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 Monday, March 10, 2008

Slovak Telekom has posted total revenue of SKK31.5 billion (USD1.5 billion) for 2007, up 3.1% year-on-year, as a 7.8% increase in mobile revenue more than offset a 1.9% in fixed line sales. EBITDA grew 19.3% to SKK16.3 billion while net income almost trebled to SKK6.2 billion. While strong customer growth in the mobile and broadband sectors helped boost the results, net income was affected by one-off gains from the sales of Radiokomunikacie and real estate, as well as the release of reserves following success in a major legal competition case.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:59:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commisssion (BTRC) show that the country had 36.42 million mobile subscribers at the end of January 2008, an increase of more than two million in just one month. GrameenPhone led the way with a total of 16.88 million mobile customers, followed by Sheba Telecom (Bangalink) with 7.45 million and TMIB (Aktel) with 7.28 million subscribers. Bringing up the rear, Warid Telecom ended January with 2.37 million, PBTL (Citycell) with 1.45 million, and Teletalk with one million customers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:58:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel plans to use the expertise of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) to roll out third generation services in Sri Lanka, The Economic Times reports, quoting the telecom major's president of mobile services, Sanjay Kapoor. The cellco, which is 30%-owned by SingTel, hopes to launch 2G and 3G mobile services in the country by September. Last year, Bharti Airtel secured a licence to become Sri Lanka's fifth GSM-based service provider.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:57:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Over the last ten years, the African broadcast industry has slowly been liberalising and over the last year, the pace of this process has quickened. New Free-To-Air channels are planned in an increasing number of countries and there are new entrants to the Pay-TV market which has begun to grow in size.

Click here to see full article

This week sees the publication of African Broadcast and Film Markets by Balancing Act in association with Intermedia. It is over 340 pages long and has 132 charts, 41 tables of statistical data and 12 graphic maps.
 
Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:51:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwan Mobile says it plans to invest in a nationwide next generation network (NGN) to allow it to offer converged IP-based fixed and wireless services. The firm’s total spend on the new infrastructure is expected to exceed TWD20 billion (USD646 million), according to a report from the Taipei Times. Rollouts are expected to begin within the next few months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:26:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Swisscom has announced that in the year ended 31 December 2007 revenues rose 14.9% to CHF11.09 billion (USD10.7 billion), while EBITDA was 18.9% higher at CHF4.5 billion. The increase was primarily attributable to Swisscom’s May 2007 acquisition of Italian ISP Fastweb. On a like-for-like basis net revenue increased by 0.3%; declining revenues from its traditional fixed line business were offset by growth in its outsourcing business and broadband operations. Gains from the sale of subsidiaries Antenna Hungaria and Infonet helped the company report a 29.4% increase in net income for the year, to CHF2.07 billion.

At the end of 2007 Swisscom claimed 5.29 million fixed lines in service, of which 1.6 million were DSL. At the same date the company had 5.01 million wireless customers, a net increase of 375,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:25:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong-based mobile operator SmarTone has reported that its fiscal first-half net income rose more than threefold to HKD161 million (USD21 million) after customers increased spending on high speed mobile data services. In the six months to end-December 2007 mobile service revenue increased by 10% year-on-year to HKD1.707 billion and EBITDA registered 26% growth to HKD551 million. The 3.5G operator’s data contribution to total turnover climbed to 22.1% compared to 17.1% in the same period of the previous year. Revenue from multimedia services accounted for two-thirds of total data turnover. Blended ARPU in the six months was up 7% at HKD238, while post-paid ARPU rose 11% to HKD283; the post-paid churn rate improved slightly to 2.1% in December 2007. SmarTone’s customer base reached 1.108 million at the end of December, up from 1.077 million at the end of June, following a dip in the total from 1.093 million at end-December 2006. However the company reported that its 3G/3.5G customer base continues to expand and currently accounts for 40% of post-paid users, up from 30% last June. It added that CAPEX in fiscal 2007/08 is likely to increase by 15% year-on-year to HKD450 million as it focuses on enhancements to its GSM/W-CDMA/HSPA network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:23:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hanover, Germany (dpa) - Internet providers called Wednesday for Germany to free up radio frequencies so that rural villages can hook up to broadband services.

Last year Germany hooked up 5 million high-speed internet connections to homes and offices, bringing its total lines to 20 million. But it is too expensive to lay cables to isolated country places.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News, based on dpa.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:47:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The most striking broadband number for the fourth quarter of 2007 is the growth of Sky's subscriber numbers.  For the fifth quarter in a row, Sky was by far the strongest major ISP in terms of adding subscribers and increasing market share.  In this case it added 260,000 new broadband lines, 42% of the total net adds in the quarter, overtook Orange to become the fifth largest ISP, and added 1.4% to its share of the market.

Click here to see full article

Source: Point Topic.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:32:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thailand's four main mobile network operators, AIS, DTAC, True Move and Hutch has jointly announced plans to offer a special tariff to low-income people which will be managed by the government's Commerce Ministry.Thana Thienachariya, chief commercial officer of DTAC, told the Bangkok Post that the cards would feature a single tariff plan targeting low-income customers. The tariff will be known as "Blue Flag", which corresponds to other government subsidy schemes which are also known by blue flag names.

However, Mr Thana said the plan would depend heavily on market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) as it would result in additional costs for smaller operators such as True Move and Hutch, who already faced operating losses.According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country's largest operator, AIS ended last September with some 23.2 million customers, followed by DTAC with 14.9 million, True Move (11.2 million) and Hutch with just 884,000.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:13:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of registered mobile phones in Ghana topped the seven million-mark by the end of 2007, according to new data published by the regulator, the National Communication Authority (NCA). The watchdog’s figures show that the country recorded quarterly net growth of 8.4% in the last three months of the year, boosting the country total to 7,604,053 by 31 December. Local industry watchers predict, however, that the sector could soon reach saturation levels, leaving the four main cellular operators to slug it out for market share. The NCA reports that MTN Ghana was the market leader by the start of 2008 with 4,016,132 subscribers, ahead of Millicom Ghana (Tigo) with 2,023,091, while GT-OneTouch and Kasapa Telecom took third and fourth place with 1,275,764 and 289,066 subscribers respectively. Tigo topped the list in terms of net subscriber additions in 4Q07, however, signing up a net 426,640 new users compared with 143,743 for MTN and 21,456 for Kasapa Telecom. Meanwhile, Ghana Telecom’s mobile arm OneTouch recorded a net loss of 4,493 users in the last three months of the year, with a proportion of the net decline being attributed to subscribers having their lines cut or deactivated from the network.

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:10:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange and Tigo Senegal added 688,725 new users in the fourth quarter of 2007 to boost the country mobile total to 4.123 million at the end of the year. According to the country’s telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), cellular penetration reached 38.97% by 31 December 2007, up from 28.19% the previous year. Orange Sonatel, part of the Paris-based Orange group, had 3.004 million users at the end of December 2007, up from 2.443 million in September. Meanwhile, Tigo had 1.118 million clients, from 991,631 three months earlier. An overwhelming 99.17% of all users are on pre-paid services, the regulator said.

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:08:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Safaricom has completed a test run for an HSDPA service that it says will enable subscribers access the Internet faster. HSDPA will be used to deliver the service that will include mobile video conferencing and video phone.
To get connected to the service a subscriber will require a special 3G enabled SIM card plugged into a computer modem. Safaricom chief executive officer, Michael Joseph, said the service would increase access to high speed Internet in the country.

Initially, subscribers will be able to access their data at a speed of 3.6 megabytes per second but this, he said, will be upgraded to 7.2 megabytes per second. Dubbed 'Bambanet,' the service will be available on both prepaid and post paid basis.Through the post-paid system, a subscriber will have to pay Sh5,999 for the modem and a special 3G SIM card, and sign a contract of two years. There will also be a monthly access fee of Sh1, 999 for 700 megabytes and a subscriber will pay a charge of Sh12.60 per megabyte.

On the prepaid mode, a subscriber will have to pay Sh12,500 for the 700 megabytes, receive free 700 megabytes for not more than a month, and pay Sh12.60. The costs could reduce when the company starts using fibre optic. Safaricom has spent US$20 million to roll out the service. So far it has built 75 third generation sites within Nairobi. The company intends to roll out the service first in Nairobi, followed by Mombasa by April then Kisumu.
(Source: Business Daily)

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:07:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As mobile telephone subscribers search for cheaper and affordable call tariffs, scores of people in the eastern province of Rwanda have subscribed to Vodacom Tanzania.

The strong signals the company has and the free airtime the telecom company is offering to all its subscribers has lured some Rwandans near the Tanzania border to subscribe to Vodacom, abandoning their MTN lines. Vodacom has also lowered the calling rates to other networks to give its clients more freedom to talk, according to Kabayija, a 'Vodacom agent' in Kayonza district. Rwandans in districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza and Rwamagana can now call for four minutes freely. Subscribers on pay standard spend Tzs200 (Frw93)-whereas MTN Rwandacell charges Frw100.

Prices of smuggled Vodacom sim packs have also soared from Frw1,000 to Frw5,000. (about Tzs10,000) There are claims that MTN, with the largest coverage in eastern province is affected negativly, as sales of its products have dropped. "I no longer buy MTN airtime vouchers. Sim pack agents say sales have drastically dropped," a resident of Kabarole who was using a Vodacom line claimed." But The New Times was not able get comment from MTN officials as some could not answer their phones. However, a source close to MTN Rwanda management say Vodacom and MTN are about to enter a roaming deal, where subscribers on the two networks will not have to switch sim cards. In Kayonza and Rwamagana towns, dealers of Vodacom products were openly luring more Rwandans to get connected to the Tanzanian network. An official in Rwandatel said his company 'is not worried about the competition.'
(Source: The New Times)

Source: Balancing Act.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:03:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of 4G subscribers worldwide, including both LTE and WiMAX, is expected to exceed 90 million in 2013, but a number of milestones must be passed en route, according to a new forecast from ABI Research. At the end of 4Q 2007, says the firm, there were nearly 3.4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, with 2.7 billion on GSM/EDGE/GPRS networks.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile
Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:57:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Turkey’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Turkcell has reported full year 2007 net profit that rose by 54% year-on-year to USD1.35 billion, as consolidated revenues climbed 35% to USD6.3 billion. The GSM provider’s annual EBITDA reached USD2.6 billion, up 44.3% on its 2006 figure. Turkcell’s group subscriber base grew by 19.5% on an annual basis to 47.1 million (35.4 million of them in Turkey) as of 31 December 2007, with domestic annualised monthly ARPU rising by 18% year-on-year to USD14.3 (USD12.1), and average monthly minutes of usage (MOU) amongst Turkish subscribers increasing by 9% to 76.3 minutes (70.3). Turkcell’s Ukrainian subsidiary Astelit’s revenues increased by 191% in 2007 to USD256 million (USD88 million). Turkcell also owns stakes in four other GSM operators in partnership with TeliaSonera via their shared joint venture Fintur International. Fintur majority-owns market leading cellcos in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan (Geocell, Azercell and GSMK respectively), plus the second largest operator in Moldova, Moldcell.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:54:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thai full-service telco True Corp returned to profit in 2007 after two consecutive annual losses, helped by a foreign exchange gain and interconnection revenues. Consolidated net income of THB1.7 billion (USD53 million) turned around a THB4 billion loss a year earlier, and easily beat a consensus analyst forecast of THB798 million from a Reuters poll. Group revenues rose 19.7% to THB60.5 billion in the year, boosted by the launch of a new interconnection regime between private operators.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:51:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Portugal Telecom (PT) posted a 14.4% drop in net profit in full-year 2007, with growth at domestic mobile network operating unit TMN offset by redundancy costs and weak wireline performance. PT said its annual net income fell to EUR742 million (USD1.1 billion), down from EUR867 million in 2006, on revenues that rose 6.6% to EUR6.1 billion.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:29:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Irish cableco UPC Ireland (which includes the former operations of ntl and Chorus Ireland) reported that its full-year revenues climbed 17% from USD262.6 million in 2006 to USD307.2 million in 2007. The group’s operating profits were up 31% year-on-year from USD79.9 million to USD104.7 million on the back of a 25,000 rise in customers to 592,300 over the year. UPC Ireland’s broadband base expanded 45% y-o-y to reach more than 80,000, while the number of people signed up to its new voice telephony service climbed to more than 10,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:23:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica has posted a 2007 net profit of EUR8.91 billion (USD13.38 billion), up 42.9% year-on year on the back of a strong performance by its wireless and Latin American operations. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2007 rose by 19.3% to EUR22.8 billion, while full year revenues rose 6.7% to EUR56.44 billion.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:20:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Europe’s largest telco by revenue, Deutsche Telekom (DT), reports today that it achieved, and in some cases exceeded, its financial targets for 2007. The telco’s adjusted net profit came in at EUR3.0 billion (USD4.8 billion) for full year 2007, down from EUR3.85 billion one year previously, a 22% fall, principally due to an increase in income taxes of EUR400 million. Adjusted EBITDA was stable year-on-year, at EUR19.3 billion (2006: EUR19.4 billion). Although domestic sales slipped by 5.4% to EUR30.7 billion, this was offset by international sales growth of 10.26% to EUR31.8 billion, leaving total group revenue up slightly at EUR62.5 billion. The group’s outlook for the coming year is that adjusted EBITDA will remain constant, and it intends to continue its policy of paying ‘attractive dividends’. DT’s domestic fixed line operation T-Home is expecting its share of new customers in the German broadband market to be at least 45%, whilst American cellular subsidiary T-Mobile USA is expected to see growth in its subscriber base of three million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Syria’s state-owned incumbent fixed line operator the Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE) has announced ambitious plans to invest upwards of USD1.5 billion over the next five years to expand its landline network to rural areas, reports online news portal AMEinfo. STE is forecasting revenues of SYP62.5 billion (USD1.25 billion) in 2008, up 13% year-on-year, driven mainly by strong growth from the nation’s two mobile operators – MTN Syria and SyriaTel – both of which currently hand over 50% of their annual turnover to the company by dint of their Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) licences; last year they were required to hand over 40% of their income.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:00:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Croatian incumbent telco T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT) has reported its financial results for 2007, which its said were in line with consensus forecasts. Annual net profit rose by 11.6% to EUR336.8 million, although excluding one-off gains it rose by only 1%. Revenues grew by 2.3% in the year, driven by its domestic market-leading mobile division (operating under the T-Mobile brand of parent Deutsche Telekom), which saw a 6.9% hike in turnover. The fixed line segment suffered a 1.1% revenue decline, and group EBITDA fell by 2.1%, hurt mainly by redundancy costs.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:56:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British cableco Virgin Media has announced it added a record number of new subscribers in the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2007. The company added 272,100 new revenue generating units (RGUs – subscriptions to one or more of Virgin's broadband, cable TV, mobile and landline telephony services) in the quarter, up from 186,700 in the previous three months. At the end of December 2007 Virgin claimed 3,701,200 broadband and 4,135,300 telephony customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:54:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

US wireless carrier Leap Wireless International posted revenues of nearly USD430 for the three months to 31 December 2007, up 37% from USD314 million in the year earlier quarter, and trimmed its net loss from USD45.6 million to USD18 million.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeopraphy.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:50:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian telecoms operator Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, which trades as Oi, has reported a 49% year-on-year rise in net income for the three months ended 31 December, to BRL911.5 million (USD544.5 million) from BRL613.3 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Click here to see full article

At the end of 2007 Oi counted 14.2 million main lines in service, down 1.2% year-on-year, while its broadband user base climbed 35% to 1.52 million. The operator’s mobile arm recorded 16 million subscribers by the start of 2008, a 22% increase on the previous year. Oi hopes to increase its mobile base to 18 million users by end-2008 and hopes to sign up roughly 600,000 high speed internet customers to end the year with 2.1 million. The landline base is expected to fall to 14 million by the year end.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:45:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Senegal’s two incumbent mobile operators - Orange Senegal (formerly Sonatel Mobiles/Alize) and Tigo Senegal (formerly SENTELgsm) - collectively added 688,725 new users in the fourth quarter of 2007 to boost the country mobile total to 4.123 million at the end of the year. According to the country’s telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), cellular penetration reached 38.97% by 31 December 2007, up from 28.19% the previous year. Orange Sonatel, part of the Paris-based Orange group, had 3.004 million users at the end of December 2007, up from 2.443 million in September. Meanwhile, Tigo had 1.118 million clients, from 991,631 three months earlier. An overwhelming 99.17% of all users are on pre-paid services, the regulator said.

In the fixed line segment, ARTP said the number of lines in service dipped from 282,573 to 269,088 in 2007, a teledensity of less than three lines per 100 of population. Residential lines accounted for 69.1% of the total, while business connections made up 24.9% and public payphones 6%. The internet market recorded 39,113 subscriptions at the end of the year of which 97% were ADSL lines and 3% dial-up.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 2:54:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 28, 2008

America Movil's 2008 mission: Bring next-generation, 3G mobile phone services to much of Latin America.

Why the 3G push from the region's biggest wireless firm? America Movil's AMX best years of subscriber growth are likely behind it. In 2008, America Movil forecasts that it'll add about 20.5 million net new subscribers, down 28% from last year's 28.6 million.But as subscriber growth wanes, America Movil expects to boost revenue and profit by selling more 3G services.

Click here to see full article
Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:48:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that CDMA subscribers grew to more than 431 million, and CDMA2000 grew to more than 417 million during last year. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region added the most net subscribers, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew the fastest by percentage.

CDMA2000 subscribership among the 250 networks worldwide grew 16% in 2007, including strong sales figures for broadband EV-DO devices and services. The EV-DO subscriber base grew from 55 million to 90.5 million in 2007, achieving a compound annual growth rate of more than 64%.

APAC and North America claimed the majority of customers, with 49% and 32% of the global market, respectively. APAC added 6.2 million in Q4 2007 to reach 211 million subscribers, making it the largest net growth region in the world. North America alone has more than 137 million CDMA subscribers. APAC and EMEA saw the greatest year-over-year growth, with 24% and 60%, respectively. Other highly-concentrated regions for CDMA are India with more than 61 million subscribers, China with 42 million, and Indonesia with 14 million. In addition, more and more operators in emerging countries are reaching the one-million CDMA subscriber mark. For example, Angola's Movicel, Morocco's WANA, Starcomms of Nigeria, PTCL in Pakistan, Sudatel and Yemen Mobile all saw subscribership race past this milestone in 2007.

The CDG also noted that 2007 also saw an explosion in the availability of both low- and high-end devices. More than 350 devices were introduced on a commercial basis. Today, more than 82 very low-end (VLE) CDMA2000 handsets (under US$50 wholesale) are available globally from 19 suppliers.

Perhaps most important to the designation of 2007 as a critical year for CDMA is the number of CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) deployments that took place. At the beginning of the year, only three operators had deployed Rev. A technology. Now, 26 operators worldwide have upgraded to Rev. A and another 31 operators are in the process of upgrading. Operators with working Rev. A networks have witnessed a substantial increase in their data revenue.

In addition, CDMA has found a home in new spectrum allocations. China Unicom made a successful bid to operate 3G in Macau and rolled-out its first CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network there in October. PCCW-HKT Telephone won a 15-year license to deploy and operate CDMA2000 in the 800 MHz band in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, several operators in the United States are considering CDMA2000 to offer Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in the 1.7/2.1 GHz frequency band.

On the 450 and 700 MHz fronts, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reached a decision to use the two bands for 3G and next-generation mobile services.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:42:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ecuadorian regulator Supertel has reported customer numbers for the end of 2007 just short of the 10m mark, as the total count increased to 9.98m during the year. Net additions over the 12 months to 31st December 2007 amounted to 1.47m, the lowest figure recorded since Q1 2005, whilst on a proportionate basis rolling annual growth fell to an all-time low of 17.2%. These trends are less remarkable when noting that penetration in Ecuador reached 72.1% at the end of 2007, after an increase of almost 10pp in the year.

America Movil’s Conecel pulled further ahead of its two competitors in 2007, registering 87.5% of the year’s net additions and extending its market share from 66.5% to 69.5% in the process. Its position was helped by the fact that its main rival, Telefonica’s Otecel, has floundered somewhat this last year, adding just 92k customers on a net basis over the 12 months: this equates to proportionate growth of just 3.7%, against 22.7% at Conecel. In fact, Telefonica actually lost customers in Ecuador in the fourth quarter, according to data from Supertel, its base falling from 2.66m to 2.59m in the three months to December.

Whether the company itself agrees with this version of events has yet to be seen, as Telefonica does not publish its own figures until this Thursday.

The third operator in the Ecuadorian market is Telecomunicaciones Móviles del Ecuador, or Allegro PCS, which finished the year with 450k customers. This gave the operator a 4.5% share of the market, up from 4.2% at the end of 2006. (As with market-leader Conecel, Allegro’s gain also came at the expense of Telefonica, whose own share fell from 29.3% to 25.9% of the total base during the year.) The fourth quarter of 2007 was significant for Allegro PCS as it saw the introduction of GSM technology by the company, which has hitherto been an exclusive proponent of the CDMA standard.

The development leaves CANTV as the only CDMA-only operator in Latin America, until later midway through this year, that is, at which point the renationalised Venezuelan carrier is due to launch its own GSM overlay network.

Penetration vs Proportionate Annual Growth

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:38:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 27, 2008

SAO PAULO -(Dow Jones)- The number of cellphones in circulation in Brazil totaled 122.8 million at the end of January, up 1.5% from December and 22% higher than the same month one year before, according to figures released late Friday by telecommunications regulator Anatel.

Net additions in the month were 1.88 million. Brazil's leading cellphone operator Vivo Participacoes' share of the local cellphone market fell slightly in January. The company still maintained its lead with 27.44% of the market in January from 27.68% in December. TIM Participacoes, Brazil's No. 2 operator, had its market share increase to 26.10% in January from 25.85% in the month before. Market share for third-placed operator Claro fell slightly to 24.84% in January from 24.99% in December. Oi, or Tele Norte Leste Participacoes' market share rose slightly to 13.32% from 13.21% in December. Vivo is jointly controlled by Spain's Telefonica and Portugal Telecom. Claro is owned by Mexico's America Movil, and TIM is controlled by Telecom Italia.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:02:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan's Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov has announced that the country's three GSM operators are now negotiating on the allocation of radio spectrum for 3G services.

Click here to see full article

The Mobile World database notes that there are three GSM operators, along with one CDMA operator in the country. At the end of last September, there were just over 4.1 million subscribers in the country - representing a population penetration level of 55%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:55:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The OECD published a paper reviewing available official statistics on trust and security in the online environment. It discusses whether security concerns are an obstacle to Internet use and examines how people and companies protect their equipment and networks. Download the report from OECD webiste (pdf).

Source: OECD.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:47:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mexico's largest wireless provider America Movil launched its new third-generation broadband wireless network Monday in 15 cities, with expectations that the service will become profitable by the end of the year.

Click here to see full article

At a press conference, company officials said they expect the third-generation, or 3G, network to expand its coverage to 350 Mexican cities by the end of the year.

America Movil is Mexico's biggest wireless service provider, with 50 million subscribers. The company plans to invest $4 billion a year over the next three years to upgrade its network to 3G across Latin America.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Americas | Mobile
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:24:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thai communications and media holding group Shin Corp, controlled by Singapore's Temasek, has reported that its net profit in 2007 decreased by 6.3% to THB3.1 billion (USD101 million), on revenues of THB22.8 billion, down by THB142 million year-on-year. The firm’s share of the net results of leading Thai mobile network operator Advanced Info Services (AIS) contributed 30.2% of total revenues. AIS, which has already reported its results separately, finished the year with a total of 24.1 million GSM users, an annual rise of 23%. In Laos, Lao Telecommunications Company (LTC), 49%-owned by Shin’s Shenington Investments unit, saw mobile subscribers increase by 28.7% year-on-year to 700,306 at the end of December, primarily due to expansion following increased marketing activities targeted at low-usage subscribers. LTC’s mobile ARPU increased by 10% whist its number of fixed PSTN subscribers increased by just 0.1% in the year. In Cambodia, Camshin, wholly owned by Shenington Investments, increased its mobile user base by 72.1% in 2007 to 469,514, again driven by marketing aimed at low-end pre-paid customers. Camshin’s mobile ARPU decreased 12.1% on an annual basis, primarily as a result of the introduction of promotional packages following increased competition. Shin Corp also has a stake in Thailand’s largest dial-up ISP, CS Loxinfo, which launched ADSL services in 2006.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:13:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2008

Kuwait’s telecoms regulator and monopoly fixed line operator, the Ministry of Communications (MoC), reported revenues of KWD146.7 million (USD535.2 million) for 2007, according to a report from Arab Times. A comparative figure for the previous year was not given. The MoC says there were 800,153 telephone lines installed across Kuwait at the end of last year, of which 538,219 were active, giving a wireline penetration of around 18%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:40:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Qatar Telecommunications (Qtel) has reported consolidated group revenues of QAR10.373 billion (USD2.9 billion), a year-on-year increase of 134.7% from QAR4.42 billion in 2006. The state-controlled full-service operator expanded its international operations dramatically by purchasing Kuwaiti group National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) in March 2007, and now has a geographic presence in 16 countries. Qtel’s EBITDA reached QAR5.172 billion, an increase of over 97.5% on 2006’s figure of QAR2.619 billion, and the group reported a net profit of QAR1.878 billion (USD523.5 million), up from QAR1.646 billion (USD459 million) in 2006. Consolidated subscribers reached 16.4 million at the end of December (with seven million proportionate subscribers). Units in Qatar, Algeria, Iraq and Tunisia represented 9%, 28%, 26% and 22% respectively of consolidated customers. The number of GSM mobile phone users in Qatar increased 31% to 1.5 million and doemstic ARPU ‘was higher’ as the economy grew and the population expanded, the company said. Wireless services represented 87% (QAR9.054 billion) of total revenues; Qatar, Kuwait and Algeria contributed 43%, 21% and 10% of total turnover respectively.

Qtel’s fourth quarter net profit fell 9.6% year-on-year due to a one-off amortisation impact associated with its purchase of Wataniya, on revenues that more than doubled to QAR3.47 billion, compared with QAR1.34 billion in the year-ago period.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:37:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of registered mobile phones in Ghana topped the seven million-mark by the end of 2007, according to new data published by the regulator, the National Communication Authority (NCA). The watchdog’s figures show that the country recorded quarterly net growth of 8.4% in the last three months of the year, boosting the country total to 7,604,053 by 31 December. Local industry watchers predict, however, that the sector could soon reach saturation levels, leaving the four main cellular operators to slug it out for market share. The NCA reports that MTN Ghana was the market leader by the start of 2008 with 4,016,132 subscribers, ahead of Millicom Ghana (Tigo) with 2,023,091, while GT-OneTouch and Kasapa Telecom took third and fourth place with 1,275,764 and 289,066 subscribers respectively. Tigo topped the list in terms of net subscriber additions in 4Q07, however, signing up a net 426,640 new users compared with 143,743 for MTN and 21,456 for Kasapa Telecom. Meanwhile, Ghana Telecom’s mobile arm OneTouch recorded a net loss of 4,493 users in the last three months of the year, with a proportion of the net decline being attributed to subscribers having their lines cut or deactivated from the network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:32:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The price of international bandwidth will plummet 80% when the Seacom undersea cable goes live on June 17 2009, more or less the same date as the TEAMS cable in Kenya. Construction has already started and Seacom president Brian Herlihy said the project was on track for a "dead-certain delivery date".

Its bandwidth will cost as little as R267 a month per 1MB, compared to between R3,500 and R11,000 to use Telkom's bandwidth on the existing Sat-3 cable, or a punishing R231,000 for satellite connectivity. "It's going to flood international bandwidth into the markets and drop the international component of prices dramatically," Herlihy said.

Click here to see full article
 

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:28:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Reliable sources indicate that Vodacom is close to signing a deal with Libyan-owned Lap Green to take over its recently purchased operations in Rwanda and Uganda. A draft of the agreement clearly indicates that Vodacom would take over a majority stake and have technical control, whilst Lap Green would remain a significant minority shareholder.

If the deal comes off, it would make sense of much that so far has not made much sense. Libya’s Lap Green clearly has not lacked for money but has so far only sent in a small number of its own management personnel. As one person in the ISP sector in Uganda observed:"Not much has happened on the practical side and there’s no sign of change yet." From the Vodacom perspective, it would offer them two new territories after a long period of no new acquisitions.

The mobile market in Uganda is clearly the larger prize with an estimated 4.5 million subscribers. Currently, utl is the smallest player after MTN with 1.25 million subscribers and Celtel with 1.2 million subscribers. The Celtel operation, which used to be in poor shape, is now powering ahead and becoming a serious challenger for market leadership.

The latest entrant Warid seems to have acquired 20-30,000 subscribers in its two week existence but does not yet seem to have set the market alight. MTN introduced a pre-emptive 14% drop in its tariffs and Warid opened with slightly lower tariffs. Competitors acknowledge that it has good network coverage but that it has no particular local insight and only a narrow product range. Prices still seem set to fall further and there is the makings of a price war when the fifth operator HITS finally enters the market. Optimistically, this might be in May of this year.

Meanwhile, Uganda is only the latest country to join the 3G arms race. Both Celtel and MTN are installing 3G, although the latter is only likely to have it in Kampala and around Entebbe Airport. MTN has 65,000 subscribers on a combination of its EDGE upgrade and its Wi-MAX fixed broadband locations in 51 Ugandan towns. Achieved download speeds on both are in the region of 250 kbps. It has found that introducing a 3G network has meant finding new sites to ensure sufficient coverage.

As MTN’s CEO Erik van Veene told us:"We are really doing a couple of laps round the track before the fibre cable arrives." It hopes to be able to offer cheaper local pricing so as to encourage local hosting and content.

Source: Balancing Act.

3G | Africa | Mobile | Operators
Monday, February 25, 2008 4:23:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom-Mozambique (VM), the second cell phone operator in the country, lastTuesday claimed that it has increased its share of the mobile phone market to 40 per cent. Speaking at a lunch in Maputo with journalists, itschairman Hermenegildo Gamito said that by January of this year it had reached about 1.5 million subscribers - which is well over 40 per cent of the estimated 3.3 million cell phone users in the country.

Vodacom's last published figures were the interim results for the six month period ending on 30 September 2007, and these showed a client base of slightly less than 1.1 million, which at the time was estimated to be 38 per cent of the markets. If Gamito's figures are accurate, the company has added an extra 400,000 clients in four months - a growth in the client base of 36 per cent.

Gamito added that 3.3 million is only 16 per cent of the Mozambican population "from which we may readily conclude that the penetration of mobile telephony in Mozambique is still regarded as rather weak".
(Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique).

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:20:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AccessKenya Group, Kenya’s only publicly listed ICT company, last week announced its results for the year ending December, 2007, breaking the K Shs 1 billion barrier one year early and reporting a significant increase in profit after tax from K Shs 47 million in 2006 to K Shs 150 million in 2007. The Group closed the year with 1,950 corporate broadband customers and Earnings per share for 2007 stand at 0.97.

Click here to see full article
  • The AccessKenya Group has made significant progress with respect to its main IPO pledges, in particular 
  •  To aggressively increase market share in the core corporate internet sector, where the Group closed the year with 1,950 leased lines – ahead of the IPO projections of 1,720 – and with an estimated market share of about 40% 
  •  To enter the IT services market with the acquisition of Openview Business Systems in 2007 and the forthcoming launch of Outsource IT 
  • To launch a residential broadband service in 2008 for which technology and marketing plans are complete. This will be a tremendous opportunity for the Group to extend their high levels of broadband service and speed from corporate to residential customers.

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:09:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's telecoms regulator, TRAI has reported record growth for the country's mobile phone operators. In January, they signed up 8.77 million new subscribers - which broke the record of 8.17 million set only the month before.

The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 242.40 million at the end of January 2008. In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has slightly decreased to 39.22 million in the month of January 2008 as against 39.25 million subscribers in December 2007.

The total number of telephone connections reaches 281.62 million at the end of January 2008 as compared to 272.88 million in December 2007. The overall tele-density is 24.63% at the end of January 2008 as against 23.89% in December 2007.

Breakdown of subscriber numbers:

  1. Bharti Airtel 57,417,625
  2. Reliance 42,566,333
  3. Vodafone 41,145,413
  4. BSNL 37,986,440
  5. Tata Teleservices 22,541,429
  6. Idea 21,954,685
  7. Aircel 9,933,815
  8. Spice 3,942,828
  9. MTNL 3,284,804
  10. BPL Mobile 1,256,534
  11. HFCL Infotel 268,830
  12. Shyam Telelink       102,995

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 10:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

World’s biggest telecommunication company Vodafone has unveiled a new service in Spain, which enables its mobile consumers to turn their handsets into a fixed telephone at home.

Click here to see full article

Vodafone is about to start selling the service hoping to reach 9.6 million homes which have no broadband Internet access.

Click here to see full article

Vodafone launched similar services in other European countries such as Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Greece, where it now has 4 million fixed-line customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:42:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile, the world's largest operator by subscriber numbers has announced plans to seek overseas expansion and is considering setting up an MVNO in the saturated European market, along with industry favourite - the emerging markets of Asia and Africa.

Henry Ge, chief representative of China Mobile UK, told the Financial Times that the company would focus on three areas: emerging markets; overseas Chinese customers wanting to keep in touch with home; and "the short-term visiting market", which included travelling business customers and the growing number of Chinese tourists.

Vodafone has built up a 3.3 percent stake in China Mobile over a couple of purchases and has a representative on the company board of directors.

Last year, the China Mobile's unlisted parent company took control of Pakistan based Paktel for US$460 million and announced plans to spend a similar amount on improving the network.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:40:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spurred on by the explosive penetration of mobile telephony and broadband services, the Colombian telecommunication services market has witnessed high and stable growth rates in recent times. Market development, in the short and medium term, will depend a great deal on the promotion of new technologies and applications.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of over $5.48 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $7.12 billion in 2012.

"The primary drivers for the Colombian telecommunications markets include the strong growth of broadband services, the development of the VoIP market, and the emergence of new applications in the mobile telephony segment," notes Gina Sánchez, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "With fixed telephony services having reached maturity and mobile telephony penetration levels at over 73 percent, value-added services and new technologies will be critical to the market's future growth."

With regard to broadband and Internet access services, growth is likely to be accelerated by the country's economic progress, more affordable personal computers (PCs) and telecommunication equipment, and the Government's social programs for digital inclusion. Moreover, broadband prices continue to fall as a result of increasing competition and this continuing trend is likely to further spur subscriber growth.

Going forward, the voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) segment is likely to emerge as the fastest growing market segment, followed by the broadband and Internet access segment. During the forecast period, the VoIP segment is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.0 percent and the number of lines is expected to grow from 22,560 to 504,509.

"However, the entrance of multinational companies and the mergers and acquisitions adopted by market participants to strengthen their position have added much competition to the market," notes Sánchez. "In this scenario operators have started a price reduction race that may restrain market growth."

Overall, the Colombian telecommunications sector has emerged as a market with high and stable growth rates. Given the increasing competition and the overwhelming need to maintain healthy average revenue per user (ARPU), it will be vital for market participants to offer bundled solutions and triple play, as well as integrated packages of telecommunications and IT solutions.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:39:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Maputo (Mozambique) South African-based mobile phone company, Vodacom-Mozambique (VM) has announced a 40 percent share in Mozambique's mobile phone market, five years after entering the market.

The chairman of Mozambique's second cell phone operator, Hermenegildo Gamito, said that by January 2008, VM had reached 1.5 million clients, which is over 40 percent of the estimated 3.3 million cell phone users in the country.

"We now have a market share of 40 percent in Mozambique, that is 3.3 million, and is only 16 percent of the Mozambican population from which we may readily conclude that the penetration of mobile telephony in Mozambique is still regarded as rather weak", he said at a business lunch with Mozambican journalists in Maputo, the country's capital.

"VM is working with government bodies to improve the business environment for mobile telephony, with the aim of allowing greater access to existing services", Gamito added.

Vodacom, a subsidiary of the South African Vodacom Group, was awarded a mobile network license in 2002 to become the second cellular operator in the country after paying U$$15 million for the license to compete with mCel, which is owned by the Mozambican government and a German company Detecon.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:38:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2008

Chinese regulators are finalizing plans to overhaul the telecommunications industry under a package of reforms that is expected to consolidate six big state-run operators into three service providers.

The will see the emergence of three entities providing a full-range of services, unlike the current setup that has operators divided among fixed-line, cellular and other services, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday in its online edition, citing an outline of the restructuring carried by state-run media earlier in the week. The industry reforms, many analysts believe, will clear the way for the government to issue third-generation cell-phone licenses later this year.

Click here to see full article

The total number of cellphone users in China rose by 87 million to 547 million in 2007.

On the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at midday, shares of China Mobile were down 1.5%, China Telecom eased 1.3% and China Unicom rose 0.6%.

China's state-run media said Thursday that the restructuring plans would see China Mobile merge with the small fixed-line carrier China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.

The second big move would see China Telecommuncations parent of China Telecom, acquire a wireless network from Unicom parent China Untied Telecommunications. The third big move would see the GSM network of China United merge with the parent of China Netcom.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 3:46:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's Reliance Communications has announced acquisition of Uganda based Anupam Global Soft, a company holding Public Infrastructure Provider License (PIPL) and Public Service Provider License (PSPL) issued by Uganda Communications Commission. The company says that following the acquisition - for an unspecified amount - it plans to spend up to US$500 million on building out the telecoms network.

Under the existing Licenses, Reliance Communications targets to offer Mobile, Fixed Line, Internet, National and International Long Distance services, in addition to WiMax and Wi-Fi services in Uganda.

Click here to see full article

Figures from the Mobile World database note that the population penetration level in Uganda had reached 13.3% at the end of September - compared to the 10% figure reported by Reliance for the end of last March.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 10:55:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile, the world's largest operator by subscriber numbers has announced plans to seek overseas expansion and is considering setting up an MVNO in the saturated European market, along with industry favourite - the emerging markets of Asia and Africa.

Henry Ge, chief representative of China Mobile UK, told the Financial Times that the company would focus on three areas: emerging markets; overseas Chinese customers wanting to keep in touch with home; and "the short-term visiting market", which included travelling business customers and the growing number of Chinese tourists.

Vodafone has built up a 3.3 percent stake in China Mobile over a couple of purchases and has a representative on the company board of directors.

Last year, the China Mobile's unlisted parent company took control of Pakistan based Paktel for US$460 million and announced plans to spend a similar amount on improving the network.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 10:50:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |