Posts filed under ‘3G’
State-owned Indian telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has announced a deal with French-US hardware vendor Alcatel-Lucent that will see that latter provide its mobile next generation (NGN) solution. The deployment is a part of a multi-year agreement under which Alcatel-Lucent is providing an end-to-end GSM/EDGE solution to MTNL. Alcatel claims that its NGN product, which is based on a secure, distributed architecture, will allow MTNL to optimize and simplify its mobile network, flexibly address traffic growth, reduce operation costs and simplify network maintenance.
As part of the announcement MTNL announced that its 3G network had been launched in Mumbai, and said it was ready to offer service to both residential and enterprise customers. MTNL was the first operator to launch commercial 3G services in India in February 2009; the telco offers the service under the ‘Jadoo’ brand and it was initially available only in central areas of Delhi.
Uruguayan state-owned telecoms operator Antel has announced its mobile unit Ancel has reached 1.5 million subscribers. Ancel is closing the gap between itself and rival cellco America Movil-owned Claro Uruguay, which had 1.459 million wireless subscribers at 31 March 2009. Ancel launched a GSM-1800 network including GPRS in Montevideo April 2004, with an EDGE upgrade initiated in the following October. Ancel first trialled 3G services in September 2005, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei. 3.5G services were launched in July 2007 in Montevideo and a year later its 3G network was available nationwide. Ancel plans to invest USD81 million in 2009, mainly to expand its GSM and 3G coverage.
Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel has extended the date for receiving and opening bids for 3G licences by five days, to 20 July writes BNamericas citing Subtel. The long-anticipated auction of UMTS concessions was launched in April, with bidding rules on sale until 30 June. In accordance with a Supreme Court ruling on 27 January, existing wireless players can participate in the spectrum auction, but if any company surpasses the 60MHz limit it is obliged to return some of its spectrum in other bands to the state. The three existing operators in the country are at or close to the limit: Entel PCS already has 60MHz, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. Subtel has expressed that the intention of this measure is to allow a fourth operator to enter the market and focus expressly on offering 3G services.
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) says it added 64 million net new customers (+35%) in the year to 31 March 2009, to take its combined regional mobile customer base to 249 million. The group’s aggregate mobile customer base in all eight markets – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – grew 7.3%, or 17 million on a sequential quarterly basis despite the intense competition in the markets and the slowdown in the economies. Meanwhile, the proportionate mobile customer base rose 33% from a year ago or 7% from a quarter ago, it said.
SingTel’s regional associates continued to post double-digit customer growth of between 10% and 52% compared to a year ago. Bharti, India’s number one mobile phone operator by subscribers, posted the biggest jump in customers: its mobile base reached 93.9 million customers as at 31 March 2009, an increase of 52% from a year ago or 9.7% on a quarterly basis. Indonesian cellco Telkomsel increased its base by 41% or 20.8 million from a year ago, and added 6.8 million new customers in 1Q09 alone, and grew its market share by three percentage points to 49% by end-March. Thailand and the Philippines, classed as ‘more mature markets’ by SingTel, also posted strong mobile customer additions. AIS in Thailand added 2.5 million mobile subscribers, up 10%, while Globe added 4.5 million mobile customers or 21% more than a year ago. In Pakistan, Warid grew its total customer base by three million to 17.4 million, an increase of 21% from a year ago. PBTL’s total mobile customer base in Bangladesh was 1.9 million, an increase of 315,000, or 20% on 1Q08. Elsewhere, Australian subsidiary Optus’ mobile customer base expanded 9.1% from a year ago to 7.79 million as at 31 March 2009.
In its home market, SingTel extended its market share and leadership position in the mobile segment it said, adding 405,000 new customers, or 16% more from a year ago, bringing its total mobile customer base to 2.98 million and extending its market share to 46.4% as at 31 March 2009, an increase of three percentage points from a year ago. A total of 34,000 new mobile customers were added during the quarter, of which 22,000 were post-paid net additions. Demand for 3G services continued to remain strong, with 72,000 subscribers added. As at 31 March 2009, SingTel’s total 3G mobile subscriber base reached 1.21 million, it said.
Softbank Mobile added more new users than its rivals for the 24th month running in April, aided in part from a price reduction on the Apple iPhone 3G. Data published by the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) of Japan showed that Softbank added a net 105,400 contracts last month, keeping its nose just ahead of fourth-placed eMobile with a net gain of 102,800. The TCA said eMobile’s performance was buoyed by the bundling of a low-priced mobile personal computer and a datacard, which attracted both business and residential customers. Market leader DoCoMo took third spot with a net gain of 89,300 and au-branded KDDI Corp gained 57,500. PHS operator Willcom meanwhile, reported a net decrease of 10,600.
Greek telecommunica group Cosmote has reportedly reached an agreement with Saudi Oger over the takeover of Romanian mobile operator Zapp, Business Standard Romania reports. Cosmote will pay a “little over” EUR 200 million for 100 percent of Telemobil shares, the company that owns Zapp Romania, and is expected to sign the deal next month. With this acquisition, Cosmote aims to obtain Zapp’s 3G licence for its Romanian subsidiary Cosmote Romania, which is the only Romanian mobile operator without a UMTS concession.
NZ Communications has rebranded as 2degrees Mobile ahead of its launch as New Zealand’s third mobile network operator in August. 2degrees CEO Mike Reynolds said that the mobile network will provide 97 percent population coverage in New Zealand with its Huawei-built 3G network. The new brand “pays homage to the closeness of Kiwi connections”, the company said. Building on the notion of six degrees of separation between each person in the world, the company claims New Zealanders have a much shorter connection of just two degrees with each person in the country. 2degrees is inviting customers to pre-register for its service at the company’s website.