Telecoms – In Brief

Kenya’s Safaricom has completed upgrading its network countrywide which was aimed at improving the company's services. The upgrade, which cost Sh10 billion, will see better user experience for Safaricom's subscribers which include faster internet, better voice quality, improved coverage and more capacity for voice calls among other things.

Zimbabwe: High Court Spot On On Telecel, MDC

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has welcomed a High Court decision suspending the cancellation of Telecel Zimbabwe's operating licence, saying the move against the telecommunications giant was "shocking and ill-advised".

The Welshman Ncube-led party also slammed Zanu PF for abusing the indigenisation policy to benefit certain individuals within the party.

The Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) on April 28 cancelled the mobile operators' licence after it failed to pay its licence renewal fee pegged at $137.5 million.

Sudatel plans Ghana exit by year-end, eyes 16m subs by 2020

Sudatel Telecom Group has earmarked investment of USD267 million over the next five years to transform Sudan’s telecoms sector and grow its subscriber base, the firm’s chief executive told news agency Reuters.

‘There will be a complete transformation from mobile to ICT and we are investing in strong fibre-optic networks and broadband to achieve our goals,’ Tarig Zainelabdein said on the sidelines of a Sudan-United Arab Emirates (UAE) investment forum, adding that around 30% of the investment will come from equity and the rest from bank loans, mainly Arab and Chinese banks.

VimpelCom rides on 3G roll-out in Algeria

VimpelCom is confident of strong future growth for its Algerian operation despite challenging operating conditions in the North African country which had seen first quarter revenues slide by 11%.

A new chief executive officer will be appointed in the next few months to lead a strengthened Algerian management team following the disposal of a 51% stake in Djezzy, VimpelCom's Algerian unit, to Fonds National d'Investissement (FNI) for $2.6 billion in January this year.

Number of dormant SIM cards in Nigeria reduced to 48 million

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed the number of dormant SIM cards in the country has reduced to less than 48 million from more than 51 million in 2015.

NCC figures showed there were 51,284,804 dormant SIM cards in Nigeria in January but the number reduced to 47,985,908 in February 2015. This is contained in the commission’s ‘Monthly Subscriber Data’, released on Sunday in Lagos.

Orange launches Firefox smartphone bundle in Senegal, Madagascar

Orange this week launched its Klif smartphone bundled with a voice, messaging and data allowance in two African markets: Senegal and Madagascar.

Earlier this year the telco announced a partnership with Firefox browser maker Mozilla with a view to bringing affordable smartphones to markets across its operations in the Middle East and Africa.

At the time the operator said it would charge the equivalent of US$40 (€35.7) or less for the Klif smartphone as well as up to six months of voice, SMS, and data of up to 500 MB per month.

Telecoms – In Brief

Microwave networking system specialist Aviat Networks has signed a new three-year turnkey agreement with MTN South Africa, part of the MTN Group, an existing tier one customer. Aviat will modernise the operator's mobile backhaul network and expand network services by installing CTR microwave networking solutions.

Zimbabwe to Revamp State owned Telco NetOne

The government of Zimbabwe is expected to replace much of the top management at the country’s state-owned mobile operator NetOne as it looks to improve performance and grow the company.

Advertisements have been posted to fill 24 key roles at the cellco, including Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

A report from local newspaper The Herald suggests that the current Managing Director Reward Kangai will become Chief Executive Officer (CEO), but will lose some of his influence to the new COO.

Me&you mobile goes live

South Africa’s newest mobile virtual network operator, me&you mobile, has gone live.

South Africa’s newest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), me&you mobile, has gone live, launching services through its website.

The company’s head, Brett Howell, said in an e-mail that it’s had a “great response”, though didn’t say how many sign-ups it has received.

Vodacom sinks $100m in Tanzania for rural expansion

Vodacom Tanzania is set to spend Sh 200 billion ($100 million) on a rural expansion scheme in order to harness the market potential in remote areas and increase its mobile money (M-Pesa) subscriber base by at least 25 percent this year.

The company is Tanzania’s biggest mobile operator and has a 37 percent share of the country’s mobile market. According to the International Telecommunication Union, Tanzania has 56 mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants, lower than 73 in Nigeria and 146 in South Africa.

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