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 Monday, December 10, 2007

Algérie Télécom is the first African telecoms operator to put together a business strategy that includes Fibre-To-The-Home. Although the price of connecting households to fibre has dropped considerably elsewhere, it still remains an expensive way to provide a local connection. However, the prize it is seeking to create is a large user base for its forthcoming triple play offer. Russell Southwood looks at what it’s up to.

The operator is deploying an FTTH network from French vendor Sagem Communication and on15 December it will be launching a triple play offer with voice, broadband Internet and television. The triple play service will initially be offered in Oran, Alger, Sétif  and Constantine before being rolled nationally in 2008.

According to Malik Hachelef, the Manager overseeing the FTTH roll-out:"The service will consist of a modem that can connect to the fibre network that will give very high capacities allowing either triple or quadruple play."

Algérie Télécom has 500,000 ADSL lines in place and is on its way to 3 million lines by the end of 2009. According to CEO Slimane Kheiredine, a WiMAX service will fill in gaps in the company's service where it does not offer ADSL and allow it to consider new services such as IP-TV. The Algerian national operator is working with foreign partners like BT and Korea Telecom on developing new services and is also planning to launch digital terrestrial TV trials.

 
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Monday, December 10, 2007 4:24:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

By 30th September 2007, about 7.7 millions Tanzanians had a telephone service according to figures published by the regulator, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). This is an increase of about 12% from June 2007. Mobile telecommunication is by far the largest part of the market (98%) compared to fixed line services (2%).

While the population of Tanzania is growing at the rate of 2.7% annually, the annual number of Tanzanian buying a telephone service is growing at an average rate of 47%. However, at least 80.6% of Tanzanians still do not have a telephone service.

Market share amongst operators has remained broadly stable. Vodacom is leading the market in terms of number of subscribers with 48% of all subscribers (50% last June). Celtel ranks the second with 29% (28% last June) followed by Tigo with 13%, (12% last June), Zantel (7%, the same as in June) and TTCL with 3% (2% last June).

Source: Balancing Act 383, 07.12.2007.

Monday, December 10, 2007 4:19:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of SMS message send by Germans is expect to grow from 22.5 billion in 2006 to more than 23 billion during this year, according to the German federation for ICT and new media Bitkom in a release to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of SMS. The average number of SMS message sent by German inhabitants has grown from 44 in 1999 to 280 in 2006.

Source : Wireless Federation, based on Bitkom release.

Monday, December 10, 2007 8:45:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Dutch mobile market is on track for 5 percent growth in services revenues in 2007, but could see a slowdown in 2008. In the third quarter of 2007, mobile services revenues grew 1.1 percent from Q2 and were up 4.3 percent from a year earlier, to a total EUR 1.620 billion. The market added 471,000 new customers in the quarter, for a total 18.914 million at the end of September.

Market leader KPN had the best performance in terms of subscriber additions in the quarter with 293,000 new connections, while number two Vodafone added just 2,000 new customers. T-Mobile also underperformed, adding just 1,000 new customers, while its merger partner Orange gained 38,000 customers, of which almost half were postpaid. MVNOs such as Tele2, UPC and Lycamobile also performed well in postpaid, boosting their combined postpay market share to 4.7 percent from 3.1 percent a year ago.

Revenue growth in the third quarter came from the postpaid market, which posted a 7.0 percent rise in services revenues compared to a year ago, to EUR 1.37 billion. Prepaid revenues were down 8.6 percent from a year earlier, with all four network operators showing lower prepay revenues. Non-voice services such as SMS and data also helped revenue growth in Q3, increasing 21.6 percent from the year-earlier period to EUR 337 million. Voice revenues meanwhile fell versus Q2 and showed only a small rise year-on-year, to EUR 1.28 billion.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, December 10, 2007 8:43:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Portuguese market added around 50,000 new broadband subscribers in the third quarter, for a total 1.57 million at the end of September. That’s up 16 percent form a year ago, according to figures from market regulator Anacom. ADSL represents 62 percent of total accesses, while cable was responsible for 37 percent. Around 49 percent of new broadband clients opted for services from alternative providers. Portugal Telecom however remained market leader with 43.9 percent of subscribers, followed by TV Cabo with 22.9 percent, Novis with 14.7 percent, Cabovisao with 10 percent and Oni with 0.6 percent. Broadband penetration at the end of Q3 stood at 14.8 percent.

Source : Wireless Federation, based on Anacom's figures.

Monday, December 10, 2007 8:41:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Canadian market looks set to reach 20 million customers by the end of the year, having added 0.54 million customers in Q3 to hit 19.54 million at the end of the quarter. Traditionally Q4 is the strongest quarter of the year, so it will be surprising if Canada does not break the 20 million barrier in the current quarter. This impending milestone should not be treated with anything like jubilation, however, since the Canadian market is still extremely underpenetrated by reference to its socio-economic peers, with a rate of just 58.4% at the end of Q3. Since Q3 06, penetration has only risen by 4.2pp, and the total market has grown by just 8.7%.

In terms of market rankings, nothing has changed since the end of Q3 06.

Rogers remains the market leader having broken through the 7 million barrier in Q3 to finish the quarter on 7.16 million, while closest rival Bell Mobility surpassed 6 million to finish on 6.02 million. Third-placed TELUS had 5.41 million customers at the end of Q3 while regional operators Sasktel and MTS had 0.43 million and 0.38 million respectively.

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Monday, December 10, 2007 8:36:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 06, 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.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007 10:06:59 AM (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, December 06, 2007 9:04:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 05, 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, December 05, 2007 8:46:50 AM (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, December 05, 2007 8:45:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 03, 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, December 03, 2007 8:36:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 30, 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, November 30, 2007 11:58:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 29, 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

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Source : Cellular-News.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 9:51:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 28, 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, November 28, 2007 9:52:35 AM (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, November 28, 2007 9:41:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 27, 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, November 27, 2007 3:17:41 PM (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, November 27, 2007 3:15:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |