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 Tuesday, March 15, 2011

­The number of telephone subscribers in India passed the 800 million mark at the end of January, the telecoms regulator, TRAI has announced. The total subscriber base - landline and mobile - increased to 806.13 Million at the end of January 2011 from 787.28 Million in December 2010, thereby registering a growth rate of 2.39%.The share of Urban Subscriber has declined to 66.79% from 67% where as share of Rural Subscribers has increased from 33% to 33.21%. With this, the overall teledensity in India reaches 67.67.

Subscription in Urban Areas grew from 527.50 million in December 2010 to 538.38 million at the end of January 2011. Rural subscription increased from 259.78 million to 267.74. The growth of Rural Subscription (3.07%) is higher than the Urban Subscription (2.06%). The overall Urban teledensity has increased from 147.88 to 150.67 and Rural teledensity increased from 31.18 to 32.11.

Wireless Segment (GSM, CDMA & FWP)

Total Wireless subscriber base increased from 752.19 Million in December 2010 to 771.18 Million at the end of January 2011 registering a growth of 2.52%. The share of Urban Subscriber has declined to 66.42% from 66.65% where as share of Rural Subscribers has increased from 33.35% to 33.58%. The overall wireless teledensity in India reached 64.74%.

Wireless subscription in Urban Areas increased from 501.30 million in December 2010 to 512.26 million at the end of January 2011. Rural subscription increased from 250.89 million to 258.93. This shows higher growth in Rural Subscription (3.20%) than Urban Subscription (2.19%). Private operators hold 87.78% of the wireless market share where as BSNL and MTNL, the two state-owned operators hold only 12.22% market share.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:51:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mexican fixed line incumbent Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) has unveiled plans to break its fixed line voice operations apart, revealing it aims to form two separate companies, one of which will exclusively serve rural areas, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the telco’s proposals, which will require the approval of the Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) and other regulatory bodies, Telmex intends to create a new company, Telmex Social, to service rural regions and those areas of the country ‘in which there is no economic interest of any competitor’. The new company, Telmex said, would continue to pay the same interconnection rates to competitors as the enlarged operator currently does.

The move, it is thought, is in part aimed at countering criticism of Telmex’s dominant position in the fixed line voice sector; it currently has a market share of around 80%.

Further, it is also believed that Telmex, which is controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, hopes that the decision to split its operations will prompt the relevant regulatory bodies to allow it to offer IPTV services and triple-play bundles, which would allow it to compete directly with the country’s main cable TV operator Televisa, which already offers such packages.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:36:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) is gearing up for the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) from 1 July 2011, to give mobile users the option of switching service providers for the first time. It is understood the NCA has completed more than 90% of the necessary technical groundwork needed to facilitate MNP, with its director of regulatory and administration affairs, Joshua Peprah, confirming that ‘all is set for the take off of the MNP on 1 July’.


Mr Peprah went on to say that the regulator has selected a privately owned joint-venture partnership, Porting Access Ghana (PAG), to establish a central database of all ported numbers and also to facilitate porting within 24 hours. It will cost the user around GHC4 (USD2.50) to port his or her number to the new network provider via PAG’s system. It is hoped the introduction of number porting will increase competition and drive down prices as cellcos roll out new offers and ‘freebies’ in a bid to convince customers to stay with them when MNP takes off.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:34:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bulgarian telecoms regulator the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) has announced that it will fine the country's three mobile operators - MobilTel, Cosmo Bulgaria (GloBul) and Vivacom (formerly Bulgarian Telephone Company, BTC) - a total of BGL1.5 million (USD1.06 million) for breaking mobile number portability (MNP) rules.

The cellcos have confirmed they will most probably appeal against the decision in the Supreme Administrative Court. In 2010 the trio were fined the same amount following over 40 customer complaints about number portability.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:32:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria finished 2010 with a total 88.35 million active telephony subscribers, up from 83.05 million three months earlier and 74.52 million at the end of 2009, according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission. The total includes 1.05 million fixed and fixed wireless subscribers, 6.10 million CDMA mobile customers and 81.20 million GSM users. MTN Nigeria was market leader with 38.68 million customers, up 5.9 percent from Q3, and Glo came in second with 19.63 million customers at end-December, versus 17.60 million in September.
 
Etisalat Nigeria grew the fastest, up 25.4 percent over the three months to a total 6.79 million customers at the end of 2010. Airtel Nigeria finished the year with 15.83 million customers, after adding just under 300,000 in Q4. Among the CDMA mobile providers, Visafone was the biggest with 2.56 million customers, followed by Multi-Links Telkom with 1.45 million and Starcomms with 1.15 million. All the CDMA operator suffered subscriber losses throughout the year. The NCC estimates teledensity was at 63.11 percent at the end of 2010, versus 53.23 percent a year earlier.
 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:30:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Neotel, South Africa's second national operator (SNO), has slashed the cost of calls to mobile phones by 23% in an effort to improve its market share. The lower rates – which were prompted by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA’s) ruling on termination fees last year – came into effect on 1 March. Neotel's Dr Angus Hay commented: 'Neotel continues to offer the most cost effective home phone service for consumers. For as little as ZAR99 (USD14.4) per month rental, you can get a wireless phone - no copper wires, no waiting for installation - and these new rates make it even more compelling.

You can even keep your old landline number'. According to Neotel, calls to the MTN or Vodacom network will now cost ZAR.095 (plus VAT) during peak hours, and ZAR0.85 (plus VAT) during off-peak hours. Calls to Cell C and 8ta will cost ZAR1.20 (plus VAT) during peak hours, and ZAR0.96 (plus VAT) during off-peak hours. Hay continued: 'At standard rates, it is still cheaper to call a Telkom line from a Neotel phone than from a Telkom phone, and all calls between Neotel subscribers countrywide are free after hours. And now, Neotel is able to offer the best ever prices for calls to mobile phones as well'.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:28:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

After some controversy earlier this year over the legality of their 3G license, Zain Jordan has finally launched its HSPA enabled 3G network in the country, breaking the monopoly held by Orange Jordan.

Zain's Network Department Director Youssef Abu Mutawe said: "Zain had set aside JD 120 million to invest prior to launching the HSPA+ technology. Today, the Zain network is able to offer high speed internet services which can reach up to 21 Mbps during phase one, and up to 42 Mbps in the near future."

"The new network will cover around 97% of Jordan's populated area. Providing the service with equal quality in all governorates is an unprecedented phenomenon and contributes to the overall efforts that aim to provide internet penetration in the whole of Jordan."

Mutawe added that the number of HSPA+ stations reached 1000, covering the whole kingdom as well as the main highways.

Source: Cellular News

3G
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:21:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Dutch mobile market generated service revenues of EUR6.28 billion (USD8.72 billion) in 2010, down 0.5% from a year earlier, Telecompaper reports. Last year’s fall compares to annual growth of 0.9% in FY2009, although the paper says that whilst the economic downturn had an effect, the contraction was more the result of regulator-imposed price cuts in 2010. Mobile voice revenue declined sharply last year, while sales from non-voice services, which now account for more than 32% of total revenue, failed to offset the drop, it said. In Q4 2010 mobile service revenues decreased 0.9% quarter-on-quarter and were down 1.3% year-on-year.

The Dutch mobile market is forecast to return to growth in 2011 in terms of revenues, to more than EUR6.30 billion, while a CAGR of 1.6% is expected for the period 2010-2015. However, regulatory downward pressure on mobile terminations rates (MTRs) will moderate results in 2011 and 2012, offset by growth in data services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the country’s overall mobile base totalled 19.2 million users at the end of last year, an annual decline of 2.5%, with cellular penetration standing at 116.2%.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:30:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile data plan revenues will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 9% and are expected to exceed $102 billion worldwide by 2016, according to latest ABI Research forecasts.Regionally, data plan revenue share among different device classes varies significantly. Currently in North America, data plans for smartphones deliver the lion's share of revenue. However in regions lacking fixed line access such as Eastern Europe and Latin America, connections to other computing devices constitute the majority share. But according to practice director Dan Shey, "By 2016, smartphones will become the largest portion of each region's mobile data plan revenues with over 50% share."

Shey continues, "Increasing smartphone penetration rates among mobile enterprise customers are major drivers for data plan revenue growth. But connectivity for other devices such as tablets will become increasingly important and contribute significantly to overall connectivity revenues from the business sector."

Data plan growth portends other opportunities for the enterprise sector. More connections mean greater need for applications, and content, security, expense and other mobile device-related services. Forward-looking enterprise segment suppliers are looking holistically at the opportunities presented by increasing enterprise mobile device connections.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:21:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
India ended January with 771.18 million mobile subscribers, growing by 2.52 percent from 752.19 million in December 2010, according to figures from telecommunications regulator Trai. Urban subscribers grew 2.19 percent to 512.26 million, while rural subscribers increased 3.2 percent to 258.93 million. Overall teledensity stood at 64.74, while urban teledensity was 143.36 and rural teledensity was 31.05. Bharti Airtel remained the market leader with a market share of 20.2 percent and 155.79 million customers, versus 152.49 million in December.
 
Bharti's net additions for the month stood at 3.3 million. Airtel was followed by Reliance with 128.87 million subscribers, up from 125.65 million subscribers a month earlier. Reliance had a 16.71 percent market share and the operator attracted 3.21 million customers in the month. Vodafone Essar was third with a 16.52 percent market share and 127.36 million subscribers, up from 124.25 million in the previous month. Vodafone Essar signed up 3.1 million new customers in January. Tata Teleservices had 86.05 million customers in the month, up from 84.23 million.
 
Tata Teleservices had a market share of 11.16 percent, with net additions of 1.8 million. BSNL's subscribers grew to 88.81 million from 86.7 million a month earlier. Idea Cellular ended January with 84.28 million versus 81.77 million customers, and Aircel/Dishnet grew its customer base to 51.83 million from 50.16 million in December. Uninor ended the month with 20.3 million subscribers, compared with 18.51 million a month earlier. Sistema's subscriber base grew to 9.09 million from 8.4 million, while Loop Telecom ended January with 3.06 million customers versus 3.04 million in the prior month. Videocon saw its subscriber base decline to 6.01 million from 7.31 million in December and MTNL ended the month with 5.43 million customers versus 5.39 million in the prior month.
 


Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:19:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Dutch broadband market grew by 0.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2010, to reach 6.26 million connections on 31 December 2010 according to Telecompaper's quarterly update on the Dutch broadband market. The market grew with 57,800 net additions, round 8,000 more than during the third quarter. The number of DSL connections dropped by 0.7 percent or almost 26,000 during the quarter, to reach a total of 3.428 million on 31 December 2010. Cable reported quarterly growth of 2.4 percent for the fourth quarter, adding 60,800 new broadband customers, ending 2010 with 2.571 million connections. FTTH broadband subscribers grew to around 229,000 on 31 December 2010, which represents a share of 3.7 percent on the Dutch broadband market.
 
At the same time, KPN had 27,000 VDSL (FTTC) customers, representing 0.4 percent of the broadband market. For 2011, Telecompaper expects a growth of between 2.5 and 3 percent to around 6.4 million broadband connections, which compares to a household penetration of more than 88 percent. Internet van KPN is still the largest broadband ISP in the Netherlands with 29.3 percent of subscribers, followed by Ziggo with 24.8 percent, UPC with 13.5 percent and Tele2 with 7.8 percent, growing 1 percent due to the acquisition of BBned at the end of 2010.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:17:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Analogue TV broadcasting will end on the night of 7-8 March for over 12 million TV viewers in the Ile-de-France region. Broadcast services provider TDF has invested EUR 10 million in the analogue switch by upgrading from 20 to 50 KW transmitters at the Eiffel Tower, four major antennas and some 40 smaller masts in the area. TV channels will adopt new frequencies to free up the 800MHz band for the mobile internet and to leave room for new channels. France's region by region analogue switch-off is due to be completed at the end of November.
 
The process has stimulated the TV equipment market, with TV sales up 13 percent to 8.5 million in 2010, according to Simavelec, and DTT STB sales expected to grow 66 percent in volume and 104 percent in value this year, according to GfK. Over 7 million DTT STBs are projected to be sold in 2010 and 2011. The average price of digital-ready TVs has vallen dramatically. New DTT channels have attracted 19.7 percent of viewers, according to Mediametrie, and there share reached around 21.2 percent at the end of January. Historical channels TF1, M6, France 2, etc have seen their combined market share slip to 66.5 percent in January from 69.9 percent in January 2009, and hope to recapture lost viewers when analogue finally ends. Top DTT channels TMC and W9 are already in profit, and NRJ 12, Direct 8 and BFM TV expect to break even this year.
 
A question mark remains over the government's plan to award three additional DTT channels to TF1, M6 and Canal Plus, the country's three historical private broadcasters. The matter is being studied by the European Commission following complaints from new DTT entrants and would-be entrants.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:14:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR8 million (USD11 million) loan to the Seychelles Cable Systems Company (SCS) for the installation and operation of the island nation’s first international submarine fibre-optic cable. The planned 1,930km cable will link the main island of Mahe to the existing Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) in Tanzania, and is expected to be operational by the second half of 2012, according to a report on Afriquejet.com.

The project will also benefit from a EUR4 million grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund to support shareholding in the project by the Seychelles government. A statutory dividend from this equity stake will be used to provide free internet access for schools, libraries, hospitals and other social development-related services. The EUR27 million overall project cost will be financed through 40% equity and 60% debt, the EIB said.

Long-term debt will be co-financed equally by the EIB and the African Development Bank, and equity contributions split between three shareholders – the Government of Seychelles, Cable and Wireless Seychelles and Airtel. SCS executive Benjamin Choppy – who is also permanent secretary for ICT in the Seychelles – signed the deal with the EIB, which he called a key milestone for the project, and stressed that the cable will dramatically improve voice telephony and internet access in the Seychelles, with international transmission capacity predicted to be seven times cheaper than current prices. The EIB previously supported the EASSy project to connect 20 coastal and landlocked countries in East and Southern Africa using a high bandwidth undersea fibre-optic cable and terrestrial links.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:12:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 07, 2011

­TeliaSonera's subsidiary, the mobile operator EMT in Estonia, has created a world's first mobile identification service which makes it possible to vote via a mobile phone. The service enabled the citizens of Estonia to cast their vote to yesterday's parliamentary elections via their mobile phone - for the first time in the world.

TeliaSonera's subsidiary EMT has created a Mobile ID-service that enables verification of people's identity over the Internet, digital signature, and now casting votes electronically as well.

"It is a technological breakthrough that a mobile phone could be used for giving legally binding digital signature replacing handwritten signature on paper. We are very proud to be able to use this kind of innovative mobile service for voting in elections. Additionally all kind of other e-services can be used with the Mobile ID in Estonia", says Håkan Dahlström, President of Mobility Services."

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Monday, March 07, 2011 5:11:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |