News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no. 859 - 13th January 2017

Top Story

Facebook’s Open Cellular GSM base station comes out of the shadows and goes on sale – a new way to address Africa’s remote areas

13 January 2017

One of the first products from Facebook’s Telecom Infra Product will shortly see the full light of day: an Open Source, low cost GSM base station designed with remote areas in African countries in mind. Russell Southwood spoke to Maxime Dumas, Head of Strategy and Business Development, NuRAN Wireless who are acting as “the supply chain arm”. Facebook has been involved over the last several years several trying to make mobile voice and data more ubiquitous, particularly in continents like Africa. One element has been the zero rated Free Basics service which allows users access to Facebook and a walled…

Telecoms

TNM Malawi, Kirusa launch InstaVoice service

13 January 2017

Mobile operator Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) is launching InstaVoice, Celeb and Sports services, in collaboration with Kirusa in Malawi. This means that TNM subscribers can manage their missed calls, voicemail…


Telecoms

Econet issues a statement on higher data prices – “We feel your pain”

13 January 2017

Econet Wireless, the local mobile network operator that has been the first and so far only operator to adjust mobile broadband prices in line with the regulator’s directive has issued…


Telecoms

ARPT grants permission to Ooredoo to launch LTE in 27 new provinces

13 January 2017

Algeria’s Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms, ARPT) has granted its permission to cellco Ooredoo Algeria to deploy 4G services in…


Telecoms

In brief

13 January 2017

MTN Business intends to complete machine-to-machine (M2M) number migrations by 25 February, a month ahead of a regulatory deadline. The telecoms operator confirmed this in a letter to clients as…


Internet

Djibouti Internet Exchange joins African IXP Association

13 January 2017

The Djibouti Internet Exchange (DjIX) has joined the African IXP Association (AFIX) in its mission to help improve connectivity within the region. AFIX, a group of internet exchange point (IXP)…


Internet

Kenya: Govt to Monitor Social Media During Elections

13 January 2017

Kenya will not shut down the Internet during the election period unless the situation gets out of hand, officials said Thursday. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) chairman, Mr Ben…


Computing

NexTech Africa 2017: Microsoft and local business leaders to connect with innovators at Nairobi event

13 January 2017

NAIROBI, Kenya – 11 January 2017 – How can we build technology that best supports African creators? How can companies start to breed a data culture for success? What does…


Computing

Di-Data urges tech skills development as SA falls behind

13 January 2017

The ICT skills shortage across Africa is well documented in publications that include the 7th edition of the JCSE ICT Skills Survey published in 2016 which expressed concern "at the…


Money Transfer

SES Completes Refinancing of O3b Debt

13 January 2017

SES S.A. (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) has announced the refinancing of the remaining O3b debt. Since acquiring the remaining shares in O3b, SES has refinanced the entire USD 1.4 billion of…


Money Transfer

Zimbabwe Bank Suspends Use of Visa Cards as Cash Crunch Worsens

13 January 2017

CBZ Holdings Ltd., Zimbabwe’s largest bank, suspended the use of Visa Inc. cards for local transactions as the country struggles to cope with a cash shortage. Charges on making transactions…


Money Transfer

Ecocash partners TransferTo to improve international remittances

13 January 2017

ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe subsidiary Ecocash, has partnered with Cross-Border Mobile Payments Network- TransferTo, to expand its cross-border reach for international remittances. The partnership means Zimbabweans living and working away from…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Sotelgui set for 2017 revival?

13 January 2017

Guinea’s Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, Mamy Moustapha Diaby has announced that defunct incumbent telecoms company Societe des Telecoms de Guinee (Sotelgui) will be relaunched this year, according…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Nigeria - Stakeholders seek clear local content policy in telecom sector

13 January 2017

Stakeholders in the telecommunications sector have frowned at the absence of clear local content policy in the industry which has resulted in massive loss of jobs meant for Nigerians. They…


Digital Content

UBA launches first merchant app for MSMEs

13 January 2017

United Bank Africa (UBA) has introduced its first merchant-focused app in Africa with the aim of creating a SMART (secure, mobile, accessible, reliable, transparent) network of 100,000 micro merchants and…


Digital Content

A cellphone is no substitute for a midwife, African tech prodigy warns

13 January 2017

African governments are using technological advances as an excuse to continue neglecting systemic problems in health, education, energy and other basic services, a prominent entrepreneur has claimed. “Over the past…


Digital Content

Alas, Africa Now Has Its Own #SaltBae

13 January 2017

Over the past four days or so, the internet has gone wild over Turkish chef and restaurant owner, Nusret Gökçe, as he takes thirst trapping to a whole other level…


Digital Content

Volkswagen's Uber rival enjoys support from Rwanda's govt

13 January 2017

Volkswagen's plan to provide app-based mobility solutions that include a car sharing and ride hailing service in Rwanda by the end of 2017 has the full support of the country's…


Digital Content

The gay sex assault sketch that divided Nigerians

13 January 2017

In a country in which same-sex sexual activity is illegal and LGBT rights do not exist, a sketch by a Nigerian comedian depicting a gay man who is about to…


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People

13 January 2017

Bharti Airtel, commonly known as Airtel, a leading global telecommunications services provider, has appointed Rajeev Sethi the chief commercial officer for its Africa operations. Sethi will report to Raghunath Mandava,…


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Opportunities

13 January 2017

Applications open for TechWomen entrepreneurship programme The TechWomen mentorship and exchange programme has opened applications for its 2017 batch, seeking young women from Africa and elsewhere that wish to enter…