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 Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Market research firm Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter (4Q08) edition of its Mobile Broadband Cards, Routers, Services, and Subscribers report last week. ­The report found that worldwide, the number of mobile broadband subscribers (including W- CDMA/HSPA and CDMA2000/EV-DO) jumped 125% in 2008 over 2007, hitting 210.5 million, and are expected to top 1 billion by 2013.

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:49:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Approximately 40 million users watch mobile TV based on broadcast networks, in addition to those watching mobile TV streams via 3G networks - but this is well below initial projections and only about 1% of all mobile phone users, says a report from Arthur D. Little. Even the business models in markets with sizeable numbers of broadcast mobile TV subscribers - such as Japan with 18 million, South Korea with 17 million or Italy with well over 1 million - have not yet become viable commercial success stories. However, mobile operators remain interested in promoting the service as it can support customer acquisition and retention, and can be used to promote high value "flat-rate packages".

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What's the future of broadcast mobile TV?

Broadcast mobile TV will experience continuous, but slower than previously expected subscriber uptake. However, the prospect of establishing profitable, new broadcast mobile TV business models remains and indirect benefits further motivate the industry to push the service. And, in spite of the current recession, consortia such as China Satellite Broadcasting Corporation or Satellite2mobile, based in Dubai, have advanced plans to launch next generation hybrid satellite/terrestrial mobile TV networks. Once these are launched and reach critical subscriber mass, they will lead to a step-change in the nascent broadcast mobile TV business.

The development in China indicates that Asia may remain the key world region for mobile TV. The national broadcast mobile TV service already has 1.2 million subscribers. The planned launch of the satellite platform and the fact that over 200 types of CMMB-enabled mobile devices are available could lead to rapid mass adoption of mobile TV.

Arthur D. Little expects the number of broadcast mobile TV subscribers to increase from 40 to 140 million users by 2011 - and recommends that executives stay tuned rather than switch off on the topic.

The report can be downloaded rom the Arthur D Little website (registration required).

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:46:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Fiji telcos now get the freedom of formulating their own mobile and fixed-line charges as the interim Government withdraws the price control order imposed in 2008.

According to the Interim Attorney General and Telecommunications Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the termination of price control will enable a free market in the country. “This basically means the price control board will no longer be in place but the market itself will decide on the price that is to be set within the market,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

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Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:40:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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"Kenya shows impressive growth rates with significant opportunity," notes Dearbhla McHenry, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "By the end of 2008, Kenya had more than 15.0 million mobile subscribers, with a mobile penetration rate of 39 percent. The subscriber base is expected to rise to 29.28 million, or 66.7 percent penetration, by year-end 2013."

Increased competition is helping to fuel demand for mobile services in Kenya, McHenry says. "Until 2008, the Kenyan mobile market was a duopoly consisting of Safaricom and Zain. That has now changed with the entry of two new players - Econet and Orange. Since their entry, there has been a fierce price war with operators slashing tariffs and introducing new air time promotions, making their services more affordable for the wider population."

Total revenue of Kenya's telecom market is forecast to grow by 42 percent from $1.39 billion in 2008 to $1.98 billion by 2013, with 78 percent of the total revenue to be generated by the mobile sector. "Mobile data will be the telecom sector's fastest-growing revenue stream, increasing in revenue from $62 million in 2008 to $224 million in 2013, partly due to the launch of 3G services but also to the explosive growth of low-tech, low-margin mobile data services, particularly mobile money transfers," says McHenry.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:38:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Analytics firm, comScore has reported that the number of people in the USA using their mobile device to access news and information on the Internet more than doubled from January 2008 to January 2009.

Among the audience of 63.2 million people who accessed news and information on their mobile devices in January 2009, 22.4 million (35 percent) did so daily; more than double the size of the audience last year.

"Over the course of the past year, we have seen use of mobile Internet evolve from an occasional activity to being a daily part of people's lives," observed Mark Donovan, senior vice president, mobile, comScore. "This underscores the growing importance of the mobile medium as consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information."

Accessed News and Information by Frequency of Access

Frequency of Mobile  Internet Access

Unique Users (000s)
Jan-08 Jan-09 Change
Daily 10,821 22,369 107%
Weekly 10,312 19,283 87%
Ever in the month 36,870 63,182 71%

*Excludes social networking

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:36:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan's Universal Service Fund (USF) and Telenor have entered into a Rs. 930 million (US$11.6 million) contract to provide basic telephony and data services to the population in the yet un-served areas of Sanghar, Tharparkar Umerkot and Mirpur Khas districts.

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At the occasion Jon Eddy Abdullah said, "We, at Telenor Pakistan believe in breaking socio-economic barriers through use of communication technology, especially in remote areas of the country. We stand firm in our commitment for more such ventures with support of Government of Pakistan and Ministry of IT."

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:31:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 16, 2009

According to Reuters, the European Commission (EC) has given Danish telecoms regulator, the National IT and Telecom Agency, backing to force operator Fixnet Nordic (formerly TDC) to open up its cable broadband network. European Union (EU) Telecoms Commissioner, Viviane Reding, said: ‘I entirely share the Danish telecoms regulator's concern that in the absence of cable regulation in Denmark, alternative operators might be hindered in their ability to offer high capacity internet services to their customers.’ Under the plans, Fixnet Nordic will have to grant its competitors wholesale access to the network, allowing rivals to compete in the broadband market, which is currently dominated by the incumbent. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Fixnet Nordic had a total of 1.17 million broadband subscribers at the end of 2008, representing a market share of 71.06%, while rivals Cybercity and Telia Denmark had 17.78% and 11.17% respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:55:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The global economic recession and slowdown seems to have no effect on the mobile usage in India as the country adds 9.18 million GSM subscribers in the month of February to its subscriber base, taking the total to 277.1 million subscribers at the end of February.

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Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:52:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s mobile subscriber base bounced back to its growth level in the month of January driven by the campaign run by the regulator to register subscribers.

According to the figures revealed by PTA, the mobile subscriber base in Pakistan grew to 90.703 million at January-end, rising from 89.907 million in December.

Country’s leading mobile operator, Mobilink’s subscriber base dipped to 28.315 million in January from 28.480 million in December whereas Telenor experienced a rise in its subscriber base from 19.388 million in December to 19.657 million in January. Ufone retained its third position with a subscriber base of 19.415 million, rising from 19.301 million in December. Warid and Zong followed Ufone with a subscriber base of 17.144 million and 5.852 million respectively.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:49:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nigeria has outdone South Africa to emerge as the largest mobile telecom market in Africa with more than 61 million mobile subscribers, according to a new report.

The report revealed that a continued growth in the country in the coming five years will trigger prompt further competition among the growing number of network operators.

Nigeria’s telecom market was liberalized in 2003, which paved a way to enormous growth rates and has bought in new operators.

The telecom market grew by 23% a year earlier, taking up $8.4 billion in overall telecom service revenues. The mobile penetration rate, at present, stands at 42%. Nigeria’s total telecom is forecasted to grow at CAGR of 5.7 percent from the existing US$8.42 billion in 2008 to $11.14 billion in 2013. Out of the total, 83% is attributed to mobile service revenue over the next five years.

Moreover, the expected launch of various mobile voice and data services is going to benefit the suppliers of mobile network technologies, while demand for CDMA and GSM base stations will stand strong over the next several years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:47:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Deutsche Bank’s Global Transaction Banking (GTB) division has announced that it is introducing mobile phone payments services to its clients in 80 countries across Europe, Middle East and Asia. Luup, a European-based mobile payment provider, will partner with Deutsche Bank to provide the service.

This new mobile payment service will allow the Bank’s GTB clients to offer millions of consumers an instant and secure payments and money transfer service from any mobile device with any mobile network. It is the first time a major commercial bank has offered a cross-border mobile payments service to its banking and corporate customers.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:45:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A survey has found that 74% of all messages globally are now sent through a mobile device, report TNS. This is a huge increase on 12 months ago where this figure was only 59%. This trend is even higher in emerging markets where nine out ten messages now go out via mobiles.

“As mobile devices slowly take away usage share from fixed services in developed markets, in emerging markets consumers are more likely to by-pass fixed communications altogether and go straight to mobiles,” said Sam Curtis, Sector Development Manager at TNS Technology. The study reveals that in India, for example, consumers are twice more likely to have a mobile phone than a fixed line telephone.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:42:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The USA has knocked the UK off the top slot for mobile web browsing with 29% of the worldwide traffic compared to 20% in the UK, according to data released today by Bango. And the good news for content providers is that the growth in traffic is being matched by the growth in users paying for content on the mobile web.

"With 245 million subscribers, it was only a matter of time before the US became the number 1 country in the world for mobile web browsing," said Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing at Bango. "When it comes to payments though, the US is accelerating faster than any other country and now accounts for 57% of payments worldwide, compared to 38% in the UK."

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:39:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Regulatory Unit of Communications Services (URSEC) has released its 2008 report of Uruguay’s telecoms market. The study indicates that the number of fixed lines in service declined from 965,216 in 2007 to 959,000 a year later, representing a fall in teledensity from just over 29% to 28.77%. The country’s total broadband subscribers increased from 165,000 in 2007 to 245,000 over the course of the year, with AntelData posting 227,652 customers, up 155,000 year-on-year. URSEC’s study shows that AntelData’s sole rival, Dedicado, recorded 16,388 broadband subscribers, representing a market share of 7%.

Meanwhile, the number of mobile subscribers increased to 3.508 million in 2008, up from 3.004 million a year earlier. The country’s wireless penetration exceeded 100% during the year, rising from 90.5% to 105%. The report shows that Movistar lead the wireless market at the end of 2008 with 1.42 million subscribers and 40% market share, followed closely by Ancel with 1.38 million customers and 38% of the market. Claro ranked third at year-end 2008 with 769,992 subscribers, representing 22% market share. URSEC recorded that pre-paid subscribers made up 77% of the total in 2008, down from 83% a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:36:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moldova’s National Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications (ANRTI) has reported that the number of broadband subscribers more than doubled in 2008, surpassing the number of dial-up customers for the first time. The number of broadband connections increased by 140% from 47,200 in 2007 to 115,120 a year later, while dial-up subscribers decreased by 35% from 63,000 to 40,600. The report indicates that broadband services are mainly concentrated in Chisinau; two thirds of the country’s total subscribers are located in the capital, representing a localised broadband penetration rate of 30.8%, compared to between 2.25% and 4.7% in the country’s remaining districts.

Meanwhile, the number of fixed lines in service increased by 3.2% to 1.114 million during the year, representing the lowest increase in the last ten years. Moldtelecom, the country’s main provider of fixed line services, connected 31,390 subscribers to its networks, increasing its total to 1.088 million customers at the end of 2008, while alternative operators grew their customers to 26,300 by year-end.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:35:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report from the Moldovan telecoms regulator, Anrceti has said that in 2008, the number of fixed subscribers increased, compared to 2007, by 346,900 or by 3.2%, coming up 1.114 million. This is the lowest rate of increase in the recent years.

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The fixed telephony also gave in terms of sales. The turnover registered by fixed telephone service providers declined in 2008 by 5.85% and equaled to two billion 208 million lei, whereas the Average Revenue per Subscriber (ARPU) decreased by 9.97%, showing 167,8 lei. The decline was mainly the result of the decrease of several types of fixed traffic: local, long-distance and interconnection. But on the other hand, all types of mobile traffic increased considerably, bringing along a 22% increase over 2007 in the total of sales, coming up to two billion 914,7 million lei.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:33:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

United Arab Emirates-based telco Etisalat has announced it has reached 500,000 residential broadband subscribers, bringing the country’s broadband penetration rate to 11.4%. The company’s chief corporate affairs officer, Nasser bin Obood, commented: ‘This is above many international benchmarks and means that to grow penetration even further, we need to take a different approach - we need to be service driven.’ He added that to achieve further growth in the market, the company will invest in areas such as IPTV, technical support and mobile broadband.

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Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:30:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 12, 2009

ADSL subscriptions in France rose by around 560,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to reach 16.83 million at the end of the year, according to provisional figures from regulator Arcep. There were 14.81 million ADSL subscriptions at the end of 2007. The data takes into account residential and business subscriptions in metropolitan France and overseas departements. The overall number of broadband internet subscriptions rose to 17.73 million at the end of 2008, up from 17.16 million at the end of September 2008 and 14.81 million at the end of December 2007. France Telecom had sold 8.53 million access to alternative operators on the wholesale market as of end-2008. These included 6.33 million unbundled accesses (up by 324,000 in the quarter), 2.1 million bitstream accesses (down by 18,000) and 94,000 national IP accesses (down by 4,000).

Source: TelecomPaper.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:45:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Gulf Daily News reports that Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has cut internet tariffs by 70%. The move is believed to be prompted by the impending arrival of three fixed line operators to the Saudi market, namely Hong Kong's PCCW, Bahraini incumbent Batelco, and a consortium led by Verizon Communications of the US and including Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular (MIC). Currently STC is the sole fixed line voice operator, and faces competition in the broadband sector from just one company, Mobily.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:44:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a recently published report by Dell’Oro Group, the worldwide total mobile infrastructure market revenue grew 5 percent in 2008, driven by the nearly doubling and quadrupling of revenue of the WCDMA and WiMAX markets, respectively.

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:34:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Key findings from Broadband Scorecard Sep 2008  

  • EU broadband penetration rose to 110.5m Sep 2008 or 22.4% of the population. This represented an increase of 9% 6 months and 20% over the previous year.  
  • The highest penetration rates were recorded in Denmark (37.5%) and Netherlands (36.3%) followed by Sweden, Finland and the UK. All of these countries recorded competition from both cable networks and regulated access.  
  • The lowest penetration rates at just above 10% were recorded in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.  
  • The highest growth rates over the full year were seen in Greece, Cyprus and Malta. Additional competitive impetus from local loop unbundling was particularly pronounced in Greece and Cyprus.
  • Growth rates began to slow in several of the leading countries including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and the UK suggesting market maturity. Some countries with lower absolute take-up levels also experienced slow growth including Spain, Italy and Austria.
  • Fibre penetration was 0.3% on average across Europe. However some countries had significantly higher fibre penetration including Sweden (5.6% population) and Estonia (4.9%) and Lithuania (4.2%).  
  • Incumbents retained 50% of the total retail broadband market (including resale) or 45% if resale is excluded.  
  • The source of most competition in the EU is unbundling of the local loop (44% of all lines supplied by competitors) followed by cable and other parallel infrastructures (36%) with resale and ‘bitstream’ access accounting for the remainder.

Source: ECTA.


Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:31:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesian CDMA operators Mobile-8 Telecom and Smart Telecom have launched commercial CDMA2000 1xEV-DO services to counter 3G/W-CDMA offerings of rival cellcos such as Telkomsel, Indosat and Excelcomindo (XL). According to a report from CNETAsia, Mobile-8 Telecom has introduced its ‘Mobi’ high speed mobile broadband package and Smart Telecom is matching it with ‘Jump’; both services offer theoretical data transmission speeds of 3.1Mbps (download) and 1.8Mbps (upload) the report said. Mobile-8 utilises 1x and EV-DO technology in the 800MHz frequency band, and is offering a Pantech PX-500 PCMCIA modem with 1GB quota for the Mobi service which is priced at IDR499 (USD41) per month. Deddy Irawan, head of Data Business for Mobile-8 Telecom told reporters that in the near future the company ‘will launch a USB-based modem with the same price.’

Meanwhile, Smart Telecom leverages 1x and EV-DO-Rev A technology using spectrum in the 1900MHz band and is bundling an Axesstel modem and 6GB access quota with a ‘pre-paid’ package for IDR789. Initial tests have proved favourable for both services, although critics note that both Mobi and Jump currently have issues in terms of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:29:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange UK and Barclaycard introduce a new mobile payment system which is claimed to be the biggest evolution in terms of payment after the introduction of plastic cards, 40 years ago.

This new system will enable the customers to make payments through their handsets at the retailers by waving their handset against a reader. The two firms intend to widen their service to ticketing, transport and rewards.

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Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:26:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China, according to the new statistics unveiled by MIIT, had a mobile subscriber base of 649.7 million at the end of January 2009. China’s three leading mobile operators together added 8.49 million new subscribers in January, growing at a constant pace.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:13:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan’s mobile subscriber base totalled to 106.48 million, with the net addition of 387,500 new subscribers in Feb, according to the figures from Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA). Softbank Mobile signed up 131,000 new subscribers and ended the month with 20.25 million subscribers.

Subsequent to Softbank, NTT subscriber base reached 54.32 million, adding 103,100 new subscribers. The operator lost 5000 2in1 plan customers to reach 458,200 subscribers. Emobile added 96,500 new subscribers, total reached 1.28 million subscribers. KDDI gained 56,900 new customers and ended February with 30.62 million customers in total. PHS provider Willcom signed up 8300 new subscribers, base totalled to 4.56 million at the end-February.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:12:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

At the end of January, the three Hungarian mobile operators had 508,000 mobile internet subscribers and there were 424,000 SIM cards active in data transmission over the past three months, the first mobile internet flash report published by the National Communications Authority of Hungary (NHH) has revealed.

According to the report, at the end of December, when Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone had 12.224 million subscribers in all, the number of those also with mobile internet subscription totalled 494,000. The number of ADSL, cable modem and mobile internet subscriptions in Hungary together exceeded 2 million at the end of 2008. Users transmitted some 761,000 Gbytes of data in January following the data traffic of 651,000 Gbytes in December, while average traffic per subscriber also increased.

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:48:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Czech Republic was home to a total of 13.57 million mobile phone users at the end of December last year, according to operator data as quoted by the Prague Daily Monitor. The country’s three incumbent cellcos – Telefonica O2 CR, T-Mobile and Vodafone and Vodafone – collectively added more than half a million net new additions, raising the cellular penetration rate to 131%. Of the three, Vodafone registered the largest single gain, adding a net 230,000 new users for a total of 2.89 million, while market leader T-Mobile posted a net gain of 150,000 to close the year with 5.42 million customers. Meanwhile, the country’s second largest operator Telefonica O2 CR accrued an additional 140,000 net new customers for a total of 5.26 million.

Market saturation and fierce sector competition has resulted in a drop in blended monthly average revenue per user (ARPU), prompting cellcos to focus their efforts on launching new services to squeeze additional revenues from existing users. Vodafone again topped the revenue table with ARPU of CZK583 (USD26.42) per month in 2008, ahead of Telefonica with CZK519 and T-Mobile’s CZK500.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:40:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to new figures from Hong Kong's telecoms regulator OFTA, the number of 3G mobile service users in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) reached more than 2.8 million at the end of 2008, up by 40% from around two million at the beginning of the year, and around 1.3 million at end-2006. OFTA's figures show a corresponding drop in users of 2.5G mobile services, which it said numbered less than 100,000 at end-2008, down from 1.2 million at the end of 2005. TeleGeography's GlobalComms database notes that there are four players in Hong Kong's UMTS-based 3G market, Hutchison Telephone Company (3), CSL New World Mobility, SmarTone-Vodafone and PCCW Mobile, with Hutchison leading the field by a clear margin with 1.34 million W-CDMA/HSPA subscribers at the end of December, up from 1.08 million at end-2007 (representing just under half of the company's total customer base).

OFTA also reported a more than 15% rise in the SAR's number of subscribers to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in 2008, which reached a total of 834,000 by end-December, up from 724,000 a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Asia-Pacific | MVNO
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:39:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Presenting the government’s budget statement to parliament yesterday, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the country had 10,522,240 fixed line and mobile users at the end of 2008, with growth attributed to the cellular sector. The total mobile base has increased from 383,000 in 2002 to 10,242,916 at the end of last year he said, whilst the fixed line total dropped from 389,483 to 279,324. Dr Duffuor attributed the fall to the removal of 'dormant' subscribers from Ghana Telecom’s fixed line network, and said that cellular growth was the result of ‘the creation of an enabling environment and the positive sustenance of competition in the sector’.

Dr Duffuor said that in order to promote a wider penetration of ICT services, the Ministry of Communications has facilitated the transformation of Voltacom's fibre-optic assets into a National Communications Backbone Infrastructure network to provide open access broadband connectivity nationwide. Furthermore, 39 Common Telecom Facilities were completed last year which enabled telecom operators to extend their services to about 273 communities under the Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunication development (GIFTEL).

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:38:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile penetration rate in the Philippines has reportedly reached a mark of 75% at the end of 2008. The growth in mobile penetration rate was driven by the number of SIM cards sold by the mobile operators in the country which was recorded 67.9 million at the end of 2008.

According to Napoleon Nazareno, President PLDT, the growth in the subscriber base is likely to be slower in 2009 as the mobile penetration rate has already reached 75%.

PLDT recently posted a subscriber base of 35.2 million, including 20.9 million Smart subscribers and 14.3 million Talk ’N Text subscribers.

Whereas Globe Telecom, country’s second largest mobile operator, at 2008-end had a subscriber base of 24.7 million, including both Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers.

The third mobile operator Digital Telecommunications, reportedly said that it had more than 8 million subscribers under the brand name Sun Cellular.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:34:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moldova's National Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications (ANRTI) has reported that the country’s wireless market revenues increased by 22.6% to MDL2.915 billion (USD275.7 million) in 2008 compared to the year earlier. Orange Moldova posted the largest revenue of USD186.8 million, while the income of rivals Moldcell, Unite and Eventis reached USD71.8 million, USD12.9 million, and USD1.1 million respectively. According to the agency, total investment in the sector amounted to USD114.5 million in 2008, a 5.7% rise compared to the previous year. ANRTI attributed the rise in revenues to considerable growth in the number of wireless subscribers, especially within the 3G services segment. The total number of cellular subscribers grew 28.7% to 2.42 million in 2008, including 188,400 3G users. Wireless penetration per 100 residents increased from 55% in 2007 to 67.9% in 2008. The regulator did not release subscriber results for individual operators.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:31:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The subscriber base of Korea totalled to 45.99 million at the end of February, after the addition of 211,000 new subscribers during the month. SK Telecom led the market with the net addition of 100,000 subscribers and ended February with 23.22 million subscribers, including 9.04 million WCDMA users.

The strong contender KTF added 58,000 and the subscriber base totalled to 14.48 million, followed by LG Telecom which ended the month 8.29 million subscribers after gaining 53,568 new subscribers in February. LGT reported the addition between 20,000 and 30,000 new subscribers per month.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:29:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Nigeria’s telecoms regulator the NCC has reported customer numbers for the fourth quarter of 2008. The total customer base reached 62.99m at the end of the year having increased by 55.9% annually. On a quarterly basis, net additions stood at 7.15m, only just short of the national and continental record of 7.38m, set in Q2 08.

Quarterly Net Additions, Total and CDMA

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:24:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Australia's rapid take-up of wireless broadband has boosted economic productivity, according to an economist. ­Dr Paul Paterson of Concept Economics says a study looking at the economic impact of wireless broadband estimates that if take up continues at current levels there will be an ongoing annual productivity dividend to Australians of AU$7.4 billion (US$4.7 billion) - the equivalent of AU$250 (US$158) for every household.

"Since Telstra switched on its Next G network in 2005, Australians have really embraced wireless broadband. This rapid take-up has put our economy on a better footing to deal with the economic downturn," Dr Paterson said. "The study found there are further gains to come with 58% of small and medium businesses already using 3G services planning to expand their use of mobile broadband this year."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:20:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The global economic downturn had a significant impact on the mobile phone industry as worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 314.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2008, a 4.6 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2007, according to Gartner. Manufacturers continued to struggle against low consumer confidence in both emerging and mature markets.

The top five mobile phone vendors all experienced a decline in sales in the fourth quarter of 2008. The industry did experience growth for the year, with worldwide mobile phone sales to end users surpassing 1.22 billion units in 2008, a 6 per cent increase over 2007 sales.

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Vendor Overview

Nokia sold nearly 119 million mobile phones in the fourth quarter of 2008, giving it a market share of 37.7 per cent. This was a decline both sequentially and year-on-year. With sales in emerging markets slowing due to the economic environment, Nokia felt more pressure in the second half of 2008. Nokia’s delay in rolling out products with touchscreen functionality caused its smartphone sales to suffer.

Samsung finished a strong year with a good performance. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Samsung was able to grow share sequentially and also year on year, as products such as the Tocco, Innov8 and Omnia continued to drive sales in regions such as Western Europe and Asia/Pacific. Samsung's quick response to demand for touch interfaces was the main reason for its success.

After a blip in the third quarter of 2008, when LG lost its fourth place to Motorola, LG was able to get back on track and jump two places to No. 3 in the fourth quarter of 2008 worldwide market share. In the fourth quarter, LG moved into second place in North America, due to its dominant position at Verizon Wireless and very strong sales at TracFone. In India, LG got back into Reliance Communication after issues it had in the third quarter of 2008, and it was actually able to burn some inventory during the quarter.

As we predicted, Sony Ericsson was unable to hold on to the third position in the worldwide ranking, which it reached in the third quarter of 2008. In the fourth quarter, its sales dropped to 23.6 million units, putting it in fourth place. Not only did Sony Ericsson fail to reduce stock levels in the fourth quarter, it also built a slight inventory. As both music players and cameras have become more widespread in the competitors' portfolios, it has been more difficult for Sony Ericsson's Walkman and Cybershot product ranges to stand out. Lack of pure touchscreen devices also impacted overall performance in 2008.

Motorola's performance worsened in the fourth quarter of 2008, when it slipped to fifth place in the worldwide ranking. Some reductions in inventory helped Motorola finish the year in third position with sales that were close to 107 million units. The drop in market share on a year-to-year basis (-5.6 percentage points) is a clear indication of the troubled times the vendor has been facing. Lack of compelling products throughout the portfolio has made it impossible for Motorola to slow down its sales decline. It has been losing share in all key regions because it lacks 3G products and touchscreen devices, and has poor support for "hot" features, such as GPS.

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:17:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

German incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced it will open up its VDSL network to competitors and start selling a wholesale service for VDSL double-play packages with speeds of up to 50Mbps. During a press conference at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Timotheus Hottges, the company’s board member for Sales & Service, stressed that DT’s decision is voluntary and without pressure from the regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA). The company said it is looking for its competitors to invest more in building out broadband infrastructure in Germany. DT plans to charge EUR30 (USD38) per line, but says that as market penetration grows, the wholesale price will fall.

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Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:05:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UK watchdog Ofcom has announced that providers of wholesale ‘super-fast’ broadband services, principally BT, will be free to set prices without any regulatory intervention. The regulator says that the move will promote investment of next generation fibre-optic broadband networks. BT has welcomed the decision. ‘Today's announcement gives us the green light to push ahead with our GBP1.5 billion [USD2.1 billion] super-fast broadband investment plans to reach at least 40% of UK households by 2012,’ said CEO Ian Livingston in a statement.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:04:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With 18.1 million units sold in 2008, demand for Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) increased by 3 million units compared to 2007; a 20 percent rise. In quarter 4 the economic crisis took its toll on the market. The industry defied falling prices through a variety of innovations.

Never before have so many Portable Navigation Devices been sold in Europe as in 2008. With 18.1 million units purchased, 2008 volumes surpassed those of 2007 by 3 million, or 20 percent. Germany led the way as the most important market in Europe, with 4.375 million PNDs sold – a growth rate of 22 percent compared to 2007. Sales in Eastern Europe increased by 600 thousand to reach 1.5 million, compared to 16.6 million in Western Europe (up from 14.5 million the previous year) – a growth rate of 15 percent.

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:02:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iraqi wireless operator Asiacell announced it has expanded its network to cover the regions of Al-Anbar and Diyala. The company’s services are now available to an additional three million potential subscribers, and now cover all of the country’s 18 governorates. Asiacell CEO, Diar Ahmed, said: ‘Today, Asiacell is at the forefront of Iraq’s mobile telecoms sector, having achieved its goal of becoming the first company to effectively bring its services to every Iraqi citizen, wherever they may be.’ Asiacell is Iraq’s second largest cellco by subscribers and was awarded a 15-year national GSM-900/1800 licence in August 2007 at the cost of USD1.25 billion. At the end of 2008 it had a wireless subscriber base of six million, up from 4.2 million a year earlier.

In a separate story, Middle East Business Intelligence has reported that Iraq’s finance ministers plan to enforce a clause requiring operators to float around 25% of their capital on the Baghdad bourse as a condition of the licences they bought in August 2007. The authorities have given the country’s mobile operators until 2010 to fulfill the new agreement. According to the report, the country’s three largest mobile companies, Asiacell, Zain and Korek Telecom, will make a significant difference to the overall capitalisation of the market, which currently stands at just USD2 billion.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 9:59:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The mobile subscriber base in Slovenia has surpassed the population of the country, reports the Agency for Post and Electronic Communications. According to the Slovenian Watchdog, the mobile penetration in the country has reached 100.1% in Q4'08, rising by 4.9% from 2007.

Mobitel, country's largest mobile operator, lead the market with 58.9% of the market share, followed by Simobil which stood at 27.8% and Tusmobil at 5.8%.

Nearly 85,075 of mobile phoner numbers were ported in 2008, escalating by 30% since 2007.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:49:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Qatar Telecom has posted a record high of more than 1.8 million mobile customers in Qatar. The subscribers have now exceeded the total population of Qatar, as people look to own multiple phones for business and personal use. Despite of global economic recession, the rapid accumulation of new subscribers up from 1.5 million in November 2008 was achieved.

The gain reflects both the underlying strength of Qatar’s economy and Qtel’s ongoing success in developing new products and services that exceed its customers’ expectations.

The boost in the subscriber base is attributed to re-launch of two of Qtel’s product, the HALA Pay-As-You-Talk service (prepaid) and the all-new “Shahry” post-paid mobile phone service.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:46:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Communications market research firm Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter edition of its WiMAX report this week, noting that the overall WiMAX equipment and device market held steady in 4Q08 over 3Q08 at $275 million, as the 802.16e mobile WiMAX segment increased 5% to counter a slight dip in the 802.16d fixed WiMAX segment.

In 2008, the number of fixed and mobile WiMAX subscribers hit 3.9 million, up 120% from CY07.

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Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:44:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zain Tanzania’s brand new M-Banking service Zap has signed up nearly 1,400 customers in first 10 days of the launch of the service.

Zain also reported that “hundreds” of people have also applied to register themselves as Zap agents.

Zap was launched by Zain across East Africa ten days back.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:34:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Having seen monthly gains averaging 8.9m in the first six months of 2008, the Chinese market did not manage to post a figure above 7.9m in the second six months of the year. This was because of the impact of Unicom’s sale of its CDMA network: in July-September, Unicom saw monthly declines in its CDMA base, presumably because its imminent sale reduced the need to attract new customers; in October, China Telecom acquired the network and cleaned up the base, with a net loss of 13.3m; and in November and December there were further losses to the CDMA base, presumably due to further rationalisation.

However, this clean-up process now seems at an end, with China Telecom gaining 1.02m customers in January to finish the month on 28.93m. China Mobile recorded a gain of 6.64m, its lowest figure since December 2007, and China Unicom added just 0.84m (compared to 1.43m in January 2008), but Telecom’s performance meant that the total market gained just under 8.50m, the best performance since June 2008 and above the 8.44m recorded in January 2008.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:30:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chile’s subscriber base totals to 14.8 million at the end of 2008, up by 6.03% from 13.95 million at 31 December 2007. Chile added 840,000 mobile subscribers throughout 2008. According to the statistics, mobile penetration rate, at the end of 2008, grew to 87.8% from 84.1% a year earlier. Of the total subscriber base posted, 10.76 million subscribers comprised prepaid users whereas the remaining 4.03 million were contract subscribers. Movistar lead the Chile’s mobile market with 42.57% market share, followed by Entel PCS with 38.80%, Claro with 18.58 and Nextel with 0.05 % market share.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:25:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Total contracts awarded within the wireless industry for 2008 reached 550 as activity surged in Q4 according to the latest report from EJL Wireless Research.

"Nokia Siemens Networks secured 56.2% of total contract awards during the December 31, 2008 ended year, beating Huawei (15.5%) and ZTE (14.5%). Chinese OEMs captured 30% of overall contracts while each major base station vendor secured at least one win during the year," says founder and President, Earl Lum.

"Demand remained heavily concentrated in Asia Pacific while surprisingly, Latin America was the second most active region during the year. Chinese OEMs continue to dominate the CDMA2000 segment as they captured 67% of global contracts in 2008. Nokia Siemens Networks led the way with 67% of total WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ awards, followed by Huawei with 17.1%. Nokia Siemens Networks also led the GSM/GPRS/EDGE category with 65% of overall contracts," says Lum.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:03:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest monthly data from Anatel, the Brazilian regulator, shows a marked reduction in the pace of the growth in the market. This should come as no surprise – the fourth quarter saw a record number of new connections and included two of the four best months ever. The industry added a total of 1.31m new connections in January, to take the market total to 151.9m, equivalent to nearly 70% penetration.

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The market share numbers that accompany the subscriber data suggest that while Claro, the America Movil subsidiary, has continued to outpace TIM, it has been unable to make much of an inroad into Vivo’s lead. Claro has grown from 38.7m to 39.1m, but Vivo has moved from 44.9m to 45.3m, so the relative positioning is broadly unchanged. TIM, the number three operator, appears to be losing market share and is now some 2.5m behind Claro and not much more than 6m ahead of the proforma total of 30.4m that TNL will have following its merger with Brasil Telecom.

The last point to note relates to technology. Anatel gives us a choice of two numbers for the W-CDMA base: we prefer the higher (2.7m) rather than the lower (1.9m) which would imply a month on month drop of nearly 0.5m – or twice the number of CDMA disconnections. ­Since Vivo’s move to GSM, the number of CDMA accounts has dropped by over 10m and now stands at just 12.6m. It can only be a matter of time before it disappears from this part of the world altogether.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:01:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Three consecutive quarters of negative growth have led the Western European mobile phone market into recession. According to IDC's European Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 53.6 million units in 4Q08, 13.5% lower than the 62 million units shipped in 4Q07. For the full year 2008, vendors shipped 190.5 million units in Western Europe, 5.9% lower than the 202.5 million units shipped in 2007.

"The fourth quarter was the worst quarter ever experienced by phone makers, and a storm of factors led to this," said Francisco Jeronimo, research manager with IDC's European Mobile Devices and Trends service. "A combination of weak end-user demand, currency volatility, and limited credit availability prevented the market from experiencing the usual seasonal increase in shipments. The traditional holiday campaigns and new product launches were not enough to boost sales in comparison with previous years and almost all vendors experienced a significant slump in sales. We expect the first half of 2009 to be very challenging as vendors and distributors grapple with clearing inventory. Should these conditions persist, the mobile phone market may not recover until the middle of 2010."

If there was one highlight in 4Q08 it was that the converged mobile devices segment (commonly referred to as smartphones) grew 25.9% over 4Q07, clearly outpacing the rest of the industry. For full year 2008, converged mobile devices saw growth of 36.1%, representing 17.4% of the total market. Despite the good performance, converged mobile device growth was still not strong enough to support the entire sector.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:56:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Venezuelan regulator Conatel has reported that the country’s fixed lines in service reached 6.303 million at the end of 2008, translating to a teledensity of 22.6%, up from 18.5% (5.195 million lines) at end-2007. The watchdog said that mobile subscriptions stood at 27.084 million at end-December, giving a cellular penetration of 97.2%, up from 86.8% (23.820 million mobile phones) a year earlier. In the internet access sector, Conatel presented figures showing that broadband subscribers increased by 55% year-on-year in 2008 to 1.330 million, whereas the remaining number of dial-up accounts – 143,000 – hardly changed over the year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:52:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 09, 2009

Trai has cut termination charges by 33%, this reduction will lead to lowered mobile tariffs for consumers. The regulator has slashed the termination charges on local calls to 20 paise a minute from existing 30 paise.

The new incumbents like  Datacom, Unitech, Shyam-Sistema and Loop Telecom among others were insisting on 0-10 paise per minute termination charge whereas the existing GSM operators were opposing any reduction in the charges, as they feared there revenue would be affected.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 09, 2009 4:20:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |