Jordan Telecommunications, Mobile and Broadband

Jordan is a standout country in the region for its relatively well-developed telecoms sector when one considers its lower GDP per capita. Mobile penetration is at around 100%. The government is also making strenuous efforts to encourage Internet penetration growth, so far with little increase in subscriber numbers.

The market is the most liberalised in the region. Incumbent JTG, operating as Orange Jordan, has been privatised and France Telecom owns a controlling 51% share. Competition is allowed in all sectors of the market. In the fixed-line sector alternative operators have acquired licences but have yet to make much impact. Mostly they offer VoIP services and compete in the long-distance voice market, often the first market where an incumbent would lose market share upon market liberalisation.

Competition also exists in the broadband market at a retail level, although JTG’s ISP has a 50% market share. JTG has reduced its wholesale prices considerably, with a 70% reduction from the beginning of 2007 to June 2009.

Licensed WiMAX operators are beginning to make inroads into the market, with over 17% market share of the small broadband market by late 2009. WiMAX operator Mada Communications offers subscribers free unlimited VoIP calls to other Mada subscribers and competitive rates on international VoIP calls. WiMAX operators have yet to have the same impact as in the richer markets of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Competition in the mobile market is intense, with four operators, resulting in much reduced prices. This in turn led to very high subscriber numbers. JTG was awarded a 3G licence in August 2009. A tender for this single licence closed in June 2009 but attracted only one bid, from JTG, which the regulator said did not meet the technical or financial criteria of the tender. Later negotiations resulted in the award to JTG and services were launched in early March 2010. Read more.

Global Mobile Broadband

The global mobile broadband market continues to gain momentum and is becoming an increasingly exciting sector to watch. One of the key reasons for this growth is the fact that due to competition and a saturated mobile voice market, the operators have been forced to offer very competitive capped data packages. Non-SMS mobile data is now growing as it is becoming easier to access via mobile devices such as smart phones. Mobile networks are also improving as 3.5G (HSPA) continues to be deployed and wireless broadband technologies (4G) emerge over the next few years. While on deck mobile data usage remains strong, off deck usage to both mobile specific Internet sites and regular sites is also growing rapidly. Read the executive summary.

The Android Phone

In the Mobile World Congress that took place last February 15-18, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, more than 1,300 technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Samsung displayed their latest cutting-edge  products. One of the main technologies exhibited was the new android open source platform and devices developed by Google. To get a good idea of what the Android Open Source Project is all about, look at the following video:

Android is the first free, open source, and fully customizable mobile platform. Android offers a full stack: an operating system, middleware, and key mobile applications. It also contains a rich set of APIs that allows third-party developers to develop great applications. One of the strongest challengers to the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is Google, with its Android open source platform.

A year or so ago, the G1 and a phone by HTC were the only Android phones on sale.  At present there are 27 models on the market, which are available in 59 countries.  Other androids will soon be available to the public from Sony Ericsson, which presented Android models at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, including the very compact X10 mini and X10 mini pro. Look at the impressive features of this android smart phone. The best news is that the prices are expected to drop lower in the near future.

Mobile Phones in Colombia Up 3.7%

Colombia flag

Colombia flag

Mobile-telephone subscribers in Colombia rose to 42.34 million at the end of September, up 3.7% from 40.82 million at the end of June, 2009. The biggest slice of the market belongs to Comcel, the Colombian unit of Mexico-based America Movil SAB (AMX) with 29.53 million subscribers, up from 27.93 million at the end of June/09. Comcel now controls 69.7% of the Colombian market, up from 68.4% three months earlier.

The second operator by number of subscribers is Telefonica’s local unit, which represents 8.81 million subscribers at the end of September, down from 9.03 million subscribers at the end of June. The market share of Telefonica in Colombia is now 20.8%, down from 22.1% at the end of June.

Colombia Movil SA, the local unit of Millicom International Cellular SA (MICC), had 4 million subscribers, up from 3.86 million at the end of June. The country’s third-largest operator maintained its 9.5% share of the Colombian market.

There are about 45,644,023 people living in Colombia and the total number of mobile subscribers in Colombia at the end of September 2009 was 13% higher than at the end of September 2008. The number of Internet users in Colombia for June, 2009 was estimated at 19,792,718. Read more.

Telecom Opportunities in BRIC Countries

The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are very fast-growing developing economies. Since these four economies are developing rapidly, they draw much attention due to the potential market opportunities for the telecommunications industry. Based on size alone, their combined 2009 population is 2,843,472,701 persons, equivalent to 41.9% of the world population. Click to read more details about the BRIC countries.

Brazil flag

Brazil flag

Brazil is Latin America’s largest market, the world’s fifth-most populous country and the world’s tenth-largest economy in GDP terms. Current world recession will constrain real income growth in 2009. However, Brazil will become an increasingly attractive market when it resumes a path of more vigorous growth in 2010-13. Read more about Brazil.

Russian flag

Russian flag

In Russia broadband now dominates Russia’s Internet market, as incumbent and alternative telecom operators deploy broadband infrastructure as part of a general trend of migrating beyond voice-centric offerings to voice, broadband and convergence services. The poor quality or lack of existing infrastructure has resulted in a variety of technology platforms used to offer broadband, including xDSL, cable and FttH/FttB. Wireless solutions such as WiFi and WiMAX have garnered much interest, with alternative operators rapidly deploying networks in a number of regional cities to build up subscriber numbers while fixed-line broadband subscriber levels are still low. Broadband diffusion is providing the basis on which a promising Internet society is emerging. Read more about Russia.