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 Monday, July 14, 2008

Asia Pacific saw record 3G net additions in Q1 2008 as 13.3m new connections were made, taking the total to 136.3m - a 53.7% increase with respect to Q1 2007. Here we only include CDMA EV-DO, and not standard 1x connections, as 3G; including 1x connections the total rose 37.7% to 264.3m. However, the source of growth in the base was undoubtedly W- CDMA, the 3G technology of the GSM family which accounted for almost 86% of all the mobile connections in Asia Pacific at the end of March. The number of W-CDMA customers grew 74% in the year to reach 98.4m, with a record 12.3m new customers joining in Q1 2008.

Organic Growth by Technology

By contrast, the EV-DO base grew by just 17.7% in the 12 months to 31s March, as net additions dropped drastically to under 1m in each of the last two quarters.

Without doubt the most significant driver of this trend has been South Korea, where W-CDMA customer numbers exploded to reach 9.2m at the end of Q1 2008, little more than a year after commercial launch by SK Telecom and KT Freetel. These two operators both used exclusively CDMA technology previously, which means that the success of W-CDMA has had a direct impact on EV-DO connection growth, which initially levelled out, only to go into reverse in July last year. In Q1 2008, more than 0.8m EV-DO active connections were terminated on a net basis in South Korea. LG Telecom, which is sticking with the CDMA standard, finally launched an EV-DO service late last year, but this is unlikely to do much to mitigate the effects of the migration process at its two rivals.

The technology switch in South Korea also had a material impact on the market’s overall CDMA numbers, which fell by over 2.5m in the quarter and 5.8m in the year.

The result for Asia Pacific as a whole was the lowest organic growth rate in the CDMA base seen for more than six years at just 3.5%, as the total moved to 189m. This compares with an increase in the GSM/W-CDMA base of 7.2%, from 1.07bn to 1.15bn. Meanwhile, the PDC customer base - located exclusively in Japan - fell by another 15% to just 14.3m - representing less than 1% of the regional total for the first time since the introduction of the proprietary standard in 1994.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 12:24:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vancouver-based Corinex Communication, a provider of powerline and coaxial network solutions and products, has announced that it is to lead a project to provide internet access to rural villages in India. Using Broadband over Powerline (BPL) technology ten villages have been targeted in a deal believed to be worth more than USD17 million. It is anticipated that deployment will be completed within 18 months, providing web access and VoIP services to approximately 3,000 users. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database broadband penetration in India stood at only 0.3% by the end of 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:19:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by Senegal’s telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), cellular penetration reached 39.09% by 31 March 2008, up from 31.93% the previous year, as the total number of active SIMs reached 4.135 million. Senegal’s two incumbent mobile operators - Orange Senegal (formerly Sonatel Mobiles/Alize) and Tigo Senegal (formerly SENTELgsm) - collectively added just 12,852 new users in the first quarter of 2008, of which Orange Sonatel, part of the Paris-based Orange group, had 2.803 million users at the end of March, up from 2.464 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, Tigo had 1.332 million clients, from 923,555 twelve months earlier. An overwhelming 99.15% of all users are on pre-paid services, the regulator said.

In the fixed line segment, ARTP said the number of lines in service dipped from 285,774 to 260,493 in the year to 31 March 2008, a teledensity of less than three lines per 100 of population. Residential lines accounted for 66.9% of national PTO Sonatel's total, while business connections made up 28.2% and public payphones 4.9%. The residential fixed line base dipped 3,085 in the first quarter of this year, although this was partially offset by a 13.96% rise (9,464 lines) in business connections to 77,281. The internet market recorded 41,099 subscriptions at the end of the first quarter of which 98% (40,250) were ADSL lines and 2% dial-up.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:16:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Since 2005, mobile operators are noticing a steady depreciation of average revenue per user (ARPU). The reality is the European mobile market is saturated with over 100 percent of its population owning mobiles. Revenue growth strategies rooted in acquiring new customers are rendered ineffective. As a result, providers scrambled for state of the art services and applications for mobile devices. Headed by Italy, Europe found success with this infotainment solution. By late 2007, 2.6 million Europeans were already using mobile TV. Now the future of the mobile market in Eastern Europe rests in the growing popularity in mobile TV.

"Mobile TV refers to the transmission of audiovisual content to mobile devices," reports Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst, Saverio Romeo. "It means viewing any content on the move, anywhere and anytime. This concept completely changes the usage of audiovisual services, and consequently, the consumer's experience. In fact, the mobility not only allows users to view content on the move, but also to share content on the point of inspiration with other users introducing new forms of interactivity."

Eastern European countries are already tapping into Europe's success. New technologies such as MediaFLO, T-DMB, DVB-H and TDtv are being reviewed in various countries. In Poland, the Office for Electronic Communications (UKE) has launched the tender for 38 channels to major cities within the country. In Russia, MTS, the market leader, is ready to launch a mobile TV service offering 20 channels. In Hungary, the four companies of Vodafone Hungary, Nokia-Siemens Networks, T-Mobile Hungary, and Antenna Hungaria together launched a trial of a DVB-H network in Budapest in January 2008. The Czech Republic and Romania will not be left behind. Since the end of 2006, T-Mobile Czech Republic is running DVB-H trials in Prague with the help of the media company, Radiokomunikace. Orange Romania is currently orchestrating trials in Bucharest.

The inspiring success story of the Italian mobile operator, 3 Italia, commanded the attention of western and eastern European countries alike. "In 2006, 3 Italia launched its mobile TV (DVB-H) service. 3 Italia started the service in time for the football world cup and so had an astonishing take-up rate. The reason for this success was quite simple," says Saverio. "Football supporters do not really care about technologies. They want to view their teams when they are not at home at a good quality and at a package, which meets the needs of their wallets. 3 Italia managed to do all of this. The Italian mobile operator gained 400,000 subscriptions in 10 months. At the end of 2007, almost 900,000 Italians used 3 Italia's mobile TV platform. At the beginning of June 2008, 3 Italia launched a mobile TV service out of charge and ad-based."

The 2.6 million current European consumers are driven by three major factors: content quality, cost of service, and cost of mobile device. Satisfying the target consumers, in Eastern Europe, brings challenges for the operators and providers. Success depends on having 3G and beyond 3G network coverage for unicast (streaming video to a mobile device via the cellular networks) and on-demand solutions. Operators and providers must also establish and pay for the high cost of quality network infrastructures like DVB-H. The regulatory framework should be established to allocate spectrum. Along with this, handsets with sufficient audiovisual functionalities and easy-to-use interface must be readily available. Finally, the price must be attractive enough to draw in a vast audience.

The evident success of this new mobile service offers an exciting opportunity for mobile operators and providers in Eastern European countries, as they jump on the mobile TV bandwagon.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:14:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
There are nearly 16.2 million Home-based businesses (HBBs) in India and these constitute about 8% of the 202.9 million households. Nearly one-eighth of these HBBs are PC penetrated and they are set to spend US$8.4 billion on upgrading their ICT (info-communications technology) infrastructure this year, up a healthy 19% over 2007, according to a recent study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners.

AMI-Partners defines HBBs as income-generating entities based in the home, led by individuals who are self-employed; it excludes individuals who work for a larger organization and telecommute, have a formal work-at-home arrangement with their employer or do after-hours work from home.

“For every dollar spent by HBBs in India 67% goes for telecom services and 22% on computing. The high spending on telecom services imply that the HBBs rely on the data and voice services to a large extent to conduct their businesses,” says Dipendra Mitra, Analyst at AMI-Partners.

Although IT comprises a much lesser proportion of the IT/Telecom spending pie, the former is set to rise at a faster rate within HBBs as they strive to reach a technological superiority level commensurate with their nearest brethren - the Very Small Businesses (VSBs or companies with up to 4 employees). “In the long run, the ultimate objective of HBBs is transition to the level of VSBs - as expressed by over one third of HBB owners,” says Mr. Mitra.

An interesting comparison of Very Small Businesses operating from Commercial Space and Home:

  • The number of HBBs outnumber VSBs by a factor of nearly 7:1
  • Both HBBs and VSBs are at the initial stages of PC adoption. Their PC penetration levels are at an embryonic stage indicating a huge opportunity for PC vendors wishing to make a dent into this nascent market
  • HBBs mostly lag behind VSBs in usage of primary technologies indicting that they are still in the First Wave of Technology adoption
  • HBBs are considerably younger than VSBs and thus are quite eager to adopt the latest technologies as they endeavor to transit the Second Wave of Technology adoption
  • Both HBBs and VSBs show significant promise of future growth - 40% to 45% of them have indicated plans of workforce expansion and over four-fifth of them anticipate revenue growth in the next 12 months

The Very Small Businesses operating from commercial space and Home together constitute a highly lucrative market for IT vendors since businesses in both these segments are on the growth path and they aim to increase levels of IT adoption at a rapid pace. Moreover, any vendor targeting the VSB space will also find it convenient to tap the HBB market segment since there is a considerable similarity within both these segments in terms of demographic, psychographic and IT adoption profile.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:11:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Lilongwe (Malawi) A leading mobile service provider in Malawi, Celtel, on Friday celebrated a milestone of having added one millionth customer to its ever expanding mobile network in the country.

Celtel Managing Director Fayaz King told journalists in Lilongwe that the development places the company ahead of other players as an undisputed leader of the telecoms industry in Malawi.

"We are very proud to be associated with the current development which, in turn, should go a long way to assist in the country’s economic growth," he said.

King said since the company has now surpassed the one million customer base, it is now looking forward to reaching two million customers in years to come.

Malawi is ranked Number 12 in Africa in terms of customer base, with Nigeria’s 10 million customers leading the way.

Celtel Malawi, which was established in 1999, is part of a leading Middle East and African telecoms group, Zain Group.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:04:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Operator-billed service revenues across the Africa & Middle East region are expected to rise to more than $107 billion in 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The report found that growth would be driven by mobile data services, fuelled by the greater availability and wider variety of rich-media content coupled with lower browsing costs. However, it noted that regional operator-billed voice revenues were likely to peak in 2011 and would subsequently fall away due to increasingly competitive pricing in that sector.

According to Juniper Research report author Dr Windsor Holden, "While the downward trend in regional ARPU will continue as adoption increases amongst lower-usage customers, we expect the decline in voice ARPU to be partially offset by an increase in data revenues, both amongst 2.5G and 3G customers."

The report also observed that the region was likely to witness a surge in the growth of mobile financial services, with a raft of operator-led payment initiatives such as M-PESA and mobile banking providers such as WIZZIT having already gained substantial user bases.

Other findings from the Juniper Research report include:

  • The Middle East/Africa mobile user base is to grow at an average annual rate of 10.5% between 2008 and 2013
  • Mobile data services are expected to contribute 24% of operator-billed service revenues in 2013, against just 9% in 2008
  • Saudi Arabia will provide the largest share of cumulative regional revenues over the forecast period, followed by Nigeria

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 2:34:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of fixed line broadband connections in Hungary stood at 1.437 million at the end of May, up from 1.124 million a year earlier, according to data published by the industry regulator the National Communications Authority of Hungary (NCAH). Of the total, 778,000 were ADSL subscriptions, while a further 468,000 took cable internet services from one of the four main providers UPC, T-Kabel, FiberNet and Digi. At the same date, the number of main lines in service fell by 12,000 in May to 3.198 million from 3.210 million in April, lowering the fixed line phone penetration rate to 31.8%. The NCAH does not keep a record of mobile broadband subscriptions.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 12:35:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MANILA -(Dow Jones)- Philippine Long Distance Telephone Tuesday said the number of subscribers to its mobile service, the group's main revenue earner, has exceeded 33 million at the end of June.

The country's largest telephone company by revenue said the figure reflects a net addition of over 1.6 million subscribers in the second quarter alone.

At the end of 2007, PLDT had a total 30 million mobile phone subscribers.

No other details were provided in PLDT's disclosure to the stock exchange.

Its chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said the company is sticking to its guidance that this year's core profit will rise 5% to PHP37 billion despite threats from surging inflation, which threaten to damp spending and increase the company's costs.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 7:49:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Communications market research firm Infonetics Research reports that worldwide service provider capex (capital expenditures) totaled $248.8 billion in 2007, a 7% increase from 2006. Infonetics' report projects a spike in worldwide carrier capex in 2008, followed by a plateau in 2010 and a decline in 2011, and emphasizes that the weak US dollar is inflating current growth rates in Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, and Japan.

 

"Our capex analysis indicates we are in the fourth year of an investment phase, and we may be reaching the plateau this year in both North America and Europe, where large service providers' capital intensity (the ratio of capex to revenue) will likely be as low as 12%. Meanwhile, China and India will drive a significant jump in carrier capex in 2008 as a result of network construction projects combined with currency appreciation against the US dollar. Both countries are still posting double-digit revenue growth in their native currencies, which, converted in US dollars creates a big spike in worldwide carrier revenue as well," said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

Other highlights from the report:

  • Telecom service providers earned a combined $1.5 trillion in annual worldwide revenue in 2007, up 10% from 2006, with currency appreciation making up the bulk of the growth, while the rest came from wireless services
  • Carriers are increasingly investing in application software (vs. hardware) for media rich applications such as content, storage, and security for broadband based wireline and wireless services
  • Current investment drivers for carrier spending: convergence between IT, media, Internet, and telecom, which is adding new competitive pressures to carriers, and the shift from legacy TDM to next generation IP networks
  • The world's 10 largest service providers (ranked by 2007 revenue) are AT&T, Verizon, NTT, Deutsche Telekom, France Télécom, Vodafone, Telefónica, China Mobile, BT, and Sprint
  • The next largest service providers include Telecom Italia, Comcast, and KDDI, which, according to their most recent growth rates, are poised to join the top 10
  • The incumbent share of North American carrier capex jumped from 56% to 63% in 2007; MSOs are expected to increase their share of North American carrier capex by 2011
  • The Asia Pacific telecom industry is squeezed between 2 opposite market forces: a saturated market made of Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan characterized by flat to decreasing capex, and a fast growing market driven by China and India, characterized by double digit growth for both capex and revenue
  • Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) service provider revenue jumped 29% between 2006 and 2007
  • Mobile infrastructure makes up the bulk of total equipment capex in 2007, accounting for about 20%, followed by voice infrastructure, optical equipment, and broadband aggregation equipment
  • WiMAX equipment spending by service providers as a portion of total carrier capex has roughly doubled each year since 2004, and will continue to increase its share in the near term, driven by major WiMAX projects in the US, India, and Latin America.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 2:42:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 07, 2008

The global BWA/WiMAX subscriber base increased by 260,246 in the first quarter of 2008, reaching a total of 1,988,246 subscribers according to figures from Maravedis.

“Even with an increase of more than 19% in WiMAX subscribers in the first quarter of 2008, operators are still waiting for the tipping point that will lead to acceleration of WiMAX adoption and deployments,” said Adlane Fellah, CEO and founder of Maravedis. “The key factors mainly centre on certification of mobile WiMAX equipment, a reduction in CPE pricing and the emergence of a device ecosystem.”

“Many operators have held back their network expansion pending the mobile WiMAX 802.16e equipment certification, which was announced in June 2008. Mobile WiMAX is a key enabler of a wider range of value-added services and product flexibility.” added Cintia Garza, co-author of the WiMAXCounts Quarterly Report.

“Of the 264 operators tracked in WiMAXCounts, approximately 50% of them are providing HIS (High Speed Internet) services only. The remaining percentage corresponds to operators that are offering different applications, such as VoIP, Video, VPN , in addition to HIS. We expect however double/triple play to become the norm in the next two years” said Robert Syputa, Maravedis Partner and Senior Analyst.

This Quarter's Key Findings:

  • 65% of Operators are already commercial, 14% are trialing, 9% are planning their launch, 10% have idle spectrum and 2% have returned/lost spectrum.
  • Clearwire USA remains the top operator in number of subscribers, with an estimated 443,000 subscribers in the United States at the end of Q1 2008, an increase of 12.5% compared to the 394,000 subscribers reported in Q4 2007.
  • The split by subscriber type among WiMAXCounts operators was 65% residential and 35% business.
  • The 3.3–3.8 GHz band is the most widely deployed, with 63% of WiMAXCounts operators deploying their WiMAX networks in this band in Q1 2008, compared to 70% of the Operators deploying in this band during Q4 2007.
  • Q1 2008 BWA/WiMAX service revenue among WiMAXCounts operators totaled US$ 366 million, as compared to $US 303.65 million during the previous quarter, an increase of 20%.
  • Q1 2008 recorded ARPU was US$ 48 and US$ 146 for residential and business subscribers.
  • Motorola remains the leader in equipment deployed for both BWA/WiMAX CPEs

Source: Cellular Nesws.

Monday, July 07, 2008 2:55:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |