Pete Bell

Pete Bell is a Research Analyst for TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database and also contributes to the daily CommsUpdate newsletter. He has a particular interest in wireless broadband and was responsible for TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service until it was integrated into GlobalComms.


Recent Posts

4G Breaks Through That Great Chinese Wall

The popularity of 4G mobile services in China continues to take off and subscriber growth shows no signs of slowing.

With almost 576 million 4G customers at the end of June 2016, China is home to twice as many 4G users as the next largest market (the U.S.). But why?

Say Hello to the Newer, More Consolidated U.S. Cable and Broadband Sector

The US cable TV and broadband sector has undergone a major period of consolidation in the last six months, signaling big changes in the market’s DNA.

Case in point: Charter Communications completed takeovers of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks in May this year, while the Amsterdam-based telecoms investment firm Altice finalized buyouts of Suddenlink and Cablevision in December 2015 and June 2016, respectively.

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd

The decision at the end of last month by Philippines conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC) to exit the local telecoms sector has left the country’s mobile market as a virtual duopoly. Further strengthening their dominant positions, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Globe Telecom have agreed to pay PHP69.1 billion (USD1.48 billion) to acquire SMC’s telecoms assets, which include wireless spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands.

4G Faster Than 3G in More Ways Than One

The latest figures from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database show that 4G LTE subscriptions now account for around 17% of all mobile connections worldwide. LTE passed one billion subscribers just before the end of 2015, and had reached 1.23 billion by the end of March 2016. Just four years ago, however, the total was below ten million. By contrast, 3G technology took twice as long as LTE to go from just under ten million to one billion.

Europe’s Mobile Merger Problems not Echoed in Fixed Line Sector

The recent decision by the European Commission (EC) to block the combination of UK cellular operators O2 and 3, along with its opposition to a merger of mobile providers in Denmark in 2015 and the launch of an in-depth investigation into a planned tie-up between two cellcos in Italy, has signalled a tougher stance towards any threat to competition in wireless markets. The situation is very different, however, when it comes to deals involving fixed line players.

Has Europe Seen the End of its Telecoms Merger Heyday?

The European Commission (EC) has blocked the proposed GBP 10.25 billion (USD 13.8 billion) acquisition of Telefonica’s UK cellular operator O2 by the Hong Kong-based group CK Hutchison, which operates under the ‘3’ brand. This follows a failed tie-up between two cellcos in Denmark in 2015. Yet it was a markedly different situation several years ago, when the EC gave the green light to a raft of mobile mergers. So why is the EC now seemingly less receptive to such deals when it has agreed to them in the past?

Orange Continues to Flourish in Africa

A recent series of acquisitions will cement the position of Orange Group as the telco with the region’s widest footprint in Africa. In January 2016, the French group completed a deal to buy Bharti Airtel’s wireless businesses in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone, which will be carried out in partnership with Orange’s existing subsidiaries in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.

Singapore Swing: Mobile Market Set for Shake-up by Fourth Player

Although it can claim one of the highest cellular penetrations in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore’s highly saturated mobile sector has been stagnant for some years, with little change in the market shares of the three main players, SingTel, StarHub and M1. All this is set to change, however, with the award of spectrum to a fourth operator later this year and its expected launch towards the end of 2017.