Issue 474      Volume 10     19 May 2011Blycroft Ltd                          Contents:PO Box 2                           ...
Data pays off for VodacomFinancial dependency driver of eWallat says bankTelkom mobile users given billing choiceZIMBABWE:...
A & ME SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS:                   South Africa States Mobile Network Subscriber Statistics: 4Q 2010         ...
Swaziland                         57%            65%                     Totals                         81%             85...
Return to ContentsAFGHANISTAN:                                       Roshan focuses on cost control and churn-limitationCE...
The measurements were taken at public sites during January to March. The highest total exposure level for a typical public...
Return to ContentsEGYPT:                                                            New CEO for OTHNaguib Sawiris is to st...
Return to Contents                                      ICT competitiveness needs restoring says NITA chiefUnited Nations ...
Return to ContentsIRAQ:                                                    Facebook to further Asiacell youth marketAsiace...
letter of credit was reduced from ILS 1.5 billion to ILS 700 million.Bezeq plans to distribute a special ILS 3 billion div...
95.5 million) for the first quarter from ILS 228 million (USD 65.4 million) for the corresponding quarter as it continues ...
The new law will mean that a provider cannot charge a subscriber for cancelling the service contract during the commitment...
Barorot will work with the outgoing Network Director Alec Mulonga during the transition period over the next three months....
Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011Return to ContentsMALAWI:                                    ...
Visafone brings in new senior teamVisafone has announced two new appointments: Mr Sailesh Iyer as the new Managing Directo...
Fahad Al-Enezy, acting CEO of AlBilad Investment, said the allocation of shares has been completed and approved by the Cap...
A complaint has been lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) regarding the advertising of Ce...
of FNB eWallet Solutions Yolande van Wyk said that more than 13 million adults in South Africa still do not have bank acco...
paid subscribers, the data services charge will be deducted from the customer’s normal pre-paid air time balance while for...
South Africa: Finance - MTN Group is reported by Bloomberg to have obtained a USD 1.35 billion credit line to replace loan...
Country ReportPaul Budde Country Report: Israel - Fixed-Line Market, Broadband and Digital Media - Overview and Statistics...
Additional InformationAbout this newsletterAfrica & Middle East Telecom-Week (AMETW) is a paid-for subscription service wh...
africa & middle east telecom weekPublished 48-times a year and is available only by private subscription from: Blycroft Lt...
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  1. 1. Issue 474 Volume 10 19 May 2011Blycroft Ltd Contents:PO Box 2 A & ME SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS:Craven Arms South Africa States Mobile Network Subscriber Statistics: 4Q 2010SY7 9WL AFGHANISTAN:United Kingdom Roshan focuses on cost control and churn-limitationT: +44-870-241-4505 AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST:F: +44-870-130-6550 MTN cements special relationship with Nokia Mast emissions meet ministerial edict BOTSWANA:Website BeMobile maintains lowest mobile rates DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO:Twitter Broadband satellite networks for Microcom EGYPT:Contents New CEO for OTHLog-in GHANA: Facebook FAQ set-up for MNPCountry Report ICT competitiveness needs restoring says NITA chief Internet TV solution launched by VodafoneAbout MTN readies for WACS landing IRAQ:Contact Facebook to further Asiacell youth marketSubscribe Zain makes the case for 3G ISRAEL:Copyright Loans lined up for Bezeq Phone sales lift Pelephone profits Reduced interconnect bites into Bezeq profitsPublished in the UK a minimum of Regulatory changes start to bite says Cellcom48-times a year and available in Remaining exit fines targeted by Ministerelectronic format (PDF) and aWeb-based Searchable Archive. JORDAN: More mobile TV from OrangeNo part of this journal may becopied, photocopied or duplicated KENYA:without prior written permission of Mobile money firms line-up for launchthe publisher. Safaricom man named as Airtel network directorc. 2011 Blycroft Limited Samsung to set-up shop Telkom realigns to reflect tough market KUWAIT: Live monitoring for Zain MALAWI: Licence formally handed to Celcom NIGERIA: Only existing NITEL staff now need paying says NUPTE Visafone brings in new senior team QATAR: Commercialbank extends mobile banking service RWANDA: Mobile money launched by Tigo SAUDI ARABIA: SITC says subscription a success SIERRA LEONE: C-Data re-branded Wigo High flyers get free Wi-Fi SOUTH AFRICA: A little bit of retail therapy for 8ta Cell C told to speed-up by ASA
  2. 2. Data pays off for VodacomFinancial dependency driver of eWallat says bankTelkom mobile users given billing choiceZIMBABWE:EcoLife not affected by SIM registrationTelecel 3G test phase expandedZellco fails to honour Net.One obligations~ & FINALLY..:In brief...Country ReportPaul Budde Country Report: Israel - Fixed-Line Market, Broadband and Digital Media - Overviewand Statistics
  3. 3. A & ME SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS: South Africa States Mobile Network Subscriber Statistics: 4Q 2010 Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011 South Africa Mobile Subscribers by State Operator 4Q09 3Q10 4Q10 % q-o-q % y-o-y Botswana 2,216,389 2,532,045 2,618,519 3.4% 18.1% Comoros 136,689 163,545 170,904 4.5% 25.0% Lesotho 750,476 881,141 935,702 6.2% 24.7% Malawi 2,563,078 3,133,149 3,309,627 5.6% 29.1% Mauritius 1,086,800 1,144,149 1,186,513 3.7% 9.2% Namibia 1,631,000 1,836,770 1,839,316 0.1% 12.8% Reunion-Mayotte 1,093,100 1,077,819 1,092,298 1.3% -0.1% South Africa 49,722,736 48,797,285 51,611,604 5.8% 3.8% Swaziland 642,000 679,000 726,000 6.9% 13.1% Totals 59,842,267 60,244,904 63,490,483 5.4% 6.1% Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011 Mobile Penetration Operator 4Q09 4Q10 Botswana 110% 128% Comoros 18% 22% Lesotho 35% 44% Malawi 20% 25% Mauritius 84% 91% Namibia 77% 86% Reunion-Mayotte 107% 106% South Africa 101% 105%
  4. 4. Swaziland 57% 65% Totals 81% 85% Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011 North Africa Mobile Operators by StateState 4Q09 3Q10 4Q10 % q-o-q % y-o-yBotswana . . . . .BTC 277,389 394,045 412,519 4.7% 48.7%Mascom 1,202,000 1,359,000 1,414,000 4.0% 17.6%Orange 737,000 779,000 792,000 1.7% 7.5%Comoros . . . . .Huri 136,689 163,545 170,904 4.5% 25.0%Lesotho . . . . .Econet 110,476 112,141 112,702 0.5% 2.0%Vodacom 640,000 769,000 823,000 7.0% 28.6%Malawi . . . . .Airtel 1,735,000 2,100,000 2,152,500 2.5% 24.1%TNM 828,078 1,033,149 1,157,127 12.0% 39.7%Mauritius . . . . .Millicom 437,428 449,891 471,579 4.8% 7.8%Mokoze 21,872 31,758 34,934 10.0% 59.7%Orange 627,500 662,500 680,000 2.6% 8.4%Namibia . . . . .MTC 1,363,000 1,535,000 1,534,528 0.0% 12.6%Leo 268,000 301,770 304,788 1.0% 13.7%Reunion- . . . . .MayotteOrange 412,540 423,142 427,374 1.0% 3.6%Outremer 139,748 155,516 160,772 3.4% 15.0%SFR 540,812 499,161 504,153 1.0% -6.8%South Africa . . . . .Cell-C 6,743,249 7,072,399 7,284,571 3.0% 8.0%MTN 16,067,000 17,772,000 18,841,000 6.0% 17.3%Telkom 12,487 79,886 186,033 132.9% 1389.9%Vodacom 26,900,000 23,873,000 25,300,000 6.0% -5.9%Swaziland . . . . .MTN 642,000 679,000 726,000 6.9% 13.1%Totals 59,842,267 60,244,904 63,490,483 5.4% 6.1% Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011
  5. 5. Return to ContentsAFGHANISTAN: Roshan focuses on cost control and churn-limitationCEO Karim Khoja has said that mobile operator Roshan is targeting a 40 percent market share by the end of 2012, which he claims canbe achieved through a combination of tight strategies. Khoja told that churn is a significant issue, and Roshan’s primary focus ison the retention of large portions of its overall subscriber base.The operator has targeted offers for the youth segment, business users and women. Khoja said that before it started the segmentationstrategy, women accounted for around 8-9 percent of its user base, whereas now they account for around 18 percent, with approximately30 percent of new subscribers signing-up being women.Khoja believes that the licensing process for 3G is likely to occur in 2012, although the backbone infrastructure is not yet in place. Roshancontributes between 6-7 percent of the total tax revenues annually, and the telecom sector in general contributes 14-15 percent. Mobilepenetration in Afghanistan is estimated at around 35 percent, with a total addressable market in the region of 20-25 million users, out of apopulation that is forecast to rise to 65 million by 2050.Return to ContentsAFRICA & MIDDLE EAST: MTN cements special relationship with NokiaNokia and MTN Group are expanding their strategic relationship to newmarkets within MTN’s Middle East and Africa affiliates. A statementissued by MTN said the Framework agreement signed in Dubai andJohannesburg would permit MTN customers to benefit from theintegration of Nokia devices and solutions.Joint marketing and sales campaigns will be designed on a regional leveland will bring consumers current Nokia mobile devices combined withvalue added services such as orientation and navigation tools, forseamless mobile communications.Previously the two have collaborated on the launch of the Nokia C3 withan MTN data and value add package in Nigeria, and the launch of theNokia E7 and business tools for corporate clients in South Africa.The two will collaborate to create hyper-local applications, such as OviLife Tools, which will soon be officially launched in Nigeria, bringingrelevant data for farming, education and entertainment. Source: MTN, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011Mr Christian De Faria, Senior Vice President, Commercial and Innovation MTN Group said: "We are convinced that our MTN customerswill obtain immediate advantages for their cost effective and reliable communications thanks to a strong brand such as Nokia. "MTN had around 19 percent of the Africa mobile subscriber market at the end of 1Q 2011, with some 107.32 million mobile subscribers.Return to ContentsBAHRAIN: Mast emissions meet ministerial edictThe Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has released the first of its quarterly reports on the level of radio signals transmittedfrom masts. The report finds that the levels of radio signals measured at all sites are very significantly below the limits by set internationalguidelines that have been adopted by the Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife.
  6. 6. The measurements were taken at public sites during January to March. The highest total exposure level for a typical public site measuredduring the quarter was very small at 0. 1 percent of the maximum level permitted.TRA’s Technical and Operations Director, Mohammed Mahmood, said that the TRA has been measuring and reporting on ambient radiosignal levels for 2 years and was ‘happy’ to see the compliance of licensed operators.Return to ContentsBOTSWANA: BeMobile maintains lowest mobile ratesIn February 2011 the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) issueda regulatory directive that compelled operators to reduce their charges. Themmegi portal has reported that as a result Botswana TelecommunicationsCorporation’s (BTC) BeMobile now the lowest rates of all PublicTelecommunications Operators (PTO).New phone and Internet tariffs launched 1 May saw BeMobile maintain itsplace with the lowest mobile charges. Pre-paid BeMobile rates areunchanged at BWP 1.32 per minute to all national networks, during bothpeak and off-peak hours. Mascom (MTN) and Orange pre-paid usersmaking net-to-net calls during peak hours now cost BWP 1.35 per minute,mmegi has reported. Mascom users were being charged BWP 1.80, whileOrange users were charged BWP 1.75.Off-peak, Orange-to-Orange calls still cost BWP 0.875, while Mascom-to-Mascom calls now cost BWP 0.85, down from BWP 0.90 charge. Orangepre-paid calls to other national networks (both mobile and fixed) during peakhours now cost BWP 1.65 per minute; a decrease from the previous BWP Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 20111.75 charge.Mascom pre-paid calls will cost BWP 1.70 per minute to call other national networks during peak hours. With post-paid users, BeMobile isstill the cheapest network. Calls to all national networks cost BWP 1.14 per minute, regardless of the package one uses. On the otherhand, the cheapest Orange-to Orange calls during peak hours will cost BWP 0.99 per minute, beneficial to the Talk 550 and Talk 275users, while the most expensive now cost BWP 1.29 per minute under the Orange 80 and Orange 40 packages. Mascom-to-Mascom callsfor the networks consumer clients will cost BWP 1.20 per minute during peak hours.BTCs BeMobile remains the smallest of the three mobile operators with only 16 percent of the subscriber market at the end of 1Q 2011.Return to ContentsDEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Broadband satellite networks for MicrocomBroadband satellite network provider Hughes Network Systems said last week that it had deployed a number of HX System broadbandsatellite networks for Microcom DRC, a service provider founded by its CEO, Leon Ntale. Microcom is operating the HX Systems toprovide high-speed Internet access, corporate Intranets, and VPN services to customers in DRC and neighbouring countries.Three HX System network operating centers (NOCs) and an initial order of HX200 remote terminals have been provided. Microcom, anewly-appointed Hughes integration partner and reseller in the DRC, is providing applications such as high-speed satellite Internetaccess, corporate intranets for the banking industry and institutional agencies, and integration with Wi-Max networks for the mining sector,as well as VPN services. These services are being offered to organisations in the DRC and in neighbouring countries in West and CentralAfrica under the footprint of Intelsats IS25 satellite.Microcom is a telecom provider in the DRC for more than 20 years and an ISP for the past 10 years.
  7. 7. Return to ContentsEGYPT: New CEO for OTHNaguib Sawiris is to step down as executive chairman of Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH). Sawiris said that he had decided to be morefocused on social and political work, looking to play a role in the transformation of post-revolution Egypt into a civil democracy, adding thathe will continue to support the business as one of Vimpelcom’s largest shareholders.OTH also announced on Monday 16 May that the Board has appointed Ahmed Abou Doma as Chief Executive Officer reporting to theExecutive Chairman, and replacing Khaled Bichara. He has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer in Banglalink since January 2009,and was previously Mobinil’s Marketing Director in Egypt (from 2003), having joined Mobinil in 1998 as a Market Development Manager.From 2000 till 2003 he held the positions of Senior Market Manager for Planning and Development and Senior Manager for MarketStrategy and Analysis.Bichara is taking over from Sawiris as Orascoms executive chairman. He was appointed CEO in November 2009, also replacing Sawirisat that time. Vimpelcom has also appointed Bichara to the newly created position of President and Chief Operating Officer following thedeal. Before joining Mobinil he worked for IBM and Datum IDS.Return to ContentsGHANA: Facebook FAQ set-up for MNPThe 1 June is still looking likely for the launch of mobile numberportability (MNP), Bob Palitz, Consultant to the NationalCommunications Authority (NCA), has said.Palitz said: "We are getting very good co-operation among all theoperators and the central service provider, Porting AccessGhana - In fact, inter-operator testing has already begun, so Ithink we are on track for our scheduled launch, " according to areport by My Joy Online.A new Facebook group called ‘MNP Ghana’ has been launchedto educate the public ahead of the July launch. The group is anopen access platform for anybody to join with comments,questions and suggestions from consumer perspective aboutMNP. There is also a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pagewhere several consumer-based questions about MNP have beenanswered in very simple language.Multi-SIM ownership for different networks is common in Ghana.MTNs Scancom with its 52 percent market share at the end of1Q 2011, has the most to lose. Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011
  8. 8. Return to Contents ICT competitiveness needs restoring says NITA chiefUnited Nations Secretary General’s Multi Stakeholder Advisory Group on Internet Governance Forum has concluded that Ghana’s Internetpenetration has fallen compared to other African nations, according to Nii Narku Quaynor, the Chairman of Ghana’s National InformationTechnology Agency (NITA). Quaynor was speaking at the launched of the national ICT Policy Review Forum in Accra under the theme:‘ICT – Towards Employment Creation.’Quaynor said that the country had lost its competitive edge as a result of policies that had focused away from the Internet and telecoms,and which have seen a number of Internet Service Providers close as a result. He added that having to deal with convergence amidstthese ‘policy misalignments is a real challenge’. Quaynor advocated ‘a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance locally’. ICTpolicies had become outdated with the most cited example in broadband access being those associated with VOIP policies andregulations.He said NITA was hoping to establish a bottom-up policy process that would engage the larger industry in developing the detailedtechnical policies typically associated with IT standards and practices, which would inform a broader policy process on ICT.Return to Contents Internet TV solution launched by VodafoneVodafone Ghana has launched its Webbox in Ghana that allows televisions to be used as a monitor for Internet browsing. The Webboxdeploys a specialised keyboard with an in-built Edge modem and memory card.The device is a Vodafone concept and designed for consumers in emerging markets to provide affordable Internet access. Carmen Bruce-Annan, Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, who launched the product last week in Accra said: "The Vodafone Webbox is apowerful device with the lowest cost of entry to the ordinary Ghanaian to access the Internet ".The Webbox allows the use of television as a medium to deliver Internet services including those in the rural communities, who haveaccess to TV but not computers and Lap Tops and who are within the Vodafone network coverage area. The Webbox is available throughVodafone retail stores nationally.Return to Contents MTN readies for WACS landingAnother key milestone will be reached when the West Africa Cable System (WACS) lands at South La in Accra on Friday 20 May. MTNGroup has invested some USD 90 million in the 14,500 kilometre-long submarine cable. MTN Ghana’s Chief Executive Officer, MichaelIkpoki, said in a statement that the cable was "a crucial milestone for the industry and country, since it will serve as a key enabler to criticaltelecommunications development in Ghana ".The successful landing of the cable is dependent on weather and sea tide conditions. WACS is a high capacity fibre optic submarine cablesystem linking Southern Africa and Europe, spanning the west coast of Africa and terminating in London, UK.Total investment in the system is USD 650 million with 15 terminal stations along the western coast of Africa. Trevor Martins, based inDubai at MTN’s Global Carrier Services (GCS) said: "MTN is the sole WACS investor constructing and operating four individual CableLanding Stations (Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon), making MTN the single largest investor to the WACS ".Other Consortium members are: MTN Group, Angola Cables, Broadband Infraco, Cable &Wireless Worldwide, Congo Telecom, OfficeCongolais des Postes et Telecommunications (OCPT), PT COMUNICAÇÕES, Togo Telecom, Tata Communications, Telecom Namibia,Telkom SA and Vodacom Group.
  9. 9. Return to ContentsIRAQ: Facebook to further Asiacell youth marketAsiacell has launched its SMS to Facebook service for pre- and post-paid subscribers.Users can update their Facebook page, send messages to friends, add new Facebookcontacts, and receive updates via their mobile phone. In its upcoming phase, theservice will allow subscribers to chat with Facebook friends, like photos and postcomments.To subscribe, users text to receive a welcome message and code thatmust be entered into their Facebook account. Jamal Omer, Product andServices Manger in Asiacell, said that the SMS to Facebook servicewas targeted at youth and students.Asiacell has also announced this week its Allo Chat service, whichenables post- and pre-paid subscribers to chat. Service features includeperson-to-person voice chat, as well as access to various chat roomssuch as the Health & Fitness, Music Stars, Love & Beauty, andHoroscopes channels. Subscribers can also send voice messages tooffline users, and can choose, listen to and share songs from anextensive music library with friends. Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011At the end of 1Q 2011, Asiacell was ranked second by subscriber numbers with 8.31 million and 36 percent of the market. However, Zainhas had issues with the legitimacy of some 5 million of its subscribers, and should the Communications and Media Commission (CMC)stand firm on its ruling, an adjustment will be shown in the 2Q 2011 data.Return to Contents Zain makes the case for 3GZain Iraqs Chief Executive, Emad Makiya, has called on the government to issue 3G licences to all operators with immediate effect. TheMinister of Communications has said that no decision has been made on how to migrate from 2G technology.Iraq only offers 2G, which allows mobiles to make and receive calls and text messages and browse basic Websites, while 3G dramaticallyincreases the bandwidth of a network, allowing users to browse more complicated Websites at a faster speed.Makiya is arguing that an upgrade to 3G would generate more money for the government as operators’ incomes increased. Asiacell paidsome USD 350 million, made-up of revenue sharing, taxes, and customs duties.On 25 April Communications Minister Mohammed Tawfeeq Allawi said the government was undertaking consultations on how to upgradeto 3G, and whether or not to consider 4G standards.Return to ContentsISRAEL: Loans lined up for BezeqA syndicate of Israeli banks have loaned ILS 1.6 billion (USD 459.0 million) to Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication. Bezeq raised ILS 1 billionin long-term debt with an average duration of 6.2 years, and ILS 600 million in short-term debt of one year, according to a report by theGlobes news portal.Bezeq said it expects to secure shortly an additional ILS 400 million in long-term debt, also with an average duration of 6.2 years, from anundisclosed institutional investor.Bezeq raised half of the ILS 1.6 billion by part exercising a letter of credit obtained last February from Bank Leumi. The amount of the
  10. 10. letter of credit was reduced from ILS 1.5 billion to ILS 700 million.Bezeq plans to distribute a special ILS 3 billion dividend by a conditional 64 percent reduction in shareholders equity which will bedistributed in six instalments, beginning on 19 May. The special dividend is on top of the companys regular dividend distributed.Return to Contents Phone sales lift Pelephone profitsPelephone, the mobile arm of Bezeq, saw smartphones boost its net profit some 20 percent to ILS 310 million (USD 88.9 million) for thefirst quarter of 2010 from ILS 259 million (USD 74.3 million) for the corresponding quarter of 2010. Revenue rose 4.1 percent to ILS 1.45billion (USD 415.9 million) for the first quarter from ILS 1.39 billion (USD 398.7 million) for the corresponding quarter. Services revenuetotalled ILS 949 million (USD 272.2 million).Pelephone said that higher demand for mobile Internet boosted handset sales in general, particularly for smartphones. Equipment salesrose 75 percent to ILS 501 million (USD 143.7 million) for the first quarter from the corresponding quarter.The number of active subscribers rose by 3.3 percent to 2.88 million at the end of March from 2.79 million a year earlier, the number of 3GHSPA subscribers rose by 74 percent to 1.47 million - more than half of all subscribers - from 845,000 a year earlier. Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011ARPU was unchanged at ILS 110 (USD 31.55), average monthly minutes of use (MOU) rose 6.8 percent to 359 minutes in the first quarterfrom 336 minutes in the corresponding quarter.Cash flow from operations fell 12 percent to ILS 308 million (USD 88.4 million) for the first quarter from ILS 350 million (USD 100.4 million)for the corresponding quarter, partly because of equipment purchases under 36 instalment plans. Free cash flow fell 32 percent to ILS 175million (USD 50.2 million) for the first quarter from ILS 228 million (USD 65.4 million) for the corresponding quarter, due to higher capitalexpenditures.Return to Contents Reduced interconnect bites into Bezeq profitsBezeq Israeli Telecommunication has reported flat revenue at ILS 2.91 billion (USD 834.7 million), with lower profits for the first quarterfollowing a provision for early retirements. Fixed-line revenue fell 9.7 percent to ILS 1.18 billion for the first quarter, attributed to themandated reduction in inter-network connection fees, which were partly offset by higher Internet, data communications and transmissionservices.Net profit fell 36.6 percent to ILS 407 million (USD 116.7 million) for the first quarter from ILS 642 million (USD 184.2 million) for thecorresponding quarter. Operating profit fell 24 percent to ILS 665 million (USD 190.1 million).Bezeq CFO Alan Gelman said the drop in profit was due to ILS 285 million (USD 81.7 million) provision for the early retirement ofemployees in the companys fixed line division.Cash flow from operations fell 3.8 percent to ILS 775 million (USD 222.3 million) for the first quarter, free cash flow rose 2.2 percent to ILS462 million (USD 132.5 million) for the first quarter. Bezeqs CAPEX on its fixed-line division rose 46.1 percent to ILS 333 million (USD
  11. 11. 95.5 million) for the first quarter from ILS 228 million (USD 65.4 million) for the corresponding quarter as it continues deployment of itsnext-generation network (NGN).Consolidated net financial debt rose to ILS 4.9 billion (USD 1.41 billion) at the end of March from ILS 2.9 billion (USD 831.8 million) a yearearlier, due to the issuing of ILS 2.6 billion (USD 745.8 million) in new debt in 2010.Bezeq Internationals revenue fell 4 percent to ILS 329 million (USD 94.4 million) for the first quarter from ILS 343 million for thecorresponding quarter due to a decline in the international calls and hubbing markets. This was mostly offset by increased income fromInternet services on the Private NGN network, subscriber growth, and growth in enterprise ICT solutions.Return to Contents Regulatory changes start to bite says CellcomCellcom Israel has published its 1Q 2011 results, with operating income increased by 3.1 percent despite this quarter reflecting the initialimpact of regulatory changes. It said that total revenues increased 0.4 percent to ILS 1,587 million (USD 456 million), whilst total revenuesfrom services decreased 14.8 percent to ILS 1,205 million (USD 346 million) as a result of the regulatory changesRevenues from content and value added services (including SMS) increased 13.5 percent, reaching 23.7 percent of services revenues.EBITDA increased 0.2 percent to ILS 639 million (USD 184 million) and the EBITDA margin is 40.3 percent.Operating income increased 3.1 percent to ILS 471 million (USD 135 million), whilst net income totalled ILS 306 million (USD 88 million), adrop of 2.5 percent, attributed to the increase in financing expenses, due to increased inflationThe subscriber base reached 3.395 million at the end of March 2011, a net addition of 1,000 in the first quarter, following a decrease in thenumber of subscribers following a regulatory change. 3G subscribers reached 1.188 million at the end of March 2011, representing 35percent of total subscriber base, net additions of 48,000 in the first quarter 2011. Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011Amos Shapira, Chief Executive Officer noted that the quarter saw the initial impact of the regulatory changes, some of which came intoeffect at the beginning of the quarter and some during the quarter. Service revenues decreased by approximately 15 percent due to thereduction of interconnect fees. The average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) also decreased for the same reason.It recorded a 130 percent increase in revenues from handsets and accessories, a 13.5 percent increase in revenues from content andvalue-added services, and a 3.1 percent increase in operating income.Shapira noted that it had formally entered into negotiations regarding a merger with Netvision.Return to Contents Remaining exit fines targeted by MinisterA bill to limit exit fines charged by telecom operators promoted by the Minister of Communications, Moshe Kahlon, has been approved bythe cabinet. The new legislation will affect cable and satellite TV, Internet services, fixed-line telephony, and international calls services,according to a report by the Globes news aganecy. Mobile services were dealt with last year.The government wants to improve competition in the market is looking to reduce the barriers preventing subscribers switching companies,and so give users greater effective choice.
  12. 12. The new law will mean that a provider cannot charge a subscriber for cancelling the service contract during the commitment period morethan 8 percent of the average monthly service bill times the number of months remaining in the commitment period.The bill will now be presented to the Knesset for its first reading, before being passed to the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee. It willthen return to the Knesset for its second and third readings.Return to ContentsJORDAN: More mobile TV from OrangeOrange Jordan is expanding its Mobile TV package with HD streaming for a variety ofpopular TV channels. The Mobile TV package streams HD content from a variety oftelevision channels in what it described as ‘competitively-priced’ offers to cater forvarious consumer groups.The channels are Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiyya, France 24 Arabic, MBC 1(which has an exclusive content syndication agreement with Orange),Melody Hits, Melody Drama, Melody Movies, in addition to NaghamTelevision, which streams the Star Academy program exclusivelythrough Orange. The company also intends to continue expanding itsMobile TV platform by adding more channels in the future.Orange Jordan first provided digital content services in late February2010 after reaching an exclusive deal with MBC to stream some of thechannel’s programs and series to Orange subscribers. This wasfollowed by a similar agreement with Al Jazeera Sports to streamcontent during the 2010 World Cup. This concept was expanded withthe ‘Real Madrid’ services, which allows Real Madrid’s fans to followclub news through video segments downloadable directly to their Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011mobile handsets.Marketing Director Wasfi Safadi said it is targeting the youth segment. It recently launched the ‘Min El Akher’ mobile offer aimed at youth,which offers 1,250 on-net minutes per week, in addition to 25 off-net minutes and 25 MB for Facebook and Twitter browsing.In 1Q 2011 Orange saw a ‘noticeable’ increase in the consumption of online content, through both personal computers and mobile phones.Return to ContentsKENYA: Mobile money firms line-up for launchThe Business Daily newspaper has named three international mobile payment firms that are readying to launch their e-commercesolutions locally. The report cites InMobi, Pay4Me and MoMagic as gearing for launch in the next few months.InMobi plans to launch a new mobile payment system, with its SmartPay solution available in the next six months to individuals who wantto access a simple payment gateway that will allow them to receive money for their goods sold online.Return to Contents Safaricom man named as Airtel network directorAirtel has announced this week the appointment of John Barorot as its new Network Director, who was previously Chief Technical Officerfor Safaricom. He joined Safaricom 10 years ago as Network Maintenance Manager.He was also in charge of the financial planning and technology strategy formulation for the division Network and Information TechnologyDivision of Safaricom which including the functions of Planning and Engineering, Network Implementation, Network Maintenance,Information Technology, Billing and Technical support and Network Quality.
  13. 13. Barorot will work with the outgoing Network Director Alec Mulonga during the transition period over the next three months. Mulonga isreturning to Zambia.Return to Contents Samsung to set-up shopSamsung is to set-up its regional headquarters for East and Central Africa in Nairobi before the end of August. Currently the vendor has alocal office in Kenya that directs operations in Uganda and Tanzania but it is not autonomous.According to the Business Daily newspaper the East and Central Africa region is worth some USD 250 million to Samsung, but it projectsbusiness worth USD 2 billion by 2015. Robert Ngeru, Samsung’s East Africa business leader, said it would increase its workforce by 30percent to a total of 100 staff when it commissions the regional headquarters.Return to Contents Telkom realigns to reflect tough marketTelkom Kenya is to reduce its workforce by some 20 percent whilst also putting assets up for sale. The Business Daily has reported thatthe operator is expected to let 400 staff go in the coming weeks, leaving less than 2,000 employees.The move is reported to be part of Telkom’s cost-management moves that will see KES 300 million (USD 3.54 million) in cutbacks and themarketing budget reduced to KES 700 million (USD 8.26 million). Dealer commissions have also been reduced from 14 to 18 percent to amaximum of 15 percent.CEO Mickael Ghossein said: "We are looking for a lean team and are in talks with the workers’ union to do it professionally before makinga formal announcement". He added that the actions were being taken following the price war but the cutbacks in establishment would notbe reversed as its employee to customer ratio is still high.The Communication Workers Union has said that it had not been consulted over the cost-cutting measures and it would resist the move.Benson Okwaro, the secretary general of the workers union, was reported by Business Daily Africa as saying: "There is no justificationwhatsoever to retrench or send home more employees in the name of stiff competition. Competition is everywhere and Telkom Kenyashould be able to compete like the rest ".Return to ContentsKUWAIT: Live monitoring for ZainNokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is providing Zain Kuwait with live network monitoring, reporting and analytics software. Two newplatforms, Serve atOnce Traffica and Serve atOnce Intelligence, will provide improvements in mobile network quality, customer careservice and tailored marketing campaigns. The roll-out marks the region’s first such extensive customer experience managementdeployments.The solution will monitor end-to-end network performance for each service in real time, improving the quality of every voice call and SMS.Switching from traditional network-based alarms to subscriber-based alarms, Zain can prioritise customer problems with its operationsdepartment and proactively solve them even before the customer notices that there’s an issue. This will help to speed up request andcomplaint resolution in customer care, boosting operational efficiency.Zain has recently lost ground, with both Qtels Wataniya and Saudi Telecoms VIVA gaining market share.
  14. 14. Source: industry sources, Blycroft estimates c. Blycroft 2011Return to ContentsMALAWI: Licence formally handed to CelcomLast week the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) formally handed over the recently awarded licence to CelcomManaging Director Ted Sauti-Phiri. Celcom, a subsidiary of MBL Holdings, formerly Mulli Brothers Limited, is the first telecoms company tobe awarded a technology neutral licence.Sauti-Phiri said the operator will roll out with a 3G network in October 2012, and will adhere to the stipulations of the licence, and promisedthat it will beat the rollout deadline, The Nation newspaper has reported. Fixed and mobile services will both be provided.Macra officials, chief executives and representatives of other telcos in Malawi, as well as other Celcom board members, attended thehand over ceremony.Macra board chairman Ted Nandolo advised telcos not to form a cartel with the arrival of Celcom, as customers should get value for theirmoney. He also hoped that the companies will start sharing towers, revealing that Macra is working on having a single provider of towers.The Celcom licence brings the number of operators to six. For mobile, there is Airtel, TNM and the yet to roll-out G-Mobile, whilst for fixedthere is Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) and Access Communications Limited.Return to ContentsNIGERIA: Only existing NITEL staff now need paying says NUPTEThe government is reported to be gearing-up to pay the remaining 55 percent arrears of NITEL workers this month, having previouslysettled around 45 percent of the debt, according to the president of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees(NUPTE) Sunday Alhassan. He added that the remainder will be paid before the end of May.According to the report by the Daily Champion newspaper, the government paid the entitlements in December 2010, although some banksfailed to promptly credit their customers accounts. Alhassan suggested that the outstanding monies related to 455 staff members in activeservice with NITEL.Return to Contents
  15. 15. Visafone brings in new senior teamVisafone has announced two new appointments: Mr Sailesh Iyer as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Parag Senas the Chief Marketing Officer.This follows the firm’s recent acquisition of Multi-links from Telkom, and is part of its program to reposition management and operations.The previous CEO replaces Mr. Ramachandran Balachandran, who is leaving Visafone at the end of his two-year contract.Iyer has joined Visafone from Reliance Communications, India where he was National Head, Government Business-Wireless Group.Sen is a senior international management executive with over 15 years experience in the telecom, banking and advertising industries. Hehas held extensive roles in telecom industry within and outside India. A turn-around and emerging market specialist, his last role was withAfghan Wireless, Afghanistan, as Marketing Director, where he doubled revenue during his stint of two years.Return to ContentsQATAR: Commercialbank extends mobile banking serviceCustomers of Commercialbank can now pay their Qtel bills using the bank’s mobile banking service, the bank claiming that it is the ‘mostdiverse, convenient and cost-effective way’ for its customers to pay their Qtel bills.It also announced last week further enhancements to its mobile banking service that ‘allow more customers to bank anytime, anywhereusing their mobile device.’Raju Buddhiraju, Commercialbank’s head of Retail Banking Services said: "Our new offering provides customers, mobile banking accessto manage their banking needs from anywhere at any time. As bills payment is a main customer transaction we encourage customers touse this new alternative payment channel." Commercialbank customers can activate the service by downloading the updated applicationusing the relevant link for the Blackberry; iPhone or other WAP phones.Return to ContentsRWANDA: Mobile money launched by TigoTigo Rwanda launched its mobile money services on Friday, aimed at subscribers with limited or no access to banking services. It is thesecond mobile operator to launch mobile banking services, after MTN launched in February 2010, acquiring about 260,000 subscribers byMarch 2011. Tigo offers similar services in Ghana and Tanzania.MTN Rwanda says it has transferred more than USD 22 million in mobile payments since February 2010 and is targeting 300,000subscribers by the end of this year.Tigo Rwanda said it had been granted a licence to operate mobile money transfer services last month, with the National Bank of Rwandaoffering Tigo a licence to provide its Tigo Cash payment service.LAP Greens Rwandatel also made an application for a mobile money service, having planned to launch originally in 2009. It claimed thatthere had been outstanding issues with the Central Bank. However the loss of its mobile licence means that it has no way of facilitating theservice.Return to ContentsSAUDI ARABIA: SITC says subscription a successSaudi Integrated Telecommunications Co.s (SITC) SAR 300 million (USD 80.0 million) initial public offering (IPO) is reported to be onehundred percent oversubscribed. According to AlBilad Investment, the IPO lead manager and underwriter of the IPO, said the issue hadraised SAR 880.7 million from some 1.1 million subscribers.
  16. 16. Fahad Al-Enezy, acting CEO of AlBilad Investment, said the allocation of shares has been completed and approved by the Capital MarketAuthority (CMA), according to the subscription allocation schedule.SITC will be the third to offer fixed services and fifth to offer telephony services. In the fixed sector it will join state-run Saudi Telecom Co.and Atheeb Telecom, and will use the proceeds of the IPO to pay off licence fees.Return to ContentsSIERRA LEONE: C-Data re-branded WigoComium has rebranded its C-Data broadband Internet offering as Wigo. C-Data was launched in 2006 and claims to have some 3,000.Launching Wigo at Mamba Point at the beginning of the month, Ghassan Mroue said that Wigo stands for ‘wireless on the go’, theConcord Times reported.With more than ten broadband wireless licences across Africa and Lebanon, it claims to be one of the regions larger single wirelessservice providers.Mroue said fixed wireless is suitable for an organisation that normally requires dedicated bandwidth. Presenting the products, SenesieKanneh said Wigo has the fixed wireless and hotspot solutions for high-density customer areas, providing Wi-Fi access to the Internet. Set-up is free within the customer premises, and pricing varies from USD 45 to 380.Return to Contents High flyers get free Wi-FiThe National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) has commissioned wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) at Lungi International Airport,Sierra Leone’s principal airport located across the bay from the capital, Freetown.The Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, launched the Wi-Fi service on Friday 6 May according to theConcord Times newspaper. NATCOM chairman, Siray Timbo, said the launch of the Wi-Fi service was part of his commissionscontribution to the nations 50th golden jubilee celebrations.Five hotspots have been installed throughout the airport. NATCOM will provide technical support to the airport management to ensure aneffective and efficient service. The service is free for a three-month period, after which it will be charged for.In his presentation, Kargbo called on mobile operators to ensure that they comply with their financial obligations to NATCOM.Return to ContentsSOUTH AFRICA: A little bit of retail therapy for 8taNashua Mobile announced last week that it is to offer 8tas mobile services and products to its subscriber base nationally with immediateeffect. 8ta is a unit of Telkom, and is South Africas fourth and newest mobile network operator. The full range of post-paid products will beavailable from its national network of dealers and franchised stores, while 8tas pre-paid products would be available from 7 June.Customers will be able to choose from a range of offerings, along with a selection of handsets from Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTCand Motorola.Stephen Blewett, executive for marketing and sales at 8ta, said: "As one of the largest independent service providers in South Africa,Nashua Mobile is a perfect partner for our business. " Nashua Mobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reunert Group.Return to Contents Cell C told to speed-up by ASA
  17. 17. A complaint has been lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) regarding the advertising of Cell Cs datapackages. As a result, Cell C has been told that it can no-longer claim to have the fastest mobile Internet in South Africa, having claimedin its advertising that "South Africa’s fastest mobile internet is here. "A complaint was registered by a user in Johannesburg, using an external antenna, who claimed they were unable to obtain the promisedhigher speeds, whilst the online coverage map shows comprehensive high-speed coverage, according to a report by mybroadband.Clear Copy is reported as saying on behalf of Cell C that the user had an indoor coverage problem, which Cell C resolved by providing anantenna. Cell C also argued that it was established by a previous ruling that their network is the fastest in South Africa.The initial complaint was received in December 2010, and Cell C had said that it would have the entire Johannesburg covered by March2011. The data used to substantiate the previous claims was from September 2010, and ASA said that it was not convinced that results ofa survey nearly eight months old were still current and has market relevance.Therefore the ASA said that Cell C must withdraw the claim with immediate effect and it may not be used again in its current format.Return to Contents Data pays off for VodacomVodacom Group on Monday 16 May said its net profit nearly doubled on the year toZAR 7.98 billion (USD 1.14 billion) from ZAR 4.2 billion (USD 598 million) driven by arise in mobile data useage.Revenue rose by 4.5 percent to ZAR 61.18 billion (USD 8.7 billion) inthe year ended 31 March driven by a 34.6 percent increase in datacustomers. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation andamortisation rose 4.1 percent to ZAR 20.6 billion (USD 2.9 billion).Chief Executive Pieter Uys however cautioned: "Next year we expectcompetition to remain intense and customer spend to be under pressurefrom rising food and fuel prices. "Total customers rose to 43.5 million for the year with growth in SouthAfrica up 1 percent from the year before to 26.5 million. Customernumbers in Tanzania rose 21.9 percent to 8.87 million; in the Congosubscribers were up 23.9 percent to 4.15 million and in Mozambique up32.3 percent to 3.08 million customers. Vodacom has ambitions to addanother 16-million mobile data subscribers to its network in South Africaover the next two years, CEO Pieter Uys said on Monday, describing Source: Vodacomthe use of the Internet and data services as a "real growth engine for thebusiness ".Uys said that in South Africa mobile data subscribers increased to 9 million in the financial year ended March 2011, and that the groupwanted to grow this number to 25 million in the next two years. The bulk of the group’s ZAR 7.7 billion CAPEX dedicated to dataexpansion.CAPEX for the 2011 financial year fell by 4.9 percent year-on-year to ZAR 6.3 billion, however, the allocated CAPEX for the year aheadincreased by 22 percent to ZAR 7.7 billion (USD 1.01 billion). Some ZAR 6.3 billion of that was earmarked for the South African market,where ZAR 5.1 billion was spent in the year under review. CAPEX for Vodacom’s international business decreased by 29.5 percent toZAR 1.2 billion in the reporting period, owing to a reduction in CAPEX in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania following theprevious year’s significant network investment in Tanzania.Conditions in the Congo according to Uys remain ‘challenging’ and it is still considering its plans there, with a sale as an option. Forexexchange rates between its international operations are also affecting profits.Return to Contents Financial dependency driver of eWallat says bankFirst National Bank (FNB).has said that the number of eWallet holders has doubled in the last six months, from 250,000 to 500,000.Research shows that 68 percent of eWallet clients use the service to send money to people who are financially dependent on them, whilst64 percent send money to relatives who reside in a different province: the senders are generally under the age of 40.Forty percent of the senders originate from Gauteng, followed by 14 percent in KwaZulu-Natal and 12 percent in the Eastern Cape. CEO
  18. 18. of FNB eWallet Solutions Yolande van Wyk said that more than 13 million adults in South Africa still do not have bank accounts, this groupconsisting largely of adults based in remote or rural towns.The eWallet facilitates the transmission of money to anyone with a valid South African phone number. The money can be withdrawn froman ATM without the recipient needing a bank account. The money can also be used to buy airtime, pay for goods and services online, andto transfer to another eWallet. According to research by World Wide Worx that looked at mobile banking, 18 percent of South Africans usetheir phones to transfer cash to family and friends.M-Pesa from Vodacom and Nedbank is said to have over 60,000 users since its launch in 2010. The service was originally launched inKenya where it has some 10 million users. Absa also offers a similar service called CashSend. Last year, Standard Bank partnered withSpar to provide a person-to-person money system that allows users to send and receive money at Spar outlets using a mobile phone.Return to Contents Telkom mobile users given billing choiceAll pre-paid users signing-up with 8ta will henceforth be billed on a per-second basis effective from 15 May. Users will pay pro-rata a ‘persecond’ rate for the duration of the call, giving a more cost-effective option for short calls.8ta’s new rate works out at ZAR 1.12 (USD 0.16) per minute for off peak calls and ZAR 2.75 (USD 0.39) per minute for peak time calls,effective from 15 May 2011. Users calling fixed line number will pay only 65 cents per minute all day, also ‘per second’, and is the lowestfor a pre-paid mobile originated call.All pre-paid bonus offerings continue to be available to per-second billed subscribers. As such, customers will still earn free outgoingminutes when receiving incoming calls from any local mobile network. These minutes earned can be used to call any mobile or fixed linenetwork in South Africa. Also, for every five SMS’s sent customers receive 50 free SMS’s to use that same day. Subscribers also have theoption of switching between per-minute and per-second billing once every month by calling 8ta’s Customer Care line to request thechange.Pre-paid airtime can also be used to purchase 8ta data bundles of various sizes ranging from ZAR 50 for a 100MB bundle to ZAR 250 fora 1GB bundle. 8ta pre-paid airtime can be used to purchase BlackBerry Internet Service on a month-to-month basis at ZAR 59 per month.MVNO Virgin Mobile was the first operator to launch ‘per second’ billing for all its mobile packages when it launched on 24 June 2006,claiming at the time that it would not tie clients into fixed-term contracts, and was forecasting a 10 percent market share within five years.Return to ContentsZIMBABWE: EcoLife not affected by SIM registrationEcoLife, the joint venture of Econet, First Mutual Life and Trustco Mobile, had recorded some 1.7 million subscribers by 20 April 2011, withgrowth continuing at approximately 5,000 new subscribers daily, according to the informante Web portal.The effect of the disconnection of mobile subscribers by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe from 1April 2011 is expected to have no material negative impact on Trustco Mobile’s revenue for the period ending 31 March 2012.Return to Contents Telecel 3G test phase expandedTelecel is ramping up the testing of its 2.5G/3G GPRS/EDGE/W-CDMA network from Friday 13 May when it invited subscribers with datacapable handsets to test the new network. As part of its data services pilot project, it is now testing the data services billing system andthe national reach of its data services capability.3G is now available in major urban centres such as Harare and Bulawayo, and some of the tourist resort areas such as Nyanga, while therest of the country is on GPRS/EDGE. The test phase will permit the optimisation of coverage in additional areas based on demand.Guidelines on how to configure handsets to access the Internet have been published in the press. Telecel has provided free data servicesto a limited number of users for some months. Towards the end of last year it expanded the pilot group by inviting more of its high users tobe part of the test.Data access is now available to all customers and charging is at the rate of USD 0.10 per megabyte on a pay-as-you-go basis. For pre-
  19. 19. paid subscribers, the data services charge will be deducted from the customer’s normal pre-paid air time balance while for contractcustomers, they will get their charges at the end of the month as usual.Telecel aimed to launch GPRS and 3G services in October 2010, and so be the second mobile operator in Zimbabwe to do so, followingEconet Wireless. Telecel obtained the 3G frequencies in February 2010, and planned to have a capacity for 50,000 3G subscribers atlaunch.Return to Contents Zellco fails to honour Net.One obligationsMobile distributor Zellco Cellular has failed to pay the USD 14 million owed to mobile operator Net.One within the agreed period, resultingin Net.One cancelling the contract, the Herald newspaper has reported.Net.One says Zellco was given 14 days notice to pay and 14 April was the deadline, leading to Net.One again cancelling the contract. Net.One MD Reward Kangai said Zellco had challenged Net.One in the courts over settlement of the debt. On 5 April, NetOne issued astatement via SMS, notifying customers regarding the termination of Zellcos service agreement.Zellco then took legal action. An interim relief was granted in favour of Zellco, forcing Net.One to retract the statement. Net.One hasmeanwhile urged all former Zellco customers to update their personal information with Net.One and at the same time to deal directly with itin respect of bill inquiries and payments. Net.One invested in Zellco in the late 1990s through a debt conversion agreement which saw itacquiring a controlling 60 percent stake, with TeleNetwork Services holding the remaining 40 percent. Zellco was then taken over by aconsortium of local businesspeople that acquired the 60 percent stake from Net.One in 2009.ZellCo was one of two agents contracted to deal with post-paid clients on behalf of Net.One. Among its functions were to sign up newcontract line subscribers and bill the customers and charge Net.One a commission for the services.Return to Contents~ & FINALLY..: In brief...Africa: AGM - Millicom has said that its AGM and EGM will be held at its offices on 15 rue Léon Laval, L-3372 Leudelange, Luxembourg,on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 at 10:00 a.m.Africa & the Middle East: Award - Aastra has been named as ‘Enterprise Telephony Vendor of the Year’. The company has facilitated IPTelephony solutions and multimedia contact centres to major customers across the region, North Africa in particular and Korek Telecom,Bank Pasargad and HiConnect Call Centre.Bahrain: BlackBerry - Batelco has launched the BlackBerry PlayBook, which users will be able to interchange their PlayBook andBlackBerry Smartphones for without having to sync them up, the operator said in a statement, using the new BlackBerry Bridgeapplication issued free with the device. BlackBerry price plans start at BHD 8 for both post and pre-paid users.Bahrain: iPhone - Viva on Sunday 15 May is to sell the iPhone 4 directly following a deal with Apple. CEO Ibrahim Al Omar said thatmore than USD 500 million in Bahrain, adding that the devices are being sold with full warranty on both hardware and software.Bahrain: New numbers - Batelco has launched a new mobile number range with the prefix 3222. As part of its promotional effort, it isoffering an 80 percent discount on premium numbers that are reserved online. The new number range is now available at MNP - A five-day meeting was convened last week in Yaounde to consider Mobile Number Portability (MNP).Representatives of mobile operators, officials of the telecom regulatory agency and Ministry of Telecommunications were present. Theaim was to identify pro and cons of MNP and make recommendations to the Ministry of telecommunications.Ghana: Business solutions - MTN Ghana has launched MTN Business, offering converged ICT solutions to businesses in Ghana. Theoffering includes leased lines (both national & international), last mile access, dedicated Internet, shared / dedicated IP connect, and VPNover Mobile. MTN has invested in three Data Centres in Accra and Kumasi.Mozambique: Return to profitability - Mcel expects 2011 profit to reach USD 4 million whilst the subscriber base will rise from 4.5 to 6.5million this year. It will improve the quality of service and reduce prices to achieve its target profit, having made a loss last year.Qatar: IP telephony - Qtel has said that advanced IP telephony is one of the most demanded business solutions in 2011. The QtelBusiness Solutions (QBS) team has developed products, including its advanced IP Telephony service, which was the first hosted IPtelephony service in the GCC. The IP Telephony service is built over an IP Centrex platform, so users do not require their own PBXsystem.
  20. 20. South Africa: Finance - MTN Group is reported by Bloomberg to have obtained a USD 1.35 billion credit line to replace loans used for its2006 acquisition of Investcom LLC. The 3-year revolving credit was increased from USD 1 billion after lenders offered more than wasbeing sought. MTN bought Investcom for USD 5.5 billion, using USD 3.5 billion of debt.Swaziland: Indebtedness -The Swaziland Times has reported that Swazi Paper Mills owes MTN SZL 35,863 (USD 5,171). The two havesigned a deal regarding repayments, and on 3 June 2011 this will be made an order of the court. The debt relates to mobile networkservices, and the supply of SIM cards back to June 2000.Turkey: Taxation - Turkcell on Friday 13 May said that it had received an order from an Istanbul tax office for sequestration of theTurkcell assets of Cukurova Group, which controls Turkcell, for TRY 1.25 billion lira (USD 784.0 million) due to tax debts.Zimbabwe: Fibre Optic Cable - The laying of the Harare-Bulawayo-Beitbridge fibre optic cable was due to start on 8 May, followingdelays as Chinese contractors obtained visa and work permits, The Herald newspaper has reported. USD 15 million was allocated in the2011 National Budget for the project. TelOne completed the Harare to Mozambique cable last year.Return to Contents
  21. 21. Country ReportPaul Budde Country Report: Israel - Fixed-Line Market, Broadband and Digital Media - Overview and StatisticsIsraels very dynamic fixed-line voice and broadband market, together with its digital media market is profiled in this report.Bezeq has retained the majority of the domestic fixed-line voice market but new licences being granted for VoIP service provision are shaking up the market.The International fixed-line voice market has been very competitive for many years.Israel has a very high household broadband penetration rate. Market competition is fierce, both between cable and DSL infrastructures and between ISPs. Competition is also fiercebetween Bezeqs satellite TV subsidiary YES and cable TV operator HOT, with both challenged by DTTV.Israels very high broadband penetration rate provides great potential for triple play and digital media market developments and competitors are manoeuvring for position with manychanges of ownership since mid-2009.Bezeqs main competitor is HOT Telcommunication Systems. Licences have been granted to several companies to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. These areusually referred to as Voice over Broadband (VoB) services in Israel. 012 Smile.Communications was the first to receive a permanent licence but by early 2009 Partner, Netvision andBezeq International had all acquired licences and had begun providing competitive domestic telephone services. The introduction of number portability in December 2007 increasedchurn.The international calls voice market is very competitive. There are four competitors in the market: 014 Bezeq International, 013 NetVision Barak, 012 Smile Telecom and 018 Xfone.Competition is mostly based on price.The full report is contained in the Subscriber Archive.
  22. 22. Additional InformationAbout this newsletterAfrica & Middle East Telecom-Week (AMETW) is a paid-for subscription service which consists of 48-issues. The title covers all aspects of regional wireless and wireline news, and issent via e-mail each Thursday as a PDF attachment.
  23. 23. africa & middle east telecom weekPublished 48-times a year and is available only by private subscription from: Blycroft Ltd., PO Box 2, Craven Arms, SY7 9WL, UK.Tel: +44 (0)870 241 4505 Fax: +44 (0)870 130 6550 e-mail: editor@blycroft.comBlycroft Ltd., Registered in England and Wales No. 3666284.Registered Office: 2a Alton House Office Park, Gateway House, Aylesbury, HP19 3XU, UK VAT No. GB 697 9253 64..Disclaimer:Publication or disclosure in whole or in part to parties other than the subscriber is permitted only with written consent from the publisher, BlycroftLimited. Whilst all care is taken in sourcing and preparing material reported on, any error or incorrect content cannot form the basis for any legal actionagainst Blycroft Limited. The publishers can assure correct information to legitimate subscribers only. Because e-mail can be altered electronically, theauthenticity of this communication forwarded to third parties cannot be guaranteed, and is a breach of the publisher’s copyright.Copyright:It is against the law to reproduce any of this material without the prior written agreement of Blycroft Ltd. You cannot photocopy, fax, download todatabase or duplicate in any other way any of the material contained in this publication. Each subscription and single copy is for personal use only. Youcannot forward this e-mail to anyone without the consent of Blycroft Ltd. For authorisation, e-mail Additional licences for usersat the same domain name are available for only GBP 99 each. copyright© 2011 all rights reserved Return to Contents