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 Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ICE Celular has launched its 2.6GHz LTE network in the west of the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, reports TeleSemana. The service will connect at speeds of between 10Mbps and 20Mbps via a USB modem. A wider commercial launch in major urban centres will take place in July, and the service will gradually expand until it is available to more than four million subscribers, although ICE provided no fixed timeframe for this expansion.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:03:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Senegal’s Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy launched a scheme on 20 June to identify all mobile subscribers in the country, Agence Ecofin reports. The project will be managed by the country’s telecoms regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), is expected to take about a month to complete and will close on 31 July. ARTP chief executive Abu Lo is quoted as saying that Senegal has decided to adopt recommendations laid out by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – adopted in 2007 – that require domestic cellcos to identify who is using their mobile services in order to provide more reliable statistics on the market, improve security and tackle the grey market for phones. The CEO said that six years after adopting the decree, Senegal’s wireless service providers have failed to complete the mobile identification scheme and that enough is enough. It is understood that Orange Senegal, Tigo Senegal and Sudatel Senegal (Expresso) have deployed teams across the country to complete the process by the July deadline.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:02:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Karabakh Telecom (KT), the legacy and monopoly operator serving the Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabah, has announced the launch of its 3G network in Artsakh on 22 June 2013. In a press release, the firm said the announcement was marked by the unveiling of the company’s new corporate logo and branding. Customers in the area of Artsakh will be able to enjoy faster mobile broadband access as a result of the deployment, with the carrier offering a range of pre- and post-paid packages.

KT was founded in 2002 under the guidance of its chairman Pierre Fattouch. It launched commercial services on 1 February and has offered internet services in the capital city Stepanakert since October that year, and in all the regions since 2003. The operator offers a range of fixed, internet and wireless services with a PSTN network covering 95% of major regional centres and almost 100% of Stepanakert and its environs. Its GSM coverage currently stands at over 95% of the population, with a plan to increase that to 100% in the short- to medium-term. The operator claims to provide services to more than 100,000 customers (fixed and mobile) representing more than 70% market penetration.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:01:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Omani telecoms operator Nawras has embarked on the second phase of its nationwide network modernisation programme, which will see mobile broadband speeds boosted and network coverage widened. Work will begin in Quriyat and in September will continue along the Batinah coast from Al Suwaiq towards Shinas. At present, all Nawras sites in Salalah are being upgraded as capacity is doubled along with the speed of the Nawras 3.5G network. In addition, 4G LTE technology is being deployed in the city to support residents and visitors attending the annual Salalah Tourism Festival in August. ‘We have already delivered a huge difference in the broadband internet experience of our customers living and working in the area covered by the first phase of Network Turbocharging,’ said Nawras chief executive Ross Cormack, adding: ‘With faster speeds and greater capacity, Nawras is making it easier and more enjoyable to be online with a pre-paid or post-paid broadband internet plan.’ So far, Nawras has invested around OMR60 million (USD155 million) in the first phase of its ‘Network Turbocharging’ programme, which includes upgrading the core network, building new base stations and adding 3.5G technology to every existing 2G site from Al Bustan to beyond Al Musannah. Furthermore, last month a third 3G data carrier was activated on the 900MHz frequency band, increasing the speed, capacity and indoor coverage of Nawras’ mobile broadband services.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:00:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moldova’s telecoms watchdog the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) has listed a press conference for 25 June 2013 to mark the forthcoming launch of the mobile number portability (MNP) services in Republic of Moldova, scheduled to start on 1 July 2013. According to the regulator’s press announcement, the conference will be attended by the Minister of Information Technology and Communications Pavel Filip, ANRCETI Director Sergiu Sitnic, the administrator of the central database for number portability and mobile operators’ representatives.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, under Administrative Board Decision No.17, mobile network operators working in cooperation with the Centralized Data Base (CDB) administrator, were obliged to ensure the technical launch of MNP by 1 May 2013, and provide the service to commercial customers by 1 July. The date for the service deployment was later postponed by ANRCETI in the wake of a request from cellcos asking for more time to finalise the necessary modifications to their billing systems for calls to ported numbers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:59:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Korea's SK Telecom has launched the world's first commercial LTE-Advanced network, along with the first phone running the faster network technology, the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A. Customers will have access free based on their existing data plans, and the service will initially be available in central areas of Seoul and 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, as well as 103 university areas. SK plans to expand the service with seven supporting smartphones by the end of this year and reach 84 cities covered.
 
The network offers up to 150 Mbps, double the speed of the existing LTE network. It employs carrier aggregation and coordinated multi point technology to enhance coverage and bandwidth, and SK plans to add enhanced inter-cell interference coordination next year.
 
The first LTE-A phone will be available in red exclusively to SK, and the carrier has ordered an initial 20,000 units. Samsung said LG Uplus also plans to offer the phone in blue, and Qualcomm announced KT will also carry the phone. The device features the new Snapdragon 800, 2.3GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm, as well as a 2,600 mAh battery, 5.0-inch full HD screen, 13 megapixel camera, Android 4.2 and 32 GB internal storage.
 
The faster speeds on LTE-A are expected to support SK's popular content services. New additions will include a group calling service for up to four users, based on the 3G videoconferencing service but with better video and audio quality, and full HD (1080p resolution) over the Btv mobile video streaming service (550,000 subscribers) from early July. The company will also launch 'T Baseball Multiview,' to enable users to watch two different games on one screen in July. T Baseball is a free baseball broadcast service optimized to the LTE network. Launched in August 2012, the service has 1.1 million users.
 
In addition, SK Telecom plans to launch 'T Freemium 2.0,' an upgrade of its free multimedia content package with TV shows, music videos and sports highlights and introduce in August an HD video-based shopping service with six channels on one screen. Also, SK Telecom's music portal MelOn opened a new service category to allow users to listen to original CD quality music by downloading FLAC files.
 
To further boost content creation, SK Telecom will hold the contest 'LTE-A i.con' to support applications optimized for the LTE-A network.

Source: Telecom Paper.

LTE
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:57:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A study published by the World Bank, and backed by a number of other leading institutions and development agencies, has lambasted Djibouti for failing to liberalise the country’s telecoms market, to the detriment of service quality and access costs there. Djibouti Telecom still holds a monopoly on the national and international market which, in the World Bank’s opinion, is ‘a serious handicap to competition in the sector’.

The Bank cites by way of example the fact that the cost of a basic 1Mbps ADSL service currently costs USD36 per month, or around half the average Djiboutian annual salary, compared to just 5% in Morocco or 3.5% in Tunisia. As such, high speed internet access is prohibitively expensive to all but the richest inhabitants or corporate/international firms.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:56:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tonga’s fibre-optic cable has been connected to Fiji International Telecommunications’ (FINTEL’s) communication systems, FBC News reports. With the capacity of the link between the two countries said to be around 20Gbps, FINTEL’s network and communications manager Laisiasa Nakacea was cited as saying: ‘FINTEL will be the gateway for communication between the two countries. For Tonga they will witness the introduction of high speed broadband … and a lot of other new services that will be introduced to Tonga on the high speed cable that we will be putting in today.’ The completion of the links between the two countries is expected within the next few weeks.

The development follows the signing of a landing party agreement between FINTEL and Tonga Cable Ltd in December 2011, with the cost of the World Bank-funded Tonga-Fiji cable project at that date estimated at USD32 million, according to local press reports.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:54:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The EU has made good progress on its basic broadband goals in the Digital Agenda, but needs to do more to ensure wider access to faster broadband speeds, the European Commission said. The latest score card for the Digital Agenda shows the EU has met 51 of 101 goals ahead of the deadline of 2015, including near universal access to basic broadband.

Over half (54%) of EU residents can access broadband at speeds of over 30Mbps, and over a third (36%) use mobile internet over a phone or portable computer. The latter was helped by a tripling in LTE coverage in the past year to 26 percent of the population. However, only 2 percent of EU households have broadband at over 100 Mbps, versus a target of 50 percent by 2020.
 
Half of EU residents also have little or no computer skills, with no improvement over the past year, the score card shows, and over one in five (22%) have never used the internet. Businesses also face a shortage of qualified ICT staff, with 40 percent reporting recruitment difficulties in this area.
 
Other ares of progress include more people buying online, with 45 percent of EU residents using e-commerce, and more businesses and individuals using e-government, at respectively 87 percent and 44 percent (both up 3 percent points).
 
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said the results of the score card will be used to help develop the new reform package for the telecom sector, expected to be presented later this year.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:53:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil's Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo announced an earlier release of the 700 MHz frequency band, now being used by analogue TV, with the goal of making it available for mobile broadband. According to the minister, the spectrum initially expected to be released only in 2016 will have a staggered release schedule beginning in March 2015. The frequency band is considered by the telecommunications industry as more suitable for 4G because it needs fewer antennas for coverage than the 2.5 GHz band currently used in Brazil. The government plans to auction the 700 MHz band in early 2014. Bernardo added that the analogue switch-off in the larger cities will be brought forward to 2015, while the ASO in smaller municipalities will be postponed until 2018. The previous timetable had foreseen that the complete ASO would be completed in 2016.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:51:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 08, 2013

People living in certain parts of the UK are being forced to pay up to £170 million a year more for their broadband, due to a 'postcode lottery'.
 
New research from a broadband comparison site has revealed that in some cases, families are paying more than double what their neighbours are, despite living just 50 yards apart.
 
The study, the biggest ever of its kind, looked at more than 1.7 million postcodes covering 97 per cent of British households.

The study from Broadbandchoices.co.uk found speeds and prices often differ from street to street - sometimes within 50 yards - with postcode affecting choice of providers, deals and available speeds.
 
This system means 13 per cent of internet users are being penalised because they don't have access to cheaper deals - adding more than £60 to their yearly broadband connection bills.

Millions of broadband users are also suffering from reduced download speeds and limits.

In some areas customers can choose from 10 providers, while others have just five options.


This means that although some could pay as little as £2.99 per month for their broadband package, others are being forced to spend £8.15 or more.
 
The difference in availability doesn't only vary from county to county, some users in the same towns and even the same street can get better deals than their neighbours.
 
Those living on Bartons Place in Newmarket, Suffolk, for example, could find themselves paying over twice as much for their broadband than other houses less than 50 yards away - but getting just a third of the download speed of their neighbours.


Residents of Scarrowhill Road, Hornsby Gate, Cumbria, pay an extra £5 per month as well as receiving slower download speeds and having two fewer providers to pick from compared to neighbours just half a mile away on the same street.
 
The survey also reveals a north south divide in the number of providers.


Those in the South have an average of 10 while those in the North of England have a pool of 11 to choose from.
 
Herefordshire has the worst overall broadband choice where users have the narrowest choice of providers - at an average of eight.

The county also has the slowest advertised download speeds of just 12.3Mbps and pay the second highest minimum costs in the country of £5.47, second only to Rutland residents who have to pay a minimum of £5.99 a month.
 
Greater Manchester topped the study with the lowest broadband costs at just £2.99 per month, average advertised download speeds of up to 28Mbps and an average choice of 12 providers.

Those in the South can take some solace in the fact they just nudge the North when it comes to average advertised download speeds with 22Mbps compared to 21Mbps.
 
The difference in download speeds between counties ranges from 8.5Mbps to 40Mbps, meaning a two-hour HD film takes as little as 10 minutes (at 40Mbps) to download, whilst for others it will take nearly an hour.

Source: Mail Online.

Monday, July 08, 2013 7:17:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 05, 2013
Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange have just signed an agreement to share vertical fibre optic infrastructures in buildings.
 
The agreement details the types of buildings in which vertical infrastructures will be shared and the technical procedures that will make this possible. The operators will gradually specify the cities, areas and building in which they want to roll-out optical fibre and the Building Manager Operator will prepare an infrastructure delivery plan. The agreement also includes the option to transfer existing undertakings or for each company to build its own.
 
The agreement is based on a principle of reciprocity, so that all three operators can use its rivals’ vertical roll-outs wherever they may need them. After signing the agreement, the infrastructure that Telefónica has already rolled out could gradually be used by Vodafone and Orange. In return, when these operators roll-out new infrastructures where Telefónica does not have coverage, Telefónica can also ask to share its rivals’ vertical infrastructures.
 
Vertical infrastructures in buildings will be shared through a single payment for each vertical infrastructure, which will give the operator the right to use it for no less than 20 years. The prices that will govern this use will be set, via resolution, by the Spanish Telecommunications Market Commission.
 
This agreement represents a leap forward in bringing this technology to more households and businesses across Spain.

Source: Telefonica.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:28:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AT&T announced 35 new LTE markets today, bringing the grand total to 326 and coverage for more than 200 million people.

AT&T said it expects to cover 300 million people with 4G LTE service by the end of 2014, with 90 percent of its planned 300 million POPs by the end of this year.

New locations range from sea to shining sea, including areas of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Washington, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: pcmag.com.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:25:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Verizon Wireless announced that Parkersburg, West Virginia became the 500th market in the US with access to Verizon's LTE network. The Verizon Wireless LTE network now covers over 99 percent of Verizon Wireless' 3G network. The LTE network is available to 298 million people in 49 states, and Alaska will receive the service from next month. First launched in December 2010, the network now carries 57 percent of all data traffic on the operator's network.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:22:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Europeans consumers are not getting the broadband download speeds they pay for. On average, they receive only 74% of the advertised headline speed they have paid for, according to a new European Commission study on fixed broadband performance.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: "This is the first time the difference between advertised and actual broadband speeds is confirmed by comparable and reliable data from all EU Member States.” There are significant differences in the European national markets, most likely due to advertising practices. Kroes says “Consumers need more of this sort of data to help make informed choices, so we will repeat the exercise. And we take these first results as further proof of the need for a real connected single market."

Key findings in the study include:

  • Cable has the most reliable download speeds: The European average of 74% hides significant variation in the performance of different technologies. xDSL based services achieved only 63.3% of the advertised headline download speed, compared to 91.4% for cable and 84.4% for FTTx. (see annex).

  • In absolute terms, the average download speed across all countries and all technologies was 19.47 Mbps during peak hours. FTTx services achieved the fastest speeds at 41.02Mbps. Cable services achieved 33.10Mbps, whilst xDSL services lagged far behind at 7.2Mbps on average.

  • The upload speeds are closer to their advertised speeds. Across Europe, the average upload speed was 6.20 Mbps, representing 88% of advertised upload speeds. FTTx services achieved the highest speeds by far, at 19.8Mbps. This is because many FTTx services provide an upload speed far closer to the download speed. Cable and xDSL services achieved a modest 3.68Mbps and 0.69Mbps respectively.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:26:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Sri Lanka Telecom’s mobile subsidiary Mobitel says that its 4G LTE mobile broadband services are now live in Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy, Hambantota, Galle, Matara and Kalutara, following the announcement at the end of last year that the network was ready for commercial launch. Mobitel’s website says that the areas currently offering LTE coverage are: Colombo (Nugegoda town, Mount Lavania town, Pamankada town, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Slave Island, Fort, Colombo University, Nugegoda Town Hall and Borella); Jaffna (Jaffna town, Jaffna University and Pallali airport); Kandy (Kandy town, Peradeniya University and Digana); Hambantota town; Galle town; Matara town; and Kalutara town; as well as the university campuses of Kelaniya and Moratuwa; and Katunayake Airport (north of Colombo).

Devices supporting LTE in the 1800MHz band may be used on the new 4G network, whilst all Mobitel users with ‘Mega Internet’ broadband packages can enjoy the service at no additional charge on top of their existing tariffs, using either a dongle or smartphone. Additionally, all other post-paid voice, pre-paid and post-paid broadband package subscribers (with no ‘Mega Internet’ plan) can use LTE free of additional charge with a smartphone only (no modem access).

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:24:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wireless code to help Canadians make informed choices and contribute to a dynamic marketplace.

Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a wireless code that will make it easier for Canadians to understand their contracts and sets out their basic rights. The code will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices starting on December 2, 2013.

The wireless code addresses the main frustrations that Canadians shared with the CRTC, which included the length of wireless contracts, cancellation fees, roaming charges and other industry practices. Among other things, individual and small business consumers will be able to:

  • terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term
  • cap extra data charges at $50/month and international data roaming charges at $100/month to prevent bill shock
  • have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full
  • return their cellphones, within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they are unhappy with their service
  • accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract (i.e., 2-year), and
  • receive a contract that is easy to read and understand.

The wireless code will apply to all service providers in Canada. In particular, the code will apply in full to postpaid services (where customers pay a monthly bill after using their services), and where applicable to pre-paid wireless services.

Source: CRTC.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:22:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced that it has activated LTE services for customers in parts of Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle and Wollongong. The company claims that speeds on the network will reach 100Mbps, faster than those of its rivals Telstra and Optus in most areas due to it having access to 2×20MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 1800MHz band, unlike its competitors. ‘Vodafone customers in 4G areas with compatible devices will have access to speeds that are among the fastest, not only in the country, but in many parts of the world,’ said VHA CEO Bill Morrow in a statement. The cellco says that for now only existing subscribers who have 4G compatible devices will be able to sign up for the new service, but noted that it will begin signing up new customers in July.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:20:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kuwait’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has announced the launch of mobile number portability (MNP) from 15 June 2013, Arab Times reported. Customers of local mobile companies — Zain, Wataniya and Viva — can transfer to a new network provider without changing their phone number after they fill an application and settle their bill with the current operator. The transaction is estimated to take no more than 24 hours. According to the MoC’s PR director Al-Husaini, the MNP project is a ‘qualitative leap’ in telecommunications, and will contribute to better competition and incentivise mobile companies to improve services and reduce prices.

Following the MoC announcement, Zain Kuwait and Viva released statements to inform interested parties that their representatives are ready to accept transfer requests. Commenting on the MOC’s initiative, Zain Kuwait CEO Omar Al Omar, stated: ‘The decision is a step forward in the evolution of the telecom sector in Kuwait. This new regulation will empower the customer with the freedom to choose the mobile service provider of his choice, while at the same time act as a stimulus for all operators to be more dynamic and focused to meet and exceed customer satisfaction.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:17:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Arabia's telecommunications regulator has awarded three new MVNO licences. Of five applicants, the winners were Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, which will launch on STC's network, Lebara on Mobily's network and Axiom Telecom on Zain's network, the Saudi Gazette reports. Local companies FastNet and Safari were the losing bidders. Saudi Arabia will become the second of the six Gulf Cooperation Council members after Oman to allow MVNOs.

The CITC did not state when the MVNOs would launch services, only that the winners now had 90 days to provide the necessary documents to move to the next phase of obtaining their licences. The aim of the new licences is to lower prices, improve customer care, increase job opportunities and stimulate competition in the sector, the regulator said.

Source: Telecom Paper.

 

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:15:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
SK Telecom announced that it today launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones. SK Telecom's LTE-A covers the entire Seoul, central areas of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, and 103 university areas. Furthermore, the company will gradually expand its LTE-A coverage to 84 cities across the nation. The company achieved such a milestone in only less than two years after commercializing the nation's first LTE service in July 2011. LTE-A offers ultra-fast network speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G network. For instance, LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds. With the commercialization of LTE-A, the company expects to further improve customer satisfaction in mobile Internet services, and increase the use of ultra fast video contents and other diverse mobile value added services.

Source: SK Telecom.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:12:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 05, 2013

UK-based Vodafone Group is set to boost investment in the network of its domestic subsidiary by more than 50%, the Financial Times reports, with the operator expected to spend almost GBP1 billion (USD1.52 billion) in 2013 as it prepares to launch LTE commercially. Further, a portion of the increased investment is set to go towards the integration of the fixed line network assets which Vodafone Group acquired following its April 2012 purchase of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW). Commenting on the decision to increase capital expenditures, Vodafone UK chief executive officer Guy Laurence was cited as saying: ‘This investment is further evidence of our commitment to deliver our best ever network. We’re bringing together the best of mobile and fixed communications to help our business customers make their communications work for them.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 9:00:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ethiopia is set to ink deals with Chinese vendors ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies within the next few weeks with a view to expanding the country’s mobile infrastructure, a move which in turn the state hopes will help boost subscriber numbers to 40 million, according to Reuters. Speaking with regards to the development, Debretsion Gebremichael, Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister and minister of communications and technology, said: ‘We are now poised to start the expansion. We are almost on the final stage on dealing with … ZTE and Huawei … In a few weeks we will conclude the agreement and we will start the expansion.’ The politician did not, however, reveal a value for the deals with the two vendors, but is understood to have confirmed that ZTE and Huawei will finance the expansion project.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:59:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Armenian broadband provider UCOM LLC is doubling its internet access speeds, effective 1 June, Arka News reports citing the group’s CEO Hayk Yesayan as saying. From that date the operator, whose current residential user services range from 8Mbps to 24Mbps, will be upping the minimum speed to 16Mbps, while the maximum connection will rise to 48Mbps.

In a related development, the company says it intends to start offering broadband access services in Armenia’s second largest city Gyumri within three months. Mr Yesayan said: ‘We are planning to open our office in Vanadzor by 15 June to 20 June … This will be the third city after Yerevan and Abovyan where we provide our services. After that we will start providing our services to the fourth city’s residents. It is likely to be Gyumri.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UCOM LLC was founded in 2007 to deliver a range of traditional and innovative high quality services in the Armenian telecommunications market. Having partnered with equipment vendor Ericsson, Yerevan-based UCOM has built a fibre-optic network based on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON) technology and today offers triple-play internet, TV and voice telephony services to residential subscribers through its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The company reported signing up its 50,000th customer in February this year, a figure it hopes to double in the short- to medium-term.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:58:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The World Bank has approved total funding of USD60 million in International Development Association (IDA) credits to support the respective governments of Mauritania and Togo, which are looking to bolster their telecoms connectivity through the implementation of new fibre-based broadband networks, and also to update their regulatory regimes to support and encourage private sector competition in each country. In a press release dated 30 May, the World Bank says each nation will benefit from USD30 million in funding under the IDA to expand broadband access, drive down costs, improve the quality and reliability of voice and data services, and to act as a backbone network to stimulate private sector involvement. It is understood that the project forms part of a wider USD300 million West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (WARCIP) that is designed to help bridge the connectivity vacuum between 16 West African countries and with the rest of the world.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:57:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

French telecommunications regulator the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) has published the results of the analysis of the electronic communications market for the first quarter of 2013, announcing 22% growth year-on-year in the number of high speed broadband (>30Mbps) subscriptions to reach 1.7 million users. According to the report, France had a total of 24.2 million broadband subscriptions at the end of the first trimester of 2013, with 665,000 receiving download speeds between 30Mbps and 100Mbps, while over one million of the users had downlinks in excess of 100Mbps, an increase of 46% year-on-year. The number of subscriptions with download speeds less than 30Mbps reached 22.5 million on 31 March 2013, attracting a total of 160,000 net additions in the quarter. According to ARCEP’s report, 98% of these lower speed broadband subscriptions used xDSL technology, while the remainder consisted of access over cable or fixed wireless technologies. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions grew by 50,000 over the quarter and reached 365,000 at 31 March 2013, a reported annual growth of 70%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:55:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgium’s telecoms regulator the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) has published statistics for the country’s telecoms sector for the year ended 31 December 2012, revealing that combined turnover from fixed and mobile services, both retail and wholesale, fell to EUR7.18 billion (USD9.329 billion)from EUR7.65 billion a year earlier. In the retail sector, the BIPT reported that turnover from all services bar mobile broadband were down year-on-year, with fixed voice revenues declining to EUR1.24 billion in 2012 from EUR1.33 billion in 2011, while turnover from fixed broadband services totalled EUR1.26 billion in 2012, down by 3.1% year-on-year. Meanwhile, while turnover from mobile voice services also declined – falling to EUR1.82 billion from EUR1.94 billion – mobile broadband proved a bright spot, with revenues from such services rising by 70% against 2011 to EUR340 million. Total telecoms investment for the financial year also fell, albeit marginally, with the BIPT reporting sector-wide expenditure of EUR1.25 billion in 2012, down from EUR1.27 billion a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:54:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tigo Senegal, a unit of Millicom International Cellular (MIC), has confirmed it is looking to launch a 3.5G mobile network in the country based on HSPA+ technology and capable of delivering maximum download speeds of 21Mbps. Agence Ecofin reports that the cellco signed a supply contract with an as yet unnamed vendor in April this year, and that deployment of the new system is already underway. Upon completion, Tigo says HSPA+ services will be available in

177 new areas, covering 14 administrative regions of Senegal, an improvement on its existing footprint, which numbers over 300 cell sites. By October 2013 the carrier hopes to have covered Dakar and its environs, with the area of Touba set to be added in December 2013 – a total of 310 settlements. Tigo has invested more than XOF25 billion (USD49.4 million) in the renovation and expansion of its network.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:52:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Uruguayan state-owned national telecoms operator Administracion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Antel) plans to invest around USD140 million in its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network this year, following on from the USD110 million spent on the infrastructure in the two years to end-2012. Local news paper El Pais cites Antel’s president Carolina Cosse as saying that the FTTH project passes around 418,000 households, 111,000 of which are already connected to the network. The company, which holds a monopoly on the provision of fixed line services in Uruguay, expects the network to cover around 25% of homes in the country by the end of this year. Services are marketed under the brand ‘Vera’, with plans for residential users ranging in price from UYU690 (USD33.8) per month for a basic 2Mbps downstream connection to UYU1,590 for the top-end 120Mbps/12Mbps download/upload plan.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that China’s ZTE was selected in September 2011 to build Antel’s national FTTH network and the first home was connected to the infrastructure one month later. By the end of 2012 the number of connected households had risen to around 240,000, with rollout ongoing in parts of Montevideo, Atlantida, Colonia, Fray Bentos, Pando, Rivera, Rocha, Salta and San Jose, among other towns and cities.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:48:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 03, 2013

IDC expects portable PC sales to be overaken by tablets this year, as tablets grow 58.7 percent to 229.3 million units from 144.5 million units in 2012. Tablet shipments are projected to be higher than the entire PC market (portables and desktops) by 2015.

Global PC shipments are forecast to fall by 7.8 percent this year and by 1.2 percent in 2014 as users increasingly consider alternatives such as tablets and smartphones. The market researcher previously anticipated a decline of 1.3 percent this year, followed by a gradual increase. The update reflects a significant volume drop in the first quarter and transitions in PC designs, with vendors releasing products for Windows 8, including thin, convertible, touch and slate models.

Worldwide desktop PCs are now projected to fall to 134.4 million units this year from 148.3 million in 2012 and to drop to USD 123.9 million units in 2017. Portable PC sales are forecast to decrease to 187.4 million units this year from 200.9 million units in 2012, and to rise to 209.5 million units in 2017.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:43:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Cuba will open 118 new public internet centres on 4 June Efe reports, citing a resolution published in the official gazette. The centres will be run by state operator Etecsa and will offer access to the internet through a new portal called "Nauta". Access will be blocked immediately if the operator detects "any violation of the ethical standards of behaviour promoted by the Cuban State", according to the resolution.The new centres will charge between CUC 0.60 and CUC 4.50 an hour, depending on the service used, in a country where the average salary is under CUC 20 a month. More centres, made possible thanks to an undersea cable to Venezuela, will be added gradually. There are currently around 200 public facilities offering e-mail only at hotels and post offices. Home internet use is still banned for most Cubans, with the exception of some professionals such as doctors, journalists, academics and artists.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:41:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
MTN Group expects to have 200 million subscribers on its network by the middle of the year, Engineering News reported. CEO Sifiso Dabengwa told the AGM that MTN had increased its subscriber base to 197.4 million in the four months ended 30 April. Dabengwa said MTN expected to deliver improved organic growth in revenue and EBITDA during 2013. The group's revenues had grown by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the four months to end April. Rand-reported revenues were up 15 percent year-on-year and were driven by a weaker rand against the dollar, while local currency revenues were down marginally year-on-year.
 
Dabengwa said that, despite the larger-than-anticipated cut in termination rates in Nigeria, the group remained comfortable with its guidance on MTN Nigeria's revenue and EBITDA margin for the full year. Meanwhile, MTN South Africa's performance was hit by weaker consumer demand and increased competition, but it maintained its relative revenue share in the first four months of the year.
 
The group's operations in Iran, Ghana, Sudan and Uganda showed healthy growth in both revenue and subscriber numbers for the period. Group data and SMS revenue continued to expand strongly in most markets, increasing their contribution to total group revenue to about 18 percent. Dabengwa stated that the implementation of cost-optimisation initiatives would remain a key priority for the group in the year ahead.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:39:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Brazil was home to more than 100 million fixed and mobile broadband accesses at 30 April 2013, according to Antonio Carlos Valente, CEO of Telefonica Brasil and president of Brazilian telco association Telebrasil, as reported by BNAmericas. In his opening address at the association’s annual conference in Brasilia, Valente told delegates that mobile broadband is proving to be a key driver of take-up in the country, noting that 3G coverage is available in virtually all its main cities – where around 90% of the population lives. Last week, the industry regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel) reported that mobile broadband connections topped 70 million by 1 May.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:30:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mark Simpson, CEO of SEACOM, has indicated that the privately funded, 75% African-owned submarine cable system company is working towards ‘closing the ring’ around South Africa by building what it is tentatively calling the South African Marine System (SAMS) cable that will link Yzerfontein in the Western Cape with Mtunzini in KwaZulu-Natal, via Port Elizabeth and East London. Simpson believes that subsea cables offer higher performance and lower cost than terrestrial ones, and hopes that the link will provide redundancy into the Eastern Cape while also offering protection for the Johannesburg to Cape Town routes.

Speaking at the Satcom conference in Sandton, South Africa, Simpson told TechCentral: ‘It is about offering resilience and reliability and closing the African ring from east to west. The bottleneck has moved inland. There is no longer a shortage of capacity on cable systems. International supply is abundant and relatively low cost at the beach. The cost, availability and reliability of terrestrial distribution is holding back the benefits that could accrue’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:29:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Norway’s Telenor has announced that, amid the increased use of cloud services by local businesses, it will invest NOK4 billion (USD682 million) this year on the development of its fibre-optic broadband services for business users. Speaking on the company’s spending plans, Bjorn Ivar Moen, business market manager at Telenor, said: ‘The need for higher bandwidth in Norwegian businesses is rising. We are currently experiencing a trend where services that were previously on local servers at each individual company are now moving to the internet as cloud-based services … We have therefore set in motion a vigorous investment programme into fibre-optic broadband for the business market, both in terms of internet access and virtual private networks.’

Meanwhile, alongside the expenditure on its fibre infrastructure, Telenor has confirmed that it will not neglect its copper network, revealing plans to upgrade the latter in several places in parallel with the fibre developments. ‘In areas where we have broadband on several different technologies, we will consider replacing the copper network with faster technology,’ noted Moen.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:28:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Croatian Postal & Electronic Communications Agency (HAKOM) has announced that it has received bids from four companies for grants for the deployment of broadband networks in remote and rural areas, especially in areas of special state concern, including mountainous areas and islands. The four bidders have been named as VIPnet, T-Hrvatski Telekom, Pro-Ping and Optika Kabel TV. The regulator said it expects to reach a decision by 28 June.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:26:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a step towards increasing availability of the internet to Cuban citizens, the government will begin offering access to the World Wide Web at 118 outlets around the island next month, reports the official Communist Party newspaper Granma. According to Resolution No. 197/2013 of the Ministry of Communications (MIC) published in the Official Gazette on Monday, internet access will be made available from 4 June at the offices of state-owned telecoms monopoly Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA), and will be expanded to other locations in the future. At CUC4.50 (USD4.50) per hour, however, browsing the web at the new outlets is priced well beyond the reach of the average Cuban.

At present, the internet is only available at select state institutions and to tourists at around 200 hotels around the island, but the recent activation of Cuba’s first submarine cable, which connects the island to Venezuela with a link to Jamaica, has lessened the country’s dependence on expensive and slow satellite connections. ‘Expanding connectivity services in the country is in line with the strategy set by Cuba to further facilitate the population’s access to new technologies, depending on the availability of resources and with an approach that favours its social use,’ the Granma report said, adding that significant investments are still required to upgrade the island’s infrastructure to connect end users.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:25:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile operators in Japan have unveiled plans to cooperate on the introduction of industry-wide standards for mobile network quality, in a response to recent consumer complaints. The scheme is expected to be up and running by next year, according to a report from The Nikkei. Number one operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo has already set up a programme to monitor its own network quality, but this plan represents the first time that all of the country’s cellcos have united to create and implement sector-wide standards.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 8:24:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cosmote Romania is aiming to expand its 4G LTE network to over 160 towns and cities next year, according to a report by HotNews which cites the company’s director of services Marius Maritescu. Late last month Cosmote announced the commercial launch of LTE services in Bucharest, Otopeni, Ploiesti, Cluj, Iasi, Sinaia, Busteni and Predeal, enabling subscribers to experience maximum transmission speeds of up to 75Mbps/37.5Mbps (down/uplink). Cosmote also offers DC-HSPA+ speeds of up to 43.2Mbps in 159 cities and over 1,000 localities across Romania, covering over 49.5% of the population. In addition, 21.6Mbps HSPA+ technology is offered in a total of 189 cities, giving Cosmote 3G coverage of 73% of the population.

 

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:51:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Representatives from FYR Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro will meet in Skopje in July to discuss a potential reduction in roaming fees, Telecompaper writes, citing local press reports. The initiative, spearheaded by Macedonian telecoms watchdog the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC) and attended by a representative of the European Commission, will see AEC hammer out terms with its Serbian and Montenegrin counterparts – the Republic Agency for Electronic Communications (RATEL) and the Agency for Electronic Communications and Post (EKIP) respectively – for a trilateral programme to reduce roaming fees between the three nations.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 03, 2013 7:49:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Australia’s Telstra has announced a milestone in the deployment of its 4G LTE network, revealing that it has switched on it 1,500th base station. Commenting on the development of the telco’s fourth-generation infrastructure, Telstra’s networks executive director Mike Wright noted: ‘The programme is now running at pace and is on target – our technicians are now installing literally dozens of 4G base stations each and every week.’ Despite the achievement, the executive was keen to note that Telstra has committed to rolling out more than 2,000 4G base stations by the end of the financial year (June 2013). As a result of the work carried out so far, Mr Wright reiterated that Telstra aims to reach 66% population coverage for its 4G services by the end of next month, while noting that the network footprint already takes in all state capitals, and more than 100 regional and suburban locations.

Meanwhile, in terms of customer uptake, Mr Wright was cited as saying: ‘We now have over 2.1 million services connected to our 4G network and as the network grows we obviously expect that number to grow with it.’

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:47:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Mobile Czech Republic has announced the expansion of its dual-carrier (DC) HSPA+ network to the cities of Hradec Kralove and Plzen, with plans to further extend the footprint to Karlovy Vary and Prague (centre) by the end of the month. As a result of the latest service expansion, the cellco says its DC-HSPA+ infrastructure, which is capable of delivering maximum download speeds of 42Mbps, now covers 20.46% of the population in 42 towns and cities, and comprises 720 base transceiver stations (BTS). In a press release, T-Mobile said that although the percentage coverage figure ‘does not seem high‘, the signal from the cities also covers adjacent sites, boosting HSPA+ availability to another 67 municipalities.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:46:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lebanese cellco Alfa has commercially launched its LTE 4G mobile broadband network, with coverage initially in central Beirut, offering data services for USB dongle modems, tablets and Wi-Fi routers for post- and pre-paid users, with support for 4G mobile handsets ‘coming soon’. Alpha built its 4G network in cooperation with European vendors Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, and according to the operator’s press release, its planned deployment of around 300 active LTE base stations by the end of 2013 will cover roughly 40% of the population, representing approximately 25% of a 1,200 base station network necessary for nationwide coverage. The LTE coverage footprint will be expanded to Jounieh and Kesrouan by November this year, while other cities are scheduled to receive coverage in 2014, including Tripoli, Sidon and Zahle. Alfa, which is state-owned but managed by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT), is offering consumers (post- or pre-paid) several new data packages aimed at 4G usage, including 10GB, 20GB and 40GB bundles (costing USD99, USD119 and USD149) whilst business customers can purchase packages up to 100GB (USD249). Voice call support for 4G handset users (via the 3G/2G network) is expected by the end of June 2013, Alfa has disclosed, whilst it estimates that voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) will be available on the network by the end of 2014.

Users outside of 4G coverage zones will automatically access 3G data services. At the launch, Lebanon’s minister of telecoms, Nicolas Sehnaoui, said that further 3G coverage improvements would also be going ahead to provide comprehensive high speed data services (whilst stating that the 4G launch will take some of the data traffic pressure away from 3G networks). Sehnaoui noted that Alfa and rival cellco Touch would complete respective projects to deepen 3G indoor reception, strengthening their 3G coverage in many locations, ‘between the end of August and the end of this year.’

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:45:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 23, 2013
Russia and CIS mobile operator MTS reported that its consolidated subscribers base grew by 0.9 percent in the first three months of the year and by 6.23 percent year-on-year to 96.36 million at the end of March. In Russia, the total grew by 0.14 percent quarter-on-quarter and by 2.81 percent year-on-year to 71.33 million, and in Ukraine, the number of customers was up by 1.66 percent from the end of December and 8.69 percent higher year-on-year at 20.76 million. In Armenia, the total dropped by 0.83 percent from the previous quarter, but was up by 6.72 percent from a year earlier to 2.38 million at the end of March. The subscriber base totaled 1.89 million in Turkmenistan, up by 31.25 percent from three months earlier, and the total was 5.24 million customers in Belarus, up by 0.19 percent from end-2012 and up by 0.19 percent year-on-year.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:11:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has introduced a program dubbed Agenda Digital Imagina Chile 2013-2020. The project seeks to double internet penetration across the Chile’s population by 2020, Estrategia Online reports.
 
The document consists of 14 lines of action, with 30 different initiatives that seek to facilitate access to telecoms networks and services to all Chilean citizens. Activities linked to ICT services are expected to account for 10 percent of the country's GDP by 2020.
 
The project aims to increase digital inclusion for Chilean citizens from the current 41 percent to 80 percent by 2020. To support this goal, the government will power the deployment of additional Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:08:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a survey conducted by the Saudi Consumer Protection Association (CPA), mobile communications charges in the Kingdom are among the highest in the world, with a rate of SAR0.35 (USD0.093) per minute, compared to an average of seven Saudi halalas (USD0.019) per minute in the rest of the world. The CPA’s survey figures represent ‘costs for all communication services, including the internet.’ The CPA conducted the survey after the announcement of the decision to stop free international roaming calls for subscribers, Zawya reported. In the statement CPA urged communication providers to restructure charges for mobile calls in order to reflect real prices. The association also announced its plans to publish a fair price for calls, by taking into account details such as average income, inflation and the ‘real price’ of communications.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:07:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Haiti’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Digicel has announced the launch of the first HSPA+ network in the country, with the service available to both pre- and post-paid subscribers. Digicel advertised an average download speed of up to 3Mbps for the service, depending on the location, the device capabilities and the network traffic, whilst theoretical peak HSPA+ speeds reach 21Mbps. The Digicel group markets 3.5G W-CDMA/HSPA+ services under the ‘4G’ banner, in common with many operators in the Americas/Caribbean region. Previously, Digicel Haiti offered 2.5G data services on an EDGE network, whilst its rival Natcom (backed by Vietnam’s Viettel) was the first in the country to launch W-CDMA services and operates a 3.5G HSDPA/HSUPA network. According to Digicel’s Haiti CEO Damian Blackburn, ’with Digicel 4G we have now built the first and most reliable 4G cellular network in the country, giving customers the fastest mobile data speeds – all backed by Digicel’s best service and best value.’

Source: TeleGeography.

3G
Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:06:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nepal’s minister for information and communications Madhav Prasad Paudel has said the government is committed to improving its fibre-optic links in the country, specifically through the deployment of optical networks along highways and trunk roads. e-Kantipur notes that the state’s backing of the plan comes at a time when its efforts to roll out the district optical fibre project are faltering. Speaking last Friday, Paudel called for an increase in activity concerning fibre-optic networks, saying that ‘the government will arrange the required funds’.

The national regulator, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), has been aiming to roll out fibre-optic networks along the country’s Mid-Hill Highway for several years, using monies supplied by Nepal’s Rural Telecommunication Development Fund – thought to be worth NPR7 billion (USD80.9 million). However, efforts to connect around 75 administrative districts have so far stalled due to what have been termed ‘procedural’ delays. The minister has called on the domestic telecoms industry to re-galvanise efforts to boost ICT in education, heath, rural development, and in its import and export markets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:04:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AfricaOnline has reported ‘overwhelming’ demand for its new ‘NawaSat’ nationwide low-cost satellite internet service in Namibia. Following the nationwide launch – which expanded on an earlier limited launch – the ISP said that it has a long waiting list of customers, which include rural lodges, farms, users in small towns, as well as big corporate clients in larger centres. The base price is NAD500 (USD52) per month, while out-of-bundle top-up rates ‘compare extremely favourably with other products on the market’, according to AfricaOnline’s general manager Marc Gregan, who added that, ‘We explored the product with a view to making internet affordable in small communities, isolated areas and at lodges, but this also competes in urban areas.’ NawaSat is provided in cooperation with satellite service provider SES.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:03:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ukraine’s incumbent national PSTN operator Ukrtelecom reports that its number of fixed broadband subscribers increased by a net 43,000 in the first three months of 2013 to reach 1.584 million at the end of March, despite ‘ever increasing’ competition. The telco’s press service also claimed that Ukrtelecom’s ‘OGO’ branded fixed broadband services continued to reap the highest average revenue per user (ARPU) in the market, at UAH70 (USD8.50) per month, due to its ‘transparent tariff policy’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:01:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |