Issue no 589 27th January 2012

Top Story

The beginning of Africa’s long, slow transition away from SMS – new browser kids on the block making mobile Internet access easier

At the end of 2011, there were the first signs of smartphone use on SMS: for the first time in some countries, rather than the volume of SMS growing inexorably, it declined for the first time. Russell Southwood looks at how wider use of mobile Internet may affect SMS volumes in Africa and at two of the new generation of interfaces designed to make it easier for Africans to use the mobile Internet.You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the number of smart phones and feature phones in African countries will increase. With this increase, many…

Telecoms

AMOS-5 Communications Satellite Begins Commercial Operations

Spacecom operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, announced last week that its AMOS-5 satellite is commercially operational. The company announced this, after the satellite successfully completed In Orbit Testing.AMOS-5’s C-band and Ku-band…


Telecoms

Telecom Egypt wants to become a fourth mobile phone operator as MVNO

Egypt could soon see a fourth mobile phone operator, with Telecom Egypt keen to obtain a licence that would let it lease infrastructure from other providers and offer its own…


Telecoms

Nigerian horticultural project wins Orange’s African Social Venture Prize

A Nigerian Horticultural project which puts mobile technology in the hands of horticulturists, farmers and cooperatives for remote crop irrigation, allowing them to improve productivity while preserving water resources emerged…


Telecoms

Ghana’s NCA sets new telecoms interconnection rate regime for period 2012-2014

Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has set a new interconnect termination rate regime among the country’s telecoms operators to replace the old one which was set in 2008 and expired…


Telecoms

Hits Telecom eyes Africa expansion

Kuwaiti group Hits Telecom is in talks with mobile operators in Liberia and Tanzania to share towers and plans to launch nationwide services in both countries this year and also…


Telecoms

Q-kon enhances VSAT network in African market with IDX 3.0 upgrade

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems, Inc. last week announced that Q-Kon, a tier one satellite network operator in the African market, has upgraded to iDirect’s iDX…


Telecoms

Nigerian Digital Surge Prompts Visafone to Grow Data Services

Nigeria’s Visafone Communications is spending “billions of naira” upgrading networks to cope with a surge in digital data transmissions in the West African country, Chief Executive Officer Sailesh Iyer said.The…


Telecoms

South African Consumer Commission to Tackle International Roaming Fees

South Africa's National Consumer Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala has revealed that the commission has set its sights on tackling the high cost of international roaming for cellphone users.Briefing the National Assembly's…


Telecoms

Zambian Government Nationalises Zamtel

The Za­mbian government has confirmed expectations and will renationalise the local mobile network, Zamtel, which is 75% owned by Libya's Lap Green Networks. The government has also dissolved the board…


Telecoms

Mututho beats anonymous callers to their game with law

Kenyan MP John Mututho better known for his tough stance on alcohol— is proposing a monumental change to the country’s Information and Communications Act to eradicate the mystery behind those…


Telecoms

Telecoms News - In Brief

- South Africa's Vodacom has opened its Innovation Centre, the first ever 6-star Green Star SA rated building in South Africa, at its head office in Midrand.The Centre is a…


Internet

Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation partner to offer Wikipedia in Africa and the Middle East at no extra cost

In the first partnership of its kind, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation will provide more than 70 million Orange customers in Africa and the Middle East (AMEA) with mobile access…


Internet

Benin is disconnected from the Internet for two weeks

For nearly two weeks, Benin has been totally cut off from the global village. The Internet circuits does not work. It is therefore impossible to navigate and access any information…


Internet

New Telecom Company in Equatorial Guinea to Improve Wireless and Internet Connectivity

Equatorial Guinea recently launched a new telecommunications company, GECOMSA (Guinea Ecuatorial Comunicaciones Sociedad Anónima), to better serve the rapidly developing country’s communications needs. This is an effort by the government…


Internet

Liquid Telecom acquires Zimbabwean ISP, ZOL

Liquid, ZOL Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) has been acquired by the Liquid Telecommunications Group. ZOL is now officially part of the Liquid Telecom Group. From the information so far, ZOL will…


Internet

Kenyans second top tweeters in Africa

A new report places Kenyans as the second top users of Twitter in Africa, surpassing countries in the Maghreb that had used the facility to stage political revolt. Kenyans, ranked…


Internet

Alvarion to Provide Wi-Fi to Telecel in Burkina Faso

Alvarion has announced that its Wavion subsidiary is supplying base stations for a Wi-Fi service in Burkina Faso on behalf of the local mobile network operator, Telecel.The network covers Ouagadougou,…


Internet

Vodacom connecting South African libraries

Vodacom has announced the successful implementation of Phase 1 of a libraries project for internet connectivity across three provinces - North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. 50 sites are up and…


Internet

Internet News - In Brief

- Tanzania's Sasatel has deployed a combination of Radwin Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint links to deliver broadband to its corporate clients. Balton Tanzania, Radwin's certified partner was in charge of project…


Computing

Ghana to commence implementation of Open Data Initiative

The Ghana government in collaboration with World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF), an NGO, is to commence the implementation of the Ghana Open Data Initiative to make government data available to…


Computing

Microsoft Partners with British Council to Promote Digital Schools in Africa

Microsoft is to partner the British Council in a programme aimed at rolling out a comprehensive Africa Digital Schools Project covering six countries in Africa.Dubbed “Badiliko,” a Swahili word for…


Computing

Rwanda among first for OLPC X0 3.0

Rwanda and Uruguay will be among the first countries to get the latest One Laptop Per Child device. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a project taking rugged, affordable laptops…


Computing

Computer News - In Brief

- The ITU has launched a new web portal focused on helping girls and women access training, job opportunities and career information in the fast-growing information and communication (ICT) sector.…


Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

Telecoms Rates, Offers And Coverage

- Matrix Cellular, an international telecommunication provider in India, has announced the launch of a new SIM card for customers in the Middle East and North Africa. The new SIM…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zain Sudan sees new taxes hitting 2012 earnings

Zain's Sudan unit expects new taxes to slice into its earnings this year despite the anticipated addition of between 2 to 3 million mobile phone subscribers in the oil-producing African…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Money News - In Brief

- Old Mutual and T-Systems in South Africa have agreed to an IT infrastructure management deal valued at R2.58bn, extending the existing relationship between the two partners until 2019. The…


Digital Content

African publishers lag in shift to electronic books

Electronic readers are transforming the way people enjoy their books. However, there is very little African published content on the online stores. For a reader looking for a Kenyan book…


Digital Content

Mobile phones to monitor Malawi water

Malawi has started new water-monitoring technology using mobile phones, which has been pioneered by an international NGO based in Blantyre called Water for People. The new form of monitoring technology…


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People

Telkom Mobile has embarked on a recruitment process to appoint a Managing Director that will be an Executive Committee member of the Telkom Group. Until such an appointment has been…