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Eight Billion and Rising: Wireless Market Grows Again in 2020

Figures from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database show that the global wireless subscriber total has passed 8 billion. User numbers were up 1% in 2020, ending the year at 8.05 billion.

The cellular market showed year-on-year growth despite the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to downturns in user take-up in a number of countries.

Debt, Distrust, and Dealmaking: the Battle for Digicel Pacific

As GlobalComms Database users know, TeleGeography recently reclassified its regions. 

This basically means we kicked off 2021 with some Marie Kondo-level tidying by aligning our country-to-region mapping across all of our research. For the GlobalComms team, this included spinning out Oceania from Asia. 

Indeed, the exercise gave me the opportunity to check in on happenings in Oceania. And this is why I thought it was the perfect time to take a closer look at one of the region’s major developments: the likely sale of Digicel Pacific.

Over 100 5G Network Launches in 2020

More than 100 5G mobile networks went live around the world during 2020.

This included launches in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Poland, Hong Kong, and Sweden.

2021 Cable Progress, Internet Shutdowns, and Bandwidth Trends

January was a mixed bag of telecom stories.

There were a handful of cable updates to watch. (Tis the season for experts and insiders to assess big projects with 2021 ready-for-service dates.)

Then there were all the policy pieces to read up on as a new administration took over in Washington, DC.

And we still had plenty of posts to take in about the pandemic's ongoing impact on all things telecom.  

Tower Talk: Meet the Companies Buying Latin America’s Cell Towers

Latin America has been a hotbed of M&A activity in recent years.

And it isn’t just telecom operators that are changing hands—the tower sector has also accounted for a number of eye-catching deals across the region.

2020: The Essential CommsUpdate Selection

TeleGeography’s daily CommsUpdate newsletter has featured a staggering 76,000 telecom stories since making its debut back in December 2002! 

As a tumultuous year draws to a close, we’re looking back at the telecom stories that captured our readers’ attention during 2020. From shareholder shenanigans to mega-mergers, from tax disputes to 5G launches, the CommsUpdate team left no stone unturned in their quest to bring you the biggest daily news stories.

Monaco Telecom: The Small Telco Making its Mark

Earlier this year, Monaco Telecom (MT) entered Malta’s communications sector when it acquired Vodafone Malta. While its domestic operations are fairly small, the company now has three sizeable overseas businesses as subsidiaries.

The Brazilian Broadband Bonanza: Meet Regional Players with Big Plans

The Brazilian telecom sector is a hotbed of deal-making activity in 2020. And regional consolidation is a theme.

While industry observers are focused on the high-profile auction of Oi’s mobile assets—which is scheduled to take place on December 14—a series of broadband-centric deals have taken place under the radar.

Today, we explore the companies who are pulling the strings.

2G Bows Out, 5G Grows in South Korea

South Korea’s cellular sector is the scene of intense, cutthroat competition between its three mobile network operators (MNOs): SK Telecom (SKT), KT Corp, and LG Uplus. Advanced technology rollouts have been a key battleground for the trio.

Broadband Britain: Who is Buying the UK’s ISPs?

Earlier this month, UK fixed-line operator TalkTalk received a proposal from its minority shareholder Toscafund Asset Management.

Toscafund made an offer of GBP0.97 per share in a bid to take the company private. If approved by the company’s owners—who include founder Sir Charles Dunstone, the telco’s majority shareholder—the deal will value TalkTalk at a cool GBP1.1 billion.