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 Thursday, December 20, 2012
Moldova’s National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) has reported that the total number of fixed broadband internet subscribers reached 396,500 at 30 September 2012, an increase of 20.4% from 329,100 at the same date a year earlier. xDSL connections accounted for the majority of fixed broadband connections in Q3 2012 (52.3%, down from 57.8% twelve months previously), followed by FTTx accesses which made up 41.9% of the total (37.5%) and cable subscriptions with 5.5% (4.1%). Fixed line incumbent Moldtelecom remains the market leader in the fixed broadband market, holding a share of 69.1% at the end of September 2012, followed by StarNet (16.9%), Sun Communications (5.6%) and other operators (8.4%). The number of 3G mobile internet customers (using USB modems and data cards) totalled 167,600 at the end of September 2012, an increase of 8.9% year-on-year. Orange Moldova accounted for highest number of mobile broadband customers (80,500) according to ANRCETI, followed by Moldcell with 56,600 and Moldtelecom with 30,400.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:47:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile number portability (MNP) is now available in Paraguay, TeleSemana reports. The service is priced at PYG21,864 (USD4.82) and includes an eight-day processing time, which is scheduled to decrease to five working days by the end of the year.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2012 Spanish firm El Corte Ingles won the contract to administer Paraguay’s MNP database, after being selected by the Comision Tecnica de Portabilidad Numerica (CTPN), which comprises representatives of the country’s four mobile operators – Tigo, Nucleo (Telecom Personal Paraguay), Hola Paraguay (Vox) and Claro Paraguay – and telecoms regulator Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel). El Corte Ingles reportedly beat off stiff competition from Ericsson del Paraguay, a local offshoot of US firm Telecordia. El Corte Ingles has administered Spain’s number portability database since 1999, with a monthly average of over 140,000 ported lines. It has already won numerous contracts to administer MNP across Latin America, including markets such as Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico, although it lost out to chief rival Telcordia in both Argentina and Chile.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:46:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

French watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has announced a new maximum termination rate for voice calls in French overseas territories. The rate, which is effective from 1 January 2013, has been set at EUR0.01 (USD0.01) per minute and applies to operators in the Antilles-Guyane region (incorporating Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana) as well as Reunion and Mayotte.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:44:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telenor Norge claims it has become the country’s first operator to enable access to Long Term Evolution-based (LTE-based) services via mobile phone. With access having previously been restricted to those connecting via USB dongle, the operator has confirmed that from yesterday customers with 4G-compatible mobile handsets will be able to utilise its LTE network. It notes that it has put in place an ‘automatic solution’ which provides voice access over Telenor’s 3G network, while customers are transferred to the LTE infrastructure – where it is available – for web surfing and internet access.

Alongside this development, Telenor has also named a number of new locations which it plans to extend 4G coverage to by Christmas, with those being: Drammen, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg, Skien, Porsgrunn and Kristiansand. Looking further ahead, the 4G footprint is expected to expand further in the New Year, with Telenor naming Tromso as another location where the network will be switched on at that date. In addition to expanding 4G across the country, Telenor’s managing director Berit Svednsen reiterated that the operator is also continuing to develop its third-generation infrastructure, noting: ‘90% of Telenor’s mobile customers have 3G coverage where they live, and the continuing expansion will ensure as much as 95% coverage. By the end of 2015 nine out of 10 Norwegians will also be able to use 4G from Telenor.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Telenor Norge unveiled commercial LTE services in eleven cities and towns across the country in October 2012. At launch the 4G network was available in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lorenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrom, Asker, Baerum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:39:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom Namibia achieved an 8.7% year-on-year increase in turnover to NAD1.2 billion (USD135 million) in its financial year ended 30 September 2012, its managing director Frans Ndorama announced, adding that FY 2012 operating profit rose by 29% to NAD133 million. As reported by Namibia Press Agency, the growth was attributed to increased uptake of the telco’s broadband services, supported by capital expenditure (CAPEX) since 2009 of NAD746 million, covering investment in services/networks including ADSL, WiMAX, MPLS, submarine and terrestrial fibre-optic cables.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:38:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), the country’s incumbent fixed line operator, has reported revenues of BWP1.17 billion (USD145.9 million) for the twelve months ended 31 March 2012, an increase of 10.2% year-on-year, on higher data-related sales of BWP450 million. Local newspaper Mmegi Online reports that comprehensive income totalled BWP375.6 million for the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared to BWP227.4 million in the year-ago period, boosted by higher sales and a BWP138.7 million gain on property revaluation. State-owned BTC’s operating costs for the twelve-month period stood at BWP992 million, up from BWP881.6 million in the year ended 31 March 2011. Commenting on the results, BTC’s CEO Paul Taylor said: ‘We have been very vigilant in cutting costs, nonetheless we will continue to be prudent and make sure that we spend on those activities which yield the most value to our customers and other stakeholders.’ BTC offers fixed telephony services, as well as wireless telephony via its wholly owned mobile subsidiary beMOBILE and internet and data services through its Botsnet unit.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:36:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Algerian operators will launch 3G and m-payment services in the first quarter of next year, postal and ICT minister Mouusa Benhamadi announced to the local press. He said that the 3G licensing process would begin at the start of the year and services would begin before the end of March. The minister explained that 4G licensing was rejected due to the elevated cost of handsets, greater investment by operators, the requirement for a specific frequency band and the need for more base stations, authorisations to build them and the availability of necessary locations. Algeria launched a tender for 3G licences in September 2011, but suspended the process and delayed it several times due to a legal dispute between the government and Orascom Telecom Algeria, which operates under the Djezzy brand. In his latest statement to the press Benhamadi recognised that Algeria was behind in some services, such as m-payment, adding that Algerie Telecom, Mobilis and the postal service would introduce an m-payment service by the end of January

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:35:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cameroon's ministry of posts and telecommunications has chosen Vietnam's Viettel as the winner of the country's third mobile operator's licence. The new operator, expected to provide 2G and 3G services, will cover 81 percent of the country when it begins operations, the minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean-Pierre Biyiti Bi Essam, said in a statement. Currently, Cameroon has some 11 million subscribers, representing a population penetration of around 50 percent. The existing operators are South Africa's MTN and France Telecom's Orange Cameroon. Three other operators - India's Bharti Airtel, Maroc Telecom and Korea Telecom - were also in the running for the licence.

Source: Telecom Paper.

3G | Africa | Mobile | Operators
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:33:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Equatorial Guinea is set to expand broadband connectivity next year, when it connects its national telecoms infrastructure to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, Biztech Africa reports. The ACE cable will be landed at Bata, Equatorial Guinea’s largest city and economic hub, where a control centre for the cable will be installed and is due to be operational by 6 December 2013. Management of the cable will fall to the newly established Management and Maintenance of Telecommunication Infrastructures Organisation in Equatorial Guinea (GITGE), which was set up in July this year. Carmelo Martin Modu, secretary of state for technology and telecommunications commented: ‘Equatorial Guinea is working to expand its broadband connectivity. We believe that through our participation in the ACE project, we will continue to reduce the digital divide that exists in our country and improve our communications’ quality and reach.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:31:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Korean communications provider SK Telecom has seen its LTE subscriber base exceed 7 million on 12 December, achieving its 2012 target for LTE subscribers. The company launched LTE services in July 2011. The LTE subscribers make up 26 percent of SK Telecom's total mobile subscriber base, the Korea IT Times reports. The company said that LTE uptake was boosted by the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 and that it signs up 60,000 customers per day on average. The company expects to end the year with 7.4 million LTE subscribers and expects to double the base to 14 million before the end of next year.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:29:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japanese-owned NTT Com Asia has landed the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) fibre cable in Hong Kong, where it has set a target commercial launch date by the end of the first quarter of 2013. ASE connects Hong Kong to Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, and launched services on this four-country route in August 2012. The 7,800km fibre system (including the 300km section to Hong Kong), cost USD430 million to build.

As shown on TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable map site (based on the research firm’s Global Bandwidth Research Service), ASE is the eighth high speed undersea cable system landed in Hong Kong, with two others pending. The other seven existing cables are: APCN-2; Asia-America Gateway (AAG); EAC-C2C; FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop; FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA); SeaMeWe-3; and Tata TGN-Intra Asia (TGN-IA). Two other planned systems are: Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC) and Asia Pacific Gateway (APG).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:27:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chinese CDMA-based wireless provider China Telecom has introduced pre-paid vouchers for 3G services, offering customers a cheap, flexible alternative to its existing data plans, China Daily reports. The vouchers are available in denominations of 60MB, 150MB or 300MB, the smallest of which costs CNY10 (USD1.59). A spokesperson for the operator noted that data use per subscriber in October 2012 was 130% higher than twelve months earlier, adding: ‘Data traffic management is a very important task for telecom carriers, especially when they enter the mobile internet age.’

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that whilst China Telecom has the fewest 3G subscribers of the three cellcos – with 59.72 million at the end of September 2012, compared to 66.86 million and 75.60 million held by China Unicom and China Mobile respectively at that date – it has the greatest level of 3G penetration in its customer base, with more than a third of its users on 3G plans in mid-2012.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Mobile | Tariffs
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:26:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom South Africa’s 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network has been rolled out to Cape Town, several weeks ahead of schedule the company said in a statement yesterday. Vodacom launched LTE in October this year with 70 LTE-enabled base stations and has since increased that total to more than 500. CTO Andries Delport commented: ‘On average we’ve lit up another seven LTE sites every single day for the past two months and hit our target of 500 LTE base stations a month early.’ Vodacom’s 4G network is now available in the central business district, Stellenbosch, Atlantic Seaboard, Waterfront and Century City areas of Cape Town, as well as throughout Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:25:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The popularity of mobile money services in the African nation of Tanzania exploded between 2010 and 2012, according to figures from the Bank of Tanzania published in East Africa Business Week. The bank reports that monthly transactions have increased from 1.9 million in 2010 to 48 million in September this year, in turn driving the total value of mobile transactions up to TZS1.7 trillion (USD668.3 million) from TZS1.8 billion. The banks’ governor Benno Ndulu told delegates at the opening of a financial institutions’ conference in Arusha that millions of Tanzanians without bank accounts are benefiting from mobile money services to make payments, send remittances and store funds for short periods conveniently and at low cost.

Last month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that Vodacom Tanzania has signed up 4.4 million users to its mobile money service M-PESA, representing around 48% of its total subscriber base in the country. The service, which allows users with a recognised ID card to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily through a mobile device, is seeing sustained, strong growth. In February this year Vodacom confirmed that the number of M-PESA users stood at 2.7 million users – or 23.4% of the base. The cellco’s CEO Rene Meza says: ‘about TZS35 billion is transacted daily through M-PESA and attributed this to the fact that the service is safe and reliable and is available throughout the country.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:24:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Romania has inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the capital Bucharest, with the cellco noting that at launch customers in areas including the central and northern area of the city, and the tourist regions of Prahova Valley, Bran-Moieciu and Poiana Brasov could access the superfast mobile broadband service. With the cellco noting that its new network offers downlink speeds of up to 75Mbps and upload speeds of up to 37.5Mbps, it has also revealed that customers signing up for any of its new 4G tariffs on a two-year contract will have no data usage caps for the first six months. Initially, those customers looking to take up the cellco’s 4G offering will only be offered a USB modem or tablet, although Orange Romania noted that it expects to introduce a smartphone option soon. For now, the two devices on offer are the Orange Huawei E392 modem, which is offered free with any LTE tariff, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 4G tablet price starts at EUR309 (USD403), dependent on the plan taken.

With the operator’s LTE coverage initially available in only a limited area, Orange Romania has confirmed that those on its 4G tariffs will be able to connect to its 3.5G network in those regions where the new infrastructure has yet to be rolled out. The cellco has highlighted the fact that its customers currently have access to downlink speeds of 14.4Mbps nationwide, while 21.1Mbps speeds are available in ‘over 13,000 locations’.

Further, it also noted that it has now deployed DC-HSPA technology, offering theoretical downlink rates of 43.2Mbps, in 331 locations, including 18 of the country’s larger cities, those being: Arad, Baia Mare, Brasov, Bucharest, Campia Turzii, Cluj, Codlea, Constanta, Iasi, Mangalia, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sacele, Sibiu, Targu Mures, Timisoara, Tulcea and Zalau.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:20:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ARCEP and the Committee for industry, energy and technologies, CGIET (Conseil général de l'industrie, de l'énergie et des technologies) have released the findings of the 10th annual survey on the use of information and communication technologies (fixed and mobile calling, internet and microcomputers) in France. This survey was conducted in June 2012 through face-to-face interviews with a sample of 2,206 people who are representative of the French population, 12 years of age and over.

What follows are some of the survey's main findings.

More and more people equipped with wireline and mobile phones, computers and internet access.

- Seventy eight percent of the population now have both a landline telephone in the home and their own mobile phone (+4 points compared to last year): telephony equipment levels stand at 89% for fixed (+1 point) and 85% for mobile (+3 points);

- four out of five people have a computer at home - most of which are laptops (70%) and 97% of which are connected to the internet;

- portable devices are increasingly popular: 64% of the population ages 12 and up own a laptop computer, a mobile phone or a tablet (+11 points);

- most people (55%) still access the internet using a landline connection at home, but this is followed closely by the use of a Wi-Fi connection at home (49%, +7 points). We are also seeing a swift increase in the use of mobile devices - i.e. tablets and phones - to access the web at home, either via Wi-Fi (23%, +10 points) or a mobile network (20%, +6 points). Ultimately, consumers are using a variety of connection modes, with 45% of them employing two or more to access the internet when at home.

Growing adoption of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) one of the main reasons for increased traffic:

- Twenty nine percent of the population surf the web using a smartphone, which marks an 8-point increase over the year before. And usage has skyrocketed over the past two years: accessing e-mail and downloading paid applications rose by a further 7 points, after having increased by 8 points in 2011 (adopted by 23% and 21% of users, respectively);

- twenty percent of individuals use a laptop computer or a tablet to connect to the internet when away from home;

- smartphone owners are twice as likely to use the mobile internet: 79% of them use their phone to surf the web, compared to only 29% of mobile phone owners as a whole. Sixty five percent use their smartphone to send e-mail, 63% to download applications and 24% to watch TV. These are nevertheless the same percentages as in 2011.

Source: ARCEP.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:19:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Switzerland's Swisscom has launched its LTE network, with coverage in 26 locations today. The new network will cover 70 percent of the population by the end of 2013.

The launch follows a LTE pilot project in seven tourist regions and the cities of Berne and Zurich. Frequencies of 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz are used to transmit the LTE signal.

The company said that it will invest around CHF 1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in the expansion of its mobile network by 2016.

The Swisscom 4G/LTE network will be able to provide theoretical peak rate speeds of up to 150 Mbps during phase one and reach up to 300 Mbps at a later date.

Source: Cellular News.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:17:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

DUBAI: Oman has granted a fixed-line telecommunications license for the greater Muscat area to a consortium of Awaser Oman Co. and Hong Kong's PCCW International, the regulator said yesterday, a decision that may squeeze earnings at Oman's existing operators.

The license is valid for the Governorate of Muscat — home to about a quarter of Oman's estimated 2.8 million people — and will enable the consortium to provide fixed-line data and voice services for 25 years. PCCW International is a subsidiary of PCCW Ltd.

The consortium will compete against Oman Telecommunications Co. (Omantel) and Nawras, a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom (Qtel).

As the former monopoly, Omantel has an extensive fixed-line network and this provided just over half of its revenue for the nine months to Sept. 30, according to Reuters calculations. Fixed-line accounted for 18.5 percent of Nawras's third-quarter revenue.

The Awaser-PCCW license was awarded as fixed-line services lag mobile, which had penetration of 180 percent — or 1.8 mobile subscriptions per person — at the end of June, according to Oman's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Many people hold multiple mobile SIM cards and switch provider depending on which has the best offers for local and international services, with Omantel also hosting two mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). MVNOs lease network capacity and usually target a particular economic or ethnic group.

Fixed-line take-up has been sluggish in comparison — penetration was only 10.7 percent at the end of June, up 0.6 percentage point since mid-2011, with just over a quarter of households using the Internet on a fixed connection.

Yet fixed-line Internet services are lucrative, with a monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of 32.071 rials ($83.30) in the second quarter, up 1.3 percent from the previous quarter. Mobile broadband penetration was 51 percent at the end of June.

Source: Arab News.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:06:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has reduced the amount of money mobile companies pay each other for calls that terminate in a rival’s network.

The charge — referred to as Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) — was slashed from the current Sh2.21 to Sh1.44, and charges backdated to July 1 this year, effectively ending a war in the mobile industry pitting Airtel and yu who wanted the charges lowered against Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, which wanted the charges to remain as is.

The interconnection fees was set at Sh2.21 after it was slashed in July 2010 from Sh4.42. The rates were set to come further down in July last year to Shl.44, and follow a glide path that would have seen them settle at less than a shilling by July next year. But President Kibaki halted progress through a directive in June last year following intense lobbying from Safaricom and Telkom Kenya.

“Considering that the Commission suspended the glide path in order to evaluate these issues as presented by the industry, the CCK board has, in its sitting today, resolved to re-instate the glide path and implement the second phase of the mobile and fixed termination rates with effect from July 1,” stated the CCK in a statement to the media.

Source: Standard Digital.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:00:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moscow, Russia – November 22, 2012 – Rostelecom OJSC (the “Group”) (MICEX - RTS: RTKM, RTKMP; OTCQX: ROSYY), Russia’s national telecommunications operator, announces that the Group has fully launched its first commercial 3G+ network in the Irkutsk region, through the Group’s subsidiary, Baikalwestcom CJS (BWC). Rostelecom is planning to launch 3G networks in 26 Russian regions in 2013.

Pavel Zaitsev, Senior Vice President of Rostelecom, commented: "Our subsidiary, Baikalwestcom, has historically been a regional mobile market leader, and the launch of this next-generation network will further strengthen its position. All of our mobile subscribers in the Irkutsk region will now benefit from a significantly enhanced user experience using our 3G+ infrastructure and our high-speed Internet access when surfing the web, browsing social networks, and viewing video content. Customers can now access these services anywhere using their smartphones, tablets or USB modems on their laptops. Since the network’s test launch mobile data traffic has almost doubled and we are confident that demand for mobile Internet will continue growing rapidly thanks to our competitive tariff plans for this service.”

The HSPA+ technology that we used to build our first network in the Irkutsk region, supports transmission speeds of up to 21 MB/s. The network is therefore 3G+, as the first 3G networks in Russia only supported transmission speeds of up to 3.6 MB/s. The Group has completed the installation of over 300 base stations. Rostelecom’s 3G+ network is now available across several of the Irkutsk region’s cities and towns, providing access to 70% of the region’s population. The network will be further expanded in the first quarter of 2013.

Source: Rostelecom.

3G | CIS
Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:58:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a €2 billion support scheme aimed at promoting the development of next generation access (NGA) broadband networks in currently underserved areas of the German region of Bavaria. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it ensures that support is granted only in areas where no commercial NGA network rollout is foreseen in the near future. This will avoid the crowding out of private investments.

Commission Vice-President Joaquín Almunia, in charge of competition policy, said: "The Bavarian broadband support scheme contributes to the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda while limiting distortions of competition by supporting only networks that are open to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis. This should enable healthy competition on the subsidised networks, allowing local businesses and users to benefit from significantly enhanced broadband services at competitive prices".

In June 2012, Germany notified plans for supporting an NGA broadband scheme providing for download speeds of at least 50 Mbps in commercial and accumulation areas of Bavaria.

The Commission found the scheme to be in line with its guidelines on state aid for broadband (see IP/09/1332 and MEMO/09/396). In particular, no support may be granted in areas where a commercial NGA network roll-out is foreseen in the near future. Moreover, the scheme has a high degree of transparency, as all key information on projects will be systematically posted on a central website. This should allow stakeholders to be continuously informed on any project under the scheme. Also, the German telecommunications regulator (the Bundesnetzagentur) will be consulted on key aspects of projects, such as wholesale access prices and conditions. This will further contribute to compliance with the competition rules. Finally, Germany will conduct a detailed monitoring of all cases supported under the scheme.

Source: European Commission.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:55:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

The UK’s rural broadband rollout strategy, which had been placed on hold in July 2012 in order for European regulators examine to it, looks set to get underway again with the European Commission (EC) confirming that Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the umbrella support scheme for investments in next generation access (NGA) broadband networks, does comply with European Union (EU) state aid rules.

BDUK, a team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), was set up to deliver the government’s broadband strategy, with its main role being to allocate and distribute funding to bring superfast broadband to the third of UK homes and businesses which are not expected to be provided for by commercial rollouts. The British government had originally aimed for an open process in which community groups and private firms would be commissioned to build Europe’s ‘best superfast broadband network’, with BDUK having published a framework covering 35 local authority areas, under which contractors competed to win equipment supply deals. However, with claims that the selection criteria had proved insurmountable, a number of companies, including Geo and Cable & Wireless, withdrew from the process last year. With fixed line incumbent BT and Fujitstu emerging as the only two companies to ink contracts for a rural broadband rollout, the EC said that no work would move forward until it was satisfied with the plans. One of the main concerns with the setup was reportedly that BT was unprepared to offer access on a sufficiently open basis to the infrastructure it will roll out, with Brussels thought to want the incumbent to allow rival operators to be able to rent its dark fibre.

With the EC suggesting that the total value of aid to be delivered by the scheme would be around GBP1.5 billion (USD1.8 billion), it claimed this would likely enable the UK to achieve the objective of the EU Digital Agenda of coverage of 30Mbps networks for all European citizens. Further, noting that the design of the BDUK scheme contained several ‘best practices’ which it claimed would ‘help to ensure more effective, better targeted and less distortive public interventions’, the EC also pointed out that UK telecoms regulator Ofcom will have a crucial role in designing wholesale access prices and conditions. The UK meanwhile is understood to have committed to submitting an evaluation of the scheme to the Commission before 31 March 2015, while it will also ensure that any forthcoming scheme will take this evaluation into account.

Commenting on the decision, Joaquin Almunia, EC vice president, noted: ‘BDUK, as a national competence centre, will assist local granting authorities in designing and implementing successful broadband support measures in line with EU competition rules. The umbrella scheme will be a big step towards the achievement of the EU Digital Agenda targets and a strong impetus for growth in the UK.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:10:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the wake of slowing subscriber growth NTT East and NTT West have cut prices for their fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service by 34%, from JPY5,460 (USD67) to JPY3,600. The move is widely seen as a measure to stem the flow of customers leaving fixed broadband services in favour of mobile broadband platforms such as Long Term Evolution (LTE). According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, NTT’s net addition of FTTH subscribers fell from 2.046 million during the twelve months ending June 2010 to 1.756 million in the twelve months ending June 2011, and fell further to 1.277 million over the twelve months to June 2012. Australian technology news site Delimiter cites sources at NTT East and NTT West as being convinced that the main reason for the slowing FTTH take-up is due to many younger users preferring not to pay for a household-based FTTH service when they are already paying for their own smartphone LTE data plan. Unlike its smaller rival KDDI, NTT is prohibited from offering FTTH and LTE from its subsidiary NTT DoCoMo in a single bundled offering.

Source: TeleGeography.

FTTH/B | LTE | Tariffs
Friday, December 14, 2012 11:08:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ukraine’s third largest cellco Astelit (life:)) claims that it had 2.3 million mobile internet users on its GPRS/EDGE network at the end of September 2012, or 28% of its overall active mobile subscriber base which reached 8.2 million at that date (up from 7.1 million a year earlier). The number of active smartphones on Astelit’s network increased by 42% year-on-year to 1.07 million at end-September 2012, while overall mobile market leader Kyivstar reported at the same data that it had 2.56 million active smartphone subscribers, less than second-placed GSM operator MTS Ukraine which claimed almost three million smartphones, ProIT reported.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:06:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom Tanzania has announced that the number of people signed up to its mobile money service M-PESA has passed the 4.4 million mark, representing around 48% of its total subscriber base in the country. The service, which allows users with a recognised ID card to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily through a mobile device, is seeing strong growth. In February this year Vodacom confirmed that the number of M-PESA users stood at 2.7 million users – or 23.4% of the base. The cellco’s CEO Rene Meza says: ‘about TZS35 billion (USD22 million) is transacted daily through M-PESA and attributed this to the fact that the service is safe and reliable and is available throughout the country.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:05:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Moldova has announced the commercial launch of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. ‘From today 4G technology is available to all persons and entities in [the capital] Chisinau and its suburbs,’ said Ludmila Klimok, general director of Orange Moldova, at a press conference. The move follows a commercial launch of LTE by InterDnestrCom (IDC) in April 2012, and a limited test launch of LTE by another rival, Moldcell, last week.

Source: TeleGeography.

CIS | LTE
Friday, December 14, 2012 11:04:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Yemeni government has begun installing a national WiMAX network to improve the availability of internet access, reports National Yemen. The project is to be completed in two phases and will see the deployment of 28 stations covering Sanaa and Aden. The rollout is expected to cost YER591 million (USD2.736 million). Commenting at a ceremony marking the launch of the project, Minister of Telecommunications Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar said: ‘We are looking for all the people to benefit from this technology and it will be available to all kinds of people, and not just a specific group. It will be helpful in many fields – in education, health, communication.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:03:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has quashed speculation that it is looking to shake up the United Arab Emirates’ wireless market by licensing mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). ‘There are no plans for MVNOs. We are happy with the current structure of the market,’ local newspaper The National quotes Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, as saying. Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Du are the country’s sole mobile operators, between them accounting for around 13.01 million wireless subscribers at 30 September 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Etisalat is the market leader, although the incumbent has seen its share steadily eaten away since its only rival launched in February 2007, leaving Etisalat with 54.2% of the market at the end of Q3 2012, down from around 60% a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 11:02:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) has awarded WiMAX licences to three operators to increase the availability of internet access in the nation. Neda Telecom, IO Global and Arianna Network Services were each awarded a licence for a fee of USD520,000. The MCIT said in a statement that between 20% and 30% of subscribers to telecoms services currently have access to the internet, though with the issuance of the trio of WiMAX licences, and the allocation of 3G licences earlier this year the ministry hopes to increase access to around 80% of the population within two years.

Telecom minister Amirzai Sangin added: ‘to change Afghanistan into [an] advanced technological and e-government country, implementing of advanced technologies is necessary and provides great facilities to the residents of the country. 3G and WIMAX technologies [will] provide fast internet services for the people of Afghanistan.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:57:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AT&T Mobility has announced that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network now covers more than 150 million people across 103 cities, surpassing its original target of 100 cities by the end of 2012. This new coverage figure is more than double that offered at the end of 2011. AT&T plans to expand LTE coverage to 250 million people by end-2013 and to 300 million by the end of 2014.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, December 14, 2012 10:56:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Claro Puerto Rico has announced the full commercial launch of 4G LTE mobile broadband services for handset, modem and tablets users in 19 of the island’s 78 municipalities, including the three largest cities, San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez, promising mobile data speeds of up to 30Mbps. Company president Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, quoted by news site El Nuevo Dia, said the company has invested over USD230 million over the last year in the deployment of fibre-optic network infrastructure and 4G wireless access, adding that LTE coverage would be available ‘throughout the island’ in the first quarter of 2013. Having announced a ‘soft launch’ of LTE technology in San Juan around a year ago, Ortiz de Montellano explained that the delay in bringing a commercial 4G service to market had a lot to do with waiting for the right range of smartphones to become available. At launch the cellco is offering the Motorola RAZR HD XT925 LTE handset as an exclusive in the country, while on its website it also advertises the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE i747 and Nokia Lumia LTE 900 handsets. A 4G modem, the ZTE MF820 USB LTE, is also offered on the site, as is 4G connectivity for compatible tablets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:55:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) has announced that it has slashed the period of time in which cellular operators must process mobile number portability (MNP) requests in certain overseas territories from ten days to just two working days. Countries which will benefit from the change are Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy. The corresponding MNP time-frame was implemented in metropolitan France on 7 November 2011 and in Reunion and Mayotte on 31 July 2012. MNP was implemented across the French West Indies on 1 April 2006; a reduced MNP time-frame was first mooted in 2010.

Source TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:49:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), has published its proposal for new mobile termination rates charged by the country’s four mobile network operators. From 1 December 2012 the watchdog suggests that the rate fall to a uniform EUR0.0185 (USD0.024) per minute from the previous fees of EUR0.0336 for Royal KPN’s local unit E-Plus and UK-based Vodafone Germany, EUR0.0338 for Telekom Deutschland (the domestic fixed and mobile arm of Deutsche Telekom) and EUR0.0339 for Spain’s Telefonica (O2). In a second step, mobile termination rates will drop further, to EUR0.0179 per minute, on 1 December 2013. The announced rate cuts are provisional and subject to a national consultation procedure, and subsequent feedback from the European Commission and regulators in other European Union member states.

Responding to the proposed rate cuts, Reuters cited a Deutsche Telekom spokesperson as saying that the decision would cost the German telecom operators about EUR500 million annually, adding that the cuts didn’t bode well for future investments in fast internet. ‘With this decision the Bundesnetzagentur follows the complete erroneous European policy of the past ten years, which has cost the European telecom sector its global leading role,’ the spokesperson said. Vodafone meanwhile said the decision will drag money away from much needed investment in faster networks.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telefonica Ireland, which trades under the O2 brand name, has revealed that it will begin deployment of a 4G LTE network in the first half of next year. The cellco issued a statement of intent after recently securing spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, saying that it plans to invest EUR200 million (USD255 million) to upgrade its network to LTE over the next three years. ‘4G will significantly change the way consumers use their mobile devices and will transform our ability to meet customer demand for new products and services as they move to adopt smartphones, mobile modems and tablets in ever greater numbers,’ said Telefonica Ireland CEO Tony Hanway.

Source: TeleGeograhpy.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:42:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brunei’s telecoms regulator, the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI), has published its annual ICT indicators. Although no time-frame is mentioned by the regulator, it is assumed that the figures apply to the end of the country’s financial year, 31 March 2012. The regulator has revealed that the Sultanate’s mobile user base reached 449,260, up from 443,161 a year earlier. That total comprises 382,286 pre-paid users and 66,974 post-paid contract customers. Meanwhile, the number of fixed line subscribers increased from 79,839 to 80,039, ending a negative trend of falling subscriber totals evident in 2010 and 2011. In terms of internet access, the AITI reported 21,492 fixed line broadband subscribers, 4,161 dial-up users and 27,620 mobile internet users.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:40:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-owned telecoms giant Rostelecom has announced that its broadband subscriber base passed the nine million mark at the beginning of November 2012, which it says is almost four times more than its nearest competitor. The national operator has indicated that the growth in high speed internet users is being driven by the uptake of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) platforms, with the company’s fibre-optic user base reportedly doubling on an annual basis.

Source: TeleGeography.

Broadband | CIS | FTTH/B
Friday, December 14, 2012 10:39:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazilian cable services operator Net Servicos (Net) now has more than five million residential broadband subscribers in the country, Telecompaper reports without citing its sources. The cableco, which offers high speed internet access under the Net Virtua banner, says it reached the milestone in September, and now claims to be the market leader in that particular segment. Recent successes in subscriber take-up have been driven by the success of its convergence strategy – offered via Net Combo. Net says that four out of five subscribing households currently take at least two of the three services on offer – voice telephony, broadband internet and pay-TV – and that its network now passes six million homes.

Earlier this month the cableco reported that favourable exchange rates were the reason why its third-quarter net profit quadrupled to BRL108 million (USD53.3 million) from BRL23.6 million in 3Q11. The company, which is controlled by America Movil (AM) of Mexico, confirmed that its results were boosted by the depreciation of the Brazilian real versus the US dollar in the third quarter, adding that income for the period was ‘substantially influenced by the positive effects of exchange rate changes.’ The real fell 13% against the dollar compared with 3Q11. Net reported third-quarter revenue of BRL2.03 billion in July-September, up from BRL1.7 billion in the three months ended 30 September 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was BRL559 million, up from BRL486 million a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:37:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Unicom is going through a critical transformation as the operator is shifting its focus to its data business. Weak domestic demand is putting pressure on traditional mobile services such as voice and SMS, company chairman Chang Xiaobing told the China Daily in an interview. However, the data business, supported by the growing popularity of smartphones, is growing quickly. "China Unicom has come to a point where it has to transform itself," Chang said. "We may face difficulties in the transition, but China Unicom has the confidence and the capability to overcome those."

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:32:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japanese cable operator Jupiter Telecommunications (J:Com) grew its customer base to approximately 3.72 million in October, up 3.5 percent year-on-year. Combined revenue generating units (RGUs) for cable television, internet access, and telephony services reached 7.50 million, up 6.8 percent from October 2011. Furthermore, the bundle ratio increased to 2.02 from 1.95 a year earlier. J:Com had 3.11 million cable TV subscribers, up 1.8 percent year-on-year. The company also had 1.95 million internet subscribers, up 8.7 percent and the number of telephony customers grew 12.4 percent to 2.44 million.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:30:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 26, 2012

Zain Kuwait has announced that it has launched 4G services under the brand name Wiyana Connect 4G LTE. In a press release the company stated that the country’s first nationwide Long Term Evolution (LTE) offering is available for all compatible mobile phones, tablets, routers, hotspots and dongles. CEO Omar Alomar said: ‘We are very proud to launch the new service. This service is available for the first time nationwide.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, rival cellco Kuwait Telecom Company (Viva) launched LTE services in December 2011, however coverage of that network is believed to be restricted to central areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, November 26, 2012 12:27:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

UK data volumes over UK mobile broadband have more than doubled over the past year, with an average of 246 MB of data consumed for every active SIM, according to the latest Infrastructure Report update from Ofcom. Mobile broadband coverage continues to improve. The number of UK premises that cannot receive a 3G signal (and are therefore in a 3G 'complete not-spot') has fallen to 0.9 percent from 1.2 percent, while the number of premises that can receive a 3G signal from all mobile operators has increased to 77 percent from 73 percent. Ofcom estimates that 0.3 percent of premises are in 'complete not-spots' (they have no 2G mobile coverage) while 6.1 percent of premises are in 'partial not-spots' (they are not served by all the operators). It also found that many households are using femto cells to improve in-home coverage, with over 207,000 femto cells deployed.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, November 26, 2012 12:25:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brazil telecom regulator Anatel on Friday ordered TIM Participacoes, the nation's No. 2 wireless carrier, to stop selling a flat-rate promotion plan with unlimited calls per day because of concerns about service quality.

It was the latest in a series of regulatory setbacks for the Brazilian unit of Telecom Italia. In July, Anatel banned TIM's sales in 19 states for nearly two weeks until the company presented an investment plan to improve service.

TIM started selling its "Infinity Day" promotion on Monday, allowing customers to make unlimited phone calls within the carrier's network for a flat rate of 0.50 real ($0.24) a day.

The plan could bring "potential instability" to the company's network and "hurt the quality of service for all TIM customers," Anatel said in a decision published on Brazil's official gazette.

TIM was not immediately available to comment on the regulator's decision. The company intended to sell the plan to prepaid customers on a promotional basis until Jan. 15.

TIM has 30 days to provide Anatel with a study on the impact of the plan on its network and to make the necessary adjustments to ensure its service meets the agency's quality standards.

Source: Reuters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:35:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Irish telecoms regulator has completed its auction of radio spectrum and raised EUR481.7 million (US$613 million) from the mobile networks, with commitments to pay up to EUR372.95 million (US$474.7 million) by 2030 when the licenses expire.

The auction awarded spectrum rights in the former GSM-only bands (900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and in the 800 MHz band (the so-called 'Digital Dividend') which became available on 24 October last following the switch-off of analogue broadcasting.

The spectrum is being provided in a technology-neutral manner.

This auction saw the release of 140 MHz of paired spectrum, more than doubling the 64.8 MHz of paired spectrum currently assigned in these bands.

Frequency Band

License Period

Hutchison 3G

Meteor

Telefonica O2

Vodafone

800Mhz

2013-2015

-

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2015-2030

-

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

900Mhz

2013-2015

2 x 5Mhz

2 x5 Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2015-2030

2x 5Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

1800Mhz

2013-2015

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

-

2 x 15Mhz

2015-2030

2 x 20Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 25Mhz

Upfront Payment

EUR51.14m

EUR144.78m

EUR124.93m

EUR160.85m

Total Spectrum Usage

EUR53.87m

EUR99.64m

EUR99.64m

EUR99.64m

Total

EUR854.64 million

 

Announcing the results of the auction, ComReg Chairperson, Alex Chisholm said: "The assignment of these spectrum rights by ComReg has been one of the most significant pieces of work undertaken by ComReg. It is a vital step that promotes competition and allows the next generation of advanced mobile services to be made available to Irish consumers and businesses from next year."

License holders must attain and maintain a minimum coverage of 70% of the population and to attain this coverage obligation within 3 years, while they may use spectrum rights in multiple bands to achieve the coverage targets, at least 50% of the coverage requirement (i.e. 35% of the population) must be met using spectrum rights in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and/or 1800 MHz bands.

Source: Cellular News.

Europe | LTE | Mobile
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |