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 Friday, September 23, 2011
The Importance of National Broadband Plans

In its latest September edition, the ITU News magazine of the ITU examines the need for national broadband plans, their aims and relationship with national targets and goals.

A national broadband plan is as much a social contract as a plan of action to develop the industry base. It can be understood as bringing about a stronger foundation for effective governance, private investment and more active citizenship, leading to a desirable social and economic future.

The article draws on a discussion paper entitled “Setting national broadband policies, strategies and plans: A practical step-by-step approach”, written by Dr Bob Horton, consultant for the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU–D), and prepared for the 11th ITU Global Symposium for Regulators 2011, to be held in Armenia City, Colombia, on 21–23 September 2011.

For more information, please read here.

Friday, September 23, 2011 1:02:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU and the Broadband Commission for Digital Development

ITU and the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development are proud to host the Broadband Leadership Summit on 24-25 October 2011, immediately before the opening of ITU TELECOM World 2011. The Broadband Leadership Summit will feature a series of eight Plenary Sessions bringing together top CEOs (including Cisco, Intel, Fujitsu, Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent), various Heads of State and Governments, the Heads of a number of international organizations (including UNESCO, the OECD and WIPO) and members of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development with other key players to discuss the issues facing today's global broadband industry.

Hot topics to be debated by panellists and speakers include the benefits of broadband for stimulating economic growth and jobs, business models that work in emerging markets, the evolution of online regulation, latest trends in social media and smart societies, the impact of the latest financial repercussions on financing the industry and how broadband can boost progress in achieving the MDGs. Watch this space for further announcements!

Friday, September 23, 2011 8:02:21 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 12, 2009
Report finds that mobile telephony in developing countries still not affected by the financial crisis

A major new report to be published by the ITU on Monday 16 February finds that so far, mobile telephony in developing countries has survived the economic turmoil largely unscathed.  The widespread expectation among some leading industry analysts contributing to the report is that the full impact of the financial crisis on mobile telephony has yet to materialize.

Worldwide, ITU statistics reveal that the total number of mobile subscribers grew by nearly 650 million over 2008 to reach nearly 4 billion subscribers in December 2008, representing total growth of 19% or nearly a fifth of total market size.  According to the consultancy The Mobile World, Q3 2008 additions represented the fourth-best quarter ever.

These gains were driven mainly by growth in developing markets. In September 2008, India became the first mobile market to add more than ten million customers in one month, before beating its own record with 10.4 million additions in October 2008. The world's biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, added 74 million subscribers in the year to October 2008. In Nigeria, the number of new mobile subscribers has increased in every quarter to September 2008, while Brazil added four million mobile subscribers in October 2008, over twice as many as in October 2007.

Despite an unexpected softening in some markets (e.g. Pakistan and Bangladesh), overall, these results lead to the conclusion that there had still only been a limited impact of the financial crisis on mobile communications in developing countries by the end of last year.

For more information, read here from Monday 16 February 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:36:43 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Report finds that mobile operators are better placed to weather the economic storm

A new report from the ITU finds that in general, mobile operators are better placed to weather the economic storm. Mobile operators generally enjoy greater flexibility in terms of capex commitments, as capex commitments represent only 20-30% of their total cost base.  Mobile operators have invested heavily in 3G networks, but the cost of incremental upgrades (e.g. to those based on high-speed packet access or HSPA) is comparatively low.  Mobile operators can also undertake greater network-sharing to limit costs and boost gains in coverage, for only limited amounts of additional capital.  ABI Research notes that growth rates in regional mobile capex may slow, but capex will probably not decline on a global basis.

In contrast, investment in NGN may be less discretionary for fixed-line operators, however, competing with new market entrants, capacity resellers and cable TV, as well as increasingly, mobile broadband. Universal service obligations may also prevent fixed carriers from reducing their capex commitments substantially.  Several carriers such as AT&T have reported cuts of capex of between 10-15%, but industry analysts Informa find that operators' investment plans have not been 'severely altered' so far, with many operators acknowledging the importance of investment in ensuring that quality of services is maintained.

Read more in ITU's forthcoming report, "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry", which will be published on Monday 16 February 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:05:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Report finds that the most immediate impact of the financial crisis is on investment & financing

A new report from the ITU finds that the most immediate impact of the financial crisis on the global ICT industry is on telco investment and financing.  A prolonged recession could potentially starve operators of the capital investment needed to upgrade their network infrastructure.

The report finds that investment funds are less readily available, while refinancing costs have rised sharply, with recent telco debt issuance in Europe being secured at spreads of up to 4.75% in late 2008, some 3-4% higher than the situation pre-crisis (with the exact rate depending on individual firms' debt ratings). Where bonds can be refinanced, it is clear that they are incurring higher interest costs. For example, Sprint Nextel recently renegotiated its debt from its original credit line of US$ 6 billion at LIBOR plus 0.75% for a new line of US$ 4 billion at LIBOR plus 4% (depending on the company's debt rating).  In their industry strategy paper, "A defensive sector for defensive times", Deutsche Bank estimates that European incumbents alone have some EUR 21 billion of bonds matruing soon in 2009, with a further EUR 26 billion of other financial liabilities, which may need to be refinanced over the coming year.

Read more in ITU's forthcoming report, "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry", which will be published on Monday 16 February 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:54:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 02, 2009
Report finds that mobile telephony in developing countries still not affected by the financial crisis

A major new report to be published by the ITU on Monday 16 February finds that so far, mobile telephony in developing countries has survived the economic turmoil largely unscathed.  The widespread expectation among some leading industry analysts contributing to the report is that the full impact of the financial crisis on mobile telephony has yet to materialize.

Worldwide, ITU statistics reveal that the total number of mobile subscribers grew by nearly 650 million over 2008 to reach nearly 4 billion subscribers in December 2008, representing total growth of 19% or nearly a fifth of total market size.  According to the consultancy The Mobile World, Q3 2008 additions represented the fourth-best quarter ever.

These gains were driven mainly by growth in developing markets. In September 2008, India became the first mobile market to add more than ten million customers in one month, before beating its own record with 10.4 million additions in October 2008. The world's biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, added 74 million subscribers in the year to October 2008. In Nigeria, the number of new mobile subscribers has increased in every quarter to September 2008, while Brazil added four million mobile subscribers in October 2008, over twice as many as in October 2007.

Despite an unexpected softening in some markets (e.g. Pakistan and Bangladesh), overall, these results lead to the conclusion that there had still only been a limited impact of the financial crisis on mobile communications in developing countries by the end of last year.

For more information, read here from Monday, 16 February 2009.

Monday, February 02, 2009 2:35:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |