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Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has recreated the Ministry of Communications (Ministerio das Comunicacoes, MiniCom) with the signing of Law 14,074/20 on 15 October. The regulatory switch has been on the cards since June, when a ‘provisional measure’ was approved. Communications has been part of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communications (Ministerio da Ciencia, Tecnologia, Inovacoes e Comunicacoes, MCTIC) since 2016, when then-president Michel Temer merged the ministries as part of an effort to reduce the number of government departments, as well as cutting public spending.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Sweden-based Tele2 group has reported a 3% annual drop in revenue on an organic basis for the third quarter of 2020 to SEK6.64 billion (USD752 million). Service revenues were down 2% at SEK4.89 billion, with the declines attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlying EBITDA rose by 2% to SEK2.51 billion, driven by a strong performance in the Baltic region as well as cost savings. Net profit from continuing operations climbed from SEK1.04 billion in Q3 2019 to SEK1.22 billion in the most recent period. The group had 7.33 million mobile subscribers in Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Germany at the end of September, with 904,000 fixed broadband customers in Sweden at the same date. CEO Kjell Johnsen commented: ‘Our main growth drivers
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has confirmed enhancements to National Broadband Network (NBN) consumer experience rules, with a view to protecting Australians during the final phase of the NBN migration. According to the regulator the improvements, which follow its recent review, will benefit both consumers and telco providers, and the enhancements will expand the number of businesses protected by the rules. Specifically, the ACMA has confirmed that from 14 December 2020, businesses with an estimated annual telco spend of up to AUD40,000 (USD28,351) will now be covered, up from AUD20,000 previously. Meanwhile, it has been suggested that the changes will also make the rules clearer and more flexible for telco provid.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Lebanon’s National News Agency reports that management responsibility for state-owned mobile operator Touch Lebanon – currently managed by Zain Group – will be handed over to the government on 30 October 2020. In early September, Lebanon’s other state-owned cellco, Alfa (registered as Mobile Interim Company 1 [MIC 1]), became officially managed by the government via the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) in accordance with a Cabinet resolution in May.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Maroc Telecom (IAM) has published its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2020, reporting a 3.1% decrease in revenues from MAD9.209 billion (USD996 million) to MAD9.174 billion, attributed to a 7.0% drop in sales generated by the group’s domestic unit, which was partly offset by 0.7% increase in revenues from its international operations.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Four applicants have been approved to participate in Sweden’s upcoming 5G spectrum auctions for 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz frequencies. Hi3G Access (Tre), Net4Mobility (Tele2 and Telenor), Telia Sweden and Teracom (Net1) are cleared to bid in the sale process which begins on 10 November. All of the approved firms currently operate mobile networks in Sweden. As previously announced, up to 15 nationwide licences will be sold in the 3.5GHz band (3400MHz-3720MHz), incorporating a maximum 320MHz of frequencies (one licence will include 40MHz of spectrum while the rest will offer 20MHz). The minimum bid for 3.5GHz frequencies is SEK100 million (USD10 million) per lot (SEK1.5 billion in total). Up to 80MHz will be on offer in the 2.3GHz range, split into e.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
VodafoneZiggo, NEC Europe and Altiostar have jointly announced a successful voice call made on an open virtual Radio Access Network (Open RAN) on the Vodafone Netherlands mobile network. A press release said: ‘Open RAN technology is the foundation of next-generation wireless infrastructure driven by innovation and open standards.’ Vodafone Mobile Networks Director Ruud Koeyvoets added: ‘The introduction of the technology enables us to introduce new suppliers, such as Altiostar, giving us greater flexibility when rolling out our mobile network. During the course of the ongoing trial, Vodafone and NEC intend to integrate solutions of leading Open RAN technology vendors, such as Altiostar and various other radio vendors, including NEC’s own 5G.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
UK-based CityFibre, which last week announced that it had begun work on the deployment of its full fibre infrastructure in Slough, has now confirmed it has broken ground on its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout in Swindon. In a press release regarding the matter CityFibre revealed that construction work had officially commenced in Swindon’s Gorse Hill area, with the rest of the town set to follow. VolkerSmart Technologies is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf, and is said to be working closely with CityFibre, Swindon Borough Council and local communities to manage disruption and ensure a fast and successful rollout. Meanwhile, residents are reportedly being kept informed by mailings ahead of works in their street.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
CETIN, the Czech network infrastructure operator formed by Petr Kellner’s PPF Group, has selected Ericsson to supply it with a 5G network, the company reported on Monday (19 October). Reuters quotes CETIN spokeswoman Klara Zavadilova as confirming that the Swedish vendor had secured the contract, but did not disclose any details. ‘We will release more details as soon as we finalise the remaining legal formalities,’ she was reported as saying, backing up an earlier statement on the choice by PPF board member Vladimir Mlynar on Twitter.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Verizon Communications has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire certain assets from rural wireless operator Bluegrass Cellular. The cellco provides wireless services to 210,000 customers in 34 counties in rural service areas 3, 4 and 5 in central Kentucky. The acquisition is subject to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval and other conditions and is expected to close later this year or early in 2021. The value of the deal has not been disclosed. Bluegrass customers do not need to take any action at this time. Ron Smith, President of Bluegrass Cellular, commented: ‘We launched the first wireless company in central Kentucky 29 years ago ... I’m confident that Verizon will continue to be the same good neighbour that.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) has begun modernising its network using solutions by digital enablement firm Alepo, making significant improvements to its billing, charging, and authentication systems. The modernisation will be carried out in phases, through which TVL intends to digitise and automate its data service offerings on Alepo’s advanced platform. So far, the operator has upgraded from Alepo’s legacy business support systems (BSS) to its Digital BSS, as well as upgrading to the latest version of authentication, authorisation and accounting (AAA), for its fixed data services. The upgraded system supports fair usage policy offers and Telecom Vanuatu has implemented happy hours allowing free night-time browsing. The operator has also in.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/20/2020 06:30
President Felix Tshisekedi has announced plans to directly manage the development of Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) digital economy himself, via a new instrument referred to as ‘Presidential Digital Coordination’. The president informed the Council of Ministers that due to the importance of the country’s transformation into a digital economy he intends to establish the new system ‘in the coming days’. Through the new President-led structure, he would collaborate with other government agencies to prepare and define strategy with regards to the management of information and the development of the digital economy, and would identify priority areas. Local news portal notes that it remains to be seen how the new powers will
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/19/2020 06:56
Reports from Italy suggest that utility group Enel could sell its 50% stake in wholesale network operator Open Fiber by the end of this year. Last month Enel received a EUR2.65 billion (USD3.13 billion) offer (excluding debt) for its interest in Open Fiber from Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets (MIRA). Il Sole 24 Ore now writes that Macquarie is considering submitting an increased offer, while the telco’s other shareholder – state-backed fund Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) – could acquire a further 10% stake to take its interest to 60%, with Macquarie buying the remainder.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/19/2020 06:56
US-based global cloud networking provider GTT Communications has signed a definitive agreement to sell its infrastructure division to I Squared Capital, an independent global infrastructure investment firm, for USD2.15 billion. A press release says the division being offloaded ‘consists of GTT’s business and activities of providing pan-European, North American, subsea and trans-Atlantic fibre network and data centre infrastructure services’ to multinational clients. The infrastructure division sale includes selected network and data centre assets accumulated from several GTT acquisitions, including Interoute, Hibernia, and KPN International, that comprise:. • a 103,000 route kilometre fibre network with over 400 points of presence, spanning
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/19/2020 06:56
Mexican industrial conglomerate ALFA has received a number of non-binding bids for its telecoms unit Axtel, which serves the wholesale, business and government markets. ALFA confirmed: ‘We are advancing to the second phase of the competitive process to attract investors and strategic proposals for Axtel Networks and the company.’ The number of bids is in the double digits, the company added. ALFA has owned 51% of Axtel’s equity since February 2016.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 10/19/2020 06:56
T-Mobile Netherlands has set a new date of 1 June 2021 to stop supporting 2G GSM for consumer mobile services, extending a previous proposed deadline of 15 November 2020. Seeking to free up resources for 4G/5G services, from June 2021 users with 2G-only mobile phones must switch to devices with 3G, 4G or 5G capabilities. However, the operator will keep the 2G network active to support machine-to-machine (M2M) devices for business customers until 1 June 2023.

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