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 Friday, 05 February 2016

Singapore’s biggest telecoms operator by subscribers Singtel has announced plans to offer home users a 10Gbps fibre-optic service, trumping rivals in what will be the city state’s fastest residential service to date. The carrier says that the ultra-high speed service will be hosted on its next generation 10 Gigabit Passive Optical Network (XG-PON), noting that trials of 10Gbps-based fibre services kicked off in May 2015 for selected customers, ahead of what it hoped would be a full commercial launch last year. Commenting on the launch, Mr Goh Seow Eng, managing director for the group’s home and consumer division, said: ‘We recognise that residential customers are using greater bandwidth and requiring faster speeds for their online activities … Our 10Gbps Fibre Home Bundle will offer households the fastest fibre broadband experience in Singapore.’ Singtel’s 10Gbps Fibre Home Bundle is priced at SGD189 (USD132.4) per month, including a 10G optical network router, a wireless dual-band AC router and installation.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Singtel rival M1 launched XG-PON fibre-optic broadband services in September last year over the city-state’s next generation national broadband network (Next Gen NBN), initially only available to corporate customers. Although XG-PON is due to be extended to residential users in due course, the business user plan is priced at SGD1,088 per month for a 2Gbps subscription, rising to SGD2,888 for a 10Gbps service.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 05 February 2016 09:15:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 September 2015
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) telco Du has launched the country’s first 1Gbps broadband internet plan for home users. The firm says the peak speeds are available as part of the new Talk, Surf & Watch Ultra triple-play package. Maximum upload speeds have also been increased to 100Mbps. Meanwhile, customers on the Max plan will see their upload speeds increased from 10Mbps to 24Mbps at no additional cost.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:53:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Italian government has approved a EUR6 billion (USD6.7 billion) scheme to develop the country’s broadband networks. Domestic telcos will be offered incentives to encourage them to expand and upgrade their high speed internet infrastructure, with the funding coming from Italy and the European Union (EU). ‘This plan is based on the principle of technology neutrality,’ Bloomberg quoted Development Minister Federica Guidi as saying. ‘The market will choose the technology in order to achieve European digital agenda targets,’ she added. It has been confirmed that incumbent fixed line operator Telecom Italia will not be required to convert its entire copper PSTN network to fibre as part of the scheme.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last October, Italy’s government hopes to have a minimum 30Mbps connection available to all Italians by 2020 to help it meet EU digital agenda goals, with around half of the population able to access 100Mbps fibre-based services by that date. Wi-Fi access points will also be deployed to support the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks being rolled out by the country’s four cellular operators: Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Wind and 3 Italia. Italy has the dubious distinction of having the region’s lowest broadband household penetration figure, while the country also lags the rest of Europe on broadband speeds; a July 2014 report from the European Commission (EC) placed Italy last amongst EU member states ranked by penetration of 30Mbps and above fixed internet services, with less than 20% of the population able to access higher speed services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:50:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Italian government has announced that the first EUR2.2 billion (USD2.4 billion) of funding is now available for its scheme to promote the spread of ultra-broadband networks to surpass European Union (EU) Digital Agenda goals by 2020. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says the funds form the first part of a wider EUR12 billion 20-year broadband development scheme, which will involve EUR7 billion of public spending – including EUR2.1 billion from European regional funds – and EUR5 billion of private money. Under the Italian government’s plan, 85% of all households will have access to a 100Mbps connection by 2020, with the remaining homes being offered a minimum 30Mbps service.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:40:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 01 September 2015
Belarus’ Ministry of Communications and Informatisation (Minsvyazi) has reportedly issued a statement confirming that the country’s state-owned telco Beltelecom had more than 2.1 million ‘byfly’ broadband subscribers at 1 July 2015. Telecompaper quotes the ministry as saying that the PTO added a net 90,700 high speed internet subscribers in the year to end-June, while over the same period the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots in service climbed by 42,500 to 345,000. Further, Beltelecom is seeing strong demand for its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network based on Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, with subscribers here reaching 423,000 by 30 June, up from 289,600 a year earlier, IPTV customers climbed 81,400 to approximately 1.1 million, and ZALA-branded over-the-top (OTT) subscribers rose to 4,500.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:45:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Portugal has claimed that it is ‘the first operator in Europe’ to achieve downlink transmission speeds of 600Mbps on its mobile network, using Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) technology. The 600Mbps rate was achieved using the bandwidth of three different 20MHz spectrum blocks and aggregated using 256QAM equipment. The tests were performed in a laboratory environment, in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June the three companies revealed plans to add time division duplex (TDD) LTE capability to Vodafone’s already installed frequency division duplex (FDD) network. At that juncture the trio intended to utilise 15MHz of Band 3 spectrum (FDD-1800) alongside a 20MHz block of Band 38 spectrum (TDD-2600); it remains unclear as to which other spectrum band the companies used in the most recent trial.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:15:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ooredoo Maldives, the country’s second largest wireless operator by subscribers, has made its 4G data service available across its entire mobile pre- and post-paid tariff portfolio, reports The company claims that its LTE network supports maximum download speeds of 100Mbps. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Ooredoo began offering commercial 4G LTE services for mobile handset users in Male in early December 2013 and expanded the network to the island of Kaafu Maafushi in August 2014. Two months later the operator said it had successfully tested LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:36:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile users in the city-state of Singapore will soon benefit from improved indoor mobile surfing, as the country’s wireless operators invest in new small cell technologies. In January this year the three incumbents – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – started deploying small cells to boost Long Term Evolution (LTE) network capacity, effectively doubling peak download speeds in some locations. The Straits Times notes, for example, that at the Basement One level of Paragon mall in Orchard Road, where M1 last month installed three small cells, 4G speeds for its customers have doubled to around 100Mbps. Over the next two years the cellco is looking to add small cells in other locations, such as the Nex and Clementi malls, as well as at rail stations in Orchard Road, Raffles Place and Jurong East, as part of its yearly SGD120 million (USD89.2 million) allocation for network upgrades.

For its part, StarHub installed small cells in the Marina Bay Sands areas in January, doubling typical 4G surfing speeds to 230Mbps, noting that a further 40 high-traffic locations – including VivoCity, Nex, Ion Orchard and Tampines 1 – will also receive a 4G speed boost by the end of 2016. Further, Singtel began improving 4G network capacity at The Seletar Mall, VivoCity and Marina Bay Sands’ food court areas last month, and says it will continue to roll out 4G small cells in high-traffic locations, including in Nex, in the coming months. It did not, however, divulge typical surfing speeds.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:34:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 16 June 2014

FPT Telecom, a unit of Vietnam’s largest listed telecoms, and technology software company FPT Corporation, has announced that it has upgraded the downstream speed of three of its broadband plans at no additional cost to the customer. Under the changes, the speed of the firm’s ‘Mega Save’ package has increased from 3Mbps to 5Mbps, while ‘Mega You’ has been upgraded to 8Mbps from 6Mbps and ‘Mega Me’ to 10Mbps from 8Mbps. FPT Telecom, which operates in 57 provinces and cities across the country, will implement the upgrades in three phases, with customers in 15 provinces and major cities (including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) the first to benefit, followed by a further 25-30 provinces, ending with the remaining locations during the third rollout phase.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:44:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 May 2014

Mauritian telecoms regulators the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and the Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), are reportedly working on the development of a quality of service (QoS) guide for internet service providers (ISPs) in the country, Agence Ecofin reports. According to the article, the QoS guidance will impose a minimum speed threshold for broadband access, with ISPs likely to be required to indicate all relevant service specifications in a customer’s contract.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:18:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 27 March 2014

Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) has increased the speed of its ‘Home Broadband’ plans across the Sultanate. Customers with a 2Mbps connection will now see their speeds reaching 4Mbps, while 3Mbps-5Mbps plans have been upgraded to 6Mbps and 40Mbps to 60Mbps at no additional cost, while the firm has also launched a new 35Mbps tariff for OMR55 (USD142) per month. ‘Our strategy at Omantel has always been focused on providing our customers with the best overall broadband experience,’ commented Haitham Abdullah Al Kharousi, vice president of Omantel’s Consumer Business Unit, adding: ‘As we have invested massively in expanding our fixed network and bringing its reach closer to more customers throughout the Sultanate, we are now able to pass the benefits to our customers by enhancing speeds. With this change, more than 90% of our customers have benefitted from doubling download speeds. In addition, upload speeds have been upgraded to 1Mbps.’

In other news, the Omani government will begin the second phase of its sale of shares in Omantel on 31 March, following the conclusion of a private placement of 71.25 million shares open to Omani individual and institutional investors based on a book-building approach earlier this month. The second phase involves an initial public offering (IPO) for Omani citizens at a fixed price of OMR1.350 per share. The public offer will close on 13 April 2014. Overall, the divestment will see the state’s ownership in Omantel reduced from 70% to 51%; 30% of the telco is already publicly owned.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 27 March 2014 15:00:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The EU has made good progress on its basic broadband goals in the Digital Agenda, but needs to do more to ensure wider access to faster broadband speeds, the European Commission said. The latest score card for the Digital Agenda shows the EU has met 51 of 101 goals ahead of the deadline of 2015, including near universal access to basic broadband.

Over half (54%) of EU residents can access broadband at speeds of over 30Mbps, and over a third (36%) use mobile internet over a phone or portable computer. The latter was helped by a tripling in LTE coverage in the past year to 26 percent of the population. However, only 2 percent of EU households have broadband at over 100 Mbps, versus a target of 50 percent by 2020.
Half of EU residents also have little or no computer skills, with no improvement over the past year, the score card shows, and over one in five (22%) have never used the internet. Businesses also face a shortage of qualified ICT staff, with 40 percent reporting recruitment difficulties in this area.
Other ares of progress include more people buying online, with 45 percent of EU residents using e-commerce, and more businesses and individuals using e-government, at respectively 87 percent and 44 percent (both up 3 percent points).
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said the results of the score card will be used to help develop the new reform package for the telecom sector, expected to be presented later this year.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 08:53:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 July 2013

Europeans consumers are not getting the broadband download speeds they pay for. On average, they receive only 74% of the advertised headline speed they have paid for, according to a new European Commission study on fixed broadband performance.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: "This is the first time the difference between advertised and actual broadband speeds is confirmed by comparable and reliable data from all EU Member States.” There are significant differences in the European national markets, most likely due to advertising practices. Kroes says “Consumers need more of this sort of data to help make informed choices, so we will repeat the exercise. And we take these first results as further proof of the need for a real connected single market."

Key findings in the study include:

  • Cable has the most reliable download speeds: The European average of 74% hides significant variation in the performance of different technologies. xDSL based services achieved only 63.3% of the advertised headline download speed, compared to 91.4% for cable and 84.4% for FTTx. (see annex).

  • In absolute terms, the average download speed across all countries and all technologies was 19.47 Mbps during peak hours. FTTx services achieved the fastest speeds at 41.02Mbps. Cable services achieved 33.10Mbps, whilst xDSL services lagged far behind at 7.2Mbps on average.

  • The upload speeds are closer to their advertised speeds. Across Europe, the average upload speed was 6.20 Mbps, representing 88% of advertised upload speeds. FTTx services achieved the highest speeds by far, at 19.8Mbps. This is because many FTTx services provide an upload speed far closer to the download speed. Cable and xDSL services achieved a modest 3.68Mbps and 0.69Mbps respectively.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 07:26:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 05 June 2013

Armenian broadband provider UCOM LLC is doubling its internet access speeds, effective 1 June, Arka News reports citing the group’s CEO Hayk Yesayan as saying. From that date the operator, whose current residential user services range from 8Mbps to 24Mbps, will be upping the minimum speed to 16Mbps, while the maximum connection will rise to 48Mbps.

In a related development, the company says it intends to start offering broadband access services in Armenia’s second largest city Gyumri within three months. Mr Yesayan said: ‘We are planning to open our office in Vanadzor by 15 June to 20 June … This will be the third city after Yerevan and Abovyan where we provide our services. After that we will start providing our services to the fourth city’s residents. It is likely to be Gyumri.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UCOM LLC was founded in 2007 to deliver a range of traditional and innovative high quality services in the Armenian telecommunications market. Having partnered with equipment vendor Ericsson, Yerevan-based UCOM has built a fibre-optic network based on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON) technology and today offers triple-play internet, TV and voice telephony services to residential subscribers through its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The company reported signing up its 50,000th customer in February this year, a figure it hopes to double in the short- to medium-term.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:58:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

French telecommunications regulator the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) has published the results of the analysis of the electronic communications market for the first quarter of 2013, announcing 22% growth year-on-year in the number of high speed broadband (>30Mbps) subscriptions to reach 1.7 million users. According to the report, France had a total of 24.2 million broadband subscriptions at the end of the first trimester of 2013, with 665,000 receiving download speeds between 30Mbps and 100Mbps, while over one million of the users had downlinks in excess of 100Mbps, an increase of 46% year-on-year. The number of subscriptions with download speeds less than 30Mbps reached 22.5 million on 31 March 2013, attracting a total of 160,000 net additions in the quarter. According to ARCEP’s report, 98% of these lower speed broadband subscriptions used xDSL technology, while the remainder consisted of access over cable or fixed wireless technologies. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions grew by 50,000 over the quarter and reached 365,000 at 31 March 2013, a reported annual growth of 70%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:55:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Venezuela’s dominant broadband operator CANTV has announced that starting Monday 15 April it will upgrade its DSL internet access speeds, doubling its standard 512kbps (download) package limit to 1Mbps, while a faster premium speed of 4Mbps will be offered in a new consumer/small business plan, ‘Aba Mega Productivo’, twice the speed of the existing 2Mbps ‘Aba Super Productivo’. The 4Mbps package is priced at VEF500 (USD79) a month including VAT compared to VEF400 for the 2Mbps connection. The move comes seven months after CANTV doubled its entry-level DSL package speed from 256kbps to 512kbps, as reported by CommsUpdate in September 2012. Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo reports that CANTV’s latest DSL upgrade programme will take around three months to complete, while the company has also announced a current investment budget of VEF514 million for fixed broadband infrastructure; the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation says that in the past six years CANTV’s internet infrastructure investment totals VEF1.9 billion.

CANTV reportedly has a total of 1.9 million fixed internet subscribers, up from 1.8 million at the end of December 2012, according to data from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The state-owned telco is focused on expanding broadband coverage to the farthest corners of the country, and backs up this claim with the statistics that in 2012 the number of subscribers grew by more than 500% in remote areas such as the Amazon region, while the user bases in more populous regions Miranda and Distrito Capital increased by 80% and 90%, respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:29:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 November 2012

Telefonica Germany, which provides services under the O2 brand, has announced that it has begun offering VDSL access at download speeds of up to 50Mbps. Customers with an existing ADSL contract are able to book the new ‘Speed’ option for an additional EUR4.99 (USD6.4) a month. For the first three months, the monthly cost of the service for new customers will be EUR14.99. The 50Mbps option is offered over the VDSL network of fixed line incumbent Telekom Deutschland, and will be available to more than eleven million households across the country.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, 15 November 2012 14:06:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 November 2012
Mobile Telephony of Serbia (MTS), the wireless arm of fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija, has upgraded its 3G infrastructure to HSPA+, the company announced yesterday. The boosted network will deliver download speeds of more than 10Mbps to end users, with potential upload speeds of 3Mbps. MTS’s 3G network covers 75% of the population including all major cities, towns, and roads. MTS added that the upgrade would ease the transition to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:25:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 October 2012

Orange Slovakia has announced that maximum theoretical mobile data speeds of 42Mbps are now available in all regional capitals of Slovakia via its DC-HSPA+ network which it launched in late 2011, representing ‘nearly 50%’ of the country’s population. DC-HSPA+ technology has been deployed at all 3G base stations in Banskej Bystrici, Bratislave, Kosiciach, Nitre, Presove, Trencine, Trnave and Ziline, and the 42Mbps service is also available in almost 300 other locations. All these locations give access to theoretical maximum upload speeds of 5.8Mbps. Ivan Golian, director of information systems and networks, said that Orange Slovakia is also steadily increasing its transport network capacity to support customers’ growing high speed data transmission requirements.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 29 October 2012 16:50:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Claro Puerto Rico has launched fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) consumer broadband services, upping its maximum download speeds to 50Mbps from its previous 16Mbps, and claiming a first on the island. The telco’s direct fibre connections are initially available in several areas of San Juan, Guaynabo, Caguas, Fajardo, Humacao and Mayaguez. Additionally, Claro has rolled out fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology over a wider footprint to boost the internet speeds of its last mile ADSL2+ connections in ‘hundreds of areas around the island’, and it published new tariffs including 30Mbps packages alongside its fibre launch announcement. The fixed line, broadband and mobile operator also revealed that it has invested USD150 million in 2011/12 in the rollout of FTTH/FTTC infrastructure, and says it is continuing a rapid expansion of fibre in population-dense urban areas, including FTTH in new-build areas.

Claro, part of the America Movil group, simultaneously lowered monthly prices for its existing broadband packages with 8Mbps-plus download speeds, while raising the cost of mid-speed (including 4Mbps) packages, and also upgraded the inclusive domestic fixed line voice call allowance in certain bundles, from 300 minutes to ‘unlimited’.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 29 October 2012 16:48:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgium’s largest broadband provider by subscribers, Belgacom, has announced that it is increasing the upload speeds on all of its DSL services from the beginning of next month. Residential customers signed up to its ‘Internet Everywhere Start’ tariff will see uplink rates climb to 2.5Mbps, up from the 1.5Mbps they currently receive, while ‘Everywhere Comfort’ and ‘Everywhere Maxi’ customers will see speeds increase to 3Mbps (previously 2.5Mbps) and 4Mbps (3.5Mbps) respectively. Business users, meanwhile, will see similar speed increases, with users signed up to the telco’s top-end tariff, ‘Offce & Go Pro Everywhere’, will gaining access to the fastest upload speeds of 6Mbps, up from 5Mbps.

Further, Belgacom has also revealed that it will increase data usage allowances on its Internet Everywhere Start plan; the current 50GB per month cap will be doubled to 100GB per month.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March 2012 Belgacom announced a radical reinvention of its tariffs, unveiling its ‘Internet Everywhere’ range, which it said would replace all of its older tariffs. The products include both traditional fixed line broadband access, while also including Wi-Fi access (via the network of Wi-Fi provider Fon) and 3G data (via the network of its mobile subsidiary Proximus) as standard.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:33:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 October 2012

Chilean regulator Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has announced that population penetration for internet services had increased to 34% by end-June 2012, reaching the regulator’s target for 2014 more than a year ahead of schedule. Subtel attributes the uptake to the growth of mobile devices, the enforcement of net neutrality and government spending on increasing connectivity for schools and rural communities. The regulator added that customer complaints relating to internet-use made up just 7.3% of the total complaints in the sector, with Subtel ruling in favour of customers in 82% of cases. The most common complaints were regarding continuity of service and breach of contract, whilst issues with browsing speed were the fifth leading cause of complaints. The average maximum speed of internet connections in Chile was reportedly 3.4Mbps.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 01 October 2012 12:56:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of North American households connected directly into fibre networks has hit the 9 million mark, with small incumbent telephone companies continuing to lead the growth in fibre to the home deployments, according to the Fibre-to-the-Home Council Americas. At the FTTH industry's annual conference in Dallas, the Council announced that FTTH services are now available to 21.3 million North American homes, an increase of more than 10 percent over the past six months. All but eight of nearly 880 FTTH service providers surveyed have fewer than 30,000 subscribers, with only five having more than 50,000 access lines and 97 percent of than having fewer than 10,000, according to an analysis by RVA. The most notable of the big FTTH providers is Verizon, which serves more than half of the FTTH households in North America.

RVA found that more than a half million households in North America receive internet connectivity at or in excess of 100Mbps and that tested throughput speeds among survey respondents found FTTH subscribers are beginning to pull away from other access technologies in both download and upload capacity. Median tested download speeds were above 20Mbps for FTTH subscribers, compared to less than 15Mbps for cable modem users, while FTTH upload speeds were over 9Mbps compared to about 3Mbps for cable. 

In addition, results for the first comprehensive study on emerging FTTH deployment for Latin America found that all fibre networks now pass 4.2 million homes in the region, with 350,000 homes connected. The study also found Mexico is the leading FTTH market, followed by Brazil, with Chile and Argentina showing promise as deployments get underway in those countries. 

Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, 01 October 2012 12:47:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Slovenian cellco Si.Mobil has launched the country’s first commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G mobile broadband service over a network covering parts of Ljubljana, Brnik and Bled. At launch, LTE users are being offered the Huawei E392 USB modem for use on Si.Mobil’s 4G network in conjunction with the operator’s new ‘Mobilni’ 4G internet plan, and are promised data rates of between 30Mbps and 80Mbps, with a theoretical peak of 100Mbps. Last year Telekom Austria subsidiary Si.Mobil conducted a comprehensive modernisation of its network, which offers 3G mobile broadband to over 90% of the population, and is designed to be easily upgraded with LTE technology across Slovenia, with many of its base stations already ‘LTE ready’.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:31:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Ireland’s national telecoms regulator the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has released its ‘Quarterly Report on the Irish telecommunications market’, covering the period January-March 2012. According to its findings, total quarterly electronic communications revenues fell 2.7% quarter-on-quarter to EUR930.3 million (USD1.17 billion), largely the result of a fall in mobile sector revenues. Total voice traffic declined 1.1% over the same period to around 4.34 billion minutes, with fixed voice traffic reporting a 1.8% q-o-q fall and mobile voice traffic, down 0.7%.

ComReg said that overall broadband subscriptions (including mobile internet) in the Republic rose slightly (0.1%) to 1.666 million, although when including dial-up users, the country total decreased 0.1% in January-March 2012, to 1.687 million. Fixed broadband users totalled 1.083 million at that date (+1.2%), mobile broadband (HSDPA) reached 583,031, down from 593,438 and dial-up accounts fell by 4,000 to 20,654. The watchdog reported that ADSL connections declined by 0.3 of a percentage point in 1Q12 to 726,814, cable modem users rose 6.1% to 275,499, fixed wireless access users slipped 2.6% to 69,566, and other broadband increased 8% to 11,519. As at 31 March 2012 the fixed broadband per capita penetration rate reached 23.6%, with the total broadband per capita penetration rate (including mobile broadband) was 36.3%.

ComReg also notes that consumers are increasingly opting for faster broadband connections, with 19.1% of all broadband subscriptions now in the >10Mbps category compared to 10.7% at end-March 2011. The highest proportion of customers in the >10Mbps category are using cable broadband, it said. Finally, the watchdog estimates that approximately 79% of TV homes in Ireland received a digital TV service by May 2012. Approximately 7% of Irish TV homes had an Irish DTT service at the same date.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:37:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 2012

British mobile network operator O2 UK has reportedly begun the deployment of Dual Carrier HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+) technology, CNET UK claims. Citing an unnamed O2 UK spokesman as confirming the development, the cellco is understood to be rolling out the technology with a view to increasing theoretical downlink speeds to up to 42Mbps. The increased speeds are expected to be available initially in ‘major cities’, and while no details of launch locations have been formally announced, the report speculates that London, Birmingham and Manchester are likely locations for the initial deployment.

In separate but related news, meanwhile, Chinese vendor Huawei has reportedly bagged a five-year managed services deal with O2 UK for the latter’s core network. According to Cellular News, under the terms of the deal between the two companies 56 employees will be transferred from the Telefonica-owned mobile operator to work for Huawei’s managed services business, with the vendor taking responsibility for planning and managing the core transmission, mobile access and core network build in the multi-vendor core network. Commenting on the deal, Huawei UK CEO Victor Zhang was cited as saying: ‘We are very pleased to announce our first major managed services agreement in the UK. Huawei works with Telefonica in a number of markets around the world and today’s agreement means we are extending our relationship to the UK. Today’s announcement is an important first step in building a world-class managed services capability in the UK.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 14:57:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 13 January 2012

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, welcomed figures just released which show a solid increase in the availability of both mobile internet and basic quality fixed broadband lines. At the same time the Commissioner warned that Europe risked missing out on badly needed economic growth if it does not step up a gear and increase the capacity of its broadband networks. Studies show that a 10 percentage point increase in broadband take-up boosts annual GDP growth by 1 to 1.5%.

Broadband is getting faster in Europe, but very high speed connections are not yet widely available. Although 42.2 % of fixed broadband lines were at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) in July 2011 (up from 29.2% a year ago), only 6.5 % were at least as fast as 30 Mbps and less than 1% at least 100 Mbps. The EU is not yet delivering on the 2020 high-speed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

Fixed broadband growing, but slowing: there were 27.2 fixed broadband lines per 100 citizens in July 2011, but take-up slowed, and grew by only 5.8 % in the last twelve months. Highest take-up was in the Netherlands (39.3 %), Denmark (38.5 %), France (33.9 %) and Germany (32.7 %), with Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Latvia still below 20%. At the end of 2011 one third of households in the EU did not have a broadband subscription (according to Eurostat's latest figures). .

Mobile broadband, fastest growing: up by 25.4 %, mobile broadband subscriptions (dedicated devices, USB keys and modems), are the fastest growing element of the broadband market. Including smart phone users, mobile broadband take-up reached 34.6 % in July 2011, up from 22.3 % twelve months earlier.

EU lagging behind competitors on ultra-fast internet: in the EU only 6.5 % of fixed broadband connections offer at least 30 Mbps, and 0.9 % at least 100 Mbps. These shares are doubled in the US, and in Korea and Japan all connections are already faster than 30 Mbps.

Best prices? Consumers in France and Sweden are among those who could benefit from the best deals for very high speed broadband, in terms of advertised maximum speeds in bundled packages. Broadband prices were on average cheapest in Latvia, Lithuania and Romania for most broadband connection speeds.

Source: European Commision.
Friday, 13 January 2012 13:29:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cable & Wireless Communications today published a press release confirming that its business in Macau, CTM, has launched a 250Mbps residential broadband service, providing local inhabitants with one of the fastest internet download speeds anywhere in the world. The statement notes that the new service more than doubles the previous top speed available from CTM’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

The fibre-optic network, which was launched in October 2010, has been rolled out to the most densely populated areas of Macau. Commenting on today’s announcement, CTM chief executive, Vandy Poon, said: ‘The people of Macau are very technologically sophisticated and so we are delighted to be able to deliver truly world-class broadband speeds. This is a great demonstration of the capability of our engineering team at CTM and our commitment to quality. This ultra high speed internet connection will allow residents to access interactive services such as HD TV, video games and communications services, to get the most out of their digital life.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 24 November 2011 15:19:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Royal Gazette Online reports that domestic internet service providers (ISPs) in Bermuda intend to increase end-user broadband access speeds without making them pay for the upgrade. Late last week a number of local providers confirmed plans to offer customers free upgrades on their DSL services from 6Mbps (download) to 8Mbps. Incumbent Bermuda Telephone Company (BTC) confirmed that the upgrade will be underway by the end of this month, and added that it is also looking to introduce a 10Mbps service. Meanwhile, ISP North Rock says it will honour BTC’s ‘free’ upgrade. ‘North Rock’s 6Mbps DSL rate is BMD119.95 per month and BTC is offering these customers to upgrade to 8Mbps DSL at no additional charge. We will also honour this and move them from 6Mbps DSL to 8Mbps DSL for the same BMD119.95 [USD119.95] per month price,’ it said. The ISP is also looking to offer the 10Mbps service from BTC, which will be priced at BMD129.95 per month, it added.

BTC has been looking to launch higher speed services for some time and in the summer received approval from the government to launch the new 8Mbps and 10Mbps options. At the time, critics expressed concern that the incumbent was looking to forge ahead with higher speed services, rather than upgrade slower services – as is the trend in other countries.

Meanwhile, Bermudan cable services provider CableVision says it has also applied to increase its broadband internet access speeds. The firm’s manager Terry Roberson says that the group has recently submitted a request to the Telecommunications Communications vis a vis approval for a 20Mbps service. Although the price of the new service has not been disclosed, the paper notes that CableVision’s Ultimate High Speed Internet package costs BMD55 per month for an 8Mbps connection, excluding the ISP’s charge.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:12:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fin­land's telecoms regulator, Ficora has issued instructions that consumer contracts will have to carry more accurate information about mobile and landline based broadband speeds.

The speed included in the contract must depict the True speed range of the connection with sufficient precision. The regulator said that it is not sufficient to only express the maximum speed or theoretical maximum speed of the broadband connection. In the future, the speed range must be expressed either by using the average data transmission speed or the range of data transmission speed with unambiguous minimum and maximum caps. The speed must be defined so that the promised quality can also be delivered during rush hour or during any sequence of maximum of four hours.

For mobile broadband, Ficora stresses the importance of up-to-date coverage maps and access to information on how different network technologies affect the connection speed.Telecom operator contract terms must be updated

Ficora's statement is related to the amendment to the Communications Market Act, which entered into force in early 2011. The Act requires that consumer contracts on broadband services must always include the speed range of data transmission.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 11:42:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 October 2011
The average UK download speed was 7.99 Mbps in September, according to the latest speed test results from Virgin Media came top with 14.79 Mbps, followed by BT with 7.84 Mbps, Eclipse with 7.30 Mbps, Be/O2 with 6.69 Mbps, TalkTalk with 5.50 Mbps, Sky with 4.49 Mbps, Tiscali with 3.98 Mbps, Plusnet with 3.89 Mbps, Orange with 3.70 Mbps and AOL with 3.42 Mbps. TalkTalk and Tiscali had a combined average download speed of 5.10 Mbps in September.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 07:56:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 07 October 2011
French mobile and broadband operator Bouygues Telecom will increase its 3G+ network speed to up to 42 Mbps, ten times its current maximum, CEO Olivier Roussat told journalists. 01net reports that the upgrade will start in Paris, Lyon and Marseille before the end of the year, followed by ski resorts in February 2012 and all of France's large cities by the middle of 2012. Within 18 months two-thirds of data traffic will be carried over this new technology, he said.
The move is an interim measure until the launch of LTE services. Roussat expects delays in obtaining authorisations to install new LTE base stations, especially in Paris. The first LTE base stations are not expected to be up and running until the end of 2012. The operator also said it was working on a femtocell to extend mobile internet coverage in homes for LTE. Unlike its rival SFR, Bouygues will not use femtocell for 3G+.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 07 October 2011 13:02:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 29 September 2011

Doubling the broadband speed for the economy of an OECD country increases its GDP by 0.3 percent, according to a report conducted jointly by Ericsson, Arthur D. Little and Chalmers University of Technology in 33 OECD countries. The report quantified the isolated impact of broadband speed. A 0.3 percent GDP growth (one-directional, isolated effect) in the OECD region is equivalent to USD 126 billion.

This corresponds to more than one seventh of the average annual OECD growth rate in the last decade. The study also shows that additional doublings of speed can yield growth in excess of 0.3 percent (e.g. quadrupling of speed equals 0.6 percent GDP growth stimulus). Both broadband availability and speed are strong drivers in an economy. Last year, Ericsson and Arthur D. Little concluded that for every 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration GDP increases by 1 percent. This growth stems from a combination of direct, indirect and induced effects. Direct and indirect effects provide a short to medium term stimulus to the economy.

The induced effect, which includes the creation of new services and businesses, is the most sustainable dimension and could represent as much as one third of the mentioned GDP growth. The study quantifies the economic impact of increases in broadband speed in a comprehensive scientific method using publicly available data. The economic impact of average attained broadband speed, both fixed and mobile, has been analysed using panel data regression analysis with quarterly data points from 2008-2010 for 33 OECD countries. The average achieved broadband speed data was provided by Ookla.

Source: Telecom Paper

Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:35:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 26 July 2011
The Philippines' National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has told communications firms to disclose their minimum broadband speed and reliability to consumers. Memorandum Order No. 07-07-2011 requires operators to specify minimum broadband speeds, service rates and the reliability of the service in advertisements, flyers, brochures, and service agreements, the Manila Times reports. The regulator also said the minimum service reliability should be 80 percent. The service reliability is measured over a month and is found by dividing the number of hours used in a month that are at or above the minimum connection speed into the number of hours used in a month. Currently, operators only disclose the maximum speed of the service.
According to the Memorandum, services also have to comply with Memorandum Circular No. 12-19-2004 which stipulates that operators have to provide at least 98.5 percent of the advertised speed, for dial-up access this is 80 percent and for leased lines this is 99 percent.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 09:45:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 28 June 2011

­Switzerland based Swisscom says that it is rolling out the HSPA+ technology in six Swiss cities, which will enable mobile data communication speeds of up to a theoretical peak rate of 42 Mbps. All NATEL data premium customers will be able to take advantage of this surfing speed.

Swisscom already unveiled this upgrade at the WEF in Davos. The high-speed network is already available in Berne and Zurich, with Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Lugano set to follow suit from the end of August 2011. The high speeds can be used with the Huawei E372 USB stick, which is now available from Swisscom in combination with the NATEL data premium subscription.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:15:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |