Issue no 164

Top Story

SMS VALUE-ADDED SERVICES - CELL PHONES AN IDEAL CONTENT AND SERVICE PLATFORM

Africa’s most widely distributed information platform is the cell phone. Growth continues to be spectacular but all operators are looking for ways to add to their revenues. Text messaging services have begun to develop - anything from agricultural prices in Uganda to advertising for clubbers in South Africa - and are beginning to find a significant user base willing to pay premium rates for certain kinds of information. Experience elsewhere suggests that services should be actionable and combine timeliness with mobility. This week News Update offers three case studies as food for thought. KENYA’S SMS TRAFFIC DURING LAST ELECTIONS CRASHED…

Telecoms

SA’S SNO TELECOM BIDDER PLANNING TO SPEND R9-11 BILLION

The two companies bidding for the majority stake in the second network operator (SNO) were planning to spend between R9 billion and R11 billion on capital expenditure (capex) over the…


Telecoms

KENYAN CELL PHONE ACCESSORY SALES DIP OVER BUDGET TAX RISE 

Dealers in mobile phone accessories last week said they had recorded a sharp decline in sales volumes as the 10 per cent excise duty imposed on airtime in the 2003/04…


Telecoms

SIERRATEL ROLLS OUT NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS IN BO

Sierratel has put in digital switch in the southern town of Bo that will handle 2,500 lines rather than the current 500 through the old analogue switch. There is also…


Telecoms

BOTSWANA TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION INTRODUCES PREPAID PHONE SYSTEM

It sounds just too marvellous to be true, but Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) says there is nothing clandestine about their prepaid telephone service. In fact, it is a customer’s dream…


Telecoms

Telecoms News - In Brief

- The Egyptian National Postal Organization announced that it will offer the service of telephone bill settlements through its offices as of the upcoming July bill. - Telecom Egypt chairman,…


Internet

LONG-AWAITED TANZANIAN IXP LAUNCHES WITH RAHA.COM CONNECTING

Tanzania’s local internet exchange point launched this week. Raha.com has connected and the other six ISPs that make up TISPA will join in the coming months. Equipment for the exchange…


Internet

GEOLINK AND EUTELSAT LINK UP WITH LA POSTE TO PROVIDE BROADBAND

Geolink and Eutelsat are backing an initiative by France’s La Poste group to provide Geolink Access, two-way broadband Internet access, to post offices in Africa. Indeed, La Poste has just…


Internet

TELKOM KENYA SUES GATEWAY OVER UNPAID JAMBONET BILLS

Incumbent telco Telkom is entangled in a dispute over an alleged Sh9.1 million in unpaid fees with one of its ISP clients. Telkom Kenya sued Gateway Online for failing to…


Internet

Internet News - In Brief

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Computing

CATI SAYS IT WILL BE SELLING PCs "MADE IN SENEGAL"

Based in Dakar, La Compagnie Africaine de Technologies Informatiques (Cati) wants to promote African ICT knowledge and bring Africa up to the same level as Europe, writes Isabelle Sciamma of…


Computing

CONSORTIUM TEAMS UP WITH CIDA CITY CAMPUS TO PROVIDE OPEN SOURCE SKILLS TRAINING

Sun Microsystems’ Sun Educational Services (SES) division has concluded an agreement to provide open source training courses to CIDA City Campus as part of a consortium that is assisting the…


Computing

CISCO LOOKS FOR INCREASED BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

A network of highly-skilled partners, increased marketshare in new business areas and closer relationships with customers - these are just some of the goals that Internet and infrastructure solutions giant…


Computing

Computer News - In Brief

- Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and VP General Dynamics last week opened an IT Liaison Office in General Dynamics Virginia’s premises. This new form of cooperation will…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

MTN KEEN ON TAKING UP VIVENDI SHARES IN KENCELL

Mobile phone operator MTN is looking at acquiring Vivendi’s 60 per cent stake in KenCell Communications as one of the options of expanding its footprint in East Africa. "We are…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

SA’S JOHNNNIC CONSIDERS INVESTING IN NEW SECTORS

South African investment holding company Johnnic Holdings said this week it could branch out into new sectors after it distributed shares in its main asset, mobile phone firm MTN, earlier…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

On The Money - In Brief

- Vodafone Egypt will distribute a LE2/share cash dividend for the 120 million existing shares prior to the company.s recently conducted stock split - The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

CORRECTION:

ISSUE 163: AFRINIC NOT AFRISPA CHOOSES FOUR HOST COUNTRIES FOR AFRINIC BOT In this story, the body choosing the host countries was (of course) AfriNIC BOT, not AfrISPA as stated.…


Digital Content

ACADEMICS AT WORK ON ONLINE MULTILINGUAL SA WEB DICTIONARY

An online Northern Sotho-English dictionary has been launched by a group of academics called TshwaneDJe to promote interest in the official indigenous languages of South Africa, writes Stephen Whitford of…


Digital Content

African Web News - In Brief

- Kompyuta ne Yuganda is a Luganda translation project to enable any literate Luganda speaker (and probably speakers of some other bantu languages) make use of the power of electronic…


More

PEOPLE

* Hassan Versi of Tanzania’s Quality Computers died last week. He was only 30 but had started in the business at the age of 19 with Salama Office Automation. His…