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 Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vodafone Ghana said yesterday it is pushing for the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country.

The company’s head of corporate communications, Albert Don-Chebe, said: ‘The claims and counter claims by network operators on which one has the best network quality will all be put to rest when MNP is implemented to give the subscriber the power to decide which network is best.’ The Minister of Communications Haruna Iddrisu had earlier confirmed his commitment to MNP during his vetting in parliament, saying: ‘With as many as six mobile operators in Ghana it has become necessary for MNP to be implemented to give customers the choice and flexibility to be on any network they want and I can assure you that I am committed to its implementation.’ However, he noted at the time that the introduction of MNP was dependent on the setting up of the appropriate regulatory and technical environment ready to use it. The national telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority, said about a year ago that it was standardising the national numbering system before the implementation of MNP, possibly in 2011.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:57:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 15, 2009

Miami firm plans to lay first US-Cuba fiber line, possibly reducing cost of calls, Internet

A small Miami-based company said the U.S. government has given it permission to lay the first optical communications fiber from the U.S. to Cuba. That could drastically cut the cost of calling the island nation and make the Internet more accessible to Cubans.

Treasury Department officials were unavailable to confirm that TeleCuba Communications Inc. has received approval, which is necessary even though the Obama administration eased long-standing restrictions on telecom links to Cuba in April.

TeleCuba said Tuesday that its cable will be operating by the middle of 2011. It still needs final permission from the Cuban government to land the cable.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:13:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A major challenge for the European economy over the next five years will be to achieve the right political and regulatory environment to foster investments in new high-speed telecommunications networks, Telefónica Chairman César Alierta said today.

Click here to see full article

The deliberalisation process has been a great European success story and resulted in the creation of today's competitive communication markets in Europe, in which consumer prices have been constantly decreasing in the last decade.

But Alierta warned that while Europe is global leader in telecoms - particularly mobile communications where the region has the highest penetration and coverage of any major market - it significantly trails the USA in the development of Internet applications and Software and Asia in terms of hardware and computer manufacturing.

Source: Cellular News
Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:05:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indian newspaper The Economic Times claims that the country is unlikely to keep to its planned schedule for the licensing of 3G spectrum.

Regulator the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was expected to release an Information Memorandum (IM) containing details for the auction on 29 September but has failed to do so. As a result, the 8 October deadline for the submission of questions has been postponed, making it seem likely that the December deadline for completion of the process may also be pushed back. Officials from the watchdog say that the primary reason behind the delay in releasing the IM is that they are yet to map out the availability of 3G airwaves across most circles.

Source: Telegeography

 

3G
Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:59:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 28, 2009
The number of fixed broadband connections in Chile grew by 10.4 percent in the first half of 2009, compared to the year-earlier period.
 
Chile had 1.6 million broadband lines at end June, up from 1.46 million in December 2008, according to the Cisco Broadband Barometer. The growth was mainly due to new internet service offerings targeting the lower socio-economic segment, as well as new prepaid service packages and low cost offers. Broadband penetration in Chile is the highest among Latin American countries, at 9.7 percent. The residential market continues to lead, with 85 percent of the overall fixed broadband connections in Chile concentrated in this segment, while the remaining 15 percent are corporate customer lines. Around 31 percent of Chilean households have broadband connections. Nearly 70 percent of the total broadband internet subscribers use speeds of over 512 Kbps or higher.
 
The number of residential mobile broadband subscribers grew by 70 percent over this year's first half, to 395,000 mobile internet users at the end of June. Around 74 percent of the mobile broadband internet connections belong to individual users.
 
Source: Telecompaper
Monday, September 28, 2009 8:17:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Uganda's politicians have voted down a proposal to scrap a sales tax on mobile phones following concerns from the government that it needs the revenues the taxes generate.

"I request Parliament to reject the proposal to scrap taxes on mobile phone because it will affect our revenue," Finance Minister, Ms Syda Bbumba said.The opposition politicians who proposed scrapping the taxes had argeued that expanding mobile phone usage into rural areas would be affected by the tax.

Mr Oduman MP said, "The issue of losing revenue doesn't arise because the government will be charging more taxes on airtime used by mobile phone users, hence widening the tax base."

Phone dealers have long argued for the tax to be scrapped, citing increased levels of grey imports and smuggling from the neighbouring countries. The concerns were heightened with neighbouring Kenya lowered its taxes on mobile phone handsets earlier this year.

The GSM Association has long called for a lowering of taxes on mobile phone handsets and airtime, arguing that the lower costs boosts the user base and hence leads to a net increase in revenue for governments.

A recent report from the GSMA said that mobile subscribers across East Africa are taxed at some of the highest levels world-wide. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania impose mobile-specific taxes which when added to VAT can result in their respective consumers facing taxes as high as 30% in Uganda and Tanzania, and 27% in Kenya, considerably the highest rates in Africa (and the among the highest across the world as a whole).

Source: Cellular News

Monday, September 28, 2009 8:12:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Zimbabwe Chronicle reports that eight companies have been granted licences to operate international voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony services.

Gideon Magodo of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) told the newspaper that the regulator had received applications from eleven organisations seeking Internet Access Provider Class A licences (allowing data, internet and VoIP services), including six new applications and five wishing to upgrade from Class B (data and internet only) to Class A concessions. Magodo said POTRAZ had granted new licences to Aquiva, Dandemutande and Taurai Zimbabwe while it had agreed to upgrade licences held by state-run incumbent telco TelOne (which owns ISP ComOne), data network operator Africom, ISP Ecoweb (owned by cellco Econet Wireless), Powertel, the telecoms wing of the state electricity utility, and ISP Telecontract. Regulations dictate that licensees must be at least 51% Zimbabwean-owned.

The watchdog announced earlier this week that it would now place a moratorium on issuing VoIP licences because the sector was ‘saturated.’ Until the recent licensing, companies were restricted to providing domestic IP-based services whilst international VoIP calls were not permitted, although it was previously reported that Africom was allowed to offer the service for corporate customers. Furthermore, it was reported that POTRAZ had approved an international calling card service from Econet which used an IP platform.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, September 28, 2009 8:04:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

 

At present, MVNOs are predominantly a feature of well-developed telecom markets – most notably in Western Europe, North America and a small number of other countries.

While MVNOs have succeeded in growing their share of these mature markets, the growth trend is obscured when looking at the global picture. Worldwide the statistics show that the growth in MVNO subscribers has not kept pace with the overall growth in wireless subscribers. But this is misleading. Globally, growth in wireless subscribers has been driven predominantly by explosive growth in a small number of developing countries, such as China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan. These are countries in which MVNOs are either prohibited or at a nascent stage of development.

Click here to see full article
In 2003, Western Europe and North America accounted for well over 90% of all MVNO subscribers and, despite some growth elsewhere, these two regions still account for over 80% of the total. TeleGeography’s latest research predicts that MVNO growth will gain momentum all around the world over the coming five years. 'As markets approach maturity and as regulatory regimes look to increase competition and to better serve diverse populations, MVNOs will be allowed to launch services in many new countries,' said TeleGeography senior research analyst David Leach. While they will continue to account for only a small percentage of wireless subscribers, TeleGeography forecasts this will be a growing market niche. 'Future MVNOs can learn from the successes and failures of the past five years, and as they do, we predict that the global MVNO subscriber base will more than double in size over the next four years,' added Leach.

Source: Telegeography

MVNO | World
Monday, September 28, 2009 7:59:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 21, 2009

Mauritius Telecom (MT), which has already connected to the South Africa Far East fibre-optic cable system to increase its international connectivity, has revealed its intention to lay a second cable, the company’s chief executive officer Sarat Lallah said last Friday.

The investment for the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) fibre-optic cable is being supported by a consortium made up of Orange Madagascar, MT and France Telecom, Lallah said. For its part, the Mauritian fixed line incumbent has invested around EUR7 million in phase one of the project which is expected to cost a total of EUR37 million. The CEO went on to say the second phase of the LION project will connect the cable with the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa where it will then be connected to the South Africa-East Africa-South Asia-Fibre Optic Cable (SEACOM), a 17,000km cable which reaches up to Marseilles in France. LION will also be connected to the 4,500km fibre-optic cable TEAMS (The East African Marine System), a Kenyan government partnership with the Emirates Telecommunication Establishment which links Mombasa to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. In the future LION is envisaged to be connected to the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), a 10,000km link which, once completed, will connect some 13 African countries, Lallah said.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, September 21, 2009 8:23:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Austrian minister for infrastructure Doris Bures has unveiled new initiatives to expand broadband networks and broadband applications in Austria.
 
The initiatives aim to support the deployment of superfast broadband in Austria, partnering with all stakeholders, the telecom industry and the Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR. The Austrian government wants to have nationwide coverage of broadband at up to 25 Mbps by the end of 2013. With the new telecom law, a judicial framework for the broadband expansion has been set and the minister has ordered a feasibility study for fibre-optic cadastre, results of which will be published in 2010. Bures also unveiled a support package of up to EUR 40 million for broadband deployment in rural regions and development of new services and applications. Earlier this year, Telekom Austria announced that will it invest up to EUR 1 billion in deploying fibre, replacing the old ADSL technology. The first pilot projects will start before the end of this year.
 
Source: Telecompaper
Monday, September 21, 2009 8:17:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The number of internet users is Algeria is estimated at 4.5 million, or around 12.8 percent of the population, according to a recent survey.
Three-quarters of internet users said the net is an indispensable tool, and 90 percent said they are online daily for at least the past year. The average time spent online is two hours. Men (74.2%) use the internet more often than women (25.8%), while six out of ten internet users are below the age of 40. Two-thirds of internet users have a university-level education of at least BAC+1, while almost 70 percent are employed and 19 percent are students. Just over half are located in the centre of the country, with 29 percent in Algiers. Among the popular online activities, 82.6 percent use e-mail, 42.5 percent use instant messaging services, 33.8 percent visit discussion forums, 33 percent use internet telephony and 9.9 percent use video conferencing.
Click here to see full article
The survey WebDialn@ was conducted on popular websites and in a mailing to 7,000 people, and collected almost 6,000 responses. The survey was conducted by web consulting group Med& Com and online polling group Ideatic.
 
Source: Telecompaper
Monday, September 21, 2009 8:09:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 17, 2009

This is a novel concept, instead of billing for a text message of 160 characters like most mobile operators, Indian mobile operator Tata Docomo has just launched a short messaging service, called Diet-SMS, which enables customers to pay on a per-character basis.

“The cost of any Diet-SMS will be only one paise per character used (100 paise= 1 rupee), thereby providing complete value to customers. ”Deepak Gulati, President Tata Docomo said in a statement – “We broke the per-minute pricing paradigm for voice calls when we launched our services. With Diet-SMS, we are doing it again, this time on the SMS front.”Tata Docomo is a frontrunner in the pay-per-use business model in the Indian mobile telephony segment. It will not charge for space between words!

Tata Docomo has launched services in eight telecom circles and a countrywide rollout is expected to be completed this year.

“In all of the eight circles where we have launched our GSM services, we made the promise of introducing path-breaking innovative products and services, and never-before tariff options. Diet-SMS is another way of fulfilling that promise,” said Tata Docomo president Deepak Gulati.

Source: Wireless Federation

SMS | Tariffs
Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:50:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Russian mobile operator Vimpelcom has acquired a 78 percent stake in Millicom's mobile operator in Laos.
 
The remaining 22 percent of Millicom Lao is owned by the government of the Laos government. The acquisition price is estimated to reach USD 66 million, based on the enterprise value of Millicom Lao of USD 102 million. The acquisition is scheduled for completion by end-2009. With a population of 6.5 million inhabitants, mobile penetration in Laos currently stands at 23 percent. According to Boris Nemsic, VimpelCom CEO, the operator's entry into Laos is the next logical step in the company's international expansion strategy. Laos provides a complement to VimpelCom's existing operations in Vietnam and Cambodia and fits into the company's strategy of building a solid Southeast Asian cluster, Nemsic said. The VimpelCom Group currently operates in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, as well as Vietnam and Cambodia.
 
Source: Telecompaper
Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:44:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The potential market for broadband connections of at least 50Mbps is 900,000 households in the Netherlands, according to a report from Telecompaper.

The consumer survey, conducted in August, shows that 900,000 households would like to have at least 50Mbps download within four years. The report 'Dutch Consumer Connected Q3 2009' was released to coincide with the FTTH Netherlands conference sponsored by Telecompaper. The survey found DSL is currently the most used technology with 49 percent of the market, followed by cable with 40 percent, fibre-optics with 4 percent and other technologies at 6 percent. Around 5 percent of respondents said they still use a dial-up connection. Asked about the most important element of a broadband connection, 55 percent said price, while 37 percent appreciate the possibility of a dual-play plan of internet and telephony. Over a quarter (26%) said that a download speed of at least 50Mbps is also important, while 8 percent want a minimum upload of 8Mbps.

Click here to see full article

Source: Telecompaper

Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:35:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Qatar has revealed that since launching services in July it has signed up 100,000 customers, 50% of which have taken post-paid plans. The company’s GSM network covers 99% of the population and provides competition to Qatar Telecom (Qtel).

Vodafone says it is confident of achieving a 40%-60% market share within ten years. At the end of June 2009 Qtel boasted 1.9 million subscribers.

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:28:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British fixed line incumbent BT has confirmed that the first official commercial rollout of its fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband services will take place in January 2010, ISPreview reports. The telco says it expects to extend the service to approximately 1.5 million homes and businesses by the middle of next year, rising to ten million or more by 2012, and expects to invest around GBP1.5 billion (USD2.47 billion) on the deployment. No final pricing details have been revealed for the service, which will offer download speeds of up to 40Mbps, with uploads speeds expected to be between 10Mbps and 15Mbps.

BT has previously released two separate lists detailing a total of 98 exchanges where the service will initially be rolled out, including Welsh capital Cardiff and two exchanges in the Scottish capital Edinburgh.

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:23:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Kenyan government is not minded to lower taxes on mobile phone airtime, despite increasing calls from the mobile network operators for action. The country currently levies a 26 percent duty on airtime top-ups.

"The duty paid is important to treasury; if the government scraps the duty, the books will not balance," Uhuru Kenyatta, the minister in charge of finance told IDG News Service.

Instead of addressing the prospect of lowering the tax, Kenyatta chose to dwell on the advantages that submarine fiber-optic cables will provide for the mobile phone services sector.

"We expect arrival of the TEAMS, SEACOM and EASSY submarine cables to reduce cost of communication and solve the problem of insufficient bandwidth," the minister said.

A report commissioned by the GSM Association in Oct 2007 noted that it airtime taxes were lowered or removed, government tax receipts would actually increase as more people will connect and use mobile services, boosting Value Added Tax receipts and stimulating wider economic activity.

Mobile specific taxes are levied in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:39:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat introduced new mobile broadband packages offering more than double the bandwidth at significantly reduced costs.

The subscribers can now avail 10 MB instead of 2MB, 100 MB instead of 50, and 1GB mobile internet packages instead of 120 MB, all at the same price. It is available for both laptop and surfing from mobile phone. The new mobile broadband packages of 1GB and 5GB have also been introduced. Apart from this, the subscribers can also opt for a “pay as you use” package which is automatically activated without any need to subscribe when customers use mobile internet.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:35:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hutch Lanka, the Sri Lankan mobile operator, has reported a subscriber base of 722,000 at March’09-end, down from 887,000 in the previous quarter and 1.289 million a year earlier.
The drop has been due to the adverse economic conditions and tough competition among operators in the country, parent company Hutchison Telecom said. 

The annual decline was also due to measures taken last year to tighten customer registration, required by local regulation. ARPU dropped 9.8% in Q1 to LKR 148, mainly due to tariff reductions required to preserve competitiveness in the market in response to competitors’ actions. MOU increased to 77 from 74 in the previous quarter and from 60 in Q1 2008.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:31:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone is expected to use Vodacom as its vehicle to expand into developing markets in Africa now that it has secured control of the company. Vodacom CEO, Pieter Uys said that the company is looking to take advantage of falling prices to increase its footprint.

"If you look at the world there aren't many growth opportunities around; Africa is one of them," Uys told the Bloomberg news agency. "All markets in Africa offer potential for consolidation." Vodafone "has committed to use us" to enlarge its sub-Saharan business and "support us" on potential acquisitions, he said.

Vodafone has just increased its holding in Vodacom from 50% to 65%, while South African landline operator, Telkom floated its 35% stake onto the local stock market earlier this week.

Vodacom has operations in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, DR Congo and Mozambique. Through its Gateway Communications subsidiary, it offers satellite services in 40 African countries.

Click here to see full article
Source : Cellular News
Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:25:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 27, 2009

Orascom Telecom has reported that its mobile subscribers in North Korea nearly doubled in Q2Œ09 even though the ARPU dipped. Koryolink, in which Orascom owns a majority stake, ended June with 47,863 subscribers, twice more than what the operator had at April-end, when the total stood at 19,208, said Orascom.

Koryolink runs on a 3G WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology and is the only operator in the country open to individual subscribers.

During Q2 2009, the operator posted an ARPU of US$22.80, down from $24.70 in Q1Œ09. While EBITDA stood at $2.5 million.

Source: Wireless News

Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:40:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s mobile market according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has reported a penetration level of 58.5% at the end of July. The mobile segment, in July added 1 million mobile suscribers taking the total mobile subscriber base to 95.55 million.

Of the total base, Mobilink led the market with 29.5 million (31%) subscribers while Telenor stood second with 21.3 million (22%) followed by Ufone with 21% market share.
The highest monthly additions were achieved by Mobilink with 414,000 new subscribers followed by Telenor and Warid with 406,000 and 255,000 new subscribers respectively.

Source: Wireless News

Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:36:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Pakistan's Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications has urged the telecoms regulator, the PTA to ensure protection of consumer rights, reports the local Daily Times newspaper.

"Growth of the telecom sector is important, but consumer satisfaction is more important", was the unanimous view of the committee, which met at Parliament House with Senator Muhammad Idrees Khan Safi in chair.

The Committee also said that telecom companies were making windfall profits but paying little attention to improving service quality, especially in the rural and remote areas of the country.

The committee directed the PTA to play its regulatory role effectively to address outstanding issues, especially those related to service quality. It also instructed that the SIM registration and verification process be carried out vigilantly to avoid any misuse.

According to the Mobile World analysts, the country ended Q1 '09 with just over 91 million mobile phone users, which represents a population share of 52 percent.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:31:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Orascom Telecom has confirmed that its North Korean subsidiary, koryolink's subscriber base stood at 47,850 by the end of Q2. In order to capitalize on the subscriber growth momentum, in the second quarter of 2009 koryolink introduced further reduction in connection fees as well as free SMS for the first time. Additionally, the mix of free minutes was revised to satisfy customer requirements.

Over the second-quarter, while minutes of use rose to 199 per month, the ARPU fell to US$22.8, from US$24.7 in Q1. The financial figure is based on the official exchange rate between the North Korean Won (KPW) and US$.

koryolink retail network currently consists of 2 large sales shops strategically located in downtown Pyongyang with 3 additional scratch card sales outlets located within KPTC post office shops. koryolink plans to expand the indirect sales network through the inauguration of 6 more outlets within KPTC shops. A separate after sales service shop is planned for Q3.

Local news media also added that the company is expanding its network. Citing the North's Korean Central Broadcasting Station, the Yonhap News Agency said that fiber-optic cables have been laid in all provinces to "upgrade communication capability and quality" and that mobile communication networks are "being established on a national scale,".

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:27:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Morocco added 128,222 internet subscribers in the second quarter, for 15 percent quarterly growth to 834,463 at the end of June and 47.29 percent growth versus June 2008, according to telecommunications regulator ANRT.

Of the total internet customers, 50.75 percent are on ADSL and 48.7 percent are on 3G mobile networks. ADSL subscribers were static at 488,567 at the end of June, compared to 489,043 at the end of March.

Click here to see full article
Source : Telecompaper
Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:16:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The government of Ghana has signed a USD150 million contract with Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies for the supply of advanced telecoms infrastructure to ensure broadband internet access countrywide within the next two years. The Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, told delegates at a conference on Business Processes Outsourcing (BPO) that the infrastructure would link internet Points of Presence (PoP) in all district capitals under the government's ICT Backbone Development Programme. The minister added that the government was committed to ensuring it developed the human resources needed to promote the country as a prospect for BPO companies, and said Ghana was working hard to ensure the legislative regime was right encourage inward investment under the e-legislation programme. ‘During the year the Ministry of Communications will also facilitate the development of additional legislations in the area of data protection and intellectual property for investors in the area of data capturing and management to operate within the confines of international guidelines and rules,’ he said. His words were echoed by Vice President John Dramani Mahama who stressed Ghana’s commitment to developing the nation’s ICT backbone capabilities. ‘In addition to the SAT3 connectivity, Glo 1 and MaiOne will commence the construction of two additional landing stations by the end of this year to take care of the issues of bandwidth redundancy,’ he said.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:03:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BNamericas reports that Ecuador's telecoms watchdog Senatel aims to end 2010 with 9,000 schools connected to the internet via broadband networks under a national scheme, compared to 1,900 today, with 4,000 of the new connections to be made this year. A further 11,000 schools are to be covered by other public-funded social programmes, universal access fund Fodetel told BNamericas, adding that state-run telco Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT) is currently handling all rollouts, and as yet there had been no plans announced to open up tenders to private sector broadband operators. The news site wrote that telecoms regulator Conatel lists ongoing projects to connect 759 schools at a cost of USD4.56 million, or an average of USD6,000 per school.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:54:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary’s incumbent mobile operators Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone collectively reported 635,950 mobile internet subscribers at the end of June, up from 607,479 in May, according to data published by the telecoms regulator NHH. According to the watchdog, Hungarian mobile subscribers sent a total of 763,760GB of data in June, up from 763,178 GB the previous month, while average traffic per subscriber dipped marginally to 1.51GB from 1.52GB the previous month. As at 30 June 2009, T-Mobile's share of mobile data subscribers was 49.01%, while Vodafone followed in second place with 27.85% and Pannon was third with 23.15%. Based on actual traffic volume though, T-Mobile's market share was lower at 41.28%, while Vodafone and Pannon had 35.27% and 23.45%, respectively.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:49:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Rwandan daily The New Times is reporting that internet users in the country’s capital Kigali will be able to access WiBro high speed mobile wireless internet by the end of September. The government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT in October 2008 to install the 10,000-user capacity wireless broadband network in the city. Nkubito Bakuramutsa, deputy CEO of IT at the Rwanda Development, commented: ‘Tourists will be able to move from the airport to their hotels while surfing the net and people will be moving in their vehicles while carrying out transactions on their laptops.’ He said that the wireless broadband project is worth RWF4.5 billion (USD8 million) and added that by December of this year, a RWF22.7 billion fibre-optic backbone project will be rolled out throughout the country. Under the deal signed with KT, the South Korean telco also agreed to install the 2,300km national backbone, which will link 36 main points in Rwanda's 30 districts and is expected to provide affordable high speed broadband internet access to around four million Rwandans within the next two to three years. The project will also increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions, including schools, healthcare centres and local government administrative centres.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the KT deal was funded in part by a USD24 million credit line extended to the country by the World Bank as part of its USD424 million Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme, designed to improve the infrastructure of southern and eastern Africa and increase the deployment of e-government in the area

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:47:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Estonian government has approved plans to construct a nationwide superfast broadband network, according to local news source Postimees Online. Under the proposals the state expects 90% of the country to have access to the 100Mbps network by 2012, with the remainder of the population to be connected by 2015. Juhan Parts, Estonia’s minister of economic affairs and communications, also revealed that the government would create an autonomous foundation comprising all major telecommunication providers in the country to oversee the network’s development. ‘The state plans to provide significant support for developing the infrastructure; as of now, the state’s contribution that is required is approximately EEK1 billion (USD91.45 million)’, the minister noted. It is expected that the government will fund the deployment of infrastructure in those areas, mostly rural and sparsely populated, that are not considered financially feasible by commercial operators.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:38:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuelan mobile operator Digitel, which launched 3G services based on 900MHz W-CDMA/HSPA technology in March this year, has launched a package bundling a mobile broadband subscription with a wireless modem and laptop computer provided by Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo, reports BNamericas, quoting local newspaper El Universal. Digitel commercial vice-president Luis Perez said that the company will initially make 1,000 combined packages available initially; the launch echoes moves in the fixed broadband sector, where Venezuela’s national PSTN provider CANTV has seen considerable success with its combined PC ownership and ADSL access scheme, which spreads the cost of a computer via monthly payments. Within its first month of 3G operations, Digitel covered 30 districts/towns with its new network, but in May it reportedly deferred expansion plans for the next generation infrastructure until 2010 in the light of the global economic downturn.

Source: Telegeography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:37:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For a few days last month Maroc Telecom's parent company Vivendi looked like it might pull off one of the most audacious attempts yet to arrest control of one of the Middle East & Africa's largest mobile operations from the now well-entrenched players. However, Zain, whose Celtel unit was the subject of the interest, could not agree on price with the French company and the chance of a deal - however unlikely most commentators, including your author, thought that to be - now looks to be dead and gone. If a transaction had gone ahead it would most likely have had a significant effect on Maroc Telecom's place in the Vivendi group, with the Moroccan incumbent slotting in as part of a much larger overall portfolio.

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Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:28:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Atlantic Telecom is reported to be facing the suspension of its network in Togo after failing to renew its operating license. The operator's license expired in June 2008, and has been given until 10th August to pay a 20 billion CFA (US$44 million) renewal fee.

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Estimates from the  Mobile World analysts shows that the operator ended Q1 '09 with around 530,000 subscribers. The dominant telco is the state owned Togo Cellular, with around 1.25 million customers. France Telecom's Orange seems to have an operating license but has not started services yet.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:20:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The opening of a fiber-optic cable providing broadband to millions of people in Southern and Eastern Africa is part of an ambitious plan to expand Internet access and help spur the continent’s economy and its technology industry. The cable, built by Seacom, a consortium 75 percent controlled by African investors, is the first of about 10 new undersea connections expected to serve Africa before the middle of next year. The expansion will cost about $2.4 billion and will help connect Africa with Europe, Asia and parts of the Middle East at higher speeds and at lower cost.

Right now, Africa has only one submarine fiber-optic cable: the less efficient SAT-3 cable in Western Africa, owned primarily by Telkom, the South African telecom company, and last updated in 2002. Those with no access to that cable are forced to use expensive and slow satellite links.

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Source: Kenya London News
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:16:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobily, announced that it has added a number of Northern province’s cities and villages to its advanced 3G network (3.5G and 3.75G) coverage.

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Mobily operates the largest 3G network in the Middle East and its network is considered as one of the busiest networks in terms of data transfer which sometimes hit 40 Terabyte daily which made the company enhance its network to meet the increased demand on 3G services.

Mobily has completed coverage of over 80 percent of the inhabited areas in the Kingdom despite the short period since it was launched for the first time in 2005.

Source: Wireless Federation

3G
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:38:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Japanese mobile operators added 413,700 new customers in July, to reach a combined total of 108.90 million customers, according to figures from the Telecommunications Carrier Association. NTT DoCoMo took the lead in net additions and added 143,600 subscribers to end the month with 55.07 million. Softbank followed with 137,600 new subscribers, bringing its total to 21.09 million. Emobile signed up 76,100 new subscribers bringing its total to 1.75 million customers. KDDI gained 56,600 new customers and ended July with 31.05 million customers, while PHS provider Willcom shed 18,500 customers to finish July with 4.52 million.
 
Source: Telecompaper
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:31:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |