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 Tuesday, 14 December 2010

New research from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that 14% of the global wireless subscriber base is now connected to a 3G network, with the regional figure varying between 35% in Western Europe to just 6% in Africa. At 30 September 2010 there were 694 million 3G users scattered across the world, from a grand total of 5.12 billion wireless subscriptions. According to GlobalComms, of the wireless total 48.6% of subscribers were located in the Asia-Pacific region, with Latin America accounting for the next largest share, at 10.7%, and Western Europe at 10.1%. The Middle East is the smallest in terms of subscribers, accounting for 279 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter, equivalent to 5.4% of the total.

3G subscriber growth is clearly driving the market as a whole. ‘Subscriptions to third generation networks increased by over 40% in the twelve months ended 30 September 2010’ said Tig Harvey, Research Director at TeleGeography. ‘Compare that figure to the 15% recorded by the market as a whole, and you get some idea of just how important the UMTS platforms now are,’ she added. What's more, the next generation of networks are now coming on stream, just in time to provide new impetus to the industry in 2011 and onwards. According to TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service there are currently 13 Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in commercial operation, with a further nine due to be unveiled before the end of the year, including high profile launches by Verizon Wireless and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. 'Since the launch of the first W-CDMA network in 2001, it has taken ten years for 3G to achieve 14% penetration of the wireless subscriber base; this is indicative of how quickly new technologies permeate the global wireless market, and is one pointer towards the future success of LTE,' Harvey added.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:56:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Solomon Islands has confirmed previously rumoured plans to offer the country's third mobile license, just a few months after the country's second network, B-Mobile launched its services.Communications Commissioner, Nick Williams, made the announcement in Honiara this morning, noting that the licence will include an option to offer 3G services.

Mr Williams says he hopes to be able to award the licence by March next year and to see the operator begin its service within 6 months.The incumbent operator had blocked the launch of the country's second mobile network, B-Mobile for nearly ten months after its license was originally granted.

When the second license was tendered in 2009, Digicel applied for a license, but was rebuffed. Digicel had actually been granted a license in 2006, but Solomon Telekom successfully sued to block the network launch pending a review of its monopoly status.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:52:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As of 30 September 2010 France was home to a total of 20.8 million high speed and ultra-high speed internet subscriptions, an increase of about 360,000 over the previous quarter, the regulator Arcep reports. Over one year, the national growth rate was approximately 8% it said, equivalent to around 1.6 million connections.

Of the total around 20.4 million were classed as high speed subscriptions, including 19.47 million ADSL subscriptions (93% of high speed and ultra-high speed subscriptions), 960,000 for other technologies and 420,000 ultra-high speed broadband subscribers – up 55,000 over the previous quarter. The watchdog counted around 100,000 FTTH or FTTB subscribers in its September 2010 total; it defines ultra-high speed services as those offering a peak downstream speed of over 50Mbps and a top upstream speed of more than 5Mbps. The remaining 320,000 were hybrid fibre-coaxial lines (HFC), up 45,000 quarter-on-quarter.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:50:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has completed a PHP2.8 billion (USD63.6 million) expansion of its fibre-optic network. The project began in January this year and entailed the deployment of 1,300km of new terrestrial and submarine fibre links between the Bicol region, to the south of Manila, and the central and southern regions of Visayas and Mindanao.

As a result of the expansion, PLDT has extended coverage to ten provinces, including Iloilo and Negros Oriental, providing potential expansion areas for the nation’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. PLDT vice-president and head of marketing, Eric Alberto, is quoted as saying that following the latest initiative, the telco’s fibre-optic network now spans 10,050km connecting 68 nodes, with a total bandwidth capacity of 1.56Tbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:48:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Verizon Wireless has announced that it will launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Sunday in 39 markets and 60 airports, covering more than 110 million people. The new network will offer download speeds of up to 12Mbps – more than ten times faster than current data speeds. Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless promised that the new network would deliver superior performance.

The first devices to use the new network will be USB wireless data modems for laptops and are expected to appeal primarily to business customers and technology early adopters. However, Verizon Wireless will announce up to five new smartphones capable of running on the network at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. These handsets are expected to use the existing 3G network for voice calls and the 4G network for mobile internet access and running applications. There has also been speculation that Apple could announce an LTE version of the iPhone 4G early next year, though both Verizon and Apple have declined to comment. Initially Verizon will offer two monthly data plans – USD50 for 5GB of data and USD80 for 10GB. It will charge customers USD10 for each additional 1GB used.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:45:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Osiptel, the Peruvian telecoms regulator, has warned that as many as a million mobile users face being cut off, having failed to register their details with their mobile network operators. In September this year Osiptel said registration of pre-paid mobile subscriptions would be made mandatory and the process would have to be completed by the beginning of March 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:38:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The French telecoms regulator Arcep has recommended that mobile phone contracts be shortened from the 24-month tie-ins commonly offered, to allow end users to shop around for better deals. In a public consultation document setting down 30 key recommendations to improve transparency and make the market more competitive, Arcep is calling on cellcos to be required to offer contracts of either twelve or six months. Two-year contracts, the legal maximum length allowed in the country since 2008, currently offer the most competitive tariff plans, it noted. However, Arcep is concerned that under existing rules customers are locked into long-term deals often to the detriment of competition and often in a way that makes it difficult for users to switch provider. In another of its recommendations, Arcep is calling on domestic operators to make it clear how much of their monthly rental fee is set aside to repay the cost of their handset and what proportion is actually set aside for calls and other services. The watchdog is also concerned that offers such as free handset upgrades and other loyalty bonuses, effectively penalise people who wish to keep their existing phone.

Earlier this year, the three main network operators – Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Telecom – signed up to a charter designed to simplify end-user tariffs and allow customers to ‘unlock’ their phones free of charge to use a rival’s SIM card. The proposals currently being put forward by Arcep make no mention of pre-paid tariff plans – some of which include a valid period of as little as four days.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 12:02:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

While mobile and broadband prices continue to fall, the increase in revenues compensated for the price drop, providing 2.5 per cent growth in one year. The large increase in mobile data traffic provided most of the growth, according to the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority's (NPT) ecom statistics for the first half of 2010."This shows change and continued growth in a mature ecom market. Customers' usage patterns are clearly changing from only voice and messages to increased data use, particularly via mobile services," says NPT Director General Willy Jensen.

Decline in SMS messages

For the first time the statistics show a decrease in the number of text messages (SMS) sent. In all, mobile customers sent more than 4.2 billion messages in the first half of 2010, which represents a decrease from 112 to 105 messages per person per month."Even though more than four billion messages is a lot, this means 82 million fewer SMS messages than in the first half of 2009. The decrease represents about NOK 50 million," says Jensen.It is difficult to find any specific reasons for the decline in the number of SMS messages."It is most likely connected with new forms of communication and social media such as Twitter and Facebook," says Jensen.

Fixed telephony drops

The number of fixed-line subscriptions fell by nearly eight per cent the last year. The decline applies to both traditional fixed-line subscriptions (PSTN and ISDN) and VoIP subscriptions. Both calls and revenues are falling."The numbers clearly show that fixed telephony calls are falling more than the number of subscriptions. This means that the fixed-line telephone is used less than before," says Jensen.On average, a residential fixed telephony customer talked 1,500 minutes the first half of 2010, against 1,600 minutes the first half of 2009.

Fibre is increasing

Data traffic over fibre and cable TV continues to increase, and there are now over 230,000 subscribers who have an Internet connection via fibre."The increase in fibre connections largely compensates for the decline in "DSL". Here, the number is now under 1 million. In all, the number of broadband subscribers grew by 5.1 per cent from the first half of 2009," Jensen says.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:59:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Latest figures from ABI Research indicates that there are currently more than 500 3G network commitments, and over 300 WiMAX and LTE announcements worldwide. This equates to more than two billion of the world's population being covered by high-speed data networks. The demand for speedy data networks continues to rise across the globe.

"While many networks in US and Europe are working towards complete coverage for 3G services, some mobile operators in other regions find themselves tangled up with government bureaucracy, which impedes progress in upgrading the network technology," comments ABI Research mobile services research practice director Neil Strother. "India has at last concluded its 3G spectrum auction after repeated delays; Thailand's attempt to catch up with 3G licensing has once again stalled due to reorganization of the telecoms regulator."

ABI Research estimates that nearly 82% of the population in Western Europe is currently covered by 3G networks, while only about 12% of Asia-Pacific's population has access to 3G services. "3G coverage in the Asia-Pacific region is set to rise dramatically in the next few years as Chinese and Indian operators such as China Unicom and Bharti Airtel begin actively rolling out new data networks," notes ABI research associate Fei Feng Seet.

Network sharing has became more common in a number of mature markets. For example, French mobile operator SFR will be sharing the rural build-out of its UMTS network with domestic rivals Orange France and Bouygues Telecom. Meanwhile, T-mobile and Orange UK have formed a new joint venture called "Everything Everywhere" in a bid to share costs and spectrum.

Source: Cellular News

3G | Wifi WiMax | World
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:53:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Millicom Rwanda, which provides mobile services under the Tigo banner, has widened its network footprint to a further ten districts, East African Business Week reports. Services are now available in Bugesera, Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Gisagara, Huye, Kamonyi, Nyaruguru, Rubavu, Rutsiro and Rwamagana. The operator has also enhanced coverage in areas already covered by its network, including Gasabo. Under the company’s mobile licence – awarded in November 2008 – Millicom is committed to covering at least 80% of the population by the end of the year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Millicom became the country’s third mobile operator when it launched commercial services in November 2009. Just under a year later, at 30 September 2010 the company had signed up just over 548,000 customers, placing it second in the market behind MTN Rwanda with 2.39 million users, and just ahead of Rwandatel (535,710).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:51:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Bloomberg, mobile number portability (MNP) will be introduced in Serbia in March 2011, in compliance with European Union standards. Following regulatory changes this year and technical preparations that should be completed in February, an estimated 9.9 million mobile-phone users will be able to switch from one operator to another without changing their numbers, Telecommunications Minister Jasna Matic is quoted as saying. ‘Number portability is a key element of true competition because many users are reluctant to change operators if that requires changing numbers’, Matic said in a statement. She declined to estimate the likely impact on rates or on the size of the overall market, but said at least 10% of users are likely to change operators next year.

The decision has been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm amongst the country’s three wireless network operators. MT:S, the mobile arm of state-owned fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija, which claimed a 59.2% share of the subscriber base at the end of September, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg that it accepted the change, while rival network operator Mobilkom Serbia (VIP Mobile) welcomed the move, saying it is ready to meet all technical conditions. Telenor Serbia meanwhile was quoted as saying that the change ‘should be postponed to early June 2011,’ to allow more time for technical preparation, including setting up a central database station for routing ported numbers between operators.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:49:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a report on the first half of 2010 by the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS), the volume of mobile outgoing call minutes overtook fixed minutes for the first time in the country during the period, with cellular calls accounting for 52% of the six-month total of 21.5 billion minutes, compared to 10% a decade ago.

Furthermore, one-third, or 1.5 million, of the approximately 4.5 million broadband internet subscriptions recorded by the PTS at mid-2010, was accounted for by mobile broadband services provided by cellular network operators. Elsewhere in the report, the number of fixed telephony subscriptions continued to fall to just over five million by the end of June 2010; of these around one million were based on IP telephony (VoIP). The regulator also said that IPTV subscribers reached 429,000 by mid-2010, out of a total of five million television subscriptions in the Swedish market overall.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:48:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Now for the first time Swedes are calling more from their mobiles than from fixed telephones according to a report by the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS). According to PTS's calculations, the crossing point between mobile and fixed telephony usage occurred in early May 2010.

In total, Swedes made calls for 11 billion minutes from mobile networks and 10.3 billion minutes from fixed networks during the first half-year of 2010. This means that 52 per cent of the outgoing traffic came from mobile networks."Ten years ago the mobile networks represented less than 10 per cent of all outgoing call traffic. This growth has been rapid, and we have not yet seen the end," says Mattias Viklund, Head of Accessibility and Market Analysis at PTS.

Continuing decrease in subscriptions for fixed telephony

Ten years ago there were about as many subscriptions for fixed and mobile telephony - approximately 6 million of each. Since then the number of subscriptions for fixed telephony has reduced to 5 million, while the number of mobile subscriptions has increased to 10.5 million.

One-third of broadband is mobile

There were 4.5 million broadband subscriptions on 30 June 2010. Of these, 3 million were subscriptions for fixed broadband and 1.5 million were subscriptions for mobile broadband. On 30 June 2010, 45 per cent of this broadband had a capacity of at least 10 Mbit per second downstream.


The report is based on market statistics from telecom and Internet companies operating in Sweden. PTS sent the questionnaire for the report for the first half-year 2010 to in total 52 stakeholders.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:45:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Australian Senate on Friday approved legislation that enables the government to roll out a 36 billion Australian dollar ($35 billion) high-speed national broadband network.

The Senate's final two-week session of the year was extended an additional day to vote on the enabling legislation that was opposed by the major opposition party. The legislation was passed 30 votes to 28.It is expected to become law on Monday when it is voted on in the House of Representatives where key Greens party and independent lawmakers have pledged their support.The fiber optic broadband network was a major campaign issue at August elections that returned Prime Minister Julia Gillard's center-left Labor Party with a minority government.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott's conservative Liberal Party had promised a smaller, slower AU$6 billion network with a range of technologies including optical fiber, wireless and DSL.

Independent lawmakers said their support for Labor's broadband plan was a major reason why they supported Labor to form government. With the support of three independents and a Greens party lawmaker, Labor commands a single seat majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives where parties form government.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:33:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 30 November 2010

­India started the long-delayed rollout of mobile number portability (MNP) as the service was launched in Rohtak, Haryana by Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology.Speaking on the occasion Shri Sibal announced that this service will be expanded to the entire country on January 20th, 2011. As continued efforts of the Government to increase competition in the market and to provide wider choice to customer, Mobile Number Portability will be an important step.

The networks in all the remaining 21 Licensed Service Areas have started migration for working in the MNP environment. For orderly technical migration of complex interconnected networks, each of the remaining service areas will be migrated one by one on alternate days. This will enable simultaneous validation of technical parameters and removal of any problems arising from migration activity to ensure successful and smooth migration of a service area. Migration activities will not take place during the festival season at the end of December, 2010.The Department of Telecommunications Secretary, Shri R. Chandrashekhar said on the occasion that this facility will intensify the competition among service providers both in respect of quantity of services and quality of service as well as in terms of tariff.

The DoT guidelines created geographical division of the country into two Number Portability Zones, each consisting of 11 licensed service areas. Subsequently, one operator in each zone was selected. Syniverse Technologies was granted licence for operating in Northern and Western India and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions was granted licence for Eastern and Southern India.According to a Nielsen survey last year, it seems that close to one in five (18%) Indian mobile phone subscribers could change their mobile operator when Mobile Number Portability is introduced into the market.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:32:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Moldova’s telecoms watchdog, the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI), the number of broadband subscribers totalled 244,000 at 30 September 2010. The figure represents an increase of 9.2% compared to 223,400 three months earlier, and a year-on-year rise of 48%. The regulator believes that the growth was driven by increased availability of high speed internet services, as well as lower tariffs and dial-up-to-broadband substitution.

Of the total broadband customer base at 30 September 2010, 159,400 were xDSL subscribers, while fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) and LAN customers accounted for 75,400 and cable broadband subscribers a further 7,500. In terms of subscribers, Moldtelecom leads the fixed broadband sector with a market share of 61.8% in 3Q10, followed by StarNet with 18.7%, Sun Communications (3.6%) and Orange Moldova (0.9%). Other operators accounted for the remaining 14.9% of the market’s broadband subscribers in the quarter ended 30 September 2010.

ANRCETI said that revenue in the fixed internet sector totalled MDL383.1 million (USD31.6 million), an increase of 22.6% from a year earlier, mainly due to higher volume of sales generated by StarNet, which saw turnover rise 94% year-on-year to over MDL55 million, and Moldtelecom, which witnessed a 19.5% increase to MDL258.9 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:30:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cellco Digicel Haiti has launched a mobile money service in cooperation with Scotiabank under the name ‘Tcho Tcho Mobile’, allowing Haitians to carry out cash withdrawals, deposits and transfers securely through their mobile phones without the need for a traditional bank account. During its first three months, the programme will offer up to 20,000 users the ability to access Tcho Tcho’s services which include domestic money transfer to another mobile user and phone top-up purchasing. The service will eventually expand both its user capacity and its range of services.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:28:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

About 1.4 million homes in Portugal could access fibre-optic services in the third quarter, according to a survey by the national communications authority Anacom. The number of households with access via EuroDocsis 3.0 used by cable TV operators reached 3.4 million, or about 2.4 times the number with FTTx service. The total number of households with access to very high-speed internet reached 4.8 million, compared to four million at the end of 2009. The high-speed access is concentrated in the regions of Lisbon and the North.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:26:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Three years after launching the first 3G W-CDMA/HSPA mobile network in the Ukraine, Ukrtelecom has announced that it has signed up ‘almost 600,000’ active 3G mobile users, approximately 500,000 of which are using mobile broadband internet services. Still the country’s sole UMTS network operator, due to an impasse in national licensing plans, the soon-to-be-privatised group had reported 485,000 mobile subscribers at end-June 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:24:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Brazil's telecoms regulator has announced that there are now more mobile phones in the country in use than there are people.

The 100% penetration mark was reached in October when just under 3 million new subscriptions were recorded, bringing the total to 194,439250, and a teledensity of 100.44 lines per 100 inhabitants.

In October, 12 Brazilian states already had more than one cellphone per capita: Distrito Federal, Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Goias, Mato Grosso, Santa Catarina, Rondonia, Espírito Santo, Paraná and Pernambuco.

Of the total number of phones, 159.82 million (82.19%) are prepaid. The remaining 34.63 million (17.81%) are postpaid contract customers.

Some charts released by the regulator:

Operators by Market Share

Company Subscriber Base Market Share
Vivo 58,397,402 30.03%
Claro 49,740,391 25.58%
Tim 47,972,907 24.67%
Oi 37,621,539 19.35%
CTBC 608,697 0.31%
Sercomtel 78,029 0.04%
Unicel 20,285 0.01\%

Technology Breakdown

Technology Subscriber Base Market Share
GSM 170,983,501 87.94%
WCDMA 12,926,243 6.65%
Data Terminal 5,783,652 2.97%
CDMA 4,674,815 2.40%
TDMA 71,039 0.04%

­ Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 23 November 2010 15:48:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 November 2010
FibreCo Telecommunications is set to roll out a 12,000km, open access fibre network in South Africa. The new company is a joint project funded by Cell C, Internet Solutions and Convergence Partners, a BEE investment management and advisory firm focused on the telecommunications, media and technology sector. Cell C's mobile network will provide the platform for the co-location of optical transmission equipment at base stations and wireless access for FibreCo's customers.
Through Internet Solutions, FibreCo has access to capabilities in the delivery of value-added networking services in the enterprise market, including facilities for the hosting of its customers optical termination equipment in urban centres. Convergence Partners contributes expertise in the development and financial structuring of large scale telecommunications infrastructure projects. Construction of the long-haul network will follow a three-phase approach. The initial phase will focus on rolling out a 4,500km redundant core ring linking Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban to international cable landing stations within two years. FibreCo is based in Johannesburg, with a management team headed by Arif Hussain.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 18 November 2010 09:15:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thailand's cabinet has approved the investment of THB 20 billion over five years by TOT and CAT Telecom on a nationwide broadband network. The network is expected to cover at least 80 percent of the population by 2015 and at least 95 percent by 2020, The Nation reports. ICT minister Chuti Krairiksh said his ministry's national broadband policy also includes linking up 30,000 schools and 15,000 hospitals to the internet by 2015. Another target will see fibre-optic networks deployed offering speeds of at least 100 Mbps in major economic provinces by 2020. Chuti will meet with TOT and CAT shortly, and the companies will sign an agreement to avoid duplicating fibre-optic services in Bangkok.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 18 November 2010 09:11:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 11 November 2010
Mobile operator MTS Turkmenistan has launched commercial 3G services in the capital city Ashgabat. The network currently covers the downtown area and international airport. The operator uses HSPA+ technology for its services, with speeds up to 21 Mbps download and up to 11 Mbps upload. Turkmenistan is the last country where MTS operates to launch 3G services, and the Russian operator now offers 3G across its CIS footprint. This includes more than 360 cities and towns in Russia and an advanced CDMA network covering more than 200 cities in Ukraine.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:36:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam signed up 35.2 million new phone subscribers in the first ten months of this year, up 5.4% compared to the same period last year. The figure of mobile phone users reached 34.5 million, up 7.2% percent year on year and 771,900 fixed phone subscribers, a drop of 39.6%.

The new subscription raised the total number of mobile phone users in Vietnam to 144.4 million and fixed phone ones to 16.4 million at end-October, up 45.3% from a year ago, respectively. While, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) had 83.8 million clients, rising 27.1% from a year ago, including 72.1 million mobile users.

By the end of October, Internet users nationwide reached 3.6 million, an increase of 20.7 percent year on year.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:31:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­South Africa based MTN says that it ended September with 134.47 million subscribers across its international markets. This is a 4% increase for the quarter from 129.21 million subscribers recorded at 30 June 2010.

The South and East African region, which contributes 22% to the group's subscriber base, increased its subscribers by 4.9% to 30.1 million for the quarter mainly driven by growth in South Africa. South Africa which contributes 59% to the region's subscribers increased its base by, 3.9% to 17.77 million subscribers for the quarter ended 30 September 2010. This was driven by continued growth in the prepaid segment which added 616,000 subscribers.

Uganda increased its base by 5% to 6.22 million for the quarter as competition continued to intensify. The West and Central African region contributes 46% to the group's subscribers and increased its subscribers by 3.4% to 61.38 million. Nigeria, which contributes 60% to the region's subscribers, recorded a 5.1% increase in its subscriber base to 36.84 million.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:28:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nepalese teleco Ncell/Spice Nepal, majority owned by Nordic telecoms firm TeliaSonera, has launched the country’s first 3G services at the base camp of Mount Everest, reports Reuters. Currently, the service is primarily targeted at the tens of thousands of climbers and trekkers who visit the mountainous region in the Solukhumbu district every year, and who have previously been dependant on expensive satellite phones for their communication needs. However, Ncell said TeliaSonera would spend over USD100 million next year to expand mobile coverage to around 90% of the population. Spice Nepal previously offered services under the Mero Mobile banner, but changed its brand name to Ncell in March this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:07:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Solomon Island's National Telecommunications Commissioner Nick Williams has announced that the Oceanic sovereign state plans to offer a third mobile licence before the end of 2010. In a speech given at the Australian Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane, Mr Williams said that the regulator intends to open the market up to a new operator to join Solomon Telekom - which enjoyed a monopoly on the Islands until the passing of the Telecommunications Act 2009 – and bemobile. In December 2009 bemobile was awarded a second licence, and went on to launch its commercial services last month.

During the forum in Brisbane, Williams said from 1 April 2011 there would be a full liberalisation of the telecoms market. He also highlighted the need for fully-fledged internet service provision in the country. Williams noted that there is a clear demand for internet connectivity, but thus far the supply has been poor, in terms of both availability and speed. He suggested: ‘This is a clear opportunity for investors, and we would welcome them’. Williams also claimed that a project is underway to bring a fibre-optic submarine cable connection to the Solomon Islands.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:05:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The New Zealand government will cover the costs associated with providing the physical fibre from the street to school buildings, enabling schools to connect to the upcoming Ultra-Fast Broadband network. Previously, schools connecting to fibre have been required to contribute to this "fibre drop" cost, which in some cases has amounted to thousands of dollars. The government is committed to rolling out Ultra-Fast Broadband to 97 percent of schools within six years - negotiations with partners are underway currently. The remaining 3 percent of schools will be covered by the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative and will receive faster broadband (10 Mbps or more) via point to point wireless or satellite technology.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:01:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The number of fibre-to-the-home subscribers in Europe, including Russia, has increased by 22 percent over the past six months, thanks to the booming broadband market in the Eastern part of Europe, according to the latest figures from the FTTH Council Europe, which were announced at the Broadband World Forum in Paris. In absolute numbers, Europe reached 3.2 million FTTH/B subscribers (or nearly 4.5 million including Russia). Europe now counts 18 million FTTH/B homes passed (more than 26 million including Russia), a growth of more than 6 percent during H1.
The FTTH ranking now includes 17 countries in Europe where more than 1 percent of households subscribe to broadband over a direct fibre connection. In terms of household penetration, Lithuania is still the leader, just ahead of the more mature FTTH markets of Sweden and Norway. The top five fibre nations now include three new European member states - Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Romania is a new entrant, taking 13th place with 1.58 percent household penetration and more than 120,000 FTTH/B subscribers.
Click here to see full article
Source: TelecomPaper
Thursday, 11 November 2010 13:58:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The German federal government plans to reach at least three quarters of all households with super-fast broadband networks by 2014, according to its 'Germany Digital 2015' IT strategy seen by Handelsblatt newspaper. The government estimates that one million jobs could be created across Europe by 2020 under plans to roll-out super-fast broadband networks. The German ICT industry currently has around 823,000 workers and the government estimates that 30,000 new jobs will be created in the coming five years. The government plans to set up a second High Tech Start-Up Fund in 2011 to fund technology-focused start-ups not older than 12 months. Major corporate players such as BASF, Siemens and Telekom Deutschland would participate in the fund.
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, 11 November 2010 13:50:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 November 2010

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam signed up 35.2 million new phone subscribers in the first ten months of this year, up 5.4% compared to the same period last year. The figure of mobile phone users reached 34.5 million, up 7.2% percent year on year and 771,900 fixed phone subscribers, a drop of 39.6%.

The new subscription raised the total number of mobile phone users in Vietnam to 144.4 million and fixed phone ones to 16.4 million at end-October, up 45.3% from a year ago, respectively. While, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) had 83.8 million clients, rising 27.1% from a year ago, including 72.1 million mobile users.

By the end of October, Internet users nationwide reached 3.6 million, an increase of 20.7 percent year on year.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 14:52:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Zimbabwe’s largest cellco by subscribers Econet Wireless has officially launched mobile broadband services covering major cities, based on W-CDMA/HSPA and WiMAX technologies, linked by a high speed fibre-optic backbone, following an investment of USD100 million. Econet commercially launched 3G mobile services in the capital Harare on 1 September 2009, but under-capacity on the UMTS network resulted in the operator suspending new user registrations after only a month of launching. Meanwhile Econet’s subsidiary Ecoweb launched a commercial mobile WiMAX network of 100 base stations covering Harare, Bulawayo and eleven other towns in late April 2010. Following the relaunch of wireless broadband services, Econet is offering three packages: ‘On The Go’ which offers 3G mobile data services for mobile handset and laptop users (with data coverage augmented by a 2.5G GPRS network); ‘@WORK’ for businesses using fixed internet services; and ‘@HOME’ for residential fixed broadband users with light data volume requirements. Econet also announced it had stocked its retail outlets with a wide range of smartphones with the capability to send and receive e-mails and make 3G video calls, whilst it has also installed extra satellite transmission facilities as backup capacity.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:39:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France Telecom (FT) yesterday announced plans to reduce dramatically the cost of making fixed line voice calls in the country, charging all calls made at the same rate. FT, which owns and operates the Orange brand, is cutting the price to connect a call by 25%, while the price per minute (peak rate) will be cut by more than 55% and the price for off-peak calls will come down by more than 65% in mainland France. In addition, calls made to mainland France from overseas French territories with also fall by 20%, it said. The operator expects the measures to have an adverse impact on its annual revenue of around EUR30 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:37:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary’s national regulator the National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH) says the country was home to a total of 11.833 million registered mobile SIMs at the end of September. The three incumbent cellcos – T-Mobile, Vodafone and Telenor (formerly Pannon) – collectively added a net 25,000 new users to boost cellular penetration to 118.3%, compared to 118.0% a month earlier and 117.7% at the end of 2009. In terms of ‘active’ users, the NMHH reported a 22,000 monthly net gain to 10.855 million, compared to the 10.840 million reported at 30 June 2010. Of these, T-Mobile boasted a market share of 44.77% up from 44.68% three months earlier, Telenor’s share slipped to 32.68% from 32.89% and Vodafone had 22.55% (22.43%).

In a separate announcement, the NMHH says the country ended August 2010 with 1.299 million digital TV subscribers, or 19,000 more than a month earlier. At that date the number of people connected via either digital cable or IPTV rose to 491,000 from 481,000, while those watching satellite services went up to 808,000 from 798,000. In terms of market share for digital services, UPC retained its top spot with 30.2% (down from 30.4% a month earlier), Magyar Telekom boosted its share from 24.8% to 25.0% and DIGI increased its share from 24.4% to 24.7%.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:35:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless network operator by subscribers, has reported a 7.8% increase in revenue for the first nine months of 2010 to RMB352.64 billion (USD52.94 billion). EBITDA increased 6% to RMB177.8 billion, while EBITDA margin fell from 51.3% to 50.4%. Net profit rose 3.9% from RMB83.93 billion to RMB87.2 billion. The company finished September with 569.76 million customers, up from 554.04 million a year earlier, of which 15.28 million were connected to its 3G TD-SCDMA network. Average revenue per user (ARPU) and average minutes of use (MoU) both remained stable at RMB72 and 520 per month respectively. Voice traffic increased to 2.55 trillion minutes in the nine-month period, from 1.66 trillion last year, while SMS usage jumped from 353 billion to 534.6 billion.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:34:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Minister of Communications in Fiji has extended for a second time the deadline for registration of all telephones in the country. Fiji Times Online says the new deadline date for registration is set at 8 November 2010. It is understood that any service provider failing to cancel a telephone line (fixed or mobile) which has not been registered under the government’s Compulsory Registration of Customers for Telephone Services Decree (June 2010), could be found guilty and fined FJD200,000 (USD109,507).

Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL), which to date has achieved a figure of 93% for customer registration, has welcomed the extension and notes a number of practical constraints, such as financing, resources and equipment that have stopped it recording and registering all phone users. Meanwhile Digicel Fiji says it faces logistical challenges to reach some rural and outer areas, and Vodafone Fiji says it needs to register all its subscribers - or around 760,000 users.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:33:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh reached 65.14 million at the end of September 2010, according to figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), up from 50 million a year earlier. Telenor-backed GSM operator GrameenPhone led the field with 28.65 million subscribers at end-September, up from 26.46 million at the end of the previous quarter, followed by Orascom unit Banglalink with 18.11 million, up from 16.10 million at end-June, while the regulator reported that Axiata Bangladesh (Robi) was in third place with 11.71 million subscribers, although the Malaysian-owned company is likely to disagree with the figure, as it reported 14.55 million subscribers at end-June 2010 (up from 9.37 million in a year). Indian group Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary Warid Telecom Bangladesh (soon to be rebranded as Airtel Bangla) reached 3.58 million active mobile SIMs by the end of September 2010, the BTRC said, up from 3.17 million three months earlier, whilst CDMA operator Citycell's subscriber base slipped to 1.91 million from 1.99 million over the same timeframe, and state-backed Teletalk's total subscriptions grew to 1.18 million from 1.16 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:31:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone is around 80% complete, East African Business Week reports, citing CEO of the Rwanda Development Borad John Gara. According to Gara, around 50 public institutions have already been connected to the network, while 300 people in the capital Kigali are testing the Kigali Wireless Broadband (Wibro) network. Construction of the backbone is slated for completion 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 and facilitate IT-based foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas such as business outsourcing.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:30:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telkom South Africa has launched the country's fourth mobile operator, under the name 8ta. 8ta has constructed 800 base stations across the country, and plans to construct a further 3,200 over time to improve coverage and connectivity. Whilst 8ta is still growing its network, the operator will have full national coverage, thanks to a roaming agreement with MTN. The HSPA network offers downlink speeds up to 7.2Mbps and can be upgraded to 21Mbps. Telkom said the hardware can also be upgraded to LTE and offers a fully IP architecture from base station to core. 8ta will offer calls to fixed lines at ZAR 0.65 per minute, independent of the time of the call, as well as a flat rate of ZAR 2.50 per minute for calls to over 100 international destinations. The service will offer prepaid customers free talk time to any network every time they receive calls from a mobile phone, equal to 1 free second of airtime for every 3 seconds of call received.
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:28:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Nigerian government has approved the USD 2.5 billion sale of its national telecommunications company to a consortium led by China Unicom, eight months after a confusing auction led to delays. The Nigerian privatization body Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) said in a statement that President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the offer from New Generation Telecommunications Consortium, which will pay a bid security of USD 750 million as a pre-condition for the issuance of an offer letter in its bid to acquire Nitel and M-tel. The consortium has 10 days to pay the bid security and 60 days to pay the full bid amount, according to the BPE statement. China Unicom, part of the winning consortium, originally denied taking part in the bid for Nitel in February but later acknowledged that its European subsidiary, China Unicom (Europe) Operations, had expressed interest in a technical partnership and in the possibility of acquiring a 20 percent equity stake if the bid was approved. A Nigerian government committee set up to review the bid process recommended that the deal be approved. The consortium includes Minerva Group, a Dubai-based company that was to provide the financing for the bid.
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:26:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian fixed line and broadband services provider Global Village Telecom (GVT) has revealed its broadband subscriber base now numbers one million users, around 60% of whom are hooked up to 10Mbps or higher internet connection. GVT, which launched fixed line and broadband services in Sao Paulo in August 2010, has set aside between BRL1.1 billion and BRL1.5 billion (USD662 million and USD903 million) in capital expenditure in 2010, up 128% from BRL658 million in FY2009. Last month the operator revealed its latest service expansion plans when it said it was looking to invest approximately BRL300 million to enter the Rio de Janeiro market. The report said that the investment will be made from early January 2011 onwards until 2012. Prices for the telco’s current high speed packages start from BRL49.90 per month for a 3Mbps line.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:24:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) says that it plans to spend P1.5 billion (US$34 million) to roll out more additional cell sites in rural areas across the country. The company expects to deploy an additional 500 base station "to complete the gap in remote areas", Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT's president and chief executive told reporters.

The rural expansion is part of the P28.6 billion (US$657 million) capex for this year, and the rural expansion is expected to be completed within three months.

The company currently has some 9,000 base stations, of which 114 are running on renewable energy supplies. This figure is expected to rise as the rural base stations will be in areas with unreliable power supplies.

According to the Mobile World analysts, the company's mobile division - which trades as Smart - ended June with just under 43.4 million customers, representing a market share of 55%.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:20:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) is working on a plan to lower interconnection fees among telecom operators, reports AllAfrica. The watchdog’s acting director general Regis Gatarayiha said in an interview that interconnection charges were acting as a bottleneck to the sector’s growth, as they prevented retail prices falling, and that bringing down the standard charge from the current RWF40 (USD0.067) per minute would compel operators to lower the cost of mobile communications for end-users. The regulator has commissioned a study ahead of a decision on new pricing, and hopes to adjust wholesale rates within four months, according to Gatarayiha.

Meanwhile, the same report quotes Mr Gatarayiha as saying that plans to licence a fourth mobile operator have been suspended until a formal policy decision is taken. He disclosed that the process would have started early in September and been completed within six months, but delays have occurred whilst RURA seeks agreement with operators on the licensing procedure and conditions. ‘We still have some three months to legalise everything, agree on the process and we may start it early next year, and I don't see it going beyond June,’ he said. The former director general of RURA, Diogene Mudenge, previously stated that a fourth licence would be issued ‘by the end of 2010’, whilst revealing that numbering codes for a new entrant had been reserved.

In another mobile sector development, Gatarayiha said that the government will start registering all active SIM cards early next year in an attempt to prevent crimes committed using cell phones.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:12:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ISP AccessKenya has announced that it has doubled its residential broadband speeds for all subscribers to its Access@Home service; the speeds apply to subscribers of its Value, Premium and Elite packages. Further, AccessKenya has confirmed that for the last quarter of 2010, any new customers signing up to Access@Home for a three month period will receive an additional month for free. As previously reported on CommsUpdate, AccessKenya recently announced that its turnover dropped by 17.5% to KES876 million (USD10.38 million) in 1H10, after its strategy of increasing bandwidth but freezing prices severely affected its bottom line. This week rival telco Telkom Kenya doubled customers download limits, as part of a month-long promotion.

Jonathan Somen, managing director of AccessKenya commented: ‘As we grow and get more subscribers, we will continue to work on offering them more value and more speed. The market told us that they wanted a guaranteed service but with more bandwidth. Our new improved offerings keep the basic benefits of buying guaranteed speeds, while at the same time offering customers much more speed for the same money. Access@Home offers a service to our customers completely unlike any other residential internet offering in the market. Firstly, we offer customers a guaranteed high speed at a very affordable and fixed price. This is backed up with excellent levels of service and absolutely no data caps - effectively a corporate-style guaranteed service for users at home. Our new speeds come with glad tidings for our 4,000 residential clients. They shall enjoy these increased speeds at no extra cost from the comfort of their homes’.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:11:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France Telecom (FT) is launching a three-year programme aimed at increasing ADSL coverage from 98.6% of households to more than 99% by 2013.

The project, costing EUR60 million (USD81.7 million), will be up and running by the end of 2010, and forms part of FT’s ‘conquests 2015’ project which seeks to ‘conquer networks and conquer customers by improving quality of service’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, FT claimed more than 51% of the French retail broadband subscriber market at the end of June 2010, comfortably ahead of second placed SFR with 20.4%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:09:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is reportedly sitting on more than 100 applications for 2G spectrum, the Hindu Business Line reports. With the regulator having held up the allocation of new frequencies over the last two years, it is understood that the highest number of applications in any one circle is for Delhi, where there are 17 outstanding requests, while Bihar places second with a total of nine requests. India’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Bharti Airtel, is effectively at the front of the queue for new spectrum, with the report claiming that it had been the first to request new frequencies in seven of the country’s telecoms circles, with Vodafone heading the line in five circles.

India’s armed forces are expected to release around 10MHz of spectrum in most circles within the next few months, which could allow for up to four or five operators per circle receiving their requested frequencies, with most cellcos having asked for between 1MHz and 2.2MHz; Delhi, however, is likely to only see two operators gain more spectrum, as both of the operators at the front of the queue in those circles are seeking 4.4MHz apiece.

Such allocation, though, will depend on whether the government alters the policy governing allocation of spectrum; at present the DoT offers additional spectrum on a first-come first-served basis. The Ministry of Finance though has said it wants this to change, with it favouring auctions for new frequencies, and until the ongoing debate over the matter is concluded it appears unlikely that any player will gain access to new 2G spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:07:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Local press reports that TIM Brasil will launch 3.5G HSPA+ technology before the end of the year. Initially, speeds of up to 21Mbps will be available only in the state capital of Sao Paulo. There are plans to expand coverage to other cities throughout 2011. TIM says its 3G network will cover 311 cities by the end of 2010, leaving it in third place in terms of 3G coverage behind Claro and Vivo. The cellco hopes its 2011 expansion programme will bring it closer and possibly pass Claro's level of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 13:58:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kazakhstani national operator Kazakhtelecom (KT) has announced that it has covered 70% of the rural Aktobe region with its wireless in the local loop (WiLL) CDMA-450 network. In recent years, KT has sought to overcome Kazakhstan’s vast landmass and diverse geography by using a variety of technologies, including VSAT and CDMA-450 wireless in the local loop (WiLL). The Aktobe region has a population density of just 2.5 people per square kilometre. Almost 50 CDMA 450MHz base stations have reportedly been launched in the region under the project to date. According to TeleGeography ’s GlobalComms Database, KT plans to deploy a total of 900 base transceiver stations (BTSs) by end-2013.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 13:56:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |