GBP


The UK regulator, Ofcom, has proposed cuts in interconnection fees (also known as mobile termination rates), the wholesale charges that operators make to connect calls to each others’ networks. It has unveiled plans to cut the rate in stages from 4.3 pence ($0.065) per minute to 0.005 pence per minute by 2015.
It is the same story everywhere. Broadband prices are falling, so the early adopters pay more than newbies – unless they switch fast. To make the matters worse, operators have started selling the same packages with new prices – in the same manner an Airline bringing ticket prices down at the eleventh hour to fill the seats. This is the tirade of one user. UK customers are paying 70% more than they need to for their broadband connections despite the credit crunch.
The world’s largest mobile phone company makes roughly two out of every five mobiles sold globally. It said it expected the number of phones sold to increase by 10%, from the 1.14bn phones sold last year. But the Finnish group explained that the overall value of the market would be lower than in 2007 thanks to the weak dollar, the economic slowdown in the US, and “some economic slowdown in Europe”. Shares in the company dropped 10%.
Half of the UK’s broadband users are unhappy with the service from their internet providers even though high-speed connections are at their cheapest and fastest, according to a survey by price comparison service uSwitch. With 15 million customers – half the country – spending £3bn on broadband every year, the gap is widening between the companies perceived as best and worst providers, according to uSwitch, which makes money by encouraging consumers to hunt out new deals. Its survey of nearly 11,000 broadband customers suggests four million customers are not satisified with their provider and four out of nine companies have less satisfied customers this year than last. Read the full story in ‘The Guardian’ here.
Misleading advertised broadband speeds remain a large concern for consumers in the UK, according to Ofcom. The British media regulator released its annual research and policy report yesterday that examines all aspects of the consumer experience within telecoms, the Internet and digital broadcasting in the country.   The research has found that competition is continuing to drive price reductions, with a typical “basket” of residential telecoms services costs £69.85 a month, £35 less than in 2002. However, price transparency remains a key worry of British consumers who report additional charges for ambiguous services.
Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called “$100 laptop”. The organisation behind the project has launched the “give one, get one” scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198). One laptop will be sent to the buyer whilst a child in the developing world will receive the second machine. The G1G1 scheme, as it is known, will offer the laptops for just two weeks, starting on the 12 November. The offer to the general public comes after the project’s founder admitted that concrete orders from the governments of developing nations had not always followed verbal agreements.
Fibre-to-the-home that will provide broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps made possible in France. Read full story What has sparked investment in broadband is France is the low take-up of digital television, which makes it more attractive to offer TV over the internet. Many broadband providers now throw in a set-top box with a package which gives customers television, telephone and internet down a fast broadband line for around 30 Euros (about £20) a month. But something even faster is on its way. Beneath the streets of Paris two companies, France Telecom’s Orange and Free, are laying down fibre-optic cables to bring speeds of up to 100Mbps to homes in parts of the city.
The OECD has published comparative data on broadband speeds and prices. This will help drive prices down and quality up. The rest of the countries need to develop their own benchmarks. BBC NEWS | Technology | Global broadband prices revealed According to the report, broadband prices for DSL connections across the 30 countries have fallen by 19% and increased in speed by 29% in the year to October 2006. Cable prices and speeds followed a similar trend.
The mobile market in India is flourishing because of massive increases in mobile subscribers, that are fueling more mobile handset production, says US research firm Gartner. The report adds that the subcontinent produced close to 31 million mobile phones in 2006, valued at around £2.5 billion. India’s 2007 handset production is forecast to be the highest in the Asia-Pacific region at 68 per cent in terms of units and 65 per cent in terms of value, says Gartner. The research house expects mobile handset production to more than triple by 2011 to reach nearly 95 million.
To lose your mobile phone is unfortunate but to flush it down the toilet is especially careless, although common, if new figures are to be believed. Research suggests that 885,000 (drunk and sober) subjects of Queen Elizabeth helplessly watch their handsets disappearing into the ‘black hole’ every year. That’s roughly £342 million flushing (not contributing) to Her Majesty’s sewage network. The study also reveals that 810,000 mobiles were left in the pub each year, with 315,000 left in the back of a taxi and 225,000 on a bus. Pet dogs in UK apparently chewed their way through 58,500 handsets last year, while another 116,000 went through a spin cycle with the dirty laundry, reports The Telegraph.
Hutchison exits India and Vodafone enters.   Will this accelerate Indian mobile growth to Indonesia and Pakistan levels?  No clear evidence of increased investment; new pricing strategies, etc. yet. BBC NEWS | Business | Vodafone buys Indian mobile firm Vodafone has bought a controlling stake in Indian mobile phone firm Hutchison Essar for $11.
LIRNEasia, Sarvodaya and the partners of the HazInfo project have been saying this and more importantly implementing this. Hope the message will be heard. Reuters AlertNet – News – Prevention spending must be doubled Governments, aid agencies and humanitarian actors must spend twice as much on disaster preparedness activities that could save millions of lives, the British Red Cross has urged.Almost two years on from the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, risk reduction remains low on the international agenda despite encouraging progress in tsunami-affected regions themselves. “The tsunami highlights the importance of proactively preparing for disasters and this lesson must be learnt and risk reduction must become a high priority in all disaster-prone areas,” said David Peppiatt, British Red Cross head of policy.
“Norwich is pioneering a free wi-fi project which covers three sectors of the UK city and its centre. The £1.1m, 18-month pilot has been live for three weeks and is backed by the East of England Development Agency. Paul Adams, from Norfolk county council said: “It allows people to see the benefit of wireless technology.” The city centre, county hall and educational establishments such as the university all have wi-fi access.
by Martyn Warwick – 28/4/2006 11:57:47 http://www.telecomtv.com/news.asp?cd_id=6652&url=news.