Telecoms – In Brief

- According to a survey on ICT usage by the Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT), the number of smartphone users in Morocco has more than doubled in the past year. It found that 33 percent of Moroccans aged 12 to 65 had smartphones in 2013, compared to just 16 percent in 2012.

Ethio Telecom connects 89% of settlements

Ethiopian fixed line and mobile monopoly operator Ethio Telecom has announced that it has extended telecoms network access to over 16,000 out of 18,000 kebeles, or settlements, in the country. Head of communication Abdurahim Ahmed said that over the last decade the telco has also reduced the maximum distance that people from rural communities have to travel to use telecom services – ten years ago the distance was as far as 30km but now the maximum distance is 5km.

Source: Telegeography

Gilat Satcom Launches Satellite Phone Service to Provide Connectivity in African Underground Mines

Gilat Satcom, a leading provider of satellite and fibre-based connectivity services in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, has announced a new system which will provide high-quality voice connectivity to people working in underground mines.

Traditionally communication with underground workers has been via temporary coax cables which are prone to damage and unsuitable for many locations. Gilat Satcom’s SuricatePRO service provides coverage extension for standard satellite phones extending telephony underground without loss of signal quality.

Source: Company Press Release

Orange introduces trial LTE service in Cote d’Ivoire

Orange Cote d’Ivoire has introduced 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in selected areas of the capital city Abidjan, albeit on an experimental basis. Coverage is currently limited to the upmarket suburb of Cocody, the commune of Marcory and the area surrounding Port Bouet Airport.

Source: Telegeography

New Wireless Phone Charging Trouser Could Strike Gold in Africa

At first glance, a trouser collection designed by British luxury fashion designer, A. Sauvage seems to offer purely sleek, luxury detailed designed and well-tailored pants. However, a closer look at its pockets confirms the reasoning behind its nickname; The Smart Trousers – the pants can charge mobile phones.

Source: Ventures Africa

Thuraya launches its first ruggedized satellite broadband terminal with MIL-SPEC components

Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a Mobile Satellite Services operator, has announced the launch of the Thuraya IP Commander, its first ruggedized satellite broadband terminal designed using MIL-SPEC components. The terminal will be commercially available from all Thuraya Service Partners in Q3, 2014.

Source: Company Press Release

Telecoms – In Brief

- Mobile phone users in the African nation of Comoros have overwhelmingly rejected the government’s decision to introduce a new tax – thought to be around 5% – on top-ups, denting the administration’s plan to use the money raised to shore up its ailing national electricity supplier.

- Uganda's marketing companies have been banned from using SMS to advertise their services until the regulator is able to tighten up the rules for such services.

Regulator NCA gets tough - Vodafone Banned from Signing Up New Customers in Ghana

Vodafone's Ghana subsidiary has been barred from signing up new customers until the end of July following a serious network outage.

Vodafone suffered the network outage from around 10am on the 2nd June, which lasted through to midday on the 3rd June.

Source: Cellular News

Nigeria Set To Liquidate NITEL, MTEL

After several failed attempts at privatizing national telecom companies, Nigerian telecommunication Limited (NITEL) and Nigerian Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTEL), the West African country has opted for a “guided liquidation” of the companies’ non-core assets to settle debts owed to stakeholders.

Nigeria Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) – the organisation that supervises sale of national assets – announced that the government has appointed liquidators to oversee the bidding process for assets of the two companies.

Source: Ventures Africa

Airtel signs group-wide framework agreement with Movirtu – service launched in Madagascar and DRC

Airtel has entered into a group-wide framework agreement with Movirtu, an innovator in Virtual SIM solutions. The group-wide agreement follows Airtel’s successful launch of the Movirtu Share service in Madagascar. The first deployment under the new contract is now live in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Source: Press release
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