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    Fixed broadband deployment still gaining ground in in the Middle East 09 Dec 2016

    Many countries from the Middle Eastern region are aware that fixed broadband infrastructure is important for economic growth and keeping pace with technological advancements. While mobile broadband is often the leading access technology in many markets – there are still enormous investment in fixed broadband infrastructure taking place.

    Bahrain has always been at the forefront of Internet penetration in the region and since the introduction of greater competition, and the consequent fall in prices, subscriber numbers have grown even more rapidly. Broadband services are now ubiquitous, with dial-up subscribers negligible. Infrastructure-based competition has been essential to growth and ADSL was once the dominant means of broadband access prior to widespread adoption of mobile broadband.

    In 2016 Israel also boasts high broadband penetration. Services are accessible via ADSL, cable, and fibre optic platforms, as well as wireless broadband. Increasing availability of fibre due to capital expenditure has resulted in increased average speeds. There are two other competing infrastructures – the DSL network of fixed-line incumbent Bezeq and the digital cable network of HOT. The broadband market in the UAE is also one of the most advanced both regionally and globally.

    In contrast, Lebanon has trailed behind other countries in the region in almost all aspects of broadband networks and services, however this is slowly changing. The renewed focus on building fibre networks as part of “Telecom Vision 2020” should see Lebanon’s broadband sector improve significantly in the next few years.

    The international community has also identified Iran as lagging behind in terms of broadband infrastructure and access, particularly when compared to other GCC member states. However, in recent years fixed broadband penetration reached a milestone by climbing to above 10%.

    The deployment of fixed broadband has been steady but slow in Kuwait. In the last couple of years fixed services have begun to make inroads but penetration is still low compared to other countries and there is no NBN policy in place.

    Smart city developments are driving broadband deployments in many countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, has an ambitious Smart City project underway named King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which will house around 2 million people and is expected to be completed by 2035. Qatar also has its sights firmly set on being a Smart City of the future and the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022 is attributing to the fast development of smart infrastructure initiatives.

    National Broadband Network (NBNs) deployment is considered an important step towards laying the foundation for smart cities. The deployment of the national broadband network in Jordan, for example, is underway with the project now focusing on connecting the Northern governates via public facilities. Funding for the NBN has been assisted by a Gulf Co-operation Council grant.

    As part of Oman’s National Broadband Strategy, Oman Broadband Company (OBC) has enabled access to fibre networks for around 60,000 residential and commercial businesses around Muscat. Qatar has also embarked on developing a national fibre-based access network, known as QNBN.

    In 2016 Turkey, has become a market to watch with fixed broadband services based on fibre quickly growing and subscriber numbers climbing three-fold since 2013.

    While mobile broadband is still the leading technology in the Middle East, fixed broadband services are still considered to be an important infrastructure with many countries making great strides to improve penetration and deployment.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Middle East - Fixed Broadband Market


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    Asian mobile broadband market continues to grow strongly 08 Dec 2016

    With 3.9 billion mobile subscribers and over 50% of the mobile subscribers in the world, spread across a diverse range of markets, the region is already rapidly advancing in the adoption of mobile broadband services. Mobile broadband as a proportion of the total Asian mobile broadband subscriber base, has increased from 2% in 2008 to 18% in 2013, 27% in 2014, 33% in 2015 and 37% in 2016. Thus mobile broadband subscribers now account for over one third of all mobile subscribers in Asia.

    Growth across the region in high speed access to the internet by means of mobile broadband services has been largely driven by highly competitive markets combined with the preparedness of the customer to embrace new generation mobile technologies. With 3G, 3G+ and 4G platforms extensively covering the region, mobile broadband services have already become well established. The rapid take up has been underpinned by increasingly cheaper smartphone prices and lower airtime tariffs combining to support even wider adoption.

    A major shift from mobile voice to mobile data continues across most markets in Asia. The more highly developed markets in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, have seen their mobile networks strongly driven by mobile data services. They have positioned themselves well to exploit mobile data and broadband wireless opportunities and lead the rest of the region into the next generations of mobile applications.

    The mobile broadband subscriber base across all of Asia continues to grow strongly. The total number of mobile broadband subscribers has increased from 1.12 billion in 2014 to 1.41 billion in 2015 and 1.6 billion in 2016. Although the rate of increase of mobile broadband subscribers has subsided as the initial rapid rollout of services has slowed down, the growth rate is still reasonably strong, implying that there is still significant growth opportunity left in the market over the next five years to 2021, especially in the less developed Asian markets that are still predominately dependant on voice networks for mobile services.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Asia - Mobile Infrastructure and Mobile Broadband


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    Chilean government progresses with 3,000km Fibra Optica Austral fibre network 07 Dec 2016

    Chile’s telecom sector is among the most developed in Latin America, with the modern infrastructure supporting a range of services in the fixed-line, digital media and mobile sectors. Full competition in all market segments has been encouraged by an effective regulatory regime. The country’s market-oriented economy has also made it a popular target with both national and international investors.

    Chile’s fixed-line teledensity remains below the South American average, despite the country’s relatively high GDP per capita and the healthy investment environment. Teledensity peaked in 2001 and has since fallen, a trend which is being pushed by consumer adoption of mobile services for both voice calls and mobile broadband, which is reducing demand for fixed-line infrastructure but leading to a steady climb in the use of mobile voice and data services.

    The incumbent telco Telefónica Chile, trading as Movistar, has effective competition from VTR Globalcom, the GTD Group, Entel, and Claro. VTR is the leading provider of cable TV and cable broadband, and the second largest provider of local telephony. The GTD Group operates through seven subsidiaries, including GTD Manquehue, GTD Telesat, and Telsur, which provide voice, data, and video services for residential and business customers. Entel offers fixed-line services primarily to the wholesale and corporate segments.

    Chile’s broadband penetration is relatively high for the region, and broadband services are among the fastest and least expensive in Latin America. In terms of both broadband penetration and broadband speed, Chile ranks second in South and Central America after Uruguay.

    Mobile penetration is also among the highest in South America, and as a result growth has slowed considerably. In the first half of 2016 the subscriber base fell 1.2% year-on-year, though some recovery is anticipated into 2017 as the availability of LTE networks and services widens. Movistar and Entel remain the market leaders, with a similar market share, while Claro accounts for about 23.7% of the market. There is a growing number of smaller MVNOs, which together have 3% of the market. New entrants include Virgin Mobile, which has a presence in a number of other markets in the region, as well as Vodafone.

    The significant growth in the number of LTE subscribers in recent quarters highlights operator focus on mobile broadband and data services as a source of revenue in coming years. This is being supported by the growing adoption of smartphones, in turn driven by the popularity of social media and improved 3G and LTE coverage, as well as by the reduction in the price of devices.

    This report provides an overview of Chile’s telecom sector and regulatory environment. It includes a range of statistical data and market analyses. The report also reviews the mobile market and includes scenario forecasts to 2021. In addition, the report analyses the internet, broadband, and pay-TV markets, including profiles of the main players, market statistics and broadband scenario forecasts to 2021.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Chile - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses


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    Slovakian telcos invest to widen FttP footprint through to 2018 06 Dec 2016

    Despite market liberalisation Slovakia’s incumbent telco Slovak Telekom maintains a near monopoly of the fixed-line market. Following numerous delays, the government in May 2015 acted on its plans to sell its 49% stake in Slovak Telekom. It cancelled a planned IPO, instead electing to sell its share to Deutsche Telekom.

    Slovakia’s mobile market is served by four mobile network operators, three of which have a pan-European reach. Mobile penetration is relatively high, reaching about 123% by the end of 2016. The introduction of mobile number portability in 2006 intensified competition between players. Although the number of MVNOs is small the market is growing steadily. Mobile broadband access and content services are developing rapidly in line with operators upgrading their networks with HSPA+ and LTE technologies. Recent trials have delivered data at up to 900Mb/s, while LTE population coverage approaches 85%.

    The broadband market has shown steady growth in recent years, with access competition predominately based on infrastructure. The DSL platform remains the dominant access method, while the cable sector is also strong in urban areas. A fast-developing FttX infrastructure and wireless broadband options, particularly from the mobile network operators, add to the mix. Broadband is sold as a platform through which telecom operators provide additional services, such as videostreaming.

    This report outlines Slovakia’s fixed-line telecoms market, providing an overview of the regulatory environment, profiles of the major operators, and a range of operational and financial statistics. The report also assesses the broadband and digital media markets, providing an overview of major players, statistics and market analyses, as well as fixed broadband forecasts to 2021. In addition the report covers the mobile market, providing a variety of statistics and reviewing covers regulatory issues and market developments.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Slovakia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

     
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    Slovenian regulator preps for additional spectrum release in 2017 05 Dec 2016

    Slovenia’s fixed-line telecom market is dominated by Telekom Slovenije. The company has suffered from declining revenue since 2009, and so in a bid to diversify business interests and lessen the reliance pure telecom services the company is looking to expand into the electricity and insurance sectors, capitalising o its extensive customer base. In response to competition the telco has also followed the path of many European incumbents and developed an international presence, focused predominantly on the Balkans region where it is becoming a regional provider of IT and multimedia services.

    In the overall telecom market, regulatory intervention has improved market conditions for competitors. LLU fees, based on regulated pricing models, continue to trend downwards but despite this there has been a steady reduction in the number of unbundled local loop connections.

    Slovenia’s competitive mobile market has four mobile network operators and a small number of mobile virtual network operators, operating in a country with a potential market of only two million people. With high mobile penetration, telcos have branched into offering both mobile and fixed-line services so as to offer bundled products This strategy saw the cableco Telemach acquire Tušmobil and Si.mobil merge with Amis Telekom.

    The regulator has addressed the need of mobile operators for more spectrum, providing additional concessions in 2013 and holding a significant multi-spectrum auction in 2014. An auction for left-over spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands was held in late 2016, with Telemach securing all three blocks on offer. Another auction for fixed-wireless broadband services using spectrum in the 3.5GHz, 10GHz and 12GHz bands is expected to be held in 2017.

    Slovenia’s broadband market continues to be dominated by a small number of players, including the incumbent telco Telekom Slovenije, Telemach and T-2. Some market changes may develop in 2017 as a result of T-2 being forced to return to bankruptcy. Despite the launch of competing platforms, DSL remains the most popular access method though its market share is being eroded by the steady development of fibre-based networks, as well as by upgraded cable networks which offer data rates of up to 220Mb/s. The deployment of DOCSIS3.1 technology expected by cablcos from about 2018 will provide data rates of at least 1Gb/s, and so enable the operators to improve the delivery of bundled services.

    This report offers a variety of insightful statistics and a concise overview of Slovenia’s fixed-line telecoms market, covering the major players, regulatory measures and developments in fixed-line infrastructure. The report also covers the fixed-line broadband market, including subscription forecasts to 2021, as well as an overview of the digital media sector, highlighting major players and industry developments. In addition the report offers insights and statistics on the mobile market, including updates on operators, regulatory measures relating to roaming, tariffs and spectrum, and developments in LTE and other technologies.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Slovenia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses


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    Finland’s telcos prepare for 700MHz spectrum auction 03 Dec 2016

    Finland’s telecom market is among the more progressive in Europe, with considerable emphasis by both the regulator and operators to test-bed technologies, particularly in the mobile sector. The regulator has been quick to provide additional spectrum for telecom services, with spectrum in the 800MHz already available for LTE use and with a multi-band auction planned to be held by the end of 2016. Supported by these spectrum allocations the country enjoys among the highest broadband and mobile penetration rates in the region. Digital media developments have also progressed well since broadcasting services became entirely digital in early 2008, ahead of most other European countries.

    Finland’s high broadband penetration has also resulted from astute regulatory measures which have encouraged market competition, as well as a population keen to adopt internet services and their delivery through fixed-line and mobile technologies. The government has set an ambitious target to deliver 100Mb/s to all premises and by mid-2016 more than half of all households were able to access a 100Mb/s service. The incumbent, Telia, remains the dominant player in the declining DSL sector, while there is also a vibrant cable network presence in urban areas, as well as a strengthening fibre sector.

    Finland retains one of most advanced mobile markets in Europe. The country was the first to deploy 3G using 900MHz spectrum. The Finnish vendor Nokia Networks is involved in developing 5G technologies, which are expected to be trialled in 2017. Growth in the number of mobile subscribers has stalled, in line with the high penetration, while the market has shifted to mobile data and mobile broadband. Market competition has helped keep mobile call charges among the lowest among EU member states. Regulated tariffs and termination rates have also put revenue pressure on MNOs.

    This report assesses a number of key aspects of the Finnish telecom market, providing data on the fixed network services sector together with an overview of important regulatory issues including interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability and carrier preselection. The major operators are profiled, while the telecoms infrastructure and fixed telephony services are also assesses. The report also provides statistics and analyses on the mobile market, including a snapshot of the consumer market, the growth of mobile data services and the development of emerging technologies and networks such as HSPA, LTE and 5G. In addition the report profiles Finland’s fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and internet via satellite. It also provides broadband forecasts to 2021.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Finland - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses


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    Malta’s main telcos GO and Melita sold to outside interests 02 Dec 2016

    Despite its small size, Malta’s telecom sector is among the most advanced in Europe. Mobile and broadband penetration are both relatively high, while ongoing investments in networks are providing customers with a range of bundled services. The sector is also stimulated by regulatory measures designed to increase competition and to reduce consumer prices, as also to pave the way towards a national FttP telecom network. The regulator has keenly promoted this infrastructure to develop the eCommerce sector, conscious that the country’s geographic location and economy dominated by micro-businesses restricts the potential for companies to make effective use of online sales.

    The broadband market remains largely controlled by two operators, with Melita retaining a monopoly on cable services and GO commanding a near complete dominance in the DSL market. Alternative broadband players have only a small share of the DSL market. An island-wide WiMAX service is provided by Vodafone, while Melita also operates an extensive Wi-Fi mesh network. GO is currently investing in an extensive FttP network, while an all-fibre backhaul network also supports its LTE infrastructure.

    The telecom market generated €182.3 million in revenue in 2015, accounting for 2.4% of GDP. Investment in telecoms networks has been maintained, though in recent years this was mainly made up of investment in mobile infrastructure which compensated for lower investment by other operators providing fixed-line services. However, since 2015 GO has embarked on a program to develop a wide-spread FttP network, and so provide a platform to develop services in future.

    In the mobile market Vodafone Malta, GO Mobile and Melita Mobile have been joined by a few MVNOs though these have only a small market share. The sector remains dominated by GO Mobile and Vodafone, which together control about 85% of the market by subscribers. These operators offer quad-play services including mobile combinations of voice, cable TV, videostreaming and telephony, which as bundles make it hard for other operators to gain a foothold other than within narrow markets. Nevertheless, a sympathetic regulatory regime is having a marked effect on operator behaviour as they struggle to retain existing customers in an increasingly competitive market.

    The key issue for coming years will be the continuing effort by the regulator to encourage a national broadband network through developing regulations attractive to investors, and so maintain momentum in one of Europe’s smallest markets.

    For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Malta - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

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