Issue no 690 31st January 2014

Top Story

We Name The Guilty Men – Top 5 Monopoly Incumbents that Keep Prices High and Stall Market Development

Because so many African countries have made huge strides over the last decade in developing their telecoms markets, it’s easy to forget that the majority have stuck with the old monopoly incumbents. These state owned companies have kept prices high for customers and stalled the modernization of many African economies. Russell Southwood looks at why this happened and why it still matters.A decade ago fierce battles were fought to get a number of Africa’s state owned telcos into private hands and to strip them of their monopoly privileges. This happened in all but two of what are now Sub-Saharan Africa’s…

Telecoms

Sub-$50 Android smartphone hits South Africa as MTN launches Steppa

South Africa's second largest mobile operator, MTN, has launched an own-brand Android smartphone with dual SIM capabilities and a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. The new phone, which is branded as a…


Telecoms

Zimbabwe introduces extra telecoms licence fees

The government has introduced a range of additional licensing costs for privately owned telecoms companies in the country after missing its revenue targets for 2013 by 6%, local news agency…


Telecoms

Swaziland's SPTC Shuts Down Remaining Wireless Network

After years of legal disputes, the Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) has finally shut-down its wireless network. The company was ordered to close its mobile service after it lost…


Telecoms

Telecoms – In Brief

-Sierra Leone's Africell has announced that it has 2.25 million active subscribers, and expects to have over 3 million by year end.


Internet

Gilat Satcom partners with DiViNetworks to boost internet capacity and reduce costs for all ISPs and network operators in Africa

Gilat Satcom, a provider of satellite and fibre-based connectivity services in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, has announced that it has partnered with DiViNetworks to boost satellite and fibre…


Internet

Only two in 100 in Egypt have access to broadband internet: MCIT

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) stated in its latest published report that only two out of 100 individuals in Egypt have access to broadband internet penetration, compared…


Internet

PCCW Global in all-stars consortium to construct new Asia Africa Europe-1 Cable System

PCCW Global, an international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and 16 other prominent service providers around the world have come together to construct a new…


Internet

Telecoms service providers seek to take over Kenyan Internet domain

A lobby group has offered to guarantee a Kenya specific Internet domain (.ke), which the sector regulator wants to commercialise.Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya (Tespok) said that it was capable…


Internet

Egypt's Anti-Terrorism Law to Target Internet

Facebook, among other sites, will come under new scrutiny in Egypt, when a draft “anti-terrorism” law comes into effect.The draft law, submitted by the Interior Ministry to the Justice Ministry,…


Internet

Internet – In Brief

- Rwandan government has signed an agreement with South Korean integrated telecom service provider KT Corporation for the establishment of a joint venture, Rwanda Olleh Services Ltd, which will be…


Computing

Without satellite, cloud service is just a concept Q-KON

Without satellite, cloud service is just a theory. That is the view of Dr Dawie de Wet, CEO of Q-KON, who says that cloud services are entirely dependent on reliable…


Computing

East Africa PC Market Rallies As Introduction of Kenya's VAT Bill Begins to Bite

PC shipments to East Africa increased 3.0% year on year in the final quarter of 2013 to total 140,251 units, according to the latest insights from IDC. ­ Strong gains…


Computing

CEC Liquid Telecoms to invest over $15m for infrastructure upgrade

Broadband wholesaler CEC Liquid Telecoms says it will invest more than US $15million this year to improve and expand its infrastructure, managing director Dr Chabuka Kawesha said yesterday.He said the…


Computing

Computing – In Brief

Kenya: In a letter addressed to the ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi by ICTAK Secretary General Kamotho Njenga, the lobby claims that the Board's appointment is illegal. In its…


Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

Telecoms, Rates, Offers & Coverage

- South African fixed line operator Telkom has welcomed the new Call Termination Rates (CTRs) issued by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on 29 January. Following notification…


Money Transfer

EcoCash now processing $200m per month

Econet Wireless has revealed that more than $200 million is now being transacted per month through its mobile money transfer platform, EcoCash, helping ease the country’s cash constraints.“There's no question…


Money Transfer

Safaricom's Micro-Lending Service Starting to Blacklist Loan Defaulters

Kenya's Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has passed details of over 140,000 users of Safaricom's micro-lending service to blacklisting services after they defaulted on loan repayments.Safaricom launched the micro-lending service…


Money Transfer

Malawi to launch study on Mobile Money

Malawi is to launch into a study on how it can establish an autonomous Mobile Money Coordination Group (MMCG) that shall operate beyond the life of the current United States…


Money Transfer

Zimbabwe’s Telecel confirms Telecash launch

Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator has confirmed that it plans to launch its mobile money service ‘Telecash’ this week.Telecel has told ITWeb Africa via its public relations team that it…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zain reports Sudanese revenue growth

Kuwaiti telecoms giant Zain has reported 18 per cent growth in its Sudanese revenue despite a 35 per cent devaluation of the Sudanese pound during 2013.The Zain Group has operations…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Heirs Holdings invests in Planet Labs revolutionary satellite technology

The pan-African proprietary investment company has announced its investment in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technologyHeirs Holdings, the pan-African proprietary investment company founded by Tony O. Elumelu, CON,…


Digital Content

Africans design audible guides for blind people

Two African inventors have independently produced devices designed to help blind people navigate. One of the devices could cost just US$150, raising the prospect of such technologies becoming a realistic…


Digital Content

Connect Uganda, a Rural Library Project for Local Farmers

In Uganda, most of the population lives and works rurally – may lack literacy skills. How – and what – can these famers gain from an internet connection?The Connect Uganda…


Digital Content

Access to information: bridging the digital divide in Africa

With all the excitement about the role of technology in contributing to social change and improved development outcomes across Africa, it is easy to forget that only 7% of the…


Digital Content

Bloggers in Ghana move closer to establishing a Social Media Hub

The blogging and social media scene in Ghana has improved in the last five years. The West African country has seen the number of bloggers in the country grow from…


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Events

Mobile East Africa 2014 -Expanding mobile data usage & driving monetisation through industry collaboration12 February 2014Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi, KenyaMobile East Africa, the East African edition of the most progressive…


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People

Sierra Leone: Comium Commercial Director ResignsThe Commercial Director of Comium mobile company, Joe Amara Bangali Jr., has resigned his position "due to lack of willingness by the administration to settle…


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Jobs & Opportunities

Angola: Imagine Cup Angola/2014 Contest Scheduled for AprilThe 2014 edition of the Imagine Cup Angola, promoted by Microsoft in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MINCT), aimed to…