Orange Armenia subscriber base exceeds 300 000

Review of November 1-7 information technology and telecommunication events.

Communication sector proceeds grossed 124.9bln in January–September 2010 in Armenia, exceeding last year’s index by 2.2 %. According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, proceeds from fixed telephony, mobile communication and Internet services totaled AMD 23.5mln, 77.3mln and 17.9mln respectively.

PanARMENIAN.Net - National Cooperation Network internet portal will be established at the initiative of the RA Ministry of Economy and National Cooperation NGO. Chief of Staff at the RA Ministry of Economy Anahit Khechoyan said that the website is aimed at creating an information society, uniting all Armenians to present the most important values to the world. “As the network cannot work independently, it was decided to establish National Cooperation Fund, the project of which will be submitted to the government soon,” she said.

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ArmenTel CJSC has doubled the bandwidth for Hi Line 2048 subscribers from 512 kb/s to 1024 kb/s. The switch will take place stepwise, without any additional fee. “The service was improved thanks to the increase of backbones,” ArmenTel CEO Igor Klimko said.

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NKR Public Services Regulatory Commission (NKR PSRC) considered the application of Karabakh Telecom CJSC on reduction of internet connection tariffs. As a result, Prices for Dial up and DSL connection were lowered by 34% and 73,7% respectively; wireless connection speed increased to 128 Mbps against 33,4 - 64 Mbps previously set. Heavy and Light tariffs were lowered by 29,6 and 56,3% respectively. As Karabakh Telecom reported, perceptible increase in internet speed is in order due to recent launch of fibre optic network.

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Orange Armenia internet users consume 5Gb monthly in average. According to company CEO Bruno Duthoit, this is a record figure compared to other providers. He also said that volumes of internet traffic in October exceeded the September index by 20%. The number of Orange Armenia internet users is 45 thousand, with 3G+ network capable to secure internet access for 93% of the population.

The company sold 400 iPhones during April-November 2010. iPhone3G model is being sold most of all. The interest towards Phone4 exceeded expectations and a new lot of these smartphones will be delivered to Orange Armenia shops soon.

Orange Armenia’s investments have totaled euro 150 million since November 2008. The company is planning to cover operating expenses through sales revenues starting the next year. The turnover in October totaled AMD 1 billion, the monthly proceeds from one subscriber being AMD 1500 - 2000 and AMD 7 000 - 9 000 in case of internet subscription. Orange Armenia subscriber database numbers 300 thousand users and 45 thousand mobile internet users.

Orange Armenia CEO Bruno Duthoit believes the administrative procedure against the company to be a normal process. “Citizens in Armenia, like in any democratic state, have the right to issue complaints to SCPEC,” he said, adding that the company will comment on the situation only upon receipt of an official notification. The SCPEC initiated administrative procedure against Orange Armenia for possible acts of unfair competition, basing on media reports (Hetq weekly and Hetq Online website). The Commission obliged Orange Armenia to provide explanations within 7 days, also submitting information on advertisement materials going on air from November 2009-October 2010. On October 4, Hetq Online published an article entitled “Orange Armenia: Their Success and My Bad Luck”, suggesting that TV commercials mislead Orange subscribers promising high connection speed the company is unable to provide.

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Armenia was put in 101st position (gaining 13 points) in the World Network Readiness Index Rankings 2009-2010 among 133 countries rated. “Armenia has shown average results in Network Readiness Index, however, falling behind other countries in the region,” Economy and Values Armenian Research Center chairman Manuk Yergnyan stated.

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Cisco Academy will open in Yerevan till the end of November 2010. “The curriculum has been approved and equipment for the laboratories delivered. We received a large number of applications and are now examining them,” Unicomp general manager Armen Baldryan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. Hampered by the global economic recession, negotiations on establishment of Cisco representation in Armenia will resume in 2011. Unicomp is certified prime partner of Cisco Systems in the RA.

Gayane Mirzoyan / PanARMENIAN News
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