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 Friday, February 12, 2010

Rwanda’s telecom industry registered a healthy growth in 2009 with the number of mobile subscribers hitting  2.4 million, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA). RURA said the growth was driven by Tigo’s entry which boosted the mobile space by some 123,897 active subscribers from 2 million subscribers towards the end of 2009. “With Tigo’s launch, we are yet to see a rapid increase in subscriber numbers,” Col. Diogene Mudenge, RURA’s Director General told Business Times. Statistics by RURA show that as of January 16, 2010 MTN Rwanda’s mobile subscribers had reached 1.8m, Rwandatel 487,250 and Tigo 123,897.  “Rwandatel had a slowdown after a rapid start in acquiring more subscribers but now they have picked up again,” Mudenge said. Mudenge also attributed the increase in the number of mobile subscribers to the introduction of new interesting promotions and other services by MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel.

Rwanda expects to hit six million subscribers by 2015. 
RURA, which is the national telecom regulator, says that they are pushing for cheaper handsets from the operators. “We are working with the three operators to have a combine arrangement which will see handsets reduced from Rwf8,000  to Rwf2,000,” Mudenge said. The regulator intends to make a contribution of 50 percent of the total cost of the handset while an operator contributes 30 percent and the end user 20 percent. “We are in negotiations with Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) to see if they can give loans to people who will buy these phones,” Mudenge explained.   He added that Rwanda is seeking to issue a fourth licence in the  near future.  

“The third operator has to first acquire about 300,000 subscribers then we can issue out the bidding process for another operator,” Mudenge said.With the three operators, competition for market share is set to increase, giving subscribers a wide rage of alternatives.

Source: The New Times

Friday, February 12, 2010 3:31:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
South Africa's government has called for mobile operators to cut termination rates more quickly. The communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda issued a statement after telecoms regulator Icasa rejected proposal from the three network operators to gradually reduce the rates over the next three years. The minister said he considers the proposed three-year glide path period "long and unfair to consumers who have been affected by high telecommunication costs for too long". The operators' proposal for rates of ZAR 0.89 peak and ZAR 0.77 off-peak are reasonable only if they were to be implemented in a shorter period of time, he added. He underlined the ministry's respect for Icasa's indepdence, saying the final decision will reside with the regulator.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, February 12, 2010 11:33:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

2009 may have seen most of the world in the depths of a recession, but in some ways the global telecoms market seemed to shrug it off. During the twelve months ending September, wireless and fixed broadband subscribers grew by 15-16%, which was only 1% off the longer-term subscriber growth trend. TeleGeography thoroughly reviewed its five-year subscriber forecasts, and despite the 1% reduction in 2009 growth rate it saw no reason to make any radical changes to its global 2013 forecast numbers. The main engines for subscriber growth remain India, China and a handful of other rapidly emerging markets.

Service provider revenues tell a different story. During the same twelve-month period service providers saw their aggregated telecom service revenues grow by just 1.5% in real terms (which equates to a decline if translated into USD due to moves in exchange rates). This is a substantially lower growth rate than originally forecast, and TeleGeography estimates that the impact of the recession was to reduce the annual growth rate for 2009 by around 2.5% - equating to some USD40 billion in lost revenue opportunity during the year.

The impact of this drop-off in growth rate was by no means a global phenomenon, and most of the pain was felt in Western Europe, with North America and Eastern Europe being impacted to a lesser extent. Other regions were mostly unscathed; the biggest story there was revenue shortfall due to overly aggressive price-based competition for low-revenue subscribers in India and some other large emerging markets.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:27:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nepal’s state-owned national fixed line and mobile operator Nepal Telecom (Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited, or NT) is mulling an ambitious network expansion programme designed to raise overall teledensity in the country to 60% by 2014. A report in the Republica online journal quotes NT deputy managing director Anoopranjan Bhattarai as saying the firm hopes to reach its goal by investing heavily in its GSM and next generation network (NGN) infrastructure.

Undaunted, Bhattarai revealed that NT hopes to hit its target through an ‘aggressive marketing and assurance of service quality’ campaign. ‘If our expansion plan materialises, over 30 million people will be using the services of NT by 2014,’ he added. In real terms NT needs to add around 18 million new lines, including more than five million GSM connections. NT is also looking to install an Internet Protocol Code Division Multiple Access (IP CDMA) system which will have capacity for three million subscribers, and is looking to implement an early launch of CDMA2000 1xEvDO technology boasting maximum transfer speeds of 3Mbps. Its existing wireless networks are limited to around 155kbps.

Other plans afoot include the option of offering IPTV and video on demand (VoD) systems, Bhattarai said, while the firm is installing 550 VSAT terminals to expand its services in remote places.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:25:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN Rwanda has announced the launch of its 'Mobile Money' service, targeting 100,000 subscribers in 2010, local daily The New Times reports. MTN invested USD2 million in the implementation of its new offering, which enables customers on the MTN network to carry out financial transactions using their wireless handset through the 120 agents nationwide appointed by the operator. The service also allows non-subscribers of MTN to receive money. Khaled Mikkawi, CEO at MTN Rwanda, commented: ‘We have a network reaching over 90% or the population and it is only right that we leverage this coverage for a common good product that will go a long way in the financial deepening of the Rwandan economy.’ MTN Rwanda is working with Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR) as the partner bank for its mobile money service.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:20:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Armenia, the mobile start-up owned by France Telecom has passed the 200,000 subscriber mark less than three months after launching commercial services on 5 November 2009. The company previously hit the 100,000 subscriber mark in early December. Commenting on the latest development, Orange Armenia CEO Bruno Duthoit said ‘Our goal is to improve our services and offer new solutions. The results surpassed our expectations by 10%.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Orange launched cellular services in the Republic of Armenia promising to provide mobile users across the country with ‘the quality of service and innovative offers that have become the hallmark of Orange's reputation worldwide’. The launch of the country’s third mobile operator – the market was previously a duopoly of VivaCell-MTS and ArmenTel (Beeline) – had been eagerly anticipated since Orange was awarded its licence on 19 November 2008.

In its press release, the Paris-based firm said that despite the relatively high penetration rate in the country (83.8% at 30 September according to TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database), there is strong demand for its services. With a population of around 3.2 million people, including 1.1 million in the capital Yerevan, Armenia offers the FT group ‘significant growth potential’, it said. In order to get the service off the ground, Orange has invested around EUR100 million (USD148.5 million) in the land-locked country, and going forward it intends to provide the necessary expertise and investment to ensure the development of a ‘high-quality 2G and 3G+ network offering nationwide coverage’. It had population coverage of over 80%, including around 500 towns and villages, at launch.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:18:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Cyprus Mail reports that a parliamentary plan to enforce identity registration of all pre-paid mobile network users has run into legal and practical problems. Late last year, lawmakers began preparing legislation aimed at curbing illicit usage of anonymously owned phone SIM cards in criminal activity, but the draft bill was met with several objections. The commissioner for the protection of personal data, as well as the state legal service disagreed with the bill as it conflicts with the law on personal data, whilst state-owned fixed and mobile operator Cyta, claimed that it would take ‘15 years’ to register its roughly 500,000 pre-paid mobile subscribers. The proposed law provides for a one-year transitional period to give subscribers a chance to register their details. Meanwhile, the House Communications Committee has asked the personal data commissioner and the legal service to find a way to overcome the perceived problems in introducing the scheme.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:15:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wireless network operators in Jordan have criticised the government's plan to increase taxes on mobile phone services. It is estimated that the telecom industry now pays tax rates equivalent to 58% of its revenue to the government. The latest tax is an increase in the special cellular phone tax from 4% to 8%. In total, the network operators pay 16% in sales taxes, 24% income tax on profits and 10% on their total revenues. There is also the newly raised special phone tax of 8%. ‘The increase in the tax will certainly have a negative impact on the telecom sector. Whenever the government wants to increase tax, it thinks of the telecom sector because it is faster and easier to collect the tax, and there are zero efforts involved in the process,’ Raslan Diranieh, chief financial officer of the Jordan Telecom Group, told the The Jordan Times. Rival Zain said the decision was ‘shocking and negative’ and it that it contradicts the government's plan to expand the use of telecom services.

In response to the complaints that the higher taxes will hurt the poorer customers, government spokesperson Nabil Sharif said the government expects citizens to be up to the responsibility by changing their consumption patterns. ‘One can find four or five mobile phones in the same family. In light of the current difficult economic situations it is best for all to direct their spending towards essential items rather than luxury items,’ the minister said.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:11:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

El Salvador's congress is looking to amend Article 8 of the Law on Telecommunications to allow basic charges for fixed telephony lines to be based on costs rather than be inflation indexed, BNamericas reports. The state hopes the move will lower the basic monthly fixed line fee; according to a government statement, El Salvador has the highest rate in Central America at USD9.43 per month, followed by Guatemala (USD5.43), while Honduras has the lowest fee at USD2.10. As reported by CommsUpdate, last month the country’s telecoms regulator Superintendencia General de Electricidad y Telecom (SIGET) allowed operators to raise the line rental fee by almost 50% to USD14.32 per month. Soon after however, the country’s legislative assembly approved a decree that ordered the elimination of the basic fee for fixed line telephony altogether, sparking anger from telecoms operators, which threatened to withdraw investment plans if the government approved the decree.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:09:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain added 300,649 mobile lines in December, bringing the total number to 52.88 million, up by 4.6 percent over the same month of 2008, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT. Over the last three months, Orange won 32.91 percent of the total new additions, Yoigo 21.87 percent, Movistar 19 percent, while Vodafone won 14.88 percent and the MVNOs won 11.33 percent in the period. Mobile penetration reached 114.6 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 110.2 in December 2008.

The M2M sector went up by 25.7 percent over the same period last year, to over 1.84 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 54.73 million. Spain ported a record 429,974 mobile phone numbers in December, up by 13.7 percent versus the same period last year. Yoigo, the MVNOs and Orange saw a positive balance in portability, while Movistar and Vodafone registered a negative balance. Yoigo won 33,933 users, the MVNOs added 13,422 users, and Orange won 17,543 ported customers. Movistar shed 28,241 users and Vodafone lost nearly 36,657 customers in the month. Spanish operators added 63,722 broadband users in December, reaching a total base of 9.74 million lines, up by 7.6 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 21 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 53,476 connections or by 8.2 percent over the same period of 2008, reaching a total of 7.88 million lines at the end of December. Some 10,246 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 1.86 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines rose by 13,224, to 19.85 million lines at the end of December 2009.

Fixed penetration reached 43 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 43.9 in the year-earlier month. Around 136,322 fixed numbers were ported in December, up by 20.9 percent versus 112,775 fixed numbers ported in December 2008.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:07:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report published by the Armenian National Statistical Service shows that the nation’s major IT and telecommunications companies generated revenues of AMD164.42 billion (USD434.69 million) last year, even as recession hit the Armenian economy in a year of global financial and economic crisis. The statistical bureau went on to report that revenues generated from internet services more than tripled last year, reaching AMD10.404 billion, while turnover generated by mobile operators reached AMD105.77 billion and fixed line service revenues totalled AMD40.34 billion.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 12, 2010 11:03:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |