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AT&T reports strong Q1 mobile performance
U.S. telco giant adds 625,000 contract customers; wireless revenues grow 7%.
Colt to exit carrier voice market
Telco to focus on network, IT services as margin pressure hits Q1 earnings.
China Mobile's profit falls as competition bites
World's biggest mobile operator blames OTTs, rival operators for Q1 performance.
Microsoft, Nokia deal to close this week
Finnish vendor to exit mobile handsets business on Friday; CEO announcement may follow.
FCC likely to reserve 600-MHz spectrum for smaller players
U.S. regulator aims to boost rural wireless competition, release unlicensed airwaves.
Vimpelcom does $2.64bn Djezzy deal
Russian operator resolves issues in Algeria with sale of 51% stake in mobile operator to state-owned investment fund.
AT&T in 1-Gbps Internet talks with 21 metro areas
Telco to roll out high-speed fibre network in up to 100 U.S. cities as long as the investment case passes muster.
Telus tries again with new Mobilicity deal
Canadian operator agrees to acquire rival for C$350 million now spectrum transfer ban has expired.
Facebook offers friend-stalking option
Social network is also reportedly prepping mobile ad network.
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AllAfrica News: ICT and Telecom
All Africa, All the Time.
Africa: Big Obstacles Ahead for Big Data-for-Development
[SciDev.Net]Big data's great promise for development will need both human and technical capacity building, reports Jan Piotrowski.
Kenya: Safaricom Increases Market Share As Airtel, Essar Tumble
[CIO]Safaricom and Telkom Kenya recorded growths in market share as other mobile network providers tumbled in the recently released communications commission of Kenya statistics.
Rwanda: Central Bank Unveils Modern ICT System
[New Times]The National Bank of Rwanda has unveiled a new core banking system that is tipped to enhance the bank's operations security and service delivery.
Ethiopia: Ethiopia Looking to Get Smart
[Addis Fortune]Executives of regional offices for multinationals are often reluctant to disclose figures on their sales and market shares. For those working for Samsung in the East African market, the case was no different. Probed at a press conference two weeks ago in Nairobi, Robert Ngeru, vice president of Samsung for East Central Africa, declined to disclose what percentage of the 200 million people who have bought smartphones in the Galaxy family, since its launch five years ago, are found in this region.
Nigeria: Hellofood APP Available On All Samsung Galaxy S5 Devices in Nigeria
[CIO]Online food ordering service Hellofood.com, part of Africa Internet Holding (AIH) has announced a partnership with Samsung at the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S5 in Lagos.
Africa: Africa Needs High Quality Solutions
[Biz-Community]Since its acquisition of iWayAfrica and Africa Online, pan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks has focused on the development of its terrestrial and satellite network products and solutions.
South Africa: Book Now for Acceleration Digital Ignition Symposium
[Biz-Community]The third Digital Ignition Symposium, hosted by Acceleration, will be held at Le Franschhoek Hotel in Franschhoek on 3-4 June 2014 to help marketers maximise their ROI from their growing spend on technology.
Kenya: Will the School Laptop Programme Succeed?
[The Star]The planned integration of computers as a method of learning in Kenyan schools heralds a new era, but also raises the question of whether increased computer access will lead to effective learning in schools.
Nigeria: I Want to Be Africa's Leading It Service Provider - -Nkem Uwaje-Begh...
[Vanguard]A savvy information technology entrepreneur, Mrs.Nkem Uwaje-Begho wears a very humble, unassuming disposition that anyone would never presume her achievements and astonishing contributions towards advancing technology in Nigeria.
Nigeria: Nigerian Telecom Sector Needs Competition in Fresh Ideas - - Etisala...
[Vanguard]The new acting Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Mathew Wilsher has been in Nigeria for the past nine months. In all of this time, Wilsher says he is studying the environment and the entire Nigerian telecom landscape. As a result he has not made much of a public outing.
South Africa: Samsung, Mxit Partnership Keeps Users Always On
[Biz-Community]Samsung has partnered with local mobile social network Mxit to take to market its 'always-on' content strategy and drive awareness around its Wifi, BBM, Idols and retail initiatives.
Nigeria: Obiano to His Exco Members - You Must Be ICT Compliant
[Vanguard]Awka -Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, yesterday, directed members of the state executive council, comprising commissioners and special advisers, to ensure that they were ICT compliant to enable them keep with the pace of his administration.
Nigeria: ISPON, Microsoft Team Up Against IP Thieves
[Vanguard]There appears to be tough time ahead for software pirates in the Nigerian IT market as the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, in collaboration with Microsoft Nigeria are in fresh move for intellectual property protection.
Nigeria: Samsung Unveils Three New Devices in Lagos
[Vanguard]Frontline mobile device makers, Samsung last week in Lagos, unveiled three new devices comprising of latest Galaxy S5 smartphone and wearable device line, the Gear Fit and Gear 2.
Nigeria: Telecom Activities May Keep Nigeria's Rebased GDP Green
[Vanguard]Information and Communications Technology, ICT, once again, showed its economy- boosting potentials when the statistician-general of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale recently released the rebased Gross Domestic Product, GDP data for 2013.
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Daily news on every market in the global telecommunications industry.
New global network builders emerge
New data from TeleGeography?s Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 39 percent to 138 Tbps in 2013, a 4.5-fold increase from the 30 Tbps of bandwidth used globally in 2009.
Internet backbones remain the primary users of international bandwidth, accounting for 75 percent of demand in 2013. However, the drivers of international bandwidth demand are changing. As private network operators, including large content providers like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, expand their internal networks, their bandwidth requirements increasingly exceed those of the largest carriers.
Private network bandwidth grew at a compounded rate of 55 percent annually between 2009 and 2013, while international Internet bandwidth grew 44 percent. Private networks accounted for 25 percent of used international bandwidth in 2013, up from 20 percent in 2009. Given their massive capacity requirements, some of the largest content providers have moved towards owning infrastructure, as a means of lowering their costs.
Global network expansion has undergone a long-term shift in focus, from connecting users to users, to linking users to data centers and?increasingly?data centers to each other. ?Data replication and mirroring among data centers are key drivers in the rapid growth of private network capacity,? said TeleGeography Research Director Alan Mauldin. ?Private network operators are poised to play a leading role in future global network development, including as anchor investors and consortium members in submarine cable systems.?
TeleGeography?s Global Bandwidth Research Service provides detailed data for the long-haul networks and submarine cable industry, including supply, demand, cost and pricing analysis, and profiles for 346 network operators and 277 submarine cables.
To speak with an analyst, please call +1-202-741-0042 or email email@example.com.
Colt confirms plans to exit carrier voice market
Colt Group, the London-based, pan-European telecoms service provider, has announced that it is withdrawing from the carrier voice market. In publishing its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2014 Colt revealed that it is currently completing a strategic review of its performance by lines of business with ?a focus on operational and financial improvement?. In line with this the group has confirmed it will move forward with the reorganisation of its business into four lines, those being: network services, IT services, data centre services and voice services. With plans for each of the units said to have been formalised, Colt has claimed the underlying plans will ?facilitate the prioritisation of investments and opportunities that are of the greatest strategic and commercial value to [the] Group with a goal to improve revenue growth, margin and cash flow in 2015 and beyond?.
As part of the reorganisation process, Colt has announced a planned reduction in its carrier voice business, revealing that it will withdraw from around 85% of its carrier voice trading contracts over the next few months. It was noted that, while the move will liberate approximately five billion minutes per annum of voice network capacity to pursue more profitable enterprise voice business, it will result in the loss of approximately EUR175 million (USD242 million) of annualised revenue.
In terms of the company?s financial performance in the first three months of 2014, Colt generated a total turnover of EUR399.8 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 2.0%, while on a constant currency basis revenues were up by 1.2%, with contributions from all four lines of business. Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at EUR74.1 million, meanwhile, down by EUR6.4 million (8.0%) from the same period a year earlier.
Czech users embracing MVNO offers, report says
The fledgling market for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the Czech Republic continues to grow apace in 2014, following the setting up of no fewer than 50 MVNOs and other secondary brand offerings in the latter stages of last year, according to a report from the Czech News Agency (CTK). Some of the more notable newcomers to the Czech mobile market ? which was only opened up to virtual players in late-2012 ? include BLESKmobil, Gorila Mobil, Tesco Mobile, Mobil od CEZ, Lama Mobile, Euro Operator and recent addition, betting firm Sazka. *BLESKmobil was the first to hit the ground running, thanks to a hosting deal with mobile network operator (MNO) Telefonica O2 CR. According to CTK, the MVNO segment accounted for some 700,000 users at 31 December 2013, equivalent to 5% of the total mobile market. Along with BLESKmobil, Telefonica O2 CR also has network hosting agreements in place with the likes of Tesco Mobile, Mobil od CEZ and another newcomer, Bonerix. Meanwhile, Vodafone CR also supports MVNOs and works with mobile virtual network enablers (MVNEs) such as Quadruple, and third player T-Mobile CR utilises an agreement with GTS Czech to allow it to set up wholesale arrangements with smaller companies. Furthermore, keen not to be left behind the three incumbents have established their own ?no-frills? secondary brandings to exploit niche market segments. T-Mobile has a successful ?Kaktus? brand with 35,000 subscribers, Vodafone has relaunched ?Oskarta?, and all three MNOs are gearing up their 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) rollouts.
Ncell's boss says cellco will invest USD100m in 2014
The newly appointed chief executive operator of Nepalese mobile operator Ncell, Erim Taylanlar, says the company intends to invest USD100 million this year, with a focus on the expansion of 3G services, on top of the USD650 million spent in the country since its arrival in 2008. In an interview with MyRepublica, the official noted however, that its aspirations to expand its 3G coverage are dependent on a positive response from the regulator, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). According to Mr Taylanlar: ?Ncell is always ready to do more on the technological side by introducing latest trends whenever we have the [opportunity]. What we need ? to introduce new technologies, besides customer and market readiness, is the prompt response of the NTA [regarding our] applications for permission and licences. The delay in the appointment of a new chairman at the NTA has made it very difficult for us to introduce new technologies?.*The CEO went on to say that his company is working on ?four important projects? this year and is looking to tempt new users with a number of ad campaigns. However, he declined to elaborate on the exact nature of the projects his company is developing. Finally, the CEO said that with the advent of more competition in the GSM sector now imminent, he welcomes competition which he believes will be ?for the benefit of consumers and service providers given that all operators need to be on the same plane and the regulatory body needs to have fair approach to all competitors?. Ncell does not favour a price war, which it says would be detrimental to end users in the long run.
Oi SA looking to delay government?s 700MHz auction
Brazilian carrier Oi SA is looking for a delay to the government?s planned USD3 billion auction of 700MHz wireless spectrum for 4G services, due to take place in August, according to an official at the national regulator Anatel, as quoted by Bloomberg News. Carlos Baigorri, superintendent of mergers and acquisitions for regulator Anatel in Brasilia, is quoted as saying that whilst Oi SA?s rivals ? Telefonica (Vivo), Claro Brazil and TIM Brasil ? have relaxed their positions regarding plans to call for a postponement, Oi SA is ?the only one that may have a problem?. It is understood that any delay in the auction of the lucrative 700MHz frequencies would give Oi SA more time to complete its ongoing merger with Portugal Telecom, and shore up its balance sheet ? given it is currently the most indebted of Brazil?s wireless carriers. Anatel has no plans to delay the auction, Baigorri said.
Tcell inaugurates 4G network
Tajik mobile network operator Tcell has announced the launch of LTE-based services using the 800MHz band. Access to the operator?s 4G services is initially limited to the capital Dushanbe and four other cities, namely Ghafurov, Chkalovsk, Khujand and Kayrakkum, and the settlements of Khistevarz, Vodnik, Goziyon and Unji. Prices for 4G access start from TJS90 (USD18.7) per month for a 5GB monthly usage allowance for general data and a 5GB usage limit for specific video-streaming sites. Meanwhile, the operator?s top-end service, 4G Internet XL, costs TJS450, in return for which customers have a 40GB general usage allowance and 80GB video-streaming cap.
Senegal?s telecoms market contributes 10.6% of total GDP, study says
A recent study by the US-based Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) has concluded that Senegal?s telecoms industry generates 10.6% of the African nation?s GDP, Agence Ecofin reports. According to the study, the influence of the communications sector also extends more widely, given its positive influence on the development of other industries, and is estimated to represent 23% of Senegal?s overall economic growth. Dr Raul Katz, director of research at the agency, notes too that the proposed introduction of a fourth mobile operator would be unproductive in a heavily penetrated market dominated by three players ? Orange, Tigo and Expresso.
PCCW Global to develop a ?smart city? in South Africa
PCCW Global, Hong Kong Telecom?s (HKT?s) international operating division, has announced that it will provide the network infrastructure that will support a planned ZAR84 billion (USD7.95 billion) urban development in Modderfontein, which is located towards the north-east of Johannesburg. According to a company press release, the ?smart city?, which will be built by China-based Shanghai Zendai Group, will consist of commercial, industrial and residential buildings, which could accommodate 30,000 households. According to the press release, the project will ?draw on the expertise of HKT in delivering fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and related services?. The development is also expected to become a hub for Chinese firms investing in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as for those companies seeking to do business with China.
Numericable expects SFR's revenues to decline until 2015
French cable operator Numericable is anticipating a continued decline in revenues at its newly acquired domestic cellco SFR until 2015, local news source BMFTV reports. According to an internal Numericable document seen by the media outlet, the broadband provider is forecasting that SFR will return to growth thanks to its introduction of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, alongside less intense competition from Iliad (Free). ?The aggressive 4G Free offers should have a more limited impact than 3G because Free?s 4G offer will be constrained by the limits of Free?s network ? in [terms of the] number of antennas and frequency capacity?, the document notes. *Further, Numericable?s business plan indicates a planned reduction in combined investment from EUR1.93 billion in 2013 to EUR1.78 billion in 2016. The cableco also plans to migrate users of SFR?s fixed network across to its own fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure where possible, in a bid to reduce the unbundling cost payable to incumbent Orange France, while Competel?s DSL network, which targets business subscribers, will be shut down completely. *As previously reported by TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate, SFR?s parent Vivendi announced on 5 April 2014 that its Supervisory Board had accepted a takeover offer for its domestic telecoms unit from Numericable (and its majority shareholder Altice Group of Luxembourg), which involves a EUR13.5 billion cash payment and gives Vivendi a 20% stake in the enlarged SFR-Numericable group. The acquisition is subject to union and regulatory approval.
ICASA wins court battle against WBS
Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), the parent company of South African broadband provider iBurst, has reportedly announced that it will lodge an appeal against a court ruling, which found that telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) acted lawfully in April 2013, when it raided six of the company?s offices and seized its telecoms equipment. TechCentral reports that ICASA previously won a High Court legal battle against WBS, after accusing the operator of using spectrum in 2010, 2011 and 2012 without paying the required licence fees of ZAR60 million (USD5.68 million) per year; for its part, WBS claimed to owe only ZAR8.5 million. *On 22 April 2014 the judge ruled that WBS had not paid the required fees resulting in the expiration of its authorisation. As such, the company ?may not engage in the operation of the network as it is not in possession of radio frequency spectrum licences.? WBS non-executive director David Hilewitz revealed that the company will file an appeal against the decision within the next five days.
China Mobile profits slump 9.4% despite strong 3G/4G growth
China Mobile, the world?s largest cellco by subscribers, has registered a 9.4% year-on-year drop in net profits for the three months ended 31 March 2014, driven down by the company?s continued investment in its Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network and the erosion of traditional voice revenues by over-the-top (OTT) solutions. Strong performance in the wireless data segment fuelled operating revenue growth, with turnover reaching CNY154.83 billion (USD25.04 billion), up 7.8% on an annualised basis. The cellco registered net additions of 33.35 million 3G subscriptions, bringing the 3G user base to 224.98 million, as well as claiming 2.79 million new 4G customers at the end of its first full period of offering the service, having activated its TD-LTE network in December last year. After just three months of offering 4G services, China Mobile has become one of the largest 4G providers in the world, leapfrogging most European and Latin American cellcos but remaining a sizable distance behind well-established 4G operators in the US, Japan and South Korea, the largest of which, TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database notes, claimed more than 40 million 4G users at the end of 2013. Meanwhile, the Chinese cellco?s total subscriber base reached 781.08 million, booking net additions of 13.88 million customers during the three month period. Nevertheless, China Mobile booked a quarter-on-quarter decrease in mobile data traffic, which dipped from 660.8 billion MB in Q4 2013 to 566.8 billion MB in Q1 2014. The cellco also blamed the ?continued accelerating substitution effect of OTT products? as well as a general shift towards multiple SIM usage for a decline in voice traffic and ARPU. Voice usage dropped 4.8% q-o-q to 1.043 billion minutes, whilst monthly ARPU dipped by CNY6 to CNY62 over the same period. The erosion of its traditional business, combined with its continued investment in its 4G rollout, led to a 5.9% year-on-year dip in EBITDA to CNY57.59 billion, and a decrease in EBITDA margin of 5.4 percentage points to 37.2% whilst net profits tumbled 9.4% to CNY25.24 billion.
Cyprus to amend terms and conditions of general authorisations
Cypriot telecoms watchdog, the Office of the Commissioner of Electronic Communications & Postal Regulation (OCECPR), has opened a public consultation relating to the potential amendment of the Decision on Terms and Conditions of General Authorisations (PA 436/2005), which could impose further obligations on specific networks and services. As such, 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks stand to be added to the document. All interested parties are invited to submit their comments on the topic by 9 May 2014.
AT&T posts strongest quarterly growth in two years as Q1 revenue increases 3.6%
AT&T Inc has reported consolidated revenue of USD32.5 billion for the three months ended 31 March 2014, up 3.6% ? or more than USD1 billion ? year-on-year; the improvement represents AT&T?s strongest quarterly growth in more than two years. Wireless revenue continues to account for the lion?s share of the total, increasing 7% y-o-y to USD17.9 billion. Operating income for the three month period under review stood at USD6.3 billion, compared to USD5.9 billion one year earlier, while net income for January-March remained flat at USD3.7 billion. *In operational terms, AT&T Mobility saw its total subscriber base increase from 107.251 million to 116.014 million in the year to March, of which 73.291 million were post-paid accounts and 11.812 million were pre-paid subscriptions. AT&T?s pre-paid subscriber base was boosted by the 14 March completion of the company?s acquisition of Leap Wireless, which brought with it 4.537 million new users. Elsewhere, resellers accounted for 13.886 million subscriptions on its books, with ?connected devices? rising to 17.025 million. *Meanwhile, AT&T?s fixed broadband business saw user figures edge up to 14.807 million, with U-verse IPTV numbers growing to 5.642 million by the start of April.
Conatel to auction 700MHz spectrum in 2015
Paraguayan telecoms regulator Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel) has confirmed its intention to launch a tender for 700MHz digital dividend spectrum in 2015, following the freeing up of the airwaves by the country?s broadcasters. Eduardo Gonzalez, the head of Conatel, told ABC Color that the watchdog also remains on track to stage an auction for 1700MHz frequencies later this year, although no concrete date has been set.*Previously, in October 2013 TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate reported that an auction of advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands could take place in Paraguay as early as H1 2014. At that time, Gonzalez noted: ?We have some international operators who have made an expression of interest in that band. It is important to generate maximum competition in both the access and the service?.
Verizon gobbles up mobile minnows Golden State Cellular and Mobi PCS
US giant Verizon Wireless has lined up a pair of takeover deals for regional mobile operators, Fierce Wireless reports. The two-pronged acquisition will see Verizon first acquire spectrum, network assets and customers from California-based Golden State Cellular, before scooping up Hawaii?s Mobi PCS. The latter deal reportedly includes a leaseback of 10MHz of spectrum, which Mobi PCS will use as it transitions away from being a facilities-based service provider. Financial terms relating to the transactions have not been disclosed, and both deals require Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval.
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Get ready for Microsoft Mobile; then what?
As Microsoft edges closer to the completion of its purchase of Nokia?s mobile devices and services, what affect will the deal actually have on the market?
Internet governance due for its next appraisal
The scene may be set for another fractious debate over the ?future of the Internet? when NETmundial - the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on The Future of Internet Governance - gets down to business in São Paulo, Brazil tomorrow. By I.D. Scales.
AT&T announces plans for massive 1Gbit/s rollout; or does it?
The Gigabit Fibre Circus continues to tour the US, promising fun and excitement for all the family. But look closely and you?ll soon see the smoke and mirrors; all is not as it seems. Guy Daniels reports.
Afterglow! Orange's bright future is all behind it as far as UK is concerned.
EE by gum! After 20 years the Orange mobile brand is to disappear from British shores - as is that of its rather less well-known sister company T-Mobile - as parent organisation EE (that's the hubristic Everything Everywhere as was) seeks to expunge the colour from Britain's collective memory and convince the population that EE 4G forms the sunlit communications uplands towards which we should all be marching while singing the company song. By Martyn Warwick.
UK broadband speeds continue to climb
More good news for UK broadband customers, as service speed and availability of FTTC continue to increase, although ADSL still accounts for more than two-thirds of all connections. Plus, York will become the UK?s first gigabit city. Guy Daniels reports.
Fibre, fibre, fibre: only house price comes before broadband speed when Swede...
Get some newly-minted facts and analysis on Swedish broadband by signing up for a free Webinar presented by The FTTH Council Europe and Diffraction Analysis on the results of their joint study: Why Consumers Love FTTH ? The FTTH Consumer Experience Study.
Google's business model is "a protection racket" says CEO of German publishin...
The boss of Axel Springer, the big German publishing house, says that because of the way Google fixes its search rankings to discriminate against its competitors, the company motto should change from "Don't Be Evil" to "If you don't want us to finish you off, you'd better pay". By Martyn Warwick.
SDN at the coalface: taming the ?big, dirty, living network?
Last week it was the theory, this week we highlight ?boots on the ground?. Yes there is some SDN activity out there, but it?s still limited and there are many heated points of contention - as we found out when we listened in on some of the sessions at ONS in Santa Clara last month. Here are the key insights from some of our ?after session? interviews.
Dell and Red Hat: Working Together on Open Cloud Platforms
Dell Red Hat Cloud Solutions, Powered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform are now available in: USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
Microsoft pops its Office apps in the Chrome OS web store
Just a bit of an about-turn: four months ago it was keen on consigning the little computers to land-fill. By I.D. Scales.
Google buys drone developer, promises to do good with them
Google has bought a specialist in high altitude, solar-powered drones. Titan Aerospace has just become part of the Google family for an undisclosed sum. By I.D. Scales.
Telefonica creates the first telco-driven mobile ad exchange
Programmatic advertising is gaining traction in Media Land, so it is about time a major telco decided to enter the fray. Guy Daniels reports.
Proof-Points: Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Solutions in Action
The history of OpenStack, an open-source cloud project, can be traced back to July, 2010 -- when the original founders created a shared vision for their bold goal.
Milking the sheep? Apple trying to push up the price of the next iPhone 6 by ...
If that's the case, why not just buy an iPad Mini and be done with it? By Martyn Warwick.
A 10 Gigabit boost for WiFi
Barely was the ink dry on the finished 802.11ac standard - ratified in January - than a chip for the second phase is announced. By I.D. Scales.
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