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 Thursday, March 06, 2014

None of the four Kenyan mobile networks met their Quality of Service (QoS) requirements in the 2012/13 financial year, according to a report released by CCK today. Overall, performance by the four mobile operators shows a general downward trend with none of the operators having achieved the minimum Key Performance Indicators (KPI) compliance target of 80%.

Telkom Kenya Limited had the highest QoS score of 62.5%, while the three other operators - Airtel Kenya Limited, Essar Kenya Limited and Safaricom Kenya Limited - each managed 50% out of the set minimum score of 80%. 

The QoS assessment framework is based on eight (8) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a well-defined assessment methodology that were adopted in 2008/09 after an elaborate and exhaustive consultative process. The eight KPIs are completed calls rate, call set up success rate, dropped calls, blocked calls, speech quality, handover success rate, call set up time and signal strength.  Of the eight KPIs, five were enhanced during the period under review and this may have contributed to the outcome.

All the operators met the KPI targets in respect to Signal Strength (RX Level), Call set up time, Handover Success Rate and Call drop rate in the current assessment period.

The KPIs that have not been met by any of the operators in the current assessment period included call block rate, completed calls and call set up success rate (CSSR).

Read the full report.

Source: CCK Mobile.

Thursday, March 06, 2014 9:44:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 21, 2014

The government of Tanzania has inaugurated a new microwave link between the capital city Dar es Salaam and the island of Zanzibar. The USD1.6 million system, designed to improve communications between Zanzibar and the mainland, has been installed by the state-backed incumbent fixed line operator Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) with funding support from Japan. ‘We are now sure of effective communication in Zanzibar,’ local newspaper the Daily News quotes Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa, as saying.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, February 21, 2014 3:57:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 05, 2014

South Africa's second-largest mobile operator, MTN, has launched an own-brand Android smartphone with dual SIM capabilities and a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU.
 
The new phone, which is branded as a Steppa, is sold unlocked for pre-pay customers through local supermarkets and MTN stores for R499, making it one of the first true smartphones available for less than $50.
 
The Steppa is a white label Qualcomm reference design, featuring a 3.5-inch screen, 512MB of RAM, an FM radio and a 1,300mAh battery which is specced to last for up to 627 minutes of talk time. It also features Google Play integration, HSDPA, Bluetooth 3.0 and A-GPS.
  
The sub-$50 price tag, however, is a major milestone for MTN. The Steppa undercuts the cheapest of Nokia's popular Symbian-based Asha phones by around $30 while offering similar access to services such as WhatsApp and Facebook. BlackBerry Messenger support for Gingerbread is due sometime in the next month.

Source: ZDNet.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 8:31:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 31, 2013

South Africa operator Telkom has launched HomeOffice LTE, promising twice the speed and three times the quality of standard 3G services. The company is so confident on its ability to offer a great experience, it guarantees the quality promised or money back, no questions asked. Telkom said in a statement it has good reason to be confident about the claim. The company's LTE network was built on allocated 2300 MHz spectrum and therefore did not require refarming of some of its existing mobile technology spectrum. Telkom has a total 60MHz of this spectrum, which it said enables the delivery of far higher capacity per sector than any other local operator. Download speeds of Telkom's HomeOffice LTE typically range from 20Mbps to 50Mbps, although peak speeds can go as high as 90Mbps. Upload speeds range from 5Mps to 10Mbps with peak speeds of 25Mbps. Over 700 currently active LTE sites have been deployed nationally with a focus on the major metros. A further 300 sites are currently being integrated into the network nationally for further support. Many of these are located in areas where that have yet to be serviced by fixed-line options.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Africa | LTE
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:33:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ipNX Nigeria plans to deploy a fibre-to-the-home network covering three major commercial cities in Nigeria – Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The network roll-out commenced in the last quarter of 2012 and is expected to reach 500,000 households in 2015 and 2 million in 2017, said MD Ejovi Aror. The company already operates on the Nigerian market as a wireless ISP, under the brand iwireless, the Punch reported. Over the past two years, ipNX has been developing new services, including IPTV, video conferencing and video surveillance. ipNX's Head of Strategic Marketing, Kazeem Shitu said services from the FTTH network were currently available in selected areas of Lagos Island, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki. Customers in Ikeja, Apapa and Surulere will be able to access the services from November.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:32:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 30, 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, September 30, 2013 7:32:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 15, 2013

Somalia is developing legislation to oversee the thriving telecommunications sector in a bid to boost growth and encourage investment in the country, Hiiraan Online reports. Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunication Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi and representatives from private sector companies and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have held discussions in Dubai on a proposed telecoms bill, which is to be tabled in parliament. Elmoge said that while existing operators have made significant efforts to expand telecoms services across the country, a lack of regulation has led to the misuse of radio spectrum. ‘Our aim is not to interfere [with] the telecommunications companies but is to put in place regulatory laws that can uphold the interests of customers and suppliers,’ the minister added.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Somalia’s wireless market is currently unregulated, a situation which has enabled firms such as Hormuud Telecom (HorTel) and Nationlink to freely install and operate their own networks as they choose. Before 1991 the country’s communications networks were under government control, but following the onset of the civil war, the entire telecoms infrastructure was all but destroyed. New infrastructure has since sprung up, installed by a number of small local operators, offering mobile and fixed telephony services, including local, long-distance and international calls.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 15, 2013 7:41:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 07, 2013

Kenya's largest mobile operator Safaricom on Friday increased the cost of moving funds through M-Pesa following a new tax on transaction fee earned from mobile money transfer.

Safaricom said customers transferring more than Ksh101 ($1.2) will have to pay 10 per cent more on account of a government decision to introduce a similar tax on earnings from the service.

The telco is opposed to the new tax arguing that it would add more costs to customers and therefore negatively affect the sector.

“As Kenya’s largest taxpayer, we appreciate the need to support government as it seeks to reach its financial obligations. However, we maintain our position that a tax on mobile money is at that this time premature and is likely to have a negative impact on the country’s financial deepening agenda by creating an unnecessary barrier for wananchi who are most in need of basic financial services, “Bob Collymore, the company CEO said.

The government on Friday gazetted amendments to the Finance Act of 2012, introducing a 10 per cent excise duty tax on transaction fees for financial as well money transfer services as it seeks to raise cash to fund its growing recurrent expenditure.

Analysts say the new tax law could have an even bigger impact on banks given the size of their transactions.

“Banks will even be worse because the 10 per cent duty is a huge portion of their revenues. Most players will pass on costs within the next few weeks,” explained Eric Musau an analyst with the Standard Investment Bank.

Source: The East African.

Thursday, February 07, 2013 12:13:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Telecommunications operator K2 Telecom has launched its operations in Uganda, the Daily Monitor reported. K2 Telecom is already positioning itself as the choice of the masses, the paper said, although the existing players seem to think that its entry is ill-timed and unnecessary.  K2 telecom is the seventh player in the telecommunication industry after Airtel, MTN, Warid, UTL, Smiles Telecom, and Orange Uganda.

The network has a national coverage. However, Warid Telecom chief commercial officer Shailendra Naidu said everything had already been done by the existing service providers, and there was nothing a new player could add. MTN said there could be as many service providers as possible because Uganda is a liberalised economy. MTN general manager for corporate service and chief legal counsel, Anthony Katamba, said whoever was able to offer quality services, would carry the day.

Currently, there about 15 million telecommunication subscribers. The first industry player was Celtel, now Airtel, before MTN, UTL and others ventured into the market. K2 Telecom's calling code is 0730.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:40:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The government of the Union of Comoros has launched the privatisation of its national PTO Comores Telecom (Comtel) via an international auction, Agence Ecofin reports. Under the plan the Ministry of Economy and Finance is looking to divest a 51% stake in the incumbent operator to private investors. The remaining 49% equity will be retained by the government (34%), and 15% will be held by Comtel employees. TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported in November 2012 that the government had published expressions of interest for the majority stake on offer, requesting that interested parties submit applications, including information on their business and their reasons for wishing to participate in the tender process. As a precursor to the sale, the Ministry confirmed its intention to restructure Comtel, which has 230,000 mobile and around 23,600 fixed line subscribers, transferring its primary assets to a new legal entity (Newco). The privatisation of the operator was one of the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund, as part of the country’s plan to reach the completion point of its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) programme, the external debt relief for which amounted to EUR133 million (USD174.7 million).

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 9:03:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

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, December 20, 2012 3:33:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Equatorial Guinea is set to expand broadband connectivity next year, when it connects its national telecoms infrastructure to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, Biztech Africa reports. The ACE cable will be landed at Bata, Equatorial Guinea’s largest city and economic hub, where a control centre for the cable will be installed and is due to be operational by 6 December 2013. Management of the cable will fall to the newly established Management and Maintenance of Telecommunication Infrastructures Organisation in Equatorial Guinea (GITGE), which was set up in July this year. Carmelo Martin Modu, secretary of state for technology and telecommunications commented: ‘Equatorial Guinea is working to expand its broadband connectivity. We believe that through our participation in the ACE project, we will continue to reduce the digital divide that exists in our country and improve our communications’ quality and reach.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:31:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The popularity of mobile money services in the African nation of Tanzania exploded between 2010 and 2012, according to figures from the Bank of Tanzania published in East Africa Business Week. The bank reports that monthly transactions have increased from 1.9 million in 2010 to 48 million in September this year, in turn driving the total value of mobile transactions up to TZS1.7 trillion (USD668.3 million) from TZS1.8 billion. The banks’ governor Benno Ndulu told delegates at the opening of a financial institutions’ conference in Arusha that millions of Tanzanians without bank accounts are benefiting from mobile money services to make payments, send remittances and store funds for short periods conveniently and at low cost.

Last month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that Vodacom Tanzania has signed up 4.4 million users to its mobile money service M-PESA, representing around 48% of its total subscriber base in the country. The service, which allows users with a recognised ID card to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily through a mobile device, is seeing sustained, strong growth. In February this year Vodacom confirmed that the number of M-PESA users stood at 2.7 million users – or 23.4% of the base. The cellco’s CEO Rene Meza says: ‘about TZS35 billion is transacted daily through M-PESA and attributed this to the fact that the service is safe and reliable and is available throughout the country.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:24:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has reduced the amount of money mobile companies pay each other for calls that terminate in a rival’s network.

The charge — referred to as Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) — was slashed from the current Sh2.21 to Sh1.44, and charges backdated to July 1 this year, effectively ending a war in the mobile industry pitting Airtel and yu who wanted the charges lowered against Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, which wanted the charges to remain as is.

The interconnection fees was set at Sh2.21 after it was slashed in July 2010 from Sh4.42. The rates were set to come further down in July last year to Shl.44, and follow a glide path that would have seen them settle at less than a shilling by July next year. But President Kibaki halted progress through a directive in June last year following intense lobbying from Safaricom and Telkom Kenya.

“Considering that the Commission suspended the glide path in order to evaluate these issues as presented by the industry, the CCK board has, in its sitting today, resolved to re-instate the glide path and implement the second phase of the mobile and fixed termination rates with effect from July 1,” stated the CCK in a statement to the media.

Source: Standard Digital.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:00:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

Vodacom Tanzania has announced that the number of people signed up to its mobile money service M-PESA has passed the 4.4 million mark, representing around 48% of its total subscriber base in the country. The service, which allows users with a recognised ID card to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily through a mobile device, is seeing strong growth. In February this year Vodacom confirmed that the number of M-PESA users stood at 2.7 million users – or 23.4% of the base. The cellco’s CEO Rene Meza says: ‘about TZS35 billion (USD22 million) is transacted daily through M-PESA and attributed this to the fact that the service is safe and reliable and is available throughout the country.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:05:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) has reported a 4% year-on-year increase in fixed network revenues to GMD1. 450 billion (USD48 million) in full-year 2011, compared to GMD1.395 billion earned in 2010. Managing director Baboucarr Sanyang, presenting the fixed line telco’s annual activity report and financial statement to the National Assembly, announced that the growth in total turnover was attributed to yearly increases in international, interconnection and data revenue of GMD13 million, GMD32 million and GMD42 million, respectively. The MD’s report, published in the Daily Observer, added that the fixed division achieved a gross profit margin of 33% for the year. Sanyang also confirmed that there was an upgrade of international internet bandwidth from two STM-1s to three STM-1s, which increased the capacity of Gamtel’s network from 310Mbps to 465Mbps, plus back-up capacity of 14Mbps via satellite. Meanwhile in 2011 the company signed a Delegated Management Contract (DMC) with the Gambia Agency for Management of Public Works (GAMWORKS) for the refurbishment and upgrading of Gamtel sites and facilities in readiness for its next generation network (NGN) project.

The state-backed telco’s cellular arm, Gamcel, reported 2011 financial results separately, with general manager Almamy Kassama announcing total revenue of GMD1.127 billion, up by 48% from GMD761 million in 2010, with a gross profit margin of 20%. Gamcel has embarked on network expansion projects while its marketing department is focused on strategies aimed at adding value to Gamcel.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:17:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South African mobile giant Vodacom has tripled the number of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled base stations on its network from just under 70 at launch in October 2012, to over 200 in Johannesburg. According to MyBroadband.co.za testing has now begun in Cape Town. Zunaid Dinath, Vodacom’s sales and distribution officer, added that the cellco has increased the number of LTE devices on sale at Vodacom World in Midrand and selected Vodacom outlets in Gauteng. LTE services are currently only available to contract customers, but will be made available to pre-paid subscribers in 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:12:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of fixed and mobile telephone subscribers in the country increased to over 107.36 million at 30 September 2012 from 102.36 million three months earlier and 95.88 million at the end of 2011. GSM mobile operators accounted for 96.54%, or 103.65 million, of Nigeria’s total telephony user base at the end of the third quarter of 2012 (up from 90.56 million users nine months earlier), followed by CDMA mobile networks with 3.02%, or 3.24 million, (down from 4.6 million), while fixed and fixed-wireless operators claimed just 0.44%, or 474,345, of the total, compared to 719,406 users at end-2011. According to the NCC, the largest mobile operator by subscribers remains South Africa-based MTN, with around 45.64 million users on its GSM network at the end of September 2012, up 5.7% quarter-on-quarter and accounting for 42.7% of Nigeria’s total GSM and CDMA wireless subscribers.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:11:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

Liquid Telecom, part of the Econet Wireless group, has lit a direct fibre connection between Zimbabwe and the West African Cable System (WACS) landing station near Cape Town in South Africa, providing Zimbabwe with an alternative route for high speed international traffic. Simultaneously, Liquid announced it has begun rolling out an urban fibre network in Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Liquid Telecom operates a fibre network providing backhaul between cities in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa and last mile connectivity in some large cities. It operates as a wholesale carrier in all five countries as well as a broadband access provider in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Prior to the new WACS link, Liquid was already providing connectivity onto three other major subsea fibre systems in Africa, the EASSy, SEACOM and SAT3 cables.

Liquid has also built what it claims is the largest fibre network in Zimbabwe, providing broadband voice and data in all the major cities and towns, offering services for large enterprise, SME and residential customers as well as other providers in Zimbabwe. Liquid has started building the ‘first urban fibre network in Zimbabwe’, providing bandwidth speeds of up to 20Mbps in ‘a number of urban centres’. Liquid’s fibre network also serves sister cellco Econet Wireless by backhauling high speed 3G data and alleviating congestion.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:03:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by the regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), the total number of mobile phones in Senegal exceeded 10.712 million at the end of June 2012, thanks to net additions of 828,31 in the second quarter. Mobile market leader Orange Senegal added a net 424,572 new subscribers in the April-June quarter of 2012 for a total of 6.741 million, handing it a market share of 62.9%. Second-placed Tigo Senegal reported net gains of 156,758 for a total of 2.640 million from 2.483 million at 31 March 2012 (or 24.7% of the market), while third player Sudatel Telecom (Expresso) increased its users by 242,501 to 1.330 million (12.4% share). The net gains from the incumbents pushed cellular penetration in the country to 88.01%, according the ARTP estimates, far eclipsing fixed line teledensity which stood at 2.82%, or 343,012 main lines in service, down from 346,406 at 31 December 2011. The total number of internet subscriptions (fixed and mobile) was 528,358 at end-June 2012, up 186,655 on the start of the year, of which 18.1% (95,412) were on an ADSL connection, and 375,556 were for mobile (3G) accounts. The popularity of mobile broadband internet in Senegal is growing quickly: the total was just 53,678 in June 2011, equivalent to 28.5% of the overall market, but had ballooned to account for 71.1% of the segment twelve months later.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:45:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The long-delayed introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in Nigeria is now expected to take place in December this year, Tony Ojobo, the director of public affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has told local newspaper The Punch. The NCC has been waiting for the conclusion of SIM registration in the country before it officially launches MNP, which enables a subscriber to retain their mobile phone number if they switch provider. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the regulator announced in October 2011 that it had selected a consortium of three companies – Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria, Saab Grintek and Telcordia – to implement number portability for the first five years. Earlier this year Dr. Eugene Juwah, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, said the consortium would be responsible for the setting up and implementation of the NP platform within six months of receiving its licence in March 2012, to be followed by a testing period of two months. The introduction of MNP was first considered by the commission in the third quarter of 2007.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:34:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2012

Niger’s state-owned telco Sonitel has begun work on laying a 300km fibre-optic cable link between Dosso and Konni, reports Afriscoop. At a launch ceremony, the country’s communications minister stated that the government’s goal is to increase broadband coverage from the 54% recorded in 2010 to 72% by 2015. Afriscoop also states that a second fibre link will connect Konni and Zinder, with work expected to begin in October.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:01:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Glo Ghana, which became the country’s fifth mobile network operator after launching commercially in April 2012, has reportedly confirmed that it has surpassed two million subscribers. According to AllAfrica, the cellco claims that it now accounts for more than 8% of Ghana’s mobile voice accesses. In revealing the milestone the report cited a statement by Glo Ghana as saying of its progress in the market: ‘In keeping with our innovative tradition, we also rolled out the most modern telecommunications network and introduced into the market abundant, superior and attractive value offerings in all ten regions of the country from day one. This accounted for our instant success in Ghana.’

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in mid-April 2012 the National Communications Authority (NCA) was understood to have threatened to revoke Glo’s concession if it failed to specify a commercial switch-on date by the end of the month. It also handed the operator a USD200,000 fine for its delayed launch, after a number of hold-ups in the launch of commercial services. Subsequently, on 27 April Glo confirmed it had gone live, offering coverage to around 85% of Ghana’s population, with 1,400 base stations in 974 cities and 10,000 villages. It is targeting 2,300 base stations in service by the end of 2012, which would make it the largest network in Ghana in terms of coverage. The NCA meanwhile confirmed in mid-June 2012 that Glo had paid the USD200,000 fine that had been imposed two months earlier.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:59:34 PM (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, October 01, 2012 12:45:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ghana’s National Communication Authority (NCA) has published a report to coincide with the first anniversary of the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country. By 6 July some 370,107 mobile numbers had ported successfully, representing 1.6% of the total active mobile numbers in the market. The watchdog says that such a figure is reasonably comparable to markets in which MNP is considered successful. Tigo and Vodafone were the biggest winners, recording net gains of 68,000 and 44,000 respectively, while Airtel (6,500 subscribers) and Glo (7,600) also received a boost from MNP. The market leader by subscribers, MTN, was the big loser, shedding a net 125,000 customers to rival networks. Meanwhile, minor player Expresso lost 400 subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:50:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Gabonese internet service provider (ISP) Internet Gabon has launched its ‘Triple Net’ project, a partnership between itself, the European Satellite Company (SES) and Hughes Advantage, that aims to expand internet access and satellite TV to rural areas of Gabon, reports Africa Info. The trio intend to expand the USD12 million project to rural areas throughout francophone southern Africa. Internet Gabon claims to have already installed VSAT equipment to 500 sites, and set up 50 wireless in the local loop (WiLL) towers. The ISP added that the ‘Triple Net’ project would allow it reduce prices for end users, whilst it would endeavour to ensure that installation and delivery were very simple.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:29:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Landlocked Botswana has inaugurated its link to the West African Cable System (WACS), which was launched last month and stretches 14,900km along the west coast of Africa, reports AFP. Botswana partnered with neighbouring Namibia in each raising USD37.5 million to invest in a 9.2% stake in the cable consortium. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will co-locate services within the Swakopmund landing station operated by Telecom Namibia, under the WACS open access policy. The USD750 million WACS submarine cable has a capacity of 5.12Tbps and links South Africa to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Portugal.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:16:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tanzania’s telecoms watchdog the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) reports that the African country was home to a total of 26.978 million fixed and mobile subscriptions at the end of March 2012, up from 25.827 million at the start of the year. Of the total subscriptions recorded at 31 March 2012, 26.805 million were cellular connections to one of the country’s leading mobile operators. Market leader Vodacom closed out 1Q12 with a total of 12.633 million mobile users (although around 19% are classed as inactive), while second-placed Airtel (formerly Zain) signed up a net 112,232 new users in the three-month period for a total of 7.106 million. Third place operator Tigo boosted its base by 47,067 to almost 5.498 million by end-March 2012, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation’s fastest growing cellco — shed roughly 12,000 net customers during the period for a total of 1.511 million. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) had an estimated 96,000 subscribers and Benson Informatics Limited (BOL) had 1,221 data-only subscribers, down roughly 5,300 since the start of the 2011.

In the fixed line segment, TCRA reported 173,075 fixed lines in service as at 31 March 2012, up from 161,063 at the start of the year. National PSTN operator TTCL claimed the lion’s share with 158,348 lines at 1Q12 (its December 2011 figure was 159,364) with Zanzibar Telecommunications’ (Zantel’s) fixed line division taking the remaining 14,727, up from 1,699 previously.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:36:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A West African fibre-optic broadband deployment has been completed, with 120km of fibre rolled out to link Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso, Ghana Business news reports. Work on the Bolgatanga–Cinkasse International Fibre Connectivity Project started in November last year and was run by Vodafone Ghana and the Ministry of Communications in Ghana.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:27:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

PSTN operator Angola Telecom has introduced a national single rate tariff to standardise the cost of making calls to all areas of the country within its network, news agency ANGOP reports. The wireline and CDMA network operator has set off-peak and peak tariffs for destinations countrywide between its subscribers, at KWZ7.20 (USD0.075) and KWZ8.93 per minute respectively. To promote the move Angola Telecom is offering customers free calls at the weekend this month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:47:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The recently launched Rwandan mobile operator Airtel has announced the launch of its new high speed HSPA+ platform, which will offer subscribers mobile data download speeds of up to 21Mbps. The equipment for the deployment was supplied by Ericsson. Airtel launched its first 2G networks in Rwanda in March this year and had promised that its mobile broadband service would follow shortly. Initially only available in the capital Kigali, the HSPA+ service will be deployed in other cities in the coming weeks. The Indian-owned cellco is competing with Rwanda’s two established players, MTN and Millicom/Tigo.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:38:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Togo Telecom has announced that it is doubling mobile internet bundles for customers using its HELIM NOMAD tariff plans, without increasing their monthly bills. The move follows the announcement that the telco hoped to reduce prices once the West Africa Cable System (WACS) lands in the country. As reported previously by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 11 June Togo Telecom confirmed that it had inaugurated WACS with the central landing of the fibre-optic cable in Afidegnigba. At the time, the telco said it hoped to usher in a ‘new era’ in telecommunications for the Togolese, offering more affordable broadband internet connectivity for the nation.

True to its word, the telco says that from now the cost of a 1GB package bundle will be XOF7,880 (USD15) – it used to cost USD30 per month for a 1GB bundle – a 2GB bundle will now be USD30 a month, and the premium 3GB offer on the same tariff will be USD45. Togo Telecom has however, increased the cost of its fixed line (ADSL) connections – branded HELIM FIXED – but ‘honoured its promise to reduce internet tariffs for mobile subscribers,’ it said.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:05:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Angola’s Education Ministry and private sector mobile network operator Unitel have partnered Chinese telecoms equipment company Huawei to launch a project designed to provide free internet access for selected groups of public and private secondary school students, reports ANGOP news agency. According to a note from Unitel, the project, called ‘E-Net’, began last week and will involve all 18 provinces of Angola.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:48:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Senegalese telecoms watchdog the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP) has published state owned fixed line PTO Societe Nationale des Telecommunications du Senegal (Sonatel’s) new catalogue for interconnection services covering 2011/12. In a website announcement ARTP reports that the new rates were approved on 24 May 2012, in accordance with Decree No.2005-1183 (6 December 2005) on the interconnection made under Article 13 of Law No.2001-15 (27 December 2001) of the Telecommunications Code – as amended by Act No.2011-01 (24 February 2011). Full details can be found at: http://www.sonatel.sn/documents/catalogue_2012.pdf

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:30:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Airtel Zambia is reportedly aiming to have deployed some 200 new mobile towers in rural areas of the country before the end of the year, with a view to enhancing coverage in underserved areas. According to AllAfrica, Airtel managing director Fayaz King noted that the infrastructure rollout forms part of a partnership with Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), with the duo working on a universal access project that will see Airtel Zambia construct more than 350 shareable base stations in rural areas nationwide. It is understood that 171 towers have already been built and are now up and running, with constituencies that have benefited including Chiengi, Senga Hill, Lufwanyama, Kabompo East, and Chifunabuli.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:11:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Airtel Chad has launched the nation’s first mobile banking service, dubbed Airtel Money, allowing its customers to carry out financial transactions such as paying utility bills through their mobile phones. It is hoped that the service, which was launched in conjunction with Ecobank, will contribute to job creation and business opportunities. The cellco’s CEO, Salia Gbane commented on the launch: ‘This service allows customers to send money to their relatives, pay essential bills such as electricity and water, tuition fees, bookings and even buy groceries without having to carry cash. The phone essentially becomes an electronic wallet. This partnership clearly demonstrates the revolutionary role that mobile communications can play in improving the living conditions of the communities that we serve.’ As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Airtel’s main rival in Chad, Luxembourg-backed cellco Tigo Chad, has previously announced plans to extend its Tigo Cash service to the country during 2012, but has been beaten to the punch by Airtel.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:07:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 22, 2012

Pan-African telecoms service supplier Gateway Communications has announced that it has brought additional capacity from submarine cable SAT-3 to landlocked Botswana via South Africa, under its Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative. Customers can now access high speed, reliable connectivity, which will help to improve Botswana’s economic sectors, including mining, tourism and agriculture. Gateway has also revealed that more routes are being added to the networks already created in Zambia and Malawi during the initial phase of its terrestrial network initiative. A new path, utilising both SAT-3 and SEACOM connectivity, has been developed to provide Zambia with a fully redundant path through Zimbabwe. During the next few months Gateway will be extending its terrestrial network by deploying another link into Malawi through the eastern border town of Mulanji. Under the next step of the project, Gateway aims to bring additional capacity to Mauritius by connecting the island via SAFE to a neutral data centre facility in South Africa and then onward to Europe via EASSy and SAT-3. This will connect Mauritius to Africa and will allow the country to connect internationally using Gateway’s pan-African MPLS network and international peering stations in London, UK. ‘Through this innovative project, we will make sure that the benefits of high speed services are available to everyone using our pan-African network,’ commented Mike van den Bergh, CEO of Gateway Communications, adding: ‘This brings us closer to our goal of ensuring that every country in Africa has access to cost-effective and reliable capacity.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 3:01:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom South Africa has announced the launch of its Freedom 99 prepaid tariff, offering calls to all networks at ZAR 0.99 per minute. Marketing head Enzo Scarcella said Freedom 99 customers who recharge by ZAR 12 or more can talk for free every night with Nightshift. This provides 60 minutes of talktime every day for seven days to call Vodacom customers between midnight and 05:00 hrs. Vodacom's Freedom 99 will be available from 20 May.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:54:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following an investigation into the status of Uganda’s national backbone infrastructure project prior to the third and fourth stages of the network’s rollout, the chairperson of the ICT Parliamentary Committee, Paula Turyahikayo has said that the government might be forced to re-invest in the project for the backbone to be functional. According to Bikyamasr, the report said that only 43% of the deployed cable was protected from damage, and 122 connection points of the 299 installed were safe. Turyahikayo said that ‘phase one is in such a sorry state…all contractors of this phase must be blacklisted,’ and went on to blame the condition of the network on poor workmanship and the lack of supervision. James Saaka, executive director of the National Information Technology Authority, Uganda (NITA-U), claimed that the problems with the project were not the fault of the NITA-U, as the body had not been created until 2008, whereas work began in 2006-2007, and as a result ‘the entire first phase…was run without supervision.’

As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the difficulties surrounding the backbone first surfaced in 2009, and an investigation was launched in July 2011. The UGX201 billion (USD106 million) project was funded by the Export and Import Bank of China, which recommended Huawei for the installation: it is not known whether Huawei’s involvement was a compulsory part of the loan, but no tender was held. Following the completion of the first phase of deployment in January 2009 – the project already far behind schedule – it emerged that Huawei had installed cable inferior to the preferred type, and only 24 cores, rather than the 96 specified by the Ugandan ICT ministry. To make matters worse, the government claimed that it had been significantly over-charged, comparing its own project to a similar one in Rwanda. Uganda paid USD61 million for the installation of 2,100km of the out-dated cable, whilst Rwanda paid USD38 million for 2,300km of the preferred cable type. Further, the ICT ministry reported that it believed the actual installation had been flawed, as confirmed by the recent investigation, with the majority of the cable deployed less than 15m from the centre of roads and buried less than 1.5m from the surface thereby leaving the infrastructure vulnerable to accidental damage, vandalism and theft. In mid-2011, the government feared that as a result of the shoddy workmanship, it would be left with infrastructure that was less than required, and would require constant repairs that Uganda can ill-afford.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:41:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) has finally stopped selling its contentious fixed-wireless and mobile products, The Times of Swaziland reports. In March 2012 the SPTC reportedly made an offer to withdraw its ‘ONE’ mobile phone and fixed-wireless ‘Fixedfone’ services from the market, in a bid to end its bitter ongoing dispute with the country’s sole mobile operator, MTN Swaziland. The offer was made on the eve of a hearing at the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva which sought to put an end to the feud. The paper reports that the SPTC has already connected around 50,000 fixed-wireless customers, 14,000 mobile customers and around 10,000 users of mobile internet dongles. The uptake is regarded as a significant achievement for the SPTC, which has claimed just 44,000 wireline subscriptions for every year since 2006. Amon Dlamini the SPTC’s acting managing director told the newspaper that the company stopped the sale and promotion of these products about a month ago to smooth the ongoing negotiations with MTN. However, Dlamini has claimed that all existing subscribers will remain connected to its networks, a move which is sure to anger MTN.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTN Swaziland has long maintained that the SPTC’s dual offerings are in breach of the joint venture (JV) agreement signed between the two parties in 1997, which prohibited telecoms SPTC – which operates in the incongruous dual role of national telecoms regulator and fixed line incumbent – from offering services that directly competed with it. After finding its repeated attempts at launching a rival mobile network under the ‘ONE’ brand blocked by MTN in 2010/11, the SPTC promptly changed tack and launched fixed-wireless services under the Fixedfone brand in August 2011, offering limited mobility within each one of twelve designated zones: Big-Bend, Hlathikulu, Lavumisa, Luve, Mankayane, Manzini, Mbabane, Nhlangano, Pigg’s Peak, Simunye, Siphofaneni and Siteki. However, despite the considerable physical bulk of the Fixedfone handsets, it was reported that customers were driving them around in their cars and using them in different geographical regions to make use of the service’s cut-price calling tariffs; SPTC dismissed these occurrences as ‘anomalies’, claiming that the process of locking the Fixedfones to their designated zones was ongoing.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:03:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined telecom operators MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom, a total amount of $10.8 million, over poor quality of telecom services, according to a report by This Day.
 
As per the report, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had informed the Chief Executive Officers of the telecom operators via letters. The penalties imposed on the operators’ amount to $2.29 million for MTN and Etisalat, $1.71 million for Airtel and $1.14 million for Globacom.
 
The letter sent by the Commission said that all the operators are to pay the penalties on or before May 21, 2012 or be liable to payment of additional $15,900 per day for as long as the contravention persists. The penalties were imposed as the operators failed to meet with the minimum standard of quality of service including the key performance indicators (KPIs).
 
According to NCC, it monitored the performance of the operators on the different parameters, in line with the provisions of the regulation, and discovered that operators were in contravention of the provisions.
 
The report reveals that monitoring of the quality of service from the different operators in the month of March 2012, NCC statistics in some crucial parameters showed that Call Set-up Success Rate (CSSR) for all operators was 97.07 percent and the Commission’s target was greater than or equal to 98 percent.
 
Also during the period, Call Completion Rate (CCR) for all operators was 95.78 percent and the commission’s target was greater than or equal 96 percent. Drop Call Rate (DCR) for all operators was 1.33 percent and the commission’s target was less than or equal to 2 percent. The statistics showed that the four operators did not measure up to NCC’s target in certain parameters.

Source: Wireless Federation.
 

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:00:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has opened the terminal in Monrovia that houses the country’s connection to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) undersea cable system, which connects 23 countries between France and South Africa. Liberia’s link to the 17,000km cable will be operational from October this year. ‘When this becomes operational Liberians will have easy access to information in the world and this will enable them to easily disseminate information to the outside world,’ President Sirleaf commented, according to a report from AFP.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:11:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Around 53 percent of mobile internet users in India, Kenya, Indonesia, Ghana and Nigeria have engaged in mobile banking and payment activities. In Kenya, over 96 percent of mobile internet users have engaged in a financial activity via their mobile, according to a report by mobile research specialists On Device Research. The report also found that using mobile phones for financial activities is also popular in rural areas, with almost equal penetration compared to urban usage in some countries. Sending airtime credits is the most popular mobile finance activity, with 28 percent transferring credit. Airtime can be used as a form of currency to pay for goods and services.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:08:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), the country’s incumbent fixed line operator, has introduced a wireless broadband service based on WiMAX technology. The Daily Times cites MTL’s acting CEO Elias Imaan as saying that the new offering will be available to both residential and business customers, and will be rolled out in phases across the country, beginning with central business districts and some suburbs of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. The second phase, scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of 2012, will cover the remaining parts of the three cities, as well as other districts. Imaan added that MTL, which also offers internet access via CDMA and DSL technology, has rebranded all of its consumer internet services under the uniform MiNET brand.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:02:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator MTN Liberia (formerly Lonestar Communications) has announced that it is investing upwards of USD30 million in the country to continue the expansion and implementation of advanced mobile services for its customers. The cellco, part of South Africa-based MTN Group, says the capital expenditure programme is designed to boost coverage to more villages, towns and cities in the African nation. The carrier claims to have rolled out its network to an additional 20 locations in the last twelve months, increasing its footprint to more than 160 locations, boosting network capacity and improving its ability to offer high quality voice and data services to end users. The latest network expansion saw the region of Grand Kru County connected on 2 April. The cellco’s new Grand Kru cell site has been configured with voice-over-IP over satellite, using Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) technology, it said. The installation of DAMA will give it the ability to expand the site’s capacity in the future with no need to acquire additional satellite bandwidth, and will also increase the speed of EDGE throughout Barclayville and surrounding areas. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database MTN Liberia had just over one million mobile subscribers in 15 Liberian counties at 31 December 2011, a market share of 54.2%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:39:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2011
African mobile operator Vodacom Group said its subscriber base grew by 9 percent as of 31 March to 43.5 million, driven by new offers which delivered more value to customers. The company said its group revenue went up by 6.4 percent and headline earnings per share rose by 28.6 percent to ZAR 0.656 per share. Group data revenue increased 35.5 percent to ZAR 6 4 billion.
 
Group CEO Pieter Uys lauded the team for the financial and operational results, delivered in an environment of mobile termination rate reductions, price reductions and inflationary cost pressure. This, he said, had been achieved through a sharp focus on the customer experience, investment in the networks and delivering on ZAR 500 million cost efficiency programme. The resulting 51 percent increase in total shareholder returns is really pleasing. Uys said the decision they took some years ago to lead the industry on mobile data is bearing fruit. The combination of considerable investment in new base stations and taking charge of own transmission has put the firm in an enviable position.
 
The new dual-carrier technology that they are rolling out across the network has both speed and capacity benefits and will support continued growth in the data business, Uys said.
 
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:21:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 03, 2010

For a decade, West Africa's main connection to the Internet has been a single fiber-optic cable in the Atlantic, a tenuous and expensive link for one of the poorest areas of the planet.

But this summer, a second cable snaked along the West African coastline, ending at Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos. It has more than five times the capacity of the old one and is set to bring competition to a market where wholesale Internet access costs nearly 500 times as much as it does in the U.S.

It's the first of a new wave of investment that the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union says will vastly raise the bandwidth available in West Africa by mid-2012.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, September 03, 2010 12:33:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 15, 2010

Main One Cable Company has announced the launch of its high capacity fibre-optic cable system, which links West Africa to Europe, on time and within budget. The cable spans 7,000km and has landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana with branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. Main One said the cable system will deliver 1.92Tbps of much-needed international capacity into West Africa, more than ten times what is currently available; in the past rapid growth in telecoms in the region has been blighted by limited global connectivity. ‘Today is a historic day for West Africa. The arrival of the Main One cable proves that much good can be done by Africans for Africans. We are pleased to realise the fruit of our dedication and commitment in the past 30 months,’ noted Fola Adeola, chairman of Main One Cable Company, adding: ‘More importantly, we are happy to be a channel for driving growth in Africa and changing the status quo for the average African as reliable internet connectivity becomes easily accessible and affordable for all.’ Wholly African-owned, the Main One cable is the first privately-owned submarine cable system in West Africa.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:11:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest fixed-line penetration rate in the world. Incumbent operators mainly attribute this to low investments in copper-wire network infrastructure in the past. However, ­a series of fibre-optic cables that are being placed along the east and west coasts of the continent are expected to give a second life to fixed-line telecommunications and cater to the rising demand for data and broadband Internet services.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $6.78 billion in 2008 and estimates this to reach $12.25 billion in 2015. The fixed-line technologies covered in this research include copper-wire network, fibre-optic network, dial-up, asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), integrated serial digital network (ISDN), worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX), code division multiple access (CDMA) and multi-protocol label switching (MPLS).

"The key growth drivers for wire-line telecommunications are the increasing demand for data and Internet services, cost-effective deployment of fixed-wireless technologies, and the introduction of fibre-optic cables," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jiaqi Sun. "Corporate customers are the major revenue contributor for fixed-line services, particularly data and Internet services and fixed-wireless technologies."

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:58:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 03, 2010

­The mobile communications markets of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all experienced subscriber growth over ten percent in the last five years. This has created a powerful network effect, which continues to drive market growth, albeit at lower levels. Value-added and data services are increasingly becoming revenue drivers, particularly in competitive markets such as Botswana and Namibia, which have high mobile penetration levels.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that Zambia currently contributes almost half of all revenues in these four countries, followed by Botswana with 26 per cent. This is expected to change by 2015 when Zambia's share will reduce to 38 per cent, but Zimbabwe will contribute one third of the total revenues.

"These countries differ significantly in the state of their mobile communication markets," notes Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Protea Hirschel. "Botswana and Namibia are characterised by high mobile penetration rates, which is more than 100 per cent in the case of Botswana. The small addressable markets in these two countries constrain long-term growth and the average revenue per user (ARPU) for voice is declining due to greater competition. Therefore, mobile operators are focused on retention strategies and extending data offerings to protect their market shares."

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Monday, May 03, 2010 3:04:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 22, 2010

­The sub-Saharan Africa telecommunications market will be characterized by regulatory developments and continued investment in broadband infrastructure by various submarine and terrestrial cable operators, according to latest research by IDC, making 2010 a defining year for Africa's telecoms sector. The FIFA 2010 World Cup will be a watershed moment for African infrastructure, determining the robustness and relevance of submarine cable systems, terrestrial backhaul networks, metro networks, and more.

Click here to see full article

Research for 2009 showed that Africa's telecoms channel accounted for 3-4% of all mobile/portable units shipped. Governments will continue efforts toward higher penetration among citizens, particularly in rural areas, and are likely to see mobile phones as a way of saving money and communicating with citizens. Currently, African mobile penetration rates average 25-45% of the entire population, but the rate for the adult population, with which governments would be interacting, is roughly 70-80%.

As well, operators and vendors will be looking more closely at social networking, news portals, and other content to grow data revenue, which will entail providing relevant content in local languages. As the availability of low-cost devices is an important factor in the adoption of these offerings, telcos will become an increasingly important channel for notebook, netbook, and smartphone vendors.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, March 22, 2010 10:02:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 12, 2010

­A U.S.-based organization that promotes the use of the Internet is urging leaders in east Africa to make the Internet accessible and affordable to all of their citizens. The leaders are gathering in Nairobi for a regional summit due to begin Tuesday.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) says by expanding the reach and affordability of the Internet, African countries can vastly help improve the economic future of the people on the continent. Speaking at an ICANN-hosted Internet conference in Nairobi Monday, CEO Rod Beckstrom noted that Africa, which has 15 percent of the world's population, is home to less than seven percent of Internet users worldwide.

Click here to see full article

"We hope the African heads of state of IGAD will walk across the hallway and join our meeting because that is a few small steps for them, but a huge leap for Africa - for more visibility and leadership of the heads of state in the Internet policy area - because the Internet is truly the developmental platform for the future," he added. Last July, a fiber optic cable went live off the Kenyan coast, putting the countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda on the global information superhighway for the first time.East Africa had been the only region in the world not connected through fiber optic cables. For years, businesses suffered because they had to rely on expensive satellites to connect to the Internet. Many passed down those costs to consumers, hurting the poor in the region.

This article was originally published by Voice of America.

Source:Cellular News

Friday, March 12, 2010 2:42:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 17, 2009

­South Africa's MTN Group has announced that it had a shade under 108.5 million subscribers at the end of September. This is a 5% increase for the quarter from 103.2 million subscribers recorded at the end of  June 2009 and a 19.6% increase for the year to date.

The South and East Africa (SEA) region increased its subscriber base by a very modest 0.5% for the quarter. This was primarily due to the disappointing negative movement of the South Africa subscriber base which contributes 64% to the region. South Africa's subscriber base declined from 17.23 million at the end of June 2009 to 16.42 million at the end of September. The main reason for the movement is the significantly lower number of gross connections following the implementation of RICA in August, which requires PrePay SIM cards to be registered with the operators. Given the current market uncertainty following the RICA implementation there are challenges with South Africa achieving its revised target of zero net additions for the full year.

Uganda increased its subscriber base by 11% in the quarter following the continued success of MTN Zone which now constitutes 95% of the total prepaid base.

The West and Central Africa (WECA) region increased its subscriber base by 5% for the quarter driven mainly by Nigeria which accounts for 58% of the region's subscribers. Nigeria recorded a 5% increase in its subscriber base to 28.76 million mainly due to continued network rollout, innovative product offerings and the effectiveness of the distribution channels implemented earlier in 2009. Ghana maintained its market share and increased its subscriber base by 2,6% despite aggressive competitor activity. Both Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire increased their subscriber bases by 4% and 5% to 4.19 million and 4.21 million, respectively.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region recorded a 9% increase in subscribers for the quarter. This was largely due to continued growth from the Iran operation, which contributes 62% to the region's subscribers and increased its base by 8% to 20.7 million. Iran's growth was attributable mainly to expanded network coverage and continued promotional activity. Syria increased its subscriber base by 13% to 4 million, well above expectations. Afghanistan, although a relatively smaller operation, has been steadily contributing positively to the region's growth and has gained No. 1 position in the market from No 3 at the beginning of 2009.

MTN has revised its subscriber net addition guidance for the year for South Africa to zero and for Syria to 550,000 while other individually disclosed country guidance remains the same. MTN expects to achieve the total group subscriber net addition guidance for 2009 of 22.6 million.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:52:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Millicom International Cellular (MIC), the telecoms group with operations in twelve countries across Africa and Latin America, has posted revenues of USD856.2 million for the third quarter of 2009, a 7% increase year-on-year.

The growth is partly attributable to strong performance at Amnet, the company’s cable and broadband unit, as well as its African subsidiaries. Net income, however, slipped 11.5% to USD142.7 million on the back of higher interest expense and taxes. The results exclude operations in Cambodia, Laos and Sri Lanka, which Millicom agreed to sell earlier this month. The full divestment of all three subsidiaries is expected to take place by the end of 2009, generating approximately USD565 million in cash for the company.

Chief Financial Officer Francois-Xavier Roger said the company was looking at acquisitions and bidding for new licences in Africa and Latin America. ‘We have nothing well advanced at this stage, but we have a few opportunities that we continue to discuss with third parties,’ he stated.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:20:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 21, 2009

Mauritius Telecom (MT), which has already connected to the South Africa Far East fibre-optic cable system to increase its international connectivity, has revealed its intention to lay a second cable, the company’s chief executive officer Sarat Lallah said last Friday.

The investment for the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) fibre-optic cable is being supported by a consortium made up of Orange Madagascar, MT and France Telecom, Lallah said. For its part, the Mauritian fixed line incumbent has invested around EUR7 million in phase one of the project which is expected to cost a total of EUR37 million. The CEO went on to say the second phase of the LION project will connect the cable with the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa where it will then be connected to the South Africa-East Africa-South Asia-Fibre Optic Cable (SEACOM), a 17,000km cable which reaches up to Marseilles in France. LION will also be connected to the 4,500km fibre-optic cable TEAMS (The East African Marine System), a Kenyan government partnership with the Emirates Telecommunication Establishment which links Mombasa to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. In the future LION is envisaged to be connected to the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), a 10,000km link which, once completed, will connect some 13 African countries, Lallah said.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, September 21, 2009 8:23:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vodafone is expected to use Vodacom as its vehicle to expand into developing markets in Africa now that it has secured control of the company. Vodacom CEO, Pieter Uys said that the company is looking to take advantage of falling prices to increase its footprint.

"If you look at the world there aren't many growth opportunities around; Africa is one of them," Uys told the Bloomberg news agency. "All markets in Africa offer potential for consolidation." Vodafone "has committed to use us" to enlarge its sub-Saharan business and "support us" on potential acquisitions, he said.

Vodafone has just increased its holding in Vodacom from 50% to 65%, while South African landline operator, Telkom floated its 35% stake onto the local stock market earlier this week.

Vodacom has operations in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, DR Congo and Mozambique. Through its Gateway Communications subsidiary, it offers satellite services in 40 African countries.

Click here to see full article
Source : Cellular News
Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:25:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For a few days last month Maroc Telecom's parent company Vivendi looked like it might pull off one of the most audacious attempts yet to arrest control of one of the Middle East & Africa's largest mobile operations from the now well-entrenched players. However, Zain, whose Celtel unit was the subject of the interest, could not agree on price with the French company and the chance of a deal - however unlikely most commentators, including your author, thought that to be - now looks to be dead and gone. If a transaction had gone ahead it would most likely have had a significant effect on Maroc Telecom's place in the Vivendi group, with the Moroccan incumbent slotting in as part of a much larger overall portfolio.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:28:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Atlantic Telecom is reported to be facing the suspension of its network in Togo after failing to renew its operating license. The operator's license expired in June 2008, and has been given until 10th August to pay a 20 billion CFA (US$44 million) renewal fee.

Click here to see full article

Estimates from the  Mobile World analysts shows that the operator ended Q1 '09 with around 530,000 subscribers. The dominant telco is the state owned Togo Cellular, with around 1.25 million customers. France Telecom's Orange seems to have an operating license but has not started services yet.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:20:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The opening of a fiber-optic cable providing broadband to millions of people in Southern and Eastern Africa is part of an ambitious plan to expand Internet access and help spur the continent’s economy and its technology industry. The cable, built by Seacom, a consortium 75 percent controlled by African investors, is the first of about 10 new undersea connections expected to serve Africa before the middle of next year. The expansion will cost about $2.4 billion and will help connect Africa with Europe, Asia and parts of the Middle East at higher speeds and at lower cost.

Right now, Africa has only one submarine fiber-optic cable: the less efficient SAT-3 cable in Western Africa, owned primarily by Telkom, the South African telecom company, and last updated in 2002. Those with no access to that cable are forced to use expensive and slow satellite links.

Click here to see full article
Source: Kenya London News
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:16:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 12, 2009

In a press release, France Telecom has announced that the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable system, which was initially planned to stretch from France to Gabon, will now be extended to South Africa connecting all countries along the West coast of Africa, from Morocco to South Africa. This new cable will provide broadband interconnection to the global telecommunications network to more than 25 countries in Africa and Western Europe.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 12, 2009 1:52:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Madagascar’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Orange Madagascar, has announced that it has completed its submarine cable project, LION, and has connected the cable at Tamatave in the Toamasina region. Funded by Orange Madagascar, France Telecom and Mauritius Telecom, the 1,800km broadband cable links with the existing SAT3/WASC and SAFE cable and has a capacity of 1.3Tbps. It also connects Madagascar with the islands of Reunion and Mauritius, and Orange maintains the new link will contribute to the development of regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean. However, despite the completion of the development, Orange has complained that the Malagasy government has still not completed the necessary legal framework to allow the ‘full exploitation of the cable’. It has called on the state to regulate so that it can begin to offer commercial services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, incumbent Telecom Malagasy’s (Telma’s) monopoly on the fixed line sector was due to end on 30 June 2008, but regulator OMERT has yet to legislate to officially open the market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 12, 2009 1:50:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 10, 2009

­Kuwait based Zain is reported to be considering an offer to sell its African mobile networks to an unnamed French company. The sale of the former Celtel assets is estimated to be worth up to US$12 billion, including debt, reports the Dow Jones Newswire, citing the Al Qabas newspaper.

Celtel was founded by Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim in 1998 and sold to Kuwiat's MTC (now Zain) in April 2005 for US$3.4 billion.

Zain is waiting for reply from the French company this week and if the deal isn't settled Zain will study bids made by other companies, the newspaper added.

No reason was given for why Zain is looking to sell the African division.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:14:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 08, 2009

Zain, the leading mobile operator in Middle East and Africa has brought its Sierra Leone operations under the borderless ‘One Network’. The mobile service will allow the Zain subscribers in the African and Middle East nations to be a part of the mobile community.

Zain subscribers will be able to communicate between these countries and be treated as local subscribers in terms of pricing, while using their home network service.

“Today marks another milestone in the history of Zain as we launch our award winning ‘One Network’ service in another country. Now it covers 18 countries and an area larger than the United States of America and with a population of more than 500 million people,” said Dr. Saad Al Barrak, Zain’s group CEO. He said the introduction of ‘One Network’ mobile service is part of their Drive11 initiative.
The One Network service enables subscribers to make calls and SMS at local rates and will receive incoming calls and SMS for free.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, June 08, 2009 9:09:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 03, 2009

East African submarine fibre-optic cable system SEACOM has announced that it is entering the final stages of construction. According to the SEACOM website, the 15,000km, 1.28Tbps cable system is due to launch operations in early July this year. SEACOM CEO Brian Herlihy said, ‘SEACOM is in its final stretch! With the rapid progress of construction, we will soon be providing cheaper and faster bandwidth to our customers. The site acceptance testing was recently completed in Mombasa, and the terminal installation has also been completed in South Africa.’ MyBroadband.co.za has reported that construction of the physical cable system is completed and testing is due to commence in early June. Angus Hay, chief technology officer of Neotel - SEACOM’s South African ‘anchor tenant’, confirmed that the company is preparing end-to-end testing on the cable system. Hay said that this testing will involve the full system which runs from the Neotel point-of-presence in Midrand, S.A along the East African coast to India and Europe.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:24:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 15, 2009
  • Total African telecoms market to grow by >USD40 billion by 2013
  • Low service penetration rates will allow for growth beyond five year period

As growth in the global telecoms service markets slows, Africa will be the one region which will see double-digit average annual growth rates over the next five years, according to TeleGeography's GlobalComms Insight. Spurred on primarily by a doubling of its wireless subscriber base, the total African market will grow by well over USD40 billion by 2013. At that point it will still have by far the lowest service penetration rates compared to other regions, indicating the opportunity for continued strong growth over subsequent years. Of course growth will remain in check by under-developed economies and widespread poverty among large sections of the population, a result of which is an ARPU level that will continue to lag way behind the rest of the world. Nonetheless Africa represents a strong business growth opportunity for many service providers.

TeleGeography's newest product - GlobalComms Insight - includes subscriber forecasts for wireless, broadband and fixed line markets in Africa on a country-by-country basis, as well as full analysis of the growth in market value, service penetration rates and ARPU. GlobalComms Insight provides comprehensive market forecasts and forward-looking analysis to help clients track market trends and to identify new opportunities.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, May 15, 2009 10:58:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 21, 2009

­The Kenyan market saw some major developments in the second half of 2008: in Q3, fixed operator Telkom Kenya launched a mobile network, and in the last quarter of the year, Econet Wireless finally managed to get up and running, more than five years after it was first awarded a licence. At the end of 2008, there were 15.90m mobile customers in Kenya. Annual net additions stood at 4.55m, up from 4.08m a year earlier, but proportionate growth fell from 56.0% to 40.1%. Fourth-quarter net additions increased from 0.65m in Q4 07 to 1.37 in Q4 08.

Safaricom dominates the Kenyan market, although the launch of Telkom (Orange) and Econet appears to have dented its market share. At the end of 2008 it had 12.39m customers, more than 9m ahead of nearest rival Celtel. However, having lost 2.7pp market share in Q3 08, it dipped a further 4.4pp in Q4 08 to finish the year on 77.9%. By contrast, Celtel does not appear to have suffered at all from the launch of the new networks, adding 4.4pp of market share in the second half of 2008 to finish on 19.4%. It topped the market for net additions in Q4 08 with a gain of 0.52m (compared to 0.43m for Safaricom) and finished the year on 3.08m.

Kenya: Quarterly Net Additions, Q1 08 – Q4 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:25:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The central African nation of Burundi was home to 480,000 mobile subscribers at the end of 2008, up 78% on the 270,000 reported the previous year, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator, Agence de Regulation et de Controle des Telecom (ARCT). The sharp rise has been attributed to increased competition in the local market and mobile network expansion by the four active operators - U-Com, ONAMOB, Africell and Econet. Two more licensed operators, Lacell and HiTS Telecom are yet to launch services. U-Com claimed the lion’s share with 344,830 users as at 31 December 2008, with the remainder split between its three rivals. ARCT is targeting 700,000 mobile subscribers in the country by 2010. The regulator’s report also highlighted earnings for the four cellcos reached BIF33.2 billion (USD27.31 million) in 2008, up from BIF25 billion the previous year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:31:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 23, 2009

According to a recent report by Yemeni telecoms company Public Telecommunication Corporation (PTC), the number of internet subscribers in the country rose to 295,215 in 2008, from 216,076 a year earlier. Of the total, dial-up users accounted for 270,773 (205,613 in 2007), while subscribers to the Super Yemen Net (ADSL) service jumped to 24,442 (10,464). The number of internet cafes across the republic rose from 925 in 2007 to 973.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 23, 2009 3:15:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

POTRAZ has slashed mobile phone tariffs by 40% in order to make mobile services more affordable in Zimbabwe. According to the regulator, the move was prompted by the need there was need to strike a balance between affordability of services by consumers and the viability of operators.

The POTRAZ board reportedly, said, “The strengthening of the United States currency against other regional currencies has resulted in a reduction in regional tariffs.” The hyper inflation and currency devaluation in the Southern African country has made all three mobile network service providers to start billing their subscribers in foreign currency. As per the PORTAZ directive, Econet Wireless has already reduced its tariffs.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:51:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Click here to see full article

"Kenya shows impressive growth rates with significant opportunity," notes Dearbhla McHenry, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "By the end of 2008, Kenya had more than 15.0 million mobile subscribers, with a mobile penetration rate of 39 percent. The subscriber base is expected to rise to 29.28 million, or 66.7 percent penetration, by year-end 2013."

Increased competition is helping to fuel demand for mobile services in Kenya, McHenry says. "Until 2008, the Kenyan mobile market was a duopoly consisting of Safaricom and Zain. That has now changed with the entry of two new players - Econet and Orange. Since their entry, there has been a fierce price war with operators slashing tariffs and introducing new air time promotions, making their services more affordable for the wider population."

Total revenue of Kenya's telecom market is forecast to grow by 42 percent from $1.39 billion in 2008 to $1.98 billion by 2013, with 78 percent of the total revenue to be generated by the mobile sector. "Mobile data will be the telecom sector's fastest-growing revenue stream, increasing in revenue from $62 million in 2008 to $224 million in 2013, partly due to the launch of 3G services but also to the explosive growth of low-tech, low-margin mobile data services, particularly mobile money transfers," says McHenry.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:38:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 16, 2009

Nigeria has outdone South Africa to emerge as the largest mobile telecom market in Africa with more than 61 million mobile subscribers, according to a new report.

The report revealed that a continued growth in the country in the coming five years will trigger prompt further competition among the growing number of network operators.

Nigeria’s telecom market was liberalized in 2003, which paved a way to enormous growth rates and has bought in new operators.

The telecom market grew by 23% a year earlier, taking up $8.4 billion in overall telecom service revenues. The mobile penetration rate, at present, stands at 42%. Nigeria’s total telecom is forecasted to grow at CAGR of 5.7 percent from the existing US$8.42 billion in 2008 to $11.14 billion in 2013. Out of the total, 83% is attributed to mobile service revenue over the next five years.

Moreover, the expected launch of various mobile voice and data services is going to benefit the suppliers of mobile network technologies, while demand for CDMA and GSM base stations will stand strong over the next several years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:47:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Presenting the government’s budget statement to parliament yesterday, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the country had 10,522,240 fixed line and mobile users at the end of 2008, with growth attributed to the cellular sector. The total mobile base has increased from 383,000 in 2002 to 10,242,916 at the end of last year he said, whilst the fixed line total dropped from 389,483 to 279,324. Dr Duffuor attributed the fall to the removal of 'dormant' subscribers from Ghana Telecom’s fixed line network, and said that cellular growth was the result of ‘the creation of an enabling environment and the positive sustenance of competition in the sector’.

Dr Duffuor said that in order to promote a wider penetration of ICT services, the Ministry of Communications has facilitated the transformation of Voltacom's fibre-optic assets into a National Communications Backbone Infrastructure network to provide open access broadband connectivity nationwide. Furthermore, 39 Common Telecom Facilities were completed last year which enabled telecom operators to extend their services to about 273 communities under the Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunication development (GIFTEL).

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:38:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Nigeria’s telecoms regulator the NCC has reported customer numbers for the fourth quarter of 2008. The total customer base reached 62.99m at the end of the year having increased by 55.9% annually. On a quarterly basis, net additions stood at 7.15m, only just short of the national and continental record of 7.38m, set in Q2 08.

Quarterly Net Additions, Total and CDMA

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:24:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Zain Tanzania’s brand new M-Banking service Zap has signed up nearly 1,400 customers in first 10 days of the launch of the service.

Zain also reported that “hundreds” of people have also applied to register themselves as Zap agents.

Zap was launched by Zain across East Africa ten days back.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:34:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 09, 2009

Trai has cut termination charges by 33%, this reduction will lead to lowered mobile tariffs for consumers. The regulator has slashed the termination charges on local calls to 20 paise a minute from existing 30 paise.

The new incumbents like  Datacom, Unitech, Shyam-Sistema and Loop Telecom among others were insisting on 0-10 paise per minute termination charge whereas the existing GSM operators were opposing any reduction in the charges, as they feared there revenue would be affected.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 09, 2009 4:20:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bahrain based mo­bile holding firm, Bintel has announced that it has been awarded a 15-year mobile operator license in Gabon - making it the fourth operator in the country. The company is expected to launch its network in the third quarter of 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 09, 2009 4:07:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2009

The telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Gabon, Artel, has awarded Bintel a 15 -year mobile licence. The incumbent is expected to commence its services in the third quarter of 2009. Bintel estimates its initial investment in 2009 in Gabon to be in excess of USD 50 million. As per the terms of the agreement, the company is licensed to provide the latest voice and data services to customers in Gabon, including high-speed data and video conferencing. The licence acquisition is followed by the appointment of Gilles Villenaut as general manager for its Gabon operations. Gabon has expected mobile penetration rate to reach around 90% and in 2011 it is estimated to reach 120%. At present, Zain holds 58% of the market share, followed by Gabon Telecom with 34% and Moov stands with 8%. Bintel is intending to capture 6-8% of the Gabon Market in the first year and targets 30% share within its first 10 years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:50:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Leading mobile telecommunications provider Zain announced its plans to bring mobile banking to over 100 million people in East Africa with the launch of its new service, Zap. With the most comprehensive and accessible package of mobile banking features currently available on the continent, Zap will be initially available in Kenya and Tanzania and will shortly launch in Uganda. It represents the most comprehensive mobile banking service and will provide millions of people with access to banking for the very first time.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:42:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 20, 2009

Zain Zambia, posted a rise of 25% in its net profit to ZMK 265 billion for the full year 2008. The company’s revenue grows by 32% to ZMK 1.217 trillion, attributed to the increase in number of subscribers, which grew by 36% during the period. Operating expenses amounted to ZMK 782 billion in comparison to 2007’s ZMK 530 billion, and EBITDA grew by 24% to ZMK 606 billion. The firm continues to dominate the sector with a market share of 73 percent but said 2009 will be a challenging year due to the global financial crisis, Zain Zambia MD David Holliday said. The incumbent reported a subscriber base of 2.7 million customers at the end of December, up from 2.3 million customers in June 2008.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, February 20, 2009 11:09:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 18, 2009

According to Morocco's telecoms regulator ANRT, the country’s mobile phone subscriber base rose by 13.9% year-on-year to 22.816 million by the end of 2008, compared to 20.029 million at end-2007, boosting cellular penetration by eight percentage points to 74%. In terms of market share, Maroc Telecom was attributed 63.4% of mobile subscribers at end-December, compared to 34.7% for Medi Telecom and 1.9% for Wana. Subscribers to 3G internet services grew from 42,729 to 268,131 in the year, an increase of 528%, with all three mobile operators competing in the mobile broadband sector.

The fixed telephony market achieved an annual increase of 25.0% in subscribers, with a total of 2.991 million lines in service at 31 December 2008 (including services with restricted mobility, the majority of which are provided by Wana).

The number of broadband internet subscribers saw a near stagnation in 2008, with annual growth of just 1.3% to 482,791 (compared to growth of 21.9% in 2007 and 57.6% in 2006).

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:11:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wana, the Moroccan fixed line incumbent, grabs the third GSM licence in the country. Country telecom regulator ANRT reportedly said that Wana’s bid offered a perfect blend of finacial and technical techniques along with coverage, investment and pricing. Wana will operate as a GSM service provider competing against Maroc Telecom and Meditel.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:51:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 02, 2009

Ugandan ICT Minister said that the number of wireless subscribers rose to 8.2 million at the end of 2008. The mobile penetration stood at around 25%. According to a report, at the end of September 2008 MTN retained a position of strength in the Ugandan wireless arena, with a market share of 42% (3.23 million subscribers), though this was down from 57.6% 18 months earlier. Zain bags second position with 1.86 million customers, where as UTL has an estimated 1.65 million. The new incumbent Warid claimed a laudable million customers at the end of September 2008, 13% of the market, just eight months after launch.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, February 02, 2009 11:12:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009

­Nigeria’s Q3 08 growth could not match the record-breaking levels seen in the previous quarter, when 7.38m new connections were added - more than double the best figure recorded in any other African nation. However, its third-quarter boost of 4.11m was the second best figure ever recorded in the market, which is particularly impressive given that one of the top three operators, Glo, suffered a loss of 0.6m customers in the quarter. At the end of Q3, there were 55.8m connections in Nigeria, up 51% year on year with annual net additions of 18.8m.


Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:53:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 28, 2009

­The ten fastest growing operators in the MEA region added over 12m new customers in aggregate over the last three months, implying an average gain of over 1.25m. In fact, all but three of the ten managed seven figure gains.

 

 

Mobinil in Egypt produced by far the best result in the region, with 2.58m net adds - more than it connected in the first two quarters of the year and nearly one million more than second placed MTN Nigeria managed. The Egyptian market has been booming since the launch of the country’s third network, but as is so often the way, the incumbents have been the main beneficiaries. Vodafone Egypt was the fourth fastest growing company in the quarter, with 1.39m new customers, while Etisalat Egypt, the new entrant, only managed a gain of 310k, for 28th place overall.

An increased competitive threat also lay behind the strong performance by third placed Irancell and fifth placed TCI Iran. These two added 1.55m and 1.15m connections respectively, but this week, a third national mobile licence has been awarded to a consortium led coincidentally (or perhaps not) by Etisalat. This will have exclusive rights to offer 3G services, at least for the moment. Experience shows that agreements of this kind are rarely honoured if there is a licence fee to be had.

 

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:52:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The South African market broke through the 100% penetration barrier during Q3 08 to finish the quarter on 101.8%. The total market reached 44.51m customers. Annual growth slowed from 24.2% for the 12 months ending 30th September 2007 to 10.7% for the subsequent 12 months, the lowest rate since Q2 02. However, this rate was the same as that recorded in Q2 08, and in real terms annual growth rose quarter-on-quarter, from 4.18m to 4.30m.


Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:13:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 08, 2009

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

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) ­Zimbabwe's largest mobile telephone network is phasing out Zimbabwe dollar tariffs and introducing United States denominated recharge cards from Tuesday, APA learns here.

Econet Wireless announced that the move to charge in foreign currency was meant to improve services by enabling the company to invest in new equipment and settle its foreign currency obligations.

“Econet is introducing US dollar recharge cards from 30 December 2008. Please use your Zimbabwe dollar cards by midnight 29 December 2008 as they will expire thereafter," it said in a notice to subscribers.

Local calls would cost around US$0.30 per minute while text messages would cost US$0.15.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:42:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The subscriber base of phone users in Uganda has reached the mark of 7million, reports Minister of Information, Dr Ham Mukasa Mulira. The Minister says the growth is driven by liberalisation of communication sector and then coming of competition among the private entrants to the market.

Dr Mulira commended the government for having liberalised fully the communications sector. “I am pleased to inform you that the policy adopted has yielded extremely positive results with penetration growing from 5 to 6 per cent in 2006 to over 20 per cent in just over two years,”.

Over the years, the rise in numbers has been driven by slashing calling rates, aggressive marketing and product innovation by both the existing and latest phone companies. At the start of the year, there were about 5.4 million subscribers but the number tremendously rose with the commercial entry of Warid Telecom on February 7 this year.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:36:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 23, 2008

APA-Kampala (Uganda) ­Uganda’s ministry of Health has launched a project to equip health centers across the country with techno-labs that will facilitate diagnosis and prescription of treatment for patients without them coming physically to the health facilities.

The project under the Uganda Communication Development Fund (UCDF) of the Uganda Communications Commission will see health centers across the country fitted with computers, digital cameras, scanners and other gadgets to allow doctors to diagnose and prescribe treatment to patients in other health centers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:25:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 16, 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, December 16, 2008 5:40:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zain rolls out a pilot project of its rebranded mobile money transfer service Zap, which will be operational in Africa and Middle East. The pilot will be rolled out in Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The new money transfer service will allow the subscribers to withdraw and deposit money through Zain outlets and transact international money transfers. Zap will also offer added services to clients in collaboration with local commercial banks.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:26:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 15, 2008

Main One Cable Company has revealed that it has secured licences from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) allowing it to land its intercontinental undersea fibre-optic cable in the two countries. The company has already begun work on an undersea cable connecting Portugal and southern Africa. The first phase of the project spans 6,900 kilometres from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria, while the second phase encompasses a 6,000 kilometre extension to Angola and South Africa. Negotiations with other countries along the route for further landing points are said to be ongoing.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, December 15, 2008 11:46:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 10, 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, December 10, 2008 11:26:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mobinil celebrates its 20 millionth customer and consolidates its leadership position on the Egyptian telecommunications market

Ten years after the launch of commercial activities, Mobinil celebrated yesterday in Cairo its 20 millionth customer in the presence of Olaf Swantee, Senior Executive Vice President, Personal Communication Services, UK, Europe and the Middle East for France Telecom-Orange, and Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orascom Telecom. Mobinil, which had 15 million customers at the end of 2007, increased its customer base by almost 5 million people in less than one year, a progression of around 35%. This commercial success allows Mobinil, in which France Telecom has a majority stake, to consolidate its leadership position on the Egyptian mobile telecommunications market with approximately 52% of market share.

This performance is essentially due to the high quality of service provided by Mobinil and its capacity to deliver innovative offers. The launch of a new 3G network last September, for example, has provided Egyptians with access to high-speed mobile Internet.

Click here to see full article

The Orange Foundation also participates in a scholarships programme for girls living in poor districts of Cairo.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:43:22 AM (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, December 09, 2008 10:30:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 04, 2008

Etisalat Nigeria launches a new mobile phone feature for its ‘Easy Starter’ subscribers which will notify them of a missed call when the phone is out of coverage area or switched off. The service will be provided via SMS which will include the number trying to reach him along with the date and time. The package is activated by default and without charge. According to the telco, the feature will promote better business and personal relationships in Nigeria.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:54:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telkom Kenya, the new entrant to the Kenyan mobile market, has reportedly signed up 300,000 subscribers in the first three months of its launch. Telkom Kenya targets a subscriber base of 400000 by 2008-end, says CEO Dominique Saint-Jean. After launching it services in Nairobi and Mombasa, it further plans a coverage of five more towns by 2008-end.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:51:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nigerian telecoms market looks forward to achieve a tele-density of 100% by 2020 driven by massive telephone and mobile communication improvements, calling for a huge growth in the ICT sector. Nigeria, till today as nearly 140 million people being serviced by 60 phone lines, a 45% success rate in a development wherein it’ll boost the Nigerian economy and infrastructure. Internet installation is one of the most important technological advancement to be addressed. “ICTs are in fact enablers of broad based socio and economic development. ICTs not only contribute to the development of education, health and governance, but are also key enablers of sustainable human development in a more general sense. No modern economy can thrive without an integral information technology and telecommunications infrastructure. This is because ICTs provide the veritable platform for development across the economic and other sectors if well harnessed,” said vice chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Ernest Ndukwe. According to Ndukwe, if the goal is achieved, Nigeria would then have as many phone lines which can impressively improve the lives of the local people in as far as communication through telephone, cellphone and internet is concerned. Today the ratio stands at 1:1 implying that a Nigerian individual living in an urban centre owns three communication lines in the sense that at work and home an individual will be serviced by telephone lines and a mobile cellular phone, to make it three gadgets of communication.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:35:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Africa’s largest mobile phone company, MTN Group Ltd, is planning to bring handsets with MTN’s brand costing as little as $12 in the first half of next year. MTN’s Vice President of southern and east African region, Tim Lowry, said the handsets would be manufactured in China and may be priced between $12 and $15.

However, MTN lacks infrastructure such as base stations and switches and prices in a move to expand mobile and data services on the African Continent. In Africa, average mobile penetration is assessed to be 25%.

Lowry further said, MTN distributed 100,000 handsets costing about $20 into countries it operated in, including South Africa and Zambia, in a test this year. “They went into the system and just disappeared,” he said. “We couldn’t keep up, they were selling like hot cakes.” MTN will target markets of Zambia, Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa with the low-priced handsets, carrying the MTN brand. The handsets are capable of handling data and voice. It is anticipated that average mobile penetration will rise to 50% in the next three or four years. MTN is working with mobile-phone companies to bring down prices for handsets that can handle data, voice and multimedia services to between $30 and $40, Lowry added.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:08:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The evergrowing competition in the Kenyan mobile market is expected to take down Safaricom’s market share which will drop from its dominant 80% to 65% in another four years. The fall will be driven by the launch of rival operators, says Chief Executive Michael Joseph.

“We will have between 65% and 70% market share by 2011,” says Michael. The closest competitor to Safaricom is Zain, which has started offering all new lowered tariffs and products, which targets the lower segment of market, which was earlier captured by Safaricom.

The state owned Telkom Kenya is speedily building up its GSM ntwork under the brand name Orange. In order to stay in competition, Safaricom has invested more in data services and is building a WiMax network, to complement its broadband service launched in August this year.

“We are diversifying our revenue streams, with a shift from the voice market. Which is becoming increasingly unattractive, due to the low tariffs, to data,” says Michael. He additionally said that the operator with its broad network can fight the agressive competition.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:04:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Virgin Mobile South Africa, raises its data and SMS tariffs for both its prepaid and post-paid subscribers, eliminating off-peak rates. The rise in tariffs mean that Virgin’s peak-time tariffs are quiet lower than its competitors. On the other hand, it also means that users will not benefit from low off-peak rates. Virgin Mobile’s all-day rate is now 60c/SMS. MMSs are charged at a flat rate of 75c each and its per-MB data rate is set at 60c in contrast with Vodacom’s 4U charging 80c/SMS in peak times and 35c in off-peak times and Pay-as-you-go MTN subscribers are charged 75c/peak-time SMS while off-peak SMSs cost 35c. For data users, Vodacom and MTN charge around R2/MB for out-of-bundle data usage, their in-bundle rates for 2 GB or more drop to R0.19/MB. This is in comparison with Virgin Mobile’s flat rate of R0.60 per megabyte.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:57:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Tanzanian TRCA expects in the number of phone users to reach 13 million by H1Œ09, a rise of 25% and major rise in mobile subscriber base. According to the numbers by the government, the Tanzanian telecoms market has grown by 20.1% in 2007, in comparison to 19.2% a year earlier. gHardly four years ago we were less than two million. Towards the middle of 2009, we should easily reach 13 million,h Tanzania Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General John Nkoma said. gWe do expect that by the end of this year, we should be hitting maybe 10.5 million or 11 million. Itfs largely driven by mobile.h he added. With the end of 2007 Tanzania stood at 8.48 million subscribers, while by H1Œ08, it had 10.43 million subscribers. TRCA reports a penetration rate of 25% allowing players to enter the nascent telecom market.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:34:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Tanzania Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, John Nkomasays that he expects the number of mobile phone users in the country will jump by 25% to 13 million by the middle of next year.

"Hardly four years ago we were less than two million. Towards the middle of 2009, we should easily reach 13 million," he said.

The regulator awarded two additional licenses last week - to local firms, MyCell and Egotel for both landline and mobile services. Existing operator, Zain was also granted a licence to install an international gateway. There are now five companies licensed to offer international dialing services in the country.

According to figures from the Mobile World subscriber tracker, the country ended the first half of this year with just under 10.1 million customers - representing a population penetration level of 26%.

On the web: Tanzania Regulatory Authority - Mobile World

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:20:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 28, 2008

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) ­A media watchdog on Friday criticised the collapsed state of Zimbabwe’s telecommunications sector following more than a week of erratic coverage by the country’s main service providers.

The sole fixed telephone network run by the state-owned TelOne is in an appalling state of affairs, with erratic coverage in the urban areas and is virtually non-existent in the rural areas.

Problems on the fixed telephone network have also negatively affected Internet traffic in Zimbabwe during the past three weeks.

The three mobile telephone networks – Econet Wireless, Telecel Zimbabwe and the state-owned Net One – have also failed to cope with the market demand for their services in Zimbabwe’s hyperinflationary environment.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, November 28, 2008 4:52:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA - Lomé (Togo) ­The telephone coverage rate remains very low in Togo (4.8%) where 95.2% of the population do not have access to telephone, reliable sources told APA here.

"About 95.2% of people do not have access to telephone, and telephone coverage is particularly very low in rural areas", an official document recently of the Togolese cabinet disclosed recently.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, November 28, 2008 4:49:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a recent surevey, South Africa has been rated as the world’s fourth fastest and Africa’s fastest growing mobile market, with a coverage on 80% of the total population, nearly 39 million users, representing a market value of US$2.4 billion. The three operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C, have been in a cutthroat competition against each other since the launch of MNP in the market last year.

“South Africa offers an extraordinary penetration rate in this burgeoning market, one of the highest in the developing world,” said the report.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, November 28, 2008 4:47:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008

­Senegal's government has announced that it is to terminate the mobile license of the Tigo mobile phone network - potentially cutting off some 1.8 million customers - at the end of this month. Tigo, which is the trading name of Sentel GSM is a wholy owned subsidiary of Luxembourg based Millicom International Cellular.

Millicom says that the mobile network represents less than 5% of Millicom's world-wide revenues and less than 3% of its EBITDA for the nine months ended September 2008.

Sentel's twenty year license was granted in 1998 by a prior administration, before the enactment in 2002 of Senegal's Telecommunications Act. Although the current Senegalese government has, since 2002, acknowledged the validity of Sentel's license, it has also requested that Sentel renegotiate the terms of the license.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:08:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Operator expands to 15 African markets via launches in Kenya, Uganda and Niger

France Telecom-owned Orange has long had a footprint in the predominantly French-speaking areas of West Africa, but this year has seen the operator push into new African markets and seek to exploit its brand profile in the continent.

Orange entered Kenya - East Africa's largest economy - via its US$390 million acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Telkom Kenya in December 2007. The operator subsequently rebranded the company as 'Orange Kenya' and launched operations last month. Orange is targeting 1.5 million customers within a year and claims to be the first 'integrated' operator in the country by combining mobile, fixed-line and Internet services. It has reportedly invested US$110 million in the subsidiary to date – the majority of investment focused on expanding its GSM network. It is using mobile market-leader Safaricom's network to ensure a nationwide service while it builds-out its own infrastructure but expects to cover the whole country within two years. Orange Kenya is the third mobile operator in the market (after Safaricom and Zain), while a fourth player - Econet Wireless Kenya, a specialist 3G operator - plans to launch in the country soon.

Click here to see full article

 

Operator

 

Market

Ownership

Connections

Market Share

Market Position

MobiNil

Egypt

71.25%

17,518,000

50.57%

1 / 3

Orange Senegal

Senegal

42.40%

3,042,000

64.44%

1 / 2

Orange Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

85.00%

2,826,000

36.33%

2 / 4

Orange Mali SA

Mali

42.30%

2,367,000

87.88%

1 / 2

Orange Cameroon

Cameroon

99.50%

1,827,000

37.04%

2 / 2

Orange Madagascar

Madagascar

65.90%

1,655,000

64.88%

1 / 2

Orange Botswana

Botswana

51.00%

620,000

41.20%

2 / 2

Orange Mauritius (Cellplus)

Mauritius

40%

560,000

60.01%

1 / 2

Orange Guinea

Guinea

--

398,000

--

--

Orange Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea

40.00%

255,000

100.00%

1 / 1

Hits Telecom

Uganda

53.00%

135,335

2.17%

5 / 5

Orange Republic of Centrafrica

Central Republic of Africa

--

70,000

--

--

Orange Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau

--

41,000

--

--

Orange Kenya*

Kenya

51.00%

0

0.00%

3 / 3

Orange Niger**

Niger

--

0

0.00%

4 / 4

TOTAL

 

 

31,314,335

 

 

France Telecom (Orange) Africa Mobile Connections: Q2, 2008
Source: Wireless Intelligence, company data 
* Launched 17 September 2008; ** Launched 30 June 2008

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:59:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat, Nigeria’s fifth GSM operator has assessed that it will make a monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of about 10 dollars from its Nigeria operations begin commercially next week. Etislalat’s Group Chairman, Mohammad Omran, outlined his company’s expectations from its Nigerian undertaking. He observed that ARPU levels in Nigeria were higher than in many other African countries and that by its operation in Nigeria Etisalat was “gaining a strategic foothold in Africa’s most exciting market.” With the existing situation in Nigeria like low penetration, large population and strengthening economy, it is anticipated that Nigeria operations will grow quickly. Etisalat’s coverage in Nigeria would be wide spread at launch reaching major population centres and would quickly spread and encompass the entire country, including the under-served hinterland, Omran added. It is at the final stage of testing prior to public launch.

With competition coming in question, Omran said, “creates a healthy environment for the businesses involved, as well as for the customer and when we enter a new market we offer services and telecommunications solutions based on intensive studies and market research relying on our experience as well as the expertise of our long-term partners.” Etisalat is aiming to introduce voice SMS, Etisalat online services, Mobilecam, a wireless camera that can be placed anywhere and accessed from 3G enabled mobile phones services in Nigerian Market.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:52:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom, South Africa, introduces Short Voice Service, SVS, to allow its subscribers to send a 30-second voice message to any other Vodacom subscriber. There is no special subscription or additional provision to enable the service. As an introductory offer, the SVS service will be free of charge until 9 November 2008. SVS messages will later be charged at a flat rate of ZAR0.90 (USD0.08) and available to all Vodacom contract, pre-paid and top-up subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:51:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following to the 41% year-on-year increase in Econet Wireless subscribers to 910,047 at the end of August, CEO of Econet Wireless, Douglas Mboweni, said that he is confident that the cellco can reach its target of 1.2 million GSM subscribers by the end of February 2009. He further said that firm maintained its grip on the domestic mobile market, claiming an approximate 60% share of all users. It is making a move towards network upgradation with an aim of reaching a capacity of 1.2 million subscribers by the end of 2008. The funding had already been secured for additional expansion and a circular was being prepared for necessary shareholder approvals. The fresh funding would take Econet’s network capacity to almost two million, he added.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:50:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fixed and Mobile Number Portability launches in Romania, enabling the users to switch their operator without having to change their phone number. With the coming of number portability the competition in market will grow as every operator will be running to give out lower tariffs in an effort to grab maximum subscribers with their competitive packages.
According Liviu Nistoran, president of telecoms regulator ANC, it is estimated that in the next two years of number portability approximately 20%-25% of mobile numbers will be ported. The regulator says that operators will have ten days to complete number porting requests.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:49:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 27, 2008

The popularity of mobile phones in South Africa is helping to tackle HIV and Aids in the nation.

Project Masiluleke will send one million free text messages a day to push people to be tested and treated.

Approximately 350,000 people die of Aids-related diseases in the country every year.

Trials of the system showed that calls to counsellors at the National Aids helpline in Johannesburg increased by 200% when messages were broadcast.

Click here to see full article

Source: BBC.

Monday, October 27, 2008 5:31:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 17, 2008

­After a poor first quarter in which there was a net loss of 0.63m customers, the South African market managed positive growth in Q2 with a gain of 0.82m. This took the total customer base to 43.15m, equivalent to a penetration rate of 98.5%. In annual terms, growth stood at 10.7%, less than half the 22.5% recorded in the prior twelve months and, moreover, the lowest rate for six years.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:49:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Warid Telecom new participant in Uganda’s highly competitive telecommunications sector has reached the subscriber base of 1 million within eight months of commercial service. Chief Executive of Warid Telecom, Zul Javaid,  believes that the jump in subscribers since March, when the company launched, can be attributed to aggressive marketing. “For us, this is a high milestone”. “We have hit our target three months before we intended to,” added Javaid.

The company aims to hit the subscriber base 10,000,00 after 12 months of it operation. Javaid further said, “We think the success we have had has been driven by giving the Ugandan population what they want, and that is the response that the market has given us in such a short time.” By saying that ‘Giving the population what it wants’, this involves Warid’s US$250 million GSM  network, according to Javaid. Warid Telecom has built the network in order to take on MTN Uganda, Uganda Telecom and Zain Uganda, all of whom having been operating in the country for more than five years.

Javaid accentuates that Warid has only counted active lines in its statistics, as some companies include dormant lines among their subscriber numbers. In 1998, Uganda had just 12,500 phone lines but now it boasts off vivacious mobile market and is anticipateing to reach the subscriber base of 6.8 million by the end of 2008.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:44:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The price war in Kenyan mobile market is continuing head high as Telkom Kenya lowers the mobile tariffs to one shilling/minute. The calls made from Orange to Orange will be priced one shilling, whereas, SMS will cost the same across all networks. The offer will be available for two months which likely to increase the Telkom’s subscriber base.

It has now been nearly two months that the kenyan mobile operators have been engaged in the price war, which has significantly reduced the mobile tariffs in the country.

Following the trend Zain Kenya launched the Vuka tariff which charges eight shillings/minute to all networks.
Safaricom has still not joined the league though it slashed the night calling rates to five shillings between 10pm and midnight and two shillings and fifty cents after that till 6am, on Safaricom to Safaricom network.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:42:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Algeria's state owned telecoms operator, Algérie Télécom is now unlikely to be privatized for at least two to three years as the company implements an improvement program to make it more commercial. The company is the country's dominant landline operator, and owns its second largest mobile network operator, Moblis.

Click here to see full article

Algeria's government has been planning to partially privatize Algérie Télécom for several years. The sale was expected to be take place by end of 2006, with the government selling 35% of the operator in an Initial Public Offering (IPO). However the procedures have not been finalized and the tender was yet not launched, but expected to take place in 2008.

Click here to see full article

According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country has three operators with the following market shares, Djezzy (39.7%), Moblis (36.4%) and Nedjma with 21.5%. The country itself ended last year with just under 28.2 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 84%.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:19:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2008

­The Kenyan government has announced plans to scrap a law which had required foreign firms to have local partners if investing in the telecoms industry. Under the current system, any investor has to allocate at least twenty percent of the company to a local partner, which has caused legal problems in the past.

Click here to see full article

The Kenyan market is dominated by Safaricom, which has a market share of 86.6% - followed by Zain and Orange. According to figures from the Mobile World, the country had 36.5 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of the first half of this year - although that still represents a population penetration level of just 39%, leaving plenty of space for a third network to enter the market.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:07:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zain Tanzania targets to grow it’s subscriber base by 15%, raising the total to 3.8 million by the end of 2008. Khaled Muhtadi, MD Zain Tanzania said that the celco has spent nearly USD440 million on its network in last four years and plans to invest more than USD180 million on it next year. ‘We have reached over 3.3 million customers today and our target is to exceed 3.8 million by the end of the year,’ he said. The challenges that Zain Tanzania faces are the falling subscriber revenues, high cost of handsets and the slow movement of equipment and supplies through the port and customs.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:24:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Egypt mobile market has reached a total subscriber base of 33.86million as Q2Œ08 ends, net addition of 3.01million quaterly and 10.99 million yearly. The penetration rose from 28.5% to 41.5%, seeing a rise of 13% on y-to-y basis. The 9.8% growth in Q2 overpowered the Q1 growth of 6.6%. The annual growth rate of Egyptian mobile market fell acutely to 29.2% compared to last yearfs 61.7%.

Mobinil lead the market 16.33million subscribers, adding 1.31million subscribers in the quarter and 4.82million in past one year. Oddly, the market leader Mobinil lost itfs market share to the upcoming mobile operator Etisalat, and posted itfs lowest ever market share of 48.2% and annual growth rate of 59.2%.

Following the footprints of Mobinil, Vodafone also lost 2.7pp of itfs market share coming down to 44.3% by the end of Q2, and this dip came when Vodafone saw a perked up growth of 4.25million in subscriber base, crossing the 15million mark. The operator recorded an annual growth of 25.4%, falling to half since last year.

Etisalat, completing an year in the Egyptian market, had a subscriber base of 2.53million subscribers by the end of Q2, a rise of 94.9% since itfs launch. The mobile operator earned a market share of 7.5% in past one year, rising from 2.6%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:20:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 13, 2008

­Nigeria overtook South Africa to become the MEA region’s largest market in Q1 and it has further stretched its lead in the latest period, passing the 50m milestone and ending the quarter with 51.7m mobile connections. This makes it the 18th largest market in the world. South Africa – which is now nearly 100% penetrated – has less than one third of Nigeria’s population (44m v 138m) and is likely to drop into third place soon. Iran – with a population of more than 70m – has moved from sixth to third over the course of the last year and is adding customers four times as quickly as the RSA.

Egypt retains fourth position, with a total of 30.8m, up from 29.4m in March. The market here has been boosted by the arrival of a third entrant, though as is so often the way, the newcomer’s advertising budget merely serves to strengthen the incumbents. In the 13 months since Etisalat Misr launched, it has built a base of 2.5m customers, but both Vodafone and Mobinil have comfortably exceeded this with additions of 4.25m and 5.62m respectively.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, October 13, 2008 10:18:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 04, 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, September 04, 2008 7:56:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 29, 2008

APA-Tunis (Tunisia) The number of people using the mobile telephony networks reached 8.1million subscribers in June 2008 in Tunisia i.e. a telephone density of 80 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, revealed data published in Tunis.

This figure increased by 15% compared to the same period in 2007 (7.8 million subscribers) for a 12 million population.

The volume of SMS traffic increased by 30% during the first six months of the current year (80 million SMS) compared to the same period last year (61 million SMS).

These data from the ICT ministries also note an improvement of the quality of services of the mobile telephony, which enabled them to reduce the clutter and the saturation of traffic in peak periods.

This improvement is thanks to the programmes and steps implemented to remarkably ease the clutter which was reduced to 2% whereas it was over 16 % last year.

Reacting to these official figures, observers said that 8 million subscribers is "huge" compared to the Tunisian population and the teenage population.

Tunisians as well as foreign nationals in Tunisia (diplomats, co-operators, businessmen and tourists) often complained about the quality of the GSM and Internet connection, particularly in summer and during peak hours.

Tunisia has two mobile telephone operators, a public one (Tunisia Telecom) and a private one (Tunisiana).

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, August 29, 2008 3:19:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) - the country's monopoly telecoms operator - says that it has completed the installation of the first phase of CDMA 2000 network infrastructure with 625,000-network capacity through vendor financing agreement with China's ZTE and has finalized preparation to make CDMA pre-paid service available to potential customers soon.

Click here to see full article

ZTE recently added 1.2 million GSM lines to the network capacity to cope with demand and also a surge in usage which occurred during the recent celebration of the Ethiopian millennium. A WCDMA overlay is also planed for some parts of the network. There were several serious network failures during the upgrade work, with the mobile operator blaming ZTE for not refarming radio spectrum correctly during the commission of new base stations.

The state owned monopoly ended Q1 '08 with an estimated 1.6 million subscribers, which according to figures from the Mobile World equates to a population penetration level of just 2%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:24:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 28, 2008

Namibia’s largest cellco MTC said it has invested nearly NAD300 million (USD40 million) in its network infrastructure in the year to date, in projects including raising SMS capacity, the deployment of a transmission backbone across several areas of the country and the replacement of central switching equipment with next generation architecture. The company’s fibre-optic transmission network was extended in areas including the capital Windhoek, coastal regions and in the north, ending MTC's long-standing reliance on renting backbone capacity from Telecom Namibia. The fibre project was implemented by Nera and Ericsson at a cost of NAD76 million this year. MTC also upgraded its radio access network and wireless broadband service capabilities, in partnership with Nokia Siemens Network and Motorola, at a cost of NAD88 million. MTC's investments over the last 13 years total NAD1.6 billion.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 28, 2008 1:30:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Banjul (The Gambia) The Gambia has almost a million telephone subscribers, with over 800,000 mobile telephone and about 50,000 fix telephone subscribers, according to a report by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) released here Friday.

The report says that the telephone subscriber list has grown by 86 per cent in 2007, from 73 per cent in 2006. “This surge in growth is as a result of an increased register in the subscriber base of the mobile telephone sector as against the fixed line subscribers, primarily as a result of a competitive environment created by the government,” the report said. The report indicates that despite the stiff competition amongst the mobile telephone providers, they continue to increase their subscriber base. In contrast, the release said the last two years saw stagnation in the number of fixed line subscribers in The Gambia with marginal growth rate of only 20 per cent in 2006 and 9 per cent in 2007.

The report adds that telecommunications in The Gambia “is one of the most highly competitive markets in the sub-region. This is illustrated by an increase in innovative services and pricing schemes such as peak, off peak and free night calls.” The report concludes that the communications sector saw a tremendous growth from 7 percent to 25 percent in 2007, with an estimated investment in the telephone sector of US$26.3 million in 2007.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:48:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 22, 2008

South Africa’s Vodacom Group has reported a 6.6% increase in subscriber numbers in the twelve months to the end of June, with the operator claiming 34.6 million customers in South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique. The company says revenues for the quarter ended 30 June were up 14.5% year-on-year. Full financial results for the period will be released next month. Vodacom is owned by Telkom South Africa and Vodafone, though the UK group is looking to increase its stake.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:37:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Cameroon has been launched under the brand name, Yemba. At a press conference organised by Providence Technologique, the company behind Yemba, General Manger, Michel Nguetsop said that the company had secured an MVNO agreement with CDMA operator, Camtel.

The MVNO has set itself an ambitious target of two million subscribers by 2010.

Camtel was expected to activate an EV-DO upgrade on its Huawei supplied fixed wireless infrastructure last September - although it is not initially clear if this has happened.

According to the Mobile World database, there are currently two active operators in the country - MTN and Orange. The two operators ended the first quarter of this year with a combined 4.9 million subscribers - representing a population penetration level of 27%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:25:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2008

According to data published by Senegal’s telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), cellular penetration reached 39.09% by 31 March 2008, up from 31.93% the previous year, as the total number of active SIMs reached 4.135 million. Senegal’s two incumbent mobile operators - Orange Senegal (formerly Sonatel Mobiles/Alize) and Tigo Senegal (formerly SENTELgsm) - collectively added just 12,852 new users in the first quarter of 2008, of which Orange Sonatel, part of the Paris-based Orange group, had 2.803 million users at the end of March, up from 2.464 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, Tigo had 1.332 million clients, from 923,555 twelve months earlier. An overwhelming 99.15% of all users are on pre-paid services, the regulator said.

In the fixed line segment, ARTP said the number of lines in service dipped from 285,774 to 260,493 in the year to 31 March 2008, a teledensity of less than three lines per 100 of population. Residential lines accounted for 66.9% of national PTO Sonatel's total, while business connections made up 28.2% and public payphones 4.9%. The residential fixed line base dipped 3,085 in the first quarter of this year, although this was partially offset by a 13.96% rise (9,464 lines) in business connections to 77,281. The internet market recorded 41,099 subscriptions at the end of the first quarter of which 98% (40,250) were ADSL lines and 2% dial-up.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:16:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Lilongwe (Malawi) A leading mobile service provider in Malawi, Celtel, on Friday celebrated a milestone of having added one millionth customer to its ever expanding mobile network in the country.

Celtel Managing Director Fayaz King told journalists in Lilongwe that the development places the company ahead of other players as an undisputed leader of the telecoms industry in Malawi.

"We are very proud to be associated with the current development which, in turn, should go a long way to assist in the country’s economic growth," he said.

King said since the company has now surpassed the one million customer base, it is now looking forward to reaching two million customers in years to come.

Malawi is ranked Number 12 in Africa in terms of customer base, with Nigeria’s 10 million customers leading the way.

Celtel Malawi, which was established in 1999, is part of a leading Middle East and African telecoms group, Zain Group.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:04:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 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, July 09, 2008 2:34:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 04, 2008

Israel was dumped from third to fifth position in the Middle-East & Africa (MEA) penetration rankings in Q1 2008 as both the Seychelles and Qatar overtook it to line up behind the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have held the top two places for the last year. If the second quarter even came close to matching the first in the UAE, then that market will have finished June with a penetration rate in excess of 200%, the rate having stood at 192.5% at the end of March.

MEA: Number of markets in each penetration band

The ownership in Bahrain was more than 20pp behind, at 172.2%, although in the last two quarters at least, the rate has been growing noticeably quicker than in the UAE. The rate in Qatar and the Seychelles has been progressing much more steadily, but both overtook Israel as penetration fell for the first time ever from 127.1% to 126.3% in Q1 08. Four other markets - Kuwait, Reunion, Saudi Arabia and Libya - boasted penetration rates in excess of 100% at the end of March 2008.

Libya became the first mainland African market to join this elite club in the quarter, as the quite remarkable rise of mobility in the country continues.

South Africa was the tenth most penetrated market at the end of Q1 08 with a rate of 96.6%, after also suffering a decline in penetration (although in this case not its first) from 97.9% in the quarter. The penetration rates of a further seven markets also lay within the fourth quartile at the end of March, these being Botswana (90%), Algeria (87%), Oman (83%), Gabon (80%), Jordan (79%), Tunisia (78%) and new entrant Mauritius (76%). Perhaps surprisingly, only three markets - Morocco, Gambia and Mauritania - finished Q1 with penetration rates between 50% and 75%. However, Iran joined them just a few days after the end of the quarter, the mobile ownership rate there having stood at 49.6% at the end of March.

Iran breaking the 50% barrier would have taken the total number of markets with penetration rates in excess of 50% to 21, after Mauritania and Gambia took the total from 18 to 20 in the first quarter. Including Iran, 50 of the 70 markets in the MEA region finished Q1 08 with penetration rates below 50%. However, progress is clear to see. At the end of Q1 07, 36 of markets had penetration rates of 25% or below, a number which fell to 25 a year layer.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 04, 2008 3:32:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A survey carried out in Nigeria's capital, Abuja has indicated a growing demand in the GSM dominated market for CDMA based mobile phones. The survey, carried out by local newspaper The Tide cited the regular problems with network congestion on the GSM networks in the city for the increased interest in CDMA operators. Currently there are four CDMA operators in the city, Multi-links, Visafone, Starcomms and Reltel.

The respondents hinged their optimism on clarity of communication and affordability of CDMA phones, when compared with GSM phones.

"For instance, with as little as N1,500, you can get a phone and a line on the CDMA network, while for a GSM line, a subscriber may need to pay at least twice that amount," claimed respondents to the survey.

Mr Wakili Shehu, a telecommunications consultant said that "the technology also provides the capacity for quicker transmission of data and Internet, unlike the GSM which has limited capacity," but he warned that the use of the CDMA technology in the country was also fraught with challenges, such as limited coverage of cities and towns, unlike the GSM.

According to figures from the Mobile World database, Nigeria ended Q1 '08 with some 567,000 active CDMA subscribers - compared to some 43 million GSM users.

Source: Cellular News.

 

Friday, July 04, 2008 1:06:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 03, 2008

At the end of Q1 08, there were 42.3m mobile customers in South Africa, meaning it was surpassed by Nigeria as Africa’s largest market. This was mostly due to a strong quarter in Nigeria, but the loss of 0.61m South African customers in Q1 certainly helped. This decline also meant that South Africa failed to break the 100% penetration barrier, having reached 97.9% at the end of 2007; the loss of customers saw it slide to 96.6%.

3G customers: Vodacom and MTN

This still makes it the highest-penetrated sub-Saharan market, although having reached 104.9% at the end of Q1 08, Libya has become the first African market to surpass the 100% mark.

Vodacom suffered the greatest loss in real terms, shedding 0.79m active customers to slide back to 22.27m, lower even than the Q3 07 figure of 22.50m. Year on year it gained 1.70m. It remains the country’s clear market leader with 52.6% of the total, although this is its lowest figure since Q4 04. Cell C also saw a decline in customers - perhaps inevitably, given its dramatic gain in Q4 07. It lost 0.19m to slide back below 5m to 4.91m, with net annual additions totalling 1.68m. In terms of market share, it lost 0.3pp quarter on quarter but still recorded a rise compared to Q1 07, ending Q1 08 on 11.6%. Third player MTN was the only operator to gain customers on a net basis in the first quarter, finishing up 0.37m on 15.17m. Combined with the other operators’ losses, this saw it reach its highest market share figure for three years, with 35.8% of the total.

MTN has also seen its share of the 3G market rise, a 10pp year on year gain taking its Q1 08 figure to 46.2% of the total. It went through the 1m barrier during Q1 to finish on 1.12m thanks to a record-breaking 211k quarterly net additions. Vodacom finished on 1.30m. In total, the number of W-CDMA handsets grew by 163.6% year on year, from 0.9m to 2.4m.

Because of the loss of customers in Q1 - the first such quarterly decline in more than six years - annual growth slumped to 14.4%, the lowest figure since Q2 02.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:03:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The chart shows the fastest growing businesses in the MEA region over a twelve month view. The list includes nine of the names that feature in the Q1 08 list, with Zain Iraq coming in at Algerie Telecom Mobile’s expense. The top two places are the same in the year as they are in the quarter, with TCI’s 9.12m just shading Irancell’s 7.95m. The other really strong performances in the region were spread across five main markets - with Mobily in Saudi Arabia taking third place ahead of two Egyptian companies, three from Nigeria and one each from Iraq and Kenya.

Leading MNOs by Net Additions, year to 31st March 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:00:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celtel Malawi has announced that it has reduced the cost of its cheapest handset by 35%, from USD25 to USD16. The move follows the government's eradication of a 25% customs and excise duty on imported handsets and cellular network equipment. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms database, the cellco is the country's largest company by subscribers, claiming a 69% market share at the end of March 2008, with Telekom Networks Malawi accounting for the remainder.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:35:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 23, 2008

Nigeria based Globacom has sold a staggering 600,000 new SIM cards since it launched its new Glo Mobile branded network in Benin just under two weeks ago. The company says that traffic has been significant at its new retail stores as well as 3rd party outlets.

The company won a GSM operating license in the country last year and has built out its network covering the main cities, with a new switching centre in Cotonou, capital of the country.

Estimates from the Mobile World record that the country ended last year with around 1.4 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of just 17%. By that measure, the new network has captured some 30% of the enlarged market within just a few days.

The market leader at the end of last year was MTN with just over 54% of the market, followed by Bell Benin with 21.5%. Moov comes third with 24.6%.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 23, 2008 4:22:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nigeria based Globacom (Glo Mobile) has won a licence to operate mobile cellular service in the Republic of Ghana - just a week after the company launched its services in Benin. The company won the license  in a tender auction.

Globacom's management expressed gratitude to the telecoms regulator, the NCA for the confidence reposed in the company and promised to “roll out aggressively” in the country “very shortly”.

The company is also currently bidding for a license in Togo.

Last month, the NCA also announced plans to offer number portability on both landline and mobile networks. Joshua Peprah, Director of Regulations and Licensing at NCA said “We’ve also had informal discussions with the telecom operators on this service and in principle, they have no problem with it. Their main concern has to do with the cost associated with the implementation of the service,"

However, he added that “as of now, we have not mandated the telecom operators to implement the service. The market should really be ripe for it and besides, the stakeholder consultation is still ongoing.”

If number portability is introduced, that generally assists new market entrants to take subscribers from the incumbent operators.

The country already has five operators, but according to figures from the Mobile World database, the country only had 7.6 million customers at the end of last year. That figure equates to a population penetration level of just 33%.

The five operators (and market share) are: MTN (53%), Tigo (26.7%), Ghana Telecom (16.8%), Kasapa Telecom (3.5%) & Westel (0%).

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 9:06:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 13, 2008

APA-London (United Kingdom) Africa now has 300 million mobile phone subscribers with a penetration rate fast approaching 30 percent, according to the latest marketers’ assessment unveiled on Thursday in London.

As many prefer pay-as-you-go use, mobile phones are attached to bikes and boats and taken to where the business is.

In Uganda these bikes, known locally as boda bodas, are hooked up with spare batteries and desktop mobile devices to create what are affectionately known as ’Bodafones’.

Some mobile phone functions can be more useful in Africa than in Western countries, such as the ability to work as a torch.

Charging phones is more of a problem but the arrival of cheap solar panels should help solve that.

In South Africa, the phone model “Call Me” allows Vodacom subscribers to send up to five messages per day, free of charge, requesting a call back from the receiver.

Services such as these have emerged in response to consumer behaviour, users who would have previously “flashed” the person they wished to speak to by ringing their phone once and hanging up.

“Call Me” formalizes the process, helps minimizes network traffic through fewer prematurely disconnected calls.

Most parents with teenagers are probably familiar with the idea.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:58:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report dealing with the broader issues of rural connectivity in Africa to be launched next week by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) reveals that a number of novel and multi-stakeholder partnerships, unique business models and innovative technologies are, for the first time, paving the way to connect many of Africa’s rural communities, on a sustainable, profitable basis.

The report provides evidence that contrary to some assumptions that the private sector can lead the effort to connect Africa’s rural populations, the experiences of industrialised countries like Canada, the Unites States and Australia is that governments have had to lead the effort, but in close collaboration with the private sector and local communities. The report calls for Commonwealth African governments to implement their national ICT policies as part of a wider national development strategy and to make faster in-roads into rural ICT rollout through public private peoples partnerships (PPPPs), with local communities playing a more pivotal role.

The report finds that the key to successful partnerships between the public and private sectors and other ICT stakeholders is to encourage local ownership, thereby nurturing the community’s enthusiasm for effective connectivity and ensuring the sustainability of ICT investments.

The CTO study found that whereas Commonwealth countries such as Malaysia and India have made significant in-roads in rural connectivity, Commonwealth African countries like Sierra Leone and Zambia are lagging behind in rural access, leading to poor and overall slow economic growth. The report finds that although recent years have seen dramatic growth in penetration rates in some African countries, especially through mobile networks, the continent’s aggregate penetration rate is still less than 20 percent.

“For Internet access and use, the figures are well below 5 percent for most of Africa. Over 60 percent of Africa’s population lives in unconnected rural areas and represent an untapped market, holding enormous potential for growth for service providers, equipment manufacturers and the entire telecommunications industry”, the report claims.

By way of conclusion the report calls for ICT policy provisions that focus on universal and rural access, in order to affirm the commitment of governments to providing basic ICT services to poor, isolated and marginalised communities . There is also the need for continued incremental and a more methodical process of liberalisation and privatisation of the telecommunications sector in many African countries, and a variety of regulatory safeguards need to be put in place to foster competition and promote a conducive environment for rural connectivity.

Commenting on the initiative the CEO of CTO, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said: “The evidence we have accumulated in the course of this 9-month study demonstrates that most of Africa’s rural populations could well be connected over the next decade. This is partly because an unusual confluence of sounder policies, relevant legislation, improving regulatory practices, the establishment of universal access and service agencies and the revenues they have acquired, new technologies and business models, and the availability of funding from a plethora of sources, all make it now possible for most of Africa to be connected wirelessly within the next ten years. According to the CTO CEO, who is a former Minister of Communications of Ghana, “the pilot project models we have found to work best are where a combination of public institutions and private ICT operators or equipment vendors have found it possible to involve local groups or communities in structuring, ownership or management of the ICT assets, to ensure their more effective use and sustainable operation. We hope that more companies will join the CTO as we move to the second phase of this important initiative to replicate and scale-up a number of selected model projects, so that the benefits of ICTs can be enjoyed by millions more in Africa. Connecting the majority of Africans to the Information Super Highway is necessary if African countries are to benefit from the global knowledge revolution,” said the CTO CEO.

The project was undertaken under the auspices of the Commonwealth Connects programme, which involves collaboration with a number of Commonwealth agencies, including the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is supported by the International Telecommunication Union, as part of efforts to help unearth market opportunities, enhance technological advancements, as well as accelerate social development and economic growth by connecting rural communities in the 18 Commonwealth African countries.

The first phase of the project was aimed at discovering how telecommunications regulation, policy, legislation, and operational, technological and financial models affect the potential for cost-effective rural connectivity in the 18 African Commonwealth countries. The research compiled similar information on initiatives and best practices of five selected non-African countries namely USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and India, countries that have enjoyed greater success in connecting their rural populations. Subsequently the initiative is to devise effective dissemination channels for the report and identify 10 pilot projects for adaptation and replication to form the basis for the second phase of the project.

The Commonwealth African Rural Connectivity Initiative (COMARCI) has so far received financial support from the Government of Malta, BT Global, Vodacom Group, Telkom of South Africa, Celtel Uganda and from the CTO itself.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:55:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Information & Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) of Mauritius has forced the country’s telecoms operators adopt new lower rates for mobile and international long-distance (ILD) calls, following the passing of a new directive on 30 April. The new rates, which came into effect last Wednesday, include an MUR87 (USD0.032) reduction in the standard interconnection usage charge (IUC) for fixed and mobile networks, paid by carriers for every minute of communication. The ICTA had asked operators to submit revised retail tariff plans based on the lower IUC rate so that end users could benefit from less expensive calls. In the wake of a poor response, however, it said that it would ‘intervene in the interest of the general public’. To that end, the regulator is understood to have imposed a MUR87 reduction in the cost of making a mobile call to a fixed line, bringing the per-minute charge down from MUR4.35 to MUR3.48 a minute, using a pre-paid card. In the international segment calls have been cut to as little as MUR4 per minute to some destinations. Commenting on the ICTA’s move, Michel Rigot, the managing director of Outremer Telecom, said ‘Liberalisation in the telecommunications sector brings major tariff reductions along. What happened this week is a concrete example. Now, the Authority should think about introducing a real liberalisation process in other segments like internet that is still controlled by one operator, Mauritius Telecom.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:38:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Celtel Nigeria has launched a fixed payphone service targeting Nigerians unable to afford mobile phones or who live or work in places where mobile phone use is restricted. The service consists of a fixed payphone terminal and a special SIM card which can be carried about and recharged like a normal pre-paid SIM card. The operator claims the offering will help the government's Universal Access Initiative which is aimed at increasing telecoms access across the country.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:34:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 09, 2008

Local newspaper the Zimbabwean reports that mobile tariffs have gone up by more than 1,500%. Reflecting the rampant inflation being suffered by the beleagured country, NetOne subscribers will now have to part with ZWD58 million per minute for a call to other NetOne users during peak periods – a significant sum to locals but just a tenth of a dollar in US dollar terms – while calls to customers on the Econet and Telecel networks will be charged at ZWD60 million per minute and ZWD72 million per minute respectively. Telecel has also reviewed its tariffs, and calls to users on its own network are now ZWD50 million, while to customers on other networks the figure is ZWD63 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 10:39:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB) has revealed that telephone rates fell by an overall 20% on 1 June 2008 following negotiations between the watchdog and operators. Companies were recommended to put in place 'simplified and homogeneous pricing' in which reductions were not to be merged with other off-peak offerings and regular bonuses. The TRB said that Cameroonian tariffs were above average compared to countries with similar economic profiles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 12:56:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 16, 2008

Kenya's new government is considering a new law to require all mobile phone subscribers to register their identities with the network operators. The move, proposed in a private members bill by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo is reported to be in response to threats sent by SMS during the recent post-election violence in the country.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:43:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 12, 2008

Uganda’s newest wireless network operator, Warid Telecom, has announced the launch of a new calling plan that allows customers to place calls to other Warid users and to only pay for the first two minutes of use, no matter how long the call. ‘Effective this month, the first two minutes of a phone call will be chargeable and the rest will be free,’ Zul Javaid, Warid's country general manager, told reporters.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 12, 2008 3:50:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON has called on the telecoms regulator to formulate plans to force new and existing customers to register their PrePay SIM cards. Citing security issues in a country with limited central services, the association believes that the move would not impact on privacy and would help fight crime.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:20:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 28, 2008

A new Arab Advisors Group survey of Egypt’s urban households reveals rampant broadband account sharing between neighbors. A massive 81.9% of households that use shared ADSL lines share them with more than three neighboring households. The Arab Advisors Group projects that around a million Egyptian households have access to broadband, due to the widespread practice of ADSL accounts sharing.

A new major survey, "Egypt Households Telecoms and Media Survey Report 2008" was concluded and released by the Arab Advisors Group on April 24, 2008. This survey report can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for US$ 4,500. Subscribers to Arab Advisors Group Strategic Research Services can order the report for US$ 3,500.

The 159-page report, which has 262 detailed exhibits, provides the results of a major comprehensive survey of the telecommunications and media usage patterns and habits of the population across the Egyptian governorates of Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Dakahlia, Gharbia, Sohaj and Minya. The survey fieldwork was conducted during March and April 2008.

63.4% of Egyptian households with an ADSL connection reported sharing the ADSL connection with neighbors. Of those, a massive 81.9% share one ADSL line with more than three neighboring households.

Arab-Advisors-28April2008.doc (94.5 KB)

Source: Arab Advisors Group.

Monday, April 28, 2008 12:25:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Algeria’s communications minister has announced that tariffs for ADSL broadband internet services will be cut by 50%. State-owned Algerie Telecom will reduce charges for a 128kbps connection to DZD590 (USD9) a month, while a 256kbps service will cost DZD1,100 and a 512kbps link will be DZD1,500, Telecompaper reports.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 2:39:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Click here to see full article

Africa's GSM mobile subscriber base is expected to jump by 20% to 316 million between now and the end of the year. GSM Africa, the African arm of world body GSM Association, said at the conference that penetration was expected to top 34% by the end of the year, from 29% at the end of 2007.

The number of subscribers will rise from 263 million to 316 million this year, Vitalis Olunga, Chairman of GSM Africa, said in a presentation at East Africa Com. Olunga said GSM networks were comprised of a bulk of service providers on the continent, with an average of about 140 live networks at the end of 2007.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:52:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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, April 09, 2008 1:32:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 31, 2008

Several years back, it was a privilege for employees to have their own computer in their work stations. Unfortunately most of them did not know how to fully make use of the machines. A new trend is catching on among some Kenyan firms in their bid to cut down on costs: sharing of the PC. Instead of a PC for every employee, a single PC is being used by up to 10 people.

But what does this really mean for the company as well as the employees? "The concept of having shared PCs is definitely working well for the company, but employees are at a disadvantage," said John Munyiri, IT manager Dyer & Blair.

Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:41:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Africa has surpassed the 1 Million broadband subscriber mark. South Africa now has more than 1 Million broadband connections, made up mainly of ADSL and HSDPA subscribers.

Telkom currently has in the region of 415 000 ADSL subscribers, and previously indicated that it is on track to hit their 420 000 target by the end of March. Vodacom has 360 000 3G/HSDPA data card users while MTN recently announced that they now have 120 000 3G/HSDPA data card users on their South African network. This brings the total number of ADSL and HSDPA subscribers to 895 000.

Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:37:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A novel idea to take voice and data services to the most rural areas could see Vodacom and MTN paid subsidies to do the job. The operators have to promise high-quality services even the poorest people can afford in return for having up to 80% of infrastructure subsidised. But the cost will not hit taxpayers as the cash will come from the Universal Service Fund, to which the operators themselves contribute.

Click here to see full article
The agency rates 27 areas as underserviced. In one, Umzinyathi in KwaZulu-Natal, 64% of the population has no electricity, 94% no landlines and 69% no cellphones.

Click here to see full article
Last year, US$32.5 million sat idle in the Universal Service Fund as the Treasury refused to hand it over until the agency submitted sound business plans. The cash comes from an annual levy of 0.2% on revenue generated by each telecoms company.

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:36:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MyBroadband.co.za reports that the South African broadband market now has more than one million broadband subscribers, made up mainly from ADSL and HSDPA customers. Dominant telco Telkom South Africa has 415,000 ADSL users and is on track to hit its target of 420,000 by the end of March. The two largest cellcos by customers and revenues, Vodacom and MTN, currently claim 360,000 and 120,000 3G/HSDPA datacard users respectively. Of the remainder, iBurst accounts for 60,000 subscribers via its BFWA/WiMAX networks, and a further 45,000 broadband customers are served by other wireless ISPs around the country.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:49:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Accra (Ghana) Ghana's parliament on Wednesday passed a controversial bill that will see mobile phone users pay a tax of one US cent for every minute they call.

The bill, introduced by the ruling New Patriotic Party, was described by a section of Ghanaians as obnoxious and calculated to stifle their ability to communicate freely.

The government explained to parliament that the implementation of the bill will enable it generate more revenue for development and also sustain the National Youth Employment Programme, which is near collapse as a result of inadequate funding.

However, the minority in parliament led by the National Democratic Congress party opposed the bill, saying that not all people in the country used mobile phones and the implementation would mean preventing people from talking more on mobile phones.

Parliament has tasked Ghana's National Communication Authority to ensure that mobile phone operators comply with the new legislation.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:43:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pan-African cellular operator MTN has reported a 42% jump in revenues for 2007 to ZAR73.1 billion (USD10.3 billion). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 42% to ZAR31.8 billion, though increased finance charges and a higher tax charge saw net profits fall from ZAR12.1 billion in 2006 to ZAR11.9 billion last year. The MTN group recorded 61.4 million subscribers at 31 December 2007, a 53% increase from 40.2 million at end-December 2006. The total includes 14.8 million customers in its domestic market of South Africa and 16.5 million in Nigeria. Average revenues per user have declined across most of MTN’s operations following increases in lower usage pre-paid customer numbers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:14:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 13, 2008

In 2004, there were only 520 square miles of networked municipal Wi-Fi. However, ABI Research forecasts a nearly sixty-fold increase over the next several years, to more than 30,000 square miles. Varying levels of maturity and acceptance exist within this market, spread across global regions and individual countries. The following is a snapshot of some major variations, according to recent analysis from ABI Research:

  • North America: Leads in deployments; but in many cases, the region employs the wrong business plan of free consumer access and free infrastructure; consolidating incumbent service providers view municipal Wi-Fi as a competitive threat.
  • Europe: Mobile-oriented rather than PC-oriented; incumbents initially resisted municipal Wi-Fi but now recognize in-building limitations and are incorporating it within service bundles for nomadic broadband Internet access, or as a way to compete out-of-region.
  • Asia-Pacific: Status varies widely, but rapid uptake in advanced countries such as South Korea is resulting in innovative applications and the development of new end-user devices to leverage municipal Wi-Fi.
  • Emerging Regions: Equipment costs remains prohibitive; there is interest in the technology, but compared with more basic services such as electricity, funding is a challenge; these regions are likely to be late adopters.
Click here to see full article

Source: Newsletter Analyst Insider from ABI Research.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:27:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 10, 2008

Over the last ten years, the African broadcast industry has slowly been liberalising and over the last year, the pace of this process has quickened. New Free-To-Air channels are planned in an increasing number of countries and there are new entrants to the Pay-TV market which has begun to grow in size.

Click here to see full article

This week sees the publication of African Broadcast and Film Markets by Balancing Act in association with Intermedia. It is over 340 pages long and has 132 charts, 41 tables of statistical data and 12 graphic maps.
 
Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:51:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 06, 2008

The number of registered mobile phones in Ghana topped the seven million-mark by the end of 2007, according to new data published by the regulator, the National Communication Authority (NCA). The watchdog’s figures show that the country recorded quarterly net growth of 8.4% in the last three months of the year, boosting the country total to 7,604,053 by 31 December. Local industry watchers predict, however, that the sector could soon reach saturation levels, leaving the four main cellular operators to slug it out for market share. The NCA reports that MTN Ghana was the market leader by the start of 2008 with 4,016,132 subscribers, ahead of Millicom Ghana (Tigo) with 2,023,091, while GT-OneTouch and Kasapa Telecom took third and fourth place with 1,275,764 and 289,066 subscribers respectively. Tigo topped the list in terms of net subscriber additions in 4Q07, however, signing up a net 426,640 new users compared with 143,743 for MTN and 21,456 for Kasapa Telecom. Meanwhile, Ghana Telecom’s mobile arm OneTouch recorded a net loss of 4,493 users in the last three months of the year, with a proportion of the net decline being attributed to subscribers having their lines cut or deactivated from the network.

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:10:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange and Tigo Senegal added 688,725 new users in the fourth quarter of 2007 to boost the country mobile total to 4.123 million at the end of the year. According to the country’s telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), cellular penetration reached 38.97% by 31 December 2007, up from 28.19% the previous year. Orange Sonatel, part of the Paris-based Orange group, had 3.004 million users at the end of December 2007, up from 2.443 million in September. Meanwhile, Tigo had 1.118 million clients, from 991,631 three months earlier. An overwhelming 99.17% of all users are on pre-paid services, the regulator said.

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:08:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Safaricom has completed a test run for an HSDPA service that it says will enable subscribers access the Internet faster. HSDPA will be used to deliver the service that will include mobile video conferencing and video phone.
To get connected to the service a subscriber will require a special 3G enabled SIM card plugged into a computer modem. Safaricom chief executive officer, Michael Joseph, said the service would increase access to high speed Internet in the country.

Initially, subscribers will be able to access their data at a speed of 3.6 megabytes per second but this, he said, will be upgraded to 7.2 megabytes per second. Dubbed 'Bambanet,' the service will be available on both prepaid and post paid basis.Through the post-paid system, a subscriber will have to pay Sh5,999 for the modem and a special 3G SIM card, and sign a contract of two years. There will also be a monthly access fee of Sh1, 999 for 700 megabytes and a subscriber will pay a charge of Sh12.60 per megabyte.

On the prepaid mode, a subscriber will have to pay Sh12,500 for the 700 megabytes, receive free 700 megabytes for not more than a month, and pay Sh12.60. The costs could reduce when the company starts using fibre optic. Safaricom has spent US$20 million to roll out the service. So far it has built 75 third generation sites within Nairobi. The company intends to roll out the service first in Nairobi, followed by Mombasa by April then Kisumu.
(Source: Business Daily)

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:07:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As mobile telephone subscribers search for cheaper and affordable call tariffs, scores of people in the eastern province of Rwanda have subscribed to Vodacom Tanzania.

The strong signals the company has and the free airtime the telecom company is offering to all its subscribers has lured some Rwandans near the Tanzania border to subscribe to Vodacom, abandoning their MTN lines. Vodacom has also lowered the calling rates to other networks to give its clients more freedom to talk, according to Kabayija, a 'Vodacom agent' in Kayonza district. Rwandans in districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza and Rwamagana can now call for four minutes freely. Subscribers on pay standard spend Tzs200 (Frw93)-whereas MTN Rwandacell charges Frw100.

Prices of smuggled Vodacom sim packs have also soared from Frw1,000 to Frw5,000. (about Tzs10,000) There are claims that MTN, with the largest coverage in eastern province is affected negativly, as sales of its products have dropped. "I no longer buy MTN airtime vouchers. Sim pack agents say sales have drastically dropped," a resident of Kabarole who was using a Vodacom line claimed." But The New Times was not able get comment from MTN officials as some could not answer their phones. However, a source close to MTN Rwanda management say Vodacom and MTN are about to enter a roaming deal, where subscribers on the two networks will not have to switch sim cards. In Kayonza and Rwamagana towns, dealers of Vodacom products were openly luring more Rwandans to get connected to the Tanzanian network. An official in Rwandatel said his company 'is not worried about the competition.'
(Source: The New Times)

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:03:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Senegal’s two incumbent mobile operators - Orange Senegal (formerly Sonatel Mobiles/Alize) and Tigo Senegal (formerly SENTELgsm) - collectively added 688,725 new users in the fourth quarter of 2007 to boost the country mobile total to 4.123 million at the end of the year. According to the country’s telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), cellular penetration reached 38.97% by 31 December 2007, up from 28.19% the previous year. Orange Sonatel, part of the Paris-based Orange group, had 3.004 million users at the end of December 2007, up from 2.443 million in September. Meanwhile, Tigo had 1.118 million clients, from 991,631 three months earlier. An overwhelming 99.17% of all users are on pre-paid services, the regulator said.

In the fixed line segment, ARTP said the number of lines in service dipped from 282,573 to 269,088 in 2007, a teledensity of less than three lines per 100 of population. Residential lines accounted for 69.1% of the total, while business connections made up 24.9% and public payphones 6%. The internet market recorded 39,113 subscriptions at the end of the year of which 97% were ADSL lines and 3% dial-up.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 2:54:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 28, 2008

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that CDMA subscribers grew to more than 431 million, and CDMA2000 grew to more than 417 million during last year. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region added the most net subscribers, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew the fastest by percentage.

CDMA2000 subscribership among the 250 networks worldwide grew 16% in 2007, including strong sales figures for broadband EV-DO devices and services. The EV-DO subscriber base grew from 55 million to 90.5 million in 2007, achieving a compound annual growth rate of more than 64%.

APAC and North America claimed the majority of customers, with 49% and 32% of the global market, respectively. APAC added 6.2 million in Q4 2007 to reach 211 million subscribers, making it the largest net growth region in the world. North America alone has more than 137 million CDMA subscribers. APAC and EMEA saw the greatest year-over-year growth, with 24% and 60%, respectively. Other highly-concentrated regions for CDMA are India with more than 61 million subscribers, China with 42 million, and Indonesia with 14 million. In addition, more and more operators in emerging countries are reaching the one-million CDMA subscriber mark. For example, Angola's Movicel, Morocco's WANA, Starcomms of Nigeria, PTCL in Pakistan, Sudatel and Yemen Mobile all saw subscribership race past this milestone in 2007.

The CDG also noted that 2007 also saw an explosion in the availability of both low- and high-end devices. More than 350 devices were introduced on a commercial basis. Today, more than 82 very low-end (VLE) CDMA2000 handsets (under US$50 wholesale) are available globally from 19 suppliers.

Perhaps most important to the designation of 2007 as a critical year for CDMA is the number of CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) deployments that took place. At the beginning of the year, only three operators had deployed Rev. A technology. Now, 26 operators worldwide have upgraded to Rev. A and another 31 operators are in the process of upgrading. Operators with working Rev. A networks have witnessed a substantial increase in their data revenue.

In addition, CDMA has found a home in new spectrum allocations. China Unicom made a successful bid to operate 3G in Macau and rolled-out its first CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network there in October. PCCW-HKT Telephone won a 15-year license to deploy and operate CDMA2000 in the 800 MHz band in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, several operators in the United States are considering CDMA2000 to offer Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in the 1.7/2.1 GHz frequency band.

On the 450 and 700 MHz fronts, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reached a decision to use the two bands for 3G and next-generation mobile services.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:42:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2008

The number of registered mobile phones in Ghana topped the seven million-mark by the end of 2007, according to new data published by the regulator, the National Communication Authority (NCA). The watchdog’s figures show that the country recorded quarterly net growth of 8.4% in the last three months of the year, boosting the country total to 7,604,053 by 31 December. Local industry watchers predict, however, that the sector could soon reach saturation levels, leaving the four main cellular operators to slug it out for market share. The NCA reports that MTN Ghana was the market leader by the start of 2008 with 4,016,132 subscribers, ahead of Millicom Ghana (Tigo) with 2,023,091, while GT-OneTouch and Kasapa Telecom took third and fourth place with 1,275,764 and 289,066 subscribers respectively. Tigo topped the list in terms of net subscriber additions in 4Q07, however, signing up a net 426,640 new users compared with 143,743 for MTN and 21,456 for Kasapa Telecom. Meanwhile, Ghana Telecom’s mobile arm OneTouch recorded a net loss of 4,493 users in the last three months of the year, with a proportion of the net decline being attributed to subscribers having their lines cut or deactivated from the network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:32:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The price of international bandwidth will plummet 80% when the Seacom undersea cable goes live on June 17 2009, more or less the same date as the TEAMS cable in Kenya. Construction has already started and Seacom president Brian Herlihy said the project was on track for a "dead-certain delivery date".

Its bandwidth will cost as little as R267 a month per 1MB, compared to between R3,500 and R11,000 to use Telkom's bandwidth on the existing Sat-3 cable, or a punishing R231,000 for satellite connectivity. "It's going to flood international bandwidth into the markets and drop the international component of prices dramatically," Herlihy said.

Click here to see full article
 

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:28:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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, February 25, 2008 4:23:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom-Mozambique (VM), the second cell phone operator in the country, lastTuesday claimed that it has increased its share of the mobile phone market to 40 per cent. Speaking at a lunch in Maputo with journalists, itschairman Hermenegildo Gamito said that by January of this year it had reached about 1.5 million subscribers - which is well over 40 per cent of the estimated 3.3 million cell phone users in the country.

Vodacom's last published figures were the interim results for the six month period ending on 30 September 2007, and these showed a client base of slightly less than 1.1 million, which at the time was estimated to be 38 per cent of the markets. If Gamito's figures are accurate, the company has added an extra 400,000 clients in four months - a growth in the client base of 36 per cent.

Gamito added that 3.3 million is only 16 per cent of the Mozambican population "from which we may readily conclude that the penetration of mobile telephony in Mozambique is still regarded as rather weak".
(Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique).

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:20:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AccessKenya Group, Kenya’s only publicly listed ICT company, last week announced its results for the year ending December, 2007, breaking the K Shs 1 billion barrier one year early and reporting a significant increase in profit after tax from K Shs 47 million in 2006 to K Shs 150 million in 2007. The Group closed the year with 1,950 corporate broadband customers and Earnings per share for 2007 stand at 0.97.

Click here to see full article
  • The AccessKenya Group has made significant progress with respect to its main IPO pledges, in particular 
  •  To aggressively increase market share in the core corporate internet sector, where the Group closed the year with 1,950 leased lines – ahead of the IPO projections of 1,720 – and with an estimated market share of about 40% 
  •  To enter the IT services market with the acquisition of Openview Business Systems in 2007 and the forthcoming launch of Outsource IT 
  • To launch a residential broadband service in 2008 for which technology and marketing plans are complete. This will be a tremendous opportunity for the Group to extend their high levels of broadband service and speed from corporate to residential customers.

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:09:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Maputo (Mozambique) South African-based mobile phone company, Vodacom-Mozambique (VM) has announced a 40 percent share in Mozambique's mobile phone market, five years after entering the market.

The chairman of Mozambique's second cell phone operator, Hermenegildo Gamito, said that by January 2008, VM had reached 1.5 million clients, which is over 40 percent of the estimated 3.3 million cell phone users in the country.

"We now have a market share of 40 percent in Mozambique, that is 3.3 million, and is only 16 percent of the Mozambican population from which we may readily conclude that the penetration of mobile telephony in Mozambique is still regarded as rather weak", he said at a business lunch with Mozambican journalists in Maputo, the country's capital.

"VM is working with government bodies to improve the business environment for mobile telephony, with the aim of allowing greater access to existing services", Gamito added.

Vodacom, a subsidiary of the South African Vodacom Group, was awarded a mobile network license in 2002 to become the second cellular operator in the country after paying U$$15 million for the license to compete with mCel, which is owned by the Mozambican government and a German company Detecon.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:38:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2008

India's Reliance Communications has announced acquisition of Uganda based Anupam Global Soft, a company holding Public Infrastructure Provider License (PIPL) and Public Service Provider License (PSPL) issued by Uganda Communications Commission. The company says that following the acquisition - for an unspecified amount - it plans to spend up to US$500 million on building out the telecoms network.

Under the existing Licenses, Reliance Communications targets to offer Mobile, Fixed Line, Internet, National and International Long Distance services, in addition to WiMax and Wi-Fi services in Uganda.

Click here to see full article

Figures from the Mobile World database note that the population penetration level in Uganda had reached 13.3% at the end of September - compared to the 10% figure reported by Reliance for the end of last March.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 10:55:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The number of mobile phone subscribers in Egypt reached 30.047 million at the end of 2007, up from 29.368 million in November and 18.001 million at the end of 2006, according to figures from the ICT ministry. Mobile penetration was at 40.62 percent of the population at year-end. Fixed-line density increased marginally to 15.2 percent at the end of 2007 from 15 percent a year earlier, while internet use was at 11.7 out of every 100 inhabitants versus 8.3 in 2006. Internet use rose to 8.62 million users, versus 8.29 million in November. The number of ADSL users increased to 427,085 from 394,875 in November and was more than double the figure at the end of 2006.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:48:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wireless phone company Vodafone has dialed up mobile banking in -- surprise -- developing countries, not rich nations.

Vodafone's VOD service lets cell phone users transfer small sums of money via text messaging.

It's targeting developing countries in Asia and Africa, where most people don't have bank accounts, but cell phone use has soared.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 8:56:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2008

Users of pre-paid airtime sold by telecommunications providers have been slapped with a 15 percent value added tax (VAT) from February 1st. This follows a 15 percent VAT imposed by the Ministry of Finance, which was originally scheduled for implementation in September last year.

The VAT, said mobile phone operators MTC and Cell One, will be levied on the face value of the pre-paid vouchers and will be deemed to be inclusive of VAT. This means that a pre-paid voucher of N$10 will yield an N$8.10 airtime, with the remaining N$1.30 VAT going to the Receiver of Revenue. Residential users of mobile telephones were excluded from VAT when first implemented in Namibia to promote the use of telecommunications services.

Click here to see full article

Telecom Namibia has, however, taken a different route, and decided not to pass on the VAT levy onto its customers. "This decision represents an effort to bring relief to the vulnerable groups most susceptible to the increased inflation that the VAT can cause," said Managing Director of Telecom Namibia, Frans Ndoroma.

"Here we have in mind a huge number of prepaid card users, most of whom are students, elderly and non-income earners, for whom the imposition of the VAT would therefore worsen their financial plight. By subsidising this VAT, Telecom Namibia stands to lose "millions" per month, said Manager: Finance and Administrator, Robert Offner.

A study by Nepru indicates that 92 percent of mobile phone users buy prepaid mobile services.

Source: Balancing Act, Issue 391, 08.02.2008 based on New Era.

Monday, February 18, 2008 9:43:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms sector regulator said last weekend that two new companies, Visafone and Emerging Market Telecommunications Service (EMTS) are soon to roll out commercial service to increase competition in the telephony market.

Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive, NCC, Ernest Ndukwe who confirmed this at the NCC-organised Telecom Consumer Parliament in Lagos says the new entrants will bring additional dial tones to more Nigerians just as a new report by the regulator indicates that the overall market peaked at 41.5million active subscriber lines in December 2007.

Meanwhile, according to NCC data, overall active subscriber lines peaked at 41,511,612 lines with the GSM sector in unrivalled dominance of the telecoms market with 39,533,459 lines while fixed wireless sector follows with 1,593,838 lines and mobile CDMA sector with 384,315 lines.

MTN leads the overall telecoms market with 15,873,000 lines accounting for 38 per cent of the market followed by Glo mobile with 12,385,959 lines accounting for 30 per cent of the nation’s telecoms market.

Celtel placed third on the table with 11,098,500 lines representing 27 per cent of the total market. All players in the fixed/fixed wireless sector with a combined capacity of 1,593,838 lines representing 4 per cent of the market placed fourth on the ranking followed by mobile CDMA sector with 384,315 lines representing 1 per cent of the market. At the bottom is Mtel with 176,000 lines accounting for below 1 per cent market share.

Within the GSM market sector with 39,534,296 lines, MTN leads with 40 per cent of the mobile market share; Glo mobile follows with 31 per cent; Celtel places third with 28 per cent and Mtel is a distant fourth with 1 per cent of the GSM subscribers nationwide at the end of December, 2007.

Source: Balancing Act, Issue 391, 08.02.2008 based on Technology Times.

Monday, February 18, 2008 9:39:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 15, 2008

A new research study published by the Center for Global Development has looked at the impact of mobile phones on the prices of farm produce in the African country of Niger - which faced serious food shortages in 2005. In theory, the increasing use of mobile phones should have improved distribution efficiency and hence lower the variations in prices around the country. The study set out to see if that was the case.

Click here to see full article
Friday, February 15, 2008 4:33:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 07, 2008

Morocco finished 2007 with 20.029 million mobile subscribers, up from 19.188 million in September and 16.005 million at the end of 2006. Mobile penetration has now reached 65.66 percent of the population, versus 53.54 percent a year ago, according to the figures from market regulator ANRT. Out of the total base, only around 800,000 use postpaid services, while the remainder are prepaid. Maroc Telecom has a 66.54 percent share of the market, while Meditel holds 33.46 percent. The number of fixed-line users meanwhile has grown to 2.394 million from 2.266 million in September and 1.266 million at the end of 2006. Fixed penetration rose to 7.85 percent. The number of internet subscribers rose 7.6 percent over the fourth quarter and 31.6 percent over the full year to reach a total 526,080 at the end of 2007. ADSL accounts for 90.6 percent of all subscribers, while plans for 256 Kbps make up 43.6 percent of all ADSL users.

Source: Wireless Federation, from ANRT.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 11:42:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom Group, the Vodafone associate based in the Republic of South Africa, has announced its December quarter numbers. It's total base has risen by 4.7% in the quarter, to a total of 33m. Using an estimate of the activity level in the main market of South Africa, these numbers would change from 33m to around 32.1m, which would imply a slightly faster growth rate, of 4.8%. South Africa obviously accounts for the majority of this base - 23.3m or 73% of the total on an active basis - with the balance being spread across four other networks, in Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lesotho.

Other than the DRC, which managing only 2.9% growth to 3.27m, all the others outpaced their parent in proportionate terms, with growth rates of 7.3% in Tanzania, 9.9% in Lesotho and 11.9% in Mozambique. The chart below shows the recent trend in the overall base.

Venture Customers, EOP (000s), Q1 05 - Q4 07

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 8:47:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Government has launched a credit scheme of a cellphone-per-household aimed at bridging the communication gap in rural areas.

Click here to see full article

Through the efforts of the initiative, the cost of a mobile phone has been slashed from Frw28,000 (US$52.55) to Frw13, 000 (US$24.40). The relaxed credit scheme will enable a person to own a phone and pay only Frw1,000 (US$1.88) per month in a period of 13 months. Over 53,000 handsets have so far been dispatched to 15 out of 30 districts. Celestin Karabayinga, the mayor of Musanze District, described the initiative as milestone in rural development. He appealed to the suppliers to increase the number of phones to meet the increased demand as a result of fruitful agricultural harvests in the Northern Province.

Source: Balancing Act, from The New Times.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:41:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom saw a dip in the pace at which new customers are joining its network in South Africa, with 958,000 signing up in the past three months against 1.5-million just before Christmas a year ago.

The cellular operator is also seeing slower growth in its other operations, adding 519,000 new users in the third quarter to December to the previous December quarter's 870,000. Its biggest slowdown came in the Congo, where its subscribers inched up just 2.9%, well short of the 15% surge enjoyed a year ago. Its networks in Tanzania and Mozambique added fewer customers than they did in the third quarter of last year, with only its tiny network in Lesotho enjoying stronger growth to reach a total of 332,000 customers.

Vodacom is now serving 33-million people, up 4,7% since September, as it connected 4.8-million new users. But that growth is offset by their constant hopping between rival networks, so overall its user base rose by just 600,000 from 31.6-million in September. In South Africa, it now serves 24.2-million users, but its rate of growth fell to 4.1% from 7,3% a year ago.

Yet it remains well ahead of MTN, which claims 14-million users in SA, meaning Vodacom has an estimated 55.6% of South African users. MTN outstrips Vodacom overall, however, with 55 million customers throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Source: Balancing Act, from Business Day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:35:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2008

Namibia’s second mobile operator Cell One has announced that it has rolled out its GSM network to Karasburg, Khorixas and Omaruru, and its services have now reached all 13 regions of the country. According to chief marketing officer, Ivar Talmoen, Cell One covered around 70% of the country by the end of last year and continues to expand its footprint on a weekly basis. Powercom (trading as Cell One) launched commercial mobile services in Windhoek in March 2007, breaking the monopoly of incumbent provider Mobile Telecommunications.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:57:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2008

The launch of Etisalat in Egypt in the second quarter of 2007 was much anticipated, not least because more than eight years of duopoly in Egypt had seen the rate of mobile ownership climb to just one-quarter. At first glance, the addition of a third player appears to have energised the market, with net additions topping 3 million for the first time ever in Q2, and Q3 setting a new record of 3.73 million. The size of the total market stood at 26.99m at the end of September 2007, up from 15.87m a year earlier - a growth rate of 70%.

In addition, both Mobinil and Vodafone posted their highest ever figures for net additions since the launch of Etisalat, Vodafone claiming 1.32 million in Q2 and Mobinil 1.82 million in Q3. Of course, Etisalat itself also contributed to the growth of the market, gaining almost 0.7 million customers in Q3 to reach a total of 1.30 million, compared to 11.97 million for Vodafone and 13.72 million for Mobinil.

Egypt: Proportionate Customer Growth, Q4 04 - Q3 07

Etisalat's arrival has undoubtedly had a positive effect on the Egyptian mobile market, but the above figures may exaggerate the level of its impact somewhat. A glance at the proportionate growth rates yields a less dramatic picture. In each of the two quarters since Etisalat's launch, growth has been at around 16%, a respectable figure but not a particularly impressive one given that penetration was just 25.1% at the end of Q1. Moreover, when Etisalat's contribution is factored out the combined growth rate of the other two operators is around 13% in the first three quarters of 2007, which is roughly the same level as in 2005. Of course, there is a strong possibility that quarterly growth would have remained in the single digit figures recorded in Q1 and Q2 06 had a third player not launched, but this does not alter the impression that neither Mobinil or Vodafone has quite shaken off the ‘comfortable duopoly' mindset.

At the end of Q3, penetration in Egypt stood at just 33.5%. This is by far the lowest rate across the five North African nations, with Morocco in fourth place on 57.9% and Libya the most penetrated on 86.2%.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:59:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Morocco's Maroc Telecom has commercially launched a 3G/HSDPA service in the country's main cities the company has announced. The company was originally awarded a 3G license in May 2006, along with competitors, Medi Telecom and Maroc Connect.

The 3G coverage is currently available in the cities of Rabat, Casablanca, Mohammedia, Agadir, Fès, Marrakech, Kenitra, Tetouan, Tanger and Essaouira.

Figures from the Mobile World database reports that Maroc Telecom ended last September with around 12.8 million customers - and a market share of 66%.

Maroc Telecom, a 51% subsidiary of France's Vivendi, with the remainder listed on the Casablanca and Paris stock exchanges. The company also holds 51% of the historic operators in Mauritania (Mauritel), Burkina Faso (Onatel) and Gabon (Gabon Telecom).

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:56:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

After a comparatively quiet second quarter, the mobile market in the Middle East and Africa has bounced back with a record number of new customers. Over 32 million net additions were made in the three months to end September, some 2 million more than were connected in the previous best quarter, Q4 2006. As has been the case for most of this year, the bulk of the growth has come from Africa, rather than the Middle East, with Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa producing the strongest gains. The most notable exception to this generality is Iran, where additional competition is spurring growth.

Since the last review of the region, there have been a number of adjustments to the data, most notably in Nigeria where the regulator has supplied new data on the market. The result is that Glo Mobile, the independently owned operator, is now credited with a larger share of the national total and in fact, market leadership. Its Q2 numbers have been revised upwards to just over 15 million, enough to give it fourth place in the region last quarter, ahead of MTN Nigeria. As a result of this, the proportion of the region’s customers connected to the ten market leaders has risen from around 43% to 47%. However, the regulator’s numbers show that there is a growing issue with inactivity in the country: of the 46.2m connections at the end of September, nearly 8m – or 17% - were inactive.

Top 10 MNOs by Customers

The list of the ten largest companies in the region is, once again, unchanged as far as constituents are concerned. However, there are several positional changes. The top two are not affected - Vodacom SA remains the market leader in the region, with 22.5 million active customers, ahead of TCI of Iran – but third and fourth have swapped places and last quarter’s seventh has dropped to ninth this time. Vodacom has undertaken a major cull of inactive connections in the last quarter, severing some 2.9 million from its list. In the light of this, it is no surprise that the registered base has dropped by some 1.3 million (to 23.3m) though of course, the activity rate has improved from 88.6% to almost 96%.

Second placed TCI continues to grow rapidly, encouraged by the arrival of genuine national competition in the shape of MTN Iran. TCI added 1.7 million new connections in the quarter to take its total to 19.5 million. On the face of it, this looks like a good result, but it has to be seen in context: this is in fact TCI’s slowest quarter for a year and MTN Iran bettered its 1.71 million total by the best part of 0.25 million, taking a majority of net additions for the first time. Third place in the region goes to Glo Mobile, which was sixth at the start of the year but has apparently now overtaken MTN Nigeria as the market leader. This move leaves STC, the Saudi number one, down in fourth place, with 15.8 million customers.

MTN subsidiaries take both fifth and sixth place this quarter, as they did last. MTN Nigeria is now the largest single unit within the group, ahead of MTN South Africa. The Nigerian company added nearly one million new connections to end the quarter with 14.99 million subscribers, while the South African company added 0.67 million, to reach a total of 14.1 million. The four remaining companies on the list are all in North Africa. Mobinil, the FT/Orascom joint venture in Egypt, has risen from eighth to seventh after adding 1.8 million new connections, while Maroc Telecom has also moved up one place and now has a total of 12.8 million. This leaves it marginally ahead of Orascom Algeria, which, despite adding over 700k new connections had fallen from seventh to ninth, with 12.7 million customers. The final place on the list goes to Vodafone Egypt, which, although it failed to match the pace set by Mobinil, nonetheless added an impressive 1.2 million new customers to close the quarter with 12.2 million.

Mobile ownership continues to spread across the region. At the end of June there were over 60 networks with more than one million customers; three months later that number has risen to over 70, with many of these being multi-million operations. All of the top 15 operators have more than six million customers and the three of these in 11th, 12th and 13th places overall - Algeria Telecom Mobile, Celtel Nigeria and Safaricom Kenya – have over nine million. At their current growth rates, all three will pass the ten million mark in the current quarter.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:48:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile connections in Nigeria finished just 10k shy of 44m at the end of Q3 07, and penetration broke through 30% to finish on 32.4%. Net additions totaled 16.90m in the 12 months ending 30th September 2007 and annual growth stood at 62.4%, only marginally below the 63.6% rate recorded a year earlier.

In quarterly terms, the market grew by 14.6%, with a record 5.62m net additions.

Glo Mobile overtook MTN to become the Nigerian market leader in Q2 07, although it had edged ahead briefly in Q4 06 with a lead of 4k at the end of the year. At the end of June 2007 its lead was 1.1m, and three months later it had grown to 3.0m, with 18.01m customers to MTN’s 14.99m. In terms of market share, Glo posted a figure of 40.9% at the end of Q3, giving it a 6.8pp lead over MTN. Glo achieved this result through two excellent quarters with net additions of 2.77m in Q2 and 2.87m - its best ever result - in Q3. In total, it added over 8.55m new connections in the year, compared to 4.61m for MTN.

Nigeria: Quarterly Net Additions

In fact, as the above chart shows, Celtel has also had an excellent quarter, claiming a clear second place for net additions with 1.91m to finish the quarter with a total customer base of 9.88m. In proportionate terms, it posted a quarterly growth rate of 24.0%. The fastest growing operator in Q3, however, was CDMA operator Starcomms, which launched at the end of March. Although it has yet to make a significant impact on the market with just 0.9% market share at the end of Q3, it did claim top spot for quarterly growth with a rate of 28.9%. It finished Q3 just short of 0.4m customers. The fifth operator in the market is Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications (Nitel), which has been in decline for some time with three successive quarterly losses. At the end of Q3 07, it had 0.72m customers, having lost over 0.55m in the year. However, with new owners in place at Nitel, there is finally a glimmer of hope for this business and we will follow developments with a keen interest in 2008.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:42:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 14, 2008

Algeria's fixed and cellular revenues are projected to exceed US$4.7 billion in 2011, growing from around US$ 4.1 billion in 2007 reports the Arab Advisors Group. The expected privatization of Algérie Telecom in 2008 should also enhance growth in the massive Algerian cellular and fixed market.

More...

Algeria's government is planning to partially privatize Algérie Télécom. The sale was expected to be take place by end of 2006, with the government selling 35% of the operator in an Initial Public Offering (IPO). However the procedures have not been finalized and the tender was yet not launched, but expected to take place in 2008. The ARPT had announced that the process has arrived at a point of maturity and the file is currently with the hands of the Algerian government. Algérie Telecom remained the monopoly fixed operator till 2005. The monopoly status ended in May 2005, when the ARPT awarded the Consortium Algérien des Telecommunication (CAT) a 15-year renewable license to provide fixed, international and rural services.

More...

Algeria's mainlines market grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.9% during the period from 2002 to 2006. The fixed line network has a relatively low penetration rate, which reached 9.1% by end of September 2007. The total number of fixed line subscribers reached 3.109 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2007.

Source: Cellular News, based on report by Arab Advisors Group.

 

Monday, January 14, 2008 4:27:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA – Douala (Cameroon). Over five million Cameroonians or more than 40 percent of the population have access to fixed and mobile telephony, the Telecoms regulatory agency (ART) revealed Thursday.

These are the aggregated figures as of 31 December 2007 from the country's three telecoms operators - the state-owned fixed and cellular operator Cameroon Telecommunication (CAMTEL), as well as French Orange and South Africa's Mobile Telephon Network (MTN), two multinational outfits specialising in mobile telephony.

ART director Jean-Louis Beh Mengue said "the migration to 8-digit numbers six months ago opened new prospects for the development of telecommunications in Cameroon."

The new numbering scheme, which has a capacity of 80 million lines, is expected remain operational until 2030.

ART said other entrants could join the markets, especially in the mobile sector.

The regulator aims at streamlining the market with sanctions on illegal V-SAT operators.

A 2008 action plan prioritises the launch of a space segment, infrastructure mutualisation, as well as reduced costs of telecoms.

Currently, a minute's call costs an average 180 CFA francs, with 200 CFA francs in peak hours and 160 CFA francs during low traffic, while SMS messages remain unchanged at 60 CFA francs.

Sources said the number of cellular subscribers is 5 million, against 400,000 fixed line registered users.

Source Cellular News.

Monday, January 14, 2008 9:44:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tigo, the GSM network operator in Ghana said at a recent press conference that its subscriber base has now passed the two million mark. This compares with roughly 3.9 million for the largest operator in the country, MTN. The company attributed its subscriber growth to efforts to reduce congestion on the network last year.

Figures dated last September from the Mobile World record that ScanCom/MTN ended with 3.87 million customers - followed by Millicom/Tigo (1.5 million), Ghana Telecom (1.44 million) and finally Kasapa Telecom with 248,000 customers.

Source: Cellular News and the Chronicle.

Click here to see full article
Monday, January 14, 2008 9:36:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 19, 2007

APA-Bangui (Central African Republic) At least three mobile telephone operators provide services in each member-state of the Central Africa Telecoms Regulations Association (ARTAC) and telephone penetration has reached 13.2 percent.

ARTAC chairman Valeri Saï said in Bangui on Thursday that about 93.3 percent of the telephone owners are mobile telephone consumers and 1.7 percent fix telephone users.

He was speaking at the second general assembly of the ARTAC, which opened on Wednesday in Bangui.

Click here to see full article
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:47:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The island nation of Cape Verde is due to get a second GSM network next week when T+ launches its services on the main island of Santiago - with national coverage due by the second half of 2008. The country currently has a monopoly operator, Cabo Verde Telecom.

The chairman of the board of the company, Marco Bento, told MacauHub that T+ would offer "competitive prices" and would be an alternative for mobile communications.

T+'s shareholders are Teylium Telecom (70%), Alexander group Telecommunications (15%) and Marco Bento (15%). Ericsson provided the network infrastructure.

T+ plans to invest US$50 million over the next three years, including US$15 million for 2007-2008 and plans to create 100 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs.

The Mobile World reports that the incumbent operator, Cabo Verde Telecom had 134,000 subscribers at the end of September 2007 - which equates to a population penetration level of 32%.

Most of the nation's GDP comes from the service industry. Cape Verde's economy has grown since the late 1990s, and it is now considered a country of average development. Cape Verde has significant cooperation with Portugal at every level of the economy, leading it to link its currency first to the Portuguese escudo and, in 1999, to the euro.

Map of Cape Verde

Source: Cellular News based on Mobile World, MacauHub and T+.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:43:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile subscribers in Senegal reached 3.434 million at the end of September, up from 3.320 million in June and 2.641 million a year earlier. According to the figures from market regulator ARTP, mobile penetration reached 32.46 percent and 99 percent of mobile customers were prepaid users. Orange is market leader with 2.443 million customers, up from 2.401 million in June, while Sentel, part of the Millicom group, increased its base to 991,631 in September from 918,830 in June. On the internet market, just 0.33 percent of the population or almost 35,000 people were registered users. Of the total, 96 percent used ADSL. Fixed-line penetration meanwhile was at 2.63 percent, or 278,119 lines, and has been falling for the past six months.

Source: Wireless Federation, based on figures of ARTP.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:41:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 13, 2007

ALGIERS (AFP)--Algeria has 25 million mobile phone subscribers, compared with just 54,000 seven years ago, the minister for the post and telecommunication services said Monday.

The penetration rate has now reached 75% of the population, according to a tally compiled at the end of September by industry-sector firms. In 2000, before the liberalization of the state monopoly in the telecommunications sector, the figure stood at 0.26%.

The blossoming of the industry is a result of fierce competition between the three operators in the country, which spent $47 million promoting their products, according to the minister, Boudjemaa Hiachour.

Those three competing operators are Mobilis, subsidiary of the former state operator Algeria-Telecom; Djezzy, subsidiary of the Egyptian conglomerate Orascom; and Nedjma, subsidiary of the Kuwaiti firm Watanya.

Djezzy claims more than 12 million network subscribers, with Nedjma on around four million. Mobilis currently has 9.5 million users, its commercial and marketing director, Lounis Belharath, told AFP.

Meanwhile, according to Hiachour, Algeria now has around three million fixed-line telephone subscribers, compared with 1.6 million in 2000.

By the end of September nearly 120,000 Algerians had high-speed Internet connections, with a total of four million being connected to the Web.

Source : Cellular News, based on the statement of Algerian Government.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:34:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 10, 2007

Algérie Télécom is the first African telecoms operator to put together a business strategy that includes Fibre-To-The-Home. Although the price of connecting households to fibre has dropped considerably elsewhere, it still remains an expensive way to provide a local connection. However, the prize it is seeking to create is a large user base for its forthcoming triple play offer. Russell Southwood looks at what it’s up to.

The operator is deploying an FTTH network from French vendor Sagem Communication and on15 December it will be launching a triple play offer with voice, broadband Internet and television. The triple play service will initially be offered in Oran, Alger, Sétif  and Constantine before being rolled nationally in 2008.

According to Malik Hachelef, the Manager overseeing the FTTH roll-out:"The service will consist of a modem that can connect to the fibre network that will give very high capacities allowing either triple or quadruple play."

Algérie Télécom has 500,000 ADSL lines in place and is on its way to 3 million lines by the end of 2009. According to CEO Slimane Kheiredine, a WiMAX service will fill in gaps in the company's service where it does not offer ADSL and allow it to consider new services such as IP-TV. The Algerian national operator is working with foreign partners like BT and Korea Telecom on developing new services and is also planning to launch digital terrestrial TV trials.

 
Click here to see full article
Monday, December 10, 2007 4:24:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

By 30th September 2007, about 7.7 millions Tanzanians had a telephone service according to figures published by the regulator, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). This is an increase of about 12% from June 2007. Mobile telecommunication is by far the largest part of the market (98%) compared to fixed line services (2%).

While the population of Tanzania is growing at the rate of 2.7% annually, the annual number of Tanzanian buying a telephone service is growing at an average rate of 47%. However, at least 80.6% of Tanzanians still do not have a telephone service.

Market share amongst operators has remained broadly stable. Vodacom is leading the market in terms of number of subscribers with 48% of all subscribers (50% last June). Celtel ranks the second with 29% (28% last June) followed by Tigo with 13%, (12% last June), Zantel (7%, the same as in June) and TTCL with 3% (2% last June).

Source: Balancing Act 383, 07.12.2007.

Monday, December 10, 2007 4:19:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 05, 2007

According to figures published by the regulator, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the number of Tanzanians with mobile phones reached 7.562 million by 30 September 2007, up from 6.720 million at the end of the previous quarter. Vodacom led the way with 3.693 million customers, ahead of Celtel with 2.251 million, Tigo (992,036) and Zantel (553,975). In the fixed line sector the incumbent, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), reported a drop in the number of main lines in service from 169,135 to 160,964 in the same period.

The TCRA said that while the population of Tanzania is growing at the rate of 2.7% per annum, the annual number of Tanzanians subscribing for a telephone line is currently rising by around 47% per year. Nonetheless, it notes there is still a huge gap in terms of universal telecoms access, and says that at least 80.6% of the population do not have a telephone line at all – either fixed or mobile.

Source : Telegeography, based on the figures of TCRA.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007 8:45:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 22, 2007

 

ITU data suggest that the number of mobile cellular subscribers surpassed the 3 billion mark – close to 50 percent of the world’s population – in August 2007. Mobile growth rates have been high across almost all regions and the number of subscribers has grown between 20 to 30 percent globally since 2000, when they stood at 12 percent. In many developing regions, including Africa, where fixed lines remain very limited, the mobile success story has been critical for enhancing access to telecommunications. During 2006 alone, Africa added over 60 million mobile cellular subscribers to its subscriber base and the continent’s mobile growth rate has been close to 50 percent annually over the last years.

 

 

At current growth rates, global mobile penetration is expected to reach 50 percent by early 2008. While in theory this would imply that every second person owns or uses a mobile phone, the statistic needs some clarification. Indeed, double counting takes place when consumers subscribe to multiple services. Also, operators’ methods for counting active prepaid subscribers vary, often inflating the actual number of people that use a mobile phone. On the other hand, some subscribers, particularly in developing countries, share their mobile phone with others, thus spreading its benefits. Finally, and despite high growth rates in the mobile sector, major differences in mobile penetration rates still exist between regions and within countries.

 

A look at the BRIC economies, shows that Brazil, Russia, India and China – four economies that are expected to have an increasingly important impact in terms of population, resources and global GDP share – alone represent almost one billion mobile subscribers in 2007; that is almost one third of the world’s total. Add the mobile subscribers in the USA, Japan and Indonesia, and the total number of subscribers in these seven countries add up to half of the world’s total.

 

 

Source: ITU.

Africa | Mobile | World
Thursday, November 22, 2007 1:10:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |