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 Wednesday, January 09, 2008

At the end of September, there were 20 networks in the world with more than 30 million customers. Eight of these were in the Asia Pacific region including the largest and the second largest. Six of the 20 come from just two countries, China and India, and these six together account for over 650 million customers, or nearly 21% of the global total.

In previous issues, when reviewing this region, we have noted that the weight of demographics limits the number of changes in the order of the top ten operators and this continues to be the case. The one change this quarter is that Bharti has now overtaken Telkomsel in Indonesia to take fourth place with a total of 48.9 million customers at the end of the period. It is poised to jump another place in the current quarter (at DoCoMo's expense) as the recently-published November numbers show the Japanese operator has added just a handful of new customers since the end of the quarter, to stand at 53.03 million, while the Indian number one has taken on a further 4 million to reach 52.96 million, less than seventy thousand below the company that was for almost all of the last century the clear global leader.

Asia Pacific, Leading MNOs (m)

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:48:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong ended fiscal 2007 with 9.356 million mobile users, up 7 percent from 8.693 million users at the end of fiscal 2006, according to figures from regulator OFTA. Telecommunications services revenue totalled HKD 52.811 billion, up 3 percent from HKD 51.094 billion. Cable TV subscribers rose to 1.53 million, up 10 percent from 1.39 million. ISDN subscribers increased to 13121 from 12009. ISDN B channel equivalent subscribers increased to 79,458 subscribers from 75,493 subscribers. International outgoing telephone minutes totalled 6.747 billion, up 14 percent from 5.909 billion. International incoming telephone minutes increased nearly 8 percent to 2.291 billion from 2.122 billion. International bothway telephone minutes increased 12.5 percent to 9.038 billion from 8.031 billion. Full-time telecommunication staff decreased to 17,935 from 19,019 staff previously. 135.40 percent of the population was covered compared to 124.8 percent in the previous year. Main telephone lines in operation increased to 3.85 million versus 3.798 million. Public payphones decreased to 6182 from 6769 payphones.

Source: Wireless Foundation.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:41:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 07, 2008

Bangladesh's telecoms regulator, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has published subscriber data for last November, as supplied to them by the operators. The country itself ended the month with 33.1 million subscribers, which equates to a population penetration level of around 22%. The market added a net 770,000 new subscribers in the month of November.

Grameenphone remains the market leader by a considerable margin, with 16.01 million subscribers. Second and third place are almost neck and neck, with Aktel on 6.53 million and Banglalink a shade behind on 6.51 million.

The remaining three operators are Warid (1.95 million), Citycell (1.38 million) and last is Teletalk with just 720,000 subscribers.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, January 07, 2008 4:18:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Uruguay added 1.43mn mobile lines in the first eleven months of 2007 to total 3.2mn, local newspaper El País reported.

At the end of 2006, the country had 2.05mn mobile lines.

At the end of November, Ancel, the mobile unit of state-owned telco Antel, had 1.25mn subscribers, Telefónica unit Movistar Uruguay had 1.2mn subscribers while CTI Móvil, a unit of Mexican giant América Móvil, had almost 746,000.

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Monday, January 07, 2008 10:57:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The declining prices of mobile handsets and low connectivity costs have helped in doubling internet access through cellphones this year.
 
The latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) figures showed that the number of Indians using their mobiles (both GSM and CDMA) to access the internet has more than doubled from 16 million in 2006 to 38 million in 2007.
 
There were 2.69 million broadband subscribers as on October 30 this year. Besides, of the 22 million PCs in the country, around 30-40 per cent have internet access.
 

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Monday, January 07, 2008 10:50:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 21, 2007

Although the 100% penetration level was reached in Q1 of this year, mobile growth has not slowed to any great extent and in fact, the third quarter saw more new connections than either of the earlier quarters, with 20.14m new connections, against 14.5m in the second and 16.3m in the first. Curiously, the 20m figure is almost exactly the same number as in both Q3 06 and Q3 05, when net additions totalled 20.4m and 20.2m respectively.

If the normal seasonal pattern is repeated in Q4, then the final period of the year should see something between 25-30m new connections, enough to take penetration up to 110%. This reflects the fact that it is now quite commonplace to have more than one mobile account - one for work and another for domestic use. Add to this a small but growing number of machine to machine SIMs and a steadily increasing number of datacards or 3G USB devices, remove inactives where appropriate and clearly, there is no immediate prospect of a cessation of growth.

Top 20 European MNOs by Customers

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Friday, December 21, 2007 3:59:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

We have recently updated our forecasts for the Chinese market and like many of you we are following the prospective development of high-speed networks closely. Since Q1 2005, China has been growing at an average of 4%  quarter on quarter. Contrast this with a more mature market like the USA which has averaged 2% growth on a quarterly basis since Q3 last year. Today, China represents 40% of Asia Pacific cellular connections, and 16% of the World cellular connections. If the market follows the pattern we believe it will next year, it can add another 100 million connections and reach 46% market penetration in just 5 more quarters.

Figure 1: China: Cellular connections and market penetration

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Friday, December 21, 2007 3:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brazil was home to more than 116.3 million mobile phones at the end of November, up 1.4%, or 1.62 million, from the end of the previous month and 19.5% higher than the figure recorded at end-November 2006, according to data published by the telecoms regulator Anatel.

Source : Telegeography based on report from Anatel.

Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:42:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of broadband accesses in Brazil grew 8.3 percent in the third quarter of this year, with 544,000 new connections sold in the period, according to the Cisco Broadband Barometer. The total number of users reached 7.1 million. Residential access accounts for 86.3 percent of installed connections. The corporate market grew at a slower pace, just 2.4 percent in comparison to the second quarter. Broadband access speeds between 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps suffered a 30 percent drop in prices, while the drop was only 4.1 percent for speeds above 2 Mbps. The state of Sao Paulo is the biggest consumer of broadband, with 40.1 percent of total connections in Brazil. In national terms, broadband penetration is only 3.8 percent, with most accesses (75 percent) of the xDSL type.

Source: Wireless Federation based on Cisco Broadband Barometer.

Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:41:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Between13-15 of December, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized its 6th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (WTI) Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. As the UN Agency in charge of telecommunications/ICT, ITU plays a lead role in the collection and harmonization of internationally comparable telecommunication/ICT statistics. The WTI meeting is organized regularly to review the state of telecommunication/ICT statistics, definitions, collection, and methodology.

In this year’s meeting 171 delegates from almost 80 ITU member countries and a number of regional and international organizations discussed the measurement of community access, the formulation of possible new indicators to measure the Information Society and the single ITU index.

The meeting was opened by Mr. S. Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). Mr. Al Basheer Al Morshid highlighted ITU’s obligation and commitment to measure the Information Society. ITU has repeatedly emphasized that, to appropriately tackle the digital divide, it is crucial to overcome the statistical divide. This is important on a national level, to help governments identify their progress, their strengths and their weaknesses, so as to overcome barriers to wider and qualitatively better access to ICTs. At the same time these statistics are used to make international comparisons and allow governments to assess their performance objectively, identify realistic targets and create demands for improvement.

The meeting agreed upon a set of indicators to measure community/public access, an area where little information is currently available. It also discussed the measurement and definition of 'mobile broadband' and discussed possible indicators for the ITU index. For more information on the meeting, see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/wict07/index.html.

Source: ITU.

Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:29:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The vast majority of Europe's mobile customers are contained within its eight largest markets – France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK. Together, these account for nearly 500m of the 700m total, or just over 70%. The largest of these is Germany, with a total of 89.15m at the end of the quarter, while the smallest is Poland which closed the period on exactly 40m mark.

However, there are marked differences in penetration levels across the eight and also, some notable differences in growth rate.

Italy remains by far the most heavily penetrated market, with a level of ownership equating to some 143% of its population, nearly 25ppts more than the second country on this list, Spain. Both are obviously popular holiday destinations, which, given the quarter in question, might inflate the numbers to a degree but thee is little evidence to support this - certainly, neither market has ever seen a fourth quarter slump of the kind that we see in some of the Balkan states.

Subscriber base - Q3 06 – Q3 07

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Thursday, December 20, 2007 9:59:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 19, 2007

APA-Bangui (Central African Republic) At least three mobile telephone operators provide services in each member-state of the Central Africa Telecoms Regulations Association (ARTAC) and telephone penetration has reached 13.2 percent.

ARTAC chairman Valeri Saï said in Bangui on Thursday that about 93.3 percent of the telephone owners are mobile telephone consumers and 1.7 percent fix telephone users.

He was speaking at the second general assembly of the ARTAC, which opened on Wednesday in Bangui.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:47:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The island nation of Cape Verde is due to get a second GSM network next week when T+ launches its services on the main island of Santiago - with national coverage due by the second half of 2008. The country currently has a monopoly operator, Cabo Verde Telecom.

The chairman of the board of the company, Marco Bento, told MacauHub that T+ would offer "competitive prices" and would be an alternative for mobile communications.

T+'s shareholders are Teylium Telecom (70%), Alexander group Telecommunications (15%) and Marco Bento (15%). Ericsson provided the network infrastructure.

T+ plans to invest US$50 million over the next three years, including US$15 million for 2007-2008 and plans to create 100 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs.

The Mobile World reports that the incumbent operator, Cabo Verde Telecom had 134,000 subscribers at the end of September 2007 - which equates to a population penetration level of 32%.

Most of the nation's GDP comes from the service industry. Cape Verde's economy has grown since the late 1990s, and it is now considered a country of average development. Cape Verde has significant cooperation with Portugal at every level of the economy, leading it to link its currency first to the Portuguese escudo and, in 1999, to the euro.

Map of Cape Verde

Source: Cellular News based on Mobile World, MacauHub and T+.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:43:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile subscribers in Senegal reached 3.434 million at the end of September, up from 3.320 million in June and 2.641 million a year earlier. According to the figures from market regulator ARTP, mobile penetration reached 32.46 percent and 99 percent of mobile customers were prepaid users. Orange is market leader with 2.443 million customers, up from 2.401 million in June, while Sentel, part of the Millicom group, increased its base to 991,631 in September from 918,830 in June. On the internet market, just 0.33 percent of the population or almost 35,000 people were registered users. Of the total, 96 percent used ADSL. Fixed-line penetration meanwhile was at 2.63 percent, or 278,119 lines, and has been falling for the past six months.

Source: Wireless Federation, based on figures of ARTP.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:41:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The top 10 network operators in the Caribbean & Latin America region now all have over 10m customers as 10th placed Telecom Personal of Argentina crossed the 10m customer barrier in the quarter. The composition and order of the top 10 has remained unchanged throughout 2007, with Telecel in Mexico leading from Vivo and TIM in Brasil. Telcel has pulled ahead of its rivals, extending its lead over Vivo from 12.0m customers at the end of September 2006 to 16.2m customers a year later, whilst TIM closed the gap between it and its domestic rival from 4.6m to 2.2m customers during the year.

The top five operators - the ranking completed by Claro in Brazil and Comcel in Colombia - all have more than 20m customers and together had a base of 157m customers at the end of Q3 2007, a year on year increase of 16.9% - some way short of the 23.8% regional average.

The operators occupying positions five to ten in the ranking were considerably faster growing, pushing up the annual growth rate to 20.7%, although this still meant that the proportion of the continental total accounted for by the top 10 fell from 62.9% to 61.4% over the course of the year.

Top 10 Operators by Customers

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In terms of net additions, Telcel Mexico also claimed top-spot with 6.80m in the year to 30th September - almost 1m more than second placed Claro Brazil which recorded 5.81m new connections. TIM Brazil was in third place with an increase of just over 5m, whilst Brazilian market leader Vivo was way down in eighth place with just 2.59m net additions in the 12 month period. America Movil's Colombian subsidiary Comcel was the most notable under-performer, claiming ninth place with 2.50m net additions. All of the members of the top 10 ranking of markets by customer numbers make an appearance in the top 10 ranking by annual net additions, with the exception of Telemar (TNL PCS) in Brazil, which found itself 11th for the year ending September 2007.

Top 10 Operators by Net Additions Q3

Taking its place in the top 10 at number seven was Telefonica Moviles Peru, the region's 14th largest operator by customers. Telefonica's Peruvian business did even better in the net additions ranking for the third quarter, attaining sixth place with 0.86m new customers, and beating its much larger Mexican sister business which registered 0.84m net additions in the process. Giving way this time was CALA's tenth largest operator by customers, Telecom Personal of Argentina, which fell to 15th in the quarterly ranking with 0.28m new connections.

Top 10 Operators by Net Additions Year to Date

Leading the quarterly ranking was America Movil's Claro Brazil with 1.73m new customers, from rival TIM with 1.68m. Telcel Mexico was third with 1.40m, ahead of a revived Telemar with 1.27m in fourth place and a resurgent Vivo in fifth place with 1.08m. In addition to the Telefonica businesses in Peru and Mexico, CTI Argentina, Telefonica Argentina and Comcel Colombia round off the top 10 in eighth, ninth and tenth places respectively.

Source : Cellular News. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:35:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 13, 2007

ALGIERS (AFP)--Algeria has 25 million mobile phone subscribers, compared with just 54,000 seven years ago, the minister for the post and telecommunication services said Monday.

The penetration rate has now reached 75% of the population, according to a tally compiled at the end of September by industry-sector firms. In 2000, before the liberalization of the state monopoly in the telecommunications sector, the figure stood at 0.26%.

The blossoming of the industry is a result of fierce competition between the three operators in the country, which spent $47 million promoting their products, according to the minister, Boudjemaa Hiachour.

Those three competing operators are Mobilis, subsidiary of the former state operator Algeria-Telecom; Djezzy, subsidiary of the Egyptian conglomerate Orascom; and Nedjma, subsidiary of the Kuwaiti firm Watanya.

Djezzy claims more than 12 million network subscribers, with Nedjma on around four million. Mobilis currently has 9.5 million users, its commercial and marketing director, Lounis Belharath, told AFP.

Meanwhile, according to Hiachour, Algeria now has around three million fixed-line telephone subscribers, compared with 1.6 million in 2000.

By the end of September nearly 120,000 Algerians had high-speed Internet connections, with a total of four million being connected to the Web.

Source : Cellular News, based on the statement of Algerian Government.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:34:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Dominican Republic ended the third quarter of 2007 with an overall telephony penetration rate of 65.5%, including both fixed and mobile lines, the country's telecoms watchdog Indotel said in a statement.

The country ended September with 903,335 fixed lines in service resulting in an overall penetration rate of 9.9% while penetration of mobile telephony reached 55.6%.

The country ended the period with 287,163 internet subscriptions meaning penetration of 18.1%.

Source: Cellular News, based on the statement of Indotel.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:31:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Japanese mobile operator Softbank Mobile again led in subscriber additions in November, adding 191,600 new customers to end the month with a total of 17.40 million subscribers. Figures from the Telecommunications Carrier Association further show that Softbank was followed by KDDI, which posted net adds of 65,400 comprising 107,200 new au subscribers while the company shed 41,900 TU-KA customers, in-line with the termination plans. KDDI had 29.01 million au subscribers and 399,000 TU-KA users at the end of the month. NTT DoCoMo added 36,300 new subscribers, of which 15,300 were 2in1 subscribers, to reach a total of 53.02 million. DoCoMo ended November with a total of 183,100 2in1 subscribers. The 2in1 service allows a single mobile user to have two phone numbers and e-mail addresses for a flat monthly fee. Newcomer Emobile saw its mobile customer base stable at 122,300. Together, the mobile operators added 305,100 new customers and there were 99.97 million mobile users in the country. The number of PHS users in the country fell by 56,300 to 4.85 million. Willcom lost 21,600 customers to end the month with 4.60 million and NTT DoCoMo, which plans to terminate its PHS service next year, shed 34,700 PHS subscribers and now has a total of 251,800 PHS users.

Source : Wireless Federation, based on figures from Telecommunication Carriers Association.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:03:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |