Alliance for Affordable Internet welcomes Ghanaian government’s moves to cut mobile phone taxes

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has welcomed Ghana’s commitment to scrap hefty import duties on smartphones. The Ghanaian government, which recently joined A4AI, has announced these first steps in an innovative drive to enable affordable Internet access through policy reform.

Airtel deploys 4G/LTE network in Seychelles with Ericsson

Airtel has partnered with Ericsson to deliver a new, nationwide LTE 800 MHz network and to meet growing customer demand for mobile broadband services while delivering superior network performance. This is Airtel's first commercial LTE network in Africa.

The network is expected to cover 10,000 LTE subscribers in the first phase and will greatly enhance connectivity giving Airtel's customers an improved smartphone experience, with faster web browsing, downloads and improved quality of service.

Telecoms – In Brief

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report launched yesterday (Wednesday) revealed that proliferation of mobile technology continues to grow at a rapid pace. According to the report, Africa has topped 880 million in mobile subscriptions for Q3 2014, whilst 90 per cent of the world’s population over six years old is predicted to have a mobile phone by 2020.

Nigerian Communications Commission bans Owntel Communications – no licence to operate

Nigeria’s telecoms industry’s regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced a clampdown on Owntel Communications. According to the NCC, the company was providing telecommunications services without an operational license.

The ban was announced by the Salisu Abdul-led NCC enforcement team that visited the office of Owntel. The team confiscated some of its equipment as evidence for illegal operation.

MTN restores services to Expresso

Subscribers of Telecommunication firm Expresso can now make calls to MTN following the decision of the latter to restore services to Expresso.

MTN on November 1, 2014 alerted its subscribers through a text message of its decision to block calls from Expresso due to the latter’s indebtedness.

Shortly after that, Airtel also blocked calls from its network to Expresso over similar concerns.

The National Communication Authority, NCA has since intervened to resolve the impasse between Expresso and the two telecommunication companies.

Uganda: MTN to Compensate Data Customers

MTN Uganda will compensate data customers who have lost money through the multiple data activations they experienced over the last few months, Brian Gouldie, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Uganda, said.

"We learnt of the problem our data customers have been facing and we have for the last ten days been fully engaged to identify the problem. MTN has grown by 50 per cent year in year out and the volumes of transactions have increased, and that's why we have to upgrade the system to support our customers' needs," he told journalists at MTN towers in Kampala.

Egypt’s mobile app users are predominantly young: 75% of adult mobile apps users in Egypt are younger than 34 years of age

A new Arab Advisors Group survey of Egypt’s mobile application users was concluded in November 2014. The survey revealed that young dominate the ranks of mobile app users in Egypt. The survey further reveals that around a 30% of Egypt’s mobile app users are not aware of the operating system of their smartphone.

Ghana mulls scrapping 20% import tax on handsets

The government of Ghana is reportedly planning to scrap the 20% import duty on mobile, cellular and satellite telephone handsets, which was passed by parliament in mid-2013, BizTech Africa reports. Minister of Finance Seth Terkper stated that the new proposal, which has yet to be presented to parliament for approval, will help increase the country’s smartphone penetration, which currently stands at 15%, while also assisting the government in its policy of bridging the country’s ‘digital divide’.

Vodafone signs new Partner Market agreement with Afrimax in Uganda

Vodafone and Afrimax Group - a 4G LTE telecommunications operator in sub-Saharan Africa - jointly announced a strategic framework agreement to cooperate and explore opportunities for Partner Market agreements in the region. Vodafone has also announced a Partner Market agreement in Uganda with Afrimax.

Under the non-equity framework agreement, Vodafone and Afrimax will explore potential Partner Market opportunities in a variety of territories in sub-Saharan Africa.

Telecoms – In Brief

Moroccan telecoms watchdog, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT), has announced that the country’s long-anticipated auction for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile licences will be launched on 17 November 2014.

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