International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Friday, February 05, 2010

­Kenya's Safaricom, and other emerging market mobile operators, are seeing increasing use of non-voice services as a result of pricing plans that take into account how money is actually earned and spent in developing economies. A Strategy Analytics report points out that Safaricom's M-PESA mobile funds transfer service handles nearly 10 percent of Kenya's GDP in transactions that average less than $20.

Click here to see full article

"Providing low-increment services in a pre-paid environment has some unique requirements for back-office and billing services," notes Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director of Strategy Analytics Mobile Broadband Opportunities service. "It is not good business if a $2 transaction billed incorrectly leads to a $10 customer service call."

Source: Cellular News

Friday, February 05, 2010 10:08:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The sale of two mobile phone networks in Lebanon which has already been delayed many a times is again delayed till the end of this year. US$7 billion was expected to be raised through this sale for the heavily indebted government, although valuations have fallen since the economic downturn.

10- Year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) agreement led to the set up of Lebanon’s two operators in June 2001. However, the government controversially cancelled the BOT licenses held by LibanCell and Cellis which were not due to expire until 2004 and invited bidders to manage the networks on its behalf, and the concession was eventually awarded to Zain and Alfa.

Political turmoil in the country had led to the failure of network sales.

Source: Wireless Federation

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:48:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Argentina’s national statistics bureau Indec has revealed that the country ended December 2009 with 50.4 million mobile lines in service, up 8.4% year-on-year, BNamericas reports. Wireless telephony traffic reached 4.74 billion calls in December, representing an increase of 24.7% compared to the same month in 2008.

Meanwhile, the number of fixed lines totalled 9.47 million at end-2009, up 1.1% compared to a year earlier, and public phones reached 142,800, a decrease of 8.5% year-on-year. Local fixed line traffic during December 2009 was up 11.9% year-on-year to 1.40 billion calls, while domestic long-distance calls increased 20.1% to 403 million. Indec reported that there were 26.3 million outgoing international long-distance calls, an increase of 27.8% year-on-year, for a total of 87.3 million minutes, up 12.7% compared to December 2008.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:44:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Some 13,923 requests for number portability (NP) have been filed in Peru since 4 January writes BNamericas citing local state news service Agencia Andina which quotes a report from the country's transport and communications ministry (MTC). According to the report, 6,591 lines have already been ported while 7,332 NP requests are in the process of being accepted. MTC head Enrique Cornejo said 5,943 lines were ported to Claro, 1,306 to Movistar and 137 to Nextel. In total, Claro received 10,593 NP requests, followed by Movistar with 3,110 and Nextel with 220.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:41:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ecuadorian mobile telephony operators had received 29,092 requests for mobile number portability (MNP) by 25 January 2010, following the service’s introduction on 12 October 2009, the country's telecoms supervisory body Suptel said in a statement, reported by BNamericas. 15,855 users requested to have their number ported from Porta to Movistar, while 8,596 asked to port their numbers from Movistar to Porta. The rest were to and from state-owned Alegro PCS, which had a net loss of 25 ports.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:38:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Panama has rolled out the first phase of the Internet for All project. Over 328 Wi-Fi hotspots have already been deployed, with an additional 300 locations to be provided with free Wi-Fi connections by April, according to Panama's president Ricardo Martinelli. The first phase of the project covers 11 cities across the country, including Penonome, Colon, David, Chitre, Arraijan, Panama, La Chorrera, Santiago, Sona and Pese. Users can access the internet at speeds of up to 512 kbps. Free internet access centres have been deployed at public schools, parks, libraries, community gyms, as well as municipal and government institutions. The Wi-Fi project is expected to benefit around 2.3 million users across Panama.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:35:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A survey of UK mobile phone users has found that 76% of them don't use their mobile to access the web. Even more surprising is that 60% of UK mobile users claim to not even own a mobile with internet access and just 30% of these are interested in getting one. The picture gets worse for mobile operators with the revelation that even for upwardly mobile web users and owners of smartphones, one third (31%) have never used their phone to connect to the web, a quarter (24%) use it less than once a week and 8% tried it but don't intend to do so again.

Alex Charlton, Partner at Essential Research which conducted the study over six months in 2009 comments: "This type of research doesn't often see the light of day, and what we've found is pretty surprising news: there is an enormous gulf between the perceptions we hold about mobiles being a big part of our Internet lives and the reality. In fact only a small percentage of us are truly web mobile users and the industry has a big job to do to move mobile internet into our everyday lives."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:31:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A new report from Tariff Consultancy (TCL) says that voice and SMS roaming rates in Europe have halved between 2007 to 2010 due to an EU roaming price cap - but with very few prices applied below the cap. EU mobile roaming data rates are on average 5.4 euro, 5 times the 1 Euro per MB wholesale rate though individual operator data roaming rates vary from below the wholesale cap to more than 10 times the cap rate.

Click here to see full article

Increasingly though mobile operators push a series of separate "opt in" roaming bundles for consumers that bypass the EU roaming cap which offer roaming discounts in return for a weekly or monthly fee to selected holiday destinations but can attract higher rates to EU countries than the EC rate cap.The net effect of the rebalancing of mobile roaming tariffs outside of the EU has been to make roaming services to the US or other countries relatively expensive by comparison with the EU.

For example:

- The price of a roaming voice call from the EU zone to the next geographical tariff zone has an average mark up of 200%

- The price of SMS roaming outside the EU zone to the next geographical zone has an average mark up of 160%.

- The price of Mobile Data roaming outside the EU zone to the next geographical zone has an average mark up of 270%.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, February 05, 2010 9:20:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Argentina’s national statistics bureau Indec has revealed that the country ended December 2009 with 50.4 million mobile lines in service, up 8.4% year-on-year, BNamericas reports. Wireless telephony traffic reached 4.74 billion calls in December, representing an increase of 24.7% compared to the same month in 2008. Meanwhile, the number of fixed lines totalled 9.47 million at end-2009, up 1.1% compared to a year earlier, and public phones reached 142,800, a decrease of 8.5% year-on-year.

Local fixed line traffic during December 2009 was up 11.9% year-on-year to 1.40 billion calls, while domestic long-distance calls increased 20.1% to 403 million. Indec reported that there were 26.3 million outgoing international long-distance calls, an increase of 27.8% year-on-year, for a total of 87.3 million minutes, up 12.7% compared to December 2008.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:18:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 01, 2010

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel) said the country was home to 7.47 million pay-TV subscribers as at 31 December 2009, up 18.2% year-on-year and the single largest yearly gain since 2002 when subscriptions leapt 26%. Net additions last year topped 1.15 million, Anatel said, compared with a rise of 972,281 in 2008, driven it said by a proliferation in the availability of multi-play packages.

The most popular access platform last year was cable TV which accounted for 57.9% of all pay-TV accesses, followed by satellite direct-to-home (DTH) technology with 37.3% and multichannel multipoint distribution service (MMDS) technology with 4.8%.

In terms of regional growth, Anatel reported strong uptake in northern Brazil. The northern region expanded by 28% last year, followed by the northeast with 21.9%. The principal operators in the domestic pay-TV market in Brazil are NET Servicos, Sky, TVA/Telefonica, Oi TV and Embratel.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, February 01, 2010 11:59:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 22, 2010

China's telecommunications industry reported RMB842.43 billion (USD123 billion) in revenue in 2009, up 3.9% year-on-year, according to figures supplied by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Wireless telecoms contributed 60.43% of the revenue, while 27.8% was generated by fixed line operations and 11.8% from data communications. The number of new mobile phone subscribers in 2009 exceeded 106 million, taking the total subscriber number to 747 million. Fixed line subscribers fell by nearly 27 million to 313.68 million at the end of the year.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, January 22, 2010 5:30:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The total number of registered SIM cards in Brazil reached 173.96 million at the end of 2009, up 23.3 million year-on-year, the regulator Anatel reports. The gains were driven it said, by increased promotional offers offering discounts and/or bundled airtime to lure new users. Cellular penetration reached 90.55% at the end of the year, it added.

At the start of this year, Brazil’s leading operator by subscribers was Vivo Participacoes, with a market share of 29.8%, followed by Telecom Americas (Claro) with 25.5%. Third place was claimed by Telecom Italia’s TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) unit, with 23.6%, while Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) had 20.7%.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:49:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 15, 2010

China's population of Internet users jumped by nearly a third to 384 million at the end of last year, an official report showed on Friday, days after Google threatened to retreat from the expanding market.

The report from the state China Internet Network Information Center (www.cnnic.net.cn) underscored the growing scope of the Internet in the country, which Google said it may quit because of censorship and hacking. Throughout 2009, the number of Chinese Internet users grew by 86 million -- more than the total population of Germany -- or a rise of 28.9 percent compared to the end of 2008.The survey, based on a count of residents who said they used the Internet in the past six months, found 29 percent of China's 1.3 billion people are now net users.

The numbers establish China's position as the world's largest online community, more than the entire population of the United States."Although the rate of (Internet) participation continues to rise, compared to developed countries, China's rate of Internet participation remains quite low," said the report.By contrast, 74 percent of Americans use the Internet and 77 percent of South Koreans, it said.China's rate of growth in Internet users slowed compared with 2008, when the number grew by 41.9 percent. In 2002, China had 59 million users.

With China's expanding 3G mobile network, more than 120 million people used mobile Internet applications, said the Chinese-language report. The number of people using the Internet to book travel, bank and carry out other commerce grew by 68 percent year-on-year.

Source: Reuters

Friday, January 15, 2010 11:12:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 14, 2010
Serbia's telecommunications agency Ratel announced that Telenor was the only company to present a bid for the country's second fixed-line operator licence. Another three companies had qualified for the bidding - mobile operator VIP, Cyprus-based Kerseyco Trading and Serbian-American Konsing Group. However, Telenor was the only bidder to submit all the necessary documents and its financial bid will be opened by 18 January. The licence for a second landline operator is granted for a period of ten years. Telenor already holds one of Serbia's three mobile telephony licences.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:10:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A total of 4.2 million people requested number portability (NP) in Brazil last year, according to data published by the body managing number portability in the country, ABR Telecom. The agency also reported that of the total, 3.2 million people actually completed their switch to a new provider – equivalent to 1.56% of the 210 million fixed and mobile lines in the country. ABR Telecom said that 2.28 million lines were mobile phones and around one million were fixed line connections. NP began to be introduced in Brazil in September 2008, and it was available throughout the country by March 2009. To date, a total of 4.52 million people have requested to switch, of whom 3.48 million have been successfully ported.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:07:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indian state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced that it hopes to have attracted around one million 3G subscribers by the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Economic Times. Despite signing up just 35,000 3G subscribers at end-June 2009 having launched commercial services in February 2009 interest has climbed significantly, with SS Sirohi, BSNL’s principal general manager (Value Added Services), noting: ‘We have received good response and have about 700,000 3G users and by the end of this fiscal, we should have crossed a million.’

With the auction process for 3G spectrum in India still having yet to take place, BSNL and fellow state-owned telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are the only two operators to have received frequencies, and are looking to take advantage of the head start. ‘We are present in 300 cities and towns, which will be increased to 760 over the next three to four months,’ Sirohi said, while also adding that BSNL is focusing on introducing a variety of Value Added Service (VAS) offerings to drive its 3G tariffs: ‘Apart from cheap calling rates, we are also offering cheap video calling, video streaming and full track download. We will soon offer videoconferencing and other interesting applications.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:05:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Outremer Telecom, which provides telecoms services in the French overseas territories, has announced the commercial launch of its 3G networks in Guadeloupe and French Guiana. The new offering, launched under the ‘Only’ brand, will enable customers to access services such as mobile broadband via laptop or wireless handset.

The company already operates third-generation networks in the territories of Martinique and Reunion.

Source: TeleGeography

3G
Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:47:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Latvia’s three largest mobile network operators by subscribers – Tele2 (Latvia), Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) and Bite Latvia – have agreed to reduce the time taken to port mobile numbers, Delfi.lv reports. It is understood that the three cellcos, in line with instructions issued by the European Commission, will speed up the number porting process from the ten days it currently takes to just five from 1 March 2010.

‘We are pleased with the agreement, but we believe that operators are now technically ready to provide number portability within one day. Therefore...we argued for the need to reduce the time of transfer rates to one day. Reducing the transfer time will favourably influence the number of choices for mobile users,’ said Zita Zilgalve, director of Bite Latvia. According to European Commission directives, prior to 11 May 2011 mobile number portability timeframes should be reduced to no longer than one day in all eurozone countries.

 

Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:42:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarusian national PTO Beltelecom says it is looking to more than double its broadband internet subscriber base to one million by the end of this year, up from the 400,000 it reported at the end of 2009. Local online news portal e-belarus.org says that in addition to its ADSL user base, Beltelecom also boasts a network of 480 ‘active’ Wi-Fi hotspots across 220 regions in the country.

Last year the national fixed line operator expanded the external internet gateway from 5.2Gbps to 22Gbps, of which the Russian gateway to Rostelecom and Transtelecom accounts for 20Gbps, and the remaining 2Gbps is accounted for through its western link with Tata Communications.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:31:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Slovakian incumbent PSTN operator Slovak Telekom’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network now covers over 315,000 households, an increase of 100,000 in twelve months, Broadband TV News reported. The network reaches 19 cities including Banska Bystrica, Kosice and the capital, Bratislava, delivering services including ‘Magio TV’ IPTV channels and internet access at speeds of up to 80Mbps, and Telekom says it will roll out FTTH to additional areas in these cities, as well as to other towns, during this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:29:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The British government has begun a twelve-week consultation on the proposed broadband tax that is expected to help fund the rollout of superfast broadband services across the country, Reuters reports. It has been widely claimed that the current government is keen to sign the new levy into law prior to the upcoming general election, which is expected in May 2010.

Under the proposals, which were unveiled as part of the Digital Britain report released in June 2009, the state plans to raise approximately GBP150 million to GBP175 million (USD225 million to USD263 million) per year by introducing a GBP0.50 per month levy on every fixed line voice and/or broadband connection. This extra charge is to be paid in to a Next Generation Fund (NGF), which will be managed by regulator Ofcom. The consultation launched has called on telecoms and internet industry players to put forward views on how the funds raised should be spent. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said that the investment was essential to preserve Britain's international competitiveness and prevent a new digital divide emerging between those with fast and those with slow connections, noting: ‘Already the market is delivering superfast Internet speeds of 50Mbps to half the country but we cannot be certain that it will reach the communities that are not currently served.’

The government has estimated that as the result of private investment already being undertaken by providers such as fixed line incumbent BT and cableco Virgin Media, superfast broadband will reach around 70% of the population by 2017, but the state is keen to boost this figure to 90%.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:58:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BNamericas reports that Ecuadorian state-owned national PSTN operator Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT) added 135,000 new fixed lines during its first year of operation since the merger of regional telcos Andinatel and Pacifictel in November 2008. The company currently has approximately 1.8 million subscribers nationwide, after spending CAPEX of around USD258 million in 2009 and focusing on increasing coverage in areas including the Austro and Amazonia regions, according to local reports.

CNT’s overall aim is to increase fixed line penetration to 18% of the population by the end of 2010, up from 13.5% at end-2007.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:54:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwanese regulator the National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced plans to implement a 5.87% cut on mobile service rates from 1 April 2010. The regulator, citing ITU figures, revealed that the country’s mobile charges as a percentage of per capita income rank as the 26th highest in the world, and are currently three times higher than Hong Kong. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Taiwan’s mobile industry has flourished despite the apparent high charges, with a cellular penetration rate of 116% at the end of September 2009.

Meanwhile, ADSL charges will also be subject to a similar reduction, with rates being cut by 5.68%, benefiting the country’s 15.47 million ADSL users.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:49:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zia Ahmed, the head of the Bangladesh Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has announced that guidelines for 3G licensing will be complete by June 2010, ahead of an open auction of at least four UMTS network operating concessions by the end of the year. A number of major international telecoms companies have already indicated their interest, Ahmed added, whilst other BTRC officials were quoted in a report from AFP saying that UK-based mobile giant Vodafone Group had approached the regulator for permission to apply for a licence. India’s Airtel also seems likely to place a bid, after its proposed offer for a majority stake in the Bangladeshi mobile unit of Warid Telecom recently received regulatory approval.

Source: TeleGeography

3G
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:46:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that at the end of 2009 voice telephony services were available to 99.86% of the country’s administrative villages (up from 98% a year earlier), while internet access covered 91.5% (up from 89%), according to data from the regulator MIIT. Between them, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom raised RMB10.3 billion (USD1.5 billion) to help deploy telephone and internet networks in mountainous regions and plateau areas last year.

Meanwhile, China Mobile is reported to have finished 2009 with more than five million 3G subscribers. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the cellco launched its 3G TD-SCDMA network in April 2008.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:42:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The UK government is seeking comments on how to spend its planned GBP 1 billion Next Generation Fund.
 
First unveiled last summer, the fund will be used to bring next-generation broadband services to rural and under-served areas of the country, with the goal of 90 percent of the population able to access the faster services by 2017. The fund will be financed by a tax of GBP 0.50 on fixed-line subscriptions, for which legislation is pending. The government expects the market will deliver the faster broadband to around 60-70 percent of the country, and wants the public fund to support the roll-out of fast networks in other areas.
 
The consultation published by the department for business innovation and skills is seeking feedback on a number of issues, with responses due by 1 April. Questions include minimum requirements for next-generation access and services, estimated costs of roll-out for different technologies, whether to distribute funds on a regional or national level and in what areas of the country, models for distributing the state aid, possible market-distorting effects of the aid, and obligations on deployed networks such as clawback of funds or open access.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:40:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tanzania’s communications sector was the top performer in terms of the country’s national economic growth in the financial year 2008/09, with a strong increase in the mobile phone user base being the main driver. Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mustafa Mkulo, said the overall mobile subscriber base total grew from 9.5 million people in 2008 to 15 million last year, in the process increasing airtime revenues. The communications sector expanded by 19.2% in 2009 he went on to say, eclipsing the next best performance from the mining sector (15.6%), the financial sector (11.9%) and trade and construction, which grew by one percentage point to 10.5%.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:56:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator Moov Togo has resumed the provision of wireless services in the country after the suspension of its operations for four months, African news agency Pana Press reports. In August 2009 Atlantique Telecom, which manages Moov’s operations in Togo and five other countries in Africa, failed to renew its operating licence in the West African country.

The concession expired in June 2008, after which the company was given until 10 August 2009 to pay a CFA20 billion (USD44 million) renewal fee. Negotiations between the cellco and regulator broke down close to the deadline and Moov’s network was shut down, leaving around 600,000 subscribers without a mobile service and sparking protests involving over 2,000 people. Under the terms of the new agreement, Moov will pay CFA25.75 billion over a period of twelve years, instead of the CFA20 billion previously required over a ten-year period. The company has reportedly already made a down payment of CFA11.75 billion, and will pay the remainder over the required time-span.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:51:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |