19 September

Phone booths not meeting standards, Telecom may be fined

(CTK) - Part of public phone booths run by Cesky Telecom is not meeting conditions set in the telecoms law, the Czech Telecoms Office CTU said after making a survey on the matter, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes today.

CTU's main reproach is that the number of phone booths in some places is insufficient, the daily adds.

Bretislav Janik of CTU confirmed to the daily that CTU will launch administrative proceedings with Telecom. These proceedings may end in a fine as high as Kc5m, but Telecom can appeal.

"The Czech Telecoms Office has informed us about partial reservations. We have already sent a reply with explanations to CTU chairman [David] Stadnik and now we continue talks with the office," Telecom spokesman Vladan Crha reacted.

CTU checked eight criteria and in seven of them Telecom is reportedly breaking the telecoms law and building regulations. Telecom succeeded 100 pct in the check of parametres and the quality of services, which means that making calls from the booths was without any problems.

However, some places have fewer booths than is prescribed by law. CTU also found faults in the booths' equipment. Three quarters of the booths had no seats and in nearly 60 pct, phone books were missing.

Crha said it was difficult to have phone books in all booths as they are frequently being stolen. In some booths, a phone book does not stay for more than a week, he noted.

Telecom operates 28,000 booths. Interest in their use is falling, however, due to the growing number of mobile phones. Since the moment that mobile phones appeared, the number of calls from the booths has fallen by some 40 pct.

Samsung is number four on czech mobile market

After last research of GfK is Samsung now number four on czech mobile handset market with 7.9 per cent market share. First remain Nokia, second Siemens and third place is still for Sony Ericsson. Samsung would like to sell in year 2003 on the czech market more than 100 000 handsets and that mean attack on third place of the Sony Ericsson.

Samsung was long time not active on Czech market, since 2002 is represented from company Kiboon. Now whall Samsung face the next strong competitor - LG will start with mobile handsets on czech market wery soon.

18 September

Patria downgrades recommendation to Cesky Telecom shares

(CTK) - Brokerage company Patria Finance has downgraded its investment recommendation to shares in the telecoms company Cesky Telecom, Patria told CTK today.

Patria now recommends to "hold" the shares with a yearly target price of Kc330, while previously it recommended to "accumulate" them at the level of Kc337.

At 11:00 Telecom stood at Kc325.3.

"The decrease of the target price from Kc337 to Kc330 apiece and the appreciation of the title in recent weeks makes us to conclude that the title is close to its intrinsic value and therefore we downgraded our recommendation to "hold"," analyst Jiri Soustruznik said.

Telecom shares are attractive for investors looking for a high investor yield.

However, the privatisation of the company remains unclear due to a low investor interest.

The title is under the influence of fears that supply will exceed demand.

TelSource, which owns 27 pct of Telecom shares, could follow KPN and place at least part of its stake on the market, Patria said.

17 September

CTU heted-up with the Contactel pressure for decision in the ADSL interconnection

Yesterday CTU (czech independent telco regulatory office) send out press release "about issues and disagreements in case of interconnections of networks for services using ADSL technology". I read it and if I should summarize this press relase, I will tell, that the CTU is angry about Contactels pressure and his repetition, that CTU must publish the decision about ADSL until september 19. And Contactel never leave us in doubt, how should the decision look.

Contactel in press release mentioned directly: "On 19 September Contactel expects a positive decision of the Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) dictating ADSL interconnection. This step will bring the long expected improvement of the ADSL price/quality ratio. “We believe the regulator’s decision will bring the long expected progress in the development of broadband Internet access,” says Michal Čupa, CEO of Contactel." Source: PR Contactel.

Admittedly, the CTU press release is very distinguished, but the message is clear: Contactel can kiss our ass with one's meaning when and how looking decision should give the CTU. CTU will study the ADSL case from all points of view to not to have troubles with Cesky Telecom and other operators.

What is wrong with the ADSL in Czech republic? Český Telecom (ADSL network owner) not only has not presented an interconnection agreement proposal, thus breaching the regulator’s statement, but in contradiction with the logic and world usage Český Telecom newly proposes introduction of metered access for ADSL. The proposal assumes limitations of the customer and calculation of ADSL price based on the volume of transferred data. The absurdity of the proposal is stressed by the fact that after the limit has been used up the speed of ADSL will decrease to an unbelievably low, non-guaranteed speed of 64 kbps, in fact similar to the standard dial-up Internet connection.

16 September

Nextra will offer an unlimited ADSL too

Nextra is after GTS the second company claiming not to charge extra fees for data over limit on ADSL connection. Český Telecom is increasing from yesterday a maximal transmission speed from 192/64 kbps to 512/128 kbps and from 320/128 kbps to 1024/256 kbps but with data limitation 10 GB or 20 GB monthly. Český Telecom has removal the problematic procedure of connecting through web interface Dashboard (SSD).

Special Nextra ADSL bonus
New customers (which will order ADSLink Basic from September 15 till October 20) will Nextra allot; the win is free and unlimited consumption of ADSLink Basic.

Help-in-need for TELE2 customers
The next extra-point of Nextra is the offer for TELE2 ADSL users. If they want stay in using ADSL technology they can take one's chance and convert to Nextra Czech Republic, s. r. o. Charge for changeover will be paid by Nextra!
Source: Nextra PR.

Czech Nokia lost two high managers

Czech part of the Nokia lost two significant managers. Nokia Networks is leaving Milan Sames, who was responsible for salle of network equipment in Central and Eastern Europe. Milan Sames was in general highest czech manager in the Nokia Networks. In the same time says goodbye Karel Holub in the divizion Nokia Mobile Phone. Karel Holub was responsible for mobile phone salle to special customers like mobile operators and also for support for special services and products like N-gage or Java Middlets. Reason of leaving is in both cases lust for change: Milan Sames goes in management of an IT company and Karel Holub will start own company dellivering mobile content and services.

I know both guys well. Milan Sames belongs to the well respected specialist for telecommunications with deep inside look in the market and wide contacts starting in Czech republic and continuing through Slowakia, Slovenie, Romania to Egypt, where Nokia Network sell under his quidance network equipment too.

Position of Karel Holub in Nokia Mobile Phone is maybee for first look easier to replace, bad guys says, that Nokia phones are sold alone as a rolls in the shop, but so easy it is not. Big enthusiasmus of Karel Holub pushed ahead activities like java middlet contest or big czech participation on the Nokia Game, N-Gage etc.

And another point: Karel Holub was well know between journalists and helped to solve troubles in communication between journalists and Nokia Czech republic. Especially in last year is evident, that czech journalists splited in the two main parts: one was high satisfied and second was high unsatisfied about cooperation with Nokia CZ. That was just Karel Holub helping to melt a situation between unsatisfied journalists and Nokia company. Now he is leaving. I dont expect, that situation will take a turn for the better.

15 September

Oskar start to offer GSM banking for CSOB clients

CSOB, the largest Czech bank, offer from today GSM bankging in Oskar network too. Oskar was last mobile network, they dont offer GSM banking with CSOB. Klients of the CSOB service Servis24 can now not only transfer money, see account balance, but they can also pay his Oskar bills or recharge prepaid card Oskarta. The CSOB has 30 000 customers using Servis24. Source: CSOB.

Deutsche Telekom to take control over Pragonet at end-Sept

T-Systems, a division of Deutsche Telekom, should get 100% of Czech telecoms Pragonet at end- Sept, with the remaining shares to be transferred to it by the Prague municipality and the Prague transport company, an unnamed source from T-Systems told CTK today.

At present, T-Systems owns 51% of Pragonet and will pay EUR9.46m for the rest, or some Kc300m.

The first part of Pragonet was bought by Deutsche Telekom for Kc610m in 2000.

Pragonet, founded in 1996, operates a telecommunication network in Prague, offering services mostly to corporate clients, telecoms operators and the public sector. The network comprises 300 km of cables and over 15,000 km of optic fibres.

Overall sales of T-Systems Czech and Pragonet topped Kc1.16bn last year. Workforce was 310.
Source: CTK.

More WiFi hotspots for Cesky Telecom will be in the Datart shops

Next 5 hotspots add Český Telecom in his WiFi network in the Datart shopping center. The first hostpot start on 20. september in Brno, then will Český Telecom rolout Prague (Zličín and Nový Smíchov), Teplice and Ostrava.
Datart is big electronic shop, competitor of ElectroWorld. I dont see sense to install hotspots in Datart because of lack of place in shops, but maybee is the point coverage of neighbourhood, where is Tesco or cofffee shops.

12 September

PragoNet to offer Astra SES sattelite broadband

PragoNet (owned by T-Systems) signed long-term contract with SES Astra. On basis of this contract will PragoNet offer the DSL sattelite broadband services in Czech republic. The Astra satellite broadand is one-way service, that means, service provide only download channel. The upload channel you need resolve other way, for example GPRS mobile connection (Eurotel offer GPRS for flat fee) or dial-up.

One way sattelite broadband have lower instaltions fee and equipment for the one way sattelite broadband costs hundred of USD, not thousands. For people demanding quick download is one-way sattelite broadband an interesting point.
Resource: Astra SES.