News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 836 22 July 2016

Top Story

Bollore’s Vivendi has a plan to build a rail-based 5,000 kms fibre backbone linking half a dozen African countries

It looked like French mogul Vincent Bolloré had quit telecoms in Africa when Vivendi sold Maroc Telecom to Etisalat. But it seems that he has just shifted his focus to fibre networks and high-end, household fibre. Russell Southwood looks at what is known and what it might mean.In an exclusive last week BFMTV.com revealed what had previously only been rumours: a subsidiary of Vivendi is quietly in the process of building a fiber optic network of almost 5,000 km covering half a dozen African countries. The five linked by the railway will include: Benin, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso and Côte…

Telecoms

R3bn too much for spectrum: Cell C

South Africa’s third largest mobile network, Cell C, has expressed its concern over having to fork out at least R3bn to bid for radio frequency spectrum. Communications regulator Icasa on…


Telecoms

GSMA Calls for 4G Spectrum Roadmap in Egypt

London: The GSMA calls for the Egyptian authorities and the country’s mobile industry to work closely together to set a roadmap for the successful introduction of 4G services. Egypt is…


Telecoms

Kenya - Technology push to get girls educated

The UK's Department for International Development has announced £100m of funding to help 175,000 of the world's poorest girls get an education.The push will include smartcards that monitor attendance and…


Telecoms

Ooredoo tests Algeria’s first 4G network

Ooredoo completed Algeria’s first 4G trial with Nokia in Tlemcen, a province in the country’s north west, reaching speeds of up to 75Mb/s, ahead of a nationwide commercial launch in…


Internet

Gabon Telecom unveils FTTH, FTTB connectivity in Libreville

Gabon Telecom has officially launched its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) networks in Libreville. The FTTH network, which supports download speeds of up to 50Mbps, is initially available in the…


Internet

Praekelt just launched a chatbot to give pregnant women maternal health information

At this year’s International AIDS conference, the Praekelt Foundation launched a Facebook Messenger chatbot to give South African mothers access to maternal health information. The project is called MomConnect, it’s…


Internet

Here’s How to Get Your Brand New African Union E-Passport

It’s official—the African Union has launched its continental e-passport program Sunday as part of the opening ceremony of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in…


Computing

WWF’s new interactive map visualises South Africa’s current water crisis

South Africa’s experiencing one of its worst droughts this side of the millennium, with water levels in storage systems across the country down around 20% over last year. While crop…


Computing

South American Firm To Develop First ‘Made In Rwanda’ Laptop

Rwanda has risen to become of the leading nations in Sub Saharan Africa in the in the use of technology, with a wide range of innovation projects that have attracted…


Money Transfer

Mobile money giant M-Pesa is getting its own debit card to compete with banks

M-Pesa customers will soon be able to use debit cards for quicker transactions. Safaricom, parent of the M-Pesa mobile money platform, is eying a piece of the $13.5 billion in…


Money Transfer

United Bank Africa and Mastercard reveal Pan African partnership

mastercardUnited Bank Africa (UBA) and Mastercard have announced a partnership which will see UBA act as the issuer for MasterCard in 18 new markets in Africa. The partnership, which came…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Airtel closes sale of its unit in Sierra Leone to France's Orange

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel Tuesday said it has completed the sale of its subsidiary in Sierra Leone to France's Orange, after having completed the sale of its unit in Burkina…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

MTN shares nosedive on profit warning

Johannesburg - Nigeria’s mega fine on mobile network MTN is still weighing on the company as it warned of forthcoming losses on Tuesday.MTN told shareholders on Tuesday that it “expects…


Digital Content

Ugandan president stops to make roadside phone call. Twitter explodes

The Ugandan president has become a meme sensation after being photographed making an important phone call while sitting on a portable chair at the side of the road.Yoweri Museveni was…


Digital Content

South African student wins big at Google Science Fair

A 16-year-old South African has won the coveted Google Science Fair Community Impact Award, in the hotly-contested Africa and Middle East region. Kiara Nirghin, from Johannesburg, is now in the…


Digital Content

Absa launches new online banking site and mobile banking app

Absa has launched a new, revamped website and banking app to bring its online banking into a 24/7 connected digital age.According to the bank, the revamp, called Absa Online, is…


Digital Content

Nigeria: Firm Introduces 'Free' Airtime APP for Android Users

Kirusa, an Information Technology company that provides telecoms and social media solutions, has introduced 'myGenie', a free airtime app for prepaid Android users in Nigeria.The myGenie app allows Android users…


Digital Content

You Can Now Use Your Mobile Phone Number As A Virtual Post Office Box In Kenya

The Postal Corporation of Kenya has launched a convenience service meant to help its clients access post and mail services with ease and at their convenience through their mobile phones.The…


Digital Content

Zimbabwean Women Shut Down Bulawayo Over the Weekend: #BeatThePot

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, MDC-T, led an all-women #BeatThePot protest on Saturday demanding President Robert Mugabe to resign from the post as the country’s socio-economic crisis worsens. Approximately 2000…


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Opportunities

ICASA publishes an Invitation To Apply for International Mobile Telecommunications spectrum Invitation To Apply for International Mobile Telecommunications spectrum (Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Services 700MHz,…