International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Friday, July 04, 2008

Israel was dumped from third to fifth position in the Middle-East & Africa (MEA) penetration rankings in Q1 2008 as both the Seychelles and Qatar overtook it to line up behind the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have held the top two places for the last year. If the second quarter even came close to matching the first in the UAE, then that market will have finished June with a penetration rate in excess of 200%, the rate having stood at 192.5% at the end of March.

MEA: Number of markets in each penetration band

The ownership in Bahrain was more than 20pp behind, at 172.2%, although in the last two quarters at least, the rate has been growing noticeably quicker than in the UAE. The rate in Qatar and the Seychelles has been progressing much more steadily, but both overtook Israel as penetration fell for the first time ever from 127.1% to 126.3% in Q1 08. Four other markets - Kuwait, Reunion, Saudi Arabia and Libya - boasted penetration rates in excess of 100% at the end of March 2008.

Libya became the first mainland African market to join this elite club in the quarter, as the quite remarkable rise of mobility in the country continues.

South Africa was the tenth most penetrated market at the end of Q1 08 with a rate of 96.6%, after also suffering a decline in penetration (although in this case not its first) from 97.9% in the quarter. The penetration rates of a further seven markets also lay within the fourth quartile at the end of March, these being Botswana (90%), Algeria (87%), Oman (83%), Gabon (80%), Jordan (79%), Tunisia (78%) and new entrant Mauritius (76%). Perhaps surprisingly, only three markets - Morocco, Gambia and Mauritania - finished Q1 with penetration rates between 50% and 75%. However, Iran joined them just a few days after the end of the quarter, the mobile ownership rate there having stood at 49.6% at the end of March.

Iran breaking the 50% barrier would have taken the total number of markets with penetration rates in excess of 50% to 21, after Mauritania and Gambia took the total from 18 to 20 in the first quarter. Including Iran, 50 of the 70 markets in the MEA region finished Q1 08 with penetration rates below 50%. However, progress is clear to see. At the end of Q1 07, 36 of markets had penetration rates of 25% or below, a number which fell to 25 a year layer.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 04, 2008 3:32:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

WELLINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Vodafone New Zealand Friday said it will extend its third generation mobile network to cover 97% of the population, taking total spending on 3G infrastructure investment to NZ$500 million. The local unit of U.K.-based Vodafone PLC said its advanced mobile network would cover 97% of the places New Zealanders live and work in by 2010, up from the 63% coverage currently.

"The network extension means we'll be able to offer true broadband speeds to almost every New Zealander, and especially our rural customers, by April 2010," said Vodafone General Manager Corporate Affairs Tom Chignell. "This means broadband will be available on customers' mobiles and it can be used as a cost effective home solution, especially in areas where no land line-based broadband is available," he said. Vodafone said an enhancement of its downlink speed to 7.2 Megabits per second is currently being rolled out. In the future, peak downlink speeds will go up to 28.8 Mbps and uplink speeds 11.5 Mbps using High Speed Packet Access protocols.

Responding to the announcement, Communications Minister David Cunliffe said the country's regulatory regime has given telecommunications companies the flexibility to bring broadband to rural areas. "This announcement means that more New Zealanders will have access to high-speed internet via their home computers, laptops and on their mobile phones," Cunliffe said. "While many countries are still struggling with the removal of outdated restrictions on the use of lower frequency bands for HSPA, the flexible spectrum regulatory arrangements in New Zealand mean that the benefits of this technology can be delivered to New Zealanders now."

Vodafone is currently also ramping up competitive pressure on Telecom Corp. of New Zealand by aggressively rolling out new broadband and home phone products following regulation that split the former state-owned monopoly into three separate companies and gave rivals access to its network.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 04, 2008 2:44:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A survey carried out in Nigeria's capital, Abuja has indicated a growing demand in the GSM dominated market for CDMA based mobile phones. The survey, carried out by local newspaper The Tide cited the regular problems with network congestion on the GSM networks in the city for the increased interest in CDMA operators. Currently there are four CDMA operators in the city, Multi-links, Visafone, Starcomms and Reltel.

The respondents hinged their optimism on clarity of communication and affordability of CDMA phones, when compared with GSM phones.

"For instance, with as little as N1,500, you can get a phone and a line on the CDMA network, while for a GSM line, a subscriber may need to pay at least twice that amount," claimed respondents to the survey.

Mr Wakili Shehu, a telecommunications consultant said that "the technology also provides the capacity for quicker transmission of data and Internet, unlike the GSM which has limited capacity," but he warned that the use of the CDMA technology in the country was also fraught with challenges, such as limited coverage of cities and towns, unlike the GSM.

According to figures from the Mobile World database, Nigeria ended Q1 '08 with some 567,000 active CDMA subscribers - compared to some 43 million GSM users.

Source: Cellular News.

 

Friday, July 04, 2008 1:06:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BNamericas is reporting that the Dominican Republic ended May 2008 with a fixed and mobile teledensity of 70.4%. Indotel, the country’s telecoms regulator, announced there were 6.35 million wireless subscribers at the end of May, up from 2.5 million in December 2004. Internet usage penetration is reported at 21%, with a total of 2.28 million users, more than four times the figure recorded at December 2004.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, July 04, 2008 1:01:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 03, 2008

At the end of Q1 08, there were 42.3m mobile customers in South Africa, meaning it was surpassed by Nigeria as Africa’s largest market. This was mostly due to a strong quarter in Nigeria, but the loss of 0.61m South African customers in Q1 certainly helped. This decline also meant that South Africa failed to break the 100% penetration barrier, having reached 97.9% at the end of 2007; the loss of customers saw it slide to 96.6%.

3G customers: Vodacom and MTN

This still makes it the highest-penetrated sub-Saharan market, although having reached 104.9% at the end of Q1 08, Libya has become the first African market to surpass the 100% mark.

Vodacom suffered the greatest loss in real terms, shedding 0.79m active customers to slide back to 22.27m, lower even than the Q3 07 figure of 22.50m. Year on year it gained 1.70m. It remains the country’s clear market leader with 52.6% of the total, although this is its lowest figure since Q4 04. Cell C also saw a decline in customers - perhaps inevitably, given its dramatic gain in Q4 07. It lost 0.19m to slide back below 5m to 4.91m, with net annual additions totalling 1.68m. In terms of market share, it lost 0.3pp quarter on quarter but still recorded a rise compared to Q1 07, ending Q1 08 on 11.6%. Third player MTN was the only operator to gain customers on a net basis in the first quarter, finishing up 0.37m on 15.17m. Combined with the other operators’ losses, this saw it reach its highest market share figure for three years, with 35.8% of the total.

MTN has also seen its share of the 3G market rise, a 10pp year on year gain taking its Q1 08 figure to 46.2% of the total. It went through the 1m barrier during Q1 to finish on 1.12m thanks to a record-breaking 211k quarterly net additions. Vodacom finished on 1.30m. In total, the number of W-CDMA handsets grew by 163.6% year on year, from 0.9m to 2.4m.

Because of the loss of customers in Q1 - the first such quarterly decline in more than six years - annual growth slumped to 14.4%, the lowest figure since Q2 02.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:03:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The chart shows the fastest growing businesses in the MEA region over a twelve month view. The list includes nine of the names that feature in the Q1 08 list, with Zain Iraq coming in at Algerie Telecom Mobile’s expense. The top two places are the same in the year as they are in the quarter, with TCI’s 9.12m just shading Irancell’s 7.95m. The other really strong performances in the region were spread across five main markets - with Mobily in Saudi Arabia taking third place ahead of two Egyptian companies, three from Nigeria and one each from Iraq and Kenya.

Leading MNOs by Net Additions, year to 31st March 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:00:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 02, 2008

China Telecom has revealed that it has in excess of 940,000 subscribers for its IPTV service, and expects to pass a million subscribers very soon. The service, provided in cooperation with Shanghai Media Group (SMG), has been available in Shanghai, Jiangxu, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shaanxi since 2005 and offers broadcast and on-demand content, as well as information services. The telco recently issued a tender for the supply of 574,000 set-top boxes, including 536,000 high-definition units.

Fixed line rival China Netcom, meanwhile, offers IPTV services in six cities including Beijing, Harbin and Shenyang, with a reported 100,000 subscribers as of May 2008. It intends to expand coverage to a further ten cities by the end of this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 2:42:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A new analysis of the mobile payments opportunity forecasts that the gross transaction value of payments made via mobile phone for digital goods (such as music, tickets and games) and physical goods (typically gifts and books) will exceed $300bn globally by 2013.

A region by region analysis by Juniper Research found that there is a significant and immediate opportunity for mobile payment services, systems, software and supporting services to underpin the processing of this value of payment transactions by 2013. With applications and service case studies, the study explores how the mobile phone is developing into a payment tool that will be used by more and more people, more and more often in future.

Report author Howard Wilcox noted: "Merchants in North America and Western Europe are just starting to realise the potential of a mobile web presence as a fourth channel to market. Retailers should be evaluating the benefits of the mobile web, and be mindful of the success of regular ecommerce sites in generating sales. They need to move quickly to exploit the opportunity presented, and ensure that they maintain ease of use for their customers who are already familiar with web shopping from their PCs."

Highlights from the report include:

  • Global annual gross transaction value will grow over 5 times by 2013
  • The ticketing segment will be driven by consumer usage on rail, air and bus networks as well as sports and entertainment events. This will represent over 40% of the global transaction value by 2013
  • The top 2 regions (Far East and W. Europe) will represent over 60% of the $300bn p.a. global mobile payment gross transaction value by 2013 for digital and physical goods

Western Europe is currently dominated by digital goods and services sold via SMS, whereas the Far East & China region (specifically Japan) is already well established in physical goods sales over the mobile web, and has been for a number of years.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 3:03:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 30, 2008

An EU-wide survey of 27,000 households has revealed the emergence of new consumption patterns in telecoms services in Europe. Technological progress and competition have brought more choice to European consumers as almost a quarter (24%) of households have given up their fixed telephone in favour of mobile phones while 22% of them are using their computer from home to make phone calls over the Internet.

In an increasing number of Member States, European households are using wireless access to connect to the Internet, via mobile or satellite networks. Meanwhile, 29% of European households buy bundled telecoms and media packages, an increase of nearly 10% since last year.

Nevertheless, the top priority for consumers in this fast evolving environment remains the quality of services.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 30, 2008 3:03:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest ROA Group report, the number of mobile WiMAX users in South Korea will increase to more than 2.5 million by 2011. The market revenues are also expected to increase to KRW65 billion (US$627 million) by 2011. Mobile WiMAX, called WiBro in Korea, was commercially launched in the country two years ago, on June 30, 2006, but due to insufficient CAPEX investment, resulting in poor service coverage and device line-up, the subscriber growth was slow, until KT started strong marketing strategies to attract subscribers in early 2007. The subscribers increased 5,600 in April 2007 to 106,000 in December 2007. In 2008, the subscribers are increasing by about 10,000 per month. In addition, KT and SKT, the two mobile WiMAX operators in Korea, have decided to expand their investment from 2008, and the mobile WiMAX market is expected to grow faster.

Moreover, the availability of VoIP will have a significant influence on subscriber addition. Currently, the biggest disadvantage with WiBro service is that it fails to provide a killer application. To become a 4G mobile technology, voice support is a must for WiBro and a necessary element for competing with HSDPA and its next generation version, LTE in 3G/4G mobile market, says Ku Kang, analyst at ROA Group.

To improve the service expansion, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea is developing NeMA (New Mobile Access), an upgraded version of WiBro. NeMA is a technology for the users who move at a high speed; at 100Mbps while moving at the maximum of 120km/h. In 2007 ETRI developed NoLA, which is LAN-based technology for the users who move at low speeds. ETRI plans to combine these two technologies and if it succeeds, the Korean market could witness next year a service that allows the users to use Internet in a moving vehicle on the highway.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 30, 2008 12:30:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 27, 2008

Worldwide mobile subscriptions will rise from 3.9 billion in 2008 to 5.6 billion in 2013, according to a new Strategy Analytics report. Discounting for people with more than one subscription, more than half of the world’s population will be using mobile phones by early 2010, up from 40% at the start of this year.

3G share of subscriptions and revenues

Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa (MEA) are responsible for the current surge in mobile subscriptions. Those areas will remain the engines for growth in the wireless market in the medium term, contributing to 80% of subscription growth through 2013.

“These two regions may be driving the subscription count, but they contribute much less to global revenues,” comments Phil Kendall, Director Global Wireless Practice. “Asia-Pacific and MEA account for nearly 60% of worldwide subscriptions, but less than 40% of revenues. Their increasing significance will reduce average revenues per subscription by 15% over the next five years”.

3G networks will account for half of all mobile subscriptions by 2013. Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Senior Analyst, Wireless Network Strategies, adds, “3G technologies will reach critical mass in more regions in 2008, driving worldwide subscriber numbers close to 500 million by year end. Next year, more than one third of all service revenues will be generated by 3G technologies, even though 3G accounts for only one in six subscribers.”

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 27, 2008 10:59:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile connections in Argentina is almost certain to have surpassed 40m at the time of writing, having reached 39.47m at the end of Q1 08. Furthermore, if Q2 net additions match last year's figure, then penetration will have broken the 100% barrier by the end of the current quarter, with Q1's figure standing at 97.3%.

Customers, America Movil vs. Telefonica, Q2 06 – Q1 08

Annual growth stood at 21.1%, an impressive figure given the maturity of the market, although exactly half the 42.2% rate recorded in the prior twelve months. Annual net additions totalled 6.87m, while on a quarterly basis there were just 0.89m new connections due to the combined effect of first-quarter slump and high penetration.

The biggest story of the quarter was the change in market leader, with America Movil's customer base overtaking that of Telefonica. At the end of Q1, AM had 13.99m customers to 13.75m for Telefonica, compared to Q1 07 figures of 10.93m and 11.68m respectively. As the graph on the left shows, the trajectories of the two companies over the past two years made the change in leadership all but inevitable, with AM outpacing Telefonica in terms of quarterly net additions for the past eight quarters. In fact, AM's Q1 08 figure of 511k was its lowest for three years, but Telefonica had an even worse quarter with just 125k net additions, its worst result since Q3 03.

Meanwhile, third player Telecom Personal - the mobile subsidiary of Telecom Argentina - added 216k to finish on 10.88m, while Nextel reached 0.85m thanks to record first-quarter net additions of 39k.

GSM dominates in Argentina, and as in the rest of the continent its domination has been steadily increasing. At the end of Q1 08, 92.9% of the total customer base was using GSM technology, up from 86.5% a year earlier. CDMA's proportion dropped from 7.5% to 3.8%, while AMPS and TDMA connections dwindled to just 0.8% from 3.9% a year earlier. W- CDMA, which was launched by Telecom Personal in Q2 07 and by Telefonica in Q4 07, had an estimated 0.15m customers at the end of Q1, giving it 0.4% of the country's total customer base. Finally, Nextel's iDEN technology improved its share slightly, from 2.1% to 2.2%.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 27, 2008 10:49:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China's mobile phone accounts rise to 592 million; number of fixed-line accounts falls

China's fast-growing number of mobile phone accounts has risen more than 8 percent since the start of the year to 592 million, while demand for traditional fixed-line service is falling, a state news agency reported Thursday. The figures reflect a growing trend for Chinese customers to opt solely for mobile service. The shift has hurt fixed-line carriers, prompting Beijing to launch a massive industry reorganization to revive competition.

The number of mobile accounts in China grew by 44.8 million through the end of May, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Ministry of Information Industry. It said the number of fixed-line accounts fell by 6.5 million to 358 million. China has by far the world's largest population of mobile phone users. But several million have multiple phones for personal and business use, so the total number of subscribers is smaller than the number of accounts. The boom has turned China's dominant mobile carrier, China Mobile, into the world's biggest phone company by number of subscribers, with more than 400 million. Meanwhile, fixed-line carriers China Telecom and China Netcom have seen subscriber demand and profit growth slump.

That prompted Beijing to announce an industry restructuring in May aimed at creating more robust competitors to China Mobile. It would create three groups based around China Mobile, China Telecom and China Netcom, each with a mix of fixed-line and mobile assets. The government says the reorganization will clear the way for the long-awaited awarding of licenses for third-generation, or 3G, mobile service. That technology, which supports wireless video, Web surfing and other services, is expected to boost revenues for mobile carriers still further.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 27, 2008 9:42:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to MIC (Market Intelligence Center, Taiwan), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, mobile data services will be a key focus for Taiwanese telecom operators in 2008, with the growing popularity of 3G/3.5G mobile phones. Thanks to the promotional plans offered by telecom operators to boost 3G subscriber numbers, Taiwanese mobile phone market volume for the entire 2008 is expected to slightly advance 0.9% to 7.2 million units, with the share of WCDMA models expected to top 40%. Taiwanese mobile phone market sales volume advanced 6.7% sequentially to 1.90 million units in the first quarter of 2008, with market value reaching NT$11.2 billion (US$367.5 million; US$1=NT$30.5). According to MIC analyst Joyce Chen, "ASP (Average Selling Price) slipped to NT$5,882 (US$192.9), mainly due to promotional activities launched by Taiwanese telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom for its three low-price, entry-level 3G models, in a bid to boost 3G subscriber numbers and stimulate replacement demand". Sony Ericsson's Z610i and K530i models, both priced under NT$5,000 (US$163.9) received positive market reception, and this was also attributed to the ASP decline.

The share of WCDMA models jumped to 35.8% in the first quarter of 2008, up 7.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter 2007, with its market volume increasing by 181,000 units to 679,000 units in the first quarter. The share of GSM/GPRS models fell 7.4 percentage points to 60.6%, as many subscribers switched to WCDMA models. Regarding CDMA models, only sales of the low-price, entry-level Samsung S399 and Nokia N2505 models stood out, and thus the share of CDMA models slipped 0.4 percentage point to 3.6% in the first quarter.

The share of Smartphone and PDA phones reached 2.8% and 1.5% respectively in the first quarter 2008. Ms. Chen stated that in the Smartphone segment, the Nokia N73, N95, and N82 Smartphones achieved strong sales, while the PDA phone growth was derived from good market reception for the Touch series models Touch Color and Touch Dual.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 27, 2008 9:37:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celtel Malawi has announced that it has reduced the cost of its cheapest handset by 35%, from USD25 to USD16. The move follows the government's eradication of a 25% customs and excise duty on imported handsets and cellular network equipment. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms database, the cellco is the country's largest company by subscribers, claiming a 69% market share at the end of March 2008, with Telekom Networks Malawi accounting for the remainder.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:35:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new report from Juniper Research says that the number of subscribers using mobile Internet services will rise from 577 million currently, to top 1.7 billion by 2013, spurred by demand for collaborative applications known collectively as 'web 2.0,' and greater 2.5/3G penetration. Putting that figure into some context, a report from Gartner earlier this week had said that the worldwide PC base would reach 2 billion by 2014 - so internet access by mobile phones will represent at around 50% of the total internet usage.

According to a new report from Juniper Research, the emergence of applications such as: Social networking; User Generated Content (UGC); Instant Messaging (IM); Location Based Services (LBS); Search calls for delivery of the mobile Internet as it was originally conceived -- i.e. an open environment in which users are able to share, collaborate and exploit content/information without any one party controlling the value chain.

This marks a fundamental shift for the industry towards the D2C (direct-to consumer) model and places growing pressure on mobile network operators (MNOs) and handset manufacturers in particular, to relinquish some of their control over the value chain, by opening up their networks/devices to third-parties.

"Major web players have already crossed the Rubicon and established themselves in the mobile domain, placing the onus on MNOs and other members of the value chain to form innovative relationships and grab a share of the new revenue streams being created," comments Ian Chard, Juniper Research Analyst and author of the report 'Mobile Web 2.0: Leveraging Location, IM, Social Web & Search 2008-2013.'

"The mobile web 2.0 market is still nascent and business models remain in a state of flux, so there is still time for players to establish fruitful partnerships that build on their strengths and are reciprocally beneficial. The window of opportunity, however, is closing."

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Convergence | Internet | Mobile | World
Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:24:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Approximately 135,000 subscribers use 3G services in Argentina, reveals BNamericas quoting local newspaper El Cronista. Telecom Personal's innovation and services manager told the paper that the cellco has approximately 75,000 3G users on its books, up from 20,000 at the end of 2007. Rival operator Claro has 50,000 active 3G customers, of which 30,000 access the network via modems or PC cards. Movistar is said to have 10,000 3G subscribers. All three companies launched next generation services in 2007, and the relatively poor take-up has been attributed to lack of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Americas | Mobile
Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:21:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that, as of Q1 2008, Indonesia had more than 16.3 million CDMA2000 subscribers -- making it the leader in Southeast Asia for 3G CDMA subscriber growth. The CDG attributes the increase in large part to the availability of ultra low-cost handsets and affordable tariffs, which are critical to technology and service expansion in emerging markets. "Indonesia has emerged as a prime showcase of CDMA2000's core value proposition," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "With a dynamic combination of ultra low-cost handsets and value-added broadband services, Indonesia's six CDMA operators have boosted their revenue streams and propelled the region into the spotlight for mobile telephony and Internet growth."

Indonesia's CDMA2000 operators are Telkom Flexi (PT Telkom), StarOne (Indosat), Smart Telecom, Fren (Mobile-8 Telecom), Esia (Bakrie Telecom) and Ceria (Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia or STI). By March 2008, the total number of CDMA2000 subscribers among all six carriers exceeded 16.3 million, up from 14.4 million at the end of 2007 and 7.8 million at the end of 2006, representing annual growth rates of 53 percent and 85 percent, respectively.

Indonesia has the highest number of CDMA subscribers in Southeast Asia. "With CDMA2000, we are confident in providing a telecommunication service that is within reach by all people from all levels of society," said A.R. Martirez, Chief Executive Officer of PT Smart Telecom. "We are taking rapid steps to expand our penetration and market development through various products and services. This proves that CDMA2000 can readily fulfill all telecommunication wants and needs of customers in this country. And we demonstrate this with our value-for-money offer to the market, in terms of an economical tariff and affordable handsets, on a network that provides a pervasive yet efficient coverage. Best of all, it delivers a superior quality of service in both Voice and Data that customers expect."

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:27:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pioneer Consulting has published a new report which shows that a significant portion of multimedia content on mobile phones is either user generated or is simply being stored on the handset. This content, termed User Originated Content (UOC) is being increasingly shared with friends, family and contacts on social networks. With handsets starting to have Bluetooth, WiFi and WiMAX capabilities, end users can use alternative networks to share content, effectively bypassing the operator’s mobile network and the content value chain. Pioneer Consulting estimates that as a result of users sharing content and bypassing the existing value chain, $16.4 billion worth of revenue opportunity will be at risk by 2012. This is estimated to be more than a quarter of the total revenue opportunity for that year.

However, the study says that all is not lost yet and operators can play a key role in preventing this disruption from happening. To begin, mobile operators need to re-evaluate the applicability of the traditional client-server content delivery architecture in an environment where a large portion of the content originates from the handset. In addition, operators need to realize that there will be a bandwidth bottleneck between the base station and the handset due to an oversubscribed air interface, especially in the case of bandwidth heavy multimedia content.

Robert Hsieh, author of the report says that, “Mobile operators need to embrace peer to peer (P2P) methodologies within their own networks and focus on the advantages of using both assisted P2P and augmented P2P to mitigate the disruption”. Aditya Kaul, Senior Analyst, Emerging Wireless at Pioneer adds that, “P2P is generally treated with contempt by operators and has now become the 'P' word that should never be uttered. It is more of an attitude problem rather than an engineering one, and unless operators wake up to the reality of the situation, we cannot even begin to solve the problem”.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:25:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pan-Caribbean operator, Digicel has announced that it has ended its fiscal year (March 31,2008) with 6.54 million customers, representing a 39 percent increase compared to the same quarter in the previous fiscal year. Operating across 23 markets, Digicel Group continues to experience organic growth in existing markets while increasing mobile penetration growth rates in new markets. In November 2007, Digicel successfully launched operations in Suriname. Digicel already has a presence in South America through its operations in Guyana and French Guiana. Its Caribbean and Latin American GSM networks also extend across the British West Indies, the Dutch Caribbean, the French West Indies, Bermuda and El Salvador.

Digicel says that it plans to further expand later this year with a pending launch in the British Virgin Islands, while Digicel Central America Holdings, a sister company to Digicel Group, prepares to launch in Honduras and Panama. These launches will expand Digicel's GSM network to 26 markets.

"We're very excited about our ability to sustain growth opportunities in existing markets while picking up momentum in new ones, and we've had one of our most successful financial years to date," said Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO. "We will continue to put our customers first by offering them better value, world-class customer care, new technology innovations and attractive offerings based on the strength of our network."

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:21:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a report from The Syria Report Newsletter, Syria’s state owned national monopoly fixed line and internet operator Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE) has awarded China’s Huawei Technologies a EUR877,000 (USD1.36 million) contract to install 33,000 new ADSL lines in the country. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database writes that STE offers dial-up and ADSL broadband access through two wholly owned ISPs, 190 and Syrian Computer Society (SCS). There were an estimated 16,500 broadband subscribers by end-2007 (latest available figure) and around 300,000 dial-up subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:18:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |