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 Thursday, June 09, 2011

Indian mobile network operator Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which offers services under the MTS India banner, has announced that it has extended coverage of its CDMA 1xEV-DO-based mobile broadband service ‘MBlaze’ to the Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles.

The operator said it had set aside around INR250 million (USD5.5 million) for the rollout of the service across the two regions, where it said customers would be able to sign up for the new offers at one of its 5,000 retail outlets or 50 flagship stores. Arvind Kumar, SSTL’s chief operating officer for the UP East and UP West circles, said of the development: ‘We are excited to launch our high speed mobile broadband service in UP East and UP West. Customers in these circles would now be able to enjoy the unmatched MBlaze experience coupled with attractive tariffs and innovative offerings.

Going forward, we also plan to launch our voice and data post-paid services by June 2011 across the two circles.’ The company also noted that with this latest expansion of its mobile broadband footprint it now offered MBlaze in more than 150 towns across India, with more than 600,000 customers having signed up for the service since it was first introduced in October 2009 in Delhi.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:42:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Angola’s vice minister for telecommunications, Aristides Safeca, has said that almost two million people in the country are accessing the internet on their mobile phones, reports AllAfrica. Safeca, speaking on the sidelines of the Angolan Forum on Telecommunications and Information Technologies, said that many of the mobile internet users – representing nearly 20% of the approximately ten million cellular phone customers in Angola – had eschewed available fixed line network services, and that the government is working towards improving the quality of service for fixed internet users.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:38:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Since its launch back in December 2008, North Korea's koryolink has been focusing on maximizing the size of its subscriber base. ­It's majority shareholder, Orascom Telecom said that in Q1 2011, koryolink has successfully reached and crossed the half million subscriber mark closing the quarter with an ending base of over 535,000 subscribers.

Throughout the first quarter, koryolink continued to focus its efforts on two main areas; boosting subscriber growth and maximizing foreign currency revenues. The company said that this was done using a three-pronged approach which involved offering innovative products and services to the market, maintaining a strong sales presence across major cities and expanding network coverage to cover a larger percentage of the Korean population.

In February 2011, koryolink introduced an innovative offering targeting all Korean customers called the "Euro Packs". The "Euro Packs" are basically recharge cards that subscribers can buy in Euros and in return, such scratch cards offer them free voice & VAS in the off-peak period. The main objective behind launching such an offering was to boost koryolink's Euro revenue. The "Euro Packs" sales trend has seen a steady increase since launch which proves the right compatibility and wide acceptance of the offering in the Korean market. In January 2011, and for the first time in the DPRK, koryolink offered MMS to its subscribers. This represented the latest addition to koryolink's VAS portfolio. The service was received positively from subscribers and continues to exhibit a healthy growth rate to date.

In its efforts to better serve existing subscribers and reach out to potential customers, koryolink has maintained a wide distribution network consisting of 18 shops inside the capital Pyongyang and 8 shops covering eight main cities in the DPRK through an agreement with KPTC. Through such distribution network koryolink provides a variety of services such as selling new lines, selling airtime, providing information to subscribers, etc. Koryolink's network currently consists of 341 base stations covering the capital Pyongyang, 14 main cities as well as 72 smaller cities. The network coverage also extends over 22 highways. As of the end of Q1 2011, koryolink's network covers 13.6% of the DPRK's territory and 92% of its population.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:33:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Pakistan's Telecommunication Authority (PTA) says that it has ordered the blocking of 3.5 million SIM cards that had not been  re-registered by their users with the mobile networks.

To cope with the order, the operators are being allowed to block accounts in batches of up to 875,000 SIM cards per week until they have blocked all the accounts that had not complied with an order to re-verify their ownership details with the networks.

Although identity is needed to buy a SIM card, the regulator ordered a re-verification process for all accounts after it said too many had wrong details or information that was out of date.The blocked SIM cards will however be able to make a call to a single number, 789 to verify the users details with the mobile networks and get their service restored.The 789 system is an automated real time verification system where a customer has to verify his details through NADRA's database by answering mandatory secret questions i.e. mother's name and place of birth so as to re-activate the SIM.

Users have one week from being blocked to re-verify their details, after which the SIM card will be completely disabled.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:28:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2011

In North America, Netflix is now 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of internet traffic overall, according to a study by broadband equipment provider Sandvine. Currently, real-time entertainment applications consume 49.2 percent of peak aggregate traffic, up from 29.5 percent in 2009, a 60 percent increase.

Sandvine forecasts that the real-time entertainment category will represent 55-60 percent of peak aggregate traffic by the end of this year. In Latin America, social networking (overwhelmingly Facebook) is a bigger source of traffic than YouTube, representing almost 14 percent of network traffic. Real-time entertainment represents 27.5 percent of peak aggregate traffic, still the largest contributor of traffic in that region. In Europe, real-time entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2 percent of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9 percent last fall. BitTorrent is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7 percent) and downstream (21.6 percent) internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6 percent of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localised content in many markets.

Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, May 19, 2011 10:43:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
With overall 2010 broadband penetration at 11 million subscribers who are mostly using DSL, there is a growth opportunity for the broadband wireless sector in India, according to a study by Maravedis. The 3G subscriber base in India will reach 41 million by the end of this year. Bharti Airtel is expected to lead the market in terms of the number of 3G subscribers.
 
3G players have moved ahead with their rollouts while BWA licence holders are lagging behind evaluating various technologies such as Wimax and TD-LTE. India represents a USD 4 billion capex opportunity for TD-LTE by 2016. The TD-LTE subscriber base in India will reach 2.25 million by the end of 2012, and by 21 million by the end of 2016. By the end of this year, 3G-enabled handsets will dominate the device category with an 80 percent market share.
 
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:23:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
African mobile operator Vodacom Group said its subscriber base grew by 9 percent as of 31 March to 43.5 million, driven by new offers which delivered more value to customers. The company said its group revenue went up by 6.4 percent and headline earnings per share rose by 28.6 percent to ZAR 0.656 per share. Group data revenue increased 35.5 percent to ZAR 6 4 billion.
 
Group CEO Pieter Uys lauded the team for the financial and operational results, delivered in an environment of mobile termination rate reductions, price reductions and inflationary cost pressure. This, he said, had been achieved through a sharp focus on the customer experience, investment in the networks and delivering on ZAR 500 million cost efficiency programme. The resulting 51 percent increase in total shareholder returns is really pleasing. Uys said the decision they took some years ago to lead the industry on mobile data is bearing fruit. The combination of considerable investment in new base stations and taking charge of own transmission has put the firm in an enviable position.
 
The new dual-carrier technology that they are rolling out across the network has both speed and capacity benefits and will support continued growth in the data business, Uys said.
 
Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:21:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Orange Austria has introduced a new tariff structure called Supernet. All Supernet tariffs include unlimited mobile data use. Supernet is available in five variaties: Supernet 300, 2000, 3000 Young, 4000 and 6000. The number in the tariff name stands for included minutes and SMSs which can be used within Austria and the tariffs cost EUR 9, EUR 15, EUR 15, EUR 25 and EUR 40 per month respectively. Supernet 2000, 3000 Young, 4000 and 6000 include 1 GB, 2 GB, 2 GB and 4 GB data use at the highest speed available after which the data download speeds are dropped to GPRS level until a new month begins.
 
Minutes and SMS used on top of the included units are charged at EUR 0.10 per message or minute. The tariffs are directly available for new customers or existing customers extending their contracts, while existing customers with an ongoing contract will be offered to change to the new tariffs in July of this year, according to Orange Austria CEO Michael Krammer in an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presse at the launch press conference. Krammer also said 80 percent of new Orange Austria customers also purchased a smartphone during this year and that Austria has the highest iPhone penetration of Europe, 50 percent more than Android. He cites a European-wide network study by ARCchart which claims that Finland has the highest Android smartphone penetration as well as the highest smartphone penetration.
 
The Netherlands is second with smartphone penetration followed by Austria. Krammer would not comment on Orange Austria's quarterly figures, but said that the revenues dropped slightly while the EBITDA is stable and customer base is growing slightly with a stable ARPU of EUR 29 per month.

Source: TelecomPaper

Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:19:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Russian mobile network operator, MegaFon has reported that its customer base shrank slightly during the first three months of this year to 57.12 million - a drop of 0.3% compared to the end of last year.However, consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2011 grew by 18% to RUR 55.2 billion (US$1.97 billion), although net income for the first quarter of 2011 decreased by 1.9% to RUR 10.1 billion (US$360 million).

The company said that the drop in net profit was because the revenue growth was offset by the increase in depreciation expense related to the substantial increase in fixed assets put into use at the end of 2010.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, May 19, 2011 8:52:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The island nation of Mauritius has revealed it will cut telephone interconnection charges in the country by 33%, effective 1 July 2011. The government hopes the move will increase telecoms uptake in both fixed and mobile users.

The state’s statement confirmed that the edict will cut tariffs on calls made from a fixed line number to a mobile network, and from a mobile number to another mobile on a different network. Mauritius is home to around 1.3 million people and has more than 1.2 million SIM cards registered. However, the government believes there is still more room for growth.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:19:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), overall teledensity in the mountain Kingdom reached 41.5% in March 2011, up from 27.7% a year earlier, driven by a 13% increase in mobile users to 10.37 million (including 9.49 million GSM and 871,447 CDMA subscribers). However, a lack of competition has been blamed for a fall in fixed teledensity which stood at 2.95% at the same date, down from 2.98% in March 2010.

A spokesperson for national fixed line incumbent Nepal Telecom (NT), Surendra Prasad Thike, said that tough competition from GSM service providers was one of the major reasons for the decreasing fixed penetration rate. However, he also pointed out that the number of fixed lines had not actually decreased – only the penetration rate.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:17:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Key highlights

  • Consumers are paying 18% less for ICT services than they were two years ago
  • The price for high-speed Internet connections dropped by 50% between 2008 and 2010, compared to a 22% drop in prices for mobile cellular services (Table 1)
  • In developing countries, fixed broadband prices dropped by 52%, compared to 35% in developed countries (Chart 1)

Table 1: ICT Price Basket and sub-baskets, 2008 and 2010

Click here to see full article: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/ipb/index.html

ITU | Tariffs
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:58:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Under the leadership of ITU, the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development's Task Group on Measuring the WSIS Targets will launch a new report: Measuring the WSIS Targets. A statistical framework.

This report proposes a concrete list of indicators to measure the 10 WSIS targets. A practical tool for policy makers and data producers in developing countries to monitor and assess information society developments, the report is expected to become the main reference document for the final review of the achievements made towards meeting the WSIS targets in 2015.

The Report will be launched on May 17th, at 14h in room V of the ILO in Geneva and can be downloaded for free.  For more information and to download the report, see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/partnership/wsistargets/

ITU
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:31:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Spanish government has approved the bill which modifies the Telecommunications Law currently in force, to add 1 Mbps minimum broadband service to the universal service obligation, Cinco Dias reports. The government will soon launch a tender to select the operator responsible for the 1 Mbps broadband universal service across the country.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:29:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2011

India's telecoms regulator, TRAI has reported that the number of telephone subscribers in India increased to 846.32 million at the end of March 2011 from 826.25 million at the end of February 2011, thereby registering a growth rate of 2.43%.

The share of Urban Subscriber has declined to 66.65% from 66.72% where as share of Rural Subscribers has increased from 33.28% to 33.35%. With this, the overall Tele-density in India reaches 70.89.The overall Urban teledensity has increased from 154.01 to 157.32 and Rural teledensity increased from 32.95 to 33.35.­The total wireless subscriber base increased from 791.38 million in February 2011 to 811.59 million at the end of March 2011, registering a growth of 2.55%. The share of Urban Subscriber has declined to 66.30% from 66.36% where as share of Rural Subscribers has increased from 33.64% to 33.70%. The overall wireless Tele-density in India reaches 67.98.

Wireless subscription in Urban Areas increased from 525.17 million in February 2011 to 538.05 million at the end of March 2011. Rural subscription increased from 266.21 million to 273.54 million. This shows higher growth in Rural Subscription (2.75%) than Urban Subscription (2.45%). The Urban wireless teledensity has increased from 146.72 to 150.06 and Rural teledensity increased from 31.90 to 32.75. Private operators hold 88.01% of the wireless market share where as BSNL and MTNL, two PSU operators hold only 11.99% market share.Mobile Number Portability requests has increased from 3.83 million subscribers at the end of February 2011 to 6.4 million subscribers at the end of March 2011.

Source: Cellular News

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:53:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Communication and Information has announced that it intends to achieve 100% broadband population coverage by 2013, as part of its ongoing ‘Program on Information and Communication Technologies Development in Kazakhstan for 2010-2014’. Askar Zhumagaliyev, Minister of Communication and Information, commented: ‘All towns and cities of the country will be provided with broadband internet access by means of 3G, WiMAX and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). Due to the implementation of the programme we plan to achieve 100% coverage of the country’s territory with broadband internet access by 2013. [We will also see an] improvement of service quality and an increase in speed’.

However, Prime Minister Karim Massimov quashed rumours that the country was poised to implement a countrywide standard of 100Mbps, admitting: ‘The provision of 100Mbps transmission speeds is an ambitious task’. To this end the prime minister urged Zhumagaliyev to increase average broadband speeds across Kazakhstan to 16Mbps by 2015, bringing the country in line with the likes of South Korea. Massimov added: ‘The broadband internet speed issue is an issue of our competitiveness. It is no less important than other social issues’. President Nursultan Nazarbayev confirmed: ‘The advanced telecommunications infrastructure should become a competitive advantage in the process of investors’ attraction. We should accelerate the process of 4G introduction and make the prices for telecommunications services and the internet speed competitive and affordable’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, two cellcos have trialled Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Kazakhstan thus far. On 1 December 2009 KaR-Tel launched a pilot LTE network in the capital city of Astana; the network operated within the 700MHz spectrum band for a period of around two months. In July 2010 rival operator K’cell unveiled its first 4G base station in Astana, and demonstrated a ‘real-time’ link. Despite the successful tests, no formal 4G licences have yet been issued.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:51:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), South-East Asia’s biggest telecoms group by revenues and users, today announced that its total mobile subscriber base grew by 37%, or 110 million users, in the year to 31 March 2011, passing the 400 million customer mark for the first time in the process. At that date SingTel and its affiliates in Asia and Africa counted 402.5 million mobile subscribers, up from around 293 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. The group is active in eight major markets in the region – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. SingTel’s 32%-owned Indian venture, Bharti Airtel, reported a 66% year-on-year rise in mobile customers in Asia and Africa to reach 212 million as of 31 March 2011. In its home market, Bharti added a net 27% new users for a total of 162 million. The cellco’s strong performance should be further bolstered in 2011 by the launch of 3G services in 21 cities across seven telecom circles in the first quarter, it said.

SingTel’s Indonesian asset Telkomsel added 5.4 million net new users in 1Q11 for a total of 99.4 million, while AIS Thailand, in which SingTel holds 21%, reported y-o-y growth of 8% to 32 million. Other positive performances were registered in the Philippines where Globe recorded 14% net growth to 27.3 million subscribers in Pakistan, where Warid’s base climbed 9% to 17.8 million, and in Bangladesh, where PBTL closed out March with 1.8 million users (up 6% from a year ago). SingTel’s wholly owned Australian unit Optus added 103,000 net new users in January-March, for a total of 9.068 million, and at home, SingTel Mobile had 3.307 million users, compared to 3.116 million in 1Q10.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:49:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Irish former monopoly Eircom has revealed plans to cut the cost of its premium 24Mbps broadband internet service by 17% to under EUR39.8 (USD57.1) per month, and to upgrade 20,000 customers from 8Mbps to 24Mbps for free. The telco, which claims to have more than 300,000 customers using its next generation broadband (NGB) service at a wholesale and retail level, says 20,000 existing 8Mbps NGB Advanced customers will be upgraded to the 24Mbps NGB Ultimate product under the scheme.

Eircom passed the 250,000 NGB milestone in December 2010 and plans to have upgraded more than 240 exchanges to IP architecture by the end of 2011. Once completed, Eircom’s next generation network will cover more than one million, or 75%, of the operator’s main lines in service. Up to 850,000 customers nationwide can take advantage of the telco’s NGB Ultimate product.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:46:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­As average monthly wireless charges increase from 2009, wireless customers indicate they are particularly dissatisfied with the cost of their service, according to a J.D. Power and Associates survey.

The study examines perceptions of wireless customers with their service, mobile phone (for both traditional mobile phones and smartphone devices) and retail experience. Satisfaction is measured across seven factors: cost of service; network quality; account management; customer service; handset; offerings and promotions; and sales process.

The study finds that satisfaction with cost of service averages only 551 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with an average of 648 for overall satisfaction, and is the area of the wireless experience with which customers are least satisfied.

On average, customer-reported monthly bills for contract service have increased to $78 in 2011 from $71 in 2009, partially driven by the increase in penetration of smartphones and data plans. Thirty-nine percent of customers in 2011 report owning a smartphone, up from 25 percent in 2009, while the proportion of customers who report having a data package has increased to 60 percent in 2011 from 15 percent in 2009.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:41:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Mobile subscriber numbers in Zimbabwe trebled from early 2009 to mid-2010, whereas fixed line subscriptions remained stagnant. With demand for voice services increasingly met, future growth is predicted to occur around mobile Internet and broadband provision. Both mobile operators and Internet access providers will benefit from this second wave of growth. However, increasing political instability in the run-up to elections expected to be held in 18 to 24 months and a business environment not always conducive to proper process are expected to have a negative impact on market prospects.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the Zimbabwean mobile communications market earned revenues of $372.2 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach $1,343.7 million in 2016. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 20.1 per cent, considerably lower than the phenomenal 40.6 per cent revenue growth experienced from 2008 to 2009. However, declining growth rates are expected when markets become increasingly saturated.

"Mobile operators are the largest contributors to telecommunications revenues in Zimbabwe," notes Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst Protea Hirschel. "As 3G networks expand, mobile operators compete more directly with Internet access providers. These, in turn, have entered the voice market, adding to competition."

Unfulfilled demand, initially for voice and increasingly for data services, is one of the main drivers of growth for mobile communications. Fixed lines are unlikely to meet this demand in Zimbabwe.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:10:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­New research from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine shows that doctors can make a stroke diagnosis using an iPhone application with the same accuracy as a diagnosis at a medical computer workstation. This technology can be particularly useful in rural medical settings. This allows for real-time access to specialists such as neurologists, regardless of where the physicians and patients are located.

Neuro-radiologists in the study looked at 120 recent consecutive noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) brain scans and 70 computed tomography angiogram (CTA) head scans that were obtained from the Calgary Stroke Program database.

Scans were read by two neuro-radiologists, on a medical diagnostic workstation and on an iPhone.

The research is published in the May 6th edition of Journal of Medical Internet Research. The study was designed by Dr. Mayank Goyal, and involved the iPhone software technology originally developed by Dr. Ross Mitchell, PhD, and his team at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), then further enhanced and commercialized by Calgary Scientific Inc.

"This iPhone app allows for advanced visualization and our studies show it is between 94% and 100% accurate, compared to a medical workstation, for diagnosing acute stroke," says Mitchell who is from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine. "In a medical emergency, medical imaging plays a critical role in diagnosis and treatment, time is critical in acute stroke care, every minute counts."

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:52:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Gabonese GSM operator Libertis, controlled by Morocco’s Maroc Telecom, has reported a quarter-on-quarter reduction in its mobile subscriber base from 699,000 to 398,000 in the three months ended 31 March 2011. The cellco, a part of formerly state-run Gabon Telecom, performed a ‘clean-up’ of its subscriber base (typically involving removal of inactive customer accounts) in the first quarter, which its parent company said ‘gave rise to terminations’, although no further details were disclosed in its 1Q11 report. The Gabon Telecom group’s wireless revenues fell by 10.5% year-on-year to MAD133 million (USD16 million) in the first three months of this year.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:47:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­South Africa's MTN Group has reported that its subscriber base rose by 4% over the first three months of 2011 to reach 147.27 million at the end of March.

The subscriber bases of the three regions continue to grow at marginally different rates although, when compared to December 2010, the subscriber contribution between the regions remains relatively unchanged.

South and East Africa (SEA) region contributed 22% (December 2010: 22%) of the Group`s total subscribers while West and Central Africa (WECA) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) contributed 45% ( 46%) and 33% ( 32%), respectively.

The South African operation contributes 58% to the region`s subscribers, increasing by 1.9% to 19.2 million for the quarter. The growth was slower than expected as a result of higher prepaid disconnections due mainly to seasonality, although some distribution difficulties also contributed. Market share was marginally down following increased competition in the prepaid segment. Uganda increased its subscriber base by 6.9% to 6.9 million maintaining its leadership position in an increasingly competitive market.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:44:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |