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 Monday, 07 February 2011

­A brief flurry of statistics was published by the French telecoms regulator without any commentary, but revealed that France had 64.4 million SIM cards in late December 2010. The annual growth rate was around 5% for three quarters, and the penetration rate is almost 100% at the end of 2010 (99.7% to be exact.

The MVNO market share (6.5% against 6.3% in Q4 to Q3) increased with a net growth of 241,000 customers this quarter, representing 14% of the total growth of the 4th quarter 2010 in France.

With 31.1 billion SMS messages sent, the success of SMS continues. Portability has reached 733,000 numbers to the last quarter and 2.28 million over one year (+ 33%).

Source: Cellular News

Monday, 07 February 2011 12:05:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Spain added 404,534 mobile lines in December, bringing the total number to 54.36 million, up by 3.2 percent over the same month of 2009, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT. Over the last three months, Orange won 46.17 percent of the total new additions, Vodafone 22.86 percent, Yoigo 18.48 percent, while the MVNOs won 8.20 percent and Movistar won 4.30 percent in the period. Mobile penetration reached 116.3 lines per 100 inhabitants, versus 114.6 in December 2009. The M2M sector went up by 15.2 percent over the same period last year, to over 2.12 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 56.49 million. Spain ported a record 506,938 mobile phone numbers in December, up by 17.9 percent versus the same period last year. Yoigo, the MVNOs and Orange saw a positive balance in portability, while Movistar and Vodafone registered a negative balance.
Yoigo won 28,257 net users, the MVNOs added 3,839 users, and Orange won 31,372 ported customers. Movistar shed 45,585 users, and Vodafone lost nearly 17,883 customers in the month. Spanish operators added 61,395 broadband users in December, reaching a total base of 10.56 million lines, up by 8.4 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 22.6 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 53,622 connections or by 9.2 percent over the same period of 2009, reaching a total of 8.61 million lines at the end of December. Some 7,773 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 1.95 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines dropped by 10,825, to 19.74 million lines at the end of December 2010.
Fixed penetration reached 42.2 lines per 100 inhabitants in December 2010, down from 43.0 in the year-earlier month. Around 202,984 fixed numbers were ported in December, up by 48.9 percent versus 136,322 fixed numbers ported in December 2009.
Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, 07 February 2011 12:03:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
India-based operator Bharti Airtel ended its fiscal third quarter (to 31 December 2010) with 207.8 million customers. In India the company had 152.50 million subscribers, up 28 percent year-on-year, and in Africa the company had 42.12 million customers. Airtel Sri Lanka had 1.8 million mobile customers, and Airtel Bangladesh reached 3.2 million subscribers at year-end. Total revenues were up 53 percent to INR 157.56 billion, from INR 103.05 billion in the third quarter last year. Revenues for the India and south-east Asia operations were INR 91.46 billion, growing 13 percent from INR 80.90 billion a year earlier, while revenues in Africa came in at USD 911 million in Q3.
The telemedia services business generated revenues of INR 9.07 billion, up 6 percent year-on-year, while the enterprise services business saw revenues slip 5 percent to INR 10.50 billion. Passive infrastructure services revenues were INR 21.97 billion, up 19 percent, and other revenues totalled INR 2.79 billion, up 98 percent. Total EBITDA reached INR 49.82 billion versus 40.82 billion a year earlier. Net income dropped 41 percent on adverse currency movements, brand re-launch costs, restatement losses, and increased spectrum charges. Bharti's third-quarter net income totalled INR 13.03 billion, compared with INR 21.95 billion.

Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, 07 February 2011 11:59:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Worldwide mobile broadband-enabled subscriptions are mounting up, and will hit the one billion mark in 2011. According to the latest market data released by ABI Research, at the end of 2010 there were more than five billion mobile subscriptions globally, with one in five of those having access to mobile broadband. Another 28% growth or 6.6 billion wireless subscriptions is expected by 2016, with 40%, or twice the current percentage of users, being mobile broadband-enabled.

Despite many markets reaching saturation with penetration levels in excess of 100%, mobile network operators still have a lot more to look forward to. "With the proliferation of mobile broadband, it has become increasingly common to have multiple mobile connections per user," comments research associate Fei Feng Seet. "The main motivation is the desire to stay connected everywhere, with more high speed 4G wireless networks lighting up, and a huge increase in the popularity of social connectivity."

Chinese and Indian operators are now the top five mobile network operators measured by subscriptions, putting Verizon Wireless in the US into sixth place. As of the third quarter of 2010, China Mobile alone accounted for 11% of all global mobile subscriptions.

"China's and India's penetration levels are nowhere near the 100% mark, leaving much more room for growth than any other countries," notes ABI Research practice director Neil Strother. "However, the strictly regulated telecom markets in these two countries impose high barriers for foreign players, which may slow the rollout of new technology."

In terms of subscriptions, worldwide mobile penetration now stands above 75%, of which the Asia-Pacific region accounts for close to half.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, 07 February 2011 11:56:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Filipino mobile operator Globe Telecom today announced it is cutting the cost of its Globe Super Surf mobile broadband internet service to PHP999 (USD22.46) for 30 days, from the original price of PHP1,200. The cellco says the cut is designed to take ‘advantage of the growing demand for mobile broadband services’.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 07 February 2011 11:53:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The UAE’s two telecoms operators, Etisalat and Du, will offer full number portability (NP) by the end of March 2011, according to a report by Reuters, which cites the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The regulator hopes that the service, which allows subscribers to retain their telephone number when they switch service provider, will encourage competition in a market where – according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database – wireless penetration is as high as 240%.

‘It will stimulate competition between the two operators because operators will try to hold onto their customers,’ commented Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, at a conference in Abu Dhabi. ‘Both operators will be in readiness by the end of this month. Then the TRA will test it,’ he added. Ghanim also stated that infrastructure sharing between Etisalat and Du will ‘hopefully’ happen in 2011, with both companies currently working towards solving technical issues. He also ruled out issuing a third licence in the UAE, stating that ‘the market cannot take [another player]’.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 07 February 2011 11:50:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Indian telecommunication minister Kapil Sibal said that the National Broadband Plan will connect 160 million households with high-speed internet connections by 2014, reports The Economic Times. The framework for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) will be finalised by the end of this fiscal (31 March), Sibal said.
Sibal met industry body representatives to finalise the national broadband plan and evolve a strategy to roll out optical fibre. Sibal consulted key stakeholders including telecommunication regulator Trai, industry chambers, mobile, internet, cable and PCO service providers and their associations apart from Rail-Tel , Power Grid and officials from information and broadcasting ministry on telecommunication related policy issues. Sibal said the broadband plan would focus on framing a policy that balances consumer affordability and service provider's economic sustainability. Therefore, additional optic fibre would have to be laid along with existing wireless infrastructure.
The government aims at inclusive growth through broadband as education, medical treatment and entertainment related applications would be extensively used, besides enabling e-governance and citizen-centric services particularly in the rural areas.
Source: TelecomPaper

Monday, 07 February 2011 11:48:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has finally, after many delays, been launched across India today. The launch of the nationwide service was staged by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh making an inaugural call to Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications & IT from a ported number.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Kapil Sibal said that though India has introduced Mobile Number Portability relatively late compared other developed countries but at the same time it has done so by adopting latest technologies and methodology. He further stated that seeing the size of the country, number of subscribers & their growth rate and the number of operators per Licensed Service Area, there will be hardly any country with a network of so much complexity where MNP has been implemented.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Monday, 07 February 2011 11:40:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The European Commission has approved, under the EU guidelines for state aid to broadband, the use of over EUR1.8 billion public funds for broadband development, particularly in rural or remote areas.

Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia commented: "Smart investments into high and very high speed broadband infrastructures are crucial to create jobs, increase economic performance and to unlock the competitive potential of the EU in the long term. The Commission is committed to help EU countries to accelerate private and public investments in this sector."

In 2010, the Commission adopted a record number of 20 decisions covering aid for broadband development in, among others, Catalonia, Finland and Bavaria authorising the use of over EUR1.8 billion of public funds for broadband development. This will potentially generate up to EUR3.5 billion of investments in the sector. The approved aid in 2010 is more than four times the amount allowed in 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News
Monday, 07 February 2011 11:32:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japanese multiservice operator (MSO) Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM) added a net 111,000 broadband internet subscribers last year to lift its total to 1.696 million from 1.585 million at end-2009.

The MSO also reported solid growth of its voice telephony services, with users increasing from 1.763 million to 1.971 million over the same period. In total, J:COM ended the year with 6.360 million revenue generating units (RGUs) for cable TV, internet and/or telephony services, up 6.9% year-on-year, while the bundling ration (i.e. average number of services taken by one subscribed household) rose to 1.86 from 1.82 previously. The operator’s TV services continue to be popular: J:COM closed out the year with 2.691 million basic TV subscribers, including 2.687 million digital TV customers, up from 2.598 million in December 2009.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 07 February 2011 11:27:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Singapore has ended November 2010 with 7.236 million mobile subscribers, up from 7.213 million in October. The mobile penetration rate stood at 142.5 percent, up from 142.1 percent in the prior month, according to figures from regulator IDA. Of the total mobile subscribers in Singapore, 300,200 are 2G postpaid subscribers, 2.351 million are 2G prepaid subscribers, 3.435 million are 3G postpaid subscribers, and 1.150 million are 3G prepaid customers.
Meanwhile, the number of broadband subscribers rose to 7.630 million from 7.501 million in October and the broadband penetration rate stood at 186.9 percent, up from 183.5 percent. Of the total, 567,700 use xDSL, 674,100 subscribers access the internet via cable, 6.379 million use wireless broadband, and 8,700 subscribers use other access technologies. Some 68,400 people still use dial-up technology, down from 69,200 in October.

Source: TelecomPaper
Monday, 07 February 2011 11:23:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 02 February 2011

According to figures published by Ghana’s telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA), fixed and mobile penetration in the country reached 75.4% at the end of last year, up from around 71% at the start of 2010. The watchdog’s figures show that the primary driver of growth is mobile usage: the cellular penetration rate stood at 74.2% at the same date, with more than 17.436 million registered SIM cards. Mobile growth in the second half of last year came despite a compulsory SIM registration scheme, which entered into effect on 1 July, and which was expected to dampen growth for the year, compared with 2009. The scheme is also expected to have pruned out a number of inactive and/or unregistered mobile users.

At the end of last year the NCA’s figures show that MTN Ghana led the mobile segment with 8.721 million SIMs, ahead of Tigo with 3.999 million (although TeleGeography estimates that around 400,000 of these are inactive), and third-placed Vodafone (Ghana) with 2.722 million. Of the three other licensed cellcos, Airtel, which has recently been rebranded from Zain, had 1.754 million subscribers, Expresso (formerly Kasapa) had 239,815 and Glo Mobile is yet to launch operations. Meanwhile, the two companies offering landline or fixed network services noted a significant drop in customers last year. Vodafone (formerly Ghana Telecom) reported 267,033 main lines in service at the end of 2010, down from around 284,000 at the start of the year, while Airtel had 10,864 lines, up around 8,000 year-on-year.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 15:52:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 January 2011

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has published its 27th China Internet Development Statistics Report which shows that at the end of 2010 China had 457 million internet users (or netizens as CNNIC describes them), more than the combined population of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Total broadband internet users reached 450 million, with penetration among fixed line internet users reaching 98.3%. China's mobile internet users numbered 303 million, up 69.3 million year-on-year. Mobile internet users accounted for 66.2% of total internet users, up from 60.8% at the end of 2009. The number of rural internet users reached 125 million, or 27.3% of total users, an increase of 16.9%.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 17:35:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­3G technology will account for 82 percent of total mobile subscriptions in Puerto Rico by 2015, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

"Puerto Rico's shrinking fixed voice market, in combination with a growing demand for data applications and contents, brings new revenue opportunities to local operators, both in the fixed and mobile segments," says Eulalia Marin-Sorribes, Research Analyst at Pyramid. "As Puerto Rico has the highest 3G penetration in Latin America, operators are now trying to make customers use the technology for services beyond SMS and MMS by promoting the use of smartphones," says Marin-Sorribes.

"Mobile applications, such as mobile banking and mobile advertising, could become rich revenue lines for local companies, particularly taking into account Puerto Rico's relatively high GDP per capita," she says. Operators are trying to encourage customers to use 3G technology for services beyond SMS and MMS by promoting the use of smartphones.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
3G | Revenues
Monday, 24 January 2011 11:43:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Armenia chief executive officer Bruno Duthoit has told reporters that his company has now signed up 555,000 mobile subscribers, up from 306,000 at the end of September 2010. The CEO’s comments are quoted by PanArmenian.Net which adds that the cellco is now looking to increase in 3G network capacity by 30% this year.

Duthoit told a news conference that the capacity increase will hopefully redress recent issues experienced by subscribers to its mobile internet services. He confirmed that whilst some users may be having technical problems, on the whole, the network is performing satisfactorily.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:40:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In Italy, 48.9 percent of the population aged 6 and over use the internet, but only 26.4 percent do so daily, according to the Italia 2011 report from Istat. The new generations use the internet more: among those aged 15-24 years, 8 out of 10 connect to the Web and more than half do so every day.
In the period between 2001 and 2010, the proportion of internet users increased significantly (from 27 percent in 2001 to 48.9 percent in 2010). In the last year, the figure rose from 44.4 percent to 48.9 percent. The percentage of companies connected via broadband to the internet is high and amounts to about 83 percent of companies with at least 10 employees (year 2009).

Source: Telecom Paper

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:38:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Kenya's Safaricom has warned that an ongoing price war between the country's mobile networks "cripple the industry". Safaricom Chief Executive Bob Collymore said that the price wars would cost the industry Sh26 billion in revenue this year alone.

Telkom Kenya chief executive Mickael Ghossein had earlier in the week voiced similar concerns, saying with low profit margins, operators would not see the point in reinvesting in infrastructure to up quality.The price war was sparked by Airtel, which recently took over the former Zain network and said that it had doubled its subscriber base to 4 million in less than six months. 

"We believe the industry will lose revenues of between Sh20-26 billion as a result of this," said Collymore. He said Safaricom was unlikely to follow Airtel in cutting tariffs. "That price is unsustainable, we are unlikely to move to that level because I have been charged with looking after the responsibilities of not just customers but also shareholders," Collymore said. He accused Airtel of putting Safaricom and the entire industry at risk through its strategy of offering calls at rock bottom rates.

Based on figures from last September - only a few weeks after the price cuts by Airtel - the Mobile World subscriber database reports that Safaricom is the market leader with a market share of 81% with Airtel (formerly Zain) coming in at 8.6%. Newer entrants, Econet had 7% of the market while Orange (Telecom Kenya) had 3.6% of the market.

Source: Cellular News

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:35:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Brazil added 29 million new mobile phone subscriptions in 2010, the second highest result recorded by Anatel, losing only to 2008 (29.7 million). With the new activations, the country has reached the mark of 202.9 million phones, a concentration of 104.7 phones per 100 inhabitants, according to data released by the National Telecommunications Agency. Out of the total lines, 167.1 million are prepaid (82.3%) and 35.8 million post-paid (17.7%).
Currently, 16 states already have more than one mobile phone per capita. Vivo is the market leader with 29.7% of mobile phones in operation, followed by Claro (25.4%), TIM (25.1%) and Oi (19.4%). GSM is the predominant technology that works with 87.8% of mobile phones. The year ended with 20.6 million 3G connections, an increase of 138.1 percent in the year.

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:31:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spain’s three largest mobile network operators – Telefonica Moviles Espana (Movistar), Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana – are reportedly under investigation for allegedly charging rivals excessive amounts to rent space on their networks for messaging services, Reuters reports. It has been claimed that the trio set wholesale charges for both SMS and MMS a too high a rate, negatively impacting the country’s mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), as well as other rival operators that also take advantage of such services, such as Jazz Telecom. It is understood that Spain’s competition authority, the National Competition Commission (CNC), expects to issue a ruling on the matter within 18 months.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:29:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commissioned the country’s first internet exchange point, aimed at reducing the cost of internet services nationwide, IT News Africa reports. Executive vice chairman of the NCC, Eugene Juwah, said that the Lagos-based Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) would save the country USD20 million in offshore internet bandwidth payments in the first year alone, by keeping domestic internet traffic within Nigeria. ‘At IXPN, we are committed not only to the development of a national internet infrastructure, but increasingly an infrastructure that will span the entire African continent, Europe, America, Asia and the entire world,’ commented Chima Onyekwere, chairman of the IXPN board. Plans are reportedly underway to commission further exchange points in the country’s six geopolitical zones.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:26:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Armenian mobile operator ArmenTel has expanded its 3G network footprint to encompass the cities of Ararat, Armavir, Artashat, Ashtarak, Vardenis, Vedi, Gavar, Yeghvard, Masis, Metsamor, Hrazdan and Sevan as well as dozens of village communities, reports PanArmenian.Net. The online journal goes on to say that hand in hand with the UMTS network expansion the telco is deploying additional 3G-enabled base stations in the cities of Abovyan, Vanadzor, Gyumri, Echmiadzin and Yerevan, to improve capacity on its existing network infrastructure. As a result of the latest upgrade works, the operator’s 3G signal is now available to 2.5 million Armenians, equivalent to 81.1% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:25:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by Associacao Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Telebrasil), the total number of fixed and mobile broadband accesses in the country reached 34.2 million lines at the end of last year, up 71% year-on-year. Put another way, around 14.2 million new connections were activated last year, Telebrasil reports, with customers signing up to one or more of the available access platforms on offer – i.e. fixed broadband (DSL, cable etc), or 3G mobile. Indeed, in the latter segment the association reported a massive 257% y-o-y rise in connections from four million to 14.6 million, while fixed connections increased from 11.4 million to 13.6 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:24:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was introduced in Haryana in December 2010 and thereafter will be introduced across India in January 2011, a move that is expected to further intensify competition in the already crowded mobile services market. In ICRA's opinion, with implementation of MNP, subscribers would get a wider choice and would be able to switch between service providers easily, thereby compelling service providers to offer competitive pricing plans and offer higher service quality to attract and retain subscribers.

In ICRA's view, direct fallout of implementation of MNP would be an increase in customer churn. Change in mobile number has been a major deterrent in switching service operators in the past, especially for high usage customers; however, with the implementation of MNP, customers would be able to easily switch from one service provider to another without changing their mobile number. Moreover, ICRA expects, the low porting charges (maximum of Rs. 19 per porting to be paid by the subscriber) and low porting time (7 days for all circles except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East where the maximum time period for completing the porting process would be 15 days) to drive the adoption of MNP in India.

Increase in the churn is expected to increase the customer acquisition and retention costs of operators, which coupled with competitive tariff plans and falling average revenue per user (ARPUs) is expected to result in a decline in the operating margins of the telecom operators especially in the short term. Under such a scenario, telecom operators with stronger financial profile would be better placed to cope with the increasing competitive intensity.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Monday, 24 January 2011 11:22:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data released by the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) Council Europe, Italy represents one of the largest FTTH markets in Europe, with more than 2.5 million homes passed by fibre at end-December 2010; at the same date the country reported around 348,000 fibre subscribers.

The ongoing 'Fibre for Italy' project aims to bring fibre to 20 million people in Italy's 15 largest cities by 2015, whilst Telecom Italia has committed itself to bringing FTTH/FTTB connectivity to an additional 138 cities by 2018. Further, in November 2010 seven Italian telecoms operators agreed to join forces in order to form a new company charged with overseeing the infrastructure rollout in areas where no operator has scheduled a fibre deployment thus far. The companies involved are Telecom Italia, FastWeb, Wind, Vodafone Italia, Tiscali, BT Italia and 3 Italia. The new company will have an executive committee chaired by Industry Minister Paolo Romani, and focus on avoiding duplicate installations and coordinating investments.

In other news, the launch of Telecom Italia's long-awaited 'Telecom 100Mega' broadband offer has been postponed once more, due to regulatory red-tape. The delay reportedly concerns the terms of a wholesale agreement between Telecom Italia and its rivals, including FastWeb. Telecom Italia intends to offer the high-speed package in six cities: Rome, Milan, Bari, Venice, Turin and Catania, and its rivals have requested access to a wholesale offering that permits the replication of the service. The service was originally set to be launched by the end of 2010. Local news reports suggest that telecoms regulator Autorita per le Garanzie Comunicazioni (Agcom) omitted the matter from its first board meeting of 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:18:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To wrap up what has been an eventful year for next-generation mobile broadband technology Long Term Evolution (LTE), Light Reading Mobile has compiled a list of the world's commercial LTE services.

It's quite short.

Verizon Wireless and TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) aren't the only names on the list, however, although you would be forgiven for thinking that, considering how much attention these operators' get for their 4G (or rather, FauxG?) moves. (See Happy Birthday, LTE! .)

We count nine commercial LTE services worldwide, based on our criteria. To be included on the list, it had to be clear that a potential customer could go to an operator's shop or Website and buy a dongle (or handset in case of MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS)) and sign up to start using the services. We did not include pilot networks or user trials, where consumers or business customers may be able to use an LTE service, but do not pay for it. (See LTE Beckons in Uzbekistan .)

So here's where LTE is commercially available now at the end of 2010:

Table 1: Commercial LTE Services



Monthly Price

Equipment suppliers

NTT Docomo*


¥1,000 (US$12) for 3 GB or ¥7,980 ($95) for 5 GB

Fujitsu, Ericsson, NEC, NSN


9 U.S. cities


Ericsson, Samsung

Telekom Austria

Vienna, Austria

€90 ($120) for 30GB, plus €340 ($453) for USB stick

Not available



399 Danish kroner ($71)

Ericsson, NSN



€46 ($61)

Ericsson, NSN (for initial rollout)



699 Norwegian kronor ($118)

Ericsson, NSN



599 Swedish kronor ($88) for 10Mbit/s-80Mbit/s LTE, 3G, WiFi, and 30GB of data

Ericsson, Huawei, NSN


38 US cities

$50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB

Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NSN (for IMS)

Vodafone Germany

rural Germany

€69.99 ($94) per month for up to 50Mbit/s downlink, 10Mbit/s uplink, and 30GB of data

Ericsson, Huawei

* Service starts on December 24, 2010



Source: Light Reading

Monday, 24 January 2011 11:16:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesia’s state-owned telecoms company PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) says that last year its landline customer base slumped to 8.4 million from 8.7 million in 2009, continuing the downward trend of recent years. The Jakarta Post quotes the telco’s vice president of public relations, Edi Kurnia, as saying that ‘Even though the decreasing number of customers is not really high, the use of the cable lines has shrunk significantly.’

Although the official declined to confirm exact figures, Kurnia did say that revenues from landline services has been in freefall over the last few years, declining by 18% in 2008, 16% in 2009 and a further 6% in 2010. Mobile substitution has been attributed as a primary reason for the fall, although Telkom is working hard and introducing incentives, such as fixed bills and points reward programmes, to encourage people to hold on to their fixed telephone. The company also sees its broadband service Speedy as a key tool in the fight to retain customers and, as part of this, plans to launch a triple-play service in March this year.

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:57:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan’s secretary of the Cabinet Division, Abdur Rauf Chaudhry, has said that the government is hopeful that 3G services will be available to the country’s mobile users by the end of 2011, with legislation governing the auction of 3G concessions expected to be soon presented to the government and Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for discussion and approval. According to, speaking at a seminar organised by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Rauf said that the local manufacturing of 3G handsets remained an important factor, adding that the government would consider recommendations made by the industry. PTA chairman Dr. Mohammed Yaseen meanwhile said that by the end of March 2011 the regulator aims to have set its own plans in motion for moving forward with the 3G sale process, once the overarching policy is approved by the government.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:54:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Airtel Kenya, the country's second largest cellco by subscribers, has announced that it has added two million subscribers to its network since August 2010, effectively doubling its active subscriber base. The mobile operator credits the latest customer additions to the reduced tariffs that it introduced in August. As previously reported in CommsUpdate, in August 2010, the cellco, then known as Zain Kenya, cut end-user call charges from KES6 to KES3 across all networks for both pre-paid and post-paid customers. CEO Rene Meza told a press conference: 'With the drop in tariffs, we have seen an increase in volumes, both in users and in minutes'. Meza added that the average monthly minutes of use (MoU) had tripled since August.

Going forward, Meza announced that the cellco is poised to launch its long-awaited 3G network in March 2011, following a KES25 billion (USD296 million) rollout. 'The beginning of our data journey will start towards the end of this quarter', Meza said, adding that the operator also intends to double the number of 2G bases stations currently deployed across Kenya.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:46:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 January 2011

The total number of registered SIMs in Brazil reached 202.9 million at the end of last year, thanks to the net addition of 29 million phones over the twelve-month period. The net gain was the second largest annual increase ever reported by national regulator Anatel; a record 29.7 million new mobile phones were added in 2008. By 31 December 2010 cellular penetration in the country reached 104.7%, with pre-paid services accounting for the overwhelming majority of lines (167.1 million, or 82.3%) and contract customers the remainder (35.8 million, 17.7%). In addition, GSM continues to be the most popular technology, used by some 87.8% of mobile phones, although Anatel reported 20.6 million 3G connections by the year-end, an increase of 138.1% year-on-year.

Vivo Participacoes retained its leading position in the market as at 31 December, with a 29.70% share of subscriptions, compared with 30.14% in September. America Movil (Claro) was the second largest player with a 25.40% market share, down slightly from 25.47% three months earlier. Third place was taken by TIM Brasil with 25.10%, up from 24.52% previously, while fourth-placed Oi had 19.40% of the market, down from 19.51% in September.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:34:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 January 2011

According to data published by Associacao Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Telebrasil), the total number of fixed and mobile broadband accesses in the country reached 34.2 million lines at the end of last year, up 71% year-on-year. Put another way, around 14.2 million new connections were activated last year, Telebrasil reports, with customers signing up to one or more of the available access platforms on offer – i.e. fixed broadband (DSL, cable etc), or 3G mobile. Indeed, in the latter segment the association reported a massive 257% y-o-y rise in connections from four million to 14.6 million, while fixed connections increased from 11.4 million to 13.6 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 17 January 2011 14:20:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 January 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, 14 January 2011 15:29:13 (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, 14 January 2011 10:24:30 (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, 14 January 2011 10:22:08 (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, 14 January 2011 10:18:47 (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, 14 January 2011 10:17:03 (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, 14 January 2011 10:15:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 13 January 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, 13 January 2011 16:58:11 (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, 13 January 2011 16:45:01 (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.


Thursday, 13 January 2011 16:41:35 (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, 13 January 2011 16:23:16 (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, 13 January 2011 16:20:32 (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, 13 January 2011 16:08:32 (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, 13 January 2011 16:02:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 12 January 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, 12 January 2011 09:48:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |