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 Friday, November 16, 2012
The government has garnered just Rs 9,407 crore, less than a quarter of what it expected, as the much hyped second generation (2G) airwaves auctions evoked a tepid response from mobile phone companies, exacerbating concerns about the Centre's ability to meet its fiscal deficit target

Norway's Telenor and Videocon, which had lost pan-India permits when the Supreme Court quashed all permits issued by former telecoms minister A Raja, won back their licences in six circles each, and will shell out Rs 2,222 crore and Rs 4,018 crore respectively. Telenor emerged as the largest bidder in the auctions.

Source: The Economic Times.

Friday, November 16, 2012 1:36:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) has reported a 4% year-on-year increase in fixed network revenues to GMD1. 450 billion (USD48 million) in full-year 2011, compared to GMD1.395 billion earned in 2010. Managing director Baboucarr Sanyang, presenting the fixed line telco’s annual activity report and financial statement to the National Assembly, announced that the growth in total turnover was attributed to yearly increases in international, interconnection and data revenue of GMD13 million, GMD32 million and GMD42 million, respectively. The MD’s report, published in the Daily Observer, added that the fixed division achieved a gross profit margin of 33% for the year. Sanyang also confirmed that there was an upgrade of international internet bandwidth from two STM-1s to three STM-1s, which increased the capacity of Gamtel’s network from 310Mbps to 465Mbps, plus back-up capacity of 14Mbps via satellite. Meanwhile in 2011 the company signed a Delegated Management Contract (DMC) with the Gambia Agency for Management of Public Works (GAMWORKS) for the refurbishment and upgrading of Gamtel sites and facilities in readiness for its next generation network (NGN) project.

The state-backed telco’s cellular arm, Gamcel, reported 2011 financial results separately, with general manager Almamy Kassama announcing total revenue of GMD1.127 billion, up by 48% from GMD761 million in 2010, with a gross profit margin of 20%. Gamcel has embarked on network expansion projects while its marketing department is focused on strategies aimed at adding value to Gamcel.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:17:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Slovakia has disclosed its plans to reach a total of 633 municipalities with its 3G mobile network by the end of this year, up by 30 from the current total of 603 (and 137 cities already under the 3G footprint). Orange’s existing coverage reaches 78% of the population with HSPA+ (21Mbps) services, and a near-50% DC-HSPA+ (42Mbps) footprint.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:13:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South African mobile giant Vodacom has tripled the number of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled base stations on its network from just under 70 at launch in October 2012, to over 200 in Johannesburg. According to MyBroadband.co.za testing has now begun in Cape Town. Zunaid Dinath, Vodacom’s sales and distribution officer, added that the cellco has increased the number of LTE devices on sale at Vodacom World in Midrand and selected Vodacom outlets in Gauteng. LTE services are currently only available to contract customers, but will be made available to pre-paid subscribers in 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:12:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of fixed and mobile telephone subscribers in the country increased to over 107.36 million at 30 September 2012 from 102.36 million three months earlier and 95.88 million at the end of 2011. GSM mobile operators accounted for 96.54%, or 103.65 million, of Nigeria’s total telephony user base at the end of the third quarter of 2012 (up from 90.56 million users nine months earlier), followed by CDMA mobile networks with 3.02%, or 3.24 million, (down from 4.6 million), while fixed and fixed-wireless operators claimed just 0.44%, or 474,345, of the total, compared to 719,406 users at end-2011. According to the NCC, the largest mobile operator by subscribers remains South Africa-based MTN, with around 45.64 million users on its GSM network at the end of September 2012, up 5.7% quarter-on-quarter and accounting for 42.7% of Nigeria’s total GSM and CDMA wireless subscribers.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:11:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel has posted revenue for its fiscal second quarter ending 30 September of INR202.7 billion (USD3.7 billion), up by more than 17% year-on-year. The growth in sales comes on the back of an 11% increase in the company’s total consolidated subscriber base to 262.6 million, almost 60 million of which are in Africa. Bharti also revealed that its mobile data revenues in its home market of India soared 77% year-on-year. However, net income for the three months under review plunged 30% to INR7.2 billion as operating costs relating to network investment increased, and losses from the African division widened. The company has now posted declining net income for each of the last eleven quarters.

Commenting on the results, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharti Airtel, said: ‘Despite a seasonally weak quarter, I am pleased to see that our overall revenue growth has sustained through diversified segments and geographies as well as the continuing healthy demand in data services. I am also happy to note that in India, the much needed market corrections in customer acquisition practices have been put in place by the operators. Our African operations continue to reflect sustained and steady growth on all major parameters of revenues, profitability and cash flow’.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:09:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

National telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has published its latest market observatory report for the month of Shrawan, 2069 (15 July – 14 August, 2012) showing that the country’s fixed line user base continues to fall, standing at 839,067 connections, down from 850,607 at mid-April this year. Of the total, state owned Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (Nepal Telecom, or NT) reported a total of 629,801 (PSTN) and 129,126 (WiLL) connections, at mid-August, while the country’s smaller players lagged behind in terms of users, with United Telecom Limited reaching 71,395 fixed-wireless telephony customers, Nepal Satellite Telecom having 2,950 WiLL lines, Smart Telecom, 598 and STM with 5,197 – both PSTN.

In the mobile segment, at mid-August 2012 the total number of registered SIMs stood at 15.627 million, up from 14.498 million at mid-April. Market leader Spice Nepal Private, trading as Ncell, had 8.492 million GSM clients at that date, while NT had 7.135 million (including 6.304 million GSM and 830,172 CDMA users). Data published in the NTA’s Management Information System report shows that at that date overall teledensity (fixed and mobile) stood at 66.14% (up from 61.42% in April and 56.46% at mid-December 2011), with mobile accounting for the lion’s share – or 58.70% – of lines.

The NTA also said the total number of data and internet subscribers stood at 5.145 million at mid-August, up from 4.667 million in April, with the overwhelming majority (over 4.782 million) arising from GPRS mobile internet connections. The number of ADSL connections topped 88,058 for NT (up from 83,464), with cable modem, CDMA 1x and other (wireless, fibre-optic) reaching 17,981, 196,183 and 45,612 respectively. There were also 15,037 dial-up connections reported at the same date.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:08:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica Germany, which provides services under the O2 brand, has announced that it has begun offering VDSL access at download speeds of up to 50Mbps. Customers with an existing ADSL contract are able to book the new ‘Speed’ option for an additional EUR4.99 (USD6.4) a month. For the first three months, the monthly cost of the service for new customers will be EUR14.99. The 50Mbps option is offered over the VDSL network of fixed line incumbent Telekom Deutschland, and will be available to more than eleven million households across the country.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:06:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

America Movil’s (AM’s) domestic mobile subsidiary, Telcel, has reportedly inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, BNamericas reports. Telcel, which is Mexico’s largest cellco by subscribers, is understood to have made its 4G network available to customers in a total of nine cities at launch, with those being: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Merida. For now, LTE-based services are restricted to post-paid customers only, although AM CEO Daniel Hajj was cited as saying that pre-paid options will be offered in the future.

Six LTE-compatible handsets are being offered to those customers looking to take up the new service, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, while Telcel has noted that the iPhone 5 will be available from January 2013. Pricing for the 4G service ranges from MXN499 (USD38) per month for a 500MB usage allowance, rising to MXN899 for a 700MB allowance.

Mr Hajj is also cited as saying that approximately 35% of Telcel’s mobile subscriber base currently uses data services, broken down as 20% which access data via its 2G network and 15% which connect via the 3G infrastructure. Having noted that data usage had increased tenfold over the past three years, Telcel has said a similar growth rate is likely in the wake of its 4G launch, with Mr Hajj reportedly saying that the cellco expects between one and three million people to adopt 4G within a year.

Meanwhile, with Telcel reportedly set to invest around USD3.95 billion on network upgrades between 2012 and 2014, at least USD1 billion of which will be spent on 4G equipment, it has said that it aims to expand coverage to 26 cities covering 65% of the population by April 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:05:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hungarian market regulator the National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH) says that the total number of mobile internet subscriptions climbed to 2.852 million at 30 September 2012, up a net 90,000 on the previous month. Of the total, the number of active subscriptions with data transfer in the period reached 2.168 million, up a net 72,000 on August, with users transmitting a total of 2.212 million GB of data in the period under review – down from 2.285 million GB in August. T-Mobile Hungary led the pack in the mobile internet segment with a market share of 46.36% at end-September, ahead of Telenor Hungary with 27.61% and Vodafone Hungary 26.04%.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:03:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Macau ended September with 1.53 million mobile subscribers, up from 1.51 million in August, according to figures from regulator DSRT. The number of 2G subscribers has been falling in line with the transition to 3G and comprised 6,991 2G postpaid subscribers and 209 2G prepaid users at end-September. The number of 3G postpaid subscribers totalled 554,715, up from 552,614, and the 3G prepaid base stood at 970,704, up from 951,545 a month earlier. However, Macau's fixed-line user base slipped to 162,668 from 163,065 from 163,366 fixed-line subscribers a month earlier. Of the total, 107,607 are residential lines and the remainder are commercial telephone lines. The number of internet subscribers grew to 142,920 from 142,004, and includes 769 dial-up users and 142,013 broadband customers.

Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:53:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications has linked its Manila cell sites via fibre optic cable. The operator has connected 100 percent of cell sites in metro Manila to the PLDT group's fibre infrastructure as part of its Fiber in the Loop (FITL) project. The operator also announced that it has made its LTE broadband service available in more cities across metro Manila. Some ten cities are now covered by LTE, the company said.


Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:50:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The mobile base in Bangladesh grew to 98.47 million in September from 95.53 million in August. Grameenphone led the market with 40.95 million customers, versus 39.80 million a month earlier, followed by Banglalink with 26.78 million subscribers, up from 25.74 million in August, according to figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Robi Axiata grew its subscriber base to 20.80 million from 20.14 million and Airtel Bangladesh ended September with 6.89 million customers, compared with 6.78 million a month earlier. However, Citycell's subscriber base was flat at 1.68 million while Teletalk ended the month with 1.37 million customers, same as a month earlier.

Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:48:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The European Union already has standard broadband available for the great majority of EU homes, 95.7%, over 200 million altogether. It is also now half-way towards the goal of 30Mbps access for all by 2020. Over 50% of EU homes – 105 million - already had NGA broadband available to them.

 

The gap is inevitably larger in rural areas, particularly where NGA is concerned. 78% of rural EU homes have access to standard broadband but only 12% - 5 million - have NGA available. Thus 35 million of the 40 million rural homes in Europe are waiting for NGA to arrive. Bringing it to them is likely to require considerable effort and investment.

 

As far as individual technologies are concerned, the research shows that DSL is by far the most important fixed line broadband technology in Europe today, with 92% coverage of households. Standard cable comes next with 42%. WiMAX has under 15% coverage.

 

Looking at NGA technologies, Docsis 3, which is also included in the standard cable figures, is most important with 37% coverage. VDSL, which is included in the DSL figures, is next at 21% and FTTP is available to just 12% of homes

 

As for mobile broadband, HSPA has rapidly grown to 95% coverage, ahead of DSL and with almost as many homes passed as all the standard broadband technologies combined. At the other end of the scale, LTE is still very new with less than 9% coverage.

 

Source: European Commission. Extracted from the executive summary of the report.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:55:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

America Movil’s (AM’s) domestic mobile subsidiary, Telcel, has reportedly inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, BNamericas reports. Telcel, which is Mexico’s largest cellco by subscribers, is understood to have made its 4G network available to customers in a total of nine cities at launch, with those being: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Merida. For now, LTE-based services are restricted to post-paid customers only, although AM CEO Daniel Hajj was cited as saying that pre-paid options will be offered in the future.

Six LTE-compatible handsets are being offered to those customers looking to take up the new service, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, while Telcel has noted that the iPhone 5 will be available from January 2013. Pricing for the 4G service ranges from MXN499 (USD38) per month for a 500MB usage allowance, rising to MXN899 for a 700MB allowance.

Mr Hajj is also cited as saying that approximately 35% of Telcel’s mobile subscriber base currently uses data services, broken down as 20% which access data via its 2G network and 15% which connect via the 3G infrastructure. Having noted that data usage had increased tenfold over the past three years, Telcel has said a similar growth rate is likely in the wake of its 4G launch, with Mr Hajj reportedly saying that the cellco expects between one and three million people to adopt 4G within a year.

Meanwhile, with Telcel reportedly set to invest around USD3.95 billion on network upgrades between 2012 and 2014, at least USD1 billion of which will be spent on 4G equipment, it has said that it aims to expand coverage to 26 cities covering 65% of the population by April 2013.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:52:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The European Commission has today decided to add another 120 MHz to the radio spectrum portfolio for 4G technologies, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), around the 2 GHz band. This band is currently solely used for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) wireless communications, known as 3G networks. The Decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies. On this basis the EU will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high speed wireless broadband as in the United States, namely around 1000 MHz.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:50:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012

Chinese cellco China Unicom has booked revenues of CNY185.192 billion (USD29.436 billion) for the nine months to 30 September 2012, up by 18.7% year-on-year. Of the total, CNY42.72 billion was attributed to Unicom’s burgeoning 3G business, up by 29.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2011. The cellco claimed 66.863 million 3G users, more than double the 30.230 million represented by Unicom in September 2011. ARPU for 3G users was CNY89.1, and average monthly data usage per customer was 143.4MB. Turnover from its GSM business however experienced a 6.2% drop on an annualised basis, falling to CNY50.39 billion. Meanwhile, Unicom’s fixed line operations saw a slight boost of 1.9% y-o-y to CNY62.443 billion, with non-voice revenues contributing 69.4% to the total, compared to 63.0% twelve months earlier.

Despite an increase in costs and expenses for the nine-month period of 18.3% to CNY177.93 billion, Unicom reported net profits of CNY5.45 billion (+29.4% y-o-y). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were CNY54.78 billion (+12.7%) with an EBITDA margin of 35.1%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:52:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pan-African mobile operator MTN Group has reported ‘satisfactory’ results for the three months ended 30 September 2012, underpinned by solid net subscriber gains – up 3.8% year-on-year to 182.7 million – driven in particular by growth in South Africa and Nigeria, two of its biggest markets. In its home market, it reported 4.1% y-o-y growth to 24.498 million, boosted by strong pre-paid user take-up, while in Nigeria it said customer numbers increased by 5.7% (on a net basis) to 45.640 million. In the wake of the strong performance, the Johannesburg-based carrier raised its guidance for net additions in the full year from 21.25 million to 23.70 million. MTN is active in a total of 22 African and Middle Eastern markets.

The group’s MTN Irancell unit continued to deliver a sound operational performance despite an increasingly challenging economic and political environment. The subsidiary expanded its base by 2.8% y-o-y to 39.382 million at end-September, it said, at which date it also had 230,000 WiMAX users. In other markets of note, MTN Ghana increased its subscriber base by 4.8% in the quarter to 11.270 million; MTN Syria added a net 115,000 users (+2.0%) in Q3 despite the ongoing civil unrest, for a total of 6.021 million; MTN in Yemen boosted its total by 5.4% to 4.445 million; and the group’s Zambian operation increased by 10.1% to 3.460 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:50:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moldova’s National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) has set the terms for the implementation of mobile and fixed number portability (MNP and FNP) in the country. Under the plan, the centralised database (CDB) administrator and service providers will develop the technical and commercial conditions for number portability implementation, to be approved by ANRCETI before 25 December 2012. Fixed and mobile telephony operators will subsequently be required to sign contracts with the CDB administrator and make the required changes in their networks to enable the launch of MNP and FNP on 1 May 2013 and 31 July 2013, respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:47:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

US telco AT&T Inc has reported consolidated revenues of USD31.46 billion for the three months ended 30 September 2012, a decrease of 0.1% year-on-year. Wireless sales accounted for the lion’s share of revenues in 3Q12, rising 4.5% to USD14.91 billion, while ‘data’ (broadband) revenues increased 6.9% y-o-y to USD7.98 billion. However, third-quarter ‘voice’ (wireline) revenue was down 10.8% to USD5.57 million, from USD6.24 million in 3Q11. Net income for 3Q12 increased 0.3% from USD3.62 billion to USD3.64 billion.

In operational terms, AT&T Wireless added 678,000 net new customers in the twelve-month period, for a total of 105.9 million at the end of September; this included gains in every customer category. Of these additions, 151,000 were post-paid subscribers and 77,000 were pre-paid. Of the remainder, 137,000 new connections were attributed to resellers and a further 313,000 subscriber accounts were classified as ‘connected devices’. Post-paid average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 2.4% y-o-y to USD65.2 per month, representing the 15th consecutive quarterly rise, and the strongest increase in six quarters. The carrier sold 6.1 million smartphones in 3Q12, 1.3 million more than in 3Q11, with such devices representing 81% of post-paid handset sales. AT&T claims that its ARPU for smartphones is twice as high as that of non-smartphone subscribers. Further, more than 40% of AT&T’s post-paid smartphone user base possess a Long Term Evolution (LTE)-capable device.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson commented: ‘We had another impressive quarter with strong earnings growth, record cash flows and solid returns to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. In wireless, we had another excellent smartphone quarter, penetration of usage-based mobile data plans continues to climb, and our 4G LTE network build is ahead of schedule. And in wireline, our IP network continues to deliver strong gains in U-verse high speed internet connections, which helped drive an almost 10% increase in broadband data ARPU’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:41:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by Brazil’s Associacao Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Telebrasil), the country was home to a total of 83 million broadband accesses (fixed and mobile) at the end of September, up 58% or 30.5 million connections on the same time in 2011. Of the total, some 63.6 million people were accessing the internet via a mobile broadband connection, with a further 19.4 million using a fixed connection. The popularity of mobile internet access is booming, with Telebrasil noting that connections increased by 84% in the year to 30 September 2012, with 50.9 million Brazilian owning a 3G mobile phone and 12.7 million using a data terminal (modem/dongle) at that date. Further, the association notes that the uptake of smartphones is accelerating with numbers rising by 86% between September 2011 and 2012, including 30 million new 3G mobile connections. In the fixed broadband sphere, the country registered some 1.4 million net new users in the period under review, up 7.7% year-on-year. Telebrasil attributes a significant portion of the growth to the success of the country’s national broadband plan – Plano Nacional de Banda Larga – which it estimates accounted for 31.5% of all new fixed high speed accesses.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:39:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

GrameenPhone, the Bangladesh unit of Norway’s Telenor Group, has reported that it signed up 9.8 million GPRS/EDGE mobile internet users by the end of September 2012, up by around one million in three months, and up from 3.4 million just twelve months earlier – a year-on-year net increase of 6.4 million. The figures raised the proportion of its total user base accessing the web by 14 percentage points year-on-year to 24% in the same period. GrameenPhone has recently promoted internet usage on its GSM network with a special discount for first-time customers, plus specific targeting of user segments such as its ‘Internet Utshob’ campaign aimed at the youth market, as well as government partnerships including the distribution of wireless modems in schools across the country.

Total GSM customers reached 41.0 million at 30 September 2012, up from 39.3 million reported the previous quarter and 35.2 million in Q3 2011, helping drive revenue for the first nine months of the year up by 4.7% to BDT69.3 billion (USD835 million) and Q3 revenue up by 0.4% to BDT22.9 billion. EBITDA margin remained at 53% in 9M 2012, the same level as the corresponding period of 2011, although the margin dropped in 3Q12 to 52%, down from 58% in 2011’s third quarter. The cellco invested CAPEX of BDT10.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2012, with Q3 CAPEX reaching BDT2.9 billion, down from BDT4.5 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:38:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operator MTS Belarus has announced that the number of people signed up to its 3G mobile internet services increased by 12% in the three months ended 30 September 2012 to more than 800,000; the cellco closed out June 2012 with around 715,000 3G users. MTS is driving uptake for mobile broadband by continuing efforts to modernise its network. It now claims to cover the entire territory of the Republic with a total of 1,698 base transceiver stations (BTS), of which half are able to support dual-carrier HSPA+ with maximum download speeds of 42Mbps. In the third quarter the operator added 3G in a number of new locations in the Brest region (Baranovichi), Shavrova (Vitebsk), Grodno and Lida, Neman (Minsk), Borisov (Minsk region) and in parts of Mogilev.

In a separate development, MTS Belarus says it hopes to complete the deployment of its Ethernet network in the Serebryanka residential quarter in Minsk by 15 November 2012. Upon completion, customers signing up to its ‘Household Connect’ tariff plans will be able to get a 5Mbps (maximum) connection free for the first month. MTS already offers the Ethernet service in the Chizhovka residential quarter in the capital.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:36:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Solavei, a social network and commercial platform provider, has launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service in Puerto Rico over the network of T-Mobile, in a partnership with the cellular operator which also covers the US. Solavei’s MVNO offering is based on an unlimited service plan costing USD49 a month, including national voice, text and data for mobile phone users based in Puerto Rico.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:35:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Airtel Nigeria, the local mobile unit of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, has expanded coverage of its 3.5G wireless network in Oyo State, enabling the cellco’s subscribers in the region to access mobile broadband at higher speeds, Vanguard reports. ‘Oyo State is central to the operations of Airtel, and in our quest to recreate a uniquely wholesome telecoms experience in line with our vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians, we are renewing our contract with the Oyo people by empowering them to succeed through our ‘3.75G’ network footprints, innovative offerings, pocket-friendly value propositions and customer-focused initiatives,’ Airtel Nigeria’s COO and executive director, Deepak Srivastava, said at a ceremony in Oyo State capital Ibadan to re-launch the Airtel brand. In February 2012 Airtel announced that it had boosted the maximum download speed available across its third-generation network to 42Mbps, following the implementation of Dual Carrier HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+) technology. At that date, the network was available in parts of all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:34:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Incumbent operator Orange Poland (previously known as Telekomunikacja Polska, TP) has booked a 5.5% year-on-year decline in revenues for Q3 2012 to PLN3.473 billion (USD1.111 billion), attributed to adverse macroeconomic factors and intense price competition in the mobile segment. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were PLN1.323 billion, with an EBITDA margin of 38.1% down by 5.7% and 0.1 percentage points respectively compared to the year-ago period. Net income for the quarter was PLN307 million, dropping 18.6% from PLN377 million a year earlier.

Orange noted that the introduction of unlimited voice and SMS offers in Q2 2012 had led to a decline in mobile ARPU, adding that the ‘price war’ would have a ‘negative impact… on the value of the entire market.’ Blended ARPU fell by PLN2 quarter-on-quarter, with post-paid ARPU falling by PLN3.1 and pre-paid dropping PLN0.9. Mobile subscriptions edged up to 14.758 million from 14.757 million in Q2 2012.

Fixed telephony subscriptions continued to decline, falling by 2.5% q-o-q to 5.195 million, whilst broadband accesses also slumped, with subscriptions falling by 0.3% to 2.338 million compared to the preceding quarter. Triple-play packages continued to see strong growth, noting a 26.5% increase in users to 191,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:32:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian telco Oi SA, the entity formed through the restructuring of Telemar Participacoes’ former operating divisions Brasil Telecom, Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Coari Participacoes and Telemar Norte Leste, has extended the operational footprint of its national broadband plan – Plano Nacional de Banda Larga (PNBL) – to 2,005 municipalities. Oi SA, which markets its internet offering under the Oi Velox banner, reached its latest milestone through the deployment of services to an additional 113 cities, and now targets coverage of 4,800 municipalities by the end of 2014. The carrier added that around 40% of cities covered are located in the north and northwest of Brazil. In total, Oi Velox is now available in 24 states across the country, excluding the Federal District, and offers users a low-cost 1Mbps internet service for BRL35 (USD17.2) per month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:27:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile Telephony of Serbia (MTS), the wireless arm of fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija, has upgraded its 3G infrastructure to HSPA+, the company announced yesterday. The boosted network will deliver download speeds of more than 10Mbps to end users, with potential upload speeds of 3Mbps. MTS’s 3G network covers 75% of the population including all major cities, towns, and roads. MTS added that the upgrade would ease the transition to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:25:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Italy’s largest cellco by subscribers, Telecom Italia Mobile, will launch LTE services on 7 November, according to COO Marco Patuano. At launch the company’s 4G network will cover Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples, and coverage is expected to extend to a further 20 cities by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Vodafone Italy is expected to unveil its LTE offering on 30 November, while 3 Italia is planning to inaugurate services by the end of 2012. Wind has yet to announce a launch date, and two weeks ago called on its rivals to pool their resources to help roll out a national wholesale LTE network

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:22:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of active users of the internet in the Arab region has increased by 23 percent in the last two years, which is 1.6 times higher than the world average of 13 percent growth, according to Hatem Samman, director of Ideation Centre at Booz and Company. The Arab Digital Generation (ADG) constitutes 4 percent of the globally digital active users generation, Gulf News reported. Up to 90 million Arabs aged 15 to 35 years use the internet. It is expected that by 2030, about 38 percent of the Arab population will be using the internet. Samman was referring to a survey conducted by the company of 3,127 respondents from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Algeria and Egypt.

 Samman said that Arabs read more news on the internet compared with others, stressing that 260 million are globally digitally active. Samman said social media account memberships have increased by 20-30 percent in the Arab world in the last two years, adding that the UAE has the highest penetration of online purchasees which is 12 per cent compared with a world average of 20 per cent. In 2006-2011, the number of internet users increased to a great extent.

 

This is reflected by the high percentage of Youtube playbacks in the Arab world compared with the rest of the world. Eight-five percent of internet users in Saudi Arabia use YouTube, 83 percent in the UAE and 74 percent in Egypt. The overall figure for YouTube users in the Mena is 167 million.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:20:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bangladeshi government announced that it will hold a 3G spectrum licence auction early next year and expects customers to be able to use 3G services by the middle of 2013, The Daily Star reported online. The 3G auction guidelines will be finalised by December after consultation with stakeholders, the auction should be held in January or February of next year, said Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Bose said this after the first consultation meeting was held on 11 October by the telecommunication ministry, in the presence of a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) official, for the four private mobile operators. At the meeting, the operators asked the ministry to reduce the starting price for the auction from the proposed USD 30 million per 1 MHz of the spectrum. Bose said the ministry is consulting with the Finance Ministry in this regard. He also said the price will be finalised after taking into consideration neighbouring countries' experiences and Bangladesh's socio-economic situation.

 

The draft guidelines say the auction will involve 10 MHz spectrum from the 2,100 MHz frequency band, but the operators would like to purchase 5 MHz of the spectrum to save costs. Given the exponential rise in demand for data and the fact that Bangladesh is a populous country, 5 MHz spectrum bands would yield poor quality of service, according to Bose. A total of five 3G licences are available, of which three have been assigned for the current private operators, one for state-owned Teletalk, and one for a new entrant

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh is set to introduce a 3G service through state-run mobile operator Teletalk on 14 October, bdnews24 reported online. A senior official at Teletalk said that the company would publish advertisements in newspapers about its 3G service this month. The initial price for a 3G-enabled SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) will be BDT 1,500 and existing users will get preference.

 Preparations are complete to provide the services to over 300,000 subscribers in the capital initially after the inauguration. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Teletalk had nearly 1.4 million subscribers in August of whom only 25,000 subscribers were using its internet connection, while the six mobile phone operators had a combined 99.5 million subscribers.

 

Being the state-run operator, Teletalk was given the opportunity to launch 3G experimentally before other operators. It was supposed to launch the service in March for six months but deferred the launch for technical reasons. The recent 3G licence draft guideline says the spectrum will be auctioned next January. Teletalk will have to take the 3G spectrum, spending the same amount of money as others even if it does not take part in the auction, it says. Apart from Bangladesh's private operators Grameenphone, Banglalink, Citycell, Airtel and Robi, foreign companies will also be able to take part in the auction.

Source: Telecom Paper.

3G | Operators | Tariffs
Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:16:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |