Iran shows progress in 2014 with fibre network deployment

July 24th, 2014, by

In recent years the international community identified Iran as lagging behind in terms of broadband infrastructure and access, particularly when compared to other GCC member states. However in 2014 there are encouraging moves underway to improve this situation, with the FttX operator Iraninan-net currently deploying a fibre network which aims to have 8 million customers by 2020.

Broadband penetration is also improving due to the growing number of competing ISPs, made possible through a licensing scheme. Competition has also improved following the launch of alternative infrastructure-based offerings centred on WiMAX.

In 2014 there are four companies licensed to provide WiMAX services, including MobinNet, MTN Irancell; MTCE and Rayaneh Danesh. In 2013 Datak Telecom failed to obtain ongoing authorization to continue to offer WiMAX services.

Despite these progressive developments; censorship in Iran appears to be increasing with Iraq utilising China’s experience on how to implement Internet control using Iran’s National Internet Network. In addition social media apps have been banned at various times including Instagram, Facebook , YouTube and Twitter and all Iranian’s are required to register their websites with the Ministry of Art and Culture.

Other potential inhibitors to growth in Iran include the government’s tight control of the telecoms market combined with the general economic situation and international sanctions. One bright spot however is the mobile sector which has shown strong growth.

With a young population willing to embrace technology; Iran has seen huge growth in mobile subscriber numbers in response to competition over the past 8 years. It now has nearly 90% mobile penetration and there is still room for continued revenue growth. Mobile data services are available but account for only a small proportion of total revenue. This is expected to increase over time as it becomes clear that mobile data services will increasingly underpin future revenue growth.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Iran – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Wireless connectivity to promote road safety

July 23rd, 2014, by

Australia has a current competitive advantage in this potentially enormous field due to two pre-eminent research and development organisations:

  • The Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney, acknowledged as number 1 or 2 in the world in driverless vehicle operation in commercial operations such as mining and container handling
  • The Institute of Telecommunications Research at the University of South Australia and especially the start-up company Cohda Wireless that has developed the IEEE 802.11p radio sets that are essential for V2X communications

Furthermore Telstra Australia is innovative and has the systems integration skills to develop a national approach to integrate driverless vehicles with vehicle to vehicle/infrastructure communications to achieve a dramatic improvement in road safety and efficiency

The Warren Centre is initiating a project which will aim to identify a way ahead to achieve an order of magnitude reduction in the risk of road deaths building on Australia’s leadership of Wi-Fi technology. It will seek to bring together four key areas – road agencies; vehicle designers and regulators; telecommunications service providers and regulators; and human machine interface and systems experts.

It is hoped that the outcomes of this project will provide a new focus for rejuvenating Australian industry through application of innovative technologies which will ultimately lead to a dramatic reduction of the social and economic cost of road accidents.

See also: Australia – Smart Transport, Smart Cars


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Fiji – Internet penetration increases as mobile broadband helps bring access to the people

July 23rd, 2014, by

Fiji is one of the largest of the Pacific Island countries in terms of population, with just under 900,000 living there. The majority of the populace ie, around 85% live in just two of the more than 100 inhabited islands. Economic growth in terms of GNI has continued to increase since 2010 as the interim government continues to oversee the country’s operation until the parliamentary elections for a new government are held in September 2014. Further growth through to 2014/15 is expected to slow, possibly pending the election results. Tourism continues to play a major role in the economics of the islands.

Internet market

While the fixed-line telephone and broadband market has seen substantial reductions from its small base, the introduction of mobile telephony has been similar to what occurs in most countries. The current government has made many fundamental changes that have brought mobile telecommunications and its economic benefits being available to the people of the islands. The increase in mobile broadband and the introduction of tele-centres that provide free access has seen internet penetration increase by double-digit figures since 2010 as additional users gained access to the internet. The international submarine connectivity through the island from Australia to the USA is now providing faster connectivity to some of Fiji’s neighbours even though they are around 1,000kms away.

Mobile market

Mobile communications availability covers the majority of the population with more than 100% SIM penetration occurring with around 95% using the prepaid option. The pricing reductions in data and hardware together with an increase in bandwidth availability has seen mobile broadband penetration increase dramatically over the last couple of years.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Fiji – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Market Insights and Statistics

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Steady rise in El Salvador’s mobile broadband customer base

July 22nd, 2014, by

Relatively densely populated, El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. Economic prosperity has been stymied by income inequality, poor infrastructure and inadequate social capital.

Despite these difficulties, the telecom sector has been one of the more successful in the economy. This is particularly true of the mobile telephony and data sectors, which are emerging as the country’s preferred telecom services given the poor state of fixed-line infrastructure in many areas. The use of text messaging and multimedia has gained traction as an alternative for voice services, and there is a clear trend towards services supported by 3G networks as these are expanded by network operators.

El Salvador’s fixed-line teledensity is substantially lower than the Latin American and Caribbean average. However, there has been a significant drop in the number of fixed lines since 2010, largely due to the substitution for mobile-only alternatives.

Mobile penetration is remarkably high considering El Salvador’s economic indicators, being about 35% higher than average for Latin America and the Caribbean. Of the estimated total number of telephones in the country, 11% are fixed and 91% are mobile.

El Salvador’s telecom legislation is one of the more liberal in Latin America, encouraging competition in most aspects of the telecoms sector and permitting foreign investment in all areas. However, there are no regulations as yet which promote wholesale broadband, and thus the ADSL market remains a virtual monopoly for Claro. The only effective cross-platform competition in the broadband market comes from the few cable operators.

Although many companies launched services when the telecom sector was liberalised, the market has been undergoing a gradual process of consolidation, leaving a few dominant multinational operators (notably Millicom’s Tigo, América Móvil’s Claro, and Telefónica’s Movistar), which have managed to expand into almost all sectors through a process of convergence.

The mobile market is served by five operators: Tigo, Movistar, Claro, Digicel, and Intelfon.

The fastest growing sectors in coming years will continue to be pay TV and broadband (both fixed and mobile). The outlook is especially promising for mobile broadband, which could help to bolster the slipping mobile ARPU figures in the medium term. The longer-term prospect is also promising, particularly in the mobile sector where competition between Claro, Tigo, and Telefónica will oblige the operators to diversify services and reduce prices.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: El Salvador – Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media – Insights and Statistics

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Valuable M2M project still sitting on ice

July 22nd, 2014, by

Already for several years, the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA) has funding to commission research into the migration of traffic lights and public alarms to the NBN fibre network if necessary.

Telstra may notify TUSMA that a technological solution does not exist for the carriage of public interest services (defined as ‘traffic light’ and ‘public alarm’ services) over fibre. If TUSMA is reasonably satisfied that a solution does not exist, TUSMA will either request Telstra or a third party for proposals to develop the solution. Any solution that is funded by TUSMA will be owned by TUSMA (unless agreed otherwise) and made available to all service providers on an equivalent basis.

At this point in time, TUSMA has not been approached by Telstra to fund research.

A specific issue is that traffic light and alarm communication systems were depowered in a fibre environment. Solutions are being explored to ensure they were acceptable to NBN Co and to agencies providing the public interest services.

An aged healthcare facility in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, has already migrated its alarm system to the NBN. The alarm functionality is provided over the NBN voice port. Access to the NBN for national utility purposes is possible through what is called the retail clause, allowing for access on a utilities cost basis.

See also: Australia – M2M and The Internet of Things

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