Issue no 531 19th November 2010

top story

  • Last week at Africa COM, the smartphones were out on show - BlackBerrys, iPhones, HTC, Nokia and Samsung smartphones, you name them. They were joined by the soon commercially available, Ideos, an Android smartphone that Huawei launched publicly during the event. With the growing number of “data guzzlers” mobile phones, African mobile operators which are operating 3G networks or about the launch one, will increasingly have to face the challenge of fulfilling high data bandwidth demand from end users. Isabelle Gross spoke to Neil Kelly, the CEO of PW Comms about free space optical (FSO) and how this technology can help to relieve data bottlenecks in mobile operators’ networks.

    “FSO is an electronic piece of fibre link in the air without the physical cable”, explains Neil Kelly.  It operates on infrared frequency below the visible spectrum and it is licence free. It is a similar technology than the one that is used with remote control to operate TV sets. Since it is a light wave, there are no security issues and network breaches like with unlicensed radio and microwave technologies.

    According to Neil Kelly, FSO technology has been round for 10 years but it is only in the last couple of years that it has gained some traction with the increasing number of Internet enabled smartphones. Today, mobile operators are required to shift massive amount of bandwidth to data users while at the same time they are seeing their ARPUs decreasing. FSO provides a cost-effective solution in this space with a rapid speed of deployment. The system can be deployed in a couple of hours if necessary enabling mobile operators to deliver more bandwidth at the local point of presence. FSO technology competes with other backhaul technology like fibre cables or microwaves but it is much more cost-effective than fibre cables. The average cost of laying 1 mile of fibre cables is around US$45,000. FSO costs a 1/10 of that price.

    PW Comms is a UK based company and has started commercialising FSO solutions four years ago. Neil Kelly’s company now operates in 28 countries among them four African countries: Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Kenya. The company sell its products through local resellers which can carry out the installation and provide the maintenance services. Their customer base includes telecoms operators, data providers like ISP for their last mile connectivity as well as IT companies offering network integration solutions.

    In Egypt, PW Comms has supplied mobile operator Orascom with several hundred links for data backhaul from base stations located in urban but also in rural areas. In Morocco and Kenya, the company has deployed FSO solutions for respectively Maroc Telecom and Safaricom. FSO can carry bandwidth between 2MB and 155MB between two points up to 4Km apart and a capacity of 1GB between two points up to 1Km apart. As the distance affects the capacity that FSO links can carry, it is a technology well suited for urban areas where it is easier and more cost-effective to install such systems on the top of roof buildings than to dig up the roads.

    Like any technology, FSO has some limitations inherent to the technology itself. The major one for FSO is related to the quality of the air which impacts on the distance and the bandwidth capacity of the light beam. Foggy weather conditions are particularly bad because the small condensed water molecules in the air are of the size to create reflections interfering with the infrared beams. But according to Neil Kelly, tropical climates with heavy rain downpours during the rainy season are not a problem. PC Comms has deployed its solution in Malaysia and the system performs well even under monsoon conditions. Extreme cold or hot temperatures are not a problem either. FSO also requires line of sight between two points but the technology is flexible enough to support more complex network architectures. Through the creation of a resilient FSO ring servicing star topology network accesses, then high bandwidth solutions can be delivered through to remote users easily and quickly. 

    Besides being a cost-effective last mile solution, FSO is also highly secure. Neil Kelly reckons that it not possible to tap in the laser generated light beam unless you put another FSO unit on top of the existing one. The infrared beam is also not visible and therefore it won’t attract the attention of by-passers. This is the reason why the technology is being used by the army and secret services around the world.

    With more and more users hooked on their smartphones checking Facebook or other social networks or using location based services, mobile operators are forced to invest more in their data network. Expanding physical infrastructure is expensive and time consuming when FSO technology can provide a quick extension to access point where data demand is on the increase. Despite the economic downturn, PW Comms has been doing well in the last years with an annual turnover growth of over 30%. As Neil Kelly explains, smartphone users expect more and more the same data speed on their phone than what they currently get on their laptop/desktop. Are African mobile operators gearing up for this coming “data tsunami”?

    For further information on FSO solutions you can visit PW Comms’ website at or drop an email to Neil Kelly on


  • Dubai-based mobile services provider Expresso Telecom reported at the weekend that it has formally launched services in Ghana, after acquiring the network assets of CDMA operator Kasapa Telecom from Hutchison Telecom of Hong Kong back in November 2008. The sale came as part of a wider move by Hutchison to divest certain CDMA-based businesses and concentrate fully on its subsidiaries operating GSM networks globally.

    EGH is a holding company in the British Virgin Islands, owned by Expresso Telecom Group in Dubai. The USD75 million sale took the form of the sale of Kuwata Limited, which held the Hutchisons group's indirect interests in the Ghana business. Expresso also owns Intercellular in Nigeria, as well as new licences in Senegal and Mauritania. The official launch was attended by the Minister for Communications Mr Haruna Iddrisu who noted ‘Ghana's mobile telecommunication industry has simply exploded and is thriving due to the continuous development of the country, a fast growing customer base and a competitive array of competent providers’. The newly branded cellco is partnering with RLG to offer customers with a wide variety of affordable, high quality mobile phones, fixed-wireless devices, modems and PCs.

    Kasapa is the smallest Ghanaian mobile services provider with 205,300 subscribers by 30 June 2010. At the same date market leader GSM operator MTN Ghana had an impressive 8.723 million subscribers, up from 7.219 million a year earlier, a market share of 53.1%, putting it ahead of Millicom Ghana's Tigo unit which had 3.406 million (2.896 million). UK-based Vodafone Group, which acquired Ghana Telecom and its mobile arm GT-OneTouch in August 2008, claimed 2.719 million subscribers (1.958 million) to its rebranded GSM network, while in the wake of its takeover by Bharti Airtel, Zain Ghana had garnering an impressive 1.375 million subscribers, up from 1.072 million a year earlier.

  • The rivalry in the telecoms industry has shifted to data and mobile money transfer services as firms move to shore up their revenues following drastic cuts in call rates.

    In August telecoms regulator Communications Commission of Kenya slashed mobile interconnection charges and Zain, the second largest mobile operator owned by India's Bharti Airtel, sparked the price war by halving its call tariffs.

    Other operators, Safaricom, Orange and yu, followed with drastic price cuts. This has now prompted operators to bet on data and value added services (mobile money transfer services) to remain afloat. According to telecoms consultant Peter Wanyonyi, the telecoms voice market has largely flattened in terms of revenues and the money is going to be in value-added services and data.

    "In the former, Safaricom is the clear leader with M-Pesa. In the latter, Kenya still suffers bogus data services as a result of poor focus by the telecom giants," he says.

    Last week, when Safaricom released its half year results for the period ended September 30, it was evident that the price war has had serious ramifications on its voice revenues. The new chief executive, Mr Bob Collymore, said Safaricom's voice segment was under intense pressure, but data and mobile money transfer was their next bet. "As we had anticipated data is proving to be the next frontier, delivering very significant benefits," Mr Collymore said. The number of data subscribers grew 92 percent to 3.6 million in 12 months.

    Although voice market still remains the firm's largest revenue earner, it slowed down adding a mere 3 per cent to reach Sh32.5 billion, while data revenues increased by 55.5 per cent to reach Sh11.2 billion. Mr Collymore said revenues in the last two months of the first half of the financial year were hit due to increased competition and price wars. "We were all affected. We will see pressure on voice revenues for sure," he said. In an interview earlier this week with NTV, he had said Safaricom's revenues could drop "by between Sh20-30 billion" due to the price cuts.

    Mr Atul Chaturvedi, Essar Telecom Kenya country manager, also agrees that revenues per subscriber have come down. "It is imperative that when rates are cut down by 50 per cent, usage will take some time to go up to make up for that loss. " But then, we have witnessed the same a couple of times earlier as well in other markets," Mr Chaturvedi says.

    Mr Mickael Ghossein, Telkom Kenya chief executive officer, says his firm has been hit hard by the price wars. "Orange is not growing. We have lost revenues, and are not matching our budget. We are 30 to 50 per cent less," says Mr Ghossein, in an email interview.

    Last week, Orange unveiled mobile money transfer service dubbed Iko Pesa to grab a share of the value added services. Orange Money is a joint initiative between Telkom Kenya and Equity Bank.

    It is a mobile service product that allows users to access and manage their bank accounts, make interbank cash transfers, pay their bills and apply for loans of up to Sh1 million.

    The technology that Iko Pesa uses is similar to its main rivals: Safaricom's M-Pesa, Zain's Zap, and Essar Telecom's yuCash, but addresses their weaknesses.

    It has phonebook access technology that allows sending of cash to anyone in the user's sim-card, reducing the risk of sending cash to unintended recipients.

    Orange Money has also incorporated additional features. A part from money transfer, it has an electronic commerce platform that can be operated as an online gateway, enabling the user to book flights, buy tickets and pay utility bills.

    Iko-Pesa is promising to deepen the uptake of mobile banking. "This is going to be the biggest mobile banking solution and e-commerce platform that should position Equity as the biggest provider of financial services in Eastern Africa," said Mr James Mwangi, Equity Bank chief executive.

    Mobile banking has become the biggest tool in the hands of commercial banks to reach the unbanked, cut operation costs and increase efficiency in service delivery.

    Orange subscribers can use their sim-cards to access the mobile money transfer service. To access the entire mobile banking service, users have to swap their current lines with new ones that have the Equity mobile banking software. The swap will be free of charge.

    During the launch, Mr Ghossein said Orange Money will add to their portfolio and increase their market share and revenue base.

    "I am buoyed by the confidence that comes with Orange Money. For the first time, Africa will have its first ever electronic money transfer Card," said Mr Ghossein.

    Mobile money transfer is just one of the ways the operators are using to lock-in subscribers for the long haul in the face of declining average revenue per user.

    The service is also addressing one of Kenya's most pressing development challenges - financial inclusion.

    The Central Bank of Kenya statistics show that daily mobile cash transfers have risen to Sh3 billion, hence establishing itself as a key player in the economy.

    Safaricom's M-Pesa leads the pack, with 13.5 million customers and 20,500 agents across the country, as at the end of September, moving Sh37.7 billion per month. Safaricom's mobile banking service M-Kesho (offered jointly with Equity Bank) had registered 613,000 accounts in the first five months following its May launch. The 20,000-plus agents for M-Pesa far outstrip Kenya's 1,500 ATMs and 840 bank branches. In the half year results, revenue from M-Pesa grew 63.9 percent to Sh5.28 billion.

    Essar Telekom Kenya Ltd introduced yuCash late last year; Zain Kenya unveiled a re-branded Zap in early 2009. Zap and yuCash have also been gaining ground as they recruit more agents and open up new outlets. Zain Kenya two months ago raised the stakes with a Sh240 million ($3 million) war chest to revamp Zap. The firm, which is expected to rebrand to Airtel on November 22, targets 20,000 active agents by year-end.

    However, all these money transfer services are not interconnected and hence transfers to other networks are charged higher rates. The regulator had indicated the need for operators to interconnect, however the process is yet to bear fruit.

  • Vodacom Tanzania received a 4.8-million-US-dollar (about 7.2bn/-) grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve Vodafone M-PESA service in the country.

    Vodacom Managing Director, Dietlof Mare, said that the grant aims to improve the lives of Tanzanians as Vodacom believes that financial inclusion is possible through the use of Vodafone M-PESA.

    "Vodacom will use the money to increase the awareness and service benefits of Vodafone M-Pesa specifically to those living in remote parts of the country", he noted, adding:

    "Tanzania has a highly dispersed population of around 40 million, which severely restricts access to financial services. Today only two million Tanzanians have access to a bank account while over 18 million are mobile phone users".

    According to Mare, Vodacom has been singled out to receive the grant because the company laid the groundwork for the uptake of mobile money transfer services in the country and has invested greatly in the technology.

    It is estimated that about five million people are using the M-PESA service in Tanzania. He said that with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Financial Services for the Poor initiative, Vodacom will extend this service to reach the wider "unbanked" community.

    The grant was announced yesterday by Melinda French Gates at the Global Savings Forum in Seattle, Washington, as a part of the foundation's 500-million-US-dollar pledge to expand access to savings accounts and help the world's poor build financial security.

    The pledge included a package of six grants, totalling 40 million US dollars, from the foundation's Financial Services for the Poor initiative, to support projects and partnerships that will bring quality, affordable savings accounts and other financial services to the doorsteps of the poor in the developing world.

    "Savings doesn't just help people mitigate the risks posed by a medical emergency or a bad crop," said Gates at the foundation-hosted event. "It also gives them the ability to marshal their resources to build something better for themselves and their children.

    It allows them to fund their own businesses, to look ahead with confidence. Savings help families to take the giant leap from reacting to events to planning for a healthier, happier future."

    New Vision
  • Tanzania's premier mobile telecommunication company, Tigo, has partnered with DStv to provide Tigo Pesa registered customers to subscribe to the television services using their handsets.

    Speaking to the East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam, the telecom's Public Relations Executive, Jackson Mmbando said that the partnership aims at easing payments to get DStv service. "We would spare no effort to ensure that Tigo Pesa customers enjoy services offered by our partners", said Mmbando

    Under the partnership, services which can be accessed include Compact, Compact Plus or Family. "This opportunity will enable our customers to access hundreds of programmes and view thousands of stars", he said.

    Mmbando said that Tigo Pesa service which was launched a couple of weeks ago is doing well in the market. Tigo subscribers will no longer need to go to DStv offices to queue for payments of subscriptions and thereby save their precious time.

    All Tigo subscribers need to do is to register for free with the Tigo Pesa service through any of Tigo Pesa agent's across the country, he said. Once registered, the subscribers will start accessing the Tigo Pesa menu by dialing *150*01#.

    Tigo was the first cellular network in Tanzania having been established in 1994. It is part of Millicom International Cellular S.A (MIC), while DStv is a world-class television experience based in South Africa. It is the best entertainment selection combined with state-of-the-art technology.

  • Dubai-based mobile services provider Expresso Telecom reported at the weekend that it has formally launched services in Ghana, after acquiring the network assets of CDMA operator Kasapa Telecom from Hutchison Telecom of Hong Kong back in November 2008. The sale came as part of a wider move by Hutchison to divest certain CDMA-based businesses and concentrate fully on its subsidiaries operating GSM networks globally.

    EGH is a holding company in the British Virgin Islands, owned by Expresso Telecom Group in Dubai. The USD75 million sale took the form of the sale of Kuwata Limited, which held the Hutchisons group's indirect interests in the Ghana business. Expresso also owns Intercellular in Nigeria, as well as new licences in Senegal and Mauritania. The official launch was attended by the Minister for Communications Mr Haruna Iddrisu who noted ‘Ghana's mobile telecommunication industry has simply exploded and is thriving due to the continuous development of the country, a fast growing customer base and a competitive array of competent providers’. The newly branded cellco is partnering with RLG to offer customers with a wide variety of affordable, high quality mobile phones, fixed-wireless devices, modems and PCs.

    Kasapa is the smallest Ghanaian mobile services provider with 205,300 subscribers by 30 June 2010. At the same date market leader GSM operator MTN Ghana had an impressive 8.723 million subscribers, up from 7.219 million a year earlier, a market share of 53.1%, putting it ahead of Millicom Ghana's Tigo unit which had 3.406 million (2.896 million). UK-based Vodafone Group, which acquired Ghana Telecom and its mobile arm GT-OneTouch in August 2008, claimed 2.719 million subscribers (1.958 million) to its rebranded GSM network, while in the wake of its takeover by Bharti Airtel, Zain Ghana had garnering an impressive 1.375 million subscribers, up from 1.072 million a year earlier.

  • -Telcos found guilty of tampering with their rivals' infrastructure will now be liable to a fine of KES10 million (USD119,000), life imprisonment and a revocation of their licence. It is believed that Safaricom and Telkom Kenya pressurized the government into altering the existing law that applies maximum penalties of KES100,000 or three years imprisonment, in the wake of renewed hostilities against their cables. Telkom Kenya said that it lost around KES2 billion between 2006 and 2009 to corporate sabotage.

    - Visafone Communications has launched its international roaming services in over 200 countries and more than 400 networks worldwide. This gives both prepaid and postpaid customers an opportunity to enjoy seamless access to international roaming.
    Visafone as the first CDMA network in Africa to have launched this service by offering customers the platform to make calls to all networks while abroad.This empowers them to have unhindered access to Voice and SMS across the world.
    Visafone is also offering customers 128k dual mode Open Market Handset (OMH) SIM cards (VISAFONE+GSM) that works with its network.

    -VNL of India, which makes telecom equipment to help mobile operators reach rural markets profitably, is reportedly looking for partners in Ghana to deploy cost-effective, solar-powered GSM mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity platforms in the country. Ghana Business News says VNL hopes to help local telecoms operators develop networks to provide sustainable and profitable services to rural communities across the West African country.

    - From Monday next week, Zain Kenya will be no more -- it will rebrand to Airtel to reflect its new owners, India's Bharti Airtel.And so will Zain's operations in 15 other African countries.This will be the most expensive rebranding exercise considering that in 2004, Sh2.4 billion ($30 million) was spent to rebrand from Kencell to Celtel and four years later, in 2008, Sh3.2 billion ($40 million) was spent to rebrand from Celtel to Zain.

    - Sierra Leone's telecommunications regulator will team up with the country's intelligence service and security sector to introduce a new security strategy, the harmonized emergency toll free number, proposed to be 112, by end of the year.


  • Internet service providers are forecasting that data will be a major source of future revenue and a main enabler of the economy besides voice.

    Telecom giant MTN forecasts that by 2011, data sales contribution to its overall revenue will rise to 10%, from the current 4%, largely driven by penetration of the lower-end market.

    "Initially, it was to avail services to the high-end market, but with the advent of 3G, data can now be availed to every Ugandan," said Themba Khumalo, the chief executive, on the sidelines of telecoms Africa Com conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

    The 10% revenue target could not immediately be equated in monetary terms.

    According to Khumalo, the plug-in device, the dongle, is witnessing the fastest growth alongside mobile Internet for individual users with enabled mobile devices.

    The growth of mobile data, according to experts, is partly driven by Uganda's appealing demographics, which are attracting global brands like Google and Microsoft.

    Earlier this year, Google held a two-day web and mobile conference as it sought entry into this market.

    Choosing Uganda, according to Dr. Julie Taylor, Google's communications officer for sub-Saharan Africa, was due to the country's stability, growth and young, educated population that fits well with Google's plan.

    Global experts believe Africa can leap past the broadband generation and exceed the rest of the world in the new mobile Internet generation, which is viewed as the future of the global economic platform.

    "But access barriers must be addressed. Without that, Africa will never have a large number of Internet users because developers need several people to use their products, which is an incentive," said Nelson Mattos, the Google vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, recently.

    Provision of data has been boosted by the landing of the undersea fibre optic cables on East Africa's coast, enhancing the availability of bandwidth capacity and, to some extent, lowering prices.

    Sector players expect the prices to drop further once most operators and service providers stop relying on the expensive satellite back up system.

    "Once we have sufficient resilience on the cables on the ground and one cable is down, we get the other. That means we switch off the satellite and rely fully on cable. When we reach there, there will be major uptake."

    The low penetration of data is also attributed to the high prices of Internet-enabled handsets. The industry is still struggling with a 30% tax on hand-held devices, which operators say is a stranglehold on voice mobile and data penetration.

    New Vision
  • Incredible Connection, SA’s largest IT retailer, has stepped into the broadband business. It’s offering consumers who buy a laptop or desktop computer in its stores up to 65GB of “free” fixed-line bandwidth.

    The retailer has launched the offer, which it’s calling Incredible Connect, in partnership with white-label Internet service provider Branded Internet, which already works with retailers like Musica.

    The move is aimed clearly at driving up PC sales in Incredible Connection stores. The retailer is a subsidiary of the listed JD Group.

    Consumers who buy a PC worth less than R6 000 will get 39GB of data to use on Telkom’s broadband digital subscriber lines. The offer excludes all line rentals.

    Consumers who buy a computer for less than R10 000 get 52GB of data, while those spending more than that get 65GB, says Incredible Connection CEO Dave Miller.

    Those who switch their line subscription get the equivalent of a further 13GB of data added to the voucher.

    The bandwidth is not throttled. International connectivity is offered via both the Seacom and Sat-3 cables, says Branded Internet CEO Lance Terner.

    There is one catch, though: consumers have to tell Incredible Connection how they’d like the data allocated — they can choose to use it in chunks for a period of anywhere between two months and 12 months. The data is then allocated evenly over the number of months they have chosen. Also, once they’ve made their decision, they may not change it.

    Top-up data costs R28/GB for consumers who switch their broadband line rental payments to Incredible Connect. For those who choose to keep their line rental with Telkom, the rate is R39/GB.

  • The government will soon roll out the 4G system, a move aimed at reducing the connectivity costs in the country.

    It will also allow many Kenyans access the internet. "This is the most key infrastructure that will determine the reduction between rural-urban digital divide in the country," Information PS Bitange Ndemo said.

    Once operational, the system will enable connectivity in schools and hospitals as the former will be able to deploy e-learning.

    "By accessing the facilities from an early age, the youth will have a platform to be innovative and entrepreneurial to be able to turn around the socio-economic status of the country and achieve Vision 2030.

    The PS said that once 4G is rolled into the market the costs will be determined by market forces.

    A 4G system provides a comprehensive and secure all-IP based solution where facilities such as ultra-broadband (giga-byte speed such as 100+ MiB/s) Internet access, IP telephony, gaming services, and streamed multimedia may be provided to users.

    Speaking during a CIO 100 symposium on Wednesday, Mr Ndemo urged innovators to use their rights as provided for in the new law to access data from the government to solve some of the challenges facing society.

  • -The Libyan International Telecom Company (LITC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Libyan Post, Telecom and Information Technology Company (LPTIC), has selected Huawei Marine Networks to construct its ‘Silphium’ fibre-optic submarine cable. The 420km cable will cross the Mediterranean Sea, connecting Darnah, in northern Libya with Chania, Greece. The cable will have an initial capacity of 7×10Gbps and a maximum theoretical capacity of 1.2Tbps. The system will provide route protection for Libya's existing international communication channels, and also offer bandwidth improvement designed to satisfy the increasing demand for multi-national communications. The project is due for completion in mid-2011.

    - Cell C has finally launched its high-speed mobile broadband network in Gauteng after first switching on the service in Port Elizabeth a little over 10 weeks ago.The company is promising average download speeds in Pretoria and Johannesburg of 4-7Mbit/s and upload speeds of 2-3Mbit/s. At launch, 62% of Gauteng’s population is covered and should have 89% of the population covered by the end of January. Cell C has also unveiled its first set of data bundles, with prices ranging from R50 to R400.
    A 100MB bundle costs R50; 250MB R100; 500MB R150; and 1GB R250. The largest package — 2GB — will set back users R400.


  • The war against unlicensed computer software in East Africa is not about to be won soon especially with Kenya's 80 per cent piracy according to a new report by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

    According to the Business Software Alliance-sponsored IDC report, Kenya's 2008 software piracy rate of 80 per cent "was one of the highest in an emerging market." The study shows this has been the country's rate for the past five years with economic losses from piracy rising to $31 million in 2008, from $27 million in 2007.

    The Middle East and Africa had a software piracy rate of 59 per cent in 2008."Countries like Iraq, Libya, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe had rates of pirated software well above 80 per cent, translating into an overall economic loss of about $3 billion across the region in 2008," the report noted.

    Regarding Kenya, the IDC estimates that reducing the current 82 per cent software piracy rate by 10 percentage points over four years would create an additional 977 IT jobs and contribute $73.6 million to the country's GDP, representing an increase in total revenue for the local IT industry of $40 million and $7.18 million in taxation to the government.

    "Out of every 10 software in use in Kenya and Uganda, only two are paid for. The current situation in the Middle East and Africa is that half of the PCs sold run non-genuine software," Microsoft's antipiracy conversion manager for Eastern and Southern Africa Lawrence Kinyanjui said.

    Mr Kinyanjui said the landing of Seacom, Teams and EASSy had aggravated the situation as the increased bandwidth enables people to download software faster without paying.

    He also blamed lack of appropriate legislation for the situation saying the Kenya Copyright Act is "a 1966 instrument that does not adequately address emerging concerns."

    "The Act was only updated in 2001 and the penalties spelt out -- fines of Kshs 800,000 ($10,000) or 10-year jail terms -- are not deterrent enough for the offences committed," Mr Kinyanjui said.

    The Copyright Act was enacted in 1966 and amended in 1996 and 2001 to provide protection for computer programs, along with literary, musical, and artistic works.

    The IDC report also recognises challenges with the Copyright Act noting that "appreciation for the importance of intellectual property, however, remains low, and enforcement continues to be a major challenge."

    "The Act has certainly set out the maximum penalty but, given the current high levels of copyright infringement, the penalties should be even more punitive and deterrent," states the report, however adding that when benchmarked against the IDC's Roadmap to Reduce Software Piracy, Kenya scores relatively well in legislation, education, and collaboration.

    Reducing the country's software piracy rate could have a positive impact on Kenya's IT market that was in 2008 worth $293 million. The IDC projects the growth to continue, with spending expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 5.6 per cent over the 2008-2013 period to $505 million.

    Hardware is expected to account for the bulk of the IT market, capturing 75 per cent of total spending in 2013, with software and services representing approximately 10 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively in the same period.

    To remedy the situation, the IDC research shows that by following a five-step roadmap, governments can combat and reduce software piracy effectively, as demonstrated by the successful examples of Greece and Russia which recorded reduction rates of between six and eight per cent by following the programme which emphasises legislation; enforcement; education; collaboration and leading by example where the government leads the fight by ensuring that non-genuine software is not used in its departments.

  • Perilous times may be coming to an abrupt end for young and unemployed computer engineers in the country as the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA; Professor Cleopas Angaye has said that the software development policy will soon to be implemented.

    NITDA DG who spoke last week during his visit to Computer Village Ikeja said that the Software development policy when fully implemented will tap into the resources of young, yet inexperienced IT engineers who could be found virtually in every corner of the computer market.

    Professor Angaye made the statement during his visit to executive members of the Computers and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria inside the Otigba Market, Computer village in Lagos over the weekend; a visit he called "Long overdue".

    The NITDA boss said that CAPDAN would be actively involved in the development of this policy. He said "It boils to what we can do. We are looking to achieve vision 20, 2020 and I believe that by this way, we can create, polish and come out with new areas in the recreation of IT in the country." He said to this regards, NITDA had proposed to create an IT park and a Computer software development centre in the country.

    Making references to countries like India, South Korea and Malaysia, Professor Angaye said young ones can be stimulated along the paths of IT development.

    He however reemphasized that to achieve this, he would need CAPDAN collaboration "As Nigeria's foremost cluster, Otigba computer village deserves more recognition. It's contribution to the economy, in spite of obvious challenges, is quite significant. It is for that reason that NITDA is very keen on a close collaboration with CAPDAN. Angaye said henceforth, NITDA shall regard and treat CAPDAN as a key stakeholder in the IT industry.

    Before now, there had been endless clamoring from stakeholders and industry observers on the need to move this policy swiftly into gear. It would be recalled that the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chris Uwaje, had challenged the federal government to create a more enabling environment for local capacity.

    He had called for the establishment of a National Commission for Software Development, empowered with a professional, specialized, exclusive and executive mandate to facilitate the development of software policy, best practice, standards regulation, market promotion and capacity building.

    Uwaje had stressed that with a youth population of about 43.2 per cent capacity, Nigeria possessed an immense advantage to engage the emerging knowledge society and succeeding economically, provided that the right professional framework and incentives for encouraging best practice and quality standards were established as strategic imperatives to match global competitiveness.

    Explaining the need for N500 million to be raised for software development in the country, the ISPON president said that the amount for the industry was informed by the fact that the abandonment of Nigeria software development might lead to perpetual disappearance of our sovereignty and, of course, the national independence of the emerging phenomenon of what was called the locking syndrome, where the country continued to consume people's culture at their own expense, which can have immense consequence for Nigeria if software was enthroned as the most important aspect of the nation's livelihood, especially in the areas of politics and culture.

    Only recently, the Federal Government set up the National Software Strategic Team, of which ISPON is to play a major role, all in the quest to up the ante of software development in the country. Earlier reports had stated that the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), is already shopping for over N500 million investment for software development, the institute has also proffered various strategies that can save the country from loosing billions of naira to capital flight through acquisition of foreign software.

    Professor Angaye was optimistic that with strong collaboration coming from CAPDAN, the new policy would be well underway to strengthen the nation's grip on emerging global benefits of an IT grounded economy. He said the software development centre sites soon to be established in the country is only but a step in this direction.

    Since these development centres would be dealing with deeply concentrated IT clusters to which the Otigba market, computer village is a classic example, the NITDA boss has said it would begin processes of registering legitimate members of the CAPDAN body unto a database which would be maintained and published. These data bases would hold current details of what IT dealers in the market dealt with; both in products and services.

    "We would like to have a comprehensive list of all accredited and bonafide CAPDAN member companies which NITDA shall recognize, assist and protect."

    Angaye also invited CAPDAN to serve on a joint committee with NITDA to iron out pressing issues which currently plagued the nations IT sector which included: management of e-waste, standardization of IT products imported, assembled or sold in the Otigba market, elimination of software piracy and overall the general improvement of businesses of CAPDAN members and the development of IT clusters in the country.

  • While the bill seeking the creation of an Information Technology ministry in Nigeria awaits the approval of the National Assembly, there appears to be growing anxiety among stakeholders who are currently pushing on how to see the bill through.

    The long delay for the creation of Ministry of IT, according to Vanguard CyberLIFE finding has continued to be a matter of serious concern among stakeholders in the industry who believe that the present Ministry of Information and Communications was not addressing IT matters properly.

    Although official bottleneck and government attitude to IT issues may have delayed the creation of IT Ministry, the clamor , it wold be recalled has been a burning issue for many years.

    The creation of IT ministry when fully implemented, according industry watchers will collapse NCC, NITDA and other agencies in the ministry.

    However, industry stakeholders who have been pushing for many years for the creation IT ministry noted that the creation of the Ministry was being championed to compel government to take IT issues more seriously for the challenges ahead.

    Many experts in the Nigerian IT industry who have thrown their weight behind creation of IT Ministry noted strongly that the new Ministry must be created so as to take IT sector to the next level.

    Meanwhile, leading voices in the IT industry who spoke to Vanguard CyberLIFE noted without mincing words that much may not be achieved in the sector unless IT Ministry is created so as to give room for accelerated development in the IT sector which can give the country more money than oil.

    While the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye, had earlier said that creation of a Ministry of IT was a "policy statement." the President of Nigerian Computer Society, (NCS) Prof Uwadia in an online interaction with Vanguard CyberLIFE said that NCS and other industry bodies were already championing for the creation of IT Ministry whose time has come.

    "IT Ministry needs to be created in order to accord IT better coordination and more attention than it is receiving now. Currently IT functions are scattered in the Ministries of Science and Tech; information and Communication; Education etc, as in NITDA, GALAXY, NCC, NIGCOMSAT, CPN etc. This has the attendant effect of duplication, wastage etc.

    "The Ministry of IT will lead to the removal or reduction of the dependence on petroleumj it will empower our youths and create wealth; it will serve as the engine for social, political and economic growth and development" he said.

    On the possible date of creation, Uwadia said that no specific date for the creation has been set, adding that it may come sooner than expected.

    Speaking on the challenge, he said that normal resistance to change that threatens status quo has been the issue. "This will come from existing MDAs that will be affected by the creation of an IT Ministry" he added.

    According to Prof. Uwadia who has been championing the course of IT development in Nigeria, with the creation of the Ministry, IT will assume a higher pedestal than it is now. "Our economy will become truly knowledge driven with the attendant impact on competitiveness and the creation of value for the local economy.. We are still lobbying. We are currently championing the creation of IT ministry. We are still pushing it. We are still in the lobbying stage he noted.

    Speaking further on the creation of Ministry, ITAN President/ Vice Chairman of WITSA, Dr Jimson while throwing support on the vreation of the new Commission said that, "We 're expecting the creation of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. I believe the Committee has finished its job and we're expecting government pronouncement on that" he said that one singular thing that would make or mar the Ministry is the caliber of administrators the government engage to pilot it.

  • - The Angolan Embassy in Cuba handed over a set of computing material to the Angola Secondary School, in the ambit of the celebrations of the national independence 35th anniversary, marked on 11 November.

    - SAP, a software application firm has teamed up with the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany to extend an ancillary course in the enterprise resource planning application to students in emerging market countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, EMEA, allowing them to obtain an official SAP certification.The students are expected to be trained in several courses for 10 days. The courses will offer up to 300 participants the chance to acquire valuable SAP competencies during the period in Germany. This will enable the students to enhance their career opportunities in emerging markets with strong demand for qualified SAP professionals.

    - As the African Union Ict Week kicked off Gasabo 3D, a local web based engineering services company, began working with carpenters and metal workers in Gakinjiro, Nyarugenge District, to demonstrate modern and efficient methods of working by using computer aided design and manufacturing techniques.

    - Nigerian company Zinox Technologies, in which JSE-listed Mustek has a 12% stake, has landed a deal worth R1bn for voter registration machines.Zinox must supply 132 000 machines to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, making up the lion’s share of the contract, which was awarded to three companies.

Web and Mobile Data_old

  • Namibians can now access, locate, obtain contact and product details via the first mobile directory in Namibia,

    The directory was introduced six months ago and since then has registered over 100 companies in order to facilitate consumer communication with business entities. It was launched on November 11 at Nice restaurant in Windhoek.

    Due to affordability (free for consumers without considering mobile service provider's charges), accessibility (via the internet or text) and its user friendly interface, the telephone directory was described as "innovative" by one of the directors, Ebson Booysen.

    "We have moved from the industrial age into the technological age hence we have to optimise our businesses. Knowledge is power, so the easier your consumers know about your product, the easier they can locate and do business with you," said another co-director, Willem Hough.

    This suggests that businesses can register and as such, their business will be advertised and contact details will be made public via the mobile phone.

    The company is 100 percent Namibian and is registered to Ebson Booysen, Nigel Hill, Albertus Kangandji and Willem Hough. It also has its sights on growing to such a scale that it will be able to register a host of companies in the SADC region.

    The service is free for consumers worldwide. However, businesses are charged a once-off N$200 registration fee and a monthly fee of N$100, while organisations with many branches also pay the stipulated registration fee but with a reduced monthly fee of N$75.

    New Era
  • Ecobank Rwanda has installed a new banking software, FLEXCUBE, which will allow its customers to use mobile and internet banking services, and enhance service delivery by offering faster transactions.

    The new system, which was put into operation on Sunday, replaces the Superbank application that the Bank has been using since it acquired the then Bank of Commerce Development and Industry (BCDI) in 2007.

    Ecobank's Managing Director, Daniel Sackey, told Business Times, Tuesday, that the old system had limitations in terms of providing timely information about clients' transactions. This, he said, hindered Ecobank from designing products that are tailored to each client.

    "For us as a bank we prefer to have the Management Information System (MIS) which is able to give us adequate information," he said.

    The Managing Director added that the new system will enable them to tailor make products for their clients and improve speed and efficiency in the bank's network of 16 branches, spread across the country. It will also realign Ecobank Rwanda with all other Ecobanks in other countries.

    "For example, we should be able to know the number of transactions a client has done in a day, month or a year; we should be able to know the average type of drawers and which type of deposits a client has made and when such kind of information gives the trend analysis of your spending pattern," said Sackey.

    Due to the definition of the new system, account numbers for the existing clients are set to change but the bank says that this will not cause incontinence to their clients.

    The bank said that clients can obtain their new account numbers in two ways-from any Ecobank branch, if a client is making a transaction, and from Ecobank internet, if one is registered for internet banking. However, this does not stop a client from carrying out a transaction.

    Sackey observed that the banking fraternity in Rwanda had evolved, saying that the new system repositions Ecobank to compete on a strong footing by offering flexible and modern banking services that will build confidence in its clients and increase their business on their accounts.

    "The more information we have on you, the better it is to profile you if you want a loan it makes it easier because we have adequate information about you," he said.

    The New Times

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

  • -  Zimbabwean cellco NetOne, the smallest operator in a market of three, has announced that it has deployed at least 106 new base stations so far in 2010, to expand what it claims is already ‘the widest coverage’ in the country. In recent months NetOne has added base stations across all ten provinces of Zimbabwe, whilst its year-to-date total includes 40 cell sites in Harare, 13 in Bulawayo, six in Matebeleland North, two in Matebeleland South, 14 in the Midlands province, ten in Manicaland province, five in Masvingo province, six in Mashonaland East province, four in Mashonaland Central and eight in Mashonaland West province.

    - Zain Zambia, the country’s largest mobile network operator having signed up some 3.4 million customers by that date. has announced that it plans to construct 624 new base stations over the next two years.

    - The Nigerian unit of UAE-based telecoms company Etisalat aims to increase its mobile subscriber base to seven million by the end of the year, the company had recently crossed the six million customer mark. Etisalat Nigeria plans to spend up to USD500 million on its network in 2011, as it looks to double its subscriber base to twelve million by the end of that year. The company expected the unit to break even in 2011 on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) basis, paving the way for the company to move into a more profitable phase and return money to shareholders. Etisalat Nigeria is 40%-owned by UAE incumbent Etisalat, with 30% owned by UAE government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company, and the remainder by Nigerian investors. The company launched commercial GSM services under the Etisalat brand in November 2008.

    -  Safaricom claimed 16.71 million mobile subscribers, giving it a 76.7% share of the market. The company’s 3G subscriber base doubled year-on-year, and stood at 3.61 million at end-September. Meanwhile, Safaricom said that 13.5 million subscribers are now registered to its M-PESA wireless money transfer system, equivalent to 81% of its total subscriber base. Safaricom said its network comprised a total of 2,282 cell sites, 829 3G base transceiver stations (BTSs) and 165 WiMAX BTSs at 30 September 2010.

    -  NetOne has commissioned additional base stations across the country, thus further widening its network, which is the widest in the country.In recent months NetOne has added base stations across all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.A total of 106 base stations were commissioned, which include 40 in Harare, 13 in Bulawayo, six in Matebeleland North, two in Matebeleland South and 14 in the Midlands province.

    -  Informa Telecom and Media has shown that Africa's active mobile phone subscribers have crossed the half-a-billion mark in the third quarter of 2010.

    -  The number of active GSM subscribers in Nigeria has been estimated to exceed 85 million by the end of December 2010.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  • MTN Group CEO Phuthuma Nhleko has offloaded more than 3,2m shares in the mobile telecommunications group. The shares have netted Nhleko a cool R424m.

    The sale comes just months before Nhleko is due to leave the group. He’s due to step down by March 2011, though MTN’s board is still to name his successor.

    Nhleko’s sale of shares, concluded at R131,66/share, was done in part to settle his obligations “arising from the early termination of a transaction concluded with a commercial bank”.

    At the same time, one of Nhleko’s top lieutenants, MTN SA MD Karel Pienaar, has sold 122 000 shares worth more than R15,4m.

    A leading telecommunications analyst, who declines to be named as he says he has to retain good relations with MTN’s management team, is “slightly concerned” about Pienaar’s decision to sell shares.

    However, the analyst says MTN’s share price is trading at its best levels since mid-2008, and both Nhleko and Pienaar may have seen this as a good opportunity to diversify their portfolios.

    Nhleko, in particular, may be keen to reduce his exposure to MTN given that from next year he will no longer be leading the group.

    But the analyst there is a possibility Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel played a part in both men’s decision to sell now.

    Bharti, which acquired pan-African mobile operator Zain in March, is expected to slash call rates in Nigeria, possibly as soon as next week.

    Nhleko earlier this year rubbished suggestions that Bharti posed a threat to MTN in Nigeria, describing them as an “exaggeration and oversimplication”.

    But Bharti has already cut prices in a number of African markets, including Kenya, and there are worries that a price war in Nigeria could eat into MTN’s profit margins.

    Nigeria is MTN’s largest and most profitable market.

  • One of the leading GSM service providers in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, Etisalat, says it will invest $2 billion in the Nigerian telecommunication market for network expansion.

    The Chief Executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Steven Evans, disclosed this while delivering a speech at the ongoing AfricaCom conference in Cape Town, South Africa, adding that the GSM operator has reached six million active subscribers within its two years of operation.

    Evans, who stated that his target was to achieve seven million subscriber base by the end of 2010, said the proposed $2 billion investment would be contributed by Etisalat's three investors. The chief executive further disclosed that within the last two years, the GSM operator has built over 2,000 cell sites in Nigeria with all its services in all the 36 States; covering 55 per cent of Nigeria's population.

    On the strategy adopted by the company, Evans said the GSM operator has partnered with three service providers including Alcatel and Huawei to provide quality service to her customers, adding that while Etisalat provided 50 per cent of the job, the three service providers offered 55 per cent of the total job requirement.

    The CEO who lamented lack of existing national backbone network in Nigeria, said private operators such as Globacom, Phase3 Telecom, Main One Telecom amongst others, have started building their own backbone infrastructure which other operators rely on to deploy their services.

    "In the case of Nigeria, the entire transmission backbone network in the country has been built by either the independent suppliers such as Phase3 Telecom or by the GSM operators themselves: Zain, MTN and Globacom. So for us to get up and running, it is essential for us to rely on the transmission being supplied by the third party," he said.

    Evans,who commended the efforts of some operators for investing in transmission backbone network, however, observed that it has led to the reduction of cost of international connectivity.

    He said that the GSM firm has introduced a number of packages such as EasyLife , Homezone and Elite World amongst others to enable all Nigerians to have access to telecommunications services in the country irrespective of ones status.

    According to the chief executive the Etisalat's decision resolved to providing Nigerians with quality telecommunication service at cheaper, led to the reduction of its tariff to 25 kobo per second to all networks which has made it the operator with one of the lowest tariff.

    He stated that telecommunication market in Nigeria was still a dynamic one which was heading to a mature stage, adding, "Nigeria will face a significant growth which will be filled by broadband services. Essentially, broadband will be delivered by radio access."

    Evans who noted that having extensive broadband services in Nigeria was very important, added that the GSM service providers were expected to lead the way in the deployment of broadband services in the country.

  • Data centre specialist Teraco Data Environments intends to invest nearly R300m in new data centres in the next 24 months on the back of escalating demand for cloud computing services from corporate SA.

    It is also looking to build data centres in Nigeria and Kenya as demand grows elsewhere in Africa for such facilities, says MD Lex van Wyk.

    The company will double the size of its main facility at Isando, east of Johannesburg. Construction will begin in January on an additional 2 500m² of space, taking the data centre to about 4 600m².

    Demand has been driven by, among other things, growing demand from SA companies for cloud computing services, where applications are hosted online.

    Teraco is also looking for a site to build a second Johannesburg data centre, either 30km north or 30km south of the Isando facility. The idea is to link the two sites with fibre to provide disaster recovery capabilities.

    At the same time, a second data centre is being planned for Cape Town, where Teraco already operates a 500m² facility in Rondebosch.

    The Rondebosch data centre is at 80% of capacity. The new centre, which will have about 2 000m² of capacity, is likely to be built in Pinelands, Van Wyk says.

    The company is also poised to build its first data centre in Durban, probably in the Umhlanga region. Van Wyk says he expects to sign a lease for a property by the end of the week. The Durban site will be 500m² in size, expanding to 1 000m² over time.

    Van Wyk says other African markets are also of appeal to Teraco. Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Botswana and Mauritius are all potential sites for data centres, he says, though Nigeria and Kenya will probably be the first because of the relative size of those economies.

    He admits building data centres elsewhere in Africa will prove more challenging than in SA given electricity supply is highly unreliable. Any data centre investment would need an investment in power generation.

    Despite this, Van Wyk says it’s the right time to invest in other African markets.

  • -Dimension Data is ending its 23-year listing on the JSE on a high note.The IT group, which is being acquired by Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Corp, reported a 9,9% increase in sales in constant currency terms in the 2010 financial year to September. In the financial year, Didata recorded an 8,2% increase in operating profit, bringing it to $237,8m. Operating margin reached 5%, from 4,9% a year ago. The strong results will come as welcome news to NTT, which is acquiring the group in a R24bn all-cash deal.

    - JSE-listed outsourcing specialist, the Dialogue Group, has sold its 51% stake in disaster recovery firm ContinuitySA for R35m.CoroCapital, the investment banking firm and subsidiary of Coronation, will take a 49% stake. ContinuitySA staff and management have acquired the other 2%.The deal is still subject to several conditions, including a due diligence investigation and approval from the JSE.Dialogue has faced difficult times in recent months, including the voluntary liquidation of its primary subsidiary, Dialogue SA.The group has also sold its 51% stake in call centre recruitment business Callforce.ContinuitySA CEO Allen Smith says the company has been in discussions with CoroCapital for some time.As part of the proposed transaction, the directors of ContinuitySA have agreed to declare a special dividend of R4m, payable to current shareholders. Of this amount, R2,04m will accrue to Dialogue based on its 51% ordinary shareholding.  

    -Boston-based wireless communication site operator American Tower Corp has agreed to buy 3,200 cell towers from Cell C, South Africa’s third-largest cellco by subscribers. American Tower will buy 1,400 of Cell C’s existing towers and as many as 1,800 additional towers that are already under construction, or mooted for future development. Johannesburg-based Cell C will be the ‘anchor tenant’ for each tower. The sale is expected to pave the way for a more competitive wireless market, as it will allow smaller players to lease access to the national tower network at competitive rates. The transaction, which is worth a reported USD430 million, is expected to close in early 2011.

    - Telecom Egypt (TE), posted relatively flat revenues in the nine months ended 30 September 2010, with the operating citing year-on-year growth in wholesale turnover, a seasonality effect affecting TE’s retail business, and an increased contribution from its internet unit TE Data as contributory factors. In 9M10 TE generated revenues of EGP7.79 billion (USD1.35 billion), up 0.7% year-on-year, with turnover from retail services accounting for just over half of that, EGP4.04 billion, down 11% when compared to the same period a year earlier. Wholesale revenues however, helped to offset a significant portion of the lower retail revenues, climbing 17% in the year to reach EGP3.75 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at EGP3.99 billion, down 4% Net income for the nine-month period was EGP2.73 billion, up 6% against 9M09.

    - Kenyan telecoms firm Safaricom has reported revenues of KES47.1 billion (USD560.2 million) for the six months ended 30 September 2010. It’s a rise of 15.9% compared to the KES40.66 billion reported in the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, EBITDA increased 13.8% to KES18.8 billion, and net profit climbed to KES7.63 billion, a rise of 15.1%. Data services provided 23.8% of the total.

    -Egypt's Orascom Telecom will not go ahead with a planned initial public offering (IPO) at subsidiary Telecel Zimbabwe until after the outcome of a proposed merger deal between Orascom and Russia's Vimpelcom.In June the GSM operator, 60% controlled by Orascom’s wholly owned Telecel Globe unit, submitted its proposals to the Zimbabwean government to reduce foreign shareholding to 49% to comply with indigenisation legislation, committing to issue new shares on the local stock market. Vimpelcom agreed last month to buy a controlling stake in Orascom from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, but the deal has been complicated by the Algerian government pressing to nationalise Orascom's unit there.

    -Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), has posted net profit of BWP181 million (USD21.1 million) for its fiscal year ended 31 March 2010, an increase of 52.2% on the previous year. The figure represents the wholly state-owned company’s highest net profit in ten years. BTC’s turnover for the year to end-March 2010 rose 14.7% year-on-year to BWP958.4 million. Voice calls generated sales of BWP383.4 million, or 40% of total revenues for the year, growing 1.9% from the previous year, while data services revenue rose from BWP249.9 million in the year ended 31 March 2009 to around BWP400 million a year later. BTC said that it invested a total of BWP313.8 million in the year to 31 March 2010.


  • Information Technology Manager - Nigeria

    Job Description:
    In conjunction with the C.O.O, determine the long-term IT requirements of the Group, through the direction and management of IT resources.
    To plan, direct and manage the performance of the company's commercial web-based activities, as dictated by the overall strategy agreed with C.O.O, so as to maintain and develop business growth in accordance with the agreed business strategy and financial objectives.
    The IT Manager's role is to ensure the streamlined operation of the IT Department in alignment with the business objectives of the organization, by planning, coordinating, directing, and designing all IT-related activities within the organization.
    To ensure maximum availability of IT resources throughout the Group.
    To ensure the provision of IT infrastructure services, including desktop applications, Local/ Wide area networks, IT security and telecommunications.
    Development and implementation of bespoke software systems.
    Working with senior management to propose, agree and deliver IT service to defined Service Level Agreements.
    To develop and maintain a disaster recovery plan.
    To develop and control the IT security policy.
    To maintain and develop the company websites.
    Provide a monthly written report to C.O.O on all aspects of the IT Department.

    Education and Qualifications:
    Strong technical knowledge of network and PC operating systems.
    Strong technical knowledge of current network hardware, protocols, and standards.
    Strong technical knowledge of website design and maintenance.
    Extensive application support experience.
    Proven experience in IT infrastructure planning and development.
    Strong understanding of human resource management/accounting principles, practices, and procedures.
    University degree in the field of computer science and 5 years related work experience.
    Master of Business Administration with technology as a core component preferred.
    This position requires a minimum of 5 years of increasingly responsible positions and is seeking the next challenge in their career.   
    The ideal candidate must utilize effective associate management, team building and  positive staff communications.
    Strong leadership, hands-on management style, cost controls, budgeting experience is a must.
    To apply click on the following link

  • -  Government has extended the contract of Telkom SA chairman Jeff Molobela, but only until the end of December.

    -  Altech’s former group chief operating officer, Andy Baker, has been named as the new CEO of Nashua Mobile, a direct rival to Altech’s Autopage Cellular unit.

  • ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2010 - Learning for All
    1-3 December, Berlin, Germany
    Under the banner of Learning for All, ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2010 will dig deep into 4 themes that form the pillars of innovation: Learning Content, Learning About Learning, Learning Ecosystems and Learning Environments, which will contribute to successful learning outcomes in the three learning domains: Institutional Learning, Workplace Learning and Lifelong Learning.
    For further information visit

    2010 Euro-Africa Week on ICT Research & e-Infrastructures

    7-8 December 2010. 7-8, Helsinki, Finland
    The “3rd Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research” will be an event filled with discussions and debates, networking opportunities and knowledge sharing among key stakeholders in the field and policymakers coming from all over Europe and Africa. This Conference represents definitely a unique opportunity for all parties interested in the ICT domain to increase the visibility and impact of their activities, to network and expand their knowledge. For further information click here.

    ICT Finance Emerging Markets Global Summit 2010

    6-7th December 2010, London UK, BIS Conference Centre
    The ICT Finance Emerging Markets Global Summit 2010 takes place at a critical time of opportunity for the world’s growth markets. In joining forces, The Commonwealth Telecom Organisation and BroadGroup TMT Ventures, will launch this compelling content and networking rich platform uniquely connecting key players from government and operator organizations in emerging markets with investors, financiers and professional advisors.
    For further info, please visit or email

    5th Africa Economic Forum 2011

    7-9 March 2011, Cape Town, South Africa Venue BMW Pavilion, V&A Waterfront
    Our 5th Africa Economic Forum 2011 (AEF-2011) in Cape Town at the BMW-Imax Theatre, with Africa Exhibition is a landmark Conference on Africa and significant business networking occasion for the top corporate players active in, across and involved with the development of the African continent - Cape-to-Cairo, with Governments and officials in key industries and state institutions.

    ICT For Development in Africa – Sustaining The Momentum, Extending The Reach

    23-26 March 2011, Ota, Nigeria
    The conference will initiate research and practice agenda where ICTs will aid the academia, organizations - public and private and non-governmental to improve socio-economic conditions and directly benefit the disadvantaged in some manner.
    For further information visit

    eLearning Africa 2011 - Spotlight on Youth, Skills and Employability
    25-27 May 2011, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    The 6th event in the series of pan-African conferences and exhibitions will focus on Africa's youth. Africa has the highest percentage of young people anywhere in the world. How can it unlock the vast reservoir of talent? How can technology support education and training?
    For further information visit

  • - Alcatel-Lucent to link Seychelles to global fibre networks

    Alcatel-Lucent has signed a contract worth more than USD30 million with Seychelles Cable System (SCS) to build the Seychelles East Africa System (SEAS) linking Victoria in the Seychelles to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The new submarine cable will provide the Seychelles with high speed direct access to an international fibre-optic backbone for the first time. The SEAS will span over 1,900km offering international connectivity in support of affordable internet access and new broadband applications for commerce and government services.

    ‘This new connection will provide faster internet and improved access to telecommunications, providing a cost-effective reliable solution that will give us an alternative to satellite connections, which we are almost completely dependent on now,’ said Benjamin Choppy, Principal Secretary, Department of ICT in the Vice-President’s Office of the Seychelles. The CEOs of the two telecoms operators participating in SCS, Charles Hammond (Cable & Wireless Seychelles) and Tsiresy Randriamampionona (Airtel Seychelles) added that: ‘The scalability of Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine solution and its extensive end-to-end expertise will help us meet our growing bandwidth needs as well as improve the quality of service we offer our customers on both fixed and mobile networks.’ The island nation’s government is the third investor in SCS.

    - Globecomm wins wireless managed services contract in Freetown

    Satellite-based managed network solutions provider Globecomm Systems has announced it has been awarded a contract to supply wireless managed services in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. The company will provide CDMA-450 switching facilities for voice and data services to wireless operator subscribers and interconnected partners in the country. The architecture will enable the CDMA-450 network to be connected via satellite to Globecomm's hosted mobile switching controller and value added services (VAS) in New York. With full redundancy for all major components, the hosted switch platform provides an all IP-based soft-switch architecture with a forward path to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. In addition, the network incorporates a WiMAX network for additional connectivity throughout the city.

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