Telecoms – In Brief

- UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), which agreed to acquire Vivendi’s controlling 53% stake in Moroccan incumbent telco Maroc Telecom last week, has submitted a mandatory tender offer to buy out the remaining minority shareholders in the North African firm.

- Unitel STP, which was awarded Sao Tome and Principe’s second fixed and mobile telecoms licence in March 2013, is set to begin operating tomorrow (23 May).

Vodacom faces competition probe

Vodacom has revealed that the Competition Commission has decided to investigate a complaint lodged by Cell C, in which the smaller mobile operator has accused its larger rival of abusing its dominance in contravention of the law.

“The group received a complaint from the Competition Commission in which it is alleged that Vodacom South Africa abused its market dominance in contravention of section 8(a), 8(c) and 8(d)(i) of the Competition Act,” the operator says.

Source: TechCentral

Rwanda's Airtel Outlines Network Upgrade Plans

Rwanda's Airtel has outlined plans to invest around USD30 million in network upgrades this year. According to a statement from the company, it is looking to improving and expanding its network to be able to provide subscribers more products and services.

"We want to enable individuals and businesses reach maximum potential by providing solutions like affordable Internet and data plans," the company's CEO, Teddy Bhullar said.

The company said that it has already invested USD150 million since it entered the country in April 2012.

Source: Cellular News

Kenya: Orange Kenya Unveils Biashara Talk

Orange Telkom Kenya has launched Biashara Talk, a wireless fixed voice post-paid service targeted at Small office Home office (SoHo) customers and small businesses.

The post-paid service that will be provided via a wireless platform, will allow the user to enjoy high voice quality by acquiring a new landline number, or get to re-activate their old business landline as well as migrate their active landline to a wireless network while maintaining their existing phone number.

Source: CIO East Africa

Ghana's Expresso Banned from Sales Until Next Month

Ghana's Expresso has been banned from signing up new customers until next month following complaints about poor network quality.

The telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) imposed the ban that affects both sales and marketing efforts by the mobile network operator.

According to the regulator, Expresso had operational challenges in all the three Northern regions as well as the Eastern and Volta regions.

Source: All Africa

Emerging Markets Communications to Support NetHope and Its Members in Delivering Technology to the Developing World

Emerging Markets Communications announced today it is pleased to support NetHope's mission of providing Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) with technology resources to be more efficient and effective in pursuit of their various missions. NetHope is a catalyst in fostering relationships with leading international NGOs and the private sector. NetHope helps drive innovation for its members by providing education on technology and best practices that can be used to serve people in the developing world.

Source: Press release

Number of mobile phone users in Burundi rose 13 percent in 2013

The number of mobile phone users in Burundi rose 13 percent in 2013 from the year before as most operators expanded their infrastructure networks, the industry regulator said on Wednesday.

Mobile phone subscriptions in the small east African nation reached 2.53 million last year versus 2.24 million in 2012.

Some companies which were just covering the capital Bujumbura are now present in a large part of the country

Source: Read the original article on

Telecoms – In Brief

-  Azouaou Mehmel, the CEO of the country’s incumbent telecoms operator Algerie Telecom (AT), has revealed that the company faces difficulties in implementing its fibre-optic deployment programme, due to a lack of qualified civil engineering companies, Agence Ecofin reports. Mehmel said that as a result, AT’s aim to connect towns with more than 1,000 inhabitants with fibre-optics has not been met; a total of 20,000km of fibre cabling was earmarked for deployment in 2013/2014, with only just 20% of it currently laid.

MTN to pay $3bn for upgrades in Nigeria

MTN Group will spend more than $3bn to upgrade and expand the infrastructure of its operations in Nigeria over the next three years to improve the quality of its service in its biggest market.

"We’ll continue to invest at this rate in the medium term, and make sure the overall quality of service is acceptable," CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said on Thursday.
Dabengwa acknowledged that MTN has challenges with quality of service driven by the "high demand" in Nigeria.

Telecel introduces video calling

Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile telecoms firm by earnings and subscribers, Telecel, on Monday introduced a video calling service as it revealed national coverage had reached 85 percent.

Video calling allows subscribers to have face-to-face conversations by making use of the camera on compatible mobile phones.

Said Telecel communications and branding director Obert Mandimika: “The introduction of the video calling service is centered on our objective of providing an ever wider range of products and services for different segments of our clientele.

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