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 Friday, April 04, 2008

Taiwanese 3G mobile operator Vibo Telecom yesterday said that it planned to lower its capital spending by 44% this year to focus on further improving its network coverage with the aim of reaching 98% of the population by the end of 2008. The celco plans to spend TWD2 billion (USD66 million) mainly on adding new 3G base stations and upgrading some existing base stations to the HSDPA 3.5G standard. In 2007, Vibo spent TWD3.6 billion on new equipment. The company currently has 4,500 base stations nationwide, and hopes for another 1,000 to be operational by year end. It has about 600,000 subscribers at present and is planning to have more than one million by the end of this year. Company President Chang Feng-hsiung said that Vibo hopes for revenues of TWD6 billion in 2008, which would be a 43% increase on last year's TWD4.19 billion. The company is also considering a new round of share sales to raise funds for operational expenses.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:55:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Privately owned Thai telco TT&T’s consolidated revenues in 2007 rose by 8% to THB6.932 billion (USD222 million), largely driven by broadband sales, according to a company release. Despite the turnover increase, the operator recorded a net loss of THB2.028 billion, almost double the loss of THB1.08 billion recorded in 2006. Moreover, the earnings before exchange rate and income tax gains worsened year-on-year from a net loss of THB2.372 billion in 2006 to a net loss of THB2.606 in 2007 due mainly to the decline in revenue from fixed line voice services and start-up operating costs of new services which are expected to generate a large proportion of revenue in the future. TT&T had 1.23 million local fixed lines in service at the end of December 2007, down from 1.24 million a year before.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:54:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MoneyWeb South Africa reports broadband subscriber numbers in the country have tipped the one million mark. Telkom is still the leading broadband provider with 420,000 subscribers for its ADSL service, but Vodacom is gaining ground with 370,000 registered HSDPA users. MTN is also showing significant growth in the mobile broadband arena with 120,000 subscribers, according to the article. ADSL and HSDPA users account for over 90% of all broadband subscribers in South Africa. The other 10% is accounted for by fixed wireless access provider iBurst with 60,000 subscribers, and various wireless ISPs (45,000). However, there is still plenty of room for growth in the market as the broadband penetration rate is currently only 2%, compared to the OECD average of 18.8%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:51:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 03, 2008

Entel, Chile's largest telecoms company, has said it plans to invest USD350 million in infrastructure in 2008, a 25% increase on the previous year, with up to 70% of the capital expenditure being channelled into its wireless arm Entel PCS. Felipe Ureta, Entel's corporate finance manager, told the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit in Santiago: ‘It will be a year of high investment. Clearly all this investment stems from demand and will satisfy significant requirements of new services that are appearing, both in mobile and fixed line communications.’ The investment plan for this year will be self-financed from company cash flow, he added.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:14:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new analysis of the global opportunity for WiMAX 802.16e to deliver ´local loop´ broadband connectivity forecasts that WiMAX will begin to take off over the 2009 to 2011 period, exceeding 47 million subscribers globally by 2013.

Click here to see full article

Highlights from the report include:

  • Global WiMAX service revenues, as a DSL replacement technology, will grow to over $20bn per annum by 2013.
  • The top WiMAX regions for DSL substitution will be: The Far East; North America; Western Europe and Africa/Middle East.
  • Juniper forecasts that around 12% of the forecast DSL subscriber base for 2013 will be replaced by WiMAX.
Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:12:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

US wireless trade group, the CTIA has announced today that as of December 2007, its industry survey recorded more than 255 million wireless users. This represents a year-over-year increase of more than 22 million subscribers. The industry’s 12-month record for subscriber growth was reached in 2005, when 25.7 million new users came online.

Click here to see full article

The survey also recorded record-breaking six-month wireless service revenues of $71 billion. Wireless data service revenues for the entirety of 2007 rose to more than $23 billion. This represents a 53% increase over 2006, when data revenue was $15.2 billion. Wireless data revenues for the year 2007 amounted to about 17% of all wireless service revenues, and represent money that consumers spend on non-voice services.

According to the survey, text messaging continues to be enormously popular, with more than 48 billion messages reported for the month of December 2007 alone - 1.6 billion messages per day. This represents an increase of 157% over December 2006. Wireless subscribers are also sending more and more pictures and other multi-media messages, with nearly 4 billion MMS messages sent during the second half of 2007 alone, compared with 2.7 billion sent over the course of the entire year in 2006.

Other highlights of the survey include: wireless customers using more than 2 trillion minutes in 2007, up nearly 18% over 2006.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:09:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Russian wireline operator PeterStar has reported revenues of USD117 million in 2007, up 23% year-on-year. EBITDA grew 20% to USD56 million and net profit was up 40% at USD33 million, CNews reports. The firm says revenues from data transmission and internet access services were up 34% annually and now account for 36% of overall sales. PeterStar is an affiliate of the Synterra group and operates in Russia’s North West region.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:54:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Under a new strategic partnership between Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Indian fixed line telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), more than 25,000 Indian villages will be supplied with broadband access via an ADSL2+ network. Under the terms of the agreement, BSNL will deploy NSN’s multi-play solution, which will allow it to deliver cost-effective, high speed Internet access and Virtual Private Network services to its customers. The network will also enable BSNL to provide connectivity to community service centres and other e-governance locations.

As part of the contract, NSN will deploy its Gigabit Ethernet-capable IP DSLAMs SURPASS hiX5625 and chassis-based access switch (SURPASS hiD6615). It will also supply customer premises equipment that will enable BSNL to provide speeds of up to 8Mbps. The network will be ready for commercial operation by July 2008. NSN is in parallel deploying equipment for BSNL for urban broadband access across 20 circles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:53:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwan’s largest cellular operator by subscribers, Chunghwa Telecom, says it is cutting its 3G tariffs in order to boost take-up of its high speed services. The firm is hoping to see a 50% increase in UMTS customers in 2008 to end the year with 3.3 million subscribers. Cross-network anytime tariffs for 3G customers will fall to as low as TWD0.06 (USD0.001) per second, according to a report from the China Post. Chunghwa is also offering increased maximum bundled minutes and further discounts on 3G handsets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:52:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Worldwide mobile advertising is projected to surpass $2.7 billion in 2008, up from $1.7 billion in 2007, but the market has developed slowly and obstacles remain, according to Gartner. Ease of use and relevancy to consumers are two important factors that must be addressed to help build momentum in the mobile advertising market.

Click here to see full article

Despite challenges to the market, the industry is still poised for consistent growth. By the end of 2011 worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to surpass $12.8 billion.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 11:57:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

New market data released by ABI Research shows that about 440 million Wi-Fi chipsets will be shipped over the course of 2008. This represents a tenfold increase over the number shipped in 2003; but over the same five-year period, the revenues they produced have multiplied by only five.

Click here to see full article

The growth areas for this market in coming years will be found where Wi-Fi chips are embedded in more and more device types. Wi-Fi IC vendors should tailor their strategies accordingly. Consumer electronics (home theater equipment, gaming devices, portable media players), mobile handsets and computer peripherals will all see increased rates of Wi-Fi penetration. "While CE products will initially see more Wi-Fi inclusion," Solis continues, "we expect that by 2011 they will be overtaken by mobile handsets. Mobile Internet devices (MIDs) will become increasingly significant as well."

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:50:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 31, 2008

Brazilian mobile operator Vivo has announced a tripling of its planned investment for 2008 to BRL6.07 billion (USD3.48 billion), up from BRL1.92 billion in 2007. It is not clear, however, if the proposed capital expenditure for the current year includes the BRL1.3 billion acquisition of rival carrier Telemig. Vivo’s CAPEX is considerably higher than the figures announced by rivals TIM Brasil (BRL3.6 billion) and Telecom Americas’ Claro unit (BRL700 million).

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:45:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Several years back, it was a privilege for employees to have their own computer in their work stations. Unfortunately most of them did not know how to fully make use of the machines. A new trend is catching on among some Kenyan firms in their bid to cut down on costs: sharing of the PC. Instead of a PC for every employee, a single PC is being used by up to 10 people.

But what does this really mean for the company as well as the employees? "The concept of having shared PCs is definitely working well for the company, but employees are at a disadvantage," said John Munyiri, IT manager Dyer & Blair.

Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:41:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Africa has surpassed the 1 Million broadband subscriber mark. South Africa now has more than 1 Million broadband connections, made up mainly of ADSL and HSDPA subscribers.

Telkom currently has in the region of 415 000 ADSL subscribers, and previously indicated that it is on track to hit their 420 000 target by the end of March. Vodacom has 360 000 3G/HSDPA data card users while MTN recently announced that they now have 120 000 3G/HSDPA data card users on their South African network. This brings the total number of ADSL and HSDPA subscribers to 895 000.

Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:37:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A novel idea to take voice and data services to the most rural areas could see Vodacom and MTN paid subsidies to do the job. The operators have to promise high-quality services even the poorest people can afford in return for having up to 80% of infrastructure subsidised. But the cost will not hit taxpayers as the cash will come from the Universal Service Fund, to which the operators themselves contribute.

Click here to see full article
The agency rates 27 areas as underserviced. In one, Umzinyathi in KwaZulu-Natal, 64% of the population has no electricity, 94% no landlines and 69% no cellphones.

Click here to see full article
Last year, US$32.5 million sat idle in the Universal Service Fund as the Treasury refused to hand it over until the agency submitted sound business plans. The cash comes from an annual levy of 0.2% on revenue generated by each telecoms company.

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, March 31, 2008 3:36:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a new report from Portio Research, forecasts predict that 2008 will be the year that the worldwide mobile industry becomes a one Trillion US Dollar industry. For an industry to go from zero to USD 1 trillion in just 20 years is a staggering achievement, equal to a CAGR of almost 30 percent sustained for 20 years, an achievement previously unequalled by any other industry at any time in human history.

2007 became the year to see worldwide mobile handset shipments exceed 1 billion for the first time, and as 2008 begins so the world also crosses the highly significant 50 percent mobile penetration point, and the industry enters a year where gross industry revenues are set to reach 1 trillion Dollars. This is truly an exciting time to be in the mobile and wireless industry.

Click here to see full article

In 2007, worldwide, non-voice services accounted for 18.9 percent of total mobile services revenues, and this figure looks set to keep growing, reaching more than 25.5 percent by the end of 2012. To put that in context, worldwide consumer spending on non-voice mobile services in 2012 will exceed US$251 Billion - more than a quarter of a trillion Dollars per annum.

Click here to see full article

Portio Research's forecasts show that in 2008, 88.9 percent of total MNO service revenues worldwide will come from voice and SMS, and that figure is likely to remain as high as 85 percent even by the end of 2011. But that still leaves more than US$161 billion from data services in 2008, rising to over US$251 by 2011.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:54:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ka-ching, ka-ching. European wireless carriers are being told to expect 50 percent of the population to use their mobile handsets to access the broadband Internet by 2012. But most carriers won't be able to handle it alone.

An ongoing report series from Exane BNP Paribas and Arthur D. Little also says wireless service providers "have a job to do" in catching up with consumer expectations regarding mobile broadband, and part of that work will lead to greater fixed-mobile network integration. Carriers will experience huge growth in mobile broadband traffic - as is already seen in some advanced countries like Austria.

To accomplish this, mobile operators will be partnering with fixed-infrastructure providers, with Arthur D. Little and Exane BNP Paribas forecasting that 20 percent of mobile broadband traffic could be carried through fixed networks.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:49:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cubans finally will be allowed to have their own cellphones, under a decree issued today by new Cuban dictator Raoul Castro, who has been busily lifting some of the more onerous restrictions imposed by his older brother.

The move follows permission from Raul for the population, starting next week, to buy PCs, DVD players and other consumer-electronics gear and various appliances. Toasters will be available on the island starting in 2010, for instance, for the first time in more than a decade.

Cuba has had cellular service - both TDMA and GSM - but it has been restricted to companies, foreigners and top government officials. Coverage, outside of Havana and some major cities, is spotty at best and generally nonexistent. At least some Cubans, however, are said to have managed to circumvent the rules, generally by getting non-Cubans or others with the right to a phone to subscribe for them. But the bottom line has been that cellular penetration on the island nation has remained the lowest in the Western Hemisphere as a result of the long-standard ban.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:47:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With the Summer Olympics now only months away, China finally has given permission to start commercial trials of 3G cellular technology but, at this point, only of the country's home-grown Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA).

China has been promising some sort of 3G service in time for the international event, and the country's (and the world's) largest carrier, China Mobile, has now built TD-SCDMA networks in eight cities, including the five Olympic venues. Interestingly, the Chinese have not yet formally issued frequency spectrum allocations for 3G, but that's apparently going to be little more than a formality. Under its commercial trial license, China Mobile reveals, it's built a network with a capacity of some eight million users.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:45:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Point Topicp's World Broadband Statistics (Q4 2007) examines global and regional broadband developments and technological innovation at the end of 2007. According to this report, there were some 350 million broadband subscribers worldwide by the end of 2007, representing 6.1% of the population. This represents a 24% increase from 2006 to 2007, when over 69 million people subscribed to broadband services. By 2007, Western Europe and North America lead in broadband penetration rates at 23.6 and 24.7 percent, respectively.

In absolute numbers, the USA continues to lead, with 73 million subscribers by the end of 2007, followed by China with 67 million subscribers. In terms of broadband penetration, Monaco takes the first place at 38%. Indeed, in Monaco, 94% of households have broadband services.

Figure 1: Share of world broadband subscribers by region in Q4 2007

DSL, FTTx and Cable moderm are the dominant broadband technoloies in the world. DSL is the most common technology with a 65% share of the global broadband market. Cable modem comes in second place, with 77 million subscribers a at the end of 2007.

Figure 2: Total Broadband by technology in Q4 2007

Source: Point Topic.

Monday, March 31, 2008 7:44:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 28, 2008

Sales of mobile data cards, which enable broadband access in laptops via a service provider's mobile data network, are forecast by Infonetics Research to nearly quadruple between 2007 and 2011, when they will reach $2.9 billion.

Click here to see full article

Other highlights from the report:

  • Worldwide mobile subscribers topped 3 billion in 2007
  • Worldwide mobile data subscribers will accelerate dramatically over the next few years, reaching 144 million by 2011
  • Worldwide sales of smartphones reached $36.7 billion in 2007
  • Sales of mobile broadband routers are forecast to nearly quadruple between 2007 and 2011
  • In 2007, Nokia continued its strong lead in the mobile phone market, with 35% of worldwide revenue share, followed by Samsung and Motorola

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, March 28, 2008 3:04:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

VietNamNet Bridge has reported that ADSL penetration is not what it could be in Vietnam. ADSL first appeared in the country in 2004 and subscriptions grew 150% in both 2006 and 2007, but the percentage of ADSL users is still low. By September 2007 there were 4.9 million internet subscribers and around 17.5 million internet users, accounting for nearly 21% of the population, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). ADSL subscribers accounted for 21% of the total or around 1.04 million. Some 65% of them were in Hanoi and HCM City. ADSL charges in Vietnam are reported to be at similar level to other countries in Southeast Asia, but service quality is still lacking, with lower than promised speeds and unstable connections beyond Hanoi and HCM City.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, March 28, 2008 11:04:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 27, 2008

Qatar’s monopoly telecoms provider Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it crossed the 1.4 million subscriber mark early this month, including around 1.2 million GSM mobile subscriptions and over 200,000 fixed lines. The achievement, in a country with a population of less than a million, was driven by positive customer response to recent promotions, particularly its current ‘Hala Line for Free’ campaign, according to a spokesperson. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, wireless penetration in the country passed 100% in 2006, and Qtel signed up its one millionth mobile subscriber in March 2007. A rival GSM network being set up by a consortium led by Vodafone Group is scheduled to end Qtel’s monopoly by the end of this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:34:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to DigiTimes.com, Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) has approved a reduction by an average of 8.4% in monthly circuit-leased fees for using Chunghwa Telecom (CHT's) ADSL services. The cheaper tariffs, which will take effect from 1 April 2008, were proposed by the company following a request from the NCC that it lower its prices. Of CHT's ADSL customers, 3.526 million or 95.4% will be subject to the price cut. Since CHT is to cease installation of further 2Mbps/512Kbps ADSL services, the company has not offered price cuts for corresponding subscribers, the NCC added.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:33:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Informatisation and Communications Nikolai Strukov, is predicting that the country will be home to 500,000 broadband internet users by 2010, writes online news portal e-belarus.org. According to the minister, approximately 260,000 of these will be receiving high speed internet services from the national PTO Beltelecom, while a further 100,000 will be using alternative operators, he said. Home networks will also help to increase the number of xDSL users, Mr. Strukov added. The minister went on to say that the 500,000 forecast was a conservative one and that he expects the figure could be even higher, driven by the strong uptake of mobile broadband subscribers using 3G technology.

Beltelecom currently has 66,000 broadband internet subscribers and accounts for roughly 60% of the national market, with alternative service providers and resellers claiming the remainder.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:32:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The global handset market is forecast to see slowing growth for 2008, with year-on-year growth only achieving 5.7% according to the IMS Research Online Cellular Database. This is significantly lower than previous years, which enjoyed double digit growth. Shipments for new handsets are forecast to hit 1.19 billion for 2008, up from 1.12 billion in 2007.

The region that will experience the least impact is Asia, with China and India continuing to perform strongly, resulting in 10.7 percent growth from 2007 to 2008. The Americas will only experience 7% growth, largely as a result of economic challenges being faced in the US. Europe is forecast to experience negative growth at -1.2%, largely due to challenges being faced by the large number of highly penetrated markets.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 10:41:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

CEO Marwan Al-Ahmadi has revealed that Zain Saudi Arabia plans to start operations by June of this year, over a network initially covering 53% of the population. Roaming agreements with rivals Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily will be sought to increase coverage further, although the executive did add that Zain planned to be fully dependent on its own infrastructure within the next three years.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:33:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China Netcom has posted an unexpected increase in full-year profit after signing up more broadband subscribers than expected. Net income for the twelve months ended 31 December 2007 rose to RMB10.58 billion (USD1.5 billion), from RMB10.55 billion a year earlier. Sales rose to RMB84 billion from a restated RMB84.1 billion in 2006. During the year Netcom’s broadband subscriber base rose 37% to 19.77 million, while its local access customers fell by 2.8% to 110.82 million, of which 84.6 million were fixed line (down 2.3% year-on-year) and 26.2 million PHS (down 4.1%). Broadband ARPU climbed 3.9% to RMB67.4 while the corresponding figure for local access slipped by 9.6% to RMB36.6.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:50:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MyBroadband.co.za reports that the South African broadband market now has more than one million broadband subscribers, made up mainly from ADSL and HSDPA customers. Dominant telco Telkom South Africa has 415,000 ADSL users and is on track to hit its target of 420,000 by the end of March. The two largest cellcos by customers and revenues, Vodacom and MTN, currently claim 360,000 and 120,000 3G/HSDPA datacard users respectively. Of the remainder, iBurst accounts for 60,000 subscribers via its BFWA/WiMAX networks, and a further 45,000 broadband customers are served by other wireless ISPs around the country.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:49:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Regulator Anacom has published fixed line market statistics for the fourth quarter of 2007. Portugal Telecom’s market share of ‘accesses installed at customer request’ fell to 71.9% from 78.1% at the start of the year as it continued to lose out to alternative operators, most notably Sonaecom-backed Novis, which boosted its share from 9% to 14.4% following the acquisition of the residential and SoHo business of Oni Telecom. Among the fastest growing fixed line operators is Vodafone, having tripled its market share from 0.4% to 1.2% in just twelve months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:48:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRAI) has reported that a total of 8.49 million telephone connections have been added during February 2008 as compared to 8.74 million connections added in January 2008. The total number of telephone connections reaches 290.11 million at the end of February 2008 as compared to 281.62 million in January 2008. The overall tele-density is 25.31% at the end of February 2008 as against 24.63% in January 2008.

In the wireless segment, 8.53 million subscribers have been added in the month of February 2008 as against 8.77 million subscribers added in the month of January 2008. The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 250.93 million at the end of February 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:45:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Accra (Ghana) Ghana's parliament on Wednesday passed a controversial bill that will see mobile phone users pay a tax of one US cent for every minute they call.

The bill, introduced by the ruling New Patriotic Party, was described by a section of Ghanaians as obnoxious and calculated to stifle their ability to communicate freely.

The government explained to parliament that the implementation of the bill will enable it generate more revenue for development and also sustain the National Youth Employment Programme, which is near collapse as a result of inadequate funding.

However, the minority in parliament led by the National Democratic Congress party opposed the bill, saying that not all people in the country used mobile phones and the implementation would mean preventing people from talking more on mobile phones.

Parliament has tasked Ghana's National Communication Authority to ensure that mobile phone operators comply with the new legislation.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:43:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission hopes to lift average broadband penetration in the European Union to 30% by 2010, up from around 20% today, in a bid to stimulate economic growth. The EC’s Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said yesterday that only eight of the bloc's 27 member states were currently beating the US in terms of broadband usage, while the average penetration rate lagged behind the 22.1% figure reported in the United States. Although a number of nations, such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have rates closer to 30%, Reding wants to see a significant improvement across the board within the next two years. The Commissioner believes that her new telecoms reforms, currently before the European Parliament and EU states for approval, will help the trading bloc reach this 30% target. Reding hopes the reform bill will be adopted by April 2009 ahead of planned European elections in June.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:41:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

KARACHI -(Dow Jones)- Foreign investment in Pakistan's telecom sector witnessed a 7.2% growth on year in the first six months of the current financial year that began July 1, government data issued Wednesday showed.

During the July-December period, foreigners invested $1.314 billion in the country's telecom sector compared with $1.225 billion during the same period last year, Islamabad-based Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said in a report.

During the last four years, the telecom sector has attracted over $5 billion as foreign direct investment, the report said.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:40:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Research firm, IDC says that the telecommunications data services market in emerging Asian countries (defined as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam) is projected to collectively grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36% from 2007-2011. The data segment, which includes mobile data services, fixed line corporate data and Internet access services, grew strongly at 258% year-on-year in 2006, reaching US$952 million.

Click here to see full article

The mobile data segment from the four countries is anticipated to escalate at 41% CAGR from 2007-2011, driven by expected growth in SMS usage. As more high-speed networks become available, other data revenue, apart from SMS, will rise in significance in the coming years.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

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

A third GSM network operator has launched was Albania last week. Eagle Mobile, a joint venture between Turkish Calik Holding, Turkish Telecom and the Albanian State has launched with coverage in Tirana and Durres cities, the territory between and country's the only International Airport.

The company says that it now covers about half the country's population, using infrastructure supplied by Huawei and Amdocs.

93 percent of the employees of Eagle Mobile are Albanian, and the company plans to create a field of activity for more then 1000 Albanian people.

The country currently has two mobile operators, Vodafone and AMC. According to figures from the Mobile World, the country ended last September with some 2.2 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 61%

Albania is a parliamentary democracy that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to 750,000 of the country's 3.6 million population. As a result of the opening of the country in the post-communist era, Albania is now undergoing a development boom as its telecommunications, transport and utilities infrastructure is being revamped.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:32:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Earlier today, figures released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) point to that country becoming the second largest wireless market in the world by the end of April.

More than 8.5 million wireless subscribers were added in February, compared with 8.77 million subs who cut the cord in January. The total wireless subscriber base (GSM, CDMA & WLL[F]) stood at 250.93 million at the end of February.

Currently, China is the world's largest wireless network, and it's adding between 6 million and 7 million subscribers every month. According to CTIA-The Wireless Association, the current U.S. wireless subscriber base is 256 million. The United States is adding between 2 million and 3 million subscribers in a month, while India's monthly wireless subscriber addition is highest, in the range of between 8 million and 9 million a month, TRAI says.

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Source: Telecom Web.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:30:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile connections in Pakistan squeezed past the 80m barrier in February, reaching 80.001m at the end of the month. In Issue 105 of The Mobile World Briefing, we remarked that growth seemed to be slowing in Pakistan and the latest result confirms this impression: the figure for monthly net additions (1.26m) was the lowest since November 2005.

February 2008's figure was almost half that of February 2007, when there were 2.20m new connections. Moreover, February represented the second consecutive month with fewer than 2m new connections, the first such occurrence in two years.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:28:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |