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 Tuesday, June 28, 2011

­USA based Verizon Wireless is reported to be planning to scrap its unlimited mobile data tariffs next month for new subscribers and will move towards a range of tariffs with different allocations per customer. Although details are still being finalised, the majority of rumours agree that Verizon will charge US$30 a month for 2GB of mobile data - which puts it $5 per month higher than AT&T's equivalent tariffs.

"As we have stated previously, Verizon Wireless is making some minor changes to data plans including those for new smartphone customers," Ken Muche, a Verizon spokesman told media. "We will move to a more usage-based model in July. More details to come."

Rival networks, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA offer unlimited mobile data plans for US$80 per month. Some analysts expect that the move to tiered pricing for mobile data traffic will drive the heavier users towards Wi-Fi hotspots, and release more capacity on the mobile networks for occasional and low-intensity useage.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:23:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has approved a plan to change the Internet's Domain Name System. The Icann board approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of internet domain name endings, dubbed generic top-level domains (gTLDs), from the current 22, which includes domains such as .com, .org and .net.

The decision is in line with the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. New gTLDs are expected to change the way people find information on the internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence. Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, enabling organizations worldwide to market their brand, products, community or cause in new ways. The first applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:25:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Switzerland based Swisscom says that it is rolling out the HSPA+ technology in six Swiss cities, which will enable mobile data communication speeds of up to a theoretical peak rate of 42 Mbps. All NATEL data premium customers will be able to take advantage of this surfing speed.

Swisscom already unveiled this upgrade at the WEF in Davos. The high-speed network is already available in Berne and Zurich, with Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Lugano set to follow suit from the end of August 2011. The high speeds can be used with the Huawei E372 USB stick, which is now available from Swisscom in combination with the NATEL data premium subscription.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:15:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­In a new report, Fitch Ratings says that although overall mobile service revenue growth in Europe remains under pressure (-1.4% in the 12 months to March 2011), there are significant regional differences.

In northern Europe, mobile service revenue growth turned positive in 2010 and the 12 months to March 2011, led by a strong performance in the UK and Germany. In these two countries, revenue growth from non-voice services has more than offset voice revenue declines.

In southern Europe, the trend in service revenue declines is getting worse at -5.4% in the 12 months to March 2011. The economic weakness in southern Europe is dampening demand for mobile data services and exacerbating the decline in voice revenue from regulatory and competitive pressures.

Fitch expects voice revenue in southern Europe will remain under pressure, as effective voice pricing, especially in Spain, is higher than in northern Europe. Downward pressure is expected to continue as mobile termination rates, which are higher in southern Europe, are forced down towards northern European levels by regulation. Over the medium term, mobile data might not provide as large a boost to mobile revenue growth as some operators expect. There is a risk that mobile data might be partly used as a substitute for voice and SMS services. Fitch believes that the risk will increase over time as voice over IP becomes more of a threat with technology improvements and instant messaging and social networks could start to replace SMS more widely, not just in the youth segment.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:13:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As part of its National Development Plan for Telecommunications (PDNT), the Costa Rican government has unveiled its new National Broadband Strategy. The plan’s main aim is to improve the nation’s economy by rolling out broadband to more remote areas of the country and fostering innovation in information technologies. Plans also included raising awareness of the social and economic importance of internet expansion. The first step, to be completed by November this year, is to identify the areas of the country in greatest need of development before work can begin on improving the networking infrastructure.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Costa Rica had 332,000 broadband subscribers at the end of March 2011, representing a household penetration of 24.8%, slightly lower than neighbouring Panama’s 30.1%, but far ahead of Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, with 4.9%, 3.0% and 7.7% respectively.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:09:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­China is reported to be considering allowing a potential fourth entrant into the country's state-controlled telecoms market, and that the new investor would be predominantly from the private sector.

Although all three telecom's networks have listed subsidiaries, the bulk of their shares are owned by the government, who also shook up the industry a couple of years ago by shuffling around their mobile assets to create three separate networks.

Citing unnamed sourced, the Securities Daily reported that the details are still being worked out - and might still involve one of the state-controlled companies being involved in the new venture.

"Inititally there was only one telecommunications company and then it was divided into several firms. Private capital has already invested in this industry for a long time, and it should be further encouraged," Liu Chunru, the deputy secretary-general of the Electronic Science and Technology Committee at MIIT, told the reporter.

"I know of this plan advising on the development of the telecommunications industry and the opening up of the market. It is beneficial to have a diversified telecommunications market, and although this is just a pilot scheme, at least the MIIT is taking a stand" , Zhu Hongbo, vice president of Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications said.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:06:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

France Telecom’s Armenian mobile unit Orange Armenia has extended its GSM mobile network coverage on the country’s north and south national roads, extending from the capital Yerevan to the national border. The latest network expansion is designed to provide better coverage along all main roads for tourists travelling across the country in the summer season. The cellco says that as a result of the upgrade, the northern road enjoys 99% coverage, and the figure is a slightly lower 94% in the south. Orange Armenia intends to continue its network rollout with a focus now on connecting remote regional areas. Its outdoor GSM coverage currently stands at 95% of the population.

In a related story, Orange rival ArmenTel (Beeline) says it has extended its 3G mobile network footprint to the cities of Vayk, Dilijan, Ijevan and Martuni, as well as Aramus, Balahovit, Garni, Dzoraghbyur and Nor Hachn. Further, the cellco has deployed additional 3G base stations in Yerevan, Gyumri and Kapan to improve capacity and coverage, and in the next month is looking to roll out 3G services in parts of Agarak, Ashotsk, Berd, Yeghegnadzor, Qajaran, Maralik, Meghri, Noyemberyan, Sisian, Sanahin, Stepanavan, Talin, Tashir and Chambarak.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:05:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan based mobile network, Roshan says that it has become the  first mobile operator in Afghanistan to surpass five million active customers, up from 30,000 customers at the end of 2003 when the company first launched its services.

Roshan's network now reaches over 230 cities and towns across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan, covering over 60 percent of the population.

"Reaching this milestone demonstrates how far we have come towards reaching our goal of connecting people and bringing Afghanistan into the 21st century. In 2003, when we started operations, less than 100,000 people had access to a phone. Afghanistan was truly landlocked. Since then, Roshan has been proud to play a leading role in using mobile phone technology as a critical tool in driving socio-economic development of the country," said Karim Khoja, chief executive officer.

Khoja added, "Our vision is to ensure that within the next five years, every Afghan has access to a mobile phone and to serve as a catalyst for change, supporting Afghans as we build a brighter tomorrow for the country." Roshan's customer base has increased by more than 30 percent in the last year, with the addition of more than one million active customers since October 2010. Afghanistan remains among the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world, with some 15 million total customers, representing a mobile penetration rate of 35%.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives in building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. It is also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:58:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Orange Armenia says that it has extended its network coverage on North and South national roads of the country, from Yerevan to the border of the country, aiming at ensuring coverage along the roads for Armenians and tourists travelling accross the country, whose number will be multiplied during summer months.

As a result of large-scaled works, the road to the Northern border of Armenia is presently covered by 99% and the one to South is covered by 94%. The company will continue extending its network; the works will mainly concern remote regional habitations.

When obtaining the license on network exploitation Orange committed to ensure outdoor GSM coverage on 85% of national roads connecting Yerevan to Georgia and Iran within a three-year timeframe. Today Orange network covers more than 95% of Armenian population.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:50:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­West and Central Africa represents one of the fastest-growing mobile communications market in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past few years, the region has witnessed a dramatic increase in mobile subscriptions due mainly to the surge in mobile subscriptions in Nigeria. The low levels of mobile broadband penetration in the region indicate that there is room for growth.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the mobile communications markets in Nigeria, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast earned combined revenues of $8.6 billion in 2009 and estimates this to reach $12.6 billion in 2016. From approximately 92.6 million in 2009, mobile subscribers are expected to grow to 172.4 million in 2015.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:47:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is expected to make a final decision in around a month on whether or not it will cancel the licences of a number of operators that it is claimed failed to meet eligibility criteria. According to the Business Standard, DoT secretary R Chandrasekhar said of the current timeline for reaching a decision on the matter: ‘We have received clarification from the Corporate Affairs Ministry on [a] date of reckoning for compliance of various conditions, whether it be change in memorandum of association or equity-based … But before taking a final decision, we have to take legal opinion as well. The whole process should take a month or so.’ Having issued notices to a number of operators regarding two specific issues –failure to reach rollout obligations and ineligibility for acquiring a licence – the regulator has said that it has received responses from all companies with regard to the latter issue.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, India’s previous telecoms minister Andimuthu Raja is facing charges regarding the issuing of 122 licences in 2008 without auctioning India’s scarce wireless spectrum, which it has been claimed caused a presumptive loss of more than INR1.76 trillion (USD38.7 billion). In January 2011 India’s Supreme Court issued notices to both the Central Government and eleven private telecoms operators regarding a petition which sought to cancel those 2G spectrum licences it claims were handed to companies either ineligible for such concessions or those that failed to fulfil rollout obligations, after the issue was raised by an independent body, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation. The eleven companies named in the case were: Loop Telecom, Etisalat DB (Swan Telecom), Vodafone Essar, STel, Unitech Wireless (Uninor), Videocon Telecommunications, Idea Cellular (including Spice), Allianz Infratech, Tata Teleservices, Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Dishnet Wireless (a unit of Aircel).

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:21:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mexican regulator Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) has reduced the interconnection rate charged by Telmex to rival operators to MXN 3.951 from MXN 11.55. Cofetel has also changed the legal nature of long distance service that Telmex provides to other competitors in rural areas with no investment from other fixed telephony competitors.

Cofetel has also cut the interconnection rate for this service by 94 percent to 4.53 peso cents per minute, from 75 peso cents. America Movil believes that such decisions are "arbitrary", "clearly unexplainable and deprive [its subsidiary Telmex] of its corresponding rights and assets. Telmex plans to carry out all the relevant legal defense actions. Additionally, related to the fixed-mobile interconnection rates that have been reduced, Telmex will apply the interconnection rates as established by Cofetel, until the legal proceedings of mobile service companies are not definitely resolved.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:15:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) confirmed new directives aimed at limiting the tariff wars among mobile operators. Under the directive issued 10 June and reported by the Daily Monitor, operators will not be allowed to charge on-net rates lower than 70 percent of interconnection rates. These currently stand at UGX 131 per minute, so no operator will be allowed to offer on-net calls below UGX 91 per minute, which translates into not less than UGX 2 per second.
 
Currently, some companies offer rates cheaper than UGX 2 per second, largely on a promotional basis. The new guidelines also stipulate that a promotional tariff shall not be in the market for more than 90 consecutive calendar days and may only be re-introduced after another 90 calendar days from the end of the previous promotional tariff offer. Failure to comply with the regulations could result in penalties of up to 10 percent of annual turnover. The UCC said the decision was reached following a consultation process involving industry stakeholders, and the guidelines will be effective as soon as they are gazetted. Some operators told the Daily Monitor that the decision and timing of the announcement was suspect. Others said the new regulations are an affront on legitimate business competition. The new law will also require telecom operators to notify UCC in an application five days before introducing a new calling rate.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:09:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has fined Turkcell, Turkey’s largest cellco by subscribers, TRY91.94 million (USD58.36 million) for breaching competition rules regarding distribution. Hurriyet notes that Turkcell defended itself on 31 May as part of the competition board’s investigation into its activities.

During the hearing, Turkcell’s chief legal affairs officer Umit Akin reportedly protested that, given its dominant position within the market, Turkcell is now obliged to run its activities in a ‘tough competitive environment’, adding: ‘We do not mention this as an objection, but we say this because others are claiming the opposite’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Turkcell reported 33.1 million subscribers at end-March 2011, equivalent to a 53.6% market share. The firm’s rivals in the Turkish wireless sector are Vodafone Turkey and Avea.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:07:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lebanon’s Ministry of Telecommunications announced yesterday that the country’s number of cellular subscribers has jumped by around 30% to three million since the end of 2009, driven by network capacity expansion, reduced rates and the introduction of new packages by the market’s two state-owned cellcos. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Lebanon had 2.93 million wireless subscribers at 31 March 2011, with 54% of users served by MTC Touch Lebanon, managed by Zain Group, and the other 46% using Alfa, under the management of Orascom Telecom. The total was up 26% on end-2009’s figure of 2.38 million, while cellular penetration is approaching 75%.

In its announcement, reported by local newspaper The Daily Star, the ministry also stated the intention to further reduce cellular tariffs by between 25% and 50% depending on the existing package, although it did not confirm whether the changes would include both pre- and post-paid tariffs. The last major reduction in prices two years ago led to an upswing in the user take-up rate, largely in the pre-paid segment.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:59:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The number of mobile subscribers in Kenya rose by 12.0 percent in the three months to December 2010, to 24.96 million. That's up 28 percent from the end of 2009, according to the latest statistics from the Communications Commission of Kenya. The regulator said that was the fastest quarterly growth in four quarters.
 
Safaricom remained market leader with 69.9 percent of subscribers, followed by Airtel with 15.2 percent. Orange Kenya led net additions in the quarter with 972,928 new subscribers, finishing with an 8.5 percent market share. Essar Telecom had a market share of 6.4 percent. Mobile networks recorded 7.45 billion minutes of local calls during the quarter, up from 6.63 billion in the previous quarter. Growth was helped by increased off-net traffic after the cut in interconnection rates in August. The CCK said the average off-net price dropped to KES 3.47 per minute from KES 5.10 in the previous quarter, while on-net calls fell to an average KES 2.67 from KES 3.92 per minute. SMS traffic fell to 665 million messages from 740 million in Q3.
 
The number of internet subscriptions increased to 4.7 million at the end of December 2010 from 3.2 million in the previous quarter, while the number of internet users was estimated at 10.2 million, up 18.6 percent from Q3. The number of fixed lines declined by 0.8 percent from 228,391 to 226,587, while fixed wireless lines recorded a 8.9 percent increase in the quarter to 154,161. Overall teledensity rose to 64.2 percent from 56.9 percent in September 2010, with mobile services accounting for 63.2 percent.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:54:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 10, 2011

­The mobile applications market has had strong growth over the past several years, as a result of the addition of new products, players, and business models. This growth will continue, driven mainly by increased smartphone penetration, as well as growth in consumer mobile application libraries.

As a result, In-Stat expects mobile application downloads to reach nearly 48 billion in 2015.

"The prevalence of handset touchscreens is a significant development impacting the mobile applications market," according to Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst. "The projected rapid penetration of touchscreen-enabled devices will allow more users to easily interact with mobile applications, thereby driving growth. Increased on-board memory capacity will also lead to a better user experience."

Key data includes:

  • Touchscreens will account for nearly 90% of smartphones shipped in 2011, and will increase to nearly 100% in the next several years.
  • Smartphones are expected to increase from 23% of total phone shipments in 2010 to 45% in 2015.
    In December 2010, the number of applications in the Apple App Store reached 350,000 while Android Market reached 80,000.
  • Survey results show that Apple and Android users are significantly more likely than BlackBerry users to have downloaded mobile applications.
  • Smartphone applications are not only about 3G. Almost half of survey respondents report downloading applications over Wi-Fi.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, June 10, 2011 11:58:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Arcep’s latest market observatory, the number of high speed and ultra-high speed fixed broadband connections in France reached 21.8 million at 31 March 2011, up 8% or 460,000 net new lines, compared to the same period a year ago. Of the total, 20.25 million lines were xDSL connections, up from 18.91 million a year earlier, while other broadband subscriptions (cable, wireless and satellite) increased to 1.01 million at the end of the first quarter.

Moreover, the number of ultra-high speed broadband connections stood at 520,000, representing net growth of about 183,000 over the corresponding year-earlier quarter, including 140,000 FTTH and FTTB connections (up 20,000 since the start of this year). The regulator notes that at end-March 2011, approximately 1.135 million homes were within potential reach of a FTTH connection, up about 36% compared to 31 March 2010. More than 21% of these homes were located in buildings where residents are offered a choice of service providers.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, June 10, 2011 11:55:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Lebanon's interim Telecoms Minister, Charbel Nahhas has confirmed that the country's two mobile networks will launch their 3G services by the middle of this summer.

"No one can stop us from launching the 3G, and not even a new government, because we have already signed the contracts needed for that purpose," Nahhas told The Daily Star.There are concerns that legal action from an ISP, Cedarcom could delay the launch as it is claiming that the government doesn't have the authority to issue the 3G licenses.

The company also says that the regulatory regime is blocking it from selling landline DSL based services, which it consideres to be unfair and unjust competition. Nahhas said the overhaul of the IT infrastructure would pave the way for private firms to compete by providing the best Internet services at competitive prices. But he added that there are some aspects of risk incurred by the telecommunications sector and cited Lebanon's experience in this respect.

Source: TelecomPaper

3G
Friday, June 10, 2011 11:53:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Spain lost around 100,059 mobile lines in April, bringing the total mobile base to 54.92 million, up by 4.5 percent over the same month of 2010, according to the monthly report by Spanish regulator CMT.
 
The MVNOs added 84,700 net lines in April, Yoigo had 40,080 net additions, while Orange lost 23,310 users. Vodafone shed nearly 131,120 customers, while Movistar also lost some 41,510 users in the period. The M2M sector went up by 22.1 percent over the same period last year, to over 2.35 million lines. The growth of the M2M sector brings the total number of mobile lines to over 57.27 million. Spain ported around 384,087 mobile phone numbers in April, up by 9.1 percent versus the same period of 2010. Yoigo, the MVNOs and Orange saw a positive balance in portability, while Movistar and Vodafone registered a negative balance. Yoigo won 44,026 net users, the MVNOs added 12,418 users, and Orange won 23,239 ported customers. Movistar shed 51,460 users, and Vodafone lost nearly 28,223 customers in the month.
 
Spanish operators added 17,961 broadband users in April, reaching a total base of 10.86 million lines, up by 7.3 percent year-on-year and a penetration of over 23.1 lines per 100 inhabitants. The number of DSL lines rose by 1,170 connections or by 7.1 percent over the same period of 2010, reaching a total of 8.77 million lines at the end of April. Some 8,324 cable modem lines were added in the month, reaching a total of 2 million lines. The overall number of fixed lines dropped by 81,599, to 19.60 million lines at the end of April. Fixed penetration decreased to 41.7 lines per 100 inhabitants in April, versus 42.5 percent in the year-earlier month. Around 153,945 fixed numbers were ported in April this year, up by 12.2 percent from 137,160 fixed numbers ported in April 2010.

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, June 10, 2011 11:50:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan based mobile network, Roshan has expanded its mobile money service, M-Paisa to payments for tickets with the Kam Air airline.

Customers who purchase tickets through M-paisa will also receive 10% off the airline purchase price.

"As part of our commitment to bringing innovative services to Afghanistan, we are pleased to be partnering with Kam Air, to bring the convenience and safety of mobile purchases to our customers. This partnership expands our growing merchant network throughout the country, providing more ways for Roshan customers to make purchases, using their M-Paisa wallet," said Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer, Roshan. Kam Air is also a strategic partner in Roshan's VIP program, the first of its kind in Afghanistan.

Upon payment through M-Paisa, customers will receive an SMS with a reference number, which will serve as their ticket. In April 2011, M-Paisa received Afghanistan's first Electronic Money Institute (EMI) license from the Da Afghanistan Bank.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, June 10, 2011 10:41:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The internet's role as a major growth and innovation driver for the global economy, based on the principles of openness, transparency and freedom, was recognised in the G8 summit's so-called Deauville Declaration, entitled "Renewed commitment for freedom and democracy". The document's internet section sets out basic principles and highlights areas where further collaborative efforts are needed. It highlights the importance of the internet in helping to achieve economic and social development goals, calling on the private sector to do its part.
 
The G8 leaders consulted some of the biggest online players and heard representations from NGOs advocating personal freedoms and underling the internet's ability to balance and check the powers of governments and corporations. Their positions are set out in Section II of the document, which addresses issues such as the rule of law, protection of intellectual property, transparency and respect for confidentiality, individual rights and responsibility, arbitrary or indiscriminate censorship or restrictions on access, the role of national governments and the convergence of public policies. Upcoming forums for international cooperation in these areas this year include a high level meeting of the OECD in Paris (June), the UN's Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya (September), the Cyber Conference in London and the Conference on Copyright in Avignon, France (both November).

Source: TelecomPaper

Friday, June 10, 2011 10:39:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |