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 Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lithunia subscriber base has reportedly crossed the mark of 5million, grows by almost 1% on September’08 in comparison with 4.96 million on 30 June 2008, in its third quarter update. The number of fixed telephony subscribers dropped by 0.39% to 787,752 on 30 September 2008, while the number of internet subscribers grew by 6.9% to 671,976. The revenues for telecommunication services grow by 3% in comparison to the revenues in the second quarter.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:53:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Eight domestic ISPs and one regional company have been given permission to offer voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) calls in Serbia. Amongst the winners of permits were WiMAX network operator Verat, YUBC, Beotelnet, Informatika and INT CS.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | VoIP
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:51:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of broadband users in the Republic of Belarus reached 250,000 at the end of last year, online news journal e-Belarus.org reports. Of the total, around 190,000 were ADSL users, including 150,000 retail connections for national PTO Beltelecom, and 60,000 were hooked up via a cable modem with the likes of Minsk-based Cosmos TV. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Beltelecom began to develop its broadband internet access service in 2002 and since September 2006 has offered ADSL services under the brand name Byfly, offering a non-guaranteed bandwidth service costing USD17 per month for a 1Mbps/512kbps (downlink/uplink) package. In November 2007 the company reduced the cost of selected high speed access services by 30% and at the end of the year claimed some 50,000 broadband ports had been installed for xDSL services. By the start of this year Beltelecom controlled 78% of ADSL access in the country, and 44% in Minsk.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:50:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuelan state-owned telco CANTV said in a statement that 170,000 clients had signed up for a social programme offering lower rate fixed telephony services as of 22 December 2008, reports BNamericas. The new telephony tariff was launched in October 2008, and offers discounts for economically disadvantaged sections of the population. The ‘Tarifa Solidaria’ calling package offers a 10% discount on local calls and a 15% discount on domestic long-distance calls, and is expected to benefit an estimated 1.5 million Venezuelans. To define which people within which areas qualify for the subsidy, CANTV is using a combination of national inventory ‘Fundacomun’ and its own census. Venezuela ended the third quarter of 2008 with a fixed line penetration of 21.2%, up from 17.2% at the end of the same period in 2007, according to data from the country's telecoms regulator Conatel; fixed lines in the country totalled 5.89 million at end-3Q08 compared to 4.69 million a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:49:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Adel Al Mutawa, executive director of group communications, said: "By reaching 1.5 million customers, Qtel has demonstrated our ability to offer something for everybody in Qatar, and our capacity to match the nation's ongoing growth with impressive development of our own."

In reaching its 1.5 millionth customer, Qtel has significantly grown its mobile phone customer base from 1.26 million recorded in 2007. The customer subscribe base now exceeds the total population of Qatar, as people look to own multiple phones for business and personal use, the company said in a statement.

In the Qtel Group announcement for the 2008 third quarter, the company recorded more than 55.7 million consolidated customers across its global operations.

Source: Gulf News.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:48:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the statistics from market regulator PTA, Pakistan’s subscriber base drops by 0.1% to 90.41 million in November. The figures in October were 90.51 million. Mobilink had 30.06 million in its kitty, lost 827,000 customers during November, followed by Ufone with 19.1 million. Telenor stands at third position with 18.88 million subscribers, followed by Warid with 16.66 million subscribers. Zong’s subscribers have reached the mark of 5.39 million, while Instaphone subscribers remained sturdy at 321,134. Mobile teledensity was constant at 56.20% in November.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) ­Zimbabwe's largest mobile telephone network is phasing out Zimbabwe dollar tariffs and introducing United States denominated recharge cards from Tuesday, APA learns here.

Econet Wireless announced that the move to charge in foreign currency was meant to improve services by enabling the company to invest in new equipment and settle its foreign currency obligations.

“Econet is introducing US dollar recharge cards from 30 December 2008. Please use your Zimbabwe dollar cards by midnight 29 December 2008 as they will expire thereafter," it said in a notice to subscribers.

Local calls would cost around US$0.30 per minute while text messages would cost US$0.15.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:42:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cellular had a record growthin 2008, surpassing 2007 in all the months between January and November.

The competion got stronger between the four main operators (Vivo, Claro, Tim and Oi) and was responsible for this growth:

  • Vivo got back on growth track with GSM and consolidated its leadership in market share by the acquision of Telemig. The company is completing its national coverage by starting to operate in States in the Northeast.
  • Claro overcame Tim and reached the second position in the Market Share ranking in Aug/08. Claro also reached national coverage by the beginning of its operation in the Northern region of the country.
  • Tim remained in the competition during the year, even though it had lost stake in the second semester of 2008.
  • Oi grew strongly in all the year by the minutes promotion with reduced prices from the "caller" campaign. This growth was accelerated in October by the beginning of its operations in São Paulo.

One of the consequencies of this competition was the growth in minutes promotions with reduced prices, or free, which led to a growth in the cellular use in Brazil. The average monthly minute use per client (MOU) jumped from 83 minutes in 3Q07 to 96 minutes in 3Q08.

3G finally was launched in Brazil and became already an alternative of broadband access. Claro was ahead and associated its brand to 3G. In the last months, Vivo accelerated the implementation of this service and now the company is competing with Claro for the leadership in quantity of covered cities (more details). In the 3G path, it's worth mentioning the lauching of iPhone 3G in brazil.

Source: Teleco.

3G | Americas | Mobile
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:40:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The subscriber base of phone users in Uganda has reached the mark of 7million, reports Minister of Information, Dr Ham Mukasa Mulira. The Minister says the growth is driven by liberalisation of communication sector and then coming of competition among the private entrants to the market.

Dr Mulira commended the government for having liberalised fully the communications sector. “I am pleased to inform you that the policy adopted has yielded extremely positive results with penetration growing from 5 to 6 per cent in 2006 to over 20 per cent in just over two years,”.

Over the years, the rise in numbers has been driven by slashing calling rates, aggressive marketing and product innovation by both the existing and latest phone companies. At the start of the year, there were about 5.4 million subscribers but the number tremendously rose with the commercial entry of Warid Telecom on February 7 this year.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:36:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain's mobile phone subscriber base has rose to 50.74 million at the end of Q3'08 from 47.61 million since last year. Country's mobile penetration stood at 109.9%, growing from 105.3% since 2007, reports the telecoms regulator, CMT. Postpaid lines grew to 29.46 million from 27.06 million, and prepaid lines slipped to 20.22 million from 20.55 million. Mobile call minutes rose to 18.44 billion from 17.75 billion, with calls to fixed lines hiking to 1.84 billion from 1.83 billion and calls to mobiles growing to 15.49 billion from 14.84 billion.

Movistar took 45.8% of the total subscribers added, followed by Vodafone with 30.6%. Orange came third with 20.7%, Yoigo fifth with 1.5%, Euskaltel with 0.5% and other MVNOs 0.9%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:34:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Magyar Telekom announces that the Office of the Macedonian Agency for Electronic Communication awarded a 3G licence to T-Mobile Makedonija AD Skopje on December 17, 2008.

Macedonia’s leading mobile operator, T-Mobile Makedonija, is granted the right use 3G frequency for nest 10 years.

The licence fee is set at $13.95 million, which was paid by the operator in December’08. The launch of the service is due within 6 months and the operator has to achieve 50% population coverage within 1 year and 80% population coverage within 3 years from the date of granting the license.

Source: Wireless Federation.

3G | Europe
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:30:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
GSM focused trade body, 3G Americas says that a historic milestone was achieved for the wireless industry in December 2008 with 4 billion connections to mobile devices worldwide.

This estimate by Informa Telecoms & Media represents 60% of the entire global population today. In some countries, millions of people are now experiencing connectivity to the world for the first time through wireless and changing their economic, social and political fortunes forever.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:29:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Etisalat, one of the well known mobile operators across the globe, has won the third mobile phone licence in Iran. Etisalat will be in competition with the two Iranian incumbents ITC and MTN. Etisalat aims to tap a market with a mobile market penetration of less than 60, where more than half of the population of some 70 million people are under 25 years of age.
The licence will be legally applicable only once it recieves an approval from Iran’s minister of telecommunications.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:29:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bulgarian Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), takes up a new schedule to lower the fees levied by the mobile operators by 45% by July’10. Bulgarian mobile phone users pay an average of 0.19-0.25 leva a minute when calling from mobile to mobile and 0.29-0.32 leva a minute when calling from landlines to mobile, the highest charged in European Union.

The mobile operators will have to lower their prices five times, on January 1 2009, July 1 2009, September 1 2009, January 1 2010 and July 1 2010, everytime by 7-9% and by the last cut the prices will fall down to 0.13-0.15 leva a minute regarding whether they call from a landline or a mobile.

CRC will also reportedly ask fixed-line telecoms to cut down the bulk mobile call termination rates, the fees paid by consumers when calling landlines from mobile numbers.

Bulgaria’s three telecom firms, Austria Telekom’s Mobiltel, Cosmote unit Globul and BTC, the dominant fixed-line operator that recently integrated its mobile subsidiary Vivatel, will be required by law to obey the ruling, but can appeal the decision in court.

The ruling will allow Mobiltel and Globul to maintain their dominant position in the Bulgarian mobile market, though they still are against the ruling. BTC, however, according to a localmedia report, was not happy with the decision, because it “did not change the current market situation,”.

Source: Wireless Federation.

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:28:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

APA-Kampala (Uganda) ­Uganda’s ministry of Health has launched a project to equip health centers across the country with techno-labs that will facilitate diagnosis and prescription of treatment for patients without them coming physically to the health facilities.

The project under the Uganda Communication Development Fund (UCDF) of the Uganda Communications Commission will see health centers across the country fitted with computers, digital cameras, scanners and other gadgets to allow doctors to diagnose and prescribe treatment to patients in other health centers.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:25:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Click here to see full article

The total Afghan market grew to 6.72m, with an annual uplift of 66.7%. This was less than half the 139.8% recorded in the prior twelve-month period. Indeed, growth has declined consistently over the past four quarters despite the fact that penetration remains low, with a rate of just 20.4% at the end of Q3 08. It seems highly likely that growth will continue to slow, unless there is any significant change in the country’s economic conditions.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Russian market surpassed 125% penetration during Q3 to finish the quarter on 126.9%, but growth showed no sign of slowing: in fact, the annual growth figure of 14.5% was up 0.7pp compared to the prior twelve-month period. With 179.81m customers, Russia remained the fourth largest market in the world, around 87m behind the USA and 39m ahead of Brazil.

Russia: Market Share, Top Three Operators

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:54:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It is being reported that as many as 25 million mobile phones could be cut off in India from next month - following a security clamp down on unregistered mobile phones following ongoing terrorist attacks in the country. According to the Mobile World subscriber­ tracker, the country ended September with around 315 million mobile phone subscribers.

The department of telecom (DoT) has instructed the mobile network operators to disconnect all handsets which do not have an IMEI number from January 6th 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:51:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Between 1990 and 2007, the telecommunications sector grew almost five times faster than the economy in Mexico and has gone a long way in reducing the economic and social difficulties in this country. Buoyed by dynamic technological progress in recent years, the telecommunications sector has attracted increased investment and productivity, providing further momentum to the economy.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $28,994 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $36,399 million in 2013.

"The wireless telephony traffic's growth rate was 60.5 percent in Q1 2008, an increase of more than 20 percent over Q1 2007, meaning that this is the most dynamic sector of the telecommunications industry," says Frost & Sullivan Consulting Analyst Jose Manuel Mercado. "In 2007, it contributed 6 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP); in 1990 the contribution was around the 1.1 percent."

Click here to see full article

For instance, Telmex is starting to offer bundled services with the condition that the subscriber signs a contract that is binding for a minimum of 12 months. This contract clearly violates the number portability idea of free movement from one company to another with the same number. Once the violation by the operator is reported to the regulator, it will be stripped of its TV-Pay concession or any other concession title for triple play solutions.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:49:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 22, 2008

The number of mobile phone subscribers were almost four-folds more than the main line subscribers in Turkey, the Information Technologies & Communication Agency, said. According to the statistics, landline subscribers totals to 17.6 million in Turkey in October 2008, wherein mobile phone users have reached the mark of 65.7 million in October. However, in 2007 the fixed line subscribers were 19 million and around 54 million were mobile users.

 

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, December 22, 2008 4:43:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 19, 2008

The Brazilian Mobile telephony has added 2.2 million subscribers during November, according to a report. The number of mobile phone subscribers totals to 147 million at the end of November, up 1.5%. Overall Brazilian market has added 26.1 million new mobile lines during 2008. Prepaid subscribers accounted for 80.9% of subscribers, with 119.5 million lines, whilst post-paid subscribers account for 19.1% with 27.5 million lines.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, December 19, 2008 11:40:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobitel, Sri Lanka, has launched a new pre paid tariff named SMART Pre Paid which will enable its Sri Lankan subscribers the lowest call rates in the country.

SMART Pre Paid Tariff will offer value to existing and potential subscribers, with outgoing Voice/Video calls at Rs.1 per minute and SMS at 50 cents per message to one nominated Mobitel M Best Friend number, outgoing Voice/Video calls at Rs.2 per minute to Mobitel numbers, and Voice/Video call rates to other local Mobile or Fixed Line numbers at Rs.4 per minute 24 hours of the day. Further, this plan allows users to enjoy Incoming Free Voice/Video calls from Mobitel, Local fixed lines and overseas numbers anytime of the day.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation.
Friday, December 19, 2008 11:36:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Growth abandoned the West European cellular market in Q3 2008, as the global recession hit mobile spending patterns, according to a report issued by Strategy Analytics. While mobile data revenues continued to perform well, the voice market took a turn for the worse around the globe.

Collectively, mobile operators performed well in Q3 2008, with subscriber growth remaining very strong and profit margins stable. However, the mobile voice market did see revenue growth slow more than expected. Many operators in mature markets are recording falling voice revenues, and some operators in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and Thailand are now finding it tough.

 
Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Friday, December 19, 2008 11:27:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 18, 2008

The portion of homes with cell phones but no landlines has grown to 18 percent, led by adults living with unrelated roommates, renters and young people, according to federal figures released Wednesday.

An additional 13 percent of households have landlines but get all or nearly all calls on their cells, the survey showed. Taken together, that means about three in 10 households are essentially reachable only on their wireless phones.

The figures, covering the first half of 2008, underscore how consumers have been steadily abandoning traditional landline phones in favor of cells. The 18 percent in cell-only households compares with 16 percent in the second half of 2007, and just 7 percent in the first half of 2005.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:32:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile messaging vendor, Airwide Solutions has published the results of an independent study on the use of mobile messaging across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The results prove that despite warnings of turmoil throughout the global economy, growth in mobile messaging shows no signs of slowing.

The study shows that the number of people sending text messages (SMS) across the EU is growing 3.3 percent year on year, a figure only beaten by MMS which is growing by 9.2 percent.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:14:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The number of subscribers to services delivered over fibre-to-the-x (FTTx) networks worldwide reached 28.2mn at the end of June, up 23% from the end of 2007, according to a new study by research firm IDATE, with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections accounting for 90% of the total.

Click here to see full article

Source:
Connected Home News.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:41:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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.

Click here to see full article
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.

Click here to see full article
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.

Click here to see full article

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)  #     |