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.

Czech republic win arbitration with entrepreneur Nagel over $30m in granting mobile licence

The Czech Republic has won an arbitration with British entrepreneur William Nagel who had been demanding $30m (nearly Kc900m) from the Czech state due to its conduct in granting mobile licences, Eva Novakova of the Finance Ministry told CTK today.

Nagel's statement is not yet available.

The Stockholm arbitration court ruled that the Czech Republic has to be paid Kc12m in compensation for the dispute-related costs, said Novakova.

Nagel also has to cover 90 pct of the arbitration proceedings costs.

Back in 1993, Nagel agreed with the predecessor of the telecom Ceske radiokomunikace that they would be jointly seeking the licence for the GSM mobile network but in 1996 the government granted the licence to the joint venture of Ceske radiokomunikace and an entity picked in the tender.

Owing to this, Ceske radiokomunikace terminated the cooperation contract in which Nagel saw the violation of his rights as an investor. He said the contract was terminated at the request of the Czech government and he thus had no possibility of getting the licence for the GSM network which he compared to expropriation and demanded $27m.

The Czech Republic has won the second arbitration. The first victory was scored in a dispute with CME founder Ronald Lauder in London in September 2001.

But, a dispute with US company CME was lost by the Czech Republic which in May this year had to pay Kc10.5bn to CME for the failure to protect CME's investment in commercil TV Nova. Source: ČTK.

11 September

City Prostejov to offer free WiFi hotpots

The City Prostejov will offer access to internet via WiFi hotspots installed on its main square. The Prostejov town hall has invested 25 000 Kc (1000 USD) in access points covering its square and the service will be available in the second half of september.

GTS will not charge for data volume on ADSL

In response to Český Telecom's change of wholesale conditions, GTS has decided not to charge for the volume of transmitted data. Český Telecom will start to restrict traffic on home ADSL lines from 15. september 2003 so:

- 512/128 Kbps line monthly limit 10 GB
- 1024/256 Kbps line monthly limit 20 GB

Each aditional 10 GB will be charged at extra 400 Kč (15 USD).

The unlimited traffic for GTS customers applies to traffic from 15 September until the end of this year, when GTS will analyse the issue. "If our model turns out to be economically viable, we will continue with it and GTS customers will not be restricted in data transmission volume in the future, regardless of whether Český Telecom does or does not charge for data over the included monthly volume allowance," says Tomáš Budník, Director of the GTS Commercial Division.

GTS pricing of ADSL lines are in a higher class in the Czech republic, but is still not the most expensive. All telecommunications operators offers ADSL lines only from Český Telecom, and they all have same conditions. Why is the ADSL home offer of Český Telecom so laughable? Because the agregation ratio of 1:50 - this means, that this broadband connection is in really in fact a narrowband connection...

Tele2 to stop ADSL services in Czech republic due to low quality

Telecommunication company Tele2 will stop providing ADSL Internet connections due to the very low quality of the service rendered by Czech Telecom to Internet providers. The company's Marketing Director Lukas Kubin informed CTK that the company would not offer the service to new customers beginning today.
According to spokesperson Vladan Crha, Telecom is surprised by Tele2 announcement and does not agree with the reasons stoping the service. "The aim of Tele2 always has been to offer good quality services for lower prices. And in case of ADSL, this aim cannot be pursued in the Czech Republic," said Kubin. He also said that the decision had been influenced by the August launch of a new ADSL version by Telecom.
Tele2 finds this version less advantageous for the end user. Crha pointed out that Tele2 had received identical conditions for ADSL service as other operators. "We do not agree with the reasons Tele2 gives. The ADSL services have reached good quality by now and the new version that is to be launched September 15 is much more advantageous for the end user," he said adding that the company had already signed contracts concerning the new ADSL version with nine operators and was negotiating with seven more.
Tele2 will refund payments to customers who have been using the service or are waiting for its installation. All payments including deposits will be returned by the end of November. According to CTK information, about 300 clients have been using Tele2's ADSL service.

10 September

T-Mobile CZ launches WiFi hotspots

The Second largest Czech mobile operator officially announced today their WiFi public service called T-Mobile HotSpot. WiFi connection is now available from T-Mobile at 8 places (only hotels, but Brno airport is in progress), the next 14 places should be ready soon.

T-Mobile hotspots are available for free at the moment "for testing purposes", as oficialy said spokesman Jiří Hájek. The truth is, that T-Mobile CZ does not have the billing system ready for its customers; the same story as Ceský Telecom WiFi service...

T-Mobile competitor Eurotel launched WiFi service under name WiFiJet on end 2002.

Oskar reports 10 000 MMS users in the first week

The youngest czech mobile operator Český Mobil operating the Oskar network announced 10 000 MMS users in one week from MMS service introduction.

This is not bad number - Eurotel, largest czech mobile operator, claims to have 60 000 MMS users after one year of offering MMS service, T-Mobile CZ has reported "tens of thousands of MMS users".

Oskar thinks, that users now see an oportunity to buy a cheap MMS mobile phone and start to use this service. The truth is, that Oskar is now offering MMS capable phones at prices starting 200 USD, but I think the more probable reason for Oskars MMS succes is accumulated demand for MMS service. Many users waited one year for MMS availability on the Oskar network, T-Mobile and Eurotel introduces MMS service at the end of 2002.
English press release Oskar introduces three MMS services.

New Products: Linksys 802.11b webcam

Linksys WebCam
Linksys just announced its WVC11B Wireless-B Internet Video Camera. The camera is using the 802.11b standard and MPEG-4 video compression for live320x240 resolution video. A built-in stand-alone web server allows up to four users simultaneously.

You can also turn on Security Mode, which tells the camera to send you an email message with a short video attached whenever it detects motion in its field of view. You can then log onto the live video stream if the situation warrants. The included Viewer & Recorder utility lets you record the video stream to your local hard drive, "live" or on a predetermined schedule.

Street price around 200 USD.

MyNet - WiFi fixed line for flat fee

A new Czech wireless service provider is starting. Company TSGCom started his project under the name MyNet and is offering fixed connections to internet via WiFi and as well as street level connections. Customers may choose speed of line and payments model. There are two models: a monthly fee (64 Kb/s line for arround 20 USD) or pay per Kb - (0,04 USD / Kb).

Coverage is presently very poor - two locations in the capital city of Prague, with Český Krumlov fully covered.

The MyNet can be used with internet phone system Fayn, making calls between Fayn phones for free, calls to other networks are charged. Prices here.

Source: MyNet web.