SINGAPORE’S telecommunications players, which saw total mobile revenue grow by about 2% last year, are braced for a challenging 2015 with their first quarter (Q1) numbers showing signs of weaker growth ahead. For the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel), M1 Ltd and StarHub Ltd collectively recorded mobile revenue of approximately S$990 million (US$743 million), representing a 1% increase versus the S$978 million (US$734 million) in the same quarter a year ago.
Fourth generation (4G) smartphones are gaining a foothold in Thailand’s mobile handset market, as evidenced by a strong increase in unit sales in the first quarter. 4G mobile phones accounted for a 17% market share of the total 4.3 million units of first-quarter handset sales, said Prisana Ratanasuwanasri, senior vice-president for postpaid operations at Total Access…
NEW DELHI: Facebook’s billionaire co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is pulling all stops to swing opinion in India in favour of Internet.org, even as he explores alternatives to subsidize access to certain internet services including Facebook. Zuckerberg in recent weeks initiated dialogues with key people in India’s startup and technology world to convince them of the virtue of Internet.org, a partnership stitched by the social networking giant that allows certain services including Facebook to be provided free of data charge to users.
China Unicom, one of China’s three leading telecom service providers, has followed in the footsteps of its rival China Telecom to intensify its efforts in setting up cloud technology-based data centers, according to Caixin.com. According to the online wire service, China Unicom announced in a conference held May 19 that it is planning to set up a total of 10 cloud-based data centers in 10 cities–Xi’an, Langfang, Harbin, Hohhot, Zhengzhou, Wuxi, Dongguan, Guian, Chongqing and Hong Kong.
KOLKATA: Mobile carriers have silently turned to cool web-crawling technologies and analytics to instantly latch on to any negative customer buzz regarding their services and brand reputation across social media circles, and take corrective action. India’s No. 3 mobile carrier, Idea Cellular, said it uses analytics and web-crawling tools, to monitor and listen to customers on a 24×7 basis and provide quick resolution to their service needs.
The tax, while currently on the books, has not been enforced due to a sector-wide exemption, said MCIT director U Than Tun Aung. “The commercial tax has been implemented last year but because at that time the telecoms sector has been tremendously improving … the Union Government as well as the Parliament decided to give benefits to the population first, so they gave the industry a one-year exemption for the commercial tax,” he said at the Nay Pyi Taw press event yesterday. That exemption will close soon as an amendment to the Commercial Tax Law came into force on April 1, said an MCIT press release.
Alcatel-Lucent agreed with KT to develop next-generation wireless technology focusing on ultra-fast fifth-generation (5G) networks, the Korean unit of the French company said in a statement, Tuesday. Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the two will focus on Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) technology. “This agreement will allow KT to meet the massive connectivity demands of the Internet of Things (IoT) delivering a personalized experience as more people, devices and machines are connected,” Alcatel-Lucent said.
The past year has seen massive growth for mobile broadband – 3G and 4G subscriptions – in China, according to new data released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The country now has 1.29 billion total mobile users, and as of April 49.9 percent of them have mobile broadband services. That number has grown massively over the past year:
Several companies have made an initial bid and are now carrying out the due diligence process on MTC, according to a source at one of the companies, who did not want to be named as the matter is sensitive. MTC and Yoma Strategic both declined to comment. Digicel Group first came to Myanmar with a view to securing one of two international telecommunications licences tendered by the government, which were eventually won by Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo.
SINGAPORE Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) said it will be soon be deploying next-generation GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) on its Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. The service will be offered to a selected group of customers during the pilot phase that will begin in the next quarter. Singtel plans to make the service available to all fibre customers in the later part of the year. The technology will give customers the option of a 10Gbps fibre broadband service, useful for applications such as running multiple 4K video sessions, where users will enjoy sharper pictures and richer colours.
HYDERABAD: Bharti Airtel has said it has launched 4G trials exclusively for its existing customers in Hyderabad in Telangana and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. As part of this, customers across these two cities can now avail of a complimentary upgrade to Airtel 4G at 3G prices, Airtel said in a statement. Announcing the beta launch, Venkatesh Vijayraghavan, CEO – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Bharti Airtel (India), said the company had made significant investments in building a robust 4G network.
KOLKATA: With the government poised to appoint a new Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman following Rahul Khullar’s recent retirement, India’s GSM carriers will shortly approach the sector regulator to persuade the telecom department (DoT) to finalize the data services deactivation and re-activation drill using a designated toll free short code. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the GSM trade body representing mobile carriers such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular amongst others, will shortly urge the next Trai chairman to “get the 1925 short code allotted by the DoT at the earliest for the purpose of data services de-activation and re-activation.”
China Mobile, China United Network Communications and China Telecom will invest CNY1.1 trillion (US$177 billion) to expand fixed-line and mobile telecom infrastructure in China during 2015-2017, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). CNY430 billion will be invested in 2015 to add 80 million FTTx users and expand 4G networks to more than 1.3 million base stations in total to cover all cities of varying sizes, MIIT said.
After years in which the telecommunications sector was dominated by state-owned monopoly Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), in 2012 officials confirmed plans to reform the industry. In June 2013, following an international tender, licences were granted to Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo. State media announced that the government would also “grant license to two local operators – Myanma Posts and Telecommunications and Myanma Economic Corporation as a joint venture and the other Yatanarpon Teleport Co which will reshape itself as a public company”.
KDDI, which on May 12 released its financial report for the fiscal year ending March 2015, stated that launching operations in Myanmar had boosted revenues for its global services segment, with the segment’s operating revenues posted at 320.6 billion yen (US $2.7 billion) – up more than 20 percent over the year prior. The company first officially entered Myanmar last July when it joined Sumitomo Corporation in setting up a subsidiary, KDDI Summit Global Myanmar (KSGM), to assist state-owned MPT in competing with then-forthcoming international telcos Ooredoo and Telenor.
Mr Cormack will be replaced by Rene Meza, currently the managing director of Vodacom Tanzania. Mr Meza has made emerging markets a specialty as he has occupied senior positions at telcos across Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to Ooredoo. “Ross feels that he’s achieved what he wants to in Myanmar with Ooredoo Myanmar successfully established and he feels that the time is right to look for a new professional challenge,” said Ooredoo Myanmar senior public relations manager Ma Thiri Kyar Nyo yesterday.
The big data era has arrived and it is causing big changes to the playing field for enterprises, with China’s telecom operators having begun construction of big data systems and applications in a bid to fully explore the value of information assets and generate new profit points, People’s Posts and Telecommunications News (PPTN) reports. In general, telecom operators’ applications on big data can be separated into internal applications and external.
Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which just finished its acquisition of UK carrier O2 and integrated its UK telecom assets, announced that the company has entered into agreements with multiple investors who will acquire stakes totaling 33% in the combined businesses of Three and O2 UK for a total consideration of GBP3.1 billion. According to a report published by Hutchison Whampoa, the investors are Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC of Singapore, Limpart Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, CDPQ of Quebec, Canada and BTG Pactual of Brazil.
SHANGHAI: Bharti Airtel has said it has received financing commitments of up to $2.5 billion from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with an average maturity of about nine years. The company signed the term sheets for the financing options in the presence of PM Narendra Modi, who is currently on an official visit to China. Airtel said the funds will help the company further diversify its global financing pool and invest in growth of data networks.
Chinese telecom device maker Huawei has launched its new high-end storage product OceanStor 18000 V3 in Beijing and disclosed its storage business performance in 2014 and its business growth goal for 2015. Its global storage business sales reached USD534 million in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 55.6%. Of the total sales, nearly USD180 million was from overseas markets, covering industrial customers in 150 countries. For 2015, Huawei aims at 60% growth for its storage business.