Posts filed under ‘Australia’
Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa have announced plans to merge their Australian networks to form a single mobile operator. Both companies will own 50% of the joint venture – which will retain the Vodafone brand name, although they retain the rights to the “three” brand as well. To equalise the value difference between the respective businesses, Vodafone will receive a deferred payment of A$500 million (US$337 million) from the joint venture company, VHA (Vodafone Hutchison Australia).
Utilising existing network arrangements and planned network build, VHA will operate a mobile network with at least 95% population coverage, of which 63% will have access to 3G services. Upon completion of additional network roll outs, VHA’s 3G population coverage is planned to increase to 95%.Based on figures from the Mobile World subscriber tracker, the merged firm would ended last September with a shade over 6 million customers – representing 26.3% of the market. It will still be the smallest of (now) three operators in the country – close behind Optus’ 7.4 million and Telstra’s 9.5 million customers.
Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunications group, Singapore Telecom (SingTel), today reported that its aggregate regional mobile subscriber base stood at 232 million as at 31 December 2008, up 7.3% on a quarterly basis, and a 35% increase year-on-year. Despite stiff competition and the deepening global economic gloom, SingTel reported that each of its six mobile associates in the region – Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS), India’s Bharti Airtel, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Indonesia’s Telkomsel, Pacific Bangladesh Telecom (PBTL) and Pakistan’s Warid Telecom – posted double-digit subscriber growth ranging from 13% to 55% when compared to the same time at end-2007. Of these, India’s Bharti posted the single biggest jump in subscriber numbers to 85.65 million, up from 55.16 million as at 31 December 2007, SingTel said. The group’s wholly owned Ozzie unit Optus posted a 0.9% rise in mobile users over the year to 7.63 million, while in its home market SingTel had 2.94 million cellular customers, up 26% y-o-y. The Singaporean business also reported sustained demand for the Apple iPhone 3G device which helped push its domestic 3G mobile base up to 1.14 million, and 2.33 million for Optus in Australia.
Reliance Communications Ltd., India’s second-largest mobile-phone company, started nationwide wireless services based on the global system for mobile communications, or GSM, to gain customers.
Reliance Communications, which operates services based on the code division multiple access, or CDMA, standard, will initially cover 11,000 towns and 340,000 villages with its GSM service, Chairman Anil Ambani told reporters in Mumbai today. The operator has completed most of the capital spending on the second network and has spent 100 billion rupees ($2.1 billion), he said.
Ambani will use the network based on the popular GSM standard, which accounts for about 75 percent of India’s 336 million wireless users, to help Reliance Communications catch up with Bharti Airtel Ltd. and keep ahead of rivals such as Vodafone Group Plc and NTT DoCoMo Inc.
“We see no reason why we shouldn’t have a 100 million customers,” Ambani said. The operator had almost 60 million customers at the end of November, while Bharti had 83 million and Vodafone’s Indian unit had almost 59 million users.
Reliance Communications gained 7.2 percent to 228.15 rupees in Mumbai trading, the most since Dec. 10. The stock was the second-best performer today on the benchmark Sensitive Index, which rose 1.9 percent.
India, the world’s second-largest mobile-phone services market after China, added more than 10 million subscribers for the third straight month in November and is set to attract more operators as it prepares to auction licenses for starting high- speed wireless services next year.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman Nripendra Misra said in October, operators in the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy and Australia may bid for permits to offer the so-called third-generation, or 3G, services, further increasing competition.
Reliance may spend between 20 billion rupees and 40 billion rupees on 3G gear, Ambani said.
DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile-phone operator, considers Asia its biggest priority for expansion, President Ryuji Yamada said on Nov. 18, a week after the company agreed to pay $2.7 billion for 26 percent of India’s Tata Teleservices Ltd. The purchase is aimed at giving the Tokyo-based company entry into the world’s fastest-growing major wireless market and is its largest acquisition in about eight years.
Tata Teleservices will spend $2 billion in the next two years to provide GSM-based wireless services, the Press Trust of India reported in August. Tata Teleservices, which currently offers CDMA mobile-phone services plans to start the GSM services by the end of the year in India, Press Trust said at the time, citing Anil Sardana, the company’s managing director.