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 Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Azerbaijan mobile operator Bakcell announced that it plans to raise the prices of on-net calls for subscribers of its SevimliCIN, SevinCIN and QoshaCIN tariffs from 15 May. The current AZN 0.04 per minute rate for on-net calls at off-peak hours will be raised to AZN 0.06 per minute for subscribers of the SevimliCIN tariff and to AZN 0.08 per minute for subscribers of the Sevin CIN and QoshaCIN tariffs.

Source: Telecom Paper.

CIS | LTE | Tariffs
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 09:57:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operators in USA have spoken out at an industry conference regarding the limited data capacity and its long term effect on the industry. According to a report by Total telecom, executives from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA said the future of data use, such as streaming video and photos, is at risk if more airwaves, or spectrum, aren’t put to use.
Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Dan Mead, speaking at the CTIA conference in New Orleans, said the largest carrier will be maxed out in some markets as early as next year and most others by 2015. The carrier is seeking regulatory authority to buy $3.9 billion worth of spectrum from a group of cable companies. He said that they will put this spectrum to use quickly.
T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm said that they require more spectrum, more technologies to manage capacity. The carrier had hoped to be bought by AT&T Inc. last year as part of a $39 billion bid that was ultimately stopped by regulators. Humm said average monthly data use on T-Mobile’s network has risen more than five-fold over the past two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 09:54:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 08 June 2012

The share of web traffic in Asia that comes from mobile devices has almost tripled in the pat two years, according to a recent blog post by pingdom. In fact, in some countries, close to half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. India is very close to mobile traffic breaking 50 percent of all web traffic, as are several other countries in Asia as well as Africa.
As per the post, the countries with the highest share of mobile traffic as part of total web traffic are India at 48.87 percent, Zamibia at 47.09 percent, Sudan at 44.95 percent, Uzbekistan at 42.36 percent, Nigeria at 40.65 percent, Zimbabwe at 37.95 percent, Laos at 35.46 percent, Brunei at 34.66 percent, Ethiopia at 31.79 percent and Kenya at 29.2 percent.
The data reveals that Africa and Asia split the list between them. Africa amassed six countries, which left Asia with four. The first European country is the United Kingdom with 10.71 percent, and the U.S. showed 8.61 percent mobile web traffic as share of all web traffic.
Europe scored a 183.43 percent increase in mobile browsing share over this period, not that far behind Asia. But with the mobile share only increasing from 1.81 percent to 5.13 percent, Europe is still far behind both Africa and Asia when it comes to the percentage of users accessing the web using mobiles.
Worldwide, mobiles only account for about 10 percent of web access, but it’s a figure that is growing fast. With some countries already closing in on 50 percent of web traffic coming from mobiles – with India in the lead – it’s safe to assume this development will only continue.
Clearly, people are taking to their mobile devices all over the world to get on the Internet, but more so in Africa and Asia than elsewhere. 

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 08 June 2012 13:44:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Moshe Kahlon, the Israeli minister of communications, has reportedly confirmed that the government will adopt recommendations made by the Hayek Committee requiring the country’s fixed line infrastructure owners to open access to their respective networks. Globes Online reports that the new legislation will require both Bezeq and HOT Telecommunication Systems to allow alternative operators to utilise their networks to offer a full suite of services, including internet infrastructure and pay-TV. In confirming the plans, the Ministry of Communications (MoC) is also understood to have said that it will allow market forces to decide the pricing agreements for wholesale access, similar to the manner in which mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreements are currently reached. Should operators fail to reach a deal over prices, the MoC will retain the power to intervene and set the charges itself.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:14:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 04 May 2012

Brazil ended March 2012 with more than 250.8 million active mobile telephony lines, of which 52 million were 3G, representing growth of 10.11 percent from 47.2 million 3G handsets in February 2012. The mobile phone penetration rate rose to 128 percent. Of the total mobile phones in the country, 205.2 million were prepaid (81.83%) and 45.6 million postpaid (18.17%). The absolute number of new additions (3.2 million) is the largest recorded for the month of March in the last thirteen years and represents an increase of 1.30 percent compared with February 2012, according to statement from the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel). Maranhao remains the only Brazilian state with less than one mobile phone per capita density (84.4). Vivo is still the market leader with 74.78 million subscribers (29.81% market share), followed by TIM with 67.2 million subscribers (26.80%), and Claro in third position with 61.59 million subscribers (24.56%). Oi appears in fourth place with 46.69 million active subscribers (18.53%) and was the only one to see its market share shrink in comparison with the previous month. In percentage terms, Claro was the operator with the highest growth.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, 04 May 2012 08:40:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 April 2012

In the second half of 2011, the number of mobile subscriptions continued to grow, although much slower than during the first half of the year. Instead, the number of pay-monthly data transmission subscriptions in the mobile network and unexpectedly, the number of text and multimedia messages sent continued to grow clearly. As many as 40% of mobile subscriptions had a pay-monthly data transmission service.

Broadband subscriptions gained popularity in fixed and mobile networks

The number of fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase in the second half-year by more than 30,000, even though the number of pay-monthly mobile data transmission subscriptions grew by about 570,000 during the same time period. It seems that mobile data transmission subscriptions and agreements are used more and more as a complementary data transmission subscription alongside fixed broadband subscriptions.

A record number of text and multimedia messages were sent. After a moderate increase at the beginning of the year, the number of text and multimedia messages sent accelerated by 10% from July to December. The figures contain the messages sent by both consumers and companies. There is no evidence that the strong popularity of data transmission services would put an end to the use of the more traditional mobile services.

Source: FICORA.

Monday, 30 April 2012 09:50:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 05 April 2012

MTN Liberia (formerly Lonestar Communications) has announced the signing of its one-millionth mobile customer, based on the audited reports of its parent group MTN’s full year 2011 results. Monrovia-based newspaper The New Dawn also notes that the MTN Group highlighted the Liberian operator as one of its strongest growth performers. South Africa-registered MTN had a total of 164 million customers in 22 countries at the end of December 2011, of which MTN Liberia had over one million. The cellco’s milestone comes at the end of more than ten years of activity in a country that it striving to overcome the devastating impact of civil war.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 05 April 2012 08:51:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 March 2012

Tanzania Telecommunications Company (TTCL) has introduced a new offer known as Nduki Broadband, which will enable broadband users to pay from Tanzanian shillings 30,000/- (around USD20) to 200,000/- (around USD130) per month for unlimited access.

The offer allows customers to download as much data as they like without any limitations. The offer will give them for first package speed of 256 Kbs, and is known as Nduki Bronze which will be paid Tanzanian shillings 30,000/- (around 20 USD) per month.

The second package is known as Nduki Silver, with speeds of 512 Kbs, which will cost a Tanzanian shilling 60,000/- (around USD40 USD).

Nduki Gold is the third package, giving customers high speed access of 1Mbps which per month at Tanzanian shillings 100,000 (around USD65). The highest-speed package, Nduki Diamond, offers speeds of 2Mbps at a cost of Tanzanian shillings 200,000/- (around 130 USD) per month.

All the packages give TTCL subscribers unlimited download services.

The state-owned company is seeking to grow its broadband subscriber numbers in order to compete with private telecom companies which currently lead the market in Tanzania.

According to TCRA quarterly report December 2011, TTCL has only 1% of the market shares while Vodacom is leading the market with 45%, Airtel with 27%, Tigo with 21%, Zantel 6%, Sasatel 0.02% and Benson 0.01%.

Source: Biztech Africa.

Friday, 30 March 2012 11:04:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New entrants to Costa Rica’s wireless market, Claro Costa Rica and Movistar Costa Rica (subsidiaries of Mexico’s America Movil and Spain’s Telefonica respectively) have appealed to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAE) to extend their network rollout deadline, following further difficulties in acquiring permissions to erect infrastructure. The cellcos require permission from municipalities to build towers, though the process has been slowed by the fact that most areas have no regulations in place regarding the construction of telecoms infrastructure. Under the licences issued to Claro and Movistar in January last year, the pair are obliged to roll out networks in three stages within five years, with the first phase due to be completed by mid-July. The two cellcos launched services over GSM and W-CDMA networks in late November 2011

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:48:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Australia’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced the passing of the last major piece of legislation underpinning the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the recent structural reforms to the country’s telecommunications sector. With the universal service reform legislation package having finally been passed, Mr Conroy noted: ‘This legislation safeguards key telecommunications services for all Australians, particularly those in rural, regional and remote Australia, during and after the transition to the NBN.’ The relevant bills – the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Bill 2011; the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Universal Service Reform) Bill 2011; and the Telecommunications (Industry Levy) Bill 2011 – were introduced to parliament in November 2011.

One of the key aspects of the new legislation is the establishment of a new agency, the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA). As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, from 1 July 2012 the new body is to be tasked with ensuring that: all Australians have reasonable access to a standard telephone service (the Universal Service Obligation [USO] for voice telephony services); payphones are reasonably accessible to all Australians (the USO for payphones); the ongoing delivery of the Emergency Call Service by Telstra (calls to Triple Zero ‘000’ and ‘112’); the ongoing delivery of the National Relay Service; that appropriate safety net arrangements are in place that will assist the migration of voice-only customers to an NBN fibre service as Telstra’s copper customer access network is decommissioned; and that technological solutions will be developed as necessary to support continuity of public interest services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:47:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Kosovar fixed line and mobile operator IPKO has announced revenues of EUR70.363 million (USD93.160 million) for 2011 in a press conference, reports Kosova Press. The telco claimed to have signed up 450,000 mobile customers, as well as 72,000 internet, 67,000 cable TV and 5,000 fixed voice subscriptions. IPKO executive director Robert Erzin attributed the success of the telco, a subsidiary of Telekom Slovenije, to the company’s competitive rates and the quality of its services.

Source: TeleGeograpy.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:46:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Privately owned telecoms operator Bharat Telecom Ltd (BTL) has announced that it is launching a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service in Mauritius. The telco, which was incorporated in August 2010, hopes to deliver a range of services to Mauritian households over the new platform, including broadband internet and IPTV. Further, the operator says it intends to use digital infrastructure based on Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GEPON) technology, to act as a carrier backbone for other service providers in the country operating in the gaming and WebTV business spheres. Commenting on the launch BTL managing director Baljinder said: ‘BTL has the vision to connect every home and office in the country with a fibre network’.

The telco’s chief operating officer Anil Gujjalu says that network rollout has been ongoing since 2011 and that it has now reached the point where it will shortly begin to connect homes and businesses to its 100Mbps fibre-optic cables. BTL promises to deliver ‘high speed internet and other value added services at very affordable prices’. Industry watchers note though, that contrary to an earlier announcement from the minister of ICT touting its new fast broadband speeds, BTL will not be offering a 10Mbps connection for MUR280 (USD10) a month, but rather a much slower 2Mbps connection. It will however be bundling internet connectivity with IPTV comprising around 40 TV channels. The start-up package is expected to be marketed on a commercial basis within the next six to eight weeks, subject to BTL obtaining the necessary tariff approvals from the regulator.

Source: TeleGeograpy.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:44:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
National Communications Commission (NCC) chairperson Su Herng has outlined targets deemed necessary for ensuring that Taiwan’s internet infrastructure catches up with those of other countries such as South Korea. According to Focus Taiwan, with the executive claiming that specific targets will assist in pushing forward infrastructure development, the government is reportedly aiming to ensure that cable broadband services offering downlink speeds of 100Mbps are accessible by 80% of the Taiwanese population by 2015. Further, by that date the NCC expects there to be some six million fibre-based broadband accesses, in addition to roughly two million wireless broadband subscribers. Kuomintang (Nationalist Party — KMT) legislator Lo Shu-lei criticised such targets for being too optimistic, however, prompting Su to respond that the improvement of services nationwide would require a degree of support from the government.

Source: TeleGoegraphy.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:43:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) Ltd (MTML), the Mauritian mobile unit of India’s Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) says it will launch 3G mobile services this year, after securing the necessary frequencies from the government. The Economic Times says final plans for the launch will be confirmed after the cellco’s board meeting next month. China’s ZTE has been selected to supply the hardware and software upgrades. MTML will be the third operator to offer 3G in Mauritius: Orange and Emtel have already deployed UMTS networks and between them have signed up an estimated 230,000 users. MTML has garnered approximately 20,000 GSM customers within its first three months of operation, the Indian parent said. Moreover, MTNL says it plans to roll out 3G services in other African markets if it is successful in efforts to secure UMTS concessions where it operates.

In other Mauritius news, Bloomberg reports that the government of Mauritius may consider listing shares of national PTO Mauritius Telecom (MT), although no concrete plans have yet been finalised. The African nation’s prime minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is quoted as saying the he has ‘no problem’ with listing MT shares on the country’s local bourse, provided the state keeps a majority stake in the venture. He added that the country also has to ‘live with’ its earlier decision to sell a 40% stake in the telco to France Telecom-Orange.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:42:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The French cellco Bouygues Telecom is lowering the price of some of its mid-range price plans in the face of stiff competition from the market’s newest operator, low-cost provider Free Mobile. Telecompaper reports that the price of Bouygues’ Eden Smartphone 1GB plan, for example, which offers unlimited voice calls and 1GB of data usage per month, will be slashed from EUR79.90 (USD105.23) a month to EUR49.90. The firm says most customers opt for calling plans with limited monthly minutes in the EUR35-EUR45 bracket, and this new offer is an attempt to entice these users onto unlimited packages rather than seeing them migrate to low-cost alternatives such as Free Mobile.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:40:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

French mobile and broadband operator Bouygues Telecom will cut the price of its mid-range mobile subscriptions with subsdised handsets on 19 March. Since the market entry of Free Mobile, MNOs have cut the price of their low-cost brands and quad-play plans with unlimited mobile, but other than commercial gestures by customer services, the announced price of mid-tier services has not changed. Les Echos reports that  Bouygues will halve its number of Eden subscriptions. Two-hour call package prices will come down by only around 10 percent, but packages with unlimited calls, such as the Eden Smartphone 1GB plan, will come down to EUR 49.90 from EUR 79.90 a month.

Bouygues currently sells few unlimited voice plans, with most customers opting for plans costing EUR 35-45 a month.  The new pricing is likely to motivate customers to opt for unlimited call plans, according to Bouygues’ deputy director for consumer, Frederic Ruciak. Only 10-15 percent of Bouygues’ customers are now choosing Sim-only subscriptions and fewer than 5 percent choose Sim-only plans with mobile data. Bouygues Telecom announced that it expects a 10 percent fall in revenues in 2012, a year in which it aims to save EUR 300 million a year. The company said that fixed broadband is continuing to grow, but that growth in Sim-only offers and the arrival of Free Mobile would have a negative impact on revenue.

Source: Telecompaper.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:39:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DoCoMo, has announced that its customer base passed the 60 million milestone on 11 March. The figure includes customers on 2G, 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. After launching its first cellular services towards the end of 1979, it took DoCoMo until February 1993 to sign its first one million customers. Four years later it had reached ten million subscribers, and by April 2000 it had signed up 30 million users. It then reached 50 million in November 2005, but as the market has become more saturated growth has slowed, and it has taken over six years to reach the latest milestone. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, DoCoMo commands a 47.5% share of the Japanese mobile market, with KDDI, Softbank and eAccess also competing for users.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:37:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Armenian fixed and mobile operator reported strong subscriber gains in both mobile and fixed broadband users, helping drive full year operating revenues up to USD190 million from USD184 million in FY2010. EBITDA reached USD73 million in the period under review, down from USD78 million in 2010, although the EBITDA margin improved to 40.7% in 4Q11, compared to 36.4% in 4Q10. The telco closed out last year with a total of 765,000 mobile customers, up from 672,000 a year earlier, helping to generate net operating revenue of USD82 million, compared to USD74 million previously. Fourth-quarter blended monthly ARPU of USD7.6 however, was lower than the USD10 reported in 4Q10, although ArmenTel reports solid take-up of higher spending mobile broadband subscribers, which stood at 24,000 by the year end, from 7,000 at end-2010.

The operator, which offers services under the Beeline banner, had 134000 fixed broadband customers as at 31 December 2011, up from 115,000 in the third quarter and 68,000 at end-2010. Fixed line (net) revenue reached USD108 million last year – marginally down (by USD2 million) year-on-year – although within this, broadband revenue increased to USD19.2 million, from USD9.8 million in full-year 2010. Monthly fixed broadband ARPU was USD14.8 in 4Q11, down from USD17.1 a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:35:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Etisalat Afghanistan announced the launch of its 3G services, claiming a first in the country. Etisalat is yet to reveal the coverage of the network, or specific plans or packages for 3G services. Started in 2007, Etisalat Afghanistan is a 100 percent subsidiary of UAE-based operator Etisalat. The launch was marked at a ceremony at with government officials at the communications ministry.

Source: Telecompaper.

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:33:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Hrvatski Telekom launched commercial LTE-based 4G network in Croatia. The first LTE base stations are located in Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek and Split. The plan is to expand the LTE network coverage to other urban areas in Croatia in the upcoming period as well. The LTE-based services as well as the coverage maps will be presented and available to the customers in a couple of days.

In 2010, HT had a live presentation of the implemented 4G test network, and in 2011, it's customers in Zagreb, Rijeka and Split tested all the advantages this technology offers to the users. Furthermore, in March 2011, HT presented in Rijeka the highest download data rates in the mobile network in Croatia. On that occasion, operator arranged a video conference call between Zagreb and Rijeka using the LTE technology.

"By implementing the mobile network LTE in combination with the improvements in the fixed line data rates, we have confirmed one more time our leading position on the market," said Božidar Poldrugaè, HT Management Board Member and Chief Technical and Chief Information Officer.

Source: LteWorld.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:58:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |