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 Friday, September 03, 2010

­In 2009, the BRICI countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Indonesia - had some 610 million Internet users, and this number is growing at a blistering pace: it will nearly double by 2015, hitting around 1.2 billion users, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

"The Internet is already having a fundamental impact on consumption patterns, and the patterns we're seeing are significantly different from those in the United States and Japan," says report coauthor David Michael, who heads BCG's Global Advantage practice. "Companies relying solely on traditional means for reaching consumers in the emerging markets need to understand the impact that the shift to digital media is going to have."

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, September 03, 2010 12:52:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The ongoing price wars continued in Vietnam after S-Fone and Vietnamobile both reduces their tariffs for subscribers. Their decision to reduce rates followed after similar initiatives by Viettel, VinaPhone and MobiFone last month.

The fees were cut by an average of 15 per cent for subscribers using Standard, Economy, 4M, Daily and Smile, reported S-Fone. S-Fone Executive Manager Ho Hong Son told the Viet Nam News that the price reduction was not a competition-based initiative. Vietnamobile also announced that it would cut its charges by 10 per cent on average for all service packages.

The country officially has 122 million phone subscribers, which the Mobile World analysts calculate represents a population penetration level of 137%. However, there has been previous reports that the operators may not be calculating their active users by the conventional methods, and inflating the subscriber base.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, September 03, 2010 12:49:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bahrain's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) will disconnect at least 400,000 unregistered pre-paid mobile phone lines today after a deadline for registering SIM card owners’ details passed, the Bahrain Tribune reports. The TRA, along with the country's mobile operators, Batelco, Zain and Viva, had warned users that they must register personal details by midnight on 31 August or have their service cut off. ‘As per the warning of the TRA and with the due consent from Batelco, Zain and Viva, there will be no extension for the registration of the pre-paid mobile lines,’ an official at the Kingdom's watchdog confirmed to the Tribune. The registration programme was undertaken for security reasons, to prevent anonymously-owned phones being used in illegal activities.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, September 03, 2010 12:45:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wireless subscribers in China must provide identification from today to purchase a new number, press agency AFP reports, citing local media. The new regulations also apply to foreigners and those wishing to purchase a pre-paid SIM card, the China Daily and Global Times reported, citing sources at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Those with existing mobile subscriptions will be asked to register with their carriers before 2013, or their subscriptions could be cancelled. Street newspaper stands will be banned from selling SIM cards until the owners are trained on how to register customers, the report added.

The new rules are part of the Chinese government's efforts to prevent spam, pornographic messages and rampant fraud over the country's vast mobile networks, MIIT spokesman Wang Lijian told the China Daily. China had 814 million mobile phone users at the end of July, MIIT officials told the press, with up to 320 million users not yet registered.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, September 03, 2010 12:43:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BT has confirmed that 15 million homes and small businesses now have broadband access over its high-speed network. Of these connections, more than 5 million are through BT Retail and the rest via other companies who benefit from equivalent access to the BT network. BT had around 200,000 broadband connections in August 2002, adding 14.8 million connections in eight years, equal to more than 5,000 broadband connections a day. When Virgin Media customers are taken into account , the UK now has more than 19 million broadband premises using broadband.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, September 03, 2010 12:38:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile operator Digicel has reached 11 million customers across the 32 worldwide markets where it currently operates. Digicel provides mobile communication services across the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. Digicel reports its customer base has increased by 10 percent year-on-year, while its market share has also grown quarter-on-quarter in all of its major markets (El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad & Tobago).
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, September 03, 2010 12:36:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For a decade, West Africa's main connection to the Internet has been a single fiber-optic cable in the Atlantic, a tenuous and expensive link for one of the poorest areas of the planet.

But this summer, a second cable snaked along the West African coastline, ending at Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos. It has more than five times the capacity of the old one and is set to bring competition to a market where wholesale Internet access costs nearly 500 times as much as it does in the U.S.

It's the first of a new wave of investment that the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union says will vastly raise the bandwidth available in West Africa by mid-2012.

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Source: Cellular News
Friday, September 03, 2010 12:33:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Alternative ISPs will be able to match the top broadband speeds provided by the larger operators under the latest decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The regulator said that large telephone companies must make their existing internet access services available to alternate ISPs at speeds that match those offered to their own retail customers. This reinstates the previous policy that had been withdrawn in 2007 at the request of the incumbents. The new decision includes ADSL services and fibre-based offerings.

To recognise and encourage investment in fibre networks, the incumbent operators will be allowed to charge a 10 percent mark-up on their costs for the use of their wholesale internet services' higher-speed options. Cable operators are already subject to the speed-matching requirements. Under the new decision, they must modify their existing internet access services in such a way that alternate ISPs can connect to their networks at as few points as possible. In addition, the commission denied the alternative ISPs' requests that the large telephone and cable companies reconfigure their networks. Although these reconfigurations may have permitted ISPs to offer additional services to consumers, the CRTC felt that they would constitute a disincentive to network investments without necessarily enhancing innovation or competition.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, September 03, 2010 12:30:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Asia-Pacific region has overtaken North America as the home to the largest number 4G broadband wireless subscribers. According to figures from TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service, there were around 1.7 million pre-WiMAX and WiMAX customers in Asia at the end of March 2010 compared to 1.4 million in the US and Canada. With the global 4G subscriber total standing at more than 5.7 million, the Asia-Pacific region now accounts for 29% of the overall market, up from 22% a year earlier and just 6% at the end of 2006.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 02, 2010 10:11:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 01, 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, September 01, 2010 8:21:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 31, 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, August 31, 2010 2:07:33 PM (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, August 31, 2010 1:57:29 PM (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."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:51:12 PM (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.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:47:37 PM (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, August 31, 2010 1:44:03 PM (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, August 31, 2010 1:35:45 PM (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, August 31, 2010 1:34:21 PM (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, August 31, 2010 1:32:41 PM (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, August 31, 2010 1:26:43 PM (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%).

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular-News

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:04:32 PM (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, PanArmenian.net 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, August 31, 2010 1:01:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 30, 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, August 30, 2010 1:20:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 24, 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, August 24, 2010 10:06:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 09, 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.

 

Source: Clickz.com

Monday, August 09, 2010 8:08:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 02, 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, August 02, 2010 10:35:10 AM (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, August 02, 2010 10:31:18 AM (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, August 02, 2010 10:27:16 AM (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, August 02, 2010 9:54:02 AM (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, August 02, 2010 8:55:06 AM (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, August 02, 2010 8:49:43 AM (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, August 02, 2010 8:46:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |