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 Monday, July 21, 2008

SAO PAULO -(Dow Jones)- Brazil's two leading mobile phone companies, Vivo Participacoes and TIM Participacoes, saw their share of the local mobile phone market slip in June, while America Movil's Claro and Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, or Oi, expanded share, according to data released by telecommunications regulator Anatel Thursday.

Vivo, which is jointly owned by Spain's Telefonica and Portugal Telecom, saw its market share fall to 30.36% in June from 30.45% in May, while No. 2 operator TIM Participacoes, a local unit of Telecom Italia, saw its share fall to 25.40% from 25.60%

Claro's market share rose to 24.87% in June from 24.75% in May. Oi had 15.25% in June, up from 15.09% in May.

Cellphones in circulation totaled 133.2 million at the end of June, with net additions of 2.6 million in the month. The market continues to expand rapidly as operators chase new clients with promotions.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:24:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Telecom Company (STC), which is the dominant fixed line and cellular operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has reported a second quarter net profit of SAR3.84 billion (USD1.02 billion), up 24% year-on-year. Operating profit grew 21% to SAR3.91 billion. The firm says the growth can be attributed to domestic mobile and broadband services plus higher income from its international operations; earlier this year STC acquired a 35% stake in Oger Telecom, which has cellular operations in markets including Turkey, South Africa and Romania.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:21:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Arabia’s number two cellular operator Mobily has reported a 47.4% jump in net profits for the second quarter to SAR448 million (USD119.5 million), from SAR304 million in the same period last year. Operating profit was up 24% at SAR530 million, while revenues grew 25% to SAR2.54 billion. Mobily claims 39% of the Saudi cellular market, with 11.1 million subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:18:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Eesti Telekom, the Estonian operator, has reported its financial results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2008, revealing a net profit of EUR6.5 million (USD10.3 million), a 6.4% fall from June 2007. Revenues fell to EUR100.1 million (USD158 million), as a result of the reduction in interconnection fees by the state regulator in November 2007. Eesti also indicated that slowing sales of telecoms equipment had impacted revenues, with the operator also confirming it is to continue its strategy of reducing personnel to cut operating costs. Wireless subscriber figures show a rise from last year, up to 755,000, and according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Eesti operates both GSM and 3G services under its Eesti Mobiiltelefon subsidiary, claiming 47% market share.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:13:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the end of June 2008 China Telecom reported 214.89 million local access lines in service, 5.44 million lower than at the start of the year. Broadband subscribers surged by 4.3 million during the same timeframe, to 39.95 million, helped by the acquisition of Beijing Telecom in June 2008. China Netcom meanwhile added 160,000 fixed line and 710,000 broadband customers to its base, to take its totals to 108.5 million and 23.35 million respectively.

In the wireless arena, China Mobile reported 414.6 million wireless customers at the end of June, an increase of 45.25 million in six months. Rival China Unicom meanwhile reported 127.6 million GSM and 43.16 million CDMA customers at the same date, up 7.03 million and 1.2 million on the start of the year respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) said it had just under 87 million cellular subscribers across Russia and the CIS countries at the end of June, an increase of 520,000 in three months. MTS is the largest cellular operator in its home market, with 61.38 million customers at 30 June 2008, while its international operations include cellcos in Ukraine (19.13 million subscribers), Uzbekistan (4.37 million), Armenia (1.49 million) and Turkmenistan (570,000). The group also has 4.03 million customers in Belarus via a 49%-owned unconsolidated subsidiary.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:09:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of Spanish mobile customers reached 49.44m at the end of Q1 08, with annual net additions of 2.47m. In proportionate terms, annual growth stood at 5.3%, down 2.5pp compared to the year-earlier figure. This is in line with a downward trend in growth, a trend which is hardly surprising given that mobile penetration reached 122.1% at the end of Q1 08.

W-CDMA Customers, Q2 06 – Q1 08

Spanish market leader Telefonica finished the quarter with just over 23.01m customers, having managed an annual growth rate of 5.5%. In terms of market share, it recorded a very slight improvement (0.1pp) to finish Q1 on 46.5%. Second-placed Vodafone also gained 0.1pp year on year, finishing the quarter on 29.9%. In real terms, its customer base stood at 14.79m, up 0.79m year on year. This is lower than both the previous year’s figure of 1.25m net additions and Telefonica’s 1.19m. Nonetheless, in proportionate terms Vodafone grew by 5.6%, the highest growth rate on the market excluding start-up Xfera.

France Telecom’s Amena was the slowest growing by some margin with an annual increase of just 0.2%. Having lost 0.37m customers in Q2 07, Amena bounced back with quarterly net additions of 0.23m and 0.17m in Q3 and Q4, but Q1 08 saw the loss of 7k, leaving the annual gain at a paltry 26k. At the end of Q1 08, it had 11.08m customers and market share of 22.4%, down 1.1pp year on year. Meanwhile, 3G operator Xfera gained 0.9pp but still remained a fairly insignificant presence with just 1.1% of the market, or 0.56m in real terms. Having launched services in Q4 06, it now seems too late for Xfera to make any sizeable inroads.

In fact, Xfera does not even have a 5% share of the 3G market, finishing Q1 08 on 4.6%. Vodafone is the 3G market leader with 5.26m W-CDMA connections, compared to 4.2m for Telefonica and 2.01m for Amena. Both Telefonica and Amena more than doubled their totals year on year, however, so we could see a close battle in the Spanish 3G market this year.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 21, 2008 8:17:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Heavy regulation can suffocate businesses. Just ask any American firm that operates under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

This is not to say that the market should be left to its own devices, but some governments go above and beyond the call of duty.

The Israeli Ministry of Communications continues to aggressively target its wireless industry with the intention of increasing competition between the major players, including the largest, Cellcom Israel CEL, to benefit the nation's consumers.

Cellcom was established in 1994 and went public last year. Today, it provides cellular service to roughly 3.09 million subscribers, up 23,000 from a year ago.

The firm's estimated 34% share of the market is only slightly higher than that of rivals Partner Communications PTNR and Pelephone.

Government over-regulation remains the biggest challenge facing all three competitors.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 21, 2008 7:57:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 18, 2008

According to the annual report of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), sales in the country's electronic communications market (telecoms, TV and radio) reached GEL1.1 billion (USD784 million) in 2007, up 10% year-on-year. The sector accounts for 6.6% of Georgia's overall GDP, down from 7.5% in 2006. Cellcos earned 63.3% of overall revenues, ahead of fixed line telcos with 29.5% and TV and radio broadcasters with 7.2%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, July 18, 2008 12:10:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 17, 2008

A new Arab Advisors Group survey of Egypt’s urban households reveals rampant broadband account sharing between neighbors. A massive 81.9% of households that use shared ADSL lines share them with more than three neighboring households. The Arab Advisors Group projects that around a million Egyptian households have access to broadband, due to the widespread practice of ADSL accounts sharing.

A new major survey, “Egypt Households Telecoms and Media Survey Report 2008” was concluded and released by the Arab Advisors Group on April 24, 2008. This survey report can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for US$ 4,500. Subscribers to Arab Advisors Group Strategic Research Services can order the report for US$ 3,500.

The 159-page report, which has 262 detailed exhibits, provides the results of a major comprehensive survey of the telecommunications and media usage patterns and habits of the population across the Egyptian governorates of Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Dakahlia, Gharbia, Sohaj and Minya. The survey fieldwork was conducted during March and April 2008.

63.4% of Egyptian households with an ADSL connection reported sharing the ADSL connection with neighbors. Of those, a massive 81.9% share one ADSL line with more than three neighboring households.

“According to official figures from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt had 427,085 ADSL lines by the end of 2007. The Arab Advisors Group estimates that 75% of those are residential ADSL lines.” Jawad J. Abbassi, Founder and General Manager of Arab Advisors Group noted. “Based on the survey results, the average number of households sharing one ADSL connection is 2.98. Multiplying the reported number of lines by this figure yields an estimate for households with ADSL connections in Egypt of 956,000 households by end of 2007.” Mr. Abbassi added.

Source: Arab Advisory Group.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:24:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In Q1 08, the UK mobile customer base saw its first quarterly decline for two years, shedding 119k customers to finish the quarter on 70.67m. This is equivalent to a penetration rate of 116.0%. The losses were widespread, with O2, T-Mobile, Virgin and Tesco all suffering net declines. A similar range of companies also lost customers in Q1 07, but in that quarter a strong performance from Vodafone (723k net additions) ensured that the total customer base grew; in Q1 08, however, the highest figure for net additions was Orange’s 114k. Hutchison gained 75k and Vodafone 41k, but O2 lost 79k, T-Mobile 71k, Virgin 68k and Tesco 100k.

Quarterly Net Additions, Q1 07 vs Q1 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:00:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SAO PAULO -(Dow Jones)- The number of mobile phones in circulation in Brazil totaled 133.2 million at the end of June, up 1.9% from May, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by telecommunications regulator Anatel.

Net additions in the month were 2.6 million.

Brazil's main operators are Vivo Participacoes, which is jointly owned by Spain's Telefonica and Portugal Telecom; TIM Participacoes, the local unit of Telecom Italia; and Claro, the local unit of Mexico's America Movil.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 2:07:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Cameroon has been launched under the brand name, Yemba. At a press conference organised by Providence Technologique, the company behind Yemba, General Manger, Michel Nguetsop said that the company had secured an MVNO agreement with CDMA operator, Camtel.

The MVNO has set itself an ambitious target of two million subscribers by 2010.

Camtel was expected to activate an EV-DO upgrade on its Huawei supplied fixed wireless infrastructure last September - although it is not initially clear if this has happened.

According to the Mobile World database, there are currently two active operators in the country - MTN and Orange. The two operators ended the first quarter of this year with a combined 4.9 million subscribers - representing a population penetration level of 27%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:25:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mobile Subscribers in Bangladesh touch 43.7 million, as reported by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Bangaldesh’s six mobile operators signed up a total of 1.66 million new users until end June, 2008.

The Market leader, GrameenPhone, controlled by Norway’s Telenor, increased its subscriber base by 730,000 in June to 19.58 million. Banglalink, part of the Egyptian Orascom Telecom group, signed up 470,000 with its new total at 9.46 million. Telekom Malaysia subsidiary TM International (Bangladesh) Limited (AKTEL), added 140,000 users to reach a subscriber base of 7.85 million. UAE-backed Warid Telecom (Bangladesh), added 180,000 users to reach 3.31 million subscribers.

The sole CDMA cellular operator in a GSM-dominated field, Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (CityCell), part-owned by SingTel, saw its customer base grow to 1.7 million, up from 1.64 million in May, whilst the total users of state-owned Teletalk stood at 1.07 million at the end of June.

In Brief:

Name Total until June 2008 Additions in June
GrameenPhone (Telenor) 19.58 Million      730,000
BanglaLink (Orascom) 9.46 Million 470,000
AKTEL (Telekom Malaysia) 7.85 Million 140,000
Warid (UAE Backed) 3.31 Million 180,000
City Cell CDMA (Singtel) 1.7 Million 60,000
MOBILE SUBSCRIBERS (BANGLADESH) 43.7 Million          1.66 Million

Technorati : AKTEL, BTRC, BanglaLink, Bangladesh, CityCell, Grameenphone, Mobile, Mobile Statistics, Mobile Subscribers, Singtel, TeleTalkWarid.

Source:  Wireless Federation, based on Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:43:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |