Issue no 176

top story

  • Africa’s regulatory framework has made VOIP a grubby, under-the-counter business carried on by places as diverse as cyber-cafes and barber shops. VOIP with its ability to deliver a range of services including voice, data and multimedia has to be a significant part of the future and can deliver savings for those using it. Nigeria’s NCC has licensed VOIP carriers provided they connect to the incumbent’s backbone. Russell Southwood looks at how the business model and the technology works.

    With a growing domestic market of over 130 million people (the biggest in Africa), Nigeria has one of the least developed telecoms networks on the continent. Nitel’s current fixed line network does not adequately address the needs of either the expanding business market or demand in the retail sector. Out of its 700,000 installed lines, only 492,000 are operational. And the vast majority of these are concentrated in a few major cities.

    In May 2002, Nigeria’s regulator, the NCC granted 13 licences for fixed wireless access services and shortly thereafter granted Globacom a licence as the SNO. The increased competition has forced NITEL (now managed by Pentascope) to start upgrading its network. It is currently implementing a fibre optic backbone and has announced ambitious plans to reach 3 million lines this year, rising to 8 million lines by 2008. Despite these moves, there remains considerable demand: NCC boss Ernest Ndukwe has described Nigeria as "the last untapped market".

    Launched in August 2000, Adesemi Nigeria has invested USD7-8 million (raised locally through bank loans) to set up a VOIP-based telephone and internet services company. It chose to focus its first phase of coverage in eastern Nigeria, opening POPs in Aba, Owerri, Port Harcourt and Calabar. It now has six cities and will roll out in two more (Abuja and Onitsha) in the next 2-3 months. It wants to control 60% of the southern Nigerian market for telecoms and internet services. Its long-term plan is to have a presence in all 37 state capital cities within 5-10 years and it would like to create its own fibre and wireless backbone.

    These expansion plans have been slowed up by the speed with which NITEL will interconnect them. As Adasemi Nigeria’s’s COO Ndukwe Kalu told us:" We’ve had approvals now on some locations and destinations for some time but it’s taken us a year to get practical interconnection."

    It sells its services through resellers and has five product streams. The two key product services are Komclick (its cyber-café franchise) and Komtone (its VOIP calling product). With Komtone it offers calling cards, VOIP payphones and VOIP gateways. It has just finished testing its first 150 payphones and has plans to roll out 20,000 across its targeted territories. It has added solar power packs to some that will allow it to operate in remote locations. It currently has 19 cyber-café franchisees.

    It has interconnect agreements with all the major network operators: Nitel, MTN and Econet. Ndukwe Kalu says:"On most of the long distance trunk routes for telephone calls we’re the same as NITEL and on some routes we’re lower, between 15-20% lower."

    It chose its technology option to meet market demand. As Ndukwe Kalu puts it:"To support its business model, Adesemi sought a solution that would enable it to reach the large masses of the population, mainly in urban areas, that do not have basic telephone service. Adesemi, like most competitive carriers in emerging economies, requires a low budget solution enabling the provision of basic telephony services in the shortest possible timeframe. We have unlimited scaleability, allowing us to start small with low entry costs and grow over time".

    It chose a solution based on the VOIP protocol, integrated with a wireless local loop and VSAT infrastructure. Technology partners include: OSR as project managers; DIN as integrators; CISCO; Wiman for advanced network solutions; VocalTec which provides the software and switches for both prepaid platform and dialup internet access while SMC handles ournetworking solutions.

    VocalTec’s VOIP platform allows Adesemi to offer pre-paid calling cards and has a central billing function to ensure revenue collection. The initial network roll-out took only 6-8 weeks. It is a circuit-based TDM infrastructure that requires point-to-point connection between each last mile exchange, while each point requires its own power source for back-up. Using VOIP over the wireless backbone, the most time-consuming thing is the antennae set-up. Both data and voice can be transmitted via the wireless IP backbone immediately. VocalTec CPE gateways can support either 4 or 8 analog lines. The VSAT network supports interconnection between POPs (and the NOC in Aba) and enables Adesemi to connect directly to international networks.

telecoms

  • A new mobile phone service provider is to enter the Kenyan market to challenge Safaricom and Kencell. A consortium headed by Econet Wireless of South Africa was yesterday declared the winning bidder for a third mobile telephone licence. Their bid amount was USD27 million (Sh2.1 billion), just under half the amount the Treasury fetched from past auctions. Econet is in partnership with the Kenya National Federation of Co- operatives Ltd (KNFC) and Lapcell, which is chaired by local businessman Manga Mugwe.

    In previous licence sales, Safaricom and KenCell paid a uniform USD55 million (Sh4.3 billion). The global cost of GSM licences has been plummeting since 2000. The new company will begin rolling out in April 2004. The winner for the third mobile telephone concession out-bid MSI Cellular Investment Pty Ltd, which offered USD11 million. Kenya Telecommunications Investment Group (KTIG), a consortium of local investors and Detecon International GmbH of Germany failed to acquire the necessary technical points.

    Although Manga Mugwe said mobile phone charges were likely to fall, industry watchers said the tariffs were unlikely to dip substantially.

    The Daily Nation, Kenya

  • Egypt’s MobiNil has launched a mobile multimedia messaging service using Nokia’s MMS and GPRS solutions.In addition to delivering MobiNil the complete Nokia MMS solution, Nokia has also supplied the, GPRS core network, the Nokia Terminal Management Server (NTMS) and Nokia’s WAP solution for the creation of mobile Internet services. Nokia will also provide implementation and maintenance for the whole system solution. Nokia NetActä service and network management system is included in the deal.

    "MobiNil continues to enjoy a successful relationship with Nokia thanks to its reliable and innovative solutions. The co-operation in the field of value-added services like MMS will give a boost to the MobiNil Life service," said Gilles Lamberty, Chief Operating Officer, MobiNil.

    The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services, MobiNil, is Egypt’s largest mobile operator. Its major shareholders include Orange Group and Orascom Telecom.

    Cellular News

  • THE costs of international telecommunications operations between East Africa and the rest of the world will go down by an estimated 50 to 70 per cent once a planned fibre-optic cable linking the eastern African seaboard is constructed and put in service by December 2006.

    Excitement gripped some 80 top chief executive officers and other business leaders from East Africa meeting at the Second East African Business Summit held at the Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki last weekend, when it was revealed that construction work on the cable could start as early as 2005.

    The initiative for the project came from the inaugural East African Business Summit held in November last year, where it was the chief Action Plan mooted by the brainstorming group that addressed the theme "East Africa’s Future is Digital."

    Preliminary feasibility studies show the cost of constructing the undersea cable from South Africa past Zanzibar to the Horn of African country of Djibouti will be between USD200 million and USD250 million, the Head of Strategy and Planning at Telkom Kenya, Joseph Ogutu, told a plenary session of the Summit. It was originally thought that the cost would be higher than USD500 million.

    East Africa’s lack of competitiveness principally comes from the lack of a fibre optic maritime link covering the eastern seaboard of Africa. The cost of international data transfer via satellite is USD5,000 per mega bit as opposed to USD500 per mega bit via the maritime link.

    Currently, the eastern African coast is the only coast in the world not covered by the international fibre optic cable. The cable covers West Africa, running from Portugal (Europe) along the West African coast past Angola to Cape Town in South Africa, ending up at Mtunzini on the eastern coast of South Africa. From here, the cable heads to Malaysia in the Far East.

    Another submarine cable comes down the Red Sea to Djibouti, then continues past the Arabian Sea to connect to Pakistan, India, and finally links up with the South African cable in the Far East.

    Nearly all the national telecommunications operators in East and Southern Africa - led by Telkom Kenya, TTCL (Tanzania), Zantel (Zanzibar), Uganda Telkom, TDM of Mozambique, South Africa Telkom and Djibouti Telkom - are involved in the project. Several other mobile and landline operators are expected to join the project, dubbed the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASCS).

    These operators aim at acquiring a capacity for own use and for use by others, and are currently establishing joint actions and reaching an understanding to establish a steering committee and set up working groups.

    A consultative committee meeting was held on January 31, where an initial Project Co-ordination Team was formed, leading to the preparation of a preliminary feasibility study.

    The operators are hoping to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by November, and to agree on the cable configuration by March 31, next year. Tenders for construction will be floated by September next year, and if successful, a financial closing will be achieved before the end of 2004. Joseph Ogutu said that if a supply contract and construction and maintenance agreement were signed early in March 2005, then the cable could be in operation by the end of 2006.

    The East African,Nairobi

  • Movicel, a cellular operator and subsidiary of Angola Telecom, has contracted Nortel Networks to deploy CDMA2000 1X wireless network equipment in Angola for a complete voice and packet data network. Under a new supply agreement, Nortel Networks has begun to supply a CDMA2000 1X Wireless Data Network for Movicel across the capital city of Luanda, which includes approximately 35% of the population of Angola.

    "Nortel Networks has the necessary technical expertise directly applicable to the challenges of deploying CDMA and CDMA2000 1X, and we continue to focus on providing our wireless data solutions to the growing African and Middle Eastern market," said Michel Clement, president, Nortel Networks France, Middle East and Africa. "This award extends our geographic footprint and means that we are now implementing 3G for 11 companies across EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa)."

    Wireless infrastructure being deployed for Movicel includes Nortel Networks CDMA Metro Cell radio base station (BTS), CDMA Base Station Controller (BSC), Mobile Switching Center (MSC) and PDSN (Packet Data Serving Node) products.

    This is Nortel Networks third infrastructure announcement in the African region in 2003. Nortel Networks previously announced agreements with Telecom Egypt to expand its national telecoms network and with Multi-Links in Nigeria to deploy a CDMA2000 1X network.

    Cellular News

  • - Nigeria’s M-Tel has said it will adopt per second billing system for its GSM charges by October 15, 2003.

    - Uganda’s Celtel has reached a deal with 14 companies to offer discounts on goods and services to its patrons. In the deal, long standing Celtel customers can buy at a discount services and goods from firms, which have a partnership with Celtel.

    - Tunisie Télécom reached 1.2 million mobile subscribers by last week.

    - The launch of NigeriaSat-1, one of five satellites that will make up the Disaster Monitoring Constellation has been delayed. Russian Itar-Tass news agency said launching the Kosmos-3M booster rocket, carrying six satellites in total, was stopped after concerns about the rocket’s fuel system or the launch equipment.

internet

  • Mauritius Post wants to become the third ISP on the island with the launch of Mauripost.net. It will start in November of this year but have a full launch in January 2004. It says that a good part of the equipment it needs is in place and that technicians are currently activating it. Tariffs have not yet been set because it has to sort out its interconnection agreements with the incumbent telco, Mauritius Telecom.

    SIL and Mauritius Post are equal shareholders in the venture. With a launch capital of Rs16 million, the company wants to move quickly and says that it will offer: "several types of services at competitive prices." SIL will handle the technical side of the operation, whilst Mauritius Post looks after the marketing and promotion.

    In parallel, Mauritius Post is equipping 24 of its post offices with cyber-café access which will be operational by October this year: "Our goal is to democratise access to the internet at the best possible price".

    L’Express

  • - Lagos State Government has threatened to pull down all masts illegally erected in the State. A spokesman said most of the cybercafes operating in the state did not get approval from the state government before erecting their masts.

    - Mauritius’ second ISP DCL has lowered its tariffs. According to DCL Director Ganesh Ramalin: "We’ve changed everything. In place of offers based on number of hours used, we’re now working according to time zones." It will offer three time zones: 8 to midnight, midnight to 8 and Sunday: these will cost RS350, Rs500 and Rs1000 respectively. There will also be a special student tariff. On average, this will work out at about 10 sous a minute. Mauritius’s other ISP, Chez Telecom, the subsidiary of incumbent Mauritius Telecom, is expected to announce its own rate revisions shortly.

    - South Africa’s Standard Bank has implemented a "patch" for a fault in its internet banking software.

    www.intelsat.com

computing

  • The South African government has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to develop software in IsiZulu and Afrikaans. Microsoft announced the translation of its software into the two languages in Johannesburg last week and said the software was now ready for demonstration.

    The Director General of the Department of Communications Dr Andile Ngcaba said the government was attempting to communicate with the public in their own spoken languages.The development of the software followed discussions between the Ministry of Communications and various national institutions around the translation of Microsoft products into African languages.

    Other languages to be developed included Sepedi, Setswana, Isixhosa, and Swahili, the most dominant language in southern, central, and eastern Africa. ’Our aim is to equip our society by making the language available on their computers, and the purpose is to ensure that people will communicate easily in their mother languages,’ said Ngcaba.

    He said developing such a programme would enhance learning and teaching in schools, as learners would not be required to understand English first as opposed to the content.

    Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Europe, Middle East and Africa Jean Philliep Touis said the company envisaged partnering with African governments to sustain efforts to localise its software.

    AllAfrica.com

  • One of the world’s global distribution system and travel technology providers is now entering the Tanzanian market. Amadeus provides airlines, hotels and car rental companies with software that enables them to disseminate information about their schedules, availability, pricing and ticketing of their world wide services.

    Speaking to the Society of Travel Agents of Tanzania, recently in Dar es Salaam, the Company’s General Manager for East Africa, Aymeric Lanez , said the system links providers with subscribers including travel agencies and corporate travel departments, airport ticket offices, and city ticket offices through the group’s website. The company was expected to commence its activities in the city at the TDFL building this month.

    He said as of June 2003, the system is used by some 65,240 travel agency locations world wide, and its global market share stands at 33.7 percent. The manager said the system is an essential sales tool for travel agencies, which represent Amadeus’s primary customers with 211,800 travel agency terminals connected to the system.

    "Information is the lifeblood of travel. Without the means to collate, display and transmit millions of items of information at high speed to every corner of the world every minute, the travel industry could not hope to meet the world’s seemingly insatiable demand for mobility", he stressed. Lanez added that the travel industry is one of the largest in the world, and it is one of the most innovative, leading all other sectors in the use of electronic commerce and other cutting edge technologies like the internet serve its customers in ways that are constantly effective and innovative. He revealed that they plan to open another office in Nairobi in October this year, and one in Kampala before the end of this year. Apart from Amadeus systems other world wide providers are Galileo and Sabre. The company which is based in Spain, was founded in 1987 by Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS and became fully operational in 1992.

    Business News Online

  • Aviation Information Technology (AVIT) at Cairo International Airport Company (CIAC) and the Egyptian Airports Company (EAC) have selected SITA to integrate applications across its IT infrastructure and manage its systems as well as those of six other airports in Egypt. The contract marks the start of the second phase of a five-year, USD35 million Airport Systems Integration project to streamline the passenger journey and support Egypt’s growing tourism industry.

    Phase I of the project began in December 2001, by linking the airports of six major tourist destinations to one main Control Center at the Ministry of Civil Aviation in Cairo. The six airports covered by Phase I were Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurgada, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Alexandria, which jointly handle some 12 million passengers per year.

    The Control Center hosts the Airport Operational Database, including key financial systems, which manages the movement of all aircraft, passengers and baggage at the six airports. In addition, the Control Center hosts the Baggage Reconciliation System and Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) servers providing shared-use, automated check-in and baggage handling services for these airports.

    SITA has also equipped each of these airports with a Flight Information Display System, integrated with AirportCentral in Cairo. And finally, in the case of four of the six airports, charter airlines without access to any DCS system are now able to benefit from a local SITA DCS.

    Phase II, valued at USD16 million, extends the infrastructure and applications, supplied in Phase I to the two terminals at Cairo International Airport as well as the new Luxor Airport, currently under construction.

    In addition, Phase II will provide passengers with Internet access to all flight information at each airport and will include a complete training program for the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN) staff, along with the establishment of a training center, with full systems simulations.

    The expansion project supports the objectives of the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation to ease congestion and reduce operating costs by standardizing and improving services across all of Egypt’s airports. With passenger numbers continuing to grow, the development of a strong IT infrastructure enables a streamlined travel experience for not only visitors, but also for all those involved in the tourism industry.

    SITA provides services to air transport customers and to related industries, as well as government authorities. SITA is registered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and recorded revenues of $697 million in 2002.

    Mena Report

  • Locally developed add-on software and integrated products for Accpac accounting software are to be introduced to the Australian market in October. Developed by Acctivity, a division of major Accpac value-added reseller and solutions provider Softline Lorge, the products will be demonstrated at the Accpac Partnership Australia conference in Sydney from October 2-4.

    Two of the products that Acctivity business manager, Neels du Plooy, will demonstrate in Australia are Acctivity Cashbook 5.1 and Acctivity Integration Manager 5.1, a professional, intuitive software tool for secure importing of data into various components of an Accpac suite of accounting software modules. Cashbook allows compatibility templates to be developed for any bank. It streamlines capture of receipts and payments and significantly improves the management of cash and bank transactions. "Cashbook is a comprehensive solution covering the entire spread of a company’s bank administration needs."

    The software co-exists with the Accpac Bank Services module and with Acctivity’s EFT (electronic funds transfer) Manager to provide highly sophisticated, yet simple to apply, bank administration functionality." Integration Manager aims to manage, process and track data provided by external or legacy systems for integration to and with other back-end accounting data. "Easy, user-definable templates and rules for the importing of comma delimited and flat files as well as the automatic creation of any number of transaction types means Accpac users with external or legacy products can rely on secure and validated batch creation at the push of a button," says Du Plooy.

    "Users are assured of trouble-free operation and database independence. Integration Manager exploits all of Accpac’s standard functionality such as data activation, security and multi-currency and integrates with many standard Accpac modules, including General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order Entry and Inventory Control," he adds. Du Plooy says all of the Acctivity software programs are developed using the Accpac software development kit (SDK) and will therefore function on any database supported by Accpac.

    ICT Web

  • - A high-profile Microsoft deal to provide thousands of free computers to Namibian schools by 2004 is an attempt to marginalise Schoolnet Namibia, claims Director Joris Komen. Schoolnet, a local non-profit organisation, is active in the same field and provides Internet access, hardware and training to more than 180 schools across the country.

    - MTN SA has developed a traffic monitoring service for major highway interchanges, enabling road users to avoid daily traffic jams and accidents. The service, called MTN Traffic Cam, is currently available in Gauteng, and will be rolled-out nationwide next year.

    The MTN Traffic Cam works through cameras placed on MTN radio masts at various interchanges, giving motorists live feeds over MultiMedia Messaging Service (MMS) technology.

Digital Content

  • The African Union plans to launch a web site to tackle illicit drug trafficking. The web-site contents will include such vital information as how to identify and destroy cannabis plantations. Surfers will get access to the latest publications and other news material that leads to either arresting or helping with investigations against drug pushers, money launderers and couriers.

    The AU report titled ‘Mechanism for follow-up and reporting on the implementation of the revised plan of action on drug control in Africa (2000-2006)’ says information dissemination and networking is crucial to effect the continental plan. It will also help tackle the kind of money To help drug users and addicts lead a normal life, detoxification centres will be established for counseling and rehabilitation of the effected segment of the African society.

    Business Times

  • - Local learners and teachers in disadvantaged communities will soon have their own e-mail accounts and Web sites when Oracle SA launches Think.com as part of the Digital Partnership initiative. Think.com is a free Web-based environment for primary and secondary students and teachers, developed by Oracle.

    - The AFRICT web site is dedicated dedicated to discussions about Telecom prices and ICT costs in Africa. It contains a number of articles which can be downloaded.

    www.sky2net.net

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  • Econet Wireless Holdings Limited (EWH) founder Strive Masiyiwa last week vowed to press ahead with his contentious bid for a bigger stake in the telecommunications group, saying his acquisition of a Portugal Telecom (PT) stake in Mascom Wireless International would not affect his offer.

    "We’re not changing the structure of our transaction in Zimbabwe," Masiyiwa told The Financial Gazette by telephone from his office in South Africa, dismissing reports by EWH minorities that the local transaction was lopsided and prejudiced them.

    "We have bought Portugal Telecom out. We have exercised our rights with our partners. It was a big coup for us because we’d been given a deadline of up to Monday (15 days). We paid USD20 million for a 20 percent stake and our partners paid USD30 million for their stake (30 percent). Together we now control Mascom 100 percent," Masiyiwa said.

    Masiyiwa, who currently holds a 26.1 percent stake in EWH, wants to increase his stake in the group to 64.1 percent by exchanging his 14 percent shareholding in Mascom for 918,705,438 shares in EWH. The 14 percent stake is held by TS Masiyiwa Holdings Limited (TSM). EWH will take over the entire issued share capital of TSM if the deal, which is being vigorously resisted by some minorities, is approved at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for September 26 2003.

    Masiyiwa led a group of investors in scuttling a deal reached by PT with Citizens International to sell its 50.1 percent stake in Mascom for US$50.37 million by demanding to exercise their first refusal or pre-emptive rights to buy out PT.

    Reports suggested that the deal between EWH and TSM would be put off because new investors in Mascom had become beneficiary shareholders in TSM when Masiyiwa exercised his pre-emptive rights. The reports had also suggested that the acquisition had increased TSM’s stake in Mascom to 65.1 percent, making it even more expensive for EWH to buy TSM.

    But Masiyiwa said he had exercised his rights through "other vehicles" and not through TSM. Masiyiwa said last week that he felt the deal was fair and reasonable despite an outcry from some minorities. He said he would deal with critics of the deal at a shareholder briefing where he would tackle the issue of EWH shareholding in Econet Wireless International (EWI) in which EWH is a beneficiary through a trust based in the UK by way of a 50.48 percent shareholding. EWI, valued at USD40 million, has stakes in operations in telecommunication operations in Nigeria, Lesotho and Swaziland.

    Masiyiwa has also blocked the purchase of a 51 percent stake in Econet Wireless Nigeria (EWN) by South Africa’s Vodacom for US$150 million, saying he has pre-emptive rights through EWI which holds five percent shareholding in EWN. The case is in the hands of the Lagos Federal High Court in which Masiyiwa is seeking an injunction to prevent EWI’s fellow shareholders from accepting Vodacom’s bid. (see In Brief below)

    The Financial Gazette

  • - South Africa’s State Information Technology Agency (SITA) says it has recorded a 44 percent increase in turnover for the year ending March 2003. SITA Acting Chief Executive Officer Ken Modise said the agency’s revenue increased by about R600-million to over R1.9 billion during the same period. Mr Modise added SITA’s net profit for the past year was R83-million, compared to the previous year’s loss of R51-million.

    - Lagos State Government last week said a suit filed by Econet Wireless International against Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited was incompetent. The counsel to the state government, Mr. Lawal Pedro said in a preliminary objection that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter. He alleged that the board of EWN was in breach of the shareholding agreement by considering an offer from Vodacom of South Africa as well as Telecell and Orascom Telecom to control the shares in EWN.Joined as defendants to the suit are: Delta State Finance Ministry, Akwa Ibom State investment and Promotions Council, Lagos, State Govern-ment, Oba Otudeko, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, 0&0 Networks Limited and Cell Shops Limited. Others include: First City Asset Management Limited, Mobolaji Balogun, Ayo Adeboye, S&D Ventures Limi-ted, All Speak Nigeria Limited, Millennium Wireless Limited, Boye Olusanya, Leadway Assurance Limited, Foluke Otudeko, Tunde Hassan Otudeko, Cards Investment Limited, Browley Investment Limited, Browley Asset Management Limited and Borad Communications Limited.

    - At a shareholders meeting in Johannesburg last week the majority of Softline shareholders voted to accept the offer of R2 per share tabled by the Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 accounting and business management software company.The R2 cash offer places a value of R785m on Softline.

More

  • * Amnon Avissar, Director-General of Sentel says that his company won’t wait for the liberalisation of telecoms (2004) in Senegal before demonstrating its telecoms expertise. It is particularly critical of Sonatel’s monopoly:"The monopoly is a bad thing for the development of the economy, particularly the telecommunications sector. There are several different services that the operators and providers can’t offer today because of the monopoly. The day’s coming when the monopoly will be a thing of the past and the Senegalese will want the best performing services they can get. That’s not just mobile services but all telecoms services and these need to be made much more available for Senegalese consumsers." Sentel wanted to look at fixed line and public telephony. In his meeting with the press, he also announced the lowering of its mobile tariffs to 100 FCFAs per minute, a rate he claimed was the lowest in West Africa.

    * Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of Nigerian mobile consumer group NATCOMS (which mounted the recent switch-off campaign) is planning other strategies to combat the alleged mistreatment of subscribers by the networks. Although guarded about what these might be he did say that it might include picketing the offices of the mobile companies. A number of other organisations have also got involved. Probity in Nigeria (PIN), an NGO based in Enugu described the services as a rip-off and also consequently mobilized support for the crusade. So did the National Association of Mobile Phone Subscribers (NANPS) led by Professor Bunmi Ayoade of the Social Sciences Department, University of Ibadan. A spokesman for Econet Wireless Nigeria, Emeka Opara (quoted in the Daily Champion) had however, earlier described the protest as unnecessary insisting that his company has since improved on its services. Another consumer rights group, TELSRAD was led by Mr. Ene Baba-Owoh, who claimed his group has engaged over 2,000 lawyers (yes that figure does read 2,000) nationwide to ensure that the rights of Nigerian Consumers, are not undermined.

    http://www.itweb.co.za/events/itpersonalityoftheyear/2003/default.asp

    * Hassan Kabbani who has worked for thirty years in the telecoms industry is the new Director General of Orascom Telecom Algérie.

    * Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa gets a lot of trouble with his first name in the Africa press. He has been call Steve (in the Nigerian press) and Clive (in the Kenyan press).

  • TANZANIA COMPUTING AND TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE

    30th September - 1st October 2003

    Diamond Jubilee Hall, Dar es Salaam

    DAY I

    I. Policy Session

    II. Infrastructure Development

    14:00 IP Telephony: what’s the trade off?

    BMTL

    14:30 IP Surveillance: Big Brother is watching

    GianCarlo Volo, Director, Techno Centre CCTV

    15:00 Mobile wireless technologies

    Mark Galley, Sales Manager, HP

    15:30 Using Broad Band Wireless in Emerging Networks

    Trevor Gordon, Ceragon

    16:00 HF/UHF Community Repeaters

    John Kenwood

    16:30 Hotspots: Connectivity for communities

    Suhail Shareff, Business Development Manager, Raha.com

    DAY II

    Session III: Technology and Applications

    9:30 Migration Technology for Enterprises

    Vijay Beehary, CEO, VESL Technologies

    10:00 High Availability, Data Storage and Disaster Recovery

    Adi Brand, Network Alliances

    10:30 Setting New Standards in Integrated ERP

    Keith and Wendy Mullan, Co-Directors, Hansa Business Solutions

    11:00 Tea Break

    11:15 Implementing a pay-as-you grow IT solution, which increases System Availability of Critical Networks while decreasing TCO

    Alan Morgan , Sales Manager, APC

    11:45 Collaboration in a developing environment

    Michael Salk, Senior Business Consultant, Ability Solutions

    12:15 E-Learning: Experiences from Tanzania

    Reshma Bharma, Consultant, E-Academy

    12:45 Asset management for the Enterprise

    Tom Rockliffe, Business Development Manager, Mincon (Pty) Ltd

    13:15 Lunch Break

    14:00 E- Governance comes of age

    By Xavier Ogonda, CISCO

    14:30 Enterprise Business Solutions

    Mandla Thusi & Esat Ferra, IBM/Tri Continental

    15:00 Banking for the future: Technology trends for the Banking sector

    Niel Herbert, Sales Manager, Misys International Banking Systems

    15:30 Enterprise IT Security: What you need to know

    Vipul Shah, Director, PC Solutions

    16:00 Business Accounting software

    Alan Ware, Accpac Africa

    16:30 IXPs: The value proposition

    Bill Sangiwa, Tanzania ISP Association

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