Optical/IP Networks

AsiaWatch: India Shrinks in Q2

The main news out of Asia/Pacific this week has been the collapse of a major merger and a major appointment, but there's been plenty more action in India, Bangladesh, China, and elsewhere. (See Bharti, MTN Abandon $23B Merger and Matt Bross Joins Huawei as CTO.)

  • Despite the ongoing increase in the number of mobile users -- India added 35.5 million new wireless lines in the three months to the end of June -- the value of India's communications services sector in the second quarter of 2009 was 391.1 billion Indian Rupees (US$8.18 billion), down 3.3 percent from the first quarter of this year, according to the latest statistics from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) .

    The chief cause of that drop appears to be shrinking ARPU (average revenue per user) levels among mobile users as competition intensifies for GSM and CDMA operators alike. ARPU for GSM services dipped 10 percent quarter-on-quarter to INR185 (US$3.88) per month, while the ARPU for CDMA services fell 7.2 percent from the first quarter's average to INR92 (US1.93) per month.

  • Also in India, mobile operator Aircel Ltd. , which boasted more than 24 million customers at the end of August, has struck a passive infrastructure deal to use 45,000 towers owned by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , reports The Business Standard.

    Aircel isn't the only one using BSNL's towers -- Tata Teleservices Ltd. has also just struck a tower-sharing deal with the state-owned operator. (See Tata Strikes Tower Deal With BSNL.)

  • Huawei has been showing off what it calls its "end-to-end (E2E) 100G solutions" comprising IP and optical gear at the P&T/Wireless & Network Comm China 2009 event in Beijing. It's been a busy week for Huawei. (See Huawei Touts End-to-End 100G.)

  • Hyberabad, India-based IMImobile has struck a managed content services deal with mobile giant MTN Group Ltd. , which has more than 100 million customers in 21 markets throughout Africa and the Middle East. IMImobile will: deploy its Service Delivery Platform (SDP), including its DaVinci Content Management System (CMS); provide hosted, managed services such as games, news, music, and sports (MTN is the official mobile content provider for the 2010 World Cup); and work with MTN to develop new hosted data and voice services.

    MTN, of course, has been hogging the headlines this week mainly because of the breakdown of its proposed merger with India's Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL).

  • Investors can start applying for shares in Bangladeshi operator Grameenphone this weekend. The IPO is expected to raise more than $70 million for the carrier. (See GrameenPhone Gets Green Light for IPO.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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