News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 1018 on 27 March 2020

Top Story

Rural coverage in Africa finally begins to come of age – New contracts drive the process but Covid-19 will mean delays

27 March 2020

Not surprisingly, two-thirds of the stories in this week’s e-letter are Covid-19 related. As with the ebola, the latest health crisis shines a light on the need to connect Africa’s unconnected. Health workers need to know where Covid-19 is spreading to and the economically disadvantaged need to be able to stay in touch with their urban families. Russell Southwood spoke to Bradley Shaw, Regional Manager Middle East and Africa, NuRAN Wireless about initiatives to expand rural coverage. Hard-to-reach rural areas were for many years the poor relative of the MNO’s core business. Indeed some MNOs were happy to say quietly…

Telecoms

African Telecommunications Union calls for harmonised action by telecommunications regulators and operators in Africa to combat Coronavirus Pandemic

27 March 2020

  The African Telecommunications Union (ATU), a specialised agency of the African Union in the field of telecommunications, has put together a set of guidelines to assist in combating the…


Telecoms

Huawei hands over R1m to assist SA’s Covid-19 fight

27 March 2020

Chinese multinational technology company Huawei has donated R1m to the South African department of health to support the efforts to lessen the spread of Covid-19.   In addition to the…


Telecoms

Orange Cameroon Cuts Prices In Response To Coronavirus Outbreak

27 March 2020

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the mobile network service provider Orange has reduced prices of its products and services in Cameroon.   At the time of going to…


Telecoms

Angola: Covid-19 - Telecom Operators' Minimum Services Guaranteed

27 March 2020

Luanda — Angolan telecommunications operators will guarantee, as from Friday (27), the provision of minimum postal services, voice, messages, internet and weather, as part of the Government contingency plan to…


Internet

Fiam WiFi rolls out internet service in Nigeria

27 March 2020

Fiam WiFi rolled out its services in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos Nigeria, after a three-month pilot. The objective of the company is to emphasize on high-density, low-income areas and…


Internet

Google Loon and Telkom Kenya roll out 4G network balloons

27 March 2020

Kenyans will enjoy high-speed and affordable internet facilities with the help of Google Loon and Telkom Kenya. This development comes after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) signed an agreement…


Internet

Airtel Kenya Rolls Out Free Internet Access To Learning Websites Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

27 March 2020

Airtel Kenya has announced that it will offer free internet access on the Longhorn e-learning site to allow students to continue studying amidst the rise of the coronavirus pandemic.  …


Internet

Konnect Africa to connect schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo with high speed internet

27 March 2020

Konnect Africa, a subsidiary of Eutelsat Communications, Schoolap and Flash Services today announced a Memorandum of Understanding to connect several thousand schools across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to…


Money Transfer

Africa turns to mobile payments as a tool to curb COVID-19

27 March 2020

Africa is using digital finance as a means to stem the spread of COVID-19. Governments and startups on the continent are implementing measures to shift a greater volume of payment…


Money Transfer

MTN Cameroon Suspends Mobile Money Charges To Curb Coronavirus Spread

27 March 2020

MTN Cameroon has decided to suspended charges on selected mobile money transactions within its network for one month, beginning on the 20th of March 2020. The management of Cameroon’s largest…


Money Transfer

Ghana: GhIPSS waives interbank and cross wallet transfer charges

27 March 2020

The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, has announced a waiver of fees on electronic services. In a press statement…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

MTN completes ATC divestments; raises ZAR8.9bn to help trim debt

27 March 2020

South Africa-incorporated regional carrier MTN Group has announced the completion of the sale of its stake in ATC Uganda for ZAR2.2 billion (USD125.2 million), while also confirming that it has…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Liquid Telecom lands XOF3 billion deal to manage Carrier Hotel data center in Togo

27 March 2020

Liquid Telecom, the pan-African internet service provider, will manage the Carrier Hotel as well as the internet exchange point.   The firm has made an offer of XOF2.9 billion, excluding…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

In brief

27 March 2020

The government of Senegal has announced plans to attract Vietnamese investment in its telecoms sector, reports Agence Ecofin. A partnership was discussed last week in Dakar between Nguyen Thanh Vinh,…


Digital Content

YouTube Launches Music & Premium Services In Nigeria

27 March 2020

YouTube has launched two new services, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in Nigeria.   YouTube Music will offer access to ad-supported and free access to personalized playlists, albums, and artiste…


Digital Content

Netflix, Amazon And YouTube Reduce Streaming Quality To Minimise Network Strain Amid COVID-19

27 March 2020

Netflix, Amazon and YouTube are reducing the quality of their video streams in an effort to ensure that networks across Africa and Europe can handle the increased usage amid the…


Digital Content

Africa: South Africa-Based Facebook Groups Stoked COVID-19 Disinformation to Sell Face Masks

27 March 2020

Facebook groups created by a South African marketing company became breeding grounds for COVID-19 conspiracies and fear-mongering. A Facebook page linked to Cape Town-based digital marketing firm Fangate (*) created…


Digital Content

New App to Ease Distribution of Support to the Needy Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

27 March 2020

In Rwanda, there are 36 confirmed cases and the government imposed a lockdown since this past weekend, in a bid to contain the virus from further spreading. The lockdown means…


Digital Content

Opera launches Opera News Lite for phones with limited storage, network

27 March 2020

Opera Limited has introduced Opera News Lite, a lighter and smaller version of its popular Opera News application. Since its launch two years ago, Opera has become one of the…


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People

27 March 2020

Kenya: Safaricom Welcomes New Director Safaricom announced earlier this week that its alternate Director Vivek Badrinath had resigned after serving in that capacity for over three years. Badrinath’s resignation took…