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 Friday, 05 March 2010

According to local newspaper JoongAng Daily, citing the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), a bill passed last week by South Korea’s National Assembly will pave the way for the entry of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). ‘Any company can pursue such a business if it meets the criteria,’ said Shin Yong-seop, communications policy director at the KCC. ‘The bill will take effect in September, and we will be drawing up criteria to select new operators.’ The report says that regulator has been working to reform South Korea’s mobile market for some time, criticizing KDDI, SK Telecom and LG Telecom for charging excessively high prices and spending too much on marketing efforts that do not add quality to their services.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 11:02:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Jordan has launched its 3G network and has said that some two million Jordanians will be covered by the network by the end of the summer. The W-CDMA network will be rolled out in three phases, according to Orange Jordan's CEO Nayla Khawam. Under the first phase roll out will include west Amman, Irbid and Zarqa, while in April coverage will be expanded to cover the entire capital and Aqaba. By summer 2010 network coverage will include most urban locations, delivering services to approximately 70% of populated areas, equivalent to around two million people.

In August last year the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) granted Orange a JOD50 million (USD70 million) licence to introduce 3G services. The company will enjoy a year of exclusivity, beginning today, after which other mobile operators will be allowed to introduce 3G services should they agree to the same licence conditions.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 11:00:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bahrain's third mobile network launched commercial services yesterday as Saudi Telecom Company (STC) subsidiary Viva Bahrain opened its doors to customers. Trade Arabia News Service reports that Viva’s services are available across Bahrain, and include mobile broadband access at speeds of up to 21Mbps, packaged with unlimited downloads, whilst up to five people can enjoy wireless broadband at peak speeds of 7.2Mbps via a single router. For the next three months, Viva is offering free calls and SMS within its Bahraini network and free calls to STC numbers in Saudi Arabia. It is also offering up to 90% discounts on calls made to 18 popular international destinations. Viva’s post-paid handset bundles come with up to 200MB of inclusive data usage per month, whilst its 3G-enabled pre-paid SIM cards are available for BHD2 (USD5.3), with an additional offer of 24% more credit each time the SIM is recharged, the company announced.

STC has invested USD200 million in Bahrain to date and expects to spend ‘several hundred million’ dollars in the next few years. Viva Bahrain CEO Abdulrahman Al Omar commented on the launch: ‘We plan to compete in the Bahraini market by providing innovative services that meet the needs of the market and enrich the level of services, whether voice or data transmission or even high speed broadband.’

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:49:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Portugal Telecom has posted net profit of EUR683.9 million (USD934.3 million) for the year ended 31 December 2009, up 18.7% year-on-year from EUR576.1 million in 2008. Revenues grew from EUR6.72 billion in 2008 to EUR6.78 billion a year later as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed 0.9% from EUR2.48 billion in FY08 to EUR2.5 billion at end-2009. The telco also saw its domestic fixed line customer base grow from 4.29 million at year-end 2008 to 4.58 million a year later as ADSL subscribership topped 862,000 at the same date, up from 710,000 in 2008. The company did however report a continued decline in PSTN connections over the year, down to 2.75 million from 2.84 million in 2008. The company’s wireless arm Telecomunicacoes Moveis Nacionais (TMN) added 319,000 net new customers over the twelve-month period, ending 2009 with 7.25 million mobile subscribers in total.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:47:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As part of its latest round of service provider benchmarking analysis, TeleGeography has found that 16 leading service providers have grown their revenues by an average of 45% over the last three years, equating to some 13% per annum. As could be expected, those achieving the highest growth have been focused on wireless markets in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, India and China. Leading the growth charge are MTN, Bharti and Zain which have all more than doubled their revenues in the last three years. Despite being substantially larger companies than the top ranked three, America Movil, China Mobile and Vodafone have all recorded growth in the 45%-70% range. Of the companies covered in this research the only other to achieve similar growth is AT&T, which has achieved this via acquisition and reconsolidation of US service providers, rather than organic growth

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Friday, 05 March 2010 10:45:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in India looks set to face further delays, according to the Economic Times, on the back of security concerns raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It is understood that the ministry’s worries over the MNP proposals have forced the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to defer its earlier approval of MNP Interconnection Solution as one of the two companies selected by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to oversee the introduction of the service. Concerns have been raised over the ownership structure of MNP Interconnection Solutions, with the MHA first voicing its objections in December 2009, with the ministry claiming that a number of shareholders in the company had no experience in running telecom services.

Nonetheless, in a separate but related report by Dow Jones Newswires, it was noted that Andimuthu Raja, the Indian communications minister, said that, even with the expected delays, MNP should be launched by the first week of May. The introduction of MNP has seen a number of delays, having first been scheduled for implementation by 31 December 2009 in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, as well as in the Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu circles. This deadline was subsequently pushed back to 31 March 2010, but again this now looks unlikely to be met.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:32:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Angola had a relatively modest total of 303,000 fixed line telephone connections at the end of 2009, but representing significant growth from a figure of 218,000 at end-2008, according to the National Communication Institute (INACOM), which made its statistics available to the Angola Press Agency (ANGOP). Meanwhile, the mobile market in the country continued to grow steadily, with the number of subscriptions reaching 8.7 million at the end of December 2009, up from 6.8 million twelve months previously.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:30:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh's telecom minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has told journalists that 3G licences will be awarded via a qualitative ‘beauty contest’ procedure rather than a straightforward monetary auction, local newspaper The Daily Star reports. The minister said the state did not want to repeat mistakes made in the country’s WiMAX auctions, where licence prices were pushed up too high. Ahmed Abou Doma,CEO of the country’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Banglalink, agreed, saying: ‘We welcome the telecom minister's comment on arranging a beauty contest to award the 3G licence, rather than monetary bidding... [which] ensures fastest and widest 3G coverage along with the highest service levels and quality for the customers.’ Market leader GrameenPhone, though, raised concerns about the potential for non-transparency when using selection methods other than a highest bidder auction.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:27:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A total of 1.141 million Hungarian households were receiving digital TV broadcast signals from one of the country’s 14 leading service providers at the end of 2009, a significant increase on the same time a year earlier, Broadband TV News reports citing data published by the National Communications Authority (NHH). In December alone, more than 23,000 homes signed up to one or other of the main digital TV suppliers, which between them account for 80%-85% of the total domestic market. As at 31 December, UPC’s local unit was the leading digital TV provider by subscribers with a 31.9% market share, down from 32.1% in November. Second spot was claimed by Digi with 23.4% (23.9% in November) and Magyar Telekom’s T-Home took 21.5% (20.8%). Previously, the watchdog estimated that of the country’s roughly 3.8 million homes with a TV, around three million take some form of television subscription.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:25:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat Afghanistan has celebrated the addition of its three millionth subscriber, and by its own calculation now controls 24% of the market share. With network coverage of 27 provinces, the company claims to have invested USD300 million in the country to date. Kheyal Mohammed, head of the Afghan telecommunications and information technology committee, said: ‘The telecommunications sector of Afghanistan needed a strong player such as Etisalat. Etisalat Afghanistan has been worthy of our confidence. Etisalat has managed to accomplish in a short period of time what took other operators years to achieve. Now we see that the company’s network has reached approximately 90% of Afghanistan, despite the security issues and geographical conditions’. Without giving details Etisalat said its Afghani operation tripled revenues in 2009. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Etisalat competes with Afghan Wireless Communications Company, MTN Afghanistan and Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (Roshan).

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:18:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarusian Telecommunications Network (BeST), which trades under the banner life:), has signed up more than 200,000 3G mobile users and is aiming to increase this to 500,000 by the end of the year, e-Belarus reports citing its CEO Ozcan Ermis as saying. Of the total, between 90,000 and 95,000 subscribers are classed as subscribing to plans which include mobile internet, while the remainder are using 3G services on an ad hoc basis. To date, life:) is the only Belarusian GSM-operator to have deployed a commercial 3G network. It hopes the head start will enable it to secure a roughly 70% market share of the UMTS segment.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, BeST signed up its one millionth user on 28 December 2009, and reported a fourfold increase in customers over the year to give it around 11% of the overall market by the start of 2010. On 3 November 2009, life:) launched the country’s first 3G network offering high speed internet connectivity at downlink speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and providing new services such as videocalling. The operator, which is 80%-owned by Turkish telecoms company Turkcell, with the remaining 20% in the hands of the Republic of Belarus, said that its 3G/3.5G network was available to residents in the capital Minsk and other major cities at launch.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:14:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a method for mobile phones to convert silent mouth movements into speech. The technology is based on the principle of electromyography, that is the acquisition and recording of electrical potentials generated by muscle activity. This muscle activity is measured in the face and converted into speech.

An example is soundless calling.

The user can speak into the phone soundlessly, but is still understood by the conversation partner on the other end of the line. As a result, it is possible to communicate in silent environments, at the cinema or theater, without disturbing others. Another field of use is the transmission of confidential information.

For the transmission of passwords and PINs, for example, users can change seamlessly to soundless language and, hence, transmit confidential information in a tap-proof manner.

On the web: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:13:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Growth in fibre services delivered directly to homes and buildings accelerated n Europe in 2009. According to a report by market researcher Idate for the FTTH Council Europe, the number of FTTH/B subscribers rose 19 percent over the six months to December 2009 to 3.5 million and the number of homes and buildings passed increased 29 percent to over 25 million. The survey covered 36 countries in Europe, including Russia, which accounted for around 1 million of the subscribers. Excluding Russia, the majority of subscribers (77 percent) are concentrated in seven countries, in the following order: Sweden, Italy, France, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark. Amongst them five countries now have more than 200,000 subscribers connected.

Idate identified 249 FTTH/B projects in Europe, of which 136 are new initiatives since June 2005. Municipalities and utilities are still the main players in FTTH/B deployments, representing 55.7 percent of the total number of projects. Alternative operators represent 28.7 percent of the total number of projects, but over 74 percent of homes/buildings passed. They also account for most of the subscribers, led by FastWeb in Italy, B2 of Sweden, Illiad/Free, Numericable and SFR in France, Orange Slovensko and T2 in Slovenia, which together had 841,500 subscribers, or around 24 percent of Europe's FTTH/B subscriber base (including Russia). Regarding technology deployed, Ethernet is still the first choice and represents 84 percent of total FTTH/B rollouts at end 2009.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 05 March 2010 10:05:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 March 2010

The total number of registered SIM cards in Brazil jumped 1.64 million to 175.6 million last month, the second largest January hike ever recorded, as the nation’s cellcos continue to slug it out for new customers. According to data published by the industry regulator Anatel, the 50/50 joint venture between Telefonica and Portugal Telecom, Vivo Participacoes, maintained its leading position at the end of January with a 29.87% market share, up from 29.75% in December. Second spot was claimed by Telecom Americas (Claro), the local subsidiary of Mexico's America Movil, with 25.52% share, unchanged on the previous month. Third place was taken by TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) with 23.63%, also the same as for December, and ahead on Telemar Norte Leste’s Oi with 20.61%, down from 20.73%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:27:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced that since launching its first 3G service on 30 July 2009 it has attracted over five million subscribers to the network. As reported by CommsUpdate on 30 July 2009, Turkcell deployed its 3G networks to all 81 Turkish provinces, covering over 60% of the population at launch. The network has since been expanded to cover 70% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:25:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuela’s telecoms regulator Conatel has reported that the country’s number of fixed lines in service grew by 7% in the twelve months to the end of December 2009, taking the total to 6.9 million. The watchdog also said that total mobile subscriptions increased by 3% in the year to 28.1 million, continuing a slowdown in the growth rate from the 14% rise seen in 2008, and a 27% increase two years earlier. According to Conatel’s figures, cellular penetration reached 99.2% at end-2009. However, the standout development in the report was a 40% year-on-year increase in total fixed broadband internet customers to 1.9 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:23:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian mobile operator TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) today reported its financial results for the last quarter of 2009, revealing that net profits at the firm dropped 14% on the same period of 2008 due a drop in call minutes booked and its decision to use fewer tax credits. The country’s third largest wireless operator by subscribers posted net income of BRL330 million (USD 181 million) in the period under review, down from BRL384 million previously. In its regulatory filing the operator said gross revenue dipped 4% from 4Q08, due in part to a 40% drop in ancillary product sales and an 11% decline in average revenue per user (ARPU). The filing went on to say that the company used about 64% less in available tax credits, or BRL47.8 million, helping drive down its bottom line. Fourth-quarter net revenue dropped 4.4% y-o-y to BRL3.4 billion and operating costs fell 7% to BRL2.45 billion. EBITDA was up 3% to BRL958.5 million in 4Q09, compared to BRL931 million previously.

TIM Brasil ended 2009 with 41.1 million subscribers, up 12.9% from the end of 2008, and representing a market share of 23.6%. Total net additions in the fourth quarter came to 4.7 million lines, or 20.2% of total market net additions. Average revenue per user (ARPU) came at BRL27.0 in 4Q09, a growth of 1.7% when compared to the previous quarter. The cellco’s GSM network covered 94% of the country’s urban population, serving around 2,958 cities, as at 31 December 2009. As for data coverage, TIM provides GPRS technology to 100% of its footprint, while 77% is covered through EDGE technology, it said. In addition, TIM’s 3G coverage was present in more than 57 cities at the end of 2009 – reaching 30% of urban population in Brazil.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:20:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Syria’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, SyriaTel, reported a 4.7% year-on-year rise in revenues last year to SYP48.2 billion (USD1.07 billion), according to its unaudited financial statements published yesterday. Net profits were up 15% y-o-y at SYP7.3 billion, it added, while the company’s total equity value increased by 15% to SYP19.6 billion as at 31 December 2009.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database SyriaTel has been Syria's leading mobile operator by subscribers since it was established by Orascom Telecom of Egypt and holding company Drex Technologies, in 2000. Having been awarded a 15-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract at the start of 2001 by the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), the company launched services over its GSM-900/1800 network in April in Damascus, Allepo, Homs, Hamah, Tartous and Latakieh, and soon captured 120,000 subscribers. By 30 September 2009, the cellco, which is now 51%-owned by Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf via Drex Technologies, had a total of 4.92 million customers, a market share of 55.16%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:18:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sources in Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies (MCIT) have revealed that third-generation base stations in the autonomous republic of Nakhchivan will provide 21,000 mobile subscribers with 3G network coverage by May, according to News.Az. It is hoped the expansion of 3G infrastructure to towns and villages in the area will help promote the use of broadband internet, mobile TV and videocalling services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Azerfon is the only wireless operator in Azerbaijan to have been awarded a licence from the MCIT to provide 3G services. Shortly after receiving its concession in December 2009, Azerfon launched its 3G network in Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Shirvan, Nakhchivan, Mingachevir, Tovuz and Shamkir, as well as in the Absheron Peninsula.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:17:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The oldest mobile operator in Azerbaijan, Bakcell, has announced that for the first time since its formation in 1994 it has achieved network coverage in all regions of the country, reports. Bakcell, which according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database operates across a nationwide GSM platform with GPRS and EDGE evolution, said that it had worked hard to improve its networks in the twelve months ended 31 December 2009, adding that: ‘As a result, coverage in every region of Azerbaijan has more than doubled.’ As reported by CommsUpdate on 15 October 2009 Bakcell has pledged to continue to develop its network in 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:16:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Togo Telecom has contracted Xtera Communications, a global provider of optical and IP networking solutions, to deploy a high capacity fibre-optic network across Togo. Phase I of the work was completed in January 2010. When completed, the deployment will migrate the current Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) long-distance domestic network to a new optical layer relying on advanced broadband optical amplification technology for higher capacity, providing enhanced network resilience and availability. The new network will also create a high-capacity, reliable backhaul system, connecting landlocked countries in the west sub-Saharan area to international submarine cable systems via Togo Telecom's cable landing station, which is part of the West African Cable System (WACS).

‘Togo Telecom's advanced nationwide optical network combined with the WACS infrastructure will offer landlocked countries in the sub-region and Togo access to the rest of the world,’ said Sam Bikassam, general manager of Togo Telecom. 'This will free landlocked countries from the exclusive use of microwave radio systems and satellite connectivity for international communications, enabling them to offer more reliable, higher capacity broadband services to their residential and business customers’ he added.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:06:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It appears that there could be some light at the end of the tunnel, with the Indian government having unveiled a new timetable for the long-delayed auction of third-generation spectrum, the Economic Times is reporting. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has revealed that the sale process itself will now commence on 9 April 2010, with the regulator adding that it would issue the notice inviting application (NIA) for bids today, 25 February 2010. Under the revised schedule applications are due by 19 March, and pre-qualification of bidders is to take place on 30 March 2010, with mock auctions following on 5 April and 6 April.

However, according to the Business Standard, in an official statement the DoT has confirmed that it is now only planning to auction off three UMTS licences, rather than the four originally planned. The fourth is not expected to offered until an undetermined later date, due in part to the fact that spectrum is unlikely to be available until at least 2013, according to the regulator. The reserve price for 3G spectrum has been set at INR35 billion (USD750 million), although it is widely expected that with competition for the licences so fierce the winning bids will eclipse that. State-owned telcos Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) have both already been given spectrum to roll out services in their respective circles of operation.

Alongside the 3G development, the government has also clarified the timeframe for the sale of wireless broadband spectrum, noting that the auction for such frequencies will commence two days after the 3G sale has closed. The reserve price for WiMAX spectrum has been set at INR17.5 billion, and it is understood that two concessions will be offered.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:03:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Macedonia’s third mobile operator Mobilkom Macedonia (VIP), owned by Telekom Austria via its wireless arm mobilkom Austria, reported a 25.5% increase in net users last year, reaching a total of 303,700 by the year-end. The gains helped the cellco increase its market share from 10.7% at end-2008 to 15.9% a year later.

VIP posted FY2009 revenue of EUR6.4 million (USD8.6 million), up 70% year-on-year on the back of strong subscriber gains. EBITDA decreased from EUR3.9 million in 2008 to EUR2.2 million last year, Dnevnik reports.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:00:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo yesterday notified the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications that it is cutting the fees it charges other telecommunications operators to interconnect with its network. The new rates, which will be effective from 4 March, will be applied retroactively to all interconnections made since April 2009, it said. The revised fees for calls made within the same service area have been cut 15.6% from JPY0.160 (USD0.00179) per-second to JPY0.135, while interconnection fees for calls between different service areas have been reduced by 13.3% from JPY0.180 per-second to JPY0.156.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 14:54:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moroccan communications group Maroc Telecom has reached 60% completion in the first phase of a plan to roll out a fibre-optic backbone network linking Morocco with West African countries, reports Dow Jones Newswires quoting Middle Eastern daily Asharq Al Awsat. Phase one of the network will link the capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott, to El Ouyoun in Western Sahara, revealed Maroc Telecom's president Abdulsalam Ahizoune, whilst the finished route will link Mauritania, Gabon, Mali and Burkina Faso, he said.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 14:52:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The planned Seahorse-1 submarine fibre-optic cable linking Miami, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and potentially Cuba, has had its rollout schedule rearranged, BNamericas was told by Cobian International, the parent of the system’s developer Triton Telecom. Cobian acquired the rights to what is now the Seahorse project that was originally being developed by the Trans-Caribbean Cable Company (TCCC) consortium. Phase one of the rollout has been repeatedly pushed back from 2009 and is now due to be completed in January 2011, when a direct route will connect Miami to Kingston, Jamaica. From there the optical ring will continue from Ocho Rios in Jamaica to the Dominican Republic, and then on to Puerto Rico and Miami, with completion set for early 2013. Additionally, Cobian is looking to deploy a branch leg from Jamaica to Cuba in the future.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 14:49:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
South African fixed-line operator Telkom has pledged to pass on to customers 100 percent of the proposed cut in mobile termination rates from 1 March. This will see Telkom dropping its peak rate for fixed-to-mobile calls by ZAR 0.36 or 22 percent to ZAR 1.475 per minute. Telkom has filed its new fixed-to-mobile retail rates with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. Telkom noted however that it's still awaiting notification from Cell C on finalisation of an amendment to the Cell C interconnection agreement.
Source: TelecomPaper
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 13:50:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­UAE based Etisalat has announced that its subscriber base has exceeded 100 million subscribers across its 18 markets in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. This comes shortly after Etisalat announced it has acquired an additional share equal to 18% in "Atlantic Telecom" thus increasing the shareholding to 100%.

Added to that is its application to the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), to obtain approval to raise its 45% stake in its Indian subsidiary Etisalat DB to 50% plus one share. Etisalat targets majority stakes in its subsidiaries and associates for more operational and financial synergy.

Recently Etisalat reported annual Net Revenues of AED 30.83 billion and Net Profits of AED 8.836 billion marking a 5% and 16% increase respectively, compared to 2008.

Etisalat has operations and investments in 18 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan, Tanzania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, Togo, Republic of Central Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 13:49:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to recent findings by Dataxis Intelligence, Mobile broadband subscribers in Africa - users of data cards and USB dongles through cellular 3G networks- reached 3.3 million in September 2009 and are expected to break the 4 million milestone in the first quarter of 2010.

In the same time fixed br­oadband subscribers that stood at 3.4 million in September 2009 are forecasted to be around 3.8 million by March 2010, thereby being outpaced by 3G internet usage.

In fact, according to Dataxis, mobile broadband adoption grows 2 times faster than fixed broadband with an average net adds of over 400,000 new subscribers on a quarterly basis. This euphoria is mainly due to the flexibility of the service  with both prepaid and postpaid offerings marketed by operators as well as its user-friendly aspects -mobility, top-up to name a few.


Broadband subscribers (million)

  Q109 Q209 Q309 Q409 E Q1010 E
Mobile 2.41 2.84 3.4 3.8 4.2
Fixed 3 3.2 3.43 3.7 3.9
Total 5.41 6.04 6.83 7.5 8.1


Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 13:45:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Costa Rica's telecoms regulator Sutel has said it will implement price ceilings for all telecoms providers. According to a statement on the regulator’s website, the legislation is designed to allow service providers flexibility in lowering their prices, if needed in a market which is in the process of liberalisation. Currently, the prices of state telecoms incumbent ICE are fixed. The watchdog has not yet decided what the price ceilings will be, but they will apply for all services including mobile telephony, fixed line telephony, international long distance, internet, virtual private networks, VSAT services and text messages.

Currently ICE charges USD19 per month for a 256kbps internet connection. Mobile calls costs CRC30 (USD0.05) per minute at peak rate and CRC23 at the reduced rate.

In related news, by end January 2010 Sutel had authorised 65 operators to offer different types of telecoms services, local daily El Financiero reported.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 12:07:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra has claimed that, as a result of increased competition from mobile and internet voice services, existing restrictions on the price that can be charged for fixed line calls should be removed. However, according to The Age, the telco is facing stiff opposition to such a move from The Australia Institute, a think tank which claims that the removal of such limits would harm lower-income households.

Under the existing legislation Telstra is unable to charge more than AUD0.22 (USD0.19) for a local call, while the telco is also restricted in that it may not increase line rental costs by more than the rate of inflation. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently conducting a review of the restrictions, and in a submission to the review Telstra has argued that increased competition effectively negates the need for price regulation, noting: ‘Although price controls may have been necessary during the transition to full market liberalisation, they are no longer necessary.’ Telstra has, however, said that it would back requirements for both untimed local calls and for a single price for local calls nationwide. Meanwhile, the Australia Institute in its submission to the ACCC said: ‘Low-income households are already spending 6% of their income on telephones, compared with only 1.6% for the wealthiest 20% of households. Removing price caps would only exacerbate this inequity.'

The ACCC is expected to report its findings to the government by 12 March 2010, with any new pricing rules to come in to force from July this year for a two-year period.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 11:59:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Algerie Telecom has launched ‘SAFIR’, the country’s first IPTV service, equipment supplier Netgem revealed. The service was rolled out across the telco’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in collaboration with Netgem and the telco’s systems integration partner SPEC-COM Algerie. Netgem’s NetgemTV software and set-top boxes will allow the operator to deliver triple-play services and a choice of 60 IP-delivered TV channels. Moussa Benhamadi, CEO of Algerie Telecom, said: ‘SAFIR is a key initiative in the rollout of our FTTH network and evidence of our commitment to offer six million broadband connections by the end of 2013.’

The deployment of SAFIR has received strong backing from the Algerian government which is investing in its national telecoms infrastructure and broadband networks in an effort to accelerate economic development.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 11:57:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Just over three-quarters (77%) of seniors in the UK have access to a mobile phone, but 49% still feel intimidated and hesitant of new technology, reports a survey carried out by Synovate on behalf of Doro. The survey of 2000 reveals that the use of mobile phones is continuing to grow amongst seniors. Seniors in the UK stated that they use their mobile phone mostly to make calls (73%) and secondly for text messages (37%).

"Many seniors experience difficulties when handling technical products due to problems relating to sight, hearing, poor mobility and indeed limited dexterity. At Doro we believe that seniors will call and use services to a much greater extent as soon as they possess a mobile phone developed with their needs in mind," says Kjell Reidar Mydske Marketing and Sales Director at Doro.

Just as the rest of us, seniors differ from each other - the survey shows great differences between the countries, age groups and social background. There are interesting differences between the 65-74 and 75+ age groups. Nearly 90% of those in the age group 65-74 have a mobile phone, while only two-thirds of those in the age group 75+ have one.

There are also big differences between the countries. The USA are in the front line (65%) when it comes to having a positive attitude to new technology, closely followed by Sweden (62%), Germany (62%) and UK (44%). The French, on the other hand, have a more considered approach to new technology (39%).

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 11:54:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The charitable foundation set up by the wife of the UK's former Prime Minister, Tony Blair has published a report that attempts to understand the nature of women mobile subscribers in low and middle-income countries such as Kenya and India, and highlights the barriers facing women's adoption of mobile technologies. It also shows that, by extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be advanced.

The report reveals for the first time the extent of the gender gap in mobile usage in many low and middle-income countries. It shows that a woman in a low or middle-income country is 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man. Closing this gender gap would bring the benefits of mobile phones to an additional 300 million women, empowering and enabling them to stay better connected with family and friends, improving their safety, and helping them obtain paid work, in line with the third UN Millennium Development Goal on gender equality. The mobile phone as documented in the report is an effective productivity and development tool which creates education, health, employment, banking and business opportunities.

Click here to see full article

The research calls for the mobile industry, development community and policy makers to undertake a number of steps together including, specifically addressing women in segmentation strategies and marketing tactics; creating innovative programmes to increase the uptake of mobile phones amongst women; promoting the mobile phone as a life enhancing, effective development tool which creates education, health, employment, banking and business opportunities; and designating high-profile champions of mobile phones for women.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 11:51:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 17 February 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.

Click here to see full article

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.


Wednesday, 17 February 2010 09:53:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 February 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

Monday, 15 February 2010 14:31:21 (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.

Click here to see full article

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, 15 February 2010 14:28:38 (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, 15 February 2010 13:58:51 (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, 15 February 2010 13:52:37 (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, 15 February 2010 13:50:38 (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, 15 February 2010 13:22:55 (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, 15 February 2010 11:45:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 12 February 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, 12 February 2010 15:31:15 (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, 12 February 2010 11:33:04 (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, 12 February 2010 11:27:56 (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, 12 February 2010 11:25:08 (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, 12 February 2010 11:20:36 (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, 12 February 2010 11:18:45 (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, 12 February 2010 11:15:54 (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, 12 February 2010 11:11:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |