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 Friday, 02 July 2010

Romanian telecoms regulator, the National Authority for Administration and Communications (ANCOM), has announced that from tomorrow new interconnection rates will apply for wireless network operators Cosmote Romania, Zapp (Telemobil) and RCS&RDS. The first two named will cut rates from RON0.0567 per minute to RON0.0503, while RCS&RDS will cut its rates from RON0.064 cents per minute to RON0.0567 cents per minute.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:48:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh’s total number of PSTN subscribers fell by almost 700,000 from 1.72 million at the end of March to 1.03 million at end-May following the government’s decision to suspend the operations of five out of 13 fixed line providers in a crackdown on alleged illegal VoIP services. Local newspaper The Financial Express quotes the figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), which raided the premises of RanksTel, Dhaka Phone, PeoplesTel, WorldTel and National Telecom in March and decided to cancel their respective licences on 12 May; the five telcos accounted for around 600,000 lines between them. The report claims that they suffered collective revenue losses of around BDT300 million (USD4.42 million) in the last three months whilst the jobs of some 1,500 employees are in doubt. The largest of the private sector firms, RanksTel, had a fixed user base of around 300,000 in March, and its chief operating officer AK Shamsuddin said that it is losing net revenue of around BDT50 million to BDT70 million per month due to the forced closure. RanksTel has filed a High Court petition challenging the BTRC’s actions, and a hearing commences on 4 July.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:45:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Finnish telecoms regulator FICORA has announced that as of today both residential and business users are entitled to a broadband subscription operating at speeds of at least 1Mbps as part of the country’s revised Universal Service Obligations (USO). The addition of broadband to the country’s USOs makes it the first worldwide to mandate high speed internet access as a basic right. According to the regulator, 26 operators have been assigned as universal service providers, with each obliged to provide a broadband connection for those consumers and businesses in their respective regions of operation. With Finland’s Communications Market Act having been updated to legislate that all operators with USO must ‘provide every permanent residence and business office with access to a reasonably priced and high-quality internet connection with a downstream rate of at least 1 Mbps’, FICORA has also suggested that a monthly charge of between EUR30 and EUR40 (USD36.7 and USD48.9) per month would be reasonable in most cases. The regulator, however, has noted that it does not have the power to determine a price cap for a universal service subscription in advance.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:42:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Standardization, interoperability and growing competition from e-mail servers and services are accelerating the commoditization of wireless e-mail, according to Gartner. Vendors are responding by pursuing differentiation in the areas of collaboration, applications and the cloud.

Gartner predicts that worldwide wireless e-mail users will reach 1 billion by year-end 2014. Worldwide business wireless e-mail accounts were estimated at more than 80 million in early 2010, including large, midsize and small organizations, as well as individual professionals - corresponding to about 60 million active users.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:40:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The number of mobile internet subscribers in Hungary passed the one million mark at the end of May, the National Communications Authority (NHH) has reported in its monthly update. In total, 16,000 new mobile internet subscribers were added in May 2010. The regulator added that the number of active customers - those having used mobile Internet in the last three months - within the whole set of mobile Internet subscribers has increased from 773,000 to 786,000.

According to a report based on the cooperation of Hungary's three mobile carriers, after April's overall traffic of 1,131,000 GB, subscribers in May used their mobile devices for a total of 1,148,000 GB of uploads and downloads, translating to an average traffic of 1.46 GB per active customer - a figure that has not changed since the previous month.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, 02 July 2010 14:35:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Armenia plans to roll out voice and internet coverage to 95% of the Armenian population by the end of 2010. PanArmenian.Net quotes the Minister of Transport and Communication, Manuk Vardanyan, as saying that in a meeting with Olaf Swantee, France Telecom executive vice president for Europe and Sourcing, the French official confirmed the group intended to invest USD50 million to achieve the set target. Mr Vardanyan added that Orange Armenia’s improvement will not purely focus on the capital, but will also look to extend high speed mobile broadband to more ‘remote’ regions and villages of the Republic.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:33:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russian wireless powerhouse Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has celebrated its eighth anniversary in Belarus, with its local unit signing up more than 4.56 million subscribers and boasting 4,400 base stations covering 97.23% of the territory. In addition, the owners note its Belarusian cellco has voice roaming on 408 networks in 170 countries and territories and GPRS-roaming on 289 guest networks in 127 countries and territories. The unit currently has 34% of its base activated for data transmission services, of which 11% (501,600) use it regularly. MTS Russia has invested USD679.5 million in its Belarusian stock since entering the country.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:29:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Residents in the Turks and Caicos Islands now have three choices of mobile telephony provider with the launch earlier this month of Islandcom Wireless, the country’s first 3G network operator. Islandcom’s range of W-CDMA-based pre- and post-paid services includes video calling and high speed internet access with international roaming. In September 2008 the company formed a partnership with Bermuda Digital Communications (BDC), a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network, which provided new investment to begin building an UMTS network in March 2009. 17 3G base stations have been rolled out and by the end of the year will be expanded to 19 sites across the islands, including North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Grand Turk.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:17:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary’s mobile internet subscription base climbed 16,000 in May to reach the one million mark, according to data published by the National Telecommunications Agency (NHH). Of the total, 786,000 were classed as ‘active’ mobile broadband subscribers, up 13,000 on the previous month. The NHH said T-Mobile’s share of active mobile internet users was 48.90% in May, compared to 48.38% in April. Telenor (formerly Pannon) controlled 27.20%, down from 27.38% in April and Vodafone had 23.90%, down from 24.24% previously.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:15:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Despite the impact of the economic crisis and a 45% reduction in mobile interconnection charges in 2009, Chile will remain one of the most advanced telecommunication markets in Latin America, with its availability of advanced data communications solutions, multiplay offerings and overall telecom services adoption giving it an edge over other markets in the region, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Chile's telecom market will rebound with a 4.4% CAGR from 2010 through 2015, reaching $6.1bn, propelled by significant increases in fixed and mobile data services. Mobile data service revenue will account for 23% of total service revenue by 2015, notes Sergio Cruz Zarate, Analyst at Large at Pyramid Research. "Revenue derived from data services will increase from 24% in 2010 to 35% in 2015. The rise will be the result of higher penetration rates enabled by continued declines in pricing," indicates Zarate.

Bundled offers, a decrease in tariffs, and wide coverage have helped broadband gain traction despite the economic crisis. "Broadband operators - fixed and mobile - are bundling connectivity with devices, helping to push penetration higher. Pyramid Research projects fixed broadband penetration to reach 17.1% by year-end 2015," Zarate says. Pay-TV, which remains largely underpenetrated in Chile at less than 40% of households, will also see an important rate of growth during the forecast period (8.5% CAGR) driven by the entry of traditional telecommunications service providers into the pay-TV space.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:12:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Despite EU mobile operators reducing roaming charges in line with maximum price caps introduced by EU rules, consumers still do not enjoy significantly lower tariffs according to a European Commission report published today. Whilst price transparency has improved, the report concludes competition on the EU's roaming market is not yet strong enough to provide better choice and even better rates to consumers.

Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: "The cost of using mobile phones or devices when abroad in the EU has fallen continuously since the adoption of the first roaming rules. But three years since the rules came in most operators propose retail prices that hover around the maximum legal caps. More competition on the EU roaming market would provide better choice and even better rates to consumers."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News
Friday, 02 July 2010 14:10:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) plans to invest over MXN 1.5 billion to upgrade the country's network infrastructure, local newspaper El Universal reports, citing communications and transport minister Juan Molinar. The measure aims to close the digital gap and boost the development of next-generation broadband network in educational institutions and research centres across Mexico. In line with this strategy, SCT has signed an agreement with the University Corporation for Internet Development (CUDI). Under the terms of the agreement, SCT and CUDI plan to generate a model of network integration, focused on promoting scientific and technological activities involving higher education institutions and research centres across Mexico.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 02 July 2010 14:06:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Rwandan government has announced plans to scrap sales taxes (VAT) on mobile phones, although that was then offset by a rise in the excise duty on airtime from 5 to 8 percent. The airtime tax will also be progressively raised to achieve harmony with regional countries - where the rate averages between 10 and 12 percent. The airtime duty is on top of sales taxes, which ranges from 16 percent to 18 percent - ranking the East African region as one with the highest calling rates in the world.

The East African Communications Organisations (EACO) has been calling for the excise duty to be scrapped, saying that lower call costs would lead to higher volumes, and hence higher net taxable revenues via the sales tax.

Price Water House Coopers (PWC), a global consultancy firm said the removal of VAT on petroleum products and mobile handsets demonstrates the government's progress in harmonizing its laws with those of other East African Community (EAC) countries.

While the removal of VAT on mobile handsets will make handsets cheaper, PWC says 3 percent increase in excise duty on airtime is likely to have a negative impact. "The mobile handset suppliers may be unable to claim all their input VAT, and as a result may attempt to pass on this additional cost to their customers," the firm said in a statement.

Import duties on SIM cards are also expected to be scrapped in the near future.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 02 July 2010 13:56:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Eircom has announced a EUR 20 million trial to provide FTTH broadband to up to 10,000 homes and businesses in Sandyford in County Dublin and Wexford town. The trial will support speeds of up to 150 Mbps and will be used to collect data for Eircom and other operators on how the costs, civil engineering and materials involved in deploying FTTH broadband, according to Eircom CEO Paul Donovan. Work is already underway with tenders issued to suppliers for a number of elements of the project. The first customers should be connected by spring 2011. Donovan said the trial was open to rivals. The move was welcomed by Communications Minister Eamon Ryan, who commended Eircom for providing the trials on an open-access basis for all service providers.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 02 July 2010 13:53:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Brazilian cable operator Net has relaunched its triple-play packages to include 100 Mbps broadband internet access. Consumers can sign up for the Net Virtua Megaflash service at speeds of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Mbps, and if they also take a TV subscription, the broadband speeds are doubled. The double speed will apply to the plans Net Combo and Net Digital HD or Net Digital HD Max, with broadband speeds of 5, 10 and 50 Mbps increasing to respectively 10, 20 and 100 Mbps. The monthly fee for the plan Total Max Cinema HD with HD TV and Internet 50 Mbps (doubled to 100 Mbps) is BRL 599.90.
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, 02 July 2010 13:34:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sweden's retail market for electronic communications increased during 2009 by 2 percent to SEK 50.5 billion, according to a report by local telecommunications authority PTS. The average household generated SEK 563 per month in revenues for market stakeholders during 2009, which was SEK 1 less than during 2008. In 2009, revenues from mobile services increased by 9 percent to SEK 22.2 billion in Sweden. At the same time, the number of mobile subscriptions, including voice and data, increased by 7 percent to 11.6 million at the end of 2009. Subscriptions for mobile broadband represented the largest share of this increase. The number of these subscriptions increased by 50 percent year-on-year to 1.31 million. During 2009, more SMS were sent than the total number of calls made from fixed and mobile phones. In the same period, 16.3 billion SMS were sent from mobile telephones, corresponding to an annual increase of about 65 percent. The average customer sent 133 SMS per month. Traffic for mobile data services amounted to 27,800 TB, corresponding to an increase of 103 percent compared with 2008. Revenues from fixed call services declined by 6 percent to SEK 15.4 million.

At the end of 2009, there were 5.151 million fixed telephone subscriptions in Sweden, which is 4 percent less than in 2008. While the number of traditional fixed telephony (PSTN and ISDN) subscribers fell, fixed IP-based telephony subscriptions rose in 2009. The number of internet subscriptions amounted to 4.596 million at the end of 2009. Of these, 4.255 million were broadband subscriptions, which corresponds to an increase of 13 percent year-on-year. The number of fixed broadband subscriptions was 2.945 million at the end of 2009, which is in line with the figure recorded at the end of 2008.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 02 July 2010 13:30:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 15 June 2010

­Myanmar's telecommunication authorities are planning to expand GSM coverage to the border areas next to its Southeast neighbours, aimed at providing better GSM phone line services to link the region, the local Myanmar Newsweek reported.

The pilot project to link Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore as well as China is underway.

Meanwhile, the authorities has also planned to add 33 more GSM radio stations in the biggest city of Yangon to expand GSM coverage which will be launched by local private companies on competitive tender system, an earlier report said.

At present, GSM mobile phones can be used in 80 towns in the country and the country has around 500,000 subscribers, mostly within the military or business elite. Government and military contacts tend to find it easier to get the paperwork to own a mobile phone - but often then rent out those phones to business users.

The country has both GSM and CDMA networks. A WCDMA network was launched last year, with very limited availability.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:16:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Le satellite, une technologie incontournable pour l'accès final ?

Après avoir rencontré un succès mitigé au début des années 2000, l'accès bidirectionnel par satellite fait son grand retour depuis deux ans, notamment en Amérique du Nord, en Asie, et désormais en Europe. Les actions pour la réduction de fracture numérique et la migration vers le très haut débit permettent à la technologie satellitaire de jouer un rôle de plus en plus important.

"Sur la période 2010-2014, l'IDATE estime que le nombre d'abonnés haut débit par satellite sur la zone Europe et Afrique du Nord devrait croître au rythme annualisé de 45 % pour atteindre 610 000 abonnés en 2014 contre près de 138 000 fin 2010.", commente Maxime Baudry, chef de projet.

Les principaux tendances pour le satellite très haut débit
• Les plans de réduction de la fracture numérique se généralisant en Europe, le satellite doit mettre en avant ses atouts pour figurer parmi les solutions technologiques possibles.
• Plus que la réduction de la fracture numérique, c’est la course au très haut débit qui est désormais lancée en Europe.
• Dans la bataille qui va l'opposer aux technologies terrestres, principalement sans-fil (3G et LTE), la technologie satellitaire devra mettre en avant ses atouts, le principal étant certainement une disponibilité immédiate pour un coût modéré.
• L’IDATE estime que le très haut débit par satellite devrait croître fortement au cours des prochaines années, notamment via les plans de réduction de fracture numérique, mais aussi via la course au très haut débit qui l’avantage sur les zones rurales par rapport aux technologies LTE et FTTx qui ne sont pas compétitives économiquement.
• Alors que la bande Ka se développe en Europe et ailleurs dans le monde, le futur du très haut débit par satellite pourrait se faire dans des bandes de fréquences encore plus élevées pour permettre des débits de plus de 100 Mbps à l’horizon 2020.

Face à la concurrence des technologies terrestres, qu'elles soient filaires ou sans-fil, quelles sont les perspectives de marché réelles pour la technologie satellitaire ? Par ailleurs, quels scénarios de positionnement s'avéreront les plus pertinents pour un opérateur satellite compte tenu des caractéristiques du marché du haut débit dans les différentes zones géographiques ciblées ? Quelles nouvelles technologies satellitaires sont prévues à long terme ?

L'étude "Très haut débit par Satellite", publié par l'IDATE, donne, entre autres, les réponses à ces questions clés et présente des chiffres actuels du marché de satellite et des marchés concurrents.

Source: IDATE

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:14:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In 2009, growth in terms of subscribers and Homes/Buildings passed has accelerated in Europe, with respectively 19% and 29% rate between June and December 2009. In EU36 (including Russia), there were nearly 3.5 million FTTH/B subscribers and more than 25 million Homes/Buildings Passed.

Because of its specific demographic characteristics, Russia is the heaviest country in terms of subscribers and Homes/Buildings Passed even if the FTTH/B market is still in its infancy in the country. The potential of the Russian market is huge and might convince new players to get involved in FTTH/B deployments in the near future.

Click here to see full article
Source: IDATE
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:09:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil's largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vivo Participacoes, yesterday announced ambitious plans to extend its broadband coverage to 85% of the population by the end of 2011. The cellco intends to reach 2,832 municipalities by that date, up from the current 600, by using monies set aside in this year’s BRL2.49 billion (USD1.37 billion) CAPEX fund. In a press release Vivo CEO Roberto Lima said: ‘The plan is ambitious but will be completed. Our objective is to rapidly expand our third-generation coverage.’

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:04:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s Bharti Airtel has announced that it has finalised the acquisition of the African assets of Kuwait-based Zain Group, with the deal valued at USD10.7 billion, the Economic Times reports. Under the terms of the deal, first announced in March 2010, Bharti will pay USD8.3 billion upfront, followed by a further cash payment of USD700 million after one year, while it will also take over approximately USD1.7 billion of Zain’s debt. Commenting on the closure of the deal, Bharti chairman Sunil Mittal said: ‘We are delighted at the closure of this transformational deal for India and Bharti Airtel. The transaction is the largest ever cross-border deal in an emerging market and will result in combined revenues of about USD13 billion.’

Bharti has taken over Zain’s operations in 15 countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The Kuwaiti company’s subsidiaries in Morocco and Sudan were not included in the sale. Zain has also agreed to licence its name and related trademarks to Bharti in all of the new countries for an interim period; the Airtel brand is expected to be introduced across its news units by October 2010.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:02:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Malaysian fixed line incumbent Telekom Malaysia (TM) has announced that it is expanding the coverage of its high speed broadband network (HSBB), according to Bernama. The telco has said that it is launching commercial HSBB services at a further 18 exchanges by the end of next month, adding to the four exchanges where it already offers speeds of up to 20Mbps, and both residential and industrial zones are included in the new regions of operation. Residential areas to be covered include Wangsa Maju, Sungai Buloh, Melawat and Kepong in Selangor, and Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Damansara in the Federal Territory. Meanwhile industrial zones set to gain access to HSBB products include Kulim Hi-Tech Park (Kedah), Bayan Baru (Penang), Senai and Permas (Johor).

Alongside the announcement of expanded coverage TM also revealed that to date it has spent a total of MYR2.3 billion (USD695 million) on the HSBB project, and it said that the network rollout currently reached around 375,000 premises, with around 3,200 having signed up for high speed services so far.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:53:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

French broadband internet provider and would-be mobile start-up Iliad (Free) has secured a EUR1.4 billion (USD1.7 billion) five-year credit facility from a group of eight European banks to help refinance its debt ahead of its launch of mobile services in the country. Dow Jones Newswires reports the firm as saying that the agreement, along with its existing cash flow, will enable Iliad to fund its medium-term growth strategy. The statement went on to say that the credit line illustrates the company enjoys a healthy position as one a European operators with a very low level of debt.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that the French telecoms regulator Arcep concluded the formal handover of the country’s fourth 3G licence to Iliad’s Free Mobile unit in January this year. The Iliad group subsequently committed to launching its network within two years of the award of the licence, which took place on 18 December 2009. The newcomer has pledged to cover at least 90% of the population with its 3G network within eight years of launch, and its promise to deliver ‘competitive prices’ should spur growth in the mobile internet access segment. Free Mobile has also committed to hosting mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Industry watchers are in broad agreement that Iliad could realistically garner a roughly 5% share of the EUR25 billion (USD36 billion) French mobile market by 2015. The operator has a strong fixed line presence and comprehensive broadband portfolio, and has been actively trying to secure a toehold in the mobile market since it failed in its first application attempt in 2007.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:51:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has  issued a consultation paper on a National Broadband Plan for the country. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has also made a reference to TRAI seeking its recommendations on the need to review the definition of Broadband connectivity in view of future growth in internet/broadband driven by wireless technologies.

It is a matter of concern that broadband penetration in India is low in spite of the fact that 104 telecom service providers are providing broadband services. The broadband penetration is just 0.74% when compared with teledensity of 52.74%. A need is being felt to identify impediments and create an environment to encourage broadband growth. The net broadband addition per month is just 0.1 to 0.2 million in contrast to approximately 18 million mobile connections per month.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:46:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Jordan is the Arab World's most competitive cellular market, according to the Arab Advisors Group. Saudi Arabia came in second, followed by Palestine.

The Cellular Competition Intensity Index results for June 2010 revealed that Jordan tops the score -as the most competitive Arab market- with an 80.7% mark followed by Saudi Arabia (75.3%), Palestine (69.3%), Oman (67.1%), Egypt (65.7%), Morocco (64.9%), Iraq (63.4%), Tunisia (62.7%), Yemen (61.1%), Bahrain (59.9%), Algeria (59.5%), Sudan (59.4%), Mauritania (56.8%), Kuwait (49.8%), Qatar (46.4%), UAE (45.4%), Syria (38.0%), Libya (34.3%), and finally Lebanon (31.2%).

The 2010 index results revealed that eight countries ranked higher than their June 2009 index ranks, these are: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Oman, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain and Qatar. Meanwhile, a total of eight countries ranked lower compared to June 2009 index, namely: Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Mauritania, Kuwait, UAE, Libya and Lebanon. The remaining three countries of Egypt, Morocco and Syria maintained their June 2009 ranks.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:42:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A pilot medical study by the University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA, uses mobile phones to help diabetes patients in South Africa. Our correspondent spoke with the physician behind the study, Neal Kaufman, about the expanding role of technology in personalized health care.

The UCLA project uses texting on mobile phones to encourage patients with type 2 diabetes to adopt more healthful lifestyles.

Dr. Kaufman, a professor of pediatrics and public health at UCLA, says this form of the disease, called adult-onset diabetes, is becoming common, even among children. He says the problem is in our genes.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:31:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an update to its Evolution to LTE report which confirms 110 operators in 48 countries are currently investing in LTE networks.

80 operators have made firm commitments to deploy LTE networks in 33 countries (compared to 64 network commitments identified two months ago). LTE networks are now being installed or planned for commercial service in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, USA, and Uzbekistan.

GSA anticipates that up to 22 LTE networks will be in service by end 2010, and at least 45 are expected to be in service by end 2012. The first LTE networks entered commercial service in December 2009 in Norway and Sweden.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:28:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The long running process to sell a majority stake in Zambia's state-owned Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel) has concluded with the winning bid of US$257 million being placed by Libya's Lap Green Networks. The government retains a 25% stake in the company, and may float the stake on the local stock exchange in the future.

The company beat Angola's Unitel and Russia's Altimo to gain control of Zamtel."The government of Zambia has today paved the way for completing the most significant privatization in the history of Zambia," said Situmbeko Musokotwane, minister of finance and national planning.

Lap Green Networks will also invest US$127 million into the company, partly as recapitalisation and partly on network upgrades.The country currently has three mobile network operators with the following market shares; Zain (70%), MTN (20%) and Zamtel (10%) - based on statistics from the Mobile World subscriber database.

Zamtel's new owner could revitalise the company, gaining a 19% share of the mobile market by 2015, up from its current 4% share, according to an Onda Analytics report last November.Although the privatisation will result in the liberalisation of the international call gateway, to the benefit of the other private operators, no new operator license will be offered in the country until Zamtel has returned to economic viability.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:13:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following an appeal by mobile network operator Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil) against a September 2008 regulatory decision to lower interconnection rates, a Cairo court has overturned the original ruling, Reuters reports. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) had originally said that the fee which Telecom Egypt (TE) paid to connect fixed line calls to mobile phones must be lowered, after the fixed line incumbent complained that the rates at the time were making it less competitive. However, the latest ruling by the Administrative Court at the State Council has effectively nullified the lower fee, prompting the NTRA to say that it would not take any action until it had studied the details of the court’s decision in more detail.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MobiNil said that under the September 2008 regulatory ruling TE requested that MobiNil drop its interconnection rates to below EGP0.15 (USD0.03) for termination on MobiNil’s network, and EGP0.10 to terminate on the fixed line network. MobiNil for its part claimed that it was willing to accept reductions in the interconnection rates, but only as part of a package including measures in the leased line sector, which the cellco argued was priced higher than its international counterparts.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:11:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator Zain Iraq is hoping to add a further two million wireless subscribers during this year to increase its customer base to 13 million by the end of 2010. An unnamed company official told Zawya Dow Jones that Zain is expanding its mobile network to the northern Kurdish governorates of Erbil, Dohuk and Suleimaniya. The official added that Zain will spend around USD900 million in 2010 on new projects and operating expenses. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zain is Iraq’s largest cellco by subscribers with 10.07 million users at 31 March 2010 (a market share of 48.4%), followed by Asiacell with 7.74 million customers (37.2%), Korek Telecom with 2.49 million (12%) and regional operator SanaTel with 500,000 subscribers (2.4%).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:09:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Digicel Suriname says that it has expanded its network to cover an additional 4,000 people by boosting coverage at Nieuw Jacobkondre on the Saramacca river and at Antino on the Lawa (near Benzdorp). Up to this moment, Nieuw Jacobkondre had been completely devoid of telecommunication whilst the provisions of another provider at Antino can be considered rather poor.

"The people living in these areas are thrilled that Digicel brings them a piece of development. It is an undisputed fact that telecommunication provisions bring significant development economically and socially for the local communities. Urgent messages can be sent via telephone saving costs and energy. The overall safety will also improve since social control is strengthened through people's ability to have easy access to mobile calls", says Philip van Dalsen.

If all preparations go as planned, the new masts will be made operational this month. In April last, the Digicel mast at Makoe became operational. Makoe is located near Sarakreek.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:07:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The global FTTH/B market grew by 16 percent to almost 41 million subscribers at the end of 2009, compared with the end of June 2009, according to a study by Idate. Over the next five years, this momentum is likely to translate into a significant increase in the number of homes passed: by the end of 2014, there will be close to 306 million homes passed for FTTH/B around the globe, of which more than half will still be located in Asia and 18 percent in Western Europe. The study also found that Eastern Europe, which has already pulled ahead of Western Europe, with 3.5 million FTTH/B customers, compared to around 2 million. In 2014, 18 countries will have deployed optical fibre networks to more than 50 percent of homes, which is 10 more than at the end of 2009. Japan is still leading with 17.14 million FTTH/B subscribers followed by South Korea with 9.23 million, the US with 5.7 million, Russia with 3.04 million and Taiwan with 1.675 million.

The top ten further includes Hong Kong, China, Sweden, Italy and France. Japanese fixed network operator NTT is the largest operator with 12.78 million customers, followed by KT from South Korea with 4.63 million, Verizon with 3.43 million, and SK Broadband from South Korea with 3.03 million.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 13:04:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 04 June 2010
On 7 June, AT&T will introduce new metered mobile data plans, a change from its previous all-you-can-use USD 30 plan. For people who use less than 200 megabytes of data a month, the price of the new DataPlus plan is cut in half to USD 15. The DataPro plan provides 2 GB of data for USD 25 per month. Those going over their data quota can receive an extra 1 GB for an additional USD 10 per billing month. AT&T also announced a new service that lets smartphone users tether their devices, including the iPhone, to a computer and use the phone to access the internet as a modem.
The tethering feature, which is only available to DataPro customers, costs an additional USD 20 a month. With the new mobile data plans, pricing for a smartphone voice and data bundle starts at USD 54.99 per month for an individual plan, or USD 24.99 per month for an additional line on a FamilyTalk plan. For new iPad customers, the USD 25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing USD 29.99 unlimited plan. iPad customers will continue to pre-pay for their mobile data plan and no contract is required. Existing iPad customers who have the USD 29.99 per month unlimited plan can keep that plan or switch to the new 2 GB data plan.
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, 04 June 2010 09:58:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Orange France has officially announced that it would upgrade some of its internet offers on 10 June. 'La Fibre', costing EUR 34.90 per month, includes unlimited telephony to fixed phones in mainland France, excluding premium numbers, overseas departement, some overseas territories and over 100 destinations, 1 hour of calls to mobiles in metropolitan France, up to 100 Mbps downstream internet speeds, and Orange TV, with over 100 channels, including 10 in HD and now 3D. 'La Fibre Plus', which costs an additional EUR 10 per month, includes simultaneous calls, the gigamail function and 16 extra channels. Orange will also add services and reduce prices on its ADSL triple-play subscriptions.
'Net Plus' plans, which do not include line rental, and 'Formule Plus', with line rental, allow customers to make unlimited calls to fixed numbers in mainland France (excluding premium numbers), overseas departements, some overseas territories and over 100 international destinations, plus 1 hour of calls to mobiles in mainland France, up to 20 Mbps internet access and Orange TV, with up to 100 channels in the basic package. The monthly price of Net Plus will be reduced from EUR 39.90 to EUR 34.90 and Formule Plus from EUR 34.90 to EUR 29.90. For another EUR 5 per month, Orange customers can take up the 'Cle 3G+' subscription, which offers 2 hours of internet connection via a 3G+ dongle or the Domino device, which allows users to share their 3G connection with up to 5 people simultaneously.
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, 04 June 2010 09:55:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

During the three months ended 31 March 2010 175 million new subscribers or revenue sources were added, some 70% of which came from the Asia/Pacific region.

China and India continue to dominate the wireless subscriber numbers, accounting for 54% of all net new subscribers in the quarter. However, they are not the sole drivers of regional growth. During the first quarter both Indonesia and Vietnam joined India and China in the top six group of wireless growth markets, the only non-Asian countries in the half dozen being Brazil and the United States. Together these six countries added 112 million mobile subscribers during the three-month period. Meanwhile Western Europe hit an unwanted milestone: for the first time it saw a decline in its wireless subscriber base, albeit by a small amount.

Broadband subscriber growth was distributed more evenly across the regions, with Asia/Pacific 'only' accounting for 41% of quarterly additions. Even the more mature markets of Western Europe and North America are continuing to add substantial numbers of subscribers each quarter, each region contributing 16% of the quarterly additions. The top five growth countries were China, the United States, Russia, India and the Philippines, with France, Brazil and Germany all close behind.

While such robust growth in subscribers should be good news for service providers, in truth there was not a lot for CFOs and investors to cheer about. While global annual subscriber growth has continued at a very steady pace, even during the worst of the recession, service provider revenue growth has gradually dwindled. The 1.1% annual revenue growth includes the positive impact of merger and acquisitions. Take away the acquisitions, and revenues are flat.

The 2.1% revenue decline over the previous quarter is also significant. There is some seasonal cyclicality in the market and a drop in Q1 is not unusual, but this drop is substantially bigger than that seen twelve months ago. The recession has not helped, but the main problem is that the big subscriber growth numbers are coming from countries where ARPUs are low and intense competition is pushing them even lower. India has seen an amazing 50% growth in wireless subscribers over the last twelve months, and now has almost 600 million subscribers. However, there is not a single Indian operator in the list of top 30 service providers by revenue. Fierce price competition has had a sharply negative impact on Indian service providers’ revenue growth. For example, Bharti Airtel, the largest Indian operator, achieved subscriber growth of 36% in the past 12 months, but only a 2% increase in revenues. Revenue growth will not return to the global market until companies start to compete on factors other than pricing.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:52:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of Tanzania is adamant that the deadline for registering SIM cards in the country is 30 June and warned yesterday that anyone failing to comply with the order will see their service cut off. Local newspaper The Citizen quotes the Communications, Science and Technology Minister Peter Msolla as saying that after the deadline, all new mobile SIM connections will be registered at the point of purchase. Tanzania launched its registration scheme in mid-2009 with a view to completing the process by 31 December, however the scheme was subsequently extended to 30 June 2010. The minister confirmed too that, some 10.2 million people had successfully registered their SIM cards by March.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Tanzania was home to 16.592 million mobile subscribers by the end of March 2010, with the country's five cellcos collectively adding 328,820 net new subscribers in the first three months of this year. Market leader Vodacom claimed a market share of 35.3% at that date, while second-placed Zain had 30.4% of the pie. Third place operator Tigo commanded a further 24.6% of users, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation's fastest growing cellco — had 9.0%. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator TTCL had 0.7%.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:45:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nigeria-based Globalcom (Glo Mobile) has reportedly been issued with a mobile operator’s licence in Senegal. If confirmed, the concession, the fourth to be awarded in the West African country, will also allow Globacom to land its Glo 1 trans-Atlantic submarine cable in Senegal, with opportunities to extend the infrastructure to Mali. Local newspaper This Day quotes the Nigerian firm’s chairman Mike Adenuga Jr as saying that the licence would enable his company to offer ‘world class telecommunications services’ to the government and people of Senegal.

‘In line with our vision, Glo will continue to play a major role in stimulating a new era of prosperity in the sub-continent and build facilities that will offer Africa advanced telecoms services such as teleconferencing, distance learning, disaster recovery, telemedicine, on-line diagnosis and video conferencing during surgery and research,’ Globacom added in a statement. The Nigerian company also holds operating licences in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic and Cote d'Ivoire, but as reported recently by CommsUpdate, has threatened to exit the Ghanaian market citing sabotage as the reason.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:42:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
France had over 20 million broadband and ultra high-speed subscribers in the first quarter, according to telecommunications regulator Arcep. The country added 369,000 such customers in the quarter, taking the total to 20.05 million at the end of March. Year-on-year, the high-speed and ultra high-speed subscriber base grew by 9 percent in the first quarter, compared to 10.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 10.8 percent in the third quarter of that year. Broadband subscribers accounted for 98 percent of the total as of 31 March. Ultra high-speed subscribers grew by 14.6 percent to 330,000 in the period.
There were 40,000 new fibre customers. Of all high-speed subscribers at the end of the first quarter, 77 percent were with cable operator Numericable, which runs fibre to the building, then co-ax to flats. The remainder had fibre to the home. According to Arcep around 40 municipalities are involved in fibre rollouts, with networks passing over 4.5 million homes.
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, 04 June 2010 09:36:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An investment of more than US$60 million has been planned by Vodacom Mozambique over the next two years to expand its network. 43% increase in the number of customers last year to 2.3 million has resulted in the decision for expansion.

100 new transmission towers has been planned to be set up by the network mainly in the centre and north of the country – which is around double its expansion rate last year. Expansion of its own microwave and fibre-optic backhaul is also in consideration to reduce reliance on the national landline operator, which the firm blames for repeated network outages.

The move to improve the network comes as the country’s regulator announced plans to award a third mobile license later this year.

Source: Wireless Federation

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:32:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China's 3G users have exceeded 20 million and are estimated to reach 150 million by the end of next year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China's offical news agency, Xinhua reported, citing the Economic Daily.

The recent MIIT report shows that in the first quarter of 2010, the China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network has covered over 238 cities, and its rival, China Unicom, has covered 335 cities with its WCDMA network, while China Telecom covered 342 cities with its CDMA based network. In all, China's 3G base-stations have reached over 367,000 in number.

In contrast with the rapid growth of 3G users, the 3G mobile phone prices have declined dramatically. Prices vary from 3,000 yuan to 1,000 yuan, which is in the same level as traditional 2G mobile phones.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:28:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­MTS says that it has launched its 3G network in Belarus, offering peak download speeds of up to 21Mbps. The network is currently available in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and will be expanded to the major cities and regional centers of the country by the end of the year.

In addition, the company has now fulfilled its 3G license requirement for the commercial 3G network in Russia following the launch of the network in the last remaining federal subject, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. MTS now has commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects.

The conditions of the 3G license that the firm was granted in April 2007 stipulated that the mobile network operator had to launch commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects by May 2010.

During the first quarter of 2010, 3G traffic on MTS' network in Russia grew 10.9 times year-on-year. The share of 3G in total traffic has increased to 59% in Q1 2010 from 28% in Q1 2009. The most avid 3G users reside in Sochi, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Novorossiysk, Surgut, Kemerovo, Samara, Kazan and Vladivostok, where 3G was launched for some time now.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 04 June 2010 09:22:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 28 May 2010

Around 30 million Americans or one in six mobile users have experienced “bill shock,” a sudden increase in their monthly bill that is not caused by a change in service plan, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s survey of consumers, conducted by Abt/SRBI and Princeton Survey Research Associates, International. The survey also shows that nearly half of mobile phone users who have plans with early termination fees and almost two-thirds of home broadband users with ETFs do not know the amount of the fees they are accountable for. The survey notes that 83 percent of adults in this country have a mobile phone, and 80 percent have a personal mobile phone. The survey finds that of the 30 million Americans who have experienced bill shock 84 percent said their mobile carrier did not contact them when they were about to exceed their allowed minutes, text messages, or data downloads. About 88 percent said their carrier did not contact them after their bill suddenly increased. The amount of bill shock varies widely but is often sizeable. In the survey, more than a third of people who experienced bill shock said their bills jumped by at least USD 50, and 23 percent said the increase was USD 100 or more. Of the respondents with personal mobile phones, 54 percent said they would have to pay an ETF should they terminate their contracts before the expiration date, and 18 percent did not know whether they would have to pay or not. Of those who are subject to an ETF, 43 percent said it was USD 150 or more, but 47 percent didn’t know how much it was. One reason for the confusion is billing practices, where only 36 percent of customers who are familiar with their bills said that they include “very clear” information on ETFs.

Only 21 percent of home broadband users say that their contracts include an early termination fee. Of those consumers, however, fully 64 percent do not know what the fee is, a higher level of confusion than for mobile phone service. The survey shows that ETFs are one factor that can keep customers from switching carriers even when their service is not ideal. Forty-three percent of these customers said ETFs were a major reason they would stay with their current service, almost exactly the same number who said they would be deterred from switching by the cost of setting up a new service or by paying a deposit on a new service.

Source: Telecom Paper

Friday, 28 May 2010 13:20:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The UAE’s incumbent telecoms operator Etisalat is set to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology by the end of 2010, LteWorld reports. Abdulla Al Ahmad, vice president of Enterprise Sales at Etisalat said that the company will be able to provide theoretical download speeds of up to 140Mbps and maximum uplink rates of 50Mbps. He added that Etisalat has been conducting successful LTE trials, designed to increase the capacity and speed of mobile networks.

In a separate story, Etisalat has announced the launch of a triple-play service over its fibre-optic infrastructure. ‘eLife Triple Play’ bundles landline telephony, broadband and television services. ‘By introducing TV on our fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, we launch today the second phase of ‘eLife' that opens doors for unmatched applications and adds significant value to our customers' lifestyles, providing them numerous entertainment options that are both customisable as well as convenient,’ noted the operator’s senior vice-president of marketing, Khalifa Al Shamsi. The new bundle is available to all homes connected to Etisalat’s ‘eLife’ FTTH network. As well as the capital Abu Dhabi, the company is rolling out ‘eLife’ in Dubai and Sharjah and plans to connect all of the UAE’s households by 2011, including 1.4 million homes and offices. Prices for the new triple-play package range from AED299 (USD81.38) to AED539 per month.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 28 May 2010 13:17:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The European Commission has presented its Digital Agenda, part of the Europe 2020 strategy. The most important elements for the telecom sector are the target for increasing access to broadband services, including possible state aid for remote areas, and spectrum harmonisation.

On the surface, the plans present no surprises. ICT commissioner Neelies Kroes has already shown a willingness for a certain amount of government intervention. Furthermore countries like the Netherlands are already well on the way to meeting the goals. Broadband is maybe not 100 percent available, but it's not far off. The other target of universal access to at least 30Mbps by 2020, with at least half of households on 100Mbps, is also not especially ambitious. In the Netherlands, 50Mbps is already available to around 90 percent of the population (see our research brief 'Netherlands most homes passed with 50+Mbps').

The most startling element of the press statement was the emphasis on international roaming prices. By 2015 these should be so low that a mobile user doesn't even notice when he crosses a border - at least, not from the mobile prices. Combined with the ongoing push for mobile termination rates to reach fixed network levels by 2012, it's clear that the mobile sector needs to quickly mature. Artificially high tariffs and subsidising mobile with fixed networks soon will be things of the past.

At its Q1 results, KPN estimated that mobile termination rate cuts cost the company EUR 55 million in revenues and EUR 20 million in EBITDA. It's not surprising then that KPN didn't say a word about sales growth. Market expectations centre on a small revenue decline this year for KPN, to EUR 13.4 billion from EUR 13.5 billion in 2009, but the "market" is currently estimating small increases in 2011 and 2012 to EUR 13.45 billion (both years). Given the actions by national regulators and the EC, it's highly questionable whether this growth will materialise already in 2011.
Source: Telecom Paper
Friday, 28 May 2010 13:13:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom New Zealand has confirmed that it is fully investigating structural separation in order to participate in the government’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative. However, “in making a thorough assessment of structural separation we need to have a detailed understanding of the regulatory environment, and this warrants detailed discussion and analysis with Government before any decisions regarding its viability can be made,” CEO Paul Reynolds said in a statement. Telecom has asked the telecommunications minister to consider a variation on three components of Telecom’s undertakings that will no longer be relevant in a fibre future.

The proposed changes are to:

  • Suspend the forced bulk migration of existing broadband customers onto a new copper-based broadband service. However, the company will continue to supply this new broadband service to all new customers;
  • Remove the requirement for Telecom to migrate 17,000 customers onto a new VoIP over copper service by the end of this year; and
  • Remove the requirement for Telecom to build a new set of wholesale systems that are not consistent with the industry structure implied by UFB.

Source: Telecom Paper

Friday, 28 May 2010 13:07:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Orange launched its mobile payment service Orange Money in Madagascar in early May in partnership with Banque Malgache de l'Ocean Indien (BMOI) and post office Paositra Malagasy (PAOMA). The service allows mobile customers to deposit, withdraw and transfer money, to easily buy call credit, to pay for goods at certain retail partners and to pay bills. As previously reported, the operator introduced Orange Money to two West African countries in the last few weeks, Senegal and Mali. Orange is studying customer needs in each market, with the intention of developing additional, more advanced mobile payment services such as international money transfers. Orange Money is available to all Orange customers whether or not they have a bank account, and is activated free of charge and with no minimum deposit. Orange's mobile-payment service is built around partnerships with local banks, which are responsible for issuing and guaranteeing the electronic money. The introduction of Orange Money in Senegal, Mali and Madagascar follows the initial launch of the service in Cote d'Ivoire in December 2008.
Source: Telecom Paper
Friday, 28 May 2010 12:59:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 26 May 2010

­Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) are set to take off in Latin America as mobile markets mature, new regulations come into force and more network operators open to MVNOs to fuel growth. "MVNO subscriptions in Latin America will grow at a CAGR of 28% to 6.6 million by 2013," says Júlio Püschel, senior analyst and head of mobile operator strategy at Informa Telecoms & Media.Püschel is presenting Informa Telecoms & Media's latest research on MVNOs at Informa's MVNO Forum 2010, which is being held in SãoPaulo, Brazil on May 26. "The MVNO market is at an early stage in Latin America, with only around 20 active MVNOs in the region, out of 550 MVNOs or resellers worldwide," Püschel says."However mobile growth is slowing in Latin America, with mobile penetration rates already above 100% in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela, and at close to 90% in Brazil. "Forward-looking operators now see MVNOs as a good opportunity to grow subscriptions and revenues in new market segments."

The MVNO market is a particularly hot topic in Brazil, where regulator ANATEL plans to launch new MVNO regulations this year. "This is an important step in Latin America's largest mobile telecoms market," Püschel says. "The regulation will open the door to MVNOs in Brazil, which will force all operators to review their MVNO strategies and plans. Some operators are reluctant to open to what they consider new competitors, but others are embracing MVNOs as a growth opportunity. Our research on the global MVNO market shows that operators that open to MVNOs will be the winners."

Püschel will provide an overview of the MVNO market in Latin America and globally. "Latin America represented a small share of the world's 104 million MVNO subscriptions in 2009, but will play a bigger role going forward," notes Püschel. "The MVNO market is already a reality in Latin America, with MVNOs including Fecosur in Argentina, Cablevision and Maxcable in Mexico, and Telefonica del Sur in Chile. But the number of MVNO operators and subscriptions is set to jump as mobile markets mature and new MVNO regulations come into force," Püschel says. "Mobile network operators in Latin America need to develop the right wholesale strategies now or risk losing subscriptions and revenues to competitors."

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:12:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bolivian telecoms regulator, La Autoridad de Telecomunicaciones y Transportes (ATT), has said that it expects approximately 90% of the country’s mobile voice subscribers to have registered their mobile phone by 30 May, according to BNamericas. The watchdog, citing ATT technical chief Andres Zambrana, noted that as of 17 May 2010 87% of subscribers had registered their mobile numbers. Initially, having opened the registry database in November 2009, the cut-off date had been set as February 2010, but this was subsequently pushed back in order to allow mobile network operators to implement initiatives designed to focus on ensuring rural users had registered their details. Under the government’s plans, all those subscribers that have not provided their personal details by 1 June will have their service cut off, with the ATT claiming that the move will help curb the use of mobile phones in criminal activity.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:09:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Macedonia’s national telecoms regulator the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC) has cut the wholesale prices that domestic cellcos pay for the use of each other’s networks. Local news journal Kanal5 notes the move should pave the way for a reduction in retail prices for mobile services too. AEC head Petar Ivanovski said that analysis carried out by the watchdog found there to be room to cut the wholesale rates for all three operators – T-Mobile, Cosmofon (ONE) and VIP Mobile – by between 10% to 15%. In addition, the AEC is ushering in another condition for domestic cellcos, under which they will have to rent out their infrastructure under previously determined prices. It is thought the move is designed to make the market more attractive to a fourth mobile operator – something the government has been pursuing for more than 18 months. None of the Macedonian incumbents have as yet commented on the plan, and none has announced any cut in prices yet.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:06:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) has revealed plans to roll out a new Caribbean submarine cable, in the process more than doubling its carrier capacity in the region. It is understood the new cable, dubbed the ‘East-West’ link, will connect Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the west of the Caribbean, to the British Virgin Islands (Tortola) in the east. The East-West cable will also land in the Dominican Republic, one of the operator’s key markets in the region. C&W’s mobile operations in the Caribbean, which are offered under the banner LIME, have already commenced work on deploying the cable which is expected to be operational by early 2011. The new cable is the third such submarine link constructed by Cable & Wireless Communications in the region since 2008, adding to the CBUS cable between Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands and the Gemini-Bermuda cable between Bermuda and the east coast of the US.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:04:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |