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 Friday, March 04, 2011

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is to introduce a new code of practice later this year under which it hopes ISPs will be more realistic in their advertising of broadband speeds. The watchdog has released figures showing that the average advertised speed in the UK is currently 13.8Mbps, whereas the actual average speed being delivered to UK households is only 6.2Mbps. The new code will be introduced in July and ISPs will be expected to accompany any ‘top end’ speed boasts with a typical speeds range (TSR) of at least equal prominence.

‘Very few ADSL broadband customers achieved average actual download speeds close to advertised ‘up to’ speeds. Just 3% of customers on up to 20Mbps or 24Mbps DSL services received average download speeds of over 16Mbps, while 69% received average download speeds of 8Mbps or less,’ revealed Ofcom in a statement.

BT’s new fibre-based Infinity service, which is available to 15% of the population, was found to come closer to matching advertised speed claims, giving average speeds of 31Mbps or 22% less than advertised. Unsurprisingly, cable-based services were found to be the closest to their advertised speeds. Virgin Media’s 50Mbps package typically delivered average speeds of 46Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:47:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel has revealed that it has garnered 500,000 users on its 3G network in less than three months. The company launched 3G services on 14 December 2010 and has since expanded the offering to seven cities. It owns concessions allowing it to deploy 3G networks in 13 of India’s 22 telecoms service areas.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Bharti finished 2010 as the largest wireless operator in India, claiming a 20.7% share of the subscriber market.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:37:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Airtel Zambia is set to launch 3G services in the second quarter of this year, reports the Lusaka Times. 150 W-CDMA base stations have already been deployed, and the Bharti-owned company says it will roll out an additional 300 sites by the end of September.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the cellco is the largest in Zambia, claiming an approximate 63% share of wireless subscribers at the end of 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:34:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The number of 3G subscribers in China has passed the 50 million mark - three years after the networks first launched their commercial services. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) says that it expects the numbers to surge to 150 million by the end of this year.

According to statistics from China Mobile, it had a total of 22.6 million 3g users in January, while China Unicom had 15.47 million and China Telecom attracted 13.64 million.

"Now telecom carriers have a large number of subsidized 3G phones available to attract users", which will intensify the competition between China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, said Kevin Wang, research director of China operations at the US-based research company, iSuppli Corp told the China Daily newspaper.

For historic comparison, at the end of May 2010, the country had 20 million 3G subscribers, and 38.64 million by the end of October 2010.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, March 04, 2011 9:32:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Brazil surpassed 205 million mobile telephony subscribers in January, according to the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel). There were 2.2 million new additions during the month, taking the country to a penetration rate of 105.74 percent. Of the total base, some 168 million users were prepaid (82.32 percent) and 36 million postpaid (17.68 percent). There are now about 22.5 million internet users on 3G networks, of which 6.4 million use phones and 6.09 million modems.
 
In January, 1.85 million new 3G mobile phones were added. Vivo remains the operator with the largest number of customers, at around 60.8 million (29.6 percent market share), followed by Claro with 52.2 million (25.4 percent), TIM with 51.8 million (25.2 percent), and Oi with 39.5 million (19.2 percent).
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:27:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Slovenia is providing EUR36.8 million (USD50.6 million) of state grants to support five local consortiums in deploying broadband internet networks in 23 municipalities, seenews.com reports.

The consortiums, led by the Mokronog-Trebelno, Sezana, Pivka, Mozirje and Slovenske Konjice municipalities, will invest the funds in internet networks in rural areas where there is no commercial interest for infrastructure deployments, the country’s technology ministry said in a statement on its website.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:25:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With its major rivals having already introduced 3G services, Indian mobile network operator Vodafone Essar has confirmed that it expects to roll out its own third-generation offering by the end of this fiscal year. According to The Hindu, the cellco’s director of enterprise and carrier business, Naveen Chopra, told local press that trials were still ongoing, and that commercial services would be introduced in a phased manner during March. In addition, the executive noted that the deployment of Vodafone’s 3G services would likely be undertaken on a city-by-city basis, rather than either state-wide or nationwide.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week, Aircel became the most recent Indian cellco to inaugurate its 3G services after nine companies were awarded concessions following the completion of the government’s much-delayed auction in May 2010. Vodafone Essar paid INR116.18 billion (USD2.55 billion) for licences in nine of the country’s telecoms circles: Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Calcutta, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (E) and West Bengal.

Source: TeleGeography

3G
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:24:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report published by Brazil’s telecoms association Telebrasil says that by the end of last year 4,897 municipalities covering 185 million people, or 96% of the total population, were able to access broadband services. At the end of January 2011, private telecom operators in the country collectively boasted 36.1 million broadband connections – when combining fixed line and mobile broadband internet access platforms, it said.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:20:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Egyptian mobile subscriber base grew to 66.87 million at the end of November 2010, from 65.5 million a month earlier.In November 2009, Egypt’s three mobile operators, Etisalat Egypt, Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt, had 53.68 million subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:19:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile operator Digicel saw its revenues increase by 32 percent year-on-year to USD 580 million in the third quarter ended 31 December 2010. EBITDA was up 32 year-on-year reaching a record USD 240 million. At end-December 2010, Digicel reached 11.5 million customers across the 30 worldwide markets where it currently operates. Digicel provides mobile communication services across the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. Digicel saw growth in all of its major markets, including El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago, and data revenues have doubled year on year, the company said.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:15:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Verizon enterprise customers can begin taking advantage of the newly activated Europe India Gateway cable. The $700 million high-capacity fiber-optic cable, one of the most advanced submarine cable systems in the world, will provide multinational customers additional diversity and capacity to meet their critical communications needs.

Verizon joined 15 other international communications leaders, which constitute the EIG Consortium, and formally accepted delivery of more than 11,300 kilometers (7,021 miles) of the total 15,000 km (9,320 miles) EIG cable system. The accepted cable system routes are: London to Bude, U.K.; Bude to Portugal to Gibraltar to Monaco to Libya; Monaco to Marseille, France; and Saudi Arabia to Djibouti to Oman to United Arab Emirates to India. The group also accepted 11 of 13 cable landing stations. The only remaining segment to be completed for the EIG is in Egypt where there are two landing sites.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:12:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 24, 2011

 report published by Brazil’s telecoms association Telebrasil says that by the end of last year 4,897 municipalities covering 185 million people, or 96% of the total population, were able to access broadband services. At the end of January 2011, private telecom operators in the country collectively boasted 36.1 million broadband connections – when combining fixed line and mobile broadband internet access platforms, it said.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, February 24, 2011 4:26:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Canada will have 28 million mobile subscribers in 2012 with Bell Mobility's market share decreasing over the next two years, according to new market research report by IEMR. Given the latest quarter numbers, their model forecasts that Telus Mobility will be replacing Bell Mobility (excluding Virgin Mobile) as the second largest mobile operator in Canada after Rogers Wireless in 2012.

IEMR also forecasts that market shares of Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility will be 27.3% and 27% respectively by the end of 2012. They expect the entry of new mobile operators such as Videotron and Wind Mobile to take greater market share away from Bell relative to Telus, given Bell's stronger presence in Central Canada and the new entrants' focus in that part of the country.

"The wireless penetration rate in Canada is still relatively low compared to other developed countries, and we expect that the Canadian wireless market will continue to grow. According to our forecasting model, the number of mobile subscriber connections in Canada will increase from 25.3 million in 2010 to approximately 28 million by the end of 2012," said Nizar Assanie, Vice President (Research) at IEMR. "The competitive dynamics in the Canadian mobile operator space are changing rapidly as new entrants increase their market shares. We forecast that the subscriber market share of the largest operator, Rogers Wireless, will be about 35.6% in the end of 2012."

Finally the report predicts that Rogers Wireless will be enjoying the highest level of profitability in the Canadian wireless market during the forecast period. Their  model is predicting that Rogers Wireless's EBITDA margins will remain above 50% over the next eight quarters.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, February 24, 2011 4:20:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan ended 2010 with 102.78 million mobile subscribers, up from 101.641 million in November, according to figures from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Mobilink led with 31.79 million subscribers, up from 31.54 million a month earlier, followed by Telenor which had 24.69 million customers, compared with 24.401 million customers in November.

Ufone had 20.28 million subscribers in December, up from 20.192 million, and Warid ended the month with 17.52 million versus 17.474 million a month earlier. Zong grew its customer base to 8.50 million from 8.028 million customers in the previous month. Total mobile teledensity stood at 61.7 percent compared with 61 percent in November.

Furthermore, the number of WLL subscribers stood at 2.76 million in December, down from 2.85 million in November. PTCL led in WLL customers with 1.32 million versus 1.30 million a month earlier, followed by Telecard with 710,942, WorldCall with 456,048 customers, and Wateen with 228,623 customers. Link Direct had 33,970 subscribers in November and NTC ended the month with 11,823 customers. WLL teledensity remained at 1.6 percent

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, February 24, 2011 4:18:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moroccan mobile, fixed and broadband group Maroc Telecom’s consolidated subscriber base grew by 19% in 2010 to reach 26 million customers, the company announced today. With operations spread across Morocco, Mauritania, Gabon, Burkina Faso and Mali, revenues for the year grew by 4.3% to MAD31.7 billion (USD3.8 billion).

Operating income rose 2.3% to MAD14.3 billion, representing an operating margin of 45.3%, whilst group net profit increased by 1.2% to MAD9.5 billion. The operator added that it forecasts ‘moderate’ growth in revenues in 2011, with profitability levels expected to be ‘maintained’. Domestic revenues for 2010 totalled MAD26.2 billion, an annual increase of 1.7%, helping to drive a 1.0% operating profit increase to MAD13.2 billion, as the Moroccan mobile customer base grew by 10.6% to 16.9 million. 3G/3.5G mobile broadband internet subscribers more than tripled during the year to reach 549,000, overtaking the operator’s ADSL fixed broadband base.

Maroc Telecom’s other African subsidiaries had a total of 6.8 million mobile customers between them by end-2010, up 58% year-on-year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, February 24, 2011 4:05:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A new research report has unearthed that over the past years that the West African broadband market has witnessed a dramatic increase in broadband connections mainly due to the deployments of advanced technologies and affordable customer premise equipment as well as tariffs.  It was also found that the market earned revenues of $929.9 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $1.932 billion in 2016. Internet service providers (ISPs) still remain the dominant players in the region, except for Nigeria where mobile broadband connections have outpaced fixed broadband connections. In comparison to other countries, high investments are made in infrastructure development and broadband services present the highest areas for growth opportunities due to the decline in voice revenues.

The West African region is characterized by poor telecoms infrastructure. Mobile broadband connections have outpaced fixed broadband connections in many countries in the region. This trend is likely to be observed in key markets like Cameroon and Ivory Coast in the next 5 years. The low fixed penetration shows that the majority of population can only access broadband services via their handsets. The low levels of broadband penetration in the region indicate that there is room for growth opportunities across the region.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation
Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:40:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Telecom has officially launched the Broadband China Optical Network City project which aims to establish a fibre-optic link with every Chinese city within three years.

The plan also aims to upgrade the network’s average download speed to over 20Mbps.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:08:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ukraine’s leading mobile operator Kyivstar has announced that it has expanded its fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) fixed broadband service to its 38th city, Rivne.  Kyivstar is in the process of integrating the FTTB infrastructure of sister companies Beeline Ukraine and Golden Telecom.

The company has deployed an urban network in the Rivne area spanning 60km and passing 44,000 households in 353 multi-dwelling premises with direct fibre access enabling connection speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Source: Wireless Federation

Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:06:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has announced plans to cut the interconnection tariff of international call termination. The watchdog hopes the measure will reduce the use of illegal VoIP services. Four telcos currently own VoIP concessions: Nepal Telecom (NT), United Telecom (UTL), Spice Nepal (Ncell) and STM Telecom, although only NT has started offering a VoIP service for incoming calls. The regulator recently stated that more companies would be awarded VoIP licences provided they expand their service area to 25 districts covering 1,300 village district committees (VDCs).

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:01:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 11, 2011

Mobile operator Zain Iraq, a subsidiary of Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain, expects to sign up between 15,000 and 18,000 new cellular users a month after commencing services in Kurdistan, the firm’s chief executive, Emad Makiya, said in an interview with Reuters. According to the executive, initial operations began in Iraq's northern Kurdish region last October, although an official launch will take place in the first quarter of 2011.

Makiya said that total subscribers for 2011 are expected to increase by around one million from roughly twelve million users at 31 December 2010. In terms of revenue, Zain Iraq expects its 2010 turnover will be around 10% higher than 2009’s USD1.34 billion, whilst 2011 sales are expected to rise even higher: ‘The plan is to be 16%-17% above what we have done last year [2010] as far as the revenue [goes],’ Makiya said.

Priorities for 2011 include the launch of 3G services in Iraq (following regulatory approval), and the introduction of a pre-paid option for RIM’s BlackBerry handset. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Zain Iraq is the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a market share of 51.7% at 30 September 2010, followed by Asiacell (34.8%), Korek Telecom (11.2%) and SanaTel (2.3%).

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:45:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The auction for a third mobile network operating licence in Syria will begin in April with a starting bid of EUR90 million (USD122.2 million), according to the Deputy Minister of Telecommunications, Mohammad Al-Jallali, as quoted by Syria Report. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of last year the Syrian authorities set 12 April 2011 as date to auction the country’s third mobile licence. At the time Imad Sabouni, the Syrian communications and technology minister, added that to facilitate the process an independent regulator would be set up ahead of the auction.

However, a separate report suggested that the five firms pre-qualified to bid for the licence – Turkcell, France Telecom, Saudi Telecom Company, Etisalat and Qtel – have all reacted strongly to the Syrian government’s call that they provide revenue projections for their prospective businesses there.

In a meeting in Damascus in 4Q10, Syrian telecom officials came under scrutiny concerning ‘sections in the tender where investors see risk, and vagueness about certain clauses.’ In particular, bidders are concerned that the government regulate roaming agreements with the country’s incumbent cellcos MTN Syria and SyriaTel, so the new operator would not face a disadvantage. Objections were also raised concerning the state’s call that bidders submit a business plan with revenue projection – even though the award is being decided through an auction. The licence tender requires the winning bidder to give 25% of its annual mobile revenue to the government, and stipulates that Syria's state telecoms company STE will hold a 20% stake in the new mobile operator.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:42:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France’s second largest fixed and mobile telecoms service provider SFR yesterday announced it will not be increasing its prices to existing mobile users after all, prompting larger rival France Telecom (FT) to mirror its move within hours. The country’s main players previously announced their intention to hike prices after the government implemented a rise in value added tax (VAT) on triple-play bundles.

The operators’ latest moves show that competition is biting in the domestic market as the date-imposed VAT hike takes effect. SFR and FT previously confirmed their plans to pass on the rise to end-users but have now made a significant u-turn. Smaller rival Bouygues Telecom claims it is 'absorbing' the cost of a government-imposed tax hike which took effect on 1 January and will not pass on the rise to its customers. However, its DSL broadband users are set to see a small rise in their monthly connection fee.

According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database, France has increased VAT to 19.6% from 5.5% on combined internet, TV and telephony packages, scrapping a reduced rate applied to the TV portion of triple-play bundles. SFR and FT earlier reported tariff increases to partially compensate for a VAT rise on triple-play services. SFR said it would raise retail broadband prices – by EUR2 for most monthly packages and by EUR1 for its entry-level option – and many of its mobile tariffs on 1 February 2011. FT meanwhile, said it will increase monthly tariffs by between EUR1 and EUR3 as of February 2011, although a company spokesperson said the tax increase will still cost it around EUR70 million a year (compared to around EUR316 million without any price raising). For its part, cableco Numericable’s prices are expected to rise by 3% on average as of August 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:39:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Around one text billion messages were sent in China's capital, Beijing last Wednesday on the eve of the Spring Festival - or Chinese New Year, but the flood of greetings actually caused complaints from recipients saying there were too many.

China Mobile said its Beijing users sent 770 million text messages that night, which was up about 13 percent year-on-year. China Unicom reported over 143 million messages, and it is estimated that China Telecom made up the remaining 80 million.

China Mobile's Shanghai users sent 920 million text messages on the same day, up 20 percent, while in Guangdong province, the number of messages sent Wednesday night went up by over 23 percent year-on-year, a report by the semi-official China Daily newspaper claimed.

"God knows how many text messages I received on Spring Festival Eve, it must have been over a hundred. I even received many from people I don't even know," Yin Ni, who runs an online store in Beijing, was quoted as saying.

"I never send such messages because I don't consider pressing the button saying 'send message to all contacts' is sincere. People should realize that the only beneficiaries are the mobile phone operators," said Yin.

This year is the Year of the Rabbit. In Mandarin, the word "rabbit" is pronounced the same as the word "to" in English, so "Happy to you" has become one of the most popular greetings this year.

Source: Cellular News

SMS | Traffic
Friday, February 11, 2011 11:38:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Turkmenistan’s fixed line monopoly provider Turkmentelecom has unveiled its first high speed internet option for residential customers, but most of the country’s population seem unlikely to rush to sign up for the new service. With the average monthly wage in the country standing at around USD620 per month, Central Asia Newswire reports that the telco has inaugurated a tariff offering unlimited usage at downlink speeds of up to 2Mbps for a staggering USD6,821 per month.

Despite the sky-high tariff the introduction of the service is something of a watershed moment, particularly for a country that until mid-2008 did not allow members of the public to apply for an internet connection. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in the wake of the supposed assassination attempt on the then president Saparmyrat Niyazov (in November 2002), the state placed restrictions on the media, including the internet, following which only Turkmentelecom was permitted to offer ISP services, leading to a five-fold increase in prices for access, whilst high speed facilities remained non-existent.

Subsequently, following Niyazov’s death in December 2006, two internet cafes in Ashgabat opened in February the following year, before domestic mobile network operator MTS Turkmenistan became the first private ISP of the new era when it launched mobile internet via GPRS and EDGE in April 2008.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:34:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned broadband provider Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT) has confirmed that it has launched Libya’s third mobile phone network, under the brand name LibyaPhone Mobile. Although no precise rollout details have been confirmed by the operator, it claims that its network has capacity for around 100,000 customers during the first phase of its operations. Further, LibyaPhone Mobile has pledged to extend coverage to areas under-served by fellow state-owned cellcos Libyana and Al Madar Telecomm Company. LTT claims that LibyaPhone Mobile will offer both 2G and 3G connectivity.

Although speculation regarding the launch of a third mobile phone operator in Libya has been rife for some time, in July 2010 it was confirmed that UAE’s Etisalat and Turkcell of Turkey had both been overlooked for a new LYD1 billion (USD825 million) concession. The General Telecommunication Authority (GTA) had previously launched an international tender for a combined fixed and mobile licence in February 2009, although its final decision was severely delayed, and no clear reasons were given for the lack of progress, merely that the international telcos were ‘unsuitable’.

According to TeleGeography, state-owned Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT) is the country's dominant ISP and also acts as a moderator for the internet sector. The operator launched a commercial WiMAX network – operating in the 2.5GHz band – under the ‘LibyaMax’ banner in February 2009. Services have subsequently been expanded to over 25 locations, predominantly along the coast, covering around 65% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has revealed that more than 1.7 million subscribers have opted to change their provider while keeping the same number since the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP).

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the service was initially introduced only in the Haryana circle in November last year, before being extended nationwide on 20 January 2011. The regulator has claimed that of the total requests to port numbers, around 229,000 came from the Haryana circle, while of the regions where it has been more recently introduced Gujarat recorded the highest number of requests, approximately 167,000.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, February 11, 2011 11:11:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Vodafone’s Irish mobile unit says that increasing popularity for smartphones and mobile broadband packages were behind its strong subscriber growth in the last three months of 2010. The company ended the year with around 2.217 million mobile users, thanks to 34,000 net additions in Q4, up from 2.145 million a year earlier. The company reported that almost one in two devices sold by Vodafone Ireland in December was a smartphone – predominantly Apple's iPhone and Google-based Android handsets. Including the operator’s fixed line and DSL businesses, the total subscriber figure rose to 2.4 million at the year end.

Vodafone said mobile quarterly minutes of use (MOU) per customer grew 5% year-on-year, to 273 minutes in 4Q10. In addition, the cellco said data traffic increased by around 5% in the fourth quarter, aided by the poor weather experienced in the country, which forced a large number of people to work from home during December. However, blended average revenue per user (ARPU) fell by 6.9% to EUR34.90 (USD41.8) a month.

The cellco also announced the launch of a new device designed to boost 3G signal coverage indoors. Vodafone’s ‘Sure Signal ‘device is a femtocell that uses a fixed line broadband connection to create a 3G signal for its network if there is none available, or boost weak signal. The device, which will go on sale in about two weeks, will cost less than EUR100.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:13:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile subscribers in Kyrgyzstan increased by around 500,000 in 2010 to reach a total of 4.9 million at the end of the year, news agency 24.kg reports, citing figures from the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC). At that date, wireless coverage stood at over 85% of the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that investment in the country’s telecommunications sector totalled USD69.5 million in 2010, up 54.6% year-on-year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Kyrgyz mobile market is home to six operators: GSM firms Sky Mobile (Beeline), BiMoCom (Megacom) and Nur Telecom (O!); CDMA-based companies Aktel (Fonex) and SoTel (Nexi); and TDMA network operator Katel.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:11:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Portugal Telecom has confirmed that its 40% owned subsidiary, CVMóvel had submitted a application for the awarding of a 3G mobile license in Cape Verde. CVMóvel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the CVTelecom Group, follows T+ and Cabo TLC de São Vicente, the other two companies that have submitted applications to ANAC, the telecoms regulator.

It is worth recollecting that applications could be submitted from August 2010 until last Monday.

The result of the tender will be disclosed in March 2011.

The licenses include 2x15MHz of paired spectrum in the bands 1920-1980MHz / 2110-2170 MHz and 5 MHz of unpaired spectrum in the 1900-1920 MHz band, for each one of the rights of frequency, and the allocation of one nationwide right of frequency use in the range reserved for GSM services.

The country currently has two mobile networks, T+ and Cabo Verde Telecom. Estimates from the Mobile World analysts is that the country has around 496,000 subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 97%.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:08:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator Zain Iraq, a subsidiary of Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain, expects to sign up between 15,000 and 18,000 new cellular users a month after commencing services in Kurdistan, the firm’s chief executive, Emad Makiya, said in an interview with Reuters.

According to the executive, initial operations began in Iraq's northern Kurdish region last October, although an official launch will take place in the first quarter of 2011. Makiya said that total subscribers for 2011 are expected to increase by around one million from roughly twelve million users at 31 December 2010. In terms of revenue, Zain Iraq expects its 2010 turnover will be around 10% higher than 2009’s USD1.34 billion, whilst 2011 sales are expected to rise even higher: ‘The plan is to be 16%-17% above what we have done last year [2010] as far as the revenue [goes],’ Makiya said.

Priorities for 2011 include the launch of 3G services in Iraq (following regulatory approval), and the introduction of a pre-paid option for RIM’s BlackBerry handset. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Zain Iraq is the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a market share of 51.7% at 30 September 2010, followed by Asiacell (34.8%), Korek Telecom (11.2%) and SanaTel (2.3%).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:05:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

French mobile operator SFR, backed by telecoms and entertainment conglomerate Vivendi, has announced plans to offer unlimited mobile calls from 18 January as part of its triple-play ‘Neufbox Evolution’ product, launched in November last year.

The telco hopes the move will help it pre-empt the threat of rival Iliad (Free) which recently started offering free calls to mobiles for users of its own internet box package, ‘Revolution’. The industry is now watching France Telecom to see if the country’s number one operator by subscribers jumps on the bandwagon.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:03:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

New research from the Arab Advisors Group reveals that 87%of Arab cellular operators provide the MMS service. The SMS service, which is providedby all mobile operators in the region, is priced quite differently across theregion. Yemen and Palestine have the lowest average SMS rates, while Morocco and Syria have the highest.

The research shows that the rate of SMS including taxes in Moroccois the highest. Morocco's highestrates are followed by Syria,Lebanon, Algeria, Qatar,Kuwait, Libya, UAE, Egypt,Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq,Oman, Bahrain, Sudan,Tunisia, Yemen and Palestine.

Click here to see full article
Source: Arab Advisors Group
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:01:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dutch former monopoly KPN Telecom (or Royal KPN) has announced it is shutting down its public payphone business, arguing that the widespread availability of mobile phones has made them virtually redundant.

In a statement released earlier this week, KPN said that the advertising group Hillenaar is teaming up with RBL Telecom to operate public phone booths in rural villages and other places which want to maintain such a service. Under local law KPN was obliged to provide one public payphone per 5,000 of the population until 2008. Since then, it has rapidly begun to decommission thousands of loss-making phone booths.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 3:57:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 07, 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, February 07, 2011 12:05:28 PM (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, February 07, 2011 12:03:19 PM (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, February 07, 2011 11:59:38 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:56:16 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:53:01 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:50:25 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:48:54 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:40:27 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:32:48 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:27:25 AM (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, February 07, 2011 11:23:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 02, 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, February 02, 2011 3:52:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 24, 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, January 24, 2011 5:35:39 PM (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, January 24, 2011 11:43:12 AM (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, January 24, 2011 11:40:18 AM (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, January 24, 2011 11:38:42 AM (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, January 24, 2011 11:35:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |