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 Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain yesterday launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology - a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Reuters reports that Zain sees potential on the continent where it already has 40 million customers.

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Source: TeleGeography.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:40:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zain rolls out a pilot project of its rebranded mobile money transfer service Zap, which will be operational in Africa and Middle East. The pilot will be rolled out in Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The new money transfer service will allow the subscribers to withdraw and deposit money through Zain outlets and transact international money transfers. Zap will also offer added services to clients in collaboration with local commercial banks.

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Source: Wireless Federation.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:26:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom Tiger is reporting that India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set the date of 16 January 2009 for the auctioning of 3G licences. The regulator announced the date at the same time as it released the final guidelines for the auction process, and a pre-bid conference will be held on 23 December, with the final date for submissions set as 5 January. The DoT has also clarified the status of spectrum availability, noting that Mumbai and Delhi will only be able to accommodate four and two new 3G licensees respectively. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will offer spectrum to three players, while the remaining circles will allow for four licensees.

The DoT has also announced that the auctions for WiMAX spectrum will be held two days after the close of the 3G auction process. The WiMAX auction process is expected to see three players in each circle offered spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:01:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobilink, the Pakistani incumbent, has lost more than 2,000,000 subscribers driven by interrupted service and blocking of illegal SIM by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Mobilink’s subscriber base now slided from 32 million to 30 million.

It is seen that out of the 20,00,000 subscribers, 7,50,000 have ported their numbers to other cellcos and the rest 12,50,000 have been blocked by PTA after they were identified as illegal SIMs. Mobilink has been facing such problems due to poor quality of services.

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Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 4:50:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Amidst relentless pressure on prices and a growing array of international communications services, international voice traffic continues to grow. According to new data from the annual TeleGeography study of the international voice market, international voice traffic reached 343 billion minutes in 2007, and is projected to reach 385 billion minutes in 2008.

Mobile phones have been a key driver of growth, due to subscriber growth in developing countries and the recent emergence of low-cost international mobile calling plans. In 2007, nearly one-third of international calls were placed from mobile phones, and 45% of international calls were terminated on mobiles. Current trends suggest that by 2009, more international calls will be made to mobile phones than to fixed lines.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 4:36:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India has reportedly added 7 million GSM subcribers in the month of November, ending with a GSM subscriber base of 249.3 million. Bharti Airtel leaded the list of net additions with 2.7million subscribers followed by Vodafone Essar which added 2 million subscribers in November. BSNL added 0.6million subscribers and MTNL added 77,398 subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 3:52:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 15, 2008

Main One Cable Company has revealed that it has secured licences from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) allowing it to land its intercontinental undersea fibre-optic cable in the two countries. The company has already begun work on an undersea cable connecting Portugal and southern Africa. The first phase of the project spans 6,900 kilometres from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria, while the second phase encompasses a 6,000 kilometre extension to Angola and South Africa. Negotiations with other countries along the route for further landing points are said to be ongoing.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, December 15, 2008 11:46:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Slovenia's broadband penetration reached 19.5% at the end of the third quarter of 2008, up from 15.9% a year ago, with household penetration rising from 47% to 58% in the same period, according to the quarterly telecoms market report by the Agency for Post and Telecommunications (APEK). Incumbent telco Telekom Slovenije accounted for a 48.5% share of the high speed subscriber market, down from 51.5% at end-3Q 2007, and the country's largest alternative operator T-2 reached a share of 17.9%, up by 5.5 percentage points year-on-year. Direct fibre connections (FTTx) made up 9.4% of all broadband lines, compared to 2.1% a year earlier. APEK said that VoIP telephony subscribers reached 191,000 at the end of September 2008, up from 96,500 twelve months previously, and VoIP now accounts for 22% of the country's total fixed line subscriber base. Telekom Slovenije was reported to be the country's largest VoIP provider, with 45.5% of the market ahead of T-2 with 33%. Telekom's cellular subsidiary Mobitel remained the largest provider of mobile services by retail subscribers (figures including MVNOs), with 60.6% of the market, ahead of Austrian-owned Si.Mobil (27.3%), debitel (5.0%), Izimobil (2.5%), Tusmobil (4.4%) and T-2 (0.1%). IPTV subscribers in Slovenia rose by 150% year-on-year to 133,500 at end-September 2008, as cable TV viewers fell from 315,000 to 294,000 in the same period. Telekom Slovenije leads the IPTV segment, followed by T-2.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, December 15, 2008 11:45:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuela’s telecoms watchdog Conatel has published data for the third quarter of 2008 in which it says the country’s total fixed lines in service reached 5.896 million, up from 4.696 million a year before, and representing a fixed teledensity of 21.2%. According to the regulator there were 1.172 million broadband internet subscribers at the end of September 2008, up from 776,000 a year earlier, whilst dial-up customers decreased by 9,000 in the same period to 140,000. Conatel’s figures also showed that at the end of the third quarter there were 26.673 million mobile phone subscriptions, up from 21.992 million at the end of September 2007. Mobile penetration was reported to have reached 96.0% at the end of 3Q08, up from 80.5% year-on-year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, December 15, 2008 11:43:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Parliament has approved a law making Estonia the first country to allow voting by mobile phone.

Lawmakers approved a measure Thursday allowing citizens to vote by mobile phone in the next parliamentary elections in 2011.

Estonians were allowed to cast Internet ballots in last year's parliamentary vote.

The mobile-voting system, which has already been tested, requires that voters obtain free, authorized chips for their phones, said Raul Kaidro, spokesman of the SK Certification Center, which issues personal ID cards in Estonia.

The chip will verify the voter's identity and authorize participation in the electronic voting system, he said.

The system and software have proven effective and reliable in an independent security audit, Kaidro said. He dismissed security concerns, claiming the system "is the most secure way to authenticate digital signatures."

Kaidro said he expects the 2011 vote to be the first of its kind, though he said neighboring Finland and Sweden possess the software and technical capabilities to conduct a similar "cellular election."

Estonian officials said the Internet voting system in 2007 proved secure despite worries about hacker attacks, identity fraud and vote count manipulation.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, December 15, 2008 10:16:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The mobile subscriber base in Ecuador stood at 11.2mn subscribers at the end of October in comparison to 9.7mn at October-end 2007, reports telecoms supervisory body Supertel. Porta leads the charts with 7.82mn subscribers, followed by Movistar Ecuador of Spain’s Telefónica with 2.95mn subscribers, and locally owned Alegro PCS with 391,587 subscribers.
In the month of October, the operators added a total of 92,564 subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, December 15, 2008 10:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In Oman, the subscriber base has crossed the mark of three-million for the first time. According to the statistics revealed by the Ministry of National Economy, the subscriber base totals to 3,084,941 at the end of September in comparison to 2,500,000 a year earlier, up 23.4%. Post-paid subscribers totalled 316,441, against 293,622, up 7.8% and pre-paid customers 2,768,500, compared with 2,206,378, up 25.5%. There are two mobile operators, Oman Mobile (Majority state-owned) and the Nawras.  In a move to liberalise mobile sector in Oman, TRA has this year granted licences to five resellers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, December 15, 2008 10:11:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 10, 2008

­Mobile internet has undeniably turned a corner in 2008, showing unprecedented growth levels. By 2012 a nine-fold increase in mobile broadband revenues is expected. However, driven by peer to peer and video services, traffic levels are expected to grow much faster to well over 20 times today’s volumes. These numbers are a wake-up call to mobile broadband providers. Clearly demand is there, but is there also a sustaina­ble business case?

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:32:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

President-elect Barack Obama pledged to expand Americans' access to broadband Internet as part of a massive new public works program designed to generate jobs and improve the economy, he said in his weekly video/radio address.

"As we renew our schools and highways, we'll also renew our information superhighway," Obama said. "It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I'm President — because that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world."

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:30:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Zimbabwe's telecoms regulator, POTRAZ has granted 3G licenses to the incumbent mobile operators - without any evident tender for the licenses. The mobile operators will also be allowed to offer Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

“The amendment of licences will enable operators to offer new services which are covered by the current legislation, but restricted by their current licence documents”, the regulator said in a statement.

At the beginning of the year, Econet Wireless said that it had completed the installation of 3G base stations on its network, but was unable to switch on the service as the regulator has failed to release the required radio spectrum. The company has originally made an application for a 3G license in June 2007.

Econet Wireless is the largest operator in the country by subscriber numbers. According to estimates from the Mobile World, the operator ended last September with 977,000 customers and a market share of 64%. The country has a population penetration level of just over 12%.

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:26:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

One possible scenario for the telecoms industry during the current economic slowdown is that fixed-to-mobile substitution (FMS) will be accelerated as consumers reduce their communications bill by cutting their fixed line in favour of mobile services. With mobile broadband deals now more readily available and affordable, there is a potential ‘double whammy’ to this in that fixed line operators could not only lose further fixed voice revenues but valuable broadband revenues as well. Ovum therefore commissioned a survey of over 8,000 consumers to find out their plans.

The majority of consumers will scale down rather than cancel their broadband service

At the top level broadband seems to remain a ‘sticky’ service. Ovum’s survey data shows that only 7% of respondents would ditch their fixed line for both voice and broadband in favour of mobile services, and only 1% said they would be prepared to keep their fixed voice but cut their broadband access. Cutting the mobile subscription stood at 6%, making fixed broadband access actually even ‘stickier’ than mobile to those that are planning on keeping the fixed telephony line.

The majority of respondents, 65%, said they would simply look to reduce spend in certain areas, rather than cancelling one of their services altogether. At the top level, how they reduce that spend was fairly evenly split across reducing fixed voice calls, mobile voice calls and pay-TV subscriptions.

Unfortunately for pay-TV operators, more consumers look to be planning to cut back on extras such as pay-per-view movies, rather than increase spend in this area with the idea of saving on other social activities. Ovum suspects that this will be more related to movie rental subscriptions, rather than true pay-per-view, which we still suspect will see an increase as consumers go out less.

Age and culture play a big part in broadband decisions

Unsurprisingly, the decisions around whether to reduce spend on fixed and mobile communications differ with age group. People aged between 16 and 25 are more likely to either drop their fixed line altogether (10% of 16- to 25-year-olds) or keep a fixed connection but rely more on their mobile phone for calls (28% of 16- to 25-year-olds) than any other age group. As the users get older they are less likely to rely on their mobile and more likely revert back to their fixed line, with only 5% of over 55s saying they would cut their fixed line. Keeping both mobile and fixed voice services but cutting broadband access is not a popular option across all age groups. Countries with a younger population will therefore see different trends to those with an older population.

As well as age, culture also plays its part. Ovum’s data clearly shows that there are significant differences in countries where mobile services and applications are already firmly engrained into the culture, such as Korea. In Korea 15% of respondents would cut their fixed line altogether, compared to roughly 5% in most Western European countries – other than Italy, where 11% said they would. Conversely, in Germany and France 11% of respondents said they would rather keep their fixed line and cut their mobile service. In part this will be related to age demographics, but cultural differences also play a large part.

Broadband is now a part of everyday life

There will always be differences between the various social segments and cultures. However, what is common across the world is that broadband Internet access is becoming an essential part of everyday life. It has become part of how people communicate, book their holidays, search for work, find out news, purchase goods and educate their children. When money becomes tight consumers obviously look for ways to save money, but for the vast majority of people cutting out their access to the Internet and associated services and applications is just not an option.

The more mobile segments of the community will favour pure mobile solutions, and as the technology improves this segment will gradually grow. However, the economic slowdown will not see a mass defection away from fixed broadband. Having said this, operators can expect to see an overall reduction in ARPU as consumers look to trim their overall communication bills where possible, and this goes for mobile as well as fixed operators.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:41:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil’s mobile phone production has been augmented after the launch of 3G technology. It is anticipated that mobile phone production will reach the mark of 76 million units in 2008, 12% rise on 2007 figures. An internal market has consumed 40 million units, an increase of 11 percent on last year. After experiencing fall in sales for two years, mobile phone exports has grown to 13%. According to the association, 3G technology, which is still in the implementation phase, should sustain demand for investments in infrastructure and new devices in 2009.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:38:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain, at October end, has totalled the number of mobile phone lines to 50.59 million, adding 249,913 new mobile lines in October, up by 4.6% sunce 2007. According to a monthly report by Spanish telecoms regulator CMT, Vodafone has acquired 29.2% of the total net addition in October, whereas Orange grabbed 25.5%, then came Yoigo which accounted for 19.2% and Movistar accounted for 14.3% and MVNOs grabbed the remaining 1.9%. Mobile penetration reached 111.9 lines per 100 inhabitants in comparison to 107.0 in October 2007.

Spain added 181,034 postpaid subscribers and around 61,879 prepaid subscribers in October. Some 338,361 mobile phone numbers were ported in October, up by 5.9% versus since 2007. Yoigo saw a positive result by seeing a portability of 7,459 subscribers whereas Vodafone, Movistar and Orange registered a negative result.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:37:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Spanish incumbent Movistar launches 3G services on Panama. The network infrastructure was provided by Nokia Seimens Networks to Movistar. The initial coverage will be limited to Tocumen, located northeast of Panama City, and will then reach to the capital. The company will offer to postpaid subscribers broadband plans ranging from US$29.95/month with a 1Gb download limit to US$49.95 with a 5Gb download limit. 3G for prepaid Movistar subscribers will be launched in next few week.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:45:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Acccording to National Statistics Office, Malta, the country’s mobile subscriber base reached 381,955 at September end. Out of the total subscriber base 48,507 accounted for contract-based mobile subscriptions and 333,448 card-plan subscriptions.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobinil celebrates its 20 millionth customer and consolidates its leadership position on the Egyptian telecommunications market

Ten years after the launch of commercial activities, Mobinil celebrated yesterday in Cairo its 20 millionth customer in the presence of Olaf Swantee, Senior Executive Vice President, Personal Communication Services, UK, Europe and the Middle East for France Telecom-Orange, and Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orascom Telecom. Mobinil, which had 15 million customers at the end of 2007, increased its customer base by almost 5 million people in less than one year, a progression of around 35%. This commercial success allows Mobinil, in which France Telecom has a majority stake, to consolidate its leadership position on the Egyptian mobile telecommunications market with approximately 52% of market share.

This performance is essentially due to the high quality of service provided by Mobinil and its capacity to deliver innovative offers. The launch of a new 3G network last September, for example, has provided Egyptians with access to high-speed mobile Internet.

Click here to see full article

The Orange Foundation also participates in a scholarships programme for girls living in poor districts of Cairo.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:43:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mexico is set to join the increasing number of countries which require mandatory registration for all mobile phone users, after the lower house of Congress approved a bill to create a national database of subscriber details.

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Under the plans in the bill, all mobile phone users will be required to submit a proof of address and their fingerprints to the mobile operators.

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According to statistics from the Mobile World analysts, the country ended the first half of this year with 73.45 million mobile phone users. Approximately 95% of the market is prepay - requiring a considerable registration effort by the mobile operators.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:35:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­APA-Kigali (Rwanda) Rwanda’s oldest telecommunication operator, Rwandatel, Friday launched the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and 3G network for its mobile telephone, replacing its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) platform, as it prepares for a cut-throat competition with MTN Rwanda, its main challenger.

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Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa
Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:30:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Spain's telecoms regulator, the CMT has reported that mobile number portability has remained roughly stable at around 300,000 per month, with 338,361 numbers ported in the month of October. This is a 5.9% rise on the same month a yeat ago.

The fourth network operator, Yoigo, and MVNOs gained 7,459 and 8,539 lines respectively - while Vodafone, Movistar and Orange all saw a net outflow of subscribers through MNP.

Vodafone took an average of 29.2% of the gain lines of the past three months, Orange, 25.5%; Yoigo, 19.2%; Movistar, from 14.3% and finally the MVNOs, the remaining 11.9%. The country added a gross amount of 242,913 lines in October.

The regulator also reported that there are now 1.44 million machine-to-machine connections in the country.

On the web: CMT

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:26:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 05, 2008

AT&T Inc. joined the recession's parade of layoffs Thursday by announcing plans to cut 12,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its work force.

The Dallas-based telecommunications company — the nation's largest — said the job cuts will take place in December and throughout 2009. The company also plans to reduce capital spending next year.

Spokesman Walt Sharp said the layoffs will be "across the company and across the country," but would not specify what departments and cities would be most affected. These layoffs come on top of 4,600 jobs the company said in April it would eliminate.

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, December 05, 2008 4:40:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Pelephone is the third largest of Israel’s four networks, but it was the fastest growing in Q3 08, both in real terms and proportionately. It added 62k customers in the quarter compared to 40k for market leader Cellcom and 36k for second-placed Partner, and its proportionate quarterly growth rate stood at 2.4% compared to 1.3% for both its rivals. At the end of the quarter its active customer base was just short of 2.70m. Nearest rival Partner had 2.88m, which means that its lead over Pelephone was below 200k for the first time in three years.

In fact, Pelephone’s figure for quarterly net additions equalled the Q4 07 figure, which was the best since Q3 05. This is particularly impressive given that the Israeli market is now around 130% penetrated. Despite this strong performance, and the narrowing of Partner’s lead, any changes in the market ranking remain unlikely in the near future. However, Pelephone does lead the market in terms of 3G customers. Its CDMA2000 1x EV-DO base broke the 1m barrier during the quarter to finish on 1.07m, more than 100k higher than the W-CDMA base of Partner. On an annual basis, Pelephone’s 3G base grew 64.1% with net additions of 418k, compared to 410k for the prior twelve-month period.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, December 05, 2008 4:38:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Myanmar will soon experience, the price for owning a mobile phone being much less than using the device. The state-owned mobile operators in Myanmar plan to sell cheaper SIM cards with a tenfold rise in call tariffs. The sale of new SIM cards will begin from Dec. 12 priced at $50-25 times less than the price at present. The new SIM cards will carry a talktime of $10 and the calls will cost $0.30/min up from $0.03/min for otugoing domestic calls and the incoming call s will cost $0.05/min.

Under the current Myanmar system, a military rule, not everyone is entitled to an officially sanctioned mobile phone, which costs $1,250.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, December 05, 2008 9:43:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mexico’s telecoms sector has grown 24% in the third quarter of 2008, year-over-year, in terms of overall subscribers, boosted by gains in the fixed line telephony and pay TV segments, according to a report published by Cofetel. The telecommunication industry has posted a rise of 31.4% for the first three quarters. It adds 304,000 new fixed telephony lines and totals subscriber base to 20.4 million. The growth is attributed to number portability, introduced in July’08 and cable players as well.  In mobile telephony, the number of minutes of traffic grows to 35.9% year-on-year. The subscriber base reaches the mark of 73.1 million, grew 16.9% in comparison to 3Q07. The mobile penetration rate reaches 68.5%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, December 05, 2008 9:42:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Latin America, will reach the mark of 388 million mobile lines in service by the end of 2008, accounting for 9.6% of the overall mobile lines in service worldwide, according to a recent report. Brazil is anticipated to have 143.2 million phones, Mexico with 76.9 million and Argentina with 44.8 million lines by the end of this year. The entire population of only Uruguay and Chile is covered whereas in Ecuador and Colombia, the percentage reaches to 84. Bolivia has the lowest mobile coverage, reaching only 45.9% of the country’s population. Argentina has registered a higher mobile penetration than population coverage, with 102.2 mobile phones per 100 inhabitants. At the opposite pole, Peru, Mexico and Brazil exhibit the greatest gap between the population coverage and mobile penetration, the report reveals. Further the report exhibits that nearly seven out of ten countries in Latin America have over 48% prepaid users of the overall mobile lines in service.

In terms of Prepaid subscriptions, Venezuela tops the chart in Latin America with 95% of the total, subsequent to Bolivia with 94.6 percent, Mexico with 90.6 percent, while prepaid users in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil account for over 80 % of the total subscription in each country.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, December 05, 2008 9:41:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 04, 2008

Millions of UK mobile users don’t understand international roaming charges – and go so far as to avoid making calls as a result. ­A new study, by market research firm, TNS indicates that it is confusion over service charges, in addition to the price of calls, which is preventing international roaming from really taking off.

A fifth of mobile users cite confusion over roaming pricing as their primary reason for using their phone less when abroad. Surprisingly this is especially true of younger consumers, where nearly a quarter (24%) of those aged 16-34 are still baffled by the costs of using their mobiles abroad.

The study also found that 17% of consumers would increase the amount of data services (like the mobile internet) they used if network providers offered them a fixed bundle package. Again this is truer of the 16 to 34 year olds, who are used to having bundled deals at home in the UK; 23% would use their phone more abroad if this type of deal were available. Similar findings were also seen in France where 14% of consumers said they would use their mobile more if they were offered a fixed bundle.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:47:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The slowing U.S. economy will likely speed up the ongoing shift to wireless-only phone service as consumers cut back on spending, analysts say.

Already the number of young adults and others who use only mobile phones and dump traditional landline service has been growing steadily. Studies put the number of wireless-only households near 15% heading into 2008, with the figure rising 2% to 3% a year.

The biggest wireless-only group, under-30 adults, tend to be big spenders on wireless and heavy users of text messaging. They like the convenience and mobility of wireless services.

The economic downturn adds a new factor to the decision to go all-wireless.

The big question is how many budget-conscious users might switch to wireless-only because of the economy, analysts say. Lower-income consumers, especially those without children at home, are most likely to cut the cord, analysts say.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:42:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom Italia SpA will cut an additional 4,000 jobs by 2011 as it concentrates on core growth markets in Italy and Brazil to confront the deteriorating economic situation, CEO Franco Bernabe said Wednesday.

The 4,000 job cuts are in addition to 5,000 announced in June, and will reduce Telecom Italia's work force by 14 percent from 64,000 to 55,000. Bernabe said the number of managers will be cut in half as the company seeks to simplify its organization.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:39:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As the total number of broadband lines in the world passes 400  million Point Topic forecasts that the total in the 40 biggest broadband countries in the world will grow from 393 million by the end of 2008 to 635 million by 2013. Broadband in the rest of the world will grow from 16 million to 48 million lines in the same period, so the world will add 273 million lines to reach 683 million in total.

Click here to see full article

Source: Point Topic.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:35:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest analysis from Point Topic on average tariffs and packages on offer for broadband worldwide gives a general story of increasing speed and decreasing prices

Over the quarter there is some variation, but if you look at 2008 as a whole consumers are getting more bandwidth for their money.

Of the three primary broadband technologies, DSL has seen the largest fall in average price for a subscription down from $66.75 in Q108 to $53.32 in Q3 taking a worldwide average. This is a 20% drop in the first 3 quarters of the year. In comparison average subscription prices for cable are down just over 12% and FTTx down by 6.5%.

Figure 1: Average monthly subscription (US$)

 NB: Fiber prices based on averages of available country implementations, DSL and cable taken from a wider base of regional averages

Click here to see full article

Source: Point Topic.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:18:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) announced that subscribers to the CDMA family of technologies are at 475 million worldwide, continuing a growth trend toward half a billion subscribers fueled by rapid growth in both developed and emerging markets. The CDMA2000(r) subscriber base added 13 million users during the third quarter of 2008 to exceed 463 million, while CDMA2000 1xEV-DO grew by 5 million net subscribers to more than 105 million users.

Click here to see full article

CDMA operators worldwide added over 22 million EV-DO users from September 2007 to September 2008, representing a 27 percent annual increase. With more than 105 million subscribers, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is the leading mobile broadband technology worldwide, with 124 operators in 62 countries offering high-speed CDMA services. 48 of these operators have deployed CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A networks to offer advanced mobile broadband services, and another 35 operators are in the process of deploying the industry-leading solution to receive the substantial revenue being generated by most current Rev. A operators. Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw an increase of almost 3 million EV-DO subscribers, a dramatic rise from less than 1 million subscribers a year ago. North American operators continued impressive gains with more than 15 million subscribers at a 36 percent growth rate, while Asia Pacific users increased by 12 percent.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:02:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Number Portability in Brazil has extended to another 8.9mn fixed and mobile telephony users in three states in the country, reports Anatel. Telephony services users in the area code 82 in Alagoas state, area codes 12 and 13 in São Paulo state and code 83 in Paraíba state can now port their numbers to other operators. According to telecoms standards coordinator ABR Telecom, Requests to port numbers in Brazil reaches 97,641 by November 27. Of the overall requests, 57,375 telephone numbers have already been ported - 34,168 mobile and 23,207 fixed.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:59:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Argentina, according to the national statistics bureau Indec, ended October with 45.4mn mobile lines in service, up 17.1% since 2007. The mobile telephony traffic rose to 3.50bn calls, a jump of 35.5% since Oct’07.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:58:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China has signed up 3.22 million new subscribers in October, less than the average monthly increase of 8.5 million recorded in the initial nine months to September, media reported. At the end of October, China had more than 627.26 million handset users. The slowdown is attributed to the change in operator for the country’s CDMA mobile network, from China Unicom to China Telecom. The total revenue was up 8.1% to CNY 679.79 billion in comparison to the year 2007. The total investment in the telecommunication sector has reached CNY 185.05 billion in the first ten months, up 9.9 percent year-on-year. The total number of telephone users, including both mobile phone users and fixed-line users has crossed the mark of 978.7 million by the end of October.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:57:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The German mobile telecom sector is valued at $6.44Bn in Q3Œ08, a rise of 2% since Q2Œ08 but a fall of 1.8% since Q3Œ07. The revenue rise since Q2Œ08 is driven by seasonal effects, while the year-on-year fall was due to cuts in mobile termination rates and roaming fees. Vodafone and T-Mobile, the two leading incumbents grabbed 70% of the total revenue market even after strong efforts by E-plus and O2. E-Plus is the only German operator to show a positive result in y-o-y market share, majorly in prepaid segment. The companyfs market share advanced 1.2% to 15.3% of revenues in the Q3Œ08.Comparing the figures of Q3Œ07, Vodafonefs market share dipped by 0.7% to 35.2%, while T-Mobile fell by 0.2% to 35.3%. O2 slid to fourth place, with its market share down by 0.1% to 14.3%.

The German mobile subscriber base rose by 2.6 million subscribers to a total of 106 million subscribers at Q3Œ08 end. Market penetration jumped to 129.0% at September-end, from 113.4% the year before. T-Mobile and Vodafone ruled the market with 36.6% and 34.1% of the market respectively. Together, they lost 1.1% of the market to other operators, with E-Plus at no.3 with a market share of 16.1% and O2 at 13.2%.

Source: Wireless News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:56:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Movistar Colombia, the local subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica has instigated 3.5G services in seven cities across the country. The seven cities are Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga and Cúcuta. The service is accessible to both Prepaid and postpaid subscribers. Additionally, the operator offers videocall and mobile broadband. Movistar said it expects to gradually expand its 3G network to other cities across the country during 2009. The operator is currently offering four 3G-capable mobile devices, namely the Nokia N95, Blackberry Bold 9000, HTC Tytn II and iPhone 3G.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Americas
Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:54:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat Nigeria launches a new mobile phone feature for its ‘Easy Starter’ subscribers which will notify them of a missed call when the phone is out of coverage area or switched off. The service will be provided via SMS which will include the number trying to reach him along with the date and time. The package is activated by default and without charge. According to the telco, the feature will promote better business and personal relationships in Nigeria.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:54:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Digicel, the largest telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and recent entrant to the Central American market, today launched operations in Panama — its third Central American market and 31st market world-wide — with an investment of US$350 million. Digicel now offers seamless mobile telecommunication services across Central America, with operations to date in El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.

According to the Panama Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Panamanian economy is expected to grow 7.5 percent by 2009. With a population of 3.4 million, mobile penetration is currently at approximately 71 percent. Having built the most modern nationwide GSM network in the country, Digicel is well positioned to maximize growth by offering service for the first time to many communities in Panama not previously served by incumbent operators.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:53:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telkom Kenya, the new entrant to the Kenyan mobile market, has reportedly signed up 300,000 subscribers in the first three months of its launch. Telkom Kenya targets a subscriber base of 400000 by 2008-end, says CEO Dominique Saint-Jean. After launching it services in Nairobi and Mombasa, it further plans a coverage of five more towns by 2008-end.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:51:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Phone companies are praying their golden goose -- revenue growth from wireless data services -- doesn't turn into a dead duck during the recession.

U.S. phone companies garnered $8.8 billion in wireless data revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up 7.3% from the previous quarter and 37.5% from the year-earlier period, says Chetan Sharma Consulting. Research firm SNL Kagan's most recent forecast, pre-economic crisis, called for wireless data revenue to rise at an average annual rate of 16% over the next decade. Wireless data revenue accounted for 20% of all wireless revenue in the first half of 2008, up from 10% two years ago, says industry trade group CTIA.

The rapid growth in data services has been fueled by a wave of smart phones. Wireless firms continue to expand the reach of their third generation, or 3G, networks, which provide for fast mobile data speeds.

Phone companies rely on wireless data growth to offset slowing subscriber growth and falling prices for calls. With the economy worsening and job losses mounting, consumers have cut back on spending.

For the big four wireless service providers -- AT&T T; Verizon Wireless, co-owned by Verizon Communications VZ and Vodafone VOD; Sprint Nextel S; and Deutsche Telekom's DT T-Mobile USA -- the big question is whether wireless data growth stays solid in the teeth of a recession.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:46:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nigerian telecoms market looks forward to achieve a tele-density of 100% by 2020 driven by massive telephone and mobile communication improvements, calling for a huge growth in the ICT sector. Nigeria, till today as nearly 140 million people being serviced by 60 phone lines, a 45% success rate in a development wherein it’ll boost the Nigerian economy and infrastructure. Internet installation is one of the most important technological advancement to be addressed. “ICTs are in fact enablers of broad based socio and economic development. ICTs not only contribute to the development of education, health and governance, but are also key enablers of sustainable human development in a more general sense. No modern economy can thrive without an integral information technology and telecommunications infrastructure. This is because ICTs provide the veritable platform for development across the economic and other sectors if well harnessed,” said vice chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Ernest Ndukwe. According to Ndukwe, if the goal is achieved, Nigeria would then have as many phone lines which can impressively improve the lives of the local people in as far as communication through telephone, cellphone and internet is concerned. Today the ratio stands at 1:1 implying that a Nigerian individual living in an urban centre owns three communication lines in the sense that at work and home an individual will be serviced by telephone lines and a mobile cellular phone, to make it three gadgets of communication.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:35:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

du, second largest operator of UAE has instigated a scheme called ‘double your talk time’. Under this scheme any du subscribers who buy “Pay as you Go” line or renew his existing one for Dh55 gets double the amount back as free credit of up to Dh110. The subscribers can make use of this offer after recharges done in the form of Dh10 on every third recharge up to a maximum of Dh110, from the time of first call for new customers or renewal for existing customers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:32:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thanks to its One Region One Rate roaming scheme, all du mobile subscribers can enjoy calling local numbers and receiving calls at just AED 1.25 per minute, while roaming in the GCC region.

The unified rates come into effect immediately without any extra charges and will be available by default to all du customers while they roam in the GCC region. du mobile customers can choose any telecom operator during roaming in the GCC while still benefitting from this attractive scheme.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:29:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Virgin Mobile UK launches an all-you-can-eat internet access tariff at 30p per day, which is claimed to be a tariff three times cheaper in comparison to other offers by rival networks. The new rates will be levied from December 8 applying to both contract and pre-pay subscribers, Virgin reveals.

“By providing unlimited access at a highly competitive rate, we are giving all our customers the opportunity to use the internet on their phone without having to worry about racking up huge bills or working out complicated price structures,” said Virgin Mobile MD Graeme Oxby. However, the twist in the story lies that the 30p/day rate is counted as offering unlimited access, to which a daily fair use policy of 25MB applies. The subscribers exceeding this limit will have to pay £2 for each extra MB.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:26:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Korea’s leading wireless carrier, gained more customers than its rivals in November, maintaining its lead in the country’s telecom market, according to data released by mobile carriers.

SK Telecom reported that it attracted a net 51,768 customers last month, with its total subscription base increasing to 22.97 million.

KTF Co. ranked second, drawing in a net 35,175 users, bringing its customer base to 14.32 million. The smallest company, LG Telecom Ltd., attracted an additional 22,726 customers, with its total number of customers reaching 8.18 million.

Based on the figures, South Korea had 45.47 million mobile service users out of a population of 49 million as of the end of last month.

Users of KTF’s 3G service, a third-generation wireless service that allows faster data transfers compared to second-generation CDMA-based services, reached 7.97 million as of the end of last month, followed by SK Telecom’s 3G service with 7.88 million subscribers, according to reports.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:25:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Lebanese government approves the reduction in mobile call fees to 10%/min along with other service fees. According to Information Minister Lebanon, Tareq Mitri, the Cabinet has approved the extension of mobile infrastructure and recommendations for improved services. He additionally said the Cabinet also gave a thumbs up to the recommendations by Telecoms Minister Jebran Bassil last week to end the existing management contract of cellco Alfa and let the communications ministry itself manage the Alfa network.
He further revealed a two month deadline for implementation of the following approvals by government.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:23:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |