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 Monday, April 21, 2008

Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry has issued a report on the telecoms market and says that 3G subscriptions reached 6.91 million at the end of last year - representing a rise of 16.5% and a total base of 28.5%. 2G subscriptions fell by 4.2 % to 15.9 million. The Institute anticipates that 3G subscriptions will top 10 million, or 40% of the total base by the end of this year.

The population penetration level reached 105.8 percent.

The Institute also reported that text messaging volumes rose by 26% to 1,256 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. The average subscriber sent just over 54 text messages during the quarter and 18 text messages per month.

Mobile internet access increased by 7.8% to 11.86 million and nearly half of all mobile phones sold included mobile internet services. Just over 55% of mobile internet access is carried out via a 3G handset, compared to 32% being carried out over a GPRS network.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 21, 2008 9:03:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A very complex mobile value chain and a growing business reliance on mobile products have created the need for services that help businesses maximize the value of their mobile investments. In a recent report from ABI Research, mobile device management (MDM) services are forecast to grow from $583 million in 2007 to over $20 billion by 2013, for a compound annual growth rate of 80%.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 21, 2008 9:02:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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"The European broadband market is developing rapidly and already outstrips that of the United States," the EC wrote. It estimated some 99.2 million broadband lines in the EC, compared with 81.6 million in the United States and Canada combined, and 43.1 million in Japan and South Korea together. In 2007, the number of regular active Internet users in Europe rose by 40 million, to a total of 250 million.

"It is a welcome change of political direction that today, ICT, the main driver of European growth, is being promoted by all 27 EU Member States in their national policies. This helps Europe compete internationally and modernizes the daily lives of Europeans," comments EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding. "It is especially good news that 77 percent of EU businesses, 67 percent of schools and 48 percent of doctors are now benefiting from fast broadband connections."

Ticking off Europe's broadband achievements, in its report the EC says more than 96 percent of European schools now are connected to the Internet -- two-thirds of them to broadband, up from almost zero in 2001. In the health sector, 57 percent of doctors now send or receive patient data, up from 17 percent in 2002, with 46 percent of them receiving results from laboratories electronically, up from only 11 percent in 2002. Some 77 percent of EU businesses had a broadband connection in 2007, up from 62 percent in 2005, and 77 percent use the Internet for dealing with banks, up from 70 percent in 2005.

Still, the EC found the pattern of Internet and broadband usage varies widely from country to country. Nearly 40 percent of Europeans don't use the Internet at all, the EC noted, with the lowest usage in Romania (69 percent are unconnected), Bulgaria (65 percent unconnected) and Greece (62 percent unconnected). In contrast, only 13 percent of the populations in Denmark and The Netherlands are unconnected, and those countries also are two of the Top Three in EU broadband penetration, at 35.6 percent and 34.2 percent, respectively.

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Source: Telecom Web.

Monday, April 21, 2008 8:58:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Given the explosive growth in mobile communications, India, through its use of a variety of wireless technologies, aims to reach 500 million subscribers by 2010, according to private sector and government officials attending a Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) conference in Kerala, India. India forecasts that its current level of 240 million subscribers will be doubled within less than two years, thanks to the policies being implemented by the Government of India, especially for universal access in rural and suburban areas.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 21, 2008 8:52:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 18, 2008

Pakistan's mobile operators have blocked some 1.36 million SIM cards since the beginning of the year after their owners failed to register them as is now required. In addition, even subscribers who did register their details had a limit of 10 SIMs per person imposed and any additional SIM cards were cut off.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, April 18, 2008 9:57:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The market for wireless devices and equipment in process manufacturing will grow to over $1.1B in 2012, a growth rate of 32% per year, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. The data in this study is from 2007 and includes a forecast of market growth through the year 2012.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, April 18, 2008 9:53:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Third generation connection numbers in Europe grew by a record 11.2m in Q4 2007 to reach 81.5m by the end of the 2007 - an 81% improvement year on year. New W-CDMA connections accounted for 45% of net connection growth in the final quarter, which was the lowest proportion for the year, after 46.9% in Q1, 56.5% in Q2 and 46.8% in Q3.

Given the extent to which the fourth quarter Christmas boom is driven by the lower-cost and prepaid market, however, this is not a surprising result. It was GSM, of course, which was dominant in terms of net additions, with 13.8m in Q4 2007, giving it a total of 39.3m for the full year, against 36.5m for its 3G derivative.

Nevertheless, proportionately speaking the growth in the GSM base only amounted to 6.5% for the year, which led to a strengthening of the contribution of the 3G base to the total. At the end of 2006, W-CDMA customers accounted for 6.9% of all European mobile connections; at the end of 2007, the proportion of the total made up of 3G enabled connections had risen to 11.2% - with 1.2pp of the increase (the highest ever) coming in the fourth quarter.

Europe: % Customers W-CDMA, Q4 02 - Q4 07 

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Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe
Friday, April 18, 2008 9:31:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just as search became critical on the desktop, search will become increasingly important in the mobile space. The growth of consumer options to search on-deck and off-deck, SMS, and via branded or white-label search providers in the mobile domain has created opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers through sponsored search opportunities. ABI Research believes mobile search advertising growth will be driven by this escalating array of options, as total search-related mobile advertising expands from $813 million in 2008 to $5 billion by 2013.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 3:58:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new report by Juniper Research into the mobile financial services sector has found that the number of consumers accessing banking services and products via their mobile phones will reach 816 million by 2011, a tenfold increase on the number using such services in 2007.

The report found that financial institutions are delivering an increasing variety of products in the mobile environment including financial information services, funds transfer, bill payment and presentation, account management and customer service.

According to the report, the annual number of global mobile banking transactions will rise from 2.7 billion in 2007 to 37 billion by 2011, as a greater number of services are deployed worldwide. It adds that increased consumer confidence, due to the enhanced security measures that are being utilised in mobile financial services will be crucial to greater service usage levels.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 3:56:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of cellphones in circulation in Brazil totaled 125.8 million at the end of March, up 1.36% from February and 23.2% higher than the same month one year before, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by telecommunications regulator Anatel.

Net additions in the month were 1.69 million. In the first quarter, net additions reached 4.83 million.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 3:52:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to new data from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the country’s mobile operators added 1.38 million new subscribers in March 2008 to raise the total user base to 38.93 million. The figures show that market leading Telenor subsidiary GrameenPhone’s subscriber base increased by 610,000 in March to reach 17.81 million; Orascom Telecom’s Banglalink’s customer base grew by 430,000 to 8.31 million; Telecom Malaysia International Bangladesh (AKTEL) signed up 90,000 users to take its total to 7.45 million (after slipping behind Banglalink in the first two months of the year); Warid Telecom Bangladesh (which launched in May 2007) has already firmly established itself in fourth place with 2.79 million subscribers at the end of March, up from 2.6 million in February; SingTel-backed CityCell (the only CDMA operator in a GSM-dominated field) added 50,000 users to end the month with 1.56 million; and finally state-owned Teletalk was reported to have 1.01 million customers, compared to a million the month before. The latest growth figures bring the impoverished country’s cellular penetration rate to an estimated 27%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 1:44:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russia's largest mobile phone operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), has reported that net profit for 2007 almost doubled to USD2.07 billion compared to USD1.08 billion in 2006. Revenue for the year ended 31 December 2007 increased 29% to USD8.25 billion from USD6.38 billion. Consolidated OIBDA grew 31% to USD4.223 billion, with OIBDA margin amounting to 51.2%, up from 50.6% in 2006. Subscriber numbers across the group's operations rose 13% to 85.77 million, while it gained 6.21 million new subscribers in Russia during 2007.

On a quarterly basis, MTS’s net profit more than quadrupled in the final three months of the year to USD460 million compared to USD110 million in same period of 2006. This was less than analysts had anticipated, but revenues, which rose to USD2.33 billion in the period from USD1.81 billion a year ago, were higher than forecasted. MTS said monthly ARPU rose to USD10 in Russia in the fourth quarter.

MTS said it expects revenues to grow by at least 25% in 2008, fuelled by an increase in the demand for voice services and a higher consumption of extra services and data transfer. The company plans capital expenditure of up to USD2.5 billion for the year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 1:43:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The total number of mobile connections in the UK surpassed 70 million during the fourth quarter of 2007, finishing the year on 70.99 million. In total there were 4.10 million net additions during the year, up from 1.35 million in 2006, while on a proportionate basis the annual customer growth rate almost tripled from 2.1% to 6.2%. This was due in part to the one-off loss of 1.30 million customers in 2006 as a result of T-Mobile's change in policy regarding active users, but even if we discount this there would have been an increase in customer growth in 2007. This is despite the fact that penetration is well over 100%: at the end of 2007, in fact, the penetration rate had reached 116.5%, up from 110.1% a year earlier.

Customers and Annual Customer Growth Rate

Monthly ARPU - Top Four Operators

 
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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 2:28:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A report published by Pyramid Research says that mobile data will account for 29 percent of the global mobile service revenue in 2012, up from 19 percent in 2007. Clearly, the mobile data opportunity is soaring: the 2007 mobile data revenue was more than double what it was in 2004, and Pyramid Research expects it to double again to $300 billion by 2012.

The report also said that more than 60 percent of worldwide mobile data revenue will come from developed markets through 2012, despite the fact that 85 percent of the world's population lives in emerging markets. However, mobile data revenue in emerging markets will grow more than 50 percent faster than developed markets from 2007 to 2012

Mobile data revenue outlook, 2007 to 2012: Developed vs. emerging markets

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:27:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

While Bluetooth has been in the market for almost a decade, it has not proliferated widely in Asia. In terms of consumer awareness, this region still lags behind others. However, the picture is changing, especially when it comes to cellular handsets, and a new study from ABI Research indicates that Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments in Asia will reach 982 million units in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39% over 2006 shipments.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:20:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 14, 2008

While a large number of phones today still use browsers with very limited web browsing capabilities, many smartphones are incorporating browsers that support the latest capabilities such as AJAX and RSS, as well as websites optimized for viewing on a mobile device. ABI Research sees this segment of the mobile browser market accounting for the vast majority of growth over the next five years, as the open-Internet browser (OIB) segment for mobile grows from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million browsers delivered in 2013.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 9:21:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Global suppliers of services for telecom operators saw revenue increases across the board in 2007 as the total market grew to $70 billion, an 8% increase over 2006, according to Technology Business Research's Telecom Infrastructure Services (TIS) Market Model.

The TIS Market Model tracks market share of leading telecom equipment suppliers and provides forecasts for the rapidly-evolving market for selling deployment, maintenance, consulting & integration and managed services to telecom service providers.

Figure: Telecommunication Infrastructure Services Market Model

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 9:16:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MUMBAI -(Dow Jones)- Indian telecommunications operator Bharti Airtel added 2.31 million mobile phone subscribers in March, industry data showed Friday.

As a result, Bharti's total mobile phone user base has grown to 61.98 million subscribers at the end of March, according to data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India.

In March, Vodafone Essar added 1.57 million mobile phone users taking its total subscriber base to 44.13 million, said COAI, which represents the 10 operators using the global system for mobile communications technology.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) added 1.64 million mobile phone users, taking its total subscriber base to 36.21 million at the end of March.

Idea Cellular added 1.13 million users and had 24 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of March.

Another state-run operator, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd., added 120,020 new mobile phone users in March and has a total subscriber base of 3.24 million

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 8:58:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 10, 2008

Malaysia’s Business Edge newspaper writes that Maxis Mobile is aiming to hit the target of two million 3G subscribers, having achieved the figure of 1.3 million by the end of March 2008. Maxis chief executive Sandip Das said: ‘As 3G services are increasingly being offered globally, we hope to see the prices of 3G handset devices falling. With that, we hope we will be able to cross the two million mark very shortly. Most of Malaysians buying new phones now are buying 3G-enabled phones, and that gives us a very big opportunity.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:24:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iran had the fifth fastest growing mobile market in the MEA region in 2007, with the number of subscribers almost doubling year on year from 14.33m at the end of 2006 to 28.51m at the end of 2007. In absolute terms, no market in the region gained more new connections than Iran in 2007.

This extraordinary growth (a 98.9% annual increase) can be attributed to the launch of Irancell in the final quarter of 2006. Having added 0.15m customers in its first two months of operation, Irancell surpassed the 1m barrier during Q1 07, and during Q4 it went through 5m to finish the year on 6.01m customers. This represents a phenomenal annual growth rate of 3800%. On a quarterly basis, the 61.5% growth of Q4 was the lowest rate seen so far, but this was still higher than the year-on-year increase recorded by market leader Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI).

Iran: Quarterly Net Additions, Irancell and TCI

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:22:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The trade body, 3G Americas has announced that the world now has 3 billion mobile phone users based on the GSM family (inc UMTS), based upon research and projections by Informa Telecoms and Media. Today, 88% of the world's 3.5 billion mobile wireless subscriptions are to the GSM family of technologies.

By comparison, there are only 850 million personal computers worldwide, forecast to reach 2 billion in the year 2015 (Forrester, June 2007). Three billion GSM based subscriptions is nearly triple the number of people accessing the Internet around the world, 1.1 billion. Fixed landline phones number just over this, at 1.3 billion globally. The closest technology in terms of number of electronic devices is the number of television sets. But even that number falls a full billion short of the 3 billion GSM family milestone, with an estimated 2 billion television sets in use today (Source: Communities Dominate Brands blog, Tomi Ahonen, January 2007).

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:01:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 09, 2008
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Africa's GSM mobile subscriber base is expected to jump by 20% to 316 million between now and the end of the year. GSM Africa, the African arm of world body GSM Association, said at the conference that penetration was expected to top 34% by the end of the year, from 29% at the end of 2007.

The number of subscribers will rise from 263 million to 316 million this year, Vitalis Olunga, Chairman of GSM Africa, said in a presentation at East Africa Com. Olunga said GSM networks were comprised of a bulk of service providers on the continent, with an average of about 140 live networks at the end of 2007.

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:52:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

GFK Vietnam has published a report into the local mobile telecoms market and has predicted that 8 million handsets will be sold this year - double the figure just 2 years ago. Revenues are projected to reach US1.1. billion.

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According to the retailer, around a third of customers brought handsets in the US$93-$188 price range - a rise of 24% over the past year. The company said that Nokia was the main beneficiary of the move up market as its market share rose by 10 percent.

Samsung Mobile's Director in Vietnam, Nguyen Hong Chau predicted that reasonably-priced products would account for as much as 60 percent of total market sales this year with mobile producers trying to develop new products to cater to different market segments.

The Mobile World analysts estimate that Vietnam ended last year with some 35.7 million subscribers (29.4m GSM, 6.3m CDMA) - representing a population penetration level of 42%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:45:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Third generation mobile technologies accounted for their highest ever share of net additions in Middle East & Africa in Q4 2007 with 9.8% of the total - up very slightly on the 9.7% registered in Q3 2007. The trend in MEA so far shows that 3G additions in the fourth quarter of the year are generally weaker as a proportion of the total, following the pattern established in Europe. This may be due to the fact that fourth quarter sales tend to be driven by the Christmas market (and to some extent the Ramadan market, as some of the Ramadan period tends to fall in October) which generally involves the sale of lower-value cards and handsets, often as gifts.

% net additions W-CDMA, Q4 04 - Q4 07

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The vast majority of customers in MEA use GSM technology, although the percentage of the total base accounted for by GSM slipped below 95% for the first time in four years. At the end of 2003, 2.2pp of the 5pp remainder was accounted for by analogue networks, 2.4pp by CDMA and 0.3pp by iDEN. At the end of 2007, the handful of remaining analogue services contributed just 0.03% of the overall total, iDEN just 0.18% and CDMA 2.1%, whilst the largest part of the remainder was accounted for by W-CDMA with 3.1% of the total.

Bundling this together with GSM, we find that the GSM family maintained a 97.67% share of the market between the third and fourth quarters of 2007, although it lost 0.11pp of share over the 12 months to 31st December due to the fact that the CDMA connection base grew faster, by 56.1% to the GSM family's 41.1%.

Non GSM/W-CDMA Customers, by Technology

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa | Mobile
Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:32:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Armenialiberty.org, Vimpelcom plans to invest USD74 million this year in ArmenTel as part of the ongoing modernisation of the telco’s fixed and mobile networks. An estimated USD90 million was spent during 2007, and senior VimpelCom executives have said that the additional expenditure is aimed partly at reversing ArmenTel’s falling share of the wireless market. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in June 2005 ArmenTel claimed 100% of the country’s wireless subscribers, but following the launch of MTS-backed VivaCell the company saw its share of the mobile market dwindle to just 24.3% by the end of 2007. Dmitry Pleskonos, a VimpelCom vice-chairman, blamed the drop on the ongoing upgrading of the ArmenTel network, which causes periodical disruptions in phone connection, and VivaCell’s aggressive marketing strategy. ‘We did not react sufficiently to the activity displayed by our business competitors,’ he told a news conference in Yerevan yesterday. Pleskonos and other VimpelCom executives were speaking to journalists as ArmenTel officially renamed its wireless division Beeline, the brand name used by VimpelCom and its other subsidiaries.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:11:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Argentine mobile operator Claro, owned by Mexican giant America Movil (AM), expects to invest USD1 billion within the next three years, reports BNamericas, quoting an interview with AM CEO Daniel Hajj in local paper La Nacion. The executive said the investment will be chiefly geared towards the expansion of the 3G network and new platforms. Claro, until last month known as CTI Movil, expects to obtain additional spectrum to achieve its expansion programme in the country, Hajj said. Rival cellco Movistar Argentina, owned by Spain’s Telefonica, was obliged to return 35MHz of spectrum in the 850MHz band as a condition of the merger of its two local units Movicom and Unifon in 2005. Hajj said Movistar should have returned the frequencies by the end of 2007, and called on the government to launch international bidding once the spectrum becomes available. Claro hopes to obtain the additional allocation to increase its penetration in the Buenos Aires area. In the meantime, the cellco expects to deploy 250 additional base stations this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:09:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Natrindo Telepon Selular has revealed it plans to spend more than USD500 million deploying its network and expanding coverage in 2008. The cellco began offering revamped services in East Java in February 2008, and hopes to expand to the capital Jakarta by the end of April, before attaining nationwide coverage by the end of the year. The company is now using the brand name Axis as it seeks to distinguish itself from its previous incarnation – under the Lippo moniker – that failed to make any kind of dent in the market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:06:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Cuban News Agency reports that USD250,000 worth of improvements are being made to the fixed line network in the south-central province of Cienfuegos by state-owned incumbent and monopoly telco Cuban Telephone Enterprise (ETECSA). The work includes the digitalisation of exchanges and the installation of new lines to the main medical centres in the province, and to residential zones close to a sugar mill and the oil refinery jointly operated by Cuba and Venezuela. ETECSA spokesman Luis Antuna said that although workers were ‘pushing themselves hard [for the] improvement of local telecommunications,’ the economic, financial and commercial blockade of Cuba by the US means that the cost of the necessary equipment for the project is around 30% higher than it should be.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:00:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |