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 Wednesday, January 28, 2009

­The ten fastest growing operators in the MEA region added over 12m new customers in aggregate over the last three months, implying an average gain of over 1.25m. In fact, all but three of the ten managed seven figure gains.

 

 

Mobinil in Egypt produced by far the best result in the region, with 2.58m net adds - more than it connected in the first two quarters of the year and nearly one million more than second placed MTN Nigeria managed. The Egyptian market has been booming since the launch of the country’s third network, but as is so often the way, the incumbents have been the main beneficiaries. Vodafone Egypt was the fourth fastest growing company in the quarter, with 1.39m new customers, while Etisalat Egypt, the new entrant, only managed a gain of 310k, for 28th place overall.

An increased competitive threat also lay behind the strong performance by third placed Irancell and fifth placed TCI Iran. These two added 1.55m and 1.15m connections respectively, but this week, a third national mobile licence has been awarded to a consortium led coincidentally (or perhaps not) by Etisalat. This will have exclusive rights to offer 3G services, at least for the moment. Experience shows that agreements of this kind are rarely honoured if there is a licence fee to be had.

 

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Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:52:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Asiacell- the largest private Iraqi company and the first mobile telecommunications company to provide coverage for all of Iraq - announced the launch of its new service offer, which utilizes the payment-per-second billing system as an optional alternative to the per-minute billing system.

Asiacell subscribers who wish to adopt this new payment method will be able to enjoy the most economic mobile rates in Iraq, wherein 2 cents per 10 seconds will be charged for phone calls made to other Asiacell subscribers, and 3 cents per 10 seconds charged for calls made by Asiacell subscribers to other networks. International phone calls will also follow the per-second billing offer starting from the first minute at no extra cost. Asiacell subscribers are free to choose whether to remain subscribed to the payment per-minute system or to switch to the new per-second system.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:32:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India has reportedly added a record of 10.81 million wireless subscribers in the month of December, raising its subscriber base to 346.9 million at 2008-end. The Indian mobile subscriber base grew by 48.5% in 2008. The ever-growing rate of subscriber base in India is driven by cheap call rates, low-end handsets and network expansion spree.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:26:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan has taken a step further in lowering the mobile tariffs calling for greater savings for the consumers. According to Eliyar Temirov, officer of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies, the tariffs levied by operators, on an average, are higher that the tariffs in other nations. “To offset the balance in the market and to prevent unfair competition, asymmetrical regulation is exercised in the international practice by to supporting a new entrant against the established incumbent service providers. Moreover, the mobile call prices may be reduced by cutting the fees that operators levy for switching callers between each other’s networks,” he added.

The ministry has talked about this to Azercell and Bakcell, convincing them to cut down the tariffs. The Tariff Council has given a green signal to the lowering of so-called termination rates that mobile operators can charge each other to connect calls between their networks within the antimonopoly policy.

Source: Wireless News.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:20:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The South African market broke through the 100% penetration barrier during Q3 08 to finish the quarter on 101.8%. The total market reached 44.51m customers. Annual growth slowed from 24.2% for the 12 months ending 30th September 2007 to 10.7% for the subsequent 12 months, the lowest rate since Q2 02. However, this rate was the same as that recorded in Q2 08, and in real terms annual growth rose quarter-on-quarter, from 4.18m to 4.30m.


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Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:13:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Pakistan’s Telecoomunication Authority (PTA) figures, the mobile phone tele-density at the end of December 2008 declining 40 basis points pegged at 55.8 %, while the countrywide mobile phone subscribers’ tally during the past three months dwindled by 1 million.

The subscriber base at the end of September 2008 had ascended to 90 million. After the PTA notification of discounting anonymous connections, the no. is seen falling.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 4:11:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Asia-Pacific was home to some 121 million 3G subscribers in 2007 and an estimated 158.4 million in 2008. By 2013, the region's 3G subscriber base is expected to top 564 million, accounting for about 18.2 percent of all mobile users. With 3G subscriber net additions in record numbers year-on-year, mobile operators are eager to monetize 3G external broadband devices, namely dongles and datacards, to complement their mobile broadband offerings.


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3G dongle services have thus far seen promising uptake. Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Marc Einstein notes, "Dongles and datacards are increasingly a preferred connectivity device of choice for Asia-Pac's broadband subscribers given the slim form-factor of the devices, faster 3G speeds and competitive service plans available."

He reckons that by 2013, more than one in every three new broadband subscriber will use dongles or datacards for their [mobile] broadband needs, giving fixed broadband players a run for their money.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that there were an estimated 5.2 million mobile broadband dongle and datacard users in Asia-Pac (18 countries) in 2008, with corresponding billings of over US$1.3 billion.

With the continuous roll-out of new 3G networks and 3.5G/4G upgrades across the region, Frost & Sullivan believes that there will be nearly 37 million 3G subscribers using external wireless devices for their mobile broadband needs by year end-2013, with estimated billable revenues of US$7.8 billion.

The uptake for these 3G devices is expected to accelerate after 2010 once 3G services become commercially available in most large Asian markets. Not surprisingly, China is expected to be the single largest market for the device with 20 percent (7.4 million) of the region's dongle/datacard users by 2013; India, a close enough second with 5.55 million (15 percent) dongle/datacard subscribers.

"3G technologies have come a long way since the world's first 3G network premiered in 2001 offering peak speeds of 384Kbps -- child's play when you consider what mobile broadband is capable of delivering today," says Einstein. "3G networks today boast of peak speeds of 21Mbps and can potentially peak at 50 to 100Mbps in the next two years."

He adds, "Mobile operators are aggressively exploring this business segment to make good their already costly investments in 3G infrastructure and provide [at least] comparable [to fixed] broadband connectivity in developed markets like South Korea and Japan where consumers are willing to pay a premium for mobile laptop access."

Einstein warns, however, that service quality will need to match or exceed the user experience that subscribers in Asia-Pac are already accustomed to with fixed broadband. "While mobile users are adopting the service in overwhelming numbers, they will return their devices just as quickly if actual speeds do not match up," he cautions.

The dramatic decline in the cost of these 3G devices also makes the service more affordable for end users. Einstein says that the days of a US five hundred-dollar price tag on datacards are over, "At less than US$150 a piece… many operators even offering it free with service bundles, anybody can be a road warrior today.
"More importantly, it means that mobile broadband is now poised to truly penetrate the residential segment," he adds.

For mobile operators in emerging markets like India and China, it means that the millions of households that are still unconnected can now realistically receive broadband access. Despite being low-ARPU (average revenue per user) markets with low PC-installed base, Einstein believes that several key developments in 3G in the past year will work favourably towards driving adoption of the technology and device.

He explains, "The future of 3G became much clearer in 2008 as HSPA became the breakout technology in the region. The GSM family [of networks] already has over 85 percent of the region's mobile subscribers and recent operator commitments to LTE (Long Term Evolution) means that in time to come, most of the region's subscribers will be using one technology standard.

"We believe that the economies of scale for 3G technology will be realised much faster," Einstein concludes, adding that these 3G devices will be a stepping stone to 4G-embedded devices which will eventually take mobile broadband to new heights.

Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 3:58:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Head of Planning of the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), Carlos Barahona, says private telecoms operators invested a record USD650 million in their Honduran networks in 2008, up from USD356 million in 2007 and USD133.6 million a year earlier. Speaking to the El Heraldo newspaper, Barahona said that he expects the trend will continue in the medium-term as Tigo, Claro, Digicel and Hondutel’s fledgling mobile arm Honducel fight for new subscribers in a market where cellular penetration reached close to 75% at the end of last year. At that date the incumbents’ combined user base reached 5,823,915 active lines, up from 4.184 million a year earlier.


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Digicel earmarked a reported USD450 million in its networks and services, including the payment of USD80.1 million for the licence it won in late 2007. Tigo also invested around USD150 million to expand its network, the paper said. In 2009 Digicel is expected to invest between USD150-USD200 million to further improve its reach and service quality, while Tigo has reportedly set aside USD100-USD150 million and Claro USD50-USD100 million.

Source: TeleGeography.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 3:33:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 20, 2009

According to a local media report, citing data published at a review of the telecoms and IT sector by the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, the total number of mobile users in Uzbekistan have doubled to 12.5 million in 2008. THe mobile penetration in the country stood at 46% at 2008-end.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:35:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 19, 2009

mCheck mobile payment subscribers of Airtel (leading mobile operator in India) have reached the mark of one million since its launch in June 2008.

With mCheck, mobile subscribers can make SMS-payments to top-up their account, to pay post-paid bills, landline bill or other transactions like flight ticket booking, movie ticketing, insurance premium payment and toll recharge. Some new capabilities have been introduced for all mCheck subscribers on Airtel that includes mCheckMall, SIM cards preloaded with mobile payments capability and holiday season offers and discounts to customers from Airtel, mCheck and other retailers. mCheckMall is a mobile shop on WAP and Java environments, offering flight tickets, movie tickets and other services.

Airtel and mCheck announced that more banks would be introduced onto the platform allowing for many more customers to start using the services by linking their bank accounts or credit/debit cards to their mobile phone number.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:59:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a statement last night, the Lebanese government said that Kuwait’s Zain Group and Egypt’s Orascom Telecom had both been awarded one-year contracts to manage the operations of the country’s two GSM mobile networks, commencing 1 February. An extension to Zain’s contract to run Mobile Interim Company (MIC 2), under the name MTC Touch Lebanon, officially ran out last month, but the Kuwaiti group has been allowed to remain at the helm, whilst Orascom will take over the reins of MIC 1, branded as Alfa, from the Ministry of Telecoms (MoT), after the state cancelled the operating contract of Fal Dete Telecommunications, a joint venture of Deutsche Telekom subsidiary DeTeCon International and Saudi Arabia's Fal Holdings, at the beginning of December. Zain and Orascom beat off a rival bid from France Telecom. Information Minister Tareq Mitri said: ‘These two companies have...experience in the Lebanese market that allows them to manage well and positions them as the best companies to run this sector.’ According to local press, the new contracts are worth USD145 million. The privatisation of MIC 1 & 2 has been put on hold until after the next elections in May 2009.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:56:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Viva, Kuwait’s third mobile network operator, has announced the launch of mobile broadband services for its customers. Viva is an overseas license of Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and began operations in September last year. Huawei has supplied the network which allows Viva to offer high speed wireless broadband at speeds up to14Mbps, although no USB devices currently support more than 7.2Mbps. Customers signing up to the new service in January can make use of a special deal offering unlimited internet access, a free USB modem and data SIM card for KWD20 (USD70.53) per month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:55:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Telekom Austria has reported that its mobile Communication customer base grew by 15.2% in 2008 from 15.4 million customers at the end of 2007 to 17.8 million customers at the end of 2008, with all mobile operations contributing to this subscriber growth.

mobilkom austria, recorded 140,500 net adds during the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to 105,600 during the same period of the previous year. mobilkom austria was able to expand its overall subscriber base by 13.6% to 4.5 million customers in 2008. The contract subscriber base increased by 19.0%. mobilkom austria was able to increase its market share from 40.3% at the end of 2007 to 42.4% at the end of 2008 recording the highest growth in market share in the history of the company. The mobile penetration rate in Austria stood at 126.6% at year-end 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:54:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 16, 2009

Vivo, the Brazilian incumbent, ended 2008 with a subscriber base of 44.9 million, having a market share of 29.8%, up from 27.7% in 2007. According to the telecoms regulator Anatel, Vivo’s rising market share was driven by dint of its takeover of Telemig Celular in mid-2008. Claro stood at the second spot with the market share of 25.7% a percent ahead of TIM Brasil at 24.2% market share. Oi finished 2008 with 29.9 million subscribers. As at 31 December 2008, Anatel reported 150.6 million mobile connections in Brazil, rising by 29.6 million or 24.5% when compared to end-2007. On the contrary, mobile phone sales fell 23% year-on-year in December 2008 to just 3.6 million units, showing the rising impact of the global recession.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, January 16, 2009 4:23:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The MVNO phenomena is growing rapidly in the Netherlands as the number of subscribers signing upto one of the country’s 50 or so virtual providers has reached 3.51 million on 30 September 2008, up by 10% year-on-year. The MVNO’s now account for 17.3% of all SIM cards on the market at the given date, up from 17.0% a year earlier.

The MVNO market in Netherlands has seen entry of new players to the market in six months uptil Sept-2008 namely, Easer Mobile, Tok Toe Mie, Youfone and Internet Overal. In addition, more entrants have since launched commercially in the country or announced plans to launch in early 2009, such as Blyk and Telesur, the Dutch group said.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, January 16, 2009 4:22:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France Telecom (Orange) has announced the launch of a satellite-based internet access service in France, through its subsidiary NordNet. The launch will give the French operator 100% broadband coverage in mainland France, it said in its 12 January press release. Orange says the new service helps it meet its commitment to the government’s ‘France Digital 2012’ project, announced in October 2008, which hopes to provide broadband internet access to every French citizen, regardless of where they live in the country, for EUR35 (USD43) per month (including any equipment costs) by 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, January 16, 2009 4:21:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The number of mobile connections in Venezuela stood at 26.67m at the end of Q3 08, with penetration edging over 100% during the quarter to finish on 100.6%. It thus became the third South American nation to reach 100% after Suriname and Argentina, although French overseas departement French Guiana also joined the club during the quarter with 100.5% at the end of September. (Uruguay has almost certainly joined this group at the time of writing, having reached 99.0% at the end of Q3.)

Venezuela: Customers, GSM vs. CDMA

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, January 16, 2009 4:20:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 15, 2009

According to Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Bangladesh finished 2008 with a mobile subscriber base of 44.6 million by adding 10.27 million subscribers in the year, at a growth rate of 30% compared to the 62% growth recorded in 2007. According to statistics revealed, Grameenphone lead the market by adding 4.51 million in 2008, taking its total subscriber base to 20.99 million at 2008-end, followed by Banglalink which added 3.25 million subscribers and AKTEL adding 1.8 million to reach a subscriber base of 10.33 million and 8.20 million, respectively.

The new entrant to the market, Warid Telecom ended 2008 with a subscriber base of 2.33 million a step further of CityCell and Teletalk, who stood at a subscriber base of 1.81 million and 980,000 respectively.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009 9:52:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Mexican mobile market surpassed the 75m mark during Q3 08 to finish the quarter with just under 75.7m customers. In proportionate terms, annual growth continued the decline that began in Q3 07, although the rate of 17.2% was still a reasonably strong figure. At the end of the quarter penetration stood at 68.6%, up 9.4pp annually, and it thus seems a near- certainty that the 75% mark will be reached during 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, January 15, 2009 9:51:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 14, 2009

China's fast-growing population of Internet users has risen to 298 million after passing the United States last year to become the world's largest, a government-sanctioned research group said Tuesday.

The latest figure is a 41.9 percent increase over the same period last year, the China Internet Network Information Center said in a report.

China's Internet penetration is still low at just 22.6 percent, leaving more room for rapid growth, according to CNNIC. The Pew Internet and American Life Project places U.S. online penetration at 71 percent.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:45:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Kazakhstan telecoms market was worth KZT 379 billion (US$3.2 billion) in 2008 - representing 3% of the country's GDP, reports the official news agency, Kazinform. The agency was citing the Chairman of the Agency for Information and Communications, Kuanyshbek Yessekeyev.

Mr. Yessekeyev emphasized high rates of growth of cellular operators, tough competition on the market and growth of their incomes over the last year. According to the Agency’ data, the number of mobile phone subscribers had topped 15 million people, and teledensity had reached 98 percent.

“The data was received on the basis of the sold SIM-cards”, he clarified.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:42:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With the weakening of Belarusian Ruble the local mobile operators plan to raise their call tariffs. MTS Belarus, one of the leading mobile operator, has already raised its call and SMS tariffs by between 15 and 30 rubles and other operators could now follow the league. The rise in tariffs is driven by a sharp depreciation of the ruble earlier this month; MTS Belarus has to pay for a significant proportion of its new equipment and for many services in foreign currency – and is struggling to do so as the currency fluctuates.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:39:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Indian GSM operators have reportedly added more than 8 million mobile subscribers in the Dec’08 keeping its flag flying high as world’s fastest growing mobile market. According to the latest data compiled by COAI, India’s GSM subscriber base has reached the mark of 258 million at December’08 end, rising by 3.25 % from November’08. Bharti Airtel continued to be the market leader as it added over 2.7 million new subscribers taking its subscriber base to 87 million. Airtel held a market share of 33.22% at December end. Vodafone followed with a market share 23.63% and added 2 million subscribers in Dec’08 taking its total subscriber base to about 60 million. Idea Cellular added 1 million subscribers during the same period taking its total subscriber base to 38 million. BSNL, the state-owned incumbent, experienced a positive growth in December taking its subscriber base to 41 million.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Indian GSM operators have reportedly added more than 8 million mobile subscribers in the Dec’08 keeping its flag flying high as world’s fastest growing mobile market. According to the latest data compiled by COAI, India’s GSM subscriber base has reached the mark of 258 million at December’08 end, rising by 3.25 % from November’08. Bharti Airtel continued to be the market leader as it added over 2.7 million new subscribers taking its subscriber base to 87 million. Airtel held a market share of 33.22% at December end. Vodafone followed with a market share 23.63% and added 2 million subscribers in Dec’08 taking its total subscriber base to about 60 million. Idea Cellular added 1 million subscribers during the same period taking its total subscriber base to 38 million. BSNL, the state-owned incumbent, experienced a positive growth in December taking its subscriber base to 41 million.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 12, 2009

According to a study by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) over 68% of households in the country now have access to broadband services, up from 59% a year earlier. The survey conducted by the regulator also noted that over 80% of users believe that they need a connection speed of at least 1Mbps. Uptake of mobile broadband has reportedly seen a significant increase over the twelve-month period, with 11% of broadband users taking a mobile broadband subscription compared to just 1% last year; the survey indicated that most mobile broadband users also have a fixed line broadband service.
Despite the increase in broadband uptake less than a third of households in the country had a fixed line voice connection. In contrast the survey reported that 98% of 15-79-year olds had access to a mobile phone. VoIP calls also registered an increase over the period, with 24% of internet users indicating that they had used the technology in 2008, up from 21% in 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 12, 2009 11:07:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published today by Japan’s Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA), the country’s incumbent mobile operators collectively added a net 400,200 new users last month to end the year with a total 105.825 million mobile subscribers. Softbank Mobile recorded 135,200 net additions last month, compared with 36,000 for KDDI’s ‘au’ brand, and 120,400 for the country’s leading operator by subscribers, DoCoMo. At the start of this year, DoCoMo had 54.16 million customers, ahead of KDDI with 30.55 million and Softbank Mobile with 19.99 million. The market's newest entrant eMobile added 108,600 new users to end the year with 1.12 million, while the leading PHS operator, Willcom, had 4.57 million customers, up just 1,300 from a month before.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 12, 2009 11:05:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 09, 2009

Asiacell has reportedly announced that its subscriber base has exceeded six million. According to a report, Asiacell has claimed 5.56 million subscribers at the end of September 2008, representing a 7.8% increase in the three-month period. Asiacell caters to 34% market share in terms of subscribers; its main rival Zain Iraq boasts 52%. Asiacell has claimed to be the only wireless network operator to provide coverage of the whole country.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:03:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The UK mobile market saw annual growth drop 0.3pp year on year to 4.4%, the second lowest figure ever recorded. In real terms, annual net additions stood at 3.15m, down slightly on the 3.21m recorded in the prior twelve months. Quarterly net additions totalled 0.97m, taking the total connection base to 74.07m and penetration to 121.5% at the end of Q3.

Quarterly Net Additions, Q4 07 – Q3 08

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Source: Cellular News.

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:02:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |