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2023: The Important CommsUpdate Choice


As one other eventful yr attracts to a detailed, we’re wanting again on the telecom tales that captured our readers’ consideration all through 2023.

With 5G rollouts, satellite tv for pc broadband, SIM card registration and mega-mergers all on the agenda, the CommsUpdate workforce left no stone unturned of their quest to carry you the most important day by day information tales from world wide.

Learn on for our hottest tales of 2023.

Starman: Musk’s Should-Learn Mozambique Maneuvers

Our most learn story of 2023 was printed in June, when the Elon Musk-backed Starlink satellite tv for pc broadband service went dwell in Mozambique.  

On the time of its launch, Starlink famous that Mozambique didn’t but have a floor station for web fallback and was relying solely on inter-satellite hyperlinks, which might lead to intervals of intermittent service and excessive latency. The corporate was beforehand awarded an working license in Mozambique in Might 2022.

The omnipresent Starlink has confirmed to be enduringly common with readers this yr, with the corporate’s headlines accounting for 5 of our high ten most considered CommsUpdate articles! Different places of curiosity have been Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, and Zambia

Starlink’s mum or dad firm SpaceX at present has round 4,000 satellites in Low Earth Orbit, with plans to launch 42,000 in whole.

Starlink’s mum or dad firm SpaceX at present has round 4,000 satellites in Low Earth Orbit, with plans to launch 42,000 in whole. Thus far, greater than 60 international locations are identified to have approved Starlink to supply fastened broadband connectivity.

Shaw Factor: Canadian Telecom Panorama Reconfigured as Rogers and Shaw Merge and Videotron Buys Freedom Cell

The Canadian telecom panorama was reconfigured earlier this yr, with a CAD26 billion ($19.3 billion) mega-merger.

April noticed the conclusion of the long-anticipated merger between Canadian telcos Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. The deal—which first reached settlement in March 2021—mixed Rogers’ nationwide cell community with each operators’ coast-to-coast fastened networks.

The ensuing nationwide cable, media, and cell working firm gives fiber-powered cable web to just about 70% of Canadian households.

Rogers’ CAD26 billion buy of Shaw—together with CAD6 billion debt—went forward following remaining federal approval for the requisite switch of Shaw’s cell subsidiary, Freedom Cell, to Videotron. Because of the merger, the Shaw household has turn into one of many largest shareholders of Rogers.

Operating in parallel, Videotron’s mum or dad Quebecor and Shaw individually introduced that the acquisition of Freedom Cell by Videotron was now full. Freedom Cell had an enterprise worth of CAD2.85 billion.

Fortunate 13: MTN Nigeria Expands Its 5G Footprint

For our third hottest story of the yr, we make a journey to Nigeria, for a Might 2023 report on the enlargement of MTN Nigeria’s 5G community.

The community, which was launched on a industrial foundation in September 2022, reached a complete of 13 cities throughout the nation in Might. CTO Mohammed Rufai famous that greater than 700 5G websites had been rolled out in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Owerri, Ibadan, Maiduguri, Abeokuta, Warri, Enugu, Ifo, Benin Metropolis, and Shagamu. 

The cell market chief is aiming to extend 5G protection to 10% of the inhabitants by the top of the yr and 40% by 2025. Rufai added that MTN at present has no plans to close down its current 2G and 3G networks: “The truth that we’re going to 5G doesn’t imply we must always not cater to the wants of the subscribers on the opposite know-how.”

MTN competes within the 5G phase with long-term rival Airtel Nigeria and Mafab Communications, which emerged as certainly one of two winners of the three.5GHz spectrum public sale held by the Nigerian Communications Fee in December 2021.

You’ve Obtained a Smartfren in Me: Indonesian Cell Gamers Poised to Hook Up

In September 2023, Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics (identified regionally as KemKominfo) piqued readers’ curiosity when it confirmed that two of the nation’s main telecom operators—XL Axiata and Sinar Mas Group-backed Sensible Telecom (Smartfren)—had entered into discussions a couple of potential merger.

Malaysia-based Axiata Group and Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas started exploring the opportunity of a merger again in October 2021, however any amalgamation of XL and Smartfren was anticipated to show difficult given the latter’s excessive stage of debt.

Any debt-related issues have did not derail the deal, nonetheless, with the proposed merger understood to be approaching the end line.

Any debt-related issues have did not derail the deal, nonetheless, with the proposed merger understood to be approaching the end line.

XL Axiata, the nation’s third-largest cell operator by subscriptions, is anticipated to imagine the place as senior companion. The enlarged entity is prone to have an enterprise worth within the area of IDR116.7 trillion ($7.5 billion).  

The Closing Countdown: Ghana’s SIM Card Saga Attracts to a Shut

To conclude our record of 2023 massive hitters, readers have been on the sting of their seats awaiting the end result of Ghana’s long-running SIM registration saga, which commenced on October 1, 2021.

The marketing campaign was initially because of finish on March 31, 2022. Nevertheless, the deadline was later prolonged to July 31, 2022, as a big a part of the inhabitants had not but obtained the required nationwide biometric id card.

Additional extensions to September 30 and November 30 adopted. Lastly, prospects got till Might 31, 2023 to reactivate their accounts by finishing the biometric seize course of.

In an replace following the Might 31 deadline, the Ministry of Communications revealed that, of the 42.416 million SIMs at first of the re-registration train in October 2021, 28.948 million had been absolutely registered, 7.996 million have been unregistered and had been blocked, and an extra 4.473 million delinked and faraway from the Nationwide Communications Authority (NCA) database, whereas 225,411 blocked SIMs have been within the strategy of being reactivated.

Virtually one million re-registration exemptions had been granted to SIM homeowners in varied classes, the biggest being residents overseas (332,524) and cell cash brokers/retailers (666,816).

Ghanaians are not any strangers to SIM registration applications; the NCA has staged a number of registration schemes relationship again to 2010.


A Word About CommsUpdate

In 2024, CommsUpdate content material will transfer behind our analysis paywall. This implies it will likely be out there completely to TeleGeography prospects. 

This article has been hitting inboxes since 2003. Over these final 20 years, CommsUpdate has been powered by a workforce of business consultants. They’ve produced a whole bunch of hundreds of articles on the business, protecting greater than 240 international locations.

All this to say: we don’t take this transfer evenly. However as a result of this work is a time-intensive labor requiring each intensive information of the business and analysis prowess, we imagine it’s worthy of its placement behind the paywall. 

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