Issue no 809 - 8th January 2016

Top Story

The Battle over VoIP and resisting the future – Trend towards Skype, Viber and What’s App begins to bite into African operators’ premium revenues

The recent blocking of VoiP and IP-based services by all three operators in Morocco is the first shot in what is going to turn into all-out war across the continent this year. IP-based services are cutting operators’ premium international calling services. With 4G now spreading rapidly operators are on the wrong end of these changes. Russell Southwood looks at how things are developing. On 5 January Moroccan users of Skype, Viber, What’s App and Facetime woke up to find that these services had been blocked by all three operators – Maroc Telecom, Meditel and Inwi - on both 3G and…

Telecoms

Kenya’s mobile penetration hits 88 per cent

According to the quarterly sector statistics report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the uptake of mobile services by Kenyans continued to grow leading to mobile penetration growing to…


Telecoms

Telecoms Firms in SSA Earn U.S.$4 Billion From Tower Sales, Leasing

From the sales and lease of BTS, otherwise known as towers, telecommunications operators in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) may have earned about $4 billion in the last four years. According…


Telecoms

Rwanda: RapidSMS Saves Mothers, Children Lives

Marie Gorethe Nyirabambari is animatedly engaged with her mobile phone under a tree outside Karwasa Health Centre in Musanze District. She also sieves through a handful of documents on her…


Telecoms

Somaliland to get LTE Network through a partnership deal with Somcable, Alepo and Airspan

Alepo, a provider of network and IT software solutions for global communications service providers, has announced a partnership deal with Somcable, a major communications service provider in East Africa, to…


Telecoms

Rwandan Entrepreneur’s Solar-Powered Mobile Kiosks Charge Phones, Create Jobs

Mobile phones are essential in Rwanda. More than 70 percent of the population owns a one and many people own two or more. Yet, just 22 percent of people have…


Telecoms

Zambia ICT authority orders SIM card ultimatum

The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) has given local mobile phone subscribers a two-month ultimatum to correct wrong information on SIM cards or face permanent disconnection. The telecom…


Telecoms

Vodacom South Africa says 200,000 accounts charged twice

Vodacom South Africa said that about 200,000 accounts were affected by a "technical glitch" that  caused some customers to be double-billed. Tshepo Ramodibe, executive head for corporate affairs, said the…


Telecoms

Telecoms – In brief

Algerian telecoms watchdog the Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms, ARPT) has launched a tender for three 4G mobile broadband licences.…


Internet

#KenyaLive: A campaign to broadcast Kenyan wildlife live on the internet

The world’s first live web broadcast of the great wildebeest migration has gone ‘live’ today from the Masai Mara, Kenya. Make It Kenya is once again partnering with HerdTracker in…


Internet

Tigo Tanzania passes 1 mln Facebook followers

Tigo Tanzania confirmed it passed the 1 million Facebook followers mark on 27 December 2015. Over 41 percent of the total Facebook users in the country are Tigo Facebook followers.…


Internet

South African Facebook post sparks #RacismMustFall outrage

Comments by a white South African woman calling black people "monkeys" have sparked widespread outrage. On Facebook, Penny Sparrow used the word to describe New Year's revellers on Durban's beach…


Computing

BRCK Raises $3M from Steve Case, TED & Others to connect more people to the Internet

Rugged, self-powered, mobile WiFi device which connects people and things to the internet in marginalised areas BRCK has raised $3m from Jean and Steve Case with participation from Jim Sorenson,…


Money Transfer

United Bank for Africa debuts U-Mobile banking application

Pan-African banking group, United Bank for Africa (UBA), has launched a new mobile banking application, U-Mobile. Designed to be ‘more advanced and user-friendly’ than the previous platform, U-Mobile is compatible…


Money Transfer

Safaricom, MTN Uganda agree international money transfers

Kenyan operator Safaricom is extending its mobile money service M-Pesa to Uganda thanks to an agreement with MTN Uganda. As a result, M-Pesa users can now transfer money to Uganda,…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Nigeria: MTN Acquires Visafone in Landmark Industry Deal

After months of negotiations, Africa's largest telecoms operator, MTN, sealed the deal to acquire Visafone, the leading CDMA operator in Nigeria, THISDAY has learnt. According to sources in the telecoms…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Madagascar raises tax on telecoms services to 10%

The Madagascan government is increasing excise tax on all telecommunications services to 10% under the 2016 Finance Act, reports L’Express de Madagascar, noting the revision is up from 7% for…


Digital Content

Nigerian Woman Develops App To Reduce Mortality Rate In Africa

Miss Kesandu Nwokolo, a young Nigerian, has developed a mobile phone application to help reduce infant and maternal mortality in Africa.In a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria…


Digital Content

Netflix goes live across Africa

More than 130 countries, including South Africa, officially have access to Video On Demand Service (VOD), Netflix. The announcement was made at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) by Netflix…


Digital Content

Showmax - Netflix 'Good' for SA Internet TV

Naspers owned video streaming service ShowMax has said that Netflix's launch in South Africa will boost local awareness of internet television. On Wednesday night, US-based Netflix officially switched on its…


Digital Content

Ethiopia Protest Videos Show State Brutality, Despite Tech Barriers

Since student protests erupted in Ethiopia last November, numerous mobile phone videos have gone viral on social media, giving a glimpse of the government's brutal and deadly crackdown on demonstrators.…


Digital Content

2016 Is #TheYearWeMispronounceBack: Black South Africans Are Taking A Stand Against White Mispronunciation

“If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky, and Dostoevsky, and Michelangelo, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka,” the mother of two-time Emmy Award-winner Uzo Aduba famously once said. White…


More

Opportunities

Applications open for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship ProgrammeThe Tony Elumelu Foundation has opened applications for the second cycle of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), a US$100 million initiative aimed at…