Iliad H1 revenues reach over EUR 1 billion for first time

Iliad H1 revenues reach over EUR 1 billion for first time
(Telecompaper) French telecommunications group Iliad reported consolidated revenues of EUR 1.02 billion in the first half of the year, up 4.6 percent on EUR 969.9 million in the year-earlier period. This is the first time it has reached over EUR 1 billion for interim turnover. The company’s consumer operations increased sales by 5.3 percent to EUR 1 billion, led by Free up 11.1 percent to EUR 869.2 million. Alice, whose customer base is being migrated to Free, saw its revenues fall by 21.4 percent to EUR 135.4 million over the same period. Iliad opened over 200 new local loop unbundling nodes in the first six months of the year taking its unbundling rate to 87.5 percent at the end of June, up from 81.2 percent a year earlier. Iliad’s turnover from business customers fell by 42.6 percent to EUR 5.4 million and its traditional telephony operations generated sales up 2 percent to EUR 20.4 million. Iliad had 4.51 million ADSL subscribers at the end of June, up from 4.46 million six months earlier and 4.37 million at the end of June 2009. Free boosted its ADSL customer base to 3.9 million from 3.78 million and 3.59 million, respectively, while Alice’s decreased to 611,000 from 678,000 and 782,000. Group ARPU has reached around EUR 36.30 per month, owning to a rise in audiovisual ARPU from growing use of existing services and the launch of new offerings. Some 4.9 million VoD and SVoD registrations were made in the first half, up 24 percent on the year-earlier period. Telephony ARPU fell due to the addition of new destinations, such as Morocco, to the flat-rate triple-play package and the decline in fixed termination rates.[Lees verder]

Swisscom revenues grow 0.5%, net profit drops 14.4%
(Telecompaper) Swisscom reports revenues of CHF 5.95 billion for the first six months of this year, growing by 0.5 percent year-on-year. At constant exchange rates, this amounts to an increase of 1.8 percent, with net revenue posted by Italian subsidiary Fastweb rising by 1.7 percent in the local currency to EUR 935 million. Swisscom’s revenues, excluding Fastweb, grew by 1.9 percent year-on-year to CHF 4.62 billion. The increase is primarily attributable to the economic recovery, company acquisitions made by Swisscom IT Services as well as growth in mobile communications and bundled products. Swisscom’s half year EBTIDA decreased 2.4 percent to CHF 2.29 billion, due to the provision of CHF 102 million set aside in the first quarter for the VAT proceedings against Fastweb. Adjusted for the provision and currency effects, the EBITDA increased 2.8 percent year-on-year. Swisscom’s net profit for the first half of this year dropped 14.4 percent to CHF 873 million, mainly as a result of the provision and an increase in depreciation and amortisation and currency effects. The capex decreased by 5.3 percent to CHF 814 million. Swisscom’s DSL base dropped by 0.6 percent to 1.79 million on 30 June, due to a drop in wholesale DSL customers that could not be off-set by an increase to 1.53 million in retail DSL customers. Swisscom’s IPTV subscribers grew to 379,000 on 30 June due to the success of its triple play services. Swisscom’s mobile customer base increased by 4 percent year-on-year to 5.691 million. Without taking into account the provision for the VAT proceedings against Fastweb, the financial outlook for the 2010 financial year remains unchanged.[Lees verder]

Telus enhances mobile network speed with HSPA+ Dual Cell
(Telecompaper) Canadian operator Telus will increase its 3G+ mobile data network access speeds to up to 42 Mbps by using HSPA+ Dual Cell technology. HSPA+ Dual Cell technology uses advanced multiplexing techniques to combine two mobile data carriers, operating at speeds of up to 21 Mbps each, into a single carrier with downlink speeds up to 42 Mbps. Laboratory testing of the Telus HSPA+ Dual Cell technology was completed in Telus’ Canadian laboratories in early July. The deployment of Dual Cell is consistent with Telus’ evolution towards LTE technology. By using the investment Telus has already made in its 3G+ network, the company is able to support the deployment of Dual Cell technology with a small investment that is well within Telus’ overall capital expenditure guidance for this year. Customers can use the network features when HSPA+ Dual Cell compatible devices will be available during the first quarter of 2011.[Lees verder]

AT&T to launch new BlackBerry Torch from 12 August
(Telecompaper) Research In Motion unveiled the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the first handset to run the latest version of its operating system, Blackberry 6. The operating system has been redesigned to work both with the 3.2-inch touch screen and the slide-out qwerty keypad. In addition to BlackBerry Messenger and push mail, the OS integrates RSS feeds, instant messaging clients and a range of social networking services, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Torch also comes with a new WebKit-based web browser with pinch to zoon functionality, and a universal search feature for accessing information and content on the phone, internet and BlackBerry App World. The Torch will launch first with AT&T in the US, from 12 August. RIM’s new Text Messages application will include full support for AT&T’s SMS and MMS services, including the operator’s new Locations feature, which lets users search for points of interest, businesses and their own location and insert this information directly into a message. Other pre-loaded icons will give access to information and entertainment applications such as Bloomberg, ESPN, The Weather Channel and Slacker radio, and AT&T’s Web Video Search, a new app that searches video content from over 70 major internet video websites. The Torch will also be the first BlackBerry to include BlackBerry App World pre-installed, supporting carrier billing through AT&T. The Torch’s specifications include a 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory, optical track pad, 5 megapixel camera, 4GB storage plus microSD card slot, GPS, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headset jack, tri-band HSDPA and quad-band EDGE support and a 1300 mAhr battery. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will sell for USD 199.99 with two-year contracts for voice and data plans. New customers can get 200 MB of data for USD 15 per month or 2 GB for USD 25, including free access to AT&T’s hotspot network. RIM said the new OS will also work on some existing Blackberry models, and will roll out to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G in the coming months. The company also relased a Java SDK for developers interested in making apps for the new OS.[Lees verder]

Orange to trial HSPA in 1800MHz band with Ericsson, Qualcomm
(Telecompaper) Mobile operator Orange will trial HSPA in the 1800 MHz band in France in partnership with equipment maker Ericsson and chipmaker Qualcomm. The trial is intended to show technology readiness and to stimulate the 1800 MHz HSPA ecosystem. It will begin in November, using Ericsson base stations and Qualcomm chipset-based devices, both supporting 900 MHz and 1800 MHz 2G, as well as 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz 3G/HSPA. Using existing 2G frequency bands for 3G connectivity is a cost effective and straightforward way to address increasing demand from operators and consumers. Supported by the European Commission’s decision to open up GSM spectrum for HSPA, the companies plan to enhance their mobile broadband offerings by developing HSPA in the 1800 MHz band. Orange currently uses the 900 MHz band for HSPA, so by adding the 1800 MHz band, the company will make better use of existing spectrum resources to meet the growing demand for mobile internet access, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and laptops using mobile network dongles. Ericsson’s offerings for the 1800 MHz band are based on its multi-standard RBS 6000 base station series.[Lees verder]

LG unveils Wink series with three full-touch phones
(Telecompaper) LG Electronics has released the LG Wink Series, a collection of coloured full-touch phones. The LG Wink Series consists of three full-touch handsets – the Wink, Wink Style and Wink 3G – for younger users or first-time touch phone users. Tailored for the youth market, the LG Wink Series provides texting functionality, enhanced music options, wider social networking support, and a customisable interface and design. All the Wink phones offer a virtual Qwerty keypad, which can be switched from portrait to landscape mode. The LG Wink Series also includes a 3.5-inch headphone jack, FM radio and microSD slot, a two-tone design and a cartoon-styled user interface. The LG Wink is a compact phone with a 2.4-inch display. The LG Wink Style has a 2.8-inch LCD display and is available in a variety of colour options with accents on the front button panel. The LG Wink 3G allows for connectivity and data transmission as well as push e-mail. The LG Wink Series will be available in Europe and the Middle East starting in mid-August followed by Latin America, CIS and select Asian countries, including China, in the third quarter.[Lees verder]

Crown Fibre receives 15 bids for broadband scheme
(Telecompaper) New Zealand’s Crown Fibre Holdings has received fifteen proposals for the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative, reports New Zealand Press Agency. CFH, the state-owned company managing the NZD 1.5 billion-scheme, said proposals received cover all 33 candidate areas targeting 75 percent of New Zealand’s population and some respondents have formed new consortia or indicated a willingness to do so. Other bidders include Vector and Vodafone, partnering with Canadian fibre company Axia. CFH began seeking proposals in October 2009, and completed its eligibility stage in March. In July it asked respondents to redefine their proposals. Crown Fibre Holdings chairman Simon Allen said with the latest stage now complete, it would determine a shortlist, and make recommendations on preferred investment partners in October. CFH expects to start the initiative before the end of the year. Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce welcomed the announcement.[Lees verder]

BSNL posts FY loss of INR 19.2 bln
(Telecompaper) State-run Indian operator BSNL posted a loss of INR 19.2 billion for its fiscal year to March 2010, its first annual loss since inception ten years ago, reports the Business Standard. A decline in revenue from landline services along with a higher payout to employees because of the award of the Sixth Pay Commission for government employees pushed the company into the red. The company had recorded a profit of INR 5.75 billion in the previous fiscal year. The wage revision alone caused an additional expenditure of INR 29 billion. BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goel said that if the wage revision had not been there, the company would have recorded a profit before tax of INR 7.03 billion. BSNL reported a 10.4 percent decline in revenues to INR 320.5 billion for 2009-10. Goel, who is retiring after a tenure of three years, exuded hope that the company would be profitable in the current financial year. However, the payment of INR 185 billion for 3G and BWA spectrum would result in interest payments of INR 15 billion during the year. On the company’s market share, Goel said that in revenue terms, it stood at 19.5 percent, second after Bharti Airtel. BSNL registered strong growth of 47 percent in broadband revenue for year, to INR 24.85 billion from INR 16.9 billion a year earlier. The company plans to add 20 million mobile subscribers in this financial year. It also plans to introduce value-added services for its mobile subscribers. BSNL has restructured into four business units: Consumer Fixed Access, Consumer Mobility, Enterprise and New Businesses. A team of sales executives in each business verticals has been created for the first time and about 10,000 people have been redeployed and trained for sales activities.[Lees verder]

Iliad H1 revenues reach over EUR 1 billion for first time
(Telecompaper) French telecommunications group Iliad reported consolidated revenues of EUR 1.02 billion in the first half of the year, up 4.6 percent on EUR 969.9 million in the year-earlier period. This is the first time it has reached over EUR 1 billion for interim turnover. The company’s consumer operations increased sales by 5.3 percent to EUR 1 billion, led by Free up 11.1 percent to EUR 869.2 million. Alice, whose customer base is being migrated to Free, saw its revenues fall by 21.4 percent to EUR 135.4 million over the same period. Iliad opened over 200 new local loop unbundling nodes in the first six months of the year taking its unbundling rate to 87.5 percent at the end of June, up from 81.2 percent a year earlier. Iliad’s turnover from business customers fell by 42.6 percent to EUR 5.4 million and its traditional telephony operations generated sales up 2 percent to EUR 20.4 million. Iliad had 4.51 million ADSL subscribers at the end of June, up from 4.46 million six months earlier and 4.37 million at the end of June 2009. Free boosted its ADSL customer base to 3.9 million from 3.78 million and 3.59 million, respectively, while Alice’s decreased to 611,000 from 678,000 and 782,000. Group ARPU has reached around EUR 36.30 per month, owning to a rise in audiovisual ARPU from growing use of existing services and the launch of new offerings. Some 4.9 million VoD and SVoD registrations were made in the first half, up 24 percent on the year-earlier period. Telephony ARPU fell due to the addition of new destinations, such as Morocco, to the flat-rate triple-play package and the decline in fixed termination rates.[Lees verder]

Swisscom revenues grow 0.5%, net profit drops 14.4%
(Telecompaper) Swisscom reports revenues of CHF 5.95 billion for the first six months of this year, growing by 0.5 percent year-on-year. At constant exchange rates, this amounts to an increase of 1.8 percent, with net revenue posted by Italian subsidiary Fastweb rising by 1.7 percent in the local currency to EUR 935 million. Swisscom’s revenues, excluding Fastweb, grew by 1.9 percent year-on-year to CHF 4.62 billion. The increase is primarily attributable to the economic recovery, company acquisitions made by Swisscom IT Services as well as growth in mobile communications and bundled products. Swisscom’s half year EBTIDA decreased 2.4 percent to CHF 2.29 billion, due to the provision of CHF 102 million set aside in the first quarter for the VAT proceedings against Fastweb. Adjusted for the provision and currency effects, the EBITDA increased 2.8 percent year-on-year. Swisscom’s net profit for the first half of this year dropped 14.4 percent to CHF 873 million, mainly as a result of the provision and an increase in depreciation and amortisation and currency effects. The capex decreased by 5.3 percent to CHF 814 million. Swisscom’s DSL base dropped by 0.6 percent to 1.79 million on 30 June, due to a drop in wholesale DSL customers that could not be off-set by an increase to 1.53 million in retail DSL customers. Swisscom’s IPTV subscribers grew to 379,000 on 30 June due to the success of its triple play services. Swisscom’s mobile customer base increased by 4 percent year-on-year to 5.691 million. Without taking into account the provision for the VAT proceedings against Fastweb, the financial outlook for the 2010 financial year remains unchanged.[Lees verder]

Telus enhances mobile network speed with HSPA+ Dual Cell
(Telecompaper) Canadian operator Telus will increase its 3G+ mobile data network access speeds to up to 42 Mbps by using HSPA+ Dual Cell technology. HSPA+ Dual Cell technology uses advanced multiplexing techniques to combine two mobile data carriers, operating at speeds of up to 21 Mbps each, into a single carrier with downlink speeds up to 42 Mbps. Laboratory testing of the Telus HSPA+ Dual Cell technology was completed in Telus’ Canadian laboratories in early July. The deployment of Dual Cell is consistent with Telus’ evolution towards LTE technology. By using the investment Telus has already made in its 3G+ network, the company is able to support the deployment of Dual Cell technology with a small investment that is well within Telus’ overall capital expenditure guidance for this year. Customers can use the network features when HSPA+ Dual Cell compatible devices will be available during the first quarter of 2011.[Lees verder]

AT&T to launch new BlackBerry Torch from 12 August
(Telecompaper) Research In Motion unveiled the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the first handset to run the latest version of its operating system, Blackberry 6. The operating system has been redesigned to work both with the 3.2-inch touch screen and the slide-out qwerty keypad. In addition to BlackBerry Messenger and push mail, the OS integrates RSS feeds, instant messaging clients and a range of social networking services, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Torch also comes with a new WebKit-based web browser with pinch to zoon functionality, and a universal search feature for accessing information and content on the phone, internet and BlackBerry App World. The Torch will launch first with AT&T in the US, from 12 August. RIM’s new Text Messages application will include full support for AT&T’s SMS and MMS services, including the operator’s new Locations feature, which lets users search for points of interest, businesses and their own location and insert this information directly into a message. Other pre-loaded icons will give access to information and entertainment applications such as Bloomberg, ESPN, The Weather Channel and Slacker radio, and AT&T’s Web Video Search, a new app that searches video content from over 70 major internet video websites. The Torch will also be the first BlackBerry to include BlackBerry App World pre-installed, supporting carrier billing through AT&T. The Torch’s specifications include a 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory, optical track pad, 5 megapixel camera, 4GB storage plus microSD card slot, GPS, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headset jack, tri-band HSDPA and quad-band EDGE support and a 1300 mAhr battery. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will sell for USD 199.99 with two-year contracts for voice and data plans. New customers can get 200 MB of data for USD 15 per month or 2 GB for USD 25, including free access to AT&T’s hotspot network. RIM said the new OS will also work on some existing Blackberry models, and will roll out to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G in the coming months. The company also relased a Java SDK for developers interested in making apps for the new OS.[Lees verder]

Orange to trial HSPA in 1800MHz band with Ericsson, Qualcomm
(Telecompaper) Mobile operator Orange will trial HSPA in the 1800 MHz band in France in partnership with equipment maker Ericsson and chipmaker Qualcomm. The trial is intended to show technology readiness and to stimulate the 1800 MHz HSPA ecosystem. It will begin in November, using Ericsson base stations and Qualcomm chipset-based devices, both supporting 900 MHz and 1800 MHz 2G, as well as 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz 3G/HSPA. Using existing 2G frequency bands for 3G connectivity is a cost effective and straightforward way to address increasing demand from operators and consumers. Supported by the European Commission’s decision to open up GSM spectrum for HSPA, the companies plan to enhance their mobile broadband offerings by developing HSPA in the 1800 MHz band. Orange currently uses the 900 MHz band for HSPA, so by adding the 1800 MHz band, the company will make better use of existing spectrum resources to meet the growing demand for mobile internet access, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and laptops using mobile network dongles. Ericsson’s offerings for the 1800 MHz band are based on its multi-standard RBS 6000 base station series.[Lees verder]

LG unveils Wink series with three full-touch phones
(Telecompaper) LG Electronics has released the LG Wink Series, a collection of coloured full-touch phones. The LG Wink Series consists of three full-touch handsets – the Wink, Wink Style and Wink 3G – for younger users or first-time touch phone users. Tailored for the youth market, the LG Wink Series provides texting functionality, enhanced music options, wider social networking support, and a customisable interface and design. All the Wink phones offer a virtual Qwerty keypad, which can be switched from portrait to landscape mode. The LG Wink Series also includes a 3.5-inch headphone jack, FM radio and microSD slot, a two-tone design and a cartoon-styled user interface. The LG Wink is a compact phone with a 2.4-inch display. The LG Wink Style has a 2.8-inch LCD display and is available in a variety of colour options with accents on the front button panel. The LG Wink 3G allows for connectivity and data transmission as well as push e-mail. The LG Wink Series will be available in Europe and the Middle East starting in mid-August followed by Latin America, CIS and select Asian countries, including China, in the third quarter.[Lees verder]

Crown Fibre receives 15 bids for broadband scheme
(Telecompaper) New Zealand’s Crown Fibre Holdings has received fifteen proposals for the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative, reports New Zealand Press Agency. CFH, the state-owned company managing the NZD 1.5 billion-scheme, said proposals received cover all 33 candidate areas targeting 75 percent of New Zealand’s population and some respondents have formed new consortia or indicated a willingness to do so. Other bidders include Vector and Vodafone, partnering with Canadian fibre company Axia. CFH began seeking proposals in October 2009, and completed its eligibility stage in March. In July it asked respondents to redefine their proposals. Crown Fibre Holdings chairman Simon Allen said with the latest stage now complete, it would determine a shortlist, and make recommendations on preferred investment partners in October. CFH expects to start the initiative before the end of the year. Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce welcomed the announcement.[Lees verder]

BSNL posts FY loss of INR 19.2 bln
(Telecompaper) State-run Indian operator BSNL posted a loss of INR 19.2 billion for its fiscal year to March 2010, its first annual loss since inception ten years ago, reports the Business Standard. A decline in revenue from landline services along with a higher payout to employees because of the award of the Sixth Pay Commission for government employees pushed the company into the red. The company had recorded a profit of INR 5.75 billion in the previous fiscal year. The wage revision alone caused an additional expenditure of INR 29 billion. BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goel said that if the wage revision had not been there, the company would have recorded a profit before tax of INR 7.03 billion. BSNL reported a 10.4 percent decline in revenues to INR 320.5 billion for 2009-10. Goel, who is retiring after a tenure of three years, exuded hope that the company would be profitable in the current financial year. However, the payment of INR 185 billion for 3G and BWA spectrum would result in interest payments of INR 15 billion during the year. On the company’s market share, Goel said that in revenue terms, it stood at 19.5 percent, second after Bharti Airtel. BSNL registered strong growth of 47 percent in broadband revenue for year, to INR 24.85 billion from INR 16.9 billion a year earlier. The company plans to add 20 million mobile subscribers in this financial year. It also plans to introduce value-added services for its mobile subscribers. BSNL has restructured into four business units: Consumer Fixed Access, Consumer Mobility, Enterprise and New Businesses. A team of sales executives in each business verticals has been created for the first time and about 10,000 people have been redeployed and trained for sales activities.[Lees verder]