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 Tuesday, May 13, 2008

At the Canalys Navigation Forum in Taipei this week there will be a lot of discussion by industry experts about the future of Taiwan’s role in both the global and Asia-Pacific regional markets for satellite navigation solutions. But Taiwan’s local market will also be considered, with the first presentation of results from a new survey of over 1,000 Taiwan consumers, which explores the local opportunity for GPS navigation and location-based services on mobile phones and portable navigation devices (PNDs).

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“When asked which services they were interested in having on their mobile phone, whether for free or at a small ongoing cost, maps and navigation came top,” added Canalys analyst Daryl Chiam. “This was much more popular than having television or music on the phone, and these were some way ahead of services that are spreading out from use on the PC, such as web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging. We find that, although consumer mobile application preferences can vary quite a lot by country, having maps, location and navigation information is usually at, or very near, the top of the list.”

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 2:08:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In recent years WCDMA subscriptions have grown apace: from 18 million at the end of 2004 to 170 million at the end of 2007. ABI Research forecasts that figure to rise to 740 million by the end of 2013.3

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Some of the benefits of spectrum refarming are:

  • Radio wave propagation loss is less, so fewer base stations are required;
  • Improved in-building penetration: over 70% of phone calls are now made indoors;
  • Greater likelihood of rural coverage. Rural communities do not want to be separated by the “3G Divide.”
Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 2:03:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuela had a total of 24.4 million mobile subscribers at the end of March 2008, up by 24.5% compared with 19.6 million a year earlier, giving the country a cellular penetration rate of 88.5%, according to telecoms regulator Conatel. The watchdog also reported that total mobile traffic across the networks of the three national cellcos Movilnet, Movistar and Digitel increased by 33.5% year-on-year in the first quarter.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 1:58:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Macedonian alternative fixed line operator On.Net yesterday announced it was launching commercial voice telephony services in competition with the incumbent, Deutsche Telekom-backed Makedonski Telekom which trades under the T-Com banner, and that it intends to introduce new services and prices up to 60% below those offered by its established rival. In a press release reported by Makfax, On.Net, which was set up as an internet service provider in the country and has been owned by Telecom Slovenije since 2006, said it would create a new unit, Ontel, as a separate entity to offer the service. It is understood Ontel will kick off with an introductory offer of a free connection and free calls to other Ontel users. In addition, calls to mobile numbers will cost up to 15%-20% less, it said, while domestic long-distance (DLD) and international long-distance (ILD) voice calls would be up to 60% cheaper. Ontel will begin selling its service packages from 12 May in the capital Skopje only, setting its basic monthly fee at MKD990 (USD24.63) including 300 on-net voice minutes. The service will be rolled out to other areas ‘soon’ it said. On.Net was cleared to enter the domestic fixed line voice telephony market last year but has struggled to do so citing the high interconnection prices imposed by Makedonski Telekom as the reason for a delay.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 1:57:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has set out the rules for a massive 93 million line GSM cellular order - with 21 million of those lines to be 3G - worth an estimated $6.5 billion and believed to be the largest cellular tender available in the world today.

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Putting the size of the BSNL tender in perspective, as of the end of March, BSNL had 36.21 million GSM subscribers and 4.58 million CDMA-based fixed-wireless subscribers. That puts it fourth in size the Indian market behind Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, and Vodafone Essar. BSNL blames its line count in large part on its failure to get all the lines it wanted in 2006, leaving it capacity-constrained in the face of more nimble and rapidly growing private carriers. It also blames from ITI, and by implication Alcatel Lucent, for delays in receiving equipment.

Dramatizing just how hot Indian cellular market growth has become, the BSNL contract is equivalent to around 40 percent of the country's entire current mobile subscriber base. The total now stands at a bit more than 260 million subscribers, of whom 75 million are CDMA and the majority GSM.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 8:38:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 12, 2008

The UAE's second national operator (SNO) Du has admitted that one in five of its subscribers have never used their account, according to Dubai business daily the Kipp Report. According to the operator, the total number of mobile customers at 31 March 2008 was around 1.7 million, out of which 354,000 subscribers had not made a call or sent a text or picture message during the first three months of their subscription.

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority defines an ‘active subscriber’ as one who has made or received a call, or sent an SMS or MMS, within the last 90 days. Du is hoping that its admission will be seen as an act of transparency and will win favour for the brand. Thanks to giveaway promotions many UAE users signed up for Du account, but continue to use their Etisalat number.

Du released the active subscribers' numbers along with its first quarter results. The company reported revenues for the quarter ending 31 March 2008 of around USD20 million, an increase of 18% over the previous quarter and 313% compared with the first quarter of 2007, during which it first launched services. Du’s bottom line for the first three months of 2008 was a loss of around USD16 million, compared with a loss of USD40 million incurred in the final quarter of 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 12, 2008 3:51:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Uganda’s newest wireless network operator, Warid Telecom, has announced the launch of a new calling plan that allows customers to place calls to other Warid users and to only pay for the first two minutes of use, no matter how long the call. ‘Effective this month, the first two minutes of a phone call will be chargeable and the rest will be free,’ Zul Javaid, Warid's country general manager, told reporters.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 12, 2008 3:50:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region in south-eastern Bangladesh has finally been brought under coverage of mobile phone services with the launching of test operations by state-owned Teletalk in the Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts, reports local newspaper The Daily Star. The three hilly districts, which border India and Myanmar (Burma) and have a population of over a million, are reportedly the last in Bangladesh to be connected to mobile networks. Local sources also said private operators have begun installing base stations in the CHT.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 12, 2008 3:49:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), 90% of Ozzie household consumers have both a fixed line phone and mobile phone; of those households, 45% prefer to use mobiles for voice calls even when at home. The report also showed that just 10% of households with a fixed line did not have a mobile, while 20% of household consumers have used or are using a VoIP service.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 12, 2008 3:48:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union yesterday published its latest broadband subscriber data. According to ITU, the world added over 50 million broadband subscribers between December 2006 and December 2007. Most of the world's 330 million fixed broadband subscribers are concentrated in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

ITU data show that by the end of 2007, five European countries lead the world in terms of fixed broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland lead the "top 30" list, followed by the Republic of Korea.

Asia's economies continue to rank well and the top-30 list includes the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, China, Macao, China, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, China, Singapore, and New Zealand. In terms of total fixed broadband subscribers the top-30 list represents close to 65 percent of the world's total braodband subscribers. This confirms a significant digital divide in terms of broadband uptake and penetration in the world. In Africa, especially, broadband penetration remains very low. The Seychelles, the country with (by far) the highest broadband penetration in Africa, has 3.5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

Source: ITU.

Monday, May 12, 2008 2:13:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh based Warid Telecom has announced plans to invest around US$250 million over the next twelve months to expand its network coverage. The company, which only launched its service a year ago is already the country's fourth largest operator by subscriber numbers.

"We haven't reached the optimum level in terms of subscriber acquisition," said Warid's CEO, Muneer Farooqui, adding, "Our strategy is to go ahead with best quality network. So, we have no intention to have a huge number of subscribers if we fail to provide them best services only."

Farooqui also called on the government to lower the BDT800 (US$11.80) tax on each SIM card sold - which was only introduced in 2004 - as it was slowing the expansion of mobile services into rural areas. "This tax is tremendously affecting our business," he said.

The operator launched its network with coverage in 28 districts, which has now been expanded to include 61 districts - out of 64 for the country as a whole.

The country already has six operators - and according to figures from the Mobile World, ended last year with just under 34.4 million mobile subscribers - which is still a population penetration level of just 22.6%. Also worth noting is that while the country has six operators, only four of them are of any significant scale, Grameenphone (15m), Banglalink (6m) and Aktel (7m) and finally, Warid Telecom (2.1m). The two remaining long term incumbents, Citycell and Teletalk barely add up to 2 million customers between them.

The country is currently under military controlled emergency law, and it is expected that democratic elections may be held later this year. Brig General (Retd) MA Malek who head the Ministry of Telecommunications is a military appointment.

Vodafone has also been reported to be seeking an investment opportunity in the country - generally thought to be through a buyout of the 30% shareholder in Aktel, textiles group AK Khan for around US$300 million.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, May 12, 2008 2:01:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bangladesh's operators face the loss of a collective 3 million subscribers as a deadline to register each active SIM card by the end of this month will not be extended. Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) told reporters that "the re-registration deadline won't be extended anymore,"

Click here to see full article

Bangladesh ended the first quarter with just under 39 million subscribers - and according to figures from the Mobile World, Grameenphone is the dominant operator with (currently) some 17.5 million customers and a marker share of just under 46%.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, May 08, 2008 9:22:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A report by New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority has found that nearly half of the country's children (42%) use a mobile phone. The report also found that New Zealand children are savvy media users and that while there has been an explosive growth of media devices in homes in the past few years, television remains the principal form of entertainment.

The research was carried out by Colmar Brunton for the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) and involved interviewing more than 600 children aged between six and 13 and their primary caregivers.

Ninety nine percent of children watch TV programmes, 84% play computer or video games, 62% use the internet and 42% use a cellphone.

BSA Chief Executive Dominic Sheehan said "Not surprisingly, the research reveals that children are interacting with new media, like cell phones, MP3 players and the internet, in high numbers. However, there are marked inequalities in access to new media, with Pacific and Maori children, in particular, falling behind Asian and Pakeha children."

The report also noted that 89 percent of Asian children and 77 percent of Pakeha children use a computer at home with access to the internet compared with just 53 per cent of Maori children and 38 per cent of Pacific children.

The full report is available on the BSA website.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 8:30:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to new a research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of cellular network connections used for machine-to-machine communication will grow from 37.5 million connections in 2007 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.9 percent to 186 million connections in 2012.

GSM and legacy technologies currently dominate the market and accounted for about 71 percent of the total number of active connections at the end of 2007. CDMA was the second largest technology with a strong foothold in North America and parts of Asia-Pacific. WCDMA has so far primarily been adopted for machine-to-machine applications in Japan. Elsewhere the adoption is held back by high component costs and limited network coverage.

Berg Insight has found that machine-to-machine applications today in general correspond to between 1-3 percent of the reported number of mobile subscribers in developed markets. In Sweden and Finland the share is closer to 10 percent due to extensive use of GPRS for meter reading applications.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 8:27:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 06, 2008

France’s mobile operators and MVNOs added a net 373,000 new mobile users in the first three months of this year to take the total mobile subscriber base to 55.731 million at the end of March. According to data published by the industry watchdog Arcep, by the start of April the pre-paid base stood at 18.875 million, down 173,900 on the previous quarter, while contract users grew by 546,900 to 36.856 million. The country’s MVNOs accounted for close to 70,000 net additions in 1Q08, to end the period with a total of 2.671 million customers, in a period in which mobile number porting reached 305,900. Arcep said total mobile revenues on mainland France reached EUR5.46 billion (USD8.44 billion), up 3.2% year-on-year, while average monthly ARPU was EUR35.60, down from EUR35.80 in Q407, but up marginally from EUR34.50 in the first quarter of 2007. SMS traffic climbed 47% year-on-year to 6.913 billion messages as voice traffic increased by 7.2% to 35.58 billion minutes.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 2:01:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 05, 2008

Web monitoring firm, Nielsen has reported that mobile Internet extends the audience reach of many leading Internet sites by an average of 13 percent over home PC traffic alone. For some categories, such as weather and entertainment, the extended reach can be even greater.

Click here to see full article

According to Nielsen, 87 million U.S. mobile users subscribe to mobile Internet services, and more than one in ten mobile subscribers (13.7 percent) actively uses mobile Internet each month. TotalWeb integrates data from Nielsen Online and Nielsen Mobile to report how this growing segment uses both mobile devices and PCs to access the Web.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, May 05, 2008 8:57:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 02, 2008

Under a new 15-year agreement, Telefonica International Wholesale Services (TIWS) will provide Ecuador's government with 200Mbps of internet capacity to be used for educational and social projects across the country, reports BNamericas. The country's telecommunications development fund Fodetel will be in charge of the execution of the projects, and telecoms agency Senatel said it expects the social programmes will benefit approximately a million people. Last year, TIWS linked Ecuador to its 10Gbps SAM-1 international submarine cable.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, May 02, 2008 3:35:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fighting increasing competition in the pre-paid market, T-Mobile USA has introduced a new pre-paid calling plan, ‘Pay By The Day’. The plan costs USD1 per day and allows users to place calls for USD0.10 per minute. Users also get unlimited daytime calls to other T-Mobile numbers and unlimited nationwide, off-net calls in the evenings.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, May 02, 2008 3:34:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone UK has revamped its mobile internet tariffs and henceforth, contract customers will no longer need to buy an additional internet bundle for £7.50 but instead every plan will automatically include internet access. Customers will get up to 500MB of data traffic per month included with their existing tariffs.

Price plans start at £25 and customers who select a £40 or higher price plan will also for the first time have the choice of unlimited texts, unlimited landline calls or unlimited Vodafone to Vodafone calls.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 02, 2008 3:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 30, 2008

 

Data published by ITU's Market, Information and Statistics Division highlights continued high growth rates in the mobile market, and particulaly in developing regions. By the end of 2007, over 70% of the world's mobile subscribers were from developing countries. A positive trend, since in 2006 developing countries represented 67% of all mobile subscriber. Five years earlier, in 2002, they represented less than 50%. Africa remains the region with the highest growth rate (32% in 2006/2007) and mobile penetration in Africa has risen from just one in 50 people at the beginning of this century to almost one third of the population today. Africa’s mobile penetration of 28% compares to 37% in Asia, 72% in the Americas, and 110% in Europe. [The latter number, which surpasses the 100 percent mark, confirms that mobile subscriber data do not strictly correspond to mobile phone users. Double counting takes place, especially when one person owns multiple SIM cards and when operators do not identify active subscribers.]

 

 

In absolute numbers, China and India are the countries that have added the greatest number of mobile subscribers during the year - some 86 million and 68 million, respectively.

 

Mobile cellular is increasingly dominating the telephone market and worldwide, mobile subscribers represent no less then 71 percent of all (fixed and mobile) telephone subscribers. In Africa, this percentage is close to 90 percent. The continued growth in the mobile sector is matched by no-growth in the fixed line sector, which has been stagnating at just under 20% globally for the last years. Exceptions include some developing countries, such as Nigeria. Africa’s most populated country has been able to increase fixed-line penetration from below one, to over 4% within five years, mainly through fixed-wireless systems.

 

ITU's Internet and broadband data suggest that more and more countries are going high speed. By the end of 2007, over 50 percent of all Internet subscribers had a high speed connection. Dial-up is being replaced by broadband across developed and developing countries, including Senegal, Chile and Turkey, where broadband subscribers represent over 90 percent of all Internet subscribers. At the same time, major differences in broadband penetration levels remain and the number of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants varies significantly between regions. While broadband penetration stood at less than one percent in Africa, it had reached much higher levels in Europe (16%) and the Americas region (10%).  The difference in the uptake of broadband is also reflected by the regional distribution of total broadband subscribers.

 

 

Some of ITU's key World Telecommunication/ICT data, encompassing over 200 economies worldwide, for the fixed line, mobile cellular, and Internet/broadband market, are available through the ITU's ICT Eye , the one-stop shop for ICT information and statistics. For more information on ITU's World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, see: World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database.

 

Source: ITU.

Broadband | ITU | Mobile | World
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:07:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile connections in South Korea reached 44.27m at the end of March 2008, with just under 260.0k net additions in the month. This was 21% lower than the March 2007 figure of 329.1k. On a quarterly basis growth was also down, with net additions of 768.5k in Q1 08 compared to 904.1k in Q1 07, and proportionate growth falling from 2.2% to 1.8%. However, the Q1 08 growth rate was higher than the rates recorded in both Q1 05 and Q1 06, and on a rolling annual basis the growth rate of 7.7% was the third highest over the past three years behind the 7.8% and 8.2% rates of Q3 07 and Q4 07 respectively.

Monthly Churn Rates, April 2007 - March 2008

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:57:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |