Issue no 649 5th April 2013

Top Story

Smartphones vs feature phones – The handset war that will shape the coming transition to all-data services

Safaricom’s recently announced that it would stop selling feature phones in its retail outlets in Kenya to encourage smartphone take-up. This was based on the fact that there is now a significant convergence in terms of price and features between bottom-end smartphones and top-end featurephones. Russell Southwood looks at what this might mean for the transition to and the price leap that still needs to be made.Twelve months ago the handset pyramid in most African countries looked as follows: between 1-3% smartphones (5% upwards in the larger markets); 10-20% feature phones; and the balance were basic phones (voice, SMS). At…

Telecoms

Nigeria: Sony Renews Nigerian Smartphone War With Xperia Z

A new competition in the high-end smartphone segment will get tougher with the entry of Sony Mobile Communications' new Android smartphone into the Nigeria mobile devices market.With the launch of…


Telecoms

Swedish business, Ericsson unite to establish Network Society in Africa

Business Sweden, Ericsson and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs have together launched a two-year ICT venture in Sub-Sahara Africa with the aim of establishing a networked society in Africa.One…


Telecoms

UK to host Lap Green Networks’ Zambia lawsuit

A lawsuit regarding the Zambian government’s takeover of Libya’s Lap Green Networks’ majority share in Zamtel is to be heard in England, a high court in Zambia has ruled.Lap Green…


Telecoms

Altimo subsidiary offers to buy Egypt's Orascom Telecom

The $3.7 billion offer from a Cyprus-based firm owned by Altimo is at a price of $0.70 per share for all of Orascom Telecom's 5.245 billion shares, the statement said."The…


Telecoms

Telecoms - In Brief

- Kenya's Yu has launched a mobile phonebook backup service, shortly after a similar service was offered by rival Safaricom.- Sudan's MTN has launched a mobile VAS service from Globitel…


Internet

Teraco and SEACOM work together to solve Internet Service Provider capacity crisis.

Teraco Data Environments and data networks communication provider Seacom have worked double time this past week to re-connect clients affected by a cable cut that occurred some kilometres north of…


Internet

Powertel aims for converged licences and wants to launch quad play using CDMA

Broadband provider Powertel is in negotiations with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) as the regulator intends to begin issuing converged licences for service providers.A converged licence…


Internet

Google Ghana partners local media to produce more online content

Google Ghana is committed to assisting the Ghanaian media to make their online presence more relevant and generate additional revenue, Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Country Manager of Google has said.“The media and…


Internet

Another BRICS in the wall? AKADO agrees to construct African broadband networks

In a deal struck at the fifth annual BRICS summit in Durban – attended by the heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South…


Internet

Iran helping Zimbabwe snoop on internet?

Iran’s ostracized leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has upped the ante in relations with Zimbabwe with reports that Tehran is involved in a massive cyber training exercise of hundreds of Zimbabwe’s intelligence…


Internet

Internet – In Brief

- Internet Solutions Mozambique has scooped the award as best internet service provider in Mozambique. Following a two month independent study by PMR.africa, IS Mozambique was highest rated on an…


Computing

The first smartphone made in Africa is not all it seems to be

News of the first African-designed smartphone release caused a lot of excitement last year. And so it should have: Africa is, after Asia, the largest mobile phone market in the…


Computing

Assembly of Computers in Mozambique At Standstill

The project to assemble desktop and laptop computers in Mozambique seems to have collapsed, thanks to a dispute between the Mozambican government and its foreign partner in this venture, the…


Computing

Uganda: Kcca to Issue Computerised Taxi Stickers to curb forgeries

Owners of commuter taxis operating in Kampala city now have computerised Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) stickers, the KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi, has announced.The stickers, bearing KCCA logo, are…


Computing

Major Botswana insurance firm switches to e-documents

Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) has said that it has transformed most of its physical documents into electronic format.Komissa Burzlaff, BIC strategy development and marketing manager, has said over 89,000 documents…


Computing

Computing - In Brief

- From March 22nd the public administration, in the cities of Bobo-Dioulasso, Koudougou Ouahigouya Kaya and Fada Ziniaré N'gourma are connected to the central government through WiMAX base stations. These…


Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

Nokia Music+ makes South African debut

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has announced that its subscription based music service is planned to be available to South African consumers for $2.7 a month.Nokia Music+ is an additional…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

evriPay offers online merchants in Kenya fast and secure eCommerce

Known for its focus on security, evriPay will allow Kenyan online merchants to accept Visa and MasterCard payments from anywhere in the world on their websites while benefitting from unique…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Money - In Brief

 - Tanzania's Vodacom is offering hire-purchase deals on Samsung phones arranged with the CRDB bank.- Nigeria's Airtel is offering unlimited access to the WhatsApp OTT service for a fixed payment…


Digital Content

Rwanda: 'Microsoft 4Afrika' Launched in Kigali

Microsoft Corporation, one of the world's leading software companies, last week launched its new initiative, dubbed '4Afrika' in Kigali.The goal of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is to disseminate affordable smart…


Digital Content

WikiAfrica project welcomes and trains Cameroonians to contribute to Wikimedia sites

The WikiAfrica space was inaugurated today in Doual’art, a centre for contemporary art located in Douala, Cameroon.For the first time, a computer room with high-speed internet is available for people…


Digital Content

Egyptian Hashtag Takes on Homophobia!

A recent social media call to fight homophobia stirred a lively and heated discussion. In Egypt, it's still taboo to have public debates on sexuality related topics, whether on or…


Digital Content

Tanzania health app records 100,000 users in 15 weeks

An app to help expectant mothers in Tanzania has reached a subscription of 100,000 users in 15 weeks and accumulated four million text messages. The mHealth Tanzania Public Private Partnership is…


Digital Content

Angola: Microsoft Launches Microsoft Youthspark" Programme

Microsoft World Learning Angola launched on Wednesday at Lusiada University in Luanda a programme dubbed "Microsoft youthspark".Speaking to Angop, the director general of Microsoft Angola, Sezar Pinheiro said that the…


Digital Content

US Peace Corps help develop Zambian translation app

United States Peace Corps volunteers together with Zambian software developers have developed a mobile application that is planned to translate English words and phrases into any of the seven major…


Digital Content

Google at odds with African ministers and musicians over internet regulation

The Google chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has been on a lobbying tour of India, in an attempt to convince the country not to regulate the internet."Now is the moment for…


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Events

2nd Annual Cloud World Forum Africa23rd-24th April 2013Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg, South AfricaCombining the Cloud Computing World Forum Africa and Cloud Africa, this two day conference and exhibition covers every…


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People

Olusola Teniola has recently stepped down as the COO of Phase3 Telecom in Nigeria to take over the reins from Steve Herridge as CEO of Internet Solutions, Nigeria; a subsidiary…


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Jobs & Opportunities

Pivot East 2013 to Establish Enterprises Out of Mobile APP DevelopersPivot East is now accepting applications for its third edition, happening on the 25th and 26th of June in Kampala,…