TELECOMS

Telecoms News - In Brief

- Second National Telecommunications Operator, Globacom, has launched the fourth generation mobile technology, 4G-LTE network, in Nigeria. Group Chief Operating Officer of Globacom, Mohamed Jameel, noted that Globacom has already deployed the services on over 100 sites in Lagos alone, adding that "for our subscribers, LTE offers the key benefits of performance and capacity".

- In Kenya, mobile phone service providers have settled on 60 cents as the new rate they will be charging each other to terminate SMS’s from Tuesday next week.

- The 2nd Annual Congress on Angola's Telecommunications called "Globalcom 2011" will bring together experts of the sector in Luanda on May 17-18, under an initiative of the Institute for International Research (IIR).

- The Gambia received another boost in her national and wider regional efforts in ensuring sustainable development with the installation of a Satellite Data Receiving Station of the environment at the National Environment Agency as part of the Africa Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) Programme.

­- The African country of Niger plans to impose new taxes on telecom networks to help fund record government spending, Reuters has reported, citing the military Junta spokesman, Mahaman Laoualy Dan Dah. "The contribution from telecoms to the budget has been weak up to this point, despite the enormous resources of the telecoms operators," he told state radio. He did not give details on the new taxes, and an official was not immediately available to comment. Officials from the companies declined to comment. The move to raise taxes comes even as the country expects to start exporting oil during 2011, and the presumed resumption of international aid once the military government hands over to a civillian authority.

- South Africa’s SNO, Neotel has a fight on its hands as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Solidarity Workers Union prepare to fight tooth and nail to protect its members from proposed retrenchments at the company. The operator recently confirmed it may retrench staff as the company is not performing in line with expectations. A process involving staff consultation is currently under way and Neotel says some jobs may become redundant.

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