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 Tuesday, November 17, 2009

­Spanish operators have blocked some three million prepay SIM cards from making or receiving phone calls pending their owners registering their ownership details. Users of the unregistered SIMs will get an automatic message played when trying to make a phone call instructing them to visit a local retailer.

The operators were due to completely cut off the phones, but a last minute agreement by Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, gives the SIM card owners up to six months to register their ownership before the lines go dead - and losing any prepay credit they may contain.

The government considered a law to require all mobile phone users to register their ownership details with the network operators following the Madrid terrorist attack, which involved the use of anonymous SIM cards. The current legislation came into effect in 2007.

Earlier this year, the Interior Ministry launched a media campaign to remind mobile phone users to register their details.

According to statistics from the Mobile World analysts, the country had 54 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of June - representing a population penetration level of 133%.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 4:21:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Digicel Bermuda has announced plans to offer a HSPA+ upgrade early next year - with the network deployment already under way.

Making the announcement on stage on the final night of the Bermuda Music Festival to a capacity crowd Wayne Caines, CEO of Digicel Bermuda said; "From next year, Digicel's Bigger, Better 3G+ Network will be the fastest network available in Bermuda. Digicel always sets new standards in everything it does - and this move is no different.

"Our 3G+ network will use the very latest in 3G technology which deliver speeds that are a number of times faster than the standard 3G speeds that customers in Bermuda have available. To ensure our customers always get the best, we have chosen what is known as "Evolved HSPA technology" - which is only in use by twelve other networks across the globe. That means Digicel customers will enjoy ground breaking internet speeds on their handsets and access to the biggest and best network wherever they are on the island and at an affordable price."

In addition to launching its 3G+ network, Digicel will continue to maintain and enhance its data-enabled island-wide EDGE network.

Source: Cellular News

3G
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 4:13:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The number of worldwide mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2013, reports Infonetics Research. The firm notes that there were nearly 4 times more mobile subscribers than access line subscribers worldwide in 2008 (3.9 billion vs. 1 billion). In addition, the number of mobile subscribers grew 17.4% in 2008 over 2007, while access line subscribers declined 5.5%.

The global recession did not prevent people from using communication services, but it clearly accelerated the pace of wireline-to-mobile substitution. China, which had half a billion mobile subscribers in 2008, and India together make Asia Pacific the world's largest mobile subscriber region, now and into the future. The EMEA region is next, with strong growth driven by Africa. Mobile subscriptions will continue to grow strongly over at least the next five years, driven mainly by basic voice service needs in these regions, particularly in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China)," projects Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research's principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure.

Access lines are disappearing fastest in North America and China, due to the move to fixed-to-mobile substitutions, the switch from copper to fiber lines, and the recession, during which many people ditch their landlines and keep only their mobile or smartphone.

The number of PON FTTH subscribers worldwide is expected to soar at a compound annual growth rate of 32% from 2008 to 2013.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 4:11:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­ITU has announced plans to set up a global database that will log products declaring conformity to ITU standards (ITU-T Recommendations) - specifically around interoperability issues.

The programme will support much more informed purchasing decisions for end users - be they companies or consumers - and has the potential to widen markets, increase competition and decrease costs. It will allow purchasers to freely consult a comprehensive global database to check whether a product conforms to ITU standards, or will work with other network elements.

Lack of conformity and interoperability of ICT equipment is a major concern, especially in developing countries. Addressing interoperability is one of the founding principles of the ITU, and the new programme seeks to significantly reduce the problems that have faced service providers and others and bring renewed confidence to the market.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: "A dizzying array of similar products can sometimes make purchasing decisions difficult. Interoperability is at the heart of what ITU does, so we have put in place procedures that will greatly assist those faced with often complex buying decisions. This new programme will significantly reduce the problems telcos, ICT service providers, businesses and consumers face, including unwittingly being locked into proprietary solutions. I believe this initiative is of great significance in our efforts to bridge the digital divide, but will be equally beneficial to those in the developed world."

The new ITU programme will also focus on skills training and the development of regional testing centres for developing countries. It will be voluntary and open to ITU members and non-members alike.

Conformity to ITU-T Recommendations will be declared only via accredited laboratories or certifiers; testing will not carried out by ITU itself. Once accepted and entered into the new database, products will be given a unique identifier which can be referenced by the manufacturing company.

ITU-T Study Groups are actively developing standards for conformity and interoperability testing - for example, test suites for IPTV - which can be used by external certifiers.

As part of the new programme ITU will also organize a series of interoperability events that will allow two or more vendors to get together to verify that their equipment interoperates satisfactorily. An interoperability declaration can then be added to the database. ITU will also hold regional workshops and tutorials on conformity assessment and interoperability.

Research on how to implement a standards conformity and interoperability programme was initiated with the adoption of Resolution 76 at ITU's World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08). The recent session of ITU's governing council (20-30 October, 2009) has now given the formal go-ahead.

Source: Cellular News

ITU
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 3:24:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The UAE based Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (trading as du) has reported a 51% rise in its subscriber base over the past year to 3.14 million customers at the end of Q3 2009.

Revenues for the quarter were AED1.33 billion (US$362 million) consistent with the previous quarter and up 25.8% vs Q3 2008. EBITDA was AED297.3 million (US$81 million), representing an increase of 22.8% vs Q2 09, and 192.9% vs Q3 08.

Revenue performance across the fixed and mobile segments was positive with mobile providing the largest gains with increased subscriber numbers. Revenue growth was seen across all business segments, with the exception of the wholesale which was highlighted in Q2 09 as being exceptional.

Net profit (before royalty) was AED157.1 million (US$42.8 million) for the quarter a 398% outperformance vs Q3 08 and up 36% vs Q2 09.

Commenting on the results, Ahmad Bin Byat, Chairman of du, said, "In a challenging economic environment, du continues to focus on its core business objectives, our customers, by providing continual upgrades to our network infrastructure and product range in order to bring continued customer satisfaction on all interactions with the company. Both profit and subscriber number growth is a clear indication that we have a robust business strategy".

During the third quarter du's pre and post paid mobile subscriber numbers saw continued growth with the addition of 25,900 post-paid mobile subscribers, representing a 55% increase in subscriber additions over the second quarter as a result of continued marketing strategy to increase market share. Post-paid customers represent 3.6% of du's mobile business. Pre-paid mobile subscribers also increased with an additional 207,300 subscribers added for the quarter.

du's ongoing capital expenditure (CAPEX) programme is on track to exceed AED 2 billion (US$545 million) in 2009, with AED 424 million accounted for during Q3 2009 bringing year to date expenditure to AED 1466.7 million. du expects to continue with its CAPEX programme and expects to commit an additional AED 2 billion during 2010.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 3:17:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The body managing the tender for the Solomon Island's first competitive mobile license tender has announced that it has received three applications. The applicants are Digicel, bemobile and Milestone Developments.The Evaluation Committee has begun reviewing the applications and will be making further announcements in due course as provided in the Request for Applications.

The country currently has just the one telecoms operator, Solomon Telekom (trading as Breeze GSM).Solomon Telekom is estimated by the Mobile World subscriber database to have ended Q1 '09 with just over 35,000 subscribers - representing a population penetration level of just 6%.

Digicel was granted a license in 2006, but Solomon Telekom successfully sued to block the network launch pending a review of its monopoly status.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 3:07:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­South Africa's MTN Group has announced that it had a shade under 108.5 million subscribers at the end of September. This is a 5% increase for the quarter from 103.2 million subscribers recorded at the end of  June 2009 and a 19.6% increase for the year to date.

The South and East Africa (SEA) region increased its subscriber base by a very modest 0.5% for the quarter. This was primarily due to the disappointing negative movement of the South Africa subscriber base which contributes 64% to the region. South Africa's subscriber base declined from 17.23 million at the end of June 2009 to 16.42 million at the end of September. The main reason for the movement is the significantly lower number of gross connections following the implementation of RICA in August, which requires PrePay SIM cards to be registered with the operators. Given the current market uncertainty following the RICA implementation there are challenges with South Africa achieving its revised target of zero net additions for the full year.

Uganda increased its subscriber base by 11% in the quarter following the continued success of MTN Zone which now constitutes 95% of the total prepaid base.

The West and Central Africa (WECA) region increased its subscriber base by 5% for the quarter driven mainly by Nigeria which accounts for 58% of the region's subscribers. Nigeria recorded a 5% increase in its subscriber base to 28.76 million mainly due to continued network rollout, innovative product offerings and the effectiveness of the distribution channels implemented earlier in 2009. Ghana maintained its market share and increased its subscriber base by 2,6% despite aggressive competitor activity. Both Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire increased their subscriber bases by 4% and 5% to 4.19 million and 4.21 million, respectively.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region recorded a 9% increase in subscribers for the quarter. This was largely due to continued growth from the Iran operation, which contributes 62% to the region's subscribers and increased its base by 8% to 20.7 million. Iran's growth was attributable mainly to expanded network coverage and continued promotional activity. Syria increased its subscriber base by 13% to 4 million, well above expectations. Afghanistan, although a relatively smaller operation, has been steadily contributing positively to the region's growth and has gained No. 1 position in the market from No 3 at the beginning of 2009.

MTN has revised its subscriber net addition guidance for the year for South Africa to zero and for Syria to 550,000 while other individually disclosed country guidance remains the same. MTN expects to achieve the total group subscriber net addition guidance for 2009 of 22.6 million.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:52:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Bangladesh based mobile network operator, Grameenphone (GP) says that it added almost 1 million new subscriptions in the third quarter of 2009, pushing the total subscription base near to 22 million. However, GP crossed 22 million subscription base mark on 1st October.

Grameenphone CEO Oddvar Hesjedal, expressed his satisfaction with the subscription growth posted for the third quarter, "the market has just crossed the 50 million subscription mark and GP serves the largest share of that market (44%) among the operators. It pleases me that we have been successful in adding a significant amount of the new subscriptions to the market in the last quarter, which indicates that Grameenphone is the preferred service provider."

Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 6% compared to same period of last year mainly as a result of a raised tariff floor.

"A rising ARPU is a good indicator for both the industry and a sign of slow economic recovery," said the Grameenphone CEO. "However, reduction or removal of the BDT 800 SIM tax will help the economy recover sooner because internet and telecommunication penetration generates faster economic activity and community development," he added.

EBITDA margin has also improved to 57% compared to the same period of last year of 48.9% due to higher revenue, combined with lower network operation and maintenance costs. Capital expenditure was also lower during this quarter, in accordance with the current traffic demand.

Following the formal approval for Grameenphone's initial public offering (IPO), trading of the Grameenphone shares at the Chittagong and Dhaka stock exchanges is anticipated to commence in November. This is subject to approval from the regulators and stock exchanges.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:45:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mobile broadband connections will exceed fixed-line broadband connections in 2011, according to a report to be released by mobileSQUARED later this week. ­By 2011 the number of active 3G devices in the UK will be 36.3 million, as well as 6.4 million dongles/embedded devices, taking the total number of mobile broadband connections to 42.7 million versus expected broadband internet users of 42.5 million.

While the analyst house predicts internet usage over the mobile phone will remain below traditional fixed-line usage during the forecast period of 2009-2014, the company's research has revealed that between 1-10% of a company's internet traffic is already being generated from a mobile device.

"Mobile will become the primary access point for brands and businesses communicating with its consumers within two years," said Nick Lane, chief analyst at mobileSQUARED, and author of the report. "Mobile is always-on, and the average user carries their device for an average of 16 hours a day. So if a company or brand is not already considering how to use mobile, then they need to because their customers are."

However, not all of the 3G broadband connections in 2011 will be used for surfing by UK consumers. The report forecasts the number of mobile internet users in the UK will top 32 million by 2014 (equating to 90% of 3G broadband subscribers), but believes the 32 million figure could be reached faster with clearer data pricing from UK operators as well as the introduction of variable data pricing.

"Data pricing in the UK is still confusing," adds Lane. "Mobile operators and high-street retailers produce monthly magazines dedicated to handsets and tariffs, how can that not be confusing to the consumer? The number of mobile internet users would expand even faster if mobile data pricing reflected existing models, such as variable pricing to appeal to the different demographics. The cash-poor, time-rich youth democratic cannot afford the flat-rata plans, so why not offer a data pricing concession to encourage adoption?"

During the forecast period 2009-2014, mobileSQUARED predicts mobile content and services revenues (including apps) in the UK will almost treble from revenues of £242.1 million in 2009. Similarly, the analyst house forecasts that revenue from the core internet-based mobile advertising models of banners and links, search and tenancy, will be worth £83.7 million in 2014.

To find out how to attend the Roadshow and receive a complimentary copy of the Taking Internet Mobile: UK report visit www.mobilesquaredroadshow.com

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 10:58:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Panamanian president, Ricardo Martinelli, has announced the launch of a new national internet project designed to bring free internet access to the country’s population in a bid to reduce the digital divide.

The first phase of the ‘Internet For All’ project will see access points installed in 500 locations across eleven of the country’s cities; Penonome, Colon, Columbus, David, Chitre, Arraijan, La Chorrera, Santiago, Sona, Pese and the capital, Panama City. The announcement comes four days after the government inked a deal with local vendor Liberty Technologies which will see the latter deploy a combination of Wi-Fi and WiMAX technologies for this free internet access. Download speeds for the connections are expected to be up to 512kbps, and a number of access centres will be set up in locations such as schools, parks and libraries. While no date has been announced for the second phase of the project, it has been revealed that it will cover cities Changuinola, Aguadulce, Meteti, Ocu and Los Santos.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:28:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The UAE’s incumbent telco Etisalat has launched a new 30Mbps broadband package over its new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. ‘Etisalat is committed to provide the best of technology to its customers by introducing advanced technologies like FTTH in the UAE,’ said Mohammed Khalfan Al Qamzi, CEO of Etisalat, adding, ‘Our FTTH network is on a fast track roll-out; Etisalat is getting ready to announce Abu Dhabi as the first connected capital in the world in the coming months and aims to connect all the UAE households and premises through its FTTH network by 2011, which will become yet another milestone in its own right.’

The telco has reportedly already connected over 550,000 households to its FTTH network. The 30Mbps package is priced at AED699 (USD190.35) per month, and includes free installation, one month's rental waiver, five free email addresses with 5GB capacity, and eight hours of free access each month to over 350 Etisalat wireless hotspots.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:24:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Millicom International Cellular (MIC), the telecoms group with operations in twelve countries across Africa and Latin America, has posted revenues of USD856.2 million for the third quarter of 2009, a 7% increase year-on-year.

The growth is partly attributable to strong performance at Amnet, the company’s cable and broadband unit, as well as its African subsidiaries. Net income, however, slipped 11.5% to USD142.7 million on the back of higher interest expense and taxes. The results exclude operations in Cambodia, Laos and Sri Lanka, which Millicom agreed to sell earlier this month. The full divestment of all three subsidiaries is expected to take place by the end of 2009, generating approximately USD565 million in cash for the company.

Chief Financial Officer Francois-Xavier Roger said the company was looking at acquisitions and bidding for new licences in Africa and Latin America. ‘We have nothing well advanced at this stage, but we have a few opportunities that we continue to discuss with third parties,’ he stated.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:20:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Fiji has announced new SMS charges for its prepaid subscribers. The on-net tariff has been slashed to FJD 0.15/SMS compared to FJD 0.20 previously. Vodafone will also continue to offer FJD 0.05 on-net promotional text offer from 00:00 to 5:00 daily.

Source: Wireless Federation

SMS | Tariffs
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:13:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |