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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Nokia ups outlook as China boosts Networks numbers
Finnish vendor beats expectations as it posts its first set of quarterly results since the sale of its handsets business.
SingTel claims world's first commercial 300-Mbps 4G service
Operator offers Huawei mobile WiFi dongle; aims for nationwide LTE-A by Q1 2015.
LG hails mobile turnaround as smartphone shipments soar
South Korean electronics firm shipped 14.5 million smartphones in Q2, putting an end to string of operating losses at its mobile business.
New tariffs weigh on AT&T's Q2 profit
U.S. telco adds 1 million contract customers but wireless margins take a hit.
Google set for EU showdown over privacy
Regulators reportedly unhappy at search giant's implementation of right to be forgotten rules.
Bharti picks up 3G licence in Niger
Celtel agrees to pay ?52 million for a 3G permit and an extension to its existing 2G operating licence.
Bharti picks up 3G licence in Niger
Celtel agrees to pay ?52 million for a 3G permit and an extension to its existing 2G operating licence.
Bharti picks up 3G licence in Niger
Celtel agrees to pay ?52 million for a 3G permit and an extension to its existing 2G operating licence.
Bharti picks up 3G licence in Niger
Celtel agrees to pay ?52 million for a 3G permit and an extension to its existing 2G operating licence.

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

Africa: Designing Effective MOOCs for Refugees
[SciDev.Net]Oxford -There are many problems that need to be overcome before the full potential of online learning can be realised for refugees.
Cameroon: Disturbing Digital Lateness
[Cameroon Tribune]Since the completion of work on the Cameroon-Chad pipeline in 2004, an optical fibre backbone facility now exists in Cameroon with the possibility of some 12 landing points or terminals.
East Africa: Technology Could See East Africa's Most Remote Areas Pinpointed
[The Star]THE region's most remote areas could in the future be mapped with a new way of pinpointing locations on a map.
Tanzania: Internet Connectivity
[Daily News]AN annual growth rate of about 40 per cent is forecasted for the African e-commerce industry, according to market research firm yStats. com.
Kenya: Kenya Posta Unveils the Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme Payment ...
[CIO]Posta Corporation of Kenya has rolled out a cash transfer programme to pay Ksh2000 each month for five months to the elderly in the country.
Kenya: Nairobi County Moves to the Second Phase of Cashless Payment
[CIO]The Nairobi City County government has moved to ease payment for services such as matatu seasonal ticketing and rent collection for its estates and market stalls.
Kenya: Kenyans to Use Visa Cards At Over 120 Total Service Stations Nationwide
[CIO]Kenyan motorists can now pay for fuel with their Visa debit and credit cards at over one hundred and twenty TOTAL Service Stations across Kenya.
Tanzania: Internet Connectivity Boosting E-Commerce
[Daily News]AN annual growth rate of about 40 per cent is forecasted for the African e-commerce industry, according to market research firm yStats. com.
Ghana: Chinese Ambassador Ms. Sun Baohong Met With Board Chairman of Philip A...
[Focac]On 21st July 2014, Chinese Ambassador Ms. Sun Baohong met with Anthony Akordor, Board Chairman of Philip Akpo Memorial School and Lydya Sediro, a Headmistress of the School, both of whom came to the Chinese Embassy specially to express their gratitude to Ambassador Sun for the "China-Ghana Friendship ICT Laboratory" aided by the Chinese side.
Nigeria: Computer Experts Urge Govt to Install CCTV to Check Insecurity
[Guardian]Enugu -Computer professionals, under the aegis of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), has called on the Federal Government to, as matter of urgency, make huge investments in the installation of Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) across the country.
Nigeria: Globacom Nigeria Drops International Call Rates to 10K Per Second
[Independent]Globacom, Nigeria's National Telecom Carrier, on Thursday, in Lagos, announced three new International Direct Dial (IDD) Packs, which considerably reduces cost of international calls for it's over 23 million subscribers.
Namibia: Namclear Embraces SME Bank As Government Approves Revolving Fund
[New Era]Windhoek -In a world of technology and innovation, amid growing competition in the banking sector, the SME Bank has received its NamClear certification, which provides clients access to online banking.
Nigeria: International Calls On Glo Now 10 Kobo Per Second
[This Day]Glo subscribers can now have more value for their money as international call rates have been significantly reduced by Nigeria's national telecom operator, Globacom. The newly launched International Direct Dial pack makes it possible for Glo subscribers to pay as little as 10 kobo per second for international calls.
Nigeria: Orange, Emmas Launch Mobile Phone Recycling Facility in Abidjan, C...
[CIO]As part of its commitment to encouraging recycling of mobile devices Orange has partnered with Emmas International to set up a recycling facility in Abidjan.
Kenya: Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, the Camera-Specialized Smartphone Now in Kenya
[CIO]Samsung Electronics East Africa has added to its portfolio of products in the market with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, a camera-specialized smartphone that blends advanced digital camera technology with the heritage of Samsung's industry-leading Galaxy devices to offer a unique and sleek device.

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

BCE taking Bell Aliant private in USD3.7bn move
Canadian telecoms group Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) announced yesterday that it has decided to buy out public minority shareholders in its associated subsidiary telco Bell Aliant for a total consideration of approximately CAD3.95 billion (USD3.68 billion); the minority shareholders will receive cash and BCE common equity for a combined value of CAD31 per share in a transaction which the company said was ?unanimously recommended by independent Bell Aliant directors?. Following the deal, BCE says Bell Aliant will continue to serve customers in the Atlantic Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from its Halifax headquarters, while adding that the regional telecoms operations in rural Ontario and Quebec currently managed by Bell Aliant will continue to benefit from BCE investments in high speed broadband networks and other service initiatives. The announcement added that consolidating Bell Aliant into BCE will improve operating and capital investment efficiencies for Bell Aliant and its larger sister telco Bell Canada; via the elimination of Bell Aliant public company expenses and other duplicative costs, BCE expects to generate approximately CAD100 million in pre-tax annual synergies. BCE currently owns 44.1% of Bell Aliant with the remaining 55.9% publicly distributed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). BCE said the share offer (for a total of 127.5 million Bell Aliant common shares) will commence in mid-August and expire in the second half of September, while it expects the privatisation transaction to be completed by 30 November 2014, subject to more than 50% of Bell Aliant common shares held by public minority shareholders being tendered to the offer, as well as receipt of notification under the Competition Act. Telecoms regulatory and ministry approvals are not required because there is no change in control of Bell Aliant, and no transfers of wireless spectrum licences. BCE will fund the cash component of the transaction from available sources of liquidity and will issue approximately 61 million common shares for the equity portion of the transaction. When the transaction is completed, Bell Aliant public minority shareholders will own approximately 7% of pro forma BCE common equity. BCE added that it is continuing with significant investments in broadband wireline and wireless networks, services and employment across Atlantic Canada, with CAD2.1 billion in capital investment in the region planned over the next five years. BCE also announced that the next phase of its national build-out of mobile 4G LTE services will be in Atlantic Canada, with more than 100 additional small towns and rural locations across the region to receive enhanced mobile services by the end of 2015.
Turk Telekom taps Alca-Lu to overhaul core IP network
Turk Telekom has deployed Alcatel-Lucent?s 7950 Extensible Routing Platform (XRS) in its core IP network, the French-US vendor has announced. The new routers, deployed in three major locations in Istanbul and also in Ankara, are expected to help Turk Telekom keep pace with the growing bandwidth demands of its residential and business customers, and offer the telco the ability to support more than a hundred Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on its backbone. The deployment also saw a ?consolidation of existing core routers?, Alca-Lu noted.
Ooredoo revenues, EBITDA slide 3%, 10% in H1
Qatar-based telecoms group Ooredoo has posted a 3% year-on-year fall in first-half 2014 consolidated revenues to QAR16.504 billion (USD4.530 billion), as it reported that strong performances in Qatar, Oman and Algeria were offset by revenue declines in Indonesia, Kuwait and Iraq (affected by the current Iraqi insurgency and instability). However, it noted that, excluding the effects of Indonesian foreign exchange, H1 group revenue would have increased by 1%. Consolidated EBITDA dropped by 10% year-on-year in January-June 2014 to reach QAR6.870 billion ? giving an EBITDA margin of 42% compared to 45% in 1H13. The company noted that, excluding the impact of Indonesian FX and start-up costs of its fledgling mobile network operation in Myanmar, EBITDA would have decreased by 3% in the period under review. The group?s net profit in 1H14 stood at QAR1.704 billion, down by 2% from the same period of last year, while excluding Indonesian FX and Myanmar start-up costs, net profit would have grown by 1%, Ooredoo added. In other highlights, data revenue reached 20% of total group revenue in the first six months of 2014, and the total customer base reached 93.9 million at 30 June, up by 2% from 92.1 million a year earlier. Ooredoo Qatar?s increased focus on data and business services helped drive Qatari revenue up by 9% year-on-year to QAR3.502 billion in 1H14, while EBITDA climbed 9% to QAR1.743 billion, and customers increased by 9% to 2.99 million. Ooredoo Qatar installed its 500th 4G LTE cell site in the period, while increasing its number of direct fibre broadband customers past 150,000. Indosat, Ooredoo?s Indonesian subsidiary, continued to face an intensely competitive market place, reflected in lower revenues for the first half of 2014 at QAR3.609 billion (1H13: QAR4.375 billion) and EBITDA decreasing by 21% to QAR1.659 billion due to increased cost of sales and operational expenditure. Indosat?s EBITDA margin decreased to 46% compared to 48% for 1H13. At 30 June 2014 Indosat?s total customer base stood at 55 million (1H 2013: 56.6 million). Wataniya Telecom, encompassing Ooredoo Group?s businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, the Maldives and Palestine, posted QAR4.901 billion in revenues for the first six months of 2014, up by 3% from its 1H13 figure of QAR4.746 billion, while the Wataniya sub-group?s six-month EBITDA stood at QAR1.783 billion (down from QAR1.887 billion). Wataniya?s total customer base increased to 21.6 million at mid-2014, a y-o-y increase of 10%. Ooredoo?s Iraqi division Asiacell faced a growing wave of political and social instability during the period, allied to the effects of an increasingly competitive market. Consequently, revenue for the first half of 2014 was QAR3.220 billion (down 8% from 1H13: QAR3.502 billion), while EBITDA was down by 17% to QAR1.544 billion and EBITDA margin was also down to 48% from 53% a year earlier. Asiacell focused on a number of cost efficiencies during the period whilst continuing its programme of network modernisation; Asiacell?s customer base grew by 10.6% to 11.6 million at 30 June 2014. Finally, at Omani unit Nawras, year-on-year revenue growth of 10% to QAR1.066 billion in 1H14 was driven by mobile and fixed data revenues, offset partially by a decline in SMS revenue. EBITDA also increased by 23% to QAR544 million due to revenue growth and lower cost of sales partially offset by higher operational expenditure. Nawras? net profit increased by 23% to QAR177 million compared to the first half of 2013, as total customers grew by 8% to 2.5 million.
SingTel launches commercial 300Mbps 4G service with Huawei mobile MiFi device
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has announced the launch of a commercial 300Mbps 4G service using Huawei?s E5786 mobile MiFi device, claiming a world first. The telco says the device is compatible with LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks, which can deliver ultra-high data speeds of up to 300Mbps, and will be available in retail outlets and online from 24 July, priced at SGD399 (USD322.2). Customers can however, purchase the device at a discounted rate of SGD168 when buying into any SingTel 24-month mobile broadband plan.*Commenting on the launch, Mr Johan Buse, SingTel?s VP of consumer marketing, said: ?With multimedia applications consuming increasingly more bandwidth, speed is everything. The launch of the Huawei E5786 enables us to bring the benefits of LTE-Advanced services to Singaporeans before anyone else in the world. At SingTel, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation to provide our customers with the very best that technology has to offer.?*In addition to the Huawei E5786, SingTel is planning to add other LTE-A enabled devices to its portfolio, including smartphones and tablets, in the coming months. All SingTel 4G customers with compatible devices will be able to enjoy the 300Mbps service at no extra charge, it said.*The company also provided an update on its current LTE-A rollout, noting that it is rapidly expanding coverage, including outdoor and in-building locations. Coverage is currently available at Changi Airport, Singapore Expo and the area around Bugis MRT station. Customers can expect coverage in the CBD, Orchard, Shenton Way and City Hall areas by end-August. More than half of the island will be covered by 31 October 2014 and nationwide coverage is expected by 31 March 2015.
Vodafone Group confirms updated FTTH deal with Orange Espana in wake of ONO p...
UK-based Vodafone Group has announced the agreement between its Spanish subsidiary and local rival Orange Espana related to the rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology has been updated. The development comes in the wake of Vodafone Group completing its acquisition of Spanish cableco Grupo Corporativo ONO. As noted in TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, in March 2013 Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana unveiled plans to invest up to EUR1 billion (USD1.361 billion) on the construction of a joint fibre-optic network. Under the terms of the agreement, both operators said they would each deploy street-level fibre in complementary geographies, and while the fibre would be owned independently it would share the same technical specifications to ensure compatibility as a single network, with each partner having guaranteed access to the whole infrastructure. Now, Vodafone Group has confirmed that under the revised partnership the two companies have agreed: that the total number of homes and businesses to be jointly accessed by the two companies will still be three million in total; that both companies will collectively roll out FTTH to two million premises across Spain, and with the joint deployment already reaching 800,000 premises across twelve cities, the remaining 1.2 million premises to be connected by September 2015 will now be in areas where the ONO cable network is not present by September 2015. Further, as per the updated deal Vodafone Spain will provide Orange Espana with wholesale access to one million homes that are within the ONO network footprint; this commercial agreement, Vodafone Group said, will take the overall number of premises jointly accessed to the total of three million. Meanwhile, the amended agreement also provides a mechanism for both operators to provide each other with wholesale access to future FTTH deployments across Spain on a reciprocal basis. Commenting on the development, Vodafone Group?s CEO of Europe, Philipp Humm, said: ?Our partnership with Orange Espana complements our acquisition of ONO, ensuring a highly efficient deployment of high-speed broadband and bringing more competition to the Spanish market.?
Anatel superintendent sees Oi as ?breakup candidate? if it fails at wireless ...
Bloomberg reports the superintendent of competition at Anatel, Carlos Baigorri, as saying that the watchdog considers Oi SA ? the country?s most indebted telco ? as the weakest domestic operator and a candidate for breakup if it fails to secure licences at the upcoming wireless frequency auction. ?What will happen with market consolidation will depend on the 700MHz auction ? it will define the future of telecom in Brazil,? Baigorri said in an interview in Brasilia. ?The company that doesn?t win in the auction, the market will very probably want to break up.? In the superintendent?s opinion any Brazilian operator missing out at the auction would be ?at risk?, although he declined to comment on how any breakup would unfold. ?We have to see which will be Oi?s priorities in its turnaround, what role the 700MHz auction will have,? said Baigorri, adding ?If, for example, Oi can?t raise the funds to participate, which I hope they can do, probably Oi will be broken up.? The press office of Rio de Janeiro-based Oi SA reportedly declined to comment.*Industry watchers speculate that Oi?s debt pile could lead it to sit out of the government?s 4G auction this September ? despite it being its only viable opportunity to gain bandwidth capacity for mobile broadband internet services. With the big four Brazilian cellcos increasingly jostling for position and chasing ever fewer new customers, and with existing users migrating to bandwidth-hungry smartphones, any failure to secure 700MHz spectrum could leave a carrier ?in jeopardy?, Baigorri said. *The government plans to hold the auction in September this year and is expected to publish its minimum reserve fees within the next week. However, Baigorri notes that given the 700MHz band requires 95% fewer antennas to achieve the same coverage as the 2500MHz licences sold in 2012, any operator failing to secure the lower band spectrum will be forced to stick with its existing spectrum or lease 700MHz capacity with no guarantee on rental costs.
ACCC launches consultation on pricing for Telstra's fixed line and transmissi...
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published a discussion paper seeking views on setting primary prices for the regulated fixed line services supplied using fixed line incumbent Telstra?s copper network. This consultation forms part of the regulator?s inquiry into making final access determinations (FADs) for the seven regulated fixed line services, those being: unconditioned local loop (ULL), Line Sharing Service (LSS), PSTN Originating Access (OA), PSTN Terminating Access (TA), Local Carriage Service (LCS) and wholesale line rental (WLR). With the regulator using a building block pricing method to set primary prices for the regulated fixed line services, it confirmed it has obtained expenditure and demand forecasts for the next five years from Telstra. ACCC commissioner Christina Cifuentes noted: ?The ACCC is seeking views on several complex pricing issues it will consider during the FAD inquiry ? These issues include an assessment of Telstra?s expenditure and demand forecasts, approaches to the allocation of costs to access services, the impacts of declining demand and the impact of Australia?s transition from Telstra?s copper network to the National Broadband Network.? Submissions on the discussion paper are due by 26 September 2014, following which the ACCC expects to release a draft decision regarding fixed line services FADs for comment in ?late 2014?, while saying it will ?consider whether there is a need to consult further before releasing its draft decision?. A final decision, meanwhile, is expected by mid-2015. Alongside the aforementioned consultation the ACCC has also launched another, separate discussion regarding the primary price terms for the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS) to be included in the DTCS FAD. This discussion paper reportedly reviews the domestic benchmarking approach that was used in the 2012 DTCS FAD, which the regulator said it had adopted because prices on competitive DTCS routes provide a good guide to the prices that should prevail on non-competitive (regulated) routes. With regards to this consultation, Ms Cifuentes said: ?The ACCC is seeking input from stakeholders on a range of issues relevant to the price terms that will apply to the DTCS ? In particular, we are interested in views about the continued use of the domestic benchmarking approach and whether there are other suitable methodologies that might be considered in pricing the DTCS.? Stakeholder responses to this consultation will be accepted until 12 September 2014.
TalkTalk records sixth consecutive quarter of revenue growth
Alternative British broadband provider TalkTalk has reported its sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year revenue growth, generating a total turnover of GBP434 million (USD730 million) in the first quarter of its current fiscal year, up from the GBP421 million recorded in the year earlier period. On-net revenue also continued to rise, standing at GBP322 million in the three months ended 30 June 2014, and representing a 5.2% increased against 1Q13/14. Corporate turnover in the quarter under review meanwhile stood at GBP88 million, compared with GBP80 million a year earlier. Alongside revenue growth, TalkTalk also increased its customer base for a seventh consecutive quarter, with 10,000 total broadband net adds, a figure it said was ?in line with [its] strategy of modest growth?. With the operator?s fully unbundled base increasing by 45,000 over the three-month period, it noted that its legacy partially unbundled and off-net bases continued to decline, by 22,000 and 13,000 respectively. Also of note, the company said that the number of broadband customers taking up its fibre add-on continued to increase, rising to 241,000 from 207,000 as at end-March 2014, and although it acknowledged that demand remained modest, it said it expects it to ?grow steadily with heightened awareness of the product and growing bandwidth usage?. As at end-June 2014 TalkTalk?s total broadband subscriber base was 4.206 million, up from 4.196 million three months earlier, and 4.071 million at end-June 2013. Away from fixed broadband, both mobile voice and pay-TV accesses continued to rise, standing at 308,000 (1Q13/14: 202,000) and 1.102 million (390,000) respectively. Commenting on the quarterly performance, TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding said: ?Our strategy for growth continues to deliver according to plan, and we are delighted to report another quarter of base growth and year-on-year revenue progress, including continuing strong momentum in new products such as TV, and data services in TalkTalk Business ? We expect revenue growth to again build through the year and we are on track to deliver our FY15 revenue and margin guidance, and medium term financial targets.?
Tigo sets date for 3G/4G launch
Tigo Chad has successfully tested 3G and 4G mobile network technologies and now plans to begin offering the services commercially from September or October this year, Jeune Afrique writes. Tigo, owned by Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular (MIC), will initially limit the service to the capital, N?Djamena. The cellco renewed its concession for a further ten years in June last year and has pledged to invest USD200 million over the next five years to develop its infrastructure.
Moov subscribers diagnosed with the Flooz
Atlantique Telecom has reportedly introduced the ?Flooz?-branded electronic money transfer service for its Gabonese unit, Moov. According to online journal GabonLibre.com, the service was unveiled by director general Abdoulaye Cisse on Friday. Regional financial institution Orabank will act as the cellco?s partner, ensuring the security of all money transfers.*The Flooz service, previously launched over the networks of Moov?s sister companies in Benin, Cote d?Ivoire, Niger and Togo, provides mobile functions including payment for goods and services, money transfers, deposits and withdrawals to/from virtual bank accounts, other account management functions and mobile phone credit top-ups.*According to GabonLibre, the banking rate within the west African country currently stands at just 7%; by contrast, according to TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, the mobile penetration rate in Gabon stood at an incredible 199.1% at end-March 2014, with multiple SIM card ownership extremely common.
AT&T revenues up 1.6% to USD32.6bn in 2Q14
US telecoms giant AT&T Inc has reported consolidated revenues of USD32.6 billion for the three months ended 30 June 2014, a rise of 1.6% year-on-year. Wireless sales accounted for the bulk of revenues in 2Q14, rising 3.7% to USD17.9 billion, while wireline revenues dropped 0.9% y-o-y to USD14.6 billion. Operating income dropped from USD6.1 billion to USD5.6 billion in the second quarter, while net income fell from USD3.8 billion to USD3.5 billion in the same period. *In operational terms, AT&T reported a total wireless subscriber base of 116.634 million at 30 June 2014, up from 107.884 million one year earlier. The telco added 1.026 million net new post-paid subscribers in the second quarter ? its strongest post-paid net gain in nearly five years. Total wireless subscribers increased by 634,000 in the quarter, with the impressive contract additions offset by a net loss of 405,000 pre-paid connections, principally due to a cull of low-ARPU users inherited through AT&T?s USD1.19 billion acquisition of Leap Wireless in March. Elsewhere, the second quarter saw AT&T add 175,000 connected devices, but shed 162,000 reseller accounts. *At the end of June 2014 80%, or 54.6 million, of AT&T's post-paid user base had smartphones, up from 73%, or 49.5 million, one year earlier. Smartphones accounted for 92% of post-paid phone sales in the quarter. The telco claims that its ARPU for smartphones is more than twice that of non-smartphone subscribers. Further, at the end of the second quarter, 63% of AT&T?s post-paid smartphone customers were said to use an LTE-capable device, giving it a 4G subscriber base of just under 34.4 million.
Costa Rica?s ICE mulling investment in Hondutel
Jesus Mejia, the CEO of Honduran fixed line incumbent Empresa Hondurena de Telecomunicaciones (Hondutel), has revealed that Costa Rican operator Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE) is interested in investing in the state-owned telco, La Tribuna reports. The executive reportedly said that an ICE management delegation will arrive in Honduras shortly to discuss a potential strategic partnership. Further, Mejia noted that the number of Hondutel shares to be sold will depend on the level of resources that potential shareholders are prepared to invest.*As previously reported by TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate, the Controlling Commission in charge of the struggling state-owned telco has been on the lookout for a strategic partner for a while; in September 2013 the management revealed a plan to establish a joint venture with a private investor, who ?could obtain 51% of the stake, while the government retains 22.5% of the shares, 22.5% are distributed between employees and the remaining 4% are publicly owned.? Despite reports in March 2014 that the company had attracted the attention of an unspecified number of Israeli and French companies, with some of them willing to invest up to USD50 million in the stricken operator, no further developments have been announced since.
Orange deploys LTE-A in Strasbourg and Toulouse
Orange France has kick started the deployment of its Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) network in selected locations. According to the operator's website, as of this month, residents of Strasbourg and Toulouse could benefit from speeds of up to 223Mbps, if they are in possession of a compatible device. Although the cellco does not advertise any handsets that could support the network at the present time, local source Frandroid claims that the operator is planning to market a modem/router device, capable of delivering the advertised speeds, ?during the summer?.*As previously reported by TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate, Orange first announced plans to deploy the next-generation technology in the aforementioned locations in mid-June; the operator will utilise a carrier aggregation (CA) solution, encompassing frequencies in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, which will provide downlink transmission speeds of up to 75Mbps (800MHz) and 150Mbps (2600MHz) respectively, to deliver a combined download rate of 225Mbps. Orange was cited as saying at the time: ?Our goal is to deploy 4G+ in early 2015 in 14 of the most densely populated cities, which are the main areas for data consumption, and to expand our 4G coverage in these city centres.? The announcement came on the back of the commercial launch of rival Bouygues Telecom?s LTE-A network in Lyon, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Vanves, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Malakoff and Rosny-sous-Bois in June.
Vodacom?s revenue up by 4.3% to ZAR18.3bn in 2Q14
South Africa-based Vodacom Group, part of the Vodafone Group, has published its financial results for the three months ended 30 June 2014, reporting an 4.3% year-on-year increase in revenues, to ZAR18.287 billion (USD1.739 billion), up from ZAR17.536 billion in the corresponding period of 2013. Service revenues from international operations reached ZAR3.493 billion, up by 17.3% y-o-y on a reported basis, while South African operations generated a total of ZAR11.442 billion, representing a 2.0% decrease on the ZAR11.678 billion reported in 2Q13, mainly due to cuts in mobile termination rates (MTRs). The group added eight million net new users over the past twelve months to take its total subscriber base to 59.602 million, which includes 32.516 million in its domestic market ? up 11% year-on-year ? and 27.086 million across Tanzania (10.638 million), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, 10.502 million), Mozambique (4.604 million) and Lesotho (1.342 million). Further, Vodacom said that it has increased the number of Long Term Evolution (LTE) sites in its domestic market to 1,389 (from 916 in end-March 2014), while 3G-enabled sites reached a total of 7,541 in 2Q14; Vodacom pointed out that 74.5% of the base transceiver stations (BTS) are connected to its ?self-provided high capacity transmission network? and that it expects to complete a Radio Access Network (RAN) upgrade programme in the next quarter (Q3 2014).*Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, added: ?Data and the International businesses have once again been the largest contributors to growth, and the entire business is seeing the benefit of our sustained investment programme. In South Africa we executed well operationally and grew our customer base by 11.0%, but revenue was impacted by the dramatic decrease in MTRs. We continued with our price transformation strategy, bringing down the overall effective price per minute by 25.3% to ZAR0.68 and driving an increase in outgoing voice traffic of 26.1%. The elasticity effect was even more notable on data, with a 30.3% reduction in the average effective price per megabyte more than offset by a 70.1% increase in data traffic. The International businesses performed well, with service revenue increasing 17.3% and the customer base increasing 21.7%. The contribution of the International businesses to group service revenue increased to 23.4%.?
PTA adopts new bitstream pricing; consults on terminal equipment for Vectoring
Icelandic telecoms watchdog the Post and Telecom Administration (PTA) has adopted its Decision 17/2014, which approves wholesale network operator Mila?s wholesale tariffs for bitstream access via Route Option 1 and Route Option 3 from 1 August 2014. According to the published document, Route Option 1 will be priced at ISK912 (USD8.02) per user, unchanged from the previous charge, while ADSL/VDSL connection via Route Option 3 will be priced at ISK1,367 per unit, which represents a 17% reduction on the previous levy. *As previously reported by TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate, Mila was designated as having significant market power (SMP) in the wholesale leased line market in January 2014, and as a result is subject to certain obligations in the wholesale market for broadband access. Following a consultation on the topic, which ran until 13 January 2014, the watchdog decided to make alterations to the calculations of the drafted tariff for wholesale switches. The PTA pointed out that it took into account varying use of wholesale switches, both with respect to Mila customers and to service options.*Meanwhile, the regulator has launched a public consultation on the technical characteristics of terminal equipment for Vectoring technology over VDSL, prior to a proposed adoption of the technology later on this year. The PTA pointed out that in order to facilitate these plans, Mila needs to ensure that users? terminal equipment supports VDSL2 (standard G.993.2). The regulator has invited all interested parties to submit their comments on the proposed equipment upgrade by 20 August 2014.

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