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 Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones (CNC), Argentinaís telecoms regulator, has reported the countryís wireless lines in service increased by almost 15% compared to end-2007. At 31 December 2008 the countryís wireless subscribers totaled 46.5 million, up from 40.4 million a year earlier, of which, 41.6 million (90%) customers were pre-paid. The regulator did release a breakdown of the countryís individual wireless operators, but according to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database, Movistar was narrowly the countryís largest cellco by subscribers with 14.65 million at 30 September 2008, while main rival Claro Argentina claimed 14.64 million wireless customers. Telecom Personal had a subscriber base of 11.94 million at the same date, while Nextel Argentina lagged behind with 938,000 subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 9:37:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Chinese mobile market has ended 2008 with a subscriber base of 641.23 million, recording a growth rate of 1.71% monthly and 17.17% annualy, reports Chinaís Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The user density in the country rose to 48.5%. In Decemberí08, the mobile phone subscribers in China texted nearly 61.69 billion SMS, at an average of 3.12 SMS per phone number a day.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 10:04:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lebanon will see a downfall in the mobile call rates by Aprilí09. The government has official announced a reduction in call rates for both prepaid and post paid cards in order to lower the pressure on the the Lebanese.

The reduced call rates, according to the telecom minister Jebran Bassil, will save the Lebanese $225 million annually. The minister dinít predict a downfall in the revenues of the telcos as the country predicts that the countryís subscriber base is likely to rise to 2million.

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Source: Wireless Federation.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:39:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 02, 2009

Ugandan ICT Minister said that the number of wireless subscribers rose to 8.2 million at the end of 2008. The mobile penetration stood at around 25%. According to a report, at the end of September 2008 MTN retained a position of strength in the Ugandan wireless arena, with a market share of 42% (3.23 million subscribers), though this was down from 57.6% 18 months earlier. Zain bags second position with 1.86 million customers, where as UTL has an estimated 1.65 million. The new incumbent Warid claimed a laudable million customers at the end of September 2008, 13% of the market, just eight months after launch.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, February 02, 2009 11:12:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Indonesian market achieved a record figure for quarterly net additions in Q3 08 with an increase of 15.5m, 2m higher than the previous record, which was set in Q2 08. This took the number of connections in Indonesia to 131.64m, with annual growth of 57.1% compared to 47.9% for the prior twelve months.

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Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:44:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan's government has announced plans to start spending the income from a Telecom Development Fund (TDF) which will be used to expand mobile and landline services into underserved rural areas.

According to the licenses issued to the current GSM operators, they should pay 2.5% from their net revenues to this fund to facilitate the communications services to remote and under services districts of the country, said Eng. Barialai Hassam Deputy Minister Technical in a news conference.

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Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:37:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Israel's Ministry of Communications has announced that it is to permit the use of MVNOs in the Israeli market. T­he Ministry said that several companies have already expressed their interest, with regard to all the different models existing in the world, including full MVNO.

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Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:05:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009

­The European Commission says that it is earmarking Ä1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to achieve 100 % high-speed internet coverage for all European citizens by 2010 as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan. On average, 93 % of Europeans can enjoy a high speed online connection but in some countries broadband covers less than half of the rural population.

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Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 1:03:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Unicom lately has kicked off a campaign in Beijing to sell government-subsidized customized mobile phones in the much less developed rural areas in 12 provinces.

Under the campaign, rural residents in the 12 provinces such as Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Shaanxi are entitled to a 13% subsidy offered by the government when buying mobile phones.

On top of that, they can get a certain amount of telephone fees and some value-added services offered by China Unicom free of charge.

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Source: Wireless News.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:39:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UAE's mobile subscriber base accounting of two wireless operators, Etisalat and Du. Etisalat reached to 7.3 million in Q4'08 at December'08-end, rising from 6.37 million a year earlier. Etisalat's market share decreased from 77.24% in SeptemberĀf08 to 74% at December'08-end whereas Du's market share rose from 22.76% to 26% in the same time period. The operator forecasts a 28.2% rise in net income at 2008-end to $2.5 billion. At the end of December Du had an estimated 3.05 million subscribers, up from 2.07 million a year earlier. Du's revenue is also expected to have grown by 8.6% in 2008, boosted by strong mobile revenue growth.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:27:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global mobile phone shipments fell 10 percent year-over-year, to reach 295 million units in Q4 2008. An economic downturn in developed and emerging markets caused the industryís slowest growth rate since 2001.

Bonny Joy, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics said, ďGlobal mobile phone shipments fell to 295 million units during Q4 2008, down a significant 10 percent from 329 million units in Q4 2007. An economic downturn in developed and developing markets caused the industryís slowest growth rate since Q4 2001. Retailers have been de-stocking due to credit tightness, while consumers delayed purchases because of fears of a recession.Ē

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, ďThree of the big 5 cellphone vendors recorded negative annual growth rates in Q4 2008. Motorola declined 54 percent, Sony Ericsson 21 percent and Nokia 15 percent. With volumes and revenues contracting sharply this year, much of the mobile industryís focus will inevitably be on controlling costs and restoring profitability during 2009.Ē

Global Mobile Handset Shipments and Marketshare Ė Top 5 Vendors

Global Handset Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '07 2007 Q4 '08 2008
Nokia 133.5 437.1 113.1 468.4
Samsung 46.3 161.1 52.8 196.6
LG 23.7 80.5 25.7 100.8
Motorola 40.9 159.0 19.0 99.9
Sony Ericsson 30.8 103.4 24.2 96.6
Others 53.9 181.5 59.8 215.8
Total 329.1 1122.6 294.6 1178.1

 

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Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:34:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Nigeriaís Q3 08 growth could not match the record-breaking levels seen in the previous quarter, when 7.38m new connections were added - more than double the best figure recorded in any other African nation. However, its third-quarter boost of 4.11m was the second best figure ever recorded in the market, which is particularly impressive given that one of the top three operators, Glo, suffered a loss of 0.6m customers in the quarter. At the end of Q3, there were 55.8m connections in Nigeria, up 51% year on year with annual net additions of 18.8m.


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Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:53:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Hutchison 3G Ireland ('3') has won a contract from the Irish government to develop a national broadband network covering rural areas of the country. Ireland currently has over 1.2 million subscribers to broadband. The National Broadband Scheme will provide the remaining 10% of the population, or approximately 33% of the area of the country, with broadband services. Ireland will have 100% coverage by September 2010; half of the area under the scheme will be covered by the end of this year.

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Source: Cellular News.
Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:43:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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 countryís 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 Azerbaijanís Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies, the tariffs levied by operators, on an average, are higher that the tariffs in other nations. ďTo 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 otherís networks,Ē 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.


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

According to Pakistanís 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 subscribersí 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 pieceÖ 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 Hondutelís 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 incumbentsí 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 Kuwaitís Zain Group and Egyptís Orascom Telecom had both been awarded one-year contracts to manage the operations of the countryís two GSM mobile networks, commencing 1 February. An extension to Zainís 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: ĎThese 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.í 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, Kuwaitís 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, Vivoís 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 countryís 50 or so virtual providers has reached 3.51 million on 30 September 2008, up by 10% year-on-year. The MVNOís 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 governmentís ĎFrance Digital 2012í 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)  #     |