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 Thursday, 15 July 2010

Spain’s largest broadband provider by subscribers, Movistar, is set to revamp its double- and triple-play fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service, which it offers under the Movistar Futura banner. In mid-August the telco plans to introduce a new range of packages offering download and upload speeds of 50Mbps and 5Mbps respectively, while also revising the pricing structure of its offerings with a view to increasing uptake. Further, in the third quarter of 2010 Movistar will boost speeds for its bundled services to up to 100Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink, while continuing to expand coverage. Alongside improving connection speeds, the operator will also make available a new DVR set-top box and a range of new high definition content to further tempt prospective customers to sign up, with channels including Eurosport HD, Unitel Classic HD and MGM HD among those to launch on the service this summer. The price for the Movistar Futura 50/5Mb package will be EUR54.87 (USD69.29) per month, although the telco will waive the subscription fee and offer a lower EUR43.87 monthly charge for the first six months for those signing up in during a promotional period at launch.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:23:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s second largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Telenor Pakistan, said it has completed the deployment of the country’s largest solar-powered network in Universal Service Fund (USF) assisted regions. The operator has revealed that of 50 solar cell sites constructed, 47 are within the USF assisted areas of Mirpur Khas and Bahawalpur, providing telecoms services to approximately 1.63 million people who previously had no access to service at all. The remaining three sites have been deployed in Islamabad and Kyber-Pukhtoonkhwa. The introduction of the eco-friendly technology forms part of Telenor Pakistan’s Green Energy Project, which aims to prevent the emission of on average 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Commenting on the completion of this element of the project, Kalid Shezhad, chief technology officer at Telenor Pakistan, noted: ‘We are delighted to have created the largest solar-powered cell network in the USF-assisted areas of Mirpur Khas and Bahawalpur. With the deployment of solar-powered cell sites our aim is to provide environment-friendly telecommunication services even in the remotest areas of Pakistan. By doing so we are reducing power demands on the national grid and also helping to reduce carbon emissions.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:21:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator Etisalat Nigeria has announced it has attracted four million active wireless customers since it launched commercial services in October 2008, local newspaper Daily Champion reports. The company has gradually expanded coverage of its GSM network, which is currently available in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, noted: ‘We are glad to be able to make such a momentous announcement like this after less than two years of commercial operations in Nigeria's highly competitive environment, especially given our position as the fifth entrant into the dynamic Nigerian telecoms market.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Etisalat Nigeria is 40%-owned by UAE incumbent Etisalat, with 30% owned by UAE government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company, and the remainder by Nigerian investors.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:18:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

TeleYemen has announced that it has reduced its international calls rates to YER0.015 (USD0.00007) per second for fixed and mobile telephones, a 56% decrease. Company marketing director Hail Mohammed Ibrahim said: ‘We are glad to provide our customers with this high reduction rate on international calls to enable them to communicate with their friends, families and fellows abroad. We consider this campaign to be new evidence of our continuous commitment towards facilitating international calls to the citizens.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, TeleYemen is the sole international telecoms provider in Yemen.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:17:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ofcom has announced that from next year mobile subscribers will be able to transfer their number to a new operator in just one working day, rather than the two days it takes currently. The new regulation will come into force on 11 April 2011. Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: ‘Ensuring consumers can switch between communications providers by removing unnecessary barriers is one of Ofcom's priorities for 2010/11. Being able to switch quickly and easily between mobile providers is an important part of healthy and effective competition.’ In 1999 customers had to wait 25 days to switch their number to a new provider.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:15:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Qatar has announced the launch of mobile broadband services and a Wi-Fi hotspot device dubbed ‘Vodafone MiFi’, local daily The Gulf Times reports. Post-paid customers can access 2GB of data, valid for 30 days, at a price of QAR100 (USD27.4), while 500MB of data is available for pre-paid subscribers at the same price, valid for 60 days. ‘We are delighted to be launching another great Vodafone service. As with all Vodafone’s services, mobile broadband offers customers simple and easy to understand price plans that are of good value,’ noted Vodafone Qatar’s CEO, Grahame Maher, adding: ‘The 900MHz network we have created is one of the most advanced in the region and is future-ready. The bandwidth on offer comes with 100% coverage of Qatar.’ The company has unveiled a plug-and-play USB dongle, which is available to buy for QAR299, while Vodafone MiFi is available for QAR599 and enables up to five users to connect their laptop and any other Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodafone launched commercial 2G and 3G services at the beginning of July 2009, by which time it already had 15,000 network users. At 31 March 2010 the cellco’s subscriber base had risen to over 464,000, representing a market share of 18%.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:14:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Vietnamese ministry of information and communications will allow operators to lower their fees by no more than 15 percent, the VietNamNet Bridge reports. Three operators – Viettel, MobiFone, and VinaPhone – sought permission to lower their fees by up to 20 percent. The ministry supports the plan to cut charges but limits the reduction to 15 percent and operators can apply the price cut only once this year. The communications ministry and finance ministry will issue a directive on provider costs later this year.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:12:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

75,000 residential customers in Wellington, Kapiti and Christchurch have been migrated to upgraded network systems, TestraClear has announced. The upgrade to DOCSIS3 means that the new network systems are capable of providing download speeds of 100Mbps. TelstraClear CEO Allan Freeth confirmed that the NZD10 million upgrade to its hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks is part of the government’s ten-year investment plan. Mr Freeth commented: ‘The upgrade has dramatically increased the overall capacity of our HFC network. It establishes our extraordinary infrastructure capability into the future and places us ready and willing to meet the requirements of a country that has plans for a national, fibre-to-the-home network.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:09:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) has announced that mobile phone subscribers will be required to register their details with operators by the end of July or risk having their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards deactivated. Subscribers will now be obliged to give their full names, physical and postal addresses, dates of birth, and alternative means of contact when they purchase a new SIM card. Adults will have to show their identification cards, whilst minors will have to be accompanied by a guardian. The mandatory SIM card registration scheme is expected to record the personal details of some 20 million subscribers by 30 July. CCK Director General Charles Njoroge commented: ‘The process started last year and we have been working together as an industry. So far, between 50% and 60% of the subscribers have been registered’.

Safaricom and Zain have already registered a significant proportion of their customer base, courtesy of their money transfer services, M-Pesa and Zap, which require customers to register before they can access the services. Telkom Kenya said it had details of its data clients, whilst Essar Telecom said that it has the mechanisms in place to gather the needed information. However, the cellcos have all asked for additional time to complete the process. Zain Kenya Chief Executive Rene Meza stressed: ‘The process is complex and will require consumer education before all the subscribers buy the idea, so we might need a little more time’.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:05:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom Italia has reduced the price of fixed-to-mobile calls, it has been announced. Residential fixed line subscribers can now make calls to mobile numbers for 27% less, whilst business subscribers will see prices fall by 11.4% per minute.

Calls to Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) mobile numbers at peak time will drop from EUR0.1336 (USD0.10658) to EUR0.1140 per minute. Users will be charged EUR0.1182 per minute for calls to Vodafone numbers at peak time, a reduction from the previous price of EUR0.1386 per minute. Calls to Wind customers will be charged at EUR0.12 per minute, down from EUR0.1561 per minute, while prices for calls to H3G mobile numbers will drop from EUR0.1852 during peak time to EUR0.1344 (VAT included) per minute.

Off-peak call prices remain unchanged at EUR0.0776 per minute to TIM numbers, EUR0.0792 per minute to Vodafone, EUR0.0908 per minute to Wind and EUR0.1084 per minute to H3G. The call set-up fee is EUR0.0787. Telecom Italia fixed line business customers will be charged EUR 0.090 per minute for calls to mobile numbers on the Wind network and EUR 0.1080 for calls to H3G mobile numbers, down from EUR 0.0970 and EUR 0.1219 per minute, respectively. The call set-up fee is EUR0.0656.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:03:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The already extended deadline to register SIM cards in Tanzania has been against extended for a further two weeks following representations from the mobile networks that they are still seeing customers coming into their stores to register their accounts.

Science, Technology and Communication minister Prof Peter Msolla announced the government's decision in Parliament last week just as the 30th June deadline was set to expire.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) had originally set a deadline of the end of last year, then extended it again to the end of June. After the new deadline, of the 15th July, any unregistered SIM card will be locked for up to 90 days unless it is registered. A locked SIM card can not be used to make or receive calls or use sms, but if it is registered within 90 days, it will be unlocked, and can then be used. Any locked SIM card not registered by 30th September 2010 will be permanently deleted.

Source: Cellullar News

Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:02:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

New consumer research published by YouGov and Acision again reinforces the Quality of Service (QoS) challenges operators are facing with their mobile broadband services today. ­The research, which questioned UK consumers about their mobile broadband experience found that, despite the rising popularity of mobile broadband, 84% had experienced Quality of Service issues. Slow speeds are amongst the most encountered problem (67%), poor network coverage (49%), inability to get connected (45%) and connection loss (40%).

Steven van Zanen, senior vice president marketing, mobile broadband, at Acision, said: "When reviewing the research, we identified three key areas where operators can deploy capabilities to raise QoS levels. The first one is defining fairness. When asked about the contentious issue of fair usage policies, 56% of research respondents were not aware if their operator had a fair usage policy in place and 71% were unaware that in many networks, 5% of users generate over 80 per cent of broadband traffic, causing slow download speeds and connection problems for all users. However, once aware of the issues surrounding the fair distribution of bandwidth, consumers responded positively to the option of allowing sophisticated fairness policies if this helped to improve the overall service."

Click here to see full article
Source:Cellular News
Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:58:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Syria’s state-owned fixed line monopoly Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE) is looking to expand its ADSL network through the installation of around 40,000 new broadband ports. STE director Tarek Badour says the firm has signed a contract with China’s Huawei Technologies, ahead of its implementation during the fourth quarter of 2010. The contract includes the expansion of ports at 82 existing sites, as well as the supply of 33,000 ADSL ports at 106 sites, he said. Around 150,000 broadband ports are expected to be installed by the end of this year, of which 70,000 have already been commissioned. STE says it is looking to migrate some of the four million or so Syrians currently using a dial-up connection onto ADSL broadband by the end of this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:53:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UAE-based telecoms operator Du has announced it will launch its ‘Real Broadband’ service in August, offering subscribers across its current fixed line services footprint download speeds up to 16 times faster at current customer spend levels. The new offering will be available for enterprise customers from 1 August, while residential users can sign up to Real Broadband from 15 August. ‘We have today announced a broadband proposition that will not only provide an edge to our customers and our business partners, but has also set a regional benchmark in terms of broadband prices and value provided,’ commented Farid Faraidooni, CCO at Du, adding: ‘Du’s Real Broadband services will offer better value than similar broadband services offered in the Middle East region. It will be even more competitive than similar services provided in some developed markets such as Ireland and Canada.’

Alongside the launch of Real Broadband, Du has introduced new double- and triple-play packages. ‘Surf & Talk’ bundles landline telephony with the new high speed internet service; customers can choose between 8Mbps broadband for AED199 (USD52.2) per month, 16Mbps at AED259 or 24Mbps for AED349 a month. Meanwhile, ‘Surf, Talk and Watch’ includes fixed telephony, Real Broadband and its Du TV plus service, available at AED249 per month for maximum download speeds of 8Mbps, AED309 for 16Mbps and AED399 per month for 24Mbps broadband.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:50:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

True Corp has launched Thailand’s fastest residential broadband internet service, over VDSL2 lines in 220 condominiums in Bangkok. The Bangkok Post reports that True’s internet division True Online aims to expand coverage of the 50Mbps/3Mbps (down/uplink) package to ‘1,000 areas’ in and around the capital in a second phase, and to other major provinces ‘in the near future.’ True charges THB5,600 (USD173.50) per month for the premium VDSL service which includes unlimited usage of the telco’s public Wi-Fi access points. The company says it is targeting mobile smartphone users with the Wi-Fi service. A 30Mbps VDSL package costs THB3,600 a month. True also plans to launch a 100Mbps fixed broadband service, and a spokesperson said, ‘We are looking into bringing 200Mbps service to Thailand as well.’ Vichaow Rakphongphairoj, True's managing director and chief operating officer, said the company plans to spend THB500 million to expand its broadband network to nine additional provinces by the year-end, extending its footprint to 20 provinces. True had around 720,000 fixed high speed customers as of end-March, 90% using 4Mbps (downstream) services (mostly DSL-based) with the remainder using higher speed services up to a maximum downlink of 16Mbps. It is aiming to finish the year with 900,000 subscribers in total.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:29:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following years of delay, Kenyan mobile phone users will be able to switch networks without changing their numbers by the end of the year, following the award of a licence to manage the service. Mobile number portability (MNP) has long been a contentious issue in Kenya, and it was not until March 2010 that Porting Access of the Netherlands was awarded a contract to supply, install, commission, and manage MNP services. At the licence handing over ceremony this week, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) director-general Charles Njoroge commented: ‘This award is expected to bolster the level of competition in the mobile telecommunications market to the benefit of consumers’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in November 2004 the CCK announced that MNP would be introduced on 1 July 2005. The deadline was later pushed back, and in 2007 MNP was postponed indefinitely after operators complained about the high costs involved in setting up the system. In April 2010 the CCK announced that the country’s four cellcos - Safaricom, Zain, Orange and Essar - would be required to start offering MNP from July this year, a date which has since been put back a further six months. Those wishing to switch operators while retaining their numbers will pay a one-off fee of KES199.80.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:20:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ghana yesterday implemented its controversial mobile SIM registration scheme. Under the National Communications Authority (NCA’s) new policy, no one can buy a SIM card without first providing personal details backed by an official national identity document. According to the industry watchdog, the SIM card registration will help curb crime and also help to control an unwanted rise in unsolicited text messages.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:13:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Main One Cable Company has announced the launch of its high capacity fibre-optic cable system, which links West Africa to Europe, on time and within budget. The cable spans 7,000km and has landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana with branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. Main One said the cable system will deliver 1.92Tbps of much-needed international capacity into West Africa, more than ten times what is currently available; in the past rapid growth in telecoms in the region has been blighted by limited global connectivity. ‘Today is a historic day for West Africa. The arrival of the Main One cable proves that much good can be done by Africans for Africans. We are pleased to realise the fruit of our dedication and commitment in the past 30 months,’ noted Fola Adeola, chairman of Main One Cable Company, adding: ‘More importantly, we are happy to be a channel for driving growth in Africa and changing the status quo for the average African as reliable internet connectivity becomes easily accessible and affordable for all.’ Wholly African-owned, the Main One cable is the first privately-owned submarine cable system in West Africa.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:11:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |