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 Monday, 01 December 2008

­The International Telecomunications Union (ITU) has published a report detailing a set of regulatory strategies designed to lower the costs of telecoms network rollout. The report notes that 2008 has been marked by unparalleled numbers of voice and Internet consumers in both the developing and developed world, the result of network growth and expansion.

This year has also seen an unparalleled global financial crisis which may make it more difficult for investors to obtain financing for continuing network development. Sharing strategies, examined in the new ITU report, are seen as conducive for infrastructure development in the telecommunications/ICT sector, particularly in light of the deepening global financial crisis.

Fixed and mobile broadband evolution

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Mobile penetration showed high growth rates through 2008. By year end, mobile networks and subscribers will rise to an all time high, reaching an estimated 4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. The world also counts over 1.5 billion Internet users, a growing number of which use fixed and mobile broadband services. Dial-up is being replaced by broadband across developed and developing countries alike. In developing countries such as Chile, Senegal and Turkey, broadband subscribers represent over 90 per cent of all Internet subscribers.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 01 December 2008 09:52:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The European Commission, in a letter, has welcomed the French regulator's proposal to lower the wholesale rates charged by French mobile operators. The Commission also invited the regulator, ARCEP to keep up its efforts to set a target date by which they should equal the costs of an efficient operator in the next regulatory window that starts in 2011.

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The Commission endorsed the regulatory measures proposed by the French regulator ARCEP: a price control obligation requiring French mobile operators SFR and Orange France to charge a termination rate of €0.03 per minute from 1 July 2010. Bouygues' rate is to be set at €0.04 per minute by the same date. ARCEP`s overall approach is to reduce termination rates towards the long run incremental cost (LRIC) of an efficient operator resulting in symmetric rates which will eventually be in line with the Commission's forthcoming Recommendation on termination rates. ARCEP set the target efficient cost-based mobile termination rate between €0.01 and €0.02 per minute, to be eventually reached by all mobile operators.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 01 December 2008 09:45:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In October 2008, for the first time in its history, the Chinese market reported a monthly decline in customer numbers. This was not the latest sign of global economic meltdown, but rather a consequence of China Telecom¡'s acquisition of China Unicom¡'s CDMA network. At the point of acquisition, Unicom counted 41.73m CDMA subscribers while Telecom reported 29.08m, the discrepancy being the result of differing counting methodologies: Telecom disregarded customers who had not paid their most recent bill or who it was not confident would continue to pay in the future. Only 6.8% of the total CDMA customer base were prepaid customers at the end of September, so the vast majority of uncounted customers were on contracts.

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The total Chinese customer base remained above 600m despite the inorganic loss effected by China Telecom¡'s recount. With a monthly decline of 4.92m, the number of mobile connections in China stood at 602.25m at the end of October.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, 01 December 2008 09:41:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Turkey has awarded three 3G licenses to the incumbent operators following an auction to battle over the spectrum allocation. Turkcell won the largest block (A License) with a bid of €358 million ($462 million), followed by Vodafone and Avea with bids of €250 million (US$323 million) and €214 million (US$276 million) respectively.

The award of the fourth available 3G license was cancelled due to a lack of interest.

The minimum value of the A License was set as US$405 million, while the minimum value was US$355 million for the B License, US$304 million for the C License and US$253 million for the D License.

Turkcell said that it expects to launch its 3G network by the middle of next year, while Avea has previously said that its network is ready for 3G services as soon as the licenses are awarded.

Only Turkcell was willing to bid for a 3G license in the original tender in 2007, after the other two operators, Vodafone and Avea refused to participate in the original auction unless mobile number portability was also offered. The license which was awarded to Turkcell was later cancelled due to the lack of competition.

Mobile number portability is due to be launched in the country in November.

Turkcell dominates the local market, controlling some 60% of customer base according to figures from the Mobile World analysts. Vodafone is second with 26% and Avea trails with just 14%. The country has nearly 54 million mobile phone users, which represents a market penetration level of 76%.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe
Monday, 01 December 2008 09:33:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 28 November 2008

Millicom International Cellular says that it has won the license to operate Rwanda's third mobile phone network. ­Millicom will hold 87.5% of the equity in a newly created joint venture company in partnership with Marathon Corporation, an established local company with numerous business interests in Rwanda. The joint venture will pay US$60 million for the 15 year license.

Rwanda has some 10 million inhabitants and is a country of some 26,000, located between Millicom's existing operations in DRC and Tanzania, giving potential to create synergies between the three businesses over time. Mobile penetration in Rwanda is low, at some 9%, and there are currently only two operators: Rwandatel and MTN, of which MTN is the dominant operator with around 1 million subscribers. The structure of the mobile industry presents Millicom with the opportunity to build a business with a significant market share.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:54:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) ­A media watchdog on Friday criticised the collapsed state of Zimbabwe’s telecommunications sector following more than a week of erratic coverage by the country’s main service providers.

The sole fixed telephone network run by the state-owned TelOne is in an appalling state of affairs, with erratic coverage in the urban areas and is virtually non-existent in the rural areas.

Problems on the fixed telephone network have also negatively affected Internet traffic in Zimbabwe during the past three weeks.

The three mobile telephone networks – Econet Wireless, Telecel Zimbabwe and the state-owned Net One – have also failed to cope with the market demand for their services in Zimbabwe’s hyperinflationary environment.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:52:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­India's GSM networks added a record breaking 7.7 million net customers in October - reports the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI). The total GSM base now stands at 241.4 million as at the end of last month.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:50:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA - Lomé (Togo) ­The telephone coverage rate remains very low in Togo (4.8%) where 95.2% of the population do not have access to telephone, reliable sources told APA here.

"About 95.2% of people do not have access to telephone, and telephone coverage is particularly very low in rural areas", an official document recently of the Togolese cabinet disclosed recently.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:49:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a recent surevey, South Africa has been rated as the world’s fourth fastest and Africa’s fastest growing mobile market, with a coverage on 80% of the total population, nearly 39 million users, representing a market value of US$2.4 billion. The three operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C, have been in a cutthroat competition against each other since the launch of MNP in the market last year.

“South Africa offers an extraordinary penetration rate in this burgeoning market, one of the highest in the developing world,” said the report.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:47:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesian Mobile Market flying the rating chart, subsequently the mobile operators are busy positioning themselves as growth starts to slow and competition becomes more stiff. The operators have to offer best of its price to expand its subscriber base as well as to build market share. It is anticipated that new entrants in alliance with foreign partners will bring a change in the shape of the market.

According to sources, Indonesia has by far the highest level of CHURN, 11.2%. ARPU in 2Q, 2008 was USD 5.70, among the lowest in the world and ARPU declines accelerated to 23% YoY in 2Q, 2008, compared to -15.3% in 1Q, 2008. The Indonesia mobile market scenario is one of the most challenging in the world, with operators caught in a low-ARPU, high churn market environment. It posted EBITDA margins at 56 % in 2Q, 2008.

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Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:46:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Number Portability, which was launched in Brazil of September’08, will now be available to another 8.3mn fixed and mobile telephony users in Brazil’s four states, reports country’s telecoms regulator Anatel.
Users of telephony services in Minas Gerais state, Paraná state, Santa Catarina state and Rio Grande do Norte state can now port their numbers to other operators. In total, NP currently reaches 29.2mn users across various states of the country.
According to ABR Telecom, coordinator, Requests in Brazil for porting numbers reached 61,960 by November 3 and of the overall requests, 36,671 telephone numbers have already been ported - 20,892 mobile and 15,779 fixed.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 28 November 2008 16:43:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 November 2008

­The Bolivian incumbent Entel reaches a mark of 2 million mobile subscribers in the country. The company's mobile unit Entel Movil has been working on an agressive investment plan since May'08, after the government took over the operator.
According to Sittel, the Bolivian regulator, the country's mobile telephony segment reached 4.4mn subscribers at the end of Q2'08.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, 24 November 2008 12:56:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 November 2008

­Digicel has commercially launched its GSM network in Honduras following an investment of US$450 million, leading to a national network of more than 500 retail distributors and 40,000 recharge outlets nationwide.

With a population of nearly 7.5 million people and mobile penetration currently at approximately 60 percent, Digicel says that it is confident it can stimulate growth in the mobile market in Honduras by increasing mobile penetration within five years from its current level to 80 percent. Digicel has also created significant jobs, employing 450 people directly in its operations and 3,000 people indirectly.

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Digicel Central America Holdings Limited is owned by Denis O'Brien, as is Digicel Group Limited and Digicel South Pacific Limited.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, 21 November 2008 08:46:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 19 November 2008

According to the telecom supervisory body, Supertel, the Ecuadorian mobile operators ended the month of September with a total of 11.3mn subscribers compared to 9.65mn at end-September 2007.
Porta, a unit of America Movil, continues to top the charts with 7.67mn subscribers, followed by Movistar Ecuador with 2.95mn and locally owned Alegro PCS with 672,366 subscribers.
In the month of September nearly 154,164 subscribers to the Ecuadorian mobile market.

Source: Wireless News.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 09:08:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, reports a fall of 86% in its net profits for 9 months driven by higher energy and network costs and rising inflation. The profits came down to $9.36 million in comparison to $66.38 million since last year. Overall group turnover for the period rose 9% to $249.15 million. It ended the 9 month period with a subscriber base of more than 5 million, acquiring 50% of Sri Lankan mobile market.

Source: Wireless News.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 09:07:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 30 October 2008

­Elisa continued its steady if unspectacular progress in Q3 08, adding 57.4k customers to bring its combined customer base to 2.83m. Annual growth stood at 7.9%, up from 6.9% in the previous twelve months. Given that Elisa’s markets of operation (Finland and Estonia) both have penetration rates in excess of 125%, such a growth rate is commendable, as is the consistency of its growth: in the past eight quarters, figures for net additions have not fallen outside the 30k – 80k range.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:12:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Senegal's government has announced that it is to terminate the mobile license of the Tigo mobile phone network - potentially cutting off some 1.8 million customers - at the end of this month. Tigo, which is the trading name of Sentel GSM is a wholy owned subsidiary of Luxembourg based Millicom International Cellular.

Millicom says that the mobile network represents less than 5% of Millicom's world-wide revenues and less than 3% of its EBITDA for the nine months ended September 2008.

Sentel's twenty year license was granted in 1998 by a prior administration, before the enactment in 2002 of Senegal's Telecommunications Act. Although the current Senegalese government has, since 2002, acknowledged the validity of Sentel's license, it has also requested that Sentel renegotiate the terms of the license.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:08:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The UK's Mobile Data Association (MDA) has reported that new devices and an ever growing variety of mobile applications have driven overall mobile data growth figures in 2008. SMS growth continues to astound while MMS shows an increasing level of growth. Consumer awareness, the fact that nearly all phones now come ready configured to work with MMS and attractive tariff bundles from the Mobile Network Operators helps fuel this growth.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:05:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­According to the findings of a new report commissioned by policy control vendor, Camiant - mobile broadband affords tremendous growth opportunities for operators; however, given the popularity of data cards and smart phones and the substantial capital expenses involved in building additional network capacity, operators can expect to hit network limitations fairly quickly. With operators seeing anywhere from 100% to 800% bandwidth growth, there is a clear need to design new business models for the mobile broadband market.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:02:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Avea, one of Turkey’s leading mobile operator sees a boost of 2.5 million new subscribers with the introduction MNP. Avea predicts that nearly 9 million mobile users in Turkey will switch their operators, taking advantage of this new service.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:01:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Operator expands to 15 African markets via launches in Kenya, Uganda and Niger

France Telecom-owned Orange has long had a footprint in the predominantly French-speaking areas of West Africa, but this year has seen the operator push into new African markets and seek to exploit its brand profile in the continent.

Orange entered Kenya - East Africa's largest economy - via its US$390 million acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Telkom Kenya in December 2007. The operator subsequently rebranded the company as 'Orange Kenya' and launched operations last month. Orange is targeting 1.5 million customers within a year and claims to be the first 'integrated' operator in the country by combining mobile, fixed-line and Internet services. It has reportedly invested US$110 million in the subsidiary to date – the majority of investment focused on expanding its GSM network. It is using mobile market-leader Safaricom's network to ensure a nationwide service while it builds-out its own infrastructure but expects to cover the whole country within two years. Orange Kenya is the third mobile operator in the market (after Safaricom and Zain), while a fourth player - Econet Wireless Kenya, a specialist 3G operator - plans to launch in the country soon.

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Market Share

Market Position






1 / 3

Orange Senegal





1 / 2

Orange Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast




2 / 4

Orange Mali SA





1 / 2

Orange Cameroon





2 / 2

Orange Madagascar





1 / 2

Orange Botswana





2 / 2

Orange Mauritius (Cellplus)





1 / 2

Orange Guinea






Orange Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea




1 / 1

Hits Telecom





5 / 5

Orange Republic of Centrafrica

Central Republic of Africa





Orange Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau





Orange Kenya*





3 / 3

Orange Niger**





4 / 4







France Telecom (Orange) Africa Mobile Connections: Q2, 2008
Source: Wireless Intelligence, company data 
* Launched 17 September 2008; ** Launched 30 June 2008

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:59:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

During the month of September, Indian mobile industry adds 10 million subscribers maitaining its rapid march northwards. GSM flying the rating chart with the additions of 7.69 million subscribers, the CDMA sector managed to add 2.34 million new subscribers. At the end of September, India totals its subscriber base close to 310 million in which 233 million subscribers are in its GSM kitty at a market share of 75%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:56:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Hungarian telecom regulator, National Communication Authority, launches two mobile licence tenders and a proposal to provide mobile infrastructure development. The two mobile licence will be valid for 15 years. According to Daniel Pataki, President NHH, the following descision has been taken in order to boost mobile market competition in the country. He also adds that though the country has a mobile penetration of 108%, countyry’s 20% population still doesn’t own a mobile phone and the price competition has been stagnant among the existing mobile operator i.e. T-Mobile, Pannon and Vodafone.

Looking at the present financial scenario, Pataki adds ‘We have called the tender now as market conditions could turn even more unfavorable, since nobody can tell when this global financial market turmoil could end’.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:55:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Millicom International Cellular (Millicom) has reported its third quarter results along with the analysts’ forcast. But the cellco has admitted that the revenue growth is sluggished due to global economic crisis. It has wireless subsidiaries in 16 emerging markets around the world, said EBITDA for the third quarter rose 25% year-on-year to USD369 million while net profit for the period rose 17% to USD161 milion. Further the firm added that it would reduce investment in the coming year, forecasting a CAPEX figure of ‘less that USD1.5 billion’ in 2008 and a substantially lower figure again for 2009. According to CEO Marc Beuls, the company had decided to put off an early redemption of the USD460 million 10% 2013 Notes, strengthening its balance sheet by reducing short term debt and increasing long-term debt.

Millicom has ended this period with 30.59 million subscribers to its subsidiaries with the addition of 2.1 million new customers in the third quarter of 2008 alone.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:54:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat, Nigeria’s fifth GSM operator has assessed that it will make a monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of about 10 dollars from its Nigeria operations begin commercially next week. Etislalat’s Group Chairman, Mohammad Omran, outlined his company’s expectations from its Nigerian undertaking. He observed that ARPU levels in Nigeria were higher than in many other African countries and that by its operation in Nigeria Etisalat was “gaining a strategic foothold in Africa’s most exciting market.” With the existing situation in Nigeria like low penetration, large population and strengthening economy, it is anticipated that Nigeria operations will grow quickly. Etisalat’s coverage in Nigeria would be wide spread at launch reaching major population centres and would quickly spread and encompass the entire country, including the under-served hinterland, Omran added. It is at the final stage of testing prior to public launch.

With competition coming in question, Omran said, “creates a healthy environment for the businesses involved, as well as for the customer and when we enter a new market we offer services and telecommunications solutions based on intensive studies and market research relying on our experience as well as the expertise of our long-term partners.” Etisalat is aiming to introduce voice SMS, Etisalat online services, Mobilecam, a wireless camera that can be placed anywhere and accessed from 3G enabled mobile phones services in Nigerian Market.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:52:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom, South Africa, introduces Short Voice Service, SVS, to allow its subscribers to send a 30-second voice message to any other Vodacom subscriber. There is no special subscription or additional provision to enable the service. As an introductory offer, the SVS service will be free of charge until 9 November 2008. SVS messages will later be charged at a flat rate of ZAR0.90 (USD0.08) and available to all Vodacom contract, pre-paid and top-up subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:51:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following to the 41% year-on-year increase in Econet Wireless subscribers to 910,047 at the end of August, CEO of Econet Wireless, Douglas Mboweni, said that he is confident that the cellco can reach its target of 1.2 million GSM subscribers by the end of February 2009. He further said that firm maintained its grip on the domestic mobile market, claiming an approximate 60% share of all users. It is making a move towards network upgradation with an aim of reaching a capacity of 1.2 million subscribers by the end of 2008. The funding had already been secured for additional expansion and a circular was being prepared for necessary shareholder approvals. The fresh funding would take Econet’s network capacity to almost two million, he added.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:50:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fixed and Mobile Number Portability launches in Romania, enabling the users to switch their operator without having to change their phone number. With the coming of number portability the competition in market will grow as every operator will be running to give out lower tariffs in an effort to grab maximum subscribers with their competitive packages.
According Liviu Nistoran, president of telecoms regulator ANC, it is estimated that in the next two years of number portability approximately 20%-25% of mobile numbers will be ported. The regulator says that operators will have ten days to complete number porting requests.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 15:49:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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.

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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.

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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.

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Source: BBC.

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