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 Thursday, September 09, 2010

France’s national telecoms regulator Arcep says that by the end of June this year, a total of 38,700 buildings were equipped with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology and connected to one or more fibre networks provided by domestic operators. The figure marks a 14.5% rise on the figure reported at the end of the first quarter, it said. Taken overall, these buildings comprise some 910,000 FTTH-eligible households in the country, up 9% quarter-on-quarter and 40% higher than the corresponding period in mid-2009. By the start of July 2010, former monopoly France Telecom (FT) reported 10.3 million wholesale broadband DSL lines were being used by altnets, up by 1.13 million on a year earlier. Of the total, some 7.14 million lines were fully unbundled lines, 1.26 million were partially unbundled, 1.33 million were naked ADSL or DSLE bitstream Pro, and 515,000 were bitstream ADSL.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 1:04:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telefonica has rolled out the deployment of its nationwide FTTH network in Chile. The network is expected to cover 700,000 households. Overall investments in the project will reach USD 2.5 billion over the next four years. The first phase of the infrastructure deployment will cover Chile's Bio Bio region, including the cities of Talcahuano, Los Angeles, Chillan and the region capital. This first phase is estimated to connect around 50,000 households. Telefonica's FTTH network in Chile will provide speeds between 40 and 100 Mbps. The network will also support information, entertainment, education, health and e-government services, well as IPTV.
 
Thursday, September 09, 2010 1:01:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Brazil's telecommunications regulator Anatel unveiled a new plan for achieving the country's universal service targets. The PGMU III as the plan is known will cost BRL 2.1 billion, which will be invested in infrastructure and maintenance from 2011 to 2015. The reviewed goals for universal telephony cover rural and poorer areas, with plans for the installation of public telephone booths in all rural schools and rural health posts in Brazil. Also planned is the creation of the Telephone Exchange service, at an average cost of BRL 25 for families enrolled in the Bolsa Familia programme. The plan is open to public consultation until 22 September.
 
Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:59:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Japanese mobile operators added 524,600 new mobile customers in August to bring their total to 114.80 million mobile subscribers, figures from the Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA) show. Softbank again led in subscriber additions during the month as it added 288,900 new customers to reach a total of 23.14 million. NTT Docomo gained 125,500 new subscribers to bring its total to 56.79 million, while KDDI ended the month with 32.20 million subscribers after adding 56,600 new customers. Emobile attracted 53,500 new customers to end August with a total of 2.67 million customers. Troubled PHS provider Willcom shed 18,700 customers, which brings the company's total to 3.82 million. Willcom has filed for bankruptcy and has begun a rehabilitation process.
 
Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:07:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The telecom market in Uganda generated $638m in 2009, almost exclusively through mobile services. Fixed broadband services is expected to join the mobile segment as a strong driver of growth as the new undersea cables land in the coasts of East Africa and the terrestrial fiber rings start reaching the landlocked country. Uganda is predicted to grow at an impressive CAGR of 11.5% over the next five years, reaching $1.23bn by 2015, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The Ugandan mobile market is highly competitive, but the low level of mobile penetration at 32.8 percent in 2009 indicates that there is still much demand to be fulfilled. "The main obstacle to increasing penetration has been the provision of affordable last-mile access to rural areas, where the majority of the Ugandans live and where income levels are too low to justify individual subscriptions and handset ownership. However, forms of centralization are emerging to solve this problem," says Kerem Arsal, Analyst at Pyramid Research and author of this report. "We expect mobile subscriptions in Uganda to double during our forecasting period and grow from 10.7 million in 2010 to 20.9 million in 2015, with a penetration rate of 52.7 percent," he adds.

The real opportunity, however, lies in the broadband segment. "Data revenue and adoption in East Africa will grow fast with the decline in the costs of international bandwidth due to the new undersea cables," indicates Arsal. Adding to this the unfulfilled demand for Internet, the broadband market will comprise a quarter billion dollars in 2015. Fixed broadband will be the primary source of revenue growth in Uganda and will generate US$229 million in 2015.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:18:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Today, two Polish mobile network operators, CenterNet and Mobyland, launched the first commercial long-term evolution (LTE) network in Central Europe utilising the 1800 MHz frequency band. So far, LTE networks have only been commercially launched in three other countries: in Sweden and Norway, by TeliSonera; and in Uzbekistan by both MTS and UCell (owned by TeliaSonera).

The Polish mobile telephony market is already highly competitive, with four established market participants: PTK Centertel (Orange), Polkomtel (Plus), PTC (Era) and P4 (Play). The entrance of two new mobile network operators, CenterNet and Mobyland, did not seem to drastically change the market environment. Both operators acquired spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band in 2007 and started to develop their GSM networks. The main strategy of both operators was to focus on exploring underpenetrated market niches.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:12:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghan mobile network, Roshan has launched a mobile service, branded as Malomat, that provides pricing information to farmers and distributors to assist in buying and selling goods at fair rates. The service has been set up with assistance from USAID and the Global Development Alliance (GDA).

Malomat will initially cover 11 provincial wholesale markets using mobile phones with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology and SSMS. Once developed further, the project will expand to other provinces and incorporate additional commodities, with a focus on reaching rural communities in remote areas of the country.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:09:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Arabian telco Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has won a SAR50 million (USD13.3 million) contract to begin work on an exploratory project for the Communications and Information Technology Commission's (CITC) Comprehensive Service Fund. Mobily was reportedly the only contender to have passed all of the evaluation criteria necessary to win the contract. The project aims to provide voice telephony and broadband connectivity to residents of Khulais and Al-Kamel in Makkah province, and Mahd Al-Dhahab in Madinah province.

Abdulrahman Al-Jaafari, governor of CITC commented: ‘We are working toward implementing the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to carry out comprehensive development throughout the Kingdom, with a long-term strategic outlook for the economy. We want to play our part in achieving balanced and sustainable progress and bridge the developmental gaps between regions.’ Mobily CEO Khalid Al-Kaf added: ‘The fact that we own the region's biggest broadband network will definitely help in providing quality services to remote areas, so we can enrich the lives of residents with services that exceed their expectations’. Despite being better known as a wireless operator, Mobily has shifted its attentions towards broadband in recent years, after acquiring a pair of ISPs since 2007. Its Saudi Arabian infrastructure now reportedly includes a 12,000-km fibre optic network.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:04:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone is over halfway to completion, with around 1,380km of fibre already rolled out across the country, local daily The New Times reports, citing ICT Minister Ignace Gatare. According to Gatare, two major regional links – which connect the capital Kigali to Gatuna and Rusumo – are already covered and two more regional routes – linking Kigali and Kanyaru, and Kigali with Rubavu – will be completed by the end of September. He added that construction of the backbone will be finished by the end of the year, with the network scheduled to be fully operational by April 2011.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Rwandan government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT Corp in October 2008 to supply and install the national fibre-optic backbone. The network will connect 317 institutions (97 in Kigali and 220 outside the capital) in all 30 districts, and connect all nine of Rwanda’s borders. The government hopes the infrastructure will boost access to broadband services, including e-governance, e-banking, e-learning and e-health, and facilitate IT-based foreign direct investments in areas such as business outsourcing.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:00:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTS Belarus yesterday launched commercial 3G/3.5G mobile services covering all regional centres of the country and 39% of the population. The cellco simultaneously launched several new products for handset and laptop users to take advantage of the new network, and revealed plans to expand its W-CDMA/HSDPA/HSPA+ coverage to 18 towns and cities with more than 50,000 residents by the end of this year, as well as across additional suburbs of the capital Minsk. It aims to cover all municipal centres by mid-2011. According to the cellco's website, MTS's 3G network supports HSPA+ data rates up to 21.6Mbps, and it is offering a range of 3G internet packages for USB dongle users, with an offer for existing data service users to exchange their 2.5G EDGE modems for a new 3G model, for a nominal fee until the end of October 2010. MTS Belarus also offers video calling and has launched its own-branded smartphone, 'MTS Android', with HSDPA 7.2Mbps capability. Also on 1 September MTS's mobile television service received an upgrade to become available on the new 3G network. At the same date an unlimited monthly web browsing package for 3G/3.5G mobile handset users was launched, 'Unlimited Internet with Opera Mini'. It has also introduced specialised 3G/Wi-Fi routers targeted at small and medium businesses. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTS Belarus is the largest mobile operator in the country, recording 4.6 million subscribers at the end of June 2010 and a 44.6% share of the market.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:59:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL) has launched a new fixed-wireless telephony and high speed internet service for rural customers based on 3G CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology in the 450MHz frequency band. Users, some in areas previously without access to a full range of services, can now sign up for ‘HomeFone’ or ‘BizFone’ CDMA fixed line phone services (including SMS) and broadband-speed internet access. The network is being rolled out in phases commencing with villages in the southern part of the country. BTL says thousands of additional users will benefit from the new service.

The telco also announced it had completed upgrades to its fibre-optic transmission network in the south, increasing capacity in the Punta Gorda and Independence areas, whilst giving continuous capacity from Belize City to Punta Gorda both via Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) and Under Hung Fibre Cables. Telemedia’s existing fibre-optic network extends from Belize City to the northern and western borders and also into Belmopan.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:52:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica will increase the broadband speeds provided to its ADSL subscribers from the current 6 Mbps to 10 Mbps. The upgraded speeds will involve no extra charges for customers. The speed upgrade process is scheduled for completion by end-2011. Additionally, starting September, Telefonica will double the mobile broadband speeds for customers located in Madrid and Barcelona, from the current 21 Mbps to 42 Mbps.

According to Guillermo Ansaldo, Telefonica's head of Spanish operations, mobile broadband services will be the main market driver in coming years. In the 2008-2012 period, the number of mobile broadband accesses is expected to increase 6-fold, while mobile broadband traffic will multiply by 17.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:51:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Italy's Fastweb is launching Fibre 100, a new offer that will permit about 2 million households and small businesses to use the internet at symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps. The service will reach the cities of Milan, Rome, Turin, Genoa, Bologna, Naples and Bari, in areas already covered by fibre optics. From October the service will be extended to all those who are already Fastweb customers. Fibre 100 will be sold as an additional option for internet subscribers, at EUR 15 per month plus a EUR 100 activation fee.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:47:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Israel's telecommunications regulator has ordered mobile operators to cut interconnection fees by nearly 73 percent. Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said interconnect fees will drop to ILS 0.0687 a minute at the start of 2011 from ILS 0.251 currently. Fees will decline further to ILS 0.0634 per minute from the start of 2012, to ILS 0.0591 from 2013 and to ILS 0.0555 in 2014. Termination fees for text messaging will also fall sharply, from ILS 0.0284 now to ILS 0.0016 from 1 January 2011, to ILS 0.0015 in 2012, to ILS 0.0014 from 2013 and to ILS 0.0013 at the start of 2014.

The reduction is based on the final recommendations by Nera Economic Consulting, which examined the cost pricing model of mobile network components. The cuts to mobile termination rates could have been deeper as the ministry initially said it planned a reduction to as low as ILS 0.0414. Kahlon said reducing interconnection fees will save the public about ILS 1 billion a year, significantly lower the price of a call from landlines to mobile phones and increase competition to support the entry of new mobile companies. Market leader Cellcom said the cuts would reduce its annual EBITDA next year by ILS 420 million and net profit by ILS 320 million. Partner Communications predicted a negative impact of ILS 30-40 million per month on EBITDA and ILS 20-30 million on net profit. Both companies said they will consider legal action against the decision.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:45:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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.

Click here to see full article
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).

Click here to see full article

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.

Click here to see full article

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%).

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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)  #     |