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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Roaming regs to impact on IoT, M2M markets
Machina Research urges telcos to forge alliances as 'permanent roaming' crackdown looms; data sovereignty rules may also hamper adoption.
New MVNO comes to Mexico
Maz Tiempo to launch mobile services in Mexico City using Telefonica's network.
Vimpelcom's Djezzy sale price deemed 'fair'
Financial advisor values majority stake in Algerian operator slightly lower than price government agreed to pay.
DoCoMo, Huawei test LTE in unlicensed spectrum
Companies claim use of 5 GHz WLAN frequencies for LTE provide more capacity than 802.11n standard.
South Korean telcos break subsidy rules again
All three operators fall foul of subsidy rules but KT Corp is spared sales ban.
Global SDN market worth $8bn by 2018
IDC sees enterprise sector as major driver of overall growth in software-defined networking for the coming years.
Global SDN market worth $8bn by 2018
IDC sees enterprise sector as major driver of overall growth in software-defined networking for the coming years.
Global SDN market worth $8bn by 2018
IDC sees enterprise sector as major driver of overall growth in software-defined networking for the coming years.
Global SDN market worth $8bn by 2018
IDC sees enterprise sector as major driver of overall growth in software-defined networking for the coming years.

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

Africa: The Promise of Africa and the Global Internet
[State Department]A topic repeatedly raised during the historic U.S-Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. is the transformational role communications technologies will play in advancing a prosperous and peaceful world.
Liberia: Double Ebola Doze En Route to Liberia - Trial Drug to Aid 30
[FrontPageAfrica]FrontPageAfrica has learned that at least 30 Liberians infected with the deadly Ebola virus could benefit from an unknown trial Ebola drug said to be on its way to Liberia from Italy.
Ghana: MTN Holds Forum for Online Platform Managers and Editors
[Ghana Govt.]The maiden edition of the Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Online Forum for online managers and editors has taken place in Accra.
South Africa: MTN to Use Street Lamps As Network Towers in South Africa
[CIO]MTN has started deploying antennas on street light poles, and erecting purpose-built pole masts with zero visual impact around west and northern Johannesburg to improve network coverage and quality.
Zimbabwe: Econet Offers Telecash Employees Double Salary
[The Herald]The battles between Zimbabwe's largest mobile network operators are far from over; with a new cold war at tipping point. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has been blamed for fishing directly in Telecel's skills pond, a move which has been described by analysts as dirty tactics to beat competition.
Kenya: Frost & Sullivan Applauds Musoni for Extending Microfinancing to Kenya...
[PR Newswire]Cape Town, South Africa -Musoni's mobile approach has proved efficient, reliable and secure
Africa: Verifone Mobile Money and Airtel Africa Group Announce Master Agreeme...
[PR Newswire]Nairobi, Kenya -VeriFone Mobile Money and Airtel Africa, part of the Bharti Airtel Group, today announced that they had reached an agreement to offer VeriFone Mobile Money's merchant enablement applications for mobile Tap n Pay across their 17 operating companies in Africa. VeriFone Mobile Money's Tap n Pay applications are a smart, secure and fast way for customers to pay, buy, bank, bill and remit money with their mobile phone at the point of sale.
Nigeria: Glo to Launch Mobile Money Agent Network
[Daily Trust]Globacom has concluded arrangements to launch a Mobile Money Agent Network, called Glo Xchange, in partnership with licensed mobile money operators, Firstmonie, Ecobank and Stanbic IBTC.
Kenya: Kenya's Musoni Awarded By Frost and Sullivan for Technology Leadership
[CIO]Musoni has been recognized by Frost and Sullivan with the 2014 Kenyan Frost and Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership.
Zimbabwe: Make ICTs Part of Sports Policy, Says Mujuru
[The Herald]MASVINGO -Vice President Joice Mujuru has urged the Sport, Arts and Culture Ministry to craft a national sport policy aimed at creating sustainable ways of funding as well as increase the use of information and communication technology.
Nigeria: NGO Trains Women, Girls On ICT in Jigawa
[Vanguard]DUTSE--No fewer than 40 women and girls will benefit from a two-week training programme on Information and Communication Technology, ICT, organised by an NGO, Centre for Information Technology, CITAD.
Zambia: Don't Give Your IDS to Strangers - Zicta Warns
[Times of Zambia]THE Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority(ZICTA) has warned the public against allowing strangers to use their identity cards to register sim cards.
South Africa: Matona Appointed As New Eskom CEO
[]Pretoria -Current Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Director General Tshediso Matona has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of power parastatal, Eskom.
Nigeria: ATCON Pushes for Increased Awareness On IPv6 Migration
[This Day]The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in collaboration with Africa Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) held an international workshop on Internet Number Resource Management (INRM) and IPv6 in Lagos recently.
Nigeria: 'Telecoms Awards Have Enhanced Industry Growth Since Inception'
[This Day]The Nigerian Telecoms Awards, which started in 2004, has encouraged competition in the telecoms industry and contributed immensely to its growth, according to organisers of telecoms awards.

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

Telikom PNG and bmobile rolling out joint 3G/4G network
Papua New Guinea?s state-owned operators Telikom PNG and bmobile are reportedly jointly rolling out a USD100 million 3G/4G mobile phone network which is expected to go live from April 2015, according to the Solomon Star. Confirming some details of the infrastructure rollout, Telikom PNG?s CEO Michael Donnelly was cited as saying: ?As you know Telikom and bmobile are building one new 3G/4G network across the country, we are co-investing in that and that stops any duplication of government investment in a very competitive mobile telephony network to compete with the major player and it will be very future ready.? In terms of launch dates, the executive added: ?We believe [the network] will be ready, certainly in Port Moresby, it will be ready by April next year and across the country by the end of next year.? Commenting on the perceived benefits of the recently announced strategic partnership between bmobile and UK-based Vodafone Group, Mr Donnelly meanwhile claimed that this should bring ?a lot of know how in terms of product market, product packaging, procurement because Vodafone is the single biggest purchaser of Huawei technology around the world?.
iiNet reports ?record result? for FY14
Alternative Australian broadband provider iiNet has announced what it termed ?another record result across all key metrics for the twelve months ended 30 June 2014 (FY14)?, with revenues for the year topping AUD1 billion (USD918 million). In the period under review iiNet generated a total turnover of AUD1.006 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 6.9%, with service revenue in FY 2014 also climbing by 6.9%, to AUD980.62 million. Such increases in revenue, the company said, were attributable primarily to: continued organic growth in residential and business broadband customers; continued expansion of services provided to existing residential and business broadband customers; and the acquisition of Adam Internet Holdings on 30 August 2013. Underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (underlying EBITDA) meanwhile totalled AUD195.64 million, up 9% against FY 2013. Profit after income tax for the financial year increased by 3%, rising from AUD60.94 million to AUD63.02 million, driven by increased revenue, but offset by higher network and carrier costs, while underlying net profit for the year after income tax was up 19% y-o-y at AUD65.80 million. In operational terms, at the end of June 2014 iiNet?s broadband subscriber base totalled 950,000, up from 840,000 a year earlier, with the aforementioned acquisition of Adam Internet having added around 70,000 accesses. On-net broadband subscribers continue to represent the largest proportion of the total, standing at 619,000 at the end of the reporting period (up from 544,000 at end-June 2013), while off-net accesses fell slightly, to 266,000 (271,000). Meanwhile, the number of ?NBN & Fibre? customers stood at 65,000 at end-June 2014, up from 25,000 a year earlier. Both traditional fixed voice connections and voice-over-IP (VoIP) accesses also grew in FY14, rising to 453,000 and 251,000, respectively, while the company?s mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service had garnered 156,000 subscribers by 30 June 2014, up 23.8% y-o-y.
BH Telecom records 25% drop in first-half net profit
Bosnian state-owned operator BH Telecom recorded a 25% year-on-year drop in first-half net profit, Reuters reports. With the telco citing the weak economy and increased competition as contributory factors to the decline, it posted a net profit of BAM43.8 million (USD30 million) as revenues fell by 1.2% to BAM268.3 million. ?The lower profit is an effect of negative macroeconomic trends caused by recession over the previous years in the countries of euro zone and the region that have continued this year,? the operator was cited as saying.
Australia?s communications minister launches consultation on NBN spectrum gap...
Australia?s Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has released an exposure draft of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) (3.5GHz frequency band) Direction 2014 for public consultation. With this draft Direction related to the use of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, it reportedly aims to help the state meet its commitment to roll out superfast broadband to all Australians, as soon as possible. While NBN Co, the company overseeing the National Broadband Network (NBN) project, currently holds spectrum licenses for fixed wireless broadband services in regional areas, the draft direction notes that there is a spectrum gap for homes and businesses in areas surrounding major cities. As such it seeks to provide the NBN with the spectrum required to deliver fixed wireless services in these areas, so that it can reach approximately 80,000 homes and businesses located in the affected areas ?as quickly as possible and at a reasonable cost to taxpayers?. As per the Direction, NBN Co will pay a market rate for the spectrum in question and, if enacted, the ACMA would be required to complete all steps necessary to enable apparatus licences of a type appropriate for use for the NBN to be issued in the 3.5 GHz band by 30 April 2015. Further, the regulator would also be required to take into account the government?s communications policy objectives when deciding whether to issue an apparatus licence for this spectrum. Submissions regarding the draft direction must be submitted by 22 September 2014.
MTN SA launches HD Voice on 3G network
South African cellco MTN has launched high definition (HD) Voice technology on its 3G network using the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) coding standard, enabling high-quality voice calls and an improved user experience, MyBroadband reports. Eben Albertyn, chief technology officer at MTN SA, revealed that in order to experience the benefits of HD Voice, both the caller and receiver must have compatible handsets, adding: ?Currently, there are no HD voice calls on LTE, so this technology applies to 3G calls?. The executive also pointed out that due to very limited handset support for AMR-WB on 2G calls, MTN has not activated the technology on its 2G network. *MTN is the first operator in the country to deploy HD Voice. Rival cellco Vodacom reportedly said in September 2012 that it was evaluating the commercial viability of the technology, while Cell C revealed at the time that it had ?no immediate plans? to deploy HD Voice.
MTS revenue growth of 1.4% driven by Russian ops
Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has reported consolidated group revenue of RUB98.9 billion (USD2.7 billion) for the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 1.4% from RUB97.5 billion in the year-ago period, with growth mainly driven by a 6.3% rise in Russian mobile service revenue to RUB70.9 billion. Domestic data traffic revenue jumped 39.7% year-on-year to RUB15.3 billion in 2Q14, spurred by greater adoption of data plans as smartphone penetration reached 37%, while fixed line turnover slipped 1.0% year-on-year to RUB15.6 billion. Despite volatile operating conditions, revenue in Ukraine grew 2.2% in local currency to UAH2.6 billion as MTS expanded its subscriber base, although turnover from Armenia fell 4.8% year-on-year. As at 30 June 2014 MTS reported a total of 110.12 million customers (up 1.3% quarter-on-quarter), including 77.27 million in Russia and 23.07 million in Ukraine. *Consolidated group OIBDA declined 2.6% from RUB44.4 billion in 2Q13 to RUB43.2 billion a year later; net of a one-off gain related to compensation for the settlement of Bitel, OIBDA fell by 0.6%. The decline was mainly attributed to macroeconomic factors impacting MTS?s business in Ukraine and greater general and administrative expenses due to the rollout of its mobile and fixed networks in Russia. Net income attributable to the group totalled RUB21.1 billion in the second quarter of 2014, compared to RUB29.0 billion in the year-ago quarter. ?While we expect Russia still to grow at the high end of our initial guidance of 3%-5%, developments in Ukraine will limit group growth to at least 1% in revenue for 2014,? MTS CEO Andrei Dubovskov commented.
Comvik seeks a return to MobiFone?
Sweden?s Comvik International has allegedly expressed an interest in investing in MobiFone when the Vietnamese mobile operator undergoes privatisation, Saigon Times reports. Under a ten-year business cooperation contract (BCC) agreed in 1995, Comvik International held a 45% stake in MobiFone (with state-run national PTO Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Corporation [VNPT] holding the remainder) until ownership passed back to the state in May 2005. MobiFone was separated from VNPT last month and put under the management of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), ahead of a sale of shares in the cellco via an initial public offering (IPO) scheduled for completion in 2015. According to the report, Comvik has met with officials from the MIC to express its interest in becoming a strategic partner in MobiFone. The cellco?s chairman Mai Van Binh said VNPT could retain up to a 20% stake in the company ? the maximum allowed under new legislation that states that a company or individual cannot hold over 20% of shares in more than one telecoms operator (VNPT also owns 100% of mobile operator Vinaphone).
Subscriber gains help push up P4 sales in second quarter
The Polish cellular operator P4, which trades under the ?Play? banner, has reported a 13.5% year-on-year rise in operating revenues for the three months to 30 June 2014 to PLN1.06 billion (USD335 million). Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter was up 39.7% at PLN269 million. P4 claimed 11.28 million customers at the end of June, up from 9.83 million twelve months earlier, with the share of contract subscribers rising from 44.4% to 45.6% over the same period. It claims leadership in the number of new users transferring under the country?s mobile number portability (MNP) system, reporting more than half of all MNP transfers for the 21st quarter in succession. P4 says it is continuing with the expansion of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure, with its networks covering 45% of the population at the end of June 2014, rising to 54% by end-July. According to TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, P4 stands in fourth place in Poland?s mobile market, behind T-Mobile, Orange and Polkomtel, though it is the only one of the four major players to be posting consistent subscriber growth.
Russia round-up: Osnova tests LTE-A; Yota MVNO goes live; Huawei to deploy FT...
*Osnova Telecom* (also known as Base Telecom) has successfully demonstrated Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) technology in its Moscow laboratory. The test, which used *Huawei Technologies* equipment, achieved maximum download speeds of up to 226.1Mbps using carrier aggregation (CA). Although Osnova has rolled out a standard LTE network in 19 Russian cities, its commercial launch remains pending, with regulatory red-tape hampering its efforts to date. MegaFon-owned LTE firm *Yota* is poised to launch as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in 20 cities, and has commenced issuing 150,000 customers with pre-ordered SIM cards. SIM cards can currently be ordered in major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as the central Russian locations of Tula and Vladimir, and the Far Eastern cities of Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. Yota?s MVNO piggybacks on the network of its parent company, *MegaFon*. Chinese vendor *Huawei Technologies* has been selected by *Rostelecom* to deploy its ?FastConnect? fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology. The contract follows the Russian government?s request that Rostelecom should work towards signing up 13 million FTTH users by 2015. To ensure return on investment (RoI) in sparsely populated areas, Huawei and Rostelecom have jointly designed Floor Distribution Boxes (FDBs). In the preliminary network construction stage, networks are constructed to user access points and FDBs are deployed as the interface between the outside plant and the inside plant. In future network expansion situations, pre-made drop cables can be used for plug-and-play and quick service provisioning. St Petersburg-based vendor *Telecommunications Services* has reportedly won a tender to deploy *TransTeleCom?s (TTK?s)* planned WiMAX network in 19 cities nationwide. The three-year contract will see the deployment of a total of 279 base transceiver stations (BTS) and a further 161 radio-relay stations.
Smart reports 121% surge in data traffic in H1 as 4G sites pass 10k mark
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) mobile unit Smart Communications announced yesterday that in the first six months of this year, demand for mobile internet data surged by 121% to more than 15,000TB of data exchanged on its network, fuelled by the increased availability of content services now being offered by the firm. The Business Mirror notes that among its content suite are mobile music-streaming services Spinnr and Deezer, gaming service GameX and digital book deal Buqo. Further, Smart has recently announced the availability of ViewStream for Android devices, which it claims will gives local sports fans virtually buffer-free video streams of the Gilas Pilipinas games in the upcoming 2014 Fiba World Cup in September.*Smart currently leads in the deployment of ultra-high speed mobile broadband networks in the Philippines, with a 4G network comprising more than 10,000 active 4G-enabled sites situated across the country. Last week the carrier also announced that ? two years after it pioneered Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the country ? its evolved LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service is now live on its 4G network. As a result of the upgrade, LTE-A is now available at the Smart Jump Center in Mandaluyong City, it said, offering data transmission speeds ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as previous 4G performance. In August 2013, Smart Communications started testing LTE-A across the country, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival. ?We are making the leap toward 5G network connectivity to deliver on the promise of the best mobile multimedia experience to users, backed by the ?nation widest? and most robust mobile network in the country today,' said Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B Vea, referring to the recent LTE-A activation.
Is Vodafone looking to samba down to Brazil?
UK-based Vodafone Group is said to be eying up a possible acquisition in Brazil by buying one of its three leading operators, with TIM Brasil mooted as its primary target. An unconfirmed report in the O Estado de S Paulo newspaper suggests that the British group has told the relevant Brazilian authorities that it would prefer to purchase an existing provider, rather than bid in the upcoming ? and now delayed ? 4G mobile spectrum auction. The paper claims to cite a transcript of a recent meeting held in London between Brazilian authorities last month.*Given the ongoing machinations surrounding the ownership of several Brazilian operators ? not least Telefonica?s struggles to comply with the antitrust watchdog Cade over its direct and indirect investments in Vivo and TIM Brasil respectively ? Vodafone could be walking into a complex and uncertain market. The UK group already has an active partnership with Brazil?s Datora Mobile giving it a toehold in the country?s corporate and machine-to-machine (M2M) segments, but acquiring a full-blown network operator is an altogether bigger proposition.
DOCOMO, Huawei demonstrate LTE over unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz band; cel...
Telecom Lead writes that Japanese cellco NTT DOCOMO and Chinese equipment maker Huawei Technologies have successfully demonstrated Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology over ?unlicensed? spectrum in the 5GHz band. With the spectrum currently widely utilised for wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments in a number of countries, the pair say they have conducted tests of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology, which is able to expand LTE-compatible spectrum to unlicensed spectrum bands, providing complementary access for the operator?s 4G network. As it stands, LTE?s compatible spectrum bands are licensed between the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands in Japan. The LAA laboratory tests found that the technology can work in the 5GHz band and create cell capacity approximately 1.6 times greater than for the standard WLAN specification - IEEE 802.11n.*In a related development, NTT DOCOMO says it has launched a wireless internet service for international visitors to the country, who will be able to access its Wi-Fi network of 150,000 hotspots across the country. The operator is offering two service plans, initially on a trial basis, one costing JPY900 (USD8.7) per week and the other JPY1,300 for 21 days? access. DOCOMO rival KDDI Corp also offers a paid WI-Fi service to foreign visitors through its wholly owned subsidiary Wi2, and Softbank Corp also plans to offer a similar service in the near future.
NII?s Nextel Brasil to add Sao Paulo to its LTE network in 2016
Nextel Brasil, the Brazilian unit of US-based NII Holdings, has said it is planning to expand its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to Sao Paulo in 2016, writes Telecompaper citing an article in Exame. The paper says that NII has filed a report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirming that it will use the 800MHz band spectrum for LTE in both Brazil and Argentina. It plans to invest USD200 million over five years in Brazil on the 4G deployment, and hopes to end that year with around 40% of its user base on either 3G or 4G technology. Nextel Brasil is aiming to have signed up 4.64 million customers by end-2014, rising to 7.67 million by end-2108 ? an annual growth rate of 13%. *In June this year, TeleGeography?s CommsUpdate reported that Nextel Brasil had launched its LTE service in Rio de Janeiro. The company has deployed a total of 300 antennas in the city, covering some 19 districts, using equipment provided by Huawei Technologies. In May this year, Nextel COO and president confirmed the carrier?s plan to switch on its 4G network by mid-year, sparking media speculation that it would rush to get the service live in time for the FIFA World Cup. Going forward, the carrier intends to expand coverage to outer metro areas of Rio de Janeiro before extending its footprint to other regions of Brazil ? including now, Sao Paulo. Unlike its main mobile rivals which have opted to launch LTE in the 2500MHz band, Nextel Brasil is using the 1800MHz band which critics point out could hamper matters where it comes to number portability. On the other hand, the online portal notes that Brazilians who purchased their 4G devices in the US, for example, will be able to use them on Nextel?s network.
Cabinet approves towers in Naxal-affected areas
India?s Cabinet has approved long-delayed plans to install additional mobile towers in areas affected by left wing extremism, the Economic Times reports. Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told press that the project was approved at the request of security forces and citizens staying in the affected areas. The project will see the installation of 1,836 new towers in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand, Maharashtra West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, and is expected to cost around INR35.68 billion (USD586.83 million). The ministry of home affairs has been pushing for improvements to mobile infrastructure in Naxalite-Maoist affected areas since 2010, as the lack of mobile services has made it difficult for security forces to respond quickly. The Naxalite insurgency began in the 1960s and is ongoing in around 60 districts across nine states with the rebels most active in poorly developed rural areas.
PTCL launches winback promotion
Fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) is looking to win back subscribers, and is offering free internet access to EVO subscribers that have not used their device since 31 March 2014. Pro Pakistani writes that inactive EVO subscribers that reconnect their devices will be awarded additional data usage, and a waiver exempting them from previous outstanding dues. The offer is available both to pre- and post-paid subscribers using the telco?s CDMA-based fixed wireless broadband service.

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