TELECOMS

Telecoms News - In Brief

- Tanzania’s Minister for Infrastructure Development, Andrew Chenge told Parliament that the Government would write off incumbent TTCL’s debts in order to pave the way for privatisation of the company. In the meantime, Canada’s Saskatel has been acting as the managing agent for the company. According to Chenge, TTCL was seeking TSh 20.4 billion, of which TSh5.2 billion are local debts and about US$670,000 is tied up in international debts. The 2008/2009 shows that the government intends to set aside about TSh.8.2 billion to pay TTCL pensions.

- Nigeria’s National Assembly looks set to start the process of reviewing the Multi-Million Dollars Rural Telephony Project embarked upon by the previous administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Despite ambitious plans, implementation has been very slow.

- Telecommunication equipment was the leading import into Uganda in the first quarter of this financial year as more companies entered the market. The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in a report said the equipment imported between July and September was valued at sh67.3b. "In comparison with the first quarter of 2006/07, the value increased by 2,045.22% from sh3.14b," said the report.

- Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), is planning to bid for a majority stake in Ghana’s state-owned PTO Ghana Telecom, in a deal likely to be worth more than USD500 million, banking sources have told Reuters.

- According to Reuters, the CEO of UAE incumbent Etisalat has expressed interest in entering the race for Tunisia’s third mobile licence.

- Sudatel which won the third communication licence in Senegal has handed to the Government a cheque of US$90 million for its licence. Sudatel has also agreed to open up to 15% of the capital of the new company to local private investors.

- UAE Dhabi Group has finalised an agreement making it the main investor in Celcom, the fifth mobile operator in Côte d’Ivoire. The company plans to roll out its network in the six months.

- Ghana’s regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) is to decide how to allocate Wi-MAX spectrum.

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