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 Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The total number of mobile phones in Belarus reached 10.45 million by the end of June this year, according to a statement from Pavel Petrulevich, deputy head of the Ministry of Communications and Informatisation (MoCI), as reported by e-belarus.org. Growth slowed in the first six months of this year though. The country reported 10.30 million mobile users at the start of this year and 9.69 million at the end of December 2009, he said.

Petrulevich also reported that Austrian firm Kapsch this month won a contract to supply equipment to facilitate the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country. As part of this, Kapsch is supplying necessary equipment for the central office that will coordinate MNP in Belarus.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:13:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The government of Niger has announced plans to issue 3G licenses via a statement on the state controlled television, reports Reuters.

"These licences can go to any operator who desires them," according to a statement on state TV overnight. "Operators already set up here and who have global licences also have a chance to acquire one."According to the Mobile World analysts the country has around 14.4 million mobile phone users, which represents a population penetration level of 23%. There are four mobile networks.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:11:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Econet Wireless' Burundi subsidiary has launched the country's first 3G network following a US$10 million network upgrade.

The service is being launched in two phases, the first phase will cover the capital city Bujumbura and the second phase will cover the other key provinces. Econet customers are being offered the services in three packages targeting mobile, domestic or business users.According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, Econet Wireless is estimated to have around 185,000 subscribers, and a market share of 11.7%. The country as a whole has a mobile population penetration level of less that 16%.

Burundi, a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa is one of the ten poorest countries in the world.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:10:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South African operator Cell C has announced new and bundled broadband products at competitive prices. On 01 August, it will launch new 10 GB and 20 GB packages on the South African market, with the aim of bringing its HSPA network to higher-demand internet users. Cell C says the launch is in response to demand from South African consumers and small business owners for larger bandwidth products at competitive prices to help them meet their day-to-day internet access demands.

The 10 GB per month package, standard with either a 7.2 Mbps MyZone router or 21.6 Mbps speed stick, will cost ZAR 499 per month on a contract for 12 months or ZAR 4,999 prepaid. The 20 GB per month package, also standard with a MyZone router or Speed Stick, will be available at ZAR 899 per month on a contract or ZAR 8,999 prepaid. Both prepaid packages will also be available as SIM-only variants at a ZAR 1,000 discount. Customers who already own a speed stick or router will be able to purchase a 120 GB SIM (10 GB per month) for ZAR 3,999 or the 240 GB SIM (20 GB per month) for ZAR 7,999. Cell C's out-of-bundle rate of ZAR 0.39 applies to these packages.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:08:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan's government has announced plans to issue a tender for 3G and 4G licenses next month. There will be an auction of some sort for the new license, while the incumbent GSM operators will be able to then buy a similar license for the same fee offered by the new entrant.

Announcing the plans for the license tender, Eng Amirzai Sangin Minister of (MCIT) said: The growth and vitality of the telecommunications sector in Afghanistan is one of the most remarkable success stories of the recent past. Since 1382 (2003-2004), when the first two licenses were issued for GSM mobile services, mobile telephone subscribers have increased from zero to 17 million subscribers. More than US$1.6 billion has been invested in modern infrastructure, services now reaching over 80% of the population and sustaining over 100,000 jobs nationwide."

There are currently five licensed mobile networks in the country and according to figures from the Mobile World analysts, their market shares are: Roshan (28.5%); MTN (24.5%) ; Etisalat (24.3%); Afghan Wireless (22%) and Afghan Telecom (<1%)

The 3G/4G tender package will be available to all interested parties on 1 August 2011.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:05:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The three major operators in China signed-up 10.56 million new mobile customers in June to bring the joint total to 906.77 million, figures from the operators show. China Mobile ended the month with 616.79 million mobile subscribers as it attracted 5.62 new customers in June. China Mobile also reported that it had 35.03 million 3G customers. China Unicom had 181.61 million mobile customers, including 23.95 million 3G subscribers, as the operator gained 2.27 million new subscribers in June.
 
Unicom also had 52.32 million fixed broadband subscribers, up by 1.06 million, and 95.46 million local access line subscribers, down by 387,000. Meanwhile, China Telecom signed up 2.67 million mobile customers in June to bring its total to 108.37 million, which includes 21.54 million 3G users. China Telecom also ended the month with 70.09 million broadband customers as it gained 1.23 million new broadband subscribers. The company continued to see its local access line subscriber base fall as it lost 250,000 customers to bring the total to 172.22 million.
 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:03:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­South Korea could gain a fourth mobile network operator, if an application by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Businesses (Kbiz) is accepted by the regulator.

The consortium operating the WiBro based mobile network will be formed by Kbiz and 900 of its SME members. An investment by a technology partner, probably Samsung is also expected.

"We decided to enter the mobile phone industry because we figured this could be a new growth engine for small and midsized IT companies," a Kbiz official told the JoongAng Daily. "The initial funding for investment will be less than 100 billion won ($94.3 million)." Kbiz said it will succeed in the mobile phone industry by offering subscription plans 20 to 30 percent cheaper than existing plans.

Although previous attempts to set up a fourth network were rejected, the government is putting pressure on the incumbent networks to lower their prices to help control inflation in the country. The offer of a new entrant on a promise of lowering prices may sway the regulator's opinion about granting the license.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:01:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The European Commission has sent requests for information to twenty EU Member States which have not yet notified measures to implement in full new EU telecoms rules into national law. The deadline set by the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for implementing the new rules was 25th May 2011.

The requests for information take the form of letters of formal notice under EU infringement procedures.The new rules give businesses and consumers new rights regarding phones, mobile services and Internet access. These include the right for customers to switch telecoms operators in just one day without changing their phone number, the right to more clarity about the services customers are offered and better protection of personal data online.

However, while legislative processes are ongoing in all EU Member States and a majority of them have informed the Commission of some implementation measures, only seven Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the UK) have notified the Commission that they have implemented the new rules in full.

The twenty other Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) are due to reply to the 'letters of formal notice' within two months. If they fail to reply or if it is not satisfied with the answer, the Commission can send the Member States concerned a formal request to implement the legislation (in the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures), and ultimately refer them to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:59:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­With a mobile services penetration rate of 65% at year-end 2010 that is expected to catapult to 93% by 2016, Senegal is one of the more advanced mobile markets in West Africa, with plenty of room for growth, according to Pyramid Research.

During the past few years, the number of mobile subscriptions in Senegal swelled by 56% to reach 8.3m at the end of 2010.

"From 2011-2016, Pyramid expects mobile revenue to increase at a CAGR of 4% to $1.1bn in 2016, mainly because of the rise in broadband penetration and increased pricing competition among the three mobile network operators," indicates Pyramid Research Associate Research Analyst Ronda Zelezny-Green."A third factor contributing to mobile growth is the entry of a fourth mobile operator at some point within the next year, further driving operator experimentation with more competitive pricing strategies, innovation in service offerings and development of existing network coverage," she adds. Pyramid projects mobile broadband subscriptions to grow at a CAGR of 7%, reaching almost 13.9m by 2016.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:56:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telefonica Slovakia reached the milestone of 1 million active customers. The mobile operator last reported 948,000 customers at the end of March. The milestone was broken by a customer from Kosice, who received a gift from O2 of free calls with the plan 2 Filip EUR 40 for five years. The operator held a celebration in Kosice to thank all its customers. Telefonica said it will continue to offer transparent and simple products, which have been positively accepted.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:54:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of fixed broadband subscribers continues to grow in 2011. According to ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell, "­There were more than 539 million fixed broadband subscribers globally at the end of second quarter. That is an 8% increase from the same quarter in 2010. Customer net addition is stronger in emerging markets."

The number of customers using high bandwidth services such as Internet video and online gaming is growing around the world. Exploding IP traffic generated by these services is putting service providers under pressure to handle the bandwidth demand. Broadband operators are expanding fiber broadband coverage which can best serve these bandwidth-hungry services. As an example, China Telecom is deploying fiber optic broadband aiming to serve 100 million households and 30 million fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) subscribers by the end of 2015.

At present, North America is the region with the highest fiber optic broadband penetration followed by Asia-Pacific. Extending fiber broadband coverage not only increases speed but also allows the roll out of services including video on demand (VOD) and IPTV. ABI Research estimates that worldwide fiber broadband subscriber numbers will more than double in 2016 to 142 million subscribers, from 69.6 million in 2011.

The Asia Pacific region is seeing strong subscriber growth, due in particular to the increasing number of subscribers in China. About 17 million Chinese subscribers have been added since the second quarter of 2010."The Asia-Pacific broadband market is sure to continue growing in the medium-term since low broadband penetration in countries such as China and India leaves plenty of room for broadband growth," comments research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.

Source: Cellular News

Broadband | FTTH/B | IPTV  | World
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:47:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Philippines' National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has told communications firms to disclose their minimum broadband speed and reliability to consumers. Memorandum Order No. 07-07-2011 requires operators to specify minimum broadband speeds, service rates and the reliability of the service in advertisements, flyers, brochures, and service agreements, the Manila Times reports. The regulator also said the minimum service reliability should be 80 percent. The service reliability is measured over a month and is found by dividing the number of hours used in a month that are at or above the minimum connection speed into the number of hours used in a month. Currently, operators only disclose the maximum speed of the service.
 
According to the Memorandum, services also have to comply with Memorandum Circular No. 12-19-2004 which stipulates that operators have to provide at least 98.5 percent of the advertised speed, for dial-up access this is 80 percent and for leased lines this is 99 percent.

Source: Telecom Paper

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:45:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Tigo Ghana lost nearly a million customers between February to June 2011, according to data from the National Communications Authority (NCA), as collected from the mobile networks.The data showed that Tigo's subscriber base dropped from 4.136 million in February to 3.223 million in June - a loss of 913,191 subscribers.

Rival network Mtn gained just under 600,000 new customers, taking them to 8.967 million subscribers, while Vodafone gained 544,880 subscribers to take its base to 3.426 million.Expresso the only CDMA network in the country also lost 6,631 subscribers to end the period with 220,920 customers.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:41:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Bakcell and Azercell are bracing up for receiving two 3G licenses respectively. It has been affirmed by Ali Abbasov, Azarbijan’s Communications and Information Technologies Ministry that in the coming couple of days, the aforementioned licenses will be awarded.

At the moment, Azerfon happens to be the only operator that boasts of a 3G license while the nation has been contending with regard to the failure to give out more licenses to other operators.

According to Abbasov, the mobile operators will be awarded corresponding license for providing 3G services in the coming days, weeks and months. On the other hand, a lot depends on the networks that face technical issues in rendering 3G services.

As per sources, there are three GSM networks in the country, in addition to one CDMA operator. There were more than 8.3 million subscribers in Azerbaijan as on March 2011, accounting for 99% penetration level in terms of population.

Source: Wireless Federation

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:39:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Bahrain has launched Mobile Number Portability between the country's four mobile networks. Number portability for landlines will be offered from October.

The country's implementation of Mnp is 'recipient-led', where subscribers only need to contact the new operator. In addition, once a subscriber decides to move, the old operator may not directly contact the subscriber, with the purpose of trying to convince the subscriber to return, for a period of 3 months.

During the press conference, TRA Chairman Dr. Mohammed Al Amer said, "we expect the percentage of participants wishing to transfer their numbers up to 20% of the total number of mobile subscribers in the Kingdom of Bahrain."

SystorIntereurope Systems is managing the Number Portability Central System, which is a key component of the process responsible for coordinating the exchange of messages between Licensed Operators as well as maintaining the authoritative database of ported numbers and performance metrics of all Licensed Operators. 

The Number Portability central system is being hosted by the Bahrain Internet Exchange (BIX), which facilitates the ease of access by all operators.

Source: Cellular News

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:37:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Romanian news agency ACT Media, communications minister Valerian Vreme has announced that 90% of the areas that are currently unconnected to the internet will be covered within four years. According to Vreme, Romania currently has over 3,600 so-called ‘white spaces’, which are best defined as isolated areas not yet covered by available access types. Vreme commented: ‘The ‘Digital Agenda’ is shaping up. I can tell you that we are not alone in the process, but it depends on how we advertise the [scheme] and how we get people involved. Romania is ranked seventh in the world in terms of ‘technologies of the future’. At the same time, it is ranked 16th in terms of broadband [take-up]. Over the past year, the number of broadband internet connections advanced 6%, but that is not enough. Covering 90% of the over-3,600 blank areas will be achieved by 2015’.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:35:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Somaliland-based telecoms operator Telesom has unveiled a third-generation network in the autonomous region, SomalilandPress reports. The new network offers services such as high speed mobile broadband and videocalling. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Telesom managing director Mohamd Salah Abdi, said: ‘This is a testament of our commitment to innovate the market by deploying 3G network service in Somaliland which will allow our customers to have video and audio streaming, video chat and high speed internet access the first in the Horn of Africa. This 3G technology will offer advanced mobile broadband services to not only Telesom consumers but also to the business community in Somaliland.’ Telesom was founded in Hargeisa, Somaliland in 2001.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:26:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China will hit the 1 billion mobile connections milestone in May 2012, according to the latest Wireless Intelligence forecasts. China is already the world's largest mobile market, surpassing 900 million connections last quarter, which means the country is forecast to add a further 100 million subscribers over the next 12 months, surpassing 1 billion during Q2 2012.

By the time the 1 billion milestone is reached we estimate that Chinese mobile penetration will stand at 74 percent, up from 67 percent in Q2 2011, suggesting that the market will still have plenty of room for future growth.

We expect the market shares of the three Chinese mobile operators to remain largely unchanged from today. Market-leader China Mobile will see its share slip slightly from 68 percent to 66 percent, while third-placed China Telecom will increase two percentage points to 14 percent. China Unicom - the second-largest player - will see its market share unchanged at 20 percent, according to our estimates.

The number of Chinese subscribers connected to 3G networks is expected to account for a quarter of the country's total at the 1 billion point, up from 18 percent in Q2 2011. All three operators are rolling-out different versions of 3G technology: TD-SCDMA at China Mobile; WCDMA at Unicom; and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A at China Telecom (both China Telecom's CDMA2000 1X and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A networks are classed as 3G). China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) reported that 714,000 3G towers have been built in the past year - 214,000 for China Mobile, 274,000 for Unicom and 226,000 for China Telecom.

The relatively slow migration to higher-speed networks in China to date reflects the fact that smartphone penetration is still low - but rising fast. Smartphones are thought to account for around 10 percent of China's total base, but the exact figure is hard to calculate due to the large number of 'grey market' smart devices in the market. China Mobile, for example, says it already has 5.6 million iPhone users on its network, even though the devices can only currently access the operator's 2G (GSM) network and the device is not retailed by the operator.

Click here to see full article
 
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:17:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 15, 2011

Cuba’s national bureau of statistics, Oficina Nacional de Estadisticas (ONE), says that the island’s mobile subscriber base exceeded the one million milestone in 2010 to end the year with a total of 1.003 million cellular users, Reuters reports. The number of subscribers grew by 61% year-on-year compared to 621,200 at 31 December 2009. According to ONE, mobile services covered 78% of the Cuban population at the end of 2010, up marginally from 77.5% twelve months earlier and 71% in 2005.

Meanwhile, the number of fixed lines in service totalled 1.163 million at 31 December 2010 (compared to 1.119 million a year earlier), of which residential users accounted for 838,713. At the same date, 98.7% of lines had been digitised, up from 97.1% at the end of 2009 and 89.8% in 2005. The report said there were 64 computers and 159 internet users per 1,000 residents in 2010, though most had access only to a government controlled intranet through computer clubs and workplaces, since internet access requires government permission.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Cuba’s sole telecoms operator is Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA). The company is wholly owned by the Cuban government via six state-run entities: Telefonica Antillana (51%), Rafin (27%), Banco Financiero Internacional (6.2%), Universal Trade & Management Corporation (11.1%), Banco Internacional de Comercio (0.9%) and Negocios en Telecomunicaciones (3.8%). Local financial services company Rafin bought its stake in January 2011 from Telecom Italia (TI) for USD706 million.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 15, 2011 1:00:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Ethiopia's monopoly mobile network, Ethio Telecom says that it has registered a remarkable increase in the number of mobile subscribers over the past weeks, and has now exceeded 10 million subscribers.

The total customer base, including fixed line and internet subscribers now reaches 11.3 million.For comparison, according to figures from the Mobile World  the state owned monopoly had an estimated 3.85 million subscribers at the end of June 2010.

The company has also announced plans to revamp its tariffs and prepay card durations. The company said that the lower value voucher cards are being introduced to fulfill the expectations expressed by the network's customers while higher value voucher cards are introduced specially for data services.

France Telecom has a two-year contract to manage the network, which expires at the end of 2012.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:57:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

After months of delays, Lebanon’s telecoms minister, Nicolas Sehnawi, has confirmed that international internet capacity via the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable is now available to ISPs. Habib Torbey, the head of the Lebanese Telecom Association and president of GlobalCom Data Services, representing the country’s private ISPs, confirmed to local newspaper The Daily Star yesterday that the long-awaited new capacity was now available, adding that the development ‘will really change the internet landscape in Lebanon.’

A statement from the communications ministry added that Sehnawi would present a draft bill to the Cabinet in the coming three weeks that would formally dictate a reduction of internet access prices in the country. Lebanon’s landing station for the IMEWE fibre-optic system had been scheduled to enter operation in December 2010 but was postponed mainly due to disputes involving the cable’s owning consortium, the telecoms ministry and the national incumbent telco OGERO. With the international undersea connection now lit, ISPs will soon be able to offer retail and wholesale users faster speeds, whilst planned 3G mobile data services will also utilise the IMEWE cable.

ISPs are waiting for the promised data pricing bill with interest as, unlike government-owned cellcos Alfa and MTC Touch, ISPs currently pay around USD3,000 for a line which reportedly costs the government USD100 to supply, Torbey stated. Meanwhile, upgrades to another cable system, Cadmos, will also boost the country’s available bandwidth, helping to raise speeds and lower prices.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:53:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Canada's Rogers Communications has announced the commercial launch of Canada's first LTE network, covering the Ottawa region. Rogers also announced that network rollout to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal will occur this autumn, and that LTE-enabled smartphones from Samsung and HTC will be available later this year.

The company added that it will expand LTE coverage to a further 21 markets by the end of 2012. Rogers and Ericsson have been conducting technical trials of LTE in Ottawa and Montreal since last autumn.At launch the Rogers LTE network will be capable of maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 75 Mbps on the Rogers LTE Network. Typical download speeds can range from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps. As device selection evolves, maximum theoretical download speeds will increase to up to 150 Mbps.

"Ottawa is proud to play a significant role in Canada's first LTE network, from the trials through to the launch today. This new technology is a significant step forward towards increasing the accessibility and enjoyment of high speed applications while enhancing the productivity and reliability of mobile communications for Ottawans" said Steve Desroches, Deputy Mayor of Ottawa.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:45:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belarusian national operator Beltelecom plans to raise the capacity of its internet gateway to Russia by 20Gbps by the end of the year and has announced a tender to provide the service, according to local online news service Tut. The winner of the bid will be charged with expanding the gateway by 10Gbps in August, adding the rest of the capacity in the third and fourth quarters of the year. The current capacity of Beltelecom’s internet gateway totals 120Gbps, of which the link to Russia comprises 90Gbps.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:43:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wireless broadband subscriptions in OECD countries exceeded half a billion by the end of 2010, an increase of more than 10 percent on June 2010, according to data from the OECD. Fixed broadband subscriptions reached 300 million, but growth slowed to 6 percent year-on-year. This reflects higher broadband penetration and market saturation in some countries. The Netherlands and Switzerland lead with 38.1 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, followed by Denmark with 37.7 and Norway with 34.6.

Fibre subscriptions continue to grow and account for 12.3 percent of all fixed broadband connections, while DSL is still the most widely used technology with 57.6 percent, followed by cable with 29.4 percent. Leading countries in fibre are Japan with 58 percent, Korea with 55 percent, Slovak Republic with 29 percent and Sweden with 26 percent. Korea is the leading country for wireless broadband subscriptions, with 89.8 per 100 inhabitants, followed by Finland with 84.8, Sweden with 82.9 and Norway with 79.9. This compares to an OECD average of 41.6 and a total of under 512 million.

The factors in the sector's continuing health include long contract durations of mobile operators, the popularity of bundled offers of television, mobile and fixed telephony, and the fact that communication services are perceived as non-discretionary spending items. Households looking to cut spending seem to be economising in other areas. The prevalence of bundled services has also played a role in this shift by reinforcing customer loyalty and reducing churn. Bundled services may benefit consumers by offering lower prices and gains such as unified billing, integrated services or customer assistance. The complexity of some bundled offers makes them hard to interpret and poses additional issues for consumers trying to compare prices and make informed decisions. In addition, bundling may make it harder for users to switch providers or drop a service.

Source: TelecomPaper
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:55:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­A meeting of Government Ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has agreed to work on cutting mobile roaming rates between their countries.

The GCC Ministers decided to adhere to the Ministerial resolution made at a meeting three years ago, which stated that the GCC countries will move the implementation of proposals from a working group for a 30% cut in roaming rates.

In a statement, the GCC Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities said that they will inform the operators immediately after the meeting to implement the resolution. The GCC is a political and economic union of the Arab states constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

Source: Cellular News

 

Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:47:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has passed its third and final reading in New Zealand's Parliament. The Bill provides the regulatory framework for the government's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiatives. It also implements reforms to the Telecommunications Service Obligation (TSO) regime, and implements measures to assist in the roll-out of broadband. The Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative aims to deliver fibre connectivity to schools, hospitals and 90 percent of businesses by 2015, and to three-quarters of all New Zealanders by 2020.
 
The Rural Broadband Initiative will cover areas outside of the UFB and will enable 97 percent of schools to connect to ultra-fast broadband and 97 percent of households to receive peak speeds of at least 5 Mbps. The bill also clears the way for the structural separation of Telecom New Zealand into two new businesses, as part of Telecom's involvement in the Ultra-Fast Broadband project. Following Royal Assent, the bill is scheduled to come into force on 1 July.
 
Source: TelecomPaper


Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:44:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eight percent of U.S. adults owned a tablet device in May, up from the 5 percent that reported having one in November 2010, according to research by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

Meanwhile, ownership of e-reader devices stood at around 12 percent, the research center said. Adoption of such devices continues to grow at a faster rate than tablets, having doubled from 6 percent market penetration in November of last year. In addition, hree percent of survey respondents reported owning both an e-reader and a tablet.

In terms of overall penetration, however, e-readers and tablets continue to lag behind devices such as cellphones and laptops. Of the 2,277 respondents Pew surveyed for the research, 83 percent reported owning the former, and 56 percent the latter. MP3 player ownership stood at around 44 percent, meanwhile.

 

Source: ClickZ.com
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:28:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wireless broadband subscriptions in OECD countries exceeded half a billion by the end of 2010, an increase of more than 10 percent on June 2010, according to data from the OECD. Fixed broadband subscriptions reached 300 million, but growth slowed to 6 percent year-on-year. This reflects higher broadband penetration and market saturation in some countries. The Netherlands and Switzerland lead with 38.1 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, followed by Denmark with 37.7 and Norway with 34.6.

Fibre subscriptions continue to grow and account for 12.3 percent of all fixed broadband connections, while DSL is still the most widely used technology with 57.6 percent, followed by cable with 29.4 percent. Leading countries in fibre are Japan with 58 percent, Korea with 55 percent, Slovak Republic with 29 percent and Sweden with 26 percent. Korea is the leading country for wireless broadband subscriptions, with 89.8 per 100 inhabitants, followed by Finland with 84.8, Sweden with 82.9 and Norway with 79.9. This compares to an OECD average of 41.6 and a total of under 512 million.

The factors in the sector's continuing health include long contract durations of mobile operators, the popularity of bundled offers of television, mobile and fixed telephony, and the fact that communication services are perceived as non-discretionary spending items. Households looking to cut spending seem to be economising in other areas. The prevalence of bundled services has also played a role in this shift by reinforcing customer loyalty and reducing churn. Bundled services may benefit consumers by offering lower prices and gains such as unified billing, integrated services or customer assistance. The complexity of some bundled offers makes them hard to interpret and poses additional issues for consumers trying to compare prices and make informed decisions. In addition, bundling may make it harder for users to switch providers or drop a service.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:18:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil’s national telecoms regulator Anatel says the country was home to 26.3 million 3G mobile devices (including modems) at the end of May, up 73% on the same time a year ago. Of the total, some 19.8 million 3G devices were W-CDMA handsets, while the remaining 6.5 million were 3G modems, it said. By the start of June 3G devices accounted for more than 12% of total mobile connections in the country, it added. 3G networks currently provide coverage in 1,523 cities and municipalities across the country, representing 75.4% of the population. In a separate release, the regulator reports that the total number of fixed broadband connections reached 15.8 million at end-May, up 29% year-on-year.

Source: TeleGeography

3G
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:15:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest data published by Ireland’s telecoms regulator ComReg, the Republic was home to more than 1.624 million fixed and mobile broadband connections at the end of March 2011, up 10.4% year-on-year and 2.1% quarter-on-quarter. Stripping out mobile broadband connections of 591,368, the regulator reported a little over 1.033 million fixed broadband connections, up 5.3% y-o-y, with much of the growth being driven by cable modem-based users.

In the year to 31 March 2011 the total number of cable subscriptions rose 33.7% to 218,519, while xDSL users increased by 0.8% to 729,890. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connections declined by 11.6% to 75,529 in the twelve months under review, although ComReg noted a small 1.7% rise in such connections between 31 December and the end of the first quarter. ‘Other’ broadband access reached 9,197, up 12% y-o-y, although conversely the total dipped 1.2% between 4Q10 and 1Q11. Meanwhile, mobile broadband continues to expand, growing 20.7% year-on-year and 3.4% quarter-on-quarter – according to the watchdog’s findings. Mobile broadband now represents 36.4% of all high speed subscriptions, behind DSL lines (44.9%). Dial-up lines continue to fall: narrowband subscriptions totalled 40,604 at end-March, equivalent to just 2.4% of all internet subscriptions.

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:13:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Venezuelan mobile operator Digitel is in the process of deploying a new 200km section of fibre-optic infrastructure to expand the total length of its backbone network to 1,000km, reports BNamericas. The transmission network, linking the capital Caracas with the cities of Valencia, Barquisimeto and Maracaibo, is expected to be expanded to 3,000km in a second deployment phase.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:12:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

CEO of Jordan Telecom, Nayla Khawam, has announced plans to invest JOD50 million (USD70.3 million) in developing faster 3G and internet services. The statement was delivered in the wake of a pledge last week from rival telco Umniah Telecommunications and Technology Company to launch its own 3G network in 2012.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database 3G services were launched by Jordan Telecom in March 2010 and within twelve months it had 300,000 customers using the service. Jordan’s only other 3G provider, Zain Jordan, claimed 41,000 3G users at the same date.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:10:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |