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 Friday, December 18, 2009

According to Egypt’s Communications Minister, Tarek Kamel, the country is currently preparing a USD1 billion plan aimed at boosting internet penetration fourfold in the next four years, Reuters reports. Commenting on the proposals Mr Kamel said: ‘Most of the investments...will primarily go in local investment in increasing the local capacity.’ It is understood that such local investment will be ploughed in to a combination of wireless and wired services covering both rural and urban areas, and will follow up the country’s investment in international broadband cable systems that is expected to at least double the capacity coming into the country from the current 60Gbps. The minister also noted that the government is targeting a broadband penetration rate of 20% by end-2013, equivalent to enabling access to connections to around four million households.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-2008 Egypt’s broadband penetration stood at just 0.9%, with a total of 696,305 high speed internet subscribers in the country. TE Data, a subsidiary of fixed line monopoly provider Telecom Egypt, dominates the sector, controlling more than half of all broadband subscribers at September 2009, with 479,819.

Source: Telegeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 11:00:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

KPN Telecom of the Netherlands yesterday announced plans to connect up to 1.3 million Dutch households to high speed fibre-optic networks by the end of 2012, up from the 460,000 it has currently. The telco is looking to work with joint venture partner Reggefiber to facilitate a phased rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology; KPN holds a 41% stake in the venture which was established last year. In a statement, KPN said: ‘By 2012, KPN targets some 600,000 to 800,000 active customers on fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-curb combined, roughly corresponding to 10% of Dutch households.’ The former monopoly operator went on to say that it is unlikely that Reggefiber will be consolidated on the KPN balance sheet before 2012.

Source: Telegeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 10:38:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bell Aliant and the Government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) have announced the completion of the rollout of broadband infrastructure to virtually all areas of the island following an expansion project costing CAD8.2 million (USD7.7 million) and bringing more than 21,000 additional homes and businesses under the coverage footprint in 2009. In addition, the telco and the provincial authorities announced the launch of the Rural Broadband Fund (RBF), a five-year strategic partnership to support innovation in information technology across PEI. Applications for RBF funding will be considered for one- or two-year projects.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 10:34:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bahraini incumbent Batelco today launched an ADSL broadband package with download speeds up to a maximum 16Mbps. The telco previously increased its downlink speed cap from 2Mbps to 10Mbps in June 2009.

Source: Telegeography

Friday, December 18, 2009 10:30:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Tele2 is to buy a majority share of Kazakhstan based mobile operator Neo (the trading name for Mobile Telecom-Service). The company is paying around SEK 550 million (US$77 million) for 51 percent of the shares and commit to a capital injection of around SEK 360 million (US$50.6 million) once the transaction has been finalized. The seller is Kazakhstan's dominant landline operator, KazakhTelecom who also owns a 49% stake in GSM Kazakhstan (Kcell), which is a far larger mobile network operator, in terms of subscriber base.

Click here to see full article

Neo is the smallest of the country's three GSM networks, and estimates from the Mobile World put its subscriber base at just under 1.5 million at the end of Q3 '09. This represented a market share of 9.2%. The two other operators are Kazakhstan-Rumeli Telecom, controlled by Russia's Vimpelcom and GSM Kazakhstan (Kcell), which is controlled by TeliaSonera's Fintur Holding.

Source: Cellular News
Friday, December 18, 2009 10:24:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spain added 143,603 mobile lines in October, bringing the total number to 52.43 million, up by 3.8 percent over the same month of 2008, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT.

Over the last three months, MVNOs won 53.78 percent of the total new additions, Movistar 44.17 percent, Yoigo 25.02 percent and Orange won 0.30 percent, while Vodafone lost 23.27 percent in the period. Mobile penetration reached 113.6 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 109.5 in October 2008. The M2M sector went up by 24.0 percent over the same period last year, to over 1.78 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 54.21 million. Some 397,118 mobile phone numbers were ported in October, up by 17.4 percent versus the same period last year. Yoigo, the MVNOs, Orange and Movistar saw a positive balance in portability, while Vodafone registered a negative balance. Yoigo won 22,044 users, the MVNOs added 8,411 users, Orange won 12,348 ported customers, while Movistar added 6,019 users. Vodafone lost 50,214 customers in the month. Spanish operators added a record 79,917 broadband users in October, reaching a total base of 9.60 million lines, up by 8.0 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 20.8 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 64,885 connections or by 8.8 percent over the same period of 2008, reaching a total of 7.75 million lines at the end of October. Some 15,032 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 1.84 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines dropped by 9,070, to 19.83 million lines at the end of October.

Fixed penetration reached 43 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 44.1 in the year-earlier month. Over 133,307 fixed numbers were ported in October, up by 25.1 percent versus 106,548 fixed numbers ported in October 2008.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:41:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 09, 2009

­Healthcare in Europe is facing major challenges in both structural reform and unavailability of resources as the region's working population is far lower in comparison to those of 'non-working' age. This calls for the introduction of new schemes in healthcare that would enable Europe to deal with issues pertaining to the growing ageing population. The involvement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in healthcare is evident from the fact that in recent years, the number of Internet users for health purposes has increased considerably. This is basically in the form of purchasing health products and services, and also for communicating with peers and healthcare professionals.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that if the key stakeholders of the healthcare sector do not adapt and align themselves to the objectives of e-healthcare, it would negatively impact the success of implementing the new system.

"Strong incentives and compensation should be provided to stakeholders across the healthcare spectrum so that they fully embrace the new e-services as part of their work," advises Frost & Sullivan ICT Programme Manager Luke Thomas. "Furthermore, proper training and guidance on client devices, systems and networks are required from the outset to avoid unnecessary teething problems in the initial phases."

E-healthcare has generally been considered an investment in ICT rather than healthcare. Hence, in order to boost investments in e-healthcare, it should be promoted as a technological revolution in healthcare that would help healthcare stakeholders to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their services.

One of the main concerns of the aged population is the fast changing technology, which often results in the reluctance to embrace new technology. If technology is made seemingly less complicated and more user-friendly, the problem of resistance from the aged in adopting the new technology could be mitigated as well.

"Due to the increase in the ageing population in Europe, the cost of healthcare is also rising exponentially," cautions Thomas. "Given the current economic downturn, hospitals in Europe are in a challenging position in terms of receiving sizeable funds from the government for e-healthcare - especially when they are not able to justify the return on investment in using these new services."

The creation of technology that is interoperable and capable of being integrated into the systems and solutions of market participants is essential for success. R&D should emphasise the creation of 'plug-in' technology into devices, systems and solutions marketed by industry leaders.

Although reimbursement and technology-related issues will remain barriers, they are not insurmountable.

"With all the benefits that e-healthcare confers, not to mention the convenience and satisfaction, more users will be gained," comments Thomas. "Ultimately, consumer demand and favourable cost-benefit ratios will continue to drive technological refinement, financial incentives and large-scale adoption."

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:36:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A survey of Turkish operator, Turkcell's VINN modem subscribers found that 34% of Turkcell's customers who now use VINN 3G modems have become Internet subscribers for the first time.

Turkcell CEO Sureyya Ciliv said: "Turkcell 3G, with its speed and mobility, has introduced Turkish customers to the Internet and helped them get easier, and thus more frequent, access to the Internet. Turkcell has always been passionate about 3G and its potential to help increase Internet usage in Turkey. We continue to be the leader in 3G in Turkey with the widest coverage, the fastest mobile Internet, the best quality and most affordable service."

Turkcell 3G in numbers:

  • Turkcell has sold about 200,000 VINN modems and netbooks since it introduced 3G on July 30th 2009
  • The number of people in Turkey who have transitioned to 3G since July 30th is more than 4 million
  • There are about 2 million active 3G users in Turkey
  • The number of Turkcell subscribers who have used Turkcell's video service has reached 1 million
  • About 72% of Turkcell's total data traffic takes place within the 3G network
  • 93% of VINN modem users prefer 4GB packages and 78% of VINN subscribers use Turkcell 3G for their broadband Internet needs

This research was conducted in November 2009 among Turkcell's VINN modem subscribers.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:34:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The French ministry of the economy has launched the 'Haut Debit Pour Tous ('Broadband for All') certification, an initiative intended to help meet the government's Digital France 2012 objectives of making broadband services available to 100 percent of the population by 2012. Operators providing broadband service, including equipment, for a maximum of EUR 35 per month to all of the residents of a mainland France departement are entitled to use the label. To qualify, the service must deliver at least 512 kbps downloads and 96 kbps uploads, and can be capped at 2 GB of data transfer per month.The ministry has set up a website for the certification at www.hautdebitpourtous.telecom.gouv.fr
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:33:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The state-owned telecoms network in Burma/Myanmar is to expand its CDMA network capacity by some 150,000 lines in the two main cities of Yangon and Mandalay this month, reports the Chinese Xhinua news agency.

Significantly, the capacity of the restricted network in the new capital city, Naypyidaw is not being affected. Phone services in the capital are even more tightly regulated than usual for other areas in the military run country.

The number of CDMA phone lines stood 205,500, while that of GSM phones hit 375,800 and auto-phones reached 153,344 in the country in 2008, according to statistics.

The Mobile World analysts estimates that the country had nearly 540,000 subscribers, representing a population penetration level of just 1.2%.

The 3G phones were selling for 2.8 million Kyat (US$ 2150), while a GSM costs about 2.3 million Kyat (US$ 1800). A CDMA costs about 2.1 million Kyat (US$ 1615). The prices put the phones out of reach of ordinary citizens and limits them to the government or favoured business contacts.

Government and military contacts tend to find it easier to get the paperwork to own a mobile phone - but often then rent out those phones to business users.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:28:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­More than 30,000 people in 175 Amazon villages will get access to e-health and e-education services through mobile broadband. Ericsson and mobile network operator, Vivo are part of a group that will bring mobile broadband connectivity to the Amazonian state of Pará in Brazil.

Among other applications, the project will implement the mobile survey tool that will be used to monitor environmental impacts, diagnose patients, facilitate communication with the communities, and run studies to monitor the life quality index.

Roberto Lima, President of Vivo, Brazil's largest operator, says: "We believe and are working to show that a connected Brazil can do more. This is our motto and a partnership like this reinforces our commitment in attending to and understanding Brazil's development. We will create a learning network through the use of mobile devices to build local educational setup, and to also exchange information."

A recent research by Deloitte shows that a 10 percent increase in mobile penetration leads to a 1.2 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries.

Fatima Raimondi, President of Ericsson Brazil, says: "Mobile communications play an important role in helping communities to develop on a sustainable basis. Working in partnership means we can achieve things we wouldn't be able to do alone."

Under the scope of the project, Vivo will operate and maintain the infrastructure. The Vivo Institute will develop methodologies and practices for network learning, spreading the opportunities offered by the project. Ericsson will develop and implement the necessary solutions, services and applications for the project. The Saúde & Alegria project will offer local support and will be responsible for training communities, giving guidelines for the use of the application. During the first phase of the project 15 communities will be covered.

The initiative also includes Sony Ericsson, the government of Belterra, CPqD (Brazilian research institute for telecom and IT companies) and the Albert Einstein Hospital, among others.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:18:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Kenya has announced plans to start trials of its 3G service this week. CEO Michael Ghossein told Business Daily that the trials were a major strategic shift in Orange Kenya's revenue model. According to industry watch body WCIS, Orange Kenya has 6 percent of the mobile market compared to Safaricom's 77 percent, Zain's 14 percent and Yu's 3 percent. Telkom said it believed that 3G could give it the impetus to increase its revenues significantly.

Source: TelecomPaper

3G
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:14:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has officially begun to build a 1,401km backbone, the 'Mataram Kupang Cable System'. The Mataram-Kupang Cable System will be part of the Palapa Ring configuration. The Palapa Ring is a government initiated project which will roll out an optical fibre network consisting of 35,280km of submarine cable and 21,708km of inland cable.
The network will form seven rings and cover 33 provinces and 460 districts in eastern Indonesia. Telkom will start by building a sea link to connect Mataram and Kupang which will have a capacity of 300 Gbps. Telkom has also been rolling out fibre in other parts of the country as part of its Telkom Super Highway plan. Additionally, Telkom will launch a satellite next year, the Telkom 3.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:11:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s two state-owned operators, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), have announced that they will not meet the deadline for the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP). According to the Economic Times, both claim they have been unable to introduce the necessary upgrades to their systems to allow for number portability; MTNL says its delay stems from the amount of time and money needed to upgrade its legacy network, while BSNL has claimed it has been hindered by a number of factors ranging from the lack of a draft interconnect agreement to issues regarding tariffs for off-net and on-net calls, as its network will not support differential charging.

At a recent meeting chaired by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary regarding MNP, both BSNL and MTNL revealed that they would not be ready to offer the service before April 2010. As a result the regulator has inaugurated a coordination committee with both operators, alongside MNP Interconnection Telecom Services India and Syniverse, the two companies picked to run the country’s MNP services. The government had previously set a 31 December deadline for implementing the MNP regime for the Metro and Category A circles, with the remaining regions to come online by June 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:09:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-run telco Myanma Posts and Telecommunications plans to deploy 150,000 additional CDMA-based limited mobility wireless phone connections in two major cities, Yangon and Mandalay, according to China’s Xinhua news agency. The existing CDMA networks in Yaragon and Mandalay will be expanded by 100,000 and 50,000 lines respectively, using 800MHz equipment, at a cost of around USD500 per new connection. Active CDMA lines in Myanmar numbered 205,000 at the beginning of the year, compared to 375,000 GSM mobile users. Meanwhile, the authorities also say they are aiming to introduce video calling and other 3G applications over a planned W-CDMA mobile network.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:07:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Bulgaria's mobile operators have agreed to reduce the prices of calls after being asked to do so in a meeting with the country's Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.
During a meeting which took place on 1 December between Bulgaria's Prime Minster, Vivacom's CEO Bernard Moscheni, Globul's CEO Haris Kotsibos, M-Tel's CEO Andreas Maierhofer and the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC)'s chairperson Veselin Bozhkov, Borissov said that the government did not want to interfere in the free market, but asked mobile operators to lower their call prices for the benefit of ordinary people. He also said that CRC should strictly enforce the European regulatory framework and the European best practice. Vivacom said in a press release that the country's regulator was expected to approve the agreement between the government and the three operators. M-Tel's Maierhofer told Borissov that competition on the Bulgarian mobile phone market was strong, resulting in price decreases of an average of 30 percent per year.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:03:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Six new telecommunication operators have joined the ACE consortium which is rolling out a submarine cable system from France to South Africa.

The new operators are Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group (Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria), Globalink (Sierra Leone), Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Telecommunication (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Sierratel (Sierra Leone). In addition, Baharicom Development Company, supported by the Nepad's (New Partnership for Africa's Development) eAfrica Commission of the African Union, joined ACE as a major partner in October, to jointly build the ACE system, Broadband News reported. The ACE consortium currently comprises 25 parties: Baharicom Development Company, Benin Telecoms, Camtel, Cote d'Ivoire Telecom, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gamtel, Getesa, Globalink, Maroc Telecom, Mauritano-Tunisienne des Telecommunications, Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Telecommunication, Orange Bissau, Orange Cameroun, Orange Cote d'Ivoire, Orange Guinee, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, Orange Spain, Sierratel, Sonatel and Togo Telecom. The ACE submarine cable system, which will be more than 14,000 km long, will be ready for service in 2011. The system will offer a minimum capacity of 1.92 Tbps.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:59:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 08, 2009

La apertura del mercado costarricense de telefonía celular se demorará por lo menos hasta el 2011.

Desde hace 10 años Costa Rica está perdiendo lo que era una posición privilegiada en materia de telecomunicaciones. Las estadísticas de la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones (UIT) señalan que el país, con 1.800.000 líneas celulares, ocupa el lugar 160 en una lista global de 225.

Con 42 líneas por cada 100 habitantes, Costa Rica ya quedó muy por detrás de sus vecinos centroamericanos. Panamá tiene 115, El Salvador 113, Guatemala 109, Honduras 85, Nicaragua, 55. Dentro del continente americano, solamente Cuba y Haití están peor.
 
Click here to see full article

Source: CentralAmericaData.com

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:40:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) has issued a licence to provide third generation wireless services to mobile operator Azerfon, APA-Economics reports, citing Azerfon’s general director Gido Helbich. Azerfon, which operates under the Nar Mobile banner, has already deployed a 3G network across the country and plans to initially launch services in the 2100MHz frequency range in Baku, Absheron and other regions of the country. All mobile operators are expected to receive licences from the MCIT in due course, each for the price of AZN11,000 (USD13,600). A separate report by the same news source states that the country’s two other GSM operators, Azercell and Bakcell, have not received their licences as they have not yet submitted the relevant documents detailing the operators’ 3G network rollout progress and coverage, among other things. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Azercell was the country’s largest cellco by subscribers at 30 September 2009 with a customer base of around 3.69 million, followed by Bakcell with an estimated 1.59 million and Azerfon with 1.45 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:30:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Installation of the first cable landing station of the East African Submarine System (EASSy) will commence this week in Mozambique, according to an announcement by the consortium’s largest investor The West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The twelve-telco strong consortium will roll out landing stations in nine African countries and provide high speed terrestrial connectivity to around a dozen landlocked nations. Cable laying is scheduled for completion in April 2010, with a ready-for-service date set for end-June.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:28:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iranmobin, reportedly the largest stakeholder in Iran’s Telecommunication Infrastructure Company (TIC, a unit of fixed line monopoly Telecommunication Company of Iran), has formed a 50/50 equity joint venture with C-Ring Telecom, a subsidiary of Russian long-distance operator Synterra, reports Islamic News (cnobbi.com). The new venture has forged an agreement with Azerbaijan’s AzTelekom to work towards collaborating on the rollout of a new fibre-optic ring around the Caspian Sea to handle Europe-Asia voice and data transmission and improve internet service delivery in the Caspian region. Russian and Iranian state and company officials signed joint venture documents at a trade and economic cooperation summit in Tehran, whilst TIC also signed an agreement with another Russian carrier, Rostelecom, to share international transmission links.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:20:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Philippines’ dominant telecoms group Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has revealed it will be ready to roll out broadband over powerlines (BPL) technology in six to twelve months, the Daily Inquirer reports. The telco’s move into BPL technology is a by-product of the group’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the country’s largest power distribution company Manila Electric Co (Meralco), and will allow PLDT to offer broadband services to virtually all Meralco’s 24 million-strong customer base in and around Metro Manila. According to PLDT chairman Manuel V Pangilinan, BPL trials in parts of Malabon, started in July and ‘seem to be doing fine’. The chairman went on the say though that more needs to be done and that a widespread rollout timetable would tend to suggest a six- to twelve-month timeframe.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:15:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mexican fixed line incumbent Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) has said that it will not increase the cost of its services to all of its customers in order to offset recent increases in taxes levied on telecoms firms. However, according to Reuters, Telmex has revealed that subscribers taking just its fixed line voice service will see increases; by contrast, those that are signed up to the telco’s packages that include a broadband service will see no price rise. ‘In Telmex packages that include a monthly fee, local and long distance calls, digital services, and high speed internet , the prices will remain the same. Telmex will not transfer these costs over to clients,’ the company said in a statement.

The move comes after Mexico's Chamber of Representatives, the lower house of the Congress of the Union approved legislation introducing a 3% excise tax on telecommunication services in October 2009; initial proposals had called for the tax to be 4%, but lawmakers reduced the levy by one percentage point. The Mexican Senate subsequently approved the plans later that same month.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:11:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil’s telecoms standards coordinator ABR Telecom says that as at 30 November 2009 the total number of number portability requests received from customers reached 3.95 million. Of the total, around 2.58 million were for mobile numbers and 1.36 million for fixed line connections. Moreover, the standards agency confirmed that 3.05 million requests have been completed, the majority of which – 69% - are for mobile lines. Brazil opened the door for number portability when it implemented a partial NP system in September 2008. It has now been available nationwide since 2 March 2009 to than 193 million users in Brazil's 67 different area codes.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:08:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following public consultation, Spain’s Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio has announced it will incorporate universal broadband service with a minimum downstream speed of 1Mbps. The ministry has said that it will spend the next few months modifying the regulatory framework for universal service, as well as updating licensing processes, with a view to introducing the new minimum speed limit from 1 January 2011. According to the government respondents to the consultation agreed with the principle of technological neutrality for delivery of universal broadband services, while the establishment of download caps were also supported.

Incumbent Telefonica has reportedly expressed an interest in being designated as universal service provider nationwide across all telecoms sectors, including payphones and directories. Other operators who have come forward with a view to being designated universal service providers include Vodafone Spain, Orange Espana and Euskaltel.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:07:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned telco TOT yesterday announced the launch of commercial 3G services over its 2.1GHz W-CDMA/HSPA ‘TOT 3G’ network in Bangkok, although with only one of the five planned private mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) making packages available on the first day. Samart I-Mobile launched yesterday under the I-Mobile 3G X brand, targeting 20,000 users within a month and 200,000 within a year – although TOT has allocated it only 100,000 phone numbers initially – and is focusing on broadband download content, video calls and other high bandwidth services. TOT itself signed up 5,000 3G customers in advance – after offering the service to employees and some 10,000 existing customers of its GSM subsidiary Thai Mobile, the network of which provided the basis for the initial 3G rollout in the capital over 548 base stations. The Bangkok Post writes that TOT’s 3G post-paid packages require a user to acquire a new SIM card – given free along with a new handset to Thai Mobile users – and sign up for a twelve-month subscription, with the cheapest combined voice/data option costing THB199 (USD6) per month for 199 inclusive minutes of both voice and video calls, plus 199MB of data usage. A THB699 monthly plan includes 699 minutes of voice and video calls each, plus 1GB of data. To provide 2G services nationwide, TOT has signed a network roaming agreement with Advanced Info Service (AIS) for twelve months. An AIS spokesperson commenting on the launch expressed the hope that a strong consumer response to TOT’s launch could spur the government to accelerate the long-awaited auction for additional 2.1GHz licences, which has been pushed back to around February next year at the earliest.

At the inauguration ceremony for TOT 3G, Thailand’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee reaffirmed that TOT would move ahead with a plan to roll out a nationwide 2.1GHz network, which has been caught up in government red tape including repeated requests for the company to revise its business plan. According to Thai newspaper The Nation, the minister said TOT was expected to call for international bids for procurement of the nationwide network in April. TOT's existing 3G network in Bangkok has a capacity for 500,000 subscribers, a level which Ranongruk said she believed would be reached by February.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:04:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Guido Helbich, the general director of Azeri mobile operator Azerfon, has told a press conference that the company will launch third-generation services by the end of 2009, 1news.az reports. The cellco plans to complete tests of the W-CDMA/HSPA network within the next two weeks, following which commercial services will be made available in Baku, Absheron and the autonomous republic of Nakhchivan, with plans to expand to other regions in the near future. Helbich also revealed that the company has so far invested USD20 million in its 3G network. As reported by CommsUpdate, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) awarded a 3G licence to Azerfon earlier this month for AZN11,000 (USD13,600).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:02:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The mobile market in Mozambique is in its nascent stage with only two operators catering to the burgeoning demand for mobile services. Large investments are being made in infrastructure development, with the enterprises segment having the maximum growth potential due to the increased number of companies opening sites in the country, especially in remote areas.

The bid for a third operator is expected to be finalized by December 2009, further stimulating the competitive environment from 2010. Submarine cables are being deployed to provide global connectivity as well as improve local and international traffic. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that market earned revenues of $300 million in 2008 and estimates this to increase six-fold by 2015 to reach $1.8 billion.

"Mozambique is a promising country in various sectors," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Silvia Hirano Venter. "The recent introduction of foreign companies and expatriates with high incomes is boosting the demand for more sophisticated communications services, driving the country to invest in the development of its infrastructure."

Substantial improvements in infrastructure and regulation are expected to take place by 2012 and Frost & Sullivan believes that the market is likely to reach its full potential by 2014.

"Currently, Mozambique has only two operators and five key vendors," Venter says. "There are several opportunities for companies interested in expanding to remote areas. Additionally, there is growth potential for companies that offer optimised solutions for infrastructure as a way to reduce the capital and operational expenses of operators."

However, several factors are hampering market growth, such as an inadequate transportation system, unreliable power supply, natural disasters such as floods and droughts, and the presence of landmines. Companies should effectively address these issues to succeed in this geographic area.

"The current global economic downturn has affected Mozambique indirectly, as the demand for agricultural products and commodities has reduced," explains Venter. "However, such challenges are projected to reduce in intensity over the next few years, even as demand is set to rise."

Only 16.0 percent of the population currently utilizes mobile services to communicate. The network quality is good and the much-anticipated roll out of the submarine fibre optic cables will represent an advance in data traffic and capacity.

"Companies should continue to invest in the extension of the network to rural areas to enable the reduction of prices," concludes Venter. "Despite the challenges, the future looks bright for Mozambique's mobile communications market."

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:58:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Millicom says that it has officially started its mobile operations in Rwanda today. Millicom was awarded its license in December 2008 and will be the third operator in the Rwandan market. The service is launching with approximately 50% coverage of the population, with plans to extend coverage significantly over the next three years.

In addition, the operator has deployed 3G infrastructure in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and other key urban centres.

Mikael Grahne, President and CEO of Millicom, said "With a population of 10 million, mobile penetration of less than 20%, and a rapidly developing economy, Rwanda is a highly attractive market for Millicom. With our focus on affordability and our strengths in distribution and innovation, we believe we can make mobile voice and value-added services a reality for the mass market in Rwanda."

Source: Cellular News

3G | Mobile
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:49:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peruvian mobile telephony operator Nextel will launch mobile broadband services over an HSDPA network during December, reports BNamericas citing local newspaper Gestion. Nextel won spectrum in the 1900MHz band in 2007 and has spent much of this year trialling services, before launching two months ago. Nextel Peru president Miguel Rivera said that the operator will offer 3G services across its entire area of operations, with three new districts added during the first quarter of 2010. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Nextel Peru had over 795,600 subscribers at the end of September, equivalent to a 4% share of the market.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:46:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Dutch broadband market grew by 0.8 percent or 38,300 net additions during the third quarter of 2009, to reach 5.996 million connections on 30 September, despite DSL losing 12,700 customers, according to Telecompaper’s Dutch Broadband Q3 2009 report. The number of DSL connections dropped by 0.4 percent during the quarter, to reach a total of 3.542 million on 30 September 2009. At the same time, cable broadband reported 1.5 percent growth to 2.294 million customers, and FTTH broadband saw its customer base grow by almost 12 percent to around 160,000.

The Dutch broadband (including FTTH) penetration per household increased to 82.2 percent at the end of Q3 2009, growing by 2.4 percentage points compared to the end of the third quarter a year earlier. Penetration per 100 inhabitants increased to 36.2 percent at the end of the third quarter, compared with 35.1 percent on 30 September 2008.

Of all broadband ISPs, cable network operator Ziggo reported the largest quarterly net additions with 18,000, followed by DSL provider Tele2 Netherlands with 15,000 and cable network operator UPC Netherlands with 14,500. Ziggo is still the largest broadband provider in the Netherlands with 1.418 million customers on 30 September, followed by Internet van KPN with 1.161 million DSL customers and UPC with 707,900 customers at the end of Q3 2009. UPC extended its lead over the number four player, KPN subsidiary and DSL provider Het Net, which lost 11,000 customers during the quarter to end at 670,000 DSL users. Tele2 remains number five in the Dutch broadband ISP rankings, winning 15,000 net additions during the third quarter to end September 2009 with 390,500 DSL customers.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:43:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

France Telecom and Denmark’s TDC are set to merge their Swiss operations — Orange Switzerland and Sunrise, respectively — in a move that would create a powerful rival to the market leader – Swisscom. France Telecom said it will pay 1.5 billion EUR to TDC to become a 75% shareholder in the combined entity, while TDC will hold the remaining 25%.

The new firm will have approximately 3.4 million mobile and 1.1 million fixed and broadband customers, accounting for a 38% share of the Swiss mobile market and 13% of the fixed broadband connections. At the same time, the merger is expected to generate synergies to the tune of 2.1 billion EUR.

According to France Telecom’s Gervais Pellissier: “The planned merger of Sunrise and Orange Switzerland marks a new significant step in the long-term investment by France Telecom-Orange in Switzerland. Following the UK joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile ,France Telecom completes another major in-market consolidation, consistent with its M&A policy.”

At the moment, Swisscom dominates the Swiss mobile market with an estimated 62% marketshare (5.5 million connections) in Q3 2009. Sunrise holds the second position with 1.9 million users (a 21% market share), while Orange is third with 1.6 million users (18%).

Source: Intomobile via GSMA


Monday, December 07, 2009 5:28:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cell phones have cut dramatically the number of women dying during childbirth in Amensie village in south-central Ghana, according to local health officials.

Health and aid workers say while other improvements in primary healthcare in Amensie - as part of the Millennium Villages project - have contributed to the drop, the availability of cell phones has been pivotal.

"When we did not have mobile telecommunication, women were dying," district nurse Madam Lydia Owusu told IRIN. "It was horrifying to be pregnant here before this project came along...Mothers used to bleed to death while waiting in their homes, hoping a health worker would come to help them."

"We have not recorded a single maternal death in Amensie village since 2006 when this project started," she said.

Before cell phone and internet technology were introduced to Amensie, some 20 women died in childbirth each year, according to Owusu. In 2008 none did.

On average 560 women die during childbirth or from pregnancy complications per 100,000 live births in Ghana, according to the UN.

Click here to see full article

Source: allAfrica.com

Monday, December 07, 2009 5:20:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuelan state-owned telecoms operator CANTV aims to launch pay-TV services over both IPTV and satellite technology next year, the government said in a statement, quoted by BNamericas.

CANTV has already deployed 1,666 satellite stations nationwide through which the company expects to provide new communications services to the national market and other countries across the region, via Venezuela’s own Venesat-1 satellite, company president Franco Silva said, adding that the telco has doubled its average annual investment since its renationalisation in May 2007. Meanwhile, CANTV has increased the number of fixed telephony subscribers three times over since that date, the country's science and technology minister Jesse Chacon said, whilst it offers ADSL broadband connectivity nationwide.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, December 07, 2009 5:10:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) prepares to enter the telecoms market in 2010 as the country’s seventh fibre operator, incumbent telcos are increasingly concerned that network sabotage will become more prevalent as competition intensifies, Business Daily reports.

Telkom Kenya and Kenya Data Networks (KDN) have been the most vocal about the alleged acts of sabotage, with each saying their networks are now attacked around ten times per month, up from around four instances six months ago. Mickael Ghossein, Telkom Kenya CEO, said: ‘There are too many fibres and competition is becoming stiff. We would urge the government to step in and resolve these issues to protect our national resources and investments.’ It is estimated that each instance of sabotage costs up to KES500,000 (USD6,640) to repair. KPLC, meanwhile, is in the midst of preparations to launch its network in the next month, joining Telkom, KDN, Jamii Telecom, Wananchi, Access Kenya and the government in the country’s fibre market.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, December 07, 2009 4:40:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Honduran telecoms regulator Conatel will reportedly publish its decision on establishing new asymmetric interconnection rates between incumbent operator Hondutel and private fixed line and mobile operators this Friday. However, Hondutel is thought to be unhappy at the plan having argued long and hard for the implementation of symmetrical interconnection rates. Jorge Aguilar, the managing director of Hondutel, is quoted as saying that his firm has made every effort to convince Conatel that it would be unfair to impose asymmetric rates on the telco.

Hondutel’s problem is that under the watchdog’s plan, it would be required to pay six cents to mobile operators for terminating calls, whereas they would only be required to pay three cents to use the fixed PSTN. Aguilar argues that ‘this can not continue like this, that's an injustice and we believe the interconnection charges should be symmetric’.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, December 07, 2009 4:35:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ukrainian telecommunications regulator NKRZ announced that the tender for 3G frequencies has been cancelled. The NKRZ will repay the tender guarantees posted by the three Ukrainian mobile operators who qualified for the tender, scheduled for 30 November. The regulator took the decision after Ukraine's president issued an order blocking the release of radio frequencies held by the military for the 3G auction.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, December 07, 2009 4:31:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Companies across the globe are planning opposing strategies as their companies emerge from the recession reports a study from RONIN. In the U.S., 58% are employing tactical, short-term initiatives that stress cost cutting and deferred investments and longer-term planning. The other 42% are taking a more strategic view by re-engineering their business models, making acquisitions, and forging new relationships.

­In past recessions a similar pattern has emerged and McKinsey and Co. has studied this, concluding that the "strategic" companies emerge stronger while the "short term" companies emerge with weaker competitive positions.

The current study from RONIN links the behaviors of these two types of companies with the role of Information Technology and clearly shows that the "strategic" companies are investing more in IT, have more advanced technology in place and regard IT as more strategically important than their "short term" counterparts.

Outside the U.S., the percentage of "strategic" companies is higher, except in Japan, and the emerging markets covered in the study - China, Brazil and Mexico - show an even higher percentage of "strategic" companies.

During 2009, overall spending on IT will fall by 5.1% over 2008 levels as the decreased level of spending in "short term" companies outstrips the gains in the "strategic" companies. This is, however, an improvement since just three months ago when the previous Wave of the research was completed, when a decrease of 8.1% was expected for 2009.

The recession has caused a change in what IT buyers look for from vendors. While there was a significant emphasis on "low cost" in the early days of the recession, the emphasis has now shifted to a desire to work with vendors that have a long-term strategic vision, best-in-class and innovative solutions and are easy to do business with. Lowest cost is well down the list of priorities.

When this is coupled with the admission by most that their technology implementation is mainstream or behind mainstream, 2010 could shape up as a bumper year for vendors, particularly if they are targeting the "strategic" companies.

Methodology

RONIN conducted this third phase of the ongoing program studying the impact that the current worldwide recession had on companies' IT initiatives in early October, 2009. Over 4,900 surveys were completed over the three waves by IT decision-makers both in IT Departments and in the lines of business (e.g. finance, marketing) across 12 countries - U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, and Australia. Respondents were members of RONIN global IT Decision-Maker Panel.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:08:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Malaysian telecoms regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), has reportedly set aside MYR500 million (USD147.8 million) for the development of broadband penetration in the Sarawak region, according to Bernama.

The funds have been allocated from the national universal service provision (USP) fund, and are expected to assist in the expansion of broadband services in the region for the three years 2008-2010. Of the money earmarked, approximately MYR100 million has already been spent, with more likely to follow soon as a number of new contracts have recently been awarded. Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang has said that there are 482 MCMC-sponsored telecommunication towers in the Sarawak state, while a further 203 are in the process of being constructed, noting: ‘My ministry, through the MCMC, pledges to continue to work together with the state government towards achieving 50% household national broadband penetration rate by the end of 2010. The penetration in Sarawak now is at 16.7%. Although the state still has a long way to go, it is certainly not at the bottom of the table nationwide.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:05:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tigo has launched commercial mobile phone services in Rwanda, reports East African Business Week.
 
The service will operate using the 072 prefix code. Technical Director Mohamed Dembele said the network currently has 111 base stations, with 26 in the capital Kigali and the rest in the provinces. Currently, Tigo has 53 percent population coverage, and around 30,000 customers have already registered for services. The network is live in 13 out of 30 districts in the country, with coverage expected to increase to 24 districts by next year and the entire country by 2011. Tigo is a brand of Millicom International Cellular (MIC). The company will compete against leading mobile operator MTN Rwanda, and incumbent Rwandatel, which switched to GSM technology a year ago.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:24:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Libyan government has announced plans to sell small stakes in the country's two mobile phone networks as part of a wider plan to sell off state owned corporations. The IPOs will offer shares in the government's two mobile telephone operators, al Madar and Libyana, as well as in Iron and Steel Company and National Commercial Bank.

The government also announced details of tax breaks to make trading on the local stock exchange more appealing to investors.

"The trading volume remains small because we are still at the start, but I expect that with new regulations ... the Libyan stock market will become one of the most active in North Africa and the Arab region," Seleem Naas, chairman of Libyan brokerage Sarab Foreign Exchange and Financial Services told the Reuters news agency.

Earlier this year, Etisalat said it had submitted a bid for Libya's third mobile phone license, although nothing further has been heard.

According to figures from the Mobile World, Libyana is the dominant operator with 83% of the market, followed by Al Madar. The country has a population penetration level of 134%.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:22:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The cost of sending an SMS in India may be set for a substantial reduction if the telecoms regulator, TRAI decides it needs to regulate the tariffs. The regulator has long been wary of regulating tariffs, but recent media fuss over the cost of sending an SMS has pushed it into a review of the policy.

"We are going to issue a consultation paper to review telecom tariffs within 20 days to a month.", a TRAI official told The Economic Times newspaper. If regulated, then it is expected that subscribers can see the new tariff rates coming into effect by the end of Q1 2010.

According to the official, the move would have come sooner had the regulator not had its hands full with a consultation process on controversial 3G spectrum issues.

It is widely expected that plunging costs for sending SMS would lead to a huge spike in usage, much as happened in The Philippines, which has one of the highest usages of SMS in the mobile world. Such a move would also be a boon for SMSC vendors as the networks rush to upgrade their messaging capacity.

The newspaper claimed that the true cost of sending an SMS would never have come to light if new entrants into the Indian market had not been forced to sign interconnection agreements with existing operators at a price that is far higher than the actual cost.

Source: Cellular News

SMS
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:18:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile phone penetration levels in Chile has passed the 100% mark, according to information released by Undersecretary of Telecommunications Pablo Bello. There are now 16.6 million registered phone accounts in the country.

Chile is the third country to reach saturation in Latin America.

Bello added that further competition between Chile's three biggest providers - Movistar, Entel and Claro - will keep prices low for consumers. Prices are set to fall over the next five years as part of a pricing regime agreed earlier this year with the regulator.

"The intense competition we now see between providers will continue to keep the costs low for users," he said. "The providers will also extend their coverage and develop better service standards as they fight for a bigger market share."

Based on figures from the Mobile World analysts, the market shares of the three main operators at the end of June were: Movistar (43.7%), Entel (36.6%) and Claro (19.6%).

Land line subscribers have fallen to just over 2.3 million lines.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:15:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The deadline for the submission of bids for a 60% stake in state-owned Telecommunications d'Haiti (Teleco) has been extended from 9 November to 30 November. The Haitian monopoly fixed line operator is determined to attract an international strategic investor from the telecoms sector to inject capital and expertise to help upgrade and expand its networks and return the company to profitability. An international tender was originally announced in June, with applications from financial groups in consortium with telecoms operators also being accepted. The revised timetable, published on the telco’s public-private partnership website (www.haititelecoppp.org) is as follows: 30 November–4 December 2009 ‘Evaluation of bidders' eligibility and qualification statements and technical offers’; 4 December ‘Notification [on the] evaluation’; 7 December ‘Opening of financial offers, final evaluation and identification of Preferred Bidder’; 9 December ‘Notification of award’; 21 December ‘Remittance of the Payment Guarantee and execution of the Share Subscription Agreement by Central Bank of Haiti (Banque de la Republique d’Haiti [BRH])’; 15 January 2010 ‘Closing of the transaction’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Teleco recently shed approximately two-thirds of its workforce in preparation for privatisation, whilst a major factor in attracting a suitable private sector partner could be the incumbent's wireless spectrum assets: it holds 900MHz and 1900MHz GSM mobile frequencies and has permission to launch 3G services, as well as nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband spectrum. Teleco also operates a fibre-optic network in the capital Port-au-Prince, and jointly controls an international fibre-optic submarine cable link to the US via the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the commercial arm of the World Bank, is acting as adviser for the public-private partnership project, aided by several international consultancies.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:11:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 19, 2009

­A UK bus company, Arriva has launched a mobile ticketing service, which the company says is believed to be the largest deployment of its kind in the world, covering approximately 1,000 routes served by Arriva's regional fleet of 4,500 buses. It will enable passengers to use their mobile phones to purchase tickets and then display them to the driver.

Arriva has worked in partnership with Concept Data Technologies and mBlox to create the m-ticketing service, which is a free to download mobile phone application. Once downloaded it allows people to purchase a range of tickets. Tickets can be bought either directly through the application via a registered card or by purchasing credit from any PayPoint outlet either by cash or card.

People using the m-ticketing service can save also 10 per cent off Arriva four-weekly saver tickets.

The m-ticketing technology can be operated on any GPRS enabled phone. The service also works on BlackBerry smartphones and from early 2010 will be iPhone compatible as well. Phones with black & white screens, which are typically four or more years old, cannot be used.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, November 19, 2009 9:56:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Caribbean mobile operator Digicel has ended the first half of this financial year with10.3 million customers worldwide, up by 35 percent from 7.6 million at 30 September 2008. Digicel operates in 32 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific. Digicel's revenues for the six months to September reached USD 857 million across its 24 markets in the Caribbean and in El Salvador.
This represents a 3 percent increase year-on-year. EBITDA for the six months to September rose by 10 percent to USD 364, with the EBITDA margin at 44 percent. Digicel served around 7.3 million subscribers in the in the Caribbean and in El Salvador at 30 September, up by 7 percent year-on-year. In the three months to September, the operator added around 98,000 subscribers in the region.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Thursday, November 19, 2009 9:51:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced the launch of a new double-play package bundling its IPTV service ‘T-Home Entertain’ and fixed line telephony.

The new ‘Entertain Pur’ package is the first time DT has offered IPTV without also providing an internet connection. It is priced at EUR27.95 (USD41.7) per month, or EUR39.95 with a flat rate for domestic fixed line calls. ‘With Entertain Pur we offer telephone and TV from a single source, reaching new user groups for our Entertain service,’ noted Christian P. Illek, T-Home board member, adding, ‘Customers who are not interested in internet services do not have to miss out on the innovative possibilities of Entertain any longer.’ The package includes over 120 TV channels, as well as access to an online video store, TV archive, time-shift function and HD content. At 30 September 2009 the company recorded a total of 678,000 IPTV subscribers, up from 333,000 a year earlier.

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, November 19, 2009 9:45:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of France is looking to inject up to EUR4 billion (USD6 billion) into high-tech infrastructure projects through its national loan programme, with the lion’s share of the funding going towards subsidising the deployment of broadband telecoms networks in smaller cities and rural areas, Reuters quotes unnamed government sources as saying.

It is understood that as a result of the levels of investment being considered (EUR2 billion-EUR3 billion), the government hopes to stimulate the building of fibre-optic broadband networks capable of offering high speed connections at four times those currently offered by existing technology. The proposed national loan programme, which aims to fund strategic investments and boost the development of the wider French economy, is apparently in the early stages of planning within Nicolas Sarkozy's government. The president is expected to decide the final plan in early December.

Source: Telegeography

Thursday, November 19, 2009 9:40:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 18, 2009

­Pakistan based mobile network operator, Mobilink has reported that its subscriber base grew by 900,000 net additions in Q3 2009 to reach just over 30 million. The customer base was down 4.2% year on year, as a result of the subscriber base clean-up undertaken throughout 2008 and early 2009, but has been growing throughout Q2 and Q3 09.

According to its internal reporting, Mobilink's market share increased from 40.62% in Q2 2009 to 40.70% by the end of Q3. According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Mobilink's market share in Q3 was 30.9%. This market share is based on information disclosed by other operators which use different subscriber recognition polices.

Revenues during the quarter rose by 15.7% to US$934.6 million.

At the end of Q3, several changes in the tax structure were implemented as approved by the government. These include reduction in the federal excise duty (FED) on mobile usage from 21% to 19.5% and reduction in new SIM activation tax from PKR 500 to PKR 250. The new taxes were applicable from 1st July, 2009.

For the sales channels multiple retailer engagement activities were executed throughout the year including retailer promotion, franchise competition and sales blitz activities. Keeping in mind the vast geography of Pakistan, Mobilink introduced the concept of Jazz service points (JSP) to increase its reach to the remotest villages and towns. In addition to providing easy access to basic products and services, these service points also help in the up-selling of existing services.

During 2009, Mobilink continued its network expansion with investment of US$128 million till end of Q3. This Capex has enhanced the network's infrastructure, quality and coverage. Total cell sites stand at 8,025 till end of Q3.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:10:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Madagascan incumbent Telecom Malagasy (Telma) has announced the commercial launch of 3G services through its mobile subsidiary Telma Mobile, with the company’s chief executive officer Patrick Pisal Hamida noting: ‘Today [is] a new era in Madagascar for telecommunications. Telma crosses a major step by being the first operator to offer 3G [in] Madagascar.’ The telco will offer downlink speeds of up to 3.6Mbps over its network, although it has not officially revealed where the new services will initially be available. It has, however, said that both pre- and post-paid mobile 3G options will be available, and no change of SIM card for existing subscribers will be necessary.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at end-June 2009 Telma Mobile trailed both Orange Madagascar and Zain Madagascar in terms of subscribers, claiming 25.3% market share with around 1.2 million customers.

Source: Telegeography

3G
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:05:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |