarded a 3G licence to Azerfon earlier this month for AZN11,000 (USD13,600).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 10:02:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Millicom says that it has officially started its mobile operations in Rwanda today. Millicom was awarded its license in December 2008 and will be the third operator in the Rwandan market. The service is launching with approximately 50% coverage of the population, with plans to extend coverage significantly over the next three years.

In addition, the operator has deployed 3G infrastructure in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and other key urban centres.

Mikael Grahne, President and CEO of Millicom, said "With a population of 10 million, mobile penetration of less than 20%, and a rapidly developing economy, Rwanda is a highly attractive market for Millicom. With our focus on affordability and our strengths in distribution and innovation, we believe we can make mobile voice and value-added services a reality for the mass market in Rwanda."

Source: Cellular News

3G | Mobile
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 09:49:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Madagascan incumbent Telecom Malagasy (Telma) has announced the commercial launch of 3G services through its mobile subsidiary Telma Mobile, with the company’s chief executive officer Patrick Pisal Hamida noting: ‘Today [is] a new era in Madagascar for telecommunications. Telma crosses a major step by being the first operator to offer 3G [in] Madagascar.’ The telco will offer downlink speeds of up to 3.6Mbps over its network, although it has not officially revealed where the new services will initially be available. It has, however, said that both pre- and post-paid mobile 3G options will be available, and no change of SIM card for existing subscribers will be necessary.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at end-June 2009 Telma Mobile trailed both Orange Madagascar and Zain Madagascar in terms of subscribers, claiming 25.3% market share with around 1.2 million customers.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 10:05:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 November 2009

­Digicel Bermuda has announced plans to offer a HSPA+ upgrade early next year - with the network deployment already under way.

Making the announcement on stage on the final night of the Bermuda Music Festival to a capacity crowd Wayne Caines, CEO of Digicel Bermuda said; "From next year, Digicel's Bigger, Better 3G+ Network will be the fastest network available in Bermuda. Digicel always sets new standards in everything it does - and this move is no different.

"Our 3G+ network will use the very latest in 3G technology which deliver speeds that are a number of times faster than the standard 3G speeds that customers in Bermuda have available. To ensure our customers always get the best, we have chosen what is known as "Evolved HSPA technology" - which is only in use by twelve other networks across the globe. That means Digicel customers will enjoy ground breaking internet speeds on their handsets and access to the biggest and best network wherever they are on the island and at an affordable price."

In addition to launching its 3G+ network, Digicel will continue to maintain and enhance its data-enabled island-wide EDGE network.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 17 November 2009 16:13:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 October 2009

Indian newspaper The Economic Times claims that the country is unlikely to keep to its planned schedule for the licensing of 3G spectrum.

Regulator the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was expected to release an Information Memorandum (IM) containing details for the auction on 29 September but has failed to do so. As a result, the 8 October deadline for the submission of questions has been postponed, making it seem likely that the December deadline for completion of the process may also be pushed back. Officials from the watchdog say that the primary reason behind the delay in releasing the IM is that they are yet to map out the availability of 3G airwaves across most circles.

Source: Telegeography


Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:59:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 27 August 2009

Orascom Telecom has reported that its mobile subscribers in North Korea nearly doubled in Q2Œ09 even though the ARPU dipped. Koryolink, in which Orascom owns a majority stake, ended June with 47,863 subscribers, twice more than what the operator had at April-end, when the total stood at 19,208, said Orascom.

Koryolink runs on a 3G WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology and is the only operator in the country open to individual subscribers.

During Q2 2009, the operator posted an ARPU of US$22.80, down from $24.70 in Q1Œ09. While EBITDA stood at $2.5 million.

Source: Wireless News

Thursday, 27 August 2009 14:40:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Mobily, announced that it has added a number of Northern province’s cities and villages to its advanced 3G network (3.5G and 3.75G) coverage.

Click here to see full article

Mobily operates the largest 3G network in the Middle East and its network is considered as one of the busiest networks in terms of data transfer which sometimes hit 40 Terabyte daily which made the company enhance its network to meet the increased demand on 3G services.

Mobily has completed coverage of over 80 percent of the inhabited areas in the Kingdom despite the short period since it was launched for the first time in 2005.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, 25 August 2009 08:38:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 August 2009

Taiwan’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, Taiwan Mobile, has reported consolidated revenues of TWD17.35 billion (USD528.8 million) for the second quarter of 2009, a marginal decline of 1% year-on-year. In full EBITDA fell 4% to TWD7.4 billion. Net income for the three months ended 30 June 2009 was TWD3.6 billion, down from TWD3.97 billion in 2Q08, a decline partly attributed to a rise in capital expenditure, up from TWD1.44 billion in the second quarter of 2008 to TWD2.01 billion a year later. The cellco added 167,000 net new wireless subscribers in the quarter, ending June with a customer base of 6.39 million. 3G subscriptions grew from 2.75 million at the end of March to 2.79 million three months later.

The company expects revenues to stabilise in 3Q09, with continued 3G uptake and value-added services (VAS) expected to drive sales.


Source: Telegeography

3G | Revenues
Monday, 03 August 2009 11:00:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 30 July 2009

Turkish mobile operators, Turkcell, Avea and Vodafone Turkey, have today officially launched UMTS-based services nationwide. The companies were awarded the country’s first 3G concessions in December 2008 and began to deploy their next generation networks in April 2009. Turkcell CEO Sureyya Ciliv said: ‘We've already covered approximately 60% of the population with 3G technology, and we're going to launch in all of Turkey's 81 provinces. That, as a matter of fact, was the coverage we were supposed to reach in the first three years. We made it in 90 days.’

In April Avea contracted three equipment suppliers to build out its W-CDMA HSPA-enabled networks in the western, Anatolian and Mediterranean regions of the country. Meanwhile, Vodafone has announced that it plans to invest USD1 billion in its network in the twelve months following the initial launch of 3G.


Source: Telegeography

Thursday, 30 July 2009 13:52:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 27 July 2009

­Fueled by mobile penetration into the rural market and by uptake of 3G services, China's telecommunications market will generate $187 billion by 2014, surpassing Japan to become the largest telecommunications services market in Asia, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

China's telecommunications market generated US$110 billion in 2008, making it the second largest telecommunications services market in Asia/Pacific after Japan, notes Daniel Yu, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "Given continued demand for connectivity and rising adoption of mobile and fixed broadband services, the Chinese market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 percent between 2009 and 2014, reaching $187 billion by 2014, surpassing Japan as the largest telecommunications services market in Asia," Yu says.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Monday, 27 July 2009 16:24:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 24 July 2009

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) now covers 326 cities with its 3.75G network, towns and areas, according to a statement issued by the company Friday. In the statement, Nasser Al Nasser, Mobily CTO said the company had expanded coverage in areas already covered and added 118 additional sites over the past three months. Most of the new areas covered will serve large corporations and tourists, among them, the King Abdullah Economic City, the towns of Dherma, Jo, Aletteyan, Alquaweh, Aba Alwarood, Albatra, Aljafara. Other areas include Al Shathou, Qebeyan, Balqarn, Altwal, Alhanakiah, Alkhshaibi, Alhaditha residential area on the border, the public residential area in Alahsaa.

The addition of new areas increased Mobily’s coverage from 76% in June to 80%, according to the Mobily executive. In June, Mobily reported that it had 600,000 active HSPA subscribers, who consumed over one gigabyte of data a month. “We are committed to expanding our 3.75G network all over the Kingdom,” Al Nasser said.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation


Friday, 24 July 2009 10:22:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Romanian mobile network operator, Zapp has announced the imminent launch of the first 3G+ network in Romania. This will be achieved in collaboration with ZTE and by upgrading its WCDMA based network to HSPA+ technology during the month of August.

The first phase of HSPA+ upgrade will cover Bucharest and will allow customers to access the internet with up to 21.6 Mbps download and 5.8 Mbps upload speeds.

Click here to see full article

The Mobile World database estimates that Zapp ended last year with an estimated 516,000 subscribers - which represents a market share of under two percent. The company has recently been acquired by rival operator, Cosmote.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 24 July 2009 10:10:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Mobile broadband subscribers worldwide topped the 225 million mark at the end of March 2009, representing 93 per cent year on year growth.

According to statistics released by Informa Telecoms & Media on Wednesday, the popularity of mobile broadband remains at its highest in Asia Pacific, which boasted over 90 million subscribers, while growth is most notable in Latin America with 385 per cent year on year growth to over 10 million subscribers.

Typically in many emerging markets, fixed broadband access remains limited and mobile operators are seeing the opportunity to use recently deployed wireless networks as a way of diversifying their revenue streams by connecting millions for whom an internet connection has until recently been out of reach. The Informa statistics incorporate all forms of mobile broadband technology, from 3G HSPA to WiMAX.

Click here to see full article


Wednesday, 22 July 2009 15:09:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zimbabwe’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Econet Wireless will launch commercial 3G services alongside an expanded 2.5G data service on 28 August, writes the Zimbabwe Telegraph. Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni said the GSM operator was ready to roll out a comprehensive package of data services based on 3G (W-CDMA), GPRS and EDGE technologies. The new range will be launched initially only in Harare, but extended to all major cities by the end of the year, with the 3G service targeted at the top end of the market and post-paid contract subscribers. 3G capacity will initially be limited to 55 000 customers. Mboweni added that the cellco's GPRS network, which does not support video applications but enables internet browsing and e-mail services, is already being offered to a limited market and would now be substantially expanded with the company’s utilisation of new bandwidth. ‘GPRS is also being used for other critical services such as vehicle tracking systems and point-of-sale terminals,’ he said. Regarding the introduction of EDGE services, Econet says its network in southern parts of Zimbabwe is EDGE-ready.

In other Econet news, The Zimbabwean reports that the firm has cut prices of its bundled handset/SIM/airtime starter-packs in response to the government’s removal of duty on mobile phones. Mboweni said: ‘We are grateful to the Finance Minister for the concession. Our response is to immediately pass this benefit on to the consumer through this reduction. We are not taking any mark-up on the handsets. In fact, as a gesture of goodwill we are reducing the price even on handsets for which we had already paid duty.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 15:05:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Telecom New Zealand says that it has passed the milestone of 100,000 customers on its new WCDMA based 3G mobile network, branded XT, and has launched a special incentive for iPhone users to switch to its network.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 14:01:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The French telecoms regulator, Arcep is expected to make another attempt at offering a fourth 3G license by the end of this month. The President of Arcep told a press conference that the "tender offer will almost certainly be launched by the end of July," without expanding on the details.

Click here to see full article

According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the three incumbent operators market share at the end of Q1 '09 was: Orange (47%), SFR (36%) and Bouygues Télécom (17%)

Source : Cellular News
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 13:52:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 01 July 2009

Jordan’s Telecommunicaton Regulatory Commission (TRC) has announced that it will negotiate directly with the country’s mobile operators in a move to get 3G services launched by the end of this year, reports CommsMEA. The decision comes after last month’s 3G tender failed to produce a winning bid. Cellcos said at the time that the reserve price of JOD50 million (USD70 million), together with 15 annual licence fee payments of approximately JOD2.5 million, made for an unsustainable business case in a market like Jordan. The TRC had hoped to attract investors from Jordan and overseas when the delayed process began in March, but the only bidder, Orange Jordan, had its offer rejected because it did not comply with the terms and conditions of the bid. A spokeswoman for the TRC said Orange Jordan did not submit the required financial bond of JOD10 million. The bid also contained additional conditions which related to mobile spectrum and the ten month 3G exclusivity period, which Orange Jordan did not want to begin from the date the licence was awarded.

Click here to see full article

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 01 July 2009 11:20:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Bangkok Post quotes a spokesperson for Thailand’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as saying that the issuing of 2.1GHz 3G mobile licences is likely to be delayed until the first quarter of next year. A public auction of four 3G licences had been expected by the end of this year, and potentially as early as October, following preparation work to be concluded by a US consultancy in the third quarter. However, Suranand Wongwittayakamjorn, secretary-general of the Office of the NTC, said that a new plan with a delayed timetable is being submitted to the NTC’s board for approval, whilst adding that regulations and policy guidelines, including the base price, terms and conditions for the auctions, should be released by mid-September. Suranand indicated that January 2010 would be the new target for beginning the auction, which is open to foreign bidders via local registered companies, but the exact timing would depend on the selection of new board members at the regulator.

The country’s three privately-owned GSM operators AIS, DTAC and True are hoping to roll out commercial 2.1GHz W-CDMA/HSPA services in the first half of 2010 but the possible delay would push this date back until later in the year. President of AIS, Wichian Mektrakarn, said that if 3G licensing is delayed further, AIS will incur a loan commitment fee for unused credit from banks, as it applied for THB10 billion (USD294 million) in loans to invest in 3G by the year-end. Vice-chairman of True Corp, Athueck Asvanund, said that commercial 3G services would be introduced around seven months after an auction. All three private operators are trialling 3G on a small-scale using 800MHz-900MHz frequencies, whilst state-owned TOT, the only 2.1GHz spectrum holder via subsidiary Thai Mobile, is planning to offer wholesale 3G capacity to the trio by the end of this year.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009 14:07:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Irish former fixed line monopoly Eircom intends to enter the Republic’s 3G mobile broadband arena next week using its mobile arm Meteor’s network to launch an own-brand commercial service initially in Dublin and Cork, but with services to follow in Galway, Limerick, Waterford and other cities during the course of the year. The Sunday Business Post quotes an Eircom official as saying: ‘We expect to cover half the country’s population by the end of the year … This is a very fast growing market, and our customers want a combination of fixed and mobile services.’ The paper questioned whether the launch of an Eircom product would undermine Meteor’s own 3G offering ‘Broadband to Go’ – launched in March this year – but the spokesman dismissed the suggestion, saying ‘Nobody’s out to eat each other’s lunch’. Nevertheless he conceded it was the first time the telco had operated a ‘two-brand’ strategy for a single product.

The new service will offer download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, with expected average speeds of between 2.5Mbps and 3Mbps. Eircom faces a challenge from the Republic’s largest 3G broadband providers 3 Ireland, with 133,000 customers, Vodafone (121,000 customers) and O2 (98,000 customers). Meanwhile, Eircom’s Meteor subsidiary has just under 10,000 mobile broadband customers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009 15:17:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan Business Center writes that Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) is planning to distribute frequencies required for the provision of third generation services soon, with the aim of enabling cellcos to launch commercially by the end of 2009. The report states that the country’s Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov said all three of Azerbaijan’s GSM operators - Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon (Nar Mobile) - have already applied for a licence to launch 3G services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the MCIT submitted a 3G frequency use proposal to the three cellcos in July 2008, but few developments have emerged since.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009 15:12:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Telecom New Zealand has announced that sign ups to its 3G ‘XT’ network exceeded its most optimistic targets. In the first five days following the launch the company claims to have sold over 25,000 units, including handsets and SIM cards. Telecom did not reveal how many customers had subscribed to the full 3G service. Director of Mobile Operations Paul Hamburger said, ‘Visits to Telecom’s website during launch day were equivalent to the web traffic normally seen over a month and a half and phones were being ordered online at a frenetic rate of one per minute. Sales of our mid-to high-end handsets have been stronger than expected, which is very pleasing and we can also see lots of customers using mobile broadband services on their devices.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009 09:11:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Oman Mobile, the wireless arm of the country’s incumbent telco Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel), has announced it has introduced mobile broadband speeds of up to 14.4Mbps download on its 3.5G HSDPA network. Ali Kashoub, manager of main services at Oman Mobile, said that improving the speed from 7.2Mbps to 14.4Mbps will contribute to the creation of new applications including mobile video conferencing, adding: ‘the 3.5G network would serve all segments of the society including individuals and businesses because it would raise the work standard in these businesses through fast data and information transfer from one location to another as well as saving files at very high speeds.’ The company has expanded the coverage of its 3.5G network, launched in January 2009, to all parts of the Muscat governorate and several cities in Dhofar, Sohar, Barkaa, Al Sawadi, Sohar Port, the industrial estate in Al Batinah region, Sur, Sinaw, Jaalan Bani Bo Hassan, Jaalan Bani Bo Ali in Al Sharqia region, and the wilayats of Buraimi, Ibri, Nizwa, Manah, Al-Hamraa and Izki.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009 09:09:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 09 June 2009

Oman Mobile has announced the launch of an upgraded 3G network that supports peak download speeds of up to 14.4MBps. The Manager of Main Services at Oman Mobile Ali Kashoub noted that the company has also expanded the coverage of 3.5G network to include several regions of the Sultanate.

The network is now available in all parts of Muscat governorate and several cities in Dhofar, the wilayats of Sohar, Barkaa, Al-Sawadi, Sohar Port, the Industrial estate in Al-Batinah region, Sur, Sinaw, Ja'alan Bani Bo Hassan, Ja'alan Bani Bo Ali in Al-Sharqia Region, and the Wilayats of Buraimi, Ibri, Nizwa, Manah, Al-Hamraa and Izki.

Mr. Ali Kashoub concluded by saying that "the 3.5G network would serve all segments of the society including individuals and businesses because it would raise the work standard in these businesses through fast data and information transfer from one location to another as well as saving files in very high speeds."

Rival network operator, Nawras upgraded its network to HSPA supporting 7.2MBps last July.

According to figures from the Mobile World, Oman Mobile ended the first quarter of this year with some 1.76 million customers. Of that base, it is estimated that just 35,000 are using the 3G network.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 09 June 2009 08:11:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Arabia's Mobily says that it has upgraded 40 more of its base stations in the Eastern Region to support higher mobile data speeds. The upgrades included sites in Dammam, Khobar, Dhahran and the Jubail Industrial City and the Dammam Port, as well as the towns of Sihat, Qatif and Kalabia in Ahsaa.

The company has also launched a new USB modem, the Connect Plus, that can also be used as a mobile phone to make calls and send SMS messages. It can also play MP3 files, be used as a storage device, and do Bluetooth exchanges.

In related news, Mobily's CEO, Engineer Khalid Al Kaf, has told Zawya that Mobily's network is now the world's busiest in data transfer, with more than 31 terrabytes exchanged daily.

Estimates from the Mobile World analysts are that the operator ended Q1 '09 with around 15.5 million customers, of which around 7.4 million are using its 3G network.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 09 June 2009 08:10:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 04 June 2009

Finnish triple-play provider DNA Finland has announced that its 3G services are now available in more than 250 municipalities, giving it an addressable market of more than 4.2 million Finns. The telco said that it had expanded to cover areas including Kuhmalahti, Kustavi, Lapinlahti, Lemi, Nummi-Pusula, Padasjoki, Paltamo, Pukkila, Puumala, Savitaipale, Taivassalo, Utsjoki, Uurainen and Viitasaari. The latest round of expansion has seen the telco install base stations operating in the 900MHz frequency range as it looks to benefit from the lower costs associated with the technology for rural rollouts, and DNA said it expects to construct a further 1,100 such sites by the end of 2009. Additionally, the operator said it was continuing to expand its 3G network operating on 2100MHz spectrum, but has not disclosed any further details. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database DNA’s HSPA 2100MHz network had coverage of approximately 77% of the population at December 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 04 June 2009 08:35:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to India’s Business Standard, state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) expects to sign up 300,000 3G subscribers within its first year of offering the service. The announcement came at the launch of pre-paid 3G services, something which the operator expects to increase the rate of take-up. In just under six months of offering the service MTNL has only signed up approximately 400 customers, a low number it attributes to the lack of a pre-paid option. The new pre-paid tariff, ‘Jeevan Sathi’ will cost INR300 (USD6.38) for a card with INR15 worth of standard voice calls, while 3G calls will be charged at INR1.8 per minute to other MTNL 3G users; the card has a lifetime validity. Data downloads cost INR3 per MB, and the operator has also introduced coupons for data usage ranging in value from INR99 to INR2,500.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, MTNL was the first Indian operator to launch commercial 3G services, on 5 February 2009. The service, offered under the ‘Jadoo’ banner, initially has coverage of central Delhi, including the Connaught Place, India Gate, Pragati Madan, Delhi Gate and Minto Road areas. MTNL has set aside INR5 billion for the rollout of its UMTS network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 04 June 2009 08:28:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 03 June 2009

North Korea has permitted a limited internet service for mobile phone users, reports AP News, citing a government website. The service allows access to the country's official news website, the Korean Central News Agency, as well as other news sites for the capital Pyongyang. The Korean Central News Agency website allows users to listen to North Korean music and read information about books, art and investment opportunities in the country, although it is unclear whether these services will be available when accessed via a mobile handset.

Mobile phones are tightly controlled in North Korea and were banned until November 2002. Two months later incumbent fixed line telco Northeast Asia Telephone and Telecommunications (NEAT&T) launched GSM-900 services under the banner SUN NET. However, cellular devices were once again banned following an explosion on a train in June 2004, which was thought to have been triggered remotely by a wireless handset. In January 2008 Egypt-based telecoms operator Orascom Telecom announced to the surprise of most that CHEO Technology, a joint venture between itself (75%) and Korea Post and Telecoms Corp (25%), had been awarded a licence to operate 3G wireless services by the government. Under the terms of its licence, CHEO is permitted to provide mobile telephony services for 25 years, the first four of which on an exclusive basis. The company launched the country's first 3G network in the capital in December 2008 under the name Koryolink. By April 2009 CHEO had reportedly signed up 20,000 subscribers and its 3G network had been expanded to include the main road running up to the northern city of Hyangsan, with national coverage expected by 2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 09:22:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vietnamese state-owned mobile operator Vinaphone is set to launch its 3G network on 15 August of this year, writes VNBusinessNews. The cellco’s network will initially cover the country’s largest cities, accounting for about 20% of Vietnam’s population. At launch, Vinaphone will provide services such as video calling, mobile broadband internet, mobile TV and Video-on-Demand; e-payment and quick search services will follow in the future. The company was awarded its licence to operate 3G services by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) in April 2009, along with military-run Viettel Telecom, MobiFone and a consortium between EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom, which will build and develop a 3G network together. The quartet were given three months to develop 3G wireless services under the 15-year licences.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 09:14:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fijian MVNO Inkk Mobile is in talks with Vodafone Fiji to offer third-generation (3G) services to end users. Although the service is currently only available to Vodafone’s post-paid users, Inkk hopes to offer the service to its pre-pay users as it looks to make itself ‘the Fijians’ choice’, says Inkk chief executive Paul O'Neile. The Inkk CEO is confident that ‘It will happen in the future,’ noting that the first phase of the company’s business rollout – to build up a solid customer base – has been completed; Inkk claims to have signed up around 250,000 subscribers. ‘The second phase is to provide data services. There has been a lot of misconception about Inkk being Vodafone … We are a separate entity but Inkk is using Vodafone's network … it is much cheaper because we don't have to invest into all the infrastructure,’ he said.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 09:12:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom New Zealand has launched its new W-CDMA-based ‘XT’ network to over 97% of households nationwide. The network provides 3.5G mobile broadband services over HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA+ technology supplied and deployed by Alcatel-Lucent. Telecom CEO, Paul Reynolds, said, ‘New Zealanders are demanding fast, ubiquitous and future-ready mobile technology at their fingertips. Alcatel-Lucent has played a central role in helping Telecom to deliver this vision. Their ability to integrate across all our platforms made them the logical choice to construct our W-CDMA network.’

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 09:07:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 04 May 2009

Vodafone, one of the world’s leading mobile operator, has launched its prepaid wireless broadband service for its subscribers and charges $19 for 500MB, $29 for 1GB and $49 for 3GB data. The validity of all prepaid credits is 30 days, but unused data up to 5GB can be rolled over if subscribers recharge before expiry.

Vodafone also offers an additional data of 10% for online recharges paid by credit card.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, 04 May 2009 11:15:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

SFR, France based mobile operator, has reportedly launched a prepaid offer for iPhone 3G subscribers. The operator offers four top-ups: EUR 3 for 24 hours of internet access and unlimited e-mail, EUR 10 for 7 days of internet access and unlimited e-mail, EUR 20 for 20 days of internet access and unlimited e-mail, and EUR 24 for 20 days of internet access, unlimited e-mail and EUR 10 of call credit. SFR has also introduced a new capped plan for the iPhone, priced at EUR 29.90 monthly, until 19th August, on a two-year contract and EUR 32.90 per month on a one-year contract. The plan comprises of call credit for one hour of calls per month, plus unlimited use of messaging, internet, Wi-Fi hotspot access, and SFR TV.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, 04 May 2009 11:13:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Telecom has announced the commercial launch of its new CDMA-based 3G network. The cellco’s EV-DO network covers 52 Chinese cities, including eight of the country’s ten largest. Huawei Technologies provided the infrastructure. Rival cellco China Unicom is deploying W-CDMA as its 3G platform, while the leading operator by subscribers China Mobile, is rolling out a TD-SCDMA network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 04 May 2009 10:46:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong’s mobile data usage surged to 147 TB in January or an average 44 MB per 2.5G/3G mobile user, according the statistics available from Ofta. This shows four times and fourteen times the mobile data usage over the same period in 2008 and 2007 respectively. The subscribers of 2.5G/3G mobile phone have grown by 15% to 3.35 million in January on a year-on-year basis. The subscriber base totals to 11.43 million and penetration rate is over 163%. The growth of mobile data usage is attributable to the offer of competitive service packages by mobile network operators and the increasing popularity of smartphones available in the market, Ofta said.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, 04 May 2009 10:33:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 15 April 2009

­It has been reported that the 3G network launched late last year in North Korea has already signed up some 20,000 subscribers. The Japan based, pro-North Korea newspaper, Choson Sinbo reported the figures noting that the customers include foreigners allowed to work in the country.

Last year, the Orascom Telecom, which owns 75% of the mobile network holding company, said that it expects to sign up an initial 100,000 subscribers when it launches its network.

The web based publication confirmed that the network coverage had expanded outside the capital city, Pyongyang and now included the main road running up to the Northern city of Hyangsan (noted for its pyramid shaped hotel). National coverage is expected by 2012.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009 13:55:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 06 April 2009

M3 Wireless, Bermuda based mobile operator, has launched the island’s first 3G wireless broadband network, offering its subscribers broadband-like data speeds with prices ranging from BMD93 to BMD153 (USD93 to USD153) per month.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Monday, 06 April 2009 09:31:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to, Bosnia’s Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) has issued 3G licences to the country’s three major cellcos. BH Telecom, Telekom Srpske and HT Mostar have all been awarded seven-year licences, and each operator will pay EUR15 million (USD19.9 million) for their concession after a two-year grace period. Kemal Huseinovic, the CRA’s director, claimed that the issuance of the new licences will help improve the range of services, whilst reducing prices and encouraging competition. Commercial 3G services are now expected to be launched by the end of 2009.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Europe
Monday, 06 April 2009 09:28:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 11 March 2009

According to new figures from Hong Kong's telecoms regulator OFTA, the number of 3G mobile service users in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) reached more than 2.8 million at the end of 2008, up by 40% from around two million at the beginning of the year, and around 1.3 million at end-2006. OFTA's figures show a corresponding drop in users of 2.5G mobile services, which it said numbered less than 100,000 at end-2008, down from 1.2 million at the end of 2005. TeleGeography's GlobalComms database notes that there are four players in Hong Kong's UMTS-based 3G market, Hutchison Telephone Company (3), CSL New World Mobility, SmarTone-Vodafone and PCCW Mobile, with Hutchison leading the field by a clear margin with 1.34 million W-CDMA/HSPA subscribers at the end of December, up from 1.08 million at end-2007 (representing just under half of the company's total customer base).

OFTA also reported a more than 15% rise in the SAR's number of subscribers to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in 2008, which reached a total of 834,000 by end-December, up from 724,000 a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Asia-Pacific | MVNO
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 10:39:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Koryolink, North Korea’s very first 3G operator, signs up 6,000 subscribers within two weeks of its operation, The operator had started registration in January 2009. Koryolink is owned by Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt (75%) and state-owned Korea Post and Telecoms Corporation (25%). According to Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, ‘So far we have about 6,000 applications. The important point is that they are normal citizens, not the privileged or military generals or party higher-ups. For the first time they have been able to go to a shop and get a mobile phone.’ The government levies heavy taxes on mobile handsets, taking the cost upto $600, making it unaffordable for the masses. Orascom is in talks with the government to reduce taxes.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009 12:30:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 January 2009

­Asia-Pacific was home to some 121 million 3G subscribers in 2007 and an estimated 158.4 million in 2008. By 2013, the region's 3G subscriber base is expected to top 564 million, accounting for about 18.2 percent of all mobile users. With 3G subscriber net additions in record numbers year-on-year, mobile operators are eager to monetize 3G external broadband devices, namely dongles and datacards, to complement their mobile broadband offerings.

Click here to see full article
3G dongle services have thus far seen promising uptake. Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Marc Einstein notes, "Dongles and datacards are increasingly a preferred connectivity device of choice for Asia-Pac's broadband subscribers given the slim form-factor of the devices, faster 3G speeds and competitive service plans available."

He reckons that by 2013, more than one in every three new broadband subscriber will use dongles or datacards for their [mobile] broadband needs, giving fixed broadband players a run for their money.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that there were an estimated 5.2 million mobile broadband dongle and datacard users in Asia-Pac (18 countries) in 2008, with corresponding billings of over US$1.3 billion.

With the continuous roll-out of new 3G networks and 3.5G/4G upgrades across the region, Frost & Sullivan believes that there will be nearly 37 million 3G subscribers using external wireless devices for their mobile broadband needs by year end-2013, with estimated billable revenues of US$7.8 billion.

The uptake for these 3G devices is expected to accelerate after 2010 once 3G services become commercially available in most large Asian markets. Not surprisingly, China is expected to be the single largest market for the device with 20 percent (7.4 million) of the region's dongle/datacard users by 2013; India, a close enough second with 5.55 million (15 percent) dongle/datacard subscribers.

"3G technologies have come a long way since the world's first 3G network premiered in 2001 offering peak speeds of 384Kbps -- child's play when you consider what mobile broadband is capable of delivering today," says Einstein. "3G networks today boast of peak speeds of 21Mbps and can potentially peak at 50 to 100Mbps in the next two years."

He adds, "Mobile operators are aggressively exploring this business segment to make good their already costly investments in 3G infrastructure and provide [at least] comparable [to fixed] broadband connectivity in developed markets like South Korea and Japan where consumers are willing to pay a premium for mobile laptop access."

Einstein warns, however, that service quality will need to match or exceed the user experience that subscribers in Asia-Pac are already accustomed to with fixed broadband. "While mobile users are adopting the service in overwhelming numbers, they will return their devices just as quickly if actual speeds do not match up," he cautions.

The dramatic decline in the cost of these 3G devices also makes the service more affordable for end users. Einstein says that the days of a US five hundred-dollar price tag on datacards are over, "At less than US$150 a piece… many operators even offering it free with service bundles, anybody can be a road warrior today.
"More importantly, it means that mobile broadband is now poised to truly penetrate the residential segment," he adds.

For mobile operators in emerging markets like India and China, it means that the millions of households that are still unconnected can now realistically receive broadband access. Despite being low-ARPU (average revenue per user) markets with low PC-installed base, Einstein believes that several key developments in 3G in the past year will work favourably towards driving adoption of the technology and device.

He explains, "The future of 3G became much clearer in 2008 as HSPA became the breakout technology in the region. The GSM family [of networks] already has over 85 percent of the region's mobile subscribers and recent operator commitments to LTE (Long Term Evolution) means that in time to come, most of the region's subscribers will be using one technology standard.

"We believe that the economies of scale for 3G technology will be realised much faster," Einstein concludes, adding that these 3G devices will be a stepping stone to 4G-embedded devices which will eventually take mobile broadband to new heights.

Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 15:58:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 January 2009

In a move which will shock precisely no-one, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has finally awarded three 3G licences to the trio of state-owned telcos. As announced last month, China Mobile has been formally given a licence for the country’s homegrown technology TD-SCDMA. China Unicom and China Telecom have been awarded concessions to develop W-CDMA and CDMA2000 networks respectively.

The MIIT said last month that spending on 3G equipment would total USD41 billion over the next two years. In a separate but related story, China Mobile is reported in the local press as having already met equipment suppliers in preparation for the launch of its third-phase network construction tender for TD-SCDMA networks in 162 cities. The company is reported to be expecting to open the tender on 25 January, with the winners to be announced at the end of March.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 January 2009 11:51:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp (ETC), the country's sole mobile network operator, has launched a prepaid WCDMA 3G mobile phone service in the capital city, Addis Ababa. The company only offers PrePay tariffs to its customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa
Thursday, 08 January 2009 11:47:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 06 January 2009

Cellular had a record growthin 2008, surpassing 2007 in all the months between January and November.

The competion got stronger between the four main operators (Vivo, Claro, Tim and Oi) and was responsible for this growth:

  • Vivo got back on growth track with GSM and consolidated its leadership in market share by the acquision of Telemig. The company is completing its national coverage by starting to operate in States in the Northeast.
  • Claro overcame Tim and reached the second position in the Market Share ranking in Aug/08. Claro also reached national coverage by the beginning of its operation in the Northern region of the country.
  • Tim remained in the competition during the year, even though it had lost stake in the second semester of 2008.
  • Oi grew strongly in all the year by the minutes promotion with reduced prices from the "caller" campaign. This growth was accelerated in October by the beginning of its operations in São Paulo.

One of the consequencies of this competition was the growth in minutes promotions with reduced prices, or free, which led to a growth in the cellular use in Brazil. The average monthly minute use per client (MOU) jumped from 83 minutes in 3Q07 to 96 minutes in 3Q08.

3G finally was launched in Brazil and became already an alternative of broadband access. Claro was ahead and associated its brand to 3G. In the last months, Vivo accelerated the implementation of this service and now the company is competing with Claro for the leadership in quantity of covered cities (more details). In the 3G path, it's worth mentioning the lauching of iPhone 3G in brazil.

Source: Teleco.

3G | Americas | Mobile
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 10:40:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Magyar Telekom announces that the Office of the Macedonian Agency for Electronic Communication awarded a 3G licence to T-Mobile Makedonija AD Skopje on December 17, 2008.

Macedonia’s leading mobile operator, T-Mobile Makedonija, is granted the right use 3G frequency for nest 10 years.

The licence fee is set at $13.95 million, which was paid by the operator in December’08. The launch of the service is due within 6 months and the operator has to achieve 50% population coverage within 1 year and 80% population coverage within 3 years from the date of granting the license.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Europe
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 10:30:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Etisalat, one of the well known mobile operators across the globe, has won the third mobile phone licence in Iran. Etisalat will be in competition with the two Iranian incumbents ITC and MTN. Etisalat aims to tap a market with a mobile market penetration of less than 60, where more than half of the population of some 70 million people are under 25 years of age.
The licence will be legally applicable only once it recieves an approval from Iran’s minister of telecommunications.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008 11:29:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain yesterday launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology - a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Reuters reports that Zain sees potential on the continent where it already has 40 million customers.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 17:40:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom Tiger is reporting that India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set the date of 16 January 2009 for the auctioning of 3G licences. The regulator announced the date at the same time as it released the final guidelines for the auction process, and a pre-bid conference will be held on 23 December, with the final date for submissions set as 5 January. The DoT has also clarified the status of spectrum availability, noting that Mumbai and Delhi will only be able to accommodate four and two new 3G licensees respectively. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will offer spectrum to three players, while the remaining circles will allow for four licensees.

The DoT has also announced that the auctions for WiMAX spectrum will be held two days after the close of the 3G auction process. The WiMAX auction process is expected to see three players in each circle offered spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008 17:01:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 December 2008

­Zimbabwe's telecoms regulator, POTRAZ has granted 3G licenses to the incumbent mobile operators - without any evident tender for the licenses. The mobile operators will also be allowed to offer Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

“The amendment of licences will enable operators to offer new services which are covered by the current legislation, but restricted by their current licence documents”, the regulator said in a statement.

At the beginning of the year, Econet Wireless said that it had completed the installation of 3G base stations on its network, but was unable to switch on the service as the regulator has failed to release the required radio spectrum. The company has originally made an application for a 3G license in June 2007.

Econet Wireless is the largest operator in the country by subscriber numbers. According to estimates from the Mobile World, the operator ended last September with 977,000 customers and a market share of 64%. The country has a population penetration level of just over 12%.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 11:26:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil’s mobile phone production has been augmented after the launch of 3G technology. It is anticipated that mobile phone production will reach the mark of 76 million units in 2008, 12% rise on 2007 figures. An internal market has consumed 40 million units, an increase of 11 percent on last year. After experiencing fall in sales for two years, mobile phone exports has grown to 13%. According to the association, 3G technology, which is still in the implementation phase, should sustain demand for investments in infrastructure and new devices in 2009.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 09:38:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 09 December 2008

The Spanish incumbent Movistar launches 3G services on Panama. The network infrastructure was provided by Nokia Seimens Networks to Movistar. The initial coverage will be limited to Tocumen, located northeast of Panama City, and will then reach to the capital. The company will offer to postpaid subscribers broadband plans ranging from US$29.95/month with a 1Gb download limit to US$49.95 with a 5Gb download limit. 3G for prepaid Movistar subscribers will be launched in next few week.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 10:45:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­APA-Kigali (Rwanda) Rwanda’s oldest telecommunication operator, Rwandatel, Friday launched the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and 3G network for its mobile telephone, replacing its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) platform, as it prepares for a cut-throat competition with MTN Rwanda, its main challenger.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 10:30:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 December 2008

­Pelephone is the third largest of Israel’s four networks, but it was the fastest growing in Q3 08, both in real terms and proportionately. It added 62k customers in the quarter compared to 40k for market leader Cellcom and 36k for second-placed Partner, and its proportionate quarterly growth rate stood at 2.4% compared to 1.3% for both its rivals. At the end of the quarter its active customer base was just short of 2.70m. Nearest rival Partner had 2.88m, which means that its lead over Pelephone was below 200k for the first time in three years.

In fact, Pelephone’s figure for quarterly net additions equalled the Q4 07 figure, which was the best since Q3 05. This is particularly impressive given that the Israeli market is now around 130% penetrated. Despite this strong performance, and the narrowing of Partner’s lead, any changes in the market ranking remain unlikely in the near future. However, Pelephone does lead the market in terms of 3G customers. Its CDMA2000 1x EV-DO base broke the 1m barrier during the quarter to finish on 1.07m, more than 100k higher than the W-CDMA base of Partner. On an annual basis, Pelephone’s 3G base grew 64.1% with net additions of 418k, compared to 410k for the prior twelve-month period.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 05 December 2008 16:38:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 04 December 2008

Movistar Colombia, the local subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica has instigated 3.5G services in seven cities across the country. The seven cities are Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga and Cúcuta. The service is accessible to both Prepaid and postpaid subscribers. Additionally, the operator offers videocall and mobile broadband. Movistar said it expects to gradually expand its 3G network to other cities across the country during 2009. The operator is currently offering four 3G-capable mobile devices, namely the Nokia N95, Blackberry Bold 9000, HTC Tytn II and iPhone 3G.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Thursday, 04 December 2008 13:54:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bangladeshi telecoms watchdog intends to issue 3G licences in the country by March’09, in order to boost broadband services of the country. The licence will be roll out for 2100 MHz spectrum band for 3G services would enable Bangladeshi operators to launch mobile broadband services. “The 3G licences will be issued by March next year. The licences would be awarded through an open auction,” said the chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory commission, Manzurul Alam. The 3G services will allow people to get easy access to information on health, education, job opportunities and agriculture, he added.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 04 December 2008 13:22:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Vodafone has instigated the nation’s first 3G mobile network. The firm expects the mobile broadband network will transform the local industry, delivering of a wide array of voice and data services to business users and consumers. This network is part of a FJD70 million (USD38.2 million) investment in 2008 using equipment supplied by Ericsson of Sweden.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Oceania
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 11:06:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Mobile grabs the 3G licecne in Macedonia, being awarded by country’s telecoms regulator, The Agency for Electronic Communications (AEK). T-Mobile was the only bidder for the three available 3G licences. T-Mobile after the payment of $12.83 million fee to the regulator, the operator will be awarded the radio spectrum by 2008 end and will have to launch the network in next six months and a coverage of 50% in 12 months. The licence will be valid for 10 years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Europe
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:58:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwan based 3G operator Vibo Telecom anticipates a subscriber base of one million 3.5G users by 2009-end. According to Vibo’s president Feng-hsiung Chang the telco will have a subscriber base of 300,000 3.5G users by 2008-end, moving onto somewhere between 600,000 and one million by end-2009.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:56:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BH Telecom is going to launch 3.5G mobile and IPTV services in 2009, said Nedzad Residbegovic, General Manager of BH Telecom. Within four months the operator is intending to commence commercial services in larger cities and has revealed plans to install approximately 130 base stations across the country. The 3.5G services are based on HSPA Technology. BH Telecom is anticipating to spend USD6.5 million on the launch over the next five years. Moreover, Mr Residbegovic proposed for the new services would be between EUR35 and EUR70 per month.

Source: Wirelss Federation.

3G | Europe
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:49:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s Telecom Minister, Andimuthu Raja corroborated that the government has decided to auction 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in January, 2009. According to the minister, spectrum will be allotted through simultaneous ascending e-auction. On an average for 3G, 5 blocks are to be auctioned. The reserve price for each block of pan India spectrum is Rs 2020 crore ($408 million). In broadband wireless access (BWA), auction will take place in a similar manner. The reserve price for one block is Rs 1010 crore ($204 million) and Four blocks are to be auctioned. The sale of each BWA spectrum will bring Wi-Max services to rural areas and will help in broadband launch.

Raja said, “I have allotted 3G and Wi-Max Spectrum to both BSNL and MTNL in the month of September 2008 with a view to ensure early roll out of 3G and Wi-Max services in the country. MTNL will be launching services in December 2008 in Delhi and BSNL in January 2009 in Chennai. They will pay the same price for the spectrum as discovered through the auction”.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:38:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom, New Zealand, much awaited 3G network commences operations for international roaming customers only. The 3G network has active coverage for inbound roaming customers in the Auckland CBD, Auckland airport and city-to-airport commuter route. Activation of similar coverage in Wellington and Christchurch will start by early 2009.The new W-CDMA network, which originally had to run by Christmas, has delayed to July 2009.

According to Telecom the 3G network will cover 97% of New Zealand and cost $547 million. CEO Telecom Retail Alan Gourdie said the roaming arrangements launched this week are with Telstra Corporation Australia and the Digicel Group who cover a range of Pacific Islands. Telecom is in talks for further international roaming agreements in order to offer subscribers 170 overseas destinations for voice and texting and over 110 destinations for internet data by June’09.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Oceania
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:37:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tigo, Colombian Mobile Operator has signed 10,000 subscribers in 3G segment, according to a local media report. The services are offered in capital Bogotá, as well as in Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga and Cartagena. In October, the services have been instigated including mobile broadband for both prepaid and post-paid subscribers. Comcel, the strong contender in Colombian mobile market is also providing 3G in Colombia. Although, Movistar of Spain’s Telefónica anticipates to launch 3G services soon.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:36:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 December 2008

­Turkey has awarded three 3G licenses to the incumbent operators following an auction to battle over the spectrum allocation. Turkcell won the largest block (A License) with a bid of €358 million ($462 million), followed by Vodafone and Avea with bids of €250 million (US$323 million) and €214 million (US$276 million) respectively.

The award of the fourth available 3G license was cancelled due to a lack of interest.

The minimum value of the A License was set as US$405 million, while the minimum value was US$355 million for the B License, US$304 million for the C License and US$253 million for the D License.

Turkcell said that it expects to launch its 3G network by the middle of next year, while Avea has previously said that its network is ready for 3G services as soon as the licenses are awarded.

Only Turkcell was willing to bid for a 3G license in the original tender in 2007, after the other two operators, Vodafone and Avea refused to participate in the original auction unless mobile number portability was also offered. The license which was awarded to Turkcell was later cancelled due to the lack of competition.

Mobile number portability is due to be launched in the country in November.

Turkcell dominates the local market, controlling some 60% of customer base according to figures from the Mobile World analysts. Vodafone is second with 26% and Avea trails with just 14%. The country has nearly 54 million mobile phone users, which represents a market penetration level of 76%.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe
Monday, 01 December 2008 09:33:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 17 October 2008

Telecom, New Zealand, plans an investment of $357 million in it’s 3G mobile services across the nation, which is yet to be rolled out. Telecom soughts to roll out it’s 3G services by June 2009, covering 97% of New Zealand.
The firm expects an increased total group capital expenditure of NZ$2.4 billion within next two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:22:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 October 2008

­France Telecom's mobile division, Orange says that it has submitted a bid for the 3rd mobile phone license in Armenia - valued at EUR51 million (US$70 million). Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) announced the tender in July and said that there will be a reserve price of US$16 million for the license and the winner will be required to invest a minimum of US$320 million in the network rollout.

Click here to see full article

Armenia currently has two mobile networks, Armentel (majority owned by Russia's VimpelCom) and VivaCell (majority owned by Russia's MTS). Russia's other main operator, Megafon had been regularly cited as the certain winner of the tender - so the shortlist had proven to be a surprise.

The two incumbent operators have confirmed that they will launch 3G services shortly.

Figures from the Mobile World show that the country ended the first half of this year with a shade under 3 million subscribers - representing a population penetration level of 72%.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | CIS
Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:11:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Russian mobile operator, MTS has announced the launch of a test zone of its 3G network in Uzbekistan and technical readiness for commercial launch in late 2008. Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, became the first city in the region where MTS launched its next-generation network. The Company plans to cover the entire city and to announce the commercial launch by the end of the year. Additional cities will be launched in 2009, including Samarkand, Bukhara, and Andijan.

Click here to see full article

Development of UMTS networks is a cornerstone of MTS' strategy to provide mobile broadband in the CIS. As these markets demonstrate relatively low levels of fixed-line penetration and historic underinvestment in infrastructure, MTS views its networks as an ideal vehicle to meet the growing broadband Internet needs of its subscribers through attractive data products and services.

MTS launched its first 3G network in Russia in May 2008 and plans to launch the network in Armenia in early 2009. MTS is currently operating a CDMA-450 network in Ukraine.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | CIS
Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:09:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone has dropped their mobile broadband pricing to $39.95 for 5GB in order to take market share away. They are planning to roll out a new 3G network in December. Vodafone Australia claims that they are trying to validate their position as a key player in the highly competitive mobile broadband space with several anlalyst anticipating that they will soon reach no. 2 position in Australia. Vodafone has even ripped price for its 1GB plan from $29.95 to $19.95. Vodafone customers can now save up to $10 per month. Earlier this pricing was available to Vodafone customers with a mobile phone and mobile broadband bundle. Vodafone’s new carry anywhere USB Internet Stick modem, will be free for new customers signing up for 5GB plan.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:26:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 08 October 2008
America Movil comfirms that it’s Brazilian counterpart Claro has expanded it’s service coverage to the states of Amapa and Roraima. The following addition has expanded it’s span of reach which earlier was limited to state capitals. Claro further extends it’s 3G services to Sergipe state, in the capital Aracaju and the city Nossa Senhora do Socorro. Currently, Claro’s services are available in the country’s 26 states and the Distrito Federal. The 3G network is available in 20 states and reaches 67 million people.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 08:53:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The mobile market in the Caribbean & Latin America further polarised towards GSM technology in Q2 2008, as the total number of customers using the technology and its 3G derivative W-CDMA increased by 6.9% to almost 360m. At the end of June 2008, the GSM/W-CDMA base made up 86.3% of the regional total, up from 84.6% three months earlier.

Most of the ground was given up by the CDMA base, which decreased in size by more than 5% in the quarter to under 48m.

Click here to see full article

The last 12 months have seen the advent of W-CDMA-based 3G networks across Latin America, with services now commercial in 12 markets in the region. Launches took place in three new markets in the quarter, including Brazil, where numbers were already almost 1m at the end of August after just three months. As far as Q2 is concerned, total customer numbers increased by 67.5% to almost 1.25m (the majority at this time coming from Mexico) which represents an annual improvement of over 1000%.

The introduction of W-CDMA has added to the effect of the continued rise of GSM and slowed the increase in numbers of 3G CDMA EV-DO connections considerably, the base levelling out at around 2.8m across the region.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:57:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 September 2008

3G Now Almost Four-Fifths of Japan's Subscriber Base

Softbank’s run of market-leading performances for monthly net additions has reached an astounding 16 months, with August the fourth month in a row in which it was the only operator to record a six-figure gain. It did not quite match the level of dominance achieved in June and July, when it took more than half of the total net additions in the market, but the August share of 42.2% was nonetheless impressive. In real terms, Softbank’s monthly gain was 163.6k, which took its total subscriber base to 19.49m.

Click here to see full article

Japan has the highest percentage of 3G users anywhere in the world, and at the end of August almost four-fifths of the total customer base had either W- CDMA or CDMA2000 1x EV-DO handsets. On an annual basis, the 3G base grew by 25.6% to just below 83.40m, which represents 79.9% of the total. DoCoMo dominates the 3G sector with 55.1% market share at the end of August, while KDDI has 24.8% and Softbank 19.1%.

Although eMobile operates solely on the W-CDMA standard, its share of the 3G market remains below 1%, with just 0.9% 15 months after its launch.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 15 September 2008 14:00:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 08 September 2008

According to a report from RNCOS, the total number of 3G subscribers using WCDMA and CDMA2000 grew 45% in 2007 over the previous year to cross the mark of 600 million. The rise in the number of 3G subscribers during 2007 was due to attractive features of 3G technology, such as effective and high data speed and a wide range of mobile applications offered, including wireless Internet access, video conferencing, etc.

According to the report, CDMA2000 accounts for majority of the subscribers in the total 3G subscriber base as countries like Japan, Korea and the US have rapidly embraced the technology. The same trend is anticipated to sustain in near future but WCDMA will witness higher growth rate in its subscriber base. Thus, the total number of 3G subscribers using CDMA2000 technology worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23% during 2008-2010.

Apparently, the growth in CDMA2000 standard will continue to dominate the global 3G subscribers market but Western Europe will exhibit a different trend where the WCDMA technology remains the focus of its 3G market, says the report.

Moreover, the launch of HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), a technology that improves the downlink performance of WCDMA networks, is likely to increase the demand for WCDMA technology in near future. The number of WCDMA subscribers will surge at a CAGR of 50.7% during the period spanning from 2008 to 2010.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 08 September 2008 08:03:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 04 September 2008

The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil) has launched its 3G network following several delays, which the company partially put at the door of the telecoms regulator. The company had expected to receive access to the radio spectrum on 17th January, but the radio frequencies were not released until March 27th. The company had hoped to launch its network in July, but again missed its deadline.

According to a statement from the company, Mobinil's 3G coverage Cairo, Alexandria, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Dahab, Taba, Safaga, Marsa Alam, Luxor and Aswan, in addition to the industrial zones as well as petroleum fields and business districts. It is also planned that the 3G coverage will expand to cover wider areas to achieve comprehensive coverage for almost all regions.

The network also falls back onto EDGE services when out of 3G coverage.

Click here to see full article

Mobinil is listed on the Cairo stock exchange (29%) - and has two main shareholders, Orascom Telecom (33.1%) and France Telecom (36.3%). The company is the largest operator in the market, and according to figures from the Mobile World database, ended Q1 '08 with just over 15 million subscribers and a market share of 51.5%.

Mobinil recently reported that its first-quarter net profit grew 14% to 451 million Egyptian pounds ($84 million) from EGP397 million a year earlier. The company's revenue also surged 27% to EGP2.3 billion from EGP1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2007.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa | Mobile
Thursday, 04 September 2008 07:56:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 08 August 2008
Moroccan regulator Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT) has released its statistical report for the second quarter of 2008. According to the watchdog’s figures, total mobile telephony subscribers increased by 3.86%, or 796,000 in the three months to the end of June to 21.412 million subscribers (up 22.39% from 17.495 million a year earlier, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database). Maroc Telecom accounted for almost exactly one-third of mobile subscribers with 14.211 million at the end of the second quarter (up by 514,000 since March), with Meditel accounting for the other 7.201 million (up 282,000 on the previous quarter). The ANRT said mobile penetration reached 69.43%, up from 57.82% in June 2007.

The mobile figures do not include the sector’s newest operator Wana, despite it launching commercial mobile services on 10 June. As of the end of June, domestically-owned Wana had not reported mobile user tallies to the ANRT, so all its CDMA-based subscribers remain classified as fixed line/limited mobility. In the fixed sector (which includes limited mobility), Wana took over from Maroc Telecom as the largest provider by customers in 2Q 2008, ending the period with a share of 51.65% (1.426 million subscribers out of a total of 2.761 million), ahead of Maroc Telecom’s 48.12% and a marginal share of 0.23% for Meditel. Overall fixed subscriber growth in the quarter was 1.89%, entirely attributed to Wana. The picture is likely to change significantly when the ANRT reports third quarter statistics, however, with a large portion of Wana’s subscriber base likely to have switched from limited mobility CDMA services to a fully mobile service with national roaming.

Total internet subscribers in Morocco reached 653,591 at mid-2008 against 581,866 three months earlier, an increase of 12.33%. ADSL broadband subscribers, virtually all of which are served by Maroc Telecom, accounted for 74.7% of the total, with a further 24.3% subscribing to 3G wireless broadband services and 1% on dial-up connections. The 3G wireless broadband sector saw 82% growth since the end of March, to take the total users to 158,869 at end-June. Wana comfortably claimed the majority with 117,531 subscribers to its CDMA2000 1xEV-DO-based service, ahead of its HSDPA-based rivals Meditel (27,563 subscriptions) and Maroc Telecom (13,774). Maroc Telecom previously reported that its ADSL subscriber total remained static in the three months ended 30 June, at 482,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 08 August 2008 09:13:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Operator-billed service revenues across the Africa & Middle East region are expected to rise to more than $107 billion in 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The report found that growth would be driven by mobile data services, fuelled by the greater availability and wider variety of rich-media content coupled with lower browsing costs. However, it noted that regional operator-billed voice revenues were likely to peak in 2011 and would subsequently fall away due to increasingly competitive pricing in that sector.

According to Juniper Research report author Dr Windsor Holden, "While the downward trend in regional ARPU will continue as adoption increases amongst lower-usage customers, we expect the decline in voice ARPU to be partially offset by an increase in data revenues, both amongst 2.5G and 3G customers."

The report also observed that the region was likely to witness a surge in the growth of mobile financial services, with a raft of operator-led payment initiatives such as M-PESA and mobile banking providers such as WIZZIT having already gained substantial user bases.

Other findings from the Juniper Research report include:

  • The Middle East/Africa mobile user base is to grow at an average annual rate of 10.5% between 2008 and 2013
  • Mobile data services are expected to contribute 24% of operator-billed service revenues in 2013, against just 9% in 2008
  • Saudi Arabia will provide the largest share of cumulative regional revenues over the forecast period, followed by Nigeria

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 14:34:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 27 June 2008

According to MIC (Market Intelligence Center, Taiwan), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, mobile data services will be a key focus for Taiwanese telecom operators in 2008, with the growing popularity of 3G/3.5G mobile phones. Thanks to the promotional plans offered by telecom operators to boost 3G subscriber numbers, Taiwanese mobile phone market volume for the entire 2008 is expected to slightly advance 0.9% to 7.2 million units, with the share of WCDMA models expected to top 40%. Taiwanese mobile phone market sales volume advanced 6.7% sequentially to 1.90 million units in the first quarter of 2008, with market value reaching NT$11.2 billion (US$367.5 million; US$1=NT$30.5). According to MIC analyst Joyce Chen, "ASP (Average Selling Price) slipped to NT$5,882 (US$192.9), mainly due to promotional activities launched by Taiwanese telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom for its three low-price, entry-level 3G models, in a bid to boost 3G subscriber numbers and stimulate replacement demand". Sony Ericsson's Z610i and K530i models, both priced under NT$5,000 (US$163.9) received positive market reception, and this was also attributed to the ASP decline.

The share of WCDMA models jumped to 35.8% in the first quarter of 2008, up 7.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter 2007, with its market volume increasing by 181,000 units to 679,000 units in the first quarter. The share of GSM/GPRS models fell 7.4 percentage points to 60.6%, as many subscribers switched to WCDMA models. Regarding CDMA models, only sales of the low-price, entry-level Samsung S399 and Nokia N2505 models stood out, and thus the share of CDMA models slipped 0.4 percentage point to 3.6% in the first quarter.

The share of Smartphone and PDA phones reached 2.8% and 1.5% respectively in the first quarter 2008. Ms. Chen stated that in the Smartphone segment, the Nokia N73, N95, and N82 Smartphones achieved strong sales, while the PDA phone growth was derived from good market reception for the Touch series models Touch Color and Touch Dual.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 27 June 2008 09:37:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 26 June 2008

A new report from Juniper Research says that the number of subscribers using mobile Internet services will rise from 577 million currently, to top 1.7 billion by 2013, spurred by demand for collaborative applications known collectively as 'web 2.0,' and greater 2.5/3G penetration. Putting that figure into some context, a report from Gartner earlier this week had said that the worldwide PC base would reach 2 billion by 2014 - so internet access by mobile phones will represent at around 50% of the total internet usage.

According to a new report from Juniper Research, the emergence of applications such as: Social networking; User Generated Content (UGC); Instant Messaging (IM); Location Based Services (LBS); Search calls for delivery of the mobile Internet as it was originally conceived -- i.e. an open environment in which users are able to share, collaborate and exploit content/information without any one party controlling the value chain.

This marks a fundamental shift for the industry towards the D2C (direct-to consumer) model and places growing pressure on mobile network operators (MNOs) and handset manufacturers in particular, to relinquish some of their control over the value chain, by opening up their networks/devices to third-parties.

"Major web players have already crossed the Rubicon and established themselves in the mobile domain, placing the onus on MNOs and other members of the value chain to form innovative relationships and grab a share of the new revenue streams being created," comments Ian Chard, Juniper Research Analyst and author of the report 'Mobile Web 2.0: Leveraging Location, IM, Social Web & Search 2008-2013.'

"The mobile web 2.0 market is still nascent and business models remain in a state of flux, so there is still time for players to establish fruitful partnerships that build on their strengths and are reciprocally beneficial. The window of opportunity, however, is closing."

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Convergence | Internet | Mobile | World
Thursday, 26 June 2008 15:24:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Approximately 135,000 subscribers use 3G services in Argentina, reveals BNamericas quoting local newspaper El Cronista. Telecom Personal's innovation and services manager told the paper that the cellco has approximately 75,000 3G users on its books, up from 20,000 at the end of 2007. Rival operator Claro has 50,000 active 3G customers, of which 30,000 access the network via modems or PC cards. Movistar is said to have 10,000 3G subscribers. All three companies launched next generation services in 2007, and the relatively poor take-up has been attributed to lack of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Americas | Mobile
Thursday, 26 June 2008 15:21:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 03 June 2008

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that the CDMA industry continued its strong growth through the first quarter of 2008, increasing its customer base by almost 17% over the past year to 451 million CDMA subscribers worldwide, with CDMA2000 and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO reaching 438 million and 97 million, respectively. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions claimed the highest year-over-year percentage subscriber growth for CDMA2000, while the Americas and EMEA experienced the highest percentage of subscriber growth for CDMA2000 1xEV-DO.

In APAC, the total CDMA subscribership (cdmaOneTM and CDMA2000) rose to 231 million, which accounts for 51% of total worldwide CDMA subscribers and marks a 30% increase from March 2007 to March 2008. North America’s 140 million subscribers claim the second highest percentage of global CDMA subscribers at approximately 31%, with CALA’s 62.8 million representing approximately 14%. In EMEA, CDMA subscribership reached 17.7 million.

Over 97% of CDMA subscribers around the world are now taking advantage of 3G CDMA2000 services. CDMA2000 grew by 38% in APAC over the past year, bringing the total number of CDMA2000 subscribers in the region to 223 million, accounting for almost 51% of the world’s users. North America is the second largest region for CDMA2000 with nearly 138 million, or 31% of the global users. In EMEA, the CDMA2000 subscriber base reached 16.5 million.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO subscribership increased to 97 million users globally, with 52 million subscribers in North America and 39 million subscribers in APAC continuing to comprise the majority of the world’s EV-DO users at 54% and 40%, respectively. Uptake is surging in North America and EMEA where increased demand for mobile broadband raised subscribership by 74%and 123%, respectively. The CDG attributes this growth to outstanding broadband performance and, for emerging markets, 3G CDMA’s suitability across varied terrain to serve as an alternative to wireline Internet access.

To date, 38 EV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) networks are in commercial operation around the world, with another 35 networks in deployment.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 03 June 2008 08:05:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Ukrtelecom’s 3G mobile service, offered under the Utel brand, increased its subscriber base by 17.1% in April to 16,400, an improvement on the 3.7% rise in March, but still performing well below the company’s expectations. The Utel W-CDMA/HSDPA network was launched on 1 November 2007 in Ukraine’s six largest cities; the state-run operator is Ukraine’s only UMTS licence holder.

Source: TeleGeography

3G | Europe
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 09:22:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 13 May 2008

At the Canalys Navigation Forum in Taipei this week there will be a lot of discussion by industry experts about the future of Taiwan’s role in both the global and Asia-Pacific regional markets for satellite navigation solutions. But Taiwan’s local market will also be considered, with the first presentation of results from a new survey of over 1,000 Taiwan consumers, which explores the local opportunity for GPS navigation and location-based services on mobile phones and portable navigation devices (PNDs).

Click here to see full article

“When asked which services they were interested in having on their mobile phone, whether for free or at a small ongoing cost, maps and navigation came top,” added Canalys analyst Daryl Chiam. “This was much more popular than having television or music on the phone, and these were some way ahead of services that are spreading out from use on the PC, such as web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging. We find that, although consumer mobile application preferences can vary quite a lot by country, having maps, location and navigation information is usually at, or very near, the top of the list.”

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008 14:08:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In recent years WCDMA subscriptions have grown apace: from 18 million at the end of 2004 to 170 million at the end of 2007. ABI Research forecasts that figure to rise to 740 million by the end of 2013.3

Click here to see full article

Some of the benefits of spectrum refarming are:

  • Radio wave propagation loss is less, so fewer base stations are required;
  • Improved in-building penetration: over 70% of phone calls are now made indoors;
  • Greater likelihood of rural coverage. Rural communities do not want to be separated by the “3G Divide.”
Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 14:03:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has set out the rules for a massive 93 million line GSM cellular order - with 21 million of those lines to be 3G - worth an estimated $6.5 billion and believed to be the largest cellular tender available in the world today.

Click here to see full article

Putting the size of the BSNL tender in perspective, as of the end of March, BSNL had 36.21 million GSM subscribers and 4.58 million CDMA-based fixed-wireless subscribers. That puts it fourth in size the Indian market behind Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, and Vodafone Essar. BSNL blames its line count in large part on its failure to get all the lines it wanted in 2006, leaving it capacity-constrained in the face of more nimble and rapidly growing private carriers. It also blames from ITI, and by implication Alcatel Lucent, for delays in receiving equipment.

Dramatizing just how hot Indian cellular market growth has become, the BSNL contract is equivalent to around 40 percent of the country's entire current mobile subscriber base. The total now stands at a bit more than 260 million subscribers, of whom 75 million are CDMA and the majority GSM.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008 08:38:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Media Analyst Screen Digest has just published its latest report and says that it believes the market for rich media advertising on mobile will reach US$2.79 billion by 2012, with global mobile TV advertising accounting for the lions share at US$2.44 billion. In terms of the formats that will deliver this revenue, there are those that will deliver, and those that will disappoint.

Rich media mobile advertising market forecast by region

Click here to see full article

Source: Celluar News.

3G | Mobile | Revenues
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 15:30:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange UK has unveiled its third Digital Media Index, a detailed report examining trends in customer consumption of digital media. The latest findings reveal a sharp increase in mobile internet access alongside traditional fixed line broadband.

Key findings from the spring report include:

  • Mobile internet becomes part of day-to-day life - with a 35% increase in page impressions
  • Mobile TV takes off - with an 87% increase in the total hours viewed
  • Video downloads gain momentum - having doubled in the last year
  • Single music track downloads reach new heights - with a record-breaking 289,000 tracks downloaded in December alone
  • Text messaging becomes more popular than ever - with over 1.3 billion messages sent a month - an increase of 21%

Matthew Kirk, Director of Portals for Orange, said: “The mobile phone has truly taken its place as a multimedia content device. The popularity of mobile TV, music and gaming has surged as customers use the mobile internet alongside home broadband to stay connected wherever they are. It really is the third screen in our lives for entertainment, communication and information alongside the TV and the PC ”.

These figures are in comparison to the second Orange Digital Media Index released in November 2007.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe | Mobile
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 15:22:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 21 April 2008

Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry has issued a report on the telecoms market and says that 3G subscriptions reached 6.91 million at the end of last year - representing a rise of 16.5% and a total base of 28.5%. 2G subscriptions fell by 4.2 % to 15.9 million. The Institute anticipates that 3G subscriptions will top 10 million, or 40% of the total base by the end of this year.

The population penetration level reached 105.8 percent.

The Institute also reported that text messaging volumes rose by 26% to 1,256 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. The average subscriber sent just over 54 text messages during the quarter and 18 text messages per month.

Mobile internet access increased by 7.8% to 11.86 million and nearly half of all mobile phones sold included mobile internet services. Just over 55% of mobile internet access is carried out via a 3G handset, compared to 32% being carried out over a GPRS network.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 21 April 2008 09:03:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 April 2008

Third generation connection numbers in Europe grew by a record 11.2m in Q4 2007 to reach 81.5m by the end of the 2007 - an 81% improvement year on year. New W-CDMA connections accounted for 45% of net connection growth in the final quarter, which was the lowest proportion for the year, after 46.9% in Q1, 56.5% in Q2 and 46.8% in Q3.

Given the extent to which the fourth quarter Christmas boom is driven by the lower-cost and prepaid market, however, this is not a surprising result. It was GSM, of course, which was dominant in terms of net additions, with 13.8m in Q4 2007, giving it a total of 39.3m for the full year, against 36.5m for its 3G derivative.

Nevertheless, proportionately speaking the growth in the GSM base only amounted to 6.5% for the year, which led to a strengthening of the contribution of the 3G base to the total. At the end of 2006, W-CDMA customers accounted for 6.9% of all European mobile connections; at the end of 2007, the proportion of the total made up of 3G enabled connections had risen to 11.2% - with 1.2pp of the increase (the highest ever) coming in the fourth quarter.

Europe: % Customers W-CDMA, Q4 02 - Q4 07 

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe
Friday, 18 April 2008 09:31:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 10 April 2008

Malaysia’s Business Edge newspaper writes that Maxis Mobile is aiming to hit the target of two million 3G subscribers, having achieved the figure of 1.3 million by the end of March 2008. Maxis chief executive Sandip Das said: ‘As 3G services are increasingly being offered globally, we hope to see the prices of 3G handset devices falling. With that, we hope we will be able to cross the two million mark very shortly. Most of Malaysians buying new phones now are buying 3G-enabled phones, and that gives us a very big opportunity.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 10 April 2008 14:24:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 09 April 2008

Third generation mobile technologies accounted for their highest ever share of net additions in Middle East & Africa in Q4 2007 with 9.8% of the total - up very slightly on the 9.7% registered in Q3 2007. The trend in MEA so far shows that 3G additions in the fourth quarter of the year are generally weaker as a proportion of the total, following the pattern established in Europe. This may be due to the fact that fourth quarter sales tend to be driven by the Christmas market (and to some extent the Ramadan market, as some of the Ramadan period tends to fall in October) which generally involves the sale of lower-value cards and handsets, often as gifts.

% net additions W-CDMA, Q4 04 - Q4 07

Click here to see full article

The vast majority of customers in MEA use GSM technology, although the percentage of the total base accounted for by GSM slipped below 95% for the first time in four years. At the end of 2003, 2.2pp of the 5pp remainder was accounted for by analogue networks, 2.4pp by CDMA and 0.3pp by iDEN. At the end of 2007, the handful of remaining analogue services contributed just 0.03% of the overall total, iDEN just 0.18% and CDMA 2.1%, whilst the largest part of the remainder was accounted for by W-CDMA with 3.1% of the total.

Bundling this together with GSM, we find that the GSM family maintained a 97.67% share of the market between the third and fourth quarters of 2007, although it lost 0.11pp of share over the 12 months to 31st December due to the fact that the CDMA connection base grew faster, by 56.1% to the GSM family's 41.1%.

Non GSM/W-CDMA Customers, by Technology

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa | Mobile
Wednesday, 09 April 2008 13:32:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 April 2008

ABI Research is forecasting that global GSM subscriber growth to slow from a year-on-year rate of over 22% in 2006/07 to 14% in 2008/09, mainly due to the increased migration of subscribers to UMTS 3G technologies. UMTS (including HSDPA) experienced a nearly 83% year-on-year growth rate in 2006/07. ABI Research expects global GSM subscriber numbers to show a negative growth rate starting in 2013, as by then GSM will become less attractive compared to the cheaper 3G services; there will also be losses due to the proliferation of mobile WiMAX and 4G networks.

“Within the GSM subscriber population, EDGE is expected to maintain a high growth rate following increased deployments in emerging markets,” says Asia-Pacific vice president Jake Saunders. “Nonetheless, GSM (including EDGE and GPRS) is still expected to have the highest number of subscribers of all mobile technologies, with a 70% global market share in 2013 (dropping from 78% in 2007.)”

Meanwhile the W-CDMA (including HSDPA and HSPA) global market share is expected to increase from a little over 5% in 2007 to nearly 14% in 2013.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile | World
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 10:37:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 01 April 2008

New market data released by ABI Research shows that about 440 million Wi-Fi chipsets will be shipped over the course of 2008. This represents a tenfold increase over the number shipped in 2003; but over the same five-year period, the revenues they produced have multiplied by only five.

Click here to see full article

The growth areas for this market in coming years will be found where Wi-Fi chips are embedded in more and more device types. Wi-Fi IC vendors should tailor their strategies accordingly. Consumer electronics (home theater equipment, gaming devices, portable media players), mobile handsets and computer peripherals will all see increased rates of Wi-Fi penetration. "While CE products will initially see more Wi-Fi inclusion," Solis continues, "we expect that by 2011 they will be overtaken by mobile handsets. Mobile Internet devices (MIDs) will become increasingly significant as well."

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 01 April 2008 08:50:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 31 March 2008

With the Summer Olympics now only months away, China finally has given permission to start commercial trials of 3G cellular technology but, at this point, only of the country's home-grown Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA).

China has been promising some sort of 3G service in time for the international event, and the country's (and the world's) largest carrier, China Mobile, has now built TD-SCDMA networks in eight cities, including the five Olympic venues. Interestingly, the Chinese have not yet formally issued frequency spectrum allocations for 3G, but that's apparently going to be little more than a formality. Under its commercial trial license, China Mobile reveals, it's built a network with a capacity of some eight million users.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, 31 March 2008 10:45:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 13 March 2008

A new report from Juniper Research has found that the combination of greater 3G adoption and a marked increase in rich media, made-for-mobile content will drive mobile entertainment revenues to $47.5 billion by 2010.

However, the Juniper report cautions that entertainment service adoption will be retarded unless improvements are made in areas such as the user interface, network coverage and the excessive cost of data services. It also notes that in some mobile areas -- such as gambling, adult content and some social networking services -- national and international legislation could either adversely impact on growth, or in some cases prevent any service deployment.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile | Revenues
Thursday, 13 March 2008 10:21:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange France announced yesterday the launch of a 3.5G HSDPA-based service for corporate customers in Lyon. The new product promises to double downlink connection speeds for users from 3.6Mbps up to a maximum 7.2Mbps. The company says deployment of faster HSDPA in other major towns and cities across France should be underway by the summer. The operator is hoping to reach 71% of the population with 3.5G coverage by the end of 2008. It also says it is looking to achieve 99% population coverage with EDGE and to have deployed 30,000 Orange Wi-Fi hotspots. Orange is offering the new package as part of its Business Everywhere solutions. It is launching with three mobile handsets compatible with 3G+ (HSDPA at 7.2Mbps and HSUPA) which can also be adapted to laptop computers using USB key (Huawei E270), PCMCIA Card (Option GX 301) and PC Express Card (Huawei E870).

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Europe | Mobile
Thursday, 13 March 2008 10:16:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 10 March 2008

Bharti Airtel plans to use the expertise of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) to roll out third generation services in Sri Lanka, The Economic Times reports, quoting the telecom major's president of mobile services, Sanjay Kapoor. The cellco, which is 30%-owned by SingTel, hopes to launch 2G and 3G mobile services in the country by September. Last year, Bharti Airtel secured a licence to become Sri Lanka's fifth GSM-based service provider.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 10 March 2008 09:57:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwan Mobile says it plans to invest in a nationwide next generation network (NGN) to allow it to offer converged IP-based fixed and wireless services. The firm’s total spend on the new infrastructure is expected to exceed TWD20 billion (USD646 million), according to a report from the Taipei Times. Rollouts are expected to begin within the next few months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 10 March 2008 09:26:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 06 March 2008

The total number of 4G subscribers worldwide, including both LTE and WiMAX, is expected to exceed 90 million in 2013, but a number of milestones must be passed en route, according to a new forecast from ABI Research. At the end of 4Q 2007, says the firm, there were nearly 3.4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, with 2.7 billion on GSM/EDGE/GPRS networks.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile
Thursday, 06 March 2008 13:57:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Azerbaijan's Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov has announced that the country's three GSM operators are now negotiating on the allocation of radio spectrum for 3G services.

Click here to see full article

The Mobile World database notes that there are three GSM operators, along with one CDMA operator in the country. At the end of last September, there were just over 4.1 million subscribers in the country - representing a population penetration level of 55%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008 09:55:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mexico's largest wireless provider America Movil launched its new third-generation broadband wireless network Monday in 15 cities, with expectations that the service will become profitable by the end of the year.

Click here to see full article

At a press conference, company officials said they expect the third-generation, or 3G, network to expand its coverage to 350 Mexican cities by the end of the year.

America Movil is Mexico's biggest wireless service provider, with 50 million subscribers. The company plans to invest $4 billion a year over the next three years to upgrade its network to 3G across Latin America.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Americas | Mobile
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 09:24:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 25 February 2008

Reliable sources indicate that Vodacom is close to signing a deal with Libyan-owned Lap Green to take over its recently purchased operations in Rwanda and Uganda. A draft of the agreement clearly indicates that Vodacom would take over a majority stake and have technical control, whilst Lap Green would remain a significant minority shareholder.

If the deal comes off, it would make sense of much that so far has not made much sense. Libya’s Lap Green clearly has not lacked for money but has so far only sent in a small number of its own management personnel. As one person in the ISP sector in Uganda observed:"Not much has happened on the practical side and there’s no sign of change yet." From the Vodacom perspective, it would offer them two new territories after a long period of no new acquisitions.

The mobile market in Uganda is clearly the larger prize with an estimated 4.5 million subscribers. Currently, utl is the smallest player after MTN with 1.25 million subscribers and Celtel with 1.2 million subscribers. The Celtel operation, which used to be in poor shape, is now powering ahead and becoming a serious challenger for market leadership.

The latest entrant Warid seems to have acquired 20-30,000 subscribers in its two week existence but does not yet seem to have set the market alight. MTN introduced a pre-emptive 14% drop in its tariffs and Warid opened with slightly lower tariffs. Competitors acknowledge that it has good network coverage but that it has no particular local insight and only a narrow product range. Prices still seem set to fall further and there is the makings of a price war when the fifth operator HITS finally enters the market. Optimistically, this might be in May of this year.

Meanwhile, Uganda is only the latest country to join the 3G arms race. Both Celtel and MTN are installing 3G, although the latter is only likely to have it in Kampala and around Entebbe Airport. MTN has 65,000 subscribers on a combination of its EDGE upgrade and its Wi-MAX fixed broadband locations in 51 Ugandan towns. Achieved download speeds on both are in the region of 250 kbps. It has found that introducing a 3G network has meant finding new sites to ensure sufficient coverage.

As MTN’s CEO Erik van Veene told us:"We are really doing a couple of laps round the track before the fibre cable arrives." It hopes to be able to offer cheaper local pricing so as to encourage local hosting and content.

Source: Balancing Act.

3G | Africa | Mobile | Operators
Monday, 25 February 2008 16:23:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 February 2008

Chinese regulators are finalizing plans to overhaul the telecommunications industry under a package of reforms that is expected to consolidate six big state-run operators into three service providers.

The will see the emergence of three entities providing a full-range of services, unlike the current setup that has operators divided among fixed-line, cellular and other services, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday in its online edition, citing an outline of the restructuring carried by state-run media earlier in the week. The industry reforms, many analysts believe, will clear the way for the government to issue third-generation cell-phone licenses later this year.

Click here to see full article

The total number of cellphone users in China rose by 87 million to 547 million in 2007.

On the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at midday, shares of China Mobile were down 1.5%, China Telecom eased 1.3% and China Unicom rose 0.6%.

China's state-run media said Thursday that the restructuring plans would see China Mobile merge with the small fixed-line carrier China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.

The second big move would see China Telecommuncations parent of China Telecom, acquire a wireless network from Unicom parent China Untied Telecommunications. The third big move would see the GSM network of China United merge with the parent of China Netcom.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 22 February 2008 15:46:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 07 February 2008

Korean market leader SK Telecom finished 2007 with 21.97m customers and a market share of 50.5%, up 0.1pp compared to the end of 2006. Quarterly net additions of 0.36m brought the annual total to just under 1.7m, an 8.4% annual growth rate. Revenue growth lagged behind customer growth slightly, a 6% rise taking the 2007 total to KRW 11,286bn. However, operating income was down 16% to KRW 2,172bn, and this impacted EBITDA, which was down 5% compared to 2006 at KRW 4,024bn.

One of the most remarkable aspects of SK Telecom's figures is the growth in the W-CDMA customer base, which we estimate to have reached 2.68m at year-end.

This represents an astonishing growth rate of 8847%, with the customer base at the end of 2006 standing at just 30k. However, this still leaves it short of KT Freetel's figure for 3G customers, which was 3.21m at the end of 2007 having launched in January 2007.

Clearly the appetite for 3G services in Korea is enormous. With 14% of Korea's total mobile customers owning W-CDMA handsets at the end of 2007 - up from 0.1% at the end of 2006 - it will be interesting to see how long it takes for 3G penetration to rise to the levels seen in Japan, where it currently accounts for more than half of the total.

Customers by Technology Standard

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 07 February 2008 13:16:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 January 2008

Thailand’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Advanced Info Services (AIS), has said that it believes it should be allowed to launch 3G services using W-CDMA technology in its existing 900MHz frequency band, without waiting for a specific 3G licence. The GSM operator, and its rivals True Move and DTAC, are still waiting for the authorities to award UMTS licences, now expected sometime in the first half of this year. AIS has earmarked USD600 million for a first phase rollout of a 3G network covering Bangkok and 20 provinces.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 24 January 2008 08:58:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Taiwanese cellco Taiwan Mobile says it is aiming to double its 3G user base in 2008, from 1.3 million now to 2.6 million by year-end. The firm plans to procure between 1.1 million and 1.2 million handsets this year, of which around half will be 3G models, chief business officer Cliff Lai told DigiTimes.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 24 January 2008 08:56:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that the total cumulative cdmaOne and CDMA2000 subscriber base reached 421.4 million after growing by 20 million net subscribers in Q3 2007. The CDG also reports that the 3G CDMA2000 subscriber base has reached 400.4 million.

"The CDG is pleased to witness the continued rapid growth and strength of CDMA," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG.

The CDG said that APAC and North America account for the majority of CDMA subscribers, with APAC claiming 49%, and North America 32% of the worldwide total. The APAC and EMEA regions saw the greatest percentage of year-over-year growth, with the CDMA footprint increasing by 32% and 44% respectively.

The CDG also reported dynamic growth for CDMA2000, which now comprises approximately 95% of all CDMA subscribers, up from 93% last quarter, and approximately 70% of all 3G subscribers worldwide.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO finished the quarter at 83 million subscribers, an increase of eight million since last quarter and 38 million since last year (Q3 2006). Furthermore, enterprises, small businesses and consumers increasingly demand the advanced mobile broadband services enabled by CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A). The number of operators committed to deploying or who have already deployed Rev. A has more than doubled in the past eight months.

Source: Cellular News, based on the announcement by CDMA Development Group.

3G | Mobile | World
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 09:52:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |