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 Wednesday, 01 September 2010

In 2010, 30.1 million adults in the UK (60 per cent) accessed the Internet every day or almost every day. This is nearly double the estimate in 2006 of 16.5 million.

The number of adults who had never accessed the Internet in 2010 decreased to 9.2 million, from 10.2 million in 2009. There were 38.3 million adults who were Internet users (having accessed the Internet in the three months prior to interview).

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Source: Office for National Statistics UK


Wednesday, 01 September 2010 08:21:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The majority (80%) of Canadians, or 21.7 million people, used the Internet for personal reasons in 2009, up from 73 percent in 2007, according to a new survey by Statistics Canada.

Rates of Internet use increased in every province during this two-year period. The largest relative increase in Internet users occurred in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador (+15% each over 2007). Rates were highest at 85% in both British Columbia and Alberta, followed by 81% in Ontario.

Most Canadian (96%) Internet users reported going online from home during 2009, while 42 percent said they used it from work, 21 percent from schools and 15 percent from libraries.

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Source: WebProNews

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 14:07:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of internet users in China rose by 9.4 percent from the beginning of the year to the midpoint, and is now at 420 million, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), and reported by TeleGeography. Many of those users are connecting from wired connections, but China has a huge population of mobile phone users who are hopping online as 3G is rolled out across the country.

Of the total Internet users, 363.8 million (or 86.6 percent) accessed the web through wired broadband, while 276.8 million (65.9 percent) used mobile handsets. The numbers don’t add up because some people have multiple connections. Telegeography reports that the average time spend surfing the web was 19.8 hours per week in China. In contrast, Americans spend an average of 13 hours online a week, according to a Harris Interactive poll from December.

The huge and growing market of web-connected Chinese is an opportunity, but it’s also should serve as a warning, as China is spending billions to deliver faster speeds to its citizens. Earlier this week, Alcatel-Lucent scored a contract with China Mobile for fiber to the home and fiber to the building technology. China Telecom wants to deliver 100 Mbps speeds by 2013 with China Mobile hoping to do the same in five years.

A huge population with 100 Mbps or more broadband speeds will help drive innovative applications that we in the U.S. won’t even be able to run in many areas of the country. And when we finally do catch up with our networks, we’ll have to look to China to discover the hottest services and the startups delivering them.

Source: GigaOm

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:57:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Costa Rica's telecommunications market offers opportunities with its new liberalization, opening the door for competition across all segments and boosting mobile penetration to 136 percent by 2015 with prepaid subscriptions, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Costa Rica is the last country in Latin America to liberalize its telecommunications industry. Now, the regulator in Costa Rica has been quite busy with the liberalization of fixed and mobile services taking place. "Costa Rica is auctioning three mobile licenses over the next few months, and the process is expected to be completed before year end," says Jose Magana, Senior Analyst at Pyramid Research. "New regulation includes number portability and infrastructure sharing."

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Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:51:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­With seven operators, the Vietnamese mobile market is one of the top five most competitive markets in this region. Vietnam's mobile connections grew 58% in 2009 and penetration reached 127%. However, recent operator comments suggests that 50% of these connections are inactive and as much 70% of the connections added in 2009 were multi-SIM users.

On the broadband front, the Vietnamese market has seen growth of over 60% in the past 4 years. A subscriber base of 2.1 million in 2008 gave the nation a household broadband penetration rate of 11.9&. The subscriber base is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.22% from 2004 to 2014 and is forecasted to reach 4.9 million by the end of 2014. While, the household broadband penetration is projected to reach 24.9% by the same period. Consumer broadband revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.11% from 193 million in 2008 to 449 million in 2014.

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Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:47:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

4 carriers control of 90 percent of wireless market, government report finds.

A government report finds that mergers and acquisitions over the past decade have left just four big carriers in control of 90 percent of the wireless market, thus making it harder for small and regional companies to compete.

A study from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, also found that despite the consolidation, consumers are benefiting from better wireless coverage and prices that are half what they were in 1999. The GAO report, released Thursday, comes as the Federal Communications Commission is ramping up oversight of the wireless industry. The report says the number of cell phone subscribers in the U.S. stood at 285 million at the end of 2009, up from 3.5 million in 1989.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:44:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuelan telecoms regulator Conatel has reported that Venezuela ended the second quarter of 2010 with 29.2 million total mobile subscriptions, up by only around 100,000 from 29.1 million at mid-2009, in a market where mobile user accounts outnumber the population. In the fixed broadband sector, Conatel’s figures showed that subscribers increased by 44.4% year-on-year to 2.22 million at end-June 2010 from 1.54 million in 2Q09.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:35:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telkom Kenya, which operates Kenya’s smallest cellco by subscribers Orange Kenya, has become the fourth and final operator to enter the ‘price war’ that has dominated the wireless sector since regulator the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) cut its interconnection rates by 50% last week. Telkom has responded by reducing its own rates to KES2 (USD0.024) for calls within the Orange network, while calls to other networks will be charged at KES4 per minute, for both post- and pre-paid subscribers.

Meanwhile, when announcing the company’s new mobile tariffs, Telkom CEO Mickael Ghossein complained that the CCK had not consulted him before lowering the interconnection rates for fixed line services. Mr Ghossein commented: ‘We have taken issue with the CCK’s decision to set the interconnection rate for fixed lines with GSM at KES1.67, on the basis that it was too low to be sustainable and did not take into account running costs as well as network maintenance costs. We can easily close shop if we charge less than KES3 for off-net calls. The market is in a big mess. What other players are doing is not professional. My strategy is to sustain the company and grow revenues. Voice is dead, broadband is the future. At Telkom Kenya, with the enormous broadband resources we have, it is at our advantage as others fight.’ Telkom is the only operator licensed to provide fixed line services within the Kenyan wireline market.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:34:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Syrian cabinet has approved plans for the licensing of a third mobile operator to compete with incumbent operators SyriaTel and MTN Syria which were awarded 15-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts for the rollout and operation of Syria's first mobile networks back in early 2001. As well as allowing for the entry of a new licensee into the wireless market, the two existing operators will buy out their current BOT agreements and convert to conventional licence agreements. The new licence will be granted after a three-stage process including initial rehabilitation, investment and technical rehabilitation and then finally a financial auction.

CommsUpdate reported UAE telecoms operator Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) first expressed an interest in acquiring Syria’s third wireless licence in April last year, while Kuwait's Zain has also indicated its interest in investing in the country’s mobile market, either through an acquisition of an operator licence, or a stake in an existing operator. In 2009 Zain held talks to buy SyriaTel, but the discussions were suspended for reasons not entirely clear.

Following the news that a licence auction had been approved, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai quoted sources as saying that 'Zain is waiting for Syria's government, which announced the opening of a bid for a third operating telecom ... to issue the terms and conditions required for applying and attaining the license.'

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:32:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Under the banner, "Plug, Pay and Go," the weekend saw the official launch of Digicel's WiMAX network in Jamaica. The network is available across all fourteen parishes covering 60% of the population and 200 communities with further rollout planned. That translates to 410,000 households in Jamaica.

Digicel says that it has leveraged its existing network and investment in Jamaica of over US$850 million with a further investment of US$22.7 million in rolling out the WiMAX network.

Customers have unlimited usage and can choose between affordable prepaid 7 day, 14 day or 30 day plans or a monthly postpaid plan. Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO, comments; "This is the biggest thing we have done in Jamaica since we launched here nearly ten years ago. Digicel is delivering the fastest and best wireless broadband service to customers across Jamaica and bringing the internet to people and places who have never had it before.

"Recent research from CESifo suggests that a 10% increase in broadband penetration can help to raise annual per capita GDP growth by 0.9 to 1.5 percentage points. With Digicel 4G Broadband, we are making wireless broadband internet an easy-to-access, affordable reality and empowering Jamaican people and businesses to get the best out of the internet -- whenever and however they want it. With Digicel 4G Broadband, the possibilities are endless."

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:26:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Almost half of international mobile executives (48%) predict mobile operators will focus on developing new pricing models over the next three years, with 55% agreeing that tiered pricing is the way forward in mature markets and 47% arguing flat-rate "all-you-can-eat" data tariff plans are damaging their ability to increase revenue, according to a survey commissioned by international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The cost of funding next-generation networks (44%) and ensuring adequate backbone capacity for future traffic loads (37%) are also identified as critical challenges whilst more than 60% believe pricing mechanisms will solve or mitigate the strain on the networks caused by data-hungry devices such as internet-connected smart phones. The move towards usage-based pricing models is predicated on an aggregate increase in data traffic. In mature markets, 37% anticipate application downloads will be a main revenue source in three years' time, exceeding voice (36%) and video downloads (32%).

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Source: Cellular-News

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:04:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Armenian mobile operator VivaCell-MTS, a subsidiary of Russian powerhouse Mobile TeleSystems, reported having more than 2.1 million subscribers as at 30 June 2010, up 3.9% on the number recorded in the same period of 2009, reports the company’s press service as saying.

In 2010 the cellco has ramped up its portfolio of products and services in a bid to garner market share. Most recently, this month it improved its ‘MTS Connect Unlimited’ tariff plan, offering subscribers 5GB of high speed internet downloads per month, instead of the previous 1GB of data, for the same monthly cost of AMD8,800 (USD2.42). In addition, the cellco is providing an MTS Connect modem free of charge for users taking a one-year subscription.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:01:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 August 2010

In July, the number of subscribers of Ukrainian mobile operators rose by 1% or 0.56 million to 55.61 million. Ukrainian News has learned this from results of a research conducted by iKS-Consulting, a wording of which was made available for the agency.

The number of subscribers of GSM operators made up 53.86 million (96.9% of the market), subscribers of CDMA operators 1.249 million (2.3% of the market), others are subscribers of the UMTS operator Ukrtelecom, the largest telecommunication company. In particular, number of Kyivstar’s subscribers made up 22.12 million (39.8% of the subscriber base), MTS’s subscribers 17.71 million (31.9%), Astelit company 11.69 million (21%) and Ukrainian Radiosystems and Golden Telecom (Beeline brand) 2.34 million (4.2%).

In July, Beeline was the leader in growth of the subscriber base, experts from iKS-Consulting connects this growth with the popularity of the Vidpochyvai tariff plan among entrant to Ukraine tourists. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in June, the number of subscribers of Ukrainian mobile-telephone operators rose by 0.3% or 0.14 million to 55.05 million.

Source: HiTech Expert

Monday, 30 August 2010 13:20:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Montenegro’s Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services has revealed that the country’s dial-up subscriber base fell by 3.2% to 3,294 between June and July, mainly due to migration to broadband. According to the regulator’s latest report, the number of ADSL connections rose 1.9% to 50,290 during July, while WiMAX connections reached nearly 7,295. The overall broadband subscriber base stood at 60,318, giving a household penetration rate of approximately 30%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 24 August 2010 10:06:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 09 August 2010

A greater portion of Chinese mobile subscribers are accessing the Internet via mobile devices than users in the U.S., according to a report from The Nielsen Company. Research conducted by the measurement firm also suggested more Chinese users download mobile applications and make use of mobile instant messaging services than their U.S. counterparts.

Although mobile devices are only just reaching widespread penetration in China, Nielsen found 38 percent of mobile subscribers there claim to access online content on a monthly basis, compared with just 27 percent of subscribers in the U.S. In addition, 20 percent of users in China claim to download mobile apps and 23 percent use mobile instant messaging products, compared with 18 percent and 16 percent of U.S. users, respectively.

China also surpassed the U.S. in terms of text message usage, with 86 percent of users there using SMS services compared with 64 percent of U.S. subscribers. Two areas in which the U.S. continues to outpace China in terms of adoption, however, are location-based services and e-mail.

Nielsen's research was based on face-to-face surveys with 4,946 consumers age 15 and up in 19 cities around China. The interviews were conducted in March 2010.



Monday, 09 August 2010 08:08:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 02 August 2010

The UK is set to benefit from a new generation of mobile services and improved mobile broadband coverage under new government plans to revolutionise the country's digital infrastructure. Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, has launched a programme of measures for radio spectrum modernisation, which will allow mobile operators to deliver the latest technologies to consumers and extend the reach of mobile broadband across the country. The spectrum modernisation programme will be implemented under a Direction to regulator Ofcom, which has been laid in Parliament. This includes requiring Ofcom to co-ordinate a combined auction of 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz spectrum as soon as possible in order that operators can deliver widespread high speed mobile broadband, and requiring Ofcom to carry out a competitive assessment of future 3G and 4G markets, including the potential for new entrants. Their assessment will inform the design of the auction, aimed at enabling delivery of new competitive mobile broadband services for UK consumer and business benefit; liberalising 2G spectrum at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, implementing the EU's revised GSM directive to allow operators to use these frequencies for 3G technologies; making 3G licences indefinite to encourage greater investment in 3G services to reach more consumers across the UK. They will also be made tradable, and requiring Ofcom to apply annual licence fees to reflect the market value of these licences which will be applied after the initial licence term (ends 31 December 2021). The Minister also announced funding for a generous compensation package to support the Programme Making and Special Events users (PMSE) who are moving out of the 800MHz spectrum.

Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, 02 August 2010 10:35:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has reported that the country’s total number of mobile subscriptions reached 59.98 million at the end of June 2010, up by 27% year-on-year. Telenor unit GrameenPhone continues to lead the field by a wide margin with 26.46 million subscribers at mid-2010, up from 21.16 million a year earlier, ahead of Orascom subsidiary Banglalink with 16.10 million (11.05 million), Malaysian-backed Axiata (Robi) with 11.10 million (9.39 million), Warid (soon to be rebranded by Indian parent Bharti Airtel) 3.17 million (2.58 million), sole CDMA mobile operator CityCell 1.99 million (1.97 million) and state-owned Teletalk 1.16 million (1.10 million). In recent quarters, the figures in some operator's reports have differed from those of the BTRC, particularly the parent group of Axiata, which has consistently posted higher totals than that attributed to it by the Bangladeshi regulator.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 02 August 2010 10:31:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bermudan mobile operator Digicel today launched a new 3G+ wireless modem which will enable its cell phone and laptop users to access the World Wide Web via a mobile broadband connection from almost anywhere on the Island using HSPA+ technology. The new device is available in a range of different flavours to suit the user’s demands. Entry level prices start at BMD79 (USD79) per month for a plan with a 2GB download cap, rising to BMD89 per month (3.5GB) and BMD99 a month for 6GB of traffic. Moreover, 3G+ for smartphones costs BMD9 per month for the 2MB plan it said, BMD20 for 10MB, BMD35 for 20MB and BMD45 for the premium data plan (350MB) which is controlled through a ‘fair usage’ policy to prevent network congestion. The operator’s single user modem costs BMD99 and the multi-user modem BMD199.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 02 August 2010 10:27:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A lot of the recent limelight has been on telcos and cablecos battling each other for market share, in both the pay-TV and the telecoms markets. In the meantime, satellite direct-to-home (DTH) service providers have been quietly growing their operations and can now claim well over 150 million subscribers, with a good spread of activity across all regions. Their subscriber numbers have been growing by a steady 13%-15% per year, even through the recession.

To put these numbers into context, there are still almost five times as many DTH subscribers as there are IPTV subscribers, and over the last five years DTH operators have enjoyed subscriber growth rates that have been more than double those achieved by their cable TV competitors. As if that were not enough, globally the ARPU for DTH is more than double that achieved by cablecos and telcos. While the ARPU figures are closer in North America, in most countries there is a huge gap between ARPU for DTH and pay-TV services provided over other platforms.

‘It is interesting that while so much marketing emphasis has been placed on the importance of triple-play bundles, DTH operators have handily outperformed both telcos and cablecos while essentially selling a single service’ said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale. ‘I don’t want to oversimplify a complex picture and I certainly don’t want to downplay the importance of bundling strategies. However, there is sometimes a strong argument that it’s better to do one thing and to do it exceptionally well. DTH will continue to increase its share of the pay-TV market over the next five years’ he added.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 02 August 2010 09:54:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has praised the country’s first 3G cellular operator QCell, run by local entrepreneur Muhammed Jah, for expanding mobile users’ choice in the country as well as introducing cheap service rates. The president was speaking on Saturday at the official inauguration of QCell’s headquarters, marking a year since the GSM/W-CDMA operator’s network launch in July 2009. Also speaking at the ceremony, Gambia’s Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure Alhagie Cham commended QCell for taking on a significant risk in entering an already competitive market; he noted that in one year of operations the cellco had signed up a subscriber base of around 100,000, as well as expanding its network coverage across the country and employing a staff of 300 Gambians, up from around 100 at launch.

QCell has carried out a number of firsts in the country, including introducing video calling services and wireless datacard services for 3G/EDGE mobile internet access, available to pre- and post-paid users. Its website claims that its voice tariffs for both on-net and off-net calls are Gambia’s cheapest. Qcell, which competes against Africell, Gamcel and Comium, also sells its own branded 3G handsets.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 02 August 2010 08:55:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of Sierra Leone is looking to sell incumbent fixed line operator Sierratel, as officials acknowledge that the firm lacks the financial resources to compete with the country’s mobile providers, Computerworld West Africa reports. Earlier this week the National Commission of Privatisation (NCP) called for expressions of interest for the management of Sierratel – the first step in seeking bids for the operator – stating that it has ‘commenced a business reform programme of Sierratel with the objective of improving the efficiency, productivity, customer service delivery, capacity building and overall financial and operational performance.’ The contract will be awarded via an international bidding process, with prequalified applicants required to pay a non-refundable fee of USD10,000 (SLL38.9 million) for bidding documents.

The state is looking for a telecoms company to take over all business areas of Sierratel, including day-to-day management, operations, maintenance and long term business planning, although the government has not yet disclosed the size of the stake that it wishes to offload. The company has struggled to rebuild its wireline infrastructure after rebel forces destroyed telephone lines and exchanges during the civil war which ended in 2002. According to the NCP, Sierratel is overstaffed and suffers from a lack of capital; in the past the company has been forced to enter into joint venture partnerships to undergo urgent modernisation of its infrastructure. In June 2008 the telco accepted a delivery of Huawei-manufactured equipment worth USD16.5 million, which was paid for with a loan from the Chinese government. The CDMA 1x EV-DO cellular network was launched in April 2009.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 02 August 2010 08:49:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Broadband service provider rankings from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database show only small changes in rankings of the ten largest broadband service providers over the past twelve months. However, they also reveal a growing chasm between the two largest broadband operators and the remaining providers.

Collectively, the ten largest broadband service providers gained 23.3 million subscribers in the twelve months from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010, ending March 2010 with 191 million total subscribers—39% of the world’s 492 million broadband customers. KT of South Korea, the world’s tenth largest broadband ISP, is the only new member of the top ten ranking, having displaced Telecom Italia, which is now the 11th largest broadband ISP globally.

Just two mammoth broadband service providers, China Telecom and China Unicom, accounted for 20% of global broadband subscribers. Both companies gained approximately nine million subscribers over the past year, equivalent to the entire broadband subscriber base of Verizon. "The gap between the top two operators and the world’s remaining broadband service providers will continue to grow rapidly," commented TeleGeography Research Director Tania Harvey. "Aside from the two Chinese companies, all of the top ten broadband ISPs operate in mature markets, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth."

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 02 August 2010 08:46:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 July 2010

­The Mauritian mobile communications market has seen significant investments in the infrastructure development and data segments. These are areas with immense growth potential due to the saturation of voice services.

"The submarine cables that are being deployed will mitigate bandwidth shortages witnessed in the country," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mervin Miemoukanda. "The key drivers of this market are high disposable income, a vibrant tourism industry, the increasing demand for mobile broadband and multimedia, and the diminishing costs of handsets."

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $174.00 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $271.00 million in 2016.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, 30 July 2010 15:35:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone Essar Ltd. has unveiled a solar-powered mobile handset in India to better serve the nation's energy-starved rural masses. India has been adding nearly 20 million mobile subscribers each month, many of them in rural areas, where electricity supply can be patchy at best.

A third of Indians don't have access to electricity, but they do get plenty of sun. Samsung launched a solar-powered handset about a year ago, and Vodafone is now joining in the effort to bridge that infrastructure gap.

"This launch is likely to enable more people in rural India to go mobile," Vodafone Essar Chief Executive Marten Pieters said in a statement. The VF 247 Solar Powered phone, priced at 1,500 rupees ($32), should be available in stores next month.

It needs eight hours of direct sunlight to be fully charged and can support more than eight days of use on standby and four hours of talk time. It also comes with an electronic charger, an FM radio and a powerful torch light. Vodafone Essar, a leading wireless provider in India, is a unit of Vodafone Group PLC.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, 30 July 2010 15:29:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Danish mobile operator TDC will triple the mobile internet data transfer rates available via its 3G network to 21 Mbps in every region of the country this autumn. The move is intended to help the operator cope with an increasing number of mobile broadband users. TDC saw its sales of mobile broadband double from May to June thanks to clients who wanted to have internet during their summer holiday. In early 2011, TDC will begin the roll out of the LTE network in the country's largest cities.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, 30 July 2010 15:25:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile phone users under the age of 16 are extremely sophisticated, with deep brand experiences and preferences. This raises significant questions for network operators, handset manufacturers and service providers regarding how best to engage an increasingly important market segment.

You could be forgiven for a sense of déjà vu. After all, rising mobile phone use amongst children is not a new phenomenon. As long ago as 2004 the Guardian was reporting growth in ownership amongst under-10s, and media coverage concerning potential health concerns can be traced back even further. However, our ever-increasing reliance on, and immersion in, mobile phones and the digital services we use them to access, justify revisiting the topic.

Recent data from GfK reinforces just how prevalent mobile ownership amongst under-16s has become (2.5 million 12-15 year olds, almost 9 in 10, now have one). Furthermore, this is the age group cementing the shift in behaviour from passive entertainment, such as television, to more active digital and online activities. As such, it should come as no surprise that the value placed on their mobiles increases accordingly.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, 30 July 2010 15:22:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has reportedly seen its broadband subscriber base surpass the 500,000 milestone, according to Trading Markets. In addition, the telco has also increased the maximum download speeds available to its subscribers, introducing a new top speed of 8Mbps, double the previous limit of 4Mbps. PTCL has automatically upgraded all of its existing customers to higher speeds, with those previously on 2Mbps and 4Mbps packages seeing their top level speeds upped to 4Mbps and 6Mbps respectively, while retaining the same monthly package cost.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 30 July 2010 15:08:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of internet users in China increased to an estimated 420 million at the end of June 2010, according to industry association China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The number of users was up by 9.4% compared to the start of the year. Of the total, 363.81 million (or 86.6%) used broadband fixed line access modes, while 276.78 million (65.9%) used mobile handsets. The average time spend surfing the world wide web was 19.8 hours per week.

CNNIC said that there were 250.452 million IP addresses, 11.206 million domain names and 2.787 million websites in China at the end of June. At the same date China had a total bandwidth of 998.217Gbps for international internet connections, with China Telecom responsible for 616.703Gbps, China Unicom 330.599Gbps, China Mobile 30.559Gbps, CSTNet 10.422Gbps and CERNET 9.932Gbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 30 July 2010 15:05:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Three Nigerian telecoms operators have subscribed to Main One Cable Company’s high capacity fibre-optic cable system, which was launched commercially earlier this week linking West Africa to Europe, Reuters reports. The local unit of UAE-based Etisalat, South Africa’s MTN and Starcomms of Nigeria are among the first operators to sign up for broadband services from the 7,200km fibre-optic cable, which 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 from Nigeria’s sole existing undersea cable South Atlantic Terminal (SAT-3) – and will enable service providers to offer cheaper and more reliable internet access. Steven Evans, chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria, told Reuters his firm was testing the cable and would inaugurate services over it within a day or two: ‘We are working very hard at the moment to go live on the network, hopefully within the next 24-48 hours ... so that we will be one of the first people to be having broadband on the main network in Nigeria,’ he stated. Wholly African-owned, the Main One cable is the first privately-owned submarine cable system in West Africa.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 30 July 2010 15:03:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Social media website Facebook has passed the 500 million worldwide users milestone. To mark this achievement, Facebook launched an application dubbed 'Facebook Stories'. The app is a collection of stories shared by the social networking site's users about the impact Facebook and their contacts have had on their lives. Facebook Stories users will be able to share their own stories, as well as read hundreds of others, categorized by themes and locations around the world.
Source: Telecompaper 
Friday, 30 July 2010 14:58:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Le régulateur des télécoms lance sa consultation afin de caler les modalités d'attribution des licences qui seront distribuées dans un an exactement.

Le très haut débit mobile poursuit son cheminement en France. Comme prévu, le régulateur des télécoms vient de lancer une nouvelle consultation publique sur les modalités d'attribution des bandes de fréquences 800 MHz et 2,6 GHz qui permettront de déployer les réseaux 4G exploitant la technologie LTE (Long Term Evolution).

L'enjeu est de taille. Alors que la 3G+ plafonne théoriquement à 42 Mb/s en download (7 Mb/s en usage pratique), la LTE permet un débit descendant théorique de plus de 100 Mb/s et montant de 50 Mb/s afin de répondre à l'explosion des usages datas et à la saturation des réseaux. La consultation s'achèvera le 13 septembre prochain. Ensuite, après quelques allers-retours gouvernement/Parlement, la procédure d'attribution sera lancée, certainement avant la fin de l'année. Situation économique peu favorable Les opérateurs pourront alors faire acte de candidature. Et les heureux élus seront connus "entre le printemps et le début de l'été 2011". Rappelons que la 4G, une réalité en Suède, est actuellement expérimentée par les opérateurs français. Pour autant, le déploiement de la 4G risque de ne pas ressembler à un long fleuve tranquille. "La consultation publique et les auditions ont souligné la maturité encore limitée, sur les plans techniques et industriels, des projets dans la bande 800 MHz, dont le déploiement s'étendra sur de nombreuses années." a précisé Jean-Ludovic Silicani, le patron du régulateur en juin dernier.

Par ailleurs, "l'articulation entre les procédures d'attribution des bandes 800 MHz et 2,6 GHz, en particulier le caractère séquentiel ou simultané de l'attribution, ne recueille pas, pour l'instant, de consensus entre les acteurs" constate-il. Enfin, le déploiement de la 4G peut se heurter à la situation économique des opérateurs. Ces derniers ont aujourd'hui tendance à limiter leurs investissements réseau et cherchent avant tout à augmenter les capacités de la 3G/3G+ qui 'en a encore sous le pied". D'ailleurs, les quatre opérateurs mobiles ont finalisé le dispositif de partage d'installations de réseau mobile 3G : sa mise en oeuvre permettra d'atteindre d'ici fin 2013 une couverture 3G analogue à celle de la 2G (environ 99,8% de la population). Cet accord porte sur des zones peu denses du territoire, incluant notamment les communes du programme national d'extension de la couverture mobile 2G en zones blanches.

Source: ZDNet

Friday, 30 July 2010 14:23:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 July 2010
China's communications firms added a combined 9.755 million mobile customers in June, ending the month with a total of 785.524 million mobile users, according to figures from the operators. China Mobile led in mobile subscriber adds in June as the company added 5.060 million new customers to bring its customer base to 554.042 million. Of the total, 10.461 million are 3G customers.
China Telecom signed up 3.02 million new mobile subscribers in the month to bring its total to 74.52 million. However, the carrier continued shedding fixed-line customers and saw its customer base fall by 890,000 fixed-line users to end the month with a total of 181.07 million local access lines in service. China Telecom gained 880,000 broadband subscribers in June to hit a total of 58.33 million. China Unicom ended June with a total of 156.962 million mobile customers, which comprises 149.402 million 2G subscribers and 7.560 million 3G customers.
Unicom gained a total of 1.675 million new mobile subscribers in the month. However, the company lost 275,000 fixed-line customers to bring its total to 100.852 million, but gained 831,000 broadband customers in June, reaching a total of 43.759 million.
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:21:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cosmote Romania has added a budget-priced 3G mobile internet package to its Connect 3G product line. As of 15 July, Cosmote will offer Connect Now+, which comes with a 2GB usage limit and download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps for a monthly subscription of EUR6.71 per month. With existing Connect 3G products, Cosmote subscribers achieve speeds of up to 21.6Mbps in approximately 3,300 localities across the country. Cosmote launched its 3G services after acquiring Zapp Romania in the November 2009.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:16:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Armenian mobile operator VivaCell-MTS, a subsidiary of Mobile TeleSystems of Russia, has improved its ‘MTS Connect Unlimited’ tariff plan, offering subscribers 5GB of high speed internet downloads per month, instead of the previous 1GB of data, for the same monthly cost of AMD8,800 (USD2.42). In addition, the cellco is providing an MTS Connect modem free of charge for users taking a one-year subscription.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:14:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zambia’s monopoly fixed line operator Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) claims to have spent approximately USD34 million on laying fibre-optic cable across the country, AllAfrica reports. The investment figure was revealed by Transport and Communications Deputy Minister Mubika Mubika in Parliament, who in responding to questions about the telco’s future spending plans noted that it remained unclear whether Libya’s LapGreen Networks, which recently acquired a 75% stake in Zamtel, would continue the current fibre rollout project.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, LapGreen Networks submitted a USD257 million for the majority stake in Zamtel, and it was announced last month that it had beaten out bids from Russian telecoms investment firm Altimo and Unitel of Angola for the majority holding to win the holding. The government meanwhile has retained the remaining 25% stake, although it may sell this at a later stage through an initial public offering on the Lusaka bourse.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:12:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of registered SIM cards in Brazil climbed to 185.1 million in June this year, up 1.42 million (or 0.8%) from May, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator Anatel. As at 30 June, Vivo Participacoes – the cellco whose ownership is being contested by its equal joint venture partners Telefonica of Spain and Portugal Telecom (PT) – maintained its leading position with a market share of 30.24%, down slightly from 30.25% in May. America Movil’s local unit Telecom Americas (Claro) was second with 25.33% of the market, down from 25.41% in May, and TIM Brasil was in third place with 24.00%, up from 23.84%. Telemar Norte Leste’s Oi unit recorded a share of 20.08%, down from 20.15% the previous month.

In a related but unconfirmed story, Reuters reports that PT could agree to sell its 50% stake in Vivo to Telefonica ‘within days’ after committing to buy into fourth-placed Oi. Spanish financial El Economista cites unnamed financial sources as saying a deal could take place. PT is understood to have signed a pre-agreement with Oi valid until the end of next week to buy a stake once it has sold its part in Brasilcel, the joint venture through which Telefonica and PT control Vivo. Reuters notes that El Economista did not state the size of the Oi stake or give further details of who had agreed to sell it.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:10:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Irish government has confirmed the launch of the Exemplar Network, a high-speed, fibre-optic communications network using patented Irish technology which allows for the high-speed and high-quality transfer of electronic data. The network has been developed to solve the problem of expensive bottlenecks of data as traffic on the internet continues to increase.
Phase I of the Exemplar network is now up and running in its test bed facility in Parkwest, Dublin. The government has already invested EUR 5 million in the network, with plans to provide an additional EUR 5 million investment. Over 30 companies and institutions have signed up to use the Exemplar network to test their products and services and conduct research. These include: BT, Imagine, EMC, Celtix Connect, IBM, Smart Telecom, e|Net, Opennet, ESBTelecom and Firecomms. Four of Ireland's universities UCC Tyndall, NUI Galway, UCD and DCU will use the facility, as will Science Foundation Ireland. Phase II involves the construction of an active test ring around the Dublin metropolitan area and will commence in 2011. The final Phase beginning in 2013 will see the Exemplar as nationwide infrastructure. The Exemplar network is being built by Intune Networks, the Dublin-based developer of high-performance laser technology for the telecoms industry. The new fibre-optic network has been welcomed by WiMAX broadband and phone provider Imagine Communications Group. Imagine managing director Brian O'Donohoe said that WiMax and Exemplar could create a partnership to propel Ireland towards new job creation by inward investments and enable entrepreneurs to set up world-class businesses across Ireland.
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:58:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of ‘active’ mobile phone users in Hungary rose by 15,000 to 10.84 million last month, according to the National Telecommunications Authority (NHH). Meanwhile, ‘inactive lines (i.e. those from which a call has not been placed or received within three months) dipped by 16,000 to 11.87 million, it said. Of the total for active users, T-Mobile led the way with 44.68% of the market, ahead of Telenor (formerly Pannon) with 32.89% and Vodafone in third with 22.43%. In addition, the NHH noted that 5,349 people switched provider via mobile number portability (MNP) rules in June, taking the total for numbers ported to 337,800 since MNP was introduced on 1 May 2004.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:54:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UK-based Gateway Communications, which claims to be the largest provider of carrier and business network solutions on the African continent, has further increased its presence in West Africa through the signing of two separate deals in Guinea – an expansion contract with domestic cellco Intercel Guinea (formerly Telecel Guinea) and a new contract with local ISP and Intercel owner Equipements & Techniques Informatiques (ETI). As a result of the latest contract signings Gateway is now working with two major mobile operators and an ISP in Guinea, a country with a mobile penetration of 35.50% as at 31 December 2009, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. At that date the country’s leading mobile operator was MTN Guinea (Areeba) with a market share of 36.49% (1.273 million users), Cellcom Guinea with 22.93% (estimated at 800,000), Societe des Telecoms de Guinee with 20.64% (estimated at 720,000), Orange Guinea with 19.60% (684,000) and niche operator Intercel with 0.34% (estimated at 12,000).

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:53:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgacom a présenté, en présence de l’ambassadeur du Maroc, son service international de transfert d’argent mobile vers le Maroc, en collaboration avec Maroc Telecom. Concrètement, ce nouveau service permet de transférer de l’argent d’un téléphone mobile en Belgique vers un téléphone mobile au Maroc. Le service est ouvert aux titulaires d’un compte PingPing, la plate-forme de paiement mobile de Belgacom. Une fois ce compte chargé, il est possible de transférer de l’argent, que ce soit par gsm ou par internet, aux clients de Maroc Telecom ayant souscrit au service MobiCash. Le destinataire voit son compte de téléphonie mobile crédité immédiatement lors de l’opération et peut retirer cet argent partout au Maroc.

Source: Belgacom

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:49:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |