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Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
The Polish telco and pay-TV group Cyfrowy Polsat is considering the sale of the mobile infrastructure owned by cellco subsidiary Polkomtel, which trades under the Plus brand. The group says that options under review include: the sale of 100% of the shares of Polkomtel Infrastruktura, which owns the passive and active network equipment; the sale of selected elements of the network; or a joint venture or strategic partnership. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Plus is the smallest of Poland’s four mobile network operators (MNOs) in terms of subscribers, with 10.55 million users and 22% of the overall market at the end of June 2020.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Vodafone Group has launched an eleventh-hour bid for Grupo MASMOVIL, as it attempts to derail the pending EUR2.96 billion (USD3.24 billion) takeover by buyout firms Providence, Cinven and KKR. According to El Economista, preliminary talks have already taken place through intermediaries, and Vodafone could be willing to pay as much as EUR6 billion for the alternative operator – more than double the agreed offer. A source familiar with the situation told the business daily: ‘The playing field is open. Everything is possible at the moment, and nothing can be ruled out.’As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month 86.41% of MASMOVIL’s shareholders approved the bid by Lorca Telecom Bidco, a company indirectly owned
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has completed a pilot deployment of 10-Gigabit-capable Symmetric Passive Optical Access Network (XGS-PON) technology in collaboration with Chinese vendor Huawei in Korang Town, Islamabad. In addition, PTCL also deployed the vendor’s Quick Optical Distribution Network (QuickODN) solution, which it claims will increase the speed with which it can roll out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to customers by more than 30%. Commenting on the project, Mark Meng, Huawei Pakistan CEO was quoted as saying: ‘We are excited to introduce XGS-PON technology in Pakistan through PTCL that will allow their customers to experience best-in-class internet services. This technology will serve fibre-based broadband service.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Ireland’s government is said to be considering fast-tracking the National Broadband Plan (NBP) in response to the coronavirus crisis, The Irish Times writes, citing Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan. Speaking in the Dail Eireann, the minister was reported to have said that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of reliable broadband in facilitating remote working, providing access to education and for essential online facilities. ‘My department is engaging with National Broadband Ireland (NBI) to explore the feasibility of accelerating aspects of the planned rollout to establish the possibility of bringing forward premises which are currently scheduled in years six and seven of the plan to an earlier date’. Such discussio.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
The Greek government has kicked off its 5G auction process, inviting applications for spectrum in the 700MHz, 2GHz, 3.4GHz-3.8GHz and 26GHz bands. Applications for the multi-round auction are open until 23 October. The National Telecommunications & Post Commission (Ethniki Epitropi Tilepikoinonion kai Tachydromeion, EETT) is ultimately looking to award 2×30MHz in the 700MHz band, 2×15MHz in the 2100MHz band (plus 2×45MHz in the same band which is already allocated but licences expire in 2021), 280MHz at 3.7GHz, and up to 2,500MHz in the 24GHz-28GHz range, depending on demand.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Telefonica Deutschland has announced that it will launch its 5G network on 3 October in the five largest German cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne. Private customers with a compatible 5G device and tariff will be able to start using commercial services on 6 October at no extra charge, with business customers set to ‘follow soon’. Initially around 150 base stations will be live, allowing nine million people to experience 5G services at maximum speeds of 300Mbps from launch. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Telefonica acquired 70MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum for EUR1.04 billion (USD1.2 billion) at auction in June 2019. The firm said it would initially use the newly acquired spectrum to supply urban areas and i.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Iceland’s state-owned submarine cable operator *Farice* has chosen Galway in Ireland as the landing site for its new submarine cable dubbed *IRIS* scheduled to run from Iceland to Europe, Galway Daily writes. Farice CEO Thorvardur Sveinsson said: ‘The Icelandic landing site will be on the Reykjanes peninsula with the final location to be decided during the winter 2020/2021 … This coupled with Galway’s reputation for business, education and hospitality will lead to a win-win situation.’ An undersea route survey for the cable is currently underway from Galway to the edge of the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone, which stretches to 200 nautical miles off the coast. TeleGeography notes that four systems currently land on Icelandic shores, namely *C.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Ooredoo Qatar’s CEO Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani gave a TV interview this week highlighting the operator’s achievements in digital transformation and ICT solutions, including an update on 5G development progress. As reported by The Peninsula newspaper, Sheikh Mohammed stated that 5G mobile network coverage has reached ‘more than 90% of populated areas’ in Qatar, with customers ‘enjoying up to 2.2Gbps’ 5G data speeds and the expectation of being able to offer 4.2Gbps (theoretical) maximum data rates ‘after the completion of all logistics requirements, which we hope will be soon’. He also noted Ooredoo Qatar’s launch this week of a new 5G mobile internet device, the M5 Netgear, ‘one of the most advanced devices in mobile broadband ser.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
M1 has announced that it switched on its 5G non-standalone (NSA) network in Singapore on 24 September for existing and new users, accessible via a simple 5G Booster pack to their existing mobile plan. Claiming a first in the city-state, the cellco confirmed its network is available to all customers with no limit on the number of sign-ups or restrictions on any plans. M1’s 5G Booster packs start at SGD15 (USD10.9) for a 25GB data bundle – customers only need a compatible 5G NSA device to take advantage, it notes. Further, M1 is offering customers who sign up before end-2020 a 70% reduction on their bill for six months, as well as a free year-long subscription to video streaming provider Viu. From launch, M1’s new 5G network is available in S.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has initiated a public consultation on revised guidelines for the deployment of communication towers. The purpose of the review is to include emerging industry standards and procedures for the installation of communication towers, facilitate the development of infrastructure to enhance the delivery of quality services and address environmental issues. Interested parties are invited to submit their comments before 23 October. Aspects of the guidelines to be revised include a requirement for parties intending to construct a tower to demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to investigate tower sharing before applying for a permit to construct a new tower within a specified radius of.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
A committee has been established in Uruguay to prepare for the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP), which enables mobile users to retain their number if they switch service provider, reports TeleSemana. The committee comprises representatives from a number of industry regulators, including the Regulatory Unit of Communications Services (Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones, URSEC), as well as the country's three mobile network operators. It will be responsible for formulating a timetable for the introduction of MNP, reviewing the numbering plan and determining the costs. The move follows the approval of Law 19,889/2020 in July, Article 472 of which states that operators will be obliged to offer MNP under the guidelin.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/25/2020 06:10
The government of Slovakia says it intends to launch its 5G spectrum auction process by the end of the year. A report from Zive.sk cites Ivan Martak, the chairman of the country’s telecoms regulator, as saying: ‘The priority is to complete the 5G auction. We have suspended it since 18 June, which was three months ago. We have millions of euros deposited [by interested bidders] as a financial security. We definitely want to have it ready by the end of the year.’ There was no official reason given for the suspension of the sale in June, though it is thought to have centred on ‘unspecified security risks’, according to the report. The Office for Regulation of Electronic Communications & Postal Services (Regulacny urad, RU) intends to sell 5G-c.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/24/2020 06:24
Slovak ISP SWAN has expanded the reach of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks and launched 1Gbps services in a number of markets. These include parts of Bratislava, Trnava, Nitra, Kosice and Malacky, with further locations due to be added by the end of this month. The operator says customers in these areas can now choose between tariffs providing peak download/upload speeds of 50Mbps/5Mbps, 150Mbps/15Mbps, 300Mbps/30Mbps and 1Gbps/100Mbps.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/24/2020 06:24
Irish telecoms watchdog the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has launched a consultation as part of a Universal Service Review on the provision of public payphones. Previously, in June 2020 the regulator outlined its plan to consult on the usage threshold and payment methods that would be in place until 31 December 2020 – the end of the current payphone designation period – as well as the need, if any, for a public payphone universal service after that. In keeping its word, ComReg is now undertaking the review and has invited submissions from members of the public, as well as interested stakeholders by a deadline of 19 October.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 09/24/2020 06:24
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has indicated that it will auction off stake in the country’s monopoly telecoms provider, Ethio Telecom, next month. According to New Business Ethiopia, the timetable for the sale of the 40% shareholding in the telco was said to have been revealed at a consultation conducted between the MoF and interested parties regarding the bidding process, which was held as part of preparations for the divestment. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month it was reported Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had confirmed that a 5% stake in Ethio Telecom is to be offered to local investors, with the state to retain a 55% holding in the telco as part of the privatisation process, with the remainder (40%) to be off.

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