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 Tuesday, February 10, 2009

­Cuba's sole mobile phone network, ETECSA says that its subscriber base has surged by 60% to reach nearly half a million customers after the government relaxed the conditions for private citizens to buy mobile phones.

President Raul Castro's government lifted a ban which had restricted ownership to tourists and VIPs in April last year. Nearly 8,000 new connections were sold in the first ten days after the restrictions were lifted. The government also halved the sign-up fee - although it still represents about three months wages for the average worker.

The local newspaper, Juventud Rebelde reported that around 480,000 cellular lines are now in use, compared with 300,000 before the law change.

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Source: Cellular News.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:33:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wana, the Moroccan fixed line incumbent, grabs the third GSM licence in the country. Country telecom regulator ANRT reportedly said that Wanaís bid offered a perfect blend of finacial and technical techniques along with coverage, investment and pricing. Wana will operate as a GSM service provider competing against Maroc Telecom and Meditel.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:51:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Hungarian incumbents Pannon, Vodafone and T-Mobile have together added 284,000 new subscribers in December, the total reaching to 12.24 million at the end of 2008, reports Hungarian telecom regulator NHH. Pannon experienced a fall in its market share from 35.18% at Novemberí08-end to 35.09% at Decemberí08-end followed by T-Mobile from 43.94% to 43.86%. On the other hand, Vodafoneís market share rose to 21.04% at Decemberí08 from 20.89% in November. The number of active subscription grew to 10.97 million, up by 227,000 compared to November. Mobile penetration rose to 121.8% in Decemberí08 compared to 119.15 in November.

Source: Wireless Federartion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:49:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Koryolink, North Koreaís very first 3G operator, signs up 6,000 subscribers within two weeks of its operation, The operator had started registration in January 2009. Koryolink is owned by Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt (75%) and state-owned Korea Post and Telecoms Corporation (25%). According to Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, ĎSo far we have about 6,000 applications. The important point is that they are normal citizens, not the privileged or military generals or party higher-ups. For the first time they have been able to go to a shop and get a mobile phone.í The government levies heavy taxes on mobile handsets, taking the cost upto $600, making it unaffordable for the masses. Orascom is in talks with the government to reduce taxes.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:30:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil finished 2008 counting 122.7 million prepaid cellulars, what represent 81.47% from the 150.6 million cellulars in the country.

Prepaid cellulars started to be sold in Brazil in 1998, by CTBC Celular, and the prepaid cellular stake in the cellular total in Brazil grew quickly until reach 80.8% in 2005. This percentage remained stable in 2006 and 2007, getting back to growth in 2008.

 

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Source: Teleco.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:22:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report from IDATE says that the world telecom services market is estimated at US$1,365 billion in 2008 - a 4.2% increase over the year before - and is expected to be worth over US$1,416 billion in 2009. ­With a total turnover estimated at US$742.2 billion in 2008, mobile services account for 54% of the telecom services market and single handedly deliver all of the sectorís growth. But the annual growth rate has dropped from more than 12% in 2007 to 8% in 2008.

The mobile customer base worldwide grew by another 17% in 2008, but is offset by a steady decline in average revenue per user (ARPU) which dropped to US$17.50 a month in 2008. Meanwhile, fixed network services are stagnating.

The revenue generated by data services - whose growth is being spurred chiefly by broadband access - rose by US$20 billion in 2008, while fixed telephony revenue dropped by as much, even if the impact on the base is still limited: the number of fixed phone lines shrunk by just over 10 million during the year, i.e. by just under 1%. The number of broadband connections grew by close to 20% to 415 million at the end of 2008: with an average density of 6.4 broadband connections per 100 inhabitants, this market still has considerable room to grow, especially in emerging economies. In more advanced markets, broadband density is over 30%, i.e. between 70% and 80% of households are already equipped.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:42:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing US$30 million in Wataniya Palestine, as part of a US$85 million loan, to help build a mobile-phone network in the Palestinian West Bank. Wataniya Palestine is a joint venture of the Palestine Investment Fund and Wataniya Telecom, which is majority-owned by Qatarís Qtel.

"The network being built by Wataniya Palestine will use the internationally popular GSM standard. It will help address the Palestinian territories telecommunications needs, which are critical for supporting economic growth and integration. Wataniya Palestineís entry into the sector will improve the current low tele-density, increase competition, and help accelerate market growth.

ďIFCís investment shows a vote of confidence in the economic prospects of the Palestinian territories telecommunications sector, which is an essential element of building the local economy, creating jobs, and offering customers new, high-quality products and services,Ē said Allan Richardson, Wataniyaís Chief Executive Officer.

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Source: Cellular News.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:22:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 09, 2009

­The worldwide mobile phone market experienced an unusual downturn in the normally robust fourth quarter of 2008 (4Q08). According to IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 289.0 million units, 12.6% lower than the 330.8 million units shipped during 4Q07. For the full year 2008, vendors shipped a total of 1.18 billion units worldwide, 3.5% greater than the 1.14 billion units shipped during 2007.

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Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 09, 2009 9:39:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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.


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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)  #     |