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 Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In Fitch Ratings' review of 72 operators from 27 different countries, total aggregate wireless subscribers reached 1.681 billion for 2007, representing an annual growth of 17.6%, which is lower than the 2006 annual growth rate of 18.9%. However, the absolute number of new subscribers increased from 200 million in this study for 2006 to 250 million for 2007.

The annual growth rate for individual regions of this study for 2007 consisted of 10% for the United States/Canada, 8% for Western Europe, 22% for Latin America and 23% for Asia/Pacific. Interestingly, Western Europe has experienced a surge in growth compared to the 2006 growth rate of 6%, due to strong growth in Germany and Italy. The increase in growth is reflective of lower tariff rates and termination charges and more flat rate service plans. Latin America's growth rate has fallen compared to 2006 due to a larger overall subscriber base. However, Asia/Pacific continues a steady march of strong growth due, in part, to exceptional growth in India and Indonesia.

In Fitch's study, prepaid subscribers as a percentage of the total global aggregate subscriber base was 60% in 2007, up from 58% in 2006. Prepaid subscribers grew approximately 19% in 2007 versus a post-paid subscriber annual growth rate of approximately 6%. The strongest prepaid subscriber growth was in Asia/Pacific with a 2007 annual growth of approximately 27%, led by significant growth associated with India and China. The United States/Canada also experienced strong prepaid growth in 2007 at approximately 23% due to increased sales focus on this underpenetrated market segment in that region. Similarly, Latin America achieved prepaid growth of approximately 22% in a region that is nearly entirely prepaid subscribers. Prepaid penetration is highest in countries with relatively expensive and difficult to acquire fixed line services. Additionally, decreases in tariff rates have spurred prepaid wireless as a substitution for fixed-line services.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:50:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 16, 2008

IDC is forecasting that companies and government agencies will spend more than US$746 billion on external services in 2008, representing a growth rate of 6.8% over 2007. Despite - and in some cases because of - a weak U.S. economy, there are many market forces driving enterprises to continue to turn to service vendors for assistance. Additionally, increased customer use of new and often disruptive delivery options (e.g., hosting, SaaS, and utility computing) will encourage service provides, especially outsourcers, to focus their investments in these areas.

"In these tough economic times, service vendors are faced with both new and old challenges. The worldwide services competitive landscape keeps intensifying with many new entrants with new business and pricing models as well as the strengthened capabilities of up-and-coming players that are extending their reach into new markets. This is a time for service vendors to aggressively review their portfolio of offerings, account targets, investment strategies, business processes, and delivery practices," said Marianne Hedin, program manager for Worldwide Services and SOA: The Services Opportunity research services.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:51:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's Bharti Airtel has announced its achievement of crossing the 4-million customer mark in Delhi, adding that it has become the first and the only mobile operator to achieve this milestone in a Metro circle. Airtel’s journey to the 4 million landmark has been path - breaking, having added the last million in just 14 months.

In the year ahead, Airtel says that it will continue to focus and build on its network and customer service. Airtel currently has an extensive network of cell sites across Delhi and NCR and plans to increase them by over 26 % in FY 08-09.

Mr. Shashi Arora, CEO- Airtel Delhi circle, (Mobility) Bharti Airtel, said, “The 4 million milestone speaks volumes of the trust that our customers have in the Airtel brand. This achievement is a testimony of our ability to offer innovative and affordable services like Super Lifetime, Re 1 Local tariff, reduced STD and Roaming tariffs etc. As we move forward, I take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to provide high-quality services and value for money products to our customers.”

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:48:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MEXICO CITY -(Dow Jones)- Mexico's wireless subscribers rose to 71 million at the end of March, up from about 59.4 million in the year-earlier period, according to data from the country's four mobile operators.

Market leader Telcel, a unit of Latin America's largest mobile phone company America Movil, said in its first-quarter earnings report that its subscriber base grew 14.7% on the year to 51.5 million.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:46:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kenya's new government is considering a new law to require all mobile phone subscribers to register their identities with the network operators. The move, proposed in a private members bill by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo is reported to be in response to threats sent by SMS during the recent post-election violence in the country.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:43:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 15, 2008

The global market for Mobile Web 2.0 will be worth US$22.4 billion in 2013, up from US$5.5 billion currently, according to a new report by Juniper Research. Embracing social networking & User Generated Content (UGC), mobile search and mobile IM (Instant Messaging), Mobile Web 2.0 provides a framework for delivery of collaborative applications, further enhanced and contextualised via LBS (Location Based Services).

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:16:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ITU just published a new report on “Measuring ICT availability in villages and rural areas”. The study will help measure one of the objectives of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), “to connect villages with information and communication technologies (ICT) and establish community access points.” The study estimates that the world is home to about three million villages, of which 92 per cent are in the developing world.

 

Note — Regional figures are country averages. Telephone refers to fixed-telephone service. Data are from the latest national household survey which is not always compiled on an annual basis. The dates of the surveys used to compile the date range from 2000-2006.

Source: ITU/BDT research.

It also provides estimates on the availability of electricity, fixed-telephone service and public Internet facilities in localities, by region, across the world. Except for Africa, the level of electrification has reached over half the world’s cities, towns and villages, including almost all in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).  Country averages for communities with a telephone service reache close to 50 per cent in the Americas and in the Asia-Pacific region, and 60 per cent in Europe & CIS. In Africa, just over ten per cent of communities have a fixed-telephone service, compared with nearly 30 per cent in the Arab States. Except for Europe&CIS, country averages for Internet access are very low. In the Americas, around one in six communities has Internet access, compared to one in ten in the Asia-Pacific region. Elsewhere, the country average is below five per cent. Africa stands out with very low levels of access to ICT. For the developing world as a whole, ITU estimates that 30 per cent of communities have fixed-telephone access and eight per cent have Internet access.

To see the full report, go to: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/material/Measuring%20ICT_web.pdf.

Source: ITU.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:09:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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).

Click here to see full article

“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.”

Click here to see full article

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

Click here to see full article

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.

Click here to see full article

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)  #     |