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 Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The latest national survey from market research company Synovate shows Kenya’s Internet market is growing fast and on the basis of this growth will soon reach “critical mass”. The growth in users is coming from both urban and rural areas and is predominantly amongst the young and well educated. Russell Southwood pored over the results.

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Critical mass kicks in when the number of users starts to create networking effects. In other words, existing users start to draw in new users who don’t want to be left out. In Kenya, this is clearly already beginning starting to happen. And although the number of daily Internet users is smaller than the overall estimated total of 3.5 million, it is beginning to grow significant and will continue to do so as access prices fall and local content offers become more varied.

Source: Balancingact-africa.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:53:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 15, 2010

Military-owned telecoms company Viettel has revealed that it plans to become Vietnam’s third 3G W-CDMA provider in March. The director of Viettel’s HCMC branch, Tran Minh Huy, told local newspaper Vietnam Daily that next generation services will be launched commercially once trials in more than 20 provinces have been concluded. The cellco says it will deploy 100,000 3G base stations during 2010. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, rival mobile operators Vinaphone and Mobifone launched W-CDMA-based services in October 2009 and December 2009 respectively, but initial take-up has been slow due to high handset costs.

Source: TeleGeography

3G
Monday, February 15, 2010 2:31:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The European telecom market is currently undergoing major changes: aggressive competition is leading to falling prices and decreasing revenues. Increased regulation at the European level has exacerbated the situation for many providers. The industry is currently looking for solutions. "We're seeing European providers respond to the changed basic conditions in numerous ways. Companies are constantly in search of innovation and new revenue sources, and at the same time they're also continuing to focus on cost reduction. In some European markets, for example the UK and Switzerland, the current trend is towards consolidation," says Hagen Götz Hastenteufel, A.T. Kearney.

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Convergence in line with what customers want

Integrating mobile communications with the fixed network opens up ways to ensure stronger customer loyalty and win new customers more successfully. "Examples have shown that convergent products can bring down customers' desire to switch by more than half", notes Hastenteufel. Potential for up- and cross-selling increases, which creates competitive advantages over pure mobile communications and fixed network providers. "Convergence fulfils customers' desires for technically high-end yet easy-to-use telecommunications. Integrating the two technologies opens up further scope for product innovation."

But A.T. Kearney agrees that convergence is not a panacea, and will only be successful if implemented in a thoroughgoing, comprehensive manner.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, February 15, 2010 2:28:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The GSM Association expects mobile operators around the world will invest up to USD 72 billion in mobile broadband technologies in 2010. The operator capex data, compiled by Deutsche Bank, cover technologies including HSPA/HSPA+, WCDMA and EVDO/CDMA. Asia Pacific will see the greatest investment in mobile broadband with predicted capital expenditure of up to USD 34 billion. North America follows with up to USD 19 billion, and Europe is expected to invest up to USD 14 billion. Mobile broadband will account for an estimated 52 percent of all operator investment in mobile infrastructure globally. Of all the regions, North America will spend the greatest percentage, 80 percent, of its total mobile capex on mobile broadband.
According to research firm Wireless Intelligence, the growth of HSPA is predicted to increase from an average of around 9 million connections per month at the end of 2009, to almost 13 million per month. Of the total estimated 342 million connections at the end of 2010, Europe will lead the way with 120 million, followed by Asia Pacific with 116 million and North America 58 million. There are currently 200 million HSPA connections worldwide, with more than 1,800 HSPA enabled devices available from more than 150 suppliers. Across 123 countries, there are currently 294 commercially live networks, of which 183 currently deliver peak data rates of above 3.6 Mbps, and 37 commercially live HSPA+ networks, each capable of delivering data speeds up to 21 Mbps.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, February 15, 2010 1:58:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Egyptian cellco MobiNil has posted revenues of EGP10.8 billion (USD1.9 billion) for 2009, up 8% year-on-year, on the back of strong subscriber growth. EBITDA grew by 9% during the period to EGP5.1 billion while net income came in at EGP2 billion, up 3%. At 31 December the active subscriber base stood at 24.1 million, up from 19.2 million twelve months previously. Average monthly ARPU across the year fell from EGP46 in 2008 to EGP39 in 2009 in light of fierce competition between MobiNil and rival cellcos Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr (Nile Telecom).

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, February 15, 2010 1:52:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vache Kirakosyan, the head of high tech and IT at Armeria’s Ministry of Economy has said the build out of a high speed broadband internet network in the country will start later this year. PanARMENIAN.Net quotes Kirakosyan as saying the state has allocated USD900,000 to prepare the groundwork for the project. According to the official, European IT and telecoms consultancy DeTeCon International has been approached to provide assistance on the plan. It is understood the new high speed network will comprise a mix of fibre-optic, WiMAX and satellite technologies. The deployment project will last between three and five years and cost around USD24 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, February 15, 2010 1:50:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has planned to deregulate the market and allow the two-telecom operators (Etisalat and du) to set their own prices. The Authority decision will help to propel the already saturated telecom industry in the country. The proposed regulations, which could be enforced by the end of 2010, would also prevent the telecom operators from engaging into anti-competitive behavior such as predatory pricing. The TRA's announcement is likely to foster more competition in the tightly regulated market where rates are among the world highest. As per the existing structure, the TRA approves all the pricing and promotions strategies of the operators that prevent a price war between the two-telecom operators.

Click here to see full article

“Booming UAE Telecom Sector” contains comprehensive information about the current and potential outlook of various emerging technologies such as IPTV, WiMAX and Mobile TV. It also includes a segment of competitive landscape that discusses business activities and developments of the two-telecom operators (Etisalat and Du), including their SWOT analysis with regard to the country’s telecom industry.

Source: PRLog
Monday, February 15, 2010 1:22:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Barcelona, 15 February 2010 — After reaching around 4.6 billion mobile cellular subscriptions by the end of 2009, ITU expects the number of mobile cellular subscriptions globally to reach five billion in 2010, driven by advanced services and handsets in developed countries and increased take-up of mobile health services and mobile banking in the developing world.

"Even during an economic crisis, we have seen no drop in the demand for communications services," says ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré, taking part in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, "and I am confident that we will continue to see a rapid uptake in mobile cellular services in particular in 2010, with many more people using their phones to access the internet."

ITU expects to see the number of mobile broadband subscriptions exceed one billion globally during 2010, having topped 600 million by the end of 2009. With current growth rates, web access by people on the move — via laptops and smart mobile devices – is likely to exceed web access from desktop computers within the next five years.

"Even the simplest, low-end mobile phone can do so much to improve healthcare in the developing world," adds Dr Touré. "Good examples include sending reminder messages to patient’s phones when they have a medical appointment, or need a pre-natal check-up. Or using SMS messages to deliver instructions on when and how to take complex medication such as anti-retrovirals or vaccines. It’s such a simple thing to do, and yet it saves millions of dollars — and can help improve and even save the lives of millions of people."

Concerning mobile banking, rapid growth in mobile cellular subscriptions has meant that there are now large numbers of people worldwide, especially in developing countries, who have a mobile phone subscription but no bank account — and increasingly, subscribers are using their phones for banking.

ITU is the main source of internationally comparable data and statistics on ICT. The Market Information and Statistics Division of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) collects, harmonizes and disseminates more than 100 telecommunication and ICT indicators from over 200 economies worldwide. Data are accessible online through the ICT Eye portal, on CD and in print publications. ITU regularly publishes analytical reports illustrating the latest trends in the sector. It also monitors the development of the digital divide and has developed widely used benchmarking tools, such as the ICT Development Index (IDI).

Source: ITU

Monday, February 15, 2010 11:45:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |