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AT&T Wins Statewide Cable Television Franchise in Ohio

American telecom giant, AT&T Inc., has become the first provider to win a statewide license to offer pay-TV services, under the terms of Ohio’s new statewide cable franchising legislation.

The regulatory authorization was granted on November 7, for a term of ten years. It covers all 192 of AT&T’s telephone exchange areas in the state.

AT&T has already launched its U-verse fiber-optic television service in 38 Ohio communities in Cuyahoga, Portage, Summit, and Lake counties, under local cable franchises. A further nine communities in Union, Delaware, and Franklin counties will soon be added to this list, the company noted in its statewide franchise application.

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December 12, 2007 Posted by | Business, Regulation, Telecom Services, Television | , , | Leave a comment

Wireless Services Drive 46% Increase in Bell Canada Profit

Canada’s biggest telephone provider, Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., reported a 46% increase in third-quarter profit yesterday, boosted by the back-to-school cell phone rush.

The company’s net income came in at $440 million, or $0.50/share, compared to $302 million, or $0.36/share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue climbed 2% to $4.49 billion, driven by an 8% jump in wireless revenue.

BCE managed to expand its wireless customer base by 137,000 users, by releasing several advanced new mobile handsets, including Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 8830 email device, which features web and music capability.

“I think it was a very strong quarter for us,” commented Bell Mobility president, Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility, who believes that these results will please the private equity investors who recently agreed to purchase BCE’s operations.

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Business, Corporate, Telecom Services, Wireless | , , | Leave a comment

SK Telecom to Continue Funding Helio; EarthLink Accepts Diluted Share

American internet service provider, EarthLink Inc., confirmed on Wednesday that it will not invest any more money in wireless joint venture, Helio, leaving its partner, South Korea Telecom to fund the joint venture for the foreseeable future.

SK Telecom apparently plans to invest up to an additional $270 million in Helio, diluting EarthLink’s 50% share in the startup, but leaving it with a significant minority stake.

“This new agreement enables EarthLink to retain a substantial ownership position in Helio without investing any more cash into the joint venture, and these changes should result in our prior investment having real future value as the joint venture continues to grow,” commented EarthLink president and CEO, Rolla P. Huff.

EarthLink retains the right to make additional investments in Helio if and when its own finances improve. If it chooses not to invest further in the venture, and SK Telecom injects the full $270 million, EarthLink will be left with a stake of about 22%.

EarthLink has agreed to relinquish one Helio board seat as part of the deal, giving SK Telecom effective control of the company.

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Business, Cell Phones, Corporate, Telecom Services, Wireless | , , , | Leave a comment

Customers Show Interest in PC-Home Theater Convergence

A growing number of consumers are interested in accessing PC and broadband internet content from their home theater systems, according NPD Group’s recent Connected Home Theater study.

17% of survey respondents expressed interest in accessing their PC hard drives from a home entertainment system. This included 25% of users who already have a home broadband network up and running.

19% of respondents, meanwhile, said that they would like to access the internet from their TVs.

“[Faster] Internet access, new content sources, and the evolution of the PC as a multimedia repository promise to change the features and functionality of devices in the home entertainment center,” explained NPD Group’s director of industry analysis, Ross Rubin. “This in turn will lead to new opportunities and challenges for manufacturers, as well as more choices, and possibly greater confusion, for consumers.”

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Internet, Telecom Services, Television | , , , , , | Leave a comment

50 Wireless Subscriptions per 100 People, Says Informa Report

There are now approximately 3.3 billion active mobile phone connections worldwide, enough to cover half the global population, according to new data from Informa Telecoms and Media.

Wireless subscriptions have increased 18% in the past year, from 2.8 billion in late 2006, as a growing number of people buy handsets in emerging markets like India and China. The Indian market alone is expected to achieve penetration of over 40% within the next few years, up from just 13% at the beginning of 2007.

It took 19 years – from the launch of the first commercial wireless network in 1981 until 2000 – for mobile phone subscriptions to reach 10% penetration worldwide, and just 12 months to grow from 40% to 50%, representing the remarkable growth that has occurred this year.

Informa believes that it will take longer reach further wireless market milestones, however, now that developed cell phone markets in Europe and North America have largely matured. The research firm predicts that 60% global penetration won’t be achieved until 2009, and 66% isn’t likely to happen until 2012.

December 5, 2007 Posted by | Cell Phones, Telecom Services, Wireless | , , | Leave a comment

Mexican Internet Population Over 20-Million; Half Use Broadband

22.1% of Mexican households had one or more computers at the end of March 2007, double the figure in December 2001, according to a recent study by Inegi, the country’s national institute of statistics, geography, and IT.

Of all households, 12.3% had some sort of internet connection, about half of which were classified as broadband.

There were a total of 30.5 million computer users and 20.8 million internet users in Mexico at the end of March. Of internet users, 70.2% were aged 12 to 34, and 65.9% routinely accessed the web outside their homes.

December 5, 2007 Posted by | Internet, Telecom Services | , , | Leave a comment

@Home Reaches 700,000 Dutch Broadband Subscribers

Dutch cable operator, @Home, now has more than 700,000 high-speed internet subscribers, and is the largest cable broadband provider in the Netherlands, according to new research by Telecom.Paper.nl.

@Home started offering internet services in 1999 and signed up its 500,000th subscriber last year. As of this summer, the company held around 12.8% of the Dutch broadband market.

Other Dutch broadband operators include DSL incumbent, KPN, and UPC Nederland, a unit of Europe’s leading pay-TV provider, Liberty Global Europe.

December 5, 2007 Posted by | Internet, Telecom Services | , , | Leave a comment