In a regular new series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
China Telecom’s mobile subs drop by 5.5M
China Telecom reported it lost more than 5.5 million mobile subscribers, or more accurately connections, in the first seven months of the year.
The operator now claims 180 million mobile connections, including 108.7 million 3G connections, which increased by 5.58 million during the same period. In July it said it added 1.45 million 3G connections. In 2013 its 3G user base expanded by 34 million.
The operator said the decline was due to increasing market competition driven by the launch of LTE services and strengthened marketing promotion by its peers.
During the seven-month period, China Telecom added 4.56 million fixed-line broadband connections, taking its total to 104.6 million. In all of 2013 it added 10 million broadband connections.
Digitel wins appeal on SMS refund
An appeals court in the Philippine has blocked an order by the telecoms regulator for Digitel, a PLDT subsidiary, to refund billions of pesos for alleged excess charges on text messages.
The country’s Court of Appeals has granted Digitel’s request for a temporary restraining order against the National Telecommunications Commission. The regulator in 2012 ordered three operators to refund PHP7 billion ($160 million). The court has not yet decided on petitions by Smart and Globe Telecom.
Tatung to lose Wimax licence
Tatung Infocomm’s application to renew its Wimax licence was rejected by Taiwan’s regulator because the operator had installed less than 40 per cent of the 1,837 target stated in its business plan.
The company’s license will now expire at the end of the year, when the company will have to return the spectrum to the National Communications Commission. The commission, after conducted random inspections, said it found that 47 base stations were not functioning.
PCCW, PLDT to build new subsea cable
PCCW Global and PLDT have signed a deal to build a 25,000-km, undersea cable connecting 16 destinations in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) fibre-optic network will use 100Gb/s technology and is scheduled to come on line in 2016, PLDT said in a statement.
The cable is part of the the Philippines operator’s planned PHP31 billion ($708 million) CAPEX for the year. It will be part of PLDT’s network of 15 international cable systems, bringing its total international capacity to nearly 2 Tb/s.
Postpaid revenue up 14% at Smart, Sun Cellular
Smart and Sun Cellular said their combined postpaid subscriber base increased 17 per cent in the first half of the year to 2.6 million compared to a year ago. The companies’ postpaid revenue expanded 14 per cent to PHP10.4 billion ($237 million) during the six-month period, and now accounts for 20 per cent of PLDT’s PHP57.9 billion in wireless revenue.
Smart has a 54 per cent of the country’s postpaid market while Globe has a 44-per cent share, according to GSMA Intelligence. About 3.7 per cent of Smart’s 68.9 million mobile connections are postpaid.