Archive for April, 2010

Wireless broadband infrastructure in Africa

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Mobile data and broadband technologies are increasingly being used as a substitute for poor or non-existent fixed-line infrastructure in Africa. In vast parts of the continent, the mobile network operators are the only providers of any kind of telecommunication service apart from satellite services. As subscriber growth peaks, many of them have established themselves as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are playing an increasing role in the broadband sector, competing directly with fixed broadband services such as DSL – a welcome new revenue stream in an environment of shrinking average revenue per user (ARPU) in the voice market.

Third generation (3G) mobile technologies, coupled with improvements in international fibre and national backbone network infrastructure are now capable of delivering broadband Internet access to a wider part of the continent’s close to one billion population. However, the price of end user devices will be a key factor. The prepaid mass market will only adopt advanced services on a broad scale once prices for 3G handsets and modems as well as personal computers have reached affordable levels.

Like elsewhere in the world, Short Message Service (SMS) still accounts for the bulk of Africa’s mobile data traffic and revenue, but in recent years there has also been an increasing interest in Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and other forms of mobile messaging and social media, downloads of ring tones, logos, music and games, as well as SMS-based information and lifestyle services. Premium rate and bulk SMS services are generating millions in revenues. Third parties are continuously developing new value-added services and applications.

Mobile TV services have been launched in at least ten African countries. A boost for these services is expected from the FIFA World Cup to be hosted in South Africa in 2010.

M-payments and mobile banking is another key growth area that is revolutionising Africa’s financial sector, where only a small percentage of the population has access to traditional banking system. In the continent’s most advanced markets, m-commerce, mobile content, applications and media have reached a level of development that is beginning to foster an associated advertising and marketing industry.

See:-African Mobile Broadband, Data and Mobile Media Market

Peter Lange, Senior Analyst Africa, BuddeComm

Exhibit- Graph of WCDMA 3G subscriber growth in selected African countries – 2009

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Newspaper least popular news format in the US

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The shift to online news continues to the detriment of print newspaper publishing. A study by Pew Research Center released in March 2010 found that in the US, online news had become the third most popular format to received news behind local and national TV. Newspaper readership had dropped to 50%. However most people do use more than one method to access news.

The most popular websites for accessing news were Google News, AOL, CNN and the BBC.

Table 1 – Most popular formats for receiving news – USA – 2010

News format


Percentage of consumers

Local TV


National TV


Online News


Radio News


Printed News


(Source: BuddeComm based on Pew Research Center, 2010)

For further information, see separate reports:

Digital Media – Impact on the Media Industry





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Malaysian operator launches enhanced payphone service

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Malaysian operator Pernec has launched eRas, an extended radio access system service, for its payphone netowrk. The WiFi and WiMAX solution, which operates on 2.3GHz frequency has been designed as an alternative for last-mile broadband connectivity to accelerate Malaysia’s broadband ecosystems. Having received its Network Service Provider Licence from the regulator in March, Pernec, through its subsidiary Pernec PayPoint, has been able to start offering broadband services over its payphones. The group has about 35,000 payphones nationwide under the brand name of Helo. The newly launched service can be used in urban and rural areas. In the latter connection is via wireless utilising the 3G or WiMAX services offered by ISPs. In addition to making voice calls on payphones, customers were now also able to access broadband services and credit reloading facilities.

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Regulator moves on number portability in Sri Lanka

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has called for consultancy services to suggest ways to introduce a system of mobile phone number portability in Sri Lanka. The TRC published a note on its website inviting expressions of interest from companies, pointing out that it had received a grant from the Institutional Development Fund (IDF) of the World Bank to ‘develop its knowledge base and implementation capacity, enabling it to design and implement Mobile Number Portability.’ A consulting company was assisting the TRC in establishing the regulatory framework for implementing Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the country.

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MTNL inaugurates 3G mobile IPTV

Friday, April 30th, 2010

In announcing the launch of its 3G mobile TV service, India’s state-owned operator, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) said the service would offer MPEG4 picture quality and be available in both the Delhi and Mumbai circles. MTNL has partnered with content provider Apalya Technology to offer the service, alongside Alcatel-Lucent and IPTV service provider Aksh Optifibre. The new service uses Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Streaming Server, which supports all types of standard-based media formats and dynamic switching from high-bit rate to low-bit rate streaming based on network coverage and bandwidth availability.

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