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 Monday, April 18, 2011

Ukraine’s National Commission on Communications Regulation (NCCR) has given its approval to proposals from recently-privatised national PSTN operator Ukrtelecom to increase local fixed line subscriber fees by 35%. The move comes despite recent statements from the Prime Minister’s office that local fixed line fees should remain the same, at least in the short-term. The 35% increase will be implemented in two phases beginning on 1 May 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, April 18, 2011 1:53:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has completed compiling a register of all mobile phone users in the country, state-run newspaper The Herald writes. The confidential database was completed following the regulator’s order last year for all cellular network users to register their personal details or be disconnected in the interests of curbing criminal activity. The registration deadline was 28 February 2011.

The report says that by that date, state-owned cellco NetOne had registered 90% of its subscribers, whilst rival Telecel Zimbabwe had registered 80%, but market leader Econet Wireless only 60%. With Econet controlling over 60% of the wireless market, the reported figures give a combined average of around 70% registration, indicating that around 30% of the country’s approximately nine million activated mobile SIM cards will now be disconnected, leaving a market of an estimated 6.3 million subscribers, or roughly 54% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, April 18, 2011 1:51:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telkomsel, Telekomunikasi Indonesia's mobile unit  has reported nearly 100 million subscribers by the end of the first quarter compared to 95 million at the end of 2010.
According to Chief Executive Sarwoto Atmosutarno, they are optimistic they can reach their target of 115 million subscribers by the end of this year.

Source: Wireless Federation

Monday, April 18, 2011 1:49:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Following yesterday’s auction, Israel’s Communications Ministry has revealed that Mirs Communications and Marathon Investments have secured 3G licences. The two companies offered ILS705 million (USD206 million) and ILS710 million respectively, and are set to join Cellcom, Partner and Pelephone in the country's 3G mobile services market. Mirs already provides 2G services in Israel, and Marathon is controlled by Xfone, the parent of international calling company Xfone 018.

Golan Telecom, part-controlled by the founder of French telecoms groups Iliad, and Select Communications both dropped out of the bidding process. The move is the latest step by the watchdog as it tries to increase competition in the sector, and follows the issuing of licences for MVNOs, as well as ordering existing operators to cut interconnection fees by nearly 80%.

Source: TeleGeography

3G
Monday, April 18, 2011 1:48:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 13, 2011
MTN Irancell recorded revenue for the year 2010 up 42 percent, significantly ahead of subscriber growth of 28 percent to a base of 29.7 million. This was largely due to the 42 percent growth in airtime and subscription revenue and the 73 percent growth in SMS revenue, which were partly offset by lower connection revenue as a result of the lower prices charged on prepaid connections. Data revenue growth was high but not yet significant as a percentage of revenue because of content limitations. Reported ARPU was stable at USD 8, although local ARPU increased marginally as a result of improved network quality. The mobile operator estimates its market share increased to 44 percent in December 2010 from 40 percent the prior year, thanks to improved network coverage and quality, attractive seasonal promotions, the continued roll-out of electronic distribution channels and improved brand perception. MTN Irancell's EBITDA margin increased by 6.2 percentage points to 41.1 percent in 2010.
 
This was mainly because of cost efficiencies in maintenance and transmission emanating from renegotiated supplier contracts, as well as a change in the transmission leasing strategy. A reduction in prepaid dealer commissions and tighter control of marketing costs also contributed. Capex declined to 18 percent of revenue from 44 percent in the prior year, although MTN Irancell increased its population and geographic coverage to 77 percent and 20 percent respectively. MTN forecast continued strong subscriber growth in Iran this year, with estimated subscriber additions of 3.35 million, while capex will drop slightly to ZAR 1.32 billion.
 
Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:10:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The National Communications Authority (NCA) of Ghana says that around 85% of SIM cards in the country have now been registered with their respective network service provider. However, it went on the say that 2.5 million SIM cards were barred from making calls from the weekend and that those involved have until July to register them before their lines are completely disconnected.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:08:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On the back of its recent rebranding, Ethiopian monopoly telecoms provider Ethio-Telecom has announced the restructuring of tariffs for its mobile voice, mobile broadband and fixed line high speed services. With European telecoms giant France Telecom (FT) having taken over the management of the operator as part of a two-year contract with the Ethiopian government, Ethio-Telecom’s CEO Jean-Michel Latute said that the ultimate aim of introducing the new pricing structure for so many products was to ‘realise equitable access to all income groups, including the low income groups step by step, to allow them to benefit from modern services.’

For Ethio-Telecom’s residential mobile voice subscribers the company has revealed that it has removed regional zones for calls, and instead all calls will now be charged on a national basis, with both pre- and post-paid customers charged at ETB0.72 (USD0.04) per minute at peak hours (7am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday), while off-peak calls will be charged at ETB0.30 per minute. The rate will apply to both the operator’s 2G and 3G subscribers. Further, the cost of a new SIM card has been reduced, with customers wishing to sign up for a mobile service now to be charged ETB60 for the card, down from ETB80, which includes airtime worth ETB15. Replacements of lost or stolen SIM cards will, however, now cost customers more, with Ethio-Telecom increasing the charge from ETB15 to ETB45.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:06:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Portugal Telecom has announced that its subsidiary in East Timor, Timor Telecom (TT), has reached the 500,000 customer mark on its mobile network. The figure corresponds to around 50% of the country’s population. Since 2002 TT has invested around USD75 million in the modernisation of its network, as well as the launch of new services such as credit transfer and roaming, and the lowering of the cost of services including internet access, mobile voice and text messaging. At present the operator’s wireless network covers 86% of the population and coverage is expected to reach 92% by the end of the year. TT and its Portuguese parent have renewed their targets for 2012, which include achieving 95% mobile coverage, increasing the number of retail outlets by 20%, doubling internet download speeds to 1Mbps, and increasing internet penetration to 18%.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:02:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has confirmed that mobile number portability (MNP) was successfully implemented in the country on 1 April 2011, making Kenya the 63rd nation to allow mobile phone users to retain their existing phone numbers when changing service providers. The long-awaited introduction of MNP follows a series of extensive public consultations that took place between 2004 and 2008. In March 2010 Netherlands-based Porting Access was awarded a contract to supply, install, commission and manage the country’s MNP services; those wishing to switch operators while retaining their numbers will pay a one-off fee of KES199.80 (USD2.36). However, Airtel Kenya, the country's second largest cellco by subscribers, has declared its intention to waive the MNP fee for anyone porting their number to its network. Rene Meza, managing director of Airtel Kenya, commented: 'The successful rollout of MNP is a great boost for Kenya's image in the global arena as it confirms the country's status as a technologically savvy nation, especially in the developing world'. Bob Collymore, CEO of market leader Safaricom, commented: 'We are not afraid to lose customers. Other networks have always been after Safaricom subscribers anyway. It is good that consumers now have a choice, I think each network should be left to deal with MNP in its own way'.

CCK director general Charles Njoroge commented: 'The implementation of number portability is expected to deepen the level of competition in the mobile telecommunications market and enhance consumer choice. In the new dispensation, service providers who do not pay attention to quality and good customer service may find it hard to survive. The operators have carried out the necessary tests and we expect the services to kick off without major hitches. There might be a few teething problems at the beginning, but this should be sorted out within the shortest time possible'.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in November 2004 the CCK announced that MNP would be introduced on 1 July 2005. The deadline was later pushed back, and in 2007 MNP was postponed indefinitely after the operators complained about the high costs involved in setting up the system. In April 2010 the CCK announced that the country’s four cellcos – Safaricom, Airtel (then Zain), Orange and Essar – would be required to start offering MNP from July that year, a date which was subsequently put back a further six months, to 31 December. In December MNP was delayed once again, until 1 April 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:00:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British fixed line incumbent BT has said that it expects to extend the reach of its 20Mbps copper-based broadband network to approximately 80% of the United Kingdom by the end of 2011. With the operator’s ADSL2+ service, which is offered under the Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) banner, now available from 1,017 exchanges the telco claims some 15.5 million premises have access to high speed connections. Commenting on the development of the network, Cameron Rejali, BT Wholesale’s managing director for products, noted: ‘This announcement is further evidence of BT’s commitment to deliver next generation services across the UK. Running over BT’s 21st Century Network, WBC offers communications providers the ability to provide their broadband customers with greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds. It supports the growing demand for high-speed broadband access to a range of online services – including TV, gaming online and multiple voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services.’

BT Wholesale meanwhile has also announced that it has reached 1,000 live fibre Ethernet nodes in the UK, and alongside its claims that it operates the ‘largest customer-ready copper and fibre delivered network of Ethernet in the UK market’, it said that it plans to enhance the infrastructure further, with it aiming to reach 1,090 fibre nodes by the end of 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 7:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India ended February with 791.38 million mobile subscribers, growing by 2.62 percent from 771.18 million in January, according to figures from telecommunications regulator Trai. Bharti Airtel led the market with 158.99 million subscribers as the company added 3.20 million new customers in the month. Airtel was followed by Reliance with 132.18 million subscribers, up by 3.31 million new customers in the month, and Vodafone Essar was the third largest operator in terms of subscribers with 130.92 million customers. Essar gained 3.56 new subscribers.

BSNL ended February with 90.31 million subscribers as the company gained 1.49 million new customers and Tata Teleservices signed-up 1.60 million new subscribers in February to bring its total to 87.65 million. Idea Cellular ended February with 86.80 million subscribers as it added 2.51 million new customers in the month while Aircel/Dishnet added 1.67 million new customers in February to bring its customer base to 53.50 million. Uninor had 21.58 million subscribers in total after signing-up 1.27 million new customers and MTS India had 9.61 million customers as it gained 517,986 new subscribers in February. Videocon ended the month with 6.56 million subscribers as its gained 552,850 new customers, and MTNL grew its subscriber base by 22,532 new subscribers to reach a total of 5.45 million. Loop ended February with 3.08 million customers as it gained 17,161 new subscribers in the month. Stel had 2.69 million subscribers and signed up 177,685 new customers, while HFCL brought its customer base to 1.39 million with 103,647 new subscribers. Etisalat/Allianz ended February with 652,370 customers as it added 99,796 new subscribers to its base.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:13:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Finnish operator DNA has upgraded its entire fixed broadband network and will make available new broadband speeds on the acquired Welho network for nearly 1 million Finnish households in May. The maximum speed on the cable network will be 200 Mbps, while the entry-level connection will be 10 Mbps. At the same time, DNA's ADSL products will be updated. More than 900,000 Finnish households are covered by DNA's fully upgraded fixed broadband network, of which approximately two thirds are on the cable network. In conjunction with its new fixed broadband offerings, DNA will introduce a guarantee on speed and terms of service, enabling customers to obtain a fixed broadband connection without a fixed-term commitment.
 
As of May, the new products will be available at all locations covered by DNA's fixed network, namely the capital area and the Oulu, Pori, Lahti, Kuopio, Turku, Rauma and Lohja regions. Those interested in the new offer can submit their e-mail address at dna.fi/nopeat and they will be given more information on the update in May. Existing subscriptions will not be automatically updated to the new products, but if existing subscribers wish to do so, they may switch their existing subscription to a new one.
 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:04:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecommunications regulator ARPT's head of communications, Faical Madjahed has stated that there were 32,780,165 mobile phone users in Algeria at the end of 2010, 50,341 more than a year earlier.

He stated that despite a rise in customers, the country's mobile penetration rate fell to 90.3% in 2010 from 91.68% in 2009.Orascom Telecom Algeria (Djezzy) increased its mobile customer base to 15.09 million, for a 46 percent market share, versus 14.62 million at the end of 2009.

Algerie Telecom's Mobilis service saw its customers shrink to 9.45 million from 10.08 million, for a 28.8 percent market share.Finally, Wataniya Telecom Algeria (Nedjma), increased its user base to 8.25 million at the end of 2010 (25.2% share) from 8.03 million a year earlier.

According to the ARPT, monopoly fixed phone operator Algerie Telecom had slightly over 3 million fixed phone customers at the end of February 2011, 2.54 million with land lines and 533,300 on WLL. Madjahed added that there were an estimated 830,000 ADSL subscribers in the country at the end of February, for an around 10 percent penetration rate.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:57:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moroccan mobile operator Inwi has announced that it has reached the landmark of five million customers since launching GSM services in February 2010, which it claims gives it a market share of 13.5%, after winning subscribers from more established GSM providers Maroc Telecom and Meditel by beating both rivals on price. Inwi, which focuses on offering simple, transparent tariffs, is part of Wana, which leads the Moroccan 3G mobile broadband and fixed-wireless telephony markets by subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:55:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

National regulator the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) is promising to improve telecoms access in rural areas under the Ministry of Science and Technology’s ‘Equal Opportunity Trust Fund’, The Citizen daily quotes its deputy coastal zone manager Jumanne Ikuja as saying.

According to the TCRA official, the agency is exploring all angles to ensure that areas currently without access to services can receive them. ‘The authority continues to receive information and complaints from different areas regarding poor communication services … we are making analysis that will give us the way forward on all these problems,’ said Mr Ikuja. With companies tending to avoid big investment in areas of low or no chance of profitability, the TCRA is providing its equal opportunity trust fund to subsidise the cost of enabling such remote areas.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:53:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil closed out the month of February with 23.5 million registered 3G mobile devices, up 14.34% on the same time in 2010, according to data published by the regulator Anatel. Further, it said that in terms of overall mobile users, the country was home to more than 207.5 million SIMs at the same date – a cellular penetration rate of 106.9% – thanks to net gains of 2.43 million users in the month. Vivo had a 29.55% share of the mobile market at end-February, equivalent to 61.34 million accesses, down from 29.93% of users a year earlier.

Second-placed TIM Brasil ended February with a market share of 25.16% (up from 23.65%), while Telecom Americas (Claro) had 25.47% (25.50%). The country’s fourth largest player Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) saw its share shrink to 19.47% from 20.56% in February 2010.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:52:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, worldwide camera phone sales will exceed 1 billion units for the first time in 2011. The fastest growing segment will be the high-tier camera phone market with sensors of eight megapixels and above.

Neil Shah, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "We forecast worldwide camera phone sales to grow 21 percent from 918 million units in 2010 to 1114 million units in 2011. This year will be the first time annual volumes of camera phones have exceeded the 1-billion mark. Some 4.2 billion camera phones have been sold cumulatively worldwide since 2000 and they are one of the most successful mobile products ever developed."

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "The fastest growing segment of the camera phone market will be the high-tier. We forecast camera phones with sensors of eight megapixels and above to grow a healthy 240 percent worldwide during 2011. Smartphone vendors, such as Nokia and HTC, are increasingly loading their flagship models with more megapixels to deliver improved imaging quality for premium operator services like augmented reality."

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:50:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
­Value Added Services (VAS) currently represents a major portion of Argentinean operators' revenues (37%), and demonstrated that these services are increasing ARPU at a time when voice service usage is dropping worldwide.

Today Argentina already has approximately 52 million mobile service subscribers, generating around US$7 billion in revenue annually. Acision Mobile VAS Monitor (MAVAM) indicates that SMS is one of the most widely used services contributing to this revenue, with Argentineans sending an average of 270 SMS a month. 97% said they had used SMS in the last three months, with its use being stimulated by the adoption of Smartphones.

Around 16% of mobile subscribers used their phone to send and receive picture messages, during the last three months, a service that is growing as users use images to visualize communication. Another major finding in Argentina is that mobile marketing is received by 89% of users, with 33% of these users stating they receive marketing messages up to two or three times a week.

"In line with our MAVAM research for Brazil and Mexico, the findings from Argentina signify the growing importance of VAS in the region. MAVAM enables us to monitor and highlight which services are delivering high value revenue to the mobile operators and has demonstrated that messaging is still a killer app," said Rafael Steinhauser, Acision's president for Latin America. "Argentina is a growing economy, with a maturing mobile data market. The increasing adoption of VAS in the region represents a significant opportunity for operators to explore new ways to differentiate their services, increase ARPU and drive up profitability."

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:46:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to ABI Research's latest release of its "Mobile Subscriber Market Data" series of databases, the mobile industry concluded 2010 with 5.5 billion subscriptions. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for a whopping 53% (2.9 billion) of the total. One-third of this can be attributed to India's huge 2G market; another one-third to China.­As of December 2010, China had 860 million subscribers, although 3G subscriptions accounted for fewer than 50 million, or roughly 5.5%.

"While there are wide differentials in disposable income, it is still surprising how slow China's 3G rate of growth has been," comments ABI Research practice director Neil Strother. "Literacy rates are high, familiarity with the Internet is also high through PC use in extended families as well as ubiquitous Internet cafes. And yet, 3G adoption has been muted." At the end of 2010, China Mobile's TD-SCDMA subscriber base stood at more than 20 million, China Unicom's WCDMA had 14 million subscribers, while China Telecom had more than 12 million CDMA subscribers.

"3G is generally still viewed as a luxury service in China," notes research associate Fei Feng Seet. "China Unicom reported its 2010 Arpu for WCDMA subscription at US$18.75 per month, which is three times the US$6 monthly ARPU for GSM." Despite the launch of 3G networks, mobile consumers have not jumped into upgrading their subscriptions immediately as rapidly as in other markets. In fact over the past year, 2G has gained about 80 million subscribers. Demand for 3G data services should pick up in the next two years as prices drop and more consumers require mobile data. 3G is forecast to reach 36% of China's subscribers by 2016. It is unclear whether all the operators will be issued TD-LTE 4G licenses or whether the FDD version of LTE will also be an option in 2014.

Source: Cellular News

3G | Revenues
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:33:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile number portability has kicked off in Kenya, enabling phone subscribers to retain their numbers whenever they opt to change service providers. Communications Commission of Kenya Director-General Charles Njoroge said in a statement the implementation of number portability is expected to deepen the level of competition in the mobile market and enhance consumer choice. Njoroge says introduction of number portability will result in improvement in the quality of service as mobile operators fight it out to retain and attract subscribers in their network. All subscribers wishing to port their numbers will be expected to fill in the Mobile Number Portability Form at the retail shop of the mobile operator they intend to switch to and present original identification documents for verification.
 
For company lines, an official letter from the organization, duly signed by the relevant authority, will be required. Subscribers will also pay a porting fee of KES 200 and will be issued with a new SIM card and will continue to use the services of their current operator until the automated porting process is complete. To start the automated porting process subscribers will need to send the word PORT or HAMA to 1501 using their existing SIM card. The subscriber will then receive an SMS from PORTING with the following information: Thank you for your SMS. Your porting request is being processed. When the automated switching process is complete, one will receive, within a few minutes (but not longer than 48 hours), an SMS from PORTING saying: This Account will be closed soon.
 
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:31:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The total number of mobile phones in Senegal reached 8.34 million at the end of 2010, thanks to net additions of 515,967 in the fourth quarter, according to data published by the regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP). Orange Senegal added a net 390,000 new subscribers in the last quarter of 2010 for a total of 5.09 million, handing it a market share of around 61%. Second-placed Tigo Senegal’s base dipped to 2.36 million from 2.42 million (or 28.2% of the market), while third player Sudatel Telecom (Expresso) increased its users to 898,113 (10.8% share). The net gains from the incumbents pushed cellular penetration in the country to 68.55%, far eclipsing fixed line teledensity which stood at 2.81%, or 341,857 main lines in service, up from 278,788 at 31 December 2009. The total number of internet subscriptions was 86,964 at end-2010, up 27,219 on the end of 2009, of which 89.2% were on an ADSL connection.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:30:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s Telecom Commission, the apex decision-making body of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is expected to approve the proposed national broadband policy within the ‘next few weeks’, following which it will be forwarded to the Union Council of Ministers of India for approval. According to India’s Economic Times, the policy will enable the creation of broadband networks costing up to INR600 billion (USD13.2 billion) which will facilitate high speed data services and e-governance across the country. Communications minister Kapil Sibal meanwhile reportedly met with a number of operators this week to discuss the proposals.

As part of the proposals, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the creation of a national broadband network with a view to achieving 160 million broadband connections in India by 2014. The TRAI claimed that its proposed 'National Broadband Plan' should be financed through the universal service obligation fund (USOF) and loans given by the government. The regulator’s recommendations followed the government’s failure to achieve its self-imposed target of 20 million broadband subscribers by 2010, with there being just over half that number, around 10.3 million, at that date. Further, under the plans the proposed fibre-optic network will be classified as a national resource, and as such is expected to be available with equal terms offered to all operators wishing to provide broadband services. In establishing the infrastructure the National Optical Fibre Agency (NOFA) will be created to oversee the network, with the new body to be 100% owned by the Central Government. NOFA, it is understood, will also establish networks in all 63 cities covered under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM, a massive city modernisation scheme launched by the Indian government in 2005), while state agencies will roll out networks and backhaul in all other urban regions, in addition to rural areas. A State Optical Fibre Agency (SOFA) meanwhile is expected to be formed in every state, with NOFA acting as the holding company with 51% equity, and the remaining 49% held by the respective state government.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:17:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russia-based telecoms group Vimpelcom has announced revenues of USD10.5 billion for the twelve months ended 31 December 2010. This figure represents an increase of 20.8% on 2009. Net income for the same period was USD1.7 billion, a rise of 4.5% year-on-year, while adjusted OIBDA was up 15.4% to USD4.9 billion. CAPEX for FY10 was reported as USD2.2 billion, or 19.2% of revenues. Alongside improved economic conditions in its markets, Vimpelcom credits growth to its consolidation of Kyvistar in Ukraine; the long-running deal, which saw Telenor and Altimo merge their respective 56.5% and 43.5% stakes in Kyivstar into the Vimpelcom group was finally approved by Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee (AMCU) in October 2010.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:15:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The government of Qatar has established the Qatar National Broadband Network Company (Q.NBN) with the aim of deploying passive infrastructure to accelerate the rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) access for consumers and businesses across the country, the secretary general of telecoms regulator ictQATAR, Hessa Al-Jaber, announced. The state-led Q.NBN project is being developed in partnership with incumbent Qatar Telecom and second national operator licensee Vodafone Qatar, aiming to cover 95% of the population with FTTH by 2015.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:27:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Brazil ended February 2011 with over 207.5 million mobile phone subscribers, according to data released by Anatel. Prepaid phones accounted for 82.23 percent (170.7 million), while the remaining 17.77 percent were postpaid (36.9 million). Last month, 17 Brazilian states surpassed the mark of more than one mobile phone per capita. In February, the national mobile penetration rate stood at 106.91. The net addition of 2.43 million new phones in February represented a growth of 1.18 percent compared to January. Totalling January and February figures, there were 4.6 million new additions in 2011, a growth of 2.28 percent compared to 2010. Also last month, mobile broadband terminals (3G) totaled 23.5 million, up 14.34 percent year-on- year. The market shares of Brazilian mobile operators Vivo, Claro and Oi dropped in February year-on-year, while TIM Brasil advanced, according to Anatel. Vivo ended the month with a 29.55 percent share of the mobile market, equivalent to 61.34 million accesses. A year earlier, its share was 29.93 percent while in January it was 29.65 percent. TIM ended February with a share of 25.16 percent, while Claro had 25.47 percent. A year ago, TIM had a 23.65 percent share and Claro 25.50 percent. Fourth in the ranking, Oi saw its share shrink from 20.56 percent in February 2010 to 19.47 percent last month.


Source: Telecom Paper

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:26:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Although smartphones get all the attention, many consumers still continue to purchase less-expensive feature phones. In 2010, feature phones comprised over 75% of the handset market. Consumers purchase feature phones for a variety of reasons including the need for a device that is optimized for a specific application, such as messaging.

"A messaging phone is a feature phone that has been enhanced for messaging services including SMS, MMS, mobile email, and mobile IM. These devices have a QWERTY keyboard and other capabilities at a price that is usually more affordable than a smartphone," says ABI Research senior analyst Victoria Fodale. "Mobile phones for messaging will encompass an increasing percentage of feature phone shipments, growing to almost a third of the category by 2015."

Practice director Kevin Burden adds, "Mobile phones optimized for messaging are targeted to specific markets including consumers in developing regions who need affordable solutions for messaging and mobile Internet services."

"In the developing regions of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, access to mobile broadband often outstrips fixed-line broadband access," says Fodale. "For many users in those regions, their only Internet experience may be via a mobile phone."

Extending the mobile Internet to feature phone users where connectivity is costly and slow is a growing trend. Recently Facebook launched a mobile app to extend its reach to feature phones. The Facebook for Feature Phones app works on more than 2,500 mobile devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other OEMs. The app was built in cooperation with Snaptu, a London-based company that provides a free mobile application platform.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:22:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Middle East submarine cable operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has announced the landing of its international fibre-optic GBI system in Qatar. Vodafone Qatar has set up a cable landing station north of Doha to link the country to the new high-capacity undersea network, which will add voice/data capacity and redundancy between all Gulf states and provide onward connectivity to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:18:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Orange Jordan says that its 3G subscriber base has reached 300,000 customers and it expects to triple the number by the end of this year, despite the breaking of its 3G monopoly last month by Zain. Jordan Telecom Group (JTG) Chief Executive Officer Nayla Khawam told local media that the mobile network operator will shortly start expanding coverage of the 3G services to cover all populated areas in the Kingdom.

Orange launched its 3G services in March last year, while Zain launched its services this month after building out its network over the past year.

"By the end of 2011, we expect the number of 3G services users on our network to hit one million, especially after we provided high speed broadband internet in the market," Khawam said. "As times passes people will become more aware of the 3G service, which is an important turning point in making visual phone calls, sending and receiving multimedia messages, providing fast and efficient wireless Internet connection, in addition to providing better audio coverage," she said.

According to the Mobile World analysts, the mobile network ended last year with 2.15 million customers, so the 3G base is roughly 14% of the total.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:18:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Portuguese regulatory authority Autoridade Nacional de Comunicacoes (ANACOM) has announced that the country ended 2010 with a total of 2.075 million broadband subscribers, up 11.3% from 2.022 million a year earlier. In terms of access technology, ADSL continues to provide the lion’s share of connections, with 1,069,489 at end-2010, equivalent to 51.5% of the broadband market. In contrast, cable services now account for 852,302 connections (41.1%), up 13.6% year-on-year. The remaining 7.4% of subscribers (153,551) were made up by fixed wireless access (FWA, including WiMAX) and fibre-optic (FTTx) customer accounts. Of these ‘others’ ANACOM claims that fibre-to-the-home/building (FTTH/FTTB) has witnessed the biggest surge, and now accounts for around 130,000 connections. During 2010 triple-play (fixed voice telephony, broadband, television) subscriptions increased by 52.2% to 169,599, with the increasing prominence of FTTx and cable infrastructure spearheading growth.

Although 51 companies were authorised to provide fixed internet access services during 2010, only 35 were actually in operation. During 2010 Portugal Telecom’s (PT's) wireline retail division Portugal Telecom Comunicacoes (PTC) remained the country's leading ADSL provider, with a 46.8% share of the fixed broadband market. Former PT subsidiary Zon Multimedia heads the list of cable-based operators, claiming a 33.0% market share at the same date.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:16:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 18, 2011

­The European Commission says that it has decided to refer France and Spain to the EU's Court of Justice because they continue to impose specific charges on the turnover of telecoms operators in breach of EU law. The charges in France and Spain were introduced to compensate for the loss of revenue from paid advertising on public TV channels.The Commission considers the 'telecoms taxes' in France and Spain to be incompatible with EU telecoms rules, which require specific charges on telecoms operators to be directly related to covering the costs of regulating the telecoms sector. The Commission requested the French and Spanish authorities in October 2010 to put an end to these 'telecoms taxes, but they are still in place.

France

The French charge on telecoms operators was introduced in March 2009 after the decision was taken by the French Government to end paid advertising on public TV channels. This charge is imposed on telecoms operators authorised to provide services in France. They pay 0.9% of their total revenues exceeding EUR5 million received from subscribers. The annual revenue from the new charge, which has been paid to the French Treasury, is estimated at EUR400 million. Operators that are subject to the tax having been paying it in monthly instalments since its introduction.

Spain

A law on financing the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE entered into force in September 2009 and imposed a charge of 0.9% on the gross revenues of telecoms operators to make up for the loss of revenue from paid advertising this broadcaster. In October 2010, telecoms operators made the first payments to CMT, the national telecoms regulator. The charge was expected to generate revenue of around EUR230 million in 2010.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, March 18, 2011 12:21:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fitch Ratings has announced that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) disclosure since December 2010 of the number of active wireless subscribers based on a visitor location register (VLR) provides a clearer view on subscriber market share and other key operating indicators such as average revenue per user (ARPU).

In particular, Fitch noted that the information diverges from the key data previously reported by revealing that market share for operators may have been distorted by the inclusion of non-active customers in the subscriber count. The data further revealed that the ARPUs of some telcos which have a lower active subscriber base are much higher than reported ARPUs figures.

The VLR is a point-in-time database of active subscribers in a particular cell site. The total VLR count for an operator represents the sum of all active users across all of its cell sites at any given point-in-time. As any one subscriber cannot be present in more than one VLR, this measure provides a more accurate representation of an operator’s total subscriber count.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation
Friday, March 18, 2011 12:15:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTC has revealed that it ended 2010 with a total 1.53 million active customers, an increase from 1.28 million compared to the previous year.

According to the company, revenues for the year were little changed due to the cuts in termination rates, while EBITDA improved to $785.8 million from $748 million in 2009.Capex increased from $260 million to $410 million, almost half of which went to 3G network roll-out. The 3G investment helped data revenues grow 50% over the year, to 7.6% of total revenues by September 2010. Capex was higher than net profit for the year and a record for the company since its start.

MTC added that it was opposed to the regulator’s latest policy to cap off-net retail voice prices, stating that this is unprecedented for a regulator to intervene on retail prices. However, the company is positive on the country’s new communications law, which should allow it to gain a technology and service-neutral licence.

Source: Wireless Federation

Friday, March 18, 2011 12:11:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New data from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Pay-TV Research service reveals that more than 40 telecos launched IPTV in 2010, bringing the number of IPTV services to more than 200. The number of IPTV subscribers globally grew 38% in 2010, reaching 45 million. Subscribers grew 9% in Q4, a slight increase from growth rates experienced in the previous three quarters.

Western Europe remains the largest IPTV market, accounting for 40% of global subscribers in 2010. The Asia Pacific region is the second largest IPTV market, accounting for 35% of subscribers. However, the number of IPTV subscribers in the Asia-Pac region is growing more than twice as rapidly as in Western Europe and will take the top slot before the end of 2011. France remains the leading country for IPTV (23% of the global total), followed by China (16%), the US (16%), South Korea (8%) and Japan (4%).

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Friday, March 18, 2011 12:08:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government statistics bureau of Argentina, Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos (INDEC), has reported that the country ended 2010 with a total of 5.22 million broadband subscribers, up from 4.26 million a year earlier. In terms of technology, xDSL made up the lion’s share of total connections (2.9 million, or 56%), followed by wireless, satellite and other connections (1.35 million, or 26%) and cable technology (962,354, or 18%).

Residential connections numbered 4.51 million at 31 December 2010 total, compared to 3.65 million twelve months previously, while corporate connections accounted for the remaining 715,955 (end-2009: 607,523). Meanwhile, INDEC reported a total of 132,965 dial-up connections, of which 115,740 were residential subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 18, 2011 11:59:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Latin America will pass the milestone of 100% mobile penetration by the end of 1Q11, according to the latest figures from Informa Telecoms & Media. However, despite this figure, there are still 178 million people in the region without mobile services, which represents 30% of its population.

Brazil, the largest and most important mobile market in South America, had already passed the milestones of 100% penetration and 200 million subscriptions by the end of 2010. With 105% penetration at the end of December, Brazil is now the sixth-largest market globally with 206 million subscriptions and the seventh-largest by revenues.

"Passing 100% penetration is a huge milestone for the mobile industry, but it's important to note that it does not mean that everyone in Latin America has a mobile phone" ,says Daniele Tricarico, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media."Our research finds mobile penetration rates of 120% and higher in some urban areas where users have multiple subscriptions, but in rural areas mobile penetration rates can fall to 60% or lower, partly due to a lack of network coverage. So, while the industry should celebrate breaking the 100% penetration barrier for the region as a whole, it should continue expanding coverage and innovating to make mobile services more accessible for all those who are not currently mobile subscribers."

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, March 18, 2011 11:56:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UK cableco Virgin Media has announced that its 100Mbps superfast broadband service is now available to more than one million households across the country. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2010 Virgin inaugurated the faster speeds at four sites across the country, and the following month revealed that coverage had expanded to some 150,000 households. The operator meanwhile has also said that it remains on track to achieve its aim of having the higher speeds accessible to all 13 million premises that are able to access its services by mid-2012.

Commenting on the development Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media said: ‘Reaching the one million home milestone is a hugely important step in ensuring consumers are able to keep up with the latest developments in this digitally connected world. We had more than 10,000 registrations on the first day we unveiled 100Mbps so there is real desire for better broadband and all the wonderful things you can do with a fast connection.’

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, March 18, 2011 11:50:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Iraq hopes to raise around USD2 billion from the auction of the country’s fourth mobile phone operator licence, expected to take place by the end of the year, Gulf Daily News reports, citing Iraq’s communications minister, Mohammed Allawi. Plans for the licence tender received final cabinet approval in May 2010, by which time 15 firms had expressed an interest in entering bids, including US-based Verizon Communications, South Africa's MTN, Turkcell of Turkey and the UAE's Etisalat. The minister has proposed that 40% of the shares in the licence be allocated to a privately-owned operator, while 35% will go to the public and 25% to the Ministry of Communications (MoC).


According to Allawi, Iraq has allocated USD500 million to spend on upgrading outdated and damaged infrastructure after decades of war and economic sanctions. The government also aims to boost fixed line phone penetration and internet reach to 25% within five years. The funds include 37% of last year's unspent budget allocation. Allawi said completing a fibre-optic network to connect Iraq to the rest of the world would be one of the MoC’s main aims for this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:51:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Japan ended February with a total of 118.23 million mobile users, after the operators jointly added 650,800 new customers in the month. Softbank again led in subscriber additions as it gained 270,100 new customers, bringing its total customer base to 24.91 million, figures from the Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA) show.
 
NTT Docomo added 182,900 new customers in February to reach a total of 57.53 million and KDDI attracted 143,000 new subscribers to bring its total to 32.73 million. Emobile gained 54,800 new customers and ended February with a total of 3.06 million subscribers. Furthermore, Wimax services provider UQ Communications gained 75,300 new customers in the month to bring its total to 675,600 subscribers. PHS provider Willcom turned around months of customer losses and signed up 29,600 new customers, which brings the company's total to 3.68 million.
 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:50:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Though India's wireless subscriber base continues to grow unabated, data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) shows that only 71 percent of the subscriber base was active in January 2011. The number of mobile subscribers in India increased by nearly 19 million, or 2.52 percent, in the month to January 31, 2011, taking the number of mobile lines to 771.18 million, according to TRAI. However, the number of active mobile subscribers according to Visitor Location Register (VLR) data in the month of January was only 548.66 million, leaving 222.52 million lines, nearly 29 percent of the total, deemed to be inactive.

VLR numbers provide details on active customers at any given point of time (essentially the number of SIM cards registered, less the number of lines not yet activated, out of coverage, or disconnected). What this essentially shows is that there are a lot of pre-paid numbers that have been activated but used only for a certain time, after which the user likely activates a new number either with the same service provider or a rival. During January, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) added 3.3 million new mobile lines to take its total to 155.8 million (giving it a 20.2 percent share of the mobile market), while Reliance Communications Ltd. added 3.2 million to take its total to 128.9 million (16.7 percent market share).

Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. is the only operator that recorded a reduction in its subscriber base during January. Videocon saw its user base fall from 7.3 million in December 2010 to 6.0 million by the end of January, with the fall believed to be the result of subscriber churn following the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) services. (See India's Operators Scrap Over MNP Spoils and MNP, Finally!.) Bharti Airtel continues to lead the way across the board in India's mobile market. Not only is it the leading operator by the number of users and the number of lines added in the past month, but it also has the highest percentage of active connections (again based on the VLR data), with 92.63 percent. Next is Idea Cellular Ltd. , which has 90.34 percent active lines. Etisalat has the lowest percentage of active lines, with just 33.55 percent.

Source: Light Reading

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:48:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Austrian mobile network operators A1 Telekom Austria, T-Mobile Austria, Orange Austria and Hutchison 3G Austria have signed a voluntary code of practice to provide customers with improved measures for controlling mobile internet data usage. The core of this code will see the operators allow customers to view what data they have consumed through a web interface.

They have also pledged to inform customers via text when they have reached 70-80 percent of their inclusive data allowance, plus another text when they have used all of this allowance. As an alternative, operators have also agreed to send warning texts to customers when they reach a specific value for mobile data usage. Following the signing of this voluntary code, 3 Austria announced the introduction of an automatic SMS warning service. Available with immediate effect for all customers without a data flat-rate included in their tariff, the service will send a warning text message when their data consumption reaches EUR 60.

Source: Telecom Paper

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:42:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The fourth quarter of 2010 saw a net increase of 196 million mobile subscribers across the world, beating the previous record of just under 190 million new subscribers set in Q4 2007. It is typical to see a substantial uptick in subscriber growth during the final three months of a year, but the size of this figure provides a pleasant boost to the wireless industry, whose growth had been somewhat constrained by the global recession. In aggregate, mobile subscribers grew by almost 690 million globally in 2010, to over 5.3 billion.

India was one of the main drivers of the record quarterly increase; even by its outsized standards of growth, the final quarter of the year was exceptional. India's mobile operators added 63 million subscribers in the three-month period – a number which exceeds the total subscriber count in either France, Spain, or South Korea. China was once again the country with the second largest subscriber increase, but the number of mobile subscribers in India is rapidly catching up with China. While mobile subscribers in India grew by 42% in 2010, China's mobile base grew by just 14%, and there is now just a 90 million gap between the two countries.

The next highest ranked countries for subscriber growth in the fourth quarter were Brazil, Indonesia, The United Sates, Nigeria, and Egypt. While Asia and other rapidly developing economies continue to drive wireless subscriber growth, the end of 2010 also saw trend-beating growth in some mature markets – including Germany, France and Mexico. 'This was a stand-out quarter for the industry,' said TeleGeography’s Mark Gibson. 'While the overall growth rate is declining as more wireless markets edge closer to maturity, the increase of almost 200 million subscribers in one quarter suggests that plenty of exciting business development opportunities remain. We project that the number of global wireless subscribers will top seven billion at the end of 2014.'

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:40:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The UK's Office of National Statistics has announced that it will start monitoring the prices of smartphones and smartphone applications sold through Apps Stores as part of its "shopping basket" for working out the national inflation rate.

The addition of phone Apps replaces ringtones and wallpapers which have been dropped as their popularity faded.The ONS shopping basket is aimed at being a representative sample of an average household purchases and used to calculate the monthly inflation rate.

Commenting, ONS statistician Phil Gooding said: "Many of these new items show the way technology is changing our lives. Powerful smart phones and the applications that run on them have become essential for many when communicating or seeking information. Likewise, increasing numbers of people now seek a partner via internet dating sites."

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:38:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

2010 saw considerable growth in the mobile applications market, and more competition is expected in 2011. Despite more proactive involvement in app store development from other platform providers, Apple's iTunes is still the market leader after having such a successful head start. ­According to ABI Research's estimates, the iPhone interface had notched up more than 5.6 billion accumulated downloads by the end of 2010, compared to nearly 7.9 billion total downloads from all stores during that year. However, Apple is set to face more intensive competition in 2011.

"The iTunes App Store only targets Ios users; that leaves more room for other platform application stores to step up and focus on 'non-Apple' clientele," comments research associate Fei Feng Seet. "Android smartphone quarterly shipments now exceed Apple's. There is still a long way to go, but accumulated downloads from both Android Market and third-party platforms surpassed 1.9 billion by the end of 2010. Android Market currently features more than 130,000 Apps in 48 countries, nearly half of iTunes App Store's catalog.

"RIM has also been making a conscious effort to increase BlackBerry's footprint in the mobile apps market, as seen in its recent aggressive expansion to over 100 markets, and developer conferences it has held in United States and Indonesia," adds Seet. ABI Research estimates that accumulated BlackBerry app downloads totaled more than 1 billion as of December 2010.

ABI Research's mobile marketing practice director, Neil Strother adds, "More mobile network operators are also considering entry into the mobile application market; India's Idea Cellular, for example, just launched its Online Application Store shortly in advance of its 3G network launch." Multi-platform-supported app store GetJar has just raised $25 million for further expansion in a recent announcement, and plans to secure its position as the premier open-source app store."

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:05:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Dutch digital TV market will grow to over 6 million subscribers in 2011, according to market researcher Telecompaper. In 2010, the market grew 15 percent to 5.44 million subscribers at year-end. In the fourth quarter alone, the market added a net 177,200 new digital TV subscribers, taking digital TV's share of the entire TV market to 67.8 percent.

Overall, TV subscriptions in the Netherlands increased to 8.03 million at the end of 2010. Cable accounted for 55.3 percent of digital TV connections, followed by satellite with 17.3 percent (down 0.9%), terrestrial with 16.5 percent (down 0.6%) and IPTV with 9.1 percent, up 0.7 percent during the fourth quarter. FTTH had 1.8 percent of the digital TV market. Cable operator Ziggo was the largest digital TV provider with a market share of 33.2 percent at year-end. KPN came second with 22 percent of the market, followed by cable operator UPC with 16.4 percent and satellite TV provider CanalDigitaal with 15.1 percent.

Source: Telecom Paper

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:01:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to TechCentral i3 Africa, a new company backed by the National Empowerment Fund, has announced plans to build a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network connecting up to 2.5 million homes within the next four to five years. The network, which is set to be built in six cities — Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Pretoria — promises to provide customers with minimum connection speeds of 100Mbps. The network will operate on an 'open-access' principle, allowing third-party internet service providers (ISPs) to sell services to consumers; i3 Africa will not sell services directly to customers.

CEO Cornelius Groesbeek told TechCentral that the company will spend between ZAR5 billion (USD725.4 million) and ZAR6 billion on the network — approximately one-third of the cost usually associated with a FTTH rollout. i3 Africa plans to make savings by utilising metropolitan sewerage and water networks, negating the need for expensive civil works. i3 Africa has selected Durban to house a pilot network, and work on a 100km stretch is already underway. Upon completion, the Durban leg will consist of 2,500km worth of access fibre and a further 7,500km of FTTH/FTTB. Groesbeek commented: 'We’ve decided to focus first on Durban, which has a history of being an early adopter of innovative technologies, but we are engaging with everyone. We will have all that done during 2012, and sometime next year we will start on the core network in a second city'. A commercial rollout is planned from mid-2011.

Click here to see full article
Source: TeleGeography
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:56:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet-related products and services accounted for 25 percent of France's GDP growth last year, according to a new McKinsey study paid for by Google.
Sectors such as e-commerce, IT equipment and software, internet access services and VoIP represented 3.7 percent of France's 2010 GDP. The internet has created 700,000 direct jobs over the last 15 years in France and is projected to create another 450,000 by 2015.
 
The study also found that companies which make most use of internet tools are growing and exporting twice as fast as others. McKinsey forecasts that internet-created value in the country's economy could hit EUR 160 billion over the next 4 years if France adopts successful international models or decides to make an even greater public investment.
 
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:50:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |