TELECOMS

Telecoms News - In Brief

- The chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ahmed Joda, has inaugurated Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) to protect and promote the interest of telecom consumers, including persons with disability and the elderly in Nigeria.

- Hardly two months after its launch, Lotto Rwanda, has fallen out with its GPRS provider, Rwandatel for having failed to provide coverage. According to Lotto's Chief Executive Officer Phillip Brizoua, our server is now at the MTN Centre from where it will be configured and by the end of next week people can again start buying tickets by SMS.

- Haruna Iddrisu, Minister-Nominee for Communications said expedite action on the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) to empower consumers to make better choice of mobile phone services.

- Vodafone has begun making voluntary redundancies at Ghanaian incumbent Ghana Telecom, in which it recently acquired a majority 70% stake. According to the operator, a significant number of staff have expressed their desire to end their contracts with Ghana Telecom if offered suitable severance packages. In parallel, a hearing of the legal addresses of parties in the Ghana Telecom (GT)/ Vodafone International suit has been fixed on March 16. The Fast Track High Court (Commercial Division) has therefore ordered plaintiffs within 14 days to file their addresses.

- Workers at Nigeria’s “lame duck” incumbent Nitel protested again in Lagos at continuous delay in the payment of their salary arrears and allowances.

- In what it describes as a bid to block the influx of cheap European- and Asian-manufactured mobile handsets and promote local manufacturers, the Zambian government has increased taxes by 10 percent on foreign-manufactured handsets. It remains to be seen how increasing the price of handsets helps consumers.

- During a press conference related to the programmen e-Algeria-2013, Hamid Bessalah, the Algerian Ministry of Post and ICT has revealed that the privatisation of Algerie Telecom has been put on hold and that 3G is not a priority.

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