News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 968 – 22 March 2019

Top Story

African mobile operators aren’t capitalising on 4G connectivity and as a result the whole ecosystem is suffering

22 March 2019

Since 2012 46 countries across Africa have seen at least one 4G mobile network commercially launched. In the next 12 months that is expected to rise to 51 countries. Mobile operators have invested billion upon billions of dollars in licenses (research has shown that the average license cost is $214million) and network roll out. Digital transformation across the continent is happening. Author of a new report on 4G roll-out in Sub-Saharan Africa, Balancing Act’s Head of Research Matthew Dawes looks at why things have not yet taken off. Why hasn’t there been the expected increase in connections and mobile data…

Telecoms

Zimbabwe could merge TelOne and NetOne ahead of sale

22 March 2019

A report from Zimbabwe suggests that the government is attempting to sell fixed line operator TelOne and sister cellco NetOne as a package as it looks to attract further private…


Telecoms

Vodafone Ghana announces official launch of 4G LTE services; rival MTN launches 4G+

22 March 2019

Mobile operator Vodafone Ghana has formally announced the launch of commercial 4G LTE services in the country, with the official switch-on taking place in the capital Accra yesterday (19 March)…


Telecoms

Onatel secures XOF40bn loan to acquire 4G licence

22 March 2019

Maroc Telecom-backed Onatel has reportedly secured an XOF40 billion (USD69.5 million) loan from Banque Atlantique, which it will use to fund its acquisition of a 4G licence.   According to…


Telecoms

South Africa’s networks are ready and waiting for 5G spectrum

22 March 2019

5G technology is in the process of rolling out worldwide, and promises exponentially faster mobile Internet speeds. Brands such as Samsung, Huawei, and LG have already released smartphones that support…


Telecoms

Orange to roll out 4G in Guinea

22 March 2019

Orange-Guinea has recently obtained a 4G operating license for the next ten years, in exchange for a check of 79.5 million euros signed to the Guinean authorities. Orange strengthens its…


Telecoms

In brief

22 March 2019

Orange Burkina Faso – which launched LTE-A services in capital city Ouagadougou in January this year – has extended its footprint to five new locations, including Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest…


Internet

The cost of internet access dropped everywhere in the world last year—except in Africa

22 March 2019

The already high price of internet access got even more expensive for Africans over the past year. With internet users on the continent already paying the highest prices for mobile…


Internet

‘Internet censorship bill’ set to be signed into law by Ramaphosa

22 March 2019

The National Assembly has officially passed the Films and Publications Amendment Bill, with the bill now scheduled to be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for assent. The bill aims to…


Computing

Ghana launches US$97-milliion e-justice system

22 March 2019

Ghana has launched a US$97-million World Bank-funded electronic justice (e-justice) system that would see the country's courts run paperless. President Nana Akufo-Addo launched the system on 20 March2019 and said…


Computing

SEACOM to provide direct connectivity to South Africa data centres

22 March 2019

The announcement follows the launch of Microsoft’s data centre facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider SEACOM has announced that it will now offer direct…


Money Transfer

MTN Targets 60m Unbanked Nigerians With PSB Licence

22 March 2019

MTN said it was targeting between 40 million to 60 million addressable unbanked adult population in Nigeria for the implementation of mobile money in the second half of this year.…


Money Transfer

Safaricom takes M-Pesa overdraft service global

22 March 2019

Safaricom has announced plans to take its M-Pesa overdraft service, Fuliza, to seven new African countries as the telco seeks to tap into the high demand for instant, micro-loans. The…


Money Transfer

Gender Digital Remittance Gap To Ghana Sinks By 30% In 5yrs

22 March 2019

New data reveals that the gender gap for sending digital remittances to Ghana is rapidly closing, basically driven by an increase in international mobile money transfers. Ghanaians living abroad sent…


Money Transfer

CSOs track illicit financial flows in West Africa

22 March 2019

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), in partnership with Transparency Internaßtional (TI), has launched an online anti-money laundering tracker that would monitor illicit financial flows across West Africa. At the…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Nigerian fintech startup Amplify acquired by OneFi for undisclosed amount

22 March 2019

Payments solutions startup Amplify has been acquired by Nigerian finance company OneFi for an as yet undisclosed amount.   In a statement announcing the acquisition yesterday (21 March), Lagos based…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Econet to push for Mascom listing if MTN sale goes through

22 March 2019

Zimbabwe-based Econet Wireless Group says it will push for a listing of shares in Botswana’s largest cellco by subscribers, Mascom Wireless, should it succeed in becoming the company’s majority shareholder.…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Angola Telecom to invest USD12.6m in 4G before part-privatisation

22 March 2019

State-owned Angola Telecom (AT) – which is undergoing an asset valuation process ahead of the planned sell-off of a 45% ownership stake – has revealed it aims to invest AOA4…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Airtel opens discussion on NSE listing

22 March 2019

There were indications that the Airtel Nigeria may have opened discussion with the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigerian Stock Exchange on the listing of its stock on the Nigerian…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

In brief

22 March 2019

The government of Zimbabwe is hoping to raise USD350 million from the sale of shares in five state-backed companies, including three telecoms operators. The African country, which is currently experiencing…


Digital Content

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta Suspends His Social Media Accounts

22 March 2019

You will not be able to follow, like or comment on President Kenyatta's social media accounts, at least for now. This is after the head of state suspended all his…


Digital Content

These Podcasters are Using Their Platforms to Champion the Voices of the Underrepresented

22 March 2019

We speak with three teams from the Google Podcasts creator program about reaching diverse audiences and breaking through the barriers to entry in the podcasting world. As podcasts become the…


Digital Content

NBA and Youtube Partner to Launch Live Games on League’s First Channel Dedicated to Fans in Sub-Saharan Africa

22 March 2019

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and YouTube today announced the launch of the NBA’s first YouTube channel dedicated to fans in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to featuring two live games…


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Opportunities

22 March 2019

Applications open for second round of SqwidNet’s IoT SA University Challenge SqwidNet has launched the second round of its nationwide technology competition, the IoT SA University Challenge, which is aimed…


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People

22 March 2019

Former Iranian envoy arrested on corruption charges related to MTN license in Iran found dead South Africa’s former ambassador to Iran Yusuf Saloojee, who was arrested on corruption charges in…


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Events

22 March 2019

Africa Pay & ID ExpoMarrakech, Morocco29th - 30th March Africa’s largest payment and identification eventAPIDE 2019, through its 3000 m2 exhibition area, is a great opportunity to network, discover the…