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 Thursday, 06 December 2007

GSM customer numbers in North America topped 100m in early September to reach 100.52m by the end of the third quarter, 1.97m up over the three months. Connections to networks operating using the global standard have more than doubled in number over the last three years, having stood at just under 50m at the end of Q3 2004. Over that time-frame GSM has been without doubt the fastest growing technology in the North American market; however, over the last year it has in fact been the slowest growing. In the year to 30th September, GSM customer numbers rose by 9.7%, which is the lowest ever recorded growth rate for the technology, and the first time the annual figure has dropped below 10%.

Before CDMA stalwarts get too hot under the collar, however, we should point out that this is of course because of the huge increase in W-CDMA 3G customers in the US market. Taking the GSM and W-CDMA bases together, the increase in customers amounted to 16.8% in the year to 30th September 2007 - well above the regional average growth rate of 10.2% and 1.2pp in excess of the percentage increase in the number of CDMA customers in North America over the 12 month period.

Click here to see full article

Thursday, 06 December 2007 10:06:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

New data from the annual TeleGeography study of the international voice market shows that international traffic growth slowed sharply in 2006, to 10%, the lowest level in more than 20 years. Since prices are falling while competition and complexity are continuing to grow, international carriers may be in for a rough ride in the coming years.

However, not all is bleak: cross-border VoIP traffic grew more than 30% in 2006, and VoIP emerged as the key driver of overall market growth. In fact, 2006 may have been a tipping point in the international market: VoIP traffic increased as much as TDM volumes, and VoIP is poised to overtake TDM traffic growth in 2007.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, 06 December 2007 09:04:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 05 December 2007

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

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

Wednesday, 05 December 2007 08:46:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to figures published by the regulator, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the number of Tanzanians with mobile phones reached 7.562 million by 30 September 2007, up from 6.720 million at the end of the previous quarter. Vodacom led the way with 3.693 million customers, ahead of Celtel with 2.251 million, Tigo (992,036) and Zantel (553,975). In the fixed line sector the incumbent, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), reported a drop in the number of main lines in service from 169,135 to 160,964 in the same period.

The TCRA said that while the population of Tanzania is growing at the rate of 2.7% per annum, the annual number of Tanzanians subscribing for a telephone line is currently rising by around 47% per year. Nonetheless, it notes there is still a huge gap in terms of universal telecoms access, and says that at least 80.6% of the population do not have a telephone line at all – either fixed or mobile.

Source : Telegeography, based on the figures of TCRA.

Wednesday, 05 December 2007 08:45:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 December 2007

Mexico's telecommunications sector saw revenues grow 31.1% in the third quarter of 2007 compared to the same period last year, making it the strongest quarter in seven years, the country's telecoms regulator Cofetel said in a statement.

According to Cofetel's production sector index ITEL, the telecoms sector outstripped the local economy 8.4 times in Q3 versus 2Q07. The economy grew 3.7% in the third quarter versus Q2.

Cofetel attributed the growth to an increase in mobile phone and trunking traffic as well as the strengthening of competition in the satellite communications segment, the statement said.

Some 2.36mn mobile phone users were added in the quarter, reaching a total of 64.35mn, or a teledensity of 60.8 lines for every 100 inhabitants.

Boosting mobile phone calls were a reduction in rates and growing popularity of text messaging.

In the quarter, the trunking segment saw its strongest growth in five years due to more competitive promotions and increasing coverage in the country.

Source: Cellular News based on Cofetel's statement.

Monday, 03 December 2007 08:36:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 November 2007

Brazil's mobile operators are likely to achieve 100% coverage of the country by the end of 2009, local press reported, citing information from telecoms regulator Anatel.

Today, mobile coverage is limited to cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants, according to the report.

Anatel expects coverage of neglected areas to get a boost this year as a result of upcoming auctions for mobile licenses dedicated to small towns and municipalities. The idea is to start bidding at minimum prices that are much lower than sought on previous occasions.

Mobile operators are not obliged by local regulations to contribute to universal access, and prefer to provide services in densely populated areas, whereas the concession contracts of fixed line operators include obligations to provide coverage in neglected areas.

According to Anatel, the mobile penetration rate in the country was 60.4% at end-October, compared to 59.5% at end-September.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 30 November 2007 11:58:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Indian mobile market reached a total of 213.1m subscribers at the end of October, a monthly increase of 7.86m subscribers. This is the third highest monthly total for net additions ever recorded in India, with July and August taking the top two places. In terms of annual growth, the number of mobile customers in India has grown by 64.4% in the 12 months to the end of October, which equates to an astounding 83.5m new connections. 64.0m of these were GSM customers, with 19.4m new CDMA customers.

India: Monthly Customer Growth Rates, Top Four Operators

Click here to see full article

Source : Cellular-News.

Thursday, 29 November 2007 09:51:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that the total cumulative cdmaOne and CDMA2000 subscriber base reached 421.4 million after growing by 20 million net subscribers in Q3 2007. The CDG also reports that the 3G CDMA2000 subscriber base has reached 400.4 million.

"The CDG is pleased to witness the continued rapid growth and strength of CDMA," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG.

The CDG said that APAC and North America account for the majority of CDMA subscribers, with APAC claiming 49%, and North America 32% of the worldwide total. The APAC and EMEA regions saw the greatest percentage of year-over-year growth, with the CDMA footprint increasing by 32% and 44% respectively.

The CDG also reported dynamic growth for CDMA2000, which now comprises approximately 95% of all CDMA subscribers, up from 93% last quarter, and approximately 70% of all 3G subscribers worldwide.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO finished the quarter at 83 million subscribers, an increase of eight million since last quarter and 38 million since last year (Q3 2006). Furthermore, enterprises, small businesses and consumers increasingly demand the advanced mobile broadband services enabled by CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A). The number of operators committed to deploying or who have already deployed Rev. A has more than doubled in the past eight months.

Source: Cellular News, based on the announcement by CDMA Development Group.

3G | Mobile | World
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 09:52:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

DIRSI (Regional Dialogue on the Information Society) has released the final draft on its report about mobile phones and poverty in Latin America and The Caribbean. The report abstract notes that access to telephony for low-income groups is largely based on different strategies of use around mobile telephony.

The main goal of this research project was to understand the strategies employed by the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean to access and use mobile telephony services, as well as to identify the major market and regulatory barriers for increased penetration and usage. More generally it investigated how access to mobile telephony contributes to improving the livelihoods of the poor.

Most common cost-reduction strategies (% of users)

The results show that mobile telephony is highly valued by the poor as a tool for strengthening social ties and for increased personal security, and that it is beginning to prove useful for enhancing business and employment opportunities. Overall, the results suggest that the economic impact of mobile adoption by the poor is mediated by social capital variables such as the strengthening of trust networks and improved coordination of informal job markets.

Interestingly, the level of shared ownership found was relatively low: in most cases users own their own handset and service. The notable exceptions are Colombia and Peru, where a healthy service resale market in urban areas (with very competitive tariffs) reduces ownership incentives.

Main reason for not using SMS services 

They also highlight the urgent need to rethink public policies that are premised on the mobile phone as a luxury good. For the poor, mobile telephony has long become the most cost-effective and accessible alternative.

The report is based on over 8,000 face-to-face interviews were conducted with individuals aged 13 to 70 residing in low-income households in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The full report (pdf file, 20 pages, lots of charts) can be downloaded for free from the DIRSI website.

On the web: Regional Dialogue on the Information Society.


Source: Cellular News, based on report by DIRSI (Regional Dialogue on the Information Society).

Wednesday, 28 November 2007 09:41:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 27 November 2007

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

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 15:17:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian mobile carrier Vivo had a 27.61 percent market share in October, while its major competitor TIM had 25.88 percent. The figures from regulatory agency Anatel show TIM edging higher from the previous month and a small drop in Vivo’s share. Claro was the third largest player in Brazil with 25.89 percent share, up from September, while Oi had 13.27 percent and Telemig Celular/Amazonia Celular had 4.41 percent. The technology GSM is the leader in the country with 86.6 million access lines, or 75.52 percent share. CDMA has 22 million accesses (19.26%) and TDMA has 5.9 million accesses (5.20%).

Source: Wireless Federation, based on press release by Anatel.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 15:15:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 22 November 2007


ITU data suggest that the number of mobile cellular subscribers surpassed the 3 billion mark – close to 50 percent of the world’s population – in August 2007. Mobile growth rates have been high across almost all regions and the number of subscribers has grown between 20 to 30 percent globally since 2000, when they stood at 12 percent. In many developing regions, including Africa, where fixed lines remain very limited, the mobile success story has been critical for enhancing access to telecommunications. During 2006 alone, Africa added over 60 million mobile cellular subscribers to its subscriber base and the continent’s mobile growth rate has been close to 50 percent annually over the last years.



At current growth rates, global mobile penetration is expected to reach 50 percent by early 2008. While in theory this would imply that every second person owns or uses a mobile phone, the statistic needs some clarification. Indeed, double counting takes place when consumers subscribe to multiple services. Also, operators’ methods for counting active prepaid subscribers vary, often inflating the actual number of people that use a mobile phone. On the other hand, some subscribers, particularly in developing countries, share their mobile phone with others, thus spreading its benefits. Finally, and despite high growth rates in the mobile sector, major differences in mobile penetration rates still exist between regions and within countries.


A look at the BRIC economies, shows that Brazil, Russia, India and China – four economies that are expected to have an increasingly important impact in terms of population, resources and global GDP share – alone represent almost one billion mobile subscribers in 2007; that is almost one third of the world’s total. Add the mobile subscribers in the USA, Japan and Indonesia, and the total number of subscribers in these seven countries add up to half of the world’s total.



Source: ITU.

Africa | Mobile | World
Thursday, 22 November 2007 13:10:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |