Telecoms News - In Brief

- Telecommunication companies have struck a deal with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to increase charges for calls made by mobile phone users, Sunday Monitor has learnt. According to sources that attended the meeting between UCC and the telecom industry leaders last, the latter, by consensus, agreed to push the inter-connectivity charges up from Shs103 to Shs131 per minute before tax. In addition, the government levies a 30 per cent excise tax per minute.

- Kenyan telephone booths take their last call this year. Telkom Orange has decided to recall the last of the booths from the streets "in the next couple of months". "It is an ongoing process," corporate communications manager Angela Mumo, said. By the end of this year, she says, the last of the 1,000 booths will be no more.

- MTN - which is already facing resistance to its proposed $10bn deal to buy parts or all of Orascom - could once again be in the sights of India's Reliance Communications after owner Anil Ambani at the weekend called for a truce with his estranged brother Mukesh, who once scuppered a tie-up with Africa's largest cellphone company.

- Workers at Zambia’s Zamtel have petitioned Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane to intervene in the intended deregistration of the firm's staff pension scheme by the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA).

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