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 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 13, 2014

EE and Three have confirmed they are working together on bringing better 4G connectivity to rural areas.

The mobile operators have long had a partnership after one part of the EE joint venture, T-Mobile, signed a network-sharing deal with Three in 2007, enabling shared infrastructure and customers to roam on to each otherís networks.

This network share has continued following the T-Mobile and Orange merger to create EE back in 2010.

This latest agreement will not be on such a grand scale, with no sharing of spectrum or antennae, and will not include investment in addition to the companies' pre-existing 4G budgets.

However, it will enable them to share the costs of backhaul and civil engineering for 4G sites in the most rural 20% of the UK where the return on investment is likely to be much lower.

When it comes to the switch on of 4G services, it will be up to each individual company when they do it and which equipment they use Ė EE deploys Huawei networking gear, while Three has a deal with Samsung.

A spokeswoman from EE said: ďThe new framework increases cost efficiencies as we continue our roll out of 4G to cover more than 90% of the UK population by the end of the year. This is part of our £1.5bn three-year investment to significantly differentiate the EE network in terms of the people we connect and the experience they receive.Ē

We contacted Three for a statement but it had not returned our request at the time of publication.

EE was the first to market with 4G services after Ofcom allowed it to repurpose its existing spectrum allocation in 2012 to use it for the faster data offerings. Three, however, was the last of the major mobile operators to begin its roll-out and only started offering 4G in December 2013.

Source: ComputerWeekly.com.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:27:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Bouygues Telecom and SFR have reached an agreement on sharing network infrastructure. The French mobile operators first announced in July 2013 talks on the matter and have now struck a deal. The shared infrastructure will target 57 percent of the population, those living outside the 32 biggest cities in France, providing them with better indoor and outdoor coverage and higher quality of service.

SFR and Bouygues will set up a joint venture company to run the shared infrastructure. The agreement covers the radio sites and equipment for 2G, 3G and 4G services. Each operator will continue run its own commercial and pricing strategy, as well as its own core network and frequencies. The aim is to complete the network integration by the end of 2017.
 
French telecom regulator Arcep said it welcomed the agreement as a way to improve services to customers. Along with the competition regulator, it will examine the SFR-Bouygues deal in the coming weeks.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 8:28:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2014

Vodafone CR has issued a press release on its web site announcing that it has extended the service coverage of its ĎTurbo Internetí branded 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the 900MHz band to the area of Litomerice, part of the Liberec region north of Pilsen. The move forms part of an ongoing 4G rollout programme that will see services available over 300 base transceiver stations (BTS) by the end of this year, and across the whole country by end-December 2014. With additional rollouts expected during the rest of this month, Vodafone says coverage will include central Bohemia, south Pilsen region and northern Bohemia by the year end. To stimulate take-up, the carrier is offering residential and business users a CZK2,000 (USD100.5) discount on smartphones/tablets compatible with its 900MHz network. The discount, however, is limited to packages costing a minimum CZK690 per month on a 24-month contract.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | LTE
Friday, January 31, 2014 3:36:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 01, 2013

Having revised the auction rules for its long-running sale of 800MHz frequencies in September 2013 with a view to speeding up the process, Finlandís Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has now announced the winners.

With the auction having concluded yesterday, following nine months of bidding, the MoTC has confirmed that in total the sale will generate EUR108.1 million (USD146 million) for state coffers, with DNA Finland, Elisa and TeliaSonera Finland named as the three companies to walk away with spectrum. With all three operators laying claim to 2◊10MHz in the 800MHz band, TeliaSonera will pay the most for its new frequencies, having agreed to shell out EUR22.20 million for ĎFrequency Pair 3í and EUR18.90 million for ĎFrequency Pair 4í. DNA meanwhile will pay a total of EUR33.57 million for Frequency Pairs Ď1í and Ď2í (EUR16.9 million and EUR16.7 million, respectively), and rounding out the winners, Elisa bid EUR16.7 million apiece for ĎFrequency Pair 5í and ĎFrequency Pair 6í.

The MoTC has confirmed that the new concessions will be valid for period of 20 years, with the licences covering the whole of Finland, excluding the region of Aland. Operators will be able to utilise the new frequency blocks from 1 January 2014, and each licence holder is required to launch operations within two years of the start of the concession period. Further, as per the requirements of the licences, mobile communications networks must be constructed covering 95% of the population in mainland Finland within three years of the start of the licence period, and between 97% and 99% within five years of the start of the licence period.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, November 01, 2013 10:59:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spain's No. 4 operator Yoigo joined its larger rivals by offering bundles of fixed and mobile services as part of ongoing efforts to attract and retain companies in the hard-fought mobile market.
 
Following its recent network-sharing deal with Telefůnica, TeliaSonera-owned Yoigo is also now offering the service bundles under the Fusion brand that was originally launched by Telefůnica's Movistar. Starting at Ä34 ($46) per month, Yoigo customers have three plans to choose from, and also have the option of adding extra mobile lines to their plans.
 
Under the network-sharing deal, Telefůnica is also using Yoigo's LTE network to enable it to offer LTE services as it builds out its own LTE network.

Source: Fierce Wireless.

Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:42:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Ireland will switch on 4G Mobile Broadband services on Monday 14th October in six cities and 23 towns across the country1. Customers living and working in these areas will be able to avail of high speed 4G mobile broadband for Ä29.99 per month (ex VAT) which includes a 20GB data allowance. Vodafone will also have a 4G smartphone offer for Christmas, and details will be announced shortly.

Vodafone's 4G rollout is an essential element of an overall nationwide network enhancement programme to make Irelandís leading network even better for all customers. This programme focuses on delivering 4G while, in tandem, involves broader nationwide network enhancements. Given that approximately 70% of Vodafone's customers already have 3G phones and only smaller numbers of people have 4G phones, Vodafone is delivering data to areas nationwide where there is currently voice coverage which means that customers can immediately benefit from high speed data if they have a 3G phone or modem. In addition, this programme delivers crystal clear calls with High Definition Voice, exclusively to Vodafone customers and also advanced coverage quality so that all customers have an improved indoor and outdoor experience.
4G will deliver a step change in data services with speeds of up to 10 times faster than 3G and 4G devices on the Vodafone network are capable of speeds of up to 75Mbs. Customers will now be able to watch video content online without any buffering and upload pictures to social media in seconds. 4G will enable businesses to be more productive and provide greater flexibility with significantly enhanced connectivity while out of the office.

Source: Vodafone.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:38:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Lithuanian regulator (RRT) has completed its auction of spectrum in the 800 MHz band.

Three operators have gained 2 x 10 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the Baltic state's digital dividend auction.

BitŽLietuva paid LTL 1.01 million (Ä0.3 million) for its licence for 791Ė801 MHz paired with 832Ė842 MHz. This licence mandates the company to roll out coverage to gradually increasing areas of the country, culminating in at least 4 Mb/s for at least 95 per cent of households by 2020.

Omnitel and Tele2 each gained two duplex blocks of 2 x 5 MHz spectrum that have no coverage conditions attached. Omnitel paid LTL 5.1 million (Ä1.5 million) for 801Ė811 MHz paired with 842Ė852 MHz, while Tele2 only paid LTL 2 million (Ä0.6 million) for its 811Ė821 MHz paired with 852Ė862 MHz.

All of the licences are due to expire in July 2030. Lithuania has completed the auction ten months after the deadline of January 2013 set by the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme.

Source: Policy Tracker.

Europe | LTE | Spectrum
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:36:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A consortium of Middle East operators has unveiled plans for a new terrestrial network that would link several Gulf states to Turkey and Europe. UAE operator du, Vodafone Qatar, and Kuwaiti operators Zajil and Zain Group, announced their plans for the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS) in Dubai on 30 September. The first phase, scheduled to launch in Q1 2014, is a terrestrial link between the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. It is comprised of a fibre pair running alongside the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authorityís regional power grid. The second phase of MEETS would extend connectivity from Kuwait to Turkey via Iraq.

The new network will help meet rapidly growing demand for international capacity in the region. According to data from TeleGeographyís Global Bandwidth Research Service, the aggregate international bandwidth requirements of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait grew at a compound annual rate of 69% between 2008 and 2012.

ĎMEETS will be a welcome addition to the growing number of terrestrial routes in the Middle East,í said TeleGeography analyst Paul Brodsky. ĎThese routes not only offer geographic diversity but avoid the submarine cable bottleneck in Egypt.í

Several other overland routes between the Middle East and Europe already exist. The Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) was launched in January 2013, and links Germany to Oman via Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. In February, submarine cable operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) introduced GBI-North, a terrestrial fibre network linking the companyís Iraqi landing station to Turkey. Also in early 2013, Turk Telekom International and Palestine Telecom launched a hybrid route dubbed Paltel. Their alternative to the Europe-Asia route via Egypt spliced together subsea capacity on the MedNautilus system with terrestrial capacity on Palestine Telecomís network, extending to the Jordanian border. Two other systems, Jeddah Amman Damascus Istanbul (JADI) and the Regional Cable Network (RCN), have been built but remain inactive due to the instability in Syria.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:30:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 03, 2013

Ireland's Eircom has launched the country's first LTE service, through its mobile brands, Meteor and eMobile as part of both bundled and standalone offerings.

The service is now live in Dublin, Carlow and Athlone, providing coverage to 1.2 million people, almost 30% of the population.

Over the coming weeks, rollout will continue and by the end of December 2013, 43% of the population will have 4G service.

There will be no price premium charged for LTE services provided by Meteor and eMobile. To encourage customers to test the service, 4G users have access to free unlimited 4G data until March 2014.

During the autumn of 2012, eircom acquired the necessary spectrum to deliver 4G services as part of the Irish Government's spectrum auction, conducted by ComReg.

Source: Cellular News.

 

Thursday, October 03, 2013 8:49:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 30, 2013

Today, O2 and Vodafone have officially launched their LTE services in the United Kingdom. However, Vodafone's LTE network is available only in London, while O2 offer's its 4G services across three cities - London, Leeds and Bradford at the moment.

The 4G LTE networks across the UK is dominated by EE, which is currently offering 4G in 100 markets in the country. EE also has the government's spectrum license and all the other carriers need to buy the spectrum through an auction from the Ofcom regulator.

Both Vodafone and O2 are currently offering a wide range of usage plans for its potential consumers. Currently, Vodafone's LTE services starts at £26 a month and offers 2 GB of data with unlimited text messages and voice minutes. On the other hand, O2 has a similar offer at the same price tag, but the carrier gives only 1 GB of data with free messages and calling minutes.

Along with the launch of LTE networks, Vodafone and O2 have also announced that they will start selling 4G enabled smartphones. Check out the source links below for more information.

Meanwhile, Three announced its plans to roll out its own 4G network from the December 2013 and the carrier will begin its campaign from London, Manchester and Birmingham. The expansion of Three's LTE network is expected to be quite rapid next year and the carrier is expected to have over 80% of its consumer base on 4G by the end of 2014 and 98% by 2015.

Source: GSMArena.

Europe | LTE
Monday, September 30, 2013 7:34:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Orange has launched its LTE network in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Orangeís 4G network currently covers 91 percent of the Liechtenstein population. Orange has announced it will offer its 4G speeds to all customers in the country, both existing and new, with no additional costs and regardless of their subscription.
 
Orangeís 4G subscribers will be able to access mobile internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which will be gradually increased to 150 Mbps. Orange 4G is available with the Orange Me subscription for CHF 15 per month, or with the Orange Me prepay tariff for CHF 1 per day.
 
Customers will be able to test Orangeís 4G services at the 2013 fair in Vaduz on 4 and 5 October. In addition to the 4G demonstrations at the stand, customers will also be able to win 4G smartphones every day.
 
MVNO Telecom Liechtenstein uses the Orange network, and starting mid-October, all Telecom Liechtenstein customers will also have access to 4G services.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Europe | LTE
Monday, September 30, 2013 7:31:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 22, 2013
The AEK has confirmed that the countries incumbent mobile operators have won the tender for LTE licences. T-Mobile, VIP, and One all offered to pay a one-off fee of 10.3m for the 20-year licences, slightly in excess of the 10m targeted by the regulator.

Source: screendigest.

Monday, July 22, 2013 9:36:45 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
Telefůnica, 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 rivalsí vertical roll-outs wherever they may need them. After signing the agreement, the infrastructure that Telefůnica has already rolled out could gradually be used by Vodafone and Orange. In return, when these operators roll-out new infrastructures where Telefůnica does not have coverage, Telefůnica can also ask to share its rivalsí 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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

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

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

Key findings in the study include:

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

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

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

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:26:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which aims to enable mobile services in rural areas where there is no commercial business case to deploy these services, has taken a step forward today. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced today that Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company, has won the Government tender to deliver the project.

Up to 60,000 premises and sections of road will be covered using the £150 million funding allocated to the project.

MIP is a vital part of the Governmentís policy to reinforce the UKís position as a leading digital economy. It will help connect rural communities, create local jobs and contribute to the national growth. The project sits alongside other initiatives including the £530 million Rural Broadband project and the £150 million Ďsuper-connected citiesí programme.

Arqiva will be responsible for a full scale mobile network roll out. The scope includes network planning, site acquisition as well as the deployment of site infrastructure and installation of equipment. It is expected that an announcement will be made on which locations will benefit from improved mobile coverage in the summer.

Nicolas Ott, Managing Director of Government, Mobile and Enterprise of Arqiva said: ďWeíre excited to be working with the Government and Mobile Operators on this important initiative. By investing in mobile infrastructure, the Government can help bridge the social and technological divides created in areas where commercial service is not economical, and weíre proud to be part of this process. MIP perfectly fits within our strategy of creating a range of platforms Ė cellular, WiFi and small cells Ė that provide mobile connectivity to all and support a thriving digital economy in the UK.Ē

Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister said: ďArqivaís appointment today is great news for rural communities throughout the UK, who stand to benefit enormously from this £150m project to improve mobile phone coverage. Good mobile connectivity is becomingly increasingly important and it is crucial that businesses and individuals are not left struggling with poor and intermittent coverage.Ē

Source: Arqiva.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:48:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013

Over half of UK homes and businesses can now access fibre broadband as the Openreach rollout has passed more than 15 million premises. That means weíre on target to reach 19 million by the end of spring 2014, about 18 months ahead of the original rollout schedule.

Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield said: ďThis is a significant milestone and one that our engineers can be proud of. They have worked through many months of appalling weather to bring the benefits of fibre to cities, towns and villages and this is making a genuine difference to how people live their lives.

ďFibre broadband can play an important part in stimulating and supporting an economic recovery. Our investment, together with that of our partners, is helping to generate thousands of jobs and give small businesses the speeds that were previously the preserve of larger ones based in cities.Ē
 
The run-up to Easter saw the project team working flat-out as we hit our biggest ever week; a whopping 324,000 premises passed. By the end of spring 2014, weíll have completed one of the most ambitious programmes weíve ever taken on, with two-thirds of the UK enjoying one of the most extensive fibre networks in the world. 
 
But we wonít stop there. As well as deploying fibre as part of a £2.5bn investment, weíre working with councils and devolved authorities to take fibre even further afield. Weíve signed 18 BDUK contracts so far, from Hampshire to Cumbria, and Rutland to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and there are plenty more to come.

Source: Openreach.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:54:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 05, 2013

(04/03/2013) Commission President Josť Manuel Barroso today called on Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to join a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs to address up to 900 000 job vacancies expected to exist in Europe in Information and Communication technologies (ICT) by 2015. Despite the current levels of unemployment, the number of digital jobs is growing by more than 100 000 per year. Yet the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 10:27:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2013
  • Five winning bidders to deliver future mobile competition in the UK
  • 4G services from a range of operators expected within six months
  • Research measuring 4G speeds to be conducted at the end of 2013

Ofcom has today announced the winners of the 4G mobile spectrum auction.

After more than 50 rounds of bidding, Everything Everywhere Ltd, Hutchison 3G UK Ltd, Niche Spectrum Ventures Ltd (a subsidiary of BT Group plc), Telefůnica UK Ltd and Vodafone Ltd have all won spectrum. This is suitable for rolling out new superfast mobile broadband services to consumers and to small and large businesses across the UK1.

The auction has achieved Ofcomís purpose of promoting strong competition in the 4G mobile market. This is expected to lead to faster mobile broadband speeds, lower prices, greater innovation, new investment and better coverage. Almost the whole UK population will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 at the latest.

A total of 250 MHz of spectrum was auctioned in two separate bands Ė 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. This is equivalent to two-thirds of the radio frequencies currently used by wireless devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops.

The lower-frequency 800 MHz band is part of the Ďdigital dividendí freed up when analogue terrestrial TV was switched off, and is ideal for widespread mobile coverage. The higher-frequency 2.6 GHz band is ideal for delivering the capacity needed for faster speeds. The availability of the two will allow 4G networks to achieve widespread coverage as well as offering capacity to cope with significant demand in urban centres.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: ďThis is a positive outcome for competition in the UK, which will lead to faster and more widespread mobile broadband, and substantial benefits for consumers and businesses across the country. We are confident that the UK will be among the most competitive markets in the world for 4G services.

ď4G coverage will extend far beyond that of existing 3G services, covering 98% of the UK population indoors Ė and even more when outdoors Ė which is good news for parts of the country currently underserved by mobile broadband.

ďWe also want consumers to be well informed about 4G, so we will be conducting research at the end of this year to show who is deploying services, in which areas and at what speeds. This will help consumers and businesses to choose their most suitable provider.Ē

Widespread 4G coverage

Ofcom has attached a coverage obligation to one of the 800 MHz lots of spectrum. The winner of this lot is Telefůnica UK Ltd. This operator is obliged to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98% of the UK population (expected to cover at least 99% when outdoors) and at least 95% of the population of each of the UK nations Ė England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales Ė by the end of 2017 at the latest.

Source: Ofcom.

Europe | LTE | Mobile
Friday, February 22, 2013 8:28:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bulgaria's telecoms regulator on Friday granted the country's fourth GSM mobile phone licence to local satellite operator Bulsatcom.

Bulsatcom will now compete with three other groups - M-Tel, controlled by Telekom Austria ; Globul, the Bulgarian unit of Greek OTE and Vivacom.

"Bulsatcom won a 10-year licence to use the frequencies in the 1800 Mhz range for 19 million levs ($12.96 million) and we already received a confirmation that the amount was paid," a spokeswoman for the regulator told Reuters.

Bulsatcom, which said its GSM services would be available for customers by the end of the year, said it would not seek a big market share at this stage.

Mobile phone market penetration in Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member, for 2011 was 147 percent. ($1 = 1.4656 Bulgarian levs) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Source: Reuters.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:20:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Orange Romania has inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the capital Bucharest, with the cellco noting that at launch customers in areas including the central and northern area of the city, and the tourist regions of Prahova Valley, Bran-Moieciu and Poiana Brasov could access the superfast mobile broadband service. With the cellco noting that its new network offers downlink speeds of up to 75Mbps and upload speeds of up to 37.5Mbps, it has also revealed that customers signing up for any of its new 4G tariffs on a two-year contract will have no data usage caps for the first six months. Initially, those customers looking to take up the cellcoís 4G offering will only be offered a USB modem or tablet, although Orange Romania noted that it expects to introduce a smartphone option soon. For now, the two devices on offer are the Orange Huawei E392 modem, which is offered free with any LTE tariff, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 4G tablet price starts at EUR309 (USD403), dependent on the plan taken.

With the operatorís LTE coverage initially available in only a limited area, Orange Romania has confirmed that those on its 4G tariffs will be able to connect to its 3.5G network in those regions where the new infrastructure has yet to be rolled out. The cellco has highlighted the fact that its customers currently have access to downlink speeds of 14.4Mbps nationwide, while 21.1Mbps speeds are available in Ďover 13,000 locationsí.

Further, it also noted that it has now deployed DC-HSPA technology, offering theoretical downlink rates of 43.2Mbps, in 331 locations, including 18 of the countryís larger cities, those being: Arad, Baia Mare, Brasov, Bucharest, Campia Turzii, Cluj, Codlea, Constanta, Iasi, Mangalia, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sacele, Sibiu, Targu Mures, Timisoara, Tulcea and Zalau.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:20:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ARCEP and the Committee for industry, energy and technologies, CGIET (Conseil gťnťral de l'industrie, de l'ťnergie et des technologies) have released the findings of the 10th annual survey on the use of information and communication technologies (fixed and mobile calling, internet and microcomputers) in France. This survey was conducted in June 2012 through face-to-face interviews with a sample of 2,206 people who are representative of the French population, 12 years of age and over.

What follows are some of the survey's main findings.

More and more people equipped with wireline and mobile phones, computers and internet access.

- Seventy eight percent of the population now have both a landline telephone in the home and their own mobile phone (+4 points compared to last year): telephony equipment levels stand at 89% for fixed (+1 point) and 85% for mobile (+3 points);

- four out of five people have a computer at home - most of which are laptops (70%) and 97% of which are connected to the internet;

- portable devices are increasingly popular: 64% of the population ages 12 and up own a laptop computer, a mobile phone or a tablet (+11 points);

- most people (55%) still access the internet using a landline connection at home, but this is followed closely by the use of a Wi-Fi connection at home (49%, +7 points). We are also seeing a swift increase in the use of mobile devices - i.e. tablets and phones - to access the web at home, either via Wi-Fi (23%, +10 points) or a mobile network (20%, +6 points). Ultimately, consumers are using a variety of connection modes, with 45% of them employing two or more to access the internet when at home.

Growing adoption of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) one of the main reasons for increased traffic:

- Twenty nine percent of the population surf the web using a smartphone, which marks an 8-point increase over the year before. And usage has skyrocketed over the past two years: accessing e-mail and downloading paid applications rose by a further 7 points, after having increased by 8 points in 2011 (adopted by 23% and 21% of users, respectively);

- twenty percent of individuals use a laptop computer or a tablet to connect to the internet when away from home;

- smartphone owners are twice as likely to use the mobile internet: 79% of them use their phone to surf the web, compared to only 29% of mobile phone owners as a whole. Sixty five percent use their smartphone to send e-mail, 63% to download applications and 24% to watch TV. These are nevertheless the same percentages as in 2011.

Source: ARCEP.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:19:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Switzerland's Swisscom has launched its LTE network, with coverage in 26 locations today. The new network will cover 70 percent of the population by the end of 2013.

The launch follows a LTE pilot project in seven tourist regions and the cities of Berne and Zurich. Frequencies of 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz are used to transmit the LTE signal.

The company said that it will invest around CHF 1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in the expansion of its mobile network by 2016.

The Swisscom 4G/LTE network will be able to provide theoretical peak rate speeds of up to 150 Mbps during phase one and reach up to 300 Mbps at a later date.

Source: Cellular News.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:17:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a Ä2 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 JoaquŪn 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 UKís 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 governmentís 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 Europeís Ďbest superfast broadband networkí, 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 Ďbest practicesí which it claimed would Ďhelp to ensure more effective, better targeted and less distortive public interventionsí, 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: ĎBDUK, 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.í

Source: TeleGeography.

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

Germanyís telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), has published its proposal for new mobile termination rates charged by the countryís four mobile network operators. From 1 December 2012 the watchdog suggests that the rate fall to a uniform EUR0.0185 (USD0.024) per minute from the previous fees of EUR0.0336 for Royal KPNís local unit E-Plus and UK-based Vodafone Germany, EUR0.0338 for Telekom Deutschland (the domestic fixed and mobile arm of Deutsche Telekom) and EUR0.0339 for Spainís Telefonica (O2). In a second step, mobile termination rates will drop further, to EUR0.0179 per minute, on 1 December 2013. The announced rate cuts are provisional and subject to a national consultation procedure, and subsequent feedback from the European Commission and regulators in other European Union member states.

Responding to the proposed rate cuts, Reuters cited a Deutsche Telekom spokesperson as saying that the decision would cost the German telecom operators about EUR500 million annually, adding that the cuts didnít bode well for future investments in fast internet. ĎWith this decision the Bundesnetzagentur follows the complete erroneous European policy of the past ten years, which has cost the European telecom sector its global leading role,í the spokesperson said. Vodafone meanwhile said the decision will drag money away from much needed investment in faster networks.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 26, 2012

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, November 26, 2012 12:25:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Irish telecoms regulator has completed its auction of radio spectrum and raised EUR481.7 million (US$613 million) from the mobile networks, with commitments to pay up to EUR372.95 million (US$474.7 million) by 2030 when the licenses expire.

The auction awarded spectrum rights in the former GSM-only bands (900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and in the 800 MHz band (the so-called 'Digital Dividend') which became available on 24 October last following the switch-off of analogue broadcasting.

The spectrum is being provided in a technology-neutral manner.

This auction saw the release of 140 MHz of paired spectrum, more than doubling the 64.8 MHz of paired spectrum currently assigned in these bands.

Frequency Band

License Period

Hutchison 3G

Meteor

Telefonica O2

Vodafone

800Mhz

2013-2015

-

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2015-2030

-

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

900Mhz

2013-2015

2 x 5Mhz

2 x5 Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2015-2030

2x 5Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

1800Mhz

2013-2015

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

-

2 x 15Mhz

2015-2030

2 x 20Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 25Mhz

Upfront Payment

EUR51.14m

EUR144.78m

EUR124.93m

EUR160.85m

Total Spectrum Usage

EUR53.87m

EUR99.64m

EUR99.64m

EUR99.64m

Total

EUR854.64 million

 

Announcing the results of the auction, ComReg Chairperson, Alex Chisholm said: "The assignment of these spectrum rights by ComReg has been one of the most significant pieces of work undertaken by ComReg. It is a vital step that promotes competition and allows the next generation of advanced mobile services to be made available to Irish consumers and businesses from next year."

License holders must attain and maintain a minimum coverage of 70% of the population and to attain this coverage obligation within 3 years, while they may use spectrum rights in multiple bands to achieve the coverage targets, at least 50% of the coverage requirement (i.e. 35% of the population) must be met using spectrum rights in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and/or 1800 MHz bands.

Source: Cellular News.

Europe | LTE | Mobile
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

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

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:06:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungarian market regulator the National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH) says that the total number of mobile internet subscriptions climbed to 2.852 million at 30 September 2012, up a net 90,000 on the previous month. Of the total, the number of active subscriptions with data transfer in the period reached 2.168 million, up a net 72,000 on August, with users transmitting a total of 2.212 million GB of data in the period under review Ė down from 2.285 million GB in August. T-Mobile Hungary led the pack in the mobile internet segment with a market share of 46.36% at end-September, ahead of Telenor Hungary with 27.61% and Vodafone Hungary 26.04%.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:03:23 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 Ė 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)  #     | 
The European Commission has today decided to add another 120 MHz to the radio spectrum portfolio for 4G technologies, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), around the 2 GHz band. This band is currently solely used for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) wireless communications, known as 3G networks. The Decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies. On this basis the EU will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high speed wireless broadband as in the United States, namely around 1000 MHz.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:50:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012
Italyís largest cellco by subscribers, Telecom Italia Mobile, will launch LTE services on 7 November, according to COO Marco Patuano. At launch the companyís 4G network will cover Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples, and coverage is expected to extend to a further 20 cities by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Vodafone Italy is expected to unveil its LTE offering on 30 November, while 3 Italia is planning to inaugurate services by the end of 2012. Wind has yet to announce a launch date, and two weeks ago called on its rivals to pool their resources to help roll out a national wholesale LTE network

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:22:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

National watchdog the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) is proposing to cut mobile termination rates (MTRs) in the country, Telecompaper reports without citing its sources. Under the plan, MTRs will come down from CZK0.55 (USD0.0285) per minute, to CZK0.27, while the rate for fixed calls will drop to between CZK0.04-CZK0.08 per minute, from CZK0.15-CZK0.34. The new prices, which are based on a long-run incremental cost (LRIC) model, are expected to take effect from 1 January 2013. The CTU will hold a consultation on the plan and hopes to issue a final decision by the end of this year.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:55:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has announced that its domestic subsidiary, Telenor Norge, has launched commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in eleven cities and towns across the country. Initially the new 4G network will be available in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lorenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrom, Asker, Baerum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen. Looking ahead the operator says it will subsequently continue deployment of the technology with a view to achieving nationwide coverage, and has revealed that it expects Tromso to be the next location to gain access, in the first quarter of 2013. With Telenor estimating that one in three Norwegians will be able to take up its 4G services by end-2012, it has claimed that Ďin 2015 as many as nine in tení will have access to its LTE-based products. At launch, meanwhile, Telenor has confirmed that its LTE services will only be accessible via PC, laptop or tablet, although it noted that mobile handsets users should be able to connect to the services Ďin good time for Christmasí.

Commenting on the development, Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norge, said: ĎThe current rapid development of digital services places increased requirements on the mobile network, and with 4G we are taking an important step towards increased capacity and faster speeds,í adding: ĎTelenorís aim is to provide the best experience of mobile broadband on the market Ö We will have the best coverage, quality and capacity, and we will continue to lead developments in this area.í

Source: Telegeography.

Europe | LTE
Monday, October 29, 2012 3:58:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

European pre-pay mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Lycamobile has launched its low-cost wireless services in Portugal, according to a report by PrepaidMVNO. ĎLaunching into the Portuguese market is a milestone. It cements our coverage of the European population and puts us on track to reach our goal of being in 25 countries by 2013,í commented Lycamobile Group chairman and founder Subaskaran Allirajah, adding: ĎOur EUR150 million [USD193 million] investment over the past decade has enabled us to move fast. We are very excited about bringing this proposition to Portugal residents and their friends and family overseas.í Lycamobile was established in 2006, and since then has launched in 15 markets, namely: the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Ireland.

Source: Telegeography.

Europe | Mobile | MVNO
Monday, October 29, 2012 10:38:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgiumís largest broadband provider by subscribers, Belgacom, has announced that it is increasing the upload speeds on all of its DSL services from the beginning of next month. Residential customers signed up to its ĎInternet Everywhere Startí tariff will see uplink rates climb to 2.5Mbps, up from the 1.5Mbps they currently receive, while ĎEverywhere Comfortí and ĎEverywhere Maxií customers will see speeds increase to 3Mbps (previously 2.5Mbps) and 4Mbps (3.5Mbps) respectively. Business users, meanwhile, will see similar speed increases, with users signed up to the telcoís top-end tariff, ĎOffce & Go Pro Everywhereí, will gaining access to the fastest upload speeds of 6Mbps, up from 5Mbps.

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

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

Source: Telegeography.

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

T-Mobile Austria has revealed that its in-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is currently available to over 650,000 citizens in Vienna, Linz, Graz and Innsbruck. The cellco has indicated that its network will be further expanded in 2012. In December 2010 T-Mobile contracted Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies to roll out the remainder of its LTE network, simultaneously upgrading its GSM infrastructure. The contract runs until 2016. Previously, T-Mobile estimated that at least 25% of the Austrian population would be using 4G technology by 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:28:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The French telecoms regulator Arcep is preparing to introduce quality of service (QoS) indicators for fixed internet providers. According to a report from Digital TV Europe, the indicators will be measured and made public, complementing similar measures in place for mobile networks. Arcep is also thought to be readying legislation which will impose minimum QoS requirements on broadband providers.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:54:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hungarian telecoms operator Magyar Telekom (MTel) yesterday announced a decision to implement a gradual increase in some of its tariffs from September, citing Ďunfavourable economic and market processesí as the reason. Budapest Business Journal reports that the tariff changes are deemed Ďunavoidableí by the incumbent, due to the lack of economic recovery in the central European nation, as well as higher than expected inflation and the adverse impact of Ďcertain economic policy measures of the past periodí. Further, the operator says it will not be passing on a new tax on voice calls and SMS to its customers: the government tax, introduced from July, is expected to cost MTel up to HUF8 billion (USD33.8 million) in 1H12 and HUF20 billion per annum from 2013.

In a statement, the telco said that the tariff changes Ďwill match the varying characteristics of mobile and fixed line as well as post-paid and pre-paid tariff packages and will retain the benefits and discounts favoured by customersí. It added that ĎFor post-paid mobile packages the change in monthly tariff will be mitigated by unchanged minute and text message rates and conditions; while for pre-paid mobile packages, there is no monthly charge but minute charges will change. For enterprise customers, there will be no change to either the monthly fee for tariff packages included in dedicated framework contracts, nor the national minute and text message ratesí.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:50:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spainís Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicacinoes (CMT) has revealed proposals in which it plans to deregulate the pricing of Telefonica de Espanaís monthly access fee, which is currently set at EUR13.97 (USD17.15) per month, excluding tax. The move, the regulator noted, comes after an analysis of the countryís fixed voice sector, which it said had shown that competition Ďhad improved substantially, in particular by the pressure of bundled servicesí. Traditionally the CMT has been responsible for setting Telefonicaís access fee on an annual basis, and as noted in TeleGeographyís GlobalComms Database, the regulatorís most recent decision regarding the charge came in September 2011, at which date it confirmed that it would remain at its EUR13.97 level until at least the end of 2012.

In outlining its plans, the CMT has noted that its original decision for the current pricing structure will remain valid, after which, from end-2012 Telefonica will be permitted to increase the rate, although by no more than the rate of inflation, until 2016. Further, in the retail market analysis of access to fixed telephone networks, the watchdog has said that it will keep a number of other obligations related to the fixed voice sector, including: that Telefonica should notify the CMT of fares and promotions prior to their introduction; that the incumbentís prices will be examined to ensure it is not acting in an anti-competitive manner; and that carrier pre-selection services continue to be offered.

A public consultation on the proposals will now be conducted, and interested parties have been given one month to submit their views. Once the consultation has been completed the CMT said it will forward the draft measures to the European Commission (EC).

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:49:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Swisscom, Switzerlandís largest telco by subscribers, has inked a deal with Lausanne Industrial Services (SiL) to roll out a fibre-optic network in Laussane. The pair intends to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure connected to all buildings in the city by 2017. Swisscom will carry out the majority of the work, whilst SiL will conduct the rollout in the Chailly district. The city of Lausanne will create a Lausanne-owned company that will handle the new network and 50% of the infrastructure constructed by Swisscom will be transferred to this new company by 2017. This new company will own the network built in the Chailly, Ouchy, St. Francois and Vernand districts, whilst Swisscom will retain ownership of the fibre in the Bergieres, Chalet-a-Gobet, Maladiere and Sallaz districts. Under the terms of the agreement, the partners will grant each other indefeasible right of use of the fibre-optic cables in the districts in which they do not own the network for a minimum period of 70 years.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:43:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Amid concerns that it is not competitive, the UKís 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 Ė fixed line incumbent BT and Japanese technology firm Fujitsu Ė 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 governmentís broadband strategy. BDUKís 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 Europeís Ďbest superfast broadband networkí, 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: ĎDiscussions 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 Ö 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 Ö 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.í

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:42:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A European Union-funded twinning project aimed at harmonising Israeli communications regulations with those in Europe has been successfully completed. The project, which was funded to the tune of EUR600,000 (USD753,000) by the EU, saw Israelís Ministry of Communications (MoC) and a consortium created by the telecommunications regulators from Germanyís Federal Network Agency (FNA), Spainís Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicacinoes (CMT) and Italyís Autorita per le Garanzie Comunicazioni (Agcom) work towards fostering competition in the Israeli telecommunications markets and increasing the protection of the Israeli consumers. In the wake of the projectís closure, the head of the EU Delegation to Israel, Ambassador Andrew Standley, underlined the symbolic dimension of the project, including Ďthe many tangible contributions and results of the twinning project, which contribute to the reinforcement of the regulatorís role in ensuring a smooth functioning of the communications market that achieves a high level of consumer protectioní. The ambassador also suggested that in the wake of the project a national and independent regulator could soon be established by the Israeli Government, in line with the most advanced EU framework.

The project, which was entitled ĎAssist the Israeli Telecommunications regulator to establish greater approximation to the European Union regulatory approach, specifically with wholesale marketsí, commenced in February 2011, and during the 16-months that it lasted EU partners sent around 50 experts to Israel. The MoC and EU experts worked on a number of topics as part of the scheme, including: pricing methodologies for technologically neutral wholesale market regulation; differences between regulatory frameworks and roadmap for desired approximation; data collection; enforcement methods and objectives; dispute resolution; consumer protection; and technical aspects of the Israeli wholesale market.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:31:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 22, 2012

Telefůnica banishes bill shock with the announcement of its first standard pan-European data roaming tariff Ė giving smartphone customers 25MB of high-speed Internet usage anywhere across the 27 European Union member states for just $2.54 a day.
 
Telefůnicaís EU-wide tariff means mobile customers Ė on Movistar or O2 networks Ė will no longer have to worry about the cost of sending or receiving emails, updating their Facebook status or browsing the web on their smartphones when travelling or holidaying abroad.
 
For $2.54 a day, Telefůnica is giving its smartphone customers travelling in the EU a data volume of 25 Megabytes Ė which translates to 250 visits to essential websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google or BBC Online and up to 500 emails. Additionally, customers will only pay for days they choose to use data, and will not be charged should they wish to switch off their phone.
 
The Telefůnica tariff weighs in at a fraction of new price caps announced by the European UnionFacebook, Twitter, Google Ė which ruled that as of 1 July, one data megabyte should cost no more than $0.9, or $22.25 for 25 MB. On a per megabyte basis, Telefůnicaís European tariff works out considerably cheaper than the EUís regulated rate.
 
Josť MarŪa Ńlvarez-Pallete, Chairman and CEO of Telefůnica Europe, said that users no longer need to switch off their smartphones when travelling within the EU, and neither do they need to worry about bill shock when they get home. Further, their European data tariff gives smartphone customers great value while allowing them to do what really matters Ė to stay connected wherever they are in a simple and transparent way and with complete peace of mind.

Smartphone customers use on average around 6MB in a day, but any Telefůnica customers exceeding 25 MB will be immediately notified.  The Pan-European tariff launched in Germany in May and will be available this summer to O2 and Movistar customers in Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Source: Wireless Federation.
 

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:48:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

German mobile network group E-Plus has announced a new EU data roaming option called 'EUReise-Paket' (EU Travel Package). For EUR 10, contract customers of Base, E-Plus, MTV Mobile, Metro Mobil and wir mobil will get 100 MB of data valid for 30 days. The new option will be available from 01 June for mobile browsing on a smartphone. If a customer's uses their 100 MB allowance before the 30 days are up, they will pay EUR 0.29 per additional MB of data. Customers using this new tariff will pay EUR 0.19 per minute for all incoming and outgoing calls in the EU, plus a EUR 0.29 charge per outgoing call.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:43:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Senate of the Netherlands on Tuesday adopted a new Telecommunications Act to put net neutrality into law, making the country the first in Europe to do so. Supporters of the new legislation say the new rules will prevent mobile internet providers such as KPN from charging for access to specific services like Skype and WhatsApp, or from throttling traffic ó both techniques that it has been keen on using to manage its mobile traffic. In June 2011 the lower chamber, the House of Representatives, approved the net neutrality act. Among the many provisions contained in the law, new rules specifies that sites which use cookies must explicitly ask for user permission before setting them, and provides safeguards against user disconnection or intrusive monitoring by ISPs. The adoption of net neutrality rules follows intense debate in the country stemming from KPNís decision to start charging for access to free online services such as WhatsApp (a text messaging service). The new law specifies that no service provider can impose fees or special terms and conditions for any internet service, nor can they determine what sites end users can visit. However, court-ordered site blocking can still take place, it said.

The only other country currently with a working net neutrality law is Chile. The South American country adopted legislation in June 2010 and the new law came into effect in May 2011.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 1:50:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The EU Parliament is pushing for much steeper reductions in roaming fees than those proposed last year by European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. According to a draft proposal seen by Reuters, the parliament is aiming for a rate of EUR 0.15 per minute, compared with Kroes's plan for a one-third cut to EUR 0.24. Mobile data would be capped at EUR 0.20 per MB, rather than EUR 0.50 under the European Commission's proposal. Angelika Niebler, a German politician steering the proposed regulation through parliament, said mobile operators should not charge customers differently depending on where they are. "There should really be no roaming (fees) at a time when we are supposed to have a single market," Niebler said in an interview. The two sides are set to debate the measures in the coming months with the aim of arriving at a compromise law that would be phased in over three years. Under the parliament's proposal, the caps proposed by Kroes would come into force in July 2012, with its steeper cuts implemented in 2013 and 2014. Niebler's draft proposal would lower the cost of incoming calls to 5 cents per minute by 2014, half the rate proposed by Kroes, and c­ut the price of a text message by 50 percent to EUR 0.05. The current caps are EUR 0.35 per minute for outgoing calls and EUR 0.11 for incoming calls.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:49:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tariffs for mobile broadband on laptops, netbooks and tablets have fallen slightly in the past half year in most Western European countries, according to the latest research from Telecompaper. The average monthly cost was down in ten out of the 16 countries surveyed, although prices vary significantly still across countries. The Netherlands has moved from the most expensive in Q1 2009 to seventh place in Q4 2011. Mobile broadband prices for laptops and tablets were still the lowest in Finland, the UK and Ireland, based on the average monthly rate, while Switzerland, France and Spain remain the most expensive. In the past, unlimited, affordable subscriptions were the norm in order to stimulate use of mobile data. Today the majority of operators have switched to tiered pricing, with data allowances and speed reductions after using a certain volume of data. The huge growth in mobile broadband use, both on phones and other devices, is driving­ operators to develop new pricing models, in order to support further development of their networks. This means that consumers can expect to continue to pay more for data used.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 2:46:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 13, 2012

For many people today it seems difficult to live without the internet, however a decreasing, but still non-negligible, part of the EU population has never used it. In the 27 EU Member States, almost three quarters of households had access to the internet in the first quarter of 2011, compared with almost half in the first quarter of 2006. The share of households with broadband internet connections more than doubled between 2006 and 2011, to reach 68% in 2011 compared with 30% in 2006. During the same period, the share of individuals aged 16-74 in the EU27 who had never used the internet decreased from 42% to 24%.

Source: Europe's Information Society.

Friday, January 13, 2012 1:35:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In 2010, there were yet 660 centers without Internet access. All other centers, that is, 88.8 per cent out of a total 6 608 Spanish libraries were already connected to the Internet, according to the report ďEstadisticas de Bibliotecas 2010Ē published by the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas (INE).

In 2000, four out of ten Spanish libraries had Internet access, which means that the figure has doubled in the last ten years. The number of centers with a website remains however much lower: in 2010, 34.9 per cent of Spanish libraries had a website. Their electronic addresses received 343.23 million visits, which corresponds to a 8.8 per cent increase to the previous figure from 2008.

Source: El Pais.

Friday, January 13, 2012 1:33:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Enterprises use the internet for a variety of purposes: to present information on a website, to offer online shopping facilities to customers and to interact with public authorities. In the 27 EU Member States, 95% of enterprises had access to the internet in January 2011. The share of enterprises having a fixed broadband connection to access the internet grew slightly from 84% in 2010 to 87% in 2011. On the other hand, the use of mobile broadband connections increased significantly in the same period, from 27% to 47%.

Source: European Commission

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:22:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 30, 2011

­The European Commission has written to sixteen Member States which have failed to fully implement new EU telecoms rules into national law, six months after the deadline to do so.

The new rules give EU customers new rights regarding fixed telephony, mobile services and Internet access. For instance, the right to switch telecoms operators in one day without changing their phone number and the right to clarity about data traffic management practices employed by Internet Service Providers. There is now also better protection of privacy and personal data online.

The Commission's requests today take the form of "reasoned opinions." Member States which do not fully implement the new laws risk referral to the EU's Court of Justice and potential financial penalties. The 16 Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:12:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The European Commission has proposed to spend almost Ä9.2 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 Ä7 billion would be available for investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure.

The Commission considers that this money could leverage a total of between Ä50 and 100 billion of public and private investment Ė i.e. a substantial proportion of the estimated Ä270 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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2011

­The European Commission has sent requests for information to twenty EU Member States which have not yet notified measures to implement in full new EU telecoms rules into national law. The deadline set by the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for implementing the new rules was 25th May 2011.

The requests for information take the form of letters of formal notice under EU infringement procedures.The new rules give businesses and consumers new rights regarding phones, mobile services and Internet access. These include the right for customers to switch telecoms operators in just one day without changing their phone number, the right to more clarity about the services customers are offered and better protection of personal data online.

However, while legislative processes are ongoing in all EU Member States and a majority of them have informed the Commission of some implementation measures, only seven Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the UK) have notified the Commission that they have implemented the new rules in full.

The twenty other Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) are due to reply to the 'letters of formal notice' within two months. If they fail to reply or if it is not satisfied with the answer, the Commission can send the Member States concerned a formal request to implement the legislation (in the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures), and ultimately refer them to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:59:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2011

­In a new report, Fitch Ratings says that although overall mobile service revenue growth in Europe remains under pressure (-1.4% in the 12 months to March 2011), there are significant regional differences.

In northern Europe, mobile service revenue growth turned positive in 2010 and the 12 months to March 2011, led by a strong performance in the UK and Germany. In these two countries, revenue growth from non-voice services has more than offset voice revenue declines.

In southern Europe, the trend in service revenue declines is getting worse at -5.4% in the 12 months to March 2011. The economic weakness in southern Europe is dampening demand for mobile data services and exacerbating the decline in voice revenue from regulatory and competitive pressures.

Fitch expects voice revenue in southern Europe will remain under pressure, as effective voice pricing, especially in Spain, is higher than in northern Europe. Downward pressure is expected to continue as mobile termination rates, which are higher in southern Europe, are forced down towards northern European levels by regulation. Over the medium term, mobile data might not provide as large a boost to mobile revenue growth as some operators expect. There is a risk that mobile data might be partly used as a substitute for voice and SMS services. Fitch believes that the risk will increase over time as voice over IP becomes more of a threat with technology improvements and instant messaging and social networks could start to replace SMS more widely, not just in the youth segment.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:13:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 02, 2010

­Despite EU mobile operators reducing roaming charges in line with maximum price caps introduced by EU rules, consumers still do not enjoy significantly lower tariffs according to a European Commission report published today. Whilst price transparency has improved, the report concludes competition on the EU's roaming market is not yet strong enough to provide better choice and even better rates to consumers.

Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: "The cost of using mobile phones or devices when abroad in the EU has fallen continuously since the adoption of the first roaming rules. But three years since the rules came in most operators propose retail prices that hover around the maximum legal caps. More competition on the EU roaming market would provide better choice and even better rates to consumers."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News
Friday, July 02, 2010 2:10:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 28, 2010
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)  #     | 
 Friday, March 12, 2010

Over 71 million Europeans use their mobile phones to access the internet in a typical week. Europeans spend almost an hour a day and 6.4 hours per week going online via their mobile, according to a study by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA). Almost a quarter (24%) of 16-24 year olds and 21 percent of 25-34 year olds access mobile internet services, spending 7.2 and 6.6 hours on it respectively each week. The internet continues to prove a popular source of entertainment with one quarter of Europeans (25%) gaming or listening to the radio online (25%), and one third watching films, TV or video clips online (32%) at least once a month. Of the overall users of internet-enabled handsets, nearly 49 percent claim to receive video clips, websites or images on their mobile and 80 percent say that they pass on the content they receive. Additionally, over 71 percent of European internet users admit that they stay in touch with friends and relatives more as a result of the internet. Around 16 percent of them communicate using social media via their mobile, while 16 percent also use mobile IM services. The study also found that 36 percent of European use the internet while watching TV. Some 46 percent of European households own at least one laptop and 121 million or 52 percent of Europeans use wireless broadband connections.

According to the Mediascope Europe study from the EIAA, Poland tops the chart of markets that spend the most time on mobile internet with 10.3 hours spent online each week, followed by Italy (7.9 hours), Belgium and Portugal (7.7 hours), and Russia (7.1 hours). There are more mobile internet users in Turkey compared to those that access internet via their PC (21% versus 20%), which indicates that consumers will engage with new platforms if it makes the internet more accessible for their everyday lives.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 12, 2010 2:07:12 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)  #     | 
 Friday, February 05, 2010

­A new report from Tariff Consultancy (TCL) says that voice and SMS roaming rates in Europe have halved between 2007 to 2010 due to an EU roaming price cap - but with very few prices applied below the cap. EU mobile roaming data rates are on average 5.4 euro, 5 times the 1 Euro per MB wholesale rate though individual operator data roaming rates vary from below the wholesale cap to more than 10 times the cap rate.

Click here to see full article

Increasingly though mobile operators push a series of separate "opt in" roaming bundles for consumers that bypass the EU roaming cap which offer roaming discounts in return for a weekly or monthly fee to selected holiday destinations but can attract higher rates to EU countries than the EC rate cap.The net effect of the rebalancing of mobile roaming tariffs outside of the EU has been to make roaming services to the US or other countries relatively expensive by comparison with the EU.

For example:

- The price of a roaming voice call from the EU zone to the next geographical tariff zone has an average mark up of 200%

- The price of SMS roaming outside the EU zone to the next geographical zone has an average mark up of 160%.

- The price of Mobile Data roaming outside the EU zone to the next geographical zone has an average mark up of 270%.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:20:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 30, 2009

New data from TeleGeographyís European VoIP & Triple Play Research Service reveal that voice over IP (VoIP) subscribers have grown from just over six million in 2005 to 34.6 million at year-end 2008. VoIP now accounts for more than 24% of fixed line telephone subscribers in Europe.

VoIP service revenues of EUR4.1 billion are still dwarfed by the nearly EUR36 billion generated by traditional switched fixed-line services. However, the impact of VoIP on the European fixed-line market is greater than its relatively modest subscriber and revenue share would suggest, due to the strong downward pressure VoIP-based competitors place on voice service prices.

Click here to see full article

Source: Telegeography

Europe | VoIP
Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:50:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 04, 2009

Hungaryís three incumbent mobile operators Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone shed 69,342 subscribers between them in March, taking the countryís mobile subscriber base to 12.11 million, reports the national regulator, the NHH. Active mobile subscriptions reached 10.80 million at the same date, down from 10.92 million in the month of February it said, while cellular penetration dipped from 121.4% in February to 120.8%. By the start of April, Pannon had 34.70% of the market, (up from 34.63% in February), ahead of second-placed T-Mobile with 44.15% (44.10%) and Vodafone in third with 21.15% (21.27%).

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:44:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 27, 2009

The Malta Communication Authority has posted a report on telecoms market for the time period of July to December. According to the report the mobile sector of the country has experienced a swift growth during 2008. The Q4'08 saw coming of two new mobile operators, Bay Mobile and Redtouch fone, both of which operated on VodafoneĀfs infrastructure.

Melita Mobile also installed its own mobile infrastructure thereby creating more infrastructure-based competition in the mobile sector later in 2009.

The mobile subscriber base reached 385,636 by 2008-end, up by 3.8%. The postpaid subscriber base attributed to 13.6% of the total mobile subscriber base whereas the prepaid segment held 86.37% of the total base.

The mobile penetration in the country reached 94% at the end of 2008, up by 4% since a year earlier. During the last 6 months of 2008, over 23,000 subscribers changed operator, compared with 22,325 in the same period of 2007.

The mobile originating traffic grew by 8.3% whereas SMS traffic dropped from 264.21 million SMS in H2'07 to 241.53 SMS in H2'08, driven by promotional offers featuring free minute bundles.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, April 27, 2009 11:46:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Italian market lost a total of 135k customers over the year, with net losses in Q2 and Q4 trumping the smaller net gains in the other two periods. The year closed with a total base of 88.58m, compared to 88.72m, while penetration dropped from 152.6% to 152.4%.

 

 

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, April 27, 2009 11:26:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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 Topicís forecasts by 0.2%.

ďDSL operators had a stronger fourth quarter than projected, in particular the local loop unbundlers. While cable did well it didnít exceed our forecasts,Ē 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)  #     | 

­The UK added over 3m new mobile connections during 2008, to take the total base to 75.75m, equivalent to 124% penetration. The market is one of the most competitive in Europe, if not the world, with five established MNOs and several MVNOs, of which the most successful are Virgin and the increasingly ambitious Tesco.

 

 

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, April 27, 2009 10:44:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Parliament has approved new price caps for mobile network roaming within the EU, including voice, data/internet and SMS texting. From 1 July 2009 the cost of sending an SMS whilst abroad is capped at EUR0.11, whilst from that date wholesale data roaming charges are capped at EUR1 per MB (which will drop to EUR0.80 in July 2010 and EUR0.50 in July 2011). Maximum per-minute voice call roaming charges will also fall: to EUR0.43 for outgoing and EUR0.19 for incoming calls whilst abroad on 1 July 2009; to EUR0.39 and EUR0.15 respectively in July 2010; and to EUR0.35 and EUR0.11 respectively in July 2011 (compared to current roaming caps of EUR0.46/EUR0.22 on calls made/received). All prices exclude VAT. Other measures approved include compulsory per-second billing for the entire duration of calls received whilst abroad, and after the first 30 seconds for outgoing calls.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 27, 2009 10:12:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary mobile operators, Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone have ended March with 541,866 mobile internet subscribers, up from 526,775 in February, according to market regulator NHH. Mobile subscribers sent some 840,367 GB of data in March, up from 769,427 GB in February, while average traffic per subscriber also increased to 1.83 GB. T-Mobile holds 51.68% mobile data subscribers, whereas Pannon and Vodafone recorded market shares of 24.58% and 23.74%, respectively. Considering the volume of traffic, T-mobile market share stood at 42.07%, Vodafoneís share reported as 36.18% and Panaon holds 21.75% market. According to the satistcs, in March, the largest volume of data was transferred by Vodafone subscribers (304,000 GB), while T-Mobileís subscribers reached a total volume of 280,000 GB, and Pannonís subscribers transmitted 183,000 GB.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, April 27, 2009 10:08:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Some 200 remote farms in the Northern Icelandic region of Skagafjordur now have broadband internet access following the deployment of a MESH network from US based Firetide.

Gagnaveita Skagafjardar, which translates to ďData Municipal Service of Skagafjordur,Ē was formed in 2006 with a mission to deliver a fiber connection to every home in the nearby town of Saudarkrokur. The organization, however, soon recognized the need for delivering high-speed connections to the many farming communities outside of town. Too far away from any major urban communications center to get a high-speed connection through telephone lines, these rural businesses have, until now, been restricted to expensive 128 Kbps ISDN.

 

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, April 27, 2009 8:28:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CMT, the Spanish telecoms regulator, has lowered the mobile termination fee to a common price of EUR 0.07 per  minute for Telefonica Moviles Spain (Movistar), Vodafone Spain and Orange Spain effective from 16 April. The same price is also applicable to MVNOs using the networks of these operators. CMTís ruling, for the recent entrant Yoigo is that it will stick to its current mobile termination fees of EUR 0.10, as it started operations when the Spanish mobile market had already matured. The mobile termination fees quoted by CMT will be valid until 16 October, after which the fees is likely to fall further.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a recent survey it is seen that nearly 52% of the French mobile subscribers own a handset that is capable of connecting to the internet. However, nearly 45% of the mobile phone subscribers had a mobile internet subscription and 20.5% were online with their handset at least once a week. 48% of the total surveyed said that they have upgraded their handsets in past 1 year, 36% of these have chosen 3G and 3G+ multimedia touch screen handsets. The sites which were most visited were operator portals, which accounted for 15.1 percent of visits, followed by search engines (14.2%), practical sites (13.9%), information sites (9.8%), entertainment sites (9.1%), and specialised news sites (8.7%). Nearly 21% of mobile internet subscribers said that they have visited a social networking site in the last six months, led by Facebook with 14.5% of connections. Only 8% of the total made a purchase from a mobile e-commerce site.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:31:19 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 telcoís 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, April 06, 2009

Reuters is reporting that the British telecoms regulator Ofcom has ruled that mobile termination rates (MTRs) will be reduced by up to 21% in real terms as of today. Under the new ruling announced yesterday both Vodafone and O2 will cut their average mobile termination rates to GBP0.0471 (USD0.0687) per minute, a cut of 8.4% adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile Orange will cut its rates to GBP0.0484 per minute, an 11.1% cut. Hutchison Whampoa-owned 3 will see the largest percentage drop in its MTR, with Ofcom calling for a 20.9% drop to GBP0.0583 per minute. The ruling comes as part of as part of the regulatorís implementation of price controls for the next two years; Ofcom aims to have MTRs equalised for all mobile operators by the end of March 2011, and a further reduction in the rates is expected next year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:41:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Germanyís telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), has cut the price that incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) can charge rivals for using its lines connecting homes and businesses to the local telephone exchange, known as the Ďlast-mileí. According to Reuters, the regulator has lowered the price, which is reviewed every two years, by 2.9% from EUR10.50 (USD13.94) to EUR10.20. DT has criticised the ruling, stating that it has left it no foundation to invest in the expansion of its services to rural areas, and arguing Ďurgently needed funds for investments in broadband expansion will be abolished.í The incumbent had wanted to increase the access price for its eight million connections to its local loop to EUR12.90. The new fee will expire on 31 March 2011.

The FNA has also set new mobile terminations fees - the rate that operators charge for calls made to their networks from those of rivals. The new rates are EUR0.0659 per minute for Vodafone and T-Mobile networks and EUR0.0714 per minute for E-Plus and O2, down 16% and 19% respectively. According to TeleGeographyís CommsUpdate, T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2 put forward a suggestion in January 2009 to increase the mobile termination fees, while E-Plus was the only operator to propose a reduction. The new rates are valid until 30 November 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:37:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The three Hungarian mobile operators Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone had 526,775 mobile internet subscribers at the end of February, up from 508,000 in January, according to market regulator NHH. Mobile users sent some 769,427 GB of data in February, up from 761,000 GB in January, while average traffic per subscriber also increased to 1.77 GB. T-Mobileís share of mobile data subscribers stood at 51.96% at the end of February, while Pannon and Vodafone recorded market shares of 24.52% and 23.52%, respectively. Based on the volume of traffic, T-Mobileís market share was 42.83%, Vodafoneís share equaled 35.14% and Pannon had 22.03% of the market. Accordingly, in February the largest volume of data was transferred by the customers of T-Mobile (274,000 GB), while Vodafoneís customers reached a total volume of 270,000 GB, and Pannonís customers transmitted 170,000 GB. In February, traffic per subscriber, calculated on the basis of subscriptions involved in data transfer, totaled 2.71 GB in Vodafoneís network, 1.59 GB at Pannon and 1.44 GB at T-Mobile.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:35:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cosmote, the Romanian incumbent has crossed the mark of 6 million subscribers. In past one and a half year, the Romanian operator has nearly doubled its subscriber base and added 2.2 million subscribers in 2008. Cosmote currently holds 48% market share in Romania. In 2009, the operator intends to stick its focus on the enhancement of its service offering and expansion of its subscriber base.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:30:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Europe
Monday, April 06, 2009 9:28:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 31, 2009

­Figures from the European Commission show that the EU's telecoms sector (worth about 3% of EU GDP) continued to grow in 2008 with revenues estimated at above Ä300 billion (US$409 billion) - up 1.3% compared to 2007 and outperforming the rest of the economy (up by 1% only).

Europe also leads the world in mobile phone services with the number of subscriptions in 2008 at 119% of the EU population (up 7 percentage points from 2007), well ahead of the US (87%) and Japan (84%).

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:28:15 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.

ComRegís 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 OTEís total retail and wholesale DSL connections reached approximately 960,000, up from 925,000 three months earlier. The incumbentís 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 companyís 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)  #     | 
 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: ĎI 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.í 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 TeleGeographyís 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)  #     | 

Moldovaís 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 countryís 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 countryís 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 countryís 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)  #     | 

A report from the Moldovan telecoms regulator, Anrceti has said that in 2008, the number of fixed subscribers increased, compared to 2007, by 346,900 or by 3.2%, coming up 1.114 million. This is the lowest rate of increase in the recent years.

Click here to see full article

The fixed telephony also gave in terms of sales. The turnover registered by fixed telephone service providers declined in 2008 by 5.85% and equaled to two billion 208 million lei, whereas the Average Revenue per Subscriber (ARPU) decreased by 9.97%, showing 167,8 lei. The decline was mainly the result of the decrease of several types of fixed traffic: local, long-distance and interconnection. But on the other hand, all types of mobile traffic increased considerably, bringing along a 22% increase over 2007 in the total of sales, coming up to two billion 914,7 million lei.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:33:45 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 Ďbitstreamí access accounting for the remainder.

Source: ECTA.


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

Orange UK and Barclaycard introduce a new mobile payment system which is claimed to be the biggest evolution in terms of payment after the introduction of plastic cards, 40 years ago.

This new system will enable the customers to make payments through their handsets at the retailers by waving their handset against a reader. The two firms intend to widen their service to ticketing, transport and rewards.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:26:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

At the end of January, the three Hungarian mobile operators had 508,000 mobile internet subscribers and there were 424,000 SIM cards active in data transmission over the past three months, the first mobile internet flash report published by the National Communications Authority of Hungary (NHH) has revealed.

According to the report, at the end of December, when Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone had 12.224 million subscribers in all, the number of those also with mobile internet subscription totalled 494,000. The number of ADSL, cable modem and mobile internet subscriptions in Hungary together exceeded 2 million at the end of 2008. Users transmitted some 761,000 Gbytes of data in January following the data traffic of 651,000 Gbytes in December, while average traffic per subscriber also increased.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:48:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Czech Republic was home to a total of 13.57 million mobile phone users at the end of December last year, according to operator data as quoted by the Prague Daily Monitor. The countryís three incumbent cellcos Ė Telefonica O2 CR, T-Mobile and Vodafone and Vodafone Ė collectively added more than half a million net new additions, raising the cellular penetration rate to 131%. Of the three, Vodafone registered the largest single gain, adding a net 230,000 new users for a total of 2.89 million, while market leader T-Mobile posted a net gain of 150,000 to close the year with 5.42 million customers. Meanwhile, the countryís second largest operator Telefonica O2 CR accrued an additional 140,000 net new customers for a total of 5.26 million.

Market saturation and fierce sector competition has resulted in a drop in blended monthly average revenue per user (ARPU), prompting cellcos to focus their efforts on launching new services to squeeze additional revenues from existing users. Vodafone again topped the revenue table with ARPU of CZK583 (USD26.42) per month in 2008, ahead of Telefonica with CZK519 and T-Mobileís CZK500.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:40:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moldova's National Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications (ANRTI) has reported that the countryís wireless market revenues increased by 22.6% to MDL2.915 billion (USD275.7 million) in 2008 compared to the year earlier. Orange Moldova posted the largest revenue of USD186.8 million, while the income of rivals Moldcell, Unite and Eventis reached USD71.8 million, USD12.9 million, and USD1.1 million respectively. According to the agency, total investment in the sector amounted to USD114.5 million in 2008, a 5.7% rise compared to the previous year. ANRTI attributed the rise in revenues to considerable growth in the number of wireless subscribers, especially within the 3G services segment. The total number of cellular subscribers grew 28.7% to 2.42 million in 2008, including 188,400 3G users. Wireless penetration per 100 residents increased from 55% in 2007 to 67.9% in 2008. The regulator did not release subscriber results for individual operators.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:31:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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 companyís board member for Sales & Service, stressed that DTís 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 Ďsuper-fastí 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. ĎToday'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,í said CEO Ian Livingston in a statement.

Source: TeleGeography.

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

With 18.1 million units sold in 2008, demand for Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) increased by 3 million units compared to 2007; a 20 percent rise. In quarter 4 the economic crisis took its toll on the market. The industry defied falling prices through a variety of innovations.

Never before have so many Portable Navigation Devices been sold in Europe as in 2008. With 18.1 million units purchased, 2008 volumes surpassed those of 2007 by 3 million, or 20 percent. Germany led the way as the most important market in Europe, with 4.375 million PNDs sold Ė a growth rate of 22 percent compared to 2007. Sales in Eastern Europe increased by 600 thousand to reach 1.5 million, compared to 16.6 million in Western Europe (up from 14.5 million the previous year) Ė a growth rate of 15 percent.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:02:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The mobile subscriber base in Slovenia has surpassed the population of the country, reports the Agency for Post and Electronic Communications. According to the Slovenian Watchdog, the mobile penetration in the country has reached 100.1% in Q4'08, rising by 4.9% from 2007.

Mobitel, country's largest mobile operator, lead the market with 58.9% of the market share, followed by Simobil which stood at 27.8% and Tusmobil at 5.8%.

Nearly 85,075 of mobile phoner numbers were ported in 2008, escalating by 30% since 2007.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:49:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Three consecutive quarters of negative growth have led the Western European mobile phone market into recession. According to IDC's European Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 53.6 million units in 4Q08, 13.5% lower than the 62 million units shipped in 4Q07. For the full year 2008, vendors shipped 190.5 million units in Western Europe, 5.9% lower than the 202.5 million units shipped in 2007.

"The fourth quarter was the worst quarter ever experienced by phone makers, and a storm of factors led to this," said Francisco Jeronimo, research manager with IDC's European Mobile Devices and Trends service. "A combination of weak end-user demand, currency volatility, and limited credit availability prevented the market from experiencing the usual seasonal increase in shipments. The traditional holiday campaigns and new product launches were not enough to boost sales in comparison with previous years and almost all vendors experienced a significant slump in sales. We expect the first half of 2009 to be very challenging as vendors and distributors grapple with clearing inventory. Should these conditions persist, the mobile phone market may not recover until the middle of 2010."

If there was one highlight in 4Q08 it was that the converged mobile devices segment (commonly referred to as smartphones) grew 25.9% over 4Q07, clearly outpacing the rest of the industry. For full year 2008, converged mobile devices saw growth of 36.1%, representing 17.4% of the total market. Despite the good performance, converged mobile device growth was still not strong enough to support the entire sector.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:56:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 09, 2009

Euro­pean low-cost airline, Ryanair has launched an in-flight mobile phone service initially onboard 20 of its, mainly Ireland based aircraft. This is the first step in fitting Ryanairís entire fleet of over 170 aircraft to allow all passengers to make and receive mobile calls and texts on all Ryanair flights.

Passengers on Ryanairís 20 OnAir enabled aircraft can now make and receive roaming voice calls at between Ä2-Ä3 per minute - which is considerably higher than the recommended levels from the European Commission.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 09, 2009 4:01:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 05, 2009

Voice over IP telephony services are reshaping the fixed-line telecom market in Europe. By mid-year 2008, just under 30 million consumer VoIP lines were in service in Western Europe, up from 20 million only a year earlier. While the aggregate pace of growth across Europe remains rapid, trends vary dramatically by country.

  • Market penetration at at mid-year 2008 ranged from slightly less than 50% of households in France to less than 3% in Spain.
  • Growth rates ranged from an anemic 13% in Norway to 544% in Portugal.
  • Incumbents lead the VoIP market in France, Italy, the U.K., the Netherlands and Norway, but competitive operators hold the lead in most other markets.
  • Prices of triple-play bundles of broadband, VoIP, and video services range from Ä30 to more than Ä80 per month.

VoIP Penetration of Households, Q2 2007 & Q2 2008

TeleGeographyís European VoIP & Triple Play Research Service brings clarity to the state of this dynamic market. Contents include:

  • VoIP subscriber, revenue and traffic data by country from 2004 to 2008.
  • Subscriber and revenue projections by country through 2012.
  • Rankings of Europeís leading VoIP service providers.
  • Detailed analysis of the VoIP markets in 13 European nations.
  • Profiles of 72 leading consumer VoIP providers.
  • Broadband and VoIP pricing summaries in 13 European nations.

All data are updated twice annually, and are current through mid-year 2008. Bi-annual updates, delivered in PDF and Excel spreadsheets, include country subscriber totals, provider rankings, VoIP projections by country and baseline market indicators by country.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | VoIP
Thursday, March 05, 2009 1:41:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2009

Greeceís 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 governmentís 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)  #     | 

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a subscriber base of 3.842 million, at the end of 2008. Mobile Telephony penetration rate has reached 86%.

Operators    

BH Telecom: 1.4Mn subscribers
M:tel: 1.1.Mn subscribers
Eronet: 660,000 subscribers

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spain has reportedly added 276,352 mobile subscribers in the Spanish mobile market, taking the subscriber base to a total of 50.89 million, a hike of 3.7% since last year. According to CMT, the Spanish regulator, Yoigo took over 44.3% of the total net additions, while MVNOs took 29.6% of the total net additions, Vodafone got 18.5% of net adds to its kitty whereas Orange accounted for 7.4% and Movistar 0.2%.

Mobile penetration in the country reached 112.6% rising from 108.6% in Decemberí07.The M2M sector has gone up by 32.3% since 2007, to 1.47 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to 52.36 million.

Nearly 378,302 mobile numbers were ported in Decemberí08, a rise of 9.6% in comparison to 2007. Yoigo, Orange and the MVNOs saw a postive rise in portability, while Vodafone and Movistar saw a negative downfall. Yoigo won 24,765 users, the MVNOs attracted 19,927, and Orange added 106,249 ported subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:49:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The National Authority for Communications (ANC) has issued a press release claiming that since number portability was introduced last October there has been a total of 31,514 ported numbers as of the begining of February. Over 26,000 of the total are mobile numbers, whereas 5,291 are fixed telephone numbers. The main fixed customer gains were seen by RCS&RDS (1,059), UPC (1,892) and Vodafone (1,479). Where mobile telephony is concerned, following porting, all five of the operators gained new subscribers: Cosmote gained 11,707, Vodafone 7,328, Orange 6,849, Telemobil 211 and RCS&RDS 128.

Porting is possible only within the same category of numbers (fixed-fixed, mobile-mobile). The service has been available in Romania since 21 October 2008. The ceiling of ported numbers per day was gradually extended, as required by the number of porting requests, and at present each operator can port 500 numbers a day.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:23:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published this week by the French telecoms regulator Arcep, there were 58.073 million registered SIMs in the country as at 31 December 2008, a penetration rate of 91.3%, up from 87.6% a year earlier. Of the total, 2.896 million were signed up to one of the countryís MVNOs, equivalent to a market share of 5.19%. In overseas markets (DOM), Arcep said that Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthelemy, Mayotte, Saint Pierre et Miquelon reported a total of 2.281 million customers at the same date, up from 2.088 million at 31 December 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:14:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Hungarian incumbents Pannon, Vodafone and T-Mobile have together added 284,000 new subscribers in December, the total reaching to 12.24 million at the end of 2008, reports Hungarian telecom regulator NHH. Pannon experienced a fall in its market share from 35.18% at Novemberí08-end to 35.09% at Decemberí08-end followed by T-Mobile from 43.94% to 43.86%. On the other hand, Vodafoneís market share rose to 21.04% at Decemberí08 from 20.89% in November. The number of active subscription grew to 10.97 million, up by 227,000 compared to November. Mobile penetration rose to 121.8% in Decemberí08 compared to 119.15 in November.

Source: Wireless Federartion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:49:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009

­The European Commission says that it is earmarking Ä1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to achieve 100 % high-speed internet coverage for all European citizens by 2010 as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan. On average, 93 % of Europeans can enjoy a high speed online connection but in some countries broadband covers less than half of the rural population.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 1:03:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Hutchison 3G Ireland ('3') has won a contract from the Irish government to develop a national broadband network covering rural areas of the country. Ireland currently has over 1.2 million subscribers to broadband. The National Broadband Scheme will provide the remaining 10% of the population, or approximately 33% of the area of the country, with broadband services. Ireland will have 100% coverage by September 2010; half of the area under the scheme will be covered by the end of this year.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:43:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 19, 2009

­Telekom Austria has reported that its mobile Communication customer base grew by 15.2% in 2008 from 15.4 million customers at the end of 2007 to 17.8 million customers at the end of 2008, with all mobile operations contributing to this subscriber growth.

mobilkom austria, recorded 140,500 net adds during the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to 105,600 during the same period of the previous year. mobilkom austria was able to expand its overall subscriber base by 13.6% to 4.5 million customers in 2008. The contract subscriber base increased by 19.0%. mobilkom austria was able to increase its market share from 40.3% at the end of 2007 to 42.4% at the end of 2008 recording the highest growth in market share in the history of the company. The mobile penetration rate in Austria stood at 126.6% at year-end 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:54:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 16, 2009

The MVNO phenomena is growing rapidly in the Netherlands as the number of subscribers signing upto one of the countryís 50 or so virtual providers has reached 3.51 million on 30 September 2008, up by 10% year-on-year. The MVNOís now account for 17.3% of all SIM cards on the market at the given date, up from 17.0% a year earlier.

The MVNO market in Netherlands has seen entry of new players to the market in six months uptil Sept-2008 namely, Easer Mobile, Tok Toe Mie, Youfone and Internet Overal. In addition, more entrants have since launched commercially in the country or announced plans to launch in early 2009, such as Blyk and Telesur, the Dutch group said.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, January 16, 2009 4:22:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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 governmentís ĎFrance Digital 2012í 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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 14, 2009

With the weakening of Belarusian Ruble the local mobile operators plan to raise their call tariffs. MTS Belarus, one of the leading mobile operator, has already raised its call and SMS tariffs by between 15 and 30 rubles and other operators could now follow the league. The rise in tariffs is driven by a sharp depreciation of the ruble earlier this month; MTS Belarus has to pay for a significant proportion of its new equipment and for many services in foreign currency Ė and is struggling to do so as the currency fluctuates.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:39:21 AM (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)  #     | 
 Friday, January 09, 2009

­The UK mobile market saw annual growth drop 0.3pp year on year to 4.4%, the second lowest figure ever recorded. In real terms, annual net additions stood at 3.15m, down slightly on the 3.21m recorded in the prior twelve months. Quarterly net additions totalled 0.97m, taking the total connection base to 74.07m and penetration to 121.5% at the end of Q3.

Quarterly Net Additions, Q4 07 Ė Q3 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:02:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 08, 2009
Click here to see full article

In related news, the regulator also announced that the number of mobile subscriptions rose by 111,000 in November 2008, the three domestic mobile operators thus having 11.95 million customers in total at the end of the month, with a population penetration level of 119.1 %.

Based on the number of SIM cards that can receive calls, by the end of November the market share of T-mobile increased from previous monthís 43.90 percent to 43.94 percent, the market share of Vodafone grew from 20.82 percent to 20.88 percent, while Pannonís market share dropped from 35.29 percent to 35.18 percent.

The clients of the three mobile operators ported 4,700 numbers in October. According to the data of the NHH, a total of 241,806 numbers were ported since mobile number portability became available in May 2004.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:55:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Romaniaís National Communications Authority (ANC) says almost 25,000 porting requests have been submitted in the two months since the implementation of number portability, with around 15,600 orders processed so far. The figures are in line with the regulatorís expectations. More than 21,000 porting requests were for mobile accounts, and operators have completed approximately 14,000 transactions. Third-placed operator Cosmote was the big winner with 5,960 users already transferred to its network with their old number. 4,167 users have migrated to market leader Orange, while second-placed Vodafone has fulfilled 3,778 porting requests, ANC says. ĎSo far, an operator was allowed to port no more than 300 numbers a day. Today, we will start extending this ceiling, gradually, as required by the number of porting requests,í ANC President Liviu Nistoran said in a statement.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:53:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lithunia subscriber base has reportedly crossed the mark of 5million, grows by almost 1% on Septemberí08 in comparison with 4.96 million on 30 June 2008, in its third quarter update. The number of fixed telephony subscribers dropped by 0.39% to 787,752 on 30 September 2008, while the number of internet subscribers grew by 6.9% to 671,976. The revenues for telecommunication services grow by 3% in comparison to the revenues in the second quarter.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:53:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Eight domestic ISPs and one regional company have been given permission to offer voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) calls in Serbia. Amongst the winners of permits were WiMAX network operator Verat, YUBC, Beotelnet, Informatika and INT CS.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | VoIP
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:51:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain's mobile phone subscriber base has rose to 50.74 million at the end of Q3'08 from 47.61 million since last year. Country's mobile penetration stood at 109.9%, growing from 105.3% since 2007, reports the telecoms regulator, CMT. Postpaid lines grew to 29.46 million from 27.06 million, and prepaid lines slipped to 20.22 million from 20.55 million. Mobile call minutes rose to 18.44 billion from 17.75 billion, with calls to fixed lines hiking to 1.84 billion from 1.83 billion and calls to mobiles growing to 15.49 billion from 14.84 billion.

Movistar took 45.8% of the total subscribers added, followed by Vodafone with 30.6%. Orange came third with 20.7%, Yoigo fifth with 1.5%, Euskaltel with 0.5% and other MVNOs 0.9%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:34:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Macedoniaís leading mobile operator, T-Mobile Makedonija, is granted the right use 3G frequency for nest 10 years.

The licence fee is set at $13.95 million, which was paid by the operator in Decemberí08. The launch of the service is due within 6 months and the operator has to achieve 50% population coverage within 1 year and 80% population coverage within 3 years from the date of granting the license.

Source: Wireless Federation.

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

The Bulgarian Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), takes up a new schedule to lower the fees levied by the mobile operators by 45% by Julyí10. Bulgarian mobile phone users pay an average of 0.19-0.25 leva a minute when calling from mobile to mobile and 0.29-0.32 leva a minute when calling from landlines to mobile, the highest charged in European Union.

The mobile operators will have to lower their prices five times, on January 1 2009, July 1 2009, September 1 2009, January 1 2010 and July 1 2010, everytime by 7-9% and by the last cut the prices will fall down to 0.13-0.15 leva a minute regarding whether they call from a landline or a mobile.

CRC will also reportedly ask fixed-line telecoms to cut down the bulk mobile call termination rates, the fees paid by consumers when calling landlines from mobile numbers.

Bulgariaís three telecom firms, Austria Telekomís Mobiltel, Cosmote unit Globul and BTC, the dominant fixed-line operator that recently integrated its mobile subsidiary Vivatel, will be required by law to obey the ruling, but can appeal the decision in court.

The ruling will allow Mobiltel and Globul to maintain their dominant position in the Bulgarian mobile market, though they still are against the ruling. BTC, however, according to a localmedia report, was not happy with the decision, because it ďdid not change the current market situation,Ē.

Source: Wireless Federation.

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:28:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Russian market surpassed 125% penetration during Q3 to finish the quarter on 126.9%, but growth showed no sign of slowing: in fact, the annual growth figure of 14.5% was up 0.7pp compared to the prior twelve-month period. With 179.81m customers, Russia remained the fourth largest market in the world, around 87m behind the USA and 39m ahead of Brazil.

Russia: Market Share, Top Three Operators

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:54:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 19, 2008

­Growth abandoned the West European cellular market in Q3 2008, as the global recession hit mobile spending patterns, according to a report issued by Strategy Analytics. While mobile data revenues continued to perform well, the voice market took a turn for the worse around the globe.

Collectively, mobile operators performed well in Q3 2008, with subscriber growth remaining very strong and profit margins stable. However, the mobile voice market did see revenue growth slow more than expected. Many operators in mature markets are recording falling voice revenues, and some operators in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and Thailand are now finding it tough.

 
Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Friday, December 19, 2008 11:27:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 18, 2008

­Mobile messaging vendor, Airwide Solutions has published the results of an independent study on the use of mobile messaging across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The results prove that despite warnings of turmoil throughout the global economy, growth in mobile messaging shows no signs of slowing.

The study shows that the number of people sending text messages (SMS) across the EU is growing 3.3 percent year on year, a figure only beaten by MMS which is growing by 9.2 percent.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:14:24 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)  #     | 

Parliament has approved a law making Estonia the first country to allow voting by mobile phone.

Lawmakers approved a measure Thursday allowing citizens to vote by mobile phone in the next parliamentary elections in 2011.

Estonians were allowed to cast Internet ballots in last year's parliamentary vote.

The mobile-voting system, which has already been tested, requires that voters obtain free, authorized chips for their phones, said Raul Kaidro, spokesman of the SK Certification Center, which issues personal ID cards in Estonia.

The chip will verify the voter's identity and authorize participation in the electronic voting system, he said.

The system and software have proven effective and reliable in an independent security audit, Kaidro said. He dismissed security concerns, claiming the system "is the most secure way to authenticate digital signatures."

Kaidro said he expects the 2011 vote to be the first of its kind, though he said neighboring Finland and Sweden possess the software and technical capabilities to conduct a similar "cellular election."

Estonian officials said the Internet voting system in 2007 proved secure despite worries about hacker attacks, identity fraud and vote count manipulation.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, December 15, 2008 10:16:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spain, at October end, has totalled the number of mobile phone lines to 50.59 million, adding 249,913 new mobile lines in October, up by 4.6% sunce 2007. According to a monthly report by Spanish telecoms regulator CMT, Vodafone has acquired 29.2% of the total net addition in October, whereas Orange grabbed 25.5%, then came Yoigo which accounted for 19.2% and Movistar accounted for 14.3% and MVNOs grabbed the remaining 1.9%. Mobile penetration reached 111.9 lines per 100 inhabitants in comparison to 107.0 in October 2007.

Spain added 181,034 postpaid subscribers and around 61,879 prepaid subscribers in October. Some 338,361 mobile phone numbers were ported in October, up by 5.9% versus since 2007. Yoigo saw a positive result by seeing a portability of 7,459 subscribers whereas Vodafone, Movistar and Orange registered a negative result.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:37:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Acccording to National Statistics Office, Malta, the countryís mobile subscriber base reached 381,955 at September end. Out of the total subscriber base 48,507 accounted for contract-based mobile subscriptions and 333,448 card-plan subscriptions.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Spain's telecoms regulator, the CMT has reported that mobile number portability has remained roughly stable at around 300,000 per month, with 338,361 numbers ported in the month of October. This is a 5.9% rise on the same month a yeat ago.

The fourth network operator, Yoigo, and MVNOs gained 7,459 and 8,539 lines respectively - while Vodafone, Movistar and Orange all saw a net outflow of subscribers through MNP.

Vodafone took an average of 29.2% of the gain lines of the past three months, Orange, 25.5%; Yoigo, 19.2%; Movistar, from 14.3% and finally the MVNOs, the remaining 11.9%. The country added a gross amount of 242,913 lines in October.

The regulator also reported that there are now 1.44 million machine-to-machine connections in the country.

On the web: CMT

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:26:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 04, 2008

Millions of UK mobile users donít understand international roaming charges Ė and go so far as to avoid making calls as a result. ­A new study, by market research firm, TNS indicates that it is confusion over service charges, in addition to the price of calls, which is preventing international roaming from really taking off.

A fifth of mobile users cite confusion over roaming pricing as their primary reason for using their phone less when abroad. Surprisingly this is especially true of younger consumers, where nearly a quarter (24%) of those aged 16-34 are still baffled by the costs of using their mobiles abroad.

The study also found that 17% of consumers would increase the amount of data services (like the mobile internet) they used if network providers offered them a fixed bundle package. Again this is truer of the 16 to 34 year olds, who are used to having bundled deals at home in the UK; 23% would use their phone more abroad if this type of deal were available. Similar findings were also seen in France where 14% of consumers said they would use their mobile more if they were offered a fixed bundle.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

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

Telecom Italia SpA will cut an additional 4,000 jobs by 2011 as it concentrates on core growth markets in Italy and Brazil to confront the deteriorating economic situation, CEO Franco Bernabe said Wednesday.

The 4,000 job cuts are in addition to 5,000 announced in June, and will reduce Telecom Italia's work force by 14 percent from 64,000 to 55,000. Bernabe said the number of managers will be cut in half as the company seeks to simplify its organization.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:39:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The German mobile telecom sector is valued at $6.44Bn in Q3ĀĆ08, a rise of 2% since Q2ĀĆ08 but a fall of 1.8% since Q3ĀĆ07. The revenue rise since Q2ĀĆ08 is driven by seasonal effects, while the year-on-year fall was due to cuts in mobile termination rates and roaming fees. Vodafone and T-Mobile, the two leading incumbents grabbed 70% of the total revenue market even after strong efforts by E-plus and O2. E-Plus is the only German operator to show a positive result in y-o-y market share, majorly in prepaid segment. The companyĀfs market share advanced 1.2% to 15.3% of revenues in the Q3ĀĆ08.Comparing the figures of Q3ĀĆ07, VodafoneĀfs market share dipped by 0.7% to 35.2%, while T-Mobile fell by 0.2% to 35.3%. O2 slid to fourth place, with its market share down by 0.1% to 14.3%.

The German mobile subscriber base rose by 2.6 million subscribers to a total of 106 million subscribers at Q3ĀĆ08 end. Market penetration jumped to 129.0% at September-end, from 113.4% the year before. T-Mobile and Vodafone ruled the market with 36.6% and 34.1% of the market respectively. Together, they lost 1.1% of the market to other operators, with E-Plus at no.3 with a market share of 16.1% and O2 at 13.2%.

Source: Wireless News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:56:26 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.

ďBy 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,Ē 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

Megafon continues to grow in the Russian mobile market in the month of October by adding 960,894 new subscribers. Megafon, countryís third largest operator, is competing closely with Vimpelcom, which stood at 45.88 million, 31.7% of total net addition. Megafonís net additions counts to 38.7% share of Russiaís total net additions and totalled its subscriber base to 42.32 million. MTS lagged behind its rivals in terms of new additions, claiming just 19.4% with a subscriber base of 62.36 million in October, causing a threat to its number one position. Russia ended October with just over 182 million mobile subscribers, up from 179.54 million at the end of September.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:02:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Mobile grabs the 3G licecne in Macedonia, being awarded by countryís telecoms regulator, The Agency for Electronic Communications (AEK). T-Mobile was the only bidder for the three available 3G licences. T-Mobile after the payment of $12.83 million fee to the regulator, the operator will be awarded the radio spectrum by 2008 end and will have to launch the network in next six months and a coverage of 50% in 12 months. The licence will be valid for 10 years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

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

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

Source: Wirelss Federation.

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

Russia's second largest mobile operator Vimpelcom psts its Q3'08 revenues of $2.84 billion, up 45.3% since last year, driven by a strong subscriber base. OIBDA grew by 36.7% to $1.38 billion, giving a margin of 48.8%. Net income rose by 41.3% to $269 million. Capex doubled since 2007 to $692.9 million from $339 million. Vimpelcom's Russian operation's revenues rose by 46.8% in Q3'08 since last year to $2.4 billion. Revenues from the Beeline mobile operation rose 23.2% to $2.03 billion. OIBDA in the Russian mobile segment reached $1.2billion, a rise of 39.3% from 871 million in Q3'07. Vimpelcom, at the end of Q3'08 had a subscriber base of 45.09 million in Russia, generating ARPU of $15.2, up 19.5% from 2007.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:45:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

European Union is in favour of limiting the cost of SMS and mobile Web surfing between nation states. The ministers have given consent to cap the retail charge for sending a cross-border short text message at 11 euro cents, or 14 American cents. This implies that cost for sending Text across European borders would drop by an average of 62% from the current 29 euro cents. The data roaming charges are also expected to fall in the same line of SMS.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:44:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Telecom regulator of Romania is anticipating that the market will grow by between 5% and 10% in 2009, following a double-digit rise in 2008. President of the National Regulatory Authority for Communications (ANC), Liviu Nistoran, said the growth stood at 16.7% in 2007. Nistoran further said, Ďwe predict a two-figure market rise in 2008, with the most important sectors being the fixed broadband internet access and wireless internet, wireless data and mobile telephony.í ĎI believe the communications market will continue to develop in 2009 as well, but [at] a slower rate, due to the economic crisis. I am counting especially on the constant wireless internet growth, [with] WiMAX licences due to become operational next year,í he added.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:39:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

OTE, Greece largest telecoms firm, posts a rise of 30% to $260.4 million in net proft in the third quarter attributed to a strong performance in its mobile phone units. The revenues increase to 0.7% to euro1.64 billion from euro1.63 billion in the third quarter of 2007. OTE chairman and CEO Panagis Vourloumis said strong results in the mobile phone sector more than offset a ĀgmediocreĀh performance in fixed-line revenues in Greece. The company said, OTE expects 2009 profits to Āgat least matchĀh this yearĀfs, despite the global economic crisis. The Greek Government and Deutsche Telekom smacked a deal in May on sharing OTE ownership and management control. GreeceĀfs parliament has approved the deal in June, the government and Deutsche Telekom each control 25 % plus one share of OTE.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:33:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 01, 2008

­The European Commission, in a letter, has welcomed the French regulator's proposal to lower the wholesale rates charged by French mobile operators. The Commission also invited the regulator, ARCEP to keep up its efforts to set a target date by which they should equal the costs of an efficient operator in the next regulatory window that starts in 2011.

Click here to see full article

The Commission endorsed the regulatory measures proposed by the French regulator ARCEP: a price control obligation requiring French mobile operators SFR and Orange France to charge a termination rate of Ä0.03 per minute from 1 July 2010. Bouygues' rate is to be set at Ä0.04 per minute by the same date. ARCEP`s overall approach is to reduce termination rates towards the long run incremental cost (LRIC) of an efficient operator resulting in symmetric rates which will eventually be in line with the Commission's forthcoming Recommendation on termination rates. ARCEP set the target efficient cost-based mobile termination rate between Ä0.01 and Ä0.02 per minute, to be eventually reached by all mobile operators.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, December 01, 2008 9:45:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Turkey has awarded three 3G licenses to the incumbent operators following an auction to battle over the spectrum allocation. Turkcell won the largest block (A License) with a bid of Ä358 million ($462 million), followed by Vodafone and Avea with bids of Ä250 million (US$323 million) and Ä214 million (US$276 million) respectively.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe
Monday, December 01, 2008 9:33:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008

­Elisa continued its steady if unspectacular progress in Q3 08, adding 57.4k customers to bring its combined customer base to 2.83m. Annual growth stood at 7.9%, up from 6.9% in the previous twelve months. Given that Elisaís markets of operation (Finland and Estonia) both have penetration rates in excess of 125%, such a growth rate is commendable, as is the consistency of its growth: in the past eight quarters, figures for net additions have not fallen outside the 30k Ė 80k range.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:12:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Avea, one of Turkeyís leading mobile operator sees a boost of 2.5 million new subscribers with the introduction MNP. Avea predicts that nearly 9 million mobile users in Turkey will switch their operators, taking advantage of this new service.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:01:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Hungarian telecom regulator, National Communication Authority, launches two mobile licence tenders and a proposal to provide mobile infrastructure development. The two mobile licence will be valid for 15 years. According to Daniel Pataki, President NHH, the following descision has been taken in order to boost mobile market competition in the country. He also adds that though the country has a mobile penetration of 108%, countyryís 20% population still doesnít own a mobile phone and the price competition has been stagnant among the existing mobile operator i.e. T-Mobile, Pannon and Vodafone.

Looking at the present financial scenario, Pataki adds ĎWe have called the tender now as market conditions could turn even more unfavorable, since nobody can tell when this global financial market turmoil could endí.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:55:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 29, 2008

­The difference between mobile broadband and fixed broadband speeds is growing according to new research by broadband comparison site, Broadband-Expert. Fixed broadband services are now, on average, twice as fast as mobile broadband.

The research comes shortly after the UK's advertising standards agency (ASA) imposed a ban on an advert claiming mobile broadband offered ďall the benefits of home broadband on the moveĒ. However the provider claimed the advert was referring to the capabilities of mobile broadband as opposed to a technical comparison.

Broadband Expert clocked the average fixed line broadband speed at 3.61Mbs based on over 308,584 fixed line broadband speed tests compared to 1.57Mbs for mobile broadband (based on 5,345 tests). The gap has grown considerably due to a notable increase in the speed of fixed broadband services which are now 0.66Mbs faster than they were in February 2008 (when the average speed was recorded at 2.95Mbs). By comparison mobile broadband services surveyed by the same company in April 2008 have increased in speed by just 0.1Mbs.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:34:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008

France on Tuesday presented plans to set aside about a fifth of the country's prime television broadcasting spectrum for mobile Internet and television services by the end of 2009, in what supporters described as a major step toward creating a harmonized mobile broadband network in Europe.

France is the first major European country to reserve part of its most valuable broadcasting spectrum, the so-called UHF band, for mobile broadband and video services. Finland and Sweden have also said they plan to reserve the band for mobile services.

If a Europewide broadband network were to come to fruition, its greater scale would probably push down the cost of Internet services to consumers, especially in rural areas not reached by fast, fixed-line networks. It could also enable large mobile operators to sell services, like mobile TV or mobile broadband, across national borders, further increasing competition and lowering consumer prices.

The move was hailed by mobile operators and by the European Union's telecommunications commissioner, Viviane Reding, who is proposing that her office be given a greater role in influencing how EU countries redistribute the frequency.

Click here to see full article

Source: International Herald Tribune.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:35:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 17, 2008

Spain adds 245,026 new mobile lines in August, with the total lines reaching 50.10 million at the end of the month. The growth was recorded at 5% on a y-to-y basis, reports the Spanish regulator, CMT. The mobile penetration reaches 110.9 lines per 100 inhabitants. The growth in M2M sector was up by 36.2% since last year, bringing the total number of mobile lines to 51.48 million. The number of postpaid subscribers added were 127,835 and the prepaid were 117,191. Vodafone, Yoigo and the MVNOs saw a positive growth in portability, whereas Movistar and Orange experienced a negative growth.

Vodafone added 18,581 new subscribers, Yoigo added 3,713 susbcribers and MVNOs recieved 1,851 net additions. On the flipside, Orange lost 18,056 ported subscribers, Movistar lost 6,089 ported subscribers.

Q2ĀĆ08 figures show Vodafone accounted for 29.4% of the total net additions, Movistar for 26.7%, Orange for 20.3%, Yoigo accounted for 14.5% and MVNOs for the rest 9.1%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:23:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2008

Romania sees the highest mobile penetration rate growth than any European Union (EU) country last year says the National Communications Authority (ANC). According to the sources, countryís penetration rate for cellular services rose by 25.5 percentage points to 106.2%, with more and more users now signing up for multiple mobile phone accounts to take advantage of special offers on individual tariffs. Around 26% of the population in urban areas have two mobile handsets where as 9% have three phones. At the end of 2007, Romania subscriber base was almost 23 million. There is net addition of 1.8 million subscribers in first half of 2008, added regulator.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:33:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Efforts to spur more Europeans to shop online and across national boundaries will be stepped up Wednesday with plans for a new law to guarantee consumer rights across the 27-nation bloc.

The proposed legislation would oblige retailers to make product information available before sale, guarantee delivery within a maximum of 30 days and allow a statutory 14-day "cooling-off" period in which purchasers could change their minds.

Consumers would also be entitled to full refunds within seven days if goods fail to arrive, and companies would be banned from using some "get-out" clauses allowing them to supply products different from those advertised.

While an estimated 150 million Europeans use the Internet to shop, just one in five of those attempts to make purchases outside the home country, according to the European Commission.

Click here to see full article

European officials argue that the regulatory regime for e-commerce is vital because the sector is forecast to generate Ä128 billion, or $174 billion, across the European Union in 2008. The figure could grow by 230 percent in five years, officials say.

Source: Herald Tribune.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:29:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2008

Eesti Telekom, the Estonian operator, has reported its financial results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2008, revealing a net profit of EUR6.5 million (USD10.3 million), a 6.4% fall from June 2007. Revenues fell to EUR100.1 million (USD158 million), as a result of the reduction in interconnection fees by the state regulator in November 2007. Eesti also indicated that slowing sales of telecoms equipment had impacted revenues, with the operator also confirming it is to continue its strategy of reducing personnel to cut operating costs. Wireless subscriber figures show a rise from last year, up to 755,000, and according to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database, Eesti operates both GSM and 3G services under its Eesti Mobiiltelefon subsidiary, claiming 47% market share.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:13:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russiaís Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) said it had just under 87 million cellular subscribers across Russia and the CIS countries at the end of June, an increase of 520,000 in three months. MTS is the largest cellular operator in its home market, with 61.38 million customers at 30 June 2008, while its international operations include cellcos in Ukraine (19.13 million subscribers), Uzbekistan (4.37 million), Armenia (1.49 million) and Turkmenistan (570,000). The group also has 4.03 million customers in Belarus via a 49%-owned unconsolidated subsidiary.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:09:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of Spanish mobile customers reached 49.44m at the end of Q1 08, with annual net additions of 2.47m. In proportionate terms, annual growth stood at 5.3%, down 2.5pp compared to the year-earlier figure. This is in line with a downward trend in growth, a trend which is hardly surprising given that mobile penetration reached 122.1% at the end of Q1 08.

W-CDMA Customers, Q2 06 Ė Q1 08

Spanish market leader Telefonica finished the quarter with just over 23.01m customers, having managed an annual growth rate of 5.5%. In terms of market share, it recorded a very slight improvement (0.1pp) to finish Q1 on 46.5%. Second-placed Vodafone also gained 0.1pp year on year, finishing the quarter on 29.9%. In real terms, its customer base stood at 14.79m, up 0.79m year on year. This is lower than both the previous yearís figure of 1.25m net additions and Telefonicaís 1.19m. Nonetheless, in proportionate terms Vodafone grew by 5.6%, the highest growth rate on the market excluding start-up Xfera.

France Telecomís Amena was the slowest growing by some margin with an annual increase of just 0.2%. Having lost 0.37m customers in Q2 07, Amena bounced back with quarterly net additions of 0.23m and 0.17m in Q3 and Q4, but Q1 08 saw the loss of 7k, leaving the annual gain at a paltry 26k. At the end of Q1 08, it had 11.08m customers and market share of 22.4%, down 1.1pp year on year. Meanwhile, 3G operator Xfera gained 0.9pp but still remained a fairly insignificant presence with just 1.1% of the market, or 0.56m in real terms. Having launched services in Q4 06, it now seems too late for Xfera to make any sizeable inroads.

In fact, Xfera does not even have a 5% share of the 3G market, finishing Q1 08 on 4.6%. Vodafone is the 3G market leader with 5.26m W-CDMA connections, compared to 4.2m for Telefonica and 2.01m for Amena. Both Telefonica and Amena more than doubled their totals year on year, however, so we could see a close battle in the Spanish 3G market this year.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 21, 2008 8:17:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 18, 2008

According to the annual report of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), sales in the country's electronic communications market (telecoms, TV and radio) reached GEL1.1 billion (USD784 million) in 2007, up 10% year-on-year. The sector accounts for 6.6% of Georgia's overall GDP, down from 7.5% in 2006. Cellcos earned 63.3% of overall revenues, ahead of fixed line telcos with 29.5% and TV and radio broadcasters with 7.2%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, July 18, 2008 12:10:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 17, 2008

In Q1 08, the UK mobile customer base saw its first quarterly decline for two years, shedding 119k customers to finish the quarter on 70.67m. This is equivalent to a penetration rate of 116.0%. The losses were widespread, with O2, T-Mobile, Virgin and Tesco all suffering net declines. A similar range of companies also lost customers in Q1 07, but in that quarter a strong performance from Vodafone (723k net additions) ensured that the total customer base grew; in Q1 08, however, the highest figure for net additions was Orangeís 114k. Hutchison gained 75k and Vodafone 41k, but O2 lost 79k, T-Mobile 71k, Virgin 68k and Tesco 100k.

Quarterly Net Additions, Q1 07 vs Q1 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:00:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2008

Since 2005, mobile operators are noticing a steady depreciation of average revenue per user (ARPU). The reality is the European mobile market is saturated with over 100 percent of its population owning mobiles. Revenue growth strategies rooted in acquiring new customers are rendered ineffective. As a result, providers scrambled for state of the art services and applications for mobile devices. Headed by Italy, Europe found success with this infotainment solution. By late 2007, 2.6 million Europeans were already using mobile TV. Now the future of the mobile market in Eastern Europe rests in the growing popularity in mobile TV.

"Mobile TV refers to the transmission of audiovisual content to mobile devices," reports Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst, Saverio Romeo. "It means viewing any content on the move, anywhere and anytime. This concept completely changes the usage of audiovisual services, and consequently, the consumer's experience. In fact, the mobility not only allows users to view content on the move, but also to share content on the point of inspiration with other users introducing new forms of interactivity."

Eastern European countries are already tapping into Europe's success. New technologies such as MediaFLO, T-DMB, DVB-H and TDtv are being reviewed in various countries. In Poland, the Office for Electronic Communications (UKE) has launched the tender for 38 channels to major cities within the country. In Russia, MTS, the market leader, is ready to launch a mobile TV service offering 20 channels. In Hungary, the four companies of Vodafone Hungary, Nokia-Siemens Networks, T-Mobile Hungary, and Antenna Hungaria together launched a trial of a DVB-H network in Budapest in January 2008. The Czech Republic and Romania will not be left behind. Since the end of 2006, T-Mobile Czech Republic is running DVB-H trials in Prague with the help of the media company, Radiokomunikace. Orange Romania is currently orchestrating trials in Bucharest.

The inspiring success story of the Italian mobile operator, 3 Italia, commanded the attention of western and eastern European countries alike. "In 2006, 3 Italia launched its mobile TV (DVB-H) service. 3 Italia started the service in time for the football world cup and so had an astonishing take-up rate. The reason for this success was quite simple," says Saverio. "Football supporters do not really care about technologies. They want to view their teams when they are not at home at a good quality and at a package, which meets the needs of their wallets. 3 Italia managed to do all of this. The Italian mobile operator gained 400,000 subscriptions in 10 months. At the end of 2007, almost 900,000 Italians used 3 Italia's mobile TV platform. At the beginning of June 2008, 3 Italia launched a mobile TV service out of charge and ad-based."

The 2.6 million current European consumers are driven by three major factors: content quality, cost of service, and cost of mobile device. Satisfying the target consumers, in Eastern Europe, brings challenges for the operators and providers. Success depends on having 3G and beyond 3G network coverage for unicast (streaming video to a mobile device via the cellular networks) and on-demand solutions. Operators and providers must also establish and pay for the high cost of quality network infrastructures like DVB-H. The regulatory framework should be established to allocate spectrum. Along with this, handsets with sufficient audiovisual functionalities and easy-to-use interface must be readily available. Finally, the price must be attractive enough to draw in a vast audience.

The evident success of this new mobile service offers an exciting opportunity for mobile operators and providers in Eastern European countries, as they jump on the mobile TV bandwagon.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:14:07 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)  #     | 
 Monday, June 30, 2008

An EU-wide survey of 27,000 households has revealed the emergence of new consumption patterns in telecoms services in Europe. Technological progress and competition have brought more choice to European consumers as almost a quarter (24%) of households have given up their fixed telephone in favour of mobile phones while 22% of them are using their computer from home to make phone calls over the Internet.

In an increasing number of Member States, European households are using wireless access to connect to the Internet, via mobile or satellite networks. Meanwhile, 29% of European households buy bundled telecoms and media packages, an increase of nearly 10% since last year.

Nevertheless, the top priority for consumers in this fast evolving environment remains the quality of services.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 30, 2008 3:03:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 13, 2008

Irelandís independent telecoms regulator the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has outlined new proposals designed to expand the definition of wholesale unbundled access to take on board fibre-based networks and not just the DSL platforms currently covered. Siliconrepublic.com says that the move is seen as a means of driving broadband uptake in the Republic by encouraging alternative operators to expand their local loop unbundling (LLU) footprints. In a consultation document published yesterday, ComReg concludes that former monopoly operator eircom controls 70% of all xDSL connections in the country and that furthermore, DSL technology accounts for 60% of all broadband connectivity in the country. As a result, ComReg contends that only eircom has significant market power (SMP) in the broadband segment and that it now intends to expand wholesale broadband access to include not just DSL, but all forms of local access technology, including fibre and any next generation networks (NGNs), the incumbent may look to deploy. In addition, ComReg is looking at new measures that would require eircom to provide alternative operators with at least five years notice if it decided to close down a local exchange in which they had co-located equipment.

The regulatorís plans have been broadly welcomed by smaller operators with Smart Telecomís manager of regulatory affairs, John Quinn, saying the decision to create a Ďtechnology neutral environmentí would encourage alternative operators to invest in new networks. ĎThis will put Ireland in line with other European countries and means that the access network is not just copper but future fibre networks,í he said. Smart now intends to invest more heavily in its LLU programme which currently involves 37 exchanges across Ireland, covering around half a million potential subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:47:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

News agency Trend Capital reports that Azerfon, known locally as Nar Mobile, deployed 55 new base stations last month, lifting overall network coverage to 80% of the Azerbaijan's territory. The cellco was granted a GSM-900/1800 licence in December 2005 and launched GSM/GPRS/EDGE services in late March 2007. It currently has an estimated 700,000 subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:38:14 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.

ďWe 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,Ē 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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hungaryís incumbent mobile operators Pannon, Vodafone and T-Mobile collectively signed up a net 208,033 new subscribers last month to boost the countryís total cellular base to 11.43 million. Of the total, 10.26 million subscriptions were classed as Ďactiveí by telecoms regulator NHH at the end of April, equating to a cellular penetration rate of 113.9% (up from 111.8% a month earlier). Data published by the watchdog shows that Pannon lost market share last month, from 35.29% in March to 35.03% a month later, while T-Mobile edged its own share upwards from 43.88% to 44.20%. Third-placed cellco Vodafone also saw its slice of the pie declining slightly from 20.83% to 20.77%, NHH said.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 12:52:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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


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

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

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

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

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 8:05:59 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). KPNís 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 countryís high speed internet user base from 15.551 million to 16.225 million, reports the countryís 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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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

Source: TeleGeography

3G | Europe
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:22:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Macedonian alternative fixed line operator On.Net yesterday announced it was launching commercial voice telephony services in competition with the incumbent, Deutsche Telekom-backed Makedonski Telekom which trades under the T-Com banner, and that it intends to introduce new services and prices up to 60% below those offered by its established rival. In a press release reported by Makfax, On.Net, which was set up as an internet service provider in the country and has been owned by Telecom Slovenije since 2006, said it would create a new unit, Ontel, as a separate entity to offer the service. It is understood Ontel will kick off with an introductory offer of a free connection and free calls to other Ontel users. In addition, calls to mobile numbers will cost up to 15%-20% less, it said, while domestic long-distance (DLD) and international long-distance (ILD) voice calls would be up to 60% cheaper. Ontel will begin selling its service packages from 12 May in the capital Skopje only, setting its basic monthly fee at MKD990 (USD24.63) including 300 on-net voice minutes. The service will be rolled out to other areas Ďsooní it said. On.Net was cleared to enter the domestic fixed line voice telephony market last year but has struggled to do so citing the high interconnection prices imposed by Makedonski Telekom as the reason for a delay.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 1:57:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Franceís mobile operators and MVNOs added a net 373,000 new mobile users in the first three months of this year to take the total mobile subscriber base to 55.731 million at the end of March. According to data published by the industry watchdog Arcep, by the start of April the pre-paid base stood at 18.875 million, down 173,900 on the previous quarter, while contract users grew by 546,900 to 36.856 million. The countryís MVNOs accounted for close to 70,000 net additions in 1Q08, to end the period with a total of 2.671 million customers, in a period in which mobile number porting reached 305,900. Arcep said total mobile revenues on mainland France reached EUR5.46 billion (USD8.44 billion), up 3.2% year-on-year, while average monthly ARPU was EUR35.60, down from EUR35.80 in Q407, but up marginally from EUR34.50 in the first quarter of 2007. SMS traffic climbed 47% year-on-year to 6.913 billion messages as voice traffic increased by 7.2% to 35.58 billion minutes.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 2:01:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 02, 2008

Vodafone UK has revamped its mobile internet tariffs and henceforth, contract customers will no longer need to buy an additional internet bundle for £7.50 but instead every plan will automatically include internet access. Customers will get up to 500MB of data traffic per month included with their existing tariffs.

Price plans start at £25 and customers who select a £40 or higher price plan will also for the first time have the choice of unlimited texts, unlimited landline calls or unlimited Vodafone to Vodafone calls.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 02, 2008 3:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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

Key findings from the spring report include:

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

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

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

Source: Cellular News.

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

The Netherlandsí incumbent fixed and mobile operator KPN Telecom has reported a 3.5% annual rise in first-quarter core net profit, driven by strong growth at its international mobile operations, and says there are strong indications that its Dutch businesses are beginning to bottom out.

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Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:16:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008
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"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.

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Source: Telecom Web.

Monday, April 21, 2008 8:58:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 18, 2008

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

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

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

Europe: % Customers W-CDMA, Q4 02 - Q4 07 

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Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe
Friday, April 18, 2008 9:31:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The total number of mobile connections in the UK surpassed 70 million during the fourth quarter of 2007, finishing the year on 70.99 million. In total there were 4.10 million net additions during the year, up from 1.35 million in 2006, while on a proportionate basis the annual customer growth rate almost tripled from 2.1% to 6.2%. This was due in part to the one-off loss of 1.30 million customers in 2006 as a result of T-Mobile's change in policy regarding active users, but even if we discount this there would have been an increase in customer growth in 2007. This is despite the fact that penetration is well over 100%: at the end of 2007, in fact, the penetration rate had reached 116.5%, up from 110.1% a year earlier.

Customers and Annual Customer Growth Rate

Monthly ARPU - Top Four Operators

 
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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 2:28:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 07, 2008

Russiaís largest cellular operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), will report revenues of more than USD8 billion for 2007, up 25% on the 2006 figure. Though full financial statistics have still to be released for 2007, MTS says its annual sales growth beat its own forecasts of around 22%. MTS had 85 million mobile subscribers in Russia and the CIS at the end of 2007, including 57.4 million in its domestic market. Last week MTS was reported to have made a USD1 billion offer to acquire smaller rival SMARTS Group, though the company has still to comment on the reports.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 07, 2008 2:04:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Russian wireline operator PeterStar has reported revenues of USD117 million in 2007, up 23% year-on-year. EBITDA grew 20% to USD56 million and net profit was up 40% at USD33 million, CNews reports. The firm says revenues from data transmission and internet access services were up 34% annually and now account for 36% of overall sales. PeterStar is an affiliate of the Synterra group and operates in Russiaís North West region.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:54:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 31, 2008

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.

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Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:49:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 27, 2008

Belarusí 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

Regulator Anacom has published fixed line market statistics for the fourth quarter of 2007. Portugal Telecomís market share of Ďaccesses installed at customer requestí fell to 71.9% from 78.1% at the start of the year as it continued to lose out to alternative operators, most notably Sonaecom-backed Novis, which boosted its share from 9% to 14.4% following the acquisition of the residential and SoHo business of Oni Telecom. Among the fastest growing fixed line operators is Vodafone, having tripled its market share from 0.4% to 1.2% in just twelve months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:48:13 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 ECís 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)  #     | 

A third GSM network operator has launched was Albania last week. Eagle Mobile, a joint venture between Turkish Calik Holding, Turkish Telecom and the Albanian State has launched with coverage in Tirana and Durres cities, the territory between and country's the only International Airport.

The company says that it now covers about half the country's population, using infrastructure supplied by Huawei and Amdocs.

93 percent of the employees of Eagle Mobile are Albanian, and the company plans to create a field of activity for more then 1000 Albanian people.

The country currently has two mobile operators, Vodafone and AMC. According to figures from the Mobile World, the country ended last September with some 2.2 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 61%

Albania is a parliamentary democracy that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to 750,000 of the country's 3.6 million population. As a result of the opening of the country in the post-communist era, Albania is now undergoing a development boom as its telecommunications, transport and utilities infrastructure is being revamped.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:32:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 20, 2008

Greek alternative fixed line and broadband operator ForthNetís full year 2007 net losses widened to EUR32.5 million (USD60.0 million) from EUR16.7 million in 2006, on increased costs of local loop unbundling (LLU) and subscriber acquisition. Annual revenues grew 21.7% year-on-year to EUR119 million, as broadband subscribers doubled in twelve months to reach approximately 200,000 at the end of December (and subsequently reached 210,000 at the end of February 2008). LBITDA widened from EUR5 million in 2006 to EUR20 million last year, but the company expects to start posting gains in the second half of 2008 on improved operating performance and a new LLU subscriber acquisition cost accounting method. ForthNetís CAPEX reached EUR64.3 million in 2007, up from EUR36 million the previous year. As of February 2008 it claimed to be Greeceís market leader for LLU customers with a 35% market share.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:37:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Home, the fixed line division of German incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT), is forecasting a drop in revenues of between 4% and 6% during 2008, and a decline in EBITDA of 5% to 8%, according to T-Home CEO Timotheus Hoettges. Results for the full year 2007, published last month, showed falls of 8% in revenue and 14% in EBITDA. Hoettges said that the current decline should be stemmed by 2010, when increases in broadband customers will entirely offset losses in fixed line telephony. He added that cost savings of up to EUR1 billion (USD1.57 billion) are expected in the coming year, most of which will be used to attract new customers. The telco hopes to attract an additional 1.6 million DSL customers in Germany by the close of 2008. Hoetgess said that he expects that T-Home's revenue and EBITDA decreases will level out by 2010, when the fixed line losses have been entirely offset by increases in broadband customers and revenues.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:35:23 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 ECís 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 Netherlands was home to 2.53 million consumer VoIP subscribers at the end of 2007, up 7.3% on the previous quarter, reports telecompaper. The online portal says the rise was driven by increased take-up of DSL VoIP and continued demand for cable VoIP alternatives. The total Dutch consumer telephony market stood at 5.69 million connections by the start of this year, up 22,000 lines year-on-year, despite a 27.5% drop in traditional PSTN/ISDN lines to 2.847 million by the end of last year. Telecompaper estimates KPNís share of the digital telephony market climbed to 33.5% by 31 December 2007, thanks to the launch of DSL and voice telephony services under the Telfort banner Ė which is targeting the entry-level user segment. In Q4 2007 the former monopoly added 61,000 new customers (up 7.8% on Q3 2007), while second-placed IP telephony provider Zesko (@Home, Casema and Multikabel) recorded 54,000 net new additions in the fourth quarter to end the year with 710,000 VoIP users. UPC Nederland was the third largest VoIP provider by subscribers with 489,200 customers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:12:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 13, 2008

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

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

Source: Newsletter Analyst Insider from ABI Research.

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

Israeli telco Bezeq has announced results for the year ended 31 December 2007. Revenue for the twelve month period rose 1.4% to ILS12.4 billion (USD3.5 billion) from ILS12.2 billion recorded in 2006. Operating profits jumped 49.3% to ILS2.3 billion, while EBITDA increased by 19.7% to ILS4.1 billion, with EBITDA margin increasing to 33.1% from 28%. Bezeqís operating areas had mixed results; wireless subsidiary Pelephone and international services provider Bezeq International saw increases in revenues of 4.6% and 27.7% respectively to ILS4.7 billion and ILS1.3 billion. By contrast Bezeqís fixed line operations saw revenues slip 1.5% to ILS5.7 billion, falling from ILS5.8 billion the year before. Net profits Ė not given in the case of the fixed line operations Ė increased for Bezeq International (up 59.4%) and Pelephone (up 20.4%) to ILS153 million and ILS585 million. Bezeq states that the increases in revenue for 2007 were driven by rising demand for broadband and cellular services, as well as an increase in subscriber numbers following several marketing initiatives, and a focus on operating efficiency.

Operationally; Pelephoneís wireless subscriber base rose 8% to 2.6 million of which 749,000 (28%) were connected to its 3G network. Wireline broadband customers rose by 8% to 963,000, although active fixed lines fell by 1.7% to 2.7 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:19:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange France announced yesterday the launch of a 3.5G HSDPA-based service for corporate customers in Lyon. The new product promises to double downlink connection speeds for users from 3.6Mbps up to a maximum 7.2Mbps. The company says deployment of faster HSDPA in other major towns and cities across France should be underway by the summer. The operator is hoping to reach 71% of the population with 3.5G coverage by the end of 2008. It also says it is looking to achieve 99% population coverage with EDGE and to have deployed 30,000 Orange Wi-Fi hotspots. Orange is offering the new package as part of its Business Everywhere solutions. It is launching with three mobile handsets compatible with 3G+ (HSDPA at 7.2Mbps and HSUPA) which can also be adapted to laptop computers using USB key (Huawei E270), PCMCIA Card (Option GX 301) and PC Express Card (Huawei E870).

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Europe | Mobile
Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:16:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 10, 2008

Slovak Telekom has posted total revenue of SKK31.5 billion (USD1.5 billion) for 2007, up 3.1% year-on-year, as a 7.8% increase in mobile revenue more than offset a 1.9% in fixed line sales. EBITDA grew 19.3% to SKK16.3 billion while net income almost trebled to SKK6.2 billion. While strong customer growth in the mobile and broadband sectors helped boost the results, net income was affected by one-off gains from the sales of Radiokomunikacie and real estate, as well as the release of reserves following success in a major legal competition case.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:59:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Swisscom has announced that in the year ended 31 December 2007 revenues rose 14.9% to CHF11.09 billion (USD10.7 billion), while EBITDA was 18.9% higher at CHF4.5 billion. The increase was primarily attributable to Swisscomís May 2007 acquisition of Italian ISP Fastweb. On a like-for-like basis net revenue increased by 0.3%; declining revenues from its traditional fixed line business were offset by growth in its outsourcing business and broadband operations. Gains from the sale of subsidiaries Antenna Hungaria and Infonet helped the company report a 29.4% increase in net income for the year, to CHF2.07 billion.

At the end of 2007 Swisscom claimed 5.29 million fixed lines in service, of which 1.6 million were DSL. At the same date the company had 5.01 million wireless customers, a net increase of 375,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:25:01 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)  #     | 

Turkeyís largest mobile operator by subscribers Turkcell has reported full year 2007 net profit that rose by 54% year-on-year to USD1.35 billion, as consolidated revenues climbed 35% to USD6.3 billion. The GSM providerís annual EBITDA reached USD2.6 billion, up 44.3% on its 2006 figure. Turkcellís group subscriber base grew by 19.5% on an annual basis to 47.1 million (35.4 million of them in Turkey) as of 31 December 2007, with domestic annualised monthly ARPU rising by 18% year-on-year to USD14.3 (USD12.1), and average monthly minutes of usage (MOU) amongst Turkish subscribers increasing by 9% to 76.3 minutes (70.3). Turkcellís Ukrainian subsidiary Astelitís revenues increased by 191% in 2007 to USD256 million (USD88 million). Turkcell also owns stakes in four other GSM operators in partnership with TeliaSonera via their shared joint venture Fintur International. Fintur majority-owns market leading cellcos in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan (Geocell, Azercell and GSMK respectively), plus the second largest operator in Moldova, Moldcell.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:54:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Portugal Telecom (PT) posted a 14.4% drop in net profit in full-year 2007, with growth at domestic mobile network operating unit TMN offset by redundancy costs and weak wireline performance. PT said its annual net income fell to EUR742 million (USD1.1 billion), down from EUR867 million in 2006, on revenues that rose 6.6% to EUR6.1 billion.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:29:25 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 groupís 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 Irelandís 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)  #     | 

Telefonica has posted a 2007 net profit of EUR8.91 billion (USD13.38 billion), up 42.9% year-on year on the back of a strong performance by its wireless and Latin American operations. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2007 rose by 19.3% to EUR22.8 billion, while full year revenues rose 6.7% to EUR56.44 billion.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:20:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Europeís largest telco by revenue, Deutsche Telekom (DT), reports today that it achieved, and in some cases exceeded, its financial targets for 2007. The telcoís adjusted net profit came in at EUR3.0 billion (USD4.8 billion) for full year 2007, down from EUR3.85 billion one year previously, a 22% fall, principally due to an increase in income taxes of EUR400 million. Adjusted EBITDA was stable year-on-year, at EUR19.3 billion (2006: EUR19.4 billion). Although domestic sales slipped by 5.4% to EUR30.7 billion, this was offset by international sales growth of 10.26% to EUR31.8 billion, leaving total group revenue up slightly at EUR62.5 billion. The groupís outlook for the coming year is that adjusted EBITDA will remain constant, and it intends to continue its policy of paying Ďattractive dividendsí. DTís domestic fixed line operation T-Home is expecting its share of new customers in the German broadband market to be at least 45%, whilst American cellular subsidiary T-Mobile USA is expected to see growth in its subscriber base of three million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Croatian incumbent telco T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT) has reported its financial results for 2007, which its said were in line with consensus forecasts. Annual net profit rose by 11.6% to EUR336.8 million, although excluding one-off gains it rose by only 1%. Revenues grew by 2.3% in the year, driven by its domestic market-leading mobile division (operating under the T-Mobile brand of parent Deutsche Telekom), which saw a 6.9% hike in turnover. The fixed line segment suffered a 1.1% revenue decline, and group EBITDA fell by 2.1%, hurt mainly by redundancy costs.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:56:14 AM (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 Ė 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

Worldís biggest telecommunication company Vodafone has unveiled a new service in Spain, which enables its mobile consumers to turn their handsets into a fixed telephone at home.

Click here to see full article

Vodafone is about to start selling the service hoping to reach 9.6 million homes which have no broadband Internet access.

Click here to see full article

Vodafone launched similar services in other European countries such as Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Greece, where it now has 4 million fixed-line customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:42:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2008

MADRID -(Dow Jones)- The number of mobile phone lines in Spain rose 7.3% in 2007 to a total of 50.2 million, the telecommunications regulator CMT said Wednesday.

At the end of the year, Spain had a mobile telephone penetration rate of 112%, or 112 lines per 100 people, the CMT said.

Of the 3.4 million new cellular lines added last year, Vodafone's Spanish unit picked up roughly 40% of them, followed by Telefonica with 35%.

TeliaSonera's Spanish unit, Yoigo, had 18% of the new mobile lines while France Telecom's operator Orange added 16%.

The remaining new lines were picked up by Spain's smaller low-cost MVNO operators, which buy airtime from the larger operators.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 10:25:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Consumer VoIP subscriber growth continues to soar in Western Europe, reaching 21.7 million at mid-year 2007, up from 15.6 million only six months earlier. TeleGeography estimates that the ranks of European VoIP subscribers had grown to 28.9 million by year-end 2007.

While VoIP is often associated with competitive carriers and cable companies, many European incumbents have counterattacked by launching their own VoIP services, often with great success. France Telecom has emerged as by far the largest consumer VoIP provider in Europe, while BT, Telecom Italia, and KPN all rank among the top ten European VoIP operators.

As these rankings suggest, the European consumer VoIP market remains fragmented and highly diverse, featuring a wide range of provider types and business models. In some countries, incumbents dominate; in others, competitive carriers have gained the advantage. Similarly, VoIP adoption differs widely across nations. For example, 34 percent of all French households subscribe to VoIP, compared to only 11 percent in Germany.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | VoIP
Friday, February 22, 2008 10:11:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2008

A total of 52 percent of Irish consumers with a fixed line in their home subscribe to some form of bundled service, according to a Trends Series Survey into telecoms service usage from regulator ComReg. The most common bundle is fixed line calls, line rental and internet access - selected by 51 percent of respondents. The survey was conducted by Millward Brown IMS in October and November 2007. Mobile phone ownership for residential consumers reached 90 percent in Q4 2007, with 76 percent of consumer mobile phone owners using pre-paid models. Pre-paid mobile phone usage is higher for 15-24 year olds (89%) and those with no fixed-line at home (82%). A total of 54 percent of respondents use the internet from any location, with 48 percent of respondents having home internet connections. Of those with home internet connections, 68 percent are using broadband. DSL is the top broadband access technology for home internet users, with 52 percent using DSL. E-mail, research and travel/holiday bookings were given as the top reasons for using the internet. Online banking and online shopping were most popular for 25-49 year olds, with music downloading, social network sites and online games playing most popular for 15-24 year olds.

Source: Wireless News.

Monday, February 18, 2008 9:53:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 15, 2008

A report published yesterday by Irelandís telecoms watchdog the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) shows that while former monopoly eircom may be losing ground in the internet access segment, it still controls a 78% share of the residential telephony market despite nine years of competition. The regulatorís ĎConsumer ICT Services Survey Q4 2007í shows that eircom far and away outstripped its closest rival Perlico, the company recently acquired by Vodafone, which had 7% of the residential telephony market by subscribers, based on the survey conducted by Millward Brown IMS. Third place was taken by BT Ireland (5%), followed by TalkTalk/Tele2 (2%), Imagine Group (2%), ntl/UPC (1%), Magnet (1%), others (2%) and donít knows (2%). The report also revealed that the percentage of homes in the Republic with a fixed line is falling: in 2000 more than four-fifths of households reported having a landline, but this figure has now dropped to around 68%. Over the same period, the proportion on people (15yrs-74yrs) owning a cellphone has climbed from 40% to 90%, with even higher rates of ownership for all adults under the age of 50. Pre-paid ownership accounted for 76% of users in 4Q07, down two percentage points in the year.

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Friday, February 15, 2008 3:08:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgium's second largest operator by customer numbers, Mobistar, has reported its Q4 07 results, which suggest that it finished the year strongly, adding a record 155k new connections in the final quarter of 2007. This takes its total customer base to 3.49m, with net additions of 337k in the year, up from 240k in 2006. On a proportionate basis, annual growth rose to 10.7% from 8.2% in 2006.

However, these headline figures do not tell the whole story. In fact, most of the growth in 2007, and particularly in Q4, was attributable to 'third party' MVNO customers. In terms of annual net additions, 193k - 57% of the total - were in the MVNO segment, while in Q4 the figures were 112k and 73%. If we strip out new connections to MVNOs, a very different picture emerges. In the retail segment, there were only 145k net additions in 2007, compared to 226k in 2006, while annual growth in this segment was down to 4.6% from 7.8% in 2006.

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Friday, February 15, 2008 11:45:20 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 ĎADSL Budgetí service comes in at Ä20/month.

The ĎADSL Timeí package, launched at the same time, charges Ä0.043/minute at peak times, plus a connection charge of Ä0.25.  Dial-up usage patterns are usually patchy and relatively light and the pay as you go model of ĎADSL Timeí 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 07, 2008

France added nearly 2 million new mobile phone users in the fourth quarter of 2007, taking the total to 55.4 million (87.6% of the population), according to telecommunication regulator Arcep. MNOs had 50.7 million customers and around fifteen MVNOs had 4.88 percent combined market share at the end of the year. Of the total number of mobile phone subscribers, 53.3 million are in mainland France, where the penetration rate is 87.1 percent, and 2.1 million are in overseas territories (103.5%). Postpaid plans were used by 36.3 million consumers at the end of last year, compared to 19 million on prepaid. SMS traffic rose to 37 per month in the fourth quarter from 31.1 in the third. Communication time slipped to 33.4 billion minutes from 34.6 billion, respectively. ARPU rose to EUR 35.80 per month in the third quarter, compared to EUR 35.20 in the second. This compares to EUR 37 at the end of 2006. Mobile number portability rose to 321,800 numbers in the fourth quarter, up 21.6 percent on the preceding quarter.

Source: Wireless Federation, based on Arcep.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 8:43:54 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 15, 2008

Spain added 182,263 mobile phone subscriptions in November 2007, taking the toal to 49.58 million mobile lines, or 110.9 lines per 100 inhabitants, according to telecommunication regulator CMT. Of the subscribers, 50.7 percent (92,407) signed with Vodafone, 30.2 percent (55,043) chose Yoigo, 10.9 percent (19,867) went with Telefonica Movilís Movistar, and 1.6 percent (2,916) chose MVNOs. Mobile number portability rose by 7 percent to 328,455 lines in November 2007 compared to November 2006. Telefonica added 18,269 ported numbers and Yoigo added 18,150. Orange had lost 21,945 net lines to portability, followed by Vodafone with 12,131, Euskaltel with 359 and the remainder of MVNOs lost 1,987.

Source: Wireless Federation base on CMT.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 4:11:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 21, 2007

Although the 100% penetration level was reached in Q1 of this year, mobile growth has not slowed to any great extent and in fact, the third quarter saw more new connections than either of the earlier quarters, with 20.14m new connections, against 14.5m in the second and 16.3m in the first. Curiously, the 20m figure is almost exactly the same number as in both Q3 06 and Q3 05, when net additions totalled 20.4m and 20.2m respectively.

If the normal seasonal pattern is repeated in Q4, then the final period of the year should see something between 25-30m new connections, enough to take penetration up to 110%. This reflects the fact that it is now quite commonplace to have more than one mobile account - one for work and another for domestic use. Add to this a small but growing number of machine to machine SIMs and a steadily increasing number of datacards or 3G USB devices, remove inactives where appropriate and clearly, there is no immediate prospect of a cessation of growth.

Top 20 European MNOs by Customers

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Friday, December 21, 2007 3:59:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2007

The vast majority of Europe's mobile customers are contained within its eight largest markets Ė France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK. Together, these account for nearly 500m of the 700m total, or just over 70%. The largest of these is Germany, with a total of 89.15m at the end of the quarter, while the smallest is Poland which closed the period on exactly 40m mark.

However, there are marked differences in penetration levels across the eight and also, some notable differences in growth rate.

Italy remains by far the most heavily penetrated market, with a level of ownership equating to some 143% of its population, nearly 25ppts more than the second country on this list, Spain. Both are obviously popular holiday destinations, which, given the quarter in question, might inflate the numbers to a degree but thee is little evidence to support this - certainly, neither market has ever seen a fourth quarter slump of the kind that we see in some of the Balkan states.

Subscriber base - Q3 06 Ė Q3 07

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Thursday, December 20, 2007 9:59:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 10, 2007

The number of SMS message send by Germans is expect to grow from 22.5 billion in 2006 to more than 23 billion during this year, according to the German federation for ICT and new media Bitkom in a release to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of SMS. The average number of SMS message sent by German inhabitants has grown from 44 in 1999 to 280 in 2006.

Source : Wireless Federation, based on Bitkom release.

Monday, December 10, 2007 8:45:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Dutch mobile market is on track for 5 percent growth in services revenues in 2007, but could see a slowdown in 2008. In the third quarter of 2007, mobile services revenues grew 1.1 percent from Q2 and were up 4.3 percent from a year earlier, to a total EUR 1.620 billion. The market added 471,000 new customers in the quarter, for a total 18.914 million at the end of September.

Market leader KPN had the best performance in terms of subscriber additions in the quarter with 293,000 new connections, while number two Vodafone added just 2,000 new customers. T-Mobile also underperformed, adding just 1,000 new customers, while its merger partner Orange gained 38,000 customers, of which almost half were postpaid. MVNOs such as Tele2, UPC and Lycamobile also performed well in postpaid, boosting their combined postpay market share to 4.7 percent from 3.1 percent a year ago.

Revenue growth in the third quarter came from the postpaid market, which posted a 7.0 percent rise in services revenues compared to a year ago, to EUR 1.37 billion. Prepaid revenues were down 8.6 percent from a year earlier, with all four network operators showing lower prepay revenues. Non-voice services such as SMS and data also helped revenue growth in Q3, increasing 21.6 percent from the year-earlier period to EUR 337 million. Voice revenues meanwhile fell versus Q2 and showed only a small rise year-on-year, to EUR 1.28 billion.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, December 10, 2007 8:43:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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. Thatís 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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Romanian telecoms regulator ANRCTI says that the countryís mobile networks carried 9.7 billion minutes of traffic in the first half of 2007, up 24% from the second half of 2006. On average, Romanian users register one hour and 23 minutes of voice traffic each month and send 13 SMS text messages. The countryís fixed networks carried 3.9 billion minutes of traffic in the first half, down 8% compared to the previous semester. Alternative providers accounted for 1.23 billion minutes of traffic, up 5.3% on H2 2006.

Source: Telegeography, based on the ANRCTI's statement.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007 8:46:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The number of mobile phones sold in Germany is expected to grow by 6 percent from 34.4 million in 2006 to 36.5 million during this year, according to the German federation for ICT and new media Bitkom. At the same time, mobile revenue will grow by 2 percent from EUR 4.1 billion in 2006 to EUR 4.2 billion this year, as the growing number of mobile customers offsets only partially the drop in mobile minute fees. The mobile penetration is expected to grow from 104 percent in 2006 to 109 percent at the end of this year. A recent survey executed by Forsa for Bitkom shows that Germans increasingly use or want to use mobile internet applications, with navigation mentioned by 36 percent followed by information about traffic jams by 31 percent. Both news and bus/train time tables were mentioned by 26 percent followed by weather news by 24 percent. The survey also found that around 20 percent of German mobile users will use mobile internet services by 2010.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:17:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |