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 Thursday, June 04, 2009

The next phase of BT Ireland’s 21CN next generation network rollout will directly link Letterkenny, Derry, Belfast and Dublin, SiliconRepublic reports, and connect them with over 1,270 cities worldwide through BT’s global network. The new fibre-optic network is expected to be operational from August 2009 and will extend from Dublin to Letterkenny, connecting Belfast and Derry along the route through Points of Presence (PoPs). Initial speeds of up to 10Gbps are available, but can be scaled up where required by customers. According to BT, more than 330,000 homes and businesses in the Republic have access to super-fast broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps, following the company’s investment in unbundling 22 telephone exchanges nationwide.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:50:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dutch mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Yes Telecom has announced it plans to enter the German wireless market in the summer of 2009. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, there are over 50 mobile resellers in Germany’s wireless market, but only one, freenet, provides serious competition to the facilities-based operators, following its takeover of main MVNO rival debitel in July 2008. At the end of March 2009 freenet boasted a wireless subscriber base of 18.53 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:49:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Uruguayan state-owned telecoms operator Antel has announced its mobile unit Ancel has reached 1.5 million subscribers. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Ancel is closing the gap between itself and rival cellco America Movil-owned Claro Uruguay, which had 1.459 million wireless subscribers at 31 March 2009. Ancel launched a GSM-1800 network including GPRS in Montevideo April 2004, with an EDGE upgrade initiated in the following October. Ancel first trialled 3G services in September 2005, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei. 3.5G services were launched in July 2007 in Montevideo and a year later its 3G network was available nationwide. Ancel plans to invest USD81 million in 2009, mainly to expand its GSM and 3G coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:48:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to The Edge Daily, Malaysian cellco DiGi Telecommunications will set aside up to MYR150 million (USD42.4 million) of its total capital expenditure over the next three years for investment in its HSPA network and services in the Sabah and Penang regions. The plans were unveiled following the official launch of the operator’s 3G broadband services in the two regions. DiGi noted that at launch it had coverage of 44% and 31% of the population in the Kota Kinabalu region and the island of Penang respectively. However, the cellco currently only offers HSPA-based internet services via a datacard option, with Johan Dennelind, CEO of DiGi, noting: ‘While our broadband service is only available on PC and laptops for now, we look forward to start offering 3G voice and data services on mobile phones as soon as we have expanded our 3G coverage in our bid to capture our fair share of the broadband market in Malaysia’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, DiGi has forecast CAPEX for 2009 to exceed MYR1.1 billion and had earmarked around 30% of that for 3G infrastructure development. Mr Dennelind indicated that the expansion to Sabah and Penang comes following the high level of demand in the Klang Valley, where the operator launched UMTS services two months ago. DiGi aims to offer its mobile broadband services in more than 1,000 zones by the end of 2009, and the cellco will initially focus on deployment in urban areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:47:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BNamericas writes that Ecuador's telecoms council Conatel is aiming to install internet connections in around 4,600 schools by the end of this year, giving web access to about 2.5 million children. The project is being funded by universal service payments from telecoms operators, and fellow regulatory body Senatel reaffirmed its commitment to connect 100% of schools to the internet by the end of 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:59:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telkom Kenya has announced that its mobile arm Orange Mobile has connected a million customers in its first eight months of operation. The company has invested over KES10 billion (USD134 million) in its network infrastructure and attributes its customer growth to its ‘value driven tariffs’. Dominique Saint-Jean, Telkom Kenya’s CEO, said, ‘The success we are celebrating today is not accidental. It has been hard won, thanks to the unceasing commitment and incredible energy of our employees, the loyalty of our customers, the support from our suppliers, the confidence from our investors and the interest from the media. So I would like to say that today is not about Telkom Kenya – it is about all of you, the people who have played such a valuable role in our shared journey to our first million customers.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:57:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AllAfrica.com is reporting that the Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme - Rwanda (RCIPRWA) has received a USD24 million grant from the World Bank to improve the country’s broadband network infrastructure. The funds will be used to establish national capacity to provide broadband connectivity and access to low-cost international connectivity and will facilitate the country's connection to global networks through undersea fiber-optic cables. The minister of science, technology, scientific research and ICT, Professor Romain Murenzi, said: ‘Coupled with the government's initiative to install a national backbone fibre-optic network, this support will boost our ambitions to become a regional ICT hub. The project will bring high speed global connectivity to Rwanda, supporting the growth of business around ICT, and effective e-services to the people of Rwanda such as e-health, e-education, e-agriculture and many other e-applications.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:46:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecoms companies, ISPs and large enterprises in North America and Western Europe have access to abundant and affordable network capacity. But companies with large international bandwidth requirements still face significant challenges elsewhere.

Data from TeleGeography’s Wholesale Bandwidth Pricing Database reveal that stark price differences persist around the globe. For example, the median price of a 2Mbps E-1 circuit between London and Johannesburg in Q4 2008 was nearly USD15,000. For the same price, a bandwidth buyer could lease a 10Gbps wavelength—500 times the capacity of an E-1—between London and New York.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:44:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Finnish triple-play provider DNA Finland has announced that its 3G services are now available in more than 250 municipalities, giving it an addressable market of more than 4.2 million Finns. The telco said that it had expanded to cover areas including Kuhmalahti, Kustavi, Lapinlahti, Lemi, Nummi-Pusula, Padasjoki, Paltamo, Pukkila, Puumala, Savitaipale, Taivassalo, Utsjoki, Uurainen and Viitasaari. The latest round of expansion has seen the telco install base stations operating in the 900MHz frequency range as it looks to benefit from the lower costs associated with the technology for rural rollouts, and DNA said it expects to construct a further 1,100 such sites by the end of 2009. Additionally, the operator said it was continuing to expand its 3G network operating on 2100MHz spectrum, but has not disclosed any further details. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database DNA’s HSPA 2100MHz network had coverage of approximately 77% of the population at December 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:35:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund (USF) has announced that it has signed deals for two new projects. Firstly, it reported that it had inked a memorandum of understanding with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Wateen Telecom for the latter to install 900km of fibre-optic cable in Balochistan in a deal worth PKR374 million (USD4.6 million). The project will bring fibre connectivity to five unserved administrative divisions in the province, covering around 335,000 people.

The second announced venture will see incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) provide basic voice and data services in the unserved districts of Larkan and Shikarpur, in the Sindh province. The USF will provide PTCL with PKR228 million to carry out the work, and it is expected that up to 165,000 people stand to benefit from development.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:34:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report from Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) says that the sector was worth BHD303 million (USD804 million) in service revenues in 2008, up by 6.3% from the previous year, with mobile services accounting for 50% of all turnover. Telecoms revenues generated 3.7% of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the year, according to the watchdog’s figures. The number of fixed lines in service increased by 8% year-on-year to 220,386 by end-December, mainly due to the growth of fixed-wireless connections, while around 70% of domestic fixed line voice traffic was accounted for by fixed-to-mobile calls.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:32:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In its latest broadband market report, the French telecoms regulator Arcep says the country’s high speed internet providers collectively added 660,000 net new users in the first three months of this year to boost the total to 18.35 million by end-March, up 2.1 million (13%) year-on-year. The watchdog also reported that of the total connections in service, more than five million are now for fully unbundled accesses. Arcep’s broadband figures include xDSL, cable, fibre, fixed-wireless, satellite and Wi-Fi consumer and business subscribers in metropolitan France and overseas departments (DOM). The most popular access technology by far continues to be ADSL which accounted for 17.30 million connections at the end of the first quarter, up from 16.80 million at end-December 2008 and 15.47 million at 31 March 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:29:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to India’s Business Standard, state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) expects to sign up 300,000 3G subscribers within its first year of offering the service. The announcement came at the launch of pre-paid 3G services, something which the operator expects to increase the rate of take-up. In just under six months of offering the service MTNL has only signed up approximately 400 customers, a low number it attributes to the lack of a pre-paid option. The new pre-paid tariff, ‘Jeevan Sathi’ will cost INR300 (USD6.38) for a card with INR15 worth of standard voice calls, while 3G calls will be charged at INR1.8 per minute to other MTNL 3G users; the card has a lifetime validity. Data downloads cost INR3 per MB, and the operator has also introduced coupons for data usage ranging in value from INR99 to INR2,500.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, MTNL was the first Indian operator to launch commercial 3G services, on 5 February 2009. The service, offered under the ‘Jadoo’ banner, initially has coverage of central Delhi, including the Connaught Place, India Gate, Pragati Madan, Delhi Gate and Minto Road areas. MTNL has set aside INR5 billion for the rollout of its UMTS network.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:28:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The government of Nigeria has taken back control of the country’s former telecoms monopoly NITEL and its wireless arm M-Tel, citing a lack of investment and unpaid debts in the three years since local firm Transcorp took over the telco. Reuters reports that the National Council of Privatisation has ruled that Transcorp breached its contract, having failed to meet its obligations to invest NGN8.9 billion (USD60.9 million) within 100 days of the takeover, and had an unpaid debt of NGN17 billion. The government will take control of NITEL until a new core investor is found.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the federal government sold it’s 51% stake in NITEL to Transcorp for USD750 million in November 2006, retaining a 49% interest. Since then the telco’s initial 500,000 fixed lines in service have dropped to about 45,000, its workforce has declined from 12,000 to just 2,000 and the company is USD500 million in debt. In February 2009 Transcorp agreed to divest part of its shareholding in the telco and in late March the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) announced it was offering a 51% stake in the fixed line operator and 100% of its mobile unit. Last week Nigeria’s anti-corruption police charged the head of Transcorp and two other employees with fraud for embezzling around USD110 million belonging to NITEL.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:30:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wireless broadband technology provider Alvarion has been chosen to deploy the first mobile WiMAX network in Papua New Guinea for government-run telco Telikom PNG, which plans to provide nationwide coverage using the vendor’s end-to-end mobile WiMAX 4Motion solution in the 2.3GHz frequency band. Alvarion’s local partner for this project is Telrad Networks. Telikom PNG’s first wireless broadband network in the capital city of Port Moresby has been launched in the last few weeks and is expected to provide connectivity to approximately 1,500 users. The second network to be deployed in the city of Lae is planned to go live in the second quarter of 2009. Further expansion is expected at the end of 2009, extending the network to all regional cities as part of a master plan to achieve nationwide coverage for 55,000 end-users. According to Alvarion’s press release Papua New Guinea has a population of almost six million and an internet penetration rate below 2%, and Telikom PNG has seized on WiMAX as a method of cost-effectively expanding data and voice services over a wide area.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:29:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel intends to hold a licensing tender for voice telephony and broadband internet services in rural parts of the country, Agencia Estado reports citing the communications minister Helio Costa. The tender could take place later this year and will favour telcos that pledge to deliver broadband internet services for rural areas by offering them lower licence fees, the minister said. Costa said the government has set itself a target of providing 100% telephony coverage in rural areas by 2014, adding that it would use the 450MHz frequency for phone services in such areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:27:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Maroc Telecom and the Moroccan government have signed a MAD10.5 billion (USD1.3 billion) investment agreement under which the former monopoly telco will expand and upgrade its infrastructure, focusing on three key areas. Firstly, domestic network traffic capacity will be increased through the rollout of next generation network (NGN) technology, which will also facilitate the development of convergent triple- and quad-play fixed line/broadband internet/IPTV/mobile services. The second objective is to raise international transmission capacity via the Atlas Offshore submarine cable linking the country with Europe, alongside the construction of a new terrestrial fibre-optic cable between Laayoune in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara and Nouakchott, the capital of neighbouring Mauritania, which will also improve connectivity in the Western Saharan areas of Boujdour, Dakhla and Aousserd. The third tranche of investment funds will be channelled into enhancing mobile and fixed-wireless network coverage in rural and remote areas of Morocco as part of an ongoing scheme known as PACT (Programme of general Access to Telecommunications). An additional 7,300 rural locations are scheduled to receive network services by 2011. The latest investment package is the third in a series of public/private agreements; Maroc Telecom invested over MAD20 billion in the six-year period 2003-08 under the previous two agreements.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:26:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it has signed up over 10,000 customers to its IPTV service, Mozaic TV+, after extending coverage of the service to around 80% of the population. Quoted in a report from Gulf Times, a Qtel spokesperson said that Mozaic TV+ was now accessible up to 3km from either a Qtel ADSL exchange or a remote line unit (RLU). Around 170 RLUs have been rolled out to date, and the telco is adding 20 RLUs per year, whilst working to improve service quality, with the aim of giving the whole of Qatar access to IPTV in the next few years, continued the spokesperson. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Mozaic TV+ was launched in May 2007, providing broadcast and on-demand IPTV, DSL/Wi-Fi broadband internet access and fixed voice telephony over the same copper line.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:25:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

East African submarine fibre-optic cable system SEACOM has announced that it is entering the final stages of construction. According to the SEACOM website, the 15,000km, 1.28Tbps cable system is due to launch operations in early July this year. SEACOM CEO Brian Herlihy said, ‘SEACOM is in its final stretch! With the rapid progress of construction, we will soon be providing cheaper and faster bandwidth to our customers. The site acceptance testing was recently completed in Mombasa, and the terminal installation has also been completed in South Africa.’ MyBroadband.co.za has reported that construction of the physical cable system is completed and testing is due to commence in early June. Angus Hay, chief technology officer of Neotel - SEACOM’s South African ‘anchor tenant’, confirmed that the company is preparing end-to-end testing on the cable system. Hay said that this testing will involve the full system which runs from the Neotel point-of-presence in Midrand, S.A along the East African coast to India and Europe.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:24:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

North Korea has permitted a limited internet service for mobile phone users, reports AP News, citing a government website. The service allows access to the country's official news website, the Korean Central News Agency, as well as other news sites for the capital Pyongyang. The Korean Central News Agency website allows users to listen to North Korean music and read information about books, art and investment opportunities in the country, although it is unclear whether these services will be available when accessed via a mobile handset.

Mobile phones are tightly controlled in North Korea and were banned until November 2002. Two months later incumbent fixed line telco Northeast Asia Telephone and Telecommunications (NEAT&T) launched GSM-900 services under the banner SUN NET. However, cellular devices were once again banned following an explosion on a train in June 2004, which was thought to have been triggered remotely by a wireless handset. In January 2008 Egypt-based telecoms operator Orascom Telecom announced to the surprise of most that CHEO Technology, a joint venture between itself (75%) and Korea Post and Telecoms Corp (25%), had been awarded a licence to operate 3G wireless services by the government. Under the terms of its licence, CHEO is permitted to provide mobile telephony services for 25 years, the first four of which on an exclusive basis. The company launched the country's first 3G network in the capital in December 2008 under the name Koryolink. By April 2009 CHEO had reportedly signed up 20,000 subscribers and its 3G network had been expanded to include the main road running up to the northern city of Hyangsan, with national coverage expected by 2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:22:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British broadsheet The Guardian is reporting that fixed line incumbent BT and cellco Hutchison 3G UK (3) have launched a joint venture to press for a reduction in mobile termination rates (MTRs). The campaign, which is being marketed under the ‘Terminate the Rate’ banner, has already won the backing of the National Union of Students, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and trade union GMB. The two operators claim that MTRs account for approximately GBP0.047 (USD0.074) of every call to a mobile voice line, and are calling for the rates to be reduced so that this drops to around GBP0.01 per call.

The inauguration of the campaign comes as regulator Ofcom begins a public consultation on charges between operators. Having set in place a programme in 2007 to reduce MTRs by around 25% by 2011, the latest review will examine the rates applicable between 2011 and 2015. Ofcom has set out six regulatory options, ranging from retaining the current system to more ‘radical alternatives’, including the complete removal of termination regulation from mobile operators. The regulator claims lower rates could allow operators to launch new, more competitive packages, and Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, noted: 'The mobile market has developed significantly with consumers increasingly using innovative services like mobile broadband. Our review will reflect these changes to ensure that future termination rates are in the best interests of consumers.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:20:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of mobile internet access subscriptions in Hungary climbed to 566,000 by 30 April 2009, up from 542,000 a month earlier, according to figures published by the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NHH). Of these, the total number classed as actively sending or receiving data rose from 458,000 to 476,000 in the same period, although the total volume of data sent dipped to 743,000GB from 840,000GB in March.

The watchdog calculates that based on levels of data transmitted, T-Mobile Hungary is the market leader in the mobile internet sector with 49.43%, ahead of Vodafone with 27.11% and Pannon with 23.46%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:18:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of mobile phones registered in Brazil reached 154.6 million at the end of last month, up 0.6% on the previous month’s figure, according to preliminary data published by the national regulator Anatel. The rise was attributed to operators increasing their focus on selling pre-paid SIMs, although Anatel noted that the total net additions of 923,000 in April fell short of the 1.3 million new users reported in March this year.

As at 30 April 2009 Vivo Participacoes, an equal joint venture of Telefonica and Portugal Telecom, continued to hold the number one position in the domestic mobile market with a 29.5% share all subscriptions. It is followed by America Movil’s Telecom Americas (Claro) unit, which claimed 25.8% at the same date, ahead of TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) in third with 23.6%. The fourth spot was claimed by Telemar Norte Leste’s Oi with 20.7%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:17:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following a feasibility study, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has concluded that mobile number portability (MNP) is not necessary until the wireless subscriber tally is higher. ‘At this stage, number portability is not something we see as a remedy in this market,’ Patrick Masambu, executive director of the UCC, said. ‘We carried out a study into this and we have the conclusion that there is a certain subscriber sum we need before we introduce number portability because of the costs involved.’ Masambu said that MNP will only make sense when there are ten million mobile subscribers in the country. At the time the UCC conducted the study Uganda had three million users, a figure which had jumped to 8.7 million by the end of 2008.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:15:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vietnamese state-owned mobile operator Vinaphone is set to launch its 3G network on 15 August of this year, writes VNBusinessNews. The cellco’s network will initially cover the country’s largest cities, accounting for about 20% of Vietnam’s population. At launch, Vinaphone will provide services such as video calling, mobile broadband internet, mobile TV and Video-on-Demand; e-payment and quick search services will follow in the future. The company was awarded its licence to operate 3G services by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) in April 2009, along with military-run Viettel Telecom, MobiFone and a consortium between EVN Telecom and Hanoi Telecom, which will build and develop a 3G network together. The quartet were given three months to develop 3G wireless services under the 15-year licences.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:14:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fijian MVNO Inkk Mobile is in talks with Vodafone Fiji to offer third-generation (3G) services to end users. Although the service is currently only available to Vodafone’s post-paid users, Inkk hopes to offer the service to its pre-pay users as it looks to make itself ‘the Fijians’ choice’, says Inkk chief executive Paul O'Neile. The Inkk CEO is confident that ‘It will happen in the future,’ noting that the first phase of the company’s business rollout – to build up a solid customer base – has been completed; Inkk claims to have signed up around 250,000 subscribers. ‘The second phase is to provide data services. There has been a lot of misconception about Inkk being Vodafone … We are a separate entity but Inkk is using Vodafone's network … it is much cheaper because we don't have to invest into all the infrastructure,’ he said.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:12:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Spanish telecom regulator, the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), has released a report in which it predicts that between 43% and 46% of households will connect to the internet using a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connection by 2023. The feasibility study by the regulator also forecasts that by that date, up to three alternative operators could compete with incumbent Telefonica in high demand cities, including Barcelona and Madrid; the CMT highlighted the aforementioned cities as the most attractive for FTTH developments. Alternative access in smaller cities is likely to be more limited, however, with the regulator estimating that Telefonica may only face a single competitor for FTTH business in towns and cities with between 1,000 and one million residents. The CMT also highlighted the expected timelines for investment recovery on FTTH rollouts, claiming that in cities with a population larger than 50,000 alternative operators may recoup their investment in a period of between nine to twelve years. For towns and cities with a population between 5,000 and 50,000 this would increase to 13 to 14 years; the regulator does not expect a significant alternative operator presence in regions with less than 5,000 people.

The study was based on the assumption that all alternative operators will deploy FTTH networks by renting the pipeline infrastructure of Telefonica; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in January this year the CMT announced that it would maintain existing obligations for Telefonica to provide access to infrastructure at prices based on its own production costs for its in-deployment FTTH infrastructure.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:10:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungarian internet service provider (ISP) EnterNet has launched an IPTV service, Broadband TV News reports. The new offering is initially available in three different flavours – Start, Home and Premium – comprising 24, 49 and 64 channels respectively. Subscribers can also take advantage of a range of additional packages, some of which include HD channels. EnterNet was set up at the turn of the millennium and is reported to have around 50,000 subscribers to its existing services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:09:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom New Zealand has launched its new W-CDMA-based ‘XT’ network to over 97% of households nationwide. The network provides 3.5G mobile broadband services over HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA+ technology supplied and deployed by Alcatel-Lucent. Telecom CEO, Paul Reynolds, said, ‘New Zealanders are demanding fast, ubiquitous and future-ready mobile technology at their fingertips. Alcatel-Lucent has played a central role in helping Telecom to deliver this vision. Their ability to integrate across all our platforms made them the logical choice to construct our W-CDMA network.’

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:07:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zimbabwe's smallest mobile network operator, Telecel says that it is planning for a significant expansion of its network coverage. The company says that it has already boosted capacity thanks to upgrading existing base station towers. Telecel Zimbabwe is owned by Egypt's Orascom Telecom.

Click here to see full article

The country currently has three mobile network operators. According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, Telecel is estimated to have ended last year with around 232,000 subscribers - representing a market share of around 15%.

South Africa's MTN Group was recently rumoured to be interested in taking a 60% stake in Telecel.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:03:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India has passed the 400 million mark for mobile phone subscribers, although growth slowed from the record breaking figures earlier this month. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) stated that a total 11.75 million telephone connections (Wireline and Wireless) were added during April 2009 as compared to 15.87 million connections added in March 2009. The total number of telephone connections reaches 441.47 million at the end of April 2009 as compared to 429.72 million in March 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 8:57:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The mobile payment industry will experience steady growth, as the number of mobile payment users worldwide will total 73.4 million in 2009, up 70.4 percent from 2008 when there were 43.1 million users, reports Gartner. The research firm predicts that the number of mobile payment users will reach more than 190 million in 2012, representing more than 3 percent of total mobile users worldwide and attaining a level at which it will be considered "mainstream."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 7:30:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The UAE's two mobile networks, Du and Etisalat are reported to be in talks that could lead to network infrastructure sharing in an effort to cut operating costs.

“Talks are continuing between Du and Etisalat on sharing infrastructure,” Du's CEO, Osman Sultan in a Bloomberg interview. “The current economic situation is pushing” the companies to share infrastructure, he added.

Du has earmarked a CAPEX of US$545 million this year to expand its mobile network.

Earlier this year, Du signed a marketing partnership with Vodafone. The company is 39.5% owned by the UAE Federal Government, 19.75% by Mubadala Development, 19.5% by Emirates Communications & Technology and the remaining stake by public shareholders.

According to figures from the Mobile World subscriber tracker, du ended Q1 '09 with 2.75 million customers, of which just over a million are using its 3G network.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 7:29:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AIS is the market leader in Thailand, where penetration looks to have finished Q1 09 at around 95%. The rise in penetration has been accompanied by a decline in growth, with annual growth rates falling in each quarter since Q2 07. Although the full Q1 09 set of results for Thailand is not yet complete, it seems almost certain to be the slowest quarter since Q3 05, when there were net additions of just 0.41m. Both True Move and DTAC saw their lowest gains since that same quarter, with uplifts of 0.25m and 0.26m respectively. AIS only just managed to top these figures with a gain of 0.27m, its lowest result since Q1 06 and the second lowest this century.

Although this is a disappointing result for AIS, the fact that growth has slowed so dramatically for all the major operators in Thailand means that it is unlikely to lose its lead in the foreseeable future, barring any extraordinary developments: at the end of Q1 09, it was 8.6m customers ahead of DTAC with a total of 27.58m. Annual growth stood at 9.9%, down from 19.0% for the prior twelve month period. In real terms, annual net additions fell from just below 4m to 2.49m.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 7:27:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hungarian mobile operators Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone have in total lost nearly 120,930 subscribers in April, taking the total subscriber base to 11.99 million, NHH reported. Pannon’s market share rose from 34.70% in March to 34.86% in April, while Vodafone’s market share also grew from 21.15% to 21.17%. Whereas T-Mobile’s market share plunged to 43.97% from 44.15% in March. The active subscriber base dropped to 10.69 million, from 10.80 million in March. Mobile penetration fell from 120.8% in March to 119.6% at end-April.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:26:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Unitel, the Angolian mobile operator, intends to expand its mobile service to 150 districts in 2009, taking the total coverage to 90%. The company said it intends also to improve the quality and to increase the capacity of the existing network.

Deputy General Director, Amilcar Safeca reportedly said that the Unitel plans to expand also its internet services, already available in the provinces of Luanda, Huambo and Huila, in order to reach more provincial capitals.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:24:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s mobile subscriber base has reached 91.979 million at the end of April, up from 91.442 million in March, reports Pakisitan Telecommunications Authority. Mobilink emerged as the market leader with a subscriber base of 28.282 million rising from 28.240 million a month earlier. Telenor took the second position as its subscriber base passes 20 million mark, up from 19.985 million. Ufone’s subscriber base which stood at 19.612 million in March rose to 19.713 million. Whereas Warid posted 17.511 million subscribers versus 17.376 million in March. Zong, the China Mobile subsidiary, ended April with 6.129 million subscribers, up from 5.980 million in March. Mobile penetration in the country stood at 57.10% of the population in April, versus 55.90% at 2008 start.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:24:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Digitel, the Venezuela’s mobile operator has halted its network investment programme due to current global economic and financial conditions. According to the analysts the operator’s development programme mainly focusses on expansion of Digitel’s existing limited 3G coverage and services, which will now ‘possibly’ go ahead in 2010.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:22:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Switzerland is offering a call credit information service to its subscribers of prepaid tariff OrangeClick. The subscribers can send a SMS to a short code and receive a display message which alerts them about the current status of their call credit.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:20:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil has added nearly 923,504 new mobile phones in April, taking the total active mobile lines to 154.5 million, up by 0.6 percent versus the year-earlier period. Of the total active lines, 126.1 million (81.60%) were prepaid and 28.43 million were postpaid. According to Anatel, market regulator, the mobile penetration in the country reached 80.98% at April end, up from 80.56% in March’09 and 66.84% in April’08.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:18:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary posted a total mobile internet subscriber base of 566,000 at April’09-end, up from 542,000 a month earlier, reports the National Communications Authority (NHH). The total number of actively sending or receiving data rose from 458,000 to 476,000 in the same period, although the total volume of data sent dropped to 743,000GB from 840,000GB in March.

According to the watchdog, T-Mobile Hungary claimed to be the market leader for mobile internet with a total market share of 49.43%, ahead of Vodafone with 27.11% and Pannon with 23.46%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:16:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Viettel has introduced a prepaid mobile package dubbed as Tourist SIM. The subscribers would receive free information on services, tourist sites, hotels, taxis, foreign exchange rates and weather forecasts, according to Viettel. The packages are available in US$5 and $10 and international calls are charged at VND3,240 ($0.18) per minute and an international messaging at VND2,160 ($0.12) per message.

Viettel Deputy Director Nguyen Viet Dung said that Viet Nam welcomed around 4 million foreign visitors each year and telecommunications were a basic service to be offered during their stay in the country. Tourist SIM would be sold at airports, tourist sites, hotels and resorts, he said.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:12:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Guy Collender looks at how mobile technology is benefiting some of the world's poorest

At first glance it is a peculiar and nonsensical idea: owning a mobile phone number, but not a mobile phone. Yet this novel concept could transform mobile phone services in the developing world by greatly reducing the cost of joining the mobile generation.

This new idea would enable people who are unable to afford a handset to enjoy the benefits associated with a mobile phone number, such as receiving messages and remittances.

It is based on using a mobile phone number via a shared mobile phone, just like web-based email accounts can be accessed from any computer. This approach, according to estimates, could add 1 billion people earning less than $2 a day to the mobile networks. There are now more than 4 billion mobile phone connections worldwide.

Click here to see full article

Source: The Guardian.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:10:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 22, 2009

Ancel, the Uruguayan mobile arm of Antel, has posted a subscriber base of 1.5 million. Ancel is reportedly diminishing the gap between itself and rival Claro Uruguay, which had 1.459 million wireless subscribers at 31 March 2009.

Ancel had launched its GSM network offering in Montevideo in April’04 and upgraded EDGE network initiated in October’04. Ancel had first trialled its 3G services in September’05 and had a nationwide coverage by 2008. The operator had launched its 3.5G services first in 2007.

The Uruguayan operator intends to invest USD81 million in 2009 for its GSM and 3G coverage expansion.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:41:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peru will reach over 22.9 million mobile subscribers mark in June, with a mobile penetration of 79.3 lines per 100 inhabitants. Peru beat the forecast, which said a mobile penetration of 80% in 2011. Presently, the mobile penetration stands at 75.8%, up from 24.6% in 2006. Over the last three years, the number of mobile users has jumped by 223.6% to 21.84 million at end-March. The statistics shows that Peru has 747,235 internet subscribers and it is anticipated that figure will increase to 772,000 by June 2009.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:40:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bouygues Telecom, French Mobile Opertaor will roll-out its first quad-play subscription service, dubbed as Ideo’, on 25 May. The service entails, up to 20 Mbps internet access, a basic package of over 90 TV channels, unlimited calls to fixed numbers in France and over 100 international destinations, and a mobile plan with between 2 and 6 hours of calls per month. If the subscriber oays extra EUR 10 per month, they can make 3 hours of calls from their landline to mobile phones on any network.  Ideo’s charges will start at EUR 44.90 per month on a two-year contract, that includes unlimited SMS/MMS, internet access, e-mail and 3G+ TV. For EUR 55.90 per month, subscribers will be able to make unlimited calls after 20:00, EUR 65.90 will give them unlimited calls after 19:00 weekdays and all day on weekends, and EUR 75.90 will offer unlimited calls after 18:00 weekdays and all day on weekends. Subscribers to 3 hour, 4 hour and 6 hour call plans add EUR 6 per month for each additional hour. The subscribers who sign one-year contracts pay an additional EUR 7 monthly.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:38:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel, the Indian mobile operator, has crossed the 100Mn subscribers mark in the country. Bharti has become the world’s third largest in-country operator. The operator had 96.64 million subscribers on 31 March of this year, which means that every fourth mobile user of India is Bharti Airtel subscriber. The operator holds a 25% mobile subscriber share and 30% market share in terms of revenue.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:34:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Portugal has ended March with a subscriber base of 5.63 million up from 5.20 million in March'08 and 5.58 million in December'08. The Portuguese mobile operator has added nearly 55,000 new subscribers at the end of Q1'09. 78.7% of the total base was the prepaid segment, generating ARPU of EUR 18.2, down from EUR 21.2 in March 2008 and EUR 18.8 at 31 December 2008.

The postpaid ARPU dropped to EUR 43.3 from EUR 50.9 in the Q1'08. Mobile voice usage reached 2.143 billion minutes in Q1'09, from 2.075 billion minutes in Q3'08.  Vodafone Portugal reported full-year revenues of GBP 1.210 billion, up from GBP 1.040 billion in 2008, while its EBITDA increased to GBP 443 million from GBP 373 million.Adjusted operating profit grew to GBP 283 million from GBP 239 million.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:31:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili remarks, Nigerians will soon enjoy reduced GSM tariff. Akunyili said this was necessary considering the fact all the operators have recouped their investments from the patronage of Nigerians.

Akunyili said the present economic recession is hitting Nigerians hard and assured that by the time discussions are finalized between the GSM operators and her office, Nigerians will heave a sigh of relief and will be able to use the
operation more effectively and confidently.

She declared that there is none among the GSM operators that can deny it has not made double what it invested in the industry in the last six years.

She said that what is remaining is how to go about the whole thing so that it will be beneficial to all just as she also said that issues of drop calls and other network problems will soon be a thing of the past as the operators have assured to improve their services.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:20:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vimpelcom, the Russian and CIS mobile operator, has commercially launched its mobile services in Cambodia under the brand Beeline. The GSM network in Cambodia was launched by its local subsidiary Sotelco. Beeline services will initially be available across the country’s 11 largest provinces, covering around 37% of the total population. By 2009-end, the operator plans network expansion to 2/3rd of nation’s population.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:17:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |