Cellular News

Zimbabwe Allocates Spectrum for LTE Services

The Zimbabwean mobile networks have been allocated LTE radio spectrum the regulator Potraz has announced.

Nicholas Muzhuzha, the manager for networks and standards at Potraz, confirmed that LTE spectrum has already been allocated to operators.

The move follows an LTE trial network set up by Econet Wireless for the UN World Tourism Organization meeting in Victoria Falls  last year. At the time, the company's CEO said that work is already in progress to launch 4G in the major cities, including Harare.

Source: Cellular News

Kenya Mulls Mandatory National Roaming Between Mobile Networks

Kenya's telecoms regulator has proposed new rules that would mandate the sharing of facilities by the country's mobile networks. The intent is to strengthen the position of the smaller networks against the dominant Safaricom.

The Communications Authority of Kenya said national roaming is the next frontier of "raising the bar on competition" in the sector.

It will however wait for a related court case between Safaricom and Airtel over Airtel's wish that Safaricom be barred from demanding that its mobile money agents only offer Safaricom services.

Source: Cellular News

Telecom Egypt Asked to Pay $359 Million for Mobile License

Telecom Egypt will be asked to pay EGP2.5 billion (US$359 million) for the unified license that will permit it to offer mobile services the country's Telecommunications Minister Atef Helmy has announced.

Telecom Egypt's license will last just two years, as an MVNO. After that, it will be able to bid for a full mobile license when the government plans to auction 4G spectrum to all the telcos.

Telecom Egypt will also have to negotiate a sale, or some sort of resolution, as to what to do with its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt.

Source: Cellular News

South African Regulator Wins Partial Victory in Attempt to Cut MTRs

A South African court has ruled that planned mobile termination rate cuts by the regulator are illegal but will still permit them to go ahead anyway.

Both Vodacom and MTN had taken the regulator, ICASA to court claiming that its introduction of substantially asymmetrical MTRs unfairly favoured the smaller mobile networks.

Although the Johannesburg High Court agreed with the mobile network's legal argument, it also set aside the order overturning the regulator's decision for six months, giving ICASA time to review how it carried out the MTR revision.

Source: Cellular News

Zambian Networks Face Lose of License if Quality is Not Improved

Zambia's government has issued a warning to the mobile networks and threatened to revoke their operating licenses if they do not improve the quality of their service.

The out-going minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Emmanuel Chenda said that is not acceptable for customers to be paying for a service that is inconsistent and regularly dropping calls.

"It is for this reason that consumers must demand fairness and transparency in the billing system and also protection from billing fraud," Chenda said.

Source: Cellular News

Airtel and Safaircom Seeking Settlement in Mobile Money Complaint

Two of Kenya's mobile networks have asked for more time to negotiate an out of court settlement in a dispute over market dominance on mobile money services.

The Kenyan arm of Bharti Airtel filed a complaint last year against Safaricom accusing it of abusing its market dominance.

"Safaricom is generally restricting the market to unhealthy competition thereby closing the market outlets," Airtel alleged.

Source: Cellular News

Tigo Launches Mobile Money Transfer Between Rwanda and Tanzania

The mobile network operator Tigo has started a cross border Mobile Money remittance service between Tanzania and Rwanda.

The new service allows Tigo subscribers in Tanzania to send money from their Tigo Pesa accounts to Tigo Cash subscribers in Rwanda and vice versa. The system integrates currency conversion, whereby money is sent in either Tanzania Shillings or Rwandan Francs and delivered already converted into in the currency of the recipient's country.

Source: Cellular News

South Africa Sees Huge Spike in Demand for Tablet Devices in Q4 2013

Shipments of tablet PCs to South Africa increased 107.1% year on year in the final quarter of 2013 to total 513,000 units according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation IDC .

­The country's traditional PC market suffered a better-than-predicted 18.8% decline over the same period to total 427,000 units, while there was more positive news for all-in-one (AiO) devices and convertible notebooks.

Source: Cellular News

Zambia's Government to Boost Rural Mobile Phone Coverage

Zambia s government says that it plans to spend US 24 million building more mobile phone towers in rural areas to boost coverage where the networks currently lack services

The project is being carried out by the telecoms regulator, the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), and will see the deployment of 169 new telecoms towers.

The project is due to be completed this year, and should see mobile phone coverage expanded to more than 200,000 people currently not served by mobile networks.

Source: Cellular News

Morocco to Require Prepay SIM Card Registration

Morocco s telecoms regulator ANRT has announced that mobile networks offering PrePay SIM Cards will need to validate their customer s identification from the start of April

In a statement, the regulator announced the polcy, which it said applies to both GSM and 3G customers, and banned the sale of pre-activated SIM cards.

Retailers will be required to collect the CNI number from the customer, or another suitable form of identification first.

Source: Cellular News
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