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 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 other’s 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 – EE deploys Huawei networking gear, while Three has a deal with Samsung.

A spokeswoman from EE said: “The 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.”

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)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Venezuela’s planned nationwide fibre-optic transmission network is 70.2% complete, meaning that 6,886km of the high speed backbone infrastructure has so far been lit, according to local regulator reports cited by Capacity Magazine. The national fibre network is designed to interconnect the south of the country with the northern coastal region via 213 nodes in 18 states supporting multi-play voice/data services. The total cost of the project, involving contracts with vendors including Huawei of China and France-based Alcatel-Lucent, is expected to reach USD400 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 3:57:21 PM (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, July 05, 2013
Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange have just signed an agreement to share vertical fibre optic infrastructures in buildings.
 
The agreement details the types of buildings in which vertical infrastructures will be shared and the technical procedures that will make this possible. The operators will gradually specify the cities, areas and building in which they want to roll-out optical fibre and the Building Manager Operator will prepare an infrastructure delivery plan. The agreement also includes the option to transfer existing undertakings or for each company to build its own.
 
The agreement is based on a principle of reciprocity, so that all three operators can use its rivals’ vertical roll-outs wherever they may need them. After signing the agreement, the infrastructure that Telefónica has already rolled out could gradually be used by Vodafone and Orange. In return, when these operators roll-out new infrastructures where Telefónica does not have coverage, Telefónica can also ask to share its rivals’ vertical infrastructures.
 
Vertical infrastructures in buildings will be shared through a single payment for each vertical infrastructure, which will give the operator the right to use it for no less than 20 years. The prices that will govern this use will be set, via resolution, by the Spanish Telecommunications Market Commission.
 
This agreement represents a leap forward in bringing this technology to more households and businesses across Spain.

Source: Telefonica.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:28:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Japanese-owned NTT Com Asia has landed the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) fibre cable in Hong Kong, where it has set a target commercial launch date by the end of the first quarter of 2013. ASE connects Hong Kong to Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, and launched services on this four-country route in August 2012. The 7,800km fibre system (including the 300km section to Hong Kong), cost USD430 million to build.

As shown on TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable map site (based on the research firm’s Global Bandwidth Research Service), ASE is the eighth high speed undersea cable system landed in Hong Kong, with two others pending. The other seven existing cables are: APCN-2; Asia-America Gateway (AAG); EAC-C2C; FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop; FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA); SeaMeWe-3; and Tata TGN-Intra Asia (TGN-IA). Two other planned systems are: Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC) and Asia Pacific Gateway (APG).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:27:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom South Africa’s 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network has been rolled out to Cape Town, several weeks ahead of schedule the company said in a statement yesterday. Vodacom launched LTE in October this year with 70 LTE-enabled base stations and has since increased that total to more than 500. CTO Andries Delport commented: ‘On average we’ve lit up another seven LTE sites every single day for the past two months and hit our target of 500 LTE base stations a month early.’ Vodacom’s 4G network is now available in the central business district, Stellenbosch, Atlantic Seaboard, Waterfront and Century City areas of Cape Town, as well as throughout Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:25:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

Source: European Commission.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:55:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

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

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:12:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications has linked its Manila cell sites via fibre optic cable. The operator has connected 100 percent of cell sites in metro Manila to the PLDT group's fibre infrastructure as part of its Fiber in the Loop (FITL) project. The operator also announced that it has made its LTE broadband service available in more cities across metro Manila. Some ten cities are now covered by LTE, the company said.


Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:50:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

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

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

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

Source: Telegeography.

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

State-backed telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced plans to roll out 1,140km of optical fibre in the Tamil Nadu circle to improve connectivity for voice and data services, Business Line reports. Of the total, 200km has already been deployed whilst a further 500km is currently being installed. The entire project is due to be completed by March 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:42:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Canada’s largest cellco by subscribers, Rogers, announced yesterday that it has extended its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to cover an additional 18 cities and regions. The company’s 4G infrastructure now covers almost 60% of Canada’s population, and additional rollout later this year and into 2013 will lift coverage above 60%. Since becoming the first Canadian operator to launch LTE in July 2011, Rogers says it has seen an 80% increase in data usage, and that it expects this to grow six-fold by the end of 2016.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:37:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2012

According to the Solomon Star newspaper, Solomon Telekom Company has rolled out 13 new base transceiver stations (BTS), as part of its ongoing project to boost its mobile presence across the sovereign state. The rollout was overseen by Irish wireless network solutions provider Altobridge. A Telekom spokesperson commented: ‘Following the completed [deployment] of the 13 towers another nine new sites are in progress in terms of civil works and installation. By the end of this year there will be 50 new towers built in various communities and another 50 for next year’.

Telekom’s network currently covers 47 locations across the Oceanic state, which consists of nearly 1,000 islands. 3G connectivity is currently offered in the towns of Honiara and Auki (both situated in the Malaita province), although Telekom’s website claims that ‘other locations [are] soon to follow suit’. In late-November 2011 Solomon Telekom’s sole wireless rival Bemobile launched a 3G dongle in Honiara, marking its subscribers’ first taste of 3G connectivity.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:31:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

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

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:01:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 17, 2012

MTN Nigeria has introduced a range of new services for business customers based on the recently launched West African Cable System (WACS). IT News Africa reports that the services are managed by MTN Business and will provide high quality, low latency internet access to wholesalers such as internet service providers (ISPs), internet bandwidth resellers and carriers, as well as mobile users across the country. ‘MTN has the unique advantage of a pre-existing extensive terrestrial Internet Protocol (IP) and broadband backbone infrastructure, enabling us to deliver high grade and highly available internet capacity to anywhere and everywhere in Nigeria,’ said MTN’s chief enterprise solutions officer, Babatunde Osho. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the USD650 million WACS cable system went live in May 2012, linking Europe, West Africa and South Africa with landings in the UK, Portugal, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. In Nigeria the cable is managed by MTN from its landing point to the last mile operated service. The total capacity of the system is 5.12Tbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:41:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:27:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Movistar Venezuela has expanded its HSPA-based mobile broadband services in the central region of the country with the deployment of six new cell sites costing VEF7.1 million (USD1.7 million), reports BNamericas citing Entorno Inteligente. The spending forms a small fraction (0.33%) of the Telefonica subsidiary’s VEF2.16 billion, or around USD500 million, annual investment budget for projects including doubling its 3G+ capacity. The cellco’s CAPEX in the first quarter of 2012 represented 16% of the total investment figure, and was largely spent on 3G coverage and capacity, to meet data services demand in Venezuela that Movistar corporate communications VP, Douglas Ochoa, said expanded by 400% last year. Movistar Venezuela’s revenues reached USD831 million in Q1 2012, up 23.5% year-on-year, as data turnover climbed 33.4%; non-SMS data accounted for 51% of total data revenues during the quarter.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:39:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Crnogorski Telekom, Montengro’s fixed line incumbent, has rolled out its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to 7,700 households, the company announced today. Whilst fibre-based services have so far been limited to the capital, Podgorica, Telekom has begun deploying infrastructure in the coastal town of Budva and Bijelo Polje, near the Serbian border. Subscribers to the telco’s fibre broadband packages have access to download speeds of up to 40Mbps, with options for a triple-play package including voice, broadband and TV. New subscribers to the service are exempt from set-up fees and equipment costs.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:11:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 22, 2012

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

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:41:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has opened the terminal in Monrovia that houses the country’s connection to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) undersea cable system, which connects 23 countries between France and South Africa. Liberia’s link to the 17,000km cable will be operational from October this year. ‘When this becomes operational Liberians will have easy access to information in the world and this will enable them to easily disseminate information to the outside world,’ President Sirleaf commented, according to a report from AFP.

Source: TeleGeography.

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

The Zimbabwe state-owned fixed line and internet operator TelOne has expanded the reach of its ADSL broadband networks to Mutare, Marondera and Gweru, in addition to the current coverage areas of Harare and Bulawayo. The telco is working on further expansions to cover the cities of Norton, Chegutu, Kadoma, Kwekwe and Victoria Falls, Telecompaper reports. TelOne had just 2,600 ADSL customers at the end of 2011, according to industry regulator POTRAZ.

Source: TeleGeography.

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

China’s ZTE Corporation has announced the signing of a deal with Swedish mobile operator Hi3G Access worth USD74 million to expand its 4G and 3G cellular infrastructure. Under the ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ ZTE says it will deploy several thousand UMTS/LTE TDD/LTE FDD base stations, as well as auxiliary microwave and data transmission equipment over the next three years. ‘We are very glad to ink the deal with Hi3G in Sweden where the two companies launched the world’s first multi-mode LTE network,’ said Huang Zheng, CEO of ZTE Sweden. ZTE’s ‘Uni-Ran’ solutions have been utilised to help Hi3G to integrate three modes and five frequencies into one network, with commercial operations launched at the end of 2011, under the claim of being Europe’s first large-scale LTE-based TDD network. Hi3G Sweden’s CTO Jorgen Askeroth said recently of the deployment: ‘Over the past twelve months, Hi3G Sweden and ZTE went all out to deploy the LTE network in Sweden. ZTE offers professional support and achieved the target commercial launch date of 15 December 2011. As of now, TDD performance is better than expected.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that via a March 2012 contract between the two companies, Hi3G’s existing 2600MHz LTE network (launched in December in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo) is being expanded across southern Sweden using the 800MHz digital dividend frequency band.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 11:58:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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

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

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

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

Source: Cellular News

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

Iran has officially introduced a third national mobile phone operator, named Ritel, the Tehran Times reports, without citing any additional information. Ritel was reportedly unveiled in a ceremony held in Tehran on Monday. The brief news item makes no mention of network coverage details or the cellco’s ownership structure.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Iran is home to two active national mobile phone operators, Mobile Communication Company of Iran (MCI) and South African-owned MTN Irancell. In October 2009 the government awarded a third national concession to a consortium headed by Tamin Telecom. The licence was officially handed over to Tamin in April 2010, but at the time of writing – and in spite of its licence terms (which stipulated 2G network coverage of eight main cities and 1,421km of roads within nine months) – Tamin is not yet believed to be operational. It has said it plans to cover 60% of the population with its 2G network and 40% with its 3G network by 2014.

At this stage it is unclear whether Ritel’s operating licence is a brand new concession or the revoked licence previously issued to Tamin Telecom. The latter seems unlikely, as in October 2010, despite its lack of progress, telecoms watchdog the Communication Regulation Agency (CRA) announced that the country would not be offering another 3G licence until Tamin’s exclusivity expires in 2013.

Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:21:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France Telecom’s subsidiary Orange has reportedly entered into an agreement with telecom operator SFR in order to provide optical fibre technology across many households in the scarcely populated regions of France. According to company reports, the agreement between the two operators is expected to cover as many as 9.8 million homes.

As per sources, SFR will be required to serve 2.3 million of these households while Orange will serve the remaining 7.5 million according to the terms of the agreement.  Industry reports suggest that this investment is a part of Orange’s aim to expand fibre technology to reach as much as 60 percent of the French households by 2020, for which the operator reportedly plans to spend US$ 2.7 billion.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:01:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mozambican mobile operators mCel and Vodacom Mozambique (VM) have been formally issued with national 3G licence extensions, which are valid for 15 years apiece. Under the terms of the licences, as set out by the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), the pair are obliged to expand their 3G networks to all districts of the country by 31 December 2015, with a particular focus on the so-called ‘development corridors’ and tourist resorts, as well as improving their existing networks in areas which are considered to be strategic locations. INCM president Isidoro da Silva confirmed that the licences encompass frequencies in the 1900MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands. mCel CEO Mamudo Ibraimo indicated that the first cities to benefit from his company’s nationwide 3G focus will be Quelimane, Chimoio and Mocuba.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in September 2006 state-owned mCel was awarded the country’s first UMTS 3G concession, while its sole rival at that date, VM, opted not to submit an application at that time. In 2008, however, VM had a change of heart and successfully acquired a 3G licence from the INCM; its W-CDMA network had been expected to launch in the third quarter of 2009, but eventually began offering commercial services in February 2010. The latest move effectively brings mCel and Vodacom in line with yet-to-launch third player Movitel, which received its own 15-year UMTS concession in January 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:43:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France Telecom-Orange has announced an agreement with fellow operator SFR to deploy optical fibre technology covering millions of households in less densely-populated areas of mainland France. The fibre-optic deployment agreement drawn up by France Telecom-Orange and SFR covers around 9.8 million homes in agglomerations where ‘both operators have redundant deployment projects’, the statement read. Under the terms of the agreement, SFR will serve 2.3 million of these households and France Telecom-Orange will serve 7.5 million.

A spokeswoman for Orange confirmed the plan, Reuters reports, but declined to confirm whether or not the two carriers would share the investment of nearly EUR5 billion (USD6.8 billion). The fibre investment forms part of France Telecom-Orange’s plan to spend EUR2 billion by 2015 on fibre expansion to reach 60% of French households (target date 2020) – aided by private-operator investment. SFR declined to comment on the release.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:41:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, has announced plans to roll out its own independent fibre-optic network, in a bid to secure a larger share of the data market, and reduce its reliance on the voice market. The move will see the operator following in the footsteps of rival Telkom Kenya which signposted its intention to shift strategic focus in 2010; in March 2011 Telkom’s plan started to bear fruit, when it launched fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services in Muthaiga and Parklands, two of Nairobi’s most affluent suburbs. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told Business Daily Africa: ‘This is in support of our strategic direction to be the regional leader in broadband provision; the new direction will give us greater control of the quality of service offered to our customers’. The cellco has now started its search for company to build and maintain the inland network, which is expected to cost in the region of KES1 billion (USD10.22 million).

Whilst the bulk of its broadband coverage is provided by WiMAX connectivity, in February 2010 – alongside rival telcos Jamii Telecom Ltd (JTL) and Wananchi Online – Safaricom activated a fibre-optic link between Nairobi and Mombasa, using infrastructure leased from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). Safaricom signed up for a pair of the fibres in a 20-year lease on the Nairobi-Mombasa line for KES288 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:33:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Union Temporal Fibra Optica Colombia, a joint venture between TV Azteca and Total Play has been selected by Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MTIC) to deploy and maintain a nationwide fibre-optic network. The network will connect 1,078 municipalities, and consist of 15,000km of optical fibre. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the project is a public-private partnership, allocated COP415.8 billion (USD216.6 million) by the government; it aims to increase the number of internet connections in the country to 8.8 million by 2014. Expected to take 30 months to deploy, the MTIC claims that the network will increase the proportion of the population with broadband access to 90%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:31:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Claro has activated its first mobile lines in Costa Rica. Claro has also opened its first mobile shops at six local shopping centres located in Heredia, Alajuela, Escazu and Tres Rios (La Union), Inside Costa Rica reports, citing Ricardo Taylor, head of Claro's operations in Costa Rica. Claro's network currently covers the Greater Metropolitan Area, and will be gradually expanded across the country.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:11:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has signed a bill which aims to create a Superintendency of Telecommunications to better protect consumer’s rights and resolve issues between companies and consumers, reports the country’s telecoms regulator Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel). The new office’s responsibilities were listed as: monitoring compliance with regulations and, where necessary, administering punitive measures; participating in the delivery and removal of licences; ensuring proper use of spectrum; and collecting information on the sector and regulating tariffs. It will also be given greater powers, including an increase of 1000% to the maximum fines that can be issued to telcos that break regulations. The Superintendency will not replace Subtel, but exist alongside the current watchdog. Having been given presidential approval, the bill will now pass to congress for discussion before being passed into law.

The signing of the bill was marked by the completion of the first stage of Chile’s move to remove charges for domestic long-distance (DLD) calls. The regions of Los Lagos and Los Rios joined Valparaiso, Maule, Biobio, Atacama and Coquimbo, where the policy has already been implemented. The second and final phase is due to be completed by the end of 2013 and will complete the removal of DLD charges.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:09:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Asia-Pacific is forecast to become the largest market for machine-to-machine (M2M) subscriptions in volume terms in 2013, and in 2016 is expected to account for 37 percent of the total market, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

"China is the key market in the region, where the government is driving the adoption of smart meters in order to better manage the growth in demand for energy," says Pyramid Research Analyst at Large, Jan ten Sythoff. However, adoption in most other large, emerging countries in the region is more limited, with operators focused on cost reduction, capacity management and subscription acquisition.

"Total subscriptions are expected to increase from 18.4 million in 2010 to 104.8 million in 2016. During this time, revenues are expected to increase from $423 million to $1.80 billion, representing a CAGR of 27.3 percent," he notes.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:01:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azercell and Bakcell, the two largest mobile operators in terms of subscribers in Azerbaijan, have been awarded 3G licences by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). As per reports, both the operators have rolled out the required infrastructure are may introduce the 3G services in the coming months. Prior to this, Azerfon was the only telecom operator in the country licensed to provide 3G services. The company received the license in December 2009 for $ 13,900 and launched its 3G network across Baku and other man cities in the same month. As per sources, the ministry has also asked all three mobile operators to submit proposals for providing Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services.

As per reports,  communications and IT minister Ali Abbasov had said a couple of months back that the procedure for issuing licenses to these operators was in its last phase and only few  minor technical issues were remaining for the operators to resolve to fulfill all the licensing requirements.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:55:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN South Africa has reportedly entered into agreements with other operators in an attempt to increase its fibre footprint. As per reports, Africa’s leading telecom operator has signed agreements with Metro Fibre Networx in Gauteng and Neotel and Ethekweni Metroconnect in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal regions.

Justin Colyn, General Manager, MTN Business has reportedly said that the firm will also use capacity from Telkom South Africa Wholesale to connect businesses in areas that do not have a fibre footprint. He also said that as a provider focused on offering customers the best when it comes to technology innovation and standards, MTN Business has been and continues to remain focused on building their own solid fibre network infrastructure. Having recognised that the last mile fibre access is still proving to be a barrier for many businesses, particularly smaller ones, MTN Business have developed further strategic partnerships with various fibre providers in an attempt to continually offer the customer a 360 degree communications service that has no restrictions in terms of location.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:52:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2011
South Korean communications provider KT will stop investing in its fixed-line telephony services as mobile and internet communications are growing. The company will instead focus on smartphones and other mobile internet devices, the Korea Times reports. Seo Yu-yeol, head of KT's home customers division, said there was "no future" in fixed-line telephony services. "In just over a year, KT added 10 million smartphone customers and I think that's very inspiring. Fixed-line voice services have been KT's bread-and-butter business for a long period and have contributed greatly to the nation's economic development. However, it's clearly a thing of the past," Seo said.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:58:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has threatened to fine the country’s three largest mobile operators by subscribers – MTN Nigeria, Globacom and Airtel Nigeria – if they fail to improve the quality of their services by the end of November, local newspaper This Day reports. Following an independent monitoring exercise carried out by the NCC across the country, the regulator determined that the trio failed to measure up to key performance indicators, including call setup success rate and call completion rate.

The NCC has subsequently given the three GSM operators a 30-day deadline, effective 1 November 2011, to improve their service quality. If they fail to do so, the cellcos face a fine of NGN5 million (USD31,000) and an additional penalty of NGN500,000 per day if the provision of poor quality services persists. In addition, any of the three operators that fail to meet the targets from 30 November 2011 will be barred from the further sale of SIM cards or addition of any new subscribers to its network.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:43:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Having bagged what its parent company noted was its first third-generation concession in Central Africa, Airtel Congo, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms giant Bharti Airtel, has announced the launch of 3.5G services in the country. According to IT News Africa, the cellco has rolled out HSPA technology, offering theoretical downlink speeds of up to 21Mbps, with Beston Tshinsele, managing director at Airtel Congo stating of the development: ‘We are grateful to the Republic of Congo, represented by The Honorable Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technology of Communications Thierry Moungalla today, for issuing the licence through the country’s regulator – [the] Agence de Regulation des Postes et des Communications Electroniques – and sharing our vision of enhancing the country’s telecommunication platform … Our 3G platform will allow subscribers to combine the enormous potential of the internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other devices.’

Tiemoko Coulibaly, CEO of Airtel Africa Francophone, meanwhile outlined the Indian company’s wider expectations for 3G deployment across Africa, noting: ‘3G technology will give our customers the opportunity to interact with data in a different way … This is why Airtel doesn’t see 3G as a product but a platform that enables the community expand its social and commercial horizons, alongside the rest of the world.’ According to the executive Airtel expects to continue rolling out 3G technology across all regions of operation in Africa with the objective of building the largest 3G network on the continent.

In order to achieve these goals, and as previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month it was revealed that Finnish telecommunications equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) had inked a deal with Bharti Airtel to expand the operator’s 2G infrastructure and deploy 3G networks in seven African countries. Under the agreement, NSN agreed to manage end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the 2G and 3G networks for Airtel in the markets of Madagascar, Malawi, Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The vendor will provide its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Stations to expand network coverage to underserved areas, including smaller towns and villages in the seven countries. NSN is using its FlexiHybrid microwave radio to address growing data traffic and provide the platform for a cost-effective transition to 3G, and potentially 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in the future. The company will also provide its NetAct network management system for effective network monitoring and management.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:40:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mississippi-based mobile operator C Spire Wireless (formerly known as Cellular South) has announced that it plans to expand CDMA2000 1xEV-DO mobile broadband coverage to 238 additional cell sites in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee by the end of 2011, as part of its continuing network expansion initiative. The commitment to extending 3G coverage will see services offered to 61 new cities in an estimated USD10 million upgrade. The improvements mean that, going forward, advanced mobile broadband services will be available to approximately 4.7 million consumers and businesses.

Kevin Hankins, chief operating officer for C Spire Wireless, commented: ‘Wireless devices are only as good as the network on which they work, which is why we are aggressively expanding our advanced mobile broadband coverage. We want consumers and businesses to have the best possible wireless experience, whether they are making a phone call, sending a text message, sharing videos and photos, checking the latest scores or making their business mobile’. Hankins claims that the cellco has invested in excess of USD1 billion in network improvements since 2003.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:36:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Botswana, the country’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, has expanded its third-generation network to the cities of Lobatse and Serowe, reports cellular-news. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Orange Botswana commercially launched its 3G network in July 2009, with services initially available in the country’s two largest cities, Gaborone and Francistown.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:30:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Lebanon's government has announced that the country's two mobile networks will be formally permitted to launch 3G services following several delays. Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui also announced that the service would be fixed at the equivalent of US$19 for 500Mb of data downloads.

Lebanon's two state-owned - but francished operators, Alfra and MTC, will offer 3G subscriptions and will announce the rates for other packages in early November. There had been concerns earlier this summer that legal action from an ISP, Cedarcom could delay the launch as it is claiming that the government doesn't have the authority to issue the 3G licenses.

The company also claimed that the regulatory regime is blocking it from selling landline DSL based services, which it considers to be unfair and unjust competition. The two networks, which while state-owned, are managed by two private companies, Zain and Orascom Telecom, recently awarded contracts to deploy HSPA enabled 3G networks. The managing companies have renewing one-year contracts to look after the networks - which the government has repeatedly attempted to privatise but the sale has been blocked by political problems.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:27:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azercell and Bakcell, the two largest mobile operators in terms of subscribers in Azerbaijan, have been awarded 3G licences by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). As per reports, both the operators have rolled out the required infrastructure are may introduce the 3G services in the coming months. Prior to this, Azerfon was the only telecom operator in the country licensed to provide 3G services. The company received the license in December 2009 for $ 13,900 and launched its 3G network across Baku and other man cities in the same month. As per sources, the ministry has also asked all three mobile operators to submit proposals for providing Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services.

As per reports,  communications and IT minister Ali Abbasov had said a couple of months back that the procedure for issuing licenses to these operators was in its last phase and only few  minor technical issues were remaining for the operators to resolve to fulfill all the licensing requirements.

Source: Wireless Federation

Monday, November 07, 2011 8:20:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 21, 2011

EriTel, Eritrea’s state-owned incumbent telecoms operator, has expanded its wireless network to the town of Afabet, local newspaper Shabait reports. EriTel was established by the government in October 2003, replacing Eritrea Telecommunications Service (ETS) as the national telecoms operator. It holds a monopoly on the provision of fixed line and mobile services and also operates as an internet service provider (ISP).

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, October 21, 2011 12:59:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 17, 2011

Gabon’s Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ARTEL) has awarded a 3G mobile licence to the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, Airtel Gabon (formerly Zain), which is aiming to launch the country’s first W-CDMA/HSPA network and high speed mobile internet/data services. ‘Official sources’ quoted by Afrique Info and reported by Telecompaper said that the 3G licence is the first of its kind awarded in the country, although TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Gabon’s fourth cellular licensee, Azur, was awarded a combined 2G and 3G concession in February 2009. However, Azur, which launched a commercial network in October 2009, currently offers only 2.5G GSM/GPRS services.

According to GlobalComms, Gabon’s government launched a 3G licence tender in July 2010, but the deadline for submissions to ARTEL passed two months later with no announcement of winners, and the next development did not occur until December that year when Airtel began discussions with the regulator with the aim of obtaining an UMTS concession. In the same month rival Libertis declared that it would be seeking to acquire a 3G licence ‘early in 2011’, following the finalisation of the cellcos’ parent Gabon Telecom’s 100% privatisation. Airtel and its competitors are keen to deploy third-generation services ahead of the January-February 2012 African Nations football tournament co-hosted by Gabon.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, October 17, 2011 8:07:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 07, 2011

Azerbaijan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Azercell, is set to receive a licence to provide third-generation services in the country. According to a report by Azerbaijan Business Center, the State Commission for Radio Frequencies is discussing the allocation of 3G radio spectrum to the cellco. Ulviyya Hasanzadeh, head of Azerbaijan’s Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility Department, has said that the operator will make an official statement regarding the receipt of 3G spectrum in the near future.

‘We have long been technically ready to provide 3G services, and the only obstacle for us was to obtain the required frequencies, the question of allotting of which is currently at final stage of discussion. Upon receiving a licence for 3G services we intend to proceed their rendering in Baku, Absheron and major cities of Azerbaijan, and may cover 80% of the country,’ she commented.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) began reviewing an appeal by Azercell and Bakcell earlier this year over the award of UMTS concessions, after the pair initially failed to submit the relevant documents required by law detailing network rollout progress and planned coverage. Last month the ministry said it was in the final phase of completing the necessary documentation and procedures concerning the award of 3G licences to Azercell and Bakcell. Azerfon is currently the only cellco in the country to hold a concession to provide third-generation services. The company was awarded its licence in December 2009, launching its 3G network in Baku and other main cities the same month.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, October 07, 2011 1:13:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
French mobile and broadband operator Bouygues Telecom will increase its 3G+ network speed to up to 42 Mbps, ten times its current maximum, CEO Olivier Roussat told journalists. 01net reports that the upgrade will start in Paris, Lyon and Marseille before the end of the year, followed by ski resorts in February 2012 and all of France's large cities by the middle of 2012. Within 18 months two-thirds of data traffic will be carried over this new technology, he said.
 
The move is an interim measure until the launch of LTE services. Roussat expects delays in obtaining authorisations to install new LTE base stations, especially in Paris. The first LTE base stations are not expected to be up and running until the end of 2012. The operator also said it was working on a femtocell to extend mobile internet coverage in homes for LTE. Unlike its rival SFR, Bouygues will not use femtocell for 3G+.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, October 07, 2011 1:02:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Colombia's ICT ministry has received four bids in the tender for its National Fibre Optic Project. The programme aims to deploy fibre connections in 400 municipalities across the country. The bidders are Telmex Colombia; the Fibra Optica Colombiana consortium comprising Total Play and TV Azteca; the Conectividad Para Todos temporary consortium comprising Media Commerce Partners, ZTE, Exicom, and Andinatel; and a temporary consortium comprising Colombia Telecomunicaciones and Telefonica Moviles).
 
The government plans to invest over COP 415.8 million in the project, via a public-private partnership. The project is expected to expand internet penetration to over 90 percent of the Colombian population. The initiative is part of the Colombian government's Vive Digital Plan which aims to reach over 8.8 million broadband connections across the country by 2014. Colombia's National Fibre Optic Project will be developed in 30 months, and will include various phases.
 
As part of the first phase, the government plans to connect at least 120 municipalities by end-2012, while in the second phase an additional 120 municipalities will receive broadband connections.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Friday, October 07, 2011 12:45:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 29, 2011
Algeria has invited bids from operators for the country's first 3G licences. According to the terms of the tender outlined by state telecoms regulator ARPT, bids are due on 7 October and it will announced the winners on 23 October. The winners will be able to launch commercial services by the first quarter of 2012.
 
Further details on the pricing and spectrum available were not released. Algeria counts three mobile operators: Mobilis, owned by incumbent Algerie Telecom; Nedjma, controlled by Qatar Telecom; and Djezzy, started by Orascom Telecom.

Source: Telecom Paper

Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:25:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­India's Bharti Airtel has announced that it has been awarded a GSM and 3G license in Rwanda, expanding its African continental footprint to 17 countries.

The company added that it plans to invest over US$100 million in the country over the next three years. According to the statement, this also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda. Sunil Bharti Mittal, CMD, Bharti Airtel said, "Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel's footprint in East Africa."

According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4%, as of July 2011.

Last year, the regulator, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said that it would award a fourth mobile license when conditions were correct. However, last month, the regulator cancelled the mobile network operating license held by another network operator, Rwandatel for allegedly failing to meet its license conditions. The market now has just two networks, until Airtel launches its network.

The company may have the option of buying the defunct Rwandatel network to speed its launch into the country.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:23:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The NeutrINX internet exchange, which operates as a neutral and non-profit organisation, independent of affiliations with internet and data centre service providers, has opened for business in South Africa.
 
It's sole objective is facilitating the interconnection of data and voice networks by building and operating open access, carrier-neutral internet exchanges and associated infrastructure. NeutrINX said customers may connect directly to the exchange without taking up hosting space in the host data centre via multiple access options including Telkom, Dark Fibre Africa, other metro Ethernet operators and self-provisioned wireless to a tower facility on the roof. The first NeutrINX peering point to go live is hosted in the Ambronex data centre in Centurion.
 
The Centurion location is geographically situated in close proximity to the technology dense Midrand and Highveld Technopark areas as well as serving as a convenient middle ground for peering partners in Pretoria and Johannesburg to meet. Further NeutrINX sites will go live in due course with the next geographic location under investigation in Sandton. NeutrINX pricing starts at ZAR 1,500 per month for a 100Mbps port. As an introductory offer to seed the peering point, the company is providing 100Mbps ports at no charge during the first six months of their operation with reduced rates remaining in effect for the balance of the first year.
Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:16:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bell launched its next-generation high-speed wireless network in areas of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo and Guelph Wednesday.

The Ontario network, based on a technology called long-term evolution (LTE), "will deliver amazing data access speeds — at least three times faster than the Bell HSPA+ network originally launched less than three years ago," said Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility in a statement ahead of Wednesday's launch.

The company said it expects typical speeds for the network to be between 12 and 25 megabits per second. Bell's HSPA+ network offers typical speeds of 3.5 to 8 megabits per second and 7 to 14 megabits per second in areas where it offers HSPA+ with dual carrier technology. The company is referring to its LTE network as 4G, the same name it has been applying to its existing HSPA+ networks.

The first device able to use the new network will be the LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick, which went on sale at "select Bell stores" Wednesday. Bell said LTE-capable smartphones and tablets will be available later in the year.

Click here to see full article
Source: CBC News
Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:39:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily have become the first operators in the Middle East to commercially deploy LTE networks.

The operators, which announced the deployment within a day of each other, have said that their LTE networks will be double the speed of the previous 3G networks and is designed around the growth in mobile data, not voice calls. Saudi Arabia’s mobile phone penetration is the third highest in the world at 188% with the majority crunching through a vast amount of mobile data, making the migration to LTE an integral move for both of the operators who, between them, account for 80% of Saudi’s mobile subscribers.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Said Jamil bin Abdullah Al-Melhem, president of STC, commented: ‘The company continues its pioneering role, and its ongoing quest to provide the most services and the latest and highest international standards. And today [STC] offers the latest mobile communication networks, 4G LTE. The information revolution is coming and to provide a quantum leap in the speed of data transfer – wherever the client – to reach to top speeds of 100Mbps’. Mobily confirmed on launch yesterday that their LTE coverage will exceed 32 cities and towns in Saudi Arabia by mid October including the capital Riyadh, which represents 85% of the most populated areas.

STC will be speaking about their commercial LTE deployment and Telecoms IQ’s LTE Deployment Strategies conference taking place in London in November. If you would like to view the full speaker line up and secure your place, please visit the event website.

Source: Telecoms IQ

Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:28:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Telkom Kenya, the largest provider of integrated communications solutions in Kenya, has launched 3G services in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, providing subscribers with an internet speed of 21 Mbps. The service provider operating under the flagship of Orange plans to expand the service to other regions as well in order to cater to the ever increasing demand for data related services.

According to reports, Mickael Ghossein CEO Telkom Kenya states that a new internet era has begun where Orange will steadily take the lead in offering innovative products and services while providing simplicity through customer experience and maintaining value proposition to the customer. He also confirmed that users would be able to browse for as low as 0.40 cts per MB, with these rates being applicable across all its internet platforms.

Orange also unveiled a 3G shared broadband WIFI router which will allow upto 10 users to connect to the internet simultaneously, thus minimizing cost. As per reports, Ghossein stated that the service would be using multiple pole technology which separates voice and data channels, assuring users that the quality of data will remain unaffected even when there are multiple subscribers using voice services. This service also comes with parental control software enabling customers to manage internet abuse.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 9:22:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Si.mobil is a mobile network based in Slovenia and it has announced plans to enable 3G services across its 900 MHz radio spectrum. Once the implementation has been rolled out, it is expected that 85% of the population will have access to mobile broadband internet.

Earlier, Si.mobil is known to have stated that it was looking to reconstruct close to half of its GSM network, in addition to revamping it by the use of UMTS 900 technology; eventually, to facilitate data transfer rate of up to 21 Mbps.

Si.mobil's UMTS network is expected to reach out to the upper Gorenjska region and the whole of eastern Slovenia, constituted by the Štajerska, Koroška, Posavje, Dolenjska, and Ko?evsko, by the close of October. At the time of the transition, 20-minute interruptions at all the base station undergoing upgrades are foreseen. Given that the nearby base stations can possibly pitch in with their coverage capability, major service interruptions are not predicted.

Other than augmenting the UMTS 900 technology, Si.mobil is also looking to enhance a portion of its existing UMTS network with HSPA+ technology.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 9:15:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2011

­The government of Niger has announced plans to issue 3G licenses via a statement on the state controlled television, reports Reuters.

"These licences can go to any operator who desires them," according to a statement on state TV overnight. "Operators already set up here and who have global licences also have a chance to acquire one."According to the Mobile World analysts the country has around 14.4 million mobile phone users, which represents a population penetration level of 23%. There are four mobile networks.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:11:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Econet Wireless' Burundi subsidiary has launched the country's first 3G network following a US$10 million network upgrade.

The service is being launched in two phases, the first phase will cover the capital city Bujumbura and the second phase will cover the other key provinces. Econet customers are being offered the services in three packages targeting mobile, domestic or business users.According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, Econet Wireless is estimated to have around 185,000 subscribers, and a market share of 11.7%. The country as a whole has a mobile population penetration level of less that 16%.

Burundi, a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa is one of the ten poorest countries in the world.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:10:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan's government has announced plans to issue a tender for 3G and 4G licenses next month. There will be an auction of some sort for the new license, while the incumbent GSM operators will be able to then buy a similar license for the same fee offered by the new entrant.

Announcing the plans for the license tender, Eng Amirzai Sangin Minister of (MCIT) said: The growth and vitality of the telecommunications sector in Afghanistan is one of the most remarkable success stories of the recent past. Since 1382 (2003-2004), when the first two licenses were issued for GSM mobile services, mobile telephone subscribers have increased from zero to 17 million subscribers. More than US$1.6 billion has been invested in modern infrastructure, services now reaching over 80% of the population and sustaining over 100,000 jobs nationwide."

There are currently five licensed mobile networks in the country and according to figures from the Mobile World analysts, their market shares are: Roshan (28.5%); MTN (24.5%) ; Etisalat (24.3%); Afghan Wireless (22%) and Afghan Telecom (<1%)

The 3G/4G tender package will be available to all interested parties on 1 August 2011.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:05:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­South Korea could gain a fourth mobile network operator, if an application by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Businesses (Kbiz) is accepted by the regulator.

The consortium operating the WiBro based mobile network will be formed by Kbiz and 900 of its SME members. An investment by a technology partner, probably Samsung is also expected.

"We decided to enter the mobile phone industry because we figured this could be a new growth engine for small and midsized IT companies," a Kbiz official told the JoongAng Daily. "The initial funding for investment will be less than 100 billion won ($94.3 million)." Kbiz said it will succeed in the mobile phone industry by offering subscription plans 20 to 30 percent cheaper than existing plans.

Although previous attempts to set up a fourth network were rejected, the government is putting pressure on the incumbent networks to lower their prices to help control inflation in the country. The offer of a new entrant on a promise of lowering prices may sway the regulator's opinion about granting the license.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:01:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:35:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Somaliland-based telecoms operator Telesom has unveiled a third-generation network in the autonomous region, SomalilandPress reports. The new network offers services such as high speed mobile broadband and videocalling. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Telesom managing director Mohamd Salah Abdi, said: ‘This is a testament of our commitment to innovate the market by deploying 3G network service in Somaliland which will allow our customers to have video and audio streaming, video chat and high speed internet access the first in the Horn of Africa. This 3G technology will offer advanced mobile broadband services to not only Telesom consumers but also to the business community in Somaliland.’ Telesom was founded in Hargeisa, Somaliland in 2001.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:26:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 15, 2011

After months of delays, Lebanon’s telecoms minister, Nicolas Sehnawi, has confirmed that international internet capacity via the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable is now available to ISPs. Habib Torbey, the head of the Lebanese Telecom Association and president of GlobalCom Data Services, representing the country’s private ISPs, confirmed to local newspaper The Daily Star yesterday that the long-awaited new capacity was now available, adding that the development ‘will really change the internet landscape in Lebanon.’

A statement from the communications ministry added that Sehnawi would present a draft bill to the Cabinet in the coming three weeks that would formally dictate a reduction of internet access prices in the country. Lebanon’s landing station for the IMEWE fibre-optic system had been scheduled to enter operation in December 2010 but was postponed mainly due to disputes involving the cable’s owning consortium, the telecoms ministry and the national incumbent telco OGERO. With the international undersea connection now lit, ISPs will soon be able to offer retail and wholesale users faster speeds, whilst planned 3G mobile data services will also utilise the IMEWE cable.

ISPs are waiting for the promised data pricing bill with interest as, unlike government-owned cellcos Alfa and MTC Touch, ISPs currently pay around USD3,000 for a line which reportedly costs the government USD100 to supply, Torbey stated. Meanwhile, upgrades to another cable system, Cadmos, will also boost the country’s available bandwidth, helping to raise speeds and lower prices.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:53:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Canada's Rogers Communications has announced the commercial launch of Canada's first LTE network, covering the Ottawa region. Rogers also announced that network rollout to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal will occur this autumn, and that LTE-enabled smartphones from Samsung and HTC will be available later this year.

The company added that it will expand LTE coverage to a further 21 markets by the end of 2012. Rogers and Ericsson have been conducting technical trials of LTE in Ottawa and Montreal since last autumn.At launch the Rogers LTE network will be capable of maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 75 Mbps on the Rogers LTE Network. Typical download speeds can range from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps. As device selection evolves, maximum theoretical download speeds will increase to up to 150 Mbps.

"Ottawa is proud to play a significant role in Canada's first LTE network, from the trials through to the launch today. This new technology is a significant step forward towards increasing the accessibility and enjoyment of high speed applications while enhancing the productivity and reliability of mobile communications for Ottawans" said Steve Desroches, Deputy Mayor of Ottawa.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:45:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarusian national operator Beltelecom plans to raise the capacity of its internet gateway to Russia by 20Gbps by the end of the year and has announced a tender to provide the service, according to local online news service Tut. The winner of the bid will be charged with expanding the gateway by 10Gbps in August, adding the rest of the capacity in the third and fourth quarters of the year. The current capacity of Beltelecom’s internet gateway totals 120Gbps, of which the link to Russia comprises 90Gbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:43:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Venezuelan mobile operator Digitel is in the process of deploying a new 200km section of fibre-optic infrastructure to expand the total length of its backbone network to 1,000km, reports BNamericas. The transmission network, linking the capital Caracas with the cities of Valencia, Barquisimeto and Maracaibo, is expected to be expanded to 3,000km in a second deployment phase.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:12:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

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

France Telecom’s Armenian mobile unit Orange Armenia has extended its GSM mobile network coverage on the country’s north and south national roads, extending from the capital Yerevan to the national border. The latest network expansion is designed to provide better coverage along all main roads for tourists travelling across the country in the summer season. The cellco says that as a result of the upgrade, the northern road enjoys 99% coverage, and the figure is a slightly lower 94% in the south. Orange Armenia intends to continue its network rollout with a focus now on connecting remote regional areas. Its outdoor GSM coverage currently stands at 95% of the population.

In a related story, Orange rival ArmenTel (Beeline) says it has extended its 3G mobile network footprint to the cities of Vayk, Dilijan, Ijevan and Martuni, as well as Aramus, Balahovit, Garni, Dzoraghbyur and Nor Hachn. Further, the cellco has deployed additional 3G base stations in Yerevan, Gyumri and Kapan to improve capacity and coverage, and in the next month is looking to roll out 3G services in parts of Agarak, Ashotsk, Berd, Yeghegnadzor, Qajaran, Maralik, Meghri, Noyemberyan, Sisian, Sanahin, Stepanavan, Talin, Tashir and Chambarak.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:05:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Orange Armenia says that it has extended its network coverage on North and South national roads of the country, from Yerevan to the border of the country, aiming at ensuring coverage along the roads for Armenians and tourists travelling accross the country, whose number will be multiplied during summer months.

As a result of large-scaled works, the road to the Northern border of Armenia is presently covered by 99% and the one to South is covered by 94%. The company will continue extending its network; the works will mainly concern remote regional habitations.

When obtaining the license on network exploitation Orange committed to ensure outdoor GSM coverage on 85% of national roads connecting Yerevan to Georgia and Iran within a three-year timeframe. Today Orange network covers more than 95% of Armenian population.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:50:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 09, 2011

Indian mobile network operator Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which offers services under the MTS India banner, has announced that it has extended coverage of its CDMA 1xEV-DO-based mobile broadband service ‘MBlaze’ to the Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles.

The operator said it had set aside around INR250 million (USD5.5 million) for the rollout of the service across the two regions, where it said customers would be able to sign up for the new offers at one of its 5,000 retail outlets or 50 flagship stores. Arvind Kumar, SSTL’s chief operating officer for the UP East and UP West circles, said of the development: ‘We are excited to launch our high speed mobile broadband service in UP East and UP West. Customers in these circles would now be able to enjoy the unmatched MBlaze experience coupled with attractive tariffs and innovative offerings.

Going forward, we also plan to launch our voice and data post-paid services by June 2011 across the two circles.’ The company also noted that with this latest expansion of its mobile broadband footprint it now offered MBlaze in more than 150 towns across India, with more than 600,000 customers having signed up for the service since it was first introduced in October 2009 in Delhi.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:42:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Since its launch back in December 2008, North Korea's koryolink has been focusing on maximizing the size of its subscriber base. ­It's majority shareholder, Orascom Telecom said that in Q1 2011, koryolink has successfully reached and crossed the half million subscriber mark closing the quarter with an ending base of over 535,000 subscribers.

Throughout the first quarter, koryolink continued to focus its efforts on two main areas; boosting subscriber growth and maximizing foreign currency revenues. The company said that this was done using a three-pronged approach which involved offering innovative products and services to the market, maintaining a strong sales presence across major cities and expanding network coverage to cover a larger percentage of the Korean population.

In February 2011, koryolink introduced an innovative offering targeting all Korean customers called the "Euro Packs". The "Euro Packs" are basically recharge cards that subscribers can buy in Euros and in return, such scratch cards offer them free voice & VAS in the off-peak period. The main objective behind launching such an offering was to boost koryolink's Euro revenue. The "Euro Packs" sales trend has seen a steady increase since launch which proves the right compatibility and wide acceptance of the offering in the Korean market. In January 2011, and for the first time in the DPRK, koryolink offered MMS to its subscribers. This represented the latest addition to koryolink's VAS portfolio. The service was received positively from subscribers and continues to exhibit a healthy growth rate to date.

In its efforts to better serve existing subscribers and reach out to potential customers, koryolink has maintained a wide distribution network consisting of 18 shops inside the capital Pyongyang and 8 shops covering eight main cities in the DPRK through an agreement with KPTC. Through such distribution network koryolink provides a variety of services such as selling new lines, selling airtime, providing information to subscribers, etc. Koryolink's network currently consists of 341 base stations covering the capital Pyongyang, 14 main cities as well as 72 smaller cities. The network coverage also extends over 22 highways. As of the end of Q1 2011, koryolink's network covers 13.6% of the DPRK's territory and 92% of its population.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:33:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2011

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

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

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

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

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

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 7:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Finnish operator DNA has upgraded its entire fixed broadband network and will make available new broadband speeds on the acquired Welho network for nearly 1 million Finnish households in May. The maximum speed on the cable network will be 200 Mbps, while the entry-level connection will be 10 Mbps. At the same time, DNA's ADSL products will be updated. More than 900,000 Finnish households are covered by DNA's fully upgraded fixed broadband network, of which approximately two thirds are on the cable network. In conjunction with its new fixed broadband offerings, DNA will introduce a guarantee on speed and terms of service, enabling customers to obtain a fixed broadband connection without a fixed-term commitment.
 
As of May, the new products will be available at all locations covered by DNA's fixed network, namely the capital area and the Oulu, Pori, Lahti, Kuopio, Turku, Rauma and Lohja regions. Those interested in the new offer can submit their e-mail address at dna.fi/nopeat and they will be given more information on the update in May. Existing subscriptions will not be automatically updated to the new products, but if existing subscribers wish to do so, they may switch their existing subscription to a new one.
 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:04:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:17:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Analogue TV broadcasting will end on the night of 7-8 March for over 12 million TV viewers in the Ile-de-France region. Broadcast services provider TDF has invested EUR 10 million in the analogue switch by upgrading from 20 to 50 KW transmitters at the Eiffel Tower, four major antennas and some 40 smaller masts in the area. TV channels will adopt new frequencies to free up the 800MHz band for the mobile internet and to leave room for new channels. France's region by region analogue switch-off is due to be completed at the end of November.
 
The process has stimulated the TV equipment market, with TV sales up 13 percent to 8.5 million in 2010, according to Simavelec, and DTT STB sales expected to grow 66 percent in volume and 104 percent in value this year, according to GfK. Over 7 million DTT STBs are projected to be sold in 2010 and 2011. The average price of digital-ready TVs has vallen dramatically. New DTT channels have attracted 19.7 percent of viewers, according to Mediametrie, and there share reached around 21.2 percent at the end of January. Historical channels TF1, M6, France 2, etc have seen their combined market share slip to 66.5 percent in January from 69.9 percent in January 2009, and hope to recapture lost viewers when analogue finally ends. Top DTT channels TMC and W9 are already in profit, and NRJ 12, Direct 8 and BFM TV expect to break even this year.
 
A question mark remains over the government's plan to award three additional DTT channels to TF1, M6 and Canal Plus, the country's three historical private broadcasters. The matter is being studied by the European Commission following complaints from new DTT entrants and would-be entrants.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:14:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR8 million (USD11 million) loan to the Seychelles Cable Systems Company (SCS) for the installation and operation of the island nation’s first international submarine fibre-optic cable. The planned 1,930km cable will link the main island of Mahe to the existing Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) in Tanzania, and is expected to be operational by the second half of 2012, according to a report on Afriquejet.com.

The project will also benefit from a EUR4 million grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund to support shareholding in the project by the Seychelles government. A statutory dividend from this equity stake will be used to provide free internet access for schools, libraries, hospitals and other social development-related services. The EUR27 million overall project cost will be financed through 40% equity and 60% debt, the EIB said.

Long-term debt will be co-financed equally by the EIB and the African Development Bank, and equity contributions split between three shareholders – the Government of Seychelles, Cable and Wireless Seychelles and Airtel. SCS executive Benjamin Choppy – who is also permanent secretary for ICT in the Seychelles – signed the deal with the EIB, which he called a key milestone for the project, and stressed that the cable will dramatically improve voice telephony and internet access in the Seychelles, with international transmission capacity predicted to be seven times cheaper than current prices. The EIB previously supported the EASSy project to connect 20 coastal and landlocked countries in East and Southern Africa using a high bandwidth undersea fibre-optic cable and terrestrial links.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:12:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 04, 2011

Airtel Zambia is set to launch 3G services in the second quarter of this year, reports the Lusaka Times. 150 W-CDMA base stations have already been deployed, and the Bharti-owned company says it will roll out an additional 300 sites by the end of September.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the cellco is the largest in Zambia, claiming an approximate 63% share of wireless subscribers at the end of 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:34:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Slovenia is providing EUR36.8 million (USD50.6 million) of state grants to support five local consortiums in deploying broadband internet networks in 23 municipalities, seenews.com reports.

The consortiums, led by the Mokronog-Trebelno, Sezana, Pivka, Mozirje and Slovenske Konjice municipalities, will invest the funds in internet networks in rural areas where there is no commercial interest for infrastructure deployments, the country’s technology ministry said in a statement on its website.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:25:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Verizon enterprise customers can begin taking advantage of the newly activated Europe India Gateway cable. The $700 million high-capacity fiber-optic cable, one of the most advanced submarine cable systems in the world, will provide multinational customers additional diversity and capacity to meet their critical communications needs.

Verizon joined 15 other international communications leaders, which constitute the EIG Consortium, and formally accepted delivery of more than 11,300 kilometers (7,021 miles) of the total 15,000 km (9,320 miles) EIG cable system. The accepted cable system routes are: London to Bude, U.K.; Bude to Portugal to Gibraltar to Monaco to Libya; Monaco to Marseille, France; and Saudi Arabia to Djibouti to Oman to United Arab Emirates to India. The group also accepted 11 of 13 cable landing stations. The only remaining segment to be completed for the EIG is in Egypt where there are two landing sites.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:12:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 24, 2011

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

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

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation
Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:40:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Telecom has officially launched the Broadband China Optical Network City project which aims to establish a fibre-optic link with every Chinese city within three years.

The plan also aims to upgrade the network’s average download speed to over 20Mbps.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:08:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ukraine’s leading mobile operator Kyivstar has announced that it has expanded its fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) fixed broadband service to its 38th city, Rivne.  Kyivstar is in the process of integrating the FTTB infrastructure of sister companies Beeline Ukraine and Golden Telecom.

The company has deployed an urban network in the Rivne area spanning 60km and passing 44,000 households in 353 multi-dwelling premises with direct fibre access enabling connection speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:06:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 11, 2011

The auction for a third mobile network operating licence in Syria will begin in April with a starting bid of EUR90 million (USD122.2 million), according to the Deputy Minister of Telecommunications, Mohammad Al-Jallali, as quoted by Syria Report. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of last year the Syrian authorities set 12 April 2011 as date to auction the country’s third mobile licence. At the time Imad Sabouni, the Syrian communications and technology minister, added that to facilitate the process an independent regulator would be set up ahead of the auction.

However, a separate report suggested that the five firms pre-qualified to bid for the licence – Turkcell, France Telecom, Saudi Telecom Company, Etisalat and Qtel – have all reacted strongly to the Syrian government’s call that they provide revenue projections for their prospective businesses there.

In a meeting in Damascus in 4Q10, Syrian telecom officials came under scrutiny concerning ‘sections in the tender where investors see risk, and vagueness about certain clauses.’ In particular, bidders are concerned that the government regulate roaming agreements with the country’s incumbent cellcos MTN Syria and SyriaTel, so the new operator would not face a disadvantage. Objections were also raised concerning the state’s call that bidders submit a business plan with revenue projection – even though the award is being decided through an auction. The licence tender requires the winning bidder to give 25% of its annual mobile revenue to the government, and stipulates that Syria's state telecoms company STE will hold a 20% stake in the new mobile operator.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:42:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned broadband provider Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT) has confirmed that it has launched Libya’s third mobile phone network, under the brand name LibyaPhone Mobile. Although no precise rollout details have been confirmed by the operator, it claims that its network has capacity for around 100,000 customers during the first phase of its operations. Further, LibyaPhone Mobile has pledged to extend coverage to areas under-served by fellow state-owned cellcos Libyana and Al Madar Telecomm Company. LTT claims that LibyaPhone Mobile will offer both 2G and 3G connectivity.

Although speculation regarding the launch of a third mobile phone operator in Libya has been rife for some time, in July 2010 it was confirmed that UAE’s Etisalat and Turkcell of Turkey had both been overlooked for a new LYD1 billion (USD825 million) concession. The General Telecommunication Authority (GTA) had previously launched an international tender for a combined fixed and mobile licence in February 2009, although its final decision was severely delayed, and no clear reasons were given for the lack of progress, merely that the international telcos were ‘unsuitable’.

According to TeleGeography, state-owned Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT) is the country's dominant ISP and also acts as a moderator for the internet sector. The operator launched a commercial WiMAX network – operating in the 2.5GHz band – under the ‘LibyaMax’ banner in February 2009. Services have subsequently been expanded to over 25 locations, predominantly along the coast, covering around 65% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 07, 2011
Indian telecommunication minister Kapil Sibal said that the National Broadband Plan will connect 160 million households with high-speed internet connections by 2014, reports The Economic Times. The framework for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) will be finalised by the end of this fiscal (31 March), Sibal said.
 
Sibal met industry body representatives to finalise the national broadband plan and evolve a strategy to roll out optical fibre. Sibal consulted key stakeholders including telecommunication regulator Trai, industry chambers, mobile, internet, cable and PCO service providers and their associations apart from Rail-Tel , Power Grid and officials from information and broadcasting ministry on telecommunication related policy issues. Sibal said the broadband plan would focus on framing a policy that balances consumer affordability and service provider's economic sustainability. Therefore, additional optic fibre would have to be laid along with existing wireless infrastructure.
 
The government aims at inclusive growth through broadband as education, medical treatment and entertainment related applications would be extensively used, besides enabling e-governance and citizen-centric services particularly in the rural areas.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


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

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

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

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

Click here to see full article

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

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commissioned the country’s first internet exchange point, aimed at reducing the cost of internet services nationwide, IT News Africa reports. Executive vice chairman of the NCC, Eugene Juwah, said that the Lagos-based Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) would save the country USD20 million in offshore internet bandwidth payments in the first year alone, by keeping domestic internet traffic within Nigeria. ‘At IXPN, we are committed not only to the development of a national internet infrastructure, but increasingly an infrastructure that will span the entire African continent, Europe, America, Asia and the entire world,’ commented Chima Onyekwere, chairman of the IXPN board. Plans are reportedly underway to commission further exchange points in the country’s six geopolitical zones.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:26:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Armenian mobile operator ArmenTel has expanded its 3G network footprint to encompass the cities of Ararat, Armavir, Artashat, Ashtarak, Vardenis, Vedi, Gavar, Yeghvard, Masis, Metsamor, Hrazdan and Sevan as well as dozens of village communities, reports PanArmenian.Net. The online journal goes on to say that hand in hand with the UMTS network expansion the telco is deploying additional 3G-enabled base stations in the cities of Abovyan, Vanadzor, Gyumri, Echmiadzin and Yerevan, to improve capacity on its existing network infrastructure. As a result of the latest upgrade works, the operator’s 3G signal is now available to 2.5 million Armenians, equivalent to 81.1% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:25:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data released by the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) Council Europe, Italy represents one of the largest FTTH markets in Europe, with more than 2.5 million homes passed by fibre at end-December 2010; at the same date the country reported around 348,000 fibre subscribers.

The ongoing 'Fibre for Italy' project aims to bring fibre to 20 million people in Italy's 15 largest cities by 2015, whilst Telecom Italia has committed itself to bringing FTTH/FTTB connectivity to an additional 138 cities by 2018. Further, in November 2010 seven Italian telecoms operators agreed to join forces in order to form a new company charged with overseeing the infrastructure rollout in areas where no operator has scheduled a fibre deployment thus far. The companies involved are Telecom Italia, FastWeb, Wind, Vodafone Italia, Tiscali, BT Italia and 3 Italia. The new company will have an executive committee chaired by Industry Minister Paolo Romani, and focus on avoiding duplicate installations and coordinating investments.

In other news, the launch of Telecom Italia's long-awaited 'Telecom 100Mega' broadband offer has been postponed once more, due to regulatory red-tape. The delay reportedly concerns the terms of a wholesale agreement between Telecom Italia and its rivals, including FastWeb. Telecom Italia intends to offer the high-speed package in six cities: Rome, Milan, Bari, Venice, Turin and Catania, and its rivals have requested access to a wholesale offering that permits the replication of the service. The service was originally set to be launched by the end of 2010. Local news reports suggest that telecoms regulator Autorita per le Garanzie Comunicazioni (Agcom) omitted the matter from its first board meeting of 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:18:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s secretary of the Cabinet Division, Abdur Rauf Chaudhry, has said that the government is hopeful that 3G services will be available to the country’s mobile users by the end of 2011, with legislation governing the auction of 3G concessions expected to be soon presented to the government and Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for discussion and approval. According to TradingMarkets.com, speaking at a seminar organised by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Rauf said that the local manufacturing of 3G handsets remained an important factor, adding that the government would consider recommendations made by the industry. PTA chairman Dr. Mohammed Yaseen meanwhile said that by the end of March 2011 the regulator aims to have set its own plans in motion for moving forward with the 3G sale process, once the overarching policy is approved by the government.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 24, 2011 10:54:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 14, 2011
Telekom Deutschland has announced an almost 10-fold increase in the maximum bandwidth available to new and existing customers using the Call & Surf Mobil mobile internet tariffs. With immediate effect, customers can benefit from maximum speeds of 3.6 Mbps, up from 384 kbps previously.
 
The tariffs start from EUR 19.95 per month for the Call & Surf Mobil S package. In addition, the Speed Option, which costs an extra EUR 9.95 per month and is available with the Complete Mobil L and XL plans, will see its maximum mobile bandwidth increased from 14.4 Mbps to 21.6 Mbps.

Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, January 14, 2011 10:22:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Vodafone Albania has launched the country's first 3G network, with coverage initially available in the capital city-Tirana and its suburbs. By starting the 3G operations initially in Tirana and soon in other cities, Vodafone will provide Internet speed of up to 14.4 Mbps.

Upon the 3G services launch, Mr. Haris Broumidis, CEO of Vodafone Albania stated: "We are pleased to offer to the inhabitants of Tirana the 3G technology experience, which will provide them fast access to internet, a number of new services and the most advantageous tariff plans. Vodafone Albania as the leading and most innovative telecommunications company in the country, believes that 3G will revolutionize the way Albanian families and businesses use their mobiles and access to internet".

After Tirana, 3G services will be extended to all current and new Vodafone customers across the country within 18 months.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, January 14, 2011 10:17:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 13, 2011

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

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

Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell Communications, a consortium comprising Asiacell Iraq (30%), Qatar Telecom (Qtel, 30%) and investment group Merchant Bridge (40%), has signed network expansion agreements with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Ericsson, as it looks to expand its service footprint in the country. According to the cellco’s chief technical and IT officer, Patson Anius, the supply contracts will allow the operator to introduce ‘advanced services’ tailored to the domestic market. ‘Next year, we will be further expanding our network coverage to include small villages and residential communities in remote areas. We look forward to breaking our own GSM deployment record in Iraq next year,’ he said.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that Asiacell is one of three cellcos licensed to provide national mobile services, having been awarded its concession in August 2007 at a cost of USD1.25 billion. In 2009 it deployed 1,490 base transceiver stations (BTSs) on its network, thanks to the build-out of 950 new communication towers, and improved the service capabilities of 450 other cell sites. At the end of September 2010 Asiacell had 7.917 million mobile subscribers, placing it second in the market with a share of 34.8%. It competes with Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom and SanaTel.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:20:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Chilean government, former fixed line incumbent Entel and Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson have announced a plan to provide three million people in remote rural Chile with mobile broadband and mobile telephony by the end of 2011. The first stage of the project - Rural Internet Network: All Chile Communicated - was completed in September this year, by which time 1.7 million people had been connected. In 2009 Entel and Ericsson won a USD45 million public contract from the government to provide broadband access to between 70% and 90% of the rural population. The two-year end-to-end project includes deployment of core and radio access networks for both 2G and 3G platforms. Ericsson is building, integrating and activating 2G and 3G base stations at about 1,500 rural locations.

Nicolas Brancoli, President of Ericsson Chile, said: ‘This project marks a new milestone in public-private partnerships in Latin America because we're collaborating in the financing and the development of this connectivity plan. Research shows that a 10% increase in mobile penetration in developing countries leads to a 1.2% increase in gross domestic product. We hope this project will reduce the digital divide and help increase social and economic empowerment in Chile's developing regions.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:02:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New research from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that 14% of the global wireless subscriber base is now connected to a 3G network, with the regional figure varying between 35% in Western Europe to just 6% in Africa. At 30 September 2010 there were 694 million 3G users scattered across the world, from a grand total of 5.12 billion wireless subscriptions. According to GlobalComms, of the wireless total 48.6% of subscribers were located in the Asia-Pacific region, with Latin America accounting for the next largest share, at 10.7%, and Western Europe at 10.1%. The Middle East is the smallest in terms of subscribers, accounting for 279 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter, equivalent to 5.4% of the total.

3G subscriber growth is clearly driving the market as a whole. ‘Subscriptions to third generation networks increased by over 40% in the twelve months ended 30 September 2010’ said Tig Harvey, Research Director at TeleGeography. ‘Compare that figure to the 15% recorded by the market as a whole, and you get some idea of just how important the UMTS platforms now are,’ she added. What's more, the next generation of networks are now coming on stream, just in time to provide new impetus to the industry in 2011 and onwards. According to TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service there are currently 13 Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in commercial operation, with a further nine due to be unveiled before the end of the year, including high profile launches by Verizon Wireless and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. 'Since the launch of the first W-CDMA network in 2001, it has taken ten years for 3G to achieve 14% penetration of the wireless subscriber base; this is indicative of how quickly new technologies permeate the global wireless market, and is one pointer towards the future success of LTE,' Harvey added.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:56:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Solomon Islands has confirmed previously rumoured plans to offer the country's third mobile license, just a few months after the country's second network, B-Mobile launched its services.Communications Commissioner, Nick Williams, made the announcement in Honiara this morning, noting that the licence will include an option to offer 3G services.

Mr Williams says he hopes to be able to award the licence by March next year and to see the operator begin its service within 6 months.The incumbent operator had blocked the launch of the country's second mobile network, B-Mobile for nearly ten months after its license was originally granted.

When the second license was tendered in 2009, Digicel applied for a license, but was rebuffed. Digicel had actually been granted a license in 2006, but Solomon Telekom successfully sued to block the network launch pending a review of its monopoly status.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:52:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has completed a PHP2.8 billion (USD63.6 million) expansion of its fibre-optic network. The project began in January this year and entailed the deployment of 1,300km of new terrestrial and submarine fibre links between the Bicol region, to the south of Manila, and the central and southern regions of Visayas and Mindanao.

As a result of the expansion, PLDT has extended coverage to ten provinces, including Iloilo and Negros Oriental, providing potential expansion areas for the nation’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. PLDT vice-president and head of marketing, Eric Alberto, is quoted as saying that following the latest initiative, the telco’s fibre-optic network now spans 10,050km connecting 68 nodes, with a total bandwidth capacity of 1.56Tbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:48:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 18, 2010
FibreCo Telecommunications is set to roll out a 12,000km, open access fibre network in South Africa. The new company is a joint project funded by Cell C, Internet Solutions and Convergence Partners, a BEE investment management and advisory firm focused on the telecommunications, media and technology sector. Cell C's mobile network will provide the platform for the co-location of optical transmission equipment at base stations and wireless access for FibreCo's customers.
 
Through Internet Solutions, FibreCo has access to capabilities in the delivery of value-added networking services in the enterprise market, including facilities for the hosting of its customers optical termination equipment in urban centres. Convergence Partners contributes expertise in the development and financial structuring of large scale telecommunications infrastructure projects. Construction of the long-haul network will follow a three-phase approach. The initial phase will focus on rolling out a 4,500km redundant core ring linking Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban to international cable landing stations within two years. FibreCo is based in Johannesburg, with a management team headed by Arif Hussain.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, November 18, 2010 9:15:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 11, 2010
Mobile operator MTS Turkmenistan has launched commercial 3G services in the capital city Ashgabat. The network currently covers the downtown area and international airport. The operator uses HSPA+ technology for its services, with speeds up to 21 Mbps download and up to 11 Mbps upload. Turkmenistan is the last country where MTS operates to launch 3G services, and the Russian operator now offers 3G across its CIS footprint. This includes more than 360 cities and towns in Russia and an advanced CDMA network covering more than 200 cities in Ukraine.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Thursday, November 11, 2010 2:36:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nepalese teleco Ncell/Spice Nepal, majority owned by Nordic telecoms firm TeliaSonera, has launched the country’s first 3G services at the base camp of Mount Everest, reports Reuters. Currently, the service is primarily targeted at the tens of thousands of climbers and trekkers who visit the mountainous region in the Solukhumbu district every year, and who have previously been dependant on expensive satellite phones for their communication needs. However, Ncell said TeliaSonera would spend over USD100 million next year to expand mobile coverage to around 90% of the population. Spice Nepal previously offered services under the Mero Mobile banner, but changed its brand name to Ncell in March this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, November 11, 2010 2:07:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone is around 80% complete, East African Business Week reports, citing CEO of the Rwanda Development Borad John Gara. According to Gara, around 50 public institutions have already been connected to the network, while 300 people in the capital Kigali are testing the Kigali Wireless Broadband (Wibro) network. Construction of the backbone is slated for completion by the end of the year, with the network scheduled to be fully operational by April 2011. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Rwandan government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT Corp in October 2008 to supply and install the national fibre-optic backbone. The network will connect 317 institutions (97 in Kigali and 220 outside the capital) in all 30 districts, and connect all nine of Rwanda’s borders. The government hopes the infrastructure will boost access to broadband services and facilitate IT-based foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas such as business outsourcing.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 7:30:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:09:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is reportedly sitting on more than 100 applications for 2G spectrum, the Hindu Business Line reports. With the regulator having held up the allocation of new frequencies over the last two years, it is understood that the highest number of applications in any one circle is for Delhi, where there are 17 outstanding requests, while Bihar places second with a total of nine requests. India’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Bharti Airtel, is effectively at the front of the queue for new spectrum, with the report claiming that it had been the first to request new frequencies in seven of the country’s telecoms circles, with Vodafone heading the line in five circles.

India’s armed forces are expected to release around 10MHz of spectrum in most circles within the next few months, which could allow for up to four or five operators per circle receiving their requested frequencies, with most cellcos having asked for between 1MHz and 2.2MHz; Delhi, however, is likely to only see two operators gain more spectrum, as both of the operators at the front of the queue in those circles are seeking 4.4MHz apiece.

Such allocation, though, will depend on whether the government alters the policy governing allocation of spectrum; at present the DoT offers additional spectrum on a first-come first-served basis. The Ministry of Finance though has said it wants this to change, with it favouring auctions for new frequencies, and until the ongoing debate over the matter is concluded it appears unlikely that any player will gain access to new 2G spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:07:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Local press reports that TIM Brasil will launch 3.5G HSPA+ technology before the end of the year. Initially, speeds of up to 21Mbps will be available only in the state capital of Sao Paulo. There are plans to expand coverage to other cities throughout 2011. TIM says its 3G network will cover 311 cities by the end of 2010, leaving it in third place in terms of 3G coverage behind Claro and Vivo. The cellco hopes its 2011 expansion programme will bring it closer and possibly pass Claro's level of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 1:58:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kazakhstani national operator Kazakhtelecom (KT) has announced that it has covered 70% of the rural Aktobe region with its wireless in the local loop (WiLL) CDMA-450 network. In recent years, KT has sought to overcome Kazakhstan’s vast landmass and diverse geography by using a variety of technologies, including VSAT and CDMA-450 wireless in the local loop (WiLL). The Aktobe region has a population density of just 2.5 people per square kilometre. Almost 50 CDMA 450MHz base stations have reportedly been launched in the region under the project to date. According to TeleGeography ’s GlobalComms Database, KT plans to deploy a total of 900 base transceiver stations (BTSs) by end-2013.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 1:56:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 06, 2010
The Thai government has told the two state-owned telecommunications companies to support a national broadband project, instead of worrying about 3G licensing. The government aims to make broadband available for as little as THB 150 to 200 per month to boost uptake of broadband, the Bangkok Post reports citing ICT minister Juti Kririksh. The minister said that all parties involved in planning for 3G should now shift their focus to a single broadband network and that 3G is only part of the national broadband project.
 
The ministry is considering combining the telecommunications networks of the three state-owned electricity firms, TOT, and CAT Telecom, and the three private mobile operators into a single broadband network. The plan would expand broadband coverage to 80 percent of the population by 2015 and to 95 percent in 2020. Monthly fees would be no more than 2 percent of average incomes, which would be around THB 150 to 200, compared with current fees of around THB 599 per month. The ICT ministry is drafting a master plan to propose to a broadband committee headed by prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva before submitting it to the cabinet for approval.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 9:51:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 05, 2010

ITP.net is reporting that the Kingdom of Jordan is on track to implement and enforce competition in the fixed telecoms market before the end of 2011. According to the report, Orange Jordan, the country's sole fixed line provider, looks set to lose its monopoly as the government starts to enforce local loop unbundling (LLU), allowing other operators the chance to offer fixed services. ‘We took a decision on LLU, a decision has been taken by the regulator and now we are going into the application of the LLU. I think you will see actual enforcement by the second half of next year,’ said Marwan Juma, Jordan's minister for ICT. Furthermore, Juma insisted that LLU will be implemented and enforced in a way that will ensure greater competition. ‘What is typical with LLU is that the incumbent will resist as much as possible, that is just standard worldwide, but the regulator has sharp teeth now to ensure that it is being applied fairly and that people have access to infrastructure and we hope that will lower the cost,’ he said.

Juma also confirmed that Jordan will gain a second 3G operator next year, with a third operator likely to follow. Orange Jordan, which launched its 3G network in March, is currently the only 3G provider in the country. The company was awarded the 15-year licence in August 2009 for JOD50 million (USD70 million), with twelve month exclusivity period from the launch of its 3G service.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 3:34:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel's recently purchased mobile operator in Malawi – which remains under the Zain trademark for an interim period – has launched commercial 3G services. The Nyasa Times reports that the cellco is offering users of its UMTS network free video calling and free access to websites including Facebook, Twitter and BBC for a promotional 30-day period, whilst it is also running an Apple iPad promotion. ‘Today we move Malawi forward in terms of technology towards a new generation of mobile phone services,’ said Saulos Chilima, managing director of Zain-Airtel Malawi, adding: ‘What makes the 3G experience with Zain even more exceptional is that we are offering the most affordable rate of one tambala (MWK0.01 [USD0.00007]) for every kilobyte downloaded.’ After its acquisition of the Zain Africa portfolio around three months ago Bharti Airtel announced an injection of USD100 million over three years into its networks in Malawi. In June 2010 the Indian group finalised the acquisition of the majority of the African assets of Kuwait-based Zain Group, in a deal valued at USD10.7 billion. The company took over Zain’s operations in 15 countries, including Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda. The Zain identity and brand in these 15 operations will continue to be used for an interim period under a temporary agreement.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 3:04:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Tunisia's state-controlled mobile network operator, Tunisie Telecom has been awarded a 3G license, the Reuters news agency has reported, citing a statement from the Telecommunications Ministry. Tunisie Telecom is majority owned by the state while Dubai's TECOM Investments and Dubai Investment Group jointly hold 35 percent.

The statement did not give further details, but a government official who declined to be named told Reuters that Tunisie Telecom had paid US$80.2 million for the license.

There are currently three mobile network operators in the country - the state controlled Tunisie Telcom which is the sole landline operator, and Tunisiana, which just operates a mobile phone network. Earlier this year, France Telecom's Orange launched a 3G network in the country, in cooperation with Investec, a Tunisian subsidiary of the Mabrouk group. Orange holds 49% of the joint venture. The company was awarded its operating license in June 2009.

According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the country has 9.95 million mobile phone users, which represents a population penetration level of 94%.

Source: Celllular News

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 2:51:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Republic of Congo now has a fourth mobile network operator following reports that Equateur Telecom Congo, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Bintel, has commenced commercial services. According to Cellular News, the cellco will offer services under the ‘Azur Congo’ banner, with coverage initially limited to Brazzaville and Pointe Noire, although it expects to expand to other cities shortly following launch. Commenting on the launch, Stephane Beuvelet, general manager of Azur Congo, said: ‘We have received overwhelming customer response for Azur during the soft launch and trial phase of service, and are pleased to open up full commercial services to all customers in Brazzaville and Point Noire ... In less than nine months since being awarded [its] licence, Azur will be providing full commercial service to customers in record time, through rapid network deployment and including a full commercial infrastructure.’

Azur Congo is also the first of Congo’s cellcos to adopt and implement the new national nine digit numbering scheme, which allows customers to retain their existing numbers with the 01 prefix on the Azur network.

Equateur Telecom Congo was awarded Congo’s fourth mobile concession in December 2009, announcing in March 2010 that it would open pre-registration for its services in July 2010. Those that registered during the promotional period were given the option of choosing their own number, while their accounts were also credited with XAF1,000 (USD1.93) and ten SMS messages. Minister of Telecommunications, Thierry Moungalla, subsequently made the first successful call on the Azur network in July 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:51:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The United Kingdom’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has revealed that it has called on broadband test company Epitiro to examine the download speeds of the country’s five mobile network operators’ mobile broadband services, ZDNet reports. Ofcom said that it had decided to instigate the research following increasing dissatisfaction of British subscribers related to the actual speeds they receive, as opposed to those that operators advertise.

‘Actual speeds delivered via mobile networks are typically well below the 'up to' speeds which are advertised ... Satisfaction levels with mobile broadband performance also seem significantly below satisfaction with other [broadband] services,’ Ofcom noted in a statement confirming the investigation. Epitiro will field-test mobile data services offered by O2 UK, Orange UK, T-Mobile UK, Vodafone UK and Hutchison 3G UK, measuring details including the availability and retention of networks and download times, with the test beginning this month and running through to January 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:59:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian mobile operators Vivo Participacoes and TIM Brasil have forged ahead with 3G network expansion in 2010, while rivals such as Telecom Americas (Claro) and Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) have not, according to a report from local research house Teleco.

The group’s findings suggest Claro currently has 3G coverage of 396 municipalities – the same as at end-2009 – while Oi has failed to invest in improving its UMTS footprint and still serves 168 municipalities, as it did at the start of this year. However, Vivo boasts the widest coverage of 655 municipalities as at August 2010, up from 579 at the start of the year, and TIM Brasil is the fastest expanding cellco with 155 cities covered with its 3G signal, compared to 35 at 31 December 2009.

Source: TeleGeography

 

Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:35:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 09, 2010

­Today, two Polish mobile network operators, CenterNet and Mobyland, launched the first commercial long-term evolution (LTE) network in Central Europe utilising the 1800 MHz frequency band. So far, LTE networks have only been commercially launched in three other countries: in Sweden and Norway, by TeliSonera; and in Uzbekistan by both MTS and UCell (owned by TeliaSonera).

The Polish mobile telephony market is already highly competitive, with four established market participants: PTK Centertel (Orange), Polkomtel (Plus), PTC (Era) and P4 (Play). The entrance of two new mobile network operators, CenterNet and Mobyland, did not seem to drastically change the market environment. Both operators acquired spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band in 2007 and started to develop their GSM networks. The main strategy of both operators was to focus on exploring underpenetrated market niches.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:12:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Arabian telco Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has won a SAR50 million (USD13.3 million) contract to begin work on an exploratory project for the Communications and Information Technology Commission's (CITC) Comprehensive Service Fund. Mobily was reportedly the only contender to have passed all of the evaluation criteria necessary to win the contract. The project aims to provide voice telephony and broadband connectivity to residents of Khulais and Al-Kamel in Makkah province, and Mahd Al-Dhahab in Madinah province.

Abdulrahman Al-Jaafari, governor of CITC commented: ‘We are working toward implementing the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to carry out comprehensive development throughout the Kingdom, with a long-term strategic outlook for the economy. We want to play our part in achieving balanced and sustainable progress and bridge the developmental gaps between regions.’ Mobily CEO Khalid Al-Kaf added: ‘The fact that we own the region's biggest broadband network will definitely help in providing quality services to remote areas, so we can enrich the lives of residents with services that exceed their expectations’. Despite being better known as a wireless operator, Mobily has shifted its attentions towards broadband in recent years, after acquiring a pair of ISPs since 2007. Its Saudi Arabian infrastructure now reportedly includes a 12,000-km fibre optic network.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:04:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone is over halfway to completion, with around 1,380km of fibre already rolled out across the country, local daily The New Times reports, citing ICT Minister Ignace Gatare. According to Gatare, two major regional links – which connect the capital Kigali to Gatuna and Rusumo – are already covered and two more regional routes – linking Kigali and Kanyaru, and Kigali with Rubavu – will be completed by the end of September. He added that construction of the backbone will be finished by the end of the year, with the network scheduled to be fully operational by April 2011.

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

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:00:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 03, 2010

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

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

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

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, September 03, 2010 12:33:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The number of internet users in China rose by 9.4 percent from the beginning of the year to the midpoint, and is now at 420 million, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), and reported by TeleGeography. Many of those users are connecting from wired connections, but China has a huge population of mobile phone users who are hopping online as 3G is rolled out across the country.

Of the total Internet users, 363.8 million (or 86.6 percent) accessed the web through wired broadband, while 276.8 million (65.9 percent) used mobile handsets. The numbers don’t add up because some people have multiple connections. Telegeography reports that the average time spend surfing the web was 19.8 hours per week in China. In contrast, Americans spend an average of 13 hours online a week, according to a Harris Interactive poll from December.

The huge and growing market of web-connected Chinese is an opportunity, but it’s also should serve as a warning, as China is spending billions to deliver faster speeds to its citizens. Earlier this week, Alcatel-Lucent scored a contract with China Mobile for fiber to the home and fiber to the building technology. China Telecom wants to deliver 100 Mbps speeds by 2013 with China Mobile hoping to do the same in five years.

A huge population with 100 Mbps or more broadband speeds will help drive innovative applications that we in the U.S. won’t even be able to run in many areas of the country. And when we finally do catch up with our networks, we’ll have to look to China to discover the hottest services and the startups delivering them.

Source: GigaOm

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:57:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Under the banner, "Plug, Pay and Go," the weekend saw the official launch of Digicel's WiMAX network in Jamaica. The network is available across all fourteen parishes covering 60% of the population and 200 communities with further rollout planned. That translates to 410,000 households in Jamaica.

Digicel says that it has leveraged its existing network and investment in Jamaica of over US$850 million with a further investment of US$22.7 million in rolling out the WiMAX network.

Customers have unlimited usage and can choose between affordable prepaid 7 day, 14 day or 30 day plans or a monthly postpaid plan. Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO, comments; "This is the biggest thing we have done in Jamaica since we launched here nearly ten years ago. Digicel is delivering the fastest and best wireless broadband service to customers across Jamaica and bringing the internet to people and places who have never had it before.

"Recent research from CESifo suggests that a 10% increase in broadband penetration can help to raise annual per capita GDP growth by 0.9 to 1.5 percentage points. With Digicel 4G Broadband, we are making wireless broadband internet an easy-to-access, affordable reality and empowering Jamaican people and businesses to get the best out of the internet -- whenever and however they want it. With Digicel 4G Broadband, the possibilities are endless."

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:26:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 02, 2010

The UK is set to benefit from a new generation of mobile services and improved mobile broadband coverage under new government plans to revolutionise the country's digital infrastructure. Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, has launched a programme of measures for radio spectrum modernisation, which will allow mobile operators to deliver the latest technologies to consumers and extend the reach of mobile broadband across the country. The spectrum modernisation programme will be implemented under a Direction to regulator Ofcom, which has been laid in Parliament. This includes requiring Ofcom to co-ordinate a combined auction of 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz spectrum as soon as possible in order that operators can deliver widespread high speed mobile broadband, and requiring Ofcom to carry out a competitive assessment of future 3G and 4G markets, including the potential for new entrants. Their assessment will inform the design of the auction, aimed at enabling delivery of new competitive mobile broadband services for UK consumer and business benefit; liberalising 2G spectrum at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, implementing the EU's revised GSM directive to allow operators to use these frequencies for 3G technologies; making 3G licences indefinite to encourage greater investment in 3G services to reach more consumers across the UK. They will also be made tradable, and requiring Ofcom to apply annual licence fees to reflect the market value of these licences which will be applied after the initial licence term (ends 31 December 2021). The Minister also announced funding for a generous compensation package to support the Programme Making and Special Events users (PMSE) who are moving out of the 800MHz spectrum.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, August 02, 2010 10:35:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of Sierra Leone is looking to sell incumbent fixed line operator Sierratel, as officials acknowledge that the firm lacks the financial resources to compete with the country’s mobile providers, Computerworld West Africa reports. Earlier this week the National Commission of Privatisation (NCP) called for expressions of interest for the management of Sierratel – the first step in seeking bids for the operator – stating that it has ‘commenced a business reform programme of Sierratel with the objective of improving the efficiency, productivity, customer service delivery, capacity building and overall financial and operational performance.’ The contract will be awarded via an international bidding process, with prequalified applicants required to pay a non-refundable fee of USD10,000 (SLL38.9 million) for bidding documents.

The state is looking for a telecoms company to take over all business areas of Sierratel, including day-to-day management, operations, maintenance and long term business planning, although the government has not yet disclosed the size of the stake that it wishes to offload. The company has struggled to rebuild its wireline infrastructure after rebel forces destroyed telephone lines and exchanges during the civil war which ended in 2002. According to the NCP, Sierratel is overstaffed and suffers from a lack of capital; in the past the company has been forced to enter into joint venture partnerships to undergo urgent modernisation of its infrastructure. In June 2008 the telco accepted a delivery of Huawei-manufactured equipment worth USD16.5 million, which was paid for with a loan from the Chinese government. The CDMA 1x EV-DO cellular network was launched in April 2009.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, August 02, 2010 8:49:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 30, 2010

­The Mauritian mobile communications market has seen significant investments in the infrastructure development and data segments. These are areas with immense growth potential due to the saturation of voice services.

"The submarine cables that are being deployed will mitigate bandwidth shortages witnessed in the country," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mervin Miemoukanda. "The key drivers of this market are high disposable income, a vibrant tourism industry, the increasing demand for mobile broadband and multimedia, and the diminishing costs of handsets."

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $174.00 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $271.00 million in 2016.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, July 30, 2010 3:35:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Three Nigerian telecoms operators have subscribed to Main One Cable Company’s high capacity fibre-optic cable system, which was launched commercially earlier this week linking West Africa to Europe, Reuters reports. The local unit of UAE-based Etisalat, South Africa’s MTN and Starcomms of Nigeria are among the first operators to sign up for broadband services from the 7,200km fibre-optic cable, which has landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana with branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

Main One said the cable system will deliver 1.92Tbps of much-needed international capacity into West Africa – more than ten times what is currently available from Nigeria’s sole existing undersea cable South Atlantic Terminal (SAT-3) – and will enable service providers to offer cheaper and more reliable internet access. Steven Evans, chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria, told Reuters his firm was testing the cable and would inaugurate services over it within a day or two: ‘We are working very hard at the moment to go live on the network, hopefully within the next 24-48 hours ... so that we will be one of the first people to be having broadband on the main network in Nigeria,’ he stated. Wholly African-owned, the Main One cable is the first privately-owned submarine cable system in West Africa.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 30, 2010 3:03:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zambia’s monopoly fixed line operator Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) claims to have spent approximately USD34 million on laying fibre-optic cable across the country, AllAfrica reports. The investment figure was revealed by Transport and Communications Deputy Minister Mubika Mubika in Parliament, who in responding to questions about the telco’s future spending plans noted that it remained unclear whether Libya’s LapGreen Networks, which recently acquired a 75% stake in Zamtel, would continue the current fibre rollout project.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, LapGreen Networks submitted a USD257 million for the majority stake in Zamtel, and it was announced last month that it had beaten out bids from Russian telecoms investment firm Altimo and Unitel of Angola for the majority holding to win the holding. The government meanwhile has retained the remaining 25% stake, although it may sell this at a later stage through an initial public offering on the Lusaka bourse.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:12:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Irish government has confirmed the launch of the Exemplar Network, a high-speed, fibre-optic communications network using patented Irish technology which allows for the high-speed and high-quality transfer of electronic data. The network has been developed to solve the problem of expensive bottlenecks of data as traffic on the internet continues to increase.
 
Phase I of the Exemplar network is now up and running in its test bed facility in Parkwest, Dublin. The government has already invested EUR 5 million in the network, with plans to provide an additional EUR 5 million investment. Over 30 companies and institutions have signed up to use the Exemplar network to test their products and services and conduct research. These include: BT, Imagine, EMC, Celtix Connect, IBM, Smart Telecom, e|Net, Opennet, ESBTelecom and Firecomms. Four of Ireland's universities UCC Tyndall, NUI Galway, UCD and DCU will use the facility, as will Science Foundation Ireland. Phase II involves the construction of an active test ring around the Dublin metropolitan area and will commence in 2011. The final Phase beginning in 2013 will see the Exemplar as nationwide infrastructure. The Exemplar network is being built by Intune Networks, the Dublin-based developer of high-performance laser technology for the telecoms industry. The new fibre-optic network has been welcomed by WiMAX broadband and phone provider Imagine Communications Group. Imagine managing director Brian O'Donohoe said that WiMax and Exemplar could create a partnership to propel Ireland towards new job creation by inward investments and enable entrepreneurs to set up world-class businesses across Ireland.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:58:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 19, 2010

Brazilian mobile operator TIM Brasil is looking to increase its 3G coverage to reach 60% of the urban population by the end of 2010, up from the current figure of 35%. Estadao reports TIM Brasil chief marketing officer Rogerio Takayanagi as saying the firm will achieve this goal as a result of increased investments in infrastructure, which will total USD7.5 billion over the next three years.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, July 19, 2010 12:29:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nigerian operator Globacom has won a licence to operate in Gambia barely four months after it was awarded one in Senegal. Globacom said in a statement that its latest licence approval was presented to the company in Banjul on 12 July by the country's secretary general, Njogou Bah. Globacom also disclosed that the Gambian licence is the sixth the company so far has won in Africa. It now has operating licences in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Gambia. The company started operations in Nigeria in August 2003 and in Benin in June 2008. It has also concluded plans to roll out services in Ghana. Globacom's executive director for human resources, Adewale Sangowawa, said the licence would enable the operator to stimulate world class services in the country. The licence will also allow Globacom to land its Glo 1 trans-Atlantic submarine cable in Gambia, with opportunities to extend the infrastructure to neighbouring countries. It gives the company the right to carry traffic for major operators, the government and wholesale customers in Gambia. Globacom emphasised that with this development, the people of Gambia have now been positioned to be part of the telecommunications revolution which Globacom is bringing to Africa. Sangowawa stressed the new licence adds impetus to the group's desire to provide the West African sub-region with an excellent communication network and cost-effective voice, data, video and e-commerce services.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, July 19, 2010 12:12:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pakistan’s second largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Telenor Pakistan, said it has completed the deployment of the country’s largest solar-powered network in Universal Service Fund (USF) assisted regions. The operator has revealed that of 50 solar cell sites constructed, 47 are within the USF assisted areas of Mirpur Khas and Bahawalpur, providing telecoms services to approximately 1.63 million people who previously had no access to service at all. The remaining three sites have been deployed in Islamabad and Kyber-Pukhtoonkhwa. The introduction of the eco-friendly technology forms part of Telenor Pakistan’s Green Energy Project, which aims to prevent the emission of on average 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Commenting on the completion of this element of the project, Kalid Shezhad, chief technology officer at Telenor Pakistan, noted: ‘We are delighted to have created the largest solar-powered cell network in the USF-assisted areas of Mirpur Khas and Bahawalpur. With the deployment of solar-powered cell sites our aim is to provide environment-friendly telecommunication services even in the remotest areas of Pakistan. By doing so we are reducing power demands on the national grid and also helping to reduce carbon emissions.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:21:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

75,000 residential customers in Wellington, Kapiti and Christchurch have been migrated to upgraded network systems, TestraClear has announced. The upgrade to DOCSIS3 means that the new network systems are capable of providing download speeds of 100Mbps. TelstraClear CEO Allan Freeth confirmed that the NZD10 million upgrade to its hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks is part of the government’s ten-year investment plan. Mr Freeth commented: ‘The upgrade has dramatically increased the overall capacity of our HFC network. It establishes our extraordinary infrastructure capability into the future and places us ready and willing to meet the requirements of a country that has plans for a national, fibre-to-the-home network.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:09:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography

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

UAE-based telecoms operator Du has announced it will launch its ‘Real Broadband’ service in August, offering subscribers across its current fixed line services footprint download speeds up to 16 times faster at current customer spend levels. The new offering will be available for enterprise customers from 1 August, while residential users can sign up to Real Broadband from 15 August. ‘We have today announced a broadband proposition that will not only provide an edge to our customers and our business partners, but has also set a regional benchmark in terms of broadband prices and value provided,’ commented Farid Faraidooni, CCO at Du, adding: ‘Du’s Real Broadband services will offer better value than similar broadband services offered in the Middle East region. It will be even more competitive than similar services provided in some developed markets such as Ireland and Canada.’

Alongside the launch of Real Broadband, Du has introduced new double- and triple-play packages. ‘Surf & Talk’ bundles landline telephony with the new high speed internet service; customers can choose between 8Mbps broadband for AED199 (USD52.2) per month, 16Mbps at AED259 or 24Mbps for AED349 a month. Meanwhile, ‘Surf, Talk and Watch’ includes fixed telephony, Real Broadband and its Du TV plus service, available at AED249 per month for maximum download speeds of 8Mbps, AED309 for 16Mbps and AED399 per month for 24Mbps broadband.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:50:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:29:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:11:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 02, 2010

Orange Armenia plans to roll out voice and internet coverage to 95% of the Armenian population by the end of 2010. PanArmenian.Net quotes the Minister of Transport and Communication, Manuk Vardanyan, as saying that in a meeting with Olaf Swantee, France Telecom executive vice president for Europe and Sourcing, the French official confirmed the group intended to invest USD50 million to achieve the set target. Mr Vardanyan added that Orange Armenia’s improvement will not purely focus on the capital, but will also look to extend high speed mobile broadband to more ‘remote’ regions and villages of the Republic.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 02, 2010 2:33:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) plans to invest over MXN 1.5 billion to upgrade the country's network infrastructure, local newspaper El Universal reports, citing communications and transport minister Juan Molinar. The measure aims to close the digital gap and boost the development of next-generation broadband network in educational institutions and research centres across Mexico. In line with this strategy, SCT has signed an agreement with the University Corporation for Internet Development (CUDI). Under the terms of the agreement, SCT and CUDI plan to generate a model of network integration, focused on promoting scientific and technological activities involving higher education institutions and research centres across Mexico.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, July 02, 2010 2:06:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 15, 2010

­Myanmar's telecommunication authorities are planning to expand GSM coverage to the border areas next to its Southeast neighbours, aimed at providing better GSM phone line services to link the region, the local Myanmar Newsweek reported.

The pilot project to link Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore as well as China is underway.

Meanwhile, the authorities has also planned to add 33 more GSM radio stations in the biggest city of Yangon to expand GSM coverage which will be launched by local private companies on competitive tender system, an earlier report said.

At present, GSM mobile phones can be used in 80 towns in the country and the country has around 500,000 subscribers, mostly within the military or business elite. Government and military contacts tend to find it easier to get the paperwork to own a mobile phone - but often then rent out those phones to business users.

The country has both GSM and CDMA networks. A WCDMA network was launched last year, with very limited availability.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:16:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: IDATE

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

Malaysian fixed line incumbent Telekom Malaysia (TM) has announced that it is expanding the coverage of its high speed broadband network (HSBB), according to Bernama. The telco has said that it is launching commercial HSBB services at a further 18 exchanges by the end of next month, adding to the four exchanges where it already offers speeds of up to 20Mbps, and both residential and industrial zones are included in the new regions of operation. Residential areas to be covered include Wangsa Maju, Sungai Buloh, Melawat and Kepong in Selangor, and Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Damansara in the Federal Territory. Meanwhile industrial zones set to gain access to HSBB products include Kulim Hi-Tech Park (Kedah), Bayan Baru (Penang), Senai and Permas (Johor).

Alongside the announcement of expanded coverage TM also revealed that to date it has spent a total of MYR2.3 billion (USD695 million) on the HSBB project, and it said that the network rollout currently reached around 375,000 premises, with around 3,200 having signed up for high speed services so far.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 1:53:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an update to its Evolution to LTE report which confirms 110 operators in 48 countries are currently investing in LTE networks.

80 operators have made firm commitments to deploy LTE networks in 33 countries (compared to 64 network commitments identified two months ago). LTE networks are now being installed or planned for commercial service in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, USA, and Uzbekistan.

GSA anticipates that up to 22 LTE networks will be in service by end 2010, and at least 45 are expected to be in service by end 2012. The first LTE networks entered commercial service in December 2009 in Norway and Sweden.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 1:28:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Digicel Suriname says that it has expanded its network to cover an additional 4,000 people by boosting coverage at Nieuw Jacobkondre on the Saramacca river and at Antino on the Lawa (near Benzdorp). Up to this moment, Nieuw Jacobkondre had been completely devoid of telecommunication whilst the provisions of another provider at Antino can be considered rather poor.

"The people living in these areas are thrilled that Digicel brings them a piece of development. It is an undisputed fact that telecommunication provisions bring significant development economically and socially for the local communities. Urgent messages can be sent via telephone saving costs and energy. The overall safety will also improve since social control is strengthened through people's ability to have easy access to mobile calls", says Philip van Dalsen.

If all preparations go as planned, the new masts will be made operational this month. In April last, the Digicel mast at Makoe became operational. Makoe is located near Sarakreek.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 1:07:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 04, 2010

Nigeria-based Globalcom (Glo Mobile) has reportedly been issued with a mobile operator’s licence in Senegal. If confirmed, the concession, the fourth to be awarded in the West African country, will also allow Globacom to land its Glo 1 trans-Atlantic submarine cable in Senegal, with opportunities to extend the infrastructure to Mali. Local newspaper This Day quotes the Nigerian firm’s chairman Mike Adenuga Jr as saying that the licence would enable his company to offer ‘world class telecommunications services’ to the government and people of Senegal.

‘In line with our vision, Glo will continue to play a major role in stimulating a new era of prosperity in the sub-continent and build facilities that will offer Africa advanced telecoms services such as teleconferencing, distance learning, disaster recovery, telemedicine, on-line diagnosis and video conferencing during surgery and research,’ Globacom added in a statement. The Nigerian company also holds operating licences in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic and Cote d'Ivoire, but as reported recently by CommsUpdate, has threatened to exit the Ghanaian market citing sabotage as the reason.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, June 04, 2010 9:42:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
France had over 20 million broadband and ultra high-speed subscribers in the first quarter, according to telecommunications regulator Arcep. The country added 369,000 such customers in the quarter, taking the total to 20.05 million at the end of March. Year-on-year, the high-speed and ultra high-speed subscriber base grew by 9 percent in the first quarter, compared to 10.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 10.8 percent in the third quarter of that year. Broadband subscribers accounted for 98 percent of the total as of 31 March. Ultra high-speed subscribers grew by 14.6 percent to 330,000 in the period.
 
There were 40,000 new fibre customers. Of all high-speed subscribers at the end of the first quarter, 77 percent were with cable operator Numericable, which runs fibre to the building, then co-ax to flats. The remainder had fibre to the home. According to Arcep around 40 municipalities are involved in fibre rollouts, with networks passing over 4.5 million homes.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, June 04, 2010 9:36:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An investment of more than US$60 million has been planned by Vodacom Mozambique over the next two years to expand its network. 43% increase in the number of customers last year to 2.3 million has resulted in the decision for expansion.

100 new transmission towers has been planned to be set up by the network mainly in the centre and north of the country – which is around double its expansion rate last year. Expansion of its own microwave and fibre-optic backhaul is also in consideration to reduce reliance on the national landline operator, which the firm blames for repeated network outages.

The move to improve the network comes as the country’s regulator announced plans to award a third mobile license later this year.

Source: Wireless Federation

Friday, June 04, 2010 9:32:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 28, 2010

Telecom New Zealand has confirmed that it is fully investigating structural separation in order to participate in the government’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative. However, “in making a thorough assessment of structural separation we need to have a detailed understanding of the regulatory environment, and this warrants detailed discussion and analysis with Government before any decisions regarding its viability can be made,” CEO Paul Reynolds said in a statement. Telecom has asked the telecommunications minister to consider a variation on three components of Telecom’s undertakings that will no longer be relevant in a fibre future.


The proposed changes are to:

  • Suspend the forced bulk migration of existing broadband customers onto a new copper-based broadband service. However, the company will continue to supply this new broadband service to all new customers;
  • Remove the requirement for Telecom to migrate 17,000 customers onto a new VoIP over copper service by the end of this year; and
  • Remove the requirement for Telecom to build a new set of wholesale systems that are not consistent with the industry structure implied by UFB.

Source: Telecom Paper

Friday, May 28, 2010 1:07:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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

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

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

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Source: Cellular News
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:58:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

­France Telecom's Orange has launched a mobile network in the North African country of Tunisia, in cooperation with Investec, a Tunisian subsidiary of the Mabrouk group. Orange holds 49% of the joint venture.

Commenting on the launch, Didier Lombard, Chairman of France Telecom said: "Today, Orange is proud to associate itself with Marwan Mabrouk to build Tunisia's first genuine convergent telecoms operator. I have full confidence in this kind of partnership, which brings together a strong local actor with a global operator. Together we are committed to a project that will transform the Tunisian telecommunications market, and which in turn will help the country on its way to joining the world's most competitive economies. Our commitment to this partnership also enjoys a particular intensity thanks to the historic, cultural and economic ties that traditionally exist between France and Tunisia." The company was awarded its operating license in June 2009.

Orange Tunisia will invest one billion dinars (around EUR500 million) to launch operations and install the country's first 3G network. This network, which will be operational from day one, already covers the majority of Tunisia's major cities. Overall coverage will be doubled by the end of the year. From its launch, Orange Tunisia will benefit from a network of nine shops and 400 distribution outlets. In addition, the operator will employ 1,500 people by the end of the year.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:12:42 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)  #     | 
 Monday, May 03, 2010

 

New data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service show that international network operators have weathered the recession surprisingly well. International bandwidth usage increased 60% in 2009, in line with the past two years, and well ahead of the trend of 2002-2006. Growth has been particularly rapid in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. However, capacity requirements to seemingly mature markets, such as Europe and the US, have also grown at a compounded annual rate of more than 50% since 2002.

Over the past seven years, aggregate international capacity requirements have grown more than 22-fold. Providers have kept pace with high demand by rapidly upgrading their fibre-optic networks with additional wavelengths. Nearly 90% of US terrestrial network operators surveyed by TeleGeography plan on lighting extra wavelengths in 2010, and just under 70% of European carriers plan on doing so.

The scope to expand submarine cable capacity is far more limited than that of terrestrial networks. High demand has combined with a relative scarcity of bandwidth to drive technological innovation, according to TeleGeography analyst Tim Stronge. 'Some undersea cable operators have managed to install far more wavelengths on existing cables than thought possible even just a few years ago,' noted Stronge. 'Providers are also exploring ways to squeeze additional capacity out of their cables by replacing 10Gbps wavelengths with 40Gbps wavelengths.'

Growing capacity requirements, combined with carriers’ desire for improved route diversity, have also spurred a boom in submarine cable construction. 17 new cables were built in 2009, and investment in submarine cable construction in 2010 is projected to top last year’s levels.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, May 03, 2010 2:06:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti has released over USD6 million in funding to continue a project to build a fibre-optic cable linking major cities to Port Beira in Mozambique via Zimbabwean border town Mutare. Under the goverment's plan, data/voice traffic will be transmitted via existing international undersea cable networks landing at Beira, thereby improving internet access and reducing ICT costs for service providers and users alike. The project is part of an ongoing programme to upgrade and extend Zimbabwe's state-owned incumbent TelOne’s backbone network with new domestic and international fibre-optic links, which has suffered delays due to lack of financing.

TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database says that a special purpose vehicle company, Africom Continental, was formed to spearhead the building of a cable from Harare to Mutare, holding a 50% stake in the project's capital, with the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe holding 30% and the National Social Security Authority 20%. According to a report in AllAfrica, ministers hope that the fibre-optic rollout should be expanded to link all major cities in Zimbabwe by the end of this year. TelOne also holds a stake in the EASSy east African submarine consortium cable, physical deployment of which was completed earlier this week.

Source: TeleGeography

 

Monday, May 03, 2010 1:55:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh’s dominant mobile operator GrameenPhone (GP) and WiMAX wireless broadband provider BanglaLion Communications have agreed to share network infrastructure, reports local newspaper The Daily Star. The two companies signed a deal on Monday under which GP will share its transmission capacity with BanglaLion across the country. ‘This initiative will ensure sustainable utilisation of national resources,’ GP said.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, May 03, 2010 1:50:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 25, 2010

Madagascar has been connected to the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), AfricaNews.com reports. Fixed line incumbent Telecom Malagasy (Telma) has announced that it has already put in place a national backbone that will allow it to connect its subscribers to the cable, and it is expected that the arrival of the link will allow for the development of outsourcing activities, such as call centres. EASSy will supposedly enable the transfer of data at speeds 40 times faster than dial-up connections, and 27 operators from 22 countries across Africa’s eastern coast have invested approximately USD260 million in the deployment of the cable so far.

The arrival of the EASSy connection is the second significant cable landing reported in Madagascar in the last twelve months; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in June 2009 Madagascar’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Orange Madagascar, announced the completion of its submarine cable project, LION, connecting the cable at Tamatave in the Toamasina region. Funded by Orange Madagascar, France Telecom and Mauritius Telecom, the 1,800km broadband cable links with the existing SAT3/WASC and SAFE cable and has a capacity of 1.3Tbps, and it also connects Madagascar with the islands of Reunion and Mauritius.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:45:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, is scheduled to launch commercial fixed broadband services for residential customers based on fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) technology this week. Kiev-based newspaper Delo reported on 11 March that the cellco would enter the high speed fixed market in two weeks. The GSM operator began building its FTTB network in Kiev and Odessa in August 2009, whilst earlier this month the company’s planned merger with Russia’s Vimpelcom received Ukrainian antimonopoly clearance, giving rise to the potential for integrating the direct fibre service with Vimpelcom’s wholly owned ‘Beeline’ FTTB services operating in several cities across Ukraine. According to local press Kyivstar has over 250,000 mobile internet laptop/PC subscribers; according to GlobalComms Database it launched a resold 3G mobile internet service in April 2008, via the W-CDMA/HSDPA 'Utel' network of state-owned Ukrtelecom, the country’s only UMTS licensee. Kyivstar does not offer mobile broadband-speed services over its own infrastructure as Ukraine has repeatedly delayed the issuing of UMTS licences to privately owned operators.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:12:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 22, 2010

Omani incumbent fixed line operator Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) has announced the launch of its new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in parts of Muscat, Zawya reports. Omantel partnered with Huawei Technologies for the rollout of the new infrastructure, which provides broadband internet at download speeds of up to 80Mbps and also supports services such as video on demand (VoD) and high definition (HD) television. ‘The introduction of FTTH using the Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology from Huawei is a remarkable leap in the application of modern communications technology that can provide a comprehensive variety of entertainment options for both the home and business users through a high speed connection network,’ commented Samy Al Ghassany, Vice President of Integrated Network and Technology at Omantel, adding: ‘Introducing leading edge technology of this nature will help to bring residents together in high speed.’ The telco’s FTTH network is being deployed in the newly developed residential areas of Muscat Hills and The Wave.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, March 22, 2010 11:07:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British fixed line incumbent BT Group has at last begun offering triple-play bundles incorporating fixed line voice, high speed internet and IPTV, taking advantage of telecoms regulator Ofcom’s decision in September 2009 to lift restrictions that previously prohibited such packages. To celebrate the new range of offers BT has revealed it will discount its new bundles until 23 March 2010, and commenting on the launch John Petter, managing director of BT’s Consumer Division, said: ‘Over the last twelve months, 3.6 million of our customers have moved to calls packages, where you don’t pay for every call. Offering a bundle of broadband and ‘Anytime’ calls for this knockdown price will launch us into the bundles market as an unrestricted competitor for the first time. There will be many more bundled offers to come and customers can only benefit.’ BT’s initial top-level triple play package will give customers unlimited fixed geographic calls, internet at speeds of up to 20Mbps and its Vision Gold Value IPTV service for GBP48.99 (USD74.16) per month; under the introductory offer it will reduce this cost to GBP35.99 for the first three months.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, March 22, 2010 10:51:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 12, 2010

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

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

Source: TelecomPaper

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

A number of Burundian telecoms operators have joined forces to build out a national fibre-optic backbone network in the small African country, aided by the World Bank. The so-called ‘Burundi Backbone Systems’ group, which includes incumbent PTO Onatel, mobile operator Leo (formerly U-Com), Africell (owned by V-Tel and Palestinian Paltel), Econet Burundi and domestic ISP CBI Net. Balancing Act reports that Burundi Backbone Systems will oversee the development of a 1,200km backbone and several international fibre links connecting the country to its neighbours in the next 18 months. The World Bank is contributing money to the scheme which will provide coverage throughout Burundi with cables laid alongside road routes, with 26 different nodes.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 12, 2010 2:33:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 05, 2010

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

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

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 05, 2010 10:05:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 14, 2010

Slovakian incumbent PSTN operator Slovak Telekom’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network now covers over 315,000 households, an increase of 100,000 in twelve months, Broadband TV News reported. The network reaches 19 cities including Banska Bystrica, Kosice and the capital, Bratislava, delivering services including ‘Magio TV’ IPTV channels and internet access at speeds of up to 80Mbps, and Telekom says it will roll out FTTH to additional areas in these cities, as well as to other towns, during this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:29:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the Australian Federal Government is aiming to raise approximately AUD2 billion (USD1.83 billion) from the sale of spectrum freed up following the switch-off of analogue television signals.

The government has announced that after the switch-off has been completed, which is expected to occur by end-2013, it will make available around 126MHz of spectrum. While existing mobile network operators such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) are all expected to make a play for the extra frequencies, analysts have suggested other companies including Google and Woolworths have been mentioned as possible contenders for the spectrum. It has been claimed however that each of the cellcos will require approximately 40MHz each in order to provide 4G services, potentially leaving little for other companies.

Telstra meanwhile may face an uphill battle to take part in any auction that the government does hold, with the incumbent still facing possible restrictions on the allocation of any new spectrum in the absence of an agreement between it and the state over structural separation.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 11, 2010 11:43:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indian telecoms firm Tata Communications has sealed a deal with China Telecom to jointly roll out a fibre-optic cable connecting the two countries, India’s Economic Times reports.

The twelve-month long project will see the launch of a new 500km cable to provide high speed connectivity between India and China. ‘The India-China Terrestrial Cable will go a long way in meeting the business needs of two of the world's fastest emerging economies,’ noted senior VP at Tata Communications, Byron J. Clatterbuck, adding, ‘The new route, coupled with Tata Communications' other subsea cable investments, will also provide a new high speed connectivity path between Europe and Asia by transiting India and China.’ The Tata Global Network currently provides connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, India’s Reliance Communications (RCOM) and China Telecom commercially launched the first terrestrial cable link between India and China in August 2009, connecting the northeastern Indian town of Siliguri to Yadong in China.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 11, 2010 11:31:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Obama administration called Monday for federal regulators to provide more spectrum for wireless high-speed Internet services, saying mobile broadband would bring competition to DSL, cable and fiber broadband providers.

In comments and a letter filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the White House's technology policy arm and the antitrust division of the Justice Department said that the current marketplace for broadband Internet services is not competitive enough and that wireless Internet access could serve as a more affordable way to bring service to areas that are not connected.

"Given the potential of wireless services to reach underserved areas and to provide an alternative to wireline broadband providers in other areas, the [FCC] Commission's primary tool for promoting broadband competition should be freeing up spectrum," Justice said in its comments.

Click here to see full article
 
Monday, January 11, 2010 11:25:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

US incumbent fixed line operator AT&T has described traditional fixed line networks such as PSTN and POTS as ‘relics of a by-gone era’ and has called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set a date to scrap the systems, Reuters reports.

The company said that the government’s aim of universal broadband service will only be achievable if resources are moved away from older services. In a filing with the FCC, AT&T said: ‘Congress's goal of universal access to broadband will not be met in a timely or efficient manner if providers are forced to continue to invest in and to maintain two networks. Due to technological advances, changes in consumer preference, and market forces, the question is when, not if, POTS service and the PSTN over which it is provided become obsolete.’

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 11, 2010 10:42:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Afghanistan ministry of communications has officially opened a USD 70 million optical fibre project. Work on the project began in April 2007 and currently is 80 percent completed, with 17 provinces and 68 towns covered. The network is also connected to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran via fibre while Pakistan and Turkmenistan are set to be connected shortly.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 4:25:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 21, 2009

Orange has officially inaugurated the LION (Lower Indian Ocean Network) cable in Reunion. The 1,000 km fibre optic cable connecting Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius was lit on Reunion on 16 November. France Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Mauritius Telecom financed the WDM cable offering a potential speed of 1.28 Tbps. LION connects Madagascar to the broadband internet network and to secure the connection of the France Telecom's regional sites with two new stations in Reunion and Mauritius. These two islands represent the connection points for the SAT3-WASC-SAFE cable, which links Europe to Asia via the southern tip of Africa. The development of regional co-operation in the Indian Ocean could be further strengthened thanks to a project to extend the LION cable to Mombasa, Kenya, where there are several possibilities for interconnecting with other submarine cables.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, December 21, 2009 10:58:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 08, 2009

­The mobile market in Mozambique is in its nascent stage with only two operators catering to the burgeoning demand for mobile services. Large investments are being made in infrastructure development, with the enterprises segment having the maximum growth potential due to the increased number of companies opening sites in the country, especially in remote areas.

The bid for a third operator is expected to be finalized by December 2009, further stimulating the competitive environment from 2010. Submarine cables are being deployed to provide global connectivity as well as improve local and international traffic. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that market earned revenues of $300 million in 2008 and estimates this to increase six-fold by 2015 to reach $1.8 billion.

"Mozambique is a promising country in various sectors," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Silvia Hirano Venter. "The recent introduction of foreign companies and expatriates with high incomes is boosting the demand for more sophisticated communications services, driving the country to invest in the development of its infrastructure."

Substantial improvements in infrastructure and regulation are expected to take place by 2012 and Frost & Sullivan believes that the market is likely to reach its full potential by 2014.

"Currently, Mozambique has only two operators and five key vendors," Venter says. "There are several opportunities for companies interested in expanding to remote areas. Additionally, there is growth potential for companies that offer optimised solutions for infrastructure as a way to reduce the capital and operational expenses of operators."

However, several factors are hampering market growth, such as an inadequate transportation system, unreliable power supply, natural disasters such as floods and droughts, and the presence of landmines. Companies should effectively address these issues to succeed in this geographic area.

"The current global economic downturn has affected Mozambique indirectly, as the demand for agricultural products and commodities has reduced," explains Venter. "However, such challenges are projected to reduce in intensity over the next few years, even as demand is set to rise."

Only 16.0 percent of the population currently utilizes mobile services to communicate. The network quality is good and the much-anticipated roll out of the submarine fibre optic cables will represent an advance in data traffic and capacity.

"Companies should continue to invest in the extension of the network to rural areas to enable the reduction of prices," concludes Venter. "Despite the challenges, the future looks bright for Mozambique's mobile communications market."

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:58:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

Venezuelan state-owned telecoms operator CANTV aims to launch pay-TV services over both IPTV and satellite technology next year, the government said in a statement, quoted by BNamericas.

CANTV has already deployed 1,666 satellite stations nationwide through which the company expects to provide new communications services to the national market and other countries across the region, via Venezuela’s own Venesat-1 satellite, company president Franco Silva said, adding that the telco has doubled its average annual investment since its renationalisation in May 2007. Meanwhile, CANTV has increased the number of fixed telephony subscribers three times over since that date, the country's science and technology minister Jesse Chacon said, whilst it offers ADSL broadband connectivity nationwide.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, December 07, 2009 5:10:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) prepares to enter the telecoms market in 2010 as the country’s seventh fibre operator, incumbent telcos are increasingly concerned that network sabotage will become more prevalent as competition intensifies, Business Daily reports.

Telkom Kenya and Kenya Data Networks (KDN) have been the most vocal about the alleged acts of sabotage, with each saying their networks are now attacked around ten times per month, up from around four instances six months ago. Mickael Ghossein, Telkom Kenya CEO, said: ‘There are too many fibres and competition is becoming stiff. We would urge the government to step in and resolve these issues to protect our national resources and investments.’ It is estimated that each instance of sabotage costs up to KES500,000 (USD6,640) to repair. KPLC, meanwhile, is in the midst of preparations to launch its network in the next month, joining Telkom, KDN, Jamii Telecom, Wananchi, Access Kenya and the government in the country’s fibre market.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, December 07, 2009 4:40:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The deadline for the submission of bids for a 60% stake in state-owned Telecommunications d'Haiti (Teleco) has been extended from 9 November to 30 November. The Haitian monopoly fixed line operator is determined to attract an international strategic investor from the telecoms sector to inject capital and expertise to help upgrade and expand its networks and return the company to profitability. An international tender was originally announced in June, with applications from financial groups in consortium with telecoms operators also being accepted. The revised timetable, published on the telco’s public-private partnership website (www.haititelecoppp.org) is as follows: 30 November–4 December 2009 ‘Evaluation of bidders' eligibility and qualification statements and technical offers’; 4 December ‘Notification [on the] evaluation’; 7 December ‘Opening of financial offers, final evaluation and identification of Preferred Bidder’; 9 December ‘Notification of award’; 21 December ‘Remittance of the Payment Guarantee and execution of the Share Subscription Agreement by Central Bank of Haiti (Banque de la Republique d’Haiti [BRH])’; 15 January 2010 ‘Closing of the transaction’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Teleco recently shed approximately two-thirds of its workforce in preparation for privatisation, whilst a major factor in attracting a suitable private sector partner could be the incumbent's wireless spectrum assets: it holds 900MHz and 1900MHz GSM mobile frequencies and has permission to launch 3G services, as well as nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband spectrum. Teleco also operates a fibre-optic network in the capital Port-au-Prince, and jointly controls an international fibre-optic submarine cable link to the US via the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the commercial arm of the World Bank, is acting as adviser for the public-private partnership project, aided by several international consultancies.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:11:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 19, 2009

The government of France is looking to inject up to EUR4 billion (USD6 billion) into high-tech infrastructure projects through its national loan programme, with the lion’s share of the funding going towards subsidising the deployment of broadband telecoms networks in smaller cities and rural areas, Reuters quotes unnamed government sources as saying.

It is understood that as a result of the levels of investment being considered (EUR2 billion-EUR3 billion), the government hopes to stimulate the building of fibre-optic broadband networks capable of offering high speed connections at four times those currently offered by existing technology. The proposed national loan programme, which aims to fund strategic investments and boost the development of the wider French economy, is apparently in the early stages of planning within Nicolas Sarkozy's government. The president is expected to decide the final plan in early December.

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, November 19, 2009 9:40:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 15, 2009

Miami firm plans to lay first US-Cuba fiber line, possibly reducing cost of calls, Internet

A small Miami-based company said the U.S. government has given it permission to lay the first optical communications fiber from the U.S. to Cuba. That could drastically cut the cost of calling the island nation and make the Internet more accessible to Cubans.

Treasury Department officials were unavailable to confirm that TeleCuba Communications Inc. has received approval, which is necessary even though the Obama administration eased long-standing restrictions on telecom links to Cuba in April.

TeleCuba said Tuesday that its cable will be operating by the middle of 2011. It still needs final permission from the Cuban government to land the cable.

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Source: Cellular News

Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:13:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 21, 2009

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

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

Source: Telegeography

Monday, September 21, 2009 8:23:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Austrian minister for infrastructure Doris Bures has unveiled new initiatives to expand broadband networks and broadband applications in Austria.
 
The initiatives aim to support the deployment of superfast broadband in Austria, partnering with all stakeholders, the telecom industry and the Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR. The Austrian government wants to have nationwide coverage of broadband at up to 25 Mbps by the end of 2013. With the new telecom law, a judicial framework for the broadband expansion has been set and the minister has ordered a feasibility study for fibre-optic cadastre, results of which will be published in 2010. Bures also unveiled a support package of up to EUR 40 million for broadband deployment in rural regions and development of new services and applications. Earlier this year, Telekom Austria announced that will it invest up to EUR 1 billion in deploying fibre, replacing the old ADSL technology. The first pilot projects will start before the end of this year.
 
Source: Telecompaper
Monday, September 21, 2009 8:17:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 06, 2009

According to Allafrica.com, Zambia Telecommunication Company (Zamtel) has invested around USD20 million on the expansion of its fibre-optic network. The telco’s fibre network now stretches for 1,500km, and it plans to further extend this to 4,000km as part of a USD48 million project to provide a second international gateway by linking to the East African Submarine System (EASSy) cable. All provincial centres are expected to be connected to the network by 2010, and the telco has said it expects the network development to allow it to reduce the cost of communications for its fixed line subscribers. While Zamtel is utilising its own resources for the bulk of the network rollout, it is also understood that a portion of the funds are being provided by unnamed international institutions.

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:41:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |