News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 1000 – 1 November 2019

Top Story

Balancing Act’s News Update Reaches its 1000th issue – Looking back over almost 20 years and looking forward to what happens next

1 November 2019

I started publishing Balancing Act’s News Update in 2000. Every Sunday I would pick over a range of websites in English and French to edit a series of news items to create an e-letter. It was originally sent out as an email until the number of subscribers meant I had to find a more effective way of doing it. It’s hard to believe but this happened almost twenty years ago. At that time Sub-Saharan Africa was said to have less phone lines than Manhattan. Nigeria had only an estimated 2,000 internet subscribers. In some countries civil servants got free fixed…

Telecoms

A summit in Egypt will decide the future of 5G and weather forecasts

1 November 2019

Heated negotiations will begin in Egypt this week that could decide the future of 5G and weather forecasting. More than 3,000 delegates, hailing from nearly every country in the world…


Telecoms

MTN South Africa grows revenue but loses subscribers

1 November 2019

MTN has published its trading update for the quarter ended 31 September 2019, showing a small drop in subscribers and slight service revenue growth in South Africa. MTN South Africa…


Telecoms

MTN Implements Measures To Tackle Sophisticated Fraud Methods

1 November 2019

MTN South Africa announced on Monday that it has implemented a wide range of measures to tackle fraud, including identity theft, illegal Sim swaps and number ports through which criminals…


Telecoms

Vietnam and Cameroon officials set to meet to resolve Nexttel dispute

1 November 2019

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vuong Dinh Hue, is set to meet with the government of Cameroon next month to resolve a dispute between the shareholders of mobile operator Viettel Cameroon,…


Telecoms

Zimbabwe: Potraz Approves Mobile Tariffs Hike

1 November 2019

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has approved an upward 95,39 percent voice, data and SMS tariff adjustment for both mobile and fixed network operators as previous…


Telecoms

West African States Ink Free Roaming Agreement

1 November 2019

Member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed an agreement which means that mobile subscribers will no longer incur roaming fees from January 2020. In…


Telecoms

In brief

1 November 2019

Airtel Africa has revealed that it recently acquired additional spectrum in three of its markets, securing 20MHz of frequencies in the 2600MHz band in Nigeria, as well as 5MHz in…


Internet

Just months until Africa’s IP addresses run out

1 November 2019

South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) says local ICT service providers that don’t support the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IPv6) are potentially threatening the country’s participation in…


Internet

Internet

South Africa: Vast Networks’ fall signals new digital divide

1 November 2019

This month’s bankruptcy of South Africa’s largest Wi-Fi provider, Vast Networks, is a blow for digital democratisation. Who is brave enough to fill the vacuum? Vast Networks was started in…


Internet

In brief

1 November 2019

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communications, Vincent Sowah Odotei, has revealed the government is working with mobile network operators to ensure 95% of the country’s population has access to internet connectivity…


Computing

Senegal launches online database to track the traffickers

1 November 2019

DAKAR, Oct 30 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A new online database of human trafficking cases will help Senegal crack down on a rampant crime that is little understood, highlighting hotspots…


Computing

Joburg City Council says it will not pay ransomware hackers

1 November 2019

South Africa’s commercial capital Johannesburg have said they will not pay a ransom demanded by hackers who breached the city’s ICT systems on October 24. A deadline to hand over…


Money Transfer

Interswitch completes NGN 23 bln bond placement

1 November 2019

African digital payment company Interswitch said it has successfully concluded a NGN 23 billion Series 1 fixed rate senior unsecured callable bonds issue via a special purpose vehicle, Interswitch Africa…


Money Transfer

Safaricom regrets M-Shwari encouraged more borrowing than saving

1 November 2019

Kenyan operator Safaricom's interim CEO Michael Joseph has expressed disappointment at the direction some of its mobile credit facilities have taken and hinted that it might to review them in…


Money Transfer

Ghana: Verve Partners GHIPSS to Improve Electronic Payment in Ghana

1 November 2019

Verve International, a leading payments technology and card brand in Africa, has partnered with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) to launch acceptance in Ghana. This initiative…


Money Transfer

Revisiting Jumia’s JForce scandal and Citron’s short-sell claims

1 November 2019

In advance of Jumia’s November financial reporting, it’s worth revisiting the company’s second-quarter results, the downside of which included some negative news beyond losses. The Africa focused e-commerce company —…


Money Transfer

Carbon launches financial services platform for businesses

1 November 2019

Carbon, Nigeria’s digital financial services company, has launched Carbon for Business, a digital financial services platform that provides startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and FinTechs with the services and…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Angola Telecom Leans Towards Privatisation

1 November 2019

Recent plans to privatise Angola Telecom seem to be leaning towards realisation with the appointment of a new board for the struggling utility. A decree released earlier this month has…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Nigeria: Court Adjourns MTN Suit Accusing Nigerian Govt of 'Malicious' Taxation

1 November 2019

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court Tuesday further adjourned hearing until January 30 and 31, 2020, a suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communication Ltd against the Attorney General…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

China withholds funding in Zimbabwe, including $71 million for NetOne

1 November 2019

A report from Zimbabwe says that Chinese financial institutions have suspended funding for a network upgrade project being carried out by state-owned cellco NetOne, according to a report. The Independent…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

US company buys 900 cellphone towers in South Africa for R2bn

1 November 2019

Atlas Tower is selling its South African cellphone tower portfolio to another US group, SBA Communications, for R2bn. The US company will dispose of more than 900 towers in South…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

North Africa’s Performance Strengthens Orange’s Bottom Line

1 November 2019

The French telecommunications firm Orange Group has reported strong performance in its Africa and Middle East market, with a 7.6% growth, according to the company’s half-year financial results at 30…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

In brief

1 November 2019

Airtel Africa reported revenue of USD844 million in the quarter ended 30 September 2019, an increase of 9.8% year-on-year, while underlying EBITDA rose 12.2% year-on-year to USD372 million and net…


Digital Content

A WhatsApp hack used Israeli spyware to target Rwandan dissidents

1 November 2019

WhatsApp’s owner Facebook on Tuesday (Oct. 29) filed a lawsuit against an Israeli software company which alleged some 1,400 phones and devices whose users included lawyers, journalists, human rights activists…


Digital Content

Playfre enlarges music streaming platform to 13 African countries

1 November 2019

Playfre, launched on May 1, 2019, is expected to expand across Africa. The streaming music platform will now be accessible in the following 13 African countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Angola,…


Digital Content

SA crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa wins award at Govtech conference

1 November 2019

SA equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa has been named the top ICT startup at the 2019 State Information Agency (Sita) Digital Public Service Awards. The awards, which form part of the…


Digital Content

Google Honors Nigerian Feminist Icon, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, With Doodle

1 November 2019

Today would have been the Nigerian trailblazer's 119th birthday. Pay your Google Doodle extra attention today. It is honoring Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, an activist, teacher and politician, on her birthday. She…


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People

1 November 2019

The board of directors of Safaricom on Thursday announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa, who becomes the first Kenyan to head the topmost network operator…


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Opportunities

1 November 2019

Mastercard Foundation seeks innovative edtech start-ups The Mastercard Foundation Regional Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT is inviting edtech start-ups from across Africa to submit solutions aimed at…


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Events

1 November 2019

  AfricaCom, featuring AfricaTech12 – 14 November 2019, CTICC AfricaCom is the place to meet everybody who’s anybody in African telecoms and technology; bringing together 15,000 attendees, 450 speakers and…