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 Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil) has launched its 3G network following several delays, which the company partially put at the door of the telecoms regulator. The company had expected to receive access to the radio spectrum on 17th January, but the radio frequencies were not released until March 27th. The company had hoped to launch its network in July, but again missed its deadline.

According to a statement from the company, Mobinil's 3G coverage Cairo, Alexandria, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Dahab, Taba, Safaga, Marsa Alam, Luxor and Aswan, in addition to the industrial zones as well as petroleum fields and business districts. It is also planned that the 3G coverage will expand to cover wider areas to achieve comprehensive coverage for almost all regions.

The network also falls back onto EDGE services when out of 3G coverage.

Click here to see full article

Mobinil is listed on the Cairo stock exchange (29%) - and has two main shareholders, Orascom Telecom (33.1%) and France Telecom (36.3%). The company is the largest operator in the market, and according to figures from the Mobile World database, ended Q1 '08 with just over 15 million subscribers and a market share of 51.5%.

Mobinil recently reported that its first-quarter net profit grew 14% to 451 million Egyptian pounds ($84 million) from EGP397 million a year earlier. The company's revenue also surged 27% to EGP2.3 billion from EGP1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2007.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa | Mobile
Thursday, September 04, 2008 7:56:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 01, 2008

Bolivian mobile operator, Telecel operating under the brand name Tigo, has launched 3G services in the country. The service has been launched in several cities in the regions of Santa Cruz, La Paz and Cochabamba.

 

Telecel is a subsidiary of Luxembourg based, Millicom International, and launched its network in December 2005. According to figures from the Mobile World subscriber database, the operator ended the first half of this year with just over 1.19 million customers - of which an estimated 120,000 were still connected to a legacy TDMA network at the end of March. The company has a market share of 29%.

 

Bolivia's Nuevatel PCS - which operates under the VIVA brand name recently announced the launch of a commercial WiMAX rev-e network in the country with coverage roughly similar to the 3G coverage being offered by Telecel.

 

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, September 01, 2008 8:36:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 29, 2008

APA-Tunis (Tunisia) The number of people using the mobile telephony networks reached 8.1million subscribers in June 2008 in Tunisia i.e. a telephone density of 80 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, revealed data published in Tunis.

This figure increased by 15% compared to the same period in 2007 (7.8 million subscribers) for a 12 million population.

The volume of SMS traffic increased by 30% during the first six months of the current year (80 million SMS) compared to the same period last year (61 million SMS).

These data from the ICT ministries also note an improvement of the quality of services of the mobile telephony, which enabled them to reduce the clutter and the saturation of traffic in peak periods.

This improvement is thanks to the programmes and steps implemented to remarkably ease the clutter which was reduced to 2% whereas it was over 16 % last year.

Reacting to these official figures, observers said that 8 million subscribers is "huge" compared to the Tunisian population and the teenage population.

Tunisians as well as foreign nationals in Tunisia (diplomats, co-operators, businessmen and tourists) often complained about the quality of the GSM and Internet connection, particularly in summer and during peak hours.

Tunisia has two mobile telephone operators, a public one (Tunisia Telecom) and a private one (Tunisiana).

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, August 29, 2008 3:19:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tech savvy teenagers of Mexicans will soon be able to use their mobile phones for making small payements such as restaurant meals and taxi rides. Mobile operators like Telefonica SA and Iusacell are teaming up with banks such as  Citigroup and BBVA to instigate the service, targeting technology savvy teenagers and anticipated to introduce the service soon.

Roberto Rodriguez, in charge of the service, said Cell phone users will be able to have their bank link their savings account to their telephone so they can make payments to participating stores, restaurants and taxis by sending a text message.

America Movil’s Telcel has yet to sign up with bank though it accounts for more than two-thirds of Mexico’s mobile pones.

In a country like Japan, using mobile phones as a medium to purchase items such as train tickets to purchase items is quite common but it is yet pace up in United States.

Source: Wireless News.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 8:04:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 08, 2008
Moroccan regulator Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT) has released its statistical report for the second quarter of 2008. According to the watchdog’s figures, total mobile telephony subscribers increased by 3.86%, or 796,000 in the three months to the end of June to 21.412 million subscribers (up 22.39% from 17.495 million a year earlier, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database). Maroc Telecom accounted for almost exactly one-third of mobile subscribers with 14.211 million at the end of the second quarter (up by 514,000 since March), with Meditel accounting for the other 7.201 million (up 282,000 on the previous quarter). The ANRT said mobile penetration reached 69.43%, up from 57.82% in June 2007.

The mobile figures do not include the sector’s newest operator Wana, despite it launching commercial mobile services on 10 June. As of the end of June, domestically-owned Wana had not reported mobile user tallies to the ANRT, so all its CDMA-based subscribers remain classified as fixed line/limited mobility. In the fixed sector (which includes limited mobility), Wana took over from Maroc Telecom as the largest provider by customers in 2Q 2008, ending the period with a share of 51.65% (1.426 million subscribers out of a total of 2.761 million), ahead of Maroc Telecom’s 48.12% and a marginal share of 0.23% for Meditel. Overall fixed subscriber growth in the quarter was 1.89%, entirely attributed to Wana. The picture is likely to change significantly when the ANRT reports third quarter statistics, however, with a large portion of Wana’s subscriber base likely to have switched from limited mobility CDMA services to a fully mobile service with national roaming.

Total internet subscribers in Morocco reached 653,591 at mid-2008 against 581,866 three months earlier, an increase of 12.33%. ADSL broadband subscribers, virtually all of which are served by Maroc Telecom, accounted for 74.7% of the total, with a further 24.3% subscribing to 3G wireless broadband services and 1% on dial-up connections. The 3G wireless broadband sector saw 82% growth since the end of March, to take the total users to 158,869 at end-June. Wana comfortably claimed the majority with 117,531 subscribers to its CDMA2000 1xEV-DO-based service, ahead of its HSDPA-based rivals Meditel (27,563 subscriptions) and Maroc Telecom (13,774). Maroc Telecom previously reported that its ADSL subscriber total remained static in the three months ended 30 June, at 482,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, August 08, 2008 9:13:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) - the country's monopoly telecoms operator - says that it has completed the installation of the first phase of CDMA 2000 network infrastructure with 625,000-network capacity through vendor financing agreement with China's ZTE and has finalized preparation to make CDMA pre-paid service available to potential customers soon.

Click here to see full article

ZTE recently added 1.2 million GSM lines to the network capacity to cope with demand and also a surge in usage which occurred during the recent celebration of the Ethiopian millennium. A WCDMA overlay is also planed for some parts of the network. There were several serious network failures during the upgrade work, with the mobile operator blaming ZTE for not refarming radio spectrum correctly during the commission of new base stations.

The state owned monopoly ended Q1 '08 with an estimated 1.6 million subscribers, which according to figures from the Mobile World equates to a population penetration level of just 2%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:24:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 28, 2008

Namibia’s largest cellco MTC said it has invested nearly NAD300 million (USD40 million) in its network infrastructure in the year to date, in projects including raising SMS capacity, the deployment of a transmission backbone across several areas of the country and the replacement of central switching equipment with next generation architecture. The company’s fibre-optic transmission network was extended in areas including the capital Windhoek, coastal regions and in the north, ending MTC's long-standing reliance on renting backbone capacity from Telecom Namibia. The fibre project was implemented by Nera and Ericsson at a cost of NAD76 million this year. MTC also upgraded its radio access network and wireless broadband service capabilities, in partnership with Nokia Siemens Network and Motorola, at a cost of NAD88 million. MTC's investments over the last 13 years total NAD1.6 billion.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 28, 2008 1:30:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Revenues from mobile data services are set to exceed US$200 billion this year for the first time, according to data sourced from Informa Telecoms & Media. Total mobile data revenues were approximately US$157 billion in 2007.

Research from the first quarter of 2008 reveals that mobile data service revenues exceeded US$49 billion, accounting for a 42.7% y-o-y increase. This figure means that mobile operators now generate approximately one fifth of their revenue from data services; this is significant given that a general slowdown in voice revenues is forcing the pace around the importance of data services for mobile operators.

Informa Telecoms & Media estimates that non-SMS data contributed US$17.48 billion of revenue in Q108, accounting for 35.6% of total data revenues.

"Growth drivers for the increase in data revenues include the acceleration in deployment of advanced technologies, an increasingly competitive market, and of course, growing consumer demand for mobile data services driven by popular data-optimised devices such as Apple's iPhone", says Informa Principal Analyst, Nick Jotischky.

The Asia Pacific region comprises 40% of the world's data revenues (over US$20 billion in Q108), representing an above average y-o-y growth rate of 48%. The biggest regional riser, however, is the Middle East, which despite contributing just 2% of the world's data revenues in the first quarter of 2008, has seen a 91.7% y-o-y increase in this figure to US$927 million. Aiding this acceleration is the 321% y-o-y rise in the number of HSPA subscribers in the region, which reached 2.9 million by the end of March 2008.

Further next-generation deployment should also ensure rapid growth in Africa and the Americas, which accounted for just 2% and 5% of global data revenues at the end of Q1 2008. With the increased deployment of fixed wireless telephony, the popularity of EV-DO datacards continues to spread across Africa, now available in 18 markets. Similarly, in Latin America, operators are hopeful for increases in data revenues from WCDMA and HSDPA launches.

According to Informa Telecoms & Media, the operator to generate the highest non-voice revenues in the quarter is Japan's NTT DoCoMo (US$3.6 billion), having overtaken China Mobile (US$3.5 billion), which had been the largest generator of data revenues for the previous three quarters.

In terms of data as a percentage of overall revenue, Filipino mobile operator Smart Communications is the world's market leader and the only carrier to depend on non-voice revenues for more than 50% of its income, such is the high level of SMS usage in the country.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 28, 2008 10:44:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Banjul (The Gambia) The Gambia has almost a million telephone subscribers, with over 800,000 mobile telephone and about 50,000 fix telephone subscribers, according to a report by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) released here Friday.

The report says that the telephone subscriber list has grown by 86 per cent in 2007, from 73 per cent in 2006. “This surge in growth is as a result of an increased register in the subscriber base of the mobile telephone sector as against the fixed line subscribers, primarily as a result of a competitive environment created by the government,” the report said. The report indicates that despite the stiff competition amongst the mobile telephone providers, they continue to increase their subscriber base. In contrast, the release said the last two years saw stagnation in the number of fixed line subscribers in The Gambia with marginal growth rate of only 20 per cent in 2006 and 9 per cent in 2007.

The report adds that telecommunications in The Gambia “is one of the most highly competitive markets in the sub-region. This is illustrated by an increase in innovative services and pricing schemes such as peak, off peak and free night calls.” The report concludes that the communications sector saw a tremendous growth from 7 percent to 25 percent in 2007, with an estimated investment in the telephone sector of US$26.3 million in 2007.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:48:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 25, 2008

SMS will continue to maintain its lead as the highest revenue generator across all messaging categories, providing global service revenues of $177 billion in 2013. But in a recent report from ABI Research, regional differences will determine the success of messaging expansion into the Web, advertising, and the incorporation of mobile messaging within social networking media.

“Innovative companies are exploring opportunities for expanding mobile messaging access to Web sites as well as targeting customers with content and ads,” says principal analyst Dan Shey. “To be successful with these enhanced services, companies that supply mobile messaging products and services must understand the regional distributions for customer type, payment preferences, message delivery method, and usage.”

For instance, developed regions of North America and Europe have the highest messaging ARPUs, and send the most messages from the computer to the mobile device using IM; Asia-Pacific subscribers sign up for the most SMS alert services; and Latin Americans are heavy SMS users, but prefer pay-as-you-go for all messaging services. Additionally, these regional differences will cause established messaging suppliers to reevaluate their business models.

“Device vendors and messaging platform suppliers serving the global market will have to manage across markets where growth is king – and other markets where product differentiation is king,” continues Shey. “This is a great time for smaller companies to develop new products and services individually and in partnerships to serve the niche needs of a region or country.”

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 25, 2008 2:38:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced that licence fees for rural landline services will be waived, Telecom Tiger reports. It is expected that the ruling could save providers up to INR2 billion (USD46.7 million) per year, and it is hoped may encourage private players to consider investment in rural areas. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has committed to increasing rural teledensity to 4% by 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, July 25, 2008 12:41:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The market share of handsets supporting WCDMA and HSDPA networks increased remarkably in South Korea in 2007. The latest research report released by ROA Group found out that 30.7% of the handsets launched in 2007 supported WCDMA and HSDPA networks, while the figure was a mere 4% in 2006. Also the proportion of handsets supporting mobile WiMAX (WiBro) increased compared to the previous year.

In terms of manufacturers, LG released more models compared to 2006, and was able to increase its market share in the domestic market by 6%, to 26%, while that of Samsung remained the same, occupying 50% of the South Korean market. As the cut-throat competition between the manufacturers and mobile operators intensifies, the market witnessed a drop in the average retail price compared to 2006, with the market share of high-end handsets decreasing to 40.4%.

There was also a notable increase in Bluetooth installment, sub-camera, Video on Demand (VOD), Video Telephony and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) support. More and more handsets are equipped with Universal Subscription Identity Module (USIM) card, enabling mobile payment services, and this segment is expected to grow in South Korea as cooperation between mobile operators, card issuers and commercial banks strengthens in the market.

Among form factors, ROA Group believes that slim trend will continue and the adoption of touch screen will widespread further. The expansion of WCDMA and HSDPA networks will enable more innovative multimedia services, resulting in the acceleration of mobile Internet usage and interaction between content and end-user, says David Kim, chief consultant at ROA Group Korea.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:29:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile users in China, the world's biggest cellphone market, now tops 600 million, the government said, as subscribers increasingly abandon fixed lines.

Mobile phone users in the country increased to 601 million at the end of June, up by 8.6 million from the end of May, the Ministry of Information Industry said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.

From January to June, the nation of 1.3 billion recorded 53.5 million new cellphone users, it said.By contrast, fixed-line subscribers fell by 9.3 million in the first six months to 356 million, it said.

Mobile service is becoming more popular in the country after operators lowered tolls in March for making phone calls outside a user's registered local service area and cancelled charges for answering calls in some cities.

China has been leapfrogging into the age of mobile telephony because of the huge costs associated with installing fixed lines across a nation the size of the United States.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:22:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |