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 Monday, 20 July 2015

Senegal’s industry regulator L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecoms et des Postes (ARTP) has released its latest update on the country’s telecommunications market, highlighting that mobile operators Orange, Tigo and Expresso collectively added a net 319,507 new connections in 1Q15, for a total of 14.699 million. Of the total, an overwhelming 14.602 million are pre-paid users, with post-paid subscribers standing at 96,969 compared to 81,359 at end-March 2014. Cellular penetration – based on the ARTP’s calculation – stood at 108.81% at the end of the first quarter, up from 103.07% a year earlier, while Orange was the leading player with a market share of 56.85% (55.52% in 1Q14), ahead of Tigo with 23.34% (24.23%) and Expresso’s 19.81% (20.25%).

Turning to the fixed line segment, the ARTP reported a continued decline in the number of homes and businesses with a landline, with the total falling to 307,058 at end-March, down from 336.737 a year before. 76.9% of all fixed lines were residential connections at the start of April this year, with business lines accounting for 22.7% and public payphones the remaining 0.4%. Incumbent PTO Sonatel controlled the lion’s share of fixed lines in service at 31 March 2015, with 93.2%, having increased its stranglehold on the sector by six percentage points in the year under review, leaving the second operator Expresso with only 6.8%. Similarly, Sonatel dominates the fixed broadband (DSL) market with a 100% market share, although the ARTP noted that the total number of ADSL connections is declining – standing at 102,410 connections at 1Q15, from 108,577 twelve months earlier as users opt increasingly for 2.5G or 3G alternatives from one of the incumbent cellcos for their internet access needs. Indeed, at the end of March cellular internet accesses had climbed to 6.734 million, accounting for 94.2% of all connections, up from 90.8% a year before.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:15:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 21 April 2015
With more than a month left until the deadline for re-verification, 68.76 million SIMs have been confirmed whilst a further 10.96 million have been disowned by customers, Pro Pakistani writes, citing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The roughly 80 million SIMs currently accounted for were registered to just 53.07 million Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs). Of the remaining 23 million SIMs, operators are expecting to verify around twelve to 15 million, whilst the rest are understood to be either dormant or to have been illegally registered. Commenting on the programme, the PTA said that it is content with the performance of the nation’s cellular providers and is already calling the campaign a success.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:15:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 31 October 2013

China ended August with 1.196 billion mobile subscribers, up 0.88 from July and up 11.51 from August 2012. The total includes 351.29 million 3G users and 827.79 million mobile internet users, the Digitimes writes citing figures from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The total number of subscribers accounts for 87.1 percent of China's population. The country also ended the month with 271.34 million fixed-line telephone subscribers, accounting for 20.2 percent of the population. The number of internet access users rose 9.40 percent year-on-year to 184.11 million, which includes 5.61 million dial-up users and 111.51 million xDSL users.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:55:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Mobile operator MTS Belarus closed out June 2013 with a total of 5.260 million customers, up from 5.239 million three months earlier, and 4.7% higher than the 5.023 million recorded at 30 June 2012. The cellco attributed the expansion to its efforts to improve its networks and services in the past twelve months. As part of these plans, in February this year it activated its third 3G/3G+ frequency channel in the country, to help increase throughput capacity on its W-CDMA networks. The 5MHz of additional frequencies in the 2100MHz band will be used via 500 base transceiver stations (BTS) around the Republic. The first BTS to use the third frequency channel was switched on at Independence Avenue in the capital, Minsk; the HSPA+ capable mobile sites support maximum download speeds of 21Mbps. Further, the cellco has reportedly switched on dual-carrier (DC)-HSPA+ technology in some parts of the country, offering peak transmission speeds of 42Mbps. MTS director Eugene Bryantsev notes that already more than a million of its customers are using smartphones in Belarus, double the figure reported at the start of the year, and that figure is forecast to grow sharply.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTS Belarus deployed 58 new BTS in the first six months of this year to improve coverage in a number of settlements. In the capital Minsk, MTS installed 24 new BTS in the April-June period, improving capacity and coverage in a number of areas, including the districts of Aksakovschina, Drazdova, Zhdanovichi and Maryalivo. Further, the cellco deployed coverage to the neighbourhood of Olsshanka in Grodno, as well as improving its signal in other areas of the city, such as Verbovoy Street and in the settlements of Grandichi and Malyschina. Meanwhile, in Brest, Vitebsk and Mogilev, new communications facilities were also installed in several streets, as well as in a number of smaller areas such as Valeykuny (Ostrovetskiy district), Volkova (Gorodksky district), Vygonichi (Volozhin district), Koptsevichi (Petrikovskii District), Granite (Lunietsky district), Obukhov (Orsha district) and Popelovo (Pruzhansky district).

To date MTS Belarus has rolled out a network of around 6,500 2G or 3G BTS, and its 3G services are available to 100% of inhabitants in Belarus’ cities and regional centres via more than 1,000 BTS.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:18:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Rwanda’s telecoms regulator the Rwanda Utilities Authority (RURA) has announced that a total of 485,867 SIM cards were disconnected following the expiration of the deadline for the SIM registration process, All Africa reports. According to the article, 92.6% of all subscribers registered their SIM cards before the closing date of 31 July; 90.1% of MTN Rwanda’s subscribers registered their SIMs, equivalent to 3.29 million users, 96.4% (1.92 million) of Tigo Rwanda’s subscriber base met the deadline, while Airtel Rwanda stated that a total of 94.4% or 900,110 users registered their SIMs by 31 July.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2013 the government of Rwanda, in collaboration with RURA and the National ID Project (NID), initiated the mandatory registration process as an anti-crime measure. One week before the deadline, RURA announced that 87% of the 6,415,443 SIM cards issued by the country’s three network operators had been registered.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:14:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile subscribers in Kenya dipped from 30.731 million to 29.849 million between January and March this year, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has announced. The decline was mainly attributed to the de-activation of around 2.4 million unregistered SIM cards during the quarter. Safaricom continues to comfortably dominate the wireless market, with 19.421 million users, placing it well ahead of Airtel Kenya (5.052 million) and Essar Telekom Kenya (3.247 million). Telkom Kenya (Orange) brings up the rear meanwhile, with 2.127 million subscribers, representing a 14.4% decline quarter-on-quarter. Wananchi Telecom, which offers triple-play services under the ‘Zuku’ brand name, leads the fixed broadband market, with 31,955 customers as at 31 March 2013.

Soruce: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:13:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Senegal’s Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy launched a scheme on 20 June to identify all mobile subscribers in the country, Agence Ecofin reports. The project will be managed by the country’s telecoms regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), is expected to take about a month to complete and will close on 31 July. ARTP chief executive Abu Lo is quoted as saying that Senegal has decided to adopt recommendations laid out by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – adopted in 2007 – that require domestic cellcos to identify who is using their mobile services in order to provide more reliable statistics on the market, improve security and tackle the grey market for phones. The CEO said that six years after adopting the decree, Senegal’s wireless service providers have failed to complete the mobile identification scheme and that enough is enough. It is understood that Orange Senegal, Tigo Senegal and Sudatel Senegal (Expresso) have deployed teams across the country to complete the process by the July deadline.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:02:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 June 2013
MTN Group expects to have 200 million subscribers on its network by the middle of the year, Engineering News reported. CEO Sifiso Dabengwa told the AGM that MTN had increased its subscriber base to 197.4 million in the four months ended 30 April. Dabengwa said MTN expected to deliver improved organic growth in revenue and EBITDA during 2013. The group's revenues had grown by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the four months to end April. Rand-reported revenues were up 15 percent year-on-year and were driven by a weaker rand against the dollar, while local currency revenues were down marginally year-on-year.
Dabengwa said that, despite the larger-than-anticipated cut in termination rates in Nigeria, the group remained comfortable with its guidance on MTN Nigeria's revenue and EBITDA margin for the full year. Meanwhile, MTN South Africa's performance was hit by weaker consumer demand and increased competition, but it maintained its relative revenue share in the first four months of the year.
The group's operations in Iran, Ghana, Sudan and Uganda showed healthy growth in both revenue and subscriber numbers for the period. Group data and SMS revenue continued to expand strongly in most markets, increasing their contribution to total group revenue to about 18 percent. Dabengwa stated that the implementation of cost-optimisation initiatives would remain a key priority for the group in the year ahead.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, 03 June 2013 08:39:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 December 2012

Ukraine’s third largest cellco Astelit (life:)) claims that it had 2.3 million mobile internet users on its GPRS/EDGE network at the end of September 2012, or 28% of its overall active mobile subscriber base which reached 8.2 million at that date (up from 7.1 million a year earlier). The number of active smartphones on Astelit’s network increased by 42% year-on-year to 1.07 million at end-September 2012, while overall mobile market leader Kyivstar reported at the same data that it had 2.56 million active smartphone subscribers, less than second-placed GSM operator MTS Ukraine which claimed almost three million smartphones, ProIT reported.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 14 December 2012 11:06:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has quashed speculation that it is looking to shake up the United Arab Emirates’ wireless market by licensing mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). ‘There are no plans for MVNOs. We are happy with the current structure of the market,’ local newspaper The National quotes Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, as saying. Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Du are the country’s sole mobile operators, between them accounting for around 13.01 million wireless subscribers at 30 September 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Etisalat is the market leader, although the incumbent has seen its share steadily eaten away since its only rival launched in February 2007, leaving Etisalat with 54.2% of the market at the end of Q3 2012, down from around 60% a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 14 December 2012 11:02:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 November 2012

According to the latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of fixed and mobile telephone subscribers in the country increased to over 107.36 million at 30 September 2012 from 102.36 million three months earlier and 95.88 million at the end of 2011. GSM mobile operators accounted for 96.54%, or 103.65 million, of Nigeria’s total telephony user base at the end of the third quarter of 2012 (up from 90.56 million users nine months earlier), followed by CDMA mobile networks with 3.02%, or 3.24 million, (down from 4.6 million), while fixed and fixed-wireless operators claimed just 0.44%, or 474,345, of the total, compared to 719,406 users at end-2011. According to the NCC, the largest mobile operator by subscribers remains South Africa-based MTN, with around 45.64 million users on its GSM network at the end of September 2012, up 5.7% quarter-on-quarter and accounting for 42.7% of Nigeria’s total GSM and CDMA wireless subscribers.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, 15 November 2012 14:11:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 November 2012

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, 08 November 2012 14:41:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator MTS Belarus has announced that the number of people signed up to its 3G mobile internet services increased by 12% in the three months ended 30 September 2012 to more than 800,000; the cellco closed out June 2012 with around 715,000 3G users. MTS is driving uptake for mobile broadband by continuing efforts to modernise its network. It now claims to cover the entire territory of the Republic with a total of 1,698 base transceiver stations (BTS), of which half are able to support dual-carrier HSPA+ with maximum download speeds of 42Mbps. In the third quarter the operator added 3G in a number of new locations in the Brest region (Baranovichi), Shavrova (Vitebsk), Grodno and Lida, Neman (Minsk), Borisov (Minsk region) and in parts of Mogilev.

In a separate development, MTS Belarus says it hopes to complete the deployment of its Ethernet network in the Serebryanka residential quarter in Minsk by 15 November 2012. Upon completion, customers signing up to its ‘Household Connect’ tariff plans will be able to get a 5Mbps (maximum) connection free for the first month. MTS already offers the Ethernet service in the Chizhovka residential quarter in the capital.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:36:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 October 2012

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

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

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

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

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 29 October 2012 17:07:20 (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, 29 October 2012 10:45:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 October 2012

The Bureau of Telecommunications and Post of Sint Maarten (BTP-SXM) has released its first ever set of telecoms data relating to the Caribbean island nation. The watchdog, which was established as an independent regulatory authority on 10 October 2010, following the formal dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, has revealed that the country recorded a total of 67,124 mobile subscribers as at 31 December 2011, equivalent to a population penetration rate of 164.3%. Meanwhile, broadband subscribers numbered 10,966 at the same date, with Sint Maarten accounting for just 6,862 wireline customer accounts.

TeleGeography notes that telecoms companies licenced to operate on Sint Maarten include full-service telecoms provider Telem Group, pan-Caribbean mobile group UTS, US Virgin Islands-based broadband/cable TV firm Innovative Cable and internet service provider (ISP) Scarlet. Most recently, cableco MacTech was licensed to offer broadband services over its cable infrastructure on 27 February 2012.

Despite a series of referendums held in the early 1990s indicating that the islands that comprised the Netherlands Antilles were happy to remain a part of it, the arrangement was a fairly unhappy one, and between June 2000 and April 2005, each island held a new referendum on their future status. Of the five islands, Sint Maarten and Curacao voted for ‘status aparte’, Saba and Bonaire voted for closer ties to the Netherlands, and Sint Eustatius voted to stay within the Netherlands Antilles. On 12 October 2006 the Netherlands mainland government reached an agreement with Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba to make these islands special municipalities, while Curacao and Sint Maarten were granted autonomy on 3 November 2006. The Netherlands Antilles was officially dissolved on 10 October 2010, with Curacao and Sint Maarten becoming new constituent countries.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:08:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The use of mobile number portability (MNP) in Colombia still remains limited, almost a year after its introduction, according to the most recent results published by telecoms regulator the Communication Regulation Commission (CRC). Since introduction in August 2011, a total of 441,163 customers have switched provider and kept their number in a market of more than 45 million wireless subscribers. The greatest concentration of ports was in Q1 2012 when 167,914 people moved operators, with the number dropping to 132,344 in Q2 2012. Telefonica Moviles Colombia, which uses the Movistar brand of its Spanish parent, has suffered the worst from MNP, with net losses of 159,760. Comcel, recently rebranded under the preferred Claro moniker of its parent company America Movil, reaped the greatest reward from the scheme, with net additions of 85,426 from MNP, whilst Tigo was close behind with 65,058 net additions. Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Uff Movil also added 8,866 new customers thanks to MNP.

However, the use of MNP is still fairly marginal and the flow of customers is not representative of the majority of users. Whilst Claro saw the greatest number of customers moving to its network and keeping their numbers, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Claro has in fact seen a reduction in its market share since the introduction of MNP, whilst its two main rivals have increased their shares of the market. At June 2011, Claro reigned over the wireless sector with a 67.8% share of segment, compared to 22.0% and 10.2% attributed to Movistar and Tigo respectively. By end-March 2012, Claro had seen its lead eroded somewhat, dropping to 63.1% of the market against 26.0% and 10.9%.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:35:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam, has called for expressions of interest for the country’s third mobile operator licence, which includes frequencies for the operation of a 3G network. Cameroon Tribune reports that applicants must not already be active in Cameroon and must have equity of at least USD200 million as of 31 December 2011, among other requirements. A shortlist of applications will be drawn up by 20 July 2012, according to a source at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. The winning bidder will join two established companies in the mobile market – South Africa-based MTN Cameroon and France’s Orange Cameroon – which between them claimed around 11.37 million wireless customers at the end of March 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. At the same date, penetration of cellular services stood at around 50% of the population.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:26:27 (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, 24 July 2012 12:09:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tanzania’s telecoms watchdog the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) reports that the African country was home to a total of 26.978 million fixed and mobile subscriptions at the end of March 2012, up from 25.827 million at the start of the year. Of the total subscriptions recorded at 31 March 2012, 26.805 million were cellular connections to one of the country’s leading mobile operators. Market leader Vodacom closed out 1Q12 with a total of 12.633 million mobile users (although around 19% are classed as inactive), while second-placed Airtel (formerly Zain) signed up a net 112,232 new users in the three-month period for a total of 7.106 million. Third place operator Tigo boosted its base by 47,067 to almost 5.498 million by end-March 2012, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation’s fastest growing cellco — shed roughly 12,000 net customers during the period for a total of 1.511 million. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) had an estimated 96,000 subscribers and Benson Informatics Limited (BOL) had 1,221 data-only subscribers, down roughly 5,300 since the start of the 2011.

In the fixed line segment, TCRA reported 173,075 fixed lines in service as at 31 March 2012, up from 161,063 at the start of the year. National PSTN operator TTCL claimed the lion’s share with 158,348 lines at 1Q12 (its December 2011 figure was 159,364) with Zanzibar Telecommunications’ (Zantel’s) fixed line division taking the remaining 14,727, up from 1,699 previously.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 13:36:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 04 July 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, 04 July 2012 16:08:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Zain Sudan, a unit of Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain Group, aims to sign up an additional one million mobile subscribers in 2012 to boost its total customer base to 14 million by year-end, Reuters cites the company’s chief executive Elfatih Erwa as saying. The company is targeting growth outside of the capital Khartoum, but Erwa said that earnings gains will be offset by weaker operating margins due to higher taxes and a growing economic crisis. In December 2011 the Sudanese government introduced a new tax on telecoms operators to make up for the loss of oil revenue from newly independent South Sudan. Sales and services taxes for telecoms firms were increased from 20% to 30%, while a tax on profits was hiked from 15% to 30%; Erwa said that Zain has added the sales tax to its tariffs, but fierce competition meant it could not offset the profit tax increase with further price rises. Last year Zain Sudan began dividing its operations into two units after the South seceded in July 2011, but has yet to agree a licence fee with the newly independent country.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:34:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 2012

France’s telecoms industry regulator Arcep has published its findings on the mobile communications market in France and its overseas territories for the period ended 31 March 2012, showing strong growth since the arrival of Iliad’s Free Mobile start-up in January. The watchdog reported that the total number of mobile service customers in metropolitan France and the overseas territories stood at 69.5 million, thanks to net additions of close to 900,000 SIMs in the quarter, a cellular penetration of 106.5% of the national population. Net growth in Q1 2012 far outstripped the average for the preceding five years (of 300,000 SIMs) it said, as Free Mobile made an instant impact on the mainland. Arcep added that in January-March the total number of gross sales (7.8 million) and account cancellations (6.9 million) both reached ‘exceptionally high levels’ in the past quarter.

Arcep said that the total number of mobile customers in mainland France stood at 66.8 million at the end of March 2012, up 6.1% on the same time in 2011, of which roughly three quarters (74%) were on monthly subscriptions. The increase in the number of flat rate plans was much stronger in the first quarter of 2012 it said – rising by 1.6 million in January-March, compared to 900,000 in 4Q11. Metropolitan France mobile network operators (MNOs) Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange France and SFR collectively reported a total 59.4 million mobile subscribers, up 940,000 quarter-on quarter. Meanwhile, the number of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) customers decreased by around 90,000 to 7.5 million by the end of March 2012 – equivalent to 11.15% of the market, down from 11.43% three months earlier. The use of mobile number portability (MNP) also leapt during the first quarter of the year, with 2.6 million numbers being ported, compared to one million in Q4 2011.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 15:12:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 22 June 2012 15:09:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In an attempt to counter the increasing roaming charges for Canadian mobile-phone users, Roam Mobility Inc is offering consumers a better alternative.
According to a report by Globe and Mail, the Vancouver-based upstart, marketing itself as a rogue mobile company, is aggressively ramping up its rollout of cellphones, SIM cards and other devices to entice Canadians looking for cheaper alternatives to high roaming rates the major wireless companies charge when customers travel to the United States with their smartphones in tow.
Roam Mobility’s chief executive officer Emir Aboulhosn, said that they will not tell users to switch from Rogers, Telus and Bell – they’re just asking users to stop using them when they cross the border. Roam estimates that Canadians spend $800-million a year on international roaming fees, with roughly $450-million spent on U.S. roaming alone.
As per the report, Roam Mobility launched its service in January, competing with the major carriers by offering Canadian travellers unlimited talk and text plans from $3 a day, including free calls to Canada. Its data rates start as low as 2 cents a megabyte.
With the summer travel season just around the corner, Roam is in expansion mode. It will announce a new partnership with Allegiant Air to sell its products during flights starting June 1. Allegiant is a U.S. airline that services border airports such as Niagara Falls, N.Y., and offers discounted fares to popular U.S. destinations.
Roam’s products are already available at a number of Canadian and U.S. airports and at major land border duty-free shops. They will also be sold at Future Shop starting next month. Its product line includes a cellphone for talk and text; SIM cards that can be used in a consumer’s own unlocked phone; and personal “hotspot” devices that provide a high-speed data connection for up to five wireless devices (like smartphones, tablet computers or laptops) at the same time.
The report reveals that Roam has already attracted close to 20,000 customers and is on track to hit the 100,000-subscriber mark in the second quarter of 2013. Even though the vast majority of its customers are people who travel to the U.S. in short spurts, Aboulhosn says Roam can afford to be aggressive with its pricing because its capital expenditures and overhead costs are relatively low.

Source: Wireless Federation

Friday, 22 June 2012 15:05:56 (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, 22 June 2012 14:43:51 (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, 22 June 2012 13:53:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India, a dominant presence in the global mobile industry, has over 683 million active mobile connections at the end of March 2012, as reported by MediaNama. According to the report Vodafone’s total subscriber base went up by 1.02 million to 150.46 million, while its active connection base increased by 2.46 million to 133.49 million for the month, indicating that while connections did port out, more connections became active during the month for the telco. Idea Cellular, which has reported the highest percentage of active subscribers since the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) made reporting such information mandatory, reported the highest increase in active subscribers of 2.49 million, with a total base of 105.34 million, and 93.45 percent of its connection base active.
As per the report, Bharti Airtel added 2.50 million connections, taking its connection base to 181.28 million, with 166.28 million of this base active. Airtel has 24.35 percent of the total active connection base. Vodafone added 1.025 million connections, but grew its active connection base by 2.46 million, taking its connection base to 150.46 million, with 133.49 million active. Vodafone has 19.54 percent of the total active connection base.
Idea Cellular added 2.01 million connections, taking its base to 112.72 million, with 105.34 million connections active. Idea Cellular has 15.42 percent of the total active connection base. Reliance Communications (RCOM) 1.04 million connections, taking its base to 153.05 million. However, only 65.39 percent of this base is active – just 100.07 million active connections. RCOM has 14.65 percent of the total active connection base. Public owned telco BSNL has a connection base of 98.51 million, with as little as 53.92 percent of its base - 53.11 million – active. It has 7.78 percent of the total active connection base.
The report highlights that among the new telcos, Uninor added 1.29 million connections, taking its connection base to 42.43 million, but only 24.25 million (57.17) of this base is active. Uninor, which is targeting 8 percent of India’s mobile base, currently accounts for 3.55 percent of the country’s active connection base.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 22 June 2012 10:50:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between British cellcos Orange UK and T-Mobile UK and the country’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, has highlighted the continued shift in its subscriber mix towards post-paid services and increased smartphone uptake following the release of its financial results for the first three months of 2012. The operator reported a service revenue of GBP1.503 billion (USD2.4 billion) for the quarter, down 2.5% against the corresponding period a year earlier, with regulated mobile termination rate (MTR) cuts cited as one of the core drivers for the decline. Excluding the impact of MTR reductions, Everything Everywhere said, service revenue actually increased by 2.9% compared to 1Q11. Underlying growth, meanwhile, was driven by a 7.3% year-on-year increase in post-paid subscribers, with the operator recording 151,000 net post-paid additions in the first three months of 2012 alone. Further, it noted that it was continuing to enjoy some success in upgrading some of its existing customers to higher value contracts. At end-March 2012 49% of the operator’s total customer base was on a post-paid tariff option, up from 45% a year earlier. With the company also reporting that 71% of its post-paid customers had a smartphone, Everything Everywhere noted that such uptake was driving non-voice revenues, with the company seeing a 17% year-on-year increase in data revenues in 1Q12. At the end of March 2012 the cellco’s total subscriber base stood at 27.219 million, down from 27.729 million at the end of the previous quarter, and representing a 9.4% drop from the 30.028 million it had at end-March 2011. Fixed line broadband subscriber numbers at the end of the reporting period totalled 713,000, down from 752,000 a year earlier.

Alongside its financial results, Everything Everywhere also announced that it has launched what it claims is the UK’s first live trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the north of England. The cellco is utilising 1800MHz spectrum under a trial licence to test the 4G technology, and has noted that it will roll out the service over the coming weeks in the Threlkeld area of Cumbria to around 50 local residents. The trial will run until the end of July 2012, and the operator said that it will use the project to ‘test the network performance ahead of potential further rollout by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 09:49:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 March 2012

Namibia’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Mobile Telecommunications (MTC), has announced that it reached the milestone of two million subscribers in February 2012, having grown its customer base from the 1.67 million users reported at the end of December 2010, and having doubled its total following the landmark of one million customers reached in September 2008.

MTC also reported that its annual revenues grew by 3.2% in its fiscal year ended September 2011, to NAD1.45 billion (USD189 million), although net profit fell by 14.2% to NAD319 million, compared to NAD372 million in FY2010, while EBITDA saw a drop of 1.4%. CAPEX investment was reduced to NAD237 million in the fiscal year, down from NAD417 million in the previous twelve months. The cellco partly attributes its growing sales to an increase in the average Namibian’s disposable income over the last few years, while the decrease in profitability was put down to ‘increases in costs of maintaining the network, as well as costs related to personnel.’ Post-paid customers represented 6.6% of MTC’s total user base but generated 34% (NAD490 million) of total revenues in the year under review, compared to pre-paid (‘Tango’) users accounting for 93.4% of customers and 66%, or NAD960 million, of revenue. Revenue from data services contributed 21% to total turnover in FY11, up from 18% in FY10, and mobile internet access alone accounted for 9% of sales, compared to 5% previously. SMS revenue represented 13% (12%) of the total.

Elsewhere, in response to MTC’s recent complaints of delays to the country’s fourth-generation (4G) mobile licensing process, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has assured the cellco that it is working to ensure the rollout of Long Term Evolution (LTE) network services in the capital city of Windhoek in the next few months, via the planned issuing of new 1800MHz band frequencies. However, the regulator has also stated that technical issues must be ironed out before the 800MHz 4G band is issued to cellcos, under its draft national frequency allocation plan, which is designed to take into account prospective new market entrants.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 16 March 2012 16:11:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of telephone subscribers in India increased to 926.53 million at the end of January, from 936.12 million at the end of December 2011, registering a growth rate of 1.04 percent, according to the Telecom Regularity Authority of India (Trai)'s latest report. With this, the overall teledensity in India reached 77.57, up from 76.86 in the previous month. Subscriptions in urban areas grew from 611.19 million at the end of December to 615.83 million in January and subscriptions in rural areas increased from 315.33 million to 320.29 million. The overall urban teledensity has marginally increased from 167.85 to 168.84 and rural teledensity increased from 37.48 to 38.04 in January. The total mobile subscriber base increased from 893.84 million to 903.73 million, registering growth of 1.11 percent. Private operators held 88.56 percent of the mobile market share while state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL held a 11.44 percent share of the mobile market. The fixed-line subscriber base declined from 32.69 million at the end of December to 32.39 million month later. BSNL and MTNL had a 80.91 percent share of the fixed market. Meanwhile, the broadband subscriber base increased from 13.30 million to 13.42 million, showing monthly growth of 0.90 percent.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, 16 March 2012 16:01:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Data just released by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) shows that the country was home to a total of 25.827 million fixed and mobile subscriptions at the end of 2011, up from 21.158 million a year earlier. Of the total subscriptions recorded at end-2011 25.666 million were cellular connections to one of the country’s leading mobile operators. Market leader Vodacom closed out 2011 with a total of 11.625 million mobile users (although around 19% are classed as inactive), while second-placed Airtel (formerly Zain) signed up a net 972,000 new users in the period for a total of 6.993 million. Third place operator Tigo boosted its base by 973,000 to 5.450 million by the end of 2011, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation’s fastest growing cellco — shed roughly 191,000 net customers during the period for a total of 1.524 million. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) had just 96,000 subscribers and Benson Informatics Limited (BOL) had 1,558 data-only subscribers, down roughly 5,000 since the start of the year.

In the fixed line segment, TCRA reported 161,063 fixed lines in service as at 31 December 2011, down from 174,000 at the start of the year. National PSTN operator TTCL claimed the lion’s share with 159,364 lines at end-2011 (its December 2010 figure was 159,100) with Zanzibar Telecommunications’ (Zantel’s) fixed line division taking the remaining 1,699, down from around 15,000 previously

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 16 March 2012 14:36:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |