Kylie Wansink, Senior Analyst Global, BuddeComm


Kylie Wansink, Senior Analyst Global, BuddeComm

Kylie gained a degree in Information Management and began her career in the management consulting sector. She now has around fifteen years experience as a business researcher/analyst and has specialised in the telecommunications and technology sector for around ten years. Kylie has been responsible for our extensive range of global market reports since joining us in 2006 and has published a number of articles on global trends in independent publications.

Posts by Kylie:

Mobile infrastructure will ultimately rely on fibre broadband

In 2017 mobile broadband subscriptions are growing rapidly and LTE infrastructure now carries over 65% of all global mobile traffic. While mobile and fixed will always exist in parallel, there is no doubt that with a faltering fixed network and an excellent mobile network, mobile will give fixed a run for its money.

With competitively priced services, innovative smartphones and an increasing range of apps; mobile broadband traffic will continue to escalate. While the capacity of the mobile network has been greatly improved by LTE in many parts of the world, along with increasing spectrum allocation, the physics of mobile technology is such that it will be impossible to handle all the traffic from mobile devices over the mobile network. An increasing proportion will have to be offloaded onto fixed networks and thus, developments in LTE will actually stimulate the need for fibre broadband.

Ultimately, most mobile stations will have to be connected to a fibre optic network in order to cope with the volume of traffic. 5G will create an even denser mobile tower infrastructure than the one that is already in place, with mobile stations starting to appear on many city buildings and many street corners (often connected to private city fibre networks). In the end, the mobile network will be a fibre network with a fairly short wireless access signal to the end-users.

A new BuddeComm report provides valuable information, analyses and statistics on the global mobile industry including mobile broadband. Also provided are unique regional mobile industry overviews for Africa; Asia Pacific; Latin America; North America; Europe; Asia and the Middle East.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Global Mobile Communications and Mobile Broadband – Analyses and Statistics

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Jordan’s mobile market well serviced by three strong players

Three major mobile network operators offer services across Jordan including Zain, Orange and Umniah, as well as an MVNO, Virgin Mobile MEA. The market is highly competitive with the three major operators all having over 30% market share each, in terms of mobile subscribers.

Mobile broadband is a key growth area for Jordan, with 4G services already on offer. By 2020 4G penetration could reach as much as 70%. Orange Jordan has seen recent growth in subscriber numbers due to the more competitive mobile broadband services it can offer as a result of 4G deployments.

The fixed broadband network is also growing and the government has been working for some time to deploy its national broadband network. Public facilities are being connected, with deployment to the Southern governates expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Work has also begun on the Northern governates.

Jordan is host to a growing number of ICT companies and has emerged as a technology start up hub for the Middle East, made possible due to a focus on ICT education and a regulatory environment conducive to ICT investment.

Jordan’s thriving start up scene has underpinned Jordan’s digital economy, which incorporates e-commerce, e-health, e-education and e-government. Most activity and attention is focused on the e-commerce sector given the commercial opportunities available. Tackling one of the largest impediments to e-commerce development in Jordan and the Middle East in general, the Central Bank of Jordan adopted a strategy for 2013 – 2017 to develop the legal framework for all e-payments systems in Jordan.

Jordan has placed a high priority on improving its government services and by January 2016 the Jordanian government was supplying 100 services electronically, with plans to launch a further 100 e-services during 2016/2017 and another 150 during 2018/2019.

The combination of a future national broadband network along with 4G LTE services and a highly competitive market will spur the overall telecoms sector on in Jordan and it is hoped that revenues for the sector will increase substantially.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Jordan – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

 

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International expansion has strengthened the operations of many mobile operators

In 2017 the global mobile market has its sights firmly set on the opportunities offered through mobile data as well as looking for potential new revenues streams presented by the enterprise sector, data mining, 5G and international expansion.

Mobile saturation has occurred in many of the developed markets and this has forced some of the operators to look for new opportunities – particularly those offered by expanding regionally or internationally. This has occurred in most regions of the world – and as a result some operators have become powerful and dominant regional leaders.

In Latin America, for example, the mobile market continues to be dominated by a small number of operators which each have businesses in multiple countries.  These include Telefónica Group; Mexico’s América Móvil, trading as Telcel in its domestic market and as Claro in the remaining 16 markets in the region; Telecom Italia, AT&T Mexico and Millicom International. The dominance of these operators is being gradually eroded however as a result of efforts by a number of national regulators to facilitate the entry of MVNOs and to encourage the participation of smaller players in spectrum auctions.

In the more developed markets of Asia, growth is shifting away from a focus on subscriber numbers  and towards the expansion of new generation platforms and increased data usage driven by value-added services and increased ARPUs. There are those companies such as SingTel, Vodafone, and Axiata (formerly Telekom Malaysia International) that have built a substantial presence around the Asian region beyond their own domestic market through their shareholdings in operators in multiple other markets.

In the Pacific region; the Australian mobile market is dominated by the three major mobile network operators Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone (VHA), though there are numerous MVNOs which have a significant market share. These have been able to offer LTE services on a wholesale basis since early 2016, thus encouraging growth in the LTE sector and cementing the role which MVNOs play in the overall market.

Fiji is one of the telecoms leaders in the South Pacific region, along with Papua New Guinea. Similar to many developing nations, it is heavily reliant on mobile technologies rather than fixed lines. The percentage of unique mobile subscribers in Fiji sits at around 69%. Vodafone Fiji Limited (VFL) and Digicel Fiji are the major mobile operators and the only MVNO is Australian company, Inkk Mobile which operates on VFL’s network.

Three mobile service operators provide services in Papua New Guinea including Digicel, Bmobile (Vodafone), and Citifon (Telikom PNG). However, in February 2017 it was announced that Dataco, Bmobile and Telikom PNG would be merged together to form Kumul Telikom. The three entities would be able to share resources and infrastructure, making it potentially more cost effective and competitive.

Although there are a large number of network operators across the African continent, and also smaller niche MVNO players, there are also a small number of pan-regional network operators. These include Millicom, Orange Group, Vodacom and Bharti Airtel. Some rationalisation of their operations continues as these players adjust their strategies to fit in with market positions and expectations.

There are a number of companies which have a large presence in the Middle East. Zain, Ooredoo and MTN are three examples of companies operating in multiple markets and the international players of Orange and Vodafone also operate in region.

As with Latin America and Africa, the European region is notable for having half a dozen pan-European operators with interests in several key markets. These main players include Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Vodafone Group, Hutchison and TeliaSonera. There has been much jostling among these operators as they seek to strengthen their presence in particular markets. This has in turn caused some disquiet among national regulators and European competition authorities, which are keen to preserve a quorum of key players (generally four) within a given market.

This BuddeComm publication provides a global overview of the mobile market, supported by statistics as well as an overview of the mobile markets for each major region of the world. Country case studies for each region are also included, along with identification of the major MNOs and MVNOs operating in each region/country.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Global Mobile Operators – Regional Leaders – Overview and Statistics

 

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Iran to see arrival of MVNOs amid other reforms to telecoms sector

Mobile services are widely available in Iran with services on offer from three major mobile network operators which are able to offer services on a national basis. These include MCI, MTN Irancell and Rightel. In March 2017 competition in the mobile sector was set to increase further with the country’s largest ISP, Shatel Group, reportedly given permission to begin offering full MVNO services in Iran. It would operate under the brand name Shatel Mobile. HiWeb, which signed a partnership deal with Vodafone Group in October 2016, was also awarded a license from the CRA to offer SIM cards under a local brand name.

Mobile data services are available but account for a small proportion of total revenue. This is expected to increase over time as mobile data services increasingly underpin future revenue growth, made possible by the launch of 3G/HSPA and 4G LTE services. Recently WiMAX services in Iran were replaced with TDD-LTE services by two operators, Irancell and ISP MobinNet.

Iran is currently implementing its 6th Development Plan which runs between 2016 – 2021 and contains a number of measures to transform the telecoms sector. For example, the development plan aims to increase Internet bandwidth; encourage foreign and private investment in the telecoms sector as well as make structural changes to the telecoms incumbent, Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI).

Internet usage is growing due to improved accessibility brought about by competition and government initiatives designed to improve ICT accessibility. Iran has been developing its own National intranet that will host only approved Islamic content. Known as the National Information Network (NIN); it went live e in August 2016 and will offer speeds of up to 10 Tb/s as part of an upgrade underway in 2017. The NIN is designed to complement the Internet and operates on Iran’s fibre network.

The lifting of economic sanctions in early 2016 was expected to facilitate a big boost to Iran’s economy. However, in 2017 it became apparent that the economic transformation of Iran is occurring at a slower pace than expected, with industry analysts commenting that Iran needs to reduce its reliance on oil and strengthen other industry sectors.

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

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Fingerprinting law impacts upon mobile subscriber growth in Saudi Arabia

The mobile sector has become an important component of Saudi Arabia’s telecom industry and contributes around 75% to overall telecoms revenues. The popularity of mobile technology is also driving up Internet usage as Saudi Arabia has a very high mobile phone penetration coupled with a high ownership of smart phones. This has led to a growth in Internet usage in recent years and a rising demand on mobile broadband services.

However, the growth of the mobile sector recently faltered due primarily to a regulatory change. In order to tighten control and security of mobile phone usage and ownership; in early 2016 the Saudi Ministry of Interior began implementing its biometric fingerprinting law. The law was originally passed in September 2015 and requires consumers to supply their fingerprint when purchasing a SIM card, with the information being shared with the National Information Centre. The law resulted in a marked decline in mobile subscribers in 2016, including mobile broadband subscriptions.

Broadband penetration is growing strongly in Saudi Arabia. Broadband is available via ADSL, fibre, and wireless. In 2017 ADSL subscriptions still account for the largest proportion of fixed broadband subscriptions.

Looking at the larger picture; Saudi Arabia has its sights firmly set upon improving its economic strength and diversifying away from its reliance on oil. The government has developed the “Saudi Arabia Vision 2030” program which provides the country with a roadmap of goals and objectives for the future improvement of Saudi Arabia. Supporting the use of digital technologies such as cloud computing and encouraging ICT development feature heavily in Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Saudi Arabia – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

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