Spectrum Status by Circles & Operators

I thought this was an interesting data published in Business standard - http://epaper.business-standard.com/bsepaper/svww_index1.php
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Beyond MTN & Zain - Bharti, BSNL & MTNL have opportunity in Egypt

Egypt will offer two licenses to provide telecommunications services for upscale suburbs outside the capital, including fixed lines. The is move expected to bring in $1 billion worth of investments over the next five years. The licenses will be granted to a pair of consortia to operate so-called "triple-play" services that group internet, cable TV and phone services within such communities springing up around Cairo and elsewhere in the country.

The move marks the first potential crack in the state-owned Telecom Egypt's total monopoly over fixed line communications, though for now the services are only for within these communities.
The companies will not be required to submit an upfront payment, but the licenses would be based on a revenue sharing program in which the government would get 8 percent of the proceeds of operations within these compounds. Telecom Egypt would still operate in these communities, including fixed line services.

It is said that the bids are due on Jan. 12 and the decisions would be made in the second half of 2010. The communities affected are those which house between 50 to 5,000 units, while larger communities would be served by Telecom Egypt.

The move by the government comes as the country has been grappling with the fallout from the economic meltdown. While Egypt has fared better than many other nations, with officials projecting economic growth of over 5 percent for the fiscal year ending next June, it has still struggled with slumping foreign investment as the world's worst economic recession in decades has prompted investors to tighten their purse strings.

Over the last few years, Cairo has been expanding and its developers have invested billions of dollars in new housing communities in the desert catering to upper- and middle-income Egyptians.
The government's move also indicates a shift in the responsibility for providing infrastructure from the state to private developers.

Opportunity bells are ringing for Indian Telcos like Bharti, BSNL & MTNL who are desperate to invest abroad.

Download speed of 28 Mbps offered by Singapore's Mobileone - Wired-line broadband's fag end begins?

Singapore's MobileOne (M1) has announced a further upgrade of its HSPA+ network to support mobile broadband download speed of up to 28 Mbps in selected areas. The increased speed has been achieved with the installation of MIMO (Multiple-input-multiple-output), making M1 HSPA+ network the first in the Asia Pacific to adopt this technology. MIMO is expected to be rolled out to the entire network progressively. Huawei has provided the upgrade.

Meanwhile, M1 will be offering mobile broadband service with download speed of up to 21Mbps island-wide from this Saturday. The M1 HSPA+ network has been capable of delivering download speed of 21 Mbps since July this year, although the company says it held back its commercial launch pending the arrival of customer terminals.

In a year or so the same can be expected in other major telecom markets of world - India & China. Does that indicate that the fag end of wired-line broadband has just begun.

Justifying tele-density in India ? Are the numbers reported by Indian Telcos inflated?

In some of my older posts, I have shown my concern on the numbers reported for users of mobile service in India. For example with entry of DoCoMo on Indian scene, the numbers Tata reported to have added last month was more than 3 million. Bharti & Vodafone continue to claim the same number of addition that they were claiming in new month. Strangely it means that with entry of new operators the existing will not loose market share. Somewhere fundamentals of economics have been defied. In other words the teledensity in India can reach 100% in ayear or so, if 10 more new operators join, as they will each add 2 to 3 million connection without decrease in the number of additions by existing operators. WoW! It seems the tele density figures in India need to be justified some how.

Recently in one of the articles published in ET,findings of a survey by online market research company JuxtConsult were reported. It says - One out of every three (57 million) urban mobile users in India now own two or more mobile connections. Believe it or not. After all this is a survey. JustConsult claims that it's the first time an estimation on the size of this segment has been attempted, as none of the industry associations––Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Service Providers of India (AUSPI)––or sector regulator Telcom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) have any estimation of the number of multiple connections per user.

Understanding the size, composition and motivations of this huge segment of mobile users is critical. It is needed by mobile operators in designing their marketing plans. It is also needed by handset makers and department of telecom (DoT), which is in a fix as to estimating the true teledensity of India. JuxtConsult's estimation of mobile connections in the country (till July) at 343-million is lower than TRAI's estimates of 441.6-million (August). JuxtConsult attributes the difference between its estimate and TRAI numbers to many inactive connections. Says Sanjay Tiwari of JuxtConsult: "The discrepancy is also because about 15% of reported additions by mobile operators and their associations are inflated." There are credible reasons behind operators inflating subscriber numbers. Market cap, valuation and spectrum allocation based on number of subscribers are key reasons along with the pressure to cut tariffs. It also helps attract subscribers to one's own network. A new user is likely to join a large operator as network calls come cheap.

ET also reported that the government suspected that all operators were inflating their customer figures by about 15-20% and that the DoT is planning to monitor the user base of all telecom operators to ensure that operators do not inflate subscriber numbers to grab additional spectrum. Well all this will be sorted out shortly - I hope! For the time being Justconsult deserves appreciation for trying to help in profiling the multiple user customer, whose average age largely falls between 25-35 years. According to the survey, Delhi and the national capital region account for over one in ten of all 57-million MCMU’s at 12% of the total base followed by Mumbai (8%), Bangalore (7%) and Chennai (6%). Most are actual genuine connections.

The survey, also for the first time, makes a distinction between a user and a connection, hitherto taken as one in reporting India’s teledensity and average revenue per user. As reported by ET - According to Rajat Mukherjee, chief corporate affair officer at Idea Cellular, about 20% of all telcos’ customers carry more than one SIM. The carried / thrown in dustbin SIMs remains to be distinguished

JuxtConsult’s India Mobile 2009 estimates are based on a very large sample data of around 285,000 urban and rural Indians, covering all states and union territories––574 districts, 3,175 towns and over 2,800 villages. With at least 30 plus sample each from 323 districts and 419 towns, and 100 plus sample each from 184 districts and 155 towns, the study is one of the most representative, independent enumeration of mobile phone usage in India.

With over two mobile connections per user (2.4) amongst multiple connection mobile users (MCMU), this segment account for a majority (59%) of all 235-million odd urban mobile connections. JuxtConsult’s survey did not estimate MCMU numbers for rural India. TOO MUCH TOO SOON !!

With increased urbanisation and migration from distant parts of the country to the cities, long distance calling has been on the rise across the country. ET reports that Airtel will also soon be launching a family plan where in three members of a family can buy Airtel postpaid connection but pay rental for only one. This plan is justified by the survey which shows that joint families have the highest ownership of mobile phones, with about 65% of their members owning more than one connection.

The socio economic class (SEC) A & C mobile users show higher tendency to have multiple connections, says the survey. Migrant workers and youth form a large part of the target audience. This push is also having an impact on more Mobile phone sales and launch of newer models. Sunil Dutt, country head, Samsung Mobile says he is seeing a rise in sales of Samsung’s dual mode GSM/GSM and GSM/CDMA handsets. While Nokia and Sony Ericsson don’t have such phones in the market, Spice Mobiles, has 50% of its portfolio as dual SIM phones. Such phones contribute a good 80% of the company’s revenues, says Kunal Ahooja, CEO, Spice Mobiles. The survey says that about 41% MCMUs need another spare handset for ease of use. But switching between GSM and CDMA handsets is cited as a reason by 30% buyers.

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