Tracking the 4G Decade

December 2019 marked the tenth anniversary of the world’s first commercial LTE network launch. Scandinavian telco Telia paved the way in Stockholm and Oslo way back in 2009.

As for the decade that followed? Let’s take a closer look.

Telecom Training: Voice Jargon 101

It's a new year, which means we've refreshed the data in our TeleGeography Report and Database

If you're new to the voice industry–or just looking to refresh your knowledge—you've come to the right place. Before you peruse our new voice data and analysis, our expert team has collected a handful of terms and definitions to get you up to speed. 

The French Billionaire Who Quietly Amassed an International Telecom Empire

French billionaire Xavier Niel rose to prominence in the telecom world for his ownership of domestic telco Iliad. You might know Iliad for sparking a price war in the mobile sector when Iliad’s Free Mobile launched in January 2012. (Niel employed a similar price-war tactic when Iliad Italia launched in May 2018.)

But these companies only represent the tip of the iceberg.

Indeed, the size and scale of Niel’s empire are often overlooked due to convoluted shareholder structures and the lack of a unified brand name across markets.

Today we piece it all together to appreciate the bigger picture.

Wholesale Carriers Terminated Approximately 327 Billion Minutes in 2018

Many retail service providers, such as mobile operators, MVNOs, and cable broadband providers, rely heavily on wholesale carriers to transport and terminate their customers’ international calls.

Wholesale carriers terminated approximately 327 billion minutes of traffic in 2018, down 3% from 2017. While wholesale traffic declined in 2018, over the last 10 years it has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 3%.

Three New Trends in Voice Pricing

Until 2015, international carrier voice traffic had increased in each of the previous 60 years.

But for the past four years, paid call volumes have slumped with no end in sight. International carriers had already suffered from revenue stagnation due to slow traffic growth and falling prices. The unprecedented occasion of outright traffic decline, however, marked a new and depressing turning point.

Carriers Down to 465 Billion Minutes in 2018

The international voice market doesn't bring a lot of joy these days. (For that, may I suggest adopting a puppy?)

As we've written before, 2015 marked a turning point in the international voice market. It was the first time since the Great Depression that international call traffic declined, even if only by one half percent.

And it's been downhill ever since, as the slump in voice traffic has turned into a fact of life. Carriers’ traffic fell a further 9% in 2017 and then another 4% in 2018, to a total of 465 billion minutes.

Why Do Internet Service Providers Need to Pay for Local Access?

Our pricing team fields all kinds of questions from our users about the pricing data you'll find in our databases. We were recently asked why internet service providers need to pay for local access.

It's Great to be a Mobile Subscriber in India. For Now.

We've written our fair share about India's telecom landscape. And we're not the only ones keeping our eye on the cheapest mobile prices in the world.

The Washington Post recently explored the Indian telecom landscape. Their story details an industry at a crossroads, with major companies struggling to compete.

We've added it to our list of recommended posts, as well as a deep dive into how apps are tracking us, Slate's exploration of the internet "kill switch," and a profile on the UK's first all-fiber city.

The Biggest Telecom Headlines From 2019: Part 2

We've been celebrating the launch of our beautiful new CommsUpdate site by taking a closer look at the year’s major global developments—the highs, the lows, the mergers, the auctions. All of it.

One thing is certain: there was more than enough telecom news to go around in 2019. If you haven't had a chance to peruse our wrap-up of January-June 2019, click here and have a read. Keep scrolling to take in the biggest news from the back half of the year.

The Biggest Telecom Headlines From 2019: Part 1

A year is a long time in telecommunications–something that our CommsUpdate correspondents know all too well.

To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new CommsUpdate site, we’re taking a closer look at the year’s major global developments, including a few things that you might have missed along the way.

Keep scrolling to catch up on the biggest headlines from early 2019.