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Sectors and markets - Carriers - Smartphone - Broadband technology - Satellite communications - Cellphone - Wireless - Roaming -

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Mobile internet • March 2015

Orange launches breakthrough all-inclusive digital offer to deliver mobile internet to millions more across Africa and the Middle East

Orange puts the mobile internet within reach of millions more people, otherwise not previously addressed, with the launch of a new breakthrough digital offer across its significant African and Middle Eastern footprint. The Orange Klif digital offer starts from under US$40 (€35), inclusive of a smartphone, data, voice and text bundle, setting a new benchmark in price that will act as a major catalyst for smartphone and data adoption across the region.

The 3G Firefox OS smartphone is exclusive to Orange and will be available from Q2 in thirteen of Orange’s markets in the region, including, but not limited to, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, The Ivory Coast, Jordan, Niger, Kenya, Mauritius and Vanuatu.  

The launch of the offer follows a successful history in delivering and marketing smartphones in the region with Orange witnessing a doubling of smartphone sales in 2014, representing a 35 percent slice of total handset sales. Since launching its first smartphone in the region in 2013, Orange has sold more than a million smartphones to date, attributable to Orange’s strategy to launch the right device at the right price to the right customer. With the Orange Klif digital offer, Orange is addressing a new market segment for the first time that to date, has found access to the mobile internet unaffordable. 

Orange has also experienced a burgeoning demand for data that has seen a 44% year-on-year rise in mobile data revenues in the last quarter of 2014. 

“Although the smartphone revolution is well under way across the African continent, there remains a proportion of the population that so far has been underserved, not just because of the cost of handsets, but because of concerns about data costs. By scooping up all the costs into one, incredibly priced digital offer, we hope that critical access to the mobile internet and all the opportunities that that opens up, will be within reach of many more people,” commented Yves Maitre, Executive Vice President of Connected Objects and Partnerships, Orange.

Affordable and predictable data costs

The launch signals a new type of offer in the market that is typically characterised by pay-as-you-go, offering predictability of data costs through an all-inclusive tariff at a price that sets a new benchmark.  Customers seeking to upgrade from 2G feature phones to 3G smartphones can enjoy the benefits of multimedia and online usage with no hidden surprises. Depending on the market, a typical data bundle will be up to 500mb per month for six months, with the opportunity to top-up when reaching the end of the bundle. However, across the participating markets customers may have access to shorter or longer data plans and also enjoy voice and text allocations, inclusive in the bundle. 

Compelling content and services

The smartphone will also provide access to a range of compelling content, including established Orange services such as Star Africa, the entertainment portal, Orange Football Club as well as partner services like Dailymotion, the video sharing service.  All-important local content, for example, the popular sports portal, Ndamli, in Senegal and Anghami, a music catalogue service providing access to millions of Arabic and international songs will be readily available. Additionally, customers will have access to the burgeoning Firefox Marketplace, providing access to thousands of apps.  

3G Orange Klif provides enviable experience to smartphone newcomers

The Orange Klif promises an enviable introductory smartphone experience featuring the latest Firefox OS, ample screen size with its 3.5” HVGA screen and 2 mega pixel camera. With its 1300mAh battery offering 810 hours of standby, the smartphone also provides a reliable companion when on the move.  

"Smartphone prices are falling fast but there are still large segments in Africa who find existing smartphone models too expensive. Mobile data adoption also has enormous room to grow, especially in markets across Africa, where to date most smartphones have been bought without a bundled data plan. There is a major opportunity for innovation to fill both of these market gaps," said Ian Fogg, Senior Director Mobile & Telecoms at IHS Technology. • 3/15

 

 

Life changes in Mozambique • 9/14

Vital leaps in short time

From a house helper to a boss – one in many fairy tales created by Movitel  

By Dang Phuong*  

Antonio Edmundo, 23 years old, is currently the director of the Movitel’s district center island Ilha de Mozambique, Nampula province. Just two years ago, he was only a house helper in the office this business center of Movitel, SA – a joint venture between Vietnamese company Viettel and Mozambique’s SPI Company. Antonio's journey from a house helper to a master might surprise many people; it’s just like a dream coming true!

Starting to work for Movitel from January 2012 as a house helper since the company opened stores in the district of Namialo, Antonio was highly appreciated by the district director of Namialo – Mr. Khanh, who hired him due to his enthusiasm, hard work and loyalty. Khanh had an intention to train him to be a store staff as working in the house, Antonio could capture all daily operations of the store, knowing where and how to store the merchandise, and understanding the work of each staff. 

After some time, noticing the extremely agile and quick understanding of the “house helper”, Director Khanh assigned Antonio to manage a mobile sales team. Every morning, after a decent cleaning the entire store, from 8am, Antonio led the team to go out selling goods in remote areas. Until September 2012, Antonio was promoted as a salesman of the shop; however, he still took care of the house cleaning at the same time. But from that time on, Antonio's work expanded. In addition to leading mobile teams, he was also in charge of managing and delivery goods to points of sale.

Step by step, Antonio had gained experience and raised up his dream of changing life until it coming true in February 2014, when he officially took over Mr.Khanh’s position as the director of the Ilha island. He is now a “real boss”, managing the entire business of the district center with 9 staffs and 01 technical team. So far, Ilha district ranks the second highest in term of mobile penetration in the branch with 21.5% (11 237 subscribers out of 52 202 people).

The story of Antoino is one among many other interesting stories in Movitel about the changes it brings to the staffs and people where it runs business.

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After 2 years entering Mozambique’s telecom market, Movitel has achieved significant successful business and with a rapid revenue and subscriber growth rate over 120%/year to reach nearly US$155 revenue and 5 million subscribers in 2013, making up 32% market share. However, what people impressed most by this operator is its contribution to the society. Movitel has popularized telecom services in rural and underserved areas, significantly changing the communication landscape in Mozambique and contributing in various ways to enhance life of people here through many of its social programs.

In order to enable telecom services including mobile, fixed phone and Internet accessible to rural population, Movitel has invested in a network of 2,800 towers, 25,000km fiber optic cable covering 100% districts and highways, 80% population and a distribution channel to every village. Besides, it also provides service support and social programs including free Internet to schools, subsidizing handset cost for rural users, offering special package designed to support low-income users such as farmers or students. Movitel has provided free Internet to 2,500 schools, supported Mozambican government to implement e-government program. Nearly 600,000 people in at least 5rural districts have been covered and served telecom services for the first time in life. With Movitel, telecom services are now available to everyone, giving them opportunities to improve their living standard.

With a philosophy of integrating business development with social responsibility, Movitel has considerably took part in the sustainable development Mozambique and helped changing the life of people here, particularly the poor and the rural population. It has generated nearly 20,000 jobs in rural areas. After employing local people, the company will train them until they can independently handle the work themselves. After that, expert managers from headquarter shall be retreated, leaving the positions for the local people to take over. By doing this way, Movitel not only gives the people a means of living but also a dream to pursue. Antonio - District Director of Ilha de Mozambique is one such person.

As a result of their tireless effort, on July 8th 2014, Movitel was granted the “Best Mobile Innovations Award” - the most notable prize among the 18 others of the Mobile Innovations Awards for business across the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and became the only telecom operator in Africa winning 3 reputable prizes from prestigious and leading international organizations within only 2 years of business. Formerly, it won the Rural Telecom Award of the AfricaCom Awards in 2012 and the Competitive Strategy Leadership award by The American Research and Consulting firm Frost and Sullivan in 2013. • Source: Youth Newspapers, Vietnam (9/14) 

*Author: Dang Phuong – Reporter of  Youth Newspapers – Vietnam.

 

Satellite communication • Dec 2013

SES-8 with 33 Ku-band transponders

SES S.A. announces that the SES-8 satellite was successfully launched into space at 17:41 EST (23:41 CET) from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

A Falcon 9 booster operated by SpaceX successfully injected the SES-8 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, 31 minutes after lift-off, in what was SES’s maiden use of a SpaceX/Falcon 9 rocket. SES has three more SpaceX/Falcon 9 boosters under contract.

SES-8 was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The satellite features up to 33 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent). SES-8 is authorized by The Netherlands and will be co-located with NSS-6 at the orbital location of 95 degrees East to provide growth capacity over Asia-Pacific. The spacecraft’s high performance beams will support the rapidly growing markets in South Asia and Indo-China, as well as provide expansion capacity for DTH, VSAT and government applications.

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Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES, stated: “SES’s maiden launch on board a Falcon 9 rocket is yet another example of our company’s spirit of innovation and advancement of the commercial space industry. We congratulate the SpaceX team for the success of a challenging launch campaign and our longstanding supplier Orbital for innovating with us in exploring new paths to orbit while delivering a brand-new, state-of-the-art satellite for Asia. Our customers are looking forward to the new capacity, and we are delighted that SES, in collaboration with SpaceX and Orbital, is all set to deliver following today’s successful launch. Through the co-location with NSS-6 at 95 degrees East, SES-8 will not only provide incremental high performance capacity, notably for DTH services, it will also create greater reliability and additional security for customers. The SES-8 satellite will significantly contribute to SES’s growing presence in Asia-Pacific.”

“Today’s successful insertion of the SES-8 satellite marks SpaceX’s first geo-synchronous transfer mission and confirms the Falcon 9 launch vehicle lives up to the industry’s highest performance standards,” said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX. “As always, SpaceX remains committed to delivering the safest, most reliable launch vehicles on the market today. We appreciate SES’s early confidence in SpaceX and look forward to launching additional SES satellites in the years to come.” • Business Wire (4-12-13)

Photo: Launch Success for SES-8 Satellite on Board SpaceX/Falcon 9 (Business Wire)

 


TOP - Cover -

Testing & Certification • March 2015

AT4 wireless appoints Swift Labs as its Canadian Agency

AT4 wireless, the most complete laboratory in wireless & cellular testing & certification, has appointed Swift Labs, an expert company in wireless R&D, functional testing, pre-testing and consultancy services, as its Canadian Agency.

These companies have entered into agreement to provide added value services to the Canadian telecommunications industry through local pretesting, functional testing, R&D support and Carrier Lab Entry Services. Swift Labs will provide direct access to AT4 wireless’ complete service offering, bringing global reach to the wireless & cellular testing market in Canada.

Swift Labs is located in “Canada´s Tech Triangle” - a hotbed of technology start-ups and innovative companies leading R&D for advanced cellular and wireless technologies. These companies need competitive certification services and R&D support, providing strategic advantages to products and market readiness.

Swift Labs will actively promote the complete portfolio of AT4 wireless services in regulatory, conformance, carrier acceptance, interoperability, performance, field trials, and certification in Canada. This partnership will ensure that products comply with the certification and type approval needs demanded by the global market and end users.

This agreement strengthens AT4 wireless’ position in telecom testing with a certification partner in the North American market.

“We are excited to be partnered with the industry leading AT4 wireless. They have a strong service portfolio and a great reputation in the regulatory and compliance industry. Swift Labs can now introduce and extend these services to the Canadian technology market”, says Anthony Middleton, CEO of Swift Labs. “We look forward to working with the AT4 wireless team. We see lots of opportunities between the two companies.”

Swift Labs is a technology start-up founded by highly skilled professionals, with deep experience in wireless and cellular R&D activities. They understand technology, testing and certification challenges for wireless & cellular products; the combination of both companies´ expertise offers a valuable service to the Canadian Industry.

“We are delighted to have a partner like Swift Labs. We intend to grow together in the Canadian market that offers a growing potential in markets like M2M and wireless integration in a good number of vertical markets”, said Fernando E. Hardasmal, AT4 wireless, Inc. CEO. The AT4 wireless team is looking forward to this new partnership.• 3/15

Rural telecoms in Mozambique • 8/14

The impact of Movitel on ICT
in Mozambique

By Nguyen Thai Khang*

Arriving in Mozambique when the telecom infrastructure was very limited and only 35% of the population was accessible to the telecommunication services, Viettel – the Vietnamese leading telecommunications - has endorsed an initiative to popularize telecom services in rural and under-served areas in Mozambique.

This initiative regards telecom provision as a commodity, which should be accessible regardless of geographical location or financial capacity. The company has invested in a network, service support and introduction of social programs to enable telecom services accessible to rural Mozambicans, as part of improving their overall lives and become its customers.

Viettel aims at a sustainable social development and benefit both customers and the company by bringing mobile phones to every Mozambican and broadband Internet to every Mozambican family.

Two years after the initiative was implemented, Movitel – the joint venture between Viettel and Mozambique’s SPI Company has built 2,800 2G/3G base stations and 25,000 km of fiber optical cables covering 100% of districts and highways, serving nearly 80% of the Mozambican population.

In rural areas, by the end of 2013 the company has increased its coverage area from 60% to 85% and doubled the number of covered people from 35% to 75%. In addition, to address the difficulties incurred due to limited transportation infrastructure, Movitel developed a diversified distribution channels comprising of 153 shops, 12,600 agents and points of sales and nearly 4,000 direct sales staffs to deliver door-to-door services in every village. Nearly 600,000 people in at least 5rural districts have been covered and served telecom services for the first time in life.

Tariff plans have been tailored to be affordable and flexible for different groups. For instance, farmers were offered zero entrant fee with top up denomination of any value in addition to subsidizing handsets while the youth could enjoy services such as i-Muzik, Missed call alerts, Call me back, daily news, horoscopes, etc. Never before is it easier for Mozambican to use telecommunications services than it is now with Movitel.

Moreover, Movitel is considerably contributing to changing the information communication landscape in Mozambique thanks to its strong network infrastructure. Movitel now accounts for 70% of the country’s fiber optical cable infrastructure and 50% of the mobile phone network infrastructure, bringing Mozambique among the top three nations in terms of fiber optical cabling infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa (along with South Africa and Nigeria).

The country now has a strong and modern infrastructure through this, in addition to the latest DWDM technology and 20Gbps bandwidth. The infrastructure enables Mozambique’s telecommunication industry to implement the e-government and develop ICT applications in the education and healthcare sectors for socio-economic.

Especially, considering investment in education as an investment for the future and the knowledge base of a country, Movitel has introduced “Internet connection to schools” program to supply free broadband Internet to 4,200 schools nationwide.

Up to the end of 2013, 2,500 schools was connected with Internet, helping millions of teachers and students have access to the world’s sources of information for a better education. Besides, the company also supports Mozambican government to implement e-government program to bridge the digital gap between rural and urban areas.

Recently, Movitel, SA has become the only telecom operator in Africa in 3 consecutive years winning reputable prizes from prestigious international organizations by winning the Best Mobile Innovation Award – the most notable prize among the 18 others of the Mobile Innovations Awards.

Formerly, it won the Rural Telecom Award of the AfricaCom Awards in 2012 and the Competitive Strategy Leadership award by The American Research and Consulting firm Frost and Sullivan in 2013. These awards are all a praise of the tireless effort of Movitel in enhancing the people’s lives and its contribution to the ICT development of Mozambique. • Source: ICTNews (8/14)

Author: Nguyen Thai Khang – Head of ICT division - ICTNews  (www.ictnews.vn), Chairman of The Vietnam ICT Press Club.

 




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