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 Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vietnam’s three largest mobile operators by subscribers, Viettel, MobiFone and Vinaphone, have increased their 3G tariffs for the second time this year, after receiving approval from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). Earlier this year the trio increased the cost of their unlimited 3G mobile data plans by 25% from VND40,000 (USD1.9) to VND50,000 per month, and from today the price for these tariffs will rise by a further 40% to VND70,000, Tuoi Tre News reports. Plans affected by the change include Viettel’s ‘MiMax’ tariff, MobiFone’s ‘MIU’ plan and the ‘MAX’ package offered by Vinaphone. Mobile operators have argued that the 3G price hikes are necessary to enable them to upgrade and expand their networks to meet growing demand for mobile data services, and are also required to offset declining revenues as a result of subscribers using smartphone apps, such as Viber and WhatsApp, to make free calls and send free messages.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:59:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 03, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Cellular News.

 

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

The smallest of Venezuela’s three cellcos by subscribers, Digitel, announced the official full commercial launch of its 4G LTE mobile broadband network on 9 September, following a limited post-paid-only launch in July in selected areas of Greater Caracas, Maracay and other mainly central and western cities. Over the last few months the cellco has been expanding and optimising the 1800MHz LTE network, whilst also upgrading and expanding its 3G HSDPA+ network to augment its high speed mobile internet coverage. The rollout so far has seen Digitel activate over 230 LTE base stations, or 60% of the projected 385 cell sites planned for this year, initially concentrating on the most densely populated areas in order to capitalise on the demand for data services, with a medium-term goal of installing more than 800 LTE base stations. Meanwhile, it has upgraded more than 500 3G base station sites nationwide with an end-year goal of migrating over 1,000 base stations to IP protocol.

Digitel’s 4G LTE services are already available in parts of Caracas (mainly in eastern sections of the city), La Guaira (in Capital Region), Maracay, Cagua, Valencia, Puerto Cabello, Turmero, La Victoria, Guacara (all in Central Region), Araure, Barquisimeto, Acarigua (all in Central-Western Region), Valle de La Pascua, Calabozo (both in Llanos Region in the centre of the country), Maracaibo, Cabimas, Ciudad Ojeda (all in Zulian Region in the far west), Margarita (in the Insular Region of islands off the north coast), Puerto La Cruz and Lecheria (both in Eastern Region).

Digitel said that LTE will ‘soon’ be available in additional areas, including the remaining uncovered zones of Caracas, Valle de La Pascua and Calabozo, as well as Coro, Punto Fijo (both in Central-Western Region), Anaco, Barcelona, Maturin, Cumana, Carupano, El Tigre (all in Eastern Region), Ciudad Bolivar, Puerto Ordaz (both in Guayana Region in the east of the country), and parts of Andean Region (in the west), thereby spreading the network to all Venezuelan Regions.

Three ‘Smart Plan’ data, voice and text packages are available for 4G users, and the LTE network is open to all pre- and post-paid customers from the official announcement of commercial services. Users with compatible devices – which currently include a Huawei-built Android-based smartphone, a BlackBerry model or alternatively a USB modem – may acquire an LTE U-SIM card to activate 4G-speed data services.

Over 5,000 post-paid customers with suitable 1800MHz-compatible devices were able to use the network in its early launch phase, the company revealed, and while delays have been caused by a shortage of foreign currency in Venezuela with which to buy 4G network equipment and LTE-capable handsets or other devices, a Digitel spokesperson said that it has requested to import one million LTE phones, ‘a figure consistent with the number of users who want this technology’. The target figure represents over 15% of Digitel’s current user base of roughly 6.5 million.

Having previously reported that it had spent USD400 million on the rollout of its HSPA+ network since Q4 2011 (a figure that included fibre-optic/IP backbone expansion/upgrades and 3G/4G mobile broadband spectrum acquisition), the company has now upped that investment, announcing this week that it has spent over USD600 million on the launch of LTE and HSPA+ combined, including the necessary frequencies and fibre/IP build-out to support the radio network deployment. Digitel’s investment budget for full-year 2013 is USD268 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, October 03, 2013 8:45:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ukrainian mobile and fixed broadband operator Kyivstar has reported that its smartphone users grew by 43% in the year ended 30 June 2013 to reach 3.698 million, or 12.7% of its 29 million-plus total mobile subscriber base, while in the same twelve-month period its number of fibre/LAN broadband internet users grew by 38.4% to 693,000 – helping to drive up quarterly fixed broadband revenue 55% year-on-year to UAH101 million (USD12.3 million) in Q2 2013.

Revenues from multimedia content grew by 47% y-o-y in April-June 2013, with demand for content mainly driven by the increasing number of active smartphone users, Kyivstar reported, adding that users of its App Club downloaded more than 5.5 million games while the number of users of its online book library, opened in December 2012, exceeded half a million by mid-2013. Members of the mobile Video Club grew to 60,000 – with the company pointing out that the consumption of such services is currently limited by the restricted access to 3G (as Kyivstar must resell the 3G capacity of Ukraine’s sole W-CDMA/HSPA licensee Ukrtelecom [TriMob], while high speed wireless internet access coverage is also provided via a nationwide public Wi-Fi licence).

Regarding types of smartphone active on Kyivstar’s national EDGE-enabled network, Android devices increased by 215% y-o-y to 1.548 million at end-June 2013, Symbian-based devices increased by 10% to 1.457 million, Apple (iOS) units grew by 73% to 358,000, Bada devices rose 17% to 184,000 and Windows phones climbed 45% to 149,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:20:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest statistics from the Communications Authority of Maldives, the island nation ended June 2013 with a total of 613,598 mobile subscribers, up from 574,211 three months earlier and 549,934 at mid-2012. Pre-paid users made up the majority (541,359) of wireless subscribers at the end of June. The regulator reported that fixed broadband subscribers reached 20,308 at mid-2013 (up from 17,393 a year earlier), while mobile broadband customers totalled 101,963 (68,985). The number of fixed telephony lines (including payphones) fell slightly from 24,645 to 24,136 over the twelve-month period.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:10:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communication (MTC) has announced that the Agency for Promotion of Private Investment (ProInversion) has successfully completed the sale of two 20-year, 40MHz (2×20MHz) spectrum licences in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz paired bands (also known as Advanced Wireless Services [AWS] spectrum) for 4G services. Movistar was awarded the ‘A’ block of 1700MHz/2100MHz frequencies for USD152.23 million – more than double the USD63.4 million reserve price – whilst Americatel Peru, the Peruvian arm of Chile’s Entel, won the ‘B’ block of AWS spectrum with a bid of USD105.51 million.

Deputy communications minister Raul Perez-Reyes noted that on top of the USD257 million payment for the authorisations, the licensing would also lead to investments totalling around USD800 million over the next ten years. The official added that within the next six years 234 districts would be covered by Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks: ‘We’re going to grant at least four million families access to high speed mobile internet in the following years.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:58:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 25, 2013
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) unleashed a tariff war in the 3G data segment on Thursday as the company slashed monthly tariff by 50%, offering high-speed mobile internet at half the price of competitors like BhartiAirtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. The move by the country's third-biggest mobile operator comes a few weeks after its rivals lowered 2G and 3G rates, but only for data usage beyond standard package limits.

Data adoption in India has been slow, but is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets boom with users consuming more online content.

RCom has reduced the monthly tariff for 1GB data on 3G to Rs 123 from Rs 250. This is even cheaper than the company's 2G monthly tariff that of Rs 125. "We want a data tsunami and want to liberate customers from high prices and slow speed," RCom president and CEO (wireless) Gurdeep Singh said.

When contacted, most of the other companies refused to comment. However, industry analysts say that a price cut may not be far away as companies are scouting for heavy data users.

3G adoption in India has been slow as high prices and not-so-efficient services have kept users away. Only about 5% of the country's 850 million mobile users have subscribed to 3G services, which are estimated to account for 3% of mobile revenue of telecom carriers. Companies are also fighting hard in the data space as voice tariffs - one of the lowest in the world - have remained more-or-less muted over the last many months and operators have rather done away with freebies and discounts here to shore up revenues.

Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had last month cut the prices of their internet data plans, but the lower rates were valid only beyond the stipulated standard package prices. Currently, Vodafone charges Rs 250 monthly for 1GB data package of 3G and Idea and Bharti also offer a near-similar plan. Their reductions had come for data usage beyond the 1GB limit.

RCom has 3G services in 13 circles that include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and North East. The lower tariffs are for all kind of connections - pre-paid, post-paid, new and old. RCom has also reduced prices for 2GB and 4GB pack on 3G network.

Source: The Times of India.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:36:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 22, 2013
The AEK has confirmed that the countries incumbent mobile operators have won the tender for LTE licences. T-Mobile, VIP, and One all offered to pay a one-off fee of 10.3m for the 20-year licences, slightly in excess of the 10m targeted by the regulator.

Source: screendigest.

Monday, July 22, 2013 9:36:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 19, 2013

Korean operator SK Telecom says that more than 150,000 subscribers have signed up for its LTE-Advanced network just 14 days after its launch, according to a Yonhap News report.

This makes for a take-up rate of more than 10,000 new subscribers a day — an indication of how eager consumers are for a service that is double the speed of SK Telecom’s LTE service and a whopping ten times faster than a standard 3G network.
 
Late last month, SK Telecom unveiled the world’s first LTE-Advanced network which went live in Seoul and a further 42 cities across the Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do districts. The latest Yonhap News report says the network is now available in Seoul and 43 other major cities in South Korea.
 
The service will offer speeds of up to 150 Mbps, with SK Telecom saying that a 800MB movie can be downloaded in less than a minute.
 
In the Yonhap News report, SK Telecom expressed confidence that more customers will sign on to its LTE-Advanced network as smartphone manufacturers step up their game to produce phones compatible with the network. Samsung launched its Galaxy S4 LTE-A smartphone on the same day that SK Telecom took the wraps off the network with an initial batch of 200,000 units.
 
The report noted that LG Electronics and local manufacturer Pantech are planning to release smartphones running on the LTE-Advanced network soon.
 
Other telecom operators are also hopping onto the bandwagon, with LG Uplus also planning to commercialize its LTE-Advanced network this month — which will reportedly be available in Seoul and other major cities during the third quarter of this year, and will roll out to other regions by the end of 2013.

Source: TNW.

Friday, July 19, 2013 7:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 15, 2013

More than half of Costa Rica’s mobile customers use their device for internet services, according to a survey carried out by local newspaper El Financiero. A spokesperson for incumbent Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), which offers telecoms services under the ‘Kolbi’ brand, claimed that more than 60% of the company’s wireless subscribers used mobile internet services, adding that wireless data traffic has increased by 400% over the last three years. Meanwhile, newcomers to the market Movistar and Claro claimed that penetration of internet services was 85% and 55% respectively. Movistar also noted that 50% of its mobile customers had smartphones.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 15, 2013 7:23:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Brazil's Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo announced an earlier release of the 700 MHz frequency band, now being used by analogue TV, with the goal of making it available for mobile broadband. According to the minister, the spectrum initially expected to be released only in 2016 will have a staggered release schedule beginning in March 2015. The frequency band is considered by the telecommunications industry as more suitable for 4G because it needs fewer antennas for coverage than the 2.5 GHz band currently used in Brazil. The government plans to auction the 700 MHz band in early 2014. Bernardo added that the analogue switch-off in the larger cities will be brought forward to 2015, while the ASO in smaller municipalities will be postponed until 2018. The previous timetable had foreseen that the complete ASO would be completed in 2016.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:51:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013
SK Telecom announced that it today launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones. SK Telecom's LTE-A covers the entire Seoul, central areas of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, and 103 university areas. Furthermore, the company will gradually expand its LTE-A coverage to 84 cities across the nation. The company achieved such a milestone in only less than two years after commercializing the nation's first LTE service in July 2011. LTE-A offers ultra-fast network speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G network. For instance, LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds. With the commercialization of LTE-A, the company expects to further improve customer satisfaction in mobile Internet services, and increase the use of ultra fast video contents and other diverse mobile value added services.

Source: SK Telecom.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:12:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013

Microsoft, in collaboration with Kenya's ICT ministry and Indigo Telecom, announced the launch of a pilot project to deliver low-cost wireless broadband to previously unserved locations near Nanyuki and Kalema, Kenya. The network uses TV white spaces and solar-powered base stations to deliver broadband access.

This pilot is part of Microsoft's broader 4Afrika Initiative to help improve the continent's global competitiveness. A core goal of the 4Afrika Initiative is to facilitate access to technology for the masses and to empower African students, entrepreneurs, developers and others to become active global citizens. The project is the first deployment of TV white space technology in Africa targeted at communities without access to broadband or electricity and is a result of a memorandum of understanding on a framework of cooperation between Microsoft, the Kenyan ICT ministry and Indigo Telecom. 

The initial installation near Nanyuki includes five customer locations: the Burguret Dispensary (healthcare clinic), Male Primary School, Male Secondary School, Gakawa Secondary School and Laikipia District Community Library. The installation in Kalema will begin with a base station that connects to a government of Kenya agricultural extension office. Fourteen more locations on the network will be added in the coming months. The network will also feature white space radios manufactured by Adaptrum.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:15:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Online news portal Tut.by reports MTS Belarus as saying that the total number of people subscribing to its mobile internet services increased by 27% in 2012, to reach 1.5 million by the year end. In December 2012 alone, MTS Belarus said that mobile internet users generated 950,000 gigabytes of traffic, double the figure reported in December 2011, while for the year as a whole, 3G traffic totalled 9.3 million gigabytes. The cellco’s 3G network currently comprises 1,760 base stations and is available in 100% of the country’s cities and towns.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:51:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brazilian mobile network operators TIM Brasil and Oi SA have announced plans to share 4G networks in the country, to allow them to offer ultra-high speed cellular services in the host cities for the FIFA Confederations Cup (Copa das Confederacoes) – Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. In a joint statement on 18 January, the two carriers said the decision to share the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) network infrastructure will yield savings of between 40%-60%, enabling them to be more competitive against other mobile carriers. The new services are expected to be ready in April, in time for testing ahead of the football tournament which kicks off in June 2013. The partnership agreement is still to be approved by the national watchdog Anatel.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:08:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, PT Indosat, is forecasting that data users will swell rapidly in 2013 to account for the majority of its total user base by the year end, driven by strong demand for smartphones and internet access. The Jakarta Post quotes Indosat director and chief commercial office Erik Meijer as saying: ‘We expect data subscribers to increase from 49% to 60% [of the total],’ in fiscal 2013.

The cellco experienced fluctuating fortunes in terms of its subscriber base last year, which fell by 2.3% to 50.914 million in Q2 2012, before rallying to 55.451 million by end-September. Although fourth-quarter financial and operational data is not yet available, Indosat earned IDR1.6 trillion (USD165.6 million) in net profits for the first nine months of 2012, up 55.4% when compared to the same period in the previous year. Revenues for 9M12 reached IDR16.5 trillion, up 7.6% year-on-year, with Mr Meijer saying that in 2013, the company is aiming to grow its business ‘at least in accordance with industry growth’ – estimated at between 7% and 8%. Further, data subscribers contributed about 20% to the group’s total revenues last year, he added noting that each data subscriber could generate ‘as much as 30 times more traffic than three years ago’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:54:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012
Moldova’s National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) has reported that the total number of fixed broadband internet subscribers reached 396,500 at 30 September 2012, an increase of 20.4% from 329,100 at the same date a year earlier. xDSL connections accounted for the majority of fixed broadband connections in Q3 2012 (52.3%, down from 57.8% twelve months previously), followed by FTTx accesses which made up 41.9% of the total (37.5%) and cable subscriptions with 5.5% (4.1%). Fixed line incumbent Moldtelecom remains the market leader in the fixed broadband market, holding a share of 69.1% at the end of September 2012, followed by StarNet (16.9%), Sun Communications (5.6%) and other operators (8.4%). The number of 3G mobile internet customers (using USB modems and data cards) totalled 167,600 at the end of September 2012, an increase of 8.9% year-on-year. Orange Moldova accounted for highest number of mobile broadband customers (80,500) according to ANRCETI, followed by Moldcell with 56,600 and Moldtelecom with 30,400.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:47:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telenor Norge claims it has become the country’s first operator to enable access to Long Term Evolution-based (LTE-based) services via mobile phone. With access having previously been restricted to those connecting via USB dongle, the operator has confirmed that from yesterday customers with 4G-compatible mobile handsets will be able to utilise its LTE network. It notes that it has put in place an ‘automatic solution’ which provides voice access over Telenor’s 3G network, while customers are transferred to the LTE infrastructure – where it is available – for web surfing and internet access.

Alongside this development, Telenor has also named a number of new locations which it plans to extend 4G coverage to by Christmas, with those being: Drammen, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg, Skien, Porsgrunn and Kristiansand. Looking further ahead, the 4G footprint is expected to expand further in the New Year, with Telenor naming Tromso as another location where the network will be switched on at that date. In addition to expanding 4G across the country, Telenor’s managing director Berit Svednsen reiterated that the operator is also continuing to develop its third-generation infrastructure, noting: ‘90% of Telenor’s mobile customers have 3G coverage where they live, and the continuing expansion will ensure as much as 95% coverage. By the end of 2015 nine out of 10 Norwegians will also be able to use 4G from Telenor.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Telenor Norge unveiled commercial LTE services in eleven cities and towns across the country in October 2012. At launch the 4G network was available in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lorenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrom, Asker, Baerum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:39:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Algerian operators will launch 3G and m-payment services in the first quarter of next year, postal and ICT minister Mouusa Benhamadi announced to the local press. He said that the 3G licensing process would begin at the start of the year and services would begin before the end of March. The minister explained that 4G licensing was rejected due to the elevated cost of handsets, greater investment by operators, the requirement for a specific frequency band and the need for more base stations, authorisations to build them and the availability of necessary locations. Algeria launched a tender for 3G licences in September 2011, but suspended the process and delayed it several times due to a legal dispute between the government and Orascom Telecom Algeria, which operates under the Djezzy brand. In his latest statement to the press Benhamadi recognised that Algeria was behind in some services, such as m-payment, adding that Algerie Telecom, Mobilis and the postal service would introduce an m-payment service by the end of January

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:35:19 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)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

Claro Puerto Rico has announced the full commercial launch of 4G LTE mobile broadband services for handset, modem and tablets users in 19 of the island’s 78 municipalities, including the three largest cities, San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez, promising mobile data speeds of up to 30Mbps. Company president Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, quoted by news site El Nuevo Dia, said the company has invested over USD230 million over the last year in the deployment of fibre-optic network infrastructure and 4G wireless access, adding that LTE coverage would be available ‘throughout the island’ in the first quarter of 2013. Having announced a ‘soft launch’ of LTE technology in San Juan around a year ago, Ortiz de Montellano explained that the delay in bringing a commercial 4G service to market had a lot to do with waiting for the right range of smartphones to become available. At launch the cellco is offering the Motorola RAZR HD XT925 LTE handset as an exclusive in the country, while on its website it also advertises the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE i747 and Nokia Lumia LTE 900 handsets. A 4G modem, the ZTE MF820 USB LTE, is also offered on the site, as is 4G connectivity for compatible tablets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:55:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telefonica Ireland, which trades under the O2 brand name, has revealed that it will begin deployment of a 4G LTE network in the first half of next year. The cellco issued a statement of intent after recently securing spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, saying that it plans to invest EUR200 million (USD255 million) to upgrade its network to LTE over the next three years. ‘4G will significantly change the way consumers use their mobile devices and will transform our ability to meet customer demand for new products and services as they move to adopt smartphones, mobile modems and tablets in ever greater numbers,’ said Telefonica Ireland CEO Tony Hanway.

Source: TeleGeograhpy.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:42:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brunei’s telecoms regulator, the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI), has published its annual ICT indicators. Although no time-frame is mentioned by the regulator, it is assumed that the figures apply to the end of the country’s financial year, 31 March 2012. The regulator has revealed that the Sultanate’s mobile user base reached 449,260, up from 443,161 a year earlier. That total comprises 382,286 pre-paid users and 66,974 post-paid contract customers. Meanwhile, the number of fixed line subscribers increased from 79,839 to 80,039, ending a negative trend of falling subscriber totals evident in 2010 and 2011. In terms of internet access, the AITI reported 21,492 fixed line broadband subscribers, 4,161 dial-up users and 27,620 mobile internet users.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:40:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 26, 2012

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, November 26, 2012 12:25:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

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

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:03:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The European Commission has today decided to add another 120 MHz to the radio spectrum portfolio for 4G technologies, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), around the 2 GHz band. This band is currently solely used for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) wireless communications, known as 3G networks. The Decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies. On this basis the EU will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high speed wireless broadband as in the United States, namely around 1000 MHz.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:50:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012

Chinese cellco China Unicom has booked revenues of CNY185.192 billion (USD29.436 billion) for the nine months to 30 September 2012, up by 18.7% year-on-year. Of the total, CNY42.72 billion was attributed to Unicom’s burgeoning 3G business, up by 29.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2011. The cellco claimed 66.863 million 3G users, more than double the 30.230 million represented by Unicom in September 2011. ARPU for 3G users was CNY89.1, and average monthly data usage per customer was 143.4MB. Turnover from its GSM business however experienced a 6.2% drop on an annualised basis, falling to CNY50.39 billion. Meanwhile, Unicom’s fixed line operations saw a slight boost of 1.9% y-o-y to CNY62.443 billion, with non-voice revenues contributing 69.4% to the total, compared to 63.0% twelve months earlier.

Despite an increase in costs and expenses for the nine-month period of 18.3% to CNY177.93 billion, Unicom reported net profits of CNY5.45 billion (+29.4% y-o-y). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were CNY54.78 billion (+12.7%) with an EBITDA margin of 35.1%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:52:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

US telco AT&T Inc has reported consolidated revenues of USD31.46 billion for the three months ended 30 September 2012, a decrease of 0.1% year-on-year. Wireless sales accounted for the lion’s share of revenues in 3Q12, rising 4.5% to USD14.91 billion, while ‘data’ (broadband) revenues increased 6.9% y-o-y to USD7.98 billion. However, third-quarter ‘voice’ (wireline) revenue was down 10.8% to USD5.57 million, from USD6.24 million in 3Q11. Net income for 3Q12 increased 0.3% from USD3.62 billion to USD3.64 billion.

In operational terms, AT&T Wireless added 678,000 net new customers in the twelve-month period, for a total of 105.9 million at the end of September; this included gains in every customer category. Of these additions, 151,000 were post-paid subscribers and 77,000 were pre-paid. Of the remainder, 137,000 new connections were attributed to resellers and a further 313,000 subscriber accounts were classified as ‘connected devices’. Post-paid average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 2.4% y-o-y to USD65.2 per month, representing the 15th consecutive quarterly rise, and the strongest increase in six quarters. The carrier sold 6.1 million smartphones in 3Q12, 1.3 million more than in 3Q11, with such devices representing 81% of post-paid handset sales. AT&T claims that its ARPU for smartphones is twice as high as that of non-smartphone subscribers. Further, more than 40% of AT&T’s post-paid smartphone user base possess a Long Term Evolution (LTE)-capable device.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson commented: ‘We had another impressive quarter with strong earnings growth, record cash flows and solid returns to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. In wireless, we had another excellent smartphone quarter, penetration of usage-based mobile data plans continues to climb, and our 4G LTE network build is ahead of schedule. And in wireline, our IP network continues to deliver strong gains in U-verse high speed internet connections, which helped drive an almost 10% increase in broadband data ARPU’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:41:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:39:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Airtel Nigeria, the local mobile unit of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, has expanded coverage of its 3.5G wireless network in Oyo State, enabling the cellco’s subscribers in the region to access mobile broadband at higher speeds, Vanguard reports. ‘Oyo State is central to the operations of Airtel, and in our quest to recreate a uniquely wholesome telecoms experience in line with our vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians, we are renewing our contract with the Oyo people by empowering them to succeed through our ‘3.75G’ network footprints, innovative offerings, pocket-friendly value propositions and customer-focused initiatives,’ Airtel Nigeria’s COO and executive director, Deepak Srivastava, said at a ceremony in Oyo State capital Ibadan to re-launch the Airtel brand. In February 2012 Airtel announced that it had boosted the maximum download speed available across its third-generation network to 42Mbps, following the implementation of Dual Carrier HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+) technology. At that date, the network was available in parts of all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:34:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile Telephony of Serbia (MTS), the wireless arm of fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija, has upgraded its 3G infrastructure to HSPA+, the company announced yesterday. The boosted network will deliver download speeds of more than 10Mbps to end users, with potential upload speeds of 3Mbps. MTS’s 3G network covers 75% of the population including all major cities, towns, and roads. MTS added that the upgrade would ease the transition to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:25:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bangladeshi government announced that it will hold a 3G spectrum licence auction early next year and expects customers to be able to use 3G services by the middle of 2013, The Daily Star reported online. The 3G auction guidelines will be finalised by December after consultation with stakeholders, the auction should be held in January or February of next year, said Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Bose said this after the first consultation meeting was held on 11 October by the telecommunication ministry, in the presence of a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) official, for the four private mobile operators. At the meeting, the operators asked the ministry to reduce the starting price for the auction from the proposed USD 30 million per 1 MHz of the spectrum. Bose said the ministry is consulting with the Finance Ministry in this regard. He also said the price will be finalised after taking into consideration neighbouring countries' experiences and Bangladesh's socio-economic situation.

 

The draft guidelines say the auction will involve 10 MHz spectrum from the 2,100 MHz frequency band, but the operators would like to purchase 5 MHz of the spectrum to save costs. Given the exponential rise in demand for data and the fact that Bangladesh is a populous country, 5 MHz spectrum bands would yield poor quality of service, according to Bose. A total of five 3G licences are available, of which three have been assigned for the current private operators, one for state-owned Teletalk, and one for a new entrant

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

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

Source: Telegeography.

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

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

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

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

Source: Telecompaper.

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

According to data published by the regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), the total number of mobile phones in Senegal exceeded 10.712 million at the end of June 2012, thanks to net additions of 828,31 in the second quarter. Mobile market leader Orange Senegal added a net 424,572 new subscribers in the April-June quarter of 2012 for a total of 6.741 million, handing it a market share of 62.9%. Second-placed Tigo Senegal reported net gains of 156,758 for a total of 2.640 million from 2.483 million at 31 March 2012 (or 24.7% of the market), while third player Sudatel Telecom (Expresso) increased its users by 242,501 to 1.330 million (12.4% share). The net gains from the incumbents pushed cellular penetration in the country to 88.01%, according the ARTP estimates, far eclipsing fixed line teledensity which stood at 2.82%, or 343,012 main lines in service, down from 346,406 at 31 December 2011. The total number of internet subscriptions (fixed and mobile) was 528,358 at end-June 2012, up 186,655 on the start of the year, of which 18.1% (95,412) were on an ADSL connection, and 375,556 were for mobile (3G) accounts. The popularity of mobile broadband internet in Senegal is growing quickly: the total was just 53,678 in June 2011, equivalent to 28.5% of the overall market, but had ballooned to account for 71.1% of the segment twelve months later.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:45:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:33:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), the United Arab Emirates’ second national telecoms operator, has announced it generated revenue of AED2.45 billion (USD666.8 million) in the three months ended 30 June 2012, an increase of 12.9% from AED2.17 billion in the year-ago quarter. Growth was primarily driven by a 14.0% year-on-year rise in mobile revenue to AED1.9 billion, of which mobile data accounted for AED278 million, an increase of 84.8% from AED151 million in Q2 2011. Du said that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 36.6% year-on-year to AED941 million in the second quarter of 2012, while net profit before royalty increased 57.1% to AED651 million, compared to AED414 million in Q2 2011. CAPEX totalled AED444 million in the three month period.

A total of 196,300 mobile customers were added during the second quarter of 2012 (including 36,300 post-paid users), bringing Du’s total wireless subscriber base to 5.732 million at the end of the reporting period, 7.8% of which were contract customers (up from 6.8% in the year-ago quarter). Fixed line customers meanwhile increased to 546,600, up 10.6% compared to the end of June 2011. Revenue generated by Du’s fixed business, including fixed telephony, TV and broadband, rose 11.4% year-on-year to AED410 million in 2Q12.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:41:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

NTT DoCoMo has posted net income for the quarter ending 30 June 2012 of JPY164.3 billion (USD2.1 billion), up 3.5% year-on-year on the back of 2.4% growth in sales to JPY1.07 trillion. The cellco pointed to increased sales of smartphones (up 92% year-on-year) and higher data revenue (up 9% year-on-year) as being key drivers behind the positive results. ‘Active sales of smartphones have increased revenue from subscribers expanding their use of data services,’ the company said. DoCoMo reiterated guidance for the year ending March 2013, saying that it expects net income to reach JPY557 billion and sales to hit JPY4.45 trillion.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:40:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) I-Mobile Plus, a subsidiary of Samart Corporation, has been awarded a five-year contract by state telco TOT for exclusive rights to 40% of 3G network capacity to be resold to end-users under TOT’s new business model. As reported by the Bangkok Post, TOT board chairman Panthep Chamrasromran announced that I-Mobile Plus must pay TOT a guaranteed minimum revenue of THB156 million (USD4.9 million) for the first year and THB476 million for the second, and the MVNO is targeting 860,000 3G subscribers in the first year of operations and 1.81 million in the second year. Previously, Samart I-Mobile (I-Mobile 3GX’) was amongst a group of five MVNOs reselling 3G services over TOT’s HSPA network under one-year contracts, alongside Loxley (i-kool), IEC Technology (IEC 3G), 365 Communication (365 3G) and M Consult Asia (Mojo 3G).

Mr Panthep confirmed TOT is also in talks with Loxley to retail 20% of 3G network capacity, while for the remaining 40% of capacity, he said that TOT would not require a guaranteed minimum revenue; prospective MVNOs for this portion include IEC Technology, 365 Communication, M Consult Asia, Acumen and Jasmine Telecom Systems.

Panthep also said TOT aims to increase its number of 3G base stations from a current 2,300 to 5,320 in October. TOT has site sharing agreements with Advanced Info Service (AIS) covering 800 base stations, and an additional 300 shared sites agreed with True Move. TOT’s board will discuss a second phase of 3G network expansion on 26 July.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:45:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Unicom has revealed that it expects to see a larger revenue contribution from its 3G subscriber base this year than from its 2G customers. Lower cost smartphones from domestic suppliers such as ZTE have helped boost Unicom’s subscriber base by 20% year-on-year to the end of April. ‘We are not as focused on the number of new users, we want to make sure we are adding good quality customers,’ company president Lu Yimin said, before reiterating an outlook previously given in March that the company’s 3G business will be profitable this year. Unicom’s 3G subscriber base stood at 51.8 million at the end of April, behind China Mobile’s 61.9 million. However, 3G subscribers make up 24.3% of Unicom’s total subscriber base, compared with 9.2% for China Mobile.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:28:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Indian GSM operator Tata Docomo has launched new offers for its Photon Plus Postpay and Prepay customers across India, claiming price reductions of up to 60 percent. Tata Docomo Photon Plus postpay customers can select from unlimited 6GB usage for INR 950 rental or unlimited 11 GB for INR 1200. These two unlimited plans also offer cash back of INR 100 per month for twelve months from date of purchase. Tata Docomo entry-level packs cost INR 250 for 1GB of data download and INR 450 for 2GB. Tata Docomo also introduced Reload packs for Photon Plus Postpay customers with 1GB for INR 200 and 2GB for INR 350. Tata Docomo Photon offers usage-based data plans. Prepay customers can get unlimited 2GB usage on a recharge of INR 700.


Source: Telecompaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:09:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Honduras’ ailing state-owned national PTO Hondutel (Empresa Hondurena de Telecomunicaciones) has announced plans to establish a joint venture (JV) to offer a dedicated mobile broadband service in the country. CentralAmericaData writes that the PTO will be the majority shareholder in the new venture, and quotes Hondutel director Romeo Vasquez Velasquez as saying that the new business model will help the firm out of its current financial crisis, made worse by a lack of investment. ‘The only alternative we have is to open [Hondutel’s] doors to any [business or individual] in the country [or abroad] wanting to invest in our mobile broadband service to develop and improve the company’s future income streams. And we are working on it,’ Romero Velasquez said. It is believed that setting up such a venture in Honduras would require investment of around USD500 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:38:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vivo Participacoes, says it has reached its goal of 3G coverage of 85% of the population, well ahead of its target date of April 2016. In a statement, the cellco said it achieved the magic figure last Thursday, at which date its third-generation network served 2,832 municipalities out of a total of 5,566. Launched in 2010, Vivo’s ambitious rollout plan envisaged covering more than four-fifths of Brazil’s people with mobile internet access of up to 10Mbps within six years, in line with the regulator Anatel’s licensing terms – although even then, it said it was confident it could reach that goal by 2012. Local online news site Globo reports that Vivo is in the throes of connecting the last antenna as part of the project, serving the town of Rancho Alegre in Parana state, where 4,000 people live.

Although Vivo has hit its 3G target in terms of population coverage, it is still short of achieving its goals when it comes to towns and cities served. Currently, the cellco’s coverage is in less than half of all Brazil’s municipalities – and is especially weak in those with less than 30,000 inhabitants. Nonetheless, Vivo says it will continue with its aggressive plans for mobile network rollout to meet its coverage obligations.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:34:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Korean regulators have decided to let mobile operators charge users extra fees for VOIP applications or block their use entirely, according to a report by Networks Asia.
 
As per the report, Korea’s top mVoIP app, KakaoTalk, has gained rapid popularity among smartphone users. Other players in the mVoIP market include Microsoft’s Skype, Google Voice, Fring, Line 2 as well as other independent and operator-driven services.
 
 With widespread use of these mobile applications adding data traffic and cutting into their text and voice profits, the major Korean operators – SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus – have decided to raise prices for data usage, as revealed in the report. As the country’s regulator is allowing the telcos to charge for use of apps such as KakaoTalk, some are claiming that this is a violation of net neutrality rules.
 
 The report claims that Jiho Park, an activist with the Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice, said that this will set a precedent for coming apps such as FaceTime, where SKT and KT already said they will apply the same pricing policy as with local apps, and this can clash with global players like Apple and Google.
 
Apple’s FaceTime is only available on Wi-Fi networks now but with iOS6 this fall, people will be able to use it over 3G or 4G LTE, too. SK Telecom and KT currently offer unlimited data plans, which allow users to freely download apps on their networks, whereas LG U+ used to block over-the-top programs entirely. The companies have not yet released specific information on their new rates, says the report.
 
KakaoTalk has 36 million Korean users and 9.2 million international users. More than half of 50 million Korean cell phone owners use smartphones, according to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).
 
The Korean government released its open Internet guidelines last year, designed after the U.S. network neutrality rules released by the Federal Communications Commission last year. Under these principles, consumers can make their own choices about what applications and services to use and what content they want to access, create or share with others.
 
Unofficially, the KCC has already permitted operators to enact policies of their choice regarding third-party apps, as per the report.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:33:24 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)  #     | 

The recently launched Rwandan mobile operator Airtel has announced the launch of its new high speed HSPA+ platform, which will offer subscribers mobile data download speeds of up to 21Mbps. The equipment for the deployment was supplied by Ericsson. Airtel launched its first 2G networks in Rwanda in March this year and had promised that its mobile broadband service would follow shortly. Initially only available in the capital Kigali, the HSPA+ service will be deployed in other cities in the coming weeks. The Indian-owned cellco is competing with Rwanda’s two established players, MTN and Millicom/Tigo.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:38:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Cambodian wireless operator Smart Mobile has announced that it signed up its three millionth customer in May 2012, five months after crossing the two million subscriber mark at the start of the year. The cellco said that by the end of May, its mobile customer base had increased to 3.24 million, placing it second in the market in terms of users behind Vietnamese-owned Metfone, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. ‘It is another milestone we have achieved and we are very happy to see this growth,’ said Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Mobile, adding: ‘Considering that Smart Mobile is still a comparably young player in this market, launched commercially in February 2009, it is a massive endorsement to us by our subscribers to have reached the number two position within only three years and three months since the commercial launch… We are highly committed to keep investing into the network to cater the constantly growing demand but also to further innovate by introducing new products and services.’ The press release adds that Smart Mobile’s GSM/GPRS/EDGE network currently covers around 87% of the population and is present in all 24 provinces, while coverage of the cellco’s HSPA+ mobile broadband network, which was commercially launched in August 2011, has grown from 14 provinces at the start of 2012 to parts of all 24 provinces six months later.

Smart Mobile (owned by Latelz, a subsidiary of Cyprus-based and Russian-owned Timeturns Holdings) became Cambodia’s eighth mobile operator when it launched commercial GSM services in Phnom Penh and Siem Riep in early 2009. At the start of 2011 Smart Mobile merged its operations with Applifone, the local unit of Swedish telecoms group TeliaSonera, under the Smart Mobile brand. TeliaSonera’s 75.5%-owned unit TeliaSonera Asia Holding owns 25% of the new company, and Latelz the remaining 75%.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:08:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: Telegeography

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

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

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

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

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:37:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned telco Une-EPM has begun offering commercial services over its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, the first of its kind in the country. At present the mobile broadband service is available to 80% of the populations of Bogota and Medelin, but will be expanded to Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Bucaramanga later this year. Une intends to achieve 90% population coverage by end-December 2012, and sign up 120,000-180,000 subscribers by that date. Une is offering pre- and post-paid plans with maximum download speeds of up to 12Mbps, with download limits of 6GB or 12GB for monthly contract subscribers and 1.2GB, 4GB or 8GB for pay-as-you go users. Post-paid subscriptions start at COP89,900 (USD49.78) per month, plus COP33,400 for the USB modem.

Commenting on the launch, Une president Marc Perret Eichmann said: ‘4G will contribute to the development of the country, putting it at the forefront of telecommunications infrastructure in the region.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:32:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone India and Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL, also known as MTS India) have joined the recent trend of slashing rates for 3G-based services. According to the Times of India, Vodafone, following similar action by Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communication (RCOM), cut the price of its pre-paid data plans by 80% to INR0.02 (USD0.0004) per KB whilst lowering its post-paid packages with the new prices ranging from INR25 per month for 25MB of data to INR1,599 per month for 12GB. An unlikely addition to the 3G tariff war was SSTL. Although the operator maintains that data services are the core of its operations, as one of the providers to have its licences revoked by the Supreme Court earlier this year, its future in India is uncertain. SSTL increased the amount of data on its ‘MBlaze’ packages, offering 750MB of usage for INR198 per month, up from 200MB, whilst its 350MB and 512MB offerings were upped to 1GB and 2GB.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:26:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a report by the Information Society & Media Directorate-General of the European Commission, Slovenia’s mobile broadband service penetration rate (on all devices) reached 29.1% in January 2012. However, the report added that the figure was well below the European Union (EU) average of 43.1%, whilst it saw ‘no significant signs’ of substitution between fixed and mobile broadband. Penetration on large screens, as measured by dedicated data services (via cards, modems or keys), was near-static year-on-year at 2.5% in January 2012, according to the report, which also said that Slovenia’s rate of regular internet use (at least once a week) stood at 66%, below the EU average of 69%, and was virtually unchanged from a year earlier.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:25:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bahrain’s Batelco has announced the commercial availability of enhanced mobile broadband services with theoretical maximum downlink connection speeds of up to 42Mbps on its HSPA+ network. Alongside the upgrade to dual carrier HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+) standard, Batelco has launched new mobile broadband packages with unlimited monthly data usage for smartphones, tablets and laptops, available to new and existing post-paid subscribers. The telco has also introduced a new line-up of devices capable of supporting its new higher data speeds for its ‘O-Net’ mobile broadband users. The three unlimited post-paid packages start from BHD8 (USD21) per month, and all allow access to the 42Mbps network, with each tier allowing a different data threshold before the connection speed is throttled to 512kbps (downlink)/128kbps (uplink). Subscribers to the BHD8 package have a monthly threshold of 4GB, BHD10 packages users get 7GB of unthrottled usage, and the top-tier BHD11 option throttles speeds after 8GB.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:27:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 22, 2012

Mobile data now accounts for a very significant aspect of a consumer’s life. While demand for wireless data services has been on the rise, users are also on the lookout for the most economical option, adding pressure on mobile operators.

In an attempt to meet consumer demand and reduce churn, mobile operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T are preparing to roll out shared-data pricing plans this year, according to a report by BN. As per the report, the revolutionary new service would enable customers to split one internet data plan between their phones, iPads and other wireless devices, providing an economical option for families, small businesses or people with a lot of Web-connected gadgets.
 
As per the report, while such a move could prove to be highly successful for operators, any would lower the amount of money that subscribers pay, while increasing network traffic and the cost of maintaining networks. Thus both operators are hesitant in being the first one to offer the service.
 
However, mobile operators Sprint and T-Mobile are yet to announce any plans for the same. They claim that such a move may make it tougher for families to keep a track of how the data is being used, and may lead to bill shock.

Source: Wireless Federation.
 

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:52:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

Source: Wireless Federation.
 

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

Half of Korea's mobile users now own a smartphone. Some 26.72 million mobile users out of a total of 52.55 million, had a smartphone as of 1 May, the Korea Herald reports citing figures fromthe Korea Communications Commission. SK Telecom has the most smartphone subscribers at 13.3 million, followed by KT with 8.8 million, and LG Uplus with 4.62 million smartphone subscribers.

Source: Telecom Paper.

 

Friday, June 22, 2012 2:45:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

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

Airtel Tanzania yesterday launched a five-in-one offer that encompasses its data and voice services through a combination of quality, affordable rates and unique
online products, according to a report by Tanzania Daily News.
 
The new services launched will allow Airtel customers to call for half a shilling 24 hours throughout the week to preferred numbers. The company’s Managing Director Sam Elangalloor said at the launch in Dar es Salaam that Airtel subscribers will enjoy night calls at quarter a shilling, send 10 SMS at $0.02 and get 200 free.
 
They will also get free facebook browsing as well as free night time Internet. He emphasized that whereas the offer mainly targeted the youth, all other Airtel customers frequently using both data and voice services will also be rewarded. He said Airtel is committed to providing our customers with quality innovative products and services that will improve the total customer experience.
 
Elangalloor added that Supa 5 will provide a great experience with five grand offers that will enable youth across the country to select three numbers to call for half Shilling all day all night. He said the offer provides a well-rounded and affordable solution for those who seamlessly use voice calls, online social platforms and short texts to communicate with relatives, friends and peers.
 
On his part, Airtel Marketing Director Cheikh Sarr said the Supa 5 is the most competitive offer available in the local market with no hidden charges.

Source: Wireless Federation.
 

Friday, June 22, 2012 1:53:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Western Canadian-based quadruple-play telco Telus Communications has posted revenues of CAD2.631 billion (USD2.626 billion) in the first quarter of 2012, a 4.0% improvement on the CAD2.531 billion it earned in the same period of last year. The consolidated sales increase was driven by nearly 6% wireless revenue growth and a 2% rise in turnover at Telus’ wireline division, both underpinned by strong data services earnings growth, and resulting in EBITDA improving by 2.3% to CAD1.009 billion (CAD986 million).

Wireless net revenues increased by CAD75 million or 5.7% year-on-year to CAD1.38 billion in the three months to the end of March 2012, as mobile data revenue turnover rose by CAD132 million or 36% to CAD498 million in the quarter. Mobile data represented 39% of network revenue in Q1 2012, up from 30% one year before. Data ARPU increased by CAD5.12, or 29%, to CAD22.83. These increases were due to continued strong adoption of smartphones and related data plans, increased use of mobile internet devices including tablets, higher revenues from pay-per-use text messaging, as well as higher roaming volume. A 10% year-on-year voice ARPU decline was offset by rising data ARPU to the extent that blended monthly mobile ARPU increased by CAD0.98, or 1.7%, to CAD58.87, the sixth consecutive quarter of y-o-y blended ARPU growth posted by Telus. Although wireless net additions of 22,000 in January-March 2012 were lower by 31% year-on-year, the period saw the addition of 63,000 post-paid subscribers – 21% higher than in Q1 2011 – alongside the loss of 41,000 pre-paid accounts, as low-end users switched to newer mobile rivals. Total wireless subscribers increased by 5.1% y-o-y to 7.36 million and the proportion of post-paid subscribers climbed by 1.9 percentage points to 84.1%, while smartphone subscribers now represent 56% of the total post-paid base of 6.19 million as compared to 38% twelve months earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:31:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

Source: TeleGeography.

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

Millicom-owned Tigo, Ghana’s second largest cellular operator by subscribers, has unveiled the country’s first unlimited mobile internet plans which offer customers time-based rather than volume-based tariffs. The cellco’s acting general manager, Obafemi Banigbe, told local news portal Joy Online: ‘With this unlimited internet plan… our subscribers can read the news, search on Google, listen to music, watch videos, download and stream movies and not bother about their internet volume finishing.’ Mobile handset users can access the internet with rates starting at GHS0.99 (USD0.53) per day, rising to GHS22.99 for a whole month. Laptop and tablet users, meanwhile, are offered rates from GHS1.99 a day to GHS39.99 a month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:26:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tanzanian fixed and mobile operator Zantel has launched 3G/3.5G mobile services based on HSPA+ technology on the island of Zanzibar, to improve internet access for the local population and afford them access to services such as multimedia (text, graphic, video and animation), mobile broadband internet access and improved voice call services. Commenting on the launch, Zantel’s chief commercial officer Ahmed Mokhles said: ‘Zantel’s superior internet connectivity has gained popularity and is of high demand in Tanzania, and now the Zanzibaris will be able to enjoy the fastest internet speed.’

The operator’s new service is promising maximum download speeds of 21Mbps via its E 3131 modem, which is priced at TZS60,000 (USD39), and 7.2Mbps on the cheaper E 303 modem (costing TZS30,000). The cellco is also supporting handsets and devices on the new network it said, including smartphones such as the BlackBerry and iPhone, iPads, tablets and other 3G modems and routers. ‘We will also be offering data bundles to our customers giving them flexibility and choice to subscribe to a package that suits their lifestyles. Our customers can now enjoy internet for [as little as] TSZ500 for 30MB [bundle] and TZS3000 for 250MB,’ added Mr Mokhles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:25:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The share of web traffic in Asia that comes from mobile devices has almost tripled in the pat two years, according to a recent blog post by pingdom. In fact, in some countries, close to half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. India is very close to mobile traffic breaking 50 percent of all web traffic, as are several other countries in Asia as well as Africa.

As per the post, the countries with the highest share of mobile traffic as part of total web traffic are India at 48.87 percent, Zamibia at 47.09 percent, Sudan at 44.95 percent, Uzbekistan at 42.36 percent, Nigeria at 40.65 percent, Zimbabwe at 37.95 percent, Laos at 35.46 percent, Brunei at 34.66 percent, Ethiopia at 31.79 percent and Kenya at 29.2 percent.
 
The data reveals that Africa and Asia split the list between them. Africa amassed six countries, which left Asia with four. The first European country is the United Kingdom with 10.71 percent, and the U.S. showed 8.61 percent mobile web traffic as share of all web traffic.
 
Europe scored a 183.43 percent increase in mobile browsing share over this period, not that far behind Asia. But with the mobile share only increasing from 1.81 percent to 5.13 percent, Europe is still far behind both Africa and Asia when it comes to the percentage of users accessing the web using mobiles.
 
Worldwide, mobiles only account for about 10 percent of web access, but it’s a figure that is growing fast. With some countries already closing in on 50 percent of web traffic coming from mobiles – with India in the lead – it’s safe to assume this development will only continue.
 
Clearly, people are taking to their mobile devices all over the world to get on the Internet, but more so in Africa and Asia than elsewhere. 

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, June 22, 2012 12:21:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The smartphone penetration rate in Malaysia has increased to 27 percent in Q1. Furthermore, 58 percent Malaysian mobile users are likely to upgrade their phones in the next six months and 79 percent of these plan to buy a smartphone, Bernama writes citing a Nielsen report. The study also pointed to the growing importance of applications as a key selection criteria for users when purchasing a smartphone as more than 35 percent of respondents said that a wide choice of apps carried the most weight in their choice of model.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, June 22, 2012 10:57:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Netherlands’ leading cable operator by subscribers Zesko Holding (trading as Ziggo) has launched a fourth-generation mobile network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology for business users in the country, using its spectrum in the 2600MHz band. At launch the service is being offered to customers with an ‘Internet Plus’ cable broadband subscription in the cities of Breda, Zwolle and Oss – branded as 4G LTE Mobile Broadband. However, the cableco is not planning to extend its LTE offer to the consumer segment, preferring instead to focus on the more lucrative business sector where it is claiming 4G LTE Mobile Broadband transmission speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps (downlink/uplink). By launching a commercial 4G service Ziggo has stolen a march on the nation’s incumbent cellcos – KPN Mobile The Netherlands, Vodafone and T-Mobile – which are currently still deploying their LTE networks. As such, the commercially availability of 4G for the average man in the street is not looking likely until 2013/14.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that the Dutch market regulator the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority of the Netherlands (OPTA) and the government successfully completed the auction of 2600MHz frequency licences for WiMAX and/or LTE services in April 2010. The spectrum was broken up into blocks of 2×5MHz (paired) and 1×5MHz (unpaired), and a minimum of 38 licences were offered, sub-divided into at least 25 blocks of spectrum comprising 13 paired and twelve unpaired. Five firms were each awarded licences, namely: Ziggo 4, a company led by the chief financial officers of domestic cablecos Zesko Holding (Ziggo) and Liberty Global Inc’s UPC Nederland division; Tele2-Versatel, KPN Telecom, Vodafone Netherlands and T-Mobile. The five firms paid a total of EUR2.6 million (USD3.5 million) for the licences, which are valid until 2030 and will allow operators to use the 2600MHz band to provide next generation services such as TV broadcasts, web conferencing and online gaming.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:40:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 08, 2012

The share of web traffic in Asia that comes from mobile devices has almost tripled in the pat two years, according to a recent blog post by pingdom. In fact, in some countries, close to half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. India is very close to mobile traffic breaking 50 percent of all web traffic, as are several other countries in Asia as well as Africa.
 
As per the post, the countries with the highest share of mobile traffic as part of total web traffic are India at 48.87 percent, Zamibia at 47.09 percent, Sudan at 44.95 percent, Uzbekistan at 42.36 percent, Nigeria at 40.65 percent, Zimbabwe at 37.95 percent, Laos at 35.46 percent, Brunei at 34.66 percent, Ethiopia at 31.79 percent and Kenya at 29.2 percent.
 
The data reveals that Africa and Asia split the list between them. Africa amassed six countries, which left Asia with four. The first European country is the United Kingdom with 10.71 percent, and the U.S. showed 8.61 percent mobile web traffic as share of all web traffic.
 
Europe scored a 183.43 percent increase in mobile browsing share over this period, not that far behind Asia. But with the mobile share only increasing from 1.81 percent to 5.13 percent, Europe is still far behind both Africa and Asia when it comes to the percentage of users accessing the web using mobiles.
 
Worldwide, mobiles only account for about 10 percent of web access, but it’s a figure that is growing fast. With some countries already closing in on 50 percent of web traffic coming from mobiles – with India in the lead – it’s safe to assume this development will only continue.
 
Clearly, people are taking to their mobile devices all over the world to get on the Internet, but more so in Africa and Asia than elsewhere. 

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, June 08, 2012 1:44:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 30, 2012

Armenian fixed and mobile operator reported strong subscriber gains in both mobile and fixed broadband users, helping drive full year operating revenues up to USD190 million from USD184 million in FY2010. EBITDA reached USD73 million in the period under review, down from USD78 million in 2010, although the EBITDA margin improved to 40.7% in 4Q11, compared to 36.4% in 4Q10. The telco closed out last year with a total of 765,000 mobile customers, up from 672,000 a year earlier, helping to generate net operating revenue of USD82 million, compared to USD74 million previously. Fourth-quarter blended monthly ARPU of USD7.6 however, was lower than the USD10 reported in 4Q10, although ArmenTel reports solid take-up of higher spending mobile broadband subscribers, which stood at 24,000 by the year end, from 7,000 at end-2010.

The operator, which offers services under the Beeline banner, had 134000 fixed broadband customers as at 31 December 2011, up from 115,000 in the third quarter and 68,000 at end-2010. Fixed line (net) revenue reached USD108 million last year – marginally down (by USD2 million) year-on-year – although within this, broadband revenue increased to USD19.2 million, from USD9.8 million in full-year 2010. Monthly fixed broadband ARPU was USD14.8 in 4Q11, down from USD17.1 a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, March 30, 2012 10:35:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 16, 2012

In its latest quarterly report, to the end of September 2011, Netherlands regulator Independent Post & Telecommunications Authority (OPTA) says that the number of mobile connections which include mobile broadband-speed internet access (with or without voice services and with any end-user device) reached 7.2 million at the close of the third quarter, up from 5.6 million at the start of the year. According to the watchdog, dedicated (data-only) subscriptions to mobile broadband services stood at a little over one million at end-September, up by around 300,000 in nine months. Other statistics reported by OPTA included the percentage of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) connections amongst the total retail end-user mobile accounts – 13.7% at 30 September 2011, down from 14.3% at the beginning of the year. The number of MVNO customer accounts reported by OPTA has varied very little over the last year and indeed has come down since end-2008 – from 3.1 million to 2.9 million. OPTA also recorded that aside from end-user connections, there were 924,000 machine-to-machine cellular network connections at end-September 2011, up from 736,000 at 1 January.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:28:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 19, 2012

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

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

­China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has announced that there were 128 million 3G subscribers in the country at the end of 2011.

Of the total, 51.2 million used China Mobile TD-SCDMA network, while 40 million were on China Unicom's WCDMA network and the remaining 37.2 million used China Telecom's CDMA network.

The Ministry also confirmed that there are 814,000 3G base stations in the country, with 220,000 being TD-SCDMA, 270,000 WCDMA and 324,500 CDMA2000 EV-DO base stations.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 2:29:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 13, 2012

Zimbabwean state-owned cellular operator NetOne has opened up its mobile broadband service to pre-paid subscribers, having previously run a trial of the high speed internet service in October-December for a small minority of its customers – those on post-paid contracts with a minimum monthly salary of USD1,000. Local technology journal TechZim reports that 2.5G/3G data usage will be charged at USD0.10 per 1MB on a pre-paid basis – which is cheaper in comparison to the USD0.15 out-of-tariff data charge for users of cellular market leader Econet Wireless, and equal to the data tariff set by NetOne’s nearest rival Telecel Zimbabwe.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, January 13, 2012 1:43:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: European Commision.
Friday, January 13, 2012 1:29:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Enterprises use the internet for a variety of purposes: to present information on a website, to offer online shopping facilities to customers and to interact with public authorities. In the 27 EU Member States, 95% of enterprises had access to the internet in January 2011. The share of enterprises having a fixed broadband connection to access the internet grew slightly from 84% in 2010 to 87% in 2011. On the other hand, the use of mobile broadband connections increased significantly in the same period, from 27% to 47%.

Source: European Commission

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

Comcel, a leading mobile phone operator in Colombia, has reportedly announced the launch of the new HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access) technology in the main cities of the country, in an attempt to provide users access to high speed internet on their mobile phones.

According to reports, the new technology will enable users to browse mobile internet at speeds up to four times faster, between 1 and 1.2 megabytes per second. Further, Juan Carlos, President, Comcel has reportedly said that the service will initially be offered in Bogota, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla and Pereira.

Further, as per sources, mobile operator Tigo’s internet services are currently limited to USB modems, but the operator has hinted at plans to make this service available to users on their mobile phones in the near future. 

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:37:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 24, 2011

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

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:28:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MTS, a unit of Sistema Syam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), has reportedly added around 800,000 customers in the month of October alone, with the launch of two low cost Android smartphones – MTS MTag 3.1 and MTS Livewire priced under US$ 100.

According to reports, a spokesperson for MTS has said that they were able to get 7,95,523 customers in the festive month of October because they gave the CDMA consumers the option to choose from a variety of Android phones at different price points and they also initiated a lot of awareness campaign across the country. He added that the launch of the two smartphones in the festive season helped propel their growth.

As per sources, pre-paid users received 150 minutes of calls, 150 SMSs and 150 MB of data free every month for 12 months, with the smartphone. Whereas postpaid users were offered a 12 month contract during which users had to pay Rs 250 each month, against which they received 250 minutes of calls, 250 SMSs and 250 MB of data free each month.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 9:57:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 22, 2011

According to industry research reports, the mobile data usage in India has gone up by almost 35 percent between June 2011 and September 2011. Sources suggest that analysts have credited the rise in data usage to increased availability and affordable pricing, not just for people living in urban areas, but for people from different income segments.

As per reports, there were a total of 26 million mobile internet users in March 2011 which went up to 35 million in September 2011. Industry analysts predict tremendous growth in mobile data usage and expect this number to increase to 41 million users by the year end.

India saw the introduction of the 3G services towards the end of last year, which has increased the use of the internet on mobile handsets, due to increased speeds and better features. Further, easy accessibility and competitive pricing are significant in contributing towards the increased adoption of the mobile phone in the country.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:37:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vodafone UK has launched a new marketing campaign worth $3.2 million in an attempt to increase mobile internet usage. According to reports, the campaign targets both postpaid as well as prepaid segments and focuses on the simple services that help improve a user’s daily life.

The campaign reportedly features four service elements which include Vodafone’s unlimited data offer for the first three months on new contract plans; a service that transfers customers’ contacts and media on to their new phones; the Buyback scheme allowing customers to trade in their old phones; and the Sure Signal, that enables customers to boost the mobile signal in their homes. According to industry reports, as much as half of the population in UK owns a smartphone, which is beneficial for mobile operators as date services generate higher margins as compared to regular phones and voice plans.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:50:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to industry research reports, the mobile data usage in India has gone up by almost 35 percent between June 2011 and September 2011. Sources suggest that analysts have credited the rise in data usage to increased availability and affordable pricing, not just for people living in urban areas, but for people from different income segments.

As per reports, there were a total of 26 million mobile internet users in March 2011 which went up to 35 million in September 2011. Industry analysts predict tremendous growth in mobile data usage and expect this number to increase to 41 million users by the year end.

India saw the introduction of the 3G services towards the end of last year, which has increased the use of the internet on mobile handsets, due to increased speeds and better features. Further, easy accessibility and competitive pricing are significant in contributing towards the increased adoption of the mobile phone in the country.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:49:42 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)  #     | 

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)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 29, 2011

Telefo­nica Czech Republic says that its 3G network now covers 61% of the Czech population, in 1,016 towns and cities. Telefonica plans to cover 66 % of the Czech population by the end of the year.

"We want to make high-speed data available to as many people as possible. Only during summer our engineers commissioned 127 3G transmitters," says Dvorjancanský, marketing director of Telefonica Czech Republic. "Following our network sharing agreement with T-Mobile, we have already covered 228 sites with the 3G signal from the beginning of our cooperation," adds Jirí Dvorjancanský.

The 3G network sharing with T-Mobile was launched at the beginning of the second quarter, as planned. The coverage roll out is in line with the plans of the two operators and precisely follows their agreement.

High speed data in the O2 network is currently used by 1.3 million customers. 900,000 of them use Internet in their mobiles and 400,000 use Internet in their laptops. These numbers represent customers who actively use data services, i.e. they download at least 50 kb in a month.

Source: Cellular News

 

Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:12:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) today released its Quarterly Report on the Irish telecommunications market for the period 1st April to 30th June 2011 (Q2).  

 

Total quarterly electronic communications revenues (€961 million) increased marginally on the previous quarter (+1.3%). Ireland is ranked 1st out of 20 countries for business calls, 54.8% cheaper than the average of the 20 countries benchmarked. Total voice traffic (fixed and mobile) declined by 0.7% to just over 4.45 billion voice minutes this quarter.

 

Broadband subscriptions increased only slightly this quarter (by 3,859). As narrowband subscriptions fell by a larger amount (by 6,495), total Internet subscriptions (1,662,471) declined very slightly this quarter. The fixed broadband per capita penetration rate reached 22.8%. The total broadband per capita penetration rate (including mobile broadband) was 35.5%. Consumer adoption of higher (advertised) broadband speeds continues, with 12.5% of all broadband subscriptions now in the >10Mbps category compared to 7.3% this time last year.

 

Mobile subscriptions (including mobile broadband) stood at 5,377,188, down from 5,412,551 in the previous quarter. This quarter experienced the highest number of mobile numbers ported (123,646) since the introduction in mobile number portability in 2003. It is estimated that approximately 75% of TV homes in Ireland received a digital TV service by September 2011.

The full report (ComReg document 11/66) is available on the ComReg website.

Source: ComReg

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 1:12:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wireless broadband subscriptions in OECD countries exceeded half a billion by the end of 2010, an increase of more than 10 percent on June 2010, according to data from the OECD. Fixed broadband subscriptions reached 300 million, but growth slowed to 6 percent year-on-year. This reflects higher broadband penetration and market saturation in some countries. The Netherlands and Switzerland lead with 38.1 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, followed by Denmark with 37.7 and Norway with 34.6.

Fibre subscriptions continue to grow and account for 12.3 percent of all fixed broadband connections, while DSL is still the most widely used technology with 57.6 percent, followed by cable with 29.4 percent. Leading countries in fibre are Japan with 58 percent, Korea with 55 percent, Slovak Republic with 29 percent and Sweden with 26 percent. Korea is the leading country for wireless broadband subscriptions, with 89.8 per 100 inhabitants, followed by Finland with 84.8, Sweden with 82.9 and Norway with 79.9. This compares to an OECD average of 41.6 and a total of under 512 million.

The factors in the sector's continuing health include long contract durations of mobile operators, the popularity of bundled offers of television, mobile and fixed telephony, and the fact that communication services are perceived as non-discretionary spending items. Households looking to cut spending seem to be economising in other areas. The prevalence of bundled services has also played a role in this shift by reinforcing customer loyalty and reducing churn. Bundled services may benefit consumers by offering lower prices and gains such as unified billing, integrated services or customer assistance. The complexity of some bundled offers makes them hard to interpret and poses additional issues for consumers trying to compare prices and make informed decisions. In addition, bundling may make it harder for users to switch providers or drop a service.

Source: TelecomPaper
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:55:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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

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

 

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

­USA based Verizon Wireless is reported to be planning to scrap its unlimited mobile data tariffs next month for new subscribers and will move towards a range of tariffs with different allocations per customer. Although details are still being finalised, the majority of rumours agree that Verizon will charge US$30 a month for 2GB of mobile data - which puts it $5 per month higher than AT&T's equivalent tariffs.

"As we have stated previously, Verizon Wireless is making some minor changes to data plans including those for new smartphone customers," Ken Muche, a Verizon spokesman told media. "We will move to a more usage-based model in July. More details to come."

Rival networks, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA offer unlimited mobile data plans for US$80 per month. Some analysts expect that the move to tiered pricing for mobile data traffic will drive the heavier users towards Wi-Fi hotspots, and release more capacity on the mobile networks for occasional and low-intensity useage.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:23:45 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)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2011

­Mobile subscriber numbers in Zimbabwe trebled from early 2009 to mid-2010, whereas fixed line subscriptions remained stagnant. With demand for voice services increasingly met, future growth is predicted to occur around mobile Internet and broadband provision. Both mobile operators and Internet access providers will benefit from this second wave of growth. However, increasing political instability in the run-up to elections expected to be held in 18 to 24 months and a business environment not always conducive to proper process are expected to have a negative impact on market prospects.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the Zimbabwean mobile communications market earned revenues of $372.2 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach $1,343.7 million in 2016. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 20.1 per cent, considerably lower than the phenomenal 40.6 per cent revenue growth experienced from 2008 to 2009. However, declining growth rates are expected when markets become increasingly saturated.

"Mobile operators are the largest contributors to telecommunications revenues in Zimbabwe," notes Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst Protea Hirschel. "As 3G networks expand, mobile operators compete more directly with Internet access providers. These, in turn, have entered the voice market, adding to competition."

Unfulfilled demand, initially for voice and increasingly for data services, is one of the main drivers of growth for mobile communications. Fixed lines are unlikely to meet this demand in Zimbabwe.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:10:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 30, 2011

­Orange Jordan says that its 3G subscriber base has reached 300,000 customers and it expects to triple the number by the end of this year, despite the breaking of its 3G monopoly last month by Zain. Jordan Telecom Group (JTG) Chief Executive Officer Nayla Khawam told local media that the mobile network operator will shortly start expanding coverage of the 3G services to cover all populated areas in the Kingdom.

Orange launched its 3G services in March last year, while Zain launched its services this month after building out its network over the past year.

"By the end of 2011, we expect the number of 3G services users on our network to hit one million, especially after we provided high speed broadband internet in the market," Khawam said. "As times passes people will become more aware of the 3G service, which is an important turning point in making visual phone calls, sending and receiving multimedia messages, providing fast and efficient wireless Internet connection, in addition to providing better audio coverage," she said.

According to the Mobile World analysts, the mobile network ended last year with 2.15 million customers, so the 3G base is roughly 14% of the total.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:18:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 04, 2011

Bharti Airtel has revealed that it has garnered 500,000 users on its 3G network in less than three months. The company launched 3G services on 14 December 2010 and has since expanded the offering to seven cities. It owns concessions allowing it to deploy 3G networks in 13 of India’s 22 telecoms service areas.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Bharti finished 2010 as the largest wireless operator in India, claiming a 20.7% share of the subscriber market.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:37:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Vodafone’s Irish mobile unit says that increasing popularity for smartphones and mobile broadband packages were behind its strong subscriber growth in the last three months of 2010. The company ended the year with around 2.217 million mobile users, thanks to 34,000 net additions in Q4, up from 2.145 million a year earlier. The company reported that almost one in two devices sold by Vodafone Ireland in December was a smartphone – predominantly Apple's iPhone and Google-based Android handsets. Including the operator’s fixed line and DSL businesses, the total subscriber figure rose to 2.4 million at the year end.

Vodafone said mobile quarterly minutes of use (MOU) per customer grew 5% year-on-year, to 273 minutes in 4Q10. In addition, the cellco said data traffic increased by around 5% in the fourth quarter, aided by the poor weather experienced in the country, which forced a large number of people to work from home during December. However, blended average revenue per user (ARPU) fell by 6.9% to EUR34.90 (USD41.8) a month.

The cellco also announced the launch of a new device designed to boost 3G signal coverage indoors. Vodafone’s ‘Sure Signal ‘device is a femtocell that uses a fixed line broadband connection to create a 3G signal for its network if there is none available, or boost weak signal. The device, which will go on sale in about two weeks, will cost less than EUR100.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:13:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 07, 2011

Worldwide mobile broadband-enabled subscriptions are mounting up, and will hit the one billion mark in 2011. According to the latest market data released by ABI Research, at the end of 2010 there were more than five billion mobile subscriptions globally, with one in five of those having access to mobile broadband. Another 28% growth or 6.6 billion wireless subscriptions is expected by 2016, with 40%, or twice the current percentage of users, being mobile broadband-enabled.

Despite many markets reaching saturation with penetration levels in excess of 100%, mobile network operators still have a lot more to look forward to. "With the proliferation of mobile broadband, it has become increasingly common to have multiple mobile connections per user," comments research associate Fei Feng Seet. "The main motivation is the desire to stay connected everywhere, with more high speed 4G wireless networks lighting up, and a huge increase in the popularity of social connectivity."

Chinese and Indian operators are now the top five mobile network operators measured by subscriptions, putting Verizon Wireless in the US into sixth place. As of the third quarter of 2010, China Mobile alone accounted for 11% of all global mobile subscriptions.

"China's and India's penetration levels are nowhere near the 100% mark, leaving much more room for growth than any other countries," notes ABI Research practice director Neil Strother. "However, the strictly regulated telecom markets in these two countries impose high barriers for foreign players, which may slow the rollout of new technology."

In terms of subscriptions, worldwide mobile penetration now stands above 75%, of which the Asia-Pacific region accounts for close to half.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, February 07, 2011 11:56:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Singapore has ended November 2010 with 7.236 million mobile subscribers, up from 7.213 million in October. The mobile penetration rate stood at 142.5 percent, up from 142.1 percent in the prior month, according to figures from regulator IDA. Of the total mobile subscribers in Singapore, 300,200 are 2G postpaid subscribers, 2.351 million are 2G prepaid subscribers, 3.435 million are 3G postpaid subscribers, and 1.150 million are 3G prepaid customers.
Meanwhile, the number of broadband subscribers rose to 7.630 million from 7.501 million in October and the broadband penetration rate stood at 186.9 percent, up from 183.5 percent. Of the total, 567,700 use xDSL, 674,100 subscribers access the internet via cable, 6.379 million use wireless broadband, and 8,700 subscribers use other access technologies. Some 68,400 people still use dial-up technology, down from 69,200 in October.

Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, February 07, 2011 11:23:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 24, 2011

According to data published by Associacao Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Telebrasil), the total number of fixed and mobile broadband accesses in the country reached 34.2 million lines at the end of last year, up 71% year-on-year. Put another way, around 14.2 million new connections were activated last year, Telebrasil reports, with customers signing up to one or more of the available access platforms on offer – i.e. fixed broadband (DSL, cable etc), or 3G mobile. Indeed, in the latter segment the association reported a massive 257% y-o-y rise in connections from four million to 14.6 million, while fixed connections increased from 11.4 million to 13.6 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:24:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To wrap up what has been an eventful year for next-generation mobile broadband technology Long Term Evolution (LTE), Light Reading Mobile has compiled a list of the world's commercial LTE services.

It's quite short.

Verizon Wireless and TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) aren't the only names on the list, however, although you would be forgiven for thinking that, considering how much attention these operators' get for their 4G (or rather, FauxG?) moves. (See Happy Birthday, LTE! .)

We count nine commercial LTE services worldwide, based on our criteria. To be included on the list, it had to be clear that a potential customer could go to an operator's shop or Website and buy a dongle (or handset in case of MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS)) and sign up to start using the services. We did not include pilot networks or user trials, where consumers or business customers may be able to use an LTE service, but do not pay for it. (See LTE Beckons in Uzbekistan .)

So here's where LTE is commercially available now at the end of 2010:

Table 1: Commercial LTE Services

Operator

Where

Monthly Price

Equipment suppliers

NTT Docomo*

Japan

¥1,000 (US$12) for 3 GB or ¥7,980 ($95) for 5 GB

Fujitsu, Ericsson, NEC, NSN

MetroPCS

9 U.S. cities

$55

Ericsson, Samsung

Telekom Austria

Vienna, Austria

€90 ($120) for 30GB, plus €340 ($453) for USB stick

Not available

TeliaSonera

Denmark

399 Danish kroner ($71)

Ericsson, NSN

TeliaSonera

Finland

€46 ($61)

Ericsson, NSN (for initial rollout)

TeliaSonera

Norway

699 Norwegian kronor ($118)

Ericsson, NSN

TeliaSonera

Sweden

599 Swedish kronor ($88) for 10Mbit/s-80Mbit/s LTE, 3G, WiFi, and 30GB of data

Ericsson, Huawei, NSN

Verizon

38 US cities

$50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB

Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NSN (for IMS)

Vodafone Germany

rural Germany

€69.99 ($94) per month for up to 50Mbit/s downlink, 10Mbit/s uplink, and 30GB of data

Ericsson, Huawei

* Service starts on December 24, 2010

 

 

Source: Light Reading

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:16:42 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)  #     | 
 Monday, January 17, 2011

According to data published by Associacao Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Telebrasil), the total number of fixed and mobile broadband accesses in the country reached 34.2 million lines at the end of last year, up 71% year-on-year. Put another way, around 14.2 million new connections were activated last year, Telebrasil reports, with customers signing up to one or more of the available access platforms on offer – i.e. fixed broadband (DSL, cable etc), or 3G mobile. Indeed, in the latter segment the association reported a massive 257% y-o-y rise in connections from four million to 14.6 million, while fixed connections increased from 11.4 million to 13.6 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, January 17, 2011 2:20:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 14, 2011
Over the past two years, the level of digitization of the information society has grown to a greater extent among users aged 45 to 64 than in the average population. For example, the use of online banking services was flat year-on-year for the average population, while for the customer segment aged 45 to 54 the use has increased by 4 percent.
 
Spain currently has over 27 million internet users, according to a report by Telefonica. Of these, nearly 69.2 percent go online daily, up by 13.3 percent versus 2009. Spain ended 2010 with over 10 million fixed broadband lines, up by 8.3 year-on-year. Of these 10 million, some 80 percent use ADSL technology, while cable lines account for 19 percent. Internet penetration currently reaches 9 million households in Spain, up by 700,000 from December 2009. Of these, over eight million use broadband connections, up by 900,000 versus 2009.
 
Moreover, the number of households subscribing to triple-play services has jumped by 250 percent in 2010. Over 13 percent of Telefonica's customer base use triple-play packages, including fixed broadband connection, voice services and TV services. Telefonica currently has 4.3 million mobile broadband subscribers, which equals a two-fold increase versus end-2009. Mobile broadband penetration reaches 11.7 percent of Spanish households, up by 6.6 percentage points year-on-year.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, January 14, 2011 10:24:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 13, 2011

­Due to low penetration rates, an expanding economy, deploying 3G networks, and declining smartphone prices, mobile data revenue is expected to triple over the next five years in Peru, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The mobile market will be the main source of revenue growth and Peru's principal revenue generator throughout the forecast period. Pyramid expects mobile revenue to expand at a CAGR of 6.6 percent over the next five years, going from generating $2.2 billion in 2010 to $3.1 billion by 2015, indicates Juliana Gomez, Analyst at Pyramid Research. "Mobile data, driven by 3G deployments and higher adoption of enhanced data services, will experience a revenue increase from $355 million in 2010 to $1.07 billion in 2015," she adds.

Over the forecast period Telefonica will remain the market leader; however, the merger of America Movil-Claro and Telmex Peru this year will intensify competition. "Telmex will complement its multiplay packages with mobile services, and both companies will invest to grow their data business, particularly mobile Internet," says Gomez. In addition, America Movil's Claro continues to expand its 3G network and has gained market share by leveraging data services.

The Peruvian market has shifted to GSM as a result of Telefonica's decision to migrate from CDMA to GSM and Claro's adoption of this standard in 2006. "After launching a 3G network (UMTS/HSPA) in 2008 Claro continues the expansion of its 3G network throughout the country to further support mobile Internet services. Movistar and Nextel have followed suit launching 3G networks," she says. Pyramid expects 3G technologies and 4G technologies to represent 54 percent and 7 percent, respectively, of total mobile subscribers in 2015.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:45:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Verizon Wireless has announced that it will launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Sunday in 39 markets and 60 airports, covering more than 110 million people. The new network will offer download speeds of up to 12Mbps – more than ten times faster than current data speeds. Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless promised that the new network would deliver superior performance.

The first devices to use the new network will be USB wireless data modems for laptops and are expected to appeal primarily to business customers and technology early adopters. However, Verizon Wireless will announce up to five new smartphones capable of running on the network at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. These handsets are expected to use the existing 3G network for voice calls and the 4G network for mobile internet access and running applications. There has also been speculation that Apple could announce an LTE version of the iPhone 4G early next year, though both Verizon and Apple have declined to comment. Initially Verizon will offer two monthly data plans – USD50 for 5GB of data and USD80 for 10GB. It will charge customers USD10 for each additional 1GB used.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:45:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

While mobile and broadband prices continue to fall, the increase in revenues compensated for the price drop, providing 2.5 per cent growth in one year. The large increase in mobile data traffic provided most of the growth, according to the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority's (NPT) ecom statistics for the first half of 2010."This shows change and continued growth in a mature ecom market. Customers' usage patterns are clearly changing from only voice and messages to increased data use, particularly via mobile services," says NPT Director General Willy Jensen.

Decline in SMS messages

For the first time the statistics show a decrease in the number of text messages (SMS) sent. In all, mobile customers sent more than 4.2 billion messages in the first half of 2010, which represents a decrease from 112 to 105 messages per person per month."Even though more than four billion messages is a lot, this means 82 million fewer SMS messages than in the first half of 2009. The decrease represents about NOK 50 million," says Jensen.It is difficult to find any specific reasons for the decline in the number of SMS messages."It is most likely connected with new forms of communication and social media such as Twitter and Facebook," says Jensen.

Fixed telephony drops

The number of fixed-line subscriptions fell by nearly eight per cent the last year. The decline applies to both traditional fixed-line subscriptions (PSTN and ISDN) and VoIP subscriptions. Both calls and revenues are falling."The numbers clearly show that fixed telephony calls are falling more than the number of subscriptions. This means that the fixed-line telephone is used less than before," says Jensen.On average, a residential fixed telephony customer talked 1,500 minutes the first half of 2010, against 1,600 minutes the first half of 2009.

Fibre is increasing

Data traffic over fibre and cable TV continues to increase, and there are now over 230,000 subscribers who have an Internet connection via fibre."The increase in fibre connections largely compensates for the decline in "DSL". Here, the number is now under 1 million. In all, the number of broadband subscribers grew by 5.1 per cent from the first half of 2009," Jensen says.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:59:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

Continuing decrease in subscriptions for fixed telephony

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

One-third of broadband is mobile

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

Methodology

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

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:45:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three years after launching the first 3G W-CDMA/HSPA mobile network in the Ukraine, Ukrtelecom has announced that it has signed up ‘almost 600,000’ active 3G mobile users, approximately 500,000 of which are using mobile broadband internet services. Still the country’s sole UMTS network operator, due to an impasse in national licensing plans, the soon-to-be-privatised group had reported 485,000 mobile subscribers at end-June 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 3:24:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 06, 2010

­Mobile data bandwidth usage increased significantly by 68% during the first half (H1) of 2010, according to a report compiled by Allot Communications. The report reveals that video streaming applications continue to dominate the global mobile bandwidth scene and remain the largest consumer of bandwidth with a 35% share. In addition, video streaming is the single largest growing application type with a 92% increase, due in part to the ever-rising popularity of YouTube. The report also highlights how the demand for social networking applications increased exponentially over H1, 2010 as Twitter grew its bandwidth by 310% and Facebook increased its dominance with a 200% rise. VoIP and IM applications grew significantly during this period becoming the second fastest growing traffic-type, demonstrating that they have become popular, cost-effective alternatives to traditional voice and messaging services.

"The results of our latest MobileTrends Report reinforces that mobile broadband operators continue to face growing challenges as subscribers demand real-time content through an array of smartphones and Internet devices," said Rami Hadar, President and CEO of Allot Communications. "The findings also clearly demonstrate the close ties between mobile broadband and social networking. Whether it's YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, social networking via mobile devices is becoming a 'must have' for subscribers and we expect that this is just the beginning."

Methodology

The Allot MobileTrends Report data was collected from January 1 to June 30, 2010 from leading mobile operators worldwide with a combined user base of 190 million subscribers. Allot gathered the data using the long term reporting capabilities of Allot NetXplorer, Allot's centralized management and reporting system.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 9:02:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 23, 2010

­Albania's four mobile networks have jointly issued a statement calling on the government to review its plans to issue just one 3G license. The operators feel that the move would create a 3G monopoly and worry that the price for the single license is excessive. "The limitation of issuing a single licence through a public tender could endanger the process and create a monopoly in the Albanian market," the mobile operators said in their statement.

The government is seeking to sell the single license for EUR 12.5 million, while the operators each want a license for a lower figure.The operators noted that a competitive 3G market would speed up coverage deployment and bring benefits to customers.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:45:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Latin America's mobile broadband services market achieved a high growth rate during 2009, reaching a total of 15 million connections. This total represented nearly 3% of population penetration in the region last year. Due to its fast adoption and to the limited DSL and Cable Modem coverage in several countries, it is likely that mobile broadband penetration will overcome the fixed broadband penetration in the following years, in some markets such as Brazil and Colombia.

­Frost & Sullivan expects that by 2015, mobile broadband penetration will reach up to nearly 40% of the total population.Although mobile broadband network coverage has expanded in the last 2 years, the region still faces difficulties related to spectrum availability and allocation. Regarding 3G services, almost all mobile operators already offer them in the top 6 economies in the region. Although some operators have speed plans up to 1 Mbps, the average speed is still slow in Latin America, ranging between 128 Kbps and 256 Kbps.

Brazil reached the highest penetration of mobile broadband users in Latin America; however, the service price in the country is considered the highest amongst other countries analyzed, mostly due to its high tax burden. On the other hand, Chile has appeared as the most developed market with the broadest offer of plans and lowest prices for prepaid users."Investments in mobile broadband network coverage expansion, the increasing need for mobile connectivity, growth penetration of 3G enabled mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, ereaders, etc, and the lack of fixed broadband network coverage are the main drivers for the market in the next few years," explains Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Jose Roberto Mavignier.

However, the strong base of prepaid users in Latin America, the elevated tax burden and the delay of regulators for important issues that interfere in the market development are among the main challenges for the continued growth of the market.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:41:32 AM (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)  #     | 

Bermudan mobile operator Digicel today launched a new 3G+ wireless modem which will enable its cell phone and laptop users to access the World Wide Web via a mobile broadband connection from almost anywhere on the Island using HSPA+ technology. The new device is available in a range of different flavours to suit the user’s demands. Entry level prices start at BMD79 (USD79) per month for a plan with a 2GB download cap, rising to BMD89 per month (3.5GB) and BMD99 a month for 6GB of traffic. Moreover, 3G+ for smartphones costs BMD9 per month for the 2MB plan it said, BMD20 for 10MB, BMD35 for 20MB and BMD45 for the premium data plan (350MB) which is controlled through a ‘fair usage’ policy to prevent network congestion. The operator’s single user modem costs BMD99 and the multi-user modem BMD199.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, August 02, 2010 10:27:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Broadband service provider rankings from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database show only small changes in rankings of the ten largest broadband service providers over the past twelve months. However, they also reveal a growing chasm between the two largest broadband operators and the remaining providers.

Collectively, the ten largest broadband service providers gained 23.3 million subscribers in the twelve months from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010, ending March 2010 with 191 million total subscribers—39% of the world’s 492 million broadband customers. KT of South Korea, the world’s tenth largest broadband ISP, is the only new member of the top ten ranking, having displaced Telecom Italia, which is now the 11th largest broadband ISP globally.

Just two mammoth broadband service providers, China Telecom and China Unicom, accounted for 20% of global broadband subscribers. Both companies gained approximately nine million subscribers over the past year, equivalent to the entire broadband subscriber base of Verizon. "The gap between the top two operators and the world’s remaining broadband service providers will continue to grow rapidly," commented TeleGeography Research Director Tania Harvey. "Aside from the two Chinese companies, all of the top ten broadband ISPs operate in mature markets, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth."

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, August 02, 2010 8:46:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 30, 2010

Danish mobile operator TDC will triple the mobile internet data transfer rates available via its 3G network to 21 Mbps in every region of the country this autumn. The move is intended to help the operator cope with an increasing number of mobile broadband users. TDC saw its sales of mobile broadband double from May to June thanks to clients who wanted to have internet during their summer holiday. In early 2011, TDC will begin the roll out of the LTE network in the country's largest cities.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, July 30, 2010 3:25:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 15, 2010

New consumer research published by YouGov and Acision again reinforces the Quality of Service (QoS) challenges operators are facing with their mobile broadband services today. ­The research, which questioned UK consumers about their mobile broadband experience found that, despite the rising popularity of mobile broadband, 84% had experienced Quality of Service issues. Slow speeds are amongst the most encountered problem (67%), poor network coverage (49%), inability to get connected (45%) and connection loss (40%).

Steven van Zanen, senior vice president marketing, mobile broadband, at Acision, said: "When reviewing the research, we identified three key areas where operators can deploy capabilities to raise QoS levels. The first one is defining fairness. When asked about the contentious issue of fair usage policies, 56% of research respondents were not aware if their operator had a fair usage policy in place and 71% were unaware that in many networks, 5% of users generate over 80 per cent of broadband traffic, causing slow download speeds and connection problems for all users. However, once aware of the issues surrounding the fair distribution of bandwidth, consumers responded positively to the option of allowing sophisticated fairness policies if this helped to improve the overall service."

Click here to see full article
Source:Cellular News
Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:58:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 02, 2010

Hungary’s mobile internet subscription base climbed 16,000 in May to reach the one million mark, according to data published by the National Telecommunications Agency (NHH). Of the total, 786,000 were classed as ‘active’ mobile broadband subscribers, up 13,000 on the previous month. The NHH said T-Mobile’s share of active mobile internet users was 48.90% in May, compared to 48.38% in April. Telenor (formerly Pannon) controlled 27.20%, down from 27.38% in April and Vodafone had 23.90%, down from 24.24% previously.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 02, 2010 2:15:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Moldovan state-owned incumbent telecoms operator Moldtelecom has announced the commercial launch of W-CDMA/HSDPA services under the brand ‘Unite 3G’, following total network investment of MDL250 million (USD19.2 million). The operator already provides mobile CDMA2000 1x and 1xEV-DO services, first introduced in the capital Chisinau in March 2007 under the 'Unite' banner. Moldtelecom’s new 3G offering provides services such as mobile broadband at download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps, videocalling and high quality voice services. At launch, the third-generation network covers 68% of the population, including all the country’s major cities and regional centres, as well as many rural regions. In the near future the company plans to increase maximum downlink speeds to 21Mbps and add television to its portfolio of services on offer. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Moldtelecom was awarded a licence for the provision of 3G mobile services in December 2008 by the country’s telecoms regulator ANRCETI, after paying USD8 million. Chinese equipment vendor Huawei won a tender held in May 2009 to supply the 3G infrastructure, beating off competition from Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent Romania and SIS Solutions & Services.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 4:00:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dutch mobile broadband use is growing quickly but still remains a niche service for a small group of users, according to Telecompaper's latest report 'Dutch Mobile Broadband 2010'. The report revealed that 6 percent of respondents in Telecompaper's Consumer Panel had a mobile broadband subscription for laptop or netbook use in the first quarter. Young people and men were more likely to use the service, while consumers who already have smartphones are also keen on mobile broadband. Telecompaper data showed smartphone penetration up from 10 to 25 percent over the last two years, with growth expected to continue at at least similar rates. Most consumers still see mobile broadband as a supplementary service to their fixed broadband connection, rather than as a substitute.

They see little reason to get a mobile broadband subscription, citing high prices, bad network coverage and low speeds as the main problems. Among Dutch market parties, market leader KPN and unit Telfort had the highest percentages of mobile broadband customers and Tele2 the lowest, although this may change once the operator rolls out its own mobile network with its recently acquired radio frequencies licence.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:25:16 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)  #     | 
 Monday, May 03, 2010

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it expects to reach the milestone of 50,000 mobile broadband subscribers on its 3.5G network within the next week. TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database says that although Qtel launched 3G W-CDMA services in July 2006 and a 3.5G HSDPA upgrade in December 2007, it did not launch mobile broadband internet packages for laptop/PC users until early 2008, with a HSUPA upload boost following in the first quarter of 2009. Qtel says the popularity of the service took off significantly when it launched a pre-paid mobile broadband option in December 2009. The company claims users can expect to receive actual internet speeds ranging from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, depending on their proximity to a Qtel 3G tower.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, May 03, 2010 3:01:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of mobile internet subscriptions in Hungary increased by 13,000 connections to 972,000 in March this year, of which the total number of ‘active’ mobile internet lines climbed 22,000 month-on-month to 760,000, according to data published by the National Telecommunications Authority (NHH), as reported by news agency MTI on Monday. T-Mobile’s local unit controlled 47.66% of total mobile internet subscriptions as at 31 March 2010, and 49.08% of active connections. Pannon claimed a total market share of 27.81%, and controlled 25.47% of the active mobile internet user base in the country. Meanwhile Vodafone Hungary had a total share of 24.53%, and 25.45% of active users.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, May 03, 2010 2:33:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 25, 2010

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

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

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

Source: TeleGeography

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

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

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

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, March 12, 2010 2:07:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 02, 2010

According to recent findings by Dataxis Intelligence, Mobile broadband subscribers in Africa - users of data cards and USB dongles through cellular 3G networks- reached 3.3 million in September 2009 and are expected to break the 4 million milestone in the first quarter of 2010.

In the same time fixed br­oadband subscribers that stood at 3.4 million in September 2009 are forecasted to be around 3.8 million by March 2010, thereby being outpaced by 3G internet usage.

In fact, according to Dataxis, mobile broadband adoption grows 2 times faster than fixed broadband with an average net adds of over 400,000 new subscribers on a quarterly basis. This euphoria is mainly due to the flexibility of the service  with both prepaid and postpaid offerings marketed by operators as well as its user-friendly aspects -mobility, top-up to name a few.

 

Broadband subscribers (million)

  Q109 Q209 Q309 Q409 E Q1010 E
Mobile 2.41 2.84 3.4 3.8 4.2
Fixed 3 3.2 3.43 3.7 3.9
Total 5.41 6.04 6.83 7.5 8.1

 

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 1:45:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 15, 2010
The GSM Association expects mobile operators around the world will invest up to USD 72 billion in mobile broadband technologies in 2010. The operator capex data, compiled by Deutsche Bank, cover technologies including HSPA/HSPA+, WCDMA and EVDO/CDMA. Asia Pacific will see the greatest investment in mobile broadband with predicted capital expenditure of up to USD 34 billion. North America follows with up to USD 19 billion, and Europe is expected to invest up to USD 14 billion. Mobile broadband will account for an estimated 52 percent of all operator investment in mobile infrastructure globally. Of all the regions, North America will spend the greatest percentage, 80 percent, of its total mobile capex on mobile broadband.
According to research firm Wireless Intelligence, the growth of HSPA is predicted to increase from an average of around 9 million connections per month at the end of 2009, to almost 13 million per month. Of the total estimated 342 million connections at the end of 2010, Europe will lead the way with 120 million, followed by Asia Pacific with 116 million and North America 58 million. There are currently 200 million HSPA connections worldwide, with more than 1,800 HSPA enabled devices available from more than 150 suppliers. Across 123 countries, there are currently 294 commercially live networks, of which 183 currently deliver peak data rates of above 3.6 Mbps, and 37 commercially live HSPA+ networks, each capable of delivering data speeds up to 21 Mbps.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, February 15, 2010 1:58:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 05, 2010

­A survey of UK mobile phone users has found that 76% of them don't use their mobile to access the web. Even more surprising is that 60% of UK mobile users claim to not even own a mobile with internet access and just 30% of these are interested in getting one. The picture gets worse for mobile operators with the revelation that even for upwardly mobile web users and owners of smartphones, one third (31%) have never used their phone to connect to the web, a quarter (24%) use it less than once a week and 8% tried it but don't intend to do so again.

Alex Charlton, Partner at Essential Research which conducted the study over six months in 2009 comments: "This type of research doesn't often see the light of day, and what we've found is pretty surprising news: there is an enormous gulf between the perceptions we hold about mobiles being a big part of our Internet lives and the reality. In fact only a small percentage of us are truly web mobile users and the industry has a big job to do to move mobile internet into our everyday lives."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:31:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 21, 2009

Azeri mobile operator Azerfon has announced the launch of third-generation services across the country, local news source Azerbaijan Business Centre reports. The cellco’s subscribers will be able to enjoy services such as videocalling and high speed internet at download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps. Azerfon’s 3G network was launched in the cities of Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Shirvan, Nakhchivan, Mingachevir, Tovuz and Shamkir, as well as in the Absheron Peninsula. The company plans to expand services to other regions in the near future. Azerfon has also launched a new brand for its 3G products and service in cooperation with its strategic partner Vodafone, following an agreement signed with the UK-based company in July 2009. According to Azerfon’s general director, Gido Helbich, the new Azerfon-Vodafone brand signifies a fresh stage in the development of the country’s cellular communications. ‘We are glad that five months after signing of a strategic partnership document with Azerfon, we will be able to launch a joint brand and offer our global services for Azerbaijani users,’ commented Richard Daly, Vodafone’s executive director for partner markets.

As reported by CommsUpdate, Azerfon became the country’s first 3G licensee earlier this month after the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) awarded the cellco a concession for AZN11,000 (USD13,600). The company has so far invested USD20 million in its 3G network.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, December 21, 2009 8:45:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Malawian telecoms operator Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) has launched its W-CDMA/HSDPA network enabling subscribers to access services such as videocalling, mobile TV and high speed internet offering download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, local daily Nyasa Times reports. Charles Kamoto, head of TNM’s Commercial Services division, said the service is initially only available to post-paid subscribers but pre-paid customers will soon have access to the service. Kamoto added: ‘Most less developed nations do not have this service on board for their customers but in Malawi we are very aggressive, we believe that our customers need quality, they need top-notch services and that is why we had to bring [them] this 3.5G technology.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, TNM is Malawi’s second largest cellco by subscribers with a market share of 32% at 30 September 2009. The company’s sole rival in the market, Zain Malawi, took the remaining 68% share of customers at the same date, and was awarded a 3G concession last month.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, December 21, 2009 8:43:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spain added 143,603 mobile lines in October, bringing the total number to 52.43 million, up by 3.8 percent over the same month of 2008, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT.

Over the last three months, MVNOs won 53.78 percent of the total new additions, Movistar 44.17 percent, Yoigo 25.02 percent and Orange won 0.30 percent, while Vodafone lost 23.27 percent in the period. Mobile penetration reached 113.6 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 109.5 in October 2008. The M2M sector went up by 24.0 percent over the same period last year, to over 1.78 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 54.21 million. Some 397,118 mobile phone numbers were ported in October, up by 17.4 percent versus the same period last year. Yoigo, the MVNOs, Orange and Movistar saw a positive balance in portability, while Vodafone registered a negative balance. Yoigo won 22,044 users, the MVNOs added 8,411 users, Orange won 12,348 ported customers, while Movistar added 6,019 users. Vodafone lost 50,214 customers in the month. Spanish operators added a record 79,917 broadband users in October, reaching a total base of 9.60 million lines, up by 8.0 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 20.8 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 64,885 connections or by 8.8 percent over the same period of 2008, reaching a total of 7.75 million lines at the end of October. Some 15,032 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 1.84 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines dropped by 9,070, to 19.83 million lines at the end of October.

Fixed penetration reached 43 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 44.1 in the year-earlier month. Over 133,307 fixed numbers were ported in October, up by 25.1 percent versus 106,548 fixed numbers ported in October 2008.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:41:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 09, 2009

­A survey of Turkish operator, Turkcell's VINN modem subscribers found that 34% of Turkcell's customers who now use VINN 3G modems have become Internet subscribers for the first time.

Turkcell CEO Sureyya Ciliv said: "Turkcell 3G, with its speed and mobility, has introduced Turkish customers to the Internet and helped them get easier, and thus more frequent, access to the Internet. Turkcell has always been passionate about 3G and its potential to help increase Internet usage in Turkey. We continue to be the leader in 3G in Turkey with the widest coverage, the fastest mobile Internet, the best quality and most affordable service."

Turkcell 3G in numbers:

  • Turkcell has sold about 200,000 VINN modems and netbooks since it introduced 3G on July 30th 2009
  • The number of people in Turkey who have transitioned to 3G since July 30th is more than 4 million
  • There are about 2 million active 3G users in Turkey
  • The number of Turkcell subscribers who have used Turkcell's video service has reached 1 million
  • About 72% of Turkcell's total data traffic takes place within the 3G network
  • 93% of VINN modem users prefer 4GB packages and 78% of VINN subscribers use Turkcell 3G for their broadband Internet needs

This research was conducted in November 2009 among Turkcell's VINN modem subscribers.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:34:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 08, 2009

State-owned telco TOT yesterday announced the launch of commercial 3G services over its 2.1GHz W-CDMA/HSPA ‘TOT 3G’ network in Bangkok, although with only one of the five planned private mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) making packages available on the first day. Samart I-Mobile launched yesterday under the I-Mobile 3G X brand, targeting 20,000 users within a month and 200,000 within a year – although TOT has allocated it only 100,000 phone numbers initially – and is focusing on broadband download content, video calls and other high bandwidth services. TOT itself signed up 5,000 3G customers in advance – after offering the service to employees and some 10,000 existing customers of its GSM subsidiary Thai Mobile, the network of which provided the basis for the initial 3G rollout in the capital over 548 base stations. The Bangkok Post writes that TOT’s 3G post-paid packages require a user to acquire a new SIM card – given free along with a new handset to Thai Mobile users – and sign up for a twelve-month subscription, with the cheapest combined voice/data option costing THB199 (USD6) per month for 199 inclusive minutes of both voice and video calls, plus 199MB of data usage. A THB699 monthly plan includes 699 minutes of voice and video calls each, plus 1GB of data. To provide 2G services nationwide, TOT has signed a network roaming agreement with Advanced Info Service (AIS) for twelve months. An AIS spokesperson commenting on the launch expressed the hope that a strong consumer response to TOT’s launch could spur the government to accelerate the long-awaited auction for additional 2.1GHz licences, which has been pushed back to around February next year at the earliest.

At the inauguration ceremony for TOT 3G, Thailand’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee reaffirmed that TOT would move ahead with a plan to roll out a nationwide 2.1GHz network, which has been caught up in government red tape including repeated requests for the company to revise its business plan. According to Thai newspaper The Nation, the minister said TOT was expected to call for international bids for procurement of the nationwide network in April. TOT's existing 3G network in Bangkok has a capacity for 500,000 subscribers, a level which Ranongruk said she believed would be reached by February.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:04:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Guido Helbich, the general director of Azeri mobile operator Azerfon, has told a press conference that the company will launch third-generation services by the end of 2009, 1news.az reports. The cellco plans to complete tests of the W-CDMA/HSPA network within the next two weeks, following which commercial services will be made available in Baku, Absheron and the autonomous republic of Nakhchivan, with plans to expand to other regions in the near future. Helbich also revealed that the company has so far invested USD20 million in its 3G network. As reported by CommsUpdate, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) awarded a 3G licence to Azerfon earlier this month for AZN11,000 (USD13,600).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:02:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peruvian mobile telephony operator Nextel will launch mobile broadband services over an HSDPA network during December, reports BNamericas citing local newspaper Gestion. Nextel won spectrum in the 1900MHz band in 2007 and has spent much of this year trialling services, before launching two months ago. Nextel Peru president Miguel Rivera said that the operator will offer 3G services across its entire area of operations, with three new districts added during the first quarter of 2010. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Nextel Peru had over 795,600 subscribers at the end of September, equivalent to a 4% share of the market.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:46:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

Ukrainian telecommunications regulator NKRZ announced that the tender for 3G frequencies has been cancelled. The NKRZ will repay the tender guarantees posted by the three Ukrainian mobile operators who qualified for the tender, scheduled for 30 November. The regulator took the decision after Ukraine's president issued an order blocking the release of radio frequencies held by the military for the 3G auction.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, December 07, 2009 4:31:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Malaysian telecoms regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), has reportedly set aside MYR500 million (USD147.8 million) for the development of broadband penetration in the Sarawak region, according to Bernama.

The funds have been allocated from the national universal service provision (USP) fund, and are expected to assist in the expansion of broadband services in the region for the three years 2008-2010. Of the money earmarked, approximately MYR100 million has already been spent, with more likely to follow soon as a number of new contracts have recently been awarded. Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang has said that there are 482 MCMC-sponsored telecommunication towers in the Sarawak state, while a further 203 are in the process of being constructed, noting: ‘My ministry, through the MCMC, pledges to continue to work together with the state government towards achieving 50% household national broadband penetration rate by the end of 2010. The penetration in Sarawak now is at 16.7%. Although the state still has a long way to go, it is certainly not at the bottom of the table nationwide.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:05:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The number of mobile broadband users has doubled to 419,000 on 30 June of this year, according to a report from the Danish regulator IT and Telecom agency.

The report also shows that mobile data usage has grown from 1.3 billion MB in H1 2008 to 3.5 billion MB in H1 2009. This represents a growth of just over 160 percent in one year. In addition, 876,000 Danes used their phones for internet services. At the same time, the number of internet subscriptions via fixed broadband access rose 24,000 or a little more than 1 percent in the first half including 16,000 FTTH connections, 2,000 cable connections and 3,000 FTTO connections. On 30 June 2009, the number of fixed broadband connections amounted to 2.05 million. At the end of June 27 percent of all internet subscriptions via broadband access had declared downstream speeds of at least 10 Mbps growing from 10 percent in H1 2008 and the number of broadband subscriptions with less than 4 Mbps decreased from 45 percent to 23 percent during the same period. Other findings include that the number of of Danes subscribing to bundled services, with two or more services – telephony, TV and/or internet – bundled together, grew to 303,000 at the end of June, up 86 percent.

At the same time, the number of triple play subscribers grew almost 80 percent to 110,000.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:58:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mobile broadband connections will exceed fixed-line broadband connections in 2011, according to a report to be released by mobileSQUARED later this week. ­By 2011 the number of active 3G devices in the UK will be 36.3 million, as well as 6.4 million dongles/embedded devices, taking the total number of mobile broadband connections to 42.7 million versus expected broadband internet users of 42.5 million.

While the analyst house predicts internet usage over the mobile phone will remain below traditional fixed-line usage during the forecast period of 2009-2014, the company's research has revealed that between 1-10% of a company's internet traffic is already being generated from a mobile device.

"Mobile will become the primary access point for brands and businesses communicating with its consumers within two years," said Nick Lane, chief analyst at mobileSQUARED, and author of the report. "Mobile is always-on, and the average user carries their device for an average of 16 hours a day. So if a company or brand is not already considering how to use mobile, then they need to because their customers are."

However, not all of the 3G broadband connections in 2011 will be used for surfing by UK consumers. The report forecasts the number of mobile internet users in the UK will top 32 million by 2014 (equating to 90% of 3G broadband subscribers), but believes the 32 million figure could be reached faster with clearer data pricing from UK operators as well as the introduction of variable data pricing.

"Data pricing in the UK is still confusing," adds Lane. "Mobile operators and high-street retailers produce monthly magazines dedicated to handsets and tariffs, how can that not be confusing to the consumer? The number of mobile internet users would expand even faster if mobile data pricing reflected existing models, such as variable pricing to appeal to the different demographics. The cash-poor, time-rich youth democratic cannot afford the flat-rata plans, so why not offer a data pricing concession to encourage adoption?"

During the forecast period 2009-2014, mobileSQUARED predicts mobile content and services revenues (including apps) in the UK will almost treble from revenues of £242.1 million in 2009. Similarly, the analyst house forecasts that revenue from the core internet-based mobile advertising models of banners and links, search and tenancy, will be worth £83.7 million in 2014.

To find out how to attend the Roadshow and receive a complimentary copy of the Taking Internet Mobile: UK report visit www.mobilesquaredroadshow.com

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 10:58:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 10, 2009

Etisalat introduced new mobile broadband packages offering more than double the bandwidth at significantly reduced costs.

The subscribers can now avail 10 MB instead of 2MB, 100 MB instead of 50, and 1GB mobile internet packages instead of 120 MB, all at the same price. It is available for both laptop and surfing from mobile phone. The new mobile broadband packages of 1GB and 5GB have also been introduced. Apart from this, the subscribers can also opt for a “pay as you use” package which is automatically activated without any need to subscribe when customers use mobile internet.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:35:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hungary’s incumbent mobile operators Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone collectively reported 635,950 mobile internet subscribers at the end of June, up from 607,479 in May, according to data published by the telecoms regulator NHH. According to the watchdog, Hungarian mobile subscribers sent a total of 763,760GB of data in June, up from 763,178 GB the previous month, while average traffic per subscriber dipped marginally to 1.51GB from 1.52GB the previous month. As at 30 June 2009, T-Mobile's share of mobile data subscribers was 49.01%, while Vodafone followed in second place with 27.85% and Pannon was third with 23.15%. Based on actual traffic volume though, T-Mobile's market share was lower at 41.28%, while Vodafone and Pannon had 35.27% and 23.45%, respectively.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:49:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuelan mobile operator Digitel, which launched 3G services based on 900MHz W-CDMA/HSPA technology in March this year, has launched a package bundling a mobile broadband subscription with a wireless modem and laptop computer provided by Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo, reports BNamericas, quoting local newspaper El Universal. Digitel commercial vice-president Luis Perez said that the company will initially make 1,000 combined packages available initially; the launch echoes moves in the fixed broadband sector, where Venezuela’s national PSTN provider CANTV has seen considerable success with its combined PC ownership and ADSL access scheme, which spreads the cost of a computer via monthly payments. Within its first month of 3G operations, Digitel covered 30 districts/towns with its new network, but in May it reportedly deferred expansion plans for the next generation infrastructure until 2010 in the light of the global economic downturn.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:37:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Vodafone Fiji has launched a new service allowing its roughly 600,000 subscriber base to access the internet via a pre-paid mobile service. Until now, the option has only been available to users on a monthly contract. ‘The launch of our pre-paid mobile internet is exciting news for most of our customers, 90% of whom are on pre-paid plans’, said Pradeep Lal, the company's acting managing director, is quoted as saying.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 12:35:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 26, 2009

The total number of people signed up for mobile internet services with one of Hungary’s three mobile operators T-Mobile, Pannon and Vodafone – reached 607,479 at the end of May 2009, up from 565,510 the previous month. According to national regulator the NHH, Hungarian mobile users sent a total of 763,178GB of data last month, compared with 743,254GB in April, while average traffic per subscriber was 1.52GB down from 1.56GB in the previous month. T-Mobile's share of mobile data subscribers was 48.51% at the end of the month, while Pannon and Vodafone recorded market shares of 23.27% and 28.22%, respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 26, 2009 10:59:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Telecom Handel reports that the German Bundesrat (Federal Council) has approved a proposal to use digital dividend for mobile broadband services. Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), can now begin to prepare an auction of digital dividend licences, which is expected to take place by Q1 2010. The approval will help the federal government work towards its broadband strategy, which calls for broadband with download speeds of at least 1Mbps to be available nationwide by 2010, and coverage of 50Mbps internet to reach 75% of German households by 2014.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 3:15:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 12, 2009

Filipino telco Globe Telecom has expanded its wireless broadband coverage to meet rising demand in the country. According to a report from AsiaPulse, Menchi T. Orlina, Globe's head for consumer marketing group, said the operator is spending heavily and aggressively to improve both broadband penetration and its position in the market. Orlina forecasts the country’s potential market for wireless internet broadband could top 20 million subscribers by 2012. In order to capitalise on this she says Globe is offering Globe Broadband Tatoo – a W-CDMA/HSDPA service offering download speeds of up to 2Mbps – and Globe Broadband Powered by WiMAX. The company currently has 287,000 broadband subscribers for both fixed and wireless platforms, compared with Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) with 1.84 million. Globe’s WiMAX network is based on the 802.16e standard and operates in the 2.5GHz band. It is currently available in selected areas in South Luzon, National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao. Around 4,000 users are signed up to the service, Orlina said.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 12, 2009 1:49:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 04, 2009

According to The Edge Daily, Malaysian cellco DiGi Telecommunications will set aside up to MYR150 million (USD42.4 million) of its total capital expenditure over the next three years for investment in its HSPA network and services in the Sabah and Penang regions. The plans were unveiled following the official launch of the operator’s 3G broadband services in the two regions. DiGi noted that at launch it had coverage of 44% and 31% of the population in the Kota Kinabalu region and the island of Penang respectively. However, the cellco currently only offers HSPA-based internet services via a datacard option, with Johan Dennelind, CEO of DiGi, noting: ‘While our broadband service is only available on PC and laptops for now, we look forward to start offering 3G voice and data services on mobile phones as soon as we have expanded our 3G coverage in our bid to capture our fair share of the broadband market in Malaysia’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, DiGi has forecast CAPEX for 2009 to exceed MYR1.1 billion and had earmarked around 30% of that for 3G infrastructure development. Mr Dennelind indicated that the expansion to Sabah and Penang comes following the high level of demand in the Klang Valley, where the operator launched UMTS services two months ago. DiGi aims to offer its mobile broadband services in more than 1,000 zones by the end of 2009, and the cellco will initially focus on deployment in urban areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:47:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The total number of mobile internet access subscriptions in Hungary climbed to 566,000 by 30 April 2009, up from 542,000 a month earlier, according to figures published by the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NHH). Of these, the total number classed as actively sending or receiving data rose from 458,000 to 476,000 in the same period, although the total volume of data sent dipped to 743,000GB from 840,000GB in March.

The watchdog calculates that based on levels of data transmitted, T-Mobile Hungary is the market leader in the mobile internet sector with 49.43%, ahead of Vodafone with 27.11% and Pannon with 23.46%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:18:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hungary posted a total mobile internet subscriber base of 566,000 at April’09-end, up from 542,000 a month earlier, reports the National Communications Authority (NHH). The total number of actively sending or receiving data rose from 458,000 to 476,000 in the same period, although the total volume of data sent dropped to 743,000GB from 840,000GB in March.

According to the watchdog, T-Mobile Hungary claimed to be the market leader for mobile internet with a total market share of 49.43%, ahead of Vodafone with 27.11% and Pannon with 23.46%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:16:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 22, 2009

China ended March with 670 million mobile phone subscribers, as the 3G networks experience a boost, a MIIT official reportedly said.
Before the launch of 3G, China had a subscriber base of 600 million mobile users at July’08-end and subscribers grew at a pace of 7.42 million every month. After 3G started on January 7, 10 million people were added to the mobile subscriber base in February and March, said Xi Guohua, minister of MIIT.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:14:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Telenor, within 18 months of its mobile broadband service launch has grabbed 200,000 mobile broadband subscribers. At the end of March, Telenor had a mobile broadband subscriber base of 186,000 in Norway. Telenor has installed HSPDA services in more than 1000 cities, as well as a number of summer- and ski resorts in Norway, with coverage of 86.6%.

The mobile broadband service currently offers download speeds up to 3.6 Mbps and the operator has begun to upgrade to HSDPA 7.2 starting in 33 ski resorts.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:35:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 15, 2009

More than half (52%) of mobile phone users are now using the mobile Internet with email and social networking the most popular activities, according to new findings released today. The mobile Internet usage poll, carried out by user experience consultancy, Webcredible, revealed that of the respondents who used the mobile Internet, over half (55%) mostly used it for emailing and social networking, demonstrating the evolution of mobile Internet usage since the poll was last conducted in 2007.

The research polled more than 1,100 online users between February and April 2009 on what they used their mobile phone for most, with the exception of calls and text messages. Checking email and social networking came in as the most popular pastimes with 39 per cent of mobile Internet users mostly using email and over 16 per cent favouring social networking. Just under 16 percent of mobile Internet users said they mostly downloaded ringtones.

This shows a clear development from a similar survey carried out by Webcredible between August and October 2007, when downloading ringtones was the most popular pastime among mobile Internet users with 43 percent favouring this. Only 21 percent of these users mainly checked email, and social networking didn’t even register. This change in results clearly demonstrates the evolution in the capabilities of the mobile Internet and the related change in user behaviour.

In addition, the 2009 research also revealed that 13 percent of mobile Internet users mainly used it for reading news or sport content, 12 percent used it for maps and directions and 4 percent mainly used it for local or travel news. Nearly half (48%) of total respondents said that they performed none of these tasks on their mobile phones.

Abid Warsi, Senior Consultant at Webcredible comments, “Although there are still a substantial number of people who use their mobile phones for nothing other than calls and texts, these results clearly demonstrate the evolution of mobile Internet usage in-line with the increase in the ease with which mobile phone users can access the Internet, the increase in speed and technological capabilities, as well as the decrease in cost.”

“Social networking sites are helping the mobile Internet reach its tipping point. We are now seeing an increasing number of people taking a real multi-channel approach to their communications with the growth in the use of email, Facebook and Twitter on the mobile, no doubt assisted by newer, technically advanced handsets like the iPhone.”

Research Methodology

The mobile Internet usage research polled 1,132 visitors to the Webcredible website between February and April 2009.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 15, 2009 10:52:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Zantel, the Tanzanian mobile operator, has launched prepaid internet service based on 3G technology in a package dubbed as ZConnect. Depending on the modem one uses, the service will offer internet at up to 3.1 Mbps. The plan is priced at TZS 6,000 for a daily subscription, TZS 30,000 for a weekly package and TZS 90,000 for monthly usage. The ZConnect service will be available in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Pemba, Tanga, Dodoma, Morogoro, Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Tabora, Musoma, Shinyanga, Mbeya, Iringa and Ruvuma.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:44:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 11, 2009

Vodafone UK has introduced a new business mobile broadband package offering the subscribers “all they can use”. The Flat Rate mobile broadband package won’t ever cost the subscribers more than GBP 18/month and is available as a rolling 30 day contract. Subscribers will have to pay GBP 58.70 for their mobile USB modem stick with a twelve month contract and a mobile dongle at GBP 24.68. With eighteen and twenty-four month contracts, the dongles are free. The new package offers “all you can use” on downloads but still comes with a fair usage policy. The package offers roaming tariffs at GBP 8.50 per 24-hours in selected countries or GBP 4.25 per MB in other countries.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, May 11, 2009 9:45:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 08, 2009

Ronan de Renesse, Senior Analyst at Screen Digest has just completed an analysis of the 3G mobile broadband market. Although the number of people using mobile networks to connect to the Internet through a device known as a ‘dongle’ will continue to rise, he predicts that the rate of growth is set for a big fall over the next two years.

There has been a significant uptake in the usage of mobile broadband in the past two years, especially in Europe where usage grew ten fold from one million people in 2006 to nine million in 2008. Put another way, the mobile broadband market is currently worth more than mobile TV, mobile games and mobile music combined. This way of accessing the Internet is particularly attractive as an alternative to a fixed connection for students living in private accommodation, people who live in more than one place and also people who live in areas where fixed broadband is simply not available.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 08, 2009 8:54:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mobilcom-debitel, the German mobile service provider, has introduced three mobile internet tariff options for its subscribers. The subscribers can choose between Take-away Basic, which is priced at EUR 0.99 a month, charging each MB at EUR1; Take-away Small, which costs EUR 4.95 a month including 5 MB, charging each additional MB at EUR 3.95 (T-Mobile, Vodafone) or EUR 0.50 (E-Plus, O2) and Take-away Flat, which cost EUR 9.95 a month, offers 250 MB via the E-Plus network, each additional MB is charged at EUR 0.50.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 9:27:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a recent survey, Italy has recorded a mobile internet penetration of 13%, subscribers who connect to internet using their mobile phones at least once a month. The survey reveals that 6 million mobile subscribers connect their mobile handsets around 10 times a month and for an average duration of 11 minutes. 90% of the total web users mostly visited their operator’s portal, whereas more than 50% used for emails and 1/3rd of the total visited the news sites.

A strong growth in mobile connections to social network sites was also registered, at 14% of users, up 10% from 2008, 80% of which visited Facebook.

Source: Wireless Federation.

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

Orange Poland has launched a new mobile internet service for its residential and business subscribers. The Orange Free 39 and a Half service which allows subscribers to access the internet through their mobile phones or laptops.  The subscribers can enjoy 0.5 GB for internet traffic at speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, at a price of PLN 39.50 per month.

Subscribers can also activate the offering as an add-on to a voice tariff subscription, or as part of a package offering a ZTE MF 636 USB modem at discounted prices and 2 GB memory card.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 8:55:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 04, 2009

Wireless phone companies still reap the lion's share of their revenue from calls, but they're pinning their hopes on fast-growing data services.

Prices for voice calling plans continue to tumble, driving down average revenue per subscriber, a key financial metric. But the surging use of iPhones and other Internet-connected mobile devices is driving double-digit growth in data revenue.

Despite the recession, purchases of smart phones are still going strong. The high-end devices, which pack computer-like features into a handheld-sized device, accounted for 23% of U.S. mobile phone purchases by consumers in the fourth quarter of 2008, up from 4% two years earlier, says research firm NPD Group.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, May 04, 2009 11:19:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 23, 2009

At the end of 2008, only 11% of worldwide wireless subscriptions were 3G. By the end of 2013, the percentage of 3G and 4G subscriptions will reach 30%, reports In-Stat. This trend is reflected in fourth quarter 2008 wireless infrastructure contract awards.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:48:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Market research firm Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter (4Q08) edition of its Mobile Broadband Cards, Routers, Services, and Subscribers report last week. ­The report found that worldwide, the number of mobile broadband subscribers (including W- CDMA/HSPA and CDMA2000/EV-DO) jumped 125% in 2008 over 2007, hitting 210.5 million, and are expected to top 1 billion by 2013.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:49:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 12, 2009

According to a recently published report by Dell’Oro Group, the worldwide total mobile infrastructure market revenue grew 5 percent in 2008, driven by the nearly doubling and quadrupling of revenue of the WCDMA and WiMAX markets, respectively.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:34:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009

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

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:43:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 28, 2009

­Asia-Pacific was home to some 121 million 3G subscribers in 2007 and an estimated 158.4 million in 2008. By 2013, the region's 3G subscriber base is expected to top 564 million, accounting for about 18.2 percent of all mobile users. With 3G subscriber net additions in record numbers year-on-year, mobile operators are eager to monetize 3G external broadband devices, namely dongles and datacards, to complement their mobile broadband offerings.


Click here to see full article
3G dongle services have thus far seen promising uptake. Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Marc Einstein notes, "Dongles and datacards are increasingly a preferred connectivity device of choice for Asia-Pac's broadband subscribers given the slim form-factor of the devices, faster 3G speeds and competitive service plans available."

He reckons that by 2013, more than one in every three new broadband subscriber will use dongles or datacards for their [mobile] broadband needs, giving fixed broadband players a run for their money.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that there were an estimated 5.2 million mobile broadband dongle and datacard users in Asia-Pac (18 countries) in 2008, with corresponding billings of over US$1.3 billion.

With the continuous roll-out of new 3G networks and 3.5G/4G upgrades across the region, Frost & Sullivan believes that there will be nearly 37 million 3G subscribers using external wireless devices for their mobile broadband needs by year end-2013, with estimated billable revenues of US$7.8 billion.

The uptake for these 3G devices is expected to accelerate after 2010 once 3G services become commercially available in most large Asian markets. Not surprisingly, China is expected to be the single largest market for the device with 20 percent (7.4 million) of the region's dongle/datacard users by 2013; India, a close enough second with 5.55 million (15 percent) dongle/datacard subscribers.

"3G technologies have come a long way since the world's first 3G network premiered in 2001 offering peak speeds of 384Kbps -- child's play when you consider what mobile broadband is capable of delivering today," says Einstein. "3G networks today boast of peak speeds of 21Mbps and can potentially peak at 50 to 100Mbps in the next two years."

He adds, "Mobile operators are aggressively exploring this business segment to make good their already costly investments in 3G infrastructure and provide [at least] comparable [to fixed] broadband connectivity in developed markets like South Korea and Japan where consumers are willing to pay a premium for mobile laptop access."

Einstein warns, however, that service quality will need to match or exceed the user experience that subscribers in Asia-Pac are already accustomed to with fixed broadband. "While mobile users are adopting the service in overwhelming numbers, they will return their devices just as quickly if actual speeds do not match up," he cautions.

The dramatic decline in the cost of these 3G devices also makes the service more affordable for end users. Einstein says that the days of a US five hundred-dollar price tag on datacards are over, "At less than US$150 a piece… many operators even offering it free with service bundles, anybody can be a road warrior today.
"More importantly, it means that mobile broadband is now poised to truly penetrate the residential segment," he adds.

For mobile operators in emerging markets like India and China, it means that the millions of households that are still unconnected can now realistically receive broadband access. Despite being low-ARPU (average revenue per user) markets with low PC-installed base, Einstein believes that several key developments in 3G in the past year will work favourably towards driving adoption of the technology and device.

He explains, "The future of 3G became much clearer in 2008 as HSPA became the breakout technology in the region. The GSM family [of networks] already has over 85 percent of the region's mobile subscribers and recent operator commitments to LTE (Long Term Evolution) means that in time to come, most of the region's subscribers will be using one technology standard.

"We believe that the economies of scale for 3G technology will be realised much faster," Einstein concludes, adding that these 3G devices will be a stepping stone to 4G-embedded devices which will eventually take mobile broadband to new heights.

Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 3:58:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 19, 2009

Viva, Kuwait’s third mobile network operator, has announced the launch of mobile broadband services for its customers. Viva is an overseas license of Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and began operations in September last year. Huawei has supplied the network which allows Viva to offer high speed wireless broadband at speeds up to14Mbps, although no USB devices currently support more than 7.2Mbps. Customers signing up to the new service in January can make use of a special deal offering unlimited internet access, a free USB modem and data SIM card for KWD20 (USD70.53) per month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:55:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain yesterday launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology - a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Reuters reports that Zain sees potential on the continent where it already has 40 million customers.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:40:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 10, 2008

­Mobile internet has undeniably turned a corner in 2008, showing unprecedented growth levels. By 2012 a nine-fold increase in mobile broadband revenues is expected. However, driven by peer to peer and video services, traffic levels are expected to grow much faster to well over 20 times today’s volumes. These numbers are a wake-up call to mobile broadband providers. Clearly demand is there, but is there also a sustaina­ble business case?

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:32:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

Age and culture play a big part in broadband decisions

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

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

Broadband is now a part of everyday life

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

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

Source: Cellular News.

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

Millions of UK mobile users don’t understand international roaming charges – and go so far as to avoid making calls as a result. ­A new study, by market research firm, TNS indicates that it is confusion over service charges, in addition to the price of calls, which is preventing international roaming from really taking off.

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

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

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

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) announced that subscribers to the CDMA family of technologies are at 475 million worldwide, continuing a growth trend toward half a billion subscribers fueled by rapid growth in both developed and emerging markets. The CDMA2000(r) subscriber base added 13 million users during the third quarter of 2008 to exceed 463 million, while CDMA2000 1xEV-DO grew by 5 million net subscribers to more than 105 million users.

Click here to see full article

CDMA operators worldwide added over 22 million EV-DO users from September 2007 to September 2008, representing a 27 percent annual increase. With more than 105 million subscribers, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is the leading mobile broadband technology worldwide, with 124 operators in 62 countries offering high-speed CDMA services. 48 of these operators have deployed CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A networks to offer advanced mobile broadband services, and another 35 operators are in the process of deploying the industry-leading solution to receive the substantial revenue being generated by most current Rev. A operators. Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw an increase of almost 3 million EV-DO subscribers, a dramatic rise from less than 1 million subscribers a year ago. North American operators continued impressive gains with more than 15 million subscribers at a 36 percent growth rate, while Asia Pacific users increased by 12 percent.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:02:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 02, 2008

According to a study, Mobile internet usage between Q2 and Q3 ‘08 has risen by 25% in comparison to the three per cent growth rate of PC-based usage over the same time period. The study reveals that 7.3 million people are now using mobile internet rather than wired broadband. The reason behind this surge is developed countries like UK have reached broadband saturation point and it is becoming difficult to add new subscribers.

Another study reveals that by 2013 there will be a broadband connectivity increase of only 11 % year on year, rather than 28 % per year seen over the 2004 to 2008 period.

Mobile Internet caters a quarter of consumer’s aged 15-24 age in comparison to 16% of PC-based consumers. Only 12% of the over 55 demographic use mobile Internet. Further the study says that BBC News is the most visited site on mobile Internet whereas on PC-based Internet surfing, Google search is most popular.

According to a Research Analyst, the fact that the most weather, sports, news and email sites make up the majority of leading mobile sites show that mobile Internet is mainly about functionality and need at the moment as opposed to the more entertainment and ecommerce-focused makeup of the leading PC-based sites.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:32:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 01, 2008

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

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

Fixed and mobile broadband evolution

Click here to see full article

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, December 01, 2008 9:52:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 28, 2008

­India's GSM networks added a record breaking 7.7 million net customers in October - reports the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI). The total GSM base now stands at 241.4 million as at the end of last month.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, November 28, 2008 4:50:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008

­According to the findings of a new report commissioned by policy control vendor, Camiant - mobile broadband affords tremendous growth opportunities for operators; however, given the popularity of data cards and smart phones and the substantial capital expenses involved in building additional network capacity, operators can expect to hit network limitations fairly quickly. With operators seeing anywhere from 100% to 800% bandwidth growth, there is a clear need to design new business models for the mobile broadband market.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:02:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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

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

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

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to see full article

Source: International Herald Tribune.

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

­Fixed operators need to come up with strategies for dealing with a rapid and invasive expansion of mobile broadband into their core growth area, consumer broadband, according to a report published by Analysys Mason.

The report forecasts that by 2013, 47% of European broadband subscriptions will use mobile networks and nearly a quarter of broadband-equipped sites will use mobile-only. The speed of take-up of broadband via mobile USB modems has surprised many in the fixed broadband business – and, indeed, the mobile business – and the early indications are that consumers in Europe are using mobile broadband as a substitute for fixed. DSL subscriber net additions are drying up, and headline prices for mobile broadband are frequently lower than those for DSL.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:25:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |