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 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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

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

Source: Telegeography.

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

The Guardian newspaper reports that Vodacom’s Tanzanian operating subsidiary intends to expand coverage of its popular money transfer service M-PESA to even the most remote parts of the country, by dint of the TZS130 billion (USD83.8 million) network upgrade it is currently undertaking. Rene Meza, managing director of Vodacom Tanzania, says that the M-PESA service – launched in 2008 – is now taken by almost three million subscribers, helping to drive overall customer growth. Speaking in February this year, Meza said the sharp increase in subscribers was largely driven by people signing up to M-PESA, which has a claimed 85% share of total e-mobile commerce transactions in the country. It is clear that the money transfer service has made a significant contribution to the socio economic development of the country and ‘revolutionised’ the way many people do business there.

Meza is now confident that, with the planned network upgrade, Vodacom will be able to open up some otherwise ‘uncovered’ areas to its products and services. As reported by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Tanzanian operator’s South Africa-based parent, Vodacom Group, earlier reported that its unit in Tanzania increased its active subscriber base in the twelve months ended 31 March 2012, closing out the period with 9.665 million users, a market share of 40.5%.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:14:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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

Source: Telegeography

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

The World Bank’s board of directors has approved the extension of Nicaragua’s Rural Telecommunications Project, with an additional credit line of USD5 million. The funding will be used to expand telecoms access to more than 200,000 rural inhabitants in Rio San Juan, the Region Autonoma del Atlantico Norte (RAAN), the Region Autonoma del Atlantico Sur (RAAS) and the Alto Wanki Territory. The rural initiative, which was introduced in 2007, with an initial investment of USD7 million, has already installed broadband access points in 101 municipalities, expanded mobile phone coverage to 37 rural communities, and installed almost 600 public phones in rural areas. In these areas, poverty levels reach almost 55%, and the problems are especially prevalent in indigenous communities which lack access to the country’s national communication networks.

Orlando Castillo, executive president of the Instituto Nicaraguense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos (Telcor), commented: ‘With the extension of this project, we will be able to increase regional access to telecommunications services by at least 40%, something that will have a positive effect on the local economy.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:39:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:07:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 16, 2012

­The transformation of the mobile phone from yuppie plaything to a tool that drives economic growth in the developing world is arguably the biggest technology story of the first decade of the 21st century, according to Tom Standage, Digital Editor of The Economist magazine.

Speaking at the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering last month as part of the Vodafone lecture series, Tom echoed Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University's Earth Institute development guru's statement that the humble mobile phone is "the single most transformative tool for development".

He said: "In 2008, three quarters of mobile phones were in developing countries, marking a massive shift from when they were merely playthings for yuppies."

While there are approximately six billion mobile devices used across the world, only a quarter are found in the developed world, which means that the mobile is predominantly a developing world story.

He pointed to Harvard economist Robert Jensen's research measuring the economic impact of mobile phones. By studying the historical price of fish in Kerala, Southern India, Jensen showed that, after the introduction of phone coverage, waste was reduced, consumer prices fell by 4% and fishermen's' profits rose by 8%.

Tom attributed the spread of the mobile phone into some of the world's poorest countries to standardisation, the effect of Moore's Law, (whereby the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years leading to rapid improvements in processing performance of electronic devices), the use of microfinance and pre-paid billing to make mobiles more affordable, and deregulation.

"Healthy competition and deregulation force prices down and mobile penetration grows; even the governments make money by selling licences to operators - it's a win-win," he said.

He pointed to two African countries as proof that bad regulation is more prohibitive to growth than chaos. Ethiopia is one of the last telecoms monopolies and in 2008 had just 3.5% mobile penetration, compared to Africa's average of 40%. Even war-torn Somalia without a government had 8% penetration at the time, proving that "warlords want their phones to work too!"

Mo Ibrahim, Founder of pan-African mobile group Celtel has proved that Africa is open for business. "It's not Western multinationals but local companies with local knowledge that are creating jobs and building mobile companies," said Tom.

He is particularly excited about mobile money. People in Kenya started using airtime as a quasi-currency to transfer funds and pay for goods. Kenya's M-PESA mobile money service now leads the world. Standage said that the mobile money transfer model works so well as it transforms every one of the 28,000 corner shops selling mobile credit into a banking outlet and makes economies more efficient.

Mobile money has yet to catch on in the Western world and Tom said: "you can pay for a cab in Nairobi with your phone but not in New York."

In fact, the West is learning some valuable mobile lessons from developing nations. Western operators used to spend a lot of money air-conditioning mobile base stations before discovering that they did not bother in considerably hotter India, as by the time the stations were damaged by heat, they were out of date anyway.

India also used tower sharing before the West. Indian operators fought over sites to place expensive towers until it became clear that it would be more efficient for companies to rent towers. European regulators had considered this idea but feared it would lead to price-fixing by operators. However, India disproved their theory and now Vodafone uses tower sharing in Europe.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, March 16, 2012 4:12:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2011

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


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


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

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:34:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 17, 2011

­The Indian government has launched a new low-cost Android based tablet device that will be distributed to schools in the country.

The device will cost the government US$49.98, but will then be subsidised to US$35 per unit.

This current phase was a pilot to procure 100,000 devices. These devices are now being distributed to students all over the country so that they can be extensively tested in various climatic and usage conditions. The feedback obtained from the testing will form an input into the design of the next version of the device.

The Aakash UbiSlate 7 Tablet comes with a 366 Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM along with a 2GB Flash Memory. The screen is a 7-inch display with 800x480 pixel resolution and connectivity is Wi-Fi only. The OS is Android version 2.2.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, October 17, 2011 7:57:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has launched the second phase of its rural telephony project, dubbed ‘Nteletsa II’, aimed at providing telecoms services to almost 200 villages for the first time, local news source Mmegi Online reports. The project forms part of the government’s Rural Telecommunications Development Programme, which hopes to boost the nation’s teledensity by improving access to voice and data services in rural areas. Under Nteletsa II, telecoms infrastructure and services were extended to 197 villages in the districts of Chobe, Ghantsi, Kgalagadi, Central, Kgatleng, North West and Kweneng. ‘The fulfilment of the Nteletsa project will bring remote areas in Botswana together through telecommunications services,’ noted Keabetswe Segole, acting CEO of BTC, adding, ‘Funding this project is a promising sign of the government's dedication to bringing all of Botswana into 21st century communications. BTC is glad to be the vehicle driving the country towards improved telecommunication availability.’

The Nteletsa project began in 1999, when BTC was awarded an exclusive contract for the rural telephony project. The first areas to be connected were Tuli Block and Barolong, followed by Tswapong, Ngwaketse, Kweneng, and the Southern and North East districts. In 2008 the government awarded contracts for Nteletsa II to BTC, as well as mobile operator Mascom Wireless and local consortium Kuto Lamworld Telenet.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:37:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vietnam’s largest mobile network operator, Viettel and World Bank’s IFC have signed a public-private partnership under which the operator will upgrade Haiti’s fixed line network in the country’s largest foreign direct investment after the earthquake.

US$59 million will be invested initially and upgrade services offered by fixed line operator Télécommunications d’Haiti (Teleco) and later an investment of an additional US$40 million over four years. A new company will be created for this purpose in which Viettel will hold a 60 percent stake and Banque de la République d’Haiti (BRH), Teleco and their affiliates will control the remaining 40 percent.

Haitian government had IFC as an advisor while structuring the international bidding process for the partnership since June 2007. According to Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, agreement reflects the extraordinary commitment of the Government of Haiti and Viettel to ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for the Haitian people and Economic growth is easier to achieve when people have the basic tools they need to communicate and connect with the world.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:31:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Vietnam's largest mobile network operator, Viettel has signed a deal to upgrade Haiti's fixed line network in the country's largest foreign direct investment after the earthquake. Under a public-private partnership structured by World Bank's IFC, Viettel will initially invest US$59 million, and an additional US$40 million over four years, to upgrade services offered by fixed line operator Télécommunications d'Haiti (Teleco), creating a new company in which Viettel will hold a 60 percent stake and Banque de la République d'Haiti (BRH), Teleco and their affiliates will control the remaining 40 percent.

The IFC served as the advisor to the Haitian government in structuring the international bidding process for the partnership since June 2007.

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, noted: ""The agreement reflects the extraordinary commitment of the Government of Haiti and Viettel to ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for the Haitian people. Economic growth is easier to achieve when people have the basic tools they need to communicate and connect with the world."Viettel's investment comes at a critical time. Even prior to the devastating earthquake on January 12, Haiti's fixed-line penetration was only 1.8 percent - the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mobile density was emerging at around 35 percent while Internet penetration remained below 1 percent. The earthquake caused significant damage to existing telecom operators' networks, including those of Teleco and other local providers.

"Enhancing telecommunications infrastructure at this time is an essential component of Haiti's reconstruction efforts," said Charles Castel, Governor of BRH. "We welcome Viettel's commitment which shows confidence in Haiti and sends a signal to other potential private investors who want to support the country's recovery and development."IFC's infrastructure advisory services in the Teleco project received donor support from DevCo, a multidonor facility affiliated with the Private Infrastructure Development Group. DevCo is funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the Austrian Development Agency. Additional support for IFC's advisory work was provided by the United States Treasury Department.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:09:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The 9th edition of the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report (WTDR 2010) focuses on Monitoring the WSIS Targets. The year 2010 marks the midpoint between the 2005 Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and 2015, the deadline for achieving the ten targets that governments agreed upon at the WSIS. The Report is a mid-term review, and provides policy makers with a comprehensive assessment of what has been achieved so far, and what remains to be done. 

The Report has been prepared specifically for the WSIS Forum 2010 and the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10), both to be held in May 2010.

The Report is available for free at: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/publications/wtdr_10/index.html 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:24:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 22, 2010

The digital divide, like many other economic or social problems, is a global issue.

From the most switched on countries such as Sweden to the poorest nations in Africa there is a widening gap between those with access to technology and those without.

The gap between countries on the same continent is also getting wider.

Click here to see full article

 

Source: BBC News

Monday, March 22, 2010 10:30:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Click here to see full article

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

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

Source: Cellular News

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

­The charitable foundation set up by the wife of the UK's former Prime Minister, Tony Blair has published a report that attempts to understand the nature of women mobile subscribers in low and middle-income countries such as Kenya and India, and highlights the barriers facing women's adoption of mobile technologies. It also shows that, by extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be advanced.

The report reveals for the first time the extent of the gender gap in mobile usage in many low and middle-income countries. It shows that a woman in a low or middle-income country is 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man. Closing this gender gap would bring the benefits of mobile phones to an additional 300 million women, empowering and enabling them to stay better connected with family and friends, improving their safety, and helping them obtain paid work, in line with the third UN Millennium Development Goal on gender equality. The mobile phone as documented in the report is an effective productivity and development tool which creates education, health, employment, banking and business opportunities.

Click here to see full article

The research calls for the mobile industry, development community and policy makers to undertake a number of steps together including, specifically addressing women in segmentation strategies and marketing tactics; creating innovative programmes to increase the uptake of mobile phones amongst women; promoting the mobile phone as a life enhancing, effective development tool which creates education, health, employment, banking and business opportunities; and designating high-profile champions of mobile phones for women.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 11:51:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 21, 2009

The OECD has released a new report supporting the mass roll-out of FTTH. The report estimates the potential cost savings for four public sectors at 0.5-1.0 percent per year, suggesting sufficient reason for governments to support the deployment of FTTH nationwide.

The estimates are based on (point-to-point) FTTH only, and do not include ADSL2+, VDSL2 and Docsis 3.0. The justification is that the maximum benefits of broadband can only be achieved if such a national network provides the maximum bandwidth, and also that the bandwidth can be easily expanded. The report authors also point to the importance of good upload speeds (in effect a symmetric connection) and low latency. The network also needs to be open access, to allow competition to fully mature.

Click here to see full article
Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, December 21, 2009 9:25:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 09, 2009

­Healthcare in Europe is facing major challenges in both structural reform and unavailability of resources as the region's working population is far lower in comparison to those of 'non-working' age. This calls for the introduction of new schemes in healthcare that would enable Europe to deal with issues pertaining to the growing ageing population. The involvement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in healthcare is evident from the fact that in recent years, the number of Internet users for health purposes has increased considerably. This is basically in the form of purchasing health products and services, and also for communicating with peers and healthcare professionals.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that if the key stakeholders of the healthcare sector do not adapt and align themselves to the objectives of e-healthcare, it would negatively impact the success of implementing the new system.

"Strong incentives and compensation should be provided to stakeholders across the healthcare spectrum so that they fully embrace the new e-services as part of their work," advises Frost & Sullivan ICT Programme Manager Luke Thomas. "Furthermore, proper training and guidance on client devices, systems and networks are required from the outset to avoid unnecessary teething problems in the initial phases."

E-healthcare has generally been considered an investment in ICT rather than healthcare. Hence, in order to boost investments in e-healthcare, it should be promoted as a technological revolution in healthcare that would help healthcare stakeholders to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their services.

One of the main concerns of the aged population is the fast changing technology, which often results in the reluctance to embrace new technology. If technology is made seemingly less complicated and more user-friendly, the problem of resistance from the aged in adopting the new technology could be mitigated as well.

"Due to the increase in the ageing population in Europe, the cost of healthcare is also rising exponentially," cautions Thomas. "Given the current economic downturn, hospitals in Europe are in a challenging position in terms of receiving sizeable funds from the government for e-healthcare - especially when they are not able to justify the return on investment in using these new services."

The creation of technology that is interoperable and capable of being integrated into the systems and solutions of market participants is essential for success. R&D should emphasise the creation of 'plug-in' technology into devices, systems and solutions marketed by industry leaders.

Although reimbursement and technology-related issues will remain barriers, they are not insurmountable.

"With all the benefits that e-healthcare confers, not to mention the convenience and satisfaction, more users will be gained," comments Thomas. "Ultimately, consumer demand and favourable cost-benefit ratios will continue to drive technological refinement, financial incentives and large-scale adoption."

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:36:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­More than 30,000 people in 175 Amazon villages will get access to e-health and e-education services through mobile broadband. Ericsson and mobile network operator, Vivo are part of a group that will bring mobile broadband connectivity to the Amazonian state of Pará in Brazil.

Among other applications, the project will implement the mobile survey tool that will be used to monitor environmental impacts, diagnose patients, facilitate communication with the communities, and run studies to monitor the life quality index.

Roberto Lima, President of Vivo, Brazil's largest operator, says: "We believe and are working to show that a connected Brazil can do more. This is our motto and a partnership like this reinforces our commitment in attending to and understanding Brazil's development. We will create a learning network through the use of mobile devices to build local educational setup, and to also exchange information."

A recent research by Deloitte shows that a 10 percent increase in mobile penetration leads to a 1.2 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries.

Fatima Raimondi, President of Ericsson Brazil, says: "Mobile communications play an important role in helping communities to develop on a sustainable basis. Working in partnership means we can achieve things we wouldn't be able to do alone."

Under the scope of the project, Vivo will operate and maintain the infrastructure. The Vivo Institute will develop methodologies and practices for network learning, spreading the opportunities offered by the project. Ericsson will develop and implement the necessary solutions, services and applications for the project. The Saúde & Alegria project will offer local support and will be responsible for training communities, giving guidelines for the use of the application. During the first phase of the project 15 communities will be covered.

The initiative also includes Sony Ericsson, the government of Belterra, CPqD (Brazilian research institute for telecom and IT companies) and the Albert Einstein Hospital, among others.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:18:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

Cell phones have cut dramatically the number of women dying during childbirth in Amensie village in south-central Ghana, according to local health officials.

Health and aid workers say while other improvements in primary healthcare in Amensie - as part of the Millennium Villages project - have contributed to the drop, the availability of cell phones has been pivotal.

"When we did not have mobile telecommunication, women were dying," district nurse Madam Lydia Owusu told IRIN. "It was horrifying to be pregnant here before this project came along...Mothers used to bleed to death while waiting in their homes, hoping a health worker would come to help them."

"We have not recorded a single maternal death in Amensie village since 2006 when this project started," she said.

Before cell phone and internet technology were introduced to Amensie, some 20 women died in childbirth each year, according to Owusu. In 2008 none did.

On average 560 women die during childbirth or from pregnancy complications per 100,000 live births in Ghana, according to the UN.

Click here to see full article

Source: allAfrica.com

Monday, December 07, 2009 5:20:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 15, 2009

­A major challenge for the European economy over the next five years will be to achieve the right political and regulatory environment to foster investments in new high-speed telecommunications networks, Telefónica Chairman César Alierta said today.

Click here to see full article

The deliberalisation process has been a great European success story and resulted in the creation of today's competitive communication markets in Europe, in which consumer prices have been constantly decreasing in the last decade.

But Alierta warned that while Europe is global leader in telecoms - particularly mobile communications where the region has the highest penetration and coverage of any major market - it significantly trails the USA in the development of Internet applications and Software and Asia in terms of hardware and computer manufacturing.

Source: Cellular News
Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:05:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has invited Caribbean countries to use the country’s Simon Bolivar (Venesat-1) satellite, which entered operations in January and covers the island region, reports BNamericas. Chavez added that, in partnership with his close ally Cuba, it was his aim to implement satellite-based tele-medicine, tele-education, internet access, social services, and mobile telephony programmes covering the whole region. Science and technology minister Jesse Chacon emphasised that Venesat-1 will enable the provision of telephony, high speed internet and TV services in isolated areas in Venezuela and will also be instrumental in the implementation of tele-medicine and tele-education programmes. The minister said work had begun to connect all university branches in the country with their main campuses via the satellite, and there were plans to connect hospitals in Caracas with small medical centres in remote southern areas. Uruguay is also entitled to use Venesat-1 for research purposes.

Chacon also announced that the state is undertaking a project to deploy a free public Wi-Fi mesh network covering 50 square kilometres in the city of Barquisimeto, the Lara state capital. Hotspots would initially be used principally by students and for tracing vehicles. Chacon inaugurated one of 50 digital access centres planned for Lara this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 3:23:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Click here to see full article
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:20:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guy Collender looks at how mobile technology is benefiting some of the world's poorest

At first glance it is a peculiar and nonsensical idea: owning a mobile phone number, but not a mobile phone. Yet this novel concept could transform mobile phone services in the developing world by greatly reducing the cost of joining the mobile generation.

This new idea would enable people who are unable to afford a handset to enjoy the benefits associated with a mobile phone number, such as receiving messages and remittances.

It is based on using a mobile phone number via a shared mobile phone, just like web-based email accounts can be accessed from any computer. This approach, according to estimates, could add 1 billion people earning less than $2 a day to the mobile networks. There are now more than 4 billion mobile phone connections worldwide.

Click here to see full article

Source: The Guardian.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:10:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 11, 2009

According to the latest research by IDC, the unified communications (UC) market in Europe was worth $2.6 billion in 2008, and will grow at a CAGR of 39% to a value of $13.5 billion by 2013. This makes it one of the brightest spots in a very tough technology market.

"In such a challenging market, where spending is plummeting, there is a strong opportunity for solutions that can reduce expenses, such as travel, in the short term. This means that UC, which includes video and audio conferencing and collaboration solutions, is one of the few technology areas well placed to grow during the recession. In addition to cost savings, we see that in Europe environmental issues are becoming a major driver of the overall UC market, and specific submarkets such as high-end videoconferencing in particular. Not only can UC reduce an organization's travel budget, it can also reduce that company's carbon footprint and improve its corporate social responsibility standing," said Chris Barnard, research director, European Telecoms and Networking at IDC.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, May 11, 2009 9:48:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 27, 2009

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 “Data Municipal Service of Skagafjordur,” 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)  #     | 
 Monday, April 06, 2009

Nepal’s incumbent fixed line operator, state-owned Nepal Telecom (NT), has launched an ambitious network rollout project designed to connect even the remotest parts of the country with telephone lines. According to a report from local newspaper Republika, the project began in late January this year with the aim of bridging the so-called ‘digital divide’ between rural and urban areas. Although the government has long championed its quest to provide telecoms facilities to all the nation’s village development communities (VDCs), so far more than 500 of the total of 3,914 VDCs do not have a single fixed or mobile connection. The topography of the mountainous region presents a particular challenge to NT whose chief of satellite services, Anup Ranjan Bhattarai, says it will rely on satellite links to expand telecoms access.

Since starting the new rollout, the incumbent says it has deployed VSATs in ten VDCs in western and mid-western Nepal, where it can register up to four fixed phone connections and an additional line for internet access. The company is also installing cellular-based technology to boost telecoms access. So far it has installed wireless networks in a dozen VDCs in eastern, western and mid-western Nepal operating on both the GSM and CDMA standards.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:32:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that it has invested USD100 million in Cambodian network operator CamGSM (Mobitel). It is hoped that the funds will help to stimulate competition and strengthen the country’s telecoms sector, through the expansion of CamGSM’s network to rural areas. Interim CEO of the cellco, Jeffrey Noble, said: ‘The IFC is providing long-term financing, which is not readily accessible in frontier markets like Cambodia. This is a wonderful vote of confidence in the country at a time when the impact of the global recession has started to affect the economy. The IFC’s reputation has also brought in other international banks, which should attract more such important financing to the country.’ As part of the initiative, CamGSM aims to add an additional two million subscribers by 2010, and to help businesses grow by providing them with better mobile internet coverage.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, CamGSM is jointly owned by Luxembourg's Millicom International Cellular (58.4%) and the Royal Group of Cambodia (41.6%). At the end of 2008 it was the largest wireless operator by subscribers in Cambodia, with a total of 2.12 million customers, and a market share of 54.1%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:29:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 23, 2009

Twenty public elementary schools in Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines are now capable of accessing interactive, multimedia educational videos through the use of mobile phones.

Text2Teach is a program that makes use of mobile technology so that schools can have access to rich multi media videos. It aims to improve the quality of teaching in grades 5 and 6 in public elementary schools by providing highly interactive, easy to use multi media packages designed to help make learning more exciting and meaningful among students.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:46:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pakistan's Universal Service Fund (USF) and Telenor have entered into a Rs. 930 million (US$11.6 million) contract to provide basic telephony and data services to the population in the yet un-served areas of Sanghar, Tharparkar Umerkot and Mirpur Khas districts.

Click here to see full article

At the occasion Jon Eddy Abdullah said, "We, at Telenor Pakistan believe in breaking socio-economic barriers through use of communication technology, especially in remote areas of the country. We stand firm in our commitment for more such ventures with support of Government of Pakistan and Ministry of IT."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:31:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Geneva, 2 March 2009 — ITU’s new ICT Development Index (IDI) compares developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) in 154 countries over a five-year period from 2002 to 2007.

The Index combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally and at the country level. These are related to ICT access, use and skills, such as households with a computer the number of Internet users; and literacy levels.

The most advanced countries in ICT are from Northern Europe. The exception is the Republic of Korea. Sweden tops the new ITU ICT Development Index, followed by the Republic of Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway. They are followed by other, mainly high-income countries from Europe, Asia and North America. Western and Northern Europe and North America are the regions with the highest IDI scores, and most countries from these regions are among the top twenty ICT economies. Poor countries, in particular the least developed countries, remain at the lower end of the index with limited access to ICT infrastructure, including fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and broadband.

Click here to see full article

Cost of ICTs lowest in Singapore and the United States

The cost of making a phone call or surfing the Internet can influence the use of these technologies. The Report presents a new tool — the ITU ICT Price Basket — that measures and compares ICT prices across countries. It combines the average cost of fixed telephone, mobile cellular, and Internet broadband and compares 2008 ICT tariffs in 150 countries. It ranks countries based on the relative price of the ICT services and thus measures and compares the affordability of services.

In 2008, ICT prices corresponded on average to 15 per cent of countries’ average GNI per capita, ranging from 1.6 per cent in developed countries to 20 per cent in developing countries, with most countries in the 0−25 per cent range, and most developed countries in the 0-3 per cent range. In other words, significant differences exist among countries based on income levels. Countries with high income level pay relatively little for ICT services, while countries with low income levels pay relatively more. This is often due to very high tariffs for fixed Internet broadband in some developing countries.

Countries that rank at the very top of the ICT Price Basket include Singapore, the United States, Luxembourg, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), United Arab Emirates, Taiwan (China), Sweden, Norway and Finland. Given the income levels of those countries, they offer the most affordable ICT services globally, ranging between 0.4 and 0.6 per cent of monthly GNI per capita. In all of the top 25 countries, ICT services account for less than 1 per cent of monthly GNI. This compares to the bottom 25 countries, where the ICT Price Basket value ranges between 40 and 72 per cent of monthly GNI — which is a clear indicator that ICTs are unaffordable for the large majority of the people in those countries.

Click here to see full article

Source: ITU.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 1:16:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2009

The GSMA  announced new developments in its Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) programme, an initiative that leverages mobile to facilitate access to money transfer services. Complementing the successful alliance that has been in place with The Western Union Company for the past eighteen months, the GSMA has selected Belgacom International Carrier Services (Belgacom ICS) and its technology partner eServGlobal as a new remittance provider in the MMT programme. To add further flexibility for operators, the GSMA has also chosen the RBS Group, a global bank, as a remittance partner and is working with them to finalise the offering.

“Since the launch of the MMT programme in 2007, we’ve made significant progress to catalyse the mobile money market,” said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer for the GSMA. “We’ve delivered live commercial deployments of mobile remittances and established five active corridors with Western Union, we’ve increased the number of markets served from three to 54, and we’ve moved the market from one wholesale remittance provider in 2007 to 12 providers today. In addition, we’ve established price points that enable mobile operators to offer affordable services to consumers, which will make remittances much more accessible to a larger addressable market. The partnerships we’re announcing today will serve to further accelerate the availability of money transfer and other financial services to a wider section of the global community.”

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:47:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the GSM Association have announced a programme that will expand the availability of mobile banking services in the developing world. The Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme, supported by a US$12.5 million grant from the foundation, will work with mobile operators, banks, microfinance institutions, government and development organizations to encourage the expansion of reliable, affordable mobile financial services to the unbanked.

"There are over 1 billion people in emerging markets today who don't have a bank account but do have a mobile phone," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. "This represents a huge opportunity and mobile operators are perfectly placed to bring mobile financial services to this largely untapped consumer base. Based on the initial findings of research conducted with the microfinance centre CGAP and McKinsey & Company, we believe that mobile money for the unbanked has the potential to become a US$5 billion market opportunity over the next three years."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:45:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:42:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 18, 2009

­CGAP, the global microfinance center is releasing new research and data to encourage telecom operators, financial institutions and governments to see the business potential in expanding access to financial services for poor people in developing markets. The current economic climate makes the need for widespread availability of safe alternatives to cash even more pressing.

The biggest mobile banking success to date has been M-PESA in Kenya, which is 45% cheaper than other transfer services. A forthcoming independent survey finds 83% of users say not having M-PESA would have a "large negative impact" on their lives.

 

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:40:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 10, 2009

­The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing US$30 million in Wataniya Palestine, as part of a US$85 million loan, to help build a mobile-phone network in the Palestinian West Bank. Wataniya Palestine is a joint venture of the Palestine Investment Fund and Wataniya Telecom, which is majority-owned by Qatar’s Qtel.

"The network being built by Wataniya Palestine will use the internationally popular GSM standard. It will help address the Palestinian territories telecommunications needs, which are critical for supporting economic growth and integration. Wataniya Palestine’s entry into the sector will improve the current low tele-density, increase competition, and help accelerate market growth.

“IFC’s investment shows a vote of confidence in the economic prospects of the Palestinian territories telecommunications sector, which is an essential element of building the local economy, creating jobs, and offering customers new, high-quality products and services,” said Allan Richardson, Wataniya’s Chief Executive Officer.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:22:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 02, 2009

­Afghanistan's government has announced plans to start spending the income from a Telecom Development Fund (TDF) which will be used to expand mobile and landline services into underserved rural areas.

According to the licenses issued to the current GSM operators, they should pay 2.5% from their net revenues to this fund to facilitate the communications services to remote and under services districts of the country, said Eng. Barialai Hassam Deputy Minister Technical in a news conference.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:37:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009

­The European Commission says that it is earmarking €1 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)  #     | 

China Unicom lately has kicked off a campaign in Beijing to sell government-subsidized customized mobile phones in the much less developed rural areas in 12 provinces.

Under the campaign, rural residents in the 12 provinces such as Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Shaanxi are entitled to a 13% subsidy offered by the government when buying mobile phones.

On top of that, they can get a certain amount of telephone fees and some value-added services offered by China Unicom free of charge.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless News.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:39:50 AM (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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:25:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2008

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:19:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 13, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most parents with teenagers are probably familiar with the idea.

Source: Cellular News.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Cellular News.

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

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:34:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 29, 2008

 

The report can be found at http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/LCW190_en.pdf.

 

MEETING TO GUIDE COUNTRIES IN GATHERING STATISTICS ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

Report on "Global Information Society: a Statistical View" to be launched at three-day conference

Developing countries will review standards for collecting statistics on computer, phone, and Internet use at a 27-29 May conference in Geneva designed to help them gather and use data on information and communication technology (ICT) to spur social and economic development.

The meeting, titled the 2008 Global Event on Measuring the Information Society, will take place at the Palais des Nations under the direction of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, whose members include UNCTAD.

During the conference, an important outcome will be the endorsement of a new core list of statistical indicators for measuring ICT use in education. In addition, the Partnership will launch its publication The Global Information Society: a Statistical View, which provides a summary of the current status of ICT measurement worldwide.

The Partnership´s report indicates, among other things, that there has been an increase in the collection of ICT data by developing countries but that more such nations need to incorporate ICT statistics into their regular statistical surveys -- that such information is vital for making effective decisions on linking national economies into global information networks and for taking advantage of the opportunities such technologies as the Internet offer for development.

The report notes that a major challenge to such progress is that while the per capita cost of joining ICT networks is low in industrialized nations, it is very high for the world´s least developed countries (LDCs)

Even a relative ICT success story in the developing world -- mobile phone use -- lags behind rates of use in developed nations, the report says. Mobile phone penetration increased dramatically in LDC economies, for example, between 1995 and 2006 -- from 0% to 10%. But these numbers are far below the level of 92% penetration in 2006 among developed countries.

Data on household access to and use of ICT is relatively scant, the report notes, but indicates a broad pattern of much higher connectivity in the developed world. Among the exceptions are the wealthier Asian economies, which have very high levels of broadband access by households.

In addition to UNCTAD, members of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development include the Institute for Statistics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat); the World Bank; the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and the United Nations regional commissions for Africa (UNECA), Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Western Asia (UNESCWA), and Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC).

Source: UNCTAD Press Release PR/2008/010

Thursday, May 29, 2008 2:20:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spurred by the popularity of Apple's iPhone and its elegant user interface, global shipments of touch-screen display modules are expected to more than double from 2008 to 2012, according to iSuppli.

The worldwide market for touch-screen modules will amount to 341 million units and $3.4 billion in value in 2008. iSuppli forecasts that the market will grow to 833 million units by 2013, expanding at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.5 percent from 2008, according to iSuppli’s new forecast issued this week. Global touch-screen module revenue is forecast to grow to $6.4 billion by 2013, rising at a CAGR of 13.7 percent from 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular news

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:04:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2008

OECD has published a  paper to measure the impact of ICTs. The study presents available (mainly official) statistics on the impacts of ICTs and discusses a numberof statistical issues associated with ICT impact measurement. It attempts to place ICT impacts measurement into an Information Society conceptual framework and suggests a number of areas for further work.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/25/39869939.pdf

Source: OECD.

Monday, February 18, 2008 9:46:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 15, 2008

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

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