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 Friday, June 13, 2008

APA-London (United Kingdom) Africa now has 300 million mobile phone subscribers with a penetration rate fast approaching 30 percent, according to the latest marketers’ assessment unveiled on Thursday in London.

As many prefer pay-as-you-go use, mobile phones are attached to bikes and boats and taken to where the business is.

In Uganda these bikes, known locally as boda bodas, are hooked up with spare batteries and desktop mobile devices to create what are affectionately known as ’Bodafones’.

Some mobile phone functions can be more useful in Africa than in Western countries, such as the ability to work as a torch.

Charging phones is more of a problem but the arrival of cheap solar panels should help solve that.

In South Africa, the phone model “Call Me” allows Vodacom subscribers to send up to five messages per day, free of charge, requesting a call back from the receiver.

Services such as these have emerged in response to consumer behaviour, users who would have previously “flashed” the person they wished to speak to by ringing their phone once and hanging up.

“Call Me” formalizes the process, helps minimizes network traffic through fewer prematurely disconnected calls.

Most parents with teenagers are probably familiar with the idea.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:58:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report dealing with the broader issues of rural connectivity in Africa to be launched next week by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) reveals that a number of novel and multi-stakeholder partnerships, unique business models and innovative technologies are, for the first time, paving the way to connect many of Africa’s rural communities, on a sustainable, profitable basis.

The report provides evidence that contrary to some assumptions that the private sector can lead the effort to connect Africa’s rural populations, the experiences of industrialised countries like Canada, the Unites States and Australia is that governments have had to lead the effort, but in close collaboration with the private sector and local communities. The report calls for Commonwealth African governments to implement their national ICT policies as part of a wider national development strategy and to make faster in-roads into rural ICT rollout through public private peoples partnerships (PPPPs), with local communities playing a more pivotal role.

The report finds that the key to successful partnerships between the public and private sectors and other ICT stakeholders is to encourage local ownership, thereby nurturing the community’s enthusiasm for effective connectivity and ensuring the sustainability of ICT investments.

The CTO study found that whereas Commonwealth countries such as Malaysia and India have made significant in-roads in rural connectivity, Commonwealth African countries like Sierra Leone and Zambia are lagging behind in rural access, leading to poor and overall slow economic growth. The report finds that although recent years have seen dramatic growth in penetration rates in some African countries, especially through mobile networks, the continent’s aggregate penetration rate is still less than 20 percent.

“For Internet access and use, the figures are well below 5 percent for most of Africa. Over 60 percent of Africa’s population lives in unconnected rural areas and represent an untapped market, holding enormous potential for growth for service providers, equipment manufacturers and the entire telecommunications industry”, the report claims.

By way of conclusion the report calls for ICT policy provisions that focus on universal and rural access, in order to affirm the commitment of governments to providing basic ICT services to poor, isolated and marginalised communities . There is also the need for continued incremental and a more methodical process of liberalisation and privatisation of the telecommunications sector in many African countries, and a variety of regulatory safeguards need to be put in place to foster competition and promote a conducive environment for rural connectivity.

Commenting on the initiative the CEO of CTO, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said: “The evidence we have accumulated in the course of this 9-month study demonstrates that most of Africa’s rural populations could well be connected over the next decade. This is partly because an unusual confluence of sounder policies, relevant legislation, improving regulatory practices, the establishment of universal access and service agencies and the revenues they have acquired, new technologies and business models, and the availability of funding from a plethora of sources, all make it now possible for most of Africa to be connected wirelessly within the next ten years. According to the CTO CEO, who is a former Minister of Communications of Ghana, “the pilot project models we have found to work best are where a combination of public institutions and private ICT operators or equipment vendors have found it possible to involve local groups or communities in structuring, ownership or management of the ICT assets, to ensure their more effective use and sustainable operation. We hope that more companies will join the CTO as we move to the second phase of this important initiative to replicate and scale-up a number of selected model projects, so that the benefits of ICTs can be enjoyed by millions more in Africa. Connecting the majority of Africans to the Information Super Highway is necessary if African countries are to benefit from the global knowledge revolution,” said the CTO CEO.

The project was undertaken under the auspices of the Commonwealth Connects programme, which involves collaboration with a number of Commonwealth agencies, including the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is supported by the International Telecommunication Union, as part of efforts to help unearth market opportunities, enhance technological advancements, as well as accelerate social development and economic growth by connecting rural communities in the 18 Commonwealth African countries.

The first phase of the project was aimed at discovering how telecommunications regulation, policy, legislation, and operational, technological and financial models affect the potential for cost-effective rural connectivity in the 18 African Commonwealth countries. The research compiled similar information on initiatives and best practices of five selected non-African countries namely USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and India, countries that have enjoyed greater success in connecting their rural populations. Subsequently the initiative is to devise effective dissemination channels for the report and identify 10 pilot projects for adaptation and replication to form the basis for the second phase of the project.

The Commonwealth African Rural Connectivity Initiative (COMARCI) has so far received financial support from the Government of Malta, BT Global, Vodacom Group, Telkom of South Africa, Celtel Uganda and from the CTO itself.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:55:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ireland’s independent telecoms regulator the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has outlined new proposals designed to expand the definition of wholesale unbundled access to take on board fibre-based networks and not just the DSL platforms currently covered. Siliconrepublic.com says that the move is seen as a means of driving broadband uptake in the Republic by encouraging alternative operators to expand their local loop unbundling (LLU) footprints. In a consultation document published yesterday, ComReg concludes that former monopoly operator eircom controls 70% of all xDSL connections in the country and that furthermore, DSL technology accounts for 60% of all broadband connectivity in the country. As a result, ComReg contends that only eircom has significant market power (SMP) in the broadband segment and that it now intends to expand wholesale broadband access to include not just DSL, but all forms of local access technology, including fibre and any next generation networks (NGNs), the incumbent may look to deploy. In addition, ComReg is looking at new measures that would require eircom to provide alternative operators with at least five years notice if it decided to close down a local exchange in which they had co-located equipment.

The regulator’s plans have been broadly welcomed by smaller operators with Smart Telecom’s manager of regulatory affairs, John Quinn, saying the decision to create a ‘technology neutral environment’ would encourage alternative operators to invest in new networks. ‘This will put Ireland in line with other European countries and means that the access network is not just copper but future fibre networks,’ he said. Smart now intends to invest more heavily in its LLU programme which currently involves 37 exchanges across Ireland, covering around half a million potential subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:47:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo has revealed it is cutting its monthly mobile tariffs in a bid to match rivals KDDI and Softbank Mobile, as the domestic mobile price war begins to intensify. DoCoMo still controls roughly half the market but has seen its share whittled away by its rivals in the past year. This month, KDDI unveiled a JPY980 (USD9.12) per month plan to compete with number three player Softbank, which has won more subscribers than either of its larger rivals since April 2007 on the back of its low-price strategy and aggressive advertising campaigns. Reuters reports that DoCoMo is dropping its lowest tariff plan by nearly 7% to JPY980 from July to match the competition.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:43:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

News agency Trend Capital reports that Azerfon, known locally as Nar Mobile, deployed 55 new base stations last month, lifting overall network coverage to 80% of the Azerbaijan's territory. The cellco was granted a GSM-900/1800 licence in December 2005 and launched GSM/GPRS/EDGE services in late March 2007. It currently has an estimated 700,000 subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:38:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Commerce over mobile devices such as cell phones is accelerating in the US, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. Already, 9 million US mobile subscribers say they have used their mobile phone to pay for goods or services, and half of all data users (49%) say they expect to participate in mobile commerce in the future. Nielsen Mobile presented an overview of the opportunities in mobile commerce at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition.

Among the findings presented:

  • As of Q1 2008, 3.6 percent (9.2 million) of US mobile subscribers use their phone to pay for goods or services
  • Men are more likely than women to use their phone for commerce: 4.5 percent (4.9 million) of men and 3.0 percent (4.3 million) of women say they have made a purchase using their phone
  • Adults ages 25-34 are the most likely to have made a purchase using their phone: 5.4 percent (3 million) of adults ages 25-34 have made a purchase, compared to 3.6 percent of all mobile subscribers
  • 49 percent of mobile data users, those subscribers who have used one or more data features on their phone such as text messaging or the mobile internet within the past 30 days, say that it is likely they will conduct mobile commerce in the future

Mobile websites are one popular way consumers make purchases over the mobile phone. Of the 40 million active US users of the mobile web in April 2008, 5 million accessed mobile shopping and auction websites -- up 73% from April 2007, when just 2.9 million mobile users did so. Auction site eBay is the most popular shopping or auction destination on the mobile web, with 3.4 million unique visitors in April.

Purchasing items via text messaging is another growing form of mobile commerce. Some services allow consumers to send text messages to a phone number or mobile shortcode in order to be charged for goods or services directly on their mobile phone bills. Already, 6.5 million US mobile consumers say they've used text messaging to purchase an item.

"For many of the millions of consumers who are already shopping online or over landline phones, mobile commerce is an obvious and useful extension of that opportunity," said Nic Covey, director of insights at Nielsen Mobile who presented the data at the conference. "As more mobile commerce services become available and consumers develop a greater trust for phone-based transactions, we expect commerce to be an increasingly important part of the mobile experience next year and beyond."

The findings come from Nielsen Mobile's monthly Mobile Insights survey of more than 30,000 US wireless subscribers, with similar data available internationally.

Nielsen's study reveals that security is the number one concern among those mobile data users not yet participating in m-commerce:

  • 41 percent of data users who do not participate in mobile commerce say security is their biggest concern
  • 23 percent say they worry about being charged for the airtime
  • 21 percent say they don't trust that the transaction will be completed

"As with other forms of electronic commerce, US consumers need proof that mobile transactions will be a safe, affordable and efficient complement to other modes of shopping," said Covey. "As long as retailers continue to meet those expectations, more consumers will come to view mobile shopping as a compelling and viable option."

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 13, 2008 8:20:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 12, 2008

The total number of mobile connections in North America rose to 277.90m at the end of Q1 08, from 257.60m a year earlier. The penetration rate saw a 5.3pp gain to 82.5%. Obviously this figure is close to the 84.9% penetration rate in the USA, the region's largest market by some distance with 92.7% of North America's mobile customers, although it is dragged down by the low Canadian rate of just 60.5%.The other two markets in the region are so small as to have little bearing on the total penetration rate. St. Pierre et Miquelon, a group of small islands off Newfoundland which are an overseas territory of France, had 2,935 mobile customers at the end of Q1 08, and a penetration rate of 41.7%. Meanwhile, Greenland was the region's most penetrated market by some distance with 96.9% of the population owning a mobile phone, which amounts to around 55k connections.

By far the fastest growing technology in North America is W-CDMA, which saw a 336.7% gain in customers in the 12 months ending 31st March 2008. The total number of W-CDMA connections surpassed the 10m mark during Q1 08 to finish the quarter on 11.12m. This is still below the number of iDEN customers, which stood at 16.56m at the end of Q1, but with iDEN losing 5.09m customers year on year and W-CDMA gaining 8.57m, it seems likely that iDEN will lose its status as North America's third most important technology before the end of 2008.

CDMA remains the dominant standard with 52.7% of the total North American customer base, or 146.49m connections, up from 130.6m (50.7% of the total) a year earlier.

The number of GSM connections broke through the 100m barrier to reach 103.7m at the end of Q1, but growth more than halved from 15.0% in the 12 months to the end of Q1 07, to 7.0% in the subsequent 12 months, as a consequence of the success of W-CDMA. Annual CDMA customer growth was also down compared to the prior twelve months with a 4.4pp fall in the rate, although it remained in double digits with a 12.2% yearly gain.

The total customer growth rate also fell compared to the prior 12 months, from 11.6% to 7.9%. This is the lowest rolling annual growth rate ever recorded in the North American region, and we fully expect it to be the lowest rate of any region in the world in Q1 08.

Source: Cellular News.

Americas | Mobile | OECD
Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:10:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Swedes are increasingly placing calls, surfing and sending text messages, which led to sharply increased traffic and increased revenues for mobile network operators in 2007. For the first time, total revenues from services in mobile networks exceed revenues from fixed telephony according to a report from the telecoms regulator, the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS).

In December 2007, nearly half a million customers used mobile Internet services, a sharp increase from just over 90,000 subscriptions one year earlier. Data traffic in mobile networks has increased tenfold since 2006. Mobile users placed more, and longer, calls in 2007 and sent an average of 40 text messages per month. Revenues from mobile services totalled SEK 19.7 billion in 2007, which is an increase of some 12 per cent since 2006. Mobile Internet services, by means of USB sticks or USB modems, account for more than SEK 1 billion of such revenues.

“We take mobile telephony for granted. We are used to placing calls whenever and almost wherever we want. 2007 was the year when even broadband users could seriously consider mobile Internet services when choosing a provider,” says Marianne Treschow, Director-General of PTS.

There were nearly 2.8 million subscriptions for fixed or mobile broadband at the end of 2007, which corresponds to 62 subscriptions per 100 households. Broadband services grew by more than 30 per cent in 2007.

The content service growing the fastest in fixed broadband networks is IPTV, for which there were 355 000 subscriptions at the end of 2007, compared with 50 000 subscriptions the year before. Subscriptions for IP-based telephony in broadband networks rose by more than 50 per cent to 623 000 subscriptions.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:07:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

EW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- Bharti Airtel, India's biggest cellphone operator by subscribers, added 2.46 million mobile users in May, data issued by an industry body showed Wednesday.

As a result, Bharti's total mobile phone user base has grown to nearly 66.83 million subscribers at the end of May, data from the Cellular Operators Association of India showed.

In May, Vodafone Essar added 1.69 million mobile phone users taking its total subscriber base to 47.47 million, said COAI, which represents the nine operators using global system for mobile communications technology.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. added 314,281 mobile phone users, taking its total subscriber base to 37 million at the end of May.

Idea Cellular added 1.1 million users and had 26.14 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of May.

Another state-run operator, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (500108.BY), added 66,686 mobile phone users in May, taking its total subscriber base to 3.35 million.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 10:09:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 11, 2008

500,000 fixed wireless telephony lines are to be deployed within the next six months in underserved areas of Lima, reports BNamericas citing an announcement by President Alan Garcia on the presidential website. The news follows the award of a contract to Movistar in January for the provision of fixed wireless services in the 450MHz band. Under the terms of the 20-year concession, Movistar is expected to provide fixed wireless and mobile services in Lima and neighbouring Callao in the 452.5MHz-457.5MHz and 462.5MHz-467.5 MHz frequency bands.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:08:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Information & Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) of Mauritius has forced the country’s telecoms operators adopt new lower rates for mobile and international long-distance (ILD) calls, following the passing of a new directive on 30 April. The new rates, which came into effect last Wednesday, include an MUR87 (USD0.032) reduction in the standard interconnection usage charge (IUC) for fixed and mobile networks, paid by carriers for every minute of communication. The ICTA had asked operators to submit revised retail tariff plans based on the lower IUC rate so that end users could benefit from less expensive calls. In the wake of a poor response, however, it said that it would ‘intervene in the interest of the general public’. To that end, the regulator is understood to have imposed a MUR87 reduction in the cost of making a mobile call to a fixed line, bringing the per-minute charge down from MUR4.35 to MUR3.48 a minute, using a pre-paid card. In the international segment calls have been cut to as little as MUR4 per minute to some destinations. Commenting on the ICTA’s move, Michel Rigot, the managing director of Outremer Telecom, said ‘Liberalisation in the telecommunications sector brings major tariff reductions along. What happened this week is a concrete example. Now, the Authority should think about introducing a real liberalisation process in other segments like internet that is still controlled by one operator, Mauritius Telecom.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:38:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Celtel Nigeria has launched a fixed payphone service targeting Nigerians unable to afford mobile phones or who live or work in places where mobile phone use is restricted. The service consists of a fixed payphone terminal and a special SIM card which can be carried about and recharged like a normal pre-paid SIM card. The operator claims the offering will help the government's Universal Access Initiative which is aimed at increasing telecoms access across the country.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:34:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

During the period 2007-2012, the worldwide mobile subscriber base is expected to increase by 1.8 billion. Around 67 percent of these new subscribers, i.e., a little above 1.2 billion subscribers, are expected to come from just 10 fast-growing country markets worldwide. Of these top 10 growth markets, nine have been identified as high-volume, low-ARPU [Average-Revenue-Per-User] emerging mobile markets with significant potential in the next five years.

A new report from Portio Research identified only ONE truly wealthy nation among this top 10, the United States of America, home to one of the highest ARPU rates in the world, yet also the 4th biggest growth market of the 2007-2012 period.

The US is expected to add more than 65 million mobile subscribers to the worldwide subscriber base in the period 2007-2012.

The report notes that this might look relatively insignificant compared to the massive numbers expected to be added from high-growth markets such as China (542 million) and India (282 million), but what makes the US mobile market an interesting market to study is the observation that a new mobile subscriber in the US is expected to generate between three and 13 times as much revenue expected from a new mobile subscriber in China, India and the other emerging markets in the top 10 in 2012.

Compounding this aggressive growth is the high ARPU network operators in the US achieve from their subscribers. Unlike many other mature mobile markets, where ARPU is in slow decline, in the US ARPU is forecast to remain high, even increasing slightly from 2007 levels as we move forward over the next 4 or 5 years. While the US will contribute only around 5.5 percent to the total number of new subscribers that are expected from the top 10 markets in the period 2007-2012, in terms of revenue, the country will account for around 25.2 percent of the total mobile service revenues generated by these 10 markets in 2012.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:29:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A recent report published by Dell’Oro Group revealed that although GSM was not the largest contributor to the growth of the total mobility infrastructure market during the first quarter of 2008, it grew nearly 10 percent over the year ago quarter. Driving the growth of the GSM market was the second largest number ever of base station shipments, exceeded only by the previous quarter, and the stabilization of equipment prices.

“For the first time, Asia Pacific represented over half of all GSM revenue,” stated Scott Siegler, Analyst of Mobility Infrastructure research at Dell’Oro Group. “Business in this highly price-sensitive region has resulted in double-digit quarter-to-quarter price reductions for the previous three quarters. Over these past several quarters, ASP’s were pushed downward as vendors sold equipment at exceptionally steep discounts in order to establish and expand their footprint in the region. This quarter, in contrast, vendors became more selective in the deals they were accepting, balancing the economics of the sale with their gain in market share. For the first time in four quarters we have seen ASP’s begin to stabilize,” Siegler continued.

The report also shows that the strong growth in GSM revenue offset the declines in the CDMA market which took a notable plunge during the first quarter.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:26:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 09, 2008

The total number of people signed up to one of Vietnam’s four network operators – VinaPhone, MobiFone, Viettel and S-Fone – has passed 48 million and is closing in on the 50 million barrier, VietNamNet Bridge reports citing data published by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). Of the total, around 90% are on a pre-paid option, the ministry said.

The leading operator by subscribers is Viettel with 19.42 million subscribers, followed by MobiFone with over 13.4 million, VinaPhone 12.1 million and 3.14 million for S-Fone. MIC’s Telecommunications Department calculates the totals based on the client management databases of the four network operators – a metric that it believes is more accurate than the operational figures published by the operators themselves.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 10:42:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Local newspaper the Zimbabwean reports that mobile tariffs have gone up by more than 1,500%. Reflecting the rampant inflation being suffered by the beleagured country, NetOne subscribers will now have to part with ZWD58 million per minute for a call to other NetOne users during peak periods – a significant sum to locals but just a tenth of a dollar in US dollar terms – while calls to customers on the Econet and Telecel networks will be charged at ZWD60 million per minute and ZWD72 million per minute respectively. Telecel has also reviewed its tariffs, and calls to users on its own network are now ZWD50 million, while to customers on other networks the figure is ZWD63 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 10:39:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

OKYO -(Dow Jones)- Softbank's mobile phone unit claimed the top spot in terms of net subscriber growth in May, pulling in more than double the number of net contracts garnered by bigger rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.


Third-ranked Softbank, which this week announced a deal to sell Apple's popular iPhone, may be starting to significantly reduce the gap between it and second-ranked KDDI in Japan's intensely competitive mobile carrier market.

Data released Friday on new subscription contracts signed by Japan's three major cell phone carriers showed that Softbank Mobile gained a net 173,700 subscribers to its mobile phone service during the just-ended month, by far outpacing the net 72,400 that KDDI gained and the 60,900 subscribers that NTT DoCoMo pulled in.

In April, Softbank Mobile also won the battle for subscribers by a significant margin, picking up a net 192,900 contacts compared with a net 96,000 gain for DoCoMo and a 118,700 net fall in subscribers for KDDI, due to the termination of its so-called Tu-Ka service.

At the end of May, Softbank had about 18.95 million subscribers, while KDDI had about 30.29 million contracts.

However, both companies still have a long way to go to catch up with market leader DoCoMo, which reported 53.54 million users at the end of May.

The race to attract new subscribers is likely to heat up over the coming months, with all three companies rolling out new products and strategies to compete in Japan's saturated mobile service market.

Earlier this week, Softbank said it would begin selling the iPhone brand in Japan by the end of the year, scoring a blow against DoCoMo, which until that point had been expected to be the first to report a deal with the U.S. firm.

Not to be outdone by Softbank's aggressive marketing campaign, which features household names Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz using the company's products, DoCoMo late last month launched 19 handsets for its 906i and 706i series in an attempt to widen the array of phones it offers.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:54:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Global Sales of mobile smartphones for the first three months of 2008 rose 29% on year, according to a report by Gartner released Friday.


Worldwide sales notched 32.2 million units, accounting for 11% of the global mobile device market, the report said. Nokia cornered a 45% share of the market, with sales up 25% on year.

"Nokia continued to maintain its leadership due to the variety of its smartphone portfolio, which includes a number of both high-end and mid-tier models available at different price points," Gartner said.

Research in Motion was the second-biggest smartphone vendor with 13.4% of the market driven by sales of the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl, while Apple was the third-largest vendor with a 5.3% share in the market. Smartphones are mobile phones that offer advanced capabilities often like functions in a personal computer.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:52:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Citing figures from the Broadcasting Communications Commission (BCC), the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOIS) reports that the country's broadband subscriber base broke through the 15 million barrier during April. KT Corp leads the way with a 44.2% share of the market, followed by Hanarotelecom (24%) and LG Powercom (12.2%). The remainder is split between smaller companies such as LG Dacom. Hanarotelecom's customer numbers are expected to have fallen in May, however, after 3,000 former and current subscribers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegedly selling their confidential information to telemarketers. LG Powercom stands as the company most likely to gain, according to industry watchers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:48:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil and Mexico will represent the largest opportunities in the Latin American mobile market, with a combined CAGR of 7% over the next five years. Together they will account for half of all sales in the region, says Pyramid Research in a new report. “Brazil and Mexico represent a significant proportion of the region’s mobile subscribers, accounting for 49% of the total,” comments Omar Salvador, Senior Analyst at Pyramid and author of the report.

Pyramid Research expects Brazil’s share of the region’s subscriptions to gain two percentage points. Peru will also make impressive gains, surpassing Chile in terms of overall subscriber numbers to take the number six spot in the region. Venezuela has overtaken Argentina to assume the third spot in the region. At the same time, the report found that mature markets such as Argentina, Chile and Colombia that have penetration rates above 75% - more than 10% higher than the regional average - will become smaller slices of the growing Latin American pie.

Latin America’s handset market is undergoing a transformation, with users upgrading from voice-only phones to phones with music and camera capabilities. The music category quadrupled handset sales since 2005, representing 17% of total handset sold in the region in 2007. Sony Ericsson and Nokia are the most active and successful in this segment, while other manufacturers are adjusting their portfolios to compete more effectively.

Pyramid expects the music-enabled category to almost triple in size, from 40m handsets sold in 2008 to 115m in 2012, when it will account for 58% of total handsets sales.

Source: Cellulat News.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:18:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 05, 2008

At the end of April, the number of mobile connections in India reached 264.19m, a 3.0% monthly increase. Excluding March 07, when Reliance suffered a net loss of over 4m due to the reclassification of its CDMA customers, this was the lowest proportionate monthly growth rate since April 2005. In absolute terms, there were 7.63m net additions in April 2008, the lowest figure for ten months. Nevertheless, this figure was 43.5% higher than the number of net additions recorded in April 2007, and in terms of annual net additions, a significant milestone was achieved: 101.82m net additions in the 12 months ending 30th April 2008, the first time the 100m mark has been passed in any market in the world.

GSM continues to dominate in India, with 73.77m net additions in the year compared to 28.05m for CDMA. At the end of April, there were 198.58m GSM customers and 65.61m CDMA. In proportionate terms, CDMA growth actually exceeded GSM growth in the 12 months ended 30 h April, with a 74.7% growth rate compared to GSM’s 59.1%; however, the CDMA figure was skewed by the reclassification of Tata’s WLL customer base as mobile in July 2007. Since then, GSM’s share of the total has been gradually increasing, reaching 75.2% at the end of April.

Bharti is the clear market leader in India with 64.37m customers, almost 17m higher than its nearest rival Reliance. Its market share has been steadily increasing, from 24.0% at the end of April 2007 to 24.4% a year later. Meanwhile, Reliance and Vodafone have been battling for second place for some time now, although Reliance has succeeded in fending off Vodafone’s challenge so far, despite the gap closing to 0.64m at the end of August 2007. At the end of April 2008, Reliance’s lead was 1.64m, with 47.42m customers compared to Vodafone’s 45.78m.

State-owned BSNL lost 0.14m customers in April but retained its fourth place with 36.26m. It lost 0.5pp market share in the month and 3.6pp annually. Meanwhile, IDEA finished on 25.04m, regaining the fifth place it ceded to Tata following the latter’s WLL reclassification.

Source: Cellular News.

 

Thursday, June 05, 2008 9:12:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Increasing adoption of messaging and content services is expected to push operator-billed data revenues in South America from $8.7 billion in 2008 to more than $23.3 billion by 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The report found that as voice revenues are coming under ever-increasing pressure from competitive pricing and regulatory intervention, operators are seeking to enhance their portfolios of on-portal content. However, it also cautioned that excessive retail price points and data download costs were continuing to restrict the development of rich media services across the region.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Although we’ve witnessed a quite remarkable surge in subscriber growth across the region over the past three years, South America continues to lag behind the rest of the world in terms of its uptake of non-voice services. And while this can in part be attributed to the historical difficulties around interoperability which delayed mass adoption of SMS services, it is also fair to say that the high cost of games, browsing and mobile video has acted as a significant inhibitor to growth”.

Nevertheless, the report expressed optimism that costs would fall and adoption rates rise, with content usage likely to receive a further boost as operators’ recently launched 3G services steadily gain subscribers.

Other findings include:
South American mobile user base is expected to rise from 411 million in 2008 to 556 million in 2013
Total operator-billed voice revenues for the region are expected to peak in 2011 at $67.3 billion and will decline thereafter
Mexico will retain the highest blended ARPU across the region throughout the forecast period, marginally ahead of Chile.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, June 05, 2008 9:08:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oman was home to a total of 2.7 million mobile phones at the end of March 2008, up 9.2% from 2.5 million at the start of the year, the Khaleej Times reports citing latest official government statistics. Of the total, post-paid subscriptions accounted for 292,894 users, down 0.2% from 293,622 at the start of the year, but this was more than offset by a 10.5% rise in pay-as-you-go users from 2.2 million to 2.4 million. At the same date the country counted 115,506 internet users (+64%), of which 52,351 were dial-up accounts and 23,969 were ADSL connections. Leased line connections stood at 319 at end-March and other internet connections 1,267. During the period under review, the number of main lines in service increased marginally by 2.3% to 267,169 from 261,207.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 1:24:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB) has revealed that telephone rates fell by an overall 20% on 1 June 2008 following negotiations between the watchdog and operators. Companies were recommended to put in place 'simplified and homogeneous pricing' in which reductions were not to be merged with other off-peak offerings and regular bonuses. The TRB said that Cameroonian tariffs were above average compared to countries with similar economic profiles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 12:56:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary’s incumbent mobile operators Pannon, Vodafone and T-Mobile collectively signed up a net 208,033 new subscribers last month to boost the country’s total cellular base to 11.43 million. Of the total, 10.26 million subscriptions were classed as ‘active’ by telecoms regulator NHH at the end of April, equating to a cellular penetration rate of 113.9% (up from 111.8% a month earlier). Data published by the watchdog shows that Pannon lost market share last month, from 35.29% in March to 35.03% a month later, while T-Mobile edged its own share upwards from 43.88% to 44.20%. Third-placed cellco Vodafone also saw its slice of the pie declining slightly from 20.83% to 20.77%, NHH said.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 12:52:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that the CDMA industry continued its strong growth through the first quarter of 2008, increasing its customer base by almost 17% over the past year to 451 million CDMA subscribers worldwide, with CDMA2000 and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO reaching 438 million and 97 million, respectively. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions claimed the highest year-over-year percentage subscriber growth for CDMA2000, while the Americas and EMEA experienced the highest percentage of subscriber growth for CDMA2000 1xEV-DO.


In APAC, the total CDMA subscribership (cdmaOneTM and CDMA2000) rose to 231 million, which accounts for 51% of total worldwide CDMA subscribers and marks a 30% increase from March 2007 to March 2008. North America’s 140 million subscribers claim the second highest percentage of global CDMA subscribers at approximately 31%, with CALA’s 62.8 million representing approximately 14%. In EMEA, CDMA subscribership reached 17.7 million.

Over 97% of CDMA subscribers around the world are now taking advantage of 3G CDMA2000 services. CDMA2000 grew by 38% in APAC over the past year, bringing the total number of CDMA2000 subscribers in the region to 223 million, accounting for almost 51% of the world’s users. North America is the second largest region for CDMA2000 with nearly 138 million, or 31% of the global users. In EMEA, the CDMA2000 subscriber base reached 16.5 million.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO subscribership increased to 97 million users globally, with 52 million subscribers in North America and 39 million subscribers in APAC continuing to comprise the majority of the world’s EV-DO users at 54% and 40%, respectively. Uptake is surging in North America and EMEA where increased demand for mobile broadband raised subscribership by 74%and 123%, respectively. The CDG attributes this growth to outstanding broadband performance and, for emerging markets, 3G CDMA’s suitability across varied terrain to serve as an alternative to wireline Internet access.

To date, 38 EV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) networks are in commercial operation around the world, with another 35 networks in deployment.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 8:05:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 02, 2008

The Dutch broadband market grew by 2% in Q1 2008 to reach 5.55 million users, eclipsing the growth rates of 1.7% and 1.6% seen in the last two quarters of 2007, reports online news portal Telecompaper. By the end of March this year the leading ISP was Ziggo, the newly created branding of the former cable assets of @Home, Casema and Multikabel. The group had 1.242 million broadband users at the end of March, up 30,000 quarter-on-quarter. Ziggo led second-placed Het Net, owned by KPN, which had 659,000 xDSL users at the same date (+16,000 users) and UPC Nederland was in third with 650,300 broadband customers (+10,800). KPN’s second largest xDSL ISP Planet shed customers in the period under review, however, ending the quarter with 558,000 subscribers, down 14,000 on the start of the year. Meanwhile, Internet van KPN signed up 19,000 net new additions, Telecompaper said, to reach a total of 554,000 xDSL customers at 31 March 2008, making it the fourth largest broadband ISP overall in the Netherlands.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 02, 2008 1:37:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France added around 675,000 new broadband users in the first three months of this year to boost the country’s high speed internet user base from 15.551 million to 16.225 million, reports the country’s regulator Arcep in its latest review of the domestic market. On an annualised basis, the French residential and business broadband market climbed 18.6% from 13.676 million at the end of March 2007, the report said. ADSL continues to be the overwhelmingly popular access technology, accounting for 15.475 million access lines, with the remainder made up by cable, FTTx or satellite services. Arcep also reported a strong rise in wholesale access lines in the period under review, up 338,000 lines to 7.825 million. France had also unbundled 5.521 million local loops by the start of April 2008, with some 4.012 million subscribers taking fully unbundled services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 02, 2008 1:34:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Upwards of a million SIM cards will have started to be disconnected in Bangladesh over the weekend as they have missed a deadline to have their user details registered with the operators. The disconnected SIM cards can only be reactivated if the user provides suitable reasons for missing the registration deadline. The million number, supplied by Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is a significant improvement on the estimated 3 million unregistered SIM cards in circulation just a month ago. It is estimated that the majority of the remaining SIM cards are connected to the Grameenphone network.

The regulator issued a decree to the operators to force all subscribers to register their mobile accounts and provide proof of ID to the operators. The deadline for subscribers to register their details has been extended several times - but not any more. To register their SIM card - customers must produce two copies of passport size photo, passport or any photo ID card and the forms and documents given during subscription. If a retailer sells a SIM card without proof of ID they will face a fine of US$10 per infraction.

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.

Monday, June 02, 2008 7:53:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |