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 Monday, October 29, 2012

Lithuania’s fixed line incumbent TEO LT has announced it generated revenue of LTL570.5 million (USD213.6 million) in the first nine months of 2012, an increase of 2.9% from LTL554.3 million in the same period of 2011. Sales were boosted by an 8.2% year-on-year rise in internet sales to LTL128 million, a 21.2% increase in TV services to LTL42 million and a 41.6% year-on-year jump in IT services to LTL47 million, which helped to offset a 3.9% decline in voice telephony services to LTL269 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the nine-month period totalled LTL236.2 million, up 3.7% from LTL227.8 million a year earlier, while net profit grew 5.3% year-on-year to LTL123.6 million in 9M12. During the first nine months of 2012 capital investments totalled LTL100 million, the majority of which (LTL83 million) went towards the expansion of TEO’s core and fibre-optic access networks. TEO said revenue for the third quarter of 2012 totalled LTL189.8 million, an increase of 2.9% from LTL184.5 million in the same period a year earlier. EBITDA for the three months ended 30 September 2012 rose 6.7% year-on-year to LTL81.9 million, while net profit for the period grew 11.4% from LTL40.6 million in Q3 2011 to LTL45.3 million twelve months later.

At 30 September 2012 TEO reported a broadband internet subscriber base of 380,824, an increase of 3.7% from 367,396 customers a year earlier; the total includes 156,068 FTTx users, up 19.1% year-on-year thanks to the expansion of TEO’s fibre-optic network. With a presence in over 100 towns and cities, a total of 747,000 homes were covered by the infrastructure at the end of September 2012 (up from 705,000 a year earlier), representing 62% of the country’s households. Television customers increased 10.1% over the twelve-month period to reach 161,921 (including 89,076 IPTV users – up 17.6% year-on-year), while the total number of main telephone lines in service at the end of September 2012 amounted to 615,807, a decrease of 6.8% from 660,767 a year earlier.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:09:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungary’s National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has released its monthly ‘flash reports’ on the nation’s fixed and mobile markets, showing that the total number of fixed voice accesses reached more than 3.002 million at 31 August 2012, up from 2.999 million at end-June, a household penetration rate of 61.86%. Of the total, copper wire PSTN lines accounted for over 1.978 million voice channels, compared to 2.006 million two months earlier,

voice over cable television (VoCATV) connections grew by 20,904 to 556,762, and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) subscriptions increased by a net 10,624 to 406,674. In terms of fixed line market share, Magyar Telekom’s T-Home service led the way with 59.8% of the market, ahead of second-placed Invitel Holdings with 13.1%, UPC Hungary (12.2%), DIGI (8.7%), and others (6.2%).

The number of fixed broadband connections reached 2.132 million by the start of September this year according to the regulator’s findings, which are compiled using data supplied by the principal players: Magyar Telekom, Invitel, GTS Hungary, UPC Hungary, DIGI, PR-Telekom, Tarr, ViDaNet and Parisatt. xDSL connections dipped by 6,234 to 777,925 subscriptions, although this was offset by a rise in basic cable modem lines to 857,954 from 848,708 previously, and cable (DOCSIS 3.0) users – up 12,045 to 210,261. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) uptake also continues apace, accounting for 298,808 lines at 31 August, compared to 290,087 in June.

Meanwhile, in the mobile segment, the NMHH said that the country was home to a total of 11.509 million registered SIM cards at the end of August 2012, down a net 18,134 connections from 11.527 million at 30 June, a cellular penetration rate of 115.8%. In terms of the number of SIMs actually generating traffic though (i.e. active users), the figure stood at just over eleven million by 31 August, up from 10.980 million two months earlier. The NMHH found that T-Mobile Hungary accounted for 45.83% of active users at end-August, ahead of Telenor, with 31.47%, and Vodafone in third with 22.70%.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:07:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The small Pacific nation of Kiribati has signed an internet connectivity deal with the National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) in the Marshall Islands, reports Radio New Zealand International. Under the deal, the NTA will provide Kiribati with internet access via a fibre-optic cable and satellite owned by the Majuro-based telecoms operator. The Marshall Islands firm signed a similar contract earlier this year with Bemobile of the Solomon Islands, expanding satellite connectivity services to the Solomons. General manager of the NTA, Tommy Kijiner Junior, said he hopes the two deals will lead on to his company sealing similar contracts with other nations including Nauru and Tuvalu.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:05:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Liquid Telecom, part of the Econet Wireless group, has lit a direct fibre connection between Zimbabwe and the West African Cable System (WACS) landing station near Cape Town in South Africa, providing Zimbabwe with an alternative route for high speed international traffic. Simultaneously, Liquid announced it has begun rolling out an urban fibre network in Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Liquid Telecom operates a fibre network providing backhaul between cities in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa and last mile connectivity in some large cities. It operates as a wholesale carrier in all five countries as well as a broadband access provider in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Prior to the new WACS link, Liquid was already providing connectivity onto three other major subsea fibre systems in Africa, the EASSy, SEACOM and SAT3 cables.

Liquid has also built what it claims is the largest fibre network in Zimbabwe, providing broadband voice and data in all the major cities and towns, offering services for large enterprise, SME and residential customers as well as other providers in Zimbabwe. Liquid has started building the ‘first urban fibre network in Zimbabwe’, providing bandwidth speeds of up to 20Mbps in ‘a number of urban centres’. Liquid’s fibre network also serves sister cellco Econet Wireless by backhauling high speed 3G data and alleviating congestion.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:03:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

National watchdog the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) is proposing to cut mobile termination rates (MTRs) in the country, Telecompaper reports without citing its sources. Under the plan, MTRs will come down from CZK0.55 (USD0.0285) per minute, to CZK0.27, while the rate for fixed calls will drop to between CZK0.04-CZK0.08 per minute, from CZK0.15-CZK0.34. The new prices, which are based on a long-run incremental cost (LRIC) model, are expected to take effect from 1 January 2013. The CTU will hold a consultation on the plan and hopes to issue a final decision by the end of this year.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:55:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica of Spain’s Brazilian fixed and mobile operator Vivo Participacoes has launched an IPTV service in the city of Sao Paulo over its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The announcement follows a successful trial period in selected homes and full-blown marketing of the service will begin within weeks, it said. It is understood Vivo’s new IPTV offer, which uses Microsoft’s Mediaroom middleware, will cost from USD36.7 per month and will initially target its existing 100,000 FTTH subscribers. People signing up to the service will receive free-to-air as well as pay-per-view channels and have access to social networking sites and interactive applications. They will also be able to take advantage of Multiroom DVR, video-on-demand (transactional and subscription) and instantaneous channel skipping, it said. At launch, Vivo’s IPTV service is available to a potential 500,000 homes in Sao Paulo, with plans to reach a further 600,000 in the area with FTTH in 2013. In addition, Vivo has requested that the regulator Anatel approve its request for new so-called ‘Conditional Access Service (SeaC)’ licences to allow it to extend the offer to other areas.

Separately, Vivo sister company TVA is said to be readying its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network for the provision of IPTV as well. TVA’s infrastructure covers 700,000-800,000 households and the unit says that by end-2012 it hopes to be in a position to deliver IPTV to one-fifth of its operational footprint. By mid-2013 Telefonica is hoping to boost total IPTV coverage (FTTH and HFC) to 1.5 million Brazilian homes.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:53:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A report published this week by Cisco during the Futurecom conference in Rio de Janeiro claims that Brazil is currently underserved when it comes to the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots, accounting for only 0.5% of the global total of 777,000. Cisco’s Brazil president Rodrigo Abreu said that despite boasting the world’s fifth largest mobile subscriber base, behind China, India, the US and Indonesia, there were only 4,000 Wi-Fi hotspots deployed in Brazil in June, compared to 180,000 in the UK alone at the same date. Abreu confirmed that Brazil’s mobile network operators are keen to utilise Wi-Fi to alleviate congestion of their 2G/3G networks, but are still assessing how best to monetise such a business model.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:51:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Slovakia has announced that maximum theoretical mobile data speeds of 42Mbps are now available in all regional capitals of Slovakia via its DC-HSPA+ network which it launched in late 2011, representing ‘nearly 50%’ of the country’s population. DC-HSPA+ technology has been deployed at all 3G base stations in Banskej Bystrici, Bratislave, Kosiciach, Nitre, Presove, Trencine, Trnave and Ziline, and the 42Mbps service is also available in almost 300 other locations. All these locations give access to theoretical maximum upload speeds of 5.8Mbps. Ivan Golian, director of information systems and networks, said that Orange Slovakia is also steadily increasing its transport network capacity to support customers’ growing high speed data transmission requirements.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:50:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Claro Puerto Rico has launched fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) consumer broadband services, upping its maximum download speeds to 50Mbps from its previous 16Mbps, and claiming a first on the island. The telco’s direct fibre connections are initially available in several areas of San Juan, Guaynabo, Caguas, Fajardo, Humacao and Mayaguez. Additionally, Claro has rolled out fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology over a wider footprint to boost the internet speeds of its last mile ADSL2+ connections in ‘hundreds of areas around the island’, and it published new tariffs including 30Mbps packages alongside its fibre launch announcement. The fixed line, broadband and mobile operator also revealed that it has invested USD150 million in 2011/12 in the rollout of FTTH/FTTC infrastructure, and says it is continuing a rapid expansion of fibre in population-dense urban areas, including FTTH in new-build areas.

Claro, part of the America Movil group, simultaneously lowered monthly prices for its existing broadband packages with 8Mbps-plus download speeds, while raising the cost of mid-speed (including 4Mbps) packages, and also upgraded the inclusive domestic fixed line voice call allowance in certain bundles, from 300 minutes to ‘unlimited’.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:48:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has announced that its domestic subsidiary, Telenor Norge, has launched commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in eleven cities and towns across the country. Initially the new 4G network will be available in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lorenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrom, Asker, Baerum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen. Looking ahead the operator says it will subsequently continue deployment of the technology with a view to achieving nationwide coverage, and has revealed that it expects Tromso to be the next location to gain access, in the first quarter of 2013. With Telenor estimating that one in three Norwegians will be able to take up its 4G services by end-2012, it has claimed that ‘in 2015 as many as nine in ten’ will have access to its LTE-based products. At launch, meanwhile, Telenor has confirmed that its LTE services will only be accessible via PC, laptop or tablet, although it noted that mobile handsets users should be able to connect to the services ‘in good time for Christmas’.

Commenting on the development, Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norge, said: ‘The current rapid development of digital services places increased requirements on the mobile network, and with 4G we are taking an important step towards increased capacity and faster speeds,’ adding: ‘Telenor’s aim is to provide the best experience of mobile broadband on the market … We will have the best coverage, quality and capacity, and we will continue to lead developments in this area.’

Source: Telegeography.

Europe | LTE
Monday, October 29, 2012 3:58:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kyrgyzstan’s National Communications Agency has allocated spectrum for WiMAX and Long Term Evolution (LTE) to a total of twelve companies, writes Tazabek. AsiaInfo, Global Telecom Asia, ToTel, Aknet, Kurulush Invest, T-Com, Fraton Plus, Aytel, Foris Telecom, WTT, Saima Telecom and Intranet KG have all been awarded spectrum according to the report, although it does not state which operators were awarded what frequencies.

Source: Telegeography.

CIS | LTE | Wifi WiMax
Monday, October 29, 2012 3:56:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan Telecommunication (PTCL) has reached a milestone of first 100,000 broadband DSL users in the Gujranwala region. PTCL Broadband service was launched in 2007.

Monday, October 29, 2012 3:54:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The advent of full commercial 3G services and the busy roll-out of smartphones are putting intense pressure on mobile operators and triggering a data price war, reports the Bangkok Post. Stiff competition is expected to spur overall mobile handset sales in Thailand to top 20 million units in 2013, up from 14 million this year. Sales of smartphones are set to reach 6 million units this year, while the total smartphone installed base will top 12 million units.

At the four-day Thailand Mobile Expo, Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move are introducing promotional data bundle prices, starting at THB 399 per month. Operators are also offering ten-month instalment payment plans, with AIS offering as much as twenty-month instalments at the four-day event at Queen National Sirikit Convention Centre.

Total Access Communication is offering subsidised smartphones with discounts of up to 50 percent on some models. The price of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 has slidden to THB 9,900 from THB 15,900, while the Nokia Lumia 900 has dropped to THB 11,900 from THB 18,900. Samsung is offering bundled packages with the three mobile operators at THB 22,900. LG also launched its pre-booking Optimus Vu priced at THB 18,900. Tablet prices are being offered at discounts of 30-50 percent, ahead of the arrival of Windows-based tablets later this month.

Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, October 29, 2012 3:50:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Croatia’s T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT) reports that it has expanded its 3G W-CDMA/HSPA mobile network coverage throughout central and eastern regions. The expanded 3G footprint includes Bjelovar, Daruvar, Pakrac, Virovitica, Slatina, Nasice, Pozega, Garesnica, Orahovica, Pitomaca, Kutjevo, Lipik, Pleternice and ‘many smaller settlements’ as well as road coverage.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:46:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by the regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), the total number of mobile phones in Senegal exceeded 10.712 million at the end of June 2012, thanks to net additions of 828,31 in the second quarter. Mobile market leader Orange Senegal added a net 424,572 new subscribers in the April-June quarter of 2012 for a total of 6.741 million, handing it a market share of 62.9%. Second-placed Tigo Senegal reported net gains of 156,758 for a total of 2.640 million from 2.483 million at 31 March 2012 (or 24.7% of the market), while third player Sudatel Telecom (Expresso) increased its users by 242,501 to 1.330 million (12.4% share). The net gains from the incumbents pushed cellular penetration in the country to 88.01%, according the ARTP estimates, far eclipsing fixed line teledensity which stood at 2.82%, or 343,012 main lines in service, down from 346,406 at 31 December 2011. The total number of internet subscriptions (fixed and mobile) was 528,358 at end-June 2012, up 186,655 on the start of the year, of which 18.1% (95,412) were on an ADSL connection, and 375,556 were for mobile (3G) accounts. The popularity of mobile broadband internet in Senegal is growing quickly: the total was just 53,678 in June 2011, equivalent to 28.5% of the overall market, but had ballooned to account for 71.1% of the segment twelve months later.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:45:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-backed telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced plans to roll out 1,140km of optical fibre in the Tamil Nadu circle to improve connectivity for voice and data services, Business Line reports. Of the total, 200km has already been deployed whilst a further 500km is currently being installed. The entire project is due to be completed by March 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:42:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Papua New Guinea’s National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NITCA) has published a retail service determination related to retail mobile service prices. The watchdog has confirmed that it will restrict the extent to which market leader Digicel PNG can discriminate in the pricing for pre-paid mobile voice calls made by customers on its network and to customers on other networks. Under the determination, NICTA has revealed that Digicel will be not be allowed to charge off-net calls at prices more than 40% higher than on-net calls, although it said that there would be two exemptions to this. The two cases in which Digicel may exceed are: where the cellco has a cost justification that has been accepted by NICTA; and/or if it is running a promotion which has been cleared for price-setting purposes by the regulator. In announcing the pricing restrictions, NICTA noted that a number of Digicel’s tariffs do not conform to the new regulation, and as such it said that the operator will be required to revise a number of its tariffs.

Commenting on the decision, Papua New Guinea’s minister for communications and information technology Jimmy Miringtoro noted: ‘I am confident that this determination is in the best interests of consumers in PNG. I am also confident that Digicel, Telikom and bemobile will continue to innovate on service and price packaging for the benefit of their customers as part of the competitive process.’

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:41:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-backed telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is aiming to book total revenues of INR300 billion (USD5.735 billion) for the year ending 31 March 2013. Business Today reports that the telco recorded revenues of INR279.34 billion in 2011-2012 and INR296.88 billion a year earlier. The company has seen a steady fall in sales, dropping from INR401.77 billion in the twelve months to end-March 2006, though chairman and managing director Rakesh Kumar Upadhyay was optimistic about the target adding: ‘Apart from pure telecom services, we are working out additional scheme[s] which should act as additional sources of revenue for BSNL.’ BSNL has also selected Alcatel Lucent and ZTE to carry out work to expand coverage and increase the capacity of the operator’s GSM network by 14.37 million, Upadhyay said.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:40:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bolivian president Evo Morales has announced that Entel Movil, the wireless arm of the country’s former monopoly domestic and international long-distance (DLD and ILD) service provider Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Entel), has achieved coverage of all of the country’s municipalities. According to local press source La Razon, at the launch of the network in Puerto Siles the politician revealed that Entel now offers services in the capitals of all 339 municipalities, up from 198 at January 2010 and 337 at the beginning of this year. It has been reported that Entel Movil has now deployed more than 1,500 base stations across the country.

Looking ahead, Mr Morales was also cited as saying that the launch of a new satellite – Tupac Katari – which is due to launch in late 2013, will improve communications in Bolivia further, and having achieved 100% coverage for mobile voice services, it is understood that the government now hopes to reach similar coverage levels for internet access. In line with such aims President Morales has reportedly called for an acceleration of the deployment of 4G technologies.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:39:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

European pre-pay mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Lycamobile has launched its low-cost wireless services in Portugal, according to a report by PrepaidMVNO. ‘Launching into the Portuguese market is a milestone. It cements our coverage of the European population and puts us on track to reach our goal of being in 25 countries by 2013,’ commented Lycamobile Group chairman and founder Subaskaran Allirajah, adding: ‘Our EUR150 million [USD193 million] investment over the past decade has enabled us to move fast. We are very excited about bringing this proposition to Portugal residents and their friends and family overseas.’ Lycamobile was established in 2006, and since then has launched in 15 markets, namely: the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Ireland.

Source: Telegeography.

Europe | Mobile | MVNO
Monday, October 29, 2012 10:38:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Canada’s largest cellco by subscribers, Rogers, announced yesterday that it has extended its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to cover an additional 18 cities and regions. The company’s 4G infrastructure now covers almost 60% of Canada’s population, and additional rollout later this year and into 2013 will lift coverage above 60%. Since becoming the first Canadian operator to launch LTE in July 2011, Rogers says it has seen an 80% increase in data usage, and that it expects this to grow six-fold by the end of 2016.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:37:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica’s Mexican wireless unit has revealed that it has nearly completed the rollout of the first stage of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. In a press release Telefonica Mexico announced that initially its 4G network will be available in three locations, those being: the Polanco area of the capital Mexico City; Zapopan in the state of Jalisco; and the city of San Pedro in Nuevo Leon. The new service is expected to launch sometime this month. In making the announcement, Telefonica Mexico also noted that it expects to spend more than MXN3 billion (USD234 million) on its LTE rollout between now and end-2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:36:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Chronicle.lu, Orange Luxembourg has confirmed that its under-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is set to launch on 29 October, with an unlimited monthly data subscription available for an introductory price of EUR39 (USD50.2). Although no LTE-compatible handsets are believed to be in the pipeline, the network will be offered to customers using USB dongles, Mi-Fi personal access points and 4G tablets. At a live feed LTE demonstration Thierry Iafrate, the cellco’s director of marketing and CEO Patrick Ittah confirmed that 4G coverage is currently available to 70% of the Grand Duchy, with theoretical transmission speeds of up to 50Mbs/20Mbps (down/uplink). In 2013 coverage will be extended to 90%, with speeds increased to 150Mbs/75Mbps.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Orange’s rival Tango confirmed that its own LTE launch was set for 1 October, giving it a clear advantage over its competitors in the race for 4G domination. In addition, it is believed that Tango will offer LTE-compatible smartphones at launch.

According to the GlobalComms Database, third-placed player Orange was authorised by the Institut Luxembourgeois de Regulation (ILR) to carry out a six-month LTE trial during the second half of 2010, in conjunction with parent company France Telecom-Orange and French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent. Although the trial concluded with a successful demonstration in front of the local press, the operator revealed that the deployment of LTE in the 2.5GHz frequency band was likely to present a serious risk of interference to neighbouring countries, effectively sending the ILR back to the drawing board.

Source: Telegeography.

LTE | Tariffs
Monday, October 29, 2012 10:35:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The long-delayed introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in Nigeria is now expected to take place in December this year, Tony Ojobo, the director of public affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has told local newspaper The Punch. The NCC has been waiting for the conclusion of SIM registration in the country before it officially launches MNP, which enables a subscriber to retain their mobile phone number if they switch provider. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the regulator announced in October 2011 that it had selected a consortium of three companies – Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria, Saab Grintek and Telcordia – to implement number portability for the first five years. Earlier this year Dr. Eugene Juwah, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, said the consortium would be responsible for the setting up and implementation of the NP platform within six months of receiving its licence in March 2012, to be followed by a testing period of two months. The introduction of MNP was first considered by the commission in the third quarter of 2007.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:34:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgium’s largest broadband provider by subscribers, Belgacom, has announced that it is increasing the upload speeds on all of its DSL services from the beginning of next month. Residential customers signed up to its ‘Internet Everywhere Start’ tariff will see uplink rates climb to 2.5Mbps, up from the 1.5Mbps they currently receive, while ‘Everywhere Comfort’ and ‘Everywhere Maxi’ customers will see speeds increase to 3Mbps (previously 2.5Mbps) and 4Mbps (3.5Mbps) respectively. Business users, meanwhile, will see similar speed increases, with users signed up to the telco’s top-end tariff, ‘Offce & Go Pro Everywhere’, will gaining access to the fastest upload speeds of 6Mbps, up from 5Mbps.

Further, Belgacom has also revealed that it will increase data usage allowances on its Internet Everywhere Start plan; the current 50GB per month cap will be doubled to 100GB per month.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March 2012 Belgacom announced a radical reinvention of its tariffs, unveiling its ‘Internet Everywhere’ range, which it said would replace all of its older tariffs. The products include both traditional fixed line broadband access, while also including Wi-Fi access (via the network of Wi-Fi provider Fon) and 3G data (via the network of its mobile subsidiary Proximus) as standard.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:33:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT), which announced the launch of a Wi-Fi hotspot network earlier this year to augment its upcoming launch of HSPA-based mobile broadband services, reported this week that it has rolled out 43 Wi-Fi coverage areas under the ‘bzone’ banner. TSTT chairman Everald Snaggs said that the public hotspots were deployed over the last three months, providing free high speed internet access to TSTT’s fixed and mobile broadband customers, and claimed to have attracted 12,000 regular Wi-Fi users across the islands so far. Snaggs added that the HSPA+ network would be launched ‘soon’, with rollout being carried out at over 400 cell sites across the country. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that TSTT announced plans to roll out the new 3.5G network (being marketed as ‘4G’) in April 2012 via a contract awarded to Huawei Technologies of China, in a move that marks a shift away from the telco’s existing WiMAX and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless broadband strategy.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:32:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi cellular and internet operator Mobily has announced that its Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G network has now been expanded to cover 31 cities. The 2.6GHz wireless broadband network, which is operated by Mobily subsidiary Bayanat Al-Oula, launched in September last year according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, and is eventually expected to cover up to 85% of the Saudi population.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:30:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tablet ownership is on the rise in Australia. A survey conducted by the digital industry body AIMIA has found that 38 percent of respondents said they owned a tablet, up from 16 percent a year ago. An additional 33 percent were planning to purchase a tablet within the next 12 months. Based on these results the forecast for tablet ownership is 50 percent by December 2012 and 71 percent by mid-2013. Apple iPads were the most popular brand of tablets with just over 75 percent of tablet owners owning an iPad. Just under half of the respondents had both Wi-Fi and 3G enabled tablets, while 50 percent of the respondents had Wi-Fi only enabled tablets. The report also found that 76 percent of respondents own a smartphone, up from 67 percent in 2011. Of those respondents who do not own a smartphone, 40 percent plan to purchase one in the next 12 months. Based on the survey results, 80 percent of respondents would own a smartphone by end of 2012 and 84 percent would own a smartphone by mid-2013. The results show a clear and steady increase in the popularity of Apple handsets over the last four years. Samsung and HTC phones have experienced much slower growth, while many of the other brands have been losing market share.


Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:29:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Hong Kong's mobile user base grew to 15.81 million in July from 15.79 million in March, according to figures from the Office of the Communications Authority (Ofca). Of the total, 8.39 million were prepaid users and the number of postpaid users stood at 7.42 million. The number of 3G/4G customers grew to 8.72 million for the month from 8.54 million in the previous month. Furthermore, 1.27 million mobile users connected through an MVNO. The total number of SMS sent dropped to 460.83 million, or 34 per subscribers, versus 490.21 million, or 37 per subscriber, a month earlier. Mobile data usage grew to 659.2 MB per customer in July from 642.8 MB per customer in June.


Source: Telecompaper.

Mobile | MVNO | Traffic
Monday, October 29, 2012 10:28:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2012

Azeri mobile operator Bakcell has announced that it is fully prepared to introduce mobile number portability (MNP), which enables a subscriber to retain their phone number if they switch service provider. The cellco said it plans to launch the service as soon as it receives the go-ahead from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). ‘We are ready to start today but this is a service that all operators must launch together so we are forced to wait for the other operators,’ said Bakcell CEO Richard Shearer, adding: ‘We have invested significant time and money into the development of MNP and in meeting compliance issues with the MCIT. Our systems are technically ready and have passed internal acceptance tests. Bakcell is sure that MNP will increase competition in Azerbaijan’s mobile communication market and is very committed to the introduction of MNP.’ Bakcell is Azerbaijan’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. The cellco had a market share of 30.2% at the end of June 2012, compared to market leader Azercell’s 47.2% share, but ahead of Azerfon with 22.6%.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:35:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the Solomon Star newspaper, Solomon Telekom Company has rolled out 13 new base transceiver stations (BTS), as part of its ongoing project to boost its mobile presence across the sovereign state. The rollout was overseen by Irish wireless network solutions provider Altobridge. A Telekom spokesperson commented: ‘Following the completed [deployment] of the 13 towers another nine new sites are in progress in terms of civil works and installation. By the end of this year there will be 50 new towers built in various communities and another 50 for next year’.

Telekom’s network currently covers 47 locations across the Oceanic state, which consists of nearly 1,000 islands. 3G connectivity is currently offered in the towns of Honiara and Auki (both situated in the Malaita province), although Telekom’s website claims that ‘other locations [are] soon to follow suit’. In late-November 2011 Solomon Telekom’s sole wireless rival Bemobile launched a 3G dongle in Honiara, marking its subscribers’ first taste of 3G connectivity.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:31:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Mobile Austria has revealed that its in-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is currently available to over 650,000 citizens in Vienna, Linz, Graz and Innsbruck. The cellco has indicated that its network will be further expanded in 2012. In December 2010 T-Mobile contracted Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies to roll out the remainder of its LTE network, simultaneously upgrading its GSM infrastructure. The contract runs until 2016. Previously, T-Mobile estimated that at least 25% of the Austrian population would be using 4G technology by 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:28:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bureau of Telecommunications and Post of Sint Maarten (BTP-SXM) has released its first ever set of telecoms data relating to the Caribbean island nation. The watchdog, which was established as an independent regulatory authority on 10 October 2010, following the formal dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, has revealed that the country recorded a total of 67,124 mobile subscribers as at 31 December 2011, equivalent to a population penetration rate of 164.3%. Meanwhile, broadband subscribers numbered 10,966 at the same date, with Sint Maarten accounting for just 6,862 wireline customer accounts.

TeleGeography notes that telecoms companies licenced to operate on Sint Maarten include full-service telecoms provider Telem Group, pan-Caribbean mobile group UTS, US Virgin Islands-based broadband/cable TV firm Innovative Cable and internet service provider (ISP) Scarlet. Most recently, cableco MacTech was licensed to offer broadband services over its cable infrastructure on 27 February 2012.

Despite a series of referendums held in the early 1990s indicating that the islands that comprised the Netherlands Antilles were happy to remain a part of it, the arrangement was a fairly unhappy one, and between June 2000 and April 2005, each island held a new referendum on their future status. Of the five islands, Sint Maarten and Curacao voted for ‘status aparte’, Saba and Bonaire voted for closer ties to the Netherlands, and Sint Eustatius voted to stay within the Netherlands Antilles. On 12 October 2006 the Netherlands mainland government reached an agreement with Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba to make these islands special municipalities, while Curacao and Sint Maarten were granted autonomy on 3 November 2006. The Netherlands Antilles was officially dissolved on 10 October 2010, with Curacao and Sint Maarten becoming new constituent countries.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:08:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Niger’s state-owned telco Sonitel has begun work on laying a 300km fibre-optic cable link between Dosso and Konni, reports Afriscoop. At a launch ceremony, the country’s communications minister stated that the government’s goal is to increase broadband coverage from the 54% recorded in 2010 to 72% by 2015. Afriscoop also states that a second fibre link will connect Konni and Zinder, with work expected to begin in October.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:01:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Glo Ghana, which became the country’s fifth mobile network operator after launching commercially in April 2012, has reportedly confirmed that it has surpassed two million subscribers. According to AllAfrica, the cellco claims that it now accounts for more than 8% of Ghana’s mobile voice accesses. In revealing the milestone the report cited a statement by Glo Ghana as saying of its progress in the market: ‘In keeping with our innovative tradition, we also rolled out the most modern telecommunications network and introduced into the market abundant, superior and attractive value offerings in all ten regions of the country from day one. This accounted for our instant success in Ghana.’

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in mid-April 2012 the National Communications Authority (NCA) was understood to have threatened to revoke Glo’s concession if it failed to specify a commercial switch-on date by the end of the month. It also handed the operator a USD200,000 fine for its delayed launch, after a number of hold-ups in the launch of commercial services. Subsequently, on 27 April Glo confirmed it had gone live, offering coverage to around 85% of Ghana’s population, with 1,400 base stations in 974 cities and 10,000 villages. It is targeting 2,300 base stations in service by the end of 2012, which would make it the largest network in Ghana in terms of coverage. The NCA meanwhile confirmed in mid-June 2012 that Glo had paid the USD200,000 fine that had been imposed two months earlier.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:59:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chilean regulator Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has announced that population penetration for internet services had increased to 34% by end-June 2012, reaching the regulator’s target for 2014 more than a year ahead of schedule. Subtel attributes the uptake to the growth of mobile devices, the enforcement of net neutrality and government spending on increasing connectivity for schools and rural communities. The regulator added that customer complaints relating to internet-use made up just 7.3% of the total complaints in the sector, with Subtel ruling in favour of customers in 82% of cases. The most common complaints were regarding continuity of service and breach of contract, whilst issues with browsing speed were the fifth leading cause of complaints. The average maximum speed of internet connections in Chile was reportedly 3.4Mbps.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:56:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Communications in Kuwait has imposed a price ceiling on internet services in the country which will force operators to drop prices by up to 40%. Local news agency KUNA reports communications minister Salem Al-Utheina as saying: ‘ISPs price reduction process will take place first, later other services will witness similar reduction, which will be supervised by the ministry in the near future.’ The minister did not specify which services were under consideration for future price capping.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:55:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The French telecoms regulator Arcep is preparing to introduce quality of service (QoS) indicators for fixed internet providers. According to a report from Digital TV Europe, the indicators will be measured and made public, complementing similar measures in place for mobile networks. Arcep is also thought to be readying legislation which will impose minimum QoS requirements on broadband providers.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:54:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) in Nepal has announced plans to use NPR5.63 billion (USD66.9 million) from the state’s Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) to expand the provision of fibre-optic services to more remote parts of the country. MyRepublica reports that the rollout programme is being carried out under the auspices of the Kingdom’s ‘District Optical Fiber Project’, and that it has assigned a committee to oversee the scheme which will target making improvements in the quality of voice and data services in certain rural areas. The ambitious District Optical Fibre Network Project is aiming to construct a high speed data service, offering 256kbps bandwidth in 38 districts and their rural communities by 2014.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:52:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of North American households connected directly into fibre networks has hit the 9 million mark, with small incumbent telephone companies continuing to lead the growth in fibre to the home deployments, according to the Fibre-to-the-Home Council Americas. At the FTTH industry's annual conference in Dallas, the Council announced that FTTH services are now available to 21.3 million North American homes, an increase of more than 10 percent over the past six months. All but eight of nearly 880 FTTH service providers surveyed have fewer than 30,000 subscribers, with only five having more than 50,000 access lines and 97 percent of than having fewer than 10,000, according to an analysis by RVA. The most notable of the big FTTH providers is Verizon, which serves more than half of the FTTH households in North America.

RVA found that more than a half million households in North America receive internet connectivity at or in excess of 100Mbps and that tested throughput speeds among survey respondents found FTTH subscribers are beginning to pull away from other access technologies in both download and upload capacity. Median tested download speeds were above 20Mbps for FTTH subscribers, compared to less than 15Mbps for cable modem users, while FTTH upload speeds were over 9Mbps compared to about 3Mbps for cable. 

In addition, results for the first comprehensive study on emerging FTTH deployment for Latin America found that all fibre networks now pass 4.2 million homes in the region, with 350,000 homes connected. The study also found Mexico is the leading FTTH market, followed by Brazil, with Chile and Argentina showing promise as deployments get underway in those countries. 

Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:47:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN South Africa has announced LTE network plans and says it expects to have 400–500 LTE sites live by the end of 2012. CTO Kanagaratnam Lambotharan said the mobile operator already has 250 sites ready to go, and it's aiming to launch in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. It's also looking at Cape Town, he added, but said that there are some challenges to refarming the spectrum needed to roll out LTE there. This might result in Cape Town not receiving a full 2x10MHz carrier in the 1,800MHz band MTN is re-farming, Lambotharan said. According to MyBroadband, the investment in LTE forms part of more than ZAR 5 billion MTN is spending on its network in SA this year. This includes aggressive investment in the company's 3G network. So far in 2012, MTN has deployed 696 new 3G sites, with a target of reaching as many as 1,176 by the end of the year. That compares to 598 new 3G base stations in 2011. The company has also deployed a total of 317 3G base stations in the 900MHz band, covering parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. As part of the focus on 3G and 4G, MTN is stepping up its roll-out of its own fibre infrastructure to connect its base stations. It now has over 1,000 base stations connected to its own fibre. 3G population coverage has reached about 65 percent, Lambotharan says, adding that the operator wants this to reach 80-85 percent by the end of 2013.

Source: Telecompaper

3G | Africa | LTE
Monday, October 01, 2012 12:45:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brazil’s national telecoms watchdog Anatel yesterday ordered three incumbent mobile operators to stop selling new cellphone plans in certain states, in response to a rising tide of customer complaints over poor service quality, including dropped calls and patchy coverage. The regulator has announced that, in each of the country’s 26 states and the federal district Brasilia, the cellco with the worst service record will be barred from selling new mobile plans. The edict came into effect on Monday, it said, and will remain in place until such time as the carrier concerned presents investment plans designed to rectify the problem. ‘A growing client base needs to be accompanied by more investments,’ Anatel head Joao Batista de Resende told reporters, adding that it has been tracking a rising tide of customer service complaints for more than a year.

Following the ruling, Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil unit has been barred from selling plans in 19 states; Oi SA has been prohibited from signing up new users in five; and Telecom Americas (Claro) has been served a desist order in three states. Only Vivo, the Brazilian asset of Telefonica of Spain, will not face immediate sanctions, but it has 30 days to present plans or face a similar fate. As reported by CommsUpdate yesterday, Brazil’s consumer protection agency Procon ordered the country’s four largest mobile operators to stop selling any more new mobile SIMs in the southern Rio Grande do Sul state capital Porto Alegre, amid concerns over poor service quality. It is understood that any carrier that flouts Anatel’s order will face a fine of BRL200,000 (USD99,000) per day.

The cellcos have reacted strongly to the measures, with TIM Brasil remarking on the ‘extreme measure’ which is feels is ‘disproportional’ and ‘anti-competitive’. Oi SA meanwhile, slated what it termed Anatel’s ‘out-of-date’ decision, noting its own plan to up CAPEX to BRL6 billion in 2012, compared to BRL5 billion last year ad BRL3 billion in 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:53:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UK-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile Chile is reportedly growing at a rate of 20,000 subscribers per month, according to the company’s CEO Juan Antonio Etcheverry as quoted by TeleSemana. The MVNO launched operations in April this year, having signed an agreement with the Chilean unit of Spain’s Telefonica. Virgin is set to capitalise on Chile’s competition regulations – which from January this year prevented cellcos from locking handsets to a single network – and the recent introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) by concentrating on SIM sales. The cellco claimed to have signed up 36,000 subscribers to date.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:52:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ghana’s National Communication Authority (NCA) has published a report to coincide with the first anniversary of the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country. By 6 July some 370,107 mobile numbers had ported successfully, representing 1.6% of the total active mobile numbers in the market. The watchdog says that such a figure is reasonably comparable to markets in which MNP is considered successful. Tigo and Vodafone were the biggest winners, recording net gains of 68,000 and 44,000 respectively, while Airtel (6,500 subscribers) and Glo (7,600) also received a boost from MNP. The market leader by subscribers, MTN, was the big loser, shedding a net 125,000 customers to rival networks. Meanwhile, minor player Expresso lost 400 subscribers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:50:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

NTT DoCoMo has announced that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriber base passed four million on 22 July. The cellco’s ‘Xi’ service, which offers maximum downlink speeds of 75Mbps, is growing rapidly, having claimed 1.1 million subscribers at the end of 2011, and 2.2 million as at end-March 2012. The pace of new additions has nearly doubled in recent weeks following the introduction of a new Xi-compatible smartphone range.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:48:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Qtel Group today celebrated the launch of 3G services by Tunisiana, the leading mobile operator in Tunisia, which is part of the company’s portfolio of leading brands.
 
With launch coverage extending to 48 percent of the population, Tunisiana will offer 3G services in the regions of Tunis, Sfax, Sousse, Djerba, Cap Bon, Hammamet and Nabeul.  The aggressive rollout will soon be extended to cover 71 percent of the population by the end of the year, with 87 percent coverage planned for early 2013.
 
Qtel Group companies continue to roll-out improved networks and enhanced services for customers across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, recognising the major social and economic benefits that such improvements bring. According to the World Bank, a 10 percent increase in mobile broadband penetration drives 1.4 percent increase in GDP for low to middle income countries.
 
Nasser Marafih, CEO of the Qtel Group, commented that the Tunisiana team really did something exceptional in bringing 3G services to its customers only three months after receiving the license and just in time for the holy month of Ramadan. By giving faster internet access to more Tunisians at competitive prices, they are helping to fulfill two of their Group’s highest priorities: providing superior customer experience and offering the best broadband service possible.
 
Tunisiana’s license allows the company to deploy an HSPA+ network on both 900 Mhz and 2100 Mhz bands, providing for deeper indoor coverage for customers and high definition voice quality.
 
Ken Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Tunisiana said that with this network, they are able to provide a quality 3G offering that will deliver the best customer experience in Tunisia.  Most importantly, Tunisiana will continue its tradition of providing affordable, flexible offerings for all Tunisians, including the lowest price 3G handset. The Tunisiana offering will include flexible tariffs allowing for daily, weekly and monthly usage.
 
The Qtel Group continues to execute a unified, broadband?ready strategy for introducing high-speed Internet services across multiple markets around the world, to provide an enriched experience for its 84 million customers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:47:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) has published data on the number of mobile phone subscribers in the country. As at the end of June 2012, Rwanda was home to 4,759,130 wireless subscribers, up from 4,453,711 three months previously. The regulator had previously projected that the number will increase to more than six million by the end of the year, although at the current growth rate this appears unlikely. The country’s newest operator, Airtel, added 55,000 customers in May and a further 55,000 in June, outstripping its rivals MTN (46,000 net additions in June) and Tigo (38,800 net additions in June).

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:44:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has announced that it has rebranded the Costa Rican arm of its Central American cableco, Amnet, under its Tigo banner. According to local news source AM Costa Rica, Amnet Costa Rica has adopted the Tigo name used by MIC’s operations throughout Latin America and Africa and more recently taken by MIC’s Amnet subsidiaries in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that MIC took over Amnet in October 2008 for USD510 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:43:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to local press reports, Russian wireless giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is set to launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on 1 September, replacing its existing WiMAX service in the process. In an unconfirmed report that cited company representative Dmitry Solodovnikov, Vedomosti suggested that the in-deployment LTE network will have a far larger scope than its WiMAX predecessor, with some 2,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) expected to be constructed by end-2012, compared to just 200 WiMAX BTS currently in operation, serving around 70,000 wireless broadband subscribers in and around Moscow. LTE modem sales will commence on 7 August, although no price has been disclosed thus far; rival MegaFon’s LTE-suitable E392 modem is priced at RUB2,990 (USD92.90). Any WiMAX customers who have purchased a modem since April 2012 will be eligible to exchange them for free and obtain one month’s free data access, while longer-term users who make the switch will be granted three months’ complimentary LTE access as an incentive.

As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in February 2012 MTS was awarded Moscow’s first LTE licence by the Federal Supervision Agency for IT, Communications & Media (Roskomnadzor). The concession, which will allow it to provide 4G wireless services in the 2595MHz-2620MHz frequency band, will reportedly support the Time Division (TD)-LTE standard. Under the terms of its licence, MTS is required to launch its LTE network on or before 29 December 2013; the concession is valid until 29 December 2016. Slightly confusingly, the frequencies which MTS was awarded for LTE use were the same ones that Roskomnadzor ostensibly seized from the company’s former WiMAX subsidiary Comstar UTS in order to pave the way for the introduction of LTE in the capital. Previously, Sistema, the Russian conglomerate that owns MTS, demanded compensation to the tune of RUB1.5 billion from the winners of the tender, effectively demanding recompense from itself.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:42:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), the United Arab Emirates’ second national telecoms operator, has announced it generated revenue of AED2.45 billion (USD666.8 million) in the three months ended 30 June 2012, an increase of 12.9% from AED2.17 billion in the year-ago quarter. Growth was primarily driven by a 14.0% year-on-year rise in mobile revenue to AED1.9 billion, of which mobile data accounted for AED278 million, an increase of 84.8% from AED151 million in Q2 2011. Du said that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 36.6% year-on-year to AED941 million in the second quarter of 2012, while net profit before royalty increased 57.1% to AED651 million, compared to AED414 million in Q2 2011. CAPEX totalled AED444 million in the three month period.

A total of 196,300 mobile customers were added during the second quarter of 2012 (including 36,300 post-paid users), bringing Du’s total wireless subscriber base to 5.732 million at the end of the reporting period, 7.8% of which were contract customers (up from 6.8% in the year-ago quarter). Fixed line customers meanwhile increased to 546,600, up 10.6% compared to the end of June 2011. Revenue generated by Du’s fixed business, including fixed telephony, TV and broadband, rose 11.4% year-on-year to AED410 million in 2Q12.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:41:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |