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 Monday, June 16, 2014

Around 19,000 families and businesses in 15 communities across Australia are set to complete the transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN), the company tasking with overseeing the project, NBN Co, has announced. With existing fixed line services provided over infrastructure owned by incumbent PTO Telstra to be switched off today, the locations have been named as: Armidale, Minnamurra and Kiama Downs in New South Wales; South Morang and Brunswick in Victoria; Townsville, Aitkenvale and Mundingburra in Queensland; Willunga in South Australia; and Deloraine, George Town, Kingston Beach, Sorell, St Helens and Triabunna in Tasmania.

NBN Co has, however, been keen to stress that the move to the NBN is not automatic, and has urged home and business owners to ensure they have taken the necessary steps to connect to the new fibre infrastructure. To that end, John Simon, NBN Co’s chief customer officer, noted: ‘The overwhelming majority of people in the affected areas have made the switch to the NBN over the 18 months since the countdown began and are enjoying the benefits of fast broadband … Any family or business that is yet to make the switch can choose to place an order with their preferred phone company or internet service provider or they can stick with a mobile or other wireless solution. The choice is up to them. But we are working hard with the industry to ensure that no-one in these areas who wants the NBN is left behind.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 16, 2014 7:48:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 12, 2014
Ecuador’s telecoms minister has signed Ministerial Agreement 035-2014, which states that by 2017, 90% of the country will be covered by fixed and mobile broadband networks, Telesemana reports. To meet this goal, the Ministry set policies for the development and implementation of high speed networks, while it also established the need to promote technological upgrading, promote the modernisation of transmission media and infrastructure service delivery, accelerate the granting of spectrum bands and encourage the creation of business plans and services that are affordable to priority groups and economically disadvantaged citizens, among others. The ministry has also amended the official definition of broadband to: ‘bandwidth provided to a user at a transmission rate equal to or greater than 1024kbps down[link].’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 12, 2014 7:46:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 01, 2014

South African telco MTN has announced plans to commercially launch a 100Mbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband service in its domestic market on 1 June 2014, TechCentral reports. According to the article, MTN demonstrated its FTTH technology at the Monaghan Farm estate, located 30km north of Johannesburg, on 12 April 2014, and is currently rolling out fibre-optic networks, which utilise Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, to business parks and residential estates in all major cities. Residents of Monaghan Farm will gain access to the fibre-optic network in mid-May, with around 60% of them already signing up for the service. Speeds on offer will reportedly vary between 10Mbps and 100Mbps, although the company has not provided any pricing details, as costs are to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the amount of infrastructure required for each estate.

Meanwhile, rival Vodacom has also revealed that it is actively deploying fibre cabling in business parks and is preparing to start fibre-optic network rollouts in selected gated communities. ‘We’re currently building the fibre backbone to make this possible’, a company representative told TechCentral, although he added that it was too early to give any ‘concrete details’ at this stage.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 01, 2014 2:12:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned Angola Telecom will launch a new standalone fixed broadband service under the ‘Navegue So’ (‘only browse’) banner next month (May 2014) in the central Huambo province, available for individual, business or public sector users, Angolan news agency Angop reports. Ahead of the launch of Navegue So packages, Angola Telecom is highlighting the service’s Wi-Fi capabilities and the fact that its data-only broadband connections can be used for VoIP telephony. The upcoming standalone internet service augments the telco’s existing ‘Fale & Navegue’ (‘talk and browse’) packages, which offer unlimited fixed line calls to Angola Telecom numbers and ‘unlimited’ monthly volume of ADSL-based internet usage, payable on a pre- or post-paid basis. The Fale & Navegue ADSL service, which was launched officially nearly a year ago in April 2013, requires a user to have a connection to Angola Telecom’s fixed telephony network, and according to the Angola Telecom website is currently available in four regions: Luanda (14 districts), Benguela (seven municipalities/districts), Lobito (five areas) and Kwanza Sul (two areas). Download speeds advertised range from 512kbps to 4Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 01, 2014 2:07:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

European Union report released Tuesday has found that the continent’s 400 million Internet users “face a geographic lottery regarding the price, speed, and range of choice of broadband.Furthermore, the options Europeans have are presented in confusing ways, with line rental, router fees, and loads of bundle packages limiting their ability to choose wisely.  Switching providers is just as complicated, the report shows.

The combination of the four studies, shows  66% of people do not know what Internet speed they have purchased, and that, on average, consumers only get 75% of the broadband speed they sign up for.  While there’s a slight drop in speed due to interference, distance from the exchange, and how many devices you’re using at home, getting three quarters of what you pay for seems unfair.

According to the @SamKnows study, actual download speed is 75.6% of the advertised speed—although this varies a lot between copper and fiber.

“There is no single market for internet and that has to change,” EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda @NeelieKroesEU said. “There is no good reason why one person should pay over 4 times more than another in Europe for the same broadband.”

Looking at prices across the EU, the study shows price differences can range up to 400%. While broadband prices are much higher in the U.S., they don’t vary so much between states .

The measurements for the study were taken by 9,467 small white boxes which plug into internet connections, supplied by Sam Knows, who carried out the survey spread across 30 countries. There are 28 countries in the EU but the study included Norway and Iceland.

“These findings mirror our own concerns about the broadband market,” said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? —the U.K. consumer lobby, which is also campaigning on these issues. “We found millions enduring poor customer service and paying for speeds they don’t get.”

Source: WSJ.

Thursday, May 01, 2014 2:04:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Science, technology, energy and mining minister Philip Paulwell has revealed that the government intends to introduce a new broadband provider to the market to increase competition and drive down prices. The Jamaica Observer quotes the minister as saying that: ‘The price for broadband is too high. We want to see more competition…to get those prices down… and [as such], I am going to bring in another [operator].’ Further details were not forthcoming, however, and it remains unclear whether the intended newcomer will operate its own infrastructure. Paulwell also confirmed that he had received assurances from Digicel and LIME that the duo were planning to upgrade their broadband services, claiming that they had committed to rolling out broadband services ‘in a much more vigorous way.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:43:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Uruguay’s national telecoms operator Administracion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Antel) is aiming to increase the number of households connected to its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to 500,000 by the end of this year, the company’s president Carolina Cosse is quoted by El Pais as saying. At present, around 288,000 customers are connected to Antel’s fibre-optic infrastructure, which passes about 740,000 homes in the country. Last year the state-owned company said it will invest USD1.112 billion in its operations by 2017, around USD727 million of which will be spent on its access network, including the rollout and expansion of its FTTH infrastructure. Cosse also revealed that Antel’s 4G LTE network, which was launched in December 2011, covers 80% of the capital Montevideo and 99% of Punta del Este.

Source: Uruguay.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:41:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Microsoft is considering a plan to utilise unused ‘white space’ spectrum to provide improved broadband internet access in Brazil. Hernan Rincon, the president of Microsoft Latin America told delegates at a conference in Sao Paulo that the firm wants to target the SME market, working with the government to improve broadband coverage using wireless technology. The plan would see Microsoft utilising packets of spectrum between existing TV transmission channels, which have previously been kept free to avoid interference between broadcasts. With the plans still in the early stages, however, more concrete details have not been revealed. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, less than a third of Brazil’s households currently subscribe to fixed broadband services, with 19.37 million subscribers at the end of 2013.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:35:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 21, 2014

Danish telco TDC is scrapping the ‘up to’ marketing of its broadband packages, with its new broadband products now offering guaranteed down/uplink speeds of 20Mbps/2Mbps (priced at DKK255 [USD46.83]), 30Mbps/5Mbps (DKK269), 40Mbps/10Mbps (DKK289) and 50Mbps/10Mbps (DKK299), effective 17 February 2014. Rene Brochner, director of TDC Residential, said: ‘With this initiative we want [to show] how communication to broadband customers can be further improved. With the new products we now offer we guarantee that the speed is always [as advertised], for example, the 40Mbps/10Mbps speed is always 40Mbps/10Mbps.’

Further, TDC has announced that two-thirds of the country’s households will have access to broadband speeds of 20Mbps/2Mbps (down/upstream) by mid-2014, with more than 750,000 households guaranteed a 50Mbps connection, due to investment in ‘fibre protruding points and pair-bonding of copper’. TDC will also launch Vectoring technology in 2015, which can theoretically allow speeds of 100Mbps to be achieved over a copper network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, February 21, 2014 3:59:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Makedonski Telekom is the first company within the Deutsche Telekom Group with a network fully based on IP. The modernization of the network started in October 2011 and within 25 months, all 290,000 lines were migrated onto the new platform. Now services such as Broadband on Demand are on offer, allowing customers to book online high-speed internet access whenever they need it, with just one click. Deutsche Telekom invested EUR 13 million in the process. According to Claudia Nemat, board member at Deutsche Telekom for Europe & Technology, the objective is, by the end of 2018, to have all customers across Europe migrated to IP. Towards the end of 2014, Slovakia will be the next market, followed by Croatia and Montenegro in 2015 and then Hungary. By 2018 Romania, Greece and finally Germany are expected to have migrated too.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:27:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2014

Ukraine’s dominant national fixed network operator Ukrtelecom has reported on recent efforts to expand its coverage of rural fixed broadband internet access services, with an additional 4,000 connections in 28 small towns/villages in twelve regions deployed in the last month. Ukrtelecom’s ‘OGO’ branded market-leading DSL broadband service currently has nearly 1.65 million subscribers, the company claims (up from 1.626 million at 30 September 2013), while Ukrtelecom says it also serves approximately nine million subscribers of fixed telephony, although according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database this figure is down from 9.4 million just over a year ago.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, January 31, 2014 3:44:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2014

South African president Jacob Zuma has announced that the government will endeavour to provide the country with better broadband connectivity and free Wi-Fi in designated areas throughout 2014, IT News Africa reports. The article quotes President Zuma as saying: ‘We will invest in a comprehensive plan to expand broadband access throughout the country and substantially reduce the cost of communication … We aim to connect all schools, public health and other government facilities by 2020, and at least 90% of our communities should have substantial and super-fast broadband capacity by 2020.’ In addition to enhancing broadband access, the ruling party has promised to provide a free national Wi-Fi network covering cities, towns and rural areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 10:46:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Microsoft has launched a pilot project in the rural Limpopo province of South Africa that aims to deliver high-speed and affordable broadband to underserved communities using so-called "white spaces" technology. The focus of the pilot will be to prove that TV white spaces can be used to meet the South African government's goals of providing low-cost access for a majority of South Africans by 2020.

The pilot is a joint effort between Microsoft, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the University of Limpopo and local network builder Multisource. It will use TV white spaces and solar-powered base stations to provide low-cost wireless broadband access to five secondary schools in remote parts of the Limpopo province. The project will use the University of Limpopo as a hub for a white space network deployment that will provide nearby schools in local communities with wireless connectivity. The project will also provide each of the five schools with Windows-based tablets, projectors, teacher laptops and training, education-related content, solar panels for device charging where there is no access to electricity, and other support. 

The project was initiated as part of the Microsoft4Afrika Initiative, which aims to provide access, skills development and innovation opportunities to young people and entrepreneurs across the continent. Microsoft earlier started white space pilots in Kenya and Tanzania, which it said have proven that white spaces technology is a viable solution for high-speed access in rural areas, even for those not attached to the national power grid.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:08:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 15, 2013

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

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 15, 2013 7:53:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 10, 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, July 10, 2013 8:53:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 08, 2013

People living in certain parts of the UK are being forced to pay up to £170 million a year more for their broadband, due to a 'postcode lottery'.
 
New research from a broadband comparison site has revealed that in some cases, families are paying more than double what their neighbours are, despite living just 50 yards apart.
 
The study, the biggest ever of its kind, looked at more than 1.7 million postcodes covering 97 per cent of British households.

The study from Broadbandchoices.co.uk found speeds and prices often differ from street to street - sometimes within 50 yards - with postcode affecting choice of providers, deals and available speeds.
 
This system means 13 per cent of internet users are being penalised because they don't have access to cheaper deals - adding more than £60 to their yearly broadband connection bills.

Millions of broadband users are also suffering from reduced download speeds and limits.

In some areas customers can choose from 10 providers, while others have just five options.


This means that although some could pay as little as £2.99 per month for their broadband package, others are being forced to spend £8.15 or more.
 
The difference in availability doesn't only vary from county to county, some users in the same towns and even the same street can get better deals than their neighbours.
 
Those living on Bartons Place in Newmarket, Suffolk, for example, could find themselves paying over twice as much for their broadband than other houses less than 50 yards away - but getting just a third of the download speed of their neighbours.


Residents of Scarrowhill Road, Hornsby Gate, Cumbria, pay an extra £5 per month as well as receiving slower download speeds and having two fewer providers to pick from compared to neighbours just half a mile away on the same street.
 
The survey also reveals a north south divide in the number of providers.


Those in the South have an average of 10 while those in the North of England have a pool of 11 to choose from.
 
Herefordshire has the worst overall broadband choice where users have the narrowest choice of providers - at an average of eight.

The county also has the slowest advertised download speeds of just 12.3Mbps and pay the second highest minimum costs in the country of £5.47, second only to Rutland residents who have to pay a minimum of £5.99 a month.
 
Greater Manchester topped the study with the lowest broadband costs at just £2.99 per month, average advertised download speeds of up to 28Mbps and an average choice of 12 providers.

Those in the South can take some solace in the fact they just nudge the North when it comes to average advertised download speeds with 22Mbps compared to 21Mbps.
 
The difference in download speeds between counties ranges from 8.5Mbps to 40Mbps, meaning a two-hour HD film takes as little as 10 minutes (at 40Mbps) to download, whilst for others it will take nearly an hour.

Source: Mail Online.

Monday, July 08, 2013 7:17:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 05, 2013
Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange have just signed an agreement to share vertical fibre optic infrastructures in buildings.
 
The agreement details the types of buildings in which vertical infrastructures will be shared and the technical procedures that will make this possible. The operators will gradually specify the cities, areas and building in which they want to roll-out optical fibre and the Building Manager Operator will prepare an infrastructure delivery plan. The agreement also includes the option to transfer existing undertakings or for each company to build its own.
 
The agreement is based on a principle of reciprocity, so that all three operators can use its rivals’ vertical roll-outs wherever they may need them. After signing the agreement, the infrastructure that Telefónica has already rolled out could gradually be used by Vodafone and Orange. In return, when these operators roll-out new infrastructures where Telefónica does not have coverage, Telefónica can also ask to share its rivals’ vertical infrastructures.
 
Vertical infrastructures in buildings will be shared through a single payment for each vertical infrastructure, which will give the operator the right to use it for no less than 20 years. The prices that will govern this use will be set, via resolution, by the Spanish Telecommunications Market Commission.
 
This agreement represents a leap forward in bringing this technology to more households and businesses across Spain.

Source: Telefonica.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:28:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 03, 2013

Brazil was home to more than 100 million fixed and mobile broadband accesses at 30 April 2013, according to Antonio Carlos Valente, CEO of Telefonica Brasil and president of Brazilian telco association Telebrasil, as reported by BNAmericas. In his opening address at the association’s annual conference in Brasilia, Valente told delegates that mobile broadband is proving to be a key driver of take-up in the country, noting that 3G coverage is available in virtually all its main cities – where around 90% of the population lives. Last week, the industry regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel) reported that mobile broadband connections topped 70 million by 1 May.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:30:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Croatian Postal & Electronic Communications Agency (HAKOM) has announced that it has received bids from four companies for grants for the deployment of broadband networks in remote and rural areas, especially in areas of special state concern, including mountainous areas and islands. The four bidders have been named as VIPnet, T-Hrvatski Telekom, Pro-Ping and Optika Kabel TV. The regulator said it expects to reach a decision by 28 June.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:26:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nepal’s minister for information and communications Madhav Prasad Paudel has said the government is committed to improving its fibre-optic links in the country, specifically through the deployment of optical networks along highways and trunk roads. e-Kantipur notes that the state’s backing of the plan comes at a time when its efforts to roll out the district optical fibre project are faltering. Speaking last Friday, Paudel called for an increase in activity concerning fibre-optic networks, saying that ‘the government will arrange the required funds’.

The national regulator, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), has been aiming to roll out fibre-optic networks along the country’s Mid-Hill Highway for several years, using monies supplied by Nepal’s Rural Telecommunication Development Fund – thought to be worth NPR7 billion (USD80.9 million). However, efforts to connect around 75 administrative districts have so far stalled due to what have been termed ‘procedural’ delays. The minister has called on the domestic telecoms industry to re-galvanise efforts to boost ICT in education, heath, rural development, and in its import and export markets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:04:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Irish operator Eircom has launched its fibre broadband network, offering the eFibre brand products and bundles for both private and business customers. The new eFibre products start from EUR 40 for consumers (six month promotional offer for new customers) and EUR 24.79 for businesses, and are available to more than 300,000 consumers and businesses from launch. eFibre offers download speeds of up to 70 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps. All eFibre products above the entry level come with unlimited downloads. All qualifying Eircom broadband customers will be able to upgrade for free to eFibre. This includes a free modem, free installation and no connection charge. 

Eircom aims to reach more than 600,000 homes and businesses by end-2013, bringing over 10,000 additional premises online each week. When completed in early 2015, the network will reach 1.2 million homes and businesses across Ireland, representing 60 percent of all homes and businesses in the country. Eircom also plans to increase the speeds available to up to 100 Mbps within the next year as fibre technology evolves.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:00:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 06, 2013

According to Macau’s Bureau of Telecommunications Regulation (DSRT), the territory’s total mobile subscriber base shrank marginally to 1.551 million at the end of March 2013, down by a net 2,000 users in a month. Nearly all subscribers are now 3G customers, with just 0.3% using 2G-only services. Macau’s active fixed voice lines also decreased in March 2013, by 500 in a month to 160,637, while the number of fixed broadband internet subscribers rose by 650 to 145,993.

Source: TeleGeography.

Broadband | LTE | Mobile
Monday, May 06, 2013 9:25:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 23, 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, April 23, 2013 10:29:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013

BT has introduced Totally Unlimited Broadband on all but its entry level broadband offering. It is now offering broadband without any usage limits and free from traffic management from GBP 16 per month for 16 Mbps copper broadband, GBP 23 for 38 Mbps Infinity or GBP 26 for 76 Mbps Infinity. Previously, the cheapest unlimited broadband option was GBP 26 per month. New customers are being offered the first six months free. This offers end on 06 June and applies to new BT Broadband customers signing a minimum 18-month contract and paying line rental.

BT is also announcing a new online storage service called BT Cloud, offering a free allowance for all consumer broadband customers. Infinity 76 Mbps and top tier copper customers receive a 50 GB allowance. The service allows BT’s consumer broadband customers to safely and securely back up and share their photographs, documents and videos wherever they are. All backed up documents can be accessed from smartphones, tablets and computers. Customers can stream their content direct to their mobile device and share it friends via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

BT will continue to sell its basic broadband, which costs GBP 13 a month, although this product will not be unlimited, along with Infinity 1, which costs GBP 18. Totally Unlimited Broadband will be available from 01 February. The 16 Mbps copper broadband options both come with the first six months free, while customers can get Infinity for GBP 9 per month for the first three months. Existing customers will be able to switch to Totally Unlimited Broadband by signing a new contract.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:17:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Telecom Namibia achieved an 8.7% year-on-year increase in turnover to NAD1.2 billion (USD135 million) in its financial year ended 30 September 2012, its managing director Frans Ndorama announced, adding that FY 2012 operating profit rose by 29% to NAD133 million. As reported by Namibia Press Agency, the growth was attributed to increased uptake of the telco’s broadband services, supported by capital expenditure (CAPEX) since 2009 of NAD746 million, covering investment in services/networks including ADSL, WiMAX, MPLS, submarine and terrestrial fibre-optic cables.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:38:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a €2 billion support scheme aimed at promoting the development of next generation access (NGA) broadband networks in currently underserved areas of the German region of Bavaria. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it ensures that support is granted only in areas where no commercial NGA network rollout is foreseen in the near future. This will avoid the crowding out of private investments.

Commission Vice-President Joaquín Almunia, in charge of competition policy, said: "The Bavarian broadband support scheme contributes to the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda while limiting distortions of competition by supporting only networks that are open to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis. This should enable healthy competition on the subsidised networks, allowing local businesses and users to benefit from significantly enhanced broadband services at competitive prices".

In June 2012, Germany notified plans for supporting an NGA broadband scheme providing for download speeds of at least 50 Mbps in commercial and accumulation areas of Bavaria.

The Commission found the scheme to be in line with its guidelines on state aid for broadband (see IP/09/1332 and MEMO/09/396). In particular, no support may be granted in areas where a commercial NGA network roll-out is foreseen in the near future. Moreover, the scheme has a high degree of transparency, as all key information on projects will be systematically posted on a central website. This should allow stakeholders to be continuously informed on any project under the scheme. Also, the German telecommunications regulator (the Bundesnetzagentur) will be consulted on key aspects of projects, such as wholesale access prices and conditions. This will further contribute to compliance with the competition rules. Finally, Germany will conduct a detailed monitoring of all cases supported under the scheme.

Source: European Commission.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:55:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

The UK’s rural broadband rollout strategy, which had been placed on hold in July 2012 in order for European regulators examine to it, looks set to get underway again with the European Commission (EC) confirming that Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the umbrella support scheme for investments in next generation access (NGA) broadband networks, does comply with European Union (EU) state aid rules.

BDUK, a team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), was set up to deliver the government’s broadband strategy, with its main role being to allocate and distribute funding to bring superfast broadband to the third of UK homes and businesses which are not expected to be provided for by commercial rollouts. The British government had originally aimed for an open process in which community groups and private firms would be commissioned to build Europe’s ‘best superfast broadband network’, with BDUK having published a framework covering 35 local authority areas, under which contractors competed to win equipment supply deals. However, with claims that the selection criteria had proved insurmountable, a number of companies, including Geo and Cable & Wireless, withdrew from the process last year. With fixed line incumbent BT and Fujitstu emerging as the only two companies to ink contracts for a rural broadband rollout, the EC said that no work would move forward until it was satisfied with the plans. One of the main concerns with the setup was reportedly that BT was unprepared to offer access on a sufficiently open basis to the infrastructure it will roll out, with Brussels thought to want the incumbent to allow rival operators to be able to rent its dark fibre.

With the EC suggesting that the total value of aid to be delivered by the scheme would be around GBP1.5 billion (USD1.8 billion), it claimed this would likely enable the UK to achieve the objective of the EU Digital Agenda of coverage of 30Mbps networks for all European citizens. Further, noting that the design of the BDUK scheme contained several ‘best practices’ which it claimed would ‘help to ensure more effective, better targeted and less distortive public interventions’, the EC also pointed out that UK telecoms regulator Ofcom will have a crucial role in designing wholesale access prices and conditions. The UK meanwhile is understood to have committed to submitting an evaluation of the scheme to the Commission before 31 March 2015, while it will also ensure that any forthcoming scheme will take this evaluation into account.

Commenting on the decision, Joaquin Almunia, EC vice president, noted: ‘BDUK, as a national competence centre, will assist local granting authorities in designing and implementing successful broadband support measures in line with EU competition rules. The umbrella scheme will be a big step towards the achievement of the EU Digital Agenda targets and a strong impetus for growth in the UK.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:10:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned telecoms giant Rostelecom has announced that its broadband subscriber base passed the nine million mark at the beginning of November 2012, which it says is almost four times more than its nearest competitor. The national operator has indicated that the growth in high speed internet users is being driven by the uptake of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) platforms, with the company’s fibre-optic user base reportedly doubling on an annual basis.

Source: TeleGeography.

Broadband | CIS | FTTH/B
Friday, December 14, 2012 10:39:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian cable services operator Net Servicos (Net) now has more than five million residential broadband subscribers in the country, Telecompaper reports without citing its sources. The cableco, which offers high speed internet access under the Net Virtua banner, says it reached the milestone in September, and now claims to be the market leader in that particular segment. Recent successes in subscriber take-up have been driven by the success of its convergence strategy – offered via Net Combo. Net says that four out of five subscribing households currently take at least two of the three services on offer – voice telephony, broadband internet and pay-TV – and that its network now passes six million homes.

Earlier this month the cableco reported that favourable exchange rates were the reason why its third-quarter net profit quadrupled to BRL108 million (USD53.3 million) from BRL23.6 million in 3Q11. The company, which is controlled by America Movil (AM) of Mexico, confirmed that its results were boosted by the depreciation of the Brazilian real versus the US dollar in the third quarter, adding that income for the period was ‘substantially influenced by the positive effects of exchange rate changes.’ The real fell 13% against the dollar compared with 3Q11. Net reported third-quarter revenue of BRL2.03 billion in July-September, up from BRL1.7 billion in the three months ended 30 September 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was BRL559 million, up from BRL486 million a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:37:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Unicom is going through a critical transformation as the operator is shifting its focus to its data business. Weak domestic demand is putting pressure on traditional mobile services such as voice and SMS, company chairman Chang Xiaobing told the China Daily in an interview. However, the data business, supported by the growing popularity of smartphones, is growing quickly. "China Unicom has come to a point where it has to transform itself," Chang said. "We may face difficulties in the transition, but China Unicom has the confidence and the capability to overcome those."

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:32:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

America Movil’s (AM’s) domestic mobile subsidiary, Telcel, has reportedly inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, BNamericas reports. Telcel, which is Mexico’s largest cellco by subscribers, is understood to have made its 4G network available to customers in a total of nine cities at launch, with those being: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Merida. For now, LTE-based services are restricted to post-paid customers only, although AM CEO Daniel Hajj was cited as saying that pre-paid options will be offered in the future.

Six LTE-compatible handsets are being offered to those customers looking to take up the new service, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, while Telcel has noted that the iPhone 5 will be available from January 2013. Pricing for the 4G service ranges from MXN499 (USD38) per month for a 500MB usage allowance, rising to MXN899 for a 700MB allowance.

Mr Hajj is also cited as saying that approximately 35% of Telcel’s mobile subscriber base currently uses data services, broken down as 20% which access data via its 2G network and 15% which connect via the 3G infrastructure. Having noted that data usage had increased tenfold over the past three years, Telcel has said a similar growth rate is likely in the wake of its 4G launch, with Mr Hajj reportedly saying that the cellco expects between one and three million people to adopt 4G within a year.

Meanwhile, with Telcel reportedly set to invest around USD3.95 billion on network upgrades between 2012 and 2014, at least USD1 billion of which will be spent on 4G equipment, it has said that it aims to expand coverage to 26 cities covering 65% of the population by April 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:05:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:53:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The European Union already has standard broadband available for the great majority of EU homes, 95.7%, over 200 million altogether. It is also now half-way towards the goal of 30Mbps access for all by 2020. Over 50% of EU homes – 105 million - already had NGA broadband available to them.

 

The gap is inevitably larger in rural areas, particularly where NGA is concerned. 78% of rural EU homes have access to standard broadband but only 12% - 5 million - have NGA available. Thus 35 million of the 40 million rural homes in Europe are waiting for NGA to arrive. Bringing it to them is likely to require considerable effort and investment.

 

As far as individual technologies are concerned, the research shows that DSL is by far the most important fixed line broadband technology in Europe today, with 92% coverage of households. Standard cable comes next with 42%. WiMAX has under 15% coverage.

 

Looking at NGA technologies, Docsis 3, which is also included in the standard cable figures, is most important with 37% coverage. VDSL, which is included in the DSL figures, is next at 21% and FTTP is available to just 12% of homes

 

As for mobile broadband, HSPA has rapidly grown to 95% coverage, ahead of DSL and with almost as many homes passed as all the standard broadband technologies combined. At the other end of the scale, LTE is still very new with less than 9% coverage.

 

Source: European Commission. Extracted from the executive summary of the report.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:55:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012

According to data published by Brazil’s Associacao Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Telebrasil), the country was home to a total of 83 million broadband accesses (fixed and mobile) at the end of September, up 58% or 30.5 million connections on the same time in 2011. Of the total, some 63.6 million people were accessing the internet via a mobile broadband connection, with a further 19.4 million using a fixed connection. The popularity of mobile internet access is booming, with Telebrasil noting that connections increased by 84% in the year to 30 September 2012, with 50.9 million Brazilian owning a 3G mobile phone and 12.7 million using a data terminal (modem/dongle) at that date. Further, the association notes that the uptake of smartphones is accelerating with numbers rising by 86% between September 2011 and 2012, including 30 million new 3G mobile connections. In the fixed broadband sphere, the country registered some 1.4 million net new users in the period under review, up 7.7% year-on-year. Telebrasil attributes a significant portion of the growth to the success of the country’s national broadband plan – Plano Nacional de Banda Larga – which it estimates accounted for 31.5% of all new fixed high speed accesses.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:39:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian telco Oi SA, the entity formed through the restructuring of Telemar Participacoes’ former operating divisions Brasil Telecom, Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Coari Participacoes and Telemar Norte Leste, has extended the operational footprint of its national broadband plan – Plano Nacional de Banda Larga (PNBL) – to 2,005 municipalities. Oi SA, which markets its internet offering under the Oi Velox banner, reached its latest milestone through the deployment of services to an additional 113 cities, and now targets coverage of 4,800 municipalities by the end of 2014. The carrier added that around 40% of cities covered are located in the north and northwest of Brazil. In total, Oi Velox is now available in 24 states across the country, excluding the Federal District, and offers users a low-cost 1Mbps internet service for BRL35 (USD17.2) per month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:27:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

Hungary’s National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has released its monthly ‘flash reports’ on the nation’s fixed and mobile markets, showing that the total number of fixed voice accesses reached more than 3.002 million at 31 August 2012, up from 2.999 million at end-June, a household penetration rate of 61.86%. Of the total, copper wire PSTN lines accounted for over 1.978 million voice channels, compared to 2.006 million two months earlier,

voice over cable television (VoCATV) connections grew by 20,904 to 556,762, and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) subscriptions increased by a net 10,624 to 406,674. In terms of fixed line market share, Magyar Telekom’s T-Home service led the way with 59.8% of the market, ahead of second-placed Invitel Holdings with 13.1%, UPC Hungary (12.2%), DIGI (8.7%), and others (6.2%).

The number of fixed broadband connections reached 2.132 million by the start of September this year according to the regulator’s findings, which are compiled using data supplied by the principal players: Magyar Telekom, Invitel, GTS Hungary, UPC Hungary, DIGI, PR-Telekom, Tarr, ViDaNet and Parisatt. xDSL connections dipped by 6,234 to 777,925 subscriptions, although this was offset by a rise in basic cable modem lines to 857,954 from 848,708 previously, and cable (DOCSIS 3.0) users – up 12,045 to 210,261. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) uptake also continues apace, accounting for 298,808 lines at 31 August, compared to 290,087 in June.

Meanwhile, in the mobile segment, the NMHH said that the country was home to a total of 11.509 million registered SIM cards at the end of August 2012, down a net 18,134 connections from 11.527 million at 30 June, a cellular penetration rate of 115.8%. In terms of the number of SIMs actually generating traffic though (i.e. active users), the figure stood at just over eleven million by 31 August, up from 10.980 million two months earlier. The NMHH found that T-Mobile Hungary accounted for 45.83% of active users at end-August, ahead of Telenor, with 31.47%, and Vodafone in third with 22.70%.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:07:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The small Pacific nation of Kiribati has signed an internet connectivity deal with the National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) in the Marshall Islands, reports Radio New Zealand International. Under the deal, the NTA will provide Kiribati with internet access via a fibre-optic cable and satellite owned by the Majuro-based telecoms operator. The Marshall Islands firm signed a similar contract earlier this year with Bemobile of the Solomon Islands, expanding satellite connectivity services to the Solomons. General manager of the NTA, Tommy Kijiner Junior, said he hopes the two deals will lead on to his company sealing similar contracts with other nations including Nauru and Tuvalu.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:05:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

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, October 29, 2012 4:50:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan Telecommunication (PTCL) has reached a milestone of first 100,000 broadband DSL users in the Gujranwala region. PTCL Broadband service was launched in 2007.

Monday, October 29, 2012 3:54:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The advent of full commercial 3G services and the busy roll-out of smartphones are putting intense pressure on mobile operators and triggering a data price war, reports the Bangkok Post. Stiff competition is expected to spur overall mobile handset sales in Thailand to top 20 million units in 2013, up from 14 million this year. Sales of smartphones are set to reach 6 million units this year, while the total smartphone installed base will top 12 million units.

At the four-day Thailand Mobile Expo, Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move are introducing promotional data bundle prices, starting at THB 399 per month. Operators are also offering ten-month instalment payment plans, with AIS offering as much as twenty-month instalments at the four-day event at Queen National Sirikit Convention Centre.

Total Access Communication is offering subsidised smartphones with discounts of up to 50 percent on some models. The price of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 has slidden to THB 9,900 from THB 15,900, while the Nokia Lumia 900 has dropped to THB 11,900 from THB 18,900. Samsung is offering bundled packages with the three mobile operators at THB 22,900. LG also launched its pre-booking Optimus Vu priced at THB 18,900. Tablet prices are being offered at discounts of 30-50 percent, ahead of the arrival of Windows-based tablets later this month.

Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, October 29, 2012 3:50:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT), which announced the launch of a Wi-Fi hotspot network earlier this year to augment its upcoming launch of HSPA-based mobile broadband services, reported this week that it has rolled out 43 Wi-Fi coverage areas under the ‘bzone’ banner. TSTT chairman Everald Snaggs said that the public hotspots were deployed over the last three months, providing free high speed internet access to TSTT’s fixed and mobile broadband customers, and claimed to have attracted 12,000 regular Wi-Fi users across the islands so far. Snaggs added that the HSPA+ network would be launched ‘soon’, with rollout being carried out at over 400 cell sites across the country. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that TSTT announced plans to roll out the new 3.5G network (being marketed as ‘4G’) in April 2012 via a contract awarded to Huawei Technologies of China, in a move that marks a shift away from the telco’s existing WiMAX and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless broadband strategy.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:32:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi cellular and internet operator Mobily has announced that its Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G network has now been expanded to cover 31 cities. The 2.6GHz wireless broadband network, which is operated by Mobily subsidiary Bayanat Al-Oula, launched in September last year according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, and is eventually expected to cover up to 85% of the Saudi population.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:30:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tablet ownership is on the rise in Australia. A survey conducted by the digital industry body AIMIA has found that 38 percent of respondents said they owned a tablet, up from 16 percent a year ago. An additional 33 percent were planning to purchase a tablet within the next 12 months. Based on these results the forecast for tablet ownership is 50 percent by December 2012 and 71 percent by mid-2013. Apple iPads were the most popular brand of tablets with just over 75 percent of tablet owners owning an iPad. Just under half of the respondents had both Wi-Fi and 3G enabled tablets, while 50 percent of the respondents had Wi-Fi only enabled tablets. The report also found that 76 percent of respondents own a smartphone, up from 67 percent in 2011. Of those respondents who do not own a smartphone, 40 percent plan to purchase one in the next 12 months. Based on the survey results, 80 percent of respondents would own a smartphone by end of 2012 and 84 percent would own a smartphone by mid-2013. The results show a clear and steady increase in the popularity of Apple handsets over the last four years. Samsung and HTC phones have experienced much slower growth, while many of the other brands have been losing market share.


Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:29:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2012

The Ministry of Communications in Kuwait has imposed a price ceiling on internet services in the country which will force operators to drop prices by up to 40%. Local news agency KUNA reports communications minister Salem Al-Utheina as saying: ‘ISPs price reduction process will take place first, later other services will witness similar reduction, which will be supervised by the ministry in the near future.’ The minister did not specify which services were under consideration for future price capping.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:55:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Multimedia Polska has extended its fibre-optic network to pass an additional 1,000 homes in Kutno and hopes to add a further 600 before the end of the month. The cableco said that the expansion work would bring the number of homes connected to its network to nearly 5,000, estimating that it had spent around PLN1 million (USD286,786) on network expansion in the city over the last two years.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 1:00:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: Telegeography.

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

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has launched a multimillion-dollar Government-Assisted Technology Endeavour (GATE) project in partnership with regional telecoms operator Digicel Group, in a bid to drive the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the country. The Caribbean Journal writes that the project will focus on improving the nation’s broadband internet connectivity, along with a focus on ‘stimulating growth in innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and sustainability’. As part of the plan, the government and Digicel hope to deploy fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology, with Antiguan minister Dr Edmond Mansoor calling GATE a ‘bold step forward’ in preparing the country for the next two decades.

The journal notes that the GATE project has four primary components: an ICT Cadet Programme, which has already launched (in June this year), aimed at targeting school leavers to prepare them for the work environment; plans to improve internet connectivity and technology in the classroom, including using 4G LTE broadband connectivity; a plan to LTE connectivity for Antigua’s government; and the creation of a multi-purpose ICT training facility and special needs resource centre in the Michael’s Mount area of Antigua. The ICT facility will be built by Digicel on state-owned lands, according to the government.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:57:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has announced the implementation of the first phase of its ‘ultra-high speed’ NGN/FTTx broadband network, under its nationwide network modernisation project ‘i-Sri Lanka’, which has driven an increase of 40,000 new broadband connections so far. The i-Sri Lanka project is scheduled for completion within 18 months, by which time it will provide 20Mbps broadband and triple-play services to more than 90% of customers and add capacity for 600,000 new broadband customers to the network. SLT plans to double its existing customer base of around 300,000 over the next couple of years.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:48:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Mexican president Felipe Calderon has announced that Mexico expects to launch auctions within the next two months that aim to boost coverage of telecommunications services offered over fibre, BNamerica reports.

The development dovetails with an earlier announcement that the Mexican government is aiming to promote high speed internet adoption in part by the sale of concessions that would allow the winning bidders to utilise state-owned fibre-optic lines and to build networks in those areas that currently do not have access to broadband services. As reported by CommsUpdate in January 2012, the initiative was expected to see the government conduct auctions that will include contracts to use two fibre-optic lines from state-owned powerco Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), while bids will also be taken on the use of fibre links running on along the federal highway network. Commenting on the latest plans, President Calderon was cited as saying: ‘We’re going to launch 1,000 new access points of CFE’s fibre-optic network and I’ve instructed the CFE’s director to increase the 20,000km of fibre to 30,000km.’

The head of state has also confirmed that an auction will be conducted to extend fibre-optic connectivity to Mexico’s south-west coast, to Ometepec, in the state of Guerrero, with the government expected to subsidise the rollout using money from its infrastructure fund, with the winning bidder to be that which requests the smallest subsidy. Further, looking ahead the head of state has confirmed that all new highways constructed in Mexico will have fibre-optic cable laid at the time of building.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:29:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British fixed line incumbent BT has revealed a further 98 exchange areas in which its network arm Openreach will make fibre-based broadband services available. With the new areas expected to come online by late-2013, BT claims that the deployment will add nearly 800,000 homes and businesses to the company’s previously announced fibre plans; the development forms part of its GBP2.5 billion (USD3.9 billion) fibre rollout. Mike Galvin, Openreach’s managing director of network investment, said of the plans: ‘This is great news for 98 communities across the UK. Our rollout of fibre continues apace, with over ten million homes now having access to the many benefits this technology can deliver … Today’s announcement brings us another important step closer towards our goal of providing this service to two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014.’

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:23:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Andorra Telecom has completed the rollout of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, utilising Aurora Networks’ Trident7 platform. The network is reportedly available to all of Andorra Telecom’s 52,000 broadband subscribers and will allow the telco to provide high speed broadband and IPTV – including high definition (HD) content – services. Further, the infrastructure is expected to meet the market’s current needs, as well as being ready for increasing service demand over the next seven to ten years.

Commenting on the deployment, director of Andorra Telecom Jaume Salvat said: ‘Aurora Networks’ Trident7 platform has provided us with the opportunity to deliver today’s advanced services with the quality of service and experience our subscribers have come to demand.’

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:22:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Swisscom, Switzerland’s largest telecom provider by subscribers, has announced plans to expand the reach of its fibre network by rolling out fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC, dubbed fibre-to-the-street [FTTS] by the telco) to towns and cities where it is not currently deploying fibre-to-the-home. The expansion is due to begin from the end of 2013 and will see fibre rolled out to a distance of 200m from homes, much closer than its existing fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) infrastructure. Swisscom will begin trialling FTTC later this year in three municipalities, Charrat, Grandfontaine and Flerden. Customers in these areas are expected to gain access to the technology by November this year. The telco claims that the platform will allow it to deliver broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps (downlink).

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:20:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it has supplied Turk Telekom (TT) with a loan worth EUR100 million (USD126.2 million) with a view to expanding the company’s broadband services in the eastern regions of Turkey. The EBRD’s financing will support the carrier’s plans to extend fixed broadband connectivity to all Turkish provinces by 2016. The loan will be used to finance the company’s network expansion in the regions of Adana, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Kayseri, Samsun and Trabzon. The EBRD notes that there are currently ‘considerable discrepancies between the Istanbul area and the eastern regions’.

Mustafa Uysal, TT’s chief financial officer, commented: ‘Turk Telekom believes in the future of the country and that the Turkish economy will be ranked among the world’s top ten economies by 2023. Technology and innovation will be the main instruments to achieve this ambitious vision. Therefore, Turk Telekom, by carrying out its investment programme all throughout Turkey, assumes an important role in shaping Turkey’s future and makes it clear that it will be a leading contributor to and part of that future … We see the EBRD as a partner in this journey rather than just a lending institution and our investment has a value above a monetary contribution. EBRD vision overlaps with TT’s and we hope to continue this partnership in the long term’. Since the start of its involvement in Turkey, the EBRD says that it has committed close to EUR2 billion to various sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investment of over EUR5 billion.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:51:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Amid concerns that it is not competitive, the UK’s rural broadband rollout strategy has reportedly been placed on hold while European regulators examine it, British broadsheet The Guardian reports. The development comes after confirmation that just two companies – fixed line incumbent BT and Japanese technology firm Fujitsu – had been selected to receive funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) set up to deliver the government’s broadband strategy. BDUK’s main role is to allocate and distribute GBP530 million (USD829 million) in funding with a view to bringing superfast broadband to the third of UK homes and businesses which are not expected to be provided for by commercial rollouts.

The state had originally aimed for an open process in which community groups and private firms would be commissioned to build Europe’s ‘best superfast broadband network’, with BDUK having published a framework covering 35 local authority areas, under which contractors competed to win equipment supply deals. However, with claims that the selection criteria had proved insurmountable, a number of companies, including Geo and Cable & Wireless withdrew from the process last year.

With both BT and Fujitstu having reportedly signed contracts last Friday for their respective portions of funding, it has been confirmed that no work will move forward until the European Commission is satisfied with the plans. It has been suggested that one of the main concerns with the setup is that BT is unprepared to offer access on a sufficiently open basis to the infrastructure it will roll out, with Brussels thought to want the incumbent to allow rival operators to be able to rent its dark fibre. A BT spokesman was cited as saying of the development: ‘Discussions between the UK government and the commission continue on the issue of state aid. This is an EU issue as the commission is developing rules that need to work across Europe as well as taking the different conditions in the UK into consideration … We are working with the UK authorities for an outcome that both incentivises further investment in fibre broadband and delivers vibrant competition in broadband services … We believe there needs to be consistency with the wider regulatory framework which has given the UK the most competitive broadband environment in the world.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:42:17 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)  #     | 

True Corp’s fixed line and broadband division, True Online, says that it will invest around THB8 billion (USD250 million) in the short term in its True Internet broadband operations, with the expenditure going towards projects including expanding high speed infrastructure to serve businesses in provincial areas. Bangkok-based True, which is the broadband market leader in the capital in terms of subscribers, plans to cover 36 provinces by the end of 2012 with high speed fixed network services, and 61 of Thailand’s 77 administrative regions (76 provinces plus Bangkok) by the end of next year, before continuing the rollout nationwide. The expansion plan was announced by Charoen Limkangwanmongkol, chief commercial officer of True Online, and reported by Thai newspaper The Nation. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that True Online’s DOCSIS 3-based HFC cable broadband network passed 1.1 million homes in 20 provinces by February 2012, up from 16 provinces including the Bangkok Metropolitan Area in October 2011, and while the majority of True’s 1.4 million broadband subscribers were on its xDSL networks in Bangkok and other areas as of the end of March 2012, this is changing as the quadruple-play group concentrates on expanding its HFC cable network, which also supports its TrueVisions high-definition pay-TV services.

True Internet expects to grow its internet access revenues by around a third to THB8.5 billion this year, broken down as THB1.5 billion from corporate services and THB7 billion in the consumer segment, with Bangkok expected to contribute 85% of turnover and the provinces 15% over the twelve months. It is also focusing on winning corporate customers in the hotel, hospital, education and real estate sectors, The Nation’s report added. The fixed broadband unit has around 3,000 large corporate clients, or around a third of approximately 9,000 corporations using high speed services nationwide, according to its own reckoning, and it expects the corporate internet market to grow by 12% this year. General manager of True Internet, Vasu Khunvasi, said: ‘We have major competitors, [Triple T Broadband’s] 3BB and [state-owned] TOT, in the upcountry market. However, the upcountry market has high potential, since it is a start-up market. The firm will utilise network infrastructure and one-stop services to expand its customer base upcountry.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:03:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

NBN Co, the public private company overseeing the construction and management of Australia’s in-deployment National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed the first locations where it expects to roll out fixed wireless broadband services. Using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, NBN Co has confirmed that, subject to final radio frequency planning and other approvals, the fixed-wireless broadband service will be made available to around 22,000 premises across 14 local government areas, with those councils expected to lodge planning proposals being: Ararat Rural City Council, Buloke Shire Council, Colac-Otway Shire Council, Corangamite Shire Council, Glenelg Shire Council, Hindmarsh Shire Council, Horsham Rural City Council, Loddon Shire Council, Moyne Shire Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Pyrenees Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Warrnambool City Council and Yarriambiack Shire Council. The fixed-wireless broadband service, which will be made available to operators on a wholesale basis, will offer downlink speeds of up to 12Mbps, and NBN Co noted that facilities will be switched on in stages from around mid- to late-2014. Ultimately, the fixed-wireless broadband service is expected to be made available to around 4% of Australia’s premises.

Meanwhile, the company has also confirmed the local government areas where planning proposals will be lodged to deliver high-speed fixed wireless broadband in Tasmania, with around 32,000 premises across 28 local government areas to benefit from the service. Switch-on of the network in Tasmania is expected in the second half of 2013. Alongside the announcement of fixed-wireless broadband developments in Tasmania, NBN Co has also named a number of new locations where fibre-based broadband has been made available commercially. With services in Triabunna, Sorell, Deloraine and Kingston Beach having now come online, it is understood that around 12,800 premises in total across Tasmania can now connect to the fibre optic network. Looking ahead, the activation of the network in George Town and St Helens is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, adding a further 4,900 homes and businesses to the NBN footprint in the state.

Source: Telegeography

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

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), the United Arab Emirates’ incumbent telecoms operator, has slashed the price of its basic broadband packages in the face of increasing competition from sole rival Du. The National cites Rashid Majid Al Abbar, Etisalat’s vice president of home products marketing, as saying that the company has reduced the price of its 1Mbps internet package, which includes a fixed telephony line, from AED259 (USD70.5) per month to AED189, with the aim of enticing users away from slower 256kbps and 512kbps connections. ‘That is the long-term strategy… We want to have more high speed customers,’ Mr Al Abbar said. Etisalat is also studying the possibility of reducing landline rates by between 10% and 30% for local calls, as well as international calls to ‘specific destinations.’ The move could be implemented in the second half of the year, the Etisalat executive said, but first requires the approval of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The regulator is currently gearing up for the commercial introduction of bitstream access later this year, following a trial service with selected customers launched in July 2011. The introduction of bitstream access will break the monopolies held by Etisalat and Du within their respective areas by enabling consumers nationwide to choose between the two providers for their fixed line voice and broadband services.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 3:53:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telekom Malaysia™ has announced that it now has more than two million fixed line broadband subscribers on its books, Bernama reports. TM CEO Datuk Seri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said that the reaching of the milestone reflected increased broadband adoption in Malaysia as a whole, adding that his company’s achievements would help the government in reaching the 75% broadband penetration target set out by its National Broadband Initiative (NBI) by end-2015. ‘TM has been in the pivotal role of fulfilling this agenda as the company is currently contributing more than 40% of the national broadband penetration,’ the executive was cited as saying.

Of the two million broadband customers signed up with TM, almost 360,000 of those have opted to take a service offered over TM’s in-deployment High Speed Broadband Network (HSBB). Take up of such services – which are offered under the ‘UniFi’ banner – has continued to gather pace, and as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, with March 2012 seeing TM confirm that it was planning to roll out the next phase of its HSBB in second-tier industrial areas and state capitals, customer numbers are expected to climb further still.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 3:52:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the nation’s largest operator by subscribers and revenues, said yesterday that it passed the three million-mark for broadband subscribers in the first quarter of this year. Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart president and CEO, said that his company currently leads the broadband segment in the Philippines, with revenues from high speed fixed and mobile internet services increasing 34% year-on-year to PHP5.8 billion (USD134.7 million) – equivalent to 14% of consolidated service revenues. Broken down by technology, PLDT DSL generated PHP2.6 billion in revenue in 1Q12, up 15% y-o-y, while the group’s mobile arm Smart contributed PHP1.7 billion from its wireless broadband services and newly acquired unit, Digitel (Sun Cellular) chipped in with a further PHP800 million. PLDT and its group subsidiaries controlled around 65% of the overall retail broadband market at the end of March 2012, he added.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 3:50:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

State-owned national PTO Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) will stop providing dial-up internet access next month, due to falling demand for the service. Tuoitrenews reports that VNPT has obtained approval from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to end the service from 15 July 2012, and the operator will focus on the provision of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) ‘FiberVNN’ and ADSL ‘MegaVNN’ broadband internet services.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:28:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:36:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharat Telecom Limited, a telecoms joint venture between Mauritian and Indian investors, reportedly plans to connect every home and business in Mauritius to fibre, according to BalancingAct quoting the firm’s Baljinder Sharmer as saying. The Bharat official says that tests of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology are already underway in one community and trials are due to ‘launch soon’.

Under the ambitious investment plan, Bharat Telecom is looking to invest up to USD50 million to roll out 2,900km of fibre-optical network, covering Mauritius. It is understood that 200km will comprise a core 10Gbps network in underground ducts, while a further 2,700km of fibre will be deployed on poles belonging to the Central Electricity Board, consisting of ‘single core and 24 core fibre’. The telco intends to cover 70% of the population in phase one of the rollout, with the other 30% being connected under Phase 2 of the build.

Bharat Telecom received its operating licence in November 2011, since when it has moved to get its business operational as soon as possible. To date it has constructed 80km of the core network component, and piloted the FTTH service at sites in Quatres Bornes and Rose Hill. Once fully operational, the newcomer intends to offer high speed broadband at speeds of up to 100Mbps and IPTV services via its Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) network. Setting itself a target of 50,000 business and residential subscribers, Bharat intends to offer a 2Mbps connection with 40 TV channels for USD10 per month, rising to USD200 a month for a premium content package. The average price is expected to be USD20 per month, with Bharat also intent on breaking the tradition of end users being tied to long-term contracts. The newcomer is not planning to offer triple-play (i.e. there are no plans for voice telephony), however. ‘We don’t have telephony licences and we deliberately kept out of voice. We didn’t want to get into a fight with the two local big boys. The set-top box has a telephone port and some of the subscribers might want to call within the network, no problem. That’s up to the subscribers,’ the director said.

Sharmar told BalancingAct: ‘I personally want us to disrupt the whole market. The competition will respond and it will therefore be beneficial to the country. The cheaper it is, the more up-take there will be and therefore there will be more subscribers, which in turn will sustain lower bandwidth prices. So far no-one has really tried this. We will breakeven on the low-cost packages and in some instances make money.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:28:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 22, 2012

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

Source: TeleGeography.

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

According to a recent report by Nielsen, in March 2012 smartphones as many as by 50.4 percent of consumers in US were using smartphones over basic devices, with Android maintaining its dominant position, accounting for 48.5 percent of all smartphone handsets. Apple follows at 32 percent remaining the single-biggest smartphone handset brand.
 
However, the smartphone growth in US has been slow in the past three months, with a growth of only 3 percent from 47.8 percent in December 2011. The report also highlights that Asian Americans have the highest usage, at 67.3 percent, using a smartphone device.
 
Hispanics were in second place with 57.3 percent of the group using smartphones, with African Americans closely following with 54.4 percent. Whites had the lowest penetration of all, with 44.7 percent. A gender analysis revealed that in the U.S. 50.9 percent of females had smartphones, while among men it was 50.1 percent.

Source: Wireless Federation.
 

Friday, June 22, 2012 3:09:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Jordan, a subsidiary of Jordan Telecom Group, said that its fixed and wireless broadband Internet represents around 55 percent of the kingdom’s total market share.
 
Orange Jordan’s Chief Executive Sami Smeirat told Dow Jones Newswires that they have around 400,000 subscribers in both the wire and wireless broadband.
 
As per the report, Smeirat said Orange, in which France Telecom (FTE) owns a 51 percent stake, has currently over 34 percent market penetration as far as the mobile services are concerned, or around 2.6 million subscribers.
 
Jordan currently has three mobile operators, including Zain Jordan, a subsidiary of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company, Orange Jordan, and Batelco’s unit Umniah.
 
Orange Jordan saw growth in broadband 3G services boosting the 2011 bottom line in a sector which has seen a fierce turf war among the three operators and is hit by sluggish economic growth.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, June 22, 2012 3:07:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chilean telecoms regulator the Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has announced the completion of its public-private initiative, to deliver broadband services to remote rural communities. The project, which saw Subtel partner with local operator Entel and was launched December 2009, rolled out wireless broadband networks to 1,474 towns and villages allowing around three million Chileans to access the internet more easily. The project cost USD110 million, with Entel providing USD65 million, and USD45 million coming from the Fund for the Development of Telecommunications (FDT) and the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT). As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the first stage of the project was completed in September 2010, having connected 451 communities, consisting of around 1.7 million people.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 3:02:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

Azeri telecoms operator AzTelekom, which is wholly owned by the state via the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), is set to expand the availability of broadband services in rural parts of the country through the deployment of a 600km fibre-optic cable. Telecompaper cites a report by news agency Trend as saying that the operator is carrying out the project in partnership with seven private internet service providers (ISPs), five of which have already commenced work, with 200km of fibre deployed to eleven telecoms access nodes. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that AzTelekom operates in the internet market through its subsidiary AzTelekom.NET, which was established in September 2004. It provides a range of connection options, including dial-up, leased lines and ADSL (offering transmission speeds of up to 10Mbps), and also provides voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:59:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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, June 22, 2012 2:57:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Polish internet service provider (ISP) Multimedia Polska has announced the extension of its cable network to three more cities; Chojnow, Wolow and Nowa Ruda. The expansion adds a further 7,500 homes with access to Multimedia’s triple play offerings, including standard and high definition (HD) TV, video-on-demand (VoD) services, high speed internet access and telephony. The expansion follows in the wake of Multimedia’s acquisition of rival cableco Stream Communications late last month which, as noted by CommsUpdate, added approximately 100,000 subscribers to its customer base. At the end of March 2012, Multimedia claimed 1.543 million revenue generating units (RGUs) including 410,292 broadband subscriptions, 356,464 of which connected via cable, 49, 981 through ADSL and 3,847 though WiMAX.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:55:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Telecom plans to increase the number of subscribers using its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services in Shanghai by one million by the end of the year, bringing the total FTTH customer base for the city to 2.3 million, C114 reports Zhang Weihua, the telco’s manager for Shanghai as saying. At the end of 2011, China Telecom’s FTTH network passed 4.5 million homes, with 1.3 million subscribers taking fibre-based services. The telco aims to achieve citywide FTTH coverage by the end of 2015, and have increase the proportion of broadband customers taking fibre services to 90% by that date.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:40:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), the United Arab Emirates’ second national telecoms operator, has announced it generated revenue of AED2.4 billion (USD653 million) in the first three months of 2012, an increase of 20.1% from AED2.0 billion in the year-ago quarter. Growth was primarily driven by a 21.8% year-on-year rise in mobile revenue to AED1.92 billion, 15.5% of which was accounted for by mobile data revenue, which more than doubled to AED297 million from AED141 million in Q1 2011. Du said that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 49% year-on-year to AED925 million in the first three months of 2012, while net profit before royalty increased 61.8% to AED666 million, compared to AED412 million in Q1 2011. CAPEX totalled AED335 million in Q1 2012, more than half of which was focused on mobile infrastructure.

A total of 320,600 mobile customers were added during the first quarter of 2012 (including 50,400 post-paid users), bringing Du’s total wireless subscriber base to 5.536 million at the end of the reporting period, 7.5% of which were contract customers (up from 6.7% in Q1 2011). Fixed line customers meanwhile increased to 545,300, up 13.5% compared to the end of March 2011. Revenue generated by Du’s fixed business, including fixed telephony, TV and broadband, rose 21.2% year-on-year to AED409 million in 1Q12. Earlier this week Du announced it had successfully completed a 100Gbps transmission per wavelength trial on its optical transport network with China’s Huawei.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:29:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Middle Eastern carrier-neutral submarine fibre network operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) and optical technology provider Xtera Communications have deployed what they claim to be the Mediterranean Sea’s first commercial 100Gbps repeatered submarine cable system on the GBI network connecting Egypt to Italy. Xtera provided its Nu-Wave Optima platform in a Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) configuration delivering 100G waves on a fibre pair.

Elsewhere this week, GBI and Kuwaiti ISP/data services operator Gulfnet Communications announced the signing of a capacity sale agreement on the GBI undersea network, which offers routes from Europe to the Middle East and on to Asia. Also this week, Iraq’s Investment & Technology Group of Companies (via its ITC Communications division) signed a strategic alliance agreement with Hong Kong-based international carrier PCCW Global, following the Iraqi company winning a 15-year investment licence from Iraq Telecommunication & Post Company (ITPC) to market transmission capacity over the GBI fibre-optic cable connecting all Gulf coast countries. Fadil Mosawi, chairman of the Investment & Technology Group, said: ‘Together with the new GBI fibre cable, the Iraqi people will soon be able to connect to the rest of world with higher internet connection speed and enjoy new services including voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), high definition TV, as well as a host of other business applications such as cloud computing. Video teleconferencing will make doing business with Iraq simpler and more efficient. Healthcare institutions and universities will also benefit from the availability of large bandwidth and higher access speeds.’ ITC Communications was previously licensed as a VSAT operator, providing international connectivity to Iraqis.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:28:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operators in USA have spoken out at an industry conference regarding the limited data capacity and its long term effect on the industry. According to a report by Total telecom, executives from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA said the future of data use, such as streaming video and photos, is at risk if more airwaves, or spectrum, aren’t put to use.
 
Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Dan Mead, speaking at the CTIA conference in New Orleans, said the largest carrier will be maxed out in some markets as early as next year and most others by 2015. The carrier is seeking regulatory authority to buy $3.9 billion worth of spectrum from a group of cable companies. He said that they will put this spectrum to use quickly.
 
T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm said that they require more spectrum, more technologies to manage capacity. The carrier had hoped to be bought by AT&T Inc. last year as part of a $39 billion bid that was ultimately stopped by regulators. Humm said average monthly data use on T-Mobile’s network has risen more than five-fold over the past two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:22:48 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)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

Ukraine’s largest telecoms group Ukrtelecom has targeted new investments in its fixed broadband network totaling around UAH550 million (USD68 million), quadruple the total CAPEX budget of UAH135.4 million set for 2012, according to the telco’s acting head Igor Kravets, quoted by newspaper Comments.ua. Kravets said that Ukrtelecom hopes to attract a further 400,000 subscribers to its fixed broadband user base, which totaled 1.406 million at the end of March 2012 according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. The company plans to issue up to UAH600 million worth of bonds this quarter to help finance an overall investment programme of UAH888 million, around 60% of which is earmarked for broadband development.

For the first three months of 2012, the fixed line, internet and 3G mobile operator posted a net profit of UAH5.4 million, on quarterly net revenues of UAH1.642 billion, but did not provide a direct year-on-year comparison due to a switchover to IFRS reporting standards. Under local accounting standards, the firm had reported a net loss in Q1 2011 of UAH200.2 million (with losses widening that quarter by 5.5 times), and a 2.7% drop in net revenue to UAH1.631 billion. Ukrtelecom’s mobile unit, assets of which were transferred to a new entity, TriMob, at the beginning of this year, is up for sale, although Austrian parent fund Epic is reported to be in elongated discussions with prospective buyers over a suitable price.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:47:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mobile operators in USA have spoken out at an industry conference regarding the limited data capacity and its long term effect on the industry. According to a report by Total telecom, executives from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA said the future of data use, such as streaming video and photos, is at risk if more airwaves, or spectrum, aren’t put to use.
 
Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Dan Mead, speaking at the CTIA conference in New Orleans, said the largest carrier will be maxed out in some markets as early as next year and most others by 2015. The carrier is seeking regulatory authority to buy $3.9 billion worth of spectrum from a group of cable companies. He said that they will put this spectrum to use quickly.
 
T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm said that they require more spectrum, more technologies to manage capacity. The carrier had hoped to be bought by AT&T Inc. last year as part of a $39 billion bid that was ultimately stopped by regulators. Humm said average monthly data use on T-Mobile’s network has risen more than five-fold over the past two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:54:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 30, 2012

In the second half of 2011, the number of mobile subscriptions continued to grow, although much slower than during the first half of the year. Instead, the number of pay-monthly data transmission subscriptions in the mobile network and unexpectedly, the number of text and multimedia messages sent continued to grow clearly. As many as 40% of mobile subscriptions had a pay-monthly data transmission service.

Broadband subscriptions gained popularity in fixed and mobile networks

The number of fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase in the second half-year by more than 30,000, even though the number of pay-monthly mobile data transmission subscriptions grew by about 570,000 during the same time period. It seems that mobile data transmission subscriptions and agreements are used more and more as a complementary data transmission subscription alongside fixed broadband subscriptions.

A record number of text and multimedia messages were sent. After a moderate increase at the beginning of the year, the number of text and multimedia messages sent accelerated by 10% from July to December. The figures contain the messages sent by both consumers and companies. There is no evidence that the strong popularity of data transmission services would put an end to the use of the more traditional mobile services.

Source: FICORA.

Monday, April 30, 2012 9:50:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 30, 2012

Tanzania Telecommunications Company (TTCL) has introduced a new offer known as Nduki Broadband, which will enable broadband users to pay from Tanzanian shillings 30,000/- (around USD20) to 200,000/- (around USD130) per month for unlimited access.

The offer allows customers to download as much data as they like without any limitations. The offer will give them for first package speed of 256 Kbs, and is known as Nduki Bronze which will be paid Tanzanian shillings 30,000/- (around 20 USD) per month.

The second package is known as Nduki Silver, with speeds of 512 Kbs, which will cost a Tanzanian shilling 60,000/- (around USD40 USD).

Nduki Gold is the third package, giving customers high speed access of 1Mbps which per month at Tanzanian shillings 100,000 (around USD65). The highest-speed package, Nduki Diamond, offers speeds of 2Mbps at a cost of Tanzanian shillings 200,000/- (around 130 USD) per month.

All the packages give TTCL subscribers unlimited download services.

The state-owned company is seeking to grow its broadband subscriber numbers in order to compete with private telecom companies which currently lead the market in Tanzania.

According to TCRA quarterly report December 2011, TTCL has only 1% of the market shares while Vodacom is leading the market with 45%, Airtel with 27%, Tigo with 21%, Zantel 6%, Sasatel 0.02% and Benson 0.01%.

Source: Biztech Africa.

Friday, March 30, 2012 11:04:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Privately owned telecoms operator Bharat Telecom Ltd (BTL) has announced that it is launching a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service in Mauritius. The telco, which was incorporated in August 2010, hopes to deliver a range of services to Mauritian households over the new platform, including broadband internet and IPTV. Further, the operator says it intends to use digital infrastructure based on Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GEPON) technology, to act as a carrier backbone for other service providers in the country operating in the gaming and WebTV business spheres. Commenting on the launch BTL managing director Baljinder said: ‘BTL has the vision to connect every home and office in the country with a fibre network’.

The telco’s chief operating officer Anil Gujjalu says that network rollout has been ongoing since 2011 and that it has now reached the point where it will shortly begin to connect homes and businesses to its 100Mbps fibre-optic cables. BTL promises to deliver ‘high speed internet and other value added services at very affordable prices’. Industry watchers note though, that contrary to an earlier announcement from the minister of ICT touting its new fast broadband speeds, BTL will not be offering a 10Mbps connection for MUR280 (USD10) a month, but rather a much slower 2Mbps connection. It will however be bundling internet connectivity with IPTV comprising around 40 TV channels. The start-up package is expected to be marketed on a commercial basis within the next six to eight weeks, subject to BTL obtaining the necessary tariff approvals from the regulator.

Source: TeleGeograpy.

Friday, March 30, 2012 10:44:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
National Communications Commission (NCC) chairperson Su Herng has outlined targets deemed necessary for ensuring that Taiwan’s internet infrastructure catches up with those of other countries such as South Korea. According to Focus Taiwan, with the executive claiming that specific targets will assist in pushing forward infrastructure development, the government is reportedly aiming to ensure that cable broadband services offering downlink speeds of 100Mbps are accessible by 80% of the Taiwanese population by 2015. Further, by that date the NCC expects there to be some six million fibre-based broadband accesses, in addition to roughly two million wireless broadband subscribers. Kuomintang (Nationalist Party — KMT) legislator Lo Shu-lei criticised such targets for being too optimistic, however, prompting Su to respond that the improvement of services nationwide would require a degree of support from the government.

Source: TeleGoegraphy.

Friday, March 30, 2012 10:43:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 09, 2012

The largest U.S. mobile service provider Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) launched an in-home wireless broadband service –– HomeFusion Broadband –– based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

Verizon introduced this service in rural and remote homes, which do not have access to DSL or cables. The service will be available initially in Birmingham, Alabama, Dallas and Nashville, Tennessee later this month.

The company will charge $59.99 per month for 10 gigabytes (GB) of data and an initial fee of $199.99 for installing the antenna device either on an outside wall or at the roof. Home Fusion provides download speed of 5 to 12 megabits per second and 2 to 5 megabits for upload.

Verizon is further seeking the deployment of 4G services to rural areas using tower and backhaul assets and its 700 MHz spectrum. We believe Verizon’s expansion into rural areas will drive subscriber growth and improve the churn rate, leading to higher growth and profitability. In addition, Verizon is ahead of its largest rivals AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) in providing home broadband services.

Verizon continues to lead the wireless industry with the expansion of both its 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks. As of January 23, 2012, Verizon deployed 4G LTE services in 195 markets, covering more than 200 million people.The company expects to expand its 4G network to its entire nationwide 3G footprint by mid-2013, compared with the previous forecast of year-end 2013.

Source: Daily Markets.

Friday, March 09, 2012 1:03:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Australian government has opened the Darwin fibre-optic link which stretches more than 3,800km from Darwin to Toowoomba, passing through more than 30 towns. The link will benefit more than 160,000 people across Queensland and the Northern Territory. The opening of the Darwin fibre link also marks the completion of the entire network construction phase of the government's AUD 250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP). The programme has now delivered over 6,000 km of fibre backbone across regional Australia, benefiting around 400,000 people and more than 100 regional locations. This also forms part of th­e National Broadband Network. Nextgen Networks was responsible for the roll-out of approximately 6,000km of backbone infrastructure, as well as operating and maintaining the backbone transmission links for an initial five-year period.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:50:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Mexican government aims to promote high speed internet adoption in part by the sale of concessions which will allow the winning bidders to utilise state-owned fibre-optic lines and to build networks in those areas that currently do not have access to broadband services. According to Bloomberg, the initiative will see the government conduct auctions that will include contracts to use two fibre-optic lines from state-owned powerco Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), while bids will also be taken on the use of fibre links running on along the federal highway network. Mexican president Felipe Calderon is pushing the move with a view to boosting the country’s standings in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in terms of broadband uptake; as per the group’s recent report, Mexico had 10.5 broadband subscriptions per 100 residents at the end of 2010, a figure placing it 32 out of the 34 countries in the organisation. Commenting on the plans, President Calderon noted: ‘We’re promoting social connectivity with broadband.’

The move is not the government’s first in the fibre sector; as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Mexico announced plans to auction off access to two unused portions of a nationwide fibre-optic network in May 2009, in order to boost broadband competition. Subsequently, in June 2009 the Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) announced that CFE had formally requested the regulator auction the two fibre portions on its behalf, but some industry figures criticised the proposals as not going far enough, claiming that the CFE had 36 fibre strands suitable for sale, and calling on the state-run entities to consider expanding the scope of the auction. Despite the calls for an extended tender, bidding for the two fibre strands started on 27 January 2010, with a minimum combined bid for all three sections of MXN858.6 million (USD66.13 million). With the state having set a 5 April 2010 deadline for bids, a joint venture between Megacable, Telefonica and Televisa JV emerged as the sole bidder for the fibre links in May 2010. The following month the SCT confirmed the consortium had been awarded the licence allowing access to the two strands of dark fibre, and having bid MXN884 million in the auction, the trio also revealed that they plan to spend a combined MXN1.3 billion on upgrading the infrastructure for future use.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:46:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 13, 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, January 13, 2012 1:29:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
French operators added 45,000 fast broadband customers in the third quarter to reach a total of 600,000 at the end of September, according to telecommunications regulator Arcep. The customer base includes 175,000 FTTH and FTTB subscribers, up by 20,000 in the quarter and by 71,000 in one year. Most of the remaining 425,000 fast broadband customers are on fibre/co-ax cable. Their number rose by 25,000 in the third quarter and by 34 percent over one year. Overall broadband customers grew by 340,000 net customers in the third quarter to reach 22.4 million. Growth over one year was 7 percent, or 1.5 million subscribers. At 20.7 million, 93 percent of all broadband subscribers were on xDSL at the end of September. The number of homes eligible for FTTH rose by 40 percent in one year to 1.35 million. At the end of June the figure stood at 1.21 million. The number of homes that are eligible for FTTH from more than one operator rose by 210 percent in one year to 405,000. At the end of June the figure stood at 336,000. Arcep found that at the end of September there were 13,000 subscribers to a service provider other than the one who installed their building's fibre. This is up on 9,300 at the end of June and 620 percent more than at the end of September 2010.

Source:
Telecom Paper.

Friday, January 13, 2012 11:39:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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

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

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:48:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Broadband penetration in Peru is expected to double from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 9.3 percent in 2016, driven by the government's national broadband plan to bring Internet connectivity via fiber-optic cables to isolated regions, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

"In 2011, broadband penetration will reach 4.7 percent, still among the lowest in the region just ahead of Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala and Nicaragua," says Pyramid Research Analyst, Juliana Gomez.

Broadband penetration will be driven by the government's national broadband plan, which aims to bring Internet connectivity via fiber-optic cables to isolated regions such as the Sierra and Selva. As economic development touches cities outside Lima in the Sierra region of the country, competition for new subscribers will expand the reach of fixed networks. Telefonica and Telmex are both offering double- and triple-play bundles, including fixed telephony, broadband Internet and pay-TV services.

"Given the low penetration of Internet services and the government support for developing broadband networks, broadband has great potential to fuel bundles," she indicates.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:40:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 24, 2011

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

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:28:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2011

The UN's Broadband Commission for Digital Development has agreed on a set of four "ambitious but achievable" new targets for countries to target in broadband policy, affordability and uptake. The first aims to make broadband policy universal and targets a national broadband plan or strategy in all countries by 2015. This can also mean the inclusion of broadband in their universal access/service definitions. To make broadband affordable, the commission called for developing countries to take steps to ensure regulation and market forces provide for entry-level broadband services, for example, at a cost of less than 5 percent of average monthly income. This should support the third goal of 40 percent of households in developing countries with internet access by 2015. The final goal is 60 percent worldwide internet user penetration by 2015, including 50 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). 


The targets were unveiled at the ITU Telecom World event in Geneva. The commission set up last year is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Carlos Slim Helu, chairman and CEO of Telmex and America Movil. The ITU will undertake responsibility for measuring each country’s progress towards the targets, producing an annual broadband report with rankings of nations worldwide in terms of broadband policy, affordability and uptake. 


The 'Broadband Challenge' endorsed by the commission recognizes communication as "a human need and a right", and calls on governments and private industry to work together to develop the innovative policy frameworks, business models and financing arrangements needed to facilitate growth in access to broadband worldwide. It urges governments to avoid limiting market entry and taxing ICT services unnecessarily to enable broadband markets to realize their full growth potential, and encourages governments to promote coordinated international standards for interoperability and to address the availability of adequate radio frequency spectrum. The Challenge stresses the need to stimulate content production in local languages and enhance local capacity to benefit from, and contribute to, the digital revolution.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:34:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The European Commission has proposed to spend almost €9.2 billion from 2014 to 2020 on pan-European projects to give EU citizens and businesses access to high-speed broadband networks and the services that run on them. The funding, part of the proposed Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), would take the form of both equity and debt instruments and grants. It would complement private investment and public money at local, regional and national level and EU structural or cohesion funds. At least €7 billion would be available for investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure.

The Commission considers that this money could leverage a total of between €50 and 100 billion of public and private investment – i.e. a substantial proportion of the estimated €270 billion of broadband investment needed to meet Digital Agenda targets on broadband. The remaining CEF funding for digital infrastructure would support public interest digital service infrastructure such as electronic health records, electronic identification and electronic procurement. The proposed financial support is complemented by proposed new guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks and services. These guidelines would establish new objectives, priorities, projects of common interest and criteria for identifying further projects of common interest.

Money for broadband infrastructure

In the case of broadband infrastructure, EU funding from the CEF would leverage other private and public money by giving projects credibility and lowering their risk profiles. The money would be largely in the form of equity, debt or guarantees. This would then attract capital market financing from investors; the Commission and international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank would absorb part of the risk and improve projects' credit rating.

Projects are likely to be proposed by established telecoms operators as well as new players such as water, sewage, electricity utilities, cooperative investment projects or construction firms. Many projects are likely to involve several of these investors clubbing together. The Commission also expects public authorities to join projects as part of public-private partnerships.

Source: European Commission

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:19:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has published its latest market development report – Management Information System Issue 33, Vol. 81 – for the month ended 14 August 2011 (Shrawan, 2068). At that date the total number of fixed and mobile lines in service exceeded 13.513 million, a penetration rate of 47.27% of the Nepalese population. Of the total, mobile accounted for the lion’s share of lines, at 11.919 million – including 11.061 million GSM and 858,273 CDMA connections. On top of this the country’s fixed service providers accounted for 840,000 lines, including wireless in the local loop (WiLL), broken down as 610,840 and 229,988 users. Furthermore, the NTA reported a total of 751,471 land mobile service (LMS) and 1,742 global mobile personal communications by satellite (GMPCS) connections.

As at 14 August Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (Nepal Telecom, or NT) was the biggest player in the domestic mobile market with 6.073 million registered SIMs (including 5.214 million for GSM), just ahead of Ncell with 5.846 million. NT also leads the fixed line segment with a total of 761,838 main lines in service (including 156,690 WiLL users), putting it far in front of UTL with 70,832 WiLL lines, STM with 5,094 PSTN connections, NSTPL (2,466, WiLL) and Smart (598, PSTN).

Nepal’s internet/data services market continues to be dominated by mobile internet (GPRS and CDMA2000 1x) sub-broadband speed connections, which accounted for 3.144 million of the total 3.276 million lines registered by NTA at the end of the period under review. Ncell leads NT here however, with a total of 1.957 million people accessing the internet via its GPRS service, while NT had 1.131 million GPRS/CDMA users and UTL counted 54,175 (CDMA) lines. By contrast, broadband ADSL, cable and wireless modem/fibre-optic connections make up a small proportion of the total. State-owned NT had 71,664 ADSL lines and licensed ISPs collectively controlled 24,555 wireless/fibre-optic and 16,039 cable modem lines, respectively. Dial-up accounted for a further 20,039 connections at the same date.

A total of 293 licences had been issued by the regulator as at 14 August 2011, including three basic telecommunications concessions, two for cellular mobile, nine network service provider, and 100 VSAT user licences. On top of this the NTA had issued permits for internet (48), GMPCS (three), rural telecom (two), limited mobility (108), international trunk telephone (three), rural VSAT (nine) and rural ISP (six) services.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:27:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 11, 2011

At the end of June, there were approximately 173 thousand Internet access customers in Portugal using optical fibre (FTTH/B), 14.2% more than in the previous quarter, with 95% of these customers reported as residential. Internet access supported over optical fibre (FTTH/B) represented 8.1% of total customers and during the quarter, and it was taken up by three out of every four new fixed broadband customers.

In total, the number of fixed broadband customers rose to 2.13 million, bringing the total number of users with fixed Internet access up to 2.15 million, 1% more than reported in the previous quarter and 7.1% than in 2nd quarter 2010.

In the same period, there were 2.6 million mobile broadband users registering actual use of the service, a decline of 0.6% compared to the previous quarter but an increase of 12% compared to 2nd quarter 2010. Of this number, 1.2 million users accessed the Internet via cards/modem.

The main technology used for fixed broadband Internet access continues to be ADSL, which represents 49.8% of the total. For the first time since the end of 2004, the number of ADSL accesses fell below 50% of total broadband accesses. For the third consecutive quarter, ADSL is showing signs of softness, declining 0.7% in the 2nd quarter.

Click here to see full article
Source: Anacom
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:08:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

Source: Teleco.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 7:59:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2011

South African operator Cell C has announced new and bundled broadband products at competitive prices. On 01 August, it will launch new 10 GB and 20 GB packages on the South African market, with the aim of bringing its HSPA network to higher-demand internet users. Cell C says the launch is in response to demand from South African consumers and small business owners for larger bandwidth products at competitive prices to help them meet their day-to-day internet access demands.

The 10 GB per month package, standard with either a 7.2 Mbps MyZone router or 21.6 Mbps speed stick, will cost ZAR 499 per month on a contract for 12 months or ZAR 4,999 prepaid. The 20 GB per month package, also standard with a MyZone router or Speed Stick, will be available at ZAR 899 per month on a contract or ZAR 8,999 prepaid. Both prepaid packages will also be available as SIM-only variants at a ZAR 1,000 discount. Customers who already own a speed stick or router will be able to purchase a 120 GB SIM (10 GB per month) for ZAR 3,999 or the 240 GB SIM (20 GB per month) for ZAR 7,999. Cell C's out-of-bundle rate of ZAR 0.39 applies to these packages.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:08:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of fixed broadband subscribers continues to grow in 2011. According to ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell, "­There were more than 539 million fixed broadband subscribers globally at the end of second quarter. That is an 8% increase from the same quarter in 2010. Customer net addition is stronger in emerging markets."

The number of customers using high bandwidth services such as Internet video and online gaming is growing around the world. Exploding IP traffic generated by these services is putting service providers under pressure to handle the bandwidth demand. Broadband operators are expanding fiber broadband coverage which can best serve these bandwidth-hungry services. As an example, China Telecom is deploying fiber optic broadband aiming to serve 100 million households and 30 million fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) subscribers by the end of 2015.

At present, North America is the region with the highest fiber optic broadband penetration followed by Asia-Pacific. Extending fiber broadband coverage not only increases speed but also allows the roll out of services including video on demand (VOD) and IPTV. ABI Research estimates that worldwide fiber broadband subscriber numbers will more than double in 2016 to 142 million subscribers, from 69.6 million in 2011.

The Asia Pacific region is seeing strong subscriber growth, due in particular to the increasing number of subscribers in China. About 17 million Chinese subscribers have been added since the second quarter of 2010."The Asia-Pacific broadband market is sure to continue growing in the medium-term since low broadband penetration in countries such as China and India leaves plenty of room for broadband growth," comments research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.

Source: Cellular News

Broadband | FTTH/B | IPTV  | World
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:47:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Romanian news agency ACT Media, communications minister Valerian Vreme has announced that 90% of the areas that are currently unconnected to the internet will be covered within four years. According to Vreme, Romania currently has over 3,600 so-called ‘white spaces’, which are best defined as isolated areas not yet covered by available access types. Vreme commented: ‘The ‘Digital Agenda’ is shaping up. I can tell you that we are not alone in the process, but it depends on how we advertise the [scheme] and how we get people involved. Romania is ranked seventh in the world in terms of ‘technologies of the future’. At the same time, it is ranked 16th in terms of broadband [take-up]. Over the past year, the number of broadband internet connections advanced 6%, but that is not enough. Covering 90% of the over-3,600 blank areas will be achieved by 2015’.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:35:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2011
The Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has passed its third and final reading in New Zealand's Parliament. The Bill provides the regulatory framework for the government's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiatives. It also implements reforms to the Telecommunications Service Obligation (TSO) regime, and implements measures to assist in the roll-out of broadband. The Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative aims to deliver fibre connectivity to schools, hospitals and 90 percent of businesses by 2015, and to three-quarters of all New Zealanders by 2020.
 
The Rural Broadband Initiative will cover areas outside of the UFB and will enable 97 percent of schools to connect to ultra-fast broadband and 97 percent of households to receive peak speeds of at least 5 Mbps. The bill also clears the way for the structural separation of Telecom New Zealand into two new businesses, as part of Telecom's involvement in the Ultra-Fast Broadband project. Following Royal Assent, the bill is scheduled to come into force on 1 July.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:44:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2011

According to the latest data published by Ireland’s telecoms regulator ComReg, the Republic was home to more than 1.624 million fixed and mobile broadband connections at the end of March 2011, up 10.4% year-on-year and 2.1% quarter-on-quarter. Stripping out mobile broadband connections of 591,368, the regulator reported a little over 1.033 million fixed broadband connections, up 5.3% y-o-y, with much of the growth being driven by cable modem-based users.

In the year to 31 March 2011 the total number of cable subscriptions rose 33.7% to 218,519, while xDSL users increased by 0.8% to 729,890. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connections declined by 11.6% to 75,529 in the twelve months under review, although ComReg noted a small 1.7% rise in such connections between 31 December and the end of the first quarter. ‘Other’ broadband access reached 9,197, up 12% y-o-y, although conversely the total dipped 1.2% between 4Q10 and 1Q11. Meanwhile, mobile broadband continues to expand, growing 20.7% year-on-year and 3.4% quarter-on-quarter – according to the watchdog’s findings. Mobile broadband now represents 36.4% of all high speed subscriptions, behind DSL lines (44.9%). Dial-up lines continue to fall: narrowband subscriptions totalled 40,604 at end-March, equivalent to just 2.4% of all internet subscriptions.

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:13:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2011

As part of its National Development Plan for Telecommunications (PDNT), the Costa Rican government has unveiled its new National Broadband Strategy. The plan’s main aim is to improve the nation’s economy by rolling out broadband to more remote areas of the country and fostering innovation in information technologies. Plans also included raising awareness of the social and economic importance of internet expansion. The first step, to be completed by November this year, is to identify the areas of the country in greatest need of development before work can begin on improving the networking infrastructure.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Costa Rica had 332,000 broadband subscribers at the end of March 2011, representing a household penetration of 24.8%, slightly lower than neighbouring Panama’s 30.1%, but far ahead of Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, with 4.9%, 3.0% and 7.7% respectively.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:09:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 10, 2011

According to Arcep’s latest market observatory, the number of high speed and ultra-high speed fixed broadband connections in France reached 21.8 million at 31 March 2011, up 8% or 460,000 net new lines, compared to the same period a year ago. Of the total, 20.25 million lines were xDSL connections, up from 18.91 million a year earlier, while other broadband subscriptions (cable, wireless and satellite) increased to 1.01 million at the end of the first quarter.

Moreover, the number of ultra-high speed broadband connections stood at 520,000, representing net growth of about 183,000 over the corresponding year-earlier quarter, including 140,000 FTTH and FTTB connections (up 20,000 since the start of this year). The regulator notes that at end-March 2011, approximately 1.135 million homes were within potential reach of a FTTH connection, up about 36% compared to 31 March 2010. More than 21% of these homes were located in buildings where residents are offered a choice of service providers.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, June 10, 2011 11:55:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Spain lost around 100,059 mobile lines in April, bringing the total mobile base to 54.92 million, up by 4.5 percent over the same month of 2010, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT.
 
The MVNOs added 84,700 net lines in April, Yoigo had 40,080 net additions, while Orange lost 23,310 users. Vodafone shed nearly 131,120 customers, while Movistar also lost some 41,510 users in the period. The M2M sector went up by 22.1 percent over the same period last year, to over 2.35 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 57.27 million. Spain ported around 384,087 mobile phone numbers in April, up by 9.1 percent versus the same period of 2010. Yoigo, the MVNOs and Orange saw a positive balance in portability, while Movistar and Vodafone registered a negative balance. Yoigo won 44,026 net users, the MVNOs added 12,418 users, and Orange won 23,239 ported customers. Movistar shed 51,460 users, and Vodafone lost nearly 28,223 customers in the month.
 
Spanish operators added 17,961 broadband users in April, reaching a total base of 10.86 million lines, up by 7.3 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 23.1 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 1,170 connections or by 7.1 percent over the same period of 2010, reaching a total of 8.77 million lines at the end of April. Some 8,324 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 2 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines dropped by 81,599, to 19.60 million lines at the end of April. Fixed penetration decreased to 41.7 lines per 100 inhabitants in April, versus 42.5 percent in the year-earlier month. Around 153,945 fixed numbers were ported in April this year, up by 12.2 percent from 137,160 fixed numbers ported in April 2010.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, June 10, 2011 11:50:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2011
With overall 2010 broadband penetration at 11 million subscribers who are mostly using DSL, there is a growth opportunity for the broadband wireless sector in India, according to a study by Maravedis. The 3G subscriber base in India will reach 41 million by the end of this year. Bharti Airtel is expected to lead the market in terms of the number of 3G subscribers.
 
3G players have moved ahead with their rollouts while BWA licence holders are lagging behind evaluating various technologies such as Wimax and TD-LTE. India represents a USD 4 billion capex opportunity for TD-LTE by 2016. The TD-LTE subscriber base in India will reach 2.25 million by the end of 2012, and by 21 million by the end of 2016. By the end of this year, 3G-enabled handsets will dominate the device category with an 80 percent market share.
 
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:23:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Communication and Information has announced that it intends to achieve 100% broadband population coverage by 2013, as part of its ongoing ‘Program on Information and Communication Technologies Development in Kazakhstan for 2010-2014’. Askar Zhumagaliyev, Minister of Communication and Information, commented: ‘All towns and cities of the country will be provided with broadband internet access by means of 3G, WiMAX and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). Due to the implementation of the programme we plan to achieve 100% coverage of the country’s territory with broadband internet access by 2013. [We will also see an] improvement of service quality and an increase in speed’.

However, Prime Minister Karim Massimov quashed rumours that the country was poised to implement a countrywide standard of 100Mbps, admitting: ‘The provision of 100Mbps transmission speeds is an ambitious task’. To this end the prime minister urged Zhumagaliyev to increase average broadband speeds across Kazakhstan to 16Mbps by 2015, bringing the country in line with the likes of South Korea. Massimov added: ‘The broadband internet speed issue is an issue of our competitiveness. It is no less important than other social issues’. President Nursultan Nazarbayev confirmed: ‘The advanced telecommunications infrastructure should become a competitive advantage in the process of investors’ attraction. We should accelerate the process of 4G introduction and make the prices for telecommunications services and the internet speed competitive and affordable’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, two cellcos have trialled Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Kazakhstan thus far. On 1 December 2009 KaR-Tel launched a pilot LTE network in the capital city of Astana; the network operated within the 700MHz spectrum band for a period of around two months. In July 2010 rival operator K’cell unveiled its first 4G base station in Astana, and demonstrated a ‘real-time’ link. Despite the successful tests, no formal 4G licences have yet been issued.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:51:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Irish former monopoly Eircom has revealed plans to cut the cost of its premium 24Mbps broadband internet service by 17% to under EUR39.8 (USD57.1) per month, and to upgrade 20,000 customers from 8Mbps to 24Mbps for free. The telco, which claims to have more than 300,000 customers using its next generation broadband (NGB) service at a wholesale and retail level, says 20,000 existing 8Mbps NGB Advanced customers will be upgraded to the 24Mbps NGB Ultimate product under the scheme.

Eircom passed the 250,000 NGB milestone in December 2010 and plans to have upgraded more than 240 exchanges to IP architecture by the end of 2011. Once completed, Eircom’s next generation network will cover more than one million, or 75%, of the operator’s main lines in service. Up to 850,000 customers nationwide can take advantage of the telco’s NGB Ultimate product.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:46:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 13, 2011

British fixed line incumbent BT has said that it expects to extend the reach of its 20Mbps copper-based broadband network to approximately 80% of the United Kingdom by the end of 2011. With the operator’s ADSL2+ service, which is offered under the Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) banner, now available from 1,017 exchanges the telco claims some 15.5 million premises have access to high speed connections. Commenting on the development of the network, Cameron Rejali, BT Wholesale’s managing director for products, noted: ‘This announcement is further evidence of BT’s commitment to deliver next generation services across the UK. Running over BT’s 21st Century Network, WBC offers communications providers the ability to provide their broadband customers with greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds. It supports the growing demand for high-speed broadband access to a range of online services – including TV, gaming online and multiple voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services.’

BT Wholesale meanwhile has also announced that it has reached 1,000 live fibre Ethernet nodes in the UK, and alongside its claims that it operates the ‘largest customer-ready copper and fibre delivered network of Ethernet in the UK market’, it said that it plans to enhance the infrastructure further, with it aiming to reach 1,090 fibre nodes by the end of 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 7:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India’s Telecom Commission, the apex decision-making body of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is expected to approve the proposed national broadband policy within the ‘next few weeks’, following which it will be forwarded to the Union Council of Ministers of India for approval. According to India’s Economic Times, the policy will enable the creation of broadband networks costing up to INR600 billion (USD13.2 billion) which will facilitate high speed data services and e-governance across the country. Communications minister Kapil Sibal meanwhile reportedly met with a number of operators this week to discuss the proposals.

As part of the proposals, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the creation of a national broadband network with a view to achieving 160 million broadband connections in India by 2014. The TRAI claimed that its proposed 'National Broadband Plan' should be financed through the universal service obligation fund (USOF) and loans given by the government. The regulator’s recommendations followed the government’s failure to achieve its self-imposed target of 20 million broadband subscribers by 2010, with there being just over half that number, around 10.3 million, at that date. Further, under the plans the proposed fibre-optic network will be classified as a national resource, and as such is expected to be available with equal terms offered to all operators wishing to provide broadband services. In establishing the infrastructure the National Optical Fibre Agency (NOFA) will be created to oversee the network, with the new body to be 100% owned by the Central Government. NOFA, it is understood, will also establish networks in all 63 cities covered under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM, a massive city modernisation scheme launched by the Indian government in 2005), while state agencies will roll out networks and backhaul in all other urban regions, in addition to rural areas. A State Optical Fibre Agency (SOFA) meanwhile is expected to be formed in every state, with NOFA acting as the holding company with 51% equity, and the remaining 49% held by the respective state government.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:17:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 18, 2011

The government statistics bureau of Argentina, Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos (INDEC), has reported that the country ended 2010 with a total of 5.22 million broadband subscribers, up from 4.26 million a year earlier. In terms of technology, xDSL made up the lion’s share of total connections (2.9 million, or 56%), followed by wireless, satellite and other connections (1.35 million, or 26%) and cable technology (962,354, or 18%).

Residential connections numbered 4.51 million at 31 December 2010 total, compared to 3.65 million twelve months previously, while corporate connections accounted for the remaining 715,955 (end-2009: 607,523). Meanwhile, INDEC reported a total of 132,965 dial-up connections, of which 115,740 were residential subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 18, 2011 11:59:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 16, 2011

According to TechCentral i3 Africa, a new company backed by the National Empowerment Fund, has announced plans to build a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network connecting up to 2.5 million homes within the next four to five years. The network, which is set to be built in six cities — Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Pretoria — promises to provide customers with minimum connection speeds of 100Mbps. The network will operate on an 'open-access' principle, allowing third-party internet service providers (ISPs) to sell services to consumers; i3 Africa will not sell services directly to customers.

CEO Cornelius Groesbeek told TechCentral that the company will spend between ZAR5 billion (USD725.4 million) and ZAR6 billion on the network — approximately one-third of the cost usually associated with a FTTH rollout. i3 Africa plans to make savings by utilising metropolitan sewerage and water networks, negating the need for expensive civil works. i3 Africa has selected Durban to house a pilot network, and work on a 100km stretch is already underway. Upon completion, the Durban leg will consist of 2,500km worth of access fibre and a further 7,500km of FTTH/FTTB. Groesbeek commented: 'We’ve decided to focus first on Durban, which has a history of being an early adopter of innovative technologies, but we are engaging with everyone. We will have all that done during 2012, and sometime next year we will start on the core network in a second city'. A commercial rollout is planned from mid-2011.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:56:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 08, 2011
The Dutch broadband market grew by 0.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2010, to reach 6.26 million connections on 31 December 2010 according to Telecompaper's quarterly update on the Dutch broadband market. The market grew with 57,800 net additions, round 8,000 more than during the third quarter. The number of DSL connections dropped by 0.7 percent or almost 26,000 during the quarter, to reach a total of 3.428 million on 31 December 2010. Cable reported quarterly growth of 2.4 percent for the fourth quarter, adding 60,800 new broadband customers, ending 2010 with 2.571 million connections. FTTH broadband subscribers grew to around 229,000 on 31 December 2010, which represents a share of 3.7 percent on the Dutch broadband market.
 
At the same time, KPN had 27,000 VDSL (FTTC) customers, representing 0.4 percent of the broadband market. For 2011, Telecompaper expects a growth of between 2.5 and 3 percent to around 6.4 million broadband connections, which compares to a household penetration of more than 88 percent. Internet van KPN is still the largest broadband ISP in the Netherlands with 29.3 percent of subscribers, followed by Ziggo with 24.8 percent, UPC with 13.5 percent and Tele2 with 7.8 percent, growing 1 percent due to the acquisition of BBned at the end of 2010.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:17:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 04, 2011

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is to introduce a new code of practice later this year under which it hopes ISPs will be more realistic in their advertising of broadband speeds. The watchdog has released figures showing that the average advertised speed in the UK is currently 13.8Mbps, whereas the actual average speed being delivered to UK households is only 6.2Mbps. The new code will be introduced in July and ISPs will be expected to accompany any ‘top end’ speed boasts with a typical speeds range (TSR) of at least equal prominence.

‘Very few ADSL broadband customers achieved average actual download speeds close to advertised ‘up to’ speeds. Just 3% of customers on up to 20Mbps or 24Mbps DSL services received average download speeds of over 16Mbps, while 69% received average download speeds of 8Mbps or less,’ revealed Ofcom in a statement.

BT’s new fibre-based Infinity service, which is available to 15% of the population, was found to come closer to matching advertised speed claims, giving average speeds of 31Mbps or 22% less than advertised. Unsurprisingly, cable-based services were found to be the closest to their advertised speeds. Virgin Media’s 50Mbps package typically delivered average speeds of 46Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:47:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A report published by Brazil’s telecoms association Telebrasil says that by the end of last year 4,897 municipalities covering 185 million people, or 96% of the total population, were able to access broadband services. At the end of January 2011, private telecom operators in the country collectively boasted 36.1 million broadband connections – when combining fixed line and mobile broadband internet access platforms, it said.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:20:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 24, 2011

 report published by Brazil’s telecoms association Telebrasil says that by the end of last year 4,897 municipalities covering 185 million people, or 96% of the total population, were able to access broadband services. At the end of January 2011, private telecom operators in the country collectively boasted 36.1 million broadband connections – when combining fixed line and mobile broadband internet access platforms, it said.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, February 24, 2011 4:26:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A new research report has unearthed that over the past years that the West African broadband market has witnessed a dramatic increase in broadband connections mainly due to the deployments of advanced technologies and affordable customer premise equipment as well as tariffs.  It was also found that the market earned revenues of $929.9 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $1.932 billion in 2016. Internet service providers (ISPs) still remain the dominant players in the region, except for Nigeria where mobile broadband connections have outpaced fixed broadband connections. In comparison to other countries, high investments are made in infrastructure development and broadband services present the highest areas for growth opportunities due to the decline in voice revenues.

The West African region is characterized by poor telecoms infrastructure. Mobile broadband connections have outpaced fixed broadband connections in many countries in the region. This trend is likely to be observed in key markets like Cameroon and Ivory Coast in the next 5 years. The low fixed penetration shows that the majority of population can only access broadband services via their handsets. The low levels of broadband penetration in the region indicate that there is room for growth opportunities across the region.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation
Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:40:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 07, 2011
Indian telecommunication minister Kapil Sibal said that the National Broadband Plan will connect 160 million households with high-speed internet connections by 2014, reports The Economic Times. The framework for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) will be finalised by the end of this fiscal (31 March), Sibal said.
 
Sibal met industry body representatives to finalise the national broadband plan and evolve a strategy to roll out optical fibre. Sibal consulted key stakeholders including telecommunication regulator Trai, industry chambers, mobile, internet, cable and PCO service providers and their associations apart from Rail-Tel , Power Grid and officials from information and broadcasting ministry on telecommunication related policy issues. Sibal said the broadband plan would focus on framing a policy that balances consumer affordability and service provider's economic sustainability. Therefore, additional optic fibre would have to be laid along with existing wireless infrastructure.
 
The government aims at inclusive growth through broadband as education, medical treatment and entertainment related applications would be extensively used, besides enabling e-governance and citizen-centric services particularly in the rural areas.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Monday, February 07, 2011 11:48:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The European Commission has approved, under the EU guidelines for state aid to broadband, the use of over EUR1.8 billion public funds for broadband development, particularly in rural or remote areas.

Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia commented: "Smart investments into high and very high speed broadband infrastructures are crucial to create jobs, increase economic performance and to unlock the competitive potential of the EU in the long term. The Commission is committed to help EU countries to accelerate private and public investments in this sector."

In 2010, the Commission adopted a record number of 20 decisions covering aid for broadband development in, among others, Catalonia, Finland and Bavaria authorising the use of over EUR1.8 billion of public funds for broadband development. This will potentially generate up to EUR3.5 billion of investments in the sector. The approved aid in 2010 is more than four times the amount allowed in 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News
Monday, February 07, 2011 11:32:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 24, 2011

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has published its 27th China Internet Development Statistics Report which shows that at the end of 2010 China had 457 million internet users (or netizens as CNNIC describes them), more than the combined population of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Total broadband internet users reached 450 million, with penetration among fixed line internet users reaching 98.3%. China's mobile internet users numbered 303 million, up 69.3 million year-on-year. Mobile internet users accounted for 66.2% of total internet users, up from 60.8% at the end of 2009. The number of rural internet users reached 125 million, or 27.3% of total users, an increase of 16.9%.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 24, 2011 5:35:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone has been completed on schedule, local daily The New Times reports, citing deputy director of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Patrick Nyirishema. Physical rollout of the network, which includes cross-border fibre installation at the Uganda and Tanzania borders, was finalised by the RDB’s target of 31 December 2010. Nyirishema revealed that installation of equipment in institutions that are directly connected to the fibre-optic network is ongoing, with the entire network scehduled to be fully operational by April this year.

The infrastructure will boost access to various broadband services, including government initiatives such as e-governance, e-banking, e-learning and e-health, and will also facilitate IT-based foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas such as business outsourcing. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Rwandan government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT Corp in October 2008 to supply and install the national fibre-optic backbone. The network will connect 317 institutions (97 in Kigali and 220 outside the capital) in all 30 districts, and connect all nine of Rwanda’s borders.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:23:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Now for the first time Swedes are calling more from their mobiles than from fixed telephones according to a report by the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS). According to PTS's calculations, the crossing point between mobile and fixed telephony usage occurred in early May 2010.

In total, Swedes made calls for 11 billion minutes from mobile networks and 10.3 billion minutes from fixed networks during the first half-year of 2010. This means that 52 per cent of the outgoing traffic came from mobile networks."Ten years ago the mobile networks represented less than 10 per cent of all outgoing call traffic. This growth has been rapid, and we have not yet seen the end," says Mattias Viklund, Head of Accessibility and Market Analysis at PTS.

Continuing decrease in subscriptions for fixed telephony

Ten years ago there were about as many subscriptions for fixed and mobile telephony - approximately 6 million of each. Since then the number of subscriptions for fixed telephony has reduced to 5 million, while the number of mobile subscriptions has increased to 10.5 million.

One-third of broadband is mobile

There were 4.5 million broadband subscriptions on 30 June 2010. Of these, 3 million were subscriptions for fixed broadband and 1.5 million were subscriptions for mobile broadband. On 30 June 2010, 45 per cent of this broadband had a capacity of at least 10 Mbit per second downstream.

Methodology

The report is based on market statistics from telecom and Internet companies operating in Sweden. PTS sent the questionnaire for the report for the first half-year 2010 to in total 52 stakeholders.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:45:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Australian Senate on Friday approved legislation that enables the government to roll out a 36 billion Australian dollar ($35 billion) high-speed national broadband network.

The Senate's final two-week session of the year was extended an additional day to vote on the enabling legislation that was opposed by the major opposition party. The legislation was passed 30 votes to 28.It is expected to become law on Monday when it is voted on in the House of Representatives where key Greens party and independent lawmakers have pledged their support.The fiber optic broadband network was a major campaign issue at August elections that returned Prime Minister Julia Gillard's center-left Labor Party with a minority government.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott's conservative Liberal Party had promised a smaller, slower AU$6 billion network with a range of technologies including optical fiber, wireless and DSL.

Independent lawmakers said their support for Labor's broadband plan was a major reason why they supported Labor to form government. With the support of three independents and a Greens party lawmaker, Labor commands a single seat majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives where parties form government.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:33:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 30, 2010

According to Moldova’s telecoms watchdog, the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI), the number of broadband subscribers totalled 244,000 at 30 September 2010. The figure represents an increase of 9.2% compared to 223,400 three months earlier, and a year-on-year rise of 48%. The regulator believes that the growth was driven by increased availability of high speed internet services, as well as lower tariffs and dial-up-to-broadband substitution.

Of the total broadband customer base at 30 September 2010, 159,400 were xDSL subscribers, while fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) and LAN customers accounted for 75,400 and cable broadband subscribers a further 7,500. In terms of subscribers, Moldtelecom leads the fixed broadband sector with a market share of 61.8% in 3Q10, followed by StarNet with 18.7%, Sun Communications (3.6%) and Orange Moldova (0.9%). Other operators accounted for the remaining 14.9% of the market’s broadband subscribers in the quarter ended 30 September 2010.

ANRCETI said that revenue in the fixed internet sector totalled MDL383.1 million (USD31.6 million), an increase of 22.6% from a year earlier, mainly due to higher volume of sales generated by StarNet, which saw turnover rise 94% year-on-year to over MDL55 million, and Moldtelecom, which witnessed a 19.5% increase to MDL258.9 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 3:30:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 18, 2010
Thailand's cabinet has approved the investment of THB 20 billion over five years by TOT and CAT Telecom on a nationwide broadband network. The network is expected to cover at least 80 percent of the population by 2015 and at least 95 percent by 2020, The Nation reports. ICT minister Chuti Krairiksh said his ministry's national broadband policy also includes linking up 30,000 schools and 15,000 hospitals to the internet by 2015. Another target will see fibre-optic networks deployed offering speeds of at least 100 Mbps in major economic provinces by 2020. Chuti will meet with TOT and CAT shortly, and the companies will sign an agreement to avoid duplicating fibre-optic services in Bangkok.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Thursday, November 18, 2010 9:11:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 11, 2010
The number of fibre-to-the-home subscribers in Europe, including Russia, has increased by 22 percent over the past six months, thanks to the booming broadband market in the Eastern part of Europe, according to the latest figures from the FTTH Council Europe, which were announced at the Broadband World Forum in Paris. In absolute numbers, Europe reached 3.2 million FTTH/B subscribers (or nearly 4.5 million including Russia). Europe now counts 18 million FTTH/B homes passed (more than 26 million including Russia), a growth of more than 6 percent during H1.
 
The FTTH ranking now includes 17 countries in Europe where more than 1 percent of households subscribe to broadband over a direct fibre connection. In terms of household penetration, Lithuania is still the leader, just ahead of the more mature FTTH markets of Sweden and Norway. The top five fibre nations now include three new European member states - Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Romania is a new entrant, taking 13th place with 1.58 percent household penetration and more than 120,000 FTTH/B subscribers.
 
Click here to see full article
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Thursday, November 11, 2010 1:58:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The German federal government plans to reach at least three quarters of all households with super-fast broadband networks by 2014, according to its 'Germany Digital 2015' IT strategy seen by Handelsblatt newspaper. The government estimates that one million jobs could be created across Europe by 2020 under plans to roll-out super-fast broadband networks. The German ICT industry currently has around 823,000 workers and the government estimates that 30,000 new jobs will be created in the coming five years. The government plans to set up a second High Tech Start-Up Fund in 2011 to fund technology-focused start-ups not older than 12 months. Major corporate players such as BASF, Siemens and Telekom Deutschland would participate in the fund.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Thursday, November 11, 2010 1:50:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Zimbabwe’s largest cellco by subscribers Econet Wireless has officially launched mobile broadband services covering major cities, based on W-CDMA/HSPA and WiMAX technologies, linked by a high speed fibre-optic backbone, following an investment of USD100 million. Econet commercially launched 3G mobile services in the capital Harare on 1 September 2009, but under-capacity on the UMTS network resulted in the operator suspending new user registrations after only a month of launching. Meanwhile Econet’s subsidiary Ecoweb launched a commercial mobile WiMAX network of 100 base stations covering Harare, Bulawayo and eleven other towns in late April 2010. Following the relaunch of wireless broadband services, Econet is offering three packages: ‘On The Go’ which offers 3G mobile data services for mobile handset and laptop users (with data coverage augmented by a 2.5G GPRS network); ‘@WORK’ for businesses using fixed internet services; and ‘@HOME’ for residential fixed broadband users with light data volume requirements. Econet also announced it had stocked its retail outlets with a wide range of smartphones with the capability to send and receive e-mails and make 3G video calls, whilst it has also installed extra satellite transmission facilities as backup capacity.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 7:39:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian fixed line and broadband services provider Global Village Telecom (GVT) has revealed its broadband subscriber base now numbers one million users, around 60% of whom are hooked up to 10Mbps or higher internet connection. GVT, which launched fixed line and broadband services in Sao Paulo in August 2010, has set aside between BRL1.1 billion and BRL1.5 billion (USD662 million and USD903 million) in capital expenditure in 2010, up 128% from BRL658 million in FY2009. Last month the operator revealed its latest service expansion plans when it said it was looking to invest approximately BRL300 million to enter the Rio de Janeiro market. The report said that the investment will be made from early January 2011 onwards until 2012. Prices for the telco’s current high speed packages start from BRL49.90 per month for a 3Mbps line.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 7:24:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 12, 2010

France Telecom (FT) is launching a three-year programme aimed at increasing ADSL coverage from 98.6% of households to more than 99% by 2013.

The project, costing EUR60 million (USD81.7 million), will be up and running by the end of 2010, and forms part of FT’s ‘conquests 2015’ project which seeks to ‘conquer networks and conquer customers by improving quality of service’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, FT claimed more than 51% of the French retail broadband subscriber market at the end of June 2010, comfortably ahead of second placed SFR with 20.4%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:09:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 06, 2010
The Thai government has told the two state-owned telecommunications companies to support a national broadband project, instead of worrying about 3G licensing. The government aims to make broadband available for as little as THB 150 to 200 per month to boost uptake of broadband, the Bangkok Post reports citing ICT minister Juti Kririksh. The minister said that all parties involved in planning for 3G should now shift their focus to a single broadband network and that 3G is only part of the national broadband project.
 
The ministry is considering combining the telecommunications networks of the three state-owned electricity firms, TOT, and CAT Telecom, and the three private mobile operators into a single broadband network. The plan would expand broadband coverage to 80 percent of the population by 2015 and to 95 percent in 2020. Monthly fees would be no more than 2 percent of average incomes, which would be around THB 150 to 200, compared with current fees of around THB 599 per month. The ICT ministry is drafting a master plan to propose to a broadband committee headed by prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva before submitting it to the cabinet for approval.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 9:51:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Broadband has taken a significant step forward as the number of subscriber lines passed the 500 million mark in July. The milestone was unveiled by the Broadband Forum during its global Broadband and IPTV Industry Update at its quarterly meeting in Hong Kong. Reached in the third week in July by Point Topic, the milestone will be marked with a celebration by The Broadband Forum later this week. The new figures show that global broadband subscribers reached 498 million lines (497,768,162) by the end of June, representing a 2.63 percent growth in the quarter and 11.99 percent in the last 12 months to end of Q2.


In a typically slow quarter within many markets, particularly in the Americas, reflecting the end of a number of central subsidies and stimulus packages, there were still significant signs of some countries continuing their return to economic health. China, the powerhouse of global broadband in the 21st century so far, was responsible for 43 percent of all net broadband lines added in Q2 and performed far better than the same quarter in 2009 (China includes Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macau). In Western Europe, many markets did better than the equivalent 2009 quarter. Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey, amongst others, all reported strong numbers. Central and South American markets have cooled to an extent, but many are still reporting good quarterly growth (of 5-7 percent). However, the US and in particular Canada, broadband growth has significantly slowed, affected by the end of housing stimulus packages. In Canada's case, the market slowed to levels not seen for a decade.
 

Except for North America, all regions performed better in Q2 than the same period in 2009. Continuing the trend from previous quarterly figures, Asia increased its share of the overall broadband market by a further 1.2 percent in the year and by 0.41 percent in the last quarter alone. The region now accounts for almost 41 percent of the total, with Europe in second place with 30 percent and the Americas showing 26 percent. China is the biggest individual contributor to the Asian growth, adding 5.47 million lines to bring its total to 120.59 million or over 24 percent of the 500 million lines.
 

Click here to see full article
Source: TelecomPaper
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 1:46:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 23, 2010

Consumers living in emerging markets are paying up to three times more for broadband than their mature market counterparts, according to Ovum.Research by the independent telecoms analyst into broadband in 15 emerging markets revealed that emerging consumers are paying far more on average than the rest of the world, despite earning the lowest wages.Angel Dobardziev, an Ovum practice leader and author of the report on broadband pricing in emerging markets, said: "The cost of broadband in some emerging countries is three times as high as in mature markets, which when coupled with low wages, makes it an unaffordable luxury for all except a small group at the top of the socio-economic pyramid.

"The striking difference in broadband prices in mature and emerging markets means there is a huge divide in terms of uptake of services."­Nigeria's broadband tariffs were among the most expensive of those sampled by Ovum, with the annual cost of some services reaching more than $2,000 per year, despite the country having a low GDP per capita at $1,170.South Africa had the highest broadband prices of all the countries sampled. The annual cost of some services was found to be more than $5,000, against a GDP of $5,820 per year.

Angel adds: "The key to making broadband more affordable for emerging markets will be an increase in supply and competition, which is currently modest in most markets and non existent outside the key urban areas."However, many markets will require concerted regulatory and policy efforts to increase competition and supply and bring affordability within reach of the mass consumer market. As yet it is unclear how quickly this will happen."

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:26:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Dutch broadband market grew only 0.2 percent to 6.147 million connections in the second quarter, the latest quarterly Telecompaper report on the broadband market shows. Around 15,000 net connections were added, the smallest amount since the beginning of 2005 when data measurements began. The number of DSL connections fell by 1.7 percent, or 60,600, to a total 3.456 million on 30 June. Cable increased by 1.9 percent, or 44,600, to 2,450,000 connections. T
 
The number of FTTH customers with a subscription was at 220,000, including KPN's 26,000 customers. KPN also had 16,000 VDSL (Fibre to the Curb) customers. Total penetration advanced to 83.6 connections per 100 households, an increase of 1.9 percentage points in one years time. KPN Internet is the largest provider with a 29.7 percent market share, followed by Ziggo with 24.3 percent, UPC with 12.9 percent and Tele2 with 6.8 percent. Telecompaper expects full-year growth at 3.0-3.5 percent compared to the year before, driven by cable and fibre. DSL will continue to lose ground despite the VDSL strategy of KPN, Tele2 and Online.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:49:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 09, 2010

Telefonica will increase the broadband speeds provided to its ADSL subscribers from the current 6 Mbps to 10 Mbps. The upgraded speeds will involve no extra charges for customers. The speed upgrade process is scheduled for completion by end-2011. Additionally, starting September, Telefonica will double the mobile broadband speeds for customers located in Madrid and Barcelona, from the current 21 Mbps to 42 Mbps.

According to Guillermo Ansaldo, Telefonica's head of Spanish operations, mobile broadband services will be the main market driver in coming years. In the 2008-2012 period, the number of mobile broadband accesses is expected to increase 6-fold, while mobile broadband traffic will multiply by 17.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:51:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 03, 2010

BT has confirmed that 15 million homes and small businesses now have broadband access over its high-speed network. Of these connections, more than 5 million are through BT Retail and the rest via other companies who benefit from equivalent access to the BT network. BT had around 200,000 broadband connections in August 2002, adding 14.8 million connections in eight years, equal to more than 5,000 broadband connections a day. When Virgin Media customers are taken into account , the UK now has more than 19 million broadband premises using broadband.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, September 03, 2010 12:38:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Montenegro’s Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services has revealed that the country’s dial-up subscriber base fell by 3.2% to 3,294 between June and July, mainly due to migration to broadband. According to the regulator’s latest report, the number of ADSL connections rose 1.9% to 50,290 during July, while WiMAX connections reached nearly 7,295. The overall broadband subscriber base stood at 60,318, giving a household penetration rate of approximately 30%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:06:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 30, 2010

Pakistan’s fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has reportedly seen its broadband subscriber base surpass the 500,000 milestone, according to Trading Markets. In addition, the telco has also increased the maximum download speeds available to its subscribers, introducing a new top speed of 8Mbps, double the previous limit of 4Mbps. PTCL has automatically upgraded all of its existing customers to higher speeds, with those previously on 2Mbps and 4Mbps packages seeing their top level speeds upped to 4Mbps and 6Mbps respectively, while retaining the same monthly package cost.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 30, 2010 3:08:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 15, 2010

Spain’s largest broadband provider by subscribers, Movistar, is set to revamp its double- and triple-play fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service, which it offers under the Movistar Futura banner. In mid-August the telco plans to introduce a new range of packages offering download and upload speeds of 50Mbps and 5Mbps respectively, while also revising the pricing structure of its offerings with a view to increasing uptake. Further, in the third quarter of 2010 Movistar will boost speeds for its bundled services to up to 100Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink, while continuing to expand coverage. Alongside improving connection speeds, the operator will also make available a new DVR set-top box and a range of new high definition content to further tempt prospective customers to sign up, with channels including Eurosport HD, Unitel Classic HD and MGM HD among those to launch on the service this summer. The price for the Movistar Futura 50/5Mb package will be EUR54.87 (USD69.29) per month, although the telco will waive the subscription fee and offer a lower EUR43.87 monthly charge for the first six months for those signing up in during a promotional period at launch.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:23:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Syria’s state-owned fixed line monopoly Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE) is looking to expand its ADSL network through the installation of around 40,000 new broadband ports. STE director Tarek Badour says the firm has signed a contract with China’s Huawei Technologies, ahead of its implementation during the fourth quarter of 2010. The contract includes the expansion of ports at 82 existing sites, as well as the supply of 33,000 ADSL ports at 106 sites, he said. Around 150,000 broadband ports are expected to be installed by the end of this year, of which 70,000 have already been commissioned. STE says it is looking to migrate some of the four million or so Syrians currently using a dial-up connection onto ADSL broadband by the end of this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:53:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

True Corp has launched Thailand’s fastest residential broadband internet service, over VDSL2 lines in 220 condominiums in Bangkok. The Bangkok Post reports that True’s internet division True Online aims to expand coverage of the 50Mbps/3Mbps (down/uplink) package to ‘1,000 areas’ in and around the capital in a second phase, and to other major provinces ‘in the near future.’ True charges THB5,600 (USD173.50) per month for the premium VDSL service which includes unlimited usage of the telco’s public Wi-Fi access points. The company says it is targeting mobile smartphone users with the Wi-Fi service. A 30Mbps VDSL package costs THB3,600 a month. True also plans to launch a 100Mbps fixed broadband service, and a spokesperson said, ‘We are looking into bringing 200Mbps service to Thailand as well.’ Vichaow Rakphongphairoj, True's managing director and chief operating officer, said the company plans to spend THB500 million to expand its broadband network to nine additional provinces by the year-end, extending its footprint to 20 provinces. True had around 720,000 fixed high speed customers as of end-March, 90% using 4Mbps (downstream) services (mostly DSL-based) with the remainder using higher speed services up to a maximum downlink of 16Mbps. It is aiming to finish the year with 900,000 subscribers in total.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:29:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 02, 2010
Brazilian cable operator Net has relaunched its triple-play packages to include 100 Mbps broadband internet access. Consumers can sign up for the Net Virtua Megaflash service at speeds of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Mbps, and if they also take a TV subscription, the broadband speeds are doubled. The double speed will apply to the plans Net Combo and Net Digital HD or Net Digital HD Max, with broadband speeds of 5, 10 and 50 Mbps increasing to respectively 10, 20 and 100 Mbps. The monthly fee for the plan Total Max Cinema HD with HD TV and Internet 50 Mbps (doubled to 100 Mbps) is BRL 599.90.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, July 02, 2010 1:34:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sweden's retail market for electronic communications increased during 2009 by 2 percent to SEK 50.5 billion, according to a report by local telecommunications authority PTS. The average household generated SEK 563 per month in revenues for market stakeholders during 2009, which was SEK 1 less than during 2008. In 2009, revenues from mobile services increased by 9 percent to SEK 22.2 billion in Sweden. At the same time, the number of mobile subscriptions, including voice and data, increased by 7 percent to 11.6 million at the end of 2009. Subscriptions for mobile broadband represented the largest share of this increase. The number of these subscriptions increased by 50 percent year-on-year to 1.31 million. During 2009, more SMS were sent than the total number of calls made from fixed and mobile phones. In the same period, 16.3 billion SMS were sent from mobile telephones, corresponding to an annual increase of about 65 percent. The average customer sent 133 SMS per month. Traffic for mobile data services amounted to 27,800 TB, corresponding to an increase of 103 percent compared with 2008. Revenues from fixed call services declined by 6 percent to SEK 15.4 million.

At the end of 2009, there were 5.151 million fixed telephone subscriptions in Sweden, which is 4 percent less than in 2008. While the number of traditional fixed telephony (PSTN and ISDN) subscribers fell, fixed IP-based telephony subscriptions rose in 2009. The number of internet subscriptions amounted to 4.596 million at the end of 2009. Of these, 4.255 million were broadband subscriptions, which corresponds to an increase of 13 percent year-on-year. The number of fixed broadband subscriptions was 2.945 million at the end of 2009, which is in line with the figure recorded at the end of 2008.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, July 02, 2010 1:30:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Le satellite, une technologie incontournable pour l'accès final ?

Après avoir rencontré un succès mitigé au début des années 2000, l'accès bidirectionnel par satellite fait son grand retour depuis deux ans, notamment en Amérique du Nord, en Asie, et désormais en Europe. Les actions pour la réduction de fracture numérique et la migration vers le très haut débit permettent à la technologie satellitaire de jouer un rôle de plus en plus important.

"Sur la période 2010-2014, l'IDATE estime que le nombre d'abonnés haut débit par satellite sur la zone Europe et Afrique du Nord devrait croître au rythme annualisé de 45 % pour atteindre 610 000 abonnés en 2014 contre près de 138 000 fin 2010.", commente Maxime Baudry, chef de projet.

Les principaux tendances pour le satellite très haut débit
• Les plans de réduction de la fracture numérique se généralisant en Europe, le satellite doit mettre en avant ses atouts pour figurer parmi les solutions technologiques possibles.
• Plus que la réduction de la fracture numérique, c’est la course au très haut débit qui est désormais lancée en Europe.
• Dans la bataille qui va l'opposer aux technologies terrestres, principalement sans-fil (3G et LTE), la technologie satellitaire devra mettre en avant ses atouts, le principal étant certainement une disponibilité immédiate pour un coût modéré.
• L’IDATE estime que le très haut débit par satellite devrait croître fortement au cours des prochaines années, notamment via les plans de réduction de fracture numérique, mais aussi via la course au très haut débit qui l’avantage sur les zones rurales par rapport aux technologies LTE et FTTx qui ne sont pas compétitives économiquement.
• Alors que la bande Ka se développe en Europe et ailleurs dans le monde, le futur du très haut débit par satellite pourrait se faire dans des bandes de fréquences encore plus élevées pour permettre des débits de plus de 100 Mbps à l’horizon 2020.

Face à la concurrence des technologies terrestres, qu'elles soient filaires ou sans-fil, quelles sont les perspectives de marché réelles pour la technologie satellitaire ? Par ailleurs, quels scénarios de positionnement s'avéreront les plus pertinents pour un opérateur satellite compte tenu des caractéristiques du marché du haut débit dans les différentes zones géographiques ciblées ? Quelles nouvelles technologies satellitaires sont prévues à long terme ?

L'étude "Très haut débit par Satellite", publié par l'IDATE, donne, entre autres, les réponses à ces questions clés et présente des chiffres actuels du marché de satellite et des marchés concurrents.

Source: IDATE

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:14:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil's largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vivo Participacoes, yesterday announced ambitious plans to extend its broadband coverage to 85% of the population by the end of 2011. The cellco intends to reach 2,832 municipalities by that date, up from the current 600, by using monies set aside in this year’s BRL2.49 billion (USD1.37 billion) CAPEX fund. In a press release Vivo CEO Roberto Lima said: ‘The plan is ambitious but will be completed. Our objective is to rapidly expand our third-generation coverage.’

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:04:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has  issued a consultation paper on a National Broadband Plan for the country. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has also made a reference to TRAI seeking its recommendations on the need to review the definition of Broadband connectivity in view of future growth in internet/broadband driven by wireless technologies.

It is a matter of concern that broadband penetration in India is low in spite of the fact that 104 telecom service providers are providing broadband services. The broadband penetration is just 0.74% when compared with teledensity of 52.74%. A need is being felt to identify impediments and create an environment to encourage broadband growth. The net broadband addition per month is just 0.1 to 0.2 million in contrast to approximately 18 million mobile connections per month.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 1:46:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 28, 2010

The UAE’s incumbent telecoms operator Etisalat is set to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology by the end of 2010, LteWorld reports. Abdulla Al Ahmad, vice president of Enterprise Sales at Etisalat said that the company will be able to provide theoretical download speeds of up to 140Mbps and maximum uplink rates of 50Mbps. He added that Etisalat has been conducting successful LTE trials, designed to increase the capacity and speed of mobile networks.

In a separate story, Etisalat has announced the launch of a triple-play service over its fibre-optic infrastructure. ‘eLife Triple Play’ bundles landline telephony, broadband and television services. ‘By introducing TV on our fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, we launch today the second phase of ‘eLife' that opens doors for unmatched applications and adds significant value to our customers' lifestyles, providing them numerous entertainment options that are both customisable as well as convenient,’ noted the operator’s senior vice-president of marketing, Khalifa Al Shamsi. The new bundle is available to all homes connected to Etisalat’s ‘eLife’ FTTH network. As well as the capital Abu Dhabi, the company is rolling out ‘eLife’ in Dubai and Sharjah and plans to connect all of the UAE’s households by 2011, including 1.4 million homes and offices. Prices for the new triple-play package range from AED299 (USD81.38) to AED539 per month.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, May 28, 2010 1:17:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The European Commission has presented its Digital Agenda, part of the Europe 2020 strategy. The most important elements for the telecom sector are the target for increasing access to broadband services, including possible state aid for remote areas, and spectrum harmonisation.

On the surface, the plans present no surprises. ICT commissioner Neelies Kroes has already shown a willingness for a certain amount of government intervention. Furthermore countries like the Netherlands are already well on the way to meeting the goals. Broadband is maybe not 100 percent available, but it's not far off. The other target of universal access to at least 30Mbps by 2020, with at least half of households on 100Mbps, is also not especially ambitious. In the Netherlands, 50Mbps is already available to around 90 percent of the population (see our research brief 'Netherlands most homes passed with 50+Mbps').

The most startling element of the press statement was the emphasis on international roaming prices. By 2015 these should be so low that a mobile user doesn't even notice when he crosses a border - at least, not from the mobile prices. Combined with the ongoing push for mobile termination rates to reach fixed network levels by 2012, it's clear that the mobile sector needs to quickly mature. Artificially high tariffs and subsidising mobile with fixed networks soon will be things of the past.

At its Q1 results, KPN estimated that mobile termination rate cuts cost the company EUR 55 million in revenues and EUR 20 million in EBITDA. It's not surprising then that KPN didn't say a word about sales growth. Market expectations centre on a small revenue decline this year for KPN, to EUR 13.4 billion from EUR 13.5 billion in 2009, but the "market" is currently estimating small increases in 2011 and 2012 to EUR 13.45 billion (both years). Given the actions by national regulators and the EC, it's highly questionable whether this growth will materialise already in 2011.
 
Source: Telecom Paper
Friday, May 28, 2010 1:13:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 03, 2010

­Increased competition in New Zealand's mobile market has improved pricing in the local market, but voice call usage still remains low by international standards, concludes the annual report from New Zealand's Commerce Commission. As well as looking at developments in 2009, the report also assesses the progress seen since the 2006 amendments to the Telecommunications Act came into effect.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Monday, May 03, 2010 2:52:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telekom Austria has signed up its one millionth broadband customer, 10 years after launching broadband services in the country. The one millionth customer was the Sport Waldner sports association. The company's broadband network now covers over 97 percent of Austrian homes. The company is also rolling out its VDSL2 GigaNetz broadband network, aiming to reach 750,000 homes in rural areas.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, May 03, 2010 1:32:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The total number of ADSL and cable broadband subscriptions in Hungary climbed by 17,000 in February 2010 for a month-end total of 1.802 million, the National Telecommunications Authority (NHH) reports. However, the total for fixed line telephones dipped from 3.055 million in January 2010 to 3.040 million a month later, it added. Of the total for broadband connections, ADSL accounted for 811,000, while cable lines climbed 15,000 in the month to 991,000, the NHH said.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 7:16:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ireland’s telecoms regulator the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has published its latest market report for the three months ended 31 December 2009. The report shows that broadband internet penetration in the Republic, including mobile broadband subscriptions, stood at 32.4% by the year end, up from 30.5% at 3Q09. Excluding the impact of mobile broadband however, which is proving to be a popular option, the penetration rate falls to 21.9% - based on data from the Central Statistics Office which gives the population as 4,459,300. The regulator is also mindful that its 32.4% rate could be skewed by double counting of people owning both a fixed and mobile broadband subscription. Nonetheless, household broadband penetration continues to grow, reaching 61% by the start of this year, from 59.4% in the third quarter.

The popularity of Wi-Fi hotspots is waning though. ComReg’s report says the number of Wi-Fi hotspots dipped to 1,357 at the end of 2009, down 5% year-on-year, even though the total for Wi-Fi access points climbed 8% over the same period to 3,561. Usage of Wi-Fi hotspots is also falling. In the final trimester of last year average usage per hotspot was down 3.4% y-o-y, reflecting the impact of decreased network traffic in the economic downturn.

The recession is also evident in terms of overall telecommunications revenues in the Republic in Q409, which dipped 2.3% year-on-year to EUR974 million. Despite this fall, the total amount of voice call minutes in Q409 increased 1.4% to more than 4.8 billion minutes, driven by an 84 million increase in mobile voice call minutes, ComReg said.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, March 25, 2010 9:55:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 12, 2010

Polish regulator UKE announced the launch of the project to support broadband networks construction. On 4 March UKE received information that the Ministry of Interior and Administration approving the project to support construction of broadband internet access networks, as part of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy - POIG). UKE will advise on the investments within the Regional Operational Programme, the Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland and the objectives 8.3 and 8.4 of POIG concerning digital inclusion and last-mile internet access. In the years 2007-2013 Poland can use about EUR 1 billion for local and regional broadband networks. After 30 months only 2 percent of the amount (EUR 18 million) has been spent. The regulator urged that the financing is used efficiently even though there are no tools to pressure investors to focus on particular regions. Although the regulator does not have decision-making powers (relevant ministries do), it wants to provide advice and assist in implementation of investment projects. The UKE chairman also provided information on the status of operational programmes. Within the Regional Operational Programme six contracts were signed and EUR 16.6 million was spent, which represents 3 percent of available resources (EUR 579 million).

Within the measure 8.3 digital inclusion, 50 contracts were signed on co-financing for approximately EUR 21.5 million, which represents 5.9 percent of available resources (EUR 364 million). Within the measure 8.4 last mile, eleven contracts were signed amounting to EUR 1.4 million, which is 0.7 percent of available resources of EUR 200 million. Within the Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland no contract has been signed yet and the project is at the stage of feasibility assessment. Total available funds are EUR 300 million. For the Rural Development Programme EUR 59 million shall be allocated. Municipalities and their associations shall be the beneficiaries. The measures are available since December 2009.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 12, 2010 2:49:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission has proposed extending broadband access to the entire EU by 2013 and providing the whole region with access to speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2020. The targets form part of its 'Digital Agenda for Europe'. The EC would also like to see 50 percent or more of European households taking internet at over 100Mbps. In order to realise the goals, the EU will continue to work on encouraging investments in broadband infrastructure and developing an efficient spectrum policy, as well as devoting structural funds to broadband expansion. The EC also wants to create a single market for online content and services, including multi-territorial licences for copyrighted material, a European stake in global internet governance and further digitisation of Europe's cultural heritage. Additional measures may include a reform of research and innovation funds in order to increase support for the ICT sector in key strategic fields, support high-growth SMEs and stimulate ICT innovation across all business sectors.

The EC also wants more work on promoting internet use and digital literacy among Europeans. The proposals are part of the much broader EU 2020 plan presented by the commission, which proposes a range of strategies to get the EU out of the economic crisis and back on a growth path. The EC asked the member states to ensdorse the plans at the spring European Council meeting.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 12, 2010 1:59:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peru's minister of transport and communications Enrique Cornejo has announced that, for the rest of his term of office, the ministry will focus on laying the foundations for sustained development of data transmission via broadband networks across the country. For this purpose, the minister set up a temporary committee that will develop the National Plan for Broadband Development in Peru. The commission has 120 days to develop the strategy.

The committee will initially assess the level of broadband access in Peru, as well as the technology used and the infrastructure deployed at national level, and will identify the barriers that limit broadband deployments. The group will then propose the guidelines, strategies and actions to be taken to support the development of the national broadband network. At 30 September 2009, Peru had 852,900 broadband connections.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 12, 2010 1:49:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The US Federal Communications Commission has unveiled plans to extend the country's universal service fund to broadband services.

The proposals will form part of the National Broadband Plan, to be presented to Congress on 17 March. The proposal would create a Connect America fund inside the Universal Service programme to subsidize broadband, and a Mobility Fund to expand the reach of 3G mobile networks, Blair Levin, the FCC official overseeing the broadband plan, told a press briefing. The Universal Service Fund currently subsidizes phone service for the poor and in remote areas, funds internet access in schools and libraries and pays for high-speed connections for rural health clinics. Funding for the USD 8-billion-a-year programme comes from a surcharge that businesses and consumers pay on their long-distance bills. The agency's plan will lay out several options to pay for the proposals, including one that would require no additional money from Congress and one that would accelerate the construction of broadband networks if Congress approves a one-time injection of USD 9 billion, AP reported from the briefing. Either way, Levin said, the proposal would not increase the annual size of the Universal Service Fund, but rather would take money from subsidies now used for voice services. The FCC would also seek to save money by subsidizing no more than one broadband provider in an area. Levin said Connect America would not favor one technology over another, be it cable, DSL or wireless.

The FCC proposal also envisions revamping the multibillion-dollar "intercarrier compensation" system for interconnection. Changes to the USF would affect revenues for rural carriers dependent on the funding, so changes would also be needed in the interconnection regime. The operators' industry group USTelecom said it welcomed the progress towards reform and plans to work with the commission on details of the plan.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 12, 2010 1:46:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telkom Kenya has announced that it will shift its strategic focus in 2010 as it attempts to recover following a net loss of KES10 billion (USD124.6 million) in 2009, reports Business Daily. Telkom Kenya generated revenues of KES11 billion but turned the net loss as higher levels of competition saw industry profit levels plummet as operators dropped their prices to gain market share. Telkom Kenya CEO, Mickael Ghossein, said the company had encountered severe conditions in the last trading year that had affected its ability to generate profits. He added: ‘We are now focusing on providing quality services, innovating and providing value for money. Our grand plan is to move the market towards true broadband connectivity, offering speeds of up to 8Mbps.’

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 12, 2010 1:25:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The new government body responsible for rolling out next-generation broadband across the UK will begin its work on 4 March, Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms announced. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will be responsible for the 2 Mbps universal service commitment for 90 percent of the country by 2017, with GBP 1 billion allocated for the job. The group was launched as the UK government published a report by Analysys Mason on next generation broadband across the UK, which will be used by BDUK to priorite communities who could benefit from the Next Generation Fund.
 
The report looks at three scenarios, a purely market-led approach, a network subsidised by the Digital Britain Next Generation Fund and, local interventions supplementing a subsidised network. The research supports the government's idea of a Next Generation Fund levy, which is seen increasing coverage by 20 percent more than if left entirely to a market led approach. The report also illustrates the comparative costs of providing high speed broadband in rural and urban areas. The research sets out strategies for public authorities, and partner organisations to provide next-generation networks in those areas that would otherwise not be commercially viable.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, March 12, 2010 10:56:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 05, 2010

Growth in fibre services delivered directly to homes and buildings accelerated n Europe in 2009. According to a report by market researcher Idate for the FTTH Council Europe, the number of FTTH/B subscribers rose 19 percent over the six months to December 2009 to 3.5 million and the number of homes and buildings passed increased 29 percent to over 25 million. The survey covered 36 countries in Europe, including Russia, which accounted for around 1 million of the subscribers. Excluding Russia, the majority of subscribers (77 percent) are concentrated in seven countries, in the following order: Sweden, Italy, France, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark. Amongst them five countries now have more than 200,000 subscribers connected.

Idate identified 249 FTTH/B projects in Europe, of which 136 are new initiatives since June 2005. Municipalities and utilities are still the main players in FTTH/B deployments, representing 55.7 percent of the total number of projects. Alternative operators represent 28.7 percent of the total number of projects, but over 74 percent of homes/buildings passed. They also account for most of the subscribers, led by FastWeb in Italy, B2 of Sweden, Illiad/Free, Numericable and SFR in France, Orange Slovensko and T2 in Slovenia, which together had 841,500 subscribers, or around 24 percent of Europe's FTTH/B subscriber base (including Russia). Regarding technology deployed, Ethernet is still the first choice and represents 84 percent of total FTTH/B rollouts at end 2009.

Source: TelecomPaper

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

Venezuela’s telecoms regulator Conatel has reported that the country’s number of fixed lines in service grew by 7% in the twelve months to the end of December 2009, taking the total to 6.9 million. The watchdog also said that total mobile subscriptions increased by 3% in the year to 28.1 million, continuing a slowdown in the growth rate from the 14% rise seen in 2008, and a 27% increase two years earlier. According to Conatel’s figures, cellular penetration reached 99.2% at end-2009. However, the standout development in the report was a 40% year-on-year increase in total fixed broadband internet customers to 1.9 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 3:23:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 15, 2010

Vache Kirakosyan, the head of high tech and IT at Armeria’s Ministry of Economy has said the build out of a high speed broadband internet network in the country will start later this year. PanARMENIAN.Net quotes Kirakosyan as saying the state has allocated USD900,000 to prepare the groundwork for the project. According to the official, European IT and telecoms consultancy DeTeCon International has been approached to provide assistance on the plan. It is understood the new high speed network will comprise a mix of fibre-optic, WiMAX and satellite technologies. The deployment project will last between three and five years and cost around USD24 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, February 15, 2010 1:50:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 12, 2010

Nepal’s state-owned national fixed line and mobile operator Nepal Telecom (Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited, or NT) is mulling an ambitious network expansion programme designed to raise overall teledensity in the country to 60% by 2014. A report in the Republica online journal quotes NT deputy managing director Anoopranjan Bhattarai as saying the firm hopes to reach its goal by investing heavily in its GSM and next generation network (NGN) infrastructure.

Undaunted, Bhattarai revealed that NT hopes to hit its target through an ‘aggressive marketing and assurance of service quality’ campaign. ‘If our expansion plan materialises, over 30 million people will be using the services of NT by 2014,’ he added. In real terms NT needs to add around 18 million new lines, including more than five million GSM connections. NT is also looking to install an Internet Protocol Code Division Multiple Access (IP CDMA) system which will have capacity for three million subscribers, and is looking to implement an early launch of CDMA2000 1xEvDO technology boasting maximum transfer speeds of 3Mbps. Its existing wireless networks are limited to around 155kbps.

Other plans afoot include the option of offering IPTV and video on demand (VoD) systems, Bhattarai said, while the firm is installing 550 VSAT terminals to expand its services in remote places.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:25:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain added 300,649 mobile lines in December, bringing the total number to 52.88 million, up by 4.6 percent over the same month of 2008, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT. Over the last three months, Orange won 32.91 percent of the total new additions, Yoigo 21.87 percent, Movistar 19 percent, while Vodafone won 14.88 percent and the MVNOs won 11.33 percent in the period. Mobile penetration reached 114.6 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 110.2 in December 2008.

The M2M sector went up by 25.7 percent over the same period last year, to over 1.84 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 54.73 million. Spain ported a record 429,974 mobile phone numbers in December, up by 13.7 percent versus the same period last year. Yoigo, the MVNOs and Orange saw a positive balance in portability, while Movistar and Vodafone registered a negative balance. Yoigo won 33,933 users, the MVNOs added 13,422 users, and Orange won 17,543 ported customers. Movistar shed 28,241 users and Vodafone lost nearly 36,657 customers in the month. Spanish operators added 63,722 broadband users in December, reaching a total base of 9.74 million lines, up by 7.6 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 21 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 53,476 connections or by 8.2 percent over the same period of 2008, reaching a total of 7.88 million lines at the end of December. Some 10,246 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 1.86 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines rose by 13,224, to 19.85 million lines at the end of December 2009.

Fixed penetration reached 43 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 43.9 in the year-earlier month. Around 136,322 fixed numbers were ported in December, up by 20.9 percent versus 112,775 fixed numbers ported in December 2008.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:07:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 14, 2010

Belarusian national PTO Beltelecom says it is looking to more than double its broadband internet subscriber base to one million by the end of this year, up from the 400,000 it reported at the end of 2009. Local online news portal e-belarus.org says that in addition to its ADSL user base, Beltelecom also boasts a network of 480 ‘active’ Wi-Fi hotspots across 220 regions in the country.

Last year the national fixed line operator expanded the external internet gateway from 5.2Gbps to 22Gbps, of which the Russian gateway to Rostelecom and Transtelecom accounts for 20Gbps, and the remaining 2Gbps is accounted for through its western link with Tata Communications.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:31:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The British government has begun a twelve-week consultation on the proposed broadband tax that is expected to help fund the rollout of superfast broadband services across the country, Reuters reports. It has been widely claimed that the current government is keen to sign the new levy into law prior to the upcoming general election, which is expected in May 2010.

Under the proposals, which were unveiled as part of the Digital Britain report released in June 2009, the state plans to raise approximately GBP150 million to GBP175 million (USD225 million to USD263 million) per year by introducing a GBP0.50 per month levy on every fixed line voice and/or broadband connection. This extra charge is to be paid in to a Next Generation Fund (NGF), which will be managed by regulator Ofcom. The consultation launched has called on telecoms and internet industry players to put forward views on how the funds raised should be spent. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said that the investment was essential to preserve Britain's international competitiveness and prevent a new digital divide emerging between those with fast and those with slow connections, noting: ‘Already the market is delivering superfast Internet speeds of 50Mbps to half the country but we cannot be certain that it will reach the communities that are not currently served.’

The government has estimated that as the result of private investment already being undertaken by providers such as fixed line incumbent BT and cableco Virgin Media, superfast broadband will reach around 70% of the population by 2017, but the state is keen to boost this figure to 90%.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:58:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwanese regulator the National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced plans to implement a 5.87% cut on mobile service rates from 1 April 2010. The regulator, citing ITU figures, revealed that the country’s mobile charges as a percentage of per capita income rank as the 26th highest in the world, and are currently three times higher than Hong Kong. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Taiwan’s mobile industry has flourished despite the apparent high charges, with a cellular penetration rate of 116% at the end of September 2009.

Meanwhile, ADSL charges will also be subject to a similar reduction, with rates being cut by 5.68%, benefiting the country’s 15.47 million ADSL users.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:49:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 11, 2010

The Malaysian government is set to examine the existing rates paid by subscribers for broadband services with a view to increasing the uptake of such services, The Star Online reports. Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim has said that the ministry plans to compare the local charges with rates in several countries including South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, noting: ‘The ministry will find a way so that the charges for internet and broadband services in Malaysia are affordable and do not pose a burden to users.’

Additionally, the minister has unveiled plans to construct around 1,000 more transmission towers across the country this year in a further bid to increase broadband penetration. The construction of the new infrastructure will be overseen by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, with regions such as Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu targeted particularly due to their current low penetration levels.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 11, 2010 10:47:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 21, 2009
The Kigali Wireless Broadband (WiBro) Network and the Kigali Metropolitan Network (KMN) have been officially launched in Rwanda after two years of work on the infrastructure development. With the two projects, which were deployed by Korea Telecom, internet users in Kigali city will be able to enjoy data connectivity and VoIP services, the New Times reported. The two projects are in line with Rwanda's strategy to promote, expand and upgrade the local ICT infrastructure. Rwanda Development Board's CEO John Gara said that a total of 46 government institutions are already enjoying the connectivity.
The government targets over 4 million Rwandans with access to high-speed internet within the next two to three years, partly facilitated by the RWF 4.5 billion WiBro project. The KMN will increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions including schools, health-care centres and local government administrative centres. Korea Telecom was also contracted by the government in a related project to lay the national fibre-optic cable that will be linked to the undersea cable. The national backbone is expected to consist of a high-speed fibre-optic network that will link 36 main points in Rwanda's 30 districts, with a 2,300km cable running across the country. The RWF 22.7 billion project also includes training and managing the cable installation. KT was also contracted by the government to build the National Data Centre. The project had been expected to be completed by December this year but the finalising time was extended and it not yet clear when it will be completed.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, December 21, 2009 10:15:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 18, 2009

According to Egypt’s Communications Minister, Tarek Kamel, the country is currently preparing a USD1 billion plan aimed at boosting internet penetration fourfold in the next four years, Reuters reports. Commenting on the proposals Mr Kamel said: ‘Most of the investments...will primarily go in local investment in increasing the local capacity.’ It is understood that such local investment will be ploughed in to a combination of wireless and wired services covering both rural and urban areas, and will follow up the country’s investment in international broadband cable systems that is expected to at least double the capacity coming into the country from the current 60Gbps. The minister also noted that the government is targeting a broadband penetration rate of 20% by end-2013, equivalent to enabling access to connections to around four million households.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-2008 Egypt’s broadband penetration stood at just 0.9%, with a total of 696,305 high speed internet subscribers in the country. TE Data, a subsidiary of fixed line monopoly provider Telecom Egypt, dominates the sector, controlling more than half of all broadband subscribers at September 2009, with 479,819.

Source: Telegeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 11:00:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

KPN Telecom of the Netherlands yesterday announced plans to connect up to 1.3 million Dutch households to high speed fibre-optic networks by the end of 2012, up from the 460,000 it has currently. The telco is looking to work with joint venture partner Reggefiber to facilitate a phased rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology; KPN holds a 41% stake in the venture which was established last year. In a statement, KPN said: ‘By 2012, KPN targets some 600,000 to 800,000 active customers on fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-curb combined, roughly corresponding to 10% of Dutch households.’ The former monopoly operator went on to say that it is unlikely that Reggefiber will be consolidated on the KPN balance sheet before 2012.

Source: Telegeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 10:38:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bell Aliant and the Government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) have announced the completion of the rollout of broadband infrastructure to virtually all areas of the island following an expansion project costing CAD8.2 million (USD7.7 million) and bringing more than 21,000 additional homes and businesses under the coverage footprint in 2009. In addition, the telco and the provincial authorities announced the launch of the Rural Broadband Fund (RBF), a five-year strategic partnership to support innovation in information technology across PEI. Applications for RBF funding will be considered for one- or two-year projects.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 10:34:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Philippines’ dominant telecoms group Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has revealed it will be ready to roll out broadband over powerlines (BPL) technology in six to twelve months, the Daily Inquirer reports. The telco’s move into BPL technology is a by-product of the group’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the country’s largest power distribution company Manila Electric Co (Meralco), and will allow PLDT to offer broadband services to virtually all Meralco’s 24 million-strong customer base in and around Metro Manila. According to PLDT chairman Manuel V Pangilinan, BPL trials in parts of Malabon, started in July and ‘seem to be doing fine’. The chairman went on the say though that more needs to be done and that a widespread rollout timetable would tend to suggest a six- to twelve-month timeframe.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:15:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The UAE’s incumbent telco Etisalat has launched a new 30Mbps broadband package over its new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. ‘Etisalat is committed to provide the best of technology to its customers by introducing advanced technologies like FTTH in the UAE,’ said Mohammed Khalfan Al Qamzi, CEO of Etisalat, adding, ‘Our FTTH network is on a fast track roll-out; Etisalat is getting ready to announce Abu Dhabi as the first connected capital in the world in the coming months and aims to connect all the UAE households and premises through its FTTH network by 2011, which will become yet another milestone in its own right.’

The telco has reportedly already connected over 550,000 households to its FTTH network. The 30Mbps package is priced at AED699 (USD190.35) per month, and includes free installation, one month's rental waiver, five free email addresses with 5GB capacity, and eight hours of free access each month to over 350 Etisalat wireless hotspots.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:24:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 27, 2009

Morocco added 128,222 internet subscribers in the second quarter, for 15 percent quarterly growth to 834,463 at the end of June and 47.29 percent growth versus June 2008, according to telecommunications regulator ANRT.

Of the total internet customers, 50.75 percent are on ADSL and 48.7 percent are on 3G mobile networks. ADSL subscribers were static at 488,567 at the end of June, compared to 489,043 at the end of March.

Click here to see full article
Source : Telecompaper
Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:16:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The government of Ghana has signed a USD150 million contract with Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies for the supply of advanced telecoms infrastructure to ensure broadband internet access countrywide within the next two years. The Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, told delegates at a conference on Business Processes Outsourcing (BPO) that the infrastructure would link internet Points of Presence (PoP) in all district capitals under the government's ICT Backbone Development Programme. The minister added that the government was committed to ensuring it developed the human resources needed to promote the country as a prospect for BPO companies, and said Ghana was working hard to ensure the legislative regime was right encourage inward investment under the e-legislation programme. ‘During the year the Ministry of Communications will also facilitate the development of additional legislations in the area of data protection and intellectual property for investors in the area of data capturing and management to operate within the confines of international guidelines and rules,’ he said. His words were echoed by Vice President John Dramani Mahama who stressed Ghana’s commitment to developing the nation’s ICT backbone capabilities. ‘In addition to the SAT3 connectivity, Glo 1 and MaiOne will commence the construction of two additional landing stations by the end of this year to take care of the issues of bandwidth redundancy,’ he said.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:03:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Rwandan daily The New Times is reporting that internet users in the country’s capital Kigali will be able to access WiBro high speed mobile wireless internet by the end of September. The government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT in October 2008 to install the 10,000-user capacity wireless broadband network in the city. Nkubito Bakuramutsa, deputy CEO of IT at the Rwanda Development, commented: ‘Tourists will be able to move from the airport to their hotels while surfing the net and people will be moving in their vehicles while carrying out transactions on their laptops.’ He said that the wireless broadband project is worth RWF4.5 billion (USD8 million) and added that by December of this year, a RWF22.7 billion fibre-optic backbone project will be rolled out throughout the country. Under the deal signed with KT, the South Korean telco also agreed to install the 2,300km national backbone, which will link 36 main points in Rwanda's 30 districts and is expected to provide affordable high speed broadband internet access to around four million Rwandans within the next two to three years. The project will also increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions, including schools, healthcare centres and local government administrative centres.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the KT deal was funded in part by a USD24 million credit line extended to the country by the World Bank as part of its USD424 million Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme, designed to improve the infrastructure of southern and eastern Africa and increase the deployment of e-government in the area

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:47:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Estonian government has approved plans to construct a nationwide superfast broadband network, according to local news source Postimees Online. Under the proposals the state expects 90% of the country to have access to the 100Mbps network by 2012, with the remainder of the population to be connected by 2015. Juhan Parts, Estonia’s minister of economic affairs and communications, also revealed that the government would create an autonomous foundation comprising all major telecommunication providers in the country to oversee the network’s development. ‘The state plans to provide significant support for developing the infrastructure; as of now, the state’s contribution that is required is approximately EEK1 billion (USD91.45 million)’, the minister noted. It is expected that the government will fund the deployment of infrastructure in those areas, mostly rural and sparsely populated, that are not considered financially feasible by commercial operators.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:38:58 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ukraine’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Kyivstar has begun building a high speed fixed access network based on fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) technology in Kiev and Odessa, reports Ukrinform. Vitaliy Vorozhbyt, Kyivstar’s director of product development, said: ‘At the first stage, the project will involve cities with population of over a million, and then it is planned to extend the network to other regional centres.’ The company, a majority-owned subsidiary of Norway’s Telenor, intends ultimately to launch a quad-play package of services combining fixed and mobile voice services, broadband internet access and digital TV. Telenor Executive Vice President Thor Halvorsen said of the Ukrainian FTTB rollout: ‘First we wish to enter the market of internet access services; then we will develop television and voice.’

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:31:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 26, 2009

Americans value broadband more than ever with home broadband adoption rates up 15 percent in 2009 and consumers favoring Internet over cell phone and cable TV, according to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

"We found that broadband is now in the 'must keep' category for Americans, even when economic times are tough," said Horrigan, principal author of the report. "Many consumers view their home broadband connection as a conduit for connecting to community and economic opportunities."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

 

Friday, June 26, 2009 11:05:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lord Stephen Carter, the UK’s communication minister, has released the final version of his Digital Britain report, which details proposals for improving and expanding the nation’s digital infrastructure. Echoing the previous indications in the interim report, which was published in January 2009, one of the main proposals is for the universal provision of broadband services at speeds of 2Mbps, which is expected to be delivered through a combination of fixed and mobile technologies. Approximately 15% of British homes are not currently able to receive 2Mbps services, and the government will release approximately GBP200 million (USD328 million) from unused funds previously set aside to assist elderly people with the switch from analogue to digital TV. To manage the process a Network Design and Procurement Group will be created, and will be responsible for structuring and running the procurement process, overseeing delivery, ensuring active stakeholder engagement, and accountability for the value for money use of the direct public contribution to the Universal Service Commitment.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 3:08:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In the last few years, the subject of the global digital divide has received a lot of attention from the telecoms industry. Much of this interest has focused on the role that mobile networks are playing to narrow the divide, as mobile penetration rates in developing markets have been growing strongly, while those in mature markets have saturated. However, at the same time, there has been mass-market adoption of broadband in an increasing number of countries in the developed world, while take-up of broadband in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America has been negligible, causing the broadband access gap to widen considerably.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Click here to see full article
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:20:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vietnamese military-owned telco Viettel has completed the installation of a broadband network connecting over one thousand educational institutions in Ho Chi Minh City, writes VietNamNet Bridge. Deployment of the network began in November 2008 with the aim of supporting teaching, studying, scientific research and management in colleges, universities and schools across the city. The operator has provided schools with free modems and has also installed and connected the broadband network at no charge in all schools, while colleges and universities will receive a 70% discount on monthly internet charges. The network forms part of a broader project between Viettel and the Ministry of Education and Training to link around 40,000 educational institutions nationwide.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:12:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 04, 2009

The next phase of BT Ireland’s 21CN next generation network rollout will directly link Letterkenny, Derry, Belfast and Dublin, SiliconRepublic reports, and connect them with over 1,270 cities worldwide through BT’s global network. The new fibre-optic network is expected to be operational from August 2009 and will extend from Dublin to Letterkenny, connecting Belfast and Derry along the route through Points of Presence (PoPs). Initial speeds of up to 10Gbps are available, but can be scaled up where required by customers. According to BT, more than 330,000 homes and businesses in the Republic have access to super-fast broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps, following the company’s investment in unbundling 22 telephone exchanges nationwide.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:50:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AllAfrica.com is reporting that the Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme - Rwanda (RCIPRWA) has received a USD24 million grant from the World Bank to improve the country’s broadband network infrastructure. The funds will be used to establish national capacity to provide broadband connectivity and access to low-cost international connectivity and will facilitate the country's connection to global networks through undersea fiber-optic cables. The minister of science, technology, scientific research and ICT, Professor Romain Murenzi, said: ‘Coupled with the government's initiative to install a national backbone fibre-optic network, this support will boost our ambitions to become a regional ICT hub. The project will bring high speed global connectivity to Rwanda, supporting the growth of business around ICT, and effective e-services to the people of Rwanda such as e-health, e-education, e-agriculture and many other e-applications.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:46:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecoms companies, ISPs and large enterprises in North America and Western Europe have access to abundant and affordable network capacity. But companies with large international bandwidth requirements still face significant challenges elsewhere.

Data from TeleGeography’s Wholesale Bandwidth Pricing Database reveal that stark price differences persist around the globe. For example, the median price of a 2Mbps E-1 circuit between London and Johannesburg in Q4 2008 was nearly USD15,000. For the same price, a bandwidth buyer could lease a 10Gbps wavelength—500 times the capacity of an E-1—between London and New York.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:44:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report from Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) says that the sector was worth BHD303 million (USD804 million) in service revenues in 2008, up by 6.3% from the previous year, with mobile services accounting for 50% of all turnover. Telecoms revenues generated 3.7% of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the year, according to the watchdog’s figures. The number of fixed lines in service increased by 8% year-on-year to 220,386 by end-December, mainly due to the growth of fixed-wireless connections, while around 70% of domestic fixed line voice traffic was accounted for by fixed-to-mobile calls.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:32:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In its latest broadband market report, the French telecoms regulator Arcep says the country’s high speed internet providers collectively added 660,000 net new users in the first three months of this year to boost the total to 18.35 million by end-March, up 2.1 million (13%) year-on-year. The watchdog also reported that of the total connections in service, more than five million are now for fully unbundled accesses. Arcep’s broadband figures include xDSL, cable, fibre, fixed-wireless, satellite and Wi-Fi consumer and business subscribers in metropolitan France and overseas departments (DOM). The most popular access technology by far continues to be ADSL which accounted for 17.30 million connections at the end of the first quarter, up from 16.80 million at end-December 2008 and 15.47 million at 31 March 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:29:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Spanish telecom regulator, the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), has released a report in which it predicts that between 43% and 46% of households will connect to the internet using a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connection by 2023. The feasibility study by the regulator also forecasts that by that date, up to three alternative operators could compete with incumbent Telefonica in high demand cities, including Barcelona and Madrid; the CMT highlighted the aforementioned cities as the most attractive for FTTH developments. Alternative access in smaller cities is likely to be more limited, however, with the regulator estimating that Telefonica may only face a single competitor for FTTH business in towns and cities with between 1,000 and one million residents. The CMT also highlighted the expected timelines for investment recovery on FTTH rollouts, claiming that in cities with a population larger than 50,000 alternative operators may recoup their investment in a period of between nine to twelve years. For towns and cities with a population between 5,000 and 50,000 this would increase to 13 to 14 years; the regulator does not expect a significant alternative operator presence in regions with less than 5,000 people.

The study was based on the assumption that all alternative operators will deploy FTTH networks by renting the pipeline infrastructure of Telefonica; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in January this year the CMT announced that it would maintain existing obligations for Telefonica to provide access to infrastructure at prices based on its own production costs for its in-deployment FTTH infrastructure.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:10:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Moroccan telecoms regulator the ANRT has issued a report for the first quarter of 2009, showing that the country’s fixed lines in service reached 3.093 million at the end of March, up from 2.711 million at end-March 2008. The latest total included 1.791 million limited mobility fixed-wireless CDMA lines, up from 1.367 million, accounting for 57.9% of the overall fixed market at end-March 2009, up from 50.5% a year earlier. The vast majority of the limited mobility lines are operated by Wana, which accounted for 58.07% of the overall fixed line market by the end of 1Q 2009, ahead of Maroc Telecom with 41.69% of all lines, and Medi Telecom (Meditel) with 0.24%. In the residential segment, Wana's market share rises to 70.16%, but Maroc Telecom still dominates the lucrative business user market, with 96.57% of the country's 381,000 fixed lines registered to companies.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:13:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 08, 2009

The number of broadband enabled airplanes will increase from 25 in 2008 to 800 in 2009, reports In-Stat. As a result, broadband hungry airline passengers will generate over $47 million worldwide in 2009. The in-flight broadband market is still emerging and will grow well beyond $1 billion annually by 2012.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 08, 2009 8:46:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 04, 2009

True Online, the internet arm of Thai full-service telco True Corp, has expanded its new 8Mbps DSL broadband service, into its first provincial market, the resort of Pattaya, reports the Bangkok Post. The company plans to expand the premium service to Chiang Mai and Phuket by the end of this year. True has signed up 10,000 8Mbps customers in Bangkok since upgrading its top speed in the capital last month, and forecasts the same number of users in Pattaya by end-2009. 8Mbps fixed broadband connections are currently only available to subscribers of True Online’s sister division, mobile operator True Move, and are bundled with a mobile internet subscription for THB1,199 (USD34) per month, including unlimited DSL data usage. Wireless connectivity is via True Move’s GPRS/EDGE cellular network and True’s Wi-Fi network, which is shared by all divisions of the group. True has more than 400 Wi-Fi hotspots in Pattaya, bringing its total to 16,000 locations nationwide, and providing internet access at speeds of up to 2Mbps. True expects its total number of fixed broadband subscribers to increase by 10% this year, from 650,000 at the beginning of January to 715,000 by the end of December, compared to growth of 18% in 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 04, 2009 11:25:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Commerce Commission of New Zealand (ComCom) has released its annual telecoms monitoring report, announcing that over USD882 million was spent on capital investment in 2008. The expenditure was largely accounted for by Telecom New Zealand updating its existing infrastructure to accommodate its strategic transition to an all-IP network, and NZ Communications, New Zealand’s long awaited third mobile operator – having secured 3G spectrum in 2001, rolling out the first stages of its mobile network.

The report also states that broadband subscriptions reached 915,000 by the end of December 2008, with Telecom NZ holding a 57% share of the overall market, a 4% drop since 2007. The mobile sector reported a 16% rise in call minutes over the course of the year, with mobile penetration reaching 111.9% at the end of December 2008, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:35:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 27, 2009

Broadband subscriptions in the UK exceeded expectations in the last 6 months of 2008 reaching 17.4 million by the end of the year and topping Point Topic’s forecasts by 0.2%.

“DSL operators had a stronger fourth quarter than projected, in particular the local loop unbundlers. While cable did well it didn’t exceed our forecasts,” says Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic.

The success of O2 was the biggest new story of 2008 as far as the fixed broadband market was concerned. Starting the year with only 71,000 broadband lines, it added 270,000 more to increase its market share by 1.5%. Sky has a good 12 months too and built on its accomplishments in previous years to achieve even bigger gains, adding 727,000 lines to reach almost 2 million lines

These successes have contributed to DSL increasing its share, from 78.0% to 78.6% of the UK broadband market with almost all the balance being provided by cable and only an estimated 0.2% using other technologies such as fixed wireless and satellite.

However during the year there was only a 10.6% growth in broadband overall, a sharp decline from the 19.9% in 2007. Much of the slowdown came in the second half of the year when market saturation combined with the advancing recession to cut the number of adds from almost 1 million in the first half to only 675,000 in the second.

 

 

Click here to see full article
Source: Point Topic.
Monday, April 27, 2009 11:03:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Brazil ended 2008 with 10 million broadband subscribers, an increase of two million on the previous year, according to a study published by the Brazilian Telecommunications Association (Telebrasil). Broadband penetration reached 5.3 percent, up from 0.2 percent in 2001. The number of internet users surpassed the number of subscribers to pay-TV services (cable and MMDS), which amounted to six million. At the end of last year, more than 190 million users subscribed to telecommunications services, of which 41.3 million to fixed telephony and 150.6 million to mobile telephony. Gross revenue of the sector (fixed, mobile telephony, internet, pay-TV) was BRL 177.7 billion, a 12.9 percent increase on the BRL 157.3 billion produced in 2007.
 
Source: Telecompaper.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:33:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­comScore has published the results of a study of U.S. Internet usage via mobile PC data cards, which showed that the subscriber base - which previously had been growing strongly - began to decelerate noticeably in Q4 2008.

The study examined the usage and characteristics of mobile PC data card users through data collected from computers where Internet access via mobile broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) occurred.

Click here to see full article

The study also compared the Internet usage patterns of mobile broadband PC data card users with the general U.S. Internet population to determine how the availability of mobile broadband affects online time. It is important to understand whether online access via mobile broadband represents incremental Internet usage or merely a shift in usage time between different access points.

When looking at the population in aggregate, the results indicated that PC data card usage actually represents a time-shift in Internet consumption, as PC data card users spent nearly the same amount of time online (89 hours) as typical U.S. Internet users (90 hours) during Q4 2008. Of PC data card users with both a PC data card and a wireline ISP, approximately 25 percent of their total online time (22 hours) was spent using a PC data card.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:29:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of ultra-high speed broadband subscribers in France passed 170,000 at the end of 2008, out of 20,500 buildings connected via fibre to at least one telco’s infrastructure, according to a report from the regulator Arcep. Of the total, some 130,000 were connected to a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, while a further 40,000 were using fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology. By the start of this year former monopoly France Telecom had deployed fibre in approximately 40 municipalities, Numericable had upgraded to fibre in around 30 major urban centres and SFR (including neuf Cegetel) and Iliad (Free) are concentrating efforts in areas where FT is less active. Arcep estimates that between three million and 4.5 million homes were passed by fibre at the end of last year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:18:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 23, 2009

The number of active broadband connections in Ireland (fixed and mobile) passed the 1.2 million mark at the end of 2008, up 35% year-on-year, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator ComReg. Excluding mobile broadband subscriptions however, the figure for xDSL, cable-based and other (WiMAX etc) lines was 891,000. The regulator said that broadband per capita penetration reached 27.1% at the end of the year, with DSL subscriptions accounting for 45.9% of all internet subscriptions. During the fourth quarter, the number of dial-up internet subscribers fell to just 237,475, down 27% y-o-y; total internet subscriptions stood at 1.4 million, 18.5% higher than a year earlier.

ComReg’s quarterly report notes that cellular penetration in the Republic stood at 121% by 31 December 2008, as the total number of mobile subscriptions passed 5.3 million. Vodafone remains the leading player, with a 41.1% market share, followed by O2 with 37.9%, Meteor Mobile with 18.2% and 3 Ireland with just 2.8%. ComReg reported that the total number of text messages sent in the three months to 31 December reached over 2.8 billion, up from 2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. In addition it noted that approximately 1.487 million people have switched mobile provider since the launch of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in June 2003.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:54:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Greek former monopoly telco OTE has reported statistics on the expansion of its broadband infrastructure, with a total of around 1.5 million installed DSL ports by end-December 2008. At that date OTE’s total retail and wholesale DSL connections reached approximately 960,000, up from 925,000 three months earlier. The incumbent’s network now offers download speeds up to 24Mbps in more than 250 points of presence (PoPs) across Greece (of a total of around 1,400 PoPs), 150 of which are outside the Athens/Attica region. OTE says it is also continuing to invest in scarcely populated areas, including smaller islands and remote settlements. The company’s consolidated fourth quarter and full-year 2008 results will be published on 27 March. Last month Greece's telecoms regulator the EETT reported that the number of local loop unbundling (LLU) DSL broadband/voice lines provided by alternative operators grew by 136% in 2008 to 646,000, whilst the overall number of broadband connections was up by 48% to over 1.5 million (a figure which looks likely to be closer to 1.6 million if taking into account OTE's preliminary figures). The regulator calculates that broadband penetration in Greece stood at 13.4% by the end of the year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:52:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following last week’s decision by Paraguayan regulator Conatel to end Copaco’s monopoly on wholesale internet access, the incumbent telco has announced that it will reduce retail and wholesale internet access tariffs for the second time this year in May, reports abc.com.py. From the beginning of March, Copaco cut certain tariffs by an average of around 23%, with a 64kbps connection falling from USD19 to USD17 per month, and a 128kbps subscription falling from USD25 to USD22 a month. However, Paraguay's prices remain the highest in the Mercosur region, with a 1Mbps ADSL connection costing Copaco customers USD92 per month, 318% more than in Argentina, where the same service is charged at USD22. The monopolistic market and high prices have inhibited growth in the sector; Copaco reportedly finished 2008 with fewer than 15,000 broadband customers, up from an estimated 10,000 at end-2007. Details of the new price list planned for May were not released.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:43:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 16, 2009

According to Reuters, the European Commission (EC) has given Danish telecoms regulator, the National IT and Telecom Agency, backing to force operator Fixnet Nordic (formerly TDC) to open up its cable broadband network. European Union (EU) Telecoms Commissioner, Viviane Reding, said: ‘I entirely share the Danish telecoms regulator's concern that in the absence of cable regulation in Denmark, alternative operators might be hindered in their ability to offer high capacity internet services to their customers.’ Under the plans, Fixnet Nordic will have to grant its competitors wholesale access to the network, allowing rivals to compete in the broadband market, which is currently dominated by the incumbent. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Fixnet Nordic had a total of 1.17 million broadband subscribers at the end of 2008, representing a market share of 71.06%, while rivals Cybercity and Telia Denmark had 17.78% and 11.17% respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:55:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Regulatory Unit of Communications Services (URSEC) has released its 2008 report of Uruguay’s telecoms market. The study indicates that the number of fixed lines in service declined from 965,216 in 2007 to 959,000 a year later, representing a fall in teledensity from just over 29% to 28.77%. The country’s total broadband subscribers increased from 165,000 in 2007 to 245,000 over the course of the year, with AntelData posting 227,652 customers, up 155,000 year-on-year. URSEC’s study shows that AntelData’s sole rival, Dedicado, recorded 16,388 broadband subscribers, representing a market share of 7%.

Meanwhile, the number of mobile subscribers increased to 3.508 million in 2008, up from 3.004 million a year earlier. The country’s wireless penetration exceeded 100% during the year, rising from 90.5% to 105%. The report shows that Movistar lead the wireless market at the end of 2008 with 1.42 million subscribers and 40% market share, followed closely by Ancel with 1.38 million customers and 38% of the market. Claro ranked third at year-end 2008 with 769,992 subscribers, representing 22% market share. URSEC recorded that pre-paid subscribers made up 77% of the total in 2008, down from 83% a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:36:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moldova’s National Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications (ANRTI) has reported that the number of broadband subscribers more than doubled in 2008, surpassing the number of dial-up customers for the first time. The number of broadband connections increased by 140% from 47,200 in 2007 to 115,120 a year later, while dial-up subscribers decreased by 35% from 63,000 to 40,600. The report indicates that broadband services are mainly concentrated in Chisinau; two thirds of the country’s total subscribers are located in the capital, representing a localised broadband penetration rate of 30.8%, compared to between 2.25% and 4.7% in the country’s remaining districts.

Meanwhile, the number of fixed lines in service increased by 3.2% to 1.114 million during the year, representing the lowest increase in the last ten years. Moldtelecom, the country’s main provider of fixed line services, connected 31,390 subscribers to its networks, increasing its total to 1.088 million customers at the end of 2008, while alternative operators grew their customers to 26,300 by year-end.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:35:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

United Arab Emirates-based telco Etisalat has announced it has reached 500,000 residential broadband subscribers, bringing the country’s broadband penetration rate to 11.4%. The company’s chief corporate affairs officer, Nasser bin Obood, commented: ‘This is above many international benchmarks and means that to grow penetration even further, we need to take a different approach - we need to be service driven.’ He added that to achieve further growth in the market, the company will invest in areas such as IPTV, technical support and mobile broadband.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:30:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 12, 2009

ADSL subscriptions in France rose by around 560,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to reach 16.83 million at the end of the year, according to provisional figures from regulator Arcep. There were 14.81 million ADSL subscriptions at the end of 2007. The data takes into account residential and business subscriptions in metropolitan France and overseas departements. The overall number of broadband internet subscriptions rose to 17.73 million at the end of 2008, up from 17.16 million at the end of September 2008 and 14.81 million at the end of December 2007. France Telecom had sold 8.53 million access to alternative operators on the wholesale market as of end-2008. These included 6.33 million unbundled accesses (up by 324,000 in the quarter), 2.1 million bitstream accesses (down by 18,000) and 94,000 national IP accesses (down by 4,000).

Source: TelecomPaper.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:45:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Key findings from Broadband Scorecard Sep 2008  

  • EU broadband penetration rose to 110.5m Sep 2008 or 22.4% of the population. This represented an increase of 9% 6 months and 20% over the previous year.  
  • The highest penetration rates were recorded in Denmark (37.5%) and Netherlands (36.3%) followed by Sweden, Finland and the UK. All of these countries recorded competition from both cable networks and regulated access.  
  • The lowest penetration rates at just above 10% were recorded in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.  
  • The highest growth rates over the full year were seen in Greece, Cyprus and Malta. Additional competitive impetus from local loop unbundling was particularly pronounced in Greece and Cyprus.
  • Growth rates began to slow in several of the leading countries including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and the UK suggesting market maturity. Some countries with lower absolute take-up levels also experienced slow growth including Spain, Italy and Austria.
  • Fibre penetration was 0.3% on average across Europe. However some countries had significantly higher fibre penetration including Sweden (5.6% population) and Estonia (4.9%) and Lithuania (4.2%).  
  • Incumbents retained 50% of the total retail broadband market (including resale) or 45% if resale is excluded.  
  • The source of most competition in the EU is unbundling of the local loop (44% of all lines supplied by competitors) followed by cable and other parallel infrastructures (36%) with resale and ‘bitstream’ access accounting for the remainder.

Source: ECTA.


Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:31:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesian CDMA operators Mobile-8 Telecom and Smart Telecom have launched commercial CDMA2000 1xEV-DO services to counter 3G/W-CDMA offerings of rival cellcos such as Telkomsel, Indosat and Excelcomindo (XL). According to a report from CNETAsia, Mobile-8 Telecom has introduced its ‘Mobi’ high speed mobile broadband package and Smart Telecom is matching it with ‘Jump’; both services offer theoretical data transmission speeds of 3.1Mbps (download) and 1.8Mbps (upload) the report said. Mobile-8 utilises 1x and EV-DO technology in the 800MHz frequency band, and is offering a Pantech PX-500 PCMCIA modem with 1GB quota for the Mobi service which is priced at IDR499 (USD41) per month. Deddy Irawan, head of Data Business for Mobile-8 Telecom told reporters that in the near future the company ‘will launch a USB-based modem with the same price.’

Meanwhile, Smart Telecom leverages 1x and EV-DO-Rev A technology using spectrum in the 1900MHz band and is bundling an Axesstel modem and 6GB access quota with a ‘pre-paid’ package for IDR789. Initial tests have proved favourable for both services, although critics note that both Mobi and Jump currently have issues in terms of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:29:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

German incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced it will open up its VDSL network to competitors and start selling a wholesale service for VDSL double-play packages with speeds of up to 50Mbps. During a press conference at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Timotheus Hottges, the company’s board member for Sales & Service, stressed that DT’s decision is voluntary and without pressure from the regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA). The company said it is looking for its competitors to invest more in building out broadband infrastructure in Germany. DT plans to charge EUR30 (USD38) per line, but says that as market penetration grows, the wholesale price will fall.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:05:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UK watchdog Ofcom has announced that providers of wholesale ‘super-fast’ broadband services, principally BT, will be free to set prices without any regulatory intervention. The regulator says that the move will promote investment of next generation fibre-optic broadband networks. BT has welcomed the decision. ‘Today's announcement gives us the green light to push ahead with our GBP1.5 billion [USD2.1 billion] super-fast broadband investment plans to reach at least 40% of UK households by 2012,’ said CEO Ian Livingston in a statement.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:04:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2009

Greece’s National Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT) has announced that the number of local loop unbundling (LLU) DSL broadband/voice lines in service grew by 136% in 2008 to 646,000 at the end of December, whilst the overall number of broadband connections was up by 48% to over 1.5 million. The regulator calculates that broadband penetration in Greece stands at 13.4%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:52:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The German federal government has published plans to ensure all German households have broadband access by the end of 2010. Phase one of the government’s broadband strategy involves the encouragement of operators to deploy wireless and mobile broadband services in rural areas currently without broadband coverage via DSL or cable. According to the report, around 730,000 households in 600 regions currently connect to the internet via satellite. The second phase is to ensure that 75% of German households have access to a broadband connection of at least 50Mbps by 2014. In order to achieve this, the government will aim to speed up digital dividend auctions, push operators to seek synergy via joint infrastructure deployments, ensure growth and innovation-oriented regulation, and provide operators with the necessary financial support. Within the next few months the government plans to open up all existing networks from federal, state, and local governments for third parties to use and will auction digital dividend frequencies in the 790-862MHz region. Wilhelm Scheer, president of German ICT industry organisation Bitkom, said the strategy will stimulate investments of up to EUR50 billion (USD62.91 billion), and should create around 250,000 jobs.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:51:36 PM (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)  #     | 
 Friday, January 16, 2009

France Telecom (Orange) has announced the launch of a satellite-based internet access service in France, through its subsidiary NordNet. The launch will give the French operator 100% broadband coverage in mainland France, it said in its 12 January press release. Orange says the new service helps it meet its commitment to the government’s ‘France Digital 2012’ project, announced in October 2008, which hopes to provide broadband internet access to every French citizen, regardless of where they live in the country, for EUR35 (USD43) per month (including any equipment costs) by 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, January 16, 2009 4:21:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 12, 2009

According to a study by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) over 68% of households in the country now have access to broadband services, up from 59% a year earlier. The survey conducted by the regulator also noted that over 80% of users believe that they need a connection speed of at least 1Mbps. Uptake of mobile broadband has reportedly seen a significant increase over the twelve-month period, with 11% of broadband users taking a mobile broadband subscription compared to just 1% last year; the survey indicated that most mobile broadband users also have a fixed line broadband service.
Despite the increase in broadband uptake less than a third of households in the country had a fixed line voice connection. In contrast the survey reported that 98% of 15-79-year olds had access to a mobile phone. VoIP calls also registered an increase over the period, with 24% of internet users indicating that they had used the technology in 2008, up from 21% in 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 12, 2009 11:07:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The total number of broadband users in the Republic of Belarus reached 250,000 at the end of last year, online news journal e-Belarus.org reports. Of the total, around 190,000 were ADSL users, including 150,000 retail connections for national PTO Beltelecom, and 60,000 were hooked up via a cable modem with the likes of Minsk-based Cosmos TV. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Beltelecom began to develop its broadband internet access service in 2002 and since September 2006 has offered ADSL services under the brand name Byfly, offering a non-guaranteed bandwidth service costing USD17 per month for a 1Mbps/512kbps (downlink/uplink) package. In November 2007 the company reduced the cost of selected high speed access services by 30% and at the end of the year claimed some 50,000 broadband ports had been installed for xDSL services. By the start of this year Beltelecom controlled 78% of ADSL access in the country, and 44% in Minsk.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:50:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 15, 2008

Slovenia's broadband penetration reached 19.5% at the end of the third quarter of 2008, up from 15.9% a year ago, with household penetration rising from 47% to 58% in the same period, according to the quarterly telecoms market report by the Agency for Post and Telecommunications (APEK). Incumbent telco Telekom Slovenije accounted for a 48.5% share of the high speed subscriber market, down from 51.5% at end-3Q 2007, and the country's largest alternative operator T-2 reached a share of 17.9%, up by 5.5 percentage points year-on-year. Direct fibre connections (FTTx) made up 9.4% of all broadband lines, compared to 2.1% a year earlier. APEK said that VoIP telephony subscribers reached 191,000 at the end of September 2008, up from 96,500 twelve months previously, and VoIP now accounts for 22% of the country's total fixed line subscriber base. Telekom Slovenije was reported to be the country's largest VoIP provider, with 45.5% of the market ahead of T-2 with 33%. Telekom's cellular subsidiary Mobitel remained the largest provider of mobile services by retail subscribers (figures including MVNOs), with 60.6% of the market, ahead of Austrian-owned Si.Mobil (27.3%), debitel (5.0%), Izimobil (2.5%), Tusmobil (4.4%) and T-2 (0.1%). IPTV subscribers in Slovenia rose by 150% year-on-year to 133,500 at end-September 2008, as cable TV viewers fell from 315,000 to 294,000 in the same period. Telekom Slovenije leads the IPTV segment, followed by T-2.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, December 15, 2008 11:45:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuela’s telecoms watchdog Conatel has published data for the third quarter of 2008 in which it says the country’s total fixed lines in service reached 5.896 million, up from 4.696 million a year before, and representing a fixed teledensity of 21.2%. According to the regulator there were 1.172 million broadband internet subscribers at the end of September 2008, up from 776,000 a year earlier, whilst dial-up customers decreased by 9,000 in the same period to 140,000. Conatel’s figures also showed that at the end of the third quarter there were 26.673 million mobile phone subscriptions, up from 21.992 million at the end of September 2007. Mobile penetration was reported to have reached 96.0% at the end of 3Q08, up from 80.5% year-on-year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, December 15, 2008 11:43:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 10, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama pledged to expand Americans' access to broadband Internet as part of a massive new public works program designed to generate jobs and improve the economy, he said in his weekly video/radio address.

"As we renew our schools and highways, we'll also renew our information superhighway," Obama said. "It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I'm President — because that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:30:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

One possible scenario for the telecoms industry during the current economic slowdown is that fixed-to-mobile substitution (FMS) will be accelerated as consumers reduce their communications bill by cutting their fixed line in favour of mobile services. With mobile broadband deals now more readily available and affordable, there is a potential ‘double whammy’ to this in that fixed line operators could not only lose further fixed voice revenues but valuable broadband revenues as well. Ovum therefore commissioned a survey of over 8,000 consumers to find out their plans.

The majority of consumers will scale down rather than cancel their broadband service

At the top level broadband seems to remain a ‘sticky’ service. Ovum’s survey data shows that only 7% of respondents would ditch their fixed line for both voice and broadband in favour of mobile services, and only 1% said they would be prepared to keep their fixed voice but cut their broadband access. Cutting the mobile subscription stood at 6%, making fixed broadband access actually even ‘stickier’ than mobile to those that are planning on keeping the fixed telephony line.

The majority of respondents, 65%, said they would simply look to reduce spend in certain areas, rather than cancelling one of their services altogether. At the top level, how they reduce that spend was fairly evenly split across reducing fixed voice calls, mobile voice calls and pay-TV subscriptions.

Unfortunately for pay-TV operators, more consumers look to be planning to cut back on extras such as pay-per-view movies, rather than increase spend in this area with the idea of saving on other social activities. Ovum suspects that this will be more related to movie rental subscriptions, rather than true pay-per-view, which we still suspect will see an increase as consumers go out less.

Age and culture play a big part in broadband decisions

Unsurprisingly, the decisions around whether to reduce spend on fixed and mobile communications differ with age group. People aged between 16 and 25 are more likely to either drop their fixed line altogether (10% of 16- to 25-year-olds) or keep a fixed connection but rely more on their mobile phone for calls (28% of 16- to 25-year-olds) than any other age group. As the users get older they are less likely to rely on their mobile and more likely revert back to their fixed line, with only 5% of over 55s saying they would cut their fixed line. Keeping both mobile and fixed voice services but cutting broadband access is not a popular option across all age groups. Countries with a younger population will therefore see different trends to those with an older population.

As well as age, culture also plays its part. Ovum’s data clearly shows that there are significant differences in countries where mobile services and applications are already firmly engrained into the culture, such as Korea. In Korea 15% of respondents would cut their fixed line altogether, compared to roughly 5% in most Western European countries – other than Italy, where 11% said they would. Conversely, in Germany and France 11% of respondents said they would rather keep their fixed line and cut their mobile service. In part this will be related to age demographics, but cultural differences also play a large part.

Broadband is now a part of everyday life

There will always be differences between the various social segments and cultures. However, what is common across the world is that broadband Internet access is becoming an essential part of everyday life. It has become part of how people communicate, book their holidays, search for work, find out news, purchase goods and educate their children. When money becomes tight consumers obviously look for ways to save money, but for the vast majority of people cutting out their access to the Internet and associated services and applications is just not an option.

The more mobile segments of the community will favour pure mobile solutions, and as the technology improves this segment will gradually grow. However, the economic slowdown will not see a mass defection away from fixed broadband. Having said this, operators can expect to see an overall reduction in ARPU as consumers look to trim their overall communication bills where possible, and this goes for mobile as well as fixed operators.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:41:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 04, 2008

As the total number of broadband lines in the world passes 400  million Point Topic forecasts that the total in the 40 biggest broadband countries in the world will grow from 393 million by the end of 2008 to 635 million by 2013. Broadband in the rest of the world will grow from 16 million to 48 million lines in the same period, so the world will add 273 million lines to reach 683 million in total.

Click here to see full article

Source: Point Topic.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:35:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest analysis from Point Topic on average tariffs and packages on offer for broadband worldwide gives a general story of increasing speed and decreasing prices

Over the quarter there is some variation, but if you look at 2008 as a whole consumers are getting more bandwidth for their money.

Of the three primary broadband technologies, DSL has seen the largest fall in average price for a subscription down from $66.75 in Q108 to $53.32 in Q3 taking a worldwide average. This is a 20% drop in the first 3 quarters of the year. In comparison average subscription prices for cable are down just over 12% and FTTx down by 6.5%.

Figure 1: Average monthly subscription (US$)

 NB: Fiber prices based on averages of available country implementations, DSL and cable taken from a wider base of regional averages

Click here to see full article

Source: Point Topic.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:18:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Virgin Mobile UK launches an all-you-can-eat internet access tariff at 30p per day, which is claimed to be a tariff three times cheaper in comparison to other offers by rival networks. The new rates will be levied from December 8 applying to both contract and pre-pay subscribers, Virgin reveals.

“By providing unlimited access at a highly competitive rate, we are giving all our customers the opportunity to use the internet on their phone without having to worry about racking up huge bills or working out complicated price structures,” said Virgin Mobile MD Graeme Oxby. However, the twist in the story lies that the 30p/day rate is counted as offering unlimited access, to which a daily fair use policy of 25MB applies. The subscribers exceeding this limit will have to pay £2 for each extra MB.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:26:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The new Arab Advisors’ survey of Jordan's Internet users also revealed that WiMAX operators had an 8.3% share of residential broadband Internet accounts in the country. Retail e-commerce in Jordan reached an estimated US$ 181 million the 12 months between November 2007 and November 2008.

 

Arab Advisors’ online survey revealed that of the respondents who have an ADSL subscription at home, 13.3% share it with neighbors. 28% of those sharing share the ADSL connection with two more households, 22.7% with three additional households and 29.3% with one additional household.

Click here to see full article

Source: Arab Advisors Group.

 

 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 4:53:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 01, 2008

­The International Telecomunications Union (ITU) has published a report detailing a set of regulatory strategies designed to lower the costs of telecoms network rollout. The report notes that 2008 has been marked by unparalleled numbers of voice and Internet consumers in both the developing and developed world, the result of network growth and expansion.

This year has also seen an unparalleled global financial crisis which may make it more difficult for investors to obtain financing for continuing network development. Sharing strategies, examined in the new ITU report, are seen as conducive for infrastructure development in the telecommunications/ICT sector, particularly in light of the deepening global financial crisis.

Fixed and mobile broadband evolution

Click here to see full article

Mobile penetration showed high growth rates through 2008. By year end, mobile networks and subscribers will rise to an all time high, reaching an estimated 4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. The world also counts over 1.5 billion Internet users, a growing number of which use fixed and mobile broadband services. Dial-up is being replaced by broadband across developed and developing countries alike. In developing countries such as Chile, Senegal and Turkey, broadband subscribers represent over 90 per cent of all Internet subscribers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, December 01, 2008 9:52:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 08, 2008
Moroccan regulator Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT) has released its statistical report for the second quarter of 2008. According to the watchdog’s figures, total mobile telephony subscribers increased by 3.86%, or 796,000 in the three months to the end of June to 21.412 million subscribers (up 22.39% from 17.495 million a year earlier, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database). Maroc Telecom accounted for almost exactly one-third of mobile subscribers with 14.211 million at the end of the second quarter (up by 514,000 since March), with Meditel accounting for the other 7.201 million (up 282,000 on the previous quarter). The ANRT said mobile penetration reached 69.43%, up from 57.82% in June 2007.

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

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, August 08, 2008 9:13:34 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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maroc Telecom has reported a 10% year-on-year rise in first half consolidated group revenues to MAD14.308 billion (USD1.985 billion), thanks to the continuing growth of its domestic and foreign mobile operations. Domestic revenues in the first half of 2008 amounted to MAD12.511 billion, up 9.8%, with mobile revenues in Morocco increasing by 12.9% to MAD8.923 billion following the full commercial launch of 3.5G voice and internet services in January. Moroccan mobile customers rose 21.3% year-on-year to reach 14.2 million at the end of June 2008, up from 13.7 million in the previous year and 13.3 million at the start of the year. Mobile ARPU in the six month period fell 8.2% year-on-year to MAD98.6, whilst average outgoing usage was maintained at approximately the same level as H1 2007. Fixed line (including internet) operations in Morocco achieved six-month gross revenues of MAD4.75 billion, up by 0.5%, as the fixed line customer base reached 1.329 million, up by 0.3% compared to June 2007. A 3.9% decrease in average monthly wireline user bills was offset by revenues of data and internet services respectively increasing by 17.3% and 9.1%. The ADSL customer base reached 482,000 lines at the end of June 2008, up 10.0% y-o-y, whilst the company claimed 14,000 Mobile 3G+ wireless broadband subscribers by that date.

Mauritel, Maroc Telecom’s Mauritanian unit, earned revenues of MAD519 million in H1 2008, down 3.7%, affected by exchange rates, despite its mobile customer base growing 32.3% to exceed one million at the end of June. Mauritel’s fixed line subscriber lines increased by 27.8% to 46,000. Burkina Faso subsidiary Onatel achieved first half sales of MAD715 million, up 9.0%, as its mobile subscribers increased by 95% year-on-year to 756,000 at end-June, mainly thanks to extended network coverage. Onatel increased its fixed line customer base by 21.5% in the period to 130,000 lines. At Gabonese unit Gabon Telecom, revenues of all business activities amounted to MAD529 million in the first six months of 2008, down 18.5% on a comparable basis mainly due to substantial price cuts carried out over the last year. Users of Gabon Telecom’s Libertis mobile phone service reached 424,000 at mid-year, up 61.2% y-o-y, whilst its fixed lines in service increased by 40.9% to 31,000.

Mobisud, Maroc Telecom’s MVNO in France and Belgium, reported total six-month revenues of MAD91 million, with a total of 155,000 customers at end-June 2008, down slightly on March, due to an ‘active customer base cleaning process’ by Mobisud France during the second quarter.

In the second quarter ended June 2008, Maroc Telecom’s consolidated group turnover rose 6.5% year-on-year to MAD7.343 billion.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:32:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2008

At the end of June 2008 China Telecom reported 214.89 million local access lines in service, 5.44 million lower than at the start of the year. Broadband subscribers surged by 4.3 million during the same timeframe, to 39.95 million, helped by the acquisition of Beijing Telecom in June 2008. China Netcom meanwhile added 160,000 fixed line and 710,000 broadband customers to its base, to take its totals to 108.5 million and 23.35 million respectively.

In the wireless arena, China Mobile reported 414.6 million wireless customers at the end of June, an increase of 45.25 million in six months. Rival China Unicom meanwhile reported 127.6 million GSM and 43.16 million CDMA customers at the same date, up 7.03 million and 1.2 million on the start of the year respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 17, 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.

“According to official figures from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt had 427,085 ADSL lines by the end of 2007. The Arab Advisors Group estimates that 75% of those are residential ADSL lines.” Jawad J. Abbassi, Founder and General Manager of Arab Advisors Group noted. “Based on the survey results, the average number of households sharing one ADSL connection is 2.98. Multiplying the reported number of lines by this figure yields an estimate for households with ADSL connections in Egypt of 956,000 households by end of 2007.” Mr. Abbassi added.

Source: Arab Advisory Group.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:24:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2008

Vancouver-based Corinex Communication, a provider of powerline and coaxial network solutions and products, has announced that it is to lead a project to provide internet access to rural villages in India. Using Broadband over Powerline (BPL) technology ten villages have been targeted in a deal believed to be worth more than USD17 million. It is anticipated that deployment will be completed within 18 months, providing web access and VoIP services to approximately 3,000 users. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database broadband penetration in India stood at only 0.3% by the end of 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:19:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The number of fixed line broadband connections in Hungary stood at 1.437 million at the end of May, up from 1.124 million a year earlier, according to data published by the industry regulator the National Communications Authority of Hungary (NCAH). Of the total, 778,000 were ADSL subscriptions, while a further 468,000 took cable internet services from one of the four main providers UPC, T-Kabel, FiberNet and Digi. At the same date, the number of main lines in service fell by 12,000 in May to 3.198 million from 3.210 million in April, lowering the fixed line phone penetration rate to 31.8%. The NCAH does not keep a record of mobile broadband subscriptions.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 12:35:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 25, 2008

According to a report from The Syria Report Newsletter, Syria’s state owned national monopoly fixed line and internet operator Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE) has awarded China’s Huawei Technologies a EUR877,000 (USD1.36 million) contract to install 33,000 new ADSL lines in the country. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database writes that STE offers dial-up and ADSL broadband access through two wholly owned ISPs, 190 and Syrian Computer Society (SCS). There were an estimated 16,500 broadband subscribers by end-2007 (latest available figure) and around 300,000 dial-up subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:18:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 23, 2008

Government statistics bureau Indec has published data showing that residential broadband connections in Argentina numbered 2.23 million at the end of March, up 43.9% year-on-year. Meanwhile, corporate high speed internet connections rose 22.1% to 208,652, giving a total broadband subscriber base of 2.31 million. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms database, Telecom Argentina is the largest company by subscribers, claiming just over 30% of the market, ahead of second place Telefonica with 25%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 23, 2008 4:21:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 12, 2008

Swedes are increasingly placing calls, surfing and sending text messages, which led to sharply increased traffic and increased revenues for mobile network operators in 2007. For the first time, total revenues from services in mobile networks exceed revenues from fixed telephony according to a report from the telecoms regulator, the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS).

In December 2007, nearly half a million customers used mobile Internet services, a sharp increase from just over 90,000 subscriptions one year earlier. Data traffic in mobile networks has increased tenfold since 2006. Mobile users placed more, and longer, calls in 2007 and sent an average of 40 text messages per month. Revenues from mobile services totalled SEK 19.7 billion in 2007, which is an increase of some 12 per cent since 2006. Mobile Internet services, by means of USB sticks or USB modems, account for more than SEK 1 billion of such revenues.

“We take mobile telephony for granted. We are used to placing calls whenever and almost wherever we want. 2007 was the year when even broadband users could seriously consider mobile Internet services when choosing a provider,” says Marianne Treschow, Director-General of PTS.

There were nearly 2.8 million subscriptions for fixed or mobile broadband at the end of 2007, which corresponds to 62 subscriptions per 100 households. Broadband services grew by more than 30 per cent in 2007.

The content service growing the fastest in fixed broadband networks is IPTV, for which there were 355 000 subscriptions at the end of 2007, compared with 50 000 subscriptions the year before. Subscriptions for IP-based telephony in broadband networks rose by more than 50 per cent to 623 000 subscriptions.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:07:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 09, 2008

Citing figures from the Broadcasting Communications Commission (BCC), the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOIS) reports that the country's broadband subscriber base broke through the 15 million barrier during April. KT Corp leads the way with a 44.2% share of the market, followed by Hanarotelecom (24%) and LG Powercom (12.2%). The remainder is split between smaller companies such as LG Dacom. Hanarotelecom's customer numbers are expected to have fallen in May, however, after 3,000 former and current subscribers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegedly selling their confidential information to telemarketers. LG Powercom stands as the company most likely to gain, according to industry watchers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:48:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 02, 2008

The Dutch broadband market grew by 2% in Q1 2008 to reach 5.55 million users, eclipsing the growth rates of 1.7% and 1.6% seen in the last two quarters of 2007, reports online news portal Telecompaper. By the end of March this year the leading ISP was Ziggo, the newly created branding of the former cable assets of @Home, Casema and Multikabel. The group had 1.242 million broadband users at the end of March, up 30,000 quarter-on-quarter. Ziggo led second-placed Het Net, owned by KPN, which had 659,000 xDSL users at the same date (+16,000 users) and UPC Nederland was in third with 650,300 broadband customers (+10,800). KPN’s second largest xDSL ISP Planet shed customers in the period under review, however, ending the quarter with 558,000 subscribers, down 14,000 on the start of the year. Meanwhile, Internet van KPN signed up 19,000 net new additions, Telecompaper said, to reach a total of 554,000 xDSL customers at 31 March 2008, making it the fourth largest broadband ISP overall in the Netherlands.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 02, 2008 1:37:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France added around 675,000 new broadband users in the first three months of this year to boost the country’s high speed internet user base from 15.551 million to 16.225 million, reports the country’s regulator Arcep in its latest review of the domestic market. On an annualised basis, the French residential and business broadband market climbed 18.6% from 13.676 million at the end of March 2007, the report said. ADSL continues to be the overwhelmingly popular access technology, accounting for 15.475 million access lines, with the remainder made up by cable, FTTx or satellite services. Arcep also reported a strong rise in wholesale access lines in the period under review, up 338,000 lines to 7.825 million. France had also unbundled 5.521 million local loops by the start of April 2008, with some 4.012 million subscribers taking fully unbundled services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 02, 2008 1:34:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 30, 2008

The total number of Brazilian broadband connections reached 18.3 million at the end of last month, up 53% from 11.9 million in April 2007, according to a local study by Ibope/NetRatings. The canvassing group added that the number of residential internet users climbed 41.3% year-on-year to 22.4 million, with monthly web surfing averages up 4.9% to 22 hours and 47 minutes. Ibope/NetRatings estimates that a total of 34.1 million people have PCs with an internet connection at home and that there are now 40 million internet users in Brazil (aged 16 years or older).

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, May 30, 2008 1:39:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 23, 2008

BNamericas reports that Argentina could end 2008 with approximately 3.5 million broadband connections, quoting a recent study of the market by local consultancy Consultora CIC. The research found that the country had almost 3 million high speed connections at the end of March 2008, an increase of around 50% year-on-year, and that ADSL is the dominant technology, accounting for 70% of the market. Penetration of other technologies (such as mobile broadband via 3G) remains low, said the report, as it was out of the price range of most Argentines.

The dominant players are former incumbents Telecom Argentina (TA) and Telefonica de Argentina (TdA), and media giant Grupo Clarin (via cable subsidiaries Flash and FiberTel). Despite having over 85% of subscriptions between them, CIC reported that there is still room in the market for other operators to flourish, particularly in provincial cities such as Cordoba, Rosario, Mendoza, Mar del Plata and Salta. However, Buenos Aires and its greater metropolitan area are close to saturation, with half of all Argentina’s broadband connections.

Friday, May 23, 2008 12:35:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Global speeds and prices of residential and business DSL services increased by 4.7% and 9.3% respectively in the first quarter of 2008 according to analysis from Point Topic’s quarterly tracking report.*

The global average residential DSL service cost and downstream speed in Q1 2008 increased to $61.36 per month (up 9.3% on Q407) and 6,517 Kbps (up 4.7%) respectively. Business DSL prices now average $227 per month with a downstream speed of 4,126 Kbps an increase of 23% in price while downstream speed increased only by 3%.

The most significant speed changes were reported in Latin America, as average downstream residential and business speeds increased by 36% to 2,737 Kbps and 40% to 2,995 Kbps respectively.

“It was due in part to Telecom Argentina and Telefonica del Peru,” says Fiona Vanier, Senior Analyst at Point Topic.

“Telecom Argentina introduced two new high speed business tariffs with downstream speeds of 20 Mbps while Telefonica del Peru expanded its range to include two new tariffs with downstream speeds of 5 Mbps.”

Although there was an increase in the monthly global average price of DSL services, their cost expressed in the PPP rate actually decreased by around 5%. The difference is primarily due to exchange rate fluctuations. While the US$ rate is updated regularly the PPP rate usually only changes once a year, which means it needs to absorb some turbulent times in the global market.

FTTx and cable tariffs have remained relatively unchanged even after the PPP adjustment. As a result, the gap between the DSL tariffs and the cable and FTTx tariffs (this service is still the most expensive) has widened.

Figure: Average entry level broadband service tariff (PPP rates

“Telefonica in Spain implementing the largest price change cut its entry level ‘ADSL Mini 1 Mbps’ service by 36% to $24.80. Belgacom introduced a new entry level service called ‘ADSL budget’, which at $22.47 replaced their previous entry level service, ‘ADSL light’,” said Fiona Vanier.

Source:Point Topic

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:56:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 12, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union yesterday published its latest broadband subscriber data. According to ITU, the world added over 50 million broadband subscribers between December 2006 and December 2007. Most of the world's 330 million fixed broadband subscribers are concentrated in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

ITU data show that by the end of 2007, five European countries lead the world in terms of fixed broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland lead the "top 30" list, followed by the Republic of Korea.

Asia's economies continue to rank well and the top-30 list includes the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, China, Macao, China, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, China, Singapore, and New Zealand. In terms of total fixed broadband subscribers the top-30 list represents close to 65 percent of the world's total braodband subscribers. This confirms a significant digital divide in terms of broadband uptake and penetration in the world. In Africa, especially, broadband penetration remains very low. The Seychelles, the country with (by far) the highest broadband penetration in Africa, has 3.5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

Source: ITU.

Monday, May 12, 2008 2:13:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 30, 2008

 

Data published by ITU's Market, Information and Statistics Division highlights continued high growth rates in the mobile market, and particulaly in developing regions. By the end of 2007, over 70% of the world's mobile subscribers were from developing countries. A positive trend, since in 2006 developing countries represented 67% of all mobile subscriber. Five years earlier, in 2002, they represented less than 50%. Africa remains the region with the highest growth rate (32% in 2006/2007) and mobile penetration in Africa has risen from just one in 50 people at the beginning of this century to almost one third of the population today. Africa’s mobile penetration of 28% compares to 37% in Asia, 72% in the Americas, and 110% in Europe. [The latter number, which surpasses the 100 percent mark, confirms that mobile subscriber data do not strictly correspond to mobile phone users. Double counting takes place, especially when one person owns multiple SIM cards and when operators do not identify active subscribers.]

 

 

In absolute numbers, China and India are the countries that have added the greatest number of mobile subscribers during the year - some 86 million and 68 million, respectively.

 

Mobile cellular is increasingly dominating the telephone market and worldwide, mobile subscribers represent no less then 71 percent of all (fixed and mobile) telephone subscribers. In Africa, this percentage is close to 90 percent. The continued growth in the mobile sector is matched by no-growth in the fixed line sector, which has been stagnating at just under 20% globally for the last years. Exceptions include some developing countries, such as Nigeria. Africa’s most populated country has been able to increase fixed-line penetration from below one, to over 4% within five years, mainly through fixed-wireless systems.

 

ITU's Internet and broadband data suggest that more and more countries are going high speed. By the end of 2007, over 50 percent of all Internet subscribers had a high speed connection. Dial-up is being replaced by broadband across developed and developing countries, including Senegal, Chile and Turkey, where broadband subscribers represent over 90 percent of all Internet subscribers. At the same time, major differences in broadband penetration levels remain and the number of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants varies significantly between regions. While broadband penetration stood at less than one percent in Africa, it had reached much higher levels in Europe (16%) and the Americas region (10%).  The difference in the uptake of broadband is also reflected by the regional distribution of total broadband subscribers.

 

 

Some of ITU's key World Telecommunication/ICT data, encompassing over 200 economies worldwide, for the fixed line, mobile cellular, and Internet/broadband market, are available through the ITU's ICT Eye , the one-stop shop for ICT information and statistics. For more information on ITU's World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, see: World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database.

 

Source: ITU.

Broadband | ITU | Mobile | World
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:07:44 AM (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)  #     | 

A new report from Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG), "IPTV: The Killer Broadband Application," forecasts that there will be nearly 60 million Internet Protocol television (IPTV) subscribers worldwide by the end of 2010. IPTV -- providing video services over managed IP networks to consumers' televisions -- has been doubling each year since its commercial introduction in 2002. There were 9.9 million IPTV subscribers around the world at the end of 2007, more than double the previous year, and TMG projects more than a 500 percent increase over the next three years. According to Michael Minges, TMG Senior Market Analyst and lead author of the report, "IPTV is revolutionizing the television market by introducing greater competition and providing consumers with a plethora of customizable content, viewable any time."

Click here to see full article

Source: WASHINGTON, PRNewswire (Based on TMG).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 8:58:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008
Click here to see full article

"The European broadband market is developing rapidly and already outstrips that of the United States," the EC wrote. It estimated some 99.2 million broadband lines in the EC, compared with 81.6 million in the United States and Canada combined, and 43.1 million in Japan and South Korea together. In 2007, the number of regular active Internet users in Europe rose by 40 million, to a total of 250 million.

"It is a welcome change of political direction that today, ICT, the main driver of European growth, is being promoted by all 27 EU Member States in their national policies. This helps Europe compete internationally and modernizes the daily lives of Europeans," comments EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding. "It is especially good news that 77 percent of EU businesses, 67 percent of schools and 48 percent of doctors are now benefiting from fast broadband connections."

Ticking off Europe's broadband achievements, in its report the EC says more than 96 percent of European schools now are connected to the Internet -- two-thirds of them to broadband, up from almost zero in 2001. In the health sector, 57 percent of doctors now send or receive patient data, up from 17 percent in 2002, with 46 percent of them receiving results from laboratories electronically, up from only 11 percent in 2002. Some 77 percent of EU businesses had a broadband connection in 2007, up from 62 percent in 2005, and 77 percent use the Internet for dealing with banks, up from 70 percent in 2005.

Still, the EC found the pattern of Internet and broadband usage varies widely from country to country. Nearly 40 percent of Europeans don't use the Internet at all, the EC noted, with the lowest usage in Romania (69 percent are unconnected), Bulgaria (65 percent unconnected) and Greece (62 percent unconnected). In contrast, only 13 percent of the populations in Denmark and The Netherlands are unconnected, and those countries also are two of the Top Three in EU broadband penetration, at 35.6 percent and 34.2 percent, respectively.

Click here to see full article

Source: Telecom Web.

Monday, April 21, 2008 8:58:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 04, 2008

MoneyWeb South Africa reports broadband subscriber numbers in the country have tipped the one million mark. Telkom is still the leading broadband provider with 420,000 subscribers for its ADSL service, but Vodacom is gaining ground with 370,000 registered HSDPA users. MTN is also showing significant growth in the mobile broadband arena with 120,000 subscribers, according to the article. ADSL and HSDPA users account for over 90% of all broadband subscribers in South Africa. The other 10% is accounted for by fixed wireless access provider iBurst with 60,000 subscribers, and various wireless ISPs (45,000). However, there is still plenty of room for growth in the market as the broadband penetration rate is currently only 2%, compared to the OECD average of 18.8%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:51:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 03, 2008

A new analysis of the global opportunity for WiMAX 802.16e to deliver ´local loop´ broadband connectivity forecasts that WiMAX will begin to take off over the 2009 to 2011 period, exceeding 47 million subscribers globally by 2013.

Click here to see full article

Highlights from the report include:

  • Global WiMAX service revenues, as a DSL replacement technology, will grow to over $20bn per annum by 2013.
  • The top WiMAX regions for DSL substitution will be: The Far East; North America; Western Europe and Africa/Middle East.
  • Juniper forecasts that around 12% of the forecast DSL subscriber base for 2013 will be replaced by WiMAX.
Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:12:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Under a new strategic partnership between Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Indian fixed line telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), more than 25,000 Indian villages will be supplied with broadband access via an ADSL2+ network. Under the terms of the agreement, BSNL will deploy NSN’s multi-play solution, which will allow it to deliver cost-effective, high speed Internet access and Virtual Private Network services to its customers. The network will also enable BSNL to provide connectivity to community service centres and other e-governance locations.

As part of the contract, NSN will deploy its Gigabit Ethernet-capable IP DSLAMs SURPASS hiX5625 and chassis-based access switch (SURPASS hiD6615). It will also supply customer premises equipment that will enable BSNL to provide speeds of up to 8Mbps. The network will be ready for commercial operation by July 2008. NSN is in parallel deploying equipment for BSNL for urban broadband access across 20 circles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:53:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 31, 2008

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)  #     | 

Ka-ching, ka-ching. European wireless carriers are being told to expect 50 percent of the population to use their mobile handsets to access the broadband Internet by 2012. But most carriers won't be able to handle it alone.

An ongoing report series from Exane BNP Paribas and Arthur D. Little also says wireless service providers "have a job to do" in catching up with consumer expectations regarding mobile broadband, and part of that work will lead to greater fixed-mobile network integration. Carriers will experience huge growth in mobile broadband traffic - as is already seen in some advanced countries like Austria.

To accomplish this, mobile operators will be partnering with fixed-infrastructure providers, with Arthur D. Little and Exane BNP Paribas forecasting that 20 percent of mobile broadband traffic could be carried through fixed networks.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:49:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Point Topicp's World Broadband Statistics (Q4 2007) examines global and regional broadband developments and technological innovation at the end of 2007. According to this report, there were some 350 million broadband subscribers worldwide by the end of 2007, representing 6.1% of the population. This represents a 24% increase from 2006 to 2007, when over 69 million people subscribed to broadband services. By 2007, Western Europe and North America lead in broadband penetration rates at 23.6 and 24.7 percent, respectively.

In absolute numbers, the USA continues to lead, with 73 million subscribers by the end of 2007, followed by China with 67 million subscribers. In terms of broadband penetration, Monaco takes the first place at 38%. Indeed, in Monaco, 94% of households have broadband services.

Figure 1: Share of world broadband subscribers by region in Q4 2007

DSL, FTTx and Cable moderm are the dominant broadband technoloies in the world. DSL is the most common technology with a 65% share of the global broadband market. Cable modem comes in second place, with 77 million subscribers a at the end of 2007.

Figure 2: Total Broadband by technology in Q4 2007

Source: Point Topic.

Monday, March 31, 2008 7:44:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 28, 2008

VietNamNet Bridge has reported that ADSL penetration is not what it could be in Vietnam. ADSL first appeared in the country in 2004 and subscriptions grew 150% in both 2006 and 2007, but the percentage of ADSL users is still low. By September 2007 there were 4.9 million internet subscribers and around 17.5 million internet users, accounting for nearly 21% of the population, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). ADSL subscribers accounted for 21% of the total or around 1.04 million. Some 65% of them were in Hanoi and HCM City. ADSL charges in Vietnam are reported to be at similar level to other countries in Southeast Asia, but service quality is still lacking, with lower than promised speeds and unstable connections beyond Hanoi and HCM City.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, March 28, 2008 11:04:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 27, 2008

According to DigiTimes.com, Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) has approved a reduction by an average of 8.4% in monthly circuit-leased fees for using Chunghwa Telecom (CHT's) ADSL services. The cheaper tariffs, which will take effect from 1 April 2008, were proposed by the company following a request from the NCC that it lower its prices. Of CHT's ADSL customers, 3.526 million or 95.4% will be subject to the price cut. Since CHT is to cease installation of further 2Mbps/512Kbps ADSL services, the company has not offered price cuts for corresponding subscribers, the NCC added.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:33:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Informatisation and Communications Nikolai Strukov, is predicting that the country will be home to 500,000 broadband internet users by 2010, writes online news portal e-belarus.org. According to the minister, approximately 260,000 of these will be receiving high speed internet services from the national PTO Beltelecom, while a further 100,000 will be using alternative operators, he said. Home networks will also help to increase the number of xDSL users, Mr. Strukov added. The minister went on to say that the 500,000 forecast was a conservative one and that he expects the figure could be even higher, driven by the strong uptake of mobile broadband subscribers using 3G technology.

Beltelecom currently has 66,000 broadband internet subscribers and accounts for roughly 60% of the national market, with alternative service providers and resellers claiming the remainder.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:32:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China Netcom has posted an unexpected increase in full-year profit after signing up more broadband subscribers than expected. Net income for the twelve months ended 31 December 2007 rose to RMB10.58 billion (USD1.5 billion), from RMB10.55 billion a year earlier. Sales rose to RMB84 billion from a restated RMB84.1 billion in 2006. During the year Netcom’s broadband subscriber base rose 37% to 19.77 million, while its local access customers fell by 2.8% to 110.82 million, of which 84.6 million were fixed line (down 2.3% year-on-year) and 26.2 million PHS (down 4.1%). Broadband ARPU climbed 3.9% to RMB67.4 while the corresponding figure for local access slipped by 9.6% to RMB36.6.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:50:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

The European Commission hopes to lift average broadband penetration in the European Union to 30% by 2010, up from around 20% today, in a bid to stimulate economic growth. The EC’s Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said yesterday that only eight of the bloc's 27 member states were currently beating the US in terms of broadband usage, while the average penetration rate lagged behind the 22.1% figure reported in the United States. Although a number of nations, such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have rates closer to 30%, Reding wants to see a significant improvement across the board within the next two years. The Commissioner believes that her new telecoms reforms, currently before the European Parliament and EU states for approval, will help the trading bloc reach this 30% target. Reding hopes the reform bill will be adopted by April 2009 ahead of planned European elections in June.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:41:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 20, 2008

According to Colombia’s telecoms regulator the CRT, the country ended last year with 1.2 million broadband internet subscribers, up 27.9% year-on-year. ADSL technology represented 57.4% of total connections, followed by cable modem technology (35.5%) and WiMAX (4.4%). Dial-up connections totalled 174,383, down 12% compared to December 2006. According to the report, local operator ETB took 22.1% of the broadband market, followed by EPM Telecomunicaciones (Une) with 20% and Colombia Telecom with 16.7%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:34:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission hopes to lift average broadband penetration in the European Union to 30% by 2010, up from around 20% today, in a bid to stimulate economic growth. The EC’s Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said yesterday that only eight of the bloc's 27 member states were currently beating the US in terms of broadband usage, while the average penetration rate lagged behind the 22.1% figure reported in the United States. Although a number of nations, such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have rates closer to 30%, Reding wants to see a significant improvement across the board within the next two years. The Commissioner believes that her new telecoms reforms, currently before the European Parliament and EU states for approval, will help the trading bloc reach this 30% target. Reding hopes the reform bill will be adopted by April 2009 ahead of planned European elections in June.

Source: TeleGeograpy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:33:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of residential broadband connections in Argentina reached 2.1 million at the end of 2007, up 53.6% from 1.4 million a year earlier, reports BNamericas quoting government statistics bureau Indec. The total number of residential internet connections, including dial-up, totalled 2.9 million at 31 December 2007, up 16.5% from 2.5 million at the end of 2006. Meanwhile, corporate internet accesses rose 18.8% in 2007 to reach 275,717 connections at the year end. Of these, 211,789 were broadband (up 34.3%) and 40,310 were dial-up (down 25.6%).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:10:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 13, 2008

A study commissioned by US equipment vendor Cisco and carried out by IDC concluded that Brazil was home to 8.1 million broadband connections at the end of 2007, up from 5.7 million at end-2006 and more than double the 3.752 million figure reported in December 2005. The main broadband players in the country at the end of last year were Brasil Telecom with 1.567 million customers, Telemar's Oi unit (1.518 million), Telefonica Brazil (2.069 million) and Net Servicos (estimated at 1.38 million).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:17:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hanover, Germany (dpa) - Internet providers called Wednesday for Germany to free up radio frequencies so that rural villages can hook up to broadband services.

Last year Germany hooked up 5 million high-speed internet connections to homes and offices, bringing its total lines to 20 million. But it is too expensive to lay cables to isolated country places.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News, based on dpa.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:47:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The most striking broadband number for the fourth quarter of 2007 is the growth of Sky's subscriber numbers.  For the fifth quarter in a row, Sky was by far the strongest major ISP in terms of adding subscribers and increasing market share.  In this case it added 260,000 new broadband lines, 42% of the total net adds in the quarter, overtook Orange to become the fifth largest ISP, and added 1.4% to its share of the market.

Click here to see full article

Source: Point Topic.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:32:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Irish cableco UPC Ireland (which includes the former operations of ntl and Chorus Ireland) reported that its full-year revenues climbed 17% from USD262.6 million in 2006 to USD307.2 million in 2007. The group’s operating profits were up 31% year-on-year from USD79.9 million to USD104.7 million on the back of a 25,000 rise in customers to 592,300 over the year. UPC Ireland’s broadband base expanded 45% y-o-y to reach more than 80,000, while the number of people signed up to its new voice telephony service climbed to more than 10,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:23:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British cableco Virgin Media has announced it added a record number of new subscribers in the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2007. The company added 272,100 new revenue generating units (RGUs – subscriptions to one or more of Virgin's broadband, cable TV, mobile and landline telephony services) in the quarter, up from 186,700 in the previous three months. At the end of December 2007 Virgin claimed 3,701,200 broadband and 4,135,300 telephony customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:54:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2008

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)  #     | 

Spurred on by the explosive penetration of mobile telephony and broadband services, the Colombian telecommunication services market has witnessed high and stable growth rates in recent times. Market development, in the short and medium term, will depend a great deal on the promotion of new technologies and applications.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of over $5.48 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $7.12 billion in 2012.

"The primary drivers for the Colombian telecommunications markets include the strong growth of broadband services, the development of the VoIP market, and the emergence of new applications in the mobile telephony segment," notes Gina Sánchez, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "With fixed telephony services having reached maturity and mobile telephony penetration levels at over 73 percent, value-added services and new technologies will be critical to the market's future growth."

With regard to broadband and Internet access services, growth is likely to be accelerated by the country's economic progress, more affordable personal computers (PCs) and telecommunication equipment, and the Government's social programs for digital inclusion. Moreover, broadband prices continue to fall as a result of increasing competition and this continuing trend is likely to further spur subscriber growth.

Going forward, the voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) segment is likely to emerge as the fastest growing market segment, followed by the broadband and Internet access segment. During the forecast period, the VoIP segment is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.0 percent and the number of lines is expected to grow from 22,560 to 504,509.

"However, the entrance of multinational companies and the mergers and acquisitions adopted by market participants to strengthen their position have added much competition to the market," notes Sánchez. "In this scenario operators have started a price reduction race that may restrain market growth."

Overall, the Colombian telecommunications sector has emerged as a market with high and stable growth rates. Given the increasing competition and the overwhelming need to maintain healthy average revenue per user (ARPU), it will be vital for market participants to offer bundled solutions and triple play, as well as integrated packages of telecommunications and IT solutions.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:39:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 15, 2008

China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) plans to expand broadband services to more than 95% of the nation's villages in 2008, up from 92% in December 2007. All of the towns and villages in some of the central and eastern provinces will be covered by the end of this year. According to the MII, the number of internet users in China rose by 73 million in 2007, to 210 million; of the new users some 40% reside in rural areas. The total number of rural internet users rose by 127% in 2007 to 52.62 million compared to a 38.2% increase in urban users. China had 122 million broadband users at the end of 2007.

Source: Telegeography.

Friday, February 15, 2008 10:27:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgacom, the incumbent and leading internet access provider in Belgium has decided to say good bye to dial-up. The operator will stop marketing the service from 31 January 2008.

With ADSL now available to 99.7% of the Belgian population and subscription prices continuing to fall there seem few reasons to stick with narrowband.  25% of the population will have a broadband subscription by the end of 2007.

However Belgian ISPs are facing similar issues to those in the UK.  To keep growing their subscriber base they need to capture new customers, but as the pool of offline users dwindles the pot of dial-up users becomes incresaingly important. 

A traditional way to gain new broadband users is to compete on price, to this end Belgacom launched a new service in December last year, the ‘ADSL Budget’ service comes in at €20/month.

The ‘ADSL Time’ package, launched at the same time, charges €0.043/minute at peak times, plus a connection charge of €0.25.  Dial-up usage patterns are usually patchy and relatively light and the pay as you go model of ‘ADSL Time’ looks to allow users access to broadband speeds without the burden of paying for an always on connection.

The hope, and perhaps the irony, is that dial-up will be laid to rest by broadband, but only by replicating the usage patterns of its ancestor.

Source: Point Topic.

Friday, February 15, 2008 10:26:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PARIS -(Dow Jones)- SFR, France's second-largest mobile-phone operator, Tuesday said it has signed up 250,000 subscribers in two months to contracts allowing them unlimited Internet use on their mobile phones.

About 52% of the subscriptions are new customers while the remaining 48% are SFR customers who have changed contract, the company said in a statement.

The number of clients significantly exceeds SFR's initial target of 100,000, the company said. SFR is 56%-owned by Vivendi while Vodafone Group  holds the remaining 44%.

Rival operator France Telecom's  chief executive said Jan. 11 that the company's Orange brand had sold about 70,000 of Apple's iPhone handsets at the end of 2007, having forecast sales of nearly 100,000.

The iPhone is different from other handsets, though, as operators don't subsidize its price.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:47:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 22, 2008

China Telecom ended 2007 with 220.33 million local access lines in service (includes wireless local access lines), down from 223.04 million access lines in December 2006. In December alone the company lost 1.48 million customers and during the year China Telecom shed 2.71 million customers. However, the company added 600,000 broadband subscribers in December to end the month with a total of 35.65 million broadband users. Over the full year the company signed-up 7.33 million broadband subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:39:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2008

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)  #     | 
 Monday, January 07, 2008

The declining prices of mobile handsets and low connectivity costs have helped in doubling internet access through cellphones this year.
 
The latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) figures showed that the number of Indians using their mobiles (both GSM and CDMA) to access the internet has more than doubled from 16 million in 2006 to 38 million in 2007.
 
There were 2.69 million broadband subscribers as on October 30 this year. Besides, of the 22 million PCs in the country, around 30-40 per cent have internet access.
 

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Monday, January 07, 2008 10:50:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 10, 2007

The Portuguese market added around 50,000 new broadband subscribers in the third quarter, for a total 1.57 million at the end of September. That’s up 16 percent form a year ago, according to figures from market regulator Anacom. ADSL represents 62 percent of total accesses, while cable was responsible for 37 percent. Around 49 percent of new broadband clients opted for services from alternative providers. Portugal Telecom however remained market leader with 43.9 percent of subscribers, followed by TV Cabo with 22.9 percent, Novis with 14.7 percent, Cabovisao with 10 percent and Oni with 0.6 percent. Broadband penetration at the end of Q3 stood at 14.8 percent.

Source : Wireless Federation, based on Anacom's figures.

Monday, December 10, 2007 8:41:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |