Swiss mobile operators to reduce MTA fees by 50%

Swiss mobile operators to reduce MTA fees by 50%
(Telecompaper) Swisscom is further reducing its mobile termination charges starting on 1 October of this year, when they will decrease from CHF 0.14 to CHF 0.08 per minute, and from the beginning of 2011 to CHF 0.07 per minute. Swisscom has also reached an agreement with fixed network operators VTX and Verizon Business and with mobile operators Sunrise and Orange Switzerland. Swisscom started negotiating with the aforementioned operators following a complaint filed by VTX with the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) in February of this year. Sunrise and Orange are also reducing their charges from CHF 0.17 to CHF 0.10 per 1 October and to CHF 0.0875 per minute as of 1 January 2011. Following the reduction in MTA charges, Swisscom will also cut prices for residential and business customers. The future prices are currently being worked out. Lowering the MTA charges will reduce Swisscom’s annual revenue by around CHF 80 million. Because the fees charged by other mobile providers will also decrease, it will have virtually no impact on operating income (EBITDA). Swisscom’s financial outlook for fiscal year 2010 remains unchanged. Sunrise expects a negative effect of the MTA reduction on its profits, but will continue to offer low minute fees to its customers. Orange expects that this reduction in the mobile termination rates will now be reflected in fixed network operators’ tariffs for calls to mobile networks, but would not provide information about possible effects on its profits and its own minute fees.[Lees verder]

Google offers search-as-you-type with Instant launch
(Telecompaper) Google has introduced a new search engine technology that can display results before users finish typing a keyword. With Google Instant, the search engine can serve up a local weather forecast as soon as a user types the letter ‘W’ in the search box. If the user continues typing a word other than ‘weather’, the search results on the page instantly refresh and change accordingly. Google already offered a feature that suggested popular search queries as a user typed a word in the search box, but the new feature actually delivers a complete page of search results as a search term is being typed. Google estimates the new service will save users 2-5 seconds per search. Google Instant will be added to Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 8 browsers and initially be available in the US. It will also roll out to France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK for users who are signed in and later to other countries.[Lees verder]

T-Mobile USA unveils G2 with Google
(Telecompaper) T-Mobile USA unveiled the T-Mobile G2 with Google, the first handset designed for its HSPA+ network. Designed by HTC, the Android 2.2 phone features a 3.7-inch screen with a hinge design that opens to reveal a full qwerrty keyboard. It runs a Snapdragon MSM7230 800MHz processor from Qualcomm and comes loaded with 4 GB internal memory, Swype for text input, Google Voice and Voice Actions and dedicated quick keys for access to Google services. Other features include a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD 720p video recording, Microsoft Exchange support, up to 32GB external memory and a music player. Current T-Mobile customers will be able to preorder the G2 starting later this month. Further launch and pricing details will be released later, T-Mobile said.[Lees verder]

Crown Fibre begins negotiations on fibre roll-out
(Telecompaper) New Zealand’s Crown Fibre Holdings has begun negotiating binding offers with three regional fibre providers. The company managing New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) Initiative has picked NorthPower (covering the Whangarei area), the Central North Island Fibre Consortium (covering Hamilton, Tauranga, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui), and Alpine Energy (covering Timaru) for initial negotiations for the first stage roll-out, out of its shortlist of fourteen. Telecom New Zealand has issued a statement in response to the announcement emphasising that it has submitted a nation-wide proposal. Telecom has been shortlisted in all regions of the Ultra-fast Broadband initiative. Telecom estimates the areas covered by these three parties represents around 12 percent of the population of New Zealand. Telecom emphasised its proposal is national and its proposal would see structural separation of the company. Telecom said it remains open to partnership with other public and private sector owners of fibre assets, including the three parties prioritised for negotiation.[Lees verder]

Vodafone loses appeal against Indian tax bill
(Telecompaper) Vodafone has lost its appeal against an Indian tax bill for its takeover of Hutchison’s Indian mobile operation in 2007. The Bombay High Court ruled that Vodafone must pay capital gains tax on the acquisition of a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar. The mobile operator could face a total tax bill of more than USD 2 billion. Vodafone is expected to appeal the verdict to India’s Supreme Court in New Delhi, as it argues the transaction should not be taxable in India because it took place overseas. Des Webb, global tax executive at Vodafone, told the Financial Times outside the Mumbai High Court that it would take the Indian tax department “eight weeks before they pass any order or demand for tax. At the moment it’s not clear how much we would have to pay.” He said the company would look at the judgement in detail before deciding on further action, but it would “seriously consider” an appeal to the Supreme Court. Under the Hutchison Essar sale, a Dutch company controlled by Vodafone paid USD 11 billion to a Cayman Islands entity run by Hutchison Whampoa, the seller, for another Cayman Islands company that indirectly held a controlling stake in the India-based mobile operator. However, the judge ruled that the deal should have been subject to Indian capital gains tax because the operating assets of Hutchison Essar were in India.[Lees verder]

Bharti Airtel leads with 2.6 mln subscriber adds in July
(Telecompaper) The number of telephone subscribers in India increased 2.49 percent to 688.38 million in July, from 671.69 million in June, according to data from telecoms regulator Trai. Teledensity reached 58.17 percent versus 56.83 percent in the previous month. The wireless and mobile (GSM, CDMA, fixed wireless phone) subscriber base grew to 652.42 million, up 2.66 percent from 635.51 million in the previous month. Bharti Airtel remained market leader with a market share of 21.34 percent and had 139.2 million customers against 136.6 million in June. It also had the highest net additions, of 2.6 million customers. Airtel was followed by Reliance with 113.3 million subscribers against 110.8 million subscribers in June, and a 17.37 percent market share. Vodafone Essar was third with 17.08 percent market share and 111.46 million customers, versus 109.06 million subscribers in the previous month. Tata Teleservices had 74.85 million subscribers against 72.53 million in June, and BSNL’s subscribers grew to 73.78 million from 72.69 million. Idea ended the month with 70.74 million customers against 68.88 million in June, and Aircel rose to 43.29 million from 41.67 million subscribers. Sistema Shyam’s (MTS India) subscriber base grew to 5.58 million from 5.1 million in the previous month. Loop Telecom had 2.94 million customers against 2.92 million subscribers, while HFCL Info subscribers grew to 851,887 from 668,325. Videocon saw its subscriber base reach 2.77 million from 1.94 million. The fixed subscriber base declined from 36.18 million to 35.96 million in July, with state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL holding 83.86 percent of the fixed market. The total broadband subscriber base rose 3.39 percent to 9.77 million.[Lees verder]

IDC raises smartphone growth forecast
(Telecompaper) The worldwide converged mobile devices market is expected to grow 55.4 percent this year compared to 2009 amid greater-than-expected demand for smartphones. This is 10 percent higher than the previous forecast from IDC. IDC now expects mobile phone vendors to ship 269.6 million converged mobile devices this year compared to the 173.5 million units shipped in 2009. The increased market forecast for smartphones comes amid the launch of several new models, such as the BlackBerry Torch, EVO 4G and the iPhone 4, in recent months. Additional product introductions and an expected flurry of smartphone buying activity in the second half of the year will push the market well above previous expectations. IDC now expects this year’s overall mobile phone market to grow 14.1 percent, or 1.5 percent higher than its previous forecast. The outlook for 2011 is also very strong, according to the market researchers. Despite uncertainty about the economy, the smartphone market is expected to increase 24.5 percent in 2011. However, smartphone growth will decline progressively over the course of IDC’s five-year forecast period. In 2014, the market is expected to rise by just 13.6 percent. IDC believes the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years, and shorter replacement cycles and an ample feature phone to smartphone upgrade opportunity means the smartphone OS market will remain fragmented but healthy for the foreseeable future.[Lees verder]

Centernet, Mobyland launch LTE network in 1800MHz band
(Telecompaper) Polish mobile operator Mobyland and its partner Centernet have launched the first commercial LTE network in the 1800MHz band. The network offers initial speeds of up to 153Mbps download and 48Mbps, and the operators said this will eventually rise to 326/86Mbps. The LTE network is available across the operators’ existing GSM1800 footprint, and they expect to shortly receive permits for another 355 sites. By the end of 2010, the network is expected to have 700 base stations and cover over 7 million people. Mobyland and CenterNet won the 1800MHz frequency rights in late 2007. Centernet has been offering services since May 2009 and has around 130,000 customers. Mobyland, acquired by Aero2 last year, started commercial services in August 2009. Huawei is the equipment supplier for the LTE network.[Lees verder]

Swiss mobile operators to reduce MTA fees by 50%
(Telecompaper) Swisscom is further reducing its mobile termination charges starting on 1 October of this year, when they will decrease from CHF 0.14 to CHF 0.08 per minute, and from the beginning of 2011 to CHF 0.07 per minute. Swisscom has also reached an agreement with fixed network operators VTX and Verizon Business and with mobile operators Sunrise and Orange Switzerland. Swisscom started negotiating with the aforementioned operators following a complaint filed by VTX with the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) in February of this year. Sunrise and Orange are also reducing their charges from CHF 0.17 to CHF 0.10 per 1 October and to CHF 0.0875 per minute as of 1 January 2011. Following the reduction in MTA charges, Swisscom will also cut prices for residential and business customers. The future prices are currently being worked out. Lowering the MTA charges will reduce Swisscom’s annual revenue by around CHF 80 million. Because the fees charged by other mobile providers will also decrease, it will have virtually no impact on operating income (EBITDA). Swisscom’s financial outlook for fiscal year 2010 remains unchanged. Sunrise expects a negative effect of the MTA reduction on its profits, but will continue to offer low minute fees to its customers. Orange expects that this reduction in the mobile termination rates will now be reflected in fixed network operators’ tariffs for calls to mobile networks, but would not provide information about possible effects on its profits and its own minute fees.[Lees verder]

Google offers search-as-you-type with Instant launch
(Telecompaper) Google has introduced a new search engine technology that can display results before users finish typing a keyword. With Google Instant, the search engine can serve up a local weather forecast as soon as a user types the letter ‘W’ in the search box. If the user continues typing a word other than ‘weather’, the search results on the page instantly refresh and change accordingly. Google already offered a feature that suggested popular search queries as a user typed a word in the search box, but the new feature actually delivers a complete page of search results as a search term is being typed. Google estimates the new service will save users 2-5 seconds per search. Google Instant will be added to Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 8 browsers and initially be available in the US. It will also roll out to France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK for users who are signed in and later to other countries.[Lees verder]

T-Mobile USA unveils G2 with Google
(Telecompaper) T-Mobile USA unveiled the T-Mobile G2 with Google, the first handset designed for its HSPA+ network. Designed by HTC, the Android 2.2 phone features a 3.7-inch screen with a hinge design that opens to reveal a full qwerrty keyboard. It runs a Snapdragon MSM7230 800MHz processor from Qualcomm and comes loaded with 4 GB internal memory, Swype for text input, Google Voice and Voice Actions and dedicated quick keys for access to Google services. Other features include a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD 720p video recording, Microsoft Exchange support, up to 32GB external memory and a music player. Current T-Mobile customers will be able to preorder the G2 starting later this month. Further launch and pricing details will be released later, T-Mobile said.[Lees verder]

Crown Fibre begins negotiations on fibre roll-out
(Telecompaper) New Zealand’s Crown Fibre Holdings has begun negotiating binding offers with three regional fibre providers. The company managing New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) Initiative has picked NorthPower (covering the Whangarei area), the Central North Island Fibre Consortium (covering Hamilton, Tauranga, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Tokoroa, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui), and Alpine Energy (covering Timaru) for initial negotiations for the first stage roll-out, out of its shortlist of fourteen. Telecom New Zealand has issued a statement in response to the announcement emphasising that it has submitted a nation-wide proposal. Telecom has been shortlisted in all regions of the Ultra-fast Broadband initiative. Telecom estimates the areas covered by these three parties represents around 12 percent of the population of New Zealand. Telecom emphasised its proposal is national and its proposal would see structural separation of the company. Telecom said it remains open to partnership with other public and private sector owners of fibre assets, including the three parties prioritised for negotiation.[Lees verder]

Vodafone loses appeal against Indian tax bill
(Telecompaper) Vodafone has lost its appeal against an Indian tax bill for its takeover of Hutchison’s Indian mobile operation in 2007. The Bombay High Court ruled that Vodafone must pay capital gains tax on the acquisition of a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar. The mobile operator could face a total tax bill of more than USD 2 billion. Vodafone is expected to appeal the verdict to India’s Supreme Court in New Delhi, as it argues the transaction should not be taxable in India because it took place overseas. Des Webb, global tax executive at Vodafone, told the Financial Times outside the Mumbai High Court that it would take the Indian tax department “eight weeks before they pass any order or demand for tax. At the moment it’s not clear how much we would have to pay.” He said the company would look at the judgement in detail before deciding on further action, but it would “seriously consider” an appeal to the Supreme Court. Under the Hutchison Essar sale, a Dutch company controlled by Vodafone paid USD 11 billion to a Cayman Islands entity run by Hutchison Whampoa, the seller, for another Cayman Islands company that indirectly held a controlling stake in the India-based mobile operator. However, the judge ruled that the deal should have been subject to Indian capital gains tax because the operating assets of Hutchison Essar were in India.[Lees verder]

Bharti Airtel leads with 2.6 mln subscriber adds in July
(Telecompaper) The number of telephone subscribers in India increased 2.49 percent to 688.38 million in July, from 671.69 million in June, according to data from telecoms regulator Trai. Teledensity reached 58.17 percent versus 56.83 percent in the previous month. The wireless and mobile (GSM, CDMA, fixed wireless phone) subscriber base grew to 652.42 million, up 2.66 percent from 635.51 million in the previous month. Bharti Airtel remained market leader with a market share of 21.34 percent and had 139.2 million customers against 136.6 million in June. It also had the highest net additions, of 2.6 million customers. Airtel was followed by Reliance with 113.3 million subscribers against 110.8 million subscribers in June, and a 17.37 percent market share. Vodafone Essar was third with 17.08 percent market share and 111.46 million customers, versus 109.06 million subscribers in the previous month. Tata Teleservices had 74.85 million subscribers against 72.53 million in June, and BSNL’s subscribers grew to 73.78 million from 72.69 million. Idea ended the month with 70.74 million customers against 68.88 million in June, and Aircel rose to 43.29 million from 41.67 million subscribers. Sistema Shyam’s (MTS India) subscriber base grew to 5.58 million from 5.1 million in the previous month. Loop Telecom had 2.94 million customers against 2.92 million subscribers, while HFCL Info subscribers grew to 851,887 from 668,325. Videocon saw its subscriber base reach 2.77 million from 1.94 million. The fixed subscriber base declined from 36.18 million to 35.96 million in July, with state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL holding 83.86 percent of the fixed market. The total broadband subscriber base rose 3.39 percent to 9.77 million.[Lees verder]

IDC raises smartphone growth forecast
(Telecompaper) The worldwide converged mobile devices market is expected to grow 55.4 percent this year compared to 2009 amid greater-than-expected demand for smartphones. This is 10 percent higher than the previous forecast from IDC. IDC now expects mobile phone vendors to ship 269.6 million converged mobile devices this year compared to the 173.5 million units shipped in 2009. The increased market forecast for smartphones comes amid the launch of several new models, such as the BlackBerry Torch, EVO 4G and the iPhone 4, in recent months. Additional product introductions and an expected flurry of smartphone buying activity in the second half of the year will push the market well above previous expectations. IDC now expects this year’s overall mobile phone market to grow 14.1 percent, or 1.5 percent higher than its previous forecast. The outlook for 2011 is also very strong, according to the market researchers. Despite uncertainty about the economy, the smartphone market is expected to increase 24.5 percent in 2011. However, smartphone growth will decline progressively over the course of IDC’s five-year forecast period. In 2014, the market is expected to rise by just 13.6 percent. IDC believes the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years, and shorter replacement cycles and an ample feature phone to smartphone upgrade opportunity means the smartphone OS market will remain fragmented but healthy for the foreseeable future.[Lees verder]

Centernet, Mobyland launch LTE network in 1800MHz band
(Telecompaper) Polish mobile operator Mobyland and its partner Centernet have launched the first commercial LTE network in the 1800MHz band. The network offers initial speeds of up to 153Mbps download and 48Mbps, and the operators said this will eventually rise to 326/86Mbps. The LTE network is available across the operators’ existing GSM1800 footprint, and they expect to shortly receive permits for another 355 sites. By the end of 2010, the network is expected to have 700 base stations and cover over 7 million people. Mobyland and CenterNet won the 1800MHz frequency rights in late 2007. Centernet has been offering services since May 2009 and has around 130,000 customers. Mobyland, acquired by Aero2 last year, started commercial services in August 2009. Huawei is the equipment supplier for the LTE network.[Lees verder]

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