The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is an Incorporated Trustees formed in the year 2000. It is the industry body for all telecommunications companies and those providing subsidiary services to telecommunications service providers in Nigeria. Its objective is to promoting growth in the telecommunications sector and, ultimately, ehnance efficient and affordable telecommunications services delivery to users of these services. Membership of ALTON consists of companies duly licensed in Nigeria to provide telecommunications and related services. These services include telephony services (fixed and mobile), internet and other data services, as well as of infrastructure and other support services/value adding services. Read more..

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Telekom Austria, Telekom Slovenije in Macedonia mobile merger
Proposed tie-up will create country's largest mobile operator with a market share of 51.7%.
Asia outranks Europe in Ovum broadband index
Norway is Europe's sole representative in top 10 global markets ranked by take-up of fixed, mobile Internet services.
America Movil yet to submit asset sale plan to regulator
Mexico's Ifetel also notes that any potential buyer must demonstrate that it has no ties with the telco.
Deezer adds African operator partner
Millicom's Tigo to launch music service in five African markets in coming months; Deezer also extends its presence in Brazil.
EE's 4G customer base hits 5.6m
U.K. telco adds 1.4 million 4G customers in Q3 but turnover, mobile service revenue continue to slide.
Colombia gets ball rolling on new spectrum sale
State to auction 25 MHz of spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1900 MHz bands next year.
Global 100 2014: In the red zone
America's big two now lead the telecoms world, but major markets like Brazil will also have a big impact on telcos' fortunes.
Global 100 2014: In the red zone
America's big two now lead the telecoms world, but major markets like Brazil will also have a big impact on telcos' fortunes.
Global 100 2014: In the red zone
America's big two now lead the telecoms world, but major markets like Brazil will also have a big impact on telcos' fortunes.

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AllAfrica News: ICT and Telecom
All Africa, All the Time.

Zimbabwe: Girls Embrace Technology for Change
[RNW Africa]The digital age is dawning for young Zimbabwean girls and women as they develop new forms of technology that will improve their lives and communities.
Kenya: Map Confusion Compounds Location of Konza ICT City
[Capital FM]Nairobi -Controversy over the location of Konza Techno City rages as some government agencies contradicted each other when they appeared before a Senate committee.
Guinea: Samsung Donates 3,000 Smartphones for Ebola Fight
[Capital FM]Nairobi -Samsung Electronics Company Ltd has announced that the company - through its global headquarters in Seoul, Korea - will donate 3,000 smartphones, worth about $1 million to support the ongoing fight against Ebola.
Tanzania: Telecom Firm Continues to Support Education
[Daily News]AIRTEL Tanzania has vowed to continue supporting the government in its goal to improve delivery of education services through donation of textbooks to Mukulat Secondary School in Arumeru District, Arusha Region.
Rwanda: ICT Key to Sustainable Devt Goals - Nsengimana
[New Times]Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) should be at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals, beyond 2015, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said.
Kenya: Communications Regulator Seeks Auditor for Thin SIM
[The Star]The Communications Authority is seeking a consultant to audit the thin SIM card technology, which it approved for roll out by Equity Bank's subsidiary for a one-year trial period.
Rwanda: Rwanda Is Committed to a Digital Future - Nsengimana
[New Times]Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, today reaffirmed the role of Rwanda' technological advance in addressing key society challenges.
Kenya: Safaricom Gives Second Sh5.7 Million BMW in Ultimate Upgrade Promotion
[The Star]Safaricom Limited has given out the second BMW316i prize in its Ultimate Upgrade promotion.
Kenya: Pay Your Taxes Through Airtel Money
[Capital FM]Nairobi -Airtel has partnered with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to offer Kenyan citizens an opportunity to pay their taxes through Airtel Money.
Kenya: Kenyans Can Now Pay Taxes Via Airtel Money
[CIO]Airtel Kenya has partnered with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to offer Kenyan citizens an opportunity to pay their taxes through Airtel Money.
Uganda: After Uganda, Access.Mobile Now Seeks More Africa-Based Partners to A...
[CIO]A Uganda-based IT start-up Access.Mobile which created a web-based app which allows health facilities to automate communication with their patients via both SMS and email is seeking partners from beyond its base to help it extend its services to more people.
Nigeria: Stakeholders Blame Poor Business Growth On Infrastructure, Access to...
[Guardian]Abuja -THE stumpy level of business growth in Nigeria, especially among the middle class is attributed to poor infrastructure as well as deprived access to information, despite the opportunities available locally and internationally.
Namibia: MTC Probed Over Poor Service
[Namibian]THE Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) is investigating complaints by consumers concerning the services provided by mobile operator, MTC.
Zambia: E-Times Launched
[Times of Zambia]THE full electronic version of the Times of Zambia and the Sunday Times newspapers can now be accessed online, following the launch of the e-times.
Africa: Houlin Zhao Replaces Hamadoun Toure As ITU Secretary-General
[CIO]The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has settled on China's ICT engineer-turned-career diplomat Houlin Zhao as the 'safe pair of hands' to steer the organization through the next four years, taking over from Mali's Hamadoun Toure.

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TeleGeography CommsUpdate
Daily news on every market in the global telecommunications industry.

Spectrum auction slated for Q2 2015
Germany?s telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), is planning to hold auctions for wireless spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz, 1500MHz and 1800MHz bands in Q2 2015, Reuters writes. The watchdog has invited responses to its draft decision on the auction by 26 November 2014. The sale will feature spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, the current licences for which expire on 31 December 2016, whilst the FNA noted that the inclusion of frequencies in the 700MHz range is conditional on a consensus being reached between the federal government and federal states on the use of the band for mobile broadband services. Under the current proposal, the following spectrum will be made available:*? 2x30MHz (paired) in the 700MHz range, sold in 2x5MHz lots *? 2x35MHz (paired) in the 900MHz range, sold in 2x5MHz lots *? 2x45MHz (paired) in the 1800MHz range, sold in 2x5MHz lots *? 1x40MHz (unpaired) in the 1500MHz range, sold in 1x5MHz lots
Orange Group reports slower revenue decline in 3Q14
International telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2014, claiming to have achieved what it termed ?excellent commercial performance, particularly in France? in the period under review. In the third quarter of 2014 the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR9.805 billion (USD13.0 billion), representing a year-on-year decline of 2.3%, though Orange Group pointed to a gradual improvement in the revenue trend since the start of 2014; excluding the impact of regulatory measures it said revenues fell by 1.4% y-o-y in 3Q14, compared to declines of 2.3% in the previous quarter and 3.0% in 1Q14. Further, the company said that the improvement in revenue declines in both the third quarter and the first nine months of the year was ?related primarily to France, Belgium and the Enterprise segment, while the Africa and the Middle East segment continued its steady growth?. Restated EBITDA for 3Q 2014 stood at EUR3.245 billion, down marginally from EUR3.322 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 33.1% (unchanged year-on-year). Operating costs were reportedly reduced by EUR660 million on a comparable basis, offsetting 69% of the decline in revenues, while the company?s direct costs declined by 4.3% (EUR328 million) and indirect costs were 2.5% (EUR333 million) lower. As such, Orange Group noted that its target of reducing indirect costs by at least EUR300 million by the end of 2014 has already been achieved. Capital expenditures in the third quarter totalled EUR1.307 billion, up from EUR1.277 billion a year earlier, while in the first nine months of the year investment stood at EUR3.808 billion (up 2.9% y-o-y). The latter figure, Orange Group noted, was in line with its objective of a stable level of CAPEX for the full year. Network CAPEX increased 6.5% y-o-y, meanwhile, with ?a large share? said to have been spent on 4G and fibre-optic deployments in Europe, particularly in France. In operational terms, at the end of September 2014 Orange Group reported a total customer base of 239.507 million, up from 232.503 million a year earlier, of which the bulk ? 182.055 million, compared to 174.677 million at end-September 2013 ? were mobile accesses. The group?s total fixed broadband subscriber base, meanwhile, stood at 15.832 million at end-September 2014, representing a 3.5% increase from 15.297 million twelve months previously. Of particular note, the number of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) accesses increased significantly, rising by 72.5% y-o-y to 576,000, from 334,000 at end-September 2013. Commenting on the results, Orange chairman and CEO Stephane Richard was cited as saying: ?Orange?s commercial momentum remained high in the third quarter of 2014 across all our operations, fuelled by our ongoing investment efforts, particularly in very high speed fixed and mobile broadband ? The improved revenue trend, combined with achieving our indirect cost reduction objective more than three months ahead of schedule, allowed us to once again stabilise our margin, as we did in the first half of the year.?
Asia Pacific Telecom gains formal approval for 4G launch
Taiwan?s National Communications Commission (NCC) has reportedly granted Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) a 4G operating licence, allowing it to offer mobile services over the 700MHz band. Earlier this month the watchdog was said to have granted the operator a block of one million mobile numbers that can be used for its LTE-based service. According to the China Post, APT submitted its application for the operating concession on 8 October 2014, with the regulator approving it just yesterday, and the cellco now has six months to begin offering commercial 4G services. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, back in July 2014 the NCC was said to have issued a permit to APT allowing it to move forward with the construction of its proposed 4G network. At the same date it was confirmed that Ambit Microsystems, a subsidiary of the Foxconn Technology Group (Hon Hai) had also received a network construction concession. Earlier that month it had been confirmed that APT and Ambit would merge via a share swap deal. September 2014 saw the NCC confirm it had still yet to make a decision regarding the proposed merger, however. Meanwhile, according to this latest report, in addition to the rollout of its own infrastructure by vendors Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, APT will also partner with Taiwan Mobile Company to share network resources. This tie-up, it is claimed, will enable APT to offer greater coverage at launch.
Telekom Austria Group 3Q14 revenues up 1.2% to EUR1.05bn
Telekom Austria has reported group revenues of EUR1.049 billion (USD1.331 billion) for the three months ended 30 September 2014, up 1.2% year-on-year. EBITDA for the July-September period increased 15.8% on an annualised basis, to EUR414.6 million, while the company?s net income rocketed 149.2% to EUR127.8 million for the three-month period under review. CAPEX for 3Q14 decreased 14.4% y-o-y to EUR143.6 million.*The telco credited its improved fortunes to ?better trends? in Austria as well as strong growth in Belarus and the ?Additional Markets? segment (Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia). Telekom noted that Belarus delivered a strong performance on the back of inflation-linked price increases in 2013 and 2014. Finally, the telco noted that the previously announced merger of Mobilkom Liechtenstein with Telecom Liechtenstein concluded on 27 August 2014, resulting in a positive one-off effect on EBITDA comparable to EUR26.8 million.
FINTEL reports improving finances with profits back in the black
Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL) says it recorded a pre-tax profit of FJD7.6million (USD3.98 million) and net profit of FJD6.3 million for the year to 31 March 2014, reversing a net loss of FJD2.6 million in the prior financial year, The Fiji Times reports. The figures were published by parent company Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) when publishing its official annual report 2014 at the annual general meeting held in Suva yesterday where Ajith Kodagoda was re-elected chairman of the board. Fiji?s largest telecoms group, ATH reported consolidated group revenue growth of 4% to FJD281 million for the financial year ended 31 March 2014 (FY 2013/14), up from FJD270 million in FY 2012/13, due to ?strong and continued growth? in fixed/mobile internet and data services. The fixed line, wireless and broadband group?s consolidated net profit swung to FJD14.5 million in the twelve-month period, compared to a net loss of FJD15.9 million in the previous financial year, while ATH recorded consolidated EBITDA of FJD93.1 million in FY13/14, up from FJD26.2 million year-on-year.*Turning back to FINTEL?s performance, ATH said: ?Global international bandwidth demand, measured in terms of used international capacity, reached 138Tbps in 2013 ? This represents a 4.5-fold increase from the 30Tbps of demand used globally in 2009. For the same period, Fiji's international capacity usage on the Southern Cross Cable increased five-fold from 1Gbps in 2009 to 5Gbps in 2013 ? FINTEL continues to provide an efficient network, ensuring operations meet changing customer and market needs, and providing efficient and effective network availability and quality.?
OTE expands VDSL network to over 1.3m homes and businesses
Greece?s main broadband provider, Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), has announced the expansion of its VDSL network with speeds up to 50Mbps to a further 105,000 homes and businesses from 1 October, bringing the total coverage to over 1.3 million premises. The telco?s press release listed 134 areas in 13 regions (prefectures) of mainland Greece and its islands where the latest VDSL expansion took place. The number of local exchanges and outdoor cabinets offering these higher rates has reached 367 and 2,732 respectively, while OTE targets VDSL coverage of 30% of the population by the end of 2014.
Ifetel vows to ensure complete independence between AM and would-be suitor
Suitors for America Movil?s (AM?s) surplus assets in Mexico will have to prove they are completely independent from the Carlos Slim-controlled group, beyond simply making sure there are no direct financial ties, Bloomberg reports, citing Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel) president Gabriel Contreras. The official noted that historical relationships and personal ties will be scrutinised ahead of any deal, in a statement which is likely to give AT&T Inc ? the nominal front-runner in the quest to buy AM?s assets ? pause for thought.*Earlier this year AT&T cut its financial ties to AM ? selling its minor stake in the Mexican group after 24 years ? in a bid to avoid antitrust hurdles relating to its ongoing acquisition of satellite broadcasting giant DirecTV, but questions remain over the US company?s strong historical links to Slim and his companies. Contreras told the news agency: ?Whether there?s been history or not, of course, is something we have to study. [We need] to verify if it?s something that subsists or not, apart from whether there have been any corporate or capital changes. It would be pointless if whoever serves that portion of the market responds to the same common interest, or even colludes. [We have to rule out] overlap between board members or at management levels.? Bloomberg notes that current AT&T board member Jaime Chico Pardo previously served as the CEO of Slim?s Telefonos de Mexico from 1995 to 2006, suggesting a clear conflict of interest.*As previously reported by TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate, Slim is ready to sell off parts of his Mexican telecoms business in an effort to cut his company?s market share across the sector to below the 50% mark, thus avoiding regulations that apply only to dominant players, and cease being a ?preponderant economic agent?. Last month it was reported that AM had contacted four potential suitors ? AT&T, Softbank Corp of Japan, Bell Canada and China Mobile ? with a view to selling Telmex and Telcel in a deal worth up to USD20 billion.*One company that definitely will not be bidding for AM?s assets is Verizon Communications. CFO Fran Shammo told the Wall Street Journal that Verizon has ?no interest? in acquiring the assets, adding that Verizon is not interested in any other major deals elsewhere in the world either.
Vip Operator, ONE agree merger; Telekom Austria to hold 55% stake in new entity
Telekom Austria Group and Telekom Slovenije have agreed to merge their respective Macedonian subsidiaries Vip Operator and ONE, the Vienna-based telco has announced. Telekom Austria will hold a 55% stake and have sole control of the newly created entity, while Telekom Slovenije will hold the remaining 45% stake. The agreement between the two parties also includes call and put options for the exit of Telekom Slovenije from the joint venture within three years from the closing of the merger. Due diligence of ONE is expected to take place in mid-November, with final merger clearance anticipated in 1Q15.*According to TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, ONE is the third largest mobile network operator in Macedonia, with a market share of 23.9% as of 30 June 2014, equivalent to around 562,000 subscribers. Meanwhile, Telekom Austria has offered mobile services in the country through Vip Operator since 2007. It had a market share of 26.4% and around 620,000 users as of end-June. The merger would see the enlarged entity topple current market leader T-Mobile Macedonia (49.7%) into second place.*Previously, in July this year, Telekom Austria acquired triple-play cableco Blizoo Macedonia from Swedish private equity house EQT.
Drei extends LTE coverage to Linz, Perg, Wels, Steyr
Hutchison Drei Austria (formerly H3G) has confirmed that it has extended its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to Linz, Perg, Wels and Steyr, all of which are located in the state of Upper Austria. Previously, on 25 September, Drei confirmed that it had concluded its deployment of 6,000 LTE base stations in the Greater Vienna area, offering 98% coverage in the capital and its environs.*Following this week?s Upper Austria launch, Drei says that it is on track to cover 50% of the country as a whole by the end of 2014. Going forward, Drei plans to offer LTE to 98% of the Austrian population by the end of 2015.
BoFiNeT awards five new infrastructure contracts
Botswana?s state-owned infrastructure company, Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNeT), has awarded contracts for the construction of three new fibre-optic backbone links covering around 1,000km in total, as well as two metropolitan rings, MmegiOnline reports. The contracts are estimated to be costing around BWP200 million (USD21.6 million) and were awarded as follows: the 360km Sekoma-Tsabong link will be deployed by Dimension Data; the 325km Sehithwa-Mohembo project was handed to Complant Botswana and Mepi Building Construction; the 362km Maun-Ngoma optical fibre project is being carried out by Four Arrows and Echoes Holdings; the Maun metro ring will be deployed by MMP Construction and Nowaji Services; and the Kasane-Kazungula metro fibre project will be carried out by Business Online. BoFiNeT was spun off from former monopoly fixed line operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) in November 2012 and now owns and operates the country?s nationwide backbone networks, as well as its interests in international cable systems such as Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and West African Cable System (WACS).
SWAN picks Cerillion to provide BSS to support 4G launch
Slovakian triple-play broadband provider and prospective 4G mobile operator SWAN has awarded a contract to Cerillion Technologies for the deployment of a new business support system (BSS) to prepare for its 4G launch. Cerillion is providing its Convergent Charging System for online charging and policy control, as well as its CRM Plus, Revenue Manager and Service Manager modules for an end-to-end order-to-cash solution. According to TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, SWAN was confirmed as Slovakia?s fourth mobile licensee in January 2014, paying EUR6.60 million (USD9.10 million) for its 2x15MHz technology-neutral 4G concession in the 1800MHz band. It expects to launch commercial services by the end of this year, and to achieve full coverage the telco says it will use its right to national roaming, which is included in its licence conditions. SWAN reportedly targets half a million mobile customers within two years.
DTAC?s 3G users reach 71% of total subscriber base
Thailand?s second-largest cellco DTAC, part of the Telenor group, has reported that subscribers on its 2100MHz 3G network increased to 19.7 million, or 71% of its total subscriber base, in Q3 2014, compared to 68% three months earlier. However, the total mobile subscriber base decreased by a net 0.9% quarter-on-quarter to 27.8 million at the end of September 2014, due to market competition, particularly in the pre-paid segment, the company disclosed in its statement. Nonetheless, DTAC highlighted that it maintained its relatively strong performance in the post-paid segment, posting a 2.4% quarter-on-quarter increase in post-paid users, partly offsetting a 1.4% q-o-q pre-paid user decline.
BTRC preparing 700MHz auction
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is preparing the 700MHz spectrum band to release it next year to mobile operators, to enable them to deploy higher-speed broadband services over a greater distance per base station than they currently offer, and at a lower investment cost. As reported by the Daily Star, because a portion of the 700MHz band is currently occupied by a fixed-wireless internet service provider (ISP) ? AlwaysOn Network Bangladesh ? the regulator must rearrange it in order to allocate usable blocks to cellcos for 4G LTE services, under guidelines of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which has acted as a consultant for the project. The BTRC allocated 2x6MHz spectrum in the 700MHz range free of charge to AlwaysOn in July 2006, initially for five years. Once the ISP's allocation is cancelled, 45MHz of bandwidth will be available to cellcos in the band, but until this happens there is only 25MHz usable bandwidth to distribute to the mobile operators. The watchdog will now ask the ISP to relinquish the spectrum, according to BTRC secretary Sarwar Alam, while another BTRC official clarified that the aim is to ?allocate a different band to the AlwaysOn network so as not to hamper its business and equipment,? although added that the regulator is ?still searching for a suitable bandwidth.? The BTRC aims to enable the ISP to continue operating with its current equipment, and stated that AlwaysOn currently provides services to 13,000 customers through 46 base stations. Reaz Shaheed, managing director of AlwaysOn, declined to comment on the matter, the Star report added.
Telenor Yangon launch delayed for optimisiation
Norwegian-backed cellco Telenor Myanmar has delayed the launch of services in Yangon by around a week in order to prepare its coverage in the city, Myanmar Times writes, citing CEO Petter Furberg. Telenor has installed 305 towers in the city, but says it needs more time to optimise the system to improve performance and service quality. Mr Furberg added that to achieve a ?perfect 3G experience? Telenor will have to increase the number of towers in Yangon to around 800. At the moment, the official explained, the cellco?s 2G services is available ?everywhere? in Yangon, whereas 3G will be more limited with patchy indoor coverage. Telenor is expecting to begin offering services in Yangon between 25 and 30 October and in all but one of the city?s 44 townships. Elsewhere, Furberg noted that users in Mandalay have been experiencing dips in call quality and internet access speeds during peak hours, due to the higher-than-expected volume of customers using the network. To alleviate these issues Telenor has outlined plans to roll out additional towers in the city. *Meanwhile, Telenor has been plagued by the same SIM shortages as its rivals Ooredoo and Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT). According to Furberg the issue was in the distribution chain, with around a third of the 1,500 sellers in Mandalay left without SIMs to sell when the cellco launched its network there in late September. The shortage has been made worse by the continuing trend for users to purchase additional SIMs with a view to selling them on the black market. To discourage the practice Telenor began limiting the number of SIMs each customer can purchase to one per ID card. Further, customers will be obliged to purchase credit with their SIMs. For the upcoming launch in Yangon the cellco has said that around one million SIMs will be available from 6,000 retailers. Eleven Myanmar however, cites a source from a mobile shop in the city as saying that the number of SIMs made available from Telenor has been limited to around 200 per shop: ?Our shop wants 400 SIM cards but they said they can offer only 200 [but] big shops are said to get 400 cards. Also we can?t sell the cards at a price higher than what the company has fixed.?
Mobilink passes one million 3G subscriber mark
Mobilink has passed the one million 3G subscriber milestone just three months after inaugurating the service, which the cellco claims makes it the fastest growing 3G provider in Pakistan, Pro Pakistani writes. Mobilink was the last of the nation?s major cellcos to launch its 3G platform ? excluding Warid Telecom, which did not compete for a 3G concession ? activating its network in July 2014. Pakistan Telecommunication Mobile Ltd (PTML), which trades as Ufone, was the first to market the service in May, whilst Zong and Telenor launched their offerings the following month. Commenting on the company?s success, Mobilink?s chief commercial officer Bilal Munir Sheikh noted: ?Our rollout plan is carefully designed to ensure that we provide the most robust 3G coverage in cities in which we are present. Our teams on [the] ground continue to work towards ensuring that we [are] providing the best customer experience in cities and locations before committing to new ones?.

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