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 Wednesday, 29 October 2008

According to data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the country added 10.07 million mobile subscribers in September to reach a total of 315.3 million active SIM cards. The increase was higher than rises of 9.16 million new connections the previous month. The net additions came despite warnings that India’s economy will be hit by a downturn in the local stock markets and weaker consumer spending. The country’s total fixed line subscribers dropped from 38.63 million in August to 38.35 at end-September, added the TRAI.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 08:36:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The difference between mobile broadband and fixed broadband speeds is growing according to new research by broadband comparison site, Broadband-Expert. Fixed broadband services are now, on average, twice as fast as mobile broadband.

The research comes shortly after the UK's advertising standards agency (ASA) imposed a ban on an advert claiming mobile broadband offered “all the benefits of home broadband on the move”. However the provider claimed the advert was referring to the capabilities of mobile broadband as opposed to a technical comparison.

Broadband Expert clocked the average fixed line broadband speed at 3.61Mbs based on over 308,584 fixed line broadband speed tests compared to 1.57Mbs for mobile broadband (based on 5,345 tests). The gap has grown considerably due to a notable increase in the speed of fixed broadband services which are now 0.66Mbs faster than they were in February 2008 (when the average speed was recorded at 2.95Mbs). By comparison mobile broadband services surveyed by the same company in April 2008 have increased in speed by just 0.1Mbs.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 08:34:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 27 October 2008

Once considered the fertile crescent of Internet innovation, the United States now finds itself increasingly trail­ing the world in broadband, according to a report just released by Strategy Analytics. The report, “Sputnik Moment: The Call for a National Broadband Policy,” suggests that only a coordinated and coherent national broadband plan will allow the US to regain its leadership role.

According to Strategy Analytics, the US has not come close to meeting the goal - enunciated by President George Bush in 2004 - of “universal and affordable access by 2007.” In fact, in the so-called “metrics that matter,” including penetration, availability, speed and affordability, the US has been overtaken by other developed nations.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 27 October 2008 17:32:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The popularity of mobile phones in South Africa is helping to tackle HIV and Aids in the nation.

Project Masiluleke will send one million free text messages a day to push people to be tested and treated.

Approximately 350,000 people die of Aids-related diseases in the country every year.

Trials of the system showed that calls to counsellors at the National Aids helpline in Johannesburg increased by 200% when messages were broadcast.

Click here to see full article

Source: BBC.

Monday, 27 October 2008 17:31:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 23 October 2008

New mobile subscribers in Pakistan will get inactivated SIMs from Jan’09, which would only be activated after the thorough verification of the consumer’s data from National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken this step to avoid illegal use of mobile phone SIMs. Consequently, the sale of pre-activated SIMs will be stopped from December 2008. According to the policy, 10 mobile phone SIMs could be issued against one Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC). Under the policy, 2.6 million SIMs have already been blocked and the remaining will either be regularised or blocked by 21 October, 2008.

The number of unverified connections sold up till 31st August’08 will also be blocked by 21 October, 2008. Further, PTA Chairman, Dr. Muhammad Yaseen, proclaimed that PTA would conduct a survey to check violation of the PTA SoP after two weeks. If any violation were observed, the authority will issue show cause notices and impose fines against the mobile phone companies responsible for the violation.

Media awareness campaign will be run by PTA and mobile operators to educate the subscribers to get the SIMs registered against their names.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:52:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Colombia mobile phone subscribers grows to 37.59 million as of the end of September, up 5.2% from 35.74 million at the end of June. Comcel holds the biggest sector of the mobile market with 24.18 million subscribers up from 22.72 million at the end of June, according to the regulator. 64% of the Colombian mobile market is controlled by Comcel. Spain’s Telefonica posted 9.70 million subscribers and the company holds 26% of market share. Colombia Movil SA, the local unit of Millicom International Cellular SA (MICC), bags third position with 3.71 million subscribers and MICC’s market share in Colombia is 10%.

In Comparison to the figures of 2007, the number of mobile subscribers at the end of September 2008 was 28% higher than at the end of September 2007. Colombia posted a rise of 17% at the end of 2007 in terms of total number of subscribers compared with the end of 2006. The statistics shows that the number of mobile telephone lines rose 27% in 2006 and more than 100% in 2005 as a result there is a stiff competition between the country’s three operators.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:51:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The internet and cell phones have become central components of modern family life. Among all household types, the traditional nuclear family has the highest rate of technology usage and ownership. A national survey of 2,252 adults by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that households with a married couple and minor children are more likely than other household types - such as single adults, homes with unrelated adults, or couples without children – to have cell phones and use the internet.

Click here to see full article

When asked if the internet and cell phones had made family life different for their current family compared with the family in which they had grown up, 25% said their family today is closer than their family when they were growing up, 11% said their family today is not as close as families in the past, and 60% said that new technologies have not made their family any more or less close than their family in the past.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:43:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Indian set a new world record for organic monthly net additions in September with an uplift of 9.99m, beating its own previous best of 9.90m. This is equivalent to 3.9 new connections every second in September. The total market reached 310.62m with a penetration rate of 27.5%, which should mean that there is plenty of potential for further growth.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:38:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France on Tuesday presented plans to set aside about a fifth of the country's prime television broadcasting spectrum for mobile Internet and television services by the end of 2009, in what supporters described as a major step toward creating a harmonized mobile broadband network in Europe.

France is the first major European country to reserve part of its most valuable broadcasting spectrum, the so-called UHF band, for mobile broadband and video services. Finland and Sweden have also said they plan to reserve the band for mobile services.

If a Europewide broadband network were to come to fruition, its greater scale would probably push down the cost of Internet services to consumers, especially in rural areas not reached by fast, fixed-line networks. It could also enable large mobile operators to sell services, like mobile TV or mobile broadband, across national borders, further increasing competition and lowering consumer prices.

The move was hailed by mobile operators and by the European Union's telecommunications commissioner, Viviane Reding, who is proposing that her office be given a greater role in influencing how EU countries redistribute the frequency.

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Source: International Herald Tribune.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:35:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Turkish mobile penetration rate reached 88.8% at the end of Q2 08, up 8.0pp year on year, with an end-quarter customer base of 63.81m. On a quarterly basis net additions stood at 1.27m, while the annual gain was 6.28m, the lowest figure for four years. Meanwhile, proportionate annual growth was down to 10.9%, the lowest level ever recorded in Turkey.

The graph below may seem to suggest a dramatic decline in Q2 08, but in fact the four previous growth rates were significantly boosted by an extraordinary Q2 07, which saw net additions of 3.71m.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 09:18:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Increasing adoption of messaging and content services, aided by increased availability of 2G and 3G-based mobile networks, is expected to push operator-billed data revenues in the mobile markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (collectively referred to as the BRIC economies) from $26.2 billion in 2008 to more than $48.3 billion by 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The research highlights broader expectations that these four markets will be among the six largest economies in the world by 2050, by which time their mutual interdependence and trading abilities will have significantly shielded them from weakening economic conditions elsewhere in the world. They will be matched in size only by the United States and by Mexico.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 09:13:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

About 8.5 million more U.S. households will start using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for their home phone service over the next two years, according to a new forecast from Pike & Fischer's Broadband Advisory Services.

The number of VoIP-connected households in the United States will approach 30 million by the end of the decade, generating more than $11 billion in revenue for cable operators, telephone companies and network-independent providers such as Skype, P&F predicts.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 09:09:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 17 October 2008

According to preliminary data published by the telecoms regulator Anatel, Brazil was home to 140.78 million mobile lines at the end of September, up 2.368 million on the previous month and 25% up on the 112.75 million lines recorded in September 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 17 October 2008 10:06:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The cost of talking on the go is coming down, thanks to an increasing number of options for using Internet calling services on cellphones as an alternative to traditional cellular service plans.

Click here to see full article

Source: IHT.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:53:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­After a poor first quarter in which there was a net loss of 0.63m customers, the South African market managed positive growth in Q2 with a gain of 0.82m. This took the total customer base to 43.15m, equivalent to a penetration rate of 98.5%. In annual terms, growth stood at 10.7%, less than half the 22.5% recorded in the prior twelve months and, moreover, the lowest rate for six years.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:49:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A new report from the ROA Group says that the number of mobile users in Japan will increase to 121 million by 2011 and the penetration rate in the Japanese market will grow to 95.4% by 2011.

As the Japanese market is reaching the saturation point, competition among the three operators, NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and SoftBank intensifies in terms of network, contents and devices. In this circumstance, the operators are also aiming to extend their businesses abroad. DoCoMo is now planning to commercialize Long Term Evolution (LTE) service for the first time in the world by 2010, and its rival SoftBank is to introduce the service about the same time. UQ Communications, a KDDI-led joint venture, and WILLCOM are planning to commercialize Broadband Wireless Access (BWA)-based mobile WiMAX service and next generation PHS service respectively in 2009, which is a year earlier than the planned launch of LTE by DoCoMo.

Looking at the general trend in price policy, it seems that two-year contracts are becoming common in the Japanese market.

In June 2007, DoCoMo introduced a new discount rate plan based on a two-year commitment. SoftBank and KDDI immediately followed the suit. For rate plans, unlike SoftBank and EMOBILE, both KDDI and DoCoMo are not offering free-call (flat-rate) service between those who use the same network. However, KDDI and DoCoMo may introduce 24-hour free call service in the future based on their business results, and it is expected that free-call service (flat-rate) will be widespread in Japan by 2011, says Steve Lee, Chief Consultant at ROA Group.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:45:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Warid Telecom new participant in Uganda’s highly competitive telecommunications sector has reached the subscriber base of 1 million within eight months of commercial service. Chief Executive of Warid Telecom, Zul Javaid,  believes that the jump in subscribers since March, when the company launched, can be attributed to aggressive marketing. “For us, this is a high milestone”. “We have hit our target three months before we intended to,” added Javaid.

The company aims to hit the subscriber base 10,000,00 after 12 months of it operation. Javaid further said, “We think the success we have had has been driven by giving the Ugandan population what they want, and that is the response that the market has given us in such a short time.” By saying that ‘Giving the population what it wants’, this involves Warid’s US$250 million GSM  network, according to Javaid. Warid Telecom has built the network in order to take on MTN Uganda, Uganda Telecom and Zain Uganda, all of whom having been operating in the country for more than five years.

Javaid accentuates that Warid has only counted active lines in its statistics, as some companies include dormant lines among their subscriber numbers. In 1998, Uganda had just 12,500 phone lines but now it boasts off vivacious mobile market and is anticipateing to reach the subscriber base of 6.8 million by the end of 2008.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:44:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The price war in Kenyan mobile market is continuing head high as Telkom Kenya lowers the mobile tariffs to one shilling/minute. The calls made from Orange to Orange will be priced one shilling, whereas, SMS will cost the same across all networks. The offer will be available for two months which likely to increase the Telkom’s subscriber base.

It has now been nearly two months that the kenyan mobile operators have been engaged in the price war, which has significantly reduced the mobile tariffs in the country.

Following the trend Zain Kenya launched the Vuka tariff which charges eight shillings/minute to all networks.
Safaricom has still not joined the league though it slashed the night calling rates to five shillings between 10pm and midnight and two shillings and fifty cents after that till 6am, on Safaricom to Safaricom network.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:42:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To millions, their cell phones are indispensable items.

That also applies in Israel, where Cellcom Israel CEL is the largest mobile phone operator. It had 3.1 million subscribers at the end of June, up 5% from a year ago.

The company's market share has been growing despite intense competition. Revenues from content and value-added services rose 36% in Q2 as the company pushes music offerings.

Last month, Cellcom launched a program that gives subscribers free airtime in exchange for watching commercials on their handsets.

Viewers will have to answer one or two advertiser questions to prove they watched. Big advertisers such as Coca-Cola KO, Nokia NOK and Sony SNE have already signed on.

The company's earnings grew 37% in the second quarter, moderately lower than in the past several quarters. Cellcom's three-year EPS growth rate is 29%.

But sales growth accelerated from 10% to 15%, 21%, 31% and 40% the past four quarters.

Pretax margin in 2007 was 19.5%, the highest in at least six years. After-tax margins generally have trended higher, but have been uneven in the past several quarters. Debt as a percentage of equity is a hefty 401%, however.

Source: Cellular News, based on Investor's Business Daily.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:38:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

During 2007 and into 2008, the market for prepaid mobile services has continued to grow more than twice as fast as the contract market according to Informa Telecoms & Media. At the end of 2007, there were 2.33 billion prepaid subscriptions in the world, of which nearly two per cent were accounted for by prepaid WCDMA accesses.

Prepaid services generated $241.9bn in revenues for mobile network operators in 2007. By far the largest prepaid market was Asia Pacific, with 43 per cent of global subscriptions and almost 30 per cent of revenues.

The number of people owning multiple SIMs continues to rise, and at the end of 2008 about 28.9 per cent of reported subscriptions worldwide will be accounted for by secondary or tertiary SIM card ownership. Operators may be forced to consider whether issuing SIM cards is a sustainable way of increasing the lifetime value and profitability of individual customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Informa Telecoms & Media.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:35:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Fixed operators need to come up with strategies for dealing with a rapid and invasive expansion of mobile broadband into their core growth area, consumer broadband, according to a report published by Analysys Mason.

The report forecasts that by 2013, 47% of European broadband subscriptions will use mobile networks and nearly a quarter of broadband-equipped sites will use mobile-only. The speed of take-up of broadband via mobile USB modems has surprised many in the fixed broadband business – and, indeed, the mobile business – and the early indications are that consumers in Europe are using mobile broadband as a substitute for fixed. DSL subscriber net additions are drying up, and headline prices for mobile broadband are frequently lower than those for DSL.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:25:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain adds 245,026 new mobile lines in August, with the total lines reaching 50.10 million at the end of the month. The growth was recorded at 5% on a y-to-y basis, reports the Spanish regulator, CMT. The mobile penetration reaches 110.9 lines per 100 inhabitants. The growth in M2M sector was up by 36.2% since last year, bringing the total number of mobile lines to 51.48 million. The number of postpaid subscribers added were 127,835 and the prepaid were 117,191. Vodafone, Yoigo and the MVNOs saw a positive growth in portability, whereas Movistar and Orange experienced a negative growth.

Vodafone added 18,581 new subscribers, Yoigo added 3,713 susbcribers and MVNOs recieved 1,851 net additions. On the flipside, Orange lost 18,056 ported subscribers, Movistar lost 6,089 ported subscribers.

Q2Œ08 figures show Vodafone accounted for 29.4% of the total net additions, Movistar for 26.7%, Orange for 20.3%, Yoigo accounted for 14.5% and MVNOs for the rest 9.1%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:23:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom, New Zealand, plans an investment of $357 million in it’s 3G mobile services across the nation, which is yet to be rolled out. Telecom soughts to roll out it’s 3G services by June 2009, covering 97% of New Zealand.
The firm expects an increased total group capital expenditure of NZ$2.4 billion within next two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:22:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thai Military Bank (TMB) has introduced a secure, personal mobile banking service called ‘’TMB M-Banking'’. This service is available across all mobile phone networks that allows customers to check balances, make financial transactions and pay bills. Chief Executive Officer of TMB Bank, Boontuck Wungcharoen, said, the service did not require a new SIM card or new phone number and TMB’s clients could execute any transaction using the browser on a phone connected through GPRS or a WiFi network.

M-Banking offers their client to know account summary as far back as nine months and monitor accounts around the clock. Other transactions are real-time cross-account and cross-bank money transfers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:21:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Algeria's state owned telecoms operator, Algérie Télécom is now unlikely to be privatized for at least two to three years as the company implements an improvement program to make it more commercial. The company is the country's dominant landline operator, and owns its second largest mobile network operator, Moblis.

Click here to see full article

Algeria's government has been planning to partially privatize Algérie Télécom for several years. The sale was expected to be take place by end of 2006, with the government selling 35% of the operator in an Initial Public Offering (IPO). However the procedures have not been finalized and the tender was yet not launched, but expected to take place in 2008.

Click here to see full article

According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country has three operators with the following market shares, Djezzy (39.7%), Moblis (36.4%) and Nedjma with 21.5%. The country itself ended last year with just under 28.2 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 84%.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 17 October 2008 09:19:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 October 2008

­The number of mobile telecom subscribers in South Korea grew 125,401 Month on Month in September to 45.3 million and the penetration rate rose to 93.1%, reports Korea Investment and Securities. Monthly net additions in September were slightly higher than in July and August but only 50.7% of the monthly average in 1H08, which shows cooled competition since July.

Overall market shares stand at 50.53% for SK Telecom (SKT), 31.49% for KTF and 17.98% for LG Telecom (LGT). SKT’s slipped 0.01%p but LGT’s inched up by the same measure.

Although “010” prefix additions rose 17.2% MoM in September, mobile number portability (MNP) activations and handset changes contracted 5% and 20.8%, respectively. Therefore, total handset sales slipped 2.1% to 1.85mn in September from 1.88mn in August.

By operator, lower handset sales were 6% for SKT, 20.6% for KTF and 12.5% for LGT. The research house noted though that lower handset sales usually implies fewer marketing incentives and hence higher operating margins.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:36:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Argentina posts a total of 44.4 million mobile lines by the end of August, a rise of 18.5% since last year. According to the figures by a local consultancy  only between 35 and 37 million lines were actually in service. The two operators that lead the market with nearly 14 million subscribers each are Claro Argentina and Movistar.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:34:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Romania sees the highest mobile penetration rate growth than any European Union (EU) country last year says the National Communications Authority (ANC). According to the sources, country’s penetration rate for cellular services rose by 25.5 percentage points to 106.2%, with more and more users now signing up for multiple mobile phone accounts to take advantage of special offers on individual tariffs. Around 26% of the population in urban areas have two mobile handsets where as 9% have three phones. At the end of 2007, Romania subscriber base was almost 23 million. There is net addition of 1.8 million subscribers in first half of 2008, added regulator.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:33:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Pakistan's telecoms regulator says that it has blocked some 10.5 million SIM cards after their users failed to register their ownership details with the mobile operators. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Yaseen also expressed concerns that many retailers were still flouting the rules requiring proof of id before selling new SIMs.

In first phase of the blocking procedure, of the connections sold before 30th April, 2008, 7.3 million connections found unverified have been blocked. In the second phase, PTA is endeavoring to clean subscriber’s data of connections sold from 1st May, 2008 to 30th May, 2008. So far, a total of 0.6 million connections which remained unverified have been blocked.

Mobile companies were also asked to block SIMs where the owner has registered more than 10 mobile phones by 30th September, 2008. A further 2.6 million of extra connections have now been blocked.

According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country ended the first half of this year with some 88 million subscribers - representing a population penetration level of 51%. Doubtless this fugure will fall as the operators update their subscriber base numbers.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:32:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­France Telecom's mobile division, Orange says that it has submitted a bid for the 3rd mobile phone license in Armenia - valued at EUR51 million (US$70 million). Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) announced the tender in July and said that there will be a reserve price of US$16 million for the license and the winner will be required to invest a minimum of US$320 million in the network rollout.

Click here to see full article

Armenia currently has two mobile networks, Armentel (majority owned by Russia's VimpelCom) and VivaCell (majority owned by Russia's MTS). Russia's other main operator, Megafon had been regularly cited as the certain winner of the tender - so the shortlist had proven to be a surprise.

The two incumbent operators have confirmed that they will launch 3G services shortly.

Figures from the Mobile World show that the country ended the first half of this year with a shade under 3 million subscribers - representing a population penetration level of 72%.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | CIS
Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:11:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Russian mobile operator, MTS has announced the launch of a test zone of its 3G network in Uzbekistan and technical readiness for commercial launch in late 2008. Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, became the first city in the region where MTS launched its next-generation network. The Company plans to cover the entire city and to announce the commercial launch by the end of the year. Additional cities will be launched in 2009, including Samarkand, Bukhara, and Andijan.

Click here to see full article

Development of UMTS networks is a cornerstone of MTS' strategy to provide mobile broadband in the CIS. As these markets demonstrate relatively low levels of fixed-line penetration and historic underinvestment in infrastructure, MTS views its networks as an ideal vehicle to meet the growing broadband Internet needs of its subscribers through attractive data products and services.

MTS launched its first 3G network in Russia in May 2008 and plans to launch the network in Armenia in early 2009. MTS is currently operating a CDMA-450 network in Ukraine.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | CIS
Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:09:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Kenyan government has announced plans to scrap a law which had required foreign firms to have local partners if investing in the telecoms industry. Under the current system, any investor has to allocate at least twenty percent of the company to a local partner, which has caused legal problems in the past.

Click here to see full article

The Kenyan market is dominated by Safaricom, which has a market share of 86.6% - followed by Zain and Orange. According to figures from the Mobile World, the country had 36.5 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of the first half of this year - although that still represents a population penetration level of just 39%, leaving plenty of space for a third network to enter the market.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:07:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MUMBAI: Mobile-based banking is the next frontier for banking in India. That's the one point everyone at The Economic Times Banking Technology Conclave 2008 presented by mChek agreed upon; whether they were bankers or technology providers.

Banks are not just relying on mobile based banking products to appeal to their urban clientele. They are increasingly looking at adopting the technology to reach out to the under-banked in the hinterland. "The unprecedented growth in mobile penetration in the country presents India with a unique opportunity," said Sanjay Swamy, CEO of mChek. In fact, there are almost 10 new mobile users added every second on any given working day, he added.

According to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in June this year, the Indian population had reached 28.3% mobile phone penetration - supporting a whopping 287 million individuals. With that number rising at almost 9 million every month, the opportunity it presents banks is certainly huge.

Click here to see full article

Source: The Economic Times (India).

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:35:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Efforts to spur more Europeans to shop online and across national boundaries will be stepped up Wednesday with plans for a new law to guarantee consumer rights across the 27-nation bloc.

The proposed legislation would oblige retailers to make product information available before sale, guarantee delivery within a maximum of 30 days and allow a statutory 14-day "cooling-off" period in which purchasers could change their minds.

Consumers would also be entitled to full refunds within seven days if goods fail to arrive, and companies would be banned from using some "get-out" clauses allowing them to supply products different from those advertised.

While an estimated 150 million Europeans use the Internet to shop, just one in five of those attempts to make purchases outside the home country, according to the European Commission.

Click here to see full article

European officials argue that the regulatory regime for e-commerce is vital because the sector is forecast to generate €128 billion, or $174 billion, across the European Union in 2008. The figure could grow by 230 percent in five years, officials say.

Source: Herald Tribune.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:29:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone has dropped their mobile broadband pricing to $39.95 for 5GB in order to take market share away. They are planning to roll out a new 3G network in December. Vodafone Australia claims that they are trying to validate their position as a key player in the highly competitive mobile broadband space with several anlalyst anticipating that they will soon reach no. 2 position in Australia. Vodafone has even ripped price for its 1GB plan from $29.95 to $19.95. Vodafone customers can now save up to $10 per month. Earlier this pricing was available to Vodafone customers with a mobile phone and mobile broadband bundle. Vodafone’s new carry anywhere USB Internet Stick modem, will be free for new customers signing up for 5GB plan.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:26:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zain Tanzania targets to grow it’s subscriber base by 15%, raising the total to 3.8 million by the end of 2008. Khaled Muhtadi, MD Zain Tanzania said that the celco has spent nearly USD440 million on its network in last four years and plans to invest more than USD180 million on it next year. ‘We have reached over 3.3 million customers today and our target is to exceed 3.8 million by the end of the year,’ he said. The challenges that Zain Tanzania faces are the falling subscriber revenues, high cost of handsets and the slow movement of equipment and supplies through the port and customs.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:24:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Softbank Mobile, Japan’s largest mobile operator, adds new subscribers more than it’s rivals for the 17th consecutive month. Softbank provides it’s subscribers with low call rates and agressively running marketing campaigns and also brings in Apple iPhone. The mobile operator added 142,800 new subscribers for the month of September, lagging behind were NTT DoCoMo with 129,700 net additions, and second placed KDDI, which added 74,900. Japan’s number four operator eMobile added 59,300.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:23:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Within the span of eight months this year Vietnam mobile subcribers reaches the mark of 52.4 million.The mobile penetration rate now stands at around 60 per cent. It is anticipated that the mobile subscribers will grow to 65 million by later this year and mobile penetration will increase to 70 users per 100 people.

Over the last four years cellular market of Vietnam shows fast paced growth, going from four million users by the end of 2004, to 37 million by the end of 2007. Considering its demographic trends it is anticipated that the boom will continue for at least the next five years, and probably longer. “By 2012, we forecast the total 89 million mobile market is achievable in Vietnam. Mobile penetration of about 99 per cent is possible in that timeframe,” said, Roger Barlow, chairman and CEO of RJB Consultants Limited. The factors that leads to growth are:

  • Lower priced handsets and service plans
  • Increased competition among five GSM networks
  • Network expansion into rural areas
  • Convergence between mobile and fixed networks
  • Broadcast capabilities and data usage through 3G deployments

Viettel adds 60,000 new mobile subscribers per day and MobiFone around 40,000 users. Viettel has captured 40% of the market and have become a strong participant.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:22:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Egypt mobile market has reached a total subscriber base of 33.86million as Q2Œ08 ends, net addition of 3.01million quaterly and 10.99 million yearly. The penetration rose from 28.5% to 41.5%, seeing a rise of 13% on y-to-y basis. The 9.8% growth in Q2 overpowered the Q1 growth of 6.6%. The annual growth rate of Egyptian mobile market fell acutely to 29.2% compared to last yearfs 61.7%.

Mobinil lead the market 16.33million subscribers, adding 1.31million subscribers in the quarter and 4.82million in past one year. Oddly, the market leader Mobinil lost itfs market share to the upcoming mobile operator Etisalat, and posted itfs lowest ever market share of 48.2% and annual growth rate of 59.2%.

Following the footprints of Mobinil, Vodafone also lost 2.7pp of itfs market share coming down to 44.3% by the end of Q2, and this dip came when Vodafone saw a perked up growth of 4.25million in subscriber base, crossing the 15million mark. The operator recorded an annual growth of 25.4%, falling to half since last year.

Etisalat, completing an year in the Egyptian market, had a subscriber base of 2.53million subscribers by the end of Q2, a rise of 94.9% since itfs launch. The mobile operator earned a market share of 7.5% in past one year, rising from 2.6%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:20:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 October 2008

According to data published by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) as reported by Japan Today, mobile calls accounted for 44.8% of total hours of telecommunications traffic in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2007, eclipsing fixed line phone traffic for the first time ever. The MIC reported fixed line phone calls, excluding calls made via IP, was 43.3%. In fiscal 2006 the share of mobile phone calls was 5.7 percentage points below that for fixed line calls, but leapfrogged it a year later after Softbank Mobile introduced free call services and other rivals cut call rates in a competitive market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008 07:35:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile penetration rates are forecast to rise from 46% in 2008 to 95% by 2013 according to a new survey of 34 emerging market countries published by Tariff Consultancy. Already subscribers in the 34 countries total over 2.1 billion users (based on operator statistics as of mid-2008) which accounts for half of the world’s mobile users (based on ITU estimates). By 2013 the 34 countries will have grown to 4.3 billion mobile users and will account for around two thirds of global mobile users.

The report notes that although China and India will remain the two single largest markets throughout the period due to their large populations, the fastest growth in new mobile subscribers over the next 5 years is set to come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia and Indonesia. By 2013 Iraq is forecast to have the highest mobile penetration rate of all of the 34 countries.

Another striking feature is the deployment of 3G and HSDPA mobile networks across all regions which is likely to continue. Although 3G handset costs are currently prohibitively expensive for the mass market there is evidence of adoption by high spending user groups who are using 3G for VoIP and peer-to-peer applications as an alternative to fixed line broadband.

The use of inclusive call minutes is also increasing. Inclusive call minutes are being used as a short term customer acquisition tool, with unlimited on-net SMS or calls offered for a 24 or 48 hour period. They are being used as a retention tool with low on-net calls to particular user communities, and finally as a flat rate price differentiator across all networks where competition is severe.

The availability of new mobile licences and spectrum is continuing to attract investors as Governments seek to raise new revenue with licence auctions and existing providers look for foreign investors. New mobile operator investment is taking place in India, Cambodia, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Vietnam among others.

The report also noted that as markets approach maturity, mobile operators are attempting to develop new forms of distribution channel to attract the low income subscriber with lower denomination top-up cards and door to door sales and sub-agents.

“The rapid growth of mobile penetration across the world indicates that these markets will approach maturity more quickly than previously thought,” commented Margrit Sessions, Managing Director of Tariff Consultancy. “By the end of 2013 we are likely to see one SIM card for every person as the norm in most countries,” she added. “However we should be careful to over-emphasise the significance of this trend, as the incidence of multiple SIM ownership - particularly in the cites - has long been common in emerging markets as there is such a large difference between on net and off net tariffs.”

Over time pricing policies pursued by the mobile operator will need to change in order to promote greater mobile operators. Operators who continue to promote multiple SIM ownership with large differences between on-net and off-net tariffs will ironically contribute to relatively low levels of operator loyalty.

Emerging market mobile operators are likely to find that growth will come from inclusive flat rate deals for both voice and data which will drive usage as has been the case in developed markets.

“The imminent launch of mobile broadband data services provides an exciting new revenue stream as users are able to break free of low speed fixed or dial up access which will continue to have relatively poor levels of penetration. Mobile is going to become the standard for accessing the internet in many of these countries from now on,” adds Margrit Sessions.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008 07:34:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 13 October 2008

­Nigeria overtook South Africa to become the MEA region’s largest market in Q1 and it has further stretched its lead in the latest period, passing the 50m milestone and ending the quarter with 51.7m mobile connections. This makes it the 18th largest market in the world. South Africa – which is now nearly 100% penetrated – has less than one third of Nigeria’s population (44m v 138m) and is likely to drop into third place soon. Iran – with a population of more than 70m – has moved from sixth to third over the course of the last year and is adding customers four times as quickly as the RSA.

Egypt retains fourth position, with a total of 30.8m, up from 29.4m in March. The market here has been boosted by the arrival of a third entrant, though as is so often the way, the newcomer’s advertising budget merely serves to strengthen the incumbents. In the 13 months since Etisalat Misr launched, it has built a base of 2.5m customers, but both Vodafone and Mobinil have comfortably exceeded this with additions of 4.25m and 5.62m respectively.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 13 October 2008 10:18:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |