Posts filed under ‘2G’
The prime minister of Morocco has approved the award of the country’s third 2G mobile licence to Wana, a subsidiary of domestic conglomerate Omnium Nord Afrique (ONA), after studying a recommendation by the National Agency of Telecommunications Regulation (ANRT). The award follows the launch of a tender by the ANRT on 30 October 2008, in accordance with its plan for the development of the telecoms sector and a decision by the regulator’s board in May 2008. After Wana submitted a bid by a deadline of 6 January 2009, an evaluation of its offer was made on technical and economic aspects, including commitments on infrastructure, coverage, quality of service, the diversity of product offerings and coherency of its business plan.
The 15-year nationwide licence includes frequencies in the 1800MHz band suitable for GSM-based services, but is technology-neutral. Wana (formerly Maroc Connect) won a 3G licence in July 2006, which it added to an existing concession to offer CDMA-based services, and will join rivals Maroc Telecom and Meditel in the 2G GSM-based market. According to the ANRT, the concession winner must undertake to make a significant investment and provide innovative services to meet market expectations and contribute to the improvement of telecoms facilities in Morocco. In addition to direct financial investment, Wana must help finance the redevelopment of the frequency spectrum under a budget of MAD36 million (USD4.6 million), the regulator said in its report.
Swedish regulator the PTS is launching a public consultation on a draft decision for the allocation of GSM 900MHz frequencies. The proposal states that all existing GSM-900 licences will be renewed, but that in addition, all of the available spectrum space in the 900MHz band will be allocated, to allow 3G-only cellco Hi3G Access Sweden (3) to gain access to 2G spectrum for the first time. 3, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, currently uses third-party roaming to provide its users with full nationwide 2G/3G services. Current GSM-900 licences of TeliaSonera, Tele2, Telenor and Swefour expire at the end of 2010. The draft decision will be published on the PTS’s website next week.
Telecel Globe, a subsidiary of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, has announced its objectives to develop the mobile network of its newly acquired Namibian subsidiary Cell One by ‘investing hundreds of millions of Namibian dollars, expanding network coverage to reach 90% to 95% of the population in one and a half years, and doubling retail presence over the next year.’ Telecel bought 2G/3G cellco Powercom (trading as Cell One) for around USD59 million earlier this month, from a consortium including Norway’s Telenor.
Japan’s mobile market leader by subscribers NTT DoCoMo recorded net profit for the nine months to the end of December 2008 of JPY437.7 billion (USD4.86 billion), up 16% from a year earlier, whilst operating income rose 19% year-on-year to JPY746.8 billion, despite revenues falling 4% to JPY3.38 trillion. The bottom-line improvement was partly attributed to handset sales and reduced churn. As of 31 December, the company had 54.16 million subscribers, up 220,000 from three months earlier. DoCoMo maintained its forecast for its fiscal year ending March, with a predicted net income of JPY495 billion, operating profit of JPY830 billion and JPY4.6 trillion in total sales.
DoCoMo also announced that it will terminate its 2G ‘Mova’ mobile service on 31 March 2012. At the end of 2008, around 88% of its total subscribers were on its 3G network. The remaining 6.7 million will be offered incentives to transfer from the legacy PDC (Personal Digital Communications) platform to W-CDMA/HSPA technology.
Hutchison Telecom International Limited (HTIL), which operates cellular services in Indonesia through Hutchison CP Telecommunications (Hutchison Telecom Indonesia, or HCPT), its joint venture with CP Group of Indonesia, may exit the market due to what it claims are the ‘complicated regulatory risks’ there, and other negative factors. According to OSK Research which is conducting a review of the country’s wireless market, Hutch believes there ‘is no certainty for foreign players’ and as such, ‘does not want to be part of a possible industry consolidation.’ HTIL operates 2G and 3G services in the country under the brand name 3; it had more than 3.6 million subscribers at the end of September 2008, a market share of 2.8%.