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 Monday, March 17, 2008

Viet Nam News, a national English daily, has revealed Viettel has slashed off-peak call charges by 75% as it seeks to ignite demand and attract more users. The military-run cellco said the new charges were down to VND500 (USD0.03) a minute for calls between Viettel subscribers and VND1,000 for calls to other networks – the lowest rates in a highly competitive market. Managing director Tong Viet Trung said that the company was able to make such drastic price cuts because its network and services were running at optimal levels, enabling them to reduce operating costs. ‘We hope promotion will increase the number of Viettel subscribers from 15 million to 22 million by year end,’ he added. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database Viettel is the country’s largest wireless operator by subscribers. It plans to install an additional 4,000 base transmission stations in 2008, bringing the total number to 10,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 17, 2008 2:29:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesia’s leading telecoms operator by subscribers and revenues PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) says the number of people signed up to its fixed wireless access (FWA) service ‘Flexi’ will climb to ten million users this year, up from 6.4 million at the end of 2007, leapfrogging its traditional copper-wire based service which had 8.7 million users at the same date. Telkom’s fixed line subscriber base has been climbing relatively slowly for a number of years, and is now being overtaken by wireless alternatives which are cheaper and quicker to deploy. The incumbent also owns a 65% stake in Indonesia's biggest cellular operator by subscribers Telkomsel, which had 47.9 million clients at the end of 2007, up 35% year-on-year.

The limited mobility Flexi service has become increasingly popular on the back of a number of high-profile marketing initiatives, said Telkom vice president for public and marketing communication, Eddy Kurnia, as quoted by Thomson Financial. The operator’s latest offer, ‘5 Get 5’, targets users in Sumatra, Central Java and Yogyakarta, Kalimantan and East Indonesia, allowing them to send a minimum of five SMS and get a bonus of five for free.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 17, 2008 9:59:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 14, 2008

The Asia-Pacific mobile video services market is expected to see huge growth potential as mobile operators continue to spend millions on developing innovative services and content to arrest the declining average revenue per user (ARPU). Mobile TV, essentially an extension of mobile video services, in particular is seen as a new killer application that could potentially bring alternative source of revenues for carriers.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the mobile video services market - covering 12 Asia-Pacific countries ex-Japan - earned revenues of over US$440 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach US$1.88 billion by end-2013, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 27.4 percent (2007-2013).

While South Korea (which accounted for 87 percent or US$383.7 million of the revenues in 2007) will remain as the biggest market for mobile video in Asia-Pacific (outside of Japan), other potential leading markets include Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, March 14, 2008 12:50:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ecuador’s total number of internet users increased by 22.5% in 2007 to end the year at 1.01 million, including 318,973 broadband and 689,436 dial-up users, according to data from the country’s telecoms supervisory body Suptel, quoted by BNamericas. In terms of actual subscribers, Suptel previously reported that there were 85,946 broadband and 224,999 dial-up customers at the end of September 2007, a total of 310,945 paid subscriptions. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms database, the country's broadband penetration at the end of September was 0.6%, rising to an estimated 0.7% at end-2007. GlobalComms shows that Ecuador’s broadband subscriber market is led by the TVCable group, which includes Suratel and Setel, with 44,029 connections by end-September, using various technologies including cable, DSL, WiMAX and fibre/LAN. The second-placed high speed ISP is Andinatel, the country’s largest wireline telco, which operates a DSL network in Quito and surrounding areas, with 16,054 subscribers at the same date.

Suptel also reported that the country’s fixed lines in service grew by 3.4% in 2007 to 1.83 million, whilst it said there were 9.85 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of December, up by 16.2% from end-2006.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 3:12:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In 2004, there were only 520 square miles of networked municipal Wi-Fi. However, ABI Research forecasts a nearly sixty-fold increase over the next several years, to more than 30,000 square miles. Varying levels of maturity and acceptance exist within this market, spread across global regions and individual countries. The following is a snapshot of some major variations, according to recent analysis from ABI Research:

  • North America: Leads in deployments; but in many cases, the region employs the wrong business plan of free consumer access and free infrastructure; consolidating incumbent service providers view municipal Wi-Fi as a competitive threat.
  • Europe: Mobile-oriented rather than PC-oriented; incumbents initially resisted municipal Wi-Fi but now recognize in-building limitations and are incorporating it within service bundles for nomadic broadband Internet access, or as a way to compete out-of-region.
  • Asia-Pacific: Status varies widely, but rapid uptake in advanced countries such as South Korea is resulting in innovative applications and the development of new end-user devices to leverage municipal Wi-Fi.
  • Emerging Regions: Equipment costs remains prohibitive; there is interest in the technology, but compared with more basic services such as electricity, funding is a challenge; these regions are likely to be late adopters.
Click here to see full article

Source: Newsletter Analyst Insider from ABI Research.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:27:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new report from Juniper Research has found that the combination of greater 3G adoption and a marked increase in rich media, made-for-mobile content will drive mobile entertainment revenues to $47.5 billion by 2010.

However, the Juniper report cautions that entertainment service adoption will be retarded unless improvements are made in areas such as the user interface, network coverage and the excessive cost of data services. It also notes that in some mobile areas -- such as gambling, adult content and some social networking services -- national and international legislation could either adversely impact on growth, or in some cases prevent any service deployment.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile | Revenues
Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:21:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Israeli telco Bezeq has announced results for the year ended 31 December 2007. Revenue for the twelve month period rose 1.4% to ILS12.4 billion (USD3.5 billion) from ILS12.2 billion recorded in 2006. Operating profits jumped 49.3% to ILS2.3 billion, while EBITDA increased by 19.7% to ILS4.1 billion, with EBITDA margin increasing to 33.1% from 28%. Bezeq’s operating areas had mixed results; wireless subsidiary Pelephone and international services provider Bezeq International saw increases in revenues of 4.6% and 27.7% respectively to ILS4.7 billion and ILS1.3 billion. By contrast Bezeq’s fixed line operations saw revenues slip 1.5% to ILS5.7 billion, falling from ILS5.8 billion the year before. Net profits – not given in the case of the fixed line operations – increased for Bezeq International (up 59.4%) and Pelephone (up 20.4%) to ILS153 million and ILS585 million. Bezeq states that the increases in revenue for 2007 were driven by rising demand for broadband and cellular services, as well as an increase in subscriber numbers following several marketing initiatives, and a focus on operating efficiency.

Operationally; Pelephone’s wireless subscriber base rose 8% to 2.6 million of which 749,000 (28%) were connected to its 3G network. Wireline broadband customers rose by 8% to 963,000, although active fixed lines fell by 1.7% to 2.7 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:19:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A study commissioned by US equipment vendor Cisco and carried out by IDC concluded that Brazil was home to 8.1 million broadband connections at the end of 2007, up from 5.7 million at end-2006 and more than double the 3.752 million figure reported in December 2005. The main broadband players in the country at the end of last year were Brasil Telecom with 1.567 million customers, Telemar's Oi unit (1.518 million), Telefonica Brazil (2.069 million) and Net Servicos (estimated at 1.38 million).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:17:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange France announced yesterday the launch of a 3.5G HSDPA-based service for corporate customers in Lyon. The new product promises to double downlink connection speeds for users from 3.6Mbps up to a maximum 7.2Mbps. The company says deployment of faster HSDPA in other major towns and cities across France should be underway by the summer. The operator is hoping to reach 71% of the population with 3.5G coverage by the end of 2008. It also says it is looking to achieve 99% population coverage with EDGE and to have deployed 30,000 Orange Wi-Fi hotspots. Orange is offering the new package as part of its Business Everywhere solutions. It is launching with three mobile handsets compatible with 3G+ (HSDPA at 7.2Mbps and HSUPA) which can also be adapted to laptop computers using USB key (Huawei E270), PCMCIA Card (Option GX 301) and PC Express Card (Huawei E870).

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Europe | Mobile
Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:16:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

According to MIC (Market Intelligence Center), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, global mobile phone subscribers hit 3.1 billion in 2007, thanks mainly to the continuing increase of prepaid subscribers with double SIM cards and corporate clients in the US and European markets. With the global mobile phone penetration rate reaching approximately half of the global population, growth momentum of global subscribers is expected to slow down after 2008.

The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of global mobile phone subscribers is expected to reach 7.9% during the period 2007-2012, boosting the number of global mobile phone subscribers to 4.5 billion in 2012, with penetration rate hitting 64.7%, up from 46.8% in 2007.

First-generation analog mobile phone systems will be shut down entirely by the end of 2008. TDMA system now prevailing in the Americas is switching to GSM or WCDMA system, as some mobile operators such as AT&T Mobility have implemented different roaming charges.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 9:58:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Reportlinker has issued a new report, which notes that in 2007, China mobile phone output reached approximately 594.4 million units, among which, 548 million units were legal products from official mobile phone producers and 46.4 million units were illegal products.

In 2007, sales volume reached 180.7 million units, amounting to 16% of the world total. In the same year, the global mobile phone output reached 1.141 billion units, of which 52 percent was from the Mainland China, exceeding 50% for the first time.

In the first half of 2007, the mobile phone output in the Mainland China totaled 266.8 million units, up 33.4% year on year and its combined sales revenue stood at CNY161.08 billion, up 29.6% year on year. Among the total output, 32.8 million were for CDMA mode, 234 million for GSM mode. Domestic sales volume reached 83 million units and exports arrived at 183.8 million.

In the later half of 2007, mobile phone production reached 327.6 million units, of which 230.2 million units were for exports, and 97.4 million for domestic sales.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 9:55:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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.

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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.

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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.

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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)  #     |