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 Friday, January 14, 2011

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has recorded that mobile phone users in the country reached a total of 68.65 million at the end of December 2010, an annual increase of 31% according to the watchdog’s calculations. Market leader GrameenPhone added 6.7 million subscribers in the year to reach a total of just under 30 million; Orascom Telecom Bangladesh (Banglalink) ended 2010 in second place with 19.3 million customers after signing up a net 5.5 million in the year; third-ranked Axiata Bangladesh (Robi) was credited with over three million new additions to give it 12.4 million network SIMs at end-December. Airtel Bangladesh (formerly known as Warid) added just under one million new subscriptions for a total of nearly four million, whilst in fifth and sixth place, CDMA-based Pacific Bangladesh Telecom (Citycell) and state-run Teletalk had respective totals of 1.8 million and 1.2 million users at end-2010. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database, the overall subscriber growth rate in the mobile sector beat 21.8% in 2009 and 28.5% in 2008, although was lower than 65.2% in 2007.

The database shows that over the last few years each operator’s subscriber take-up rate has fluctuated depending on their level of subsidisation of handsets/SIMs to cover a heavy SIM tax in the country; GrameenPhone for instance, saw a relative slump in its level of customer sign-ups during most of 2009 prompted by a low level of subsidisation but after reintroducing full subsidies its growth rate subsequently shot up again.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, January 14, 2011 3:29:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Over the past two years, the level of digitization of the information society has grown to a greater extent among users aged 45 to 64 than in the average population. For example, the use of online banking services was flat year-on-year for the average population, while for the customer segment aged 45 to 54 the use has increased by 4 percent.
 
Spain currently has over 27 million internet users, according to a report by Telefonica. Of these, nearly 69.2 percent go online daily, up by 13.3 percent versus 2009. Spain ended 2010 with over 10 million fixed broadband lines, up by 8.3 year-on-year. Of these 10 million, some 80 percent use ADSL technology, while cable lines account for 19 percent. Internet penetration currently reaches 9 million households in Spain, up by 700,000 from December 2009. Of these, over eight million use broadband connections, up by 900,000 versus 2009.
 
Moreover, the number of households subscribing to triple-play services has jumped by 250 percent in 2010. Over 13 percent of Telefonica's customer base use triple-play packages, including fixed broadband connection, voice services and TV services. Telefonica currently has 4.3 million mobile broadband subscribers, which equals a two-fold increase versus end-2009. Mobile broadband penetration reaches 11.7 percent of Spanish households, up by 6.6 percentage points year-on-year.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, January 14, 2011 10:24:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telekom Deutschland has announced an almost 10-fold increase in the maximum bandwidth available to new and existing customers using the Call & Surf Mobil mobile internet tariffs. With immediate effect, customers can benefit from maximum speeds of 3.6 Mbps, up from 384 kbps previously.
 
The tariffs start from EUR 19.95 per month for the Call & Surf Mobil S package. In addition, the Speed Option, which costs an extra EUR 9.95 per month and is available with the Complete Mobil L and XL plans, will see its maximum mobile bandwidth increased from 14.4 Mbps to 21.6 Mbps.

Source: TelecomPaper
Friday, January 14, 2011 10:22:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The number of mobile phone subscribers in China exceeded 850 million last year, according to a Chinese government report. Net additions reached a record high of more than 100 million in 2010 alone, according to the report from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The growth boosted the country mobile penetration rate to around 60 percent of the country's estimated population of 1.4 billion for 2010.

During the January-November period in 2010, 103 million users were newly subscribed to the country's mobile phone services. The figure is estimated to have surpassed 110 million as of the end of December.

The report showed the number of fixed-line subscribers dropped 153.9 million to 298 million during the period.

In the first 11 months of last year, the Chinese telecom industry's revenue was estimated to be 819.03 billion yuan (US$123.56 billion), up 6.6 percent on-year. Sales from mobile telecom business made up 70 percent of the industry's total business revenue, while fixed-line business accounted for about 30 percent.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, January 14, 2011 10:18:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Vodafone Albania has launched the country's first 3G network, with coverage initially available in the capital city-Tirana and its suburbs. By starting the 3G operations initially in Tirana and soon in other cities, Vodafone will provide Internet speed of up to 14.4 Mbps.

Upon the 3G services launch, Mr. Haris Broumidis, CEO of Vodafone Albania stated: "We are pleased to offer to the inhabitants of Tirana the 3G technology experience, which will provide them fast access to internet, a number of new services and the most advantageous tariff plans. Vodafone Albania as the leading and most innovative telecommunications company in the country, believes that 3G will revolutionize the way Albanian families and businesses use their mobiles and access to internet".

After Tirana, 3G services will be extended to all current and new Vodafone customers across the country within 18 months.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, January 14, 2011 10:17:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Movitel, which was recently granted the third mobile operator license in Mozambique has announced that it plans to invest up to US$465 million in its network over the next five years. Of the total investment, some US$120 million will be spent in the first year to get the network launched.

Movitel is a consortium made up of Vietnamese company Viettel Telecom (70%) and Mozambique's SPI (30%), a company that is linked to the government.

Although Movitel was not the highest bidder for the license, when it offered US$28 million, the regulator said that it came highest in the technical assessment. The license was granted last November.

According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the country ended June 2010 with around 6.77 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 32.7%. mCel is the dominant operator, with a market share of 65% - compared to 35% for rival, Vodacom.

Plans by the government to sell a small stake in Moçambique Celular (mCel) have been discussed in the past, but no progress has been made so far.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, January 14, 2011 10:15:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 13, 2011

According to Armenia’s Minister of Transport and Communication, Manuk Vardanyan, the country was home to more than 2.77 million mobile users at the end of 2010, a cellular penetration rate of 86%. Cellular services are provided by the country’s three incumbent operators – ArmenTel, K-Telecom (VivaCell-MTS) and Orange Armenia – and have been bolstered in recent years by the introduction of 3G, he said. The minister added that 4G is currently being introduced throughout the country, and TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that only last month, VivaCell-MTS launched its LTE network on a ‘test-commercial basis’. It plans a full commercial launch in February this year starting in Yerevan before expanding coverage to Armenia’s other regions. VivaCell-MTS paid AMD990 million (USD2.7 million) for a 4G concession in November 2010. Meanwhile, fellow operator Armentel is said to be in discussions with the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia as it seeks to secure a 4G concession.

In a related story, Orange Armenia has revealed that its mobile subscriber base reached 500,000 at the end of last year. ‘The year of 2010 was important for the company, which launched full-fledged operations throughout Armenia,’ said Orange Armenia CEO Bruno Duthoit. ‘This year marked a lot of innovations, new offers, extension of the coverage, construction of the customer base and investments,’ he added. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the cellco, which is owned by France Telecom, had 45,000 mobile broadband customers at the end of September 2010, and its 3G network provided access to 93% of the population. In December 2010 it upgraded its national network with High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and high definition (HD) voice services, employing the services of Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to carry out the modernisation of the core and access network which will enable Orange to provide high quality voice calls and data speeds of up to 14.4Mbps in main cities.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:58:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Due to low penetration rates, an expanding economy, deploying 3G networks, and declining smartphone prices, mobile data revenue is expected to triple over the next five years in Peru, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The mobile market will be the main source of revenue growth and Peru's principal revenue generator throughout the forecast period. Pyramid expects mobile revenue to expand at a CAGR of 6.6 percent over the next five years, going from generating $2.2 billion in 2010 to $3.1 billion by 2015, indicates Juliana Gomez, Analyst at Pyramid Research. "Mobile data, driven by 3G deployments and higher adoption of enhanced data services, will experience a revenue increase from $355 million in 2010 to $1.07 billion in 2015," she adds.

Over the forecast period Telefonica will remain the market leader; however, the merger of America Movil-Claro and Telmex Peru this year will intensify competition. "Telmex will complement its multiplay packages with mobile services, and both companies will invest to grow their data business, particularly mobile Internet," says Gomez. In addition, America Movil's Claro continues to expand its 3G network and has gained market share by leveraging data services.

The Peruvian market has shifted to GSM as a result of Telefonica's decision to migrate from CDMA to GSM and Claro's adoption of this standard in 2006. "After launching a 3G network (UMTS/HSPA) in 2008 Claro continues the expansion of its 3G network throughout the country to further support mobile Internet services. Movistar and Nextel have followed suit launching 3G networks," she says. Pyramid expects 3G technologies and 4G technologies to represent 54 percent and 7 percent, respectively, of total mobile subscribers in 2015.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:45:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Egyptian ministry of telecoms has said the number of mobile subscribers in the country rose 23.6% to 65.5 million in October 2010, compared to the same period last year, Zawya Dow Jones has reported. Subscribers for Vodafone Egypt reached 29.4 million for the period, while subscribers for MobiNil reached 28.6 million and Etisalat Misr reached 7.5 million subscribers, the ministry said.

Source: Ameinfo.com

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:41:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone has been completed on schedule, local daily The New Times reports, citing deputy director of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Patrick Nyirishema. Physical rollout of the network, which includes cross-border fibre installation at the Uganda and Tanzania borders, was finalised by the RDB’s target of 31 December 2010. Nyirishema revealed that installation of equipment in institutions that are directly connected to the fibre-optic network is ongoing, with the entire network scehduled to be fully operational by April this year.

The infrastructure will boost access to various broadband services, including government initiatives such as e-governance, e-banking, e-learning and e-health, and will also facilitate IT-based foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas such as business outsourcing. 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.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:23:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell Communications, a consortium comprising Asiacell Iraq (30%), Qatar Telecom (Qtel, 30%) and investment group Merchant Bridge (40%), has signed network expansion agreements with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Ericsson, as it looks to expand its service footprint in the country. According to the cellco’s chief technical and IT officer, Patson Anius, the supply contracts will allow the operator to introduce ‘advanced services’ tailored to the domestic market. ‘Next year, we will be further expanding our network coverage to include small villages and residential communities in remote areas. We look forward to breaking our own GSM deployment record in Iraq next year,’ he said.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that Asiacell is one of three cellcos licensed to provide national mobile services, having been awarded its concession in August 2007 at a cost of USD1.25 billion. In 2009 it deployed 1,490 base transceiver stations (BTSs) on its network, thanks to the build-out of 950 new communication towers, and improved the service capabilities of 450 other cell sites. At the end of September 2010 Asiacell had 7.917 million mobile subscribers, placing it second in the market with a share of 34.8%. It competes with Zain Iraq, Korek Telecom and SanaTel.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:20:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vietnam saw the number of new phone subscribers rise by 35 percent year-on-year in 2010 to 44.5 million. The total number of fixed and mobile subscribers in Vietnam rose to 170 million, Viet Nam News writes citing figures from the General Statistic Office. The total number of subscribers included 16.4 million fixed telephones, a rise of 5.1 percent on 2009, and 154 million mobile subscribers, an increase of 39.8 percent. VNPT had 88.9 million subscribers at end-December, up 25.3 percent, which includes 11.7 million fixed-line customers and 77.2 million mobile subscribers. Furthermore, there were 3.77 million internet subscribers in Vietnam, up 27.4 percent. Of the total, VNPT had 2.62 million internet subscribers, up 21.8 percent.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:08:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Chilean government, former fixed line incumbent Entel and Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson have announced a plan to provide three million people in remote rural Chile with mobile broadband and mobile telephony by the end of 2011. The first stage of the project - Rural Internet Network: All Chile Communicated - was completed in September this year, by which time 1.7 million people had been connected. In 2009 Entel and Ericsson won a USD45 million public contract from the government to provide broadband access to between 70% and 90% of the rural population. The two-year end-to-end project includes deployment of core and radio access networks for both 2G and 3G platforms. Ericsson is building, integrating and activating 2G and 3G base stations at about 1,500 rural locations.

Nicolas Brancoli, President of Ericsson Chile, said: ‘This project marks a new milestone in public-private partnerships in Latin America because we're collaborating in the financing and the development of this connectivity plan. Research shows that a 10% increase in mobile penetration in developing countries leads to a 1.2% increase in gross domestic product. We hope this project will reduce the digital divide and help increase social and economic empowerment in Chile's developing regions.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:02:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 12, 2011

­The number of mobile phone subscribers in China exceeded 850 million last year, according to a Chinese government report. Net additions reached a record high of more than 100 million in 2010 alone, according to the report from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The growth boosted the country mobile penetration rate to around 60 percent of the country's estimated population of 1.4 billion for 2010.

During the January-November period in 2010, 103 million users were newly subscribed to the country's mobile phone services. The figure is estimated to have surpassed 110 million as of the end of December.

The report showed the number of fixed-line subscribers dropped 153.9 million to 298 million during the period.

In the first 11 months of last year, the Chinese telecom industry's revenue was estimated to be 819.03 billion yuan (US$123.56 billion), up 6.6 percent on-year. Sales from mobile telecom business made up 70 percent of the industry's total business revenue, while fixed-line business accounted for about 30 percent.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 9:48:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 14, 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, December 14, 2010 2:56:47 PM (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, December 14, 2010 2:52:09 PM (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, December 14, 2010 2:50:03 PM (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, December 14, 2010 2:48:34 PM (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, December 14, 2010 2:45:04 PM (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, December 14, 2010 2:38:17 PM (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, December 14, 2010 12:02:08 PM (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, December 14, 2010 11:59:08 AM (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, December 14, 2010 11:53:53 AM (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, December 14, 2010 11:51:09 AM (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, December 14, 2010 11:49:27 AM (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, December 14, 2010 11:48:10 AM (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.

Methodology

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, December 14, 2010 11:45:52 AM (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, December 14, 2010 11:33:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 30, 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, November 30, 2010 3:32:54 PM (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, November 30, 2010 3:30:48 PM (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, November 30, 2010 3:28:58 PM (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, November 30, 2010 3:26:31 PM (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, November 30, 2010 3:24:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 23, 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, November 23, 2010 3:48:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 18, 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, November 18, 2010 9:15:03 AM (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, November 18, 2010 9:11:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 11, 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, November 11, 2010 2:36:18 PM (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, November 11, 2010 2:31:58 PM (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, November 11, 2010 2:28:35 PM (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, November 11, 2010 2:07:38 PM (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, November 11, 2010 2:05:21 PM (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, November 11, 2010 2:01:52 PM (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, November 11, 2010 1:58:21 PM (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, November 11, 2010 1:50:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |