News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 997 – 11 October 2019

Top Story

Vodacom rolls out Upstream’s free data platform Zero-D as Flex – High volumes of users but now the challenge of financing via advertising, more African roll-outs planned

11 October 2019

Running out of mobile data is a cliff-edge moment: you either buy more if you can afford it or wait if you can’t. Upstream’s Zero-D is a kind of free data purgatory before you get back to paid data heaven. Russell Southwood spoke to Upstream’s Head of Zero-D Kostas Kastanis about what it’s trying to do with what it hopes will become an advertising-supported platform Zero-D’s origins as a product were part of Upstream’s business strategy of being a “digital revenue creation partner for mobile operators on non-core services.” The insight came out of looking at subscribers using airtime as…

Telecoms

Rwanda Unleashes First Smartphones Made Entirely in Africa

11 October 2019

The Mara Group has opened a new plant in Kigali to manufacture two smartphones, the Mara X and Mara Z. The next cellphone in your pocket may be devoid of…


Telecoms

Africa ICT Regulators Meet in Uganda to Address Over-the-top Media Concerns

11 October 2019

Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) is part of the teams in Entebbe, Uganda, for the World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly (WTSA), which is one of the structures of the UN’s International Communications…


Telecoms

Airtel Malawi Slapped With $1.1 Million Fine

11 October 2019

Airtel Malawi has been ordered to pay a $1.1 million fine for failing to sell 20 percent of the company’s shares to Malawian investors. The Director-General of Malawi Communications Regulatory…


Telecoms

MTN to roll out e-SIM technology for postpaid subscribers in SA

11 October 2019

MTN will launch e-SIM technology for postpaid subscribers. At the moment, only iPhones and certain smartwatches support e-SIMs in South Africa. Vodacom introduced the technology in March. An eSIM is…


Telecoms

in brief

11 October 2019

Ethiopian president Sahle-work Zewde has disclosed new details of the country’s telecoms liberalisation plan, saying that two private companies will be issued licences ‘before the end of July 2020’, ZBC…


Internet

Ghana: Public Electricity Firm, EGC, To Deploy Fibre

11 October 2019

The Public energy company, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has announced that it intends to venture into telecommunications and internet service provision. ECG’s Managing Director Samuel Boakye-Appiah said that the…


Internet

South Africa's Frogfoot Selects STL's Air-blown FTTH Solution to Offer Affordable Fiber Broadband Service

11 October 2019

South Africa’s Frogfoot Selects STL’s Air-blown FTTH Solution to Offer Affordable Fiber Broadband Service Image Credit: STL STL, a global data network solutions company, announced that it has entered a…


Internet

Data Takes The Lead As Voice Takes A Dive In Zimbabwe

11 October 2019

Zimbabwe’s fixed phone connection lines are now rapidly being used for data connectivity, with data revenue exceeding fixed phone voice telephony income, according to the latest report issued by the…


Internet

Burkina Faso ratifies financing for national fibre-optic network

11 October 2019

The government of Burkina Faso has ratified a credit agreement signed on 20 June 2019 with Bank of China Limited Shenzhen Branch to finance phase one of Onatel’s national fibre-optic…


Internet

Mozambique: Keeping the Internet Open for a Free Election

11 October 2019

No plans to cut or restrict the internet are indicated for the 15 October election. Other countries have cut social media and internet during elections, but Mozambique has a good…


Computing

Huduma Kenya aims to digitise 5000 govt services

11 October 2019

Martin Mirero from Kenya is a man on a mission. As director of ICT for the government's flagship e-services initiative, launched in November 2013, Mirero wants to build on the…


Computing

South Africa: ICT Tenders – SASSA withdraws

11 October 2019

It's a slim edition of the National Tender Bulletin, probably as a result of last week's public holiday. The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) adds to the subdued tone…


Computing

in brief

11 October 2019

Microsoft has named JSE-listed technology company Altron as a licensing solution provider (LSP) in SA. This agreement comes as Altron is positioning its recently acquired subsidiary, Altron Karabina, to be…


Money Transfer

Tingg, Africa’s first payments super app unveiled in Kenya by Cellulant

11 October 2019

Tingg’s all-in-one payment model seeks to revolutionize the way consumers interact with payment services in the region Financial technology company Cellulant has Tuesday announced the launch of Tingg, an all-in-one,…


Money Transfer

Airtel Africa and Mastercard join forces in payments initiative

11 October 2019

A major new digital payments initiative has been launched across 14 African countries. Will it transform the digital payments landscape? Airtel Africa, a provider of telecommunications and mobile money services,…


Money Transfer

M-Gurush launched the first mobile money service in South Sudan

11 October 2019

M-Gurush allows customers to pay for goods and services across South Sudan using their mobile phones, similar to platforms already being used in Kenya and other East African nations. According…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Smart winds up operations in Tanzania

11 October 2019

Smart Telecom has shut down its mobile operations in Tanzania after submitting a business closure request to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). The Citizen reports that the request for…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

China Mobile eyeing Cell C acquisition

11 October 2019

Beleaguered South African operator Cell C has reportedly attracted the attention of China Mobile – although local rival Telkom SA is also believed to be interested in an acquisition. Local…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

10 fresh deals signed between Rwanda and Japanese tech companies

11 October 2019

The recent seventh Tokyo International Conference of Africa Development (TICAD7) allowed a successful connection between Rwandan tech companies and counterparts in Japan. Held on August 28-30, the conference, which was…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Ethiopia Appoints A Privatisation Advisor For Ethio Telecom

11 October 2019

Ethiopia has reportedly appointed a transaction advisor to assist in the privatisation process for the state-run Ethio Telecom, and another advisor will be selected in the coming weeks to oversee…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Angola Telecom finishes restructuring ahead of privatisation

11 October 2019

Angola’s President Joao Lourenco on Wednesday appointed a new Board of Directors for state-owned fixed line operator Angola Telecom, led by Adilson Miguel dos Santos as its new CEO, reports…


Digital Content

Music Distribution Service Songroute To Allow Artists Distribute Songs To Radio Stations, Blogs

11 October 2019

Nigerian music-streaming and distribution service Songroute has introduced two new feature that will allow artists share their music to radio stations and blogs. Owned by African music streaming service Playfre;…


Digital Content

Orange and Global Fund tie up to tackle disease in Africa

11 October 2019

Orange and the Global Fund have signed a partnership to develop e-health services to reduce the prevalence of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. Using Orange mobile technology, the partnership…


Digital Content

Zimbabwe: Backlash! Customers Rebel Against Econet Promo

11 October 2019

In a development that could redefine the relationship between consumers and various service providers, Econet subscribers made an unprecedented uproar against unsolicited messages from the company advertising its newest product,…


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People

11 October 2019

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey heading to South Africa in November Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is heading to South Africa in November 2019 to meet with tech entrepreneurs. Dorsey, in a…


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Opportunties

11 October 2019

The Ministry of Communications has on Wednesday launched the Ms. Geek Ghana Competition, aimed at empowering girls in the field of ICT. The competition seeks to change the attitude of…


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Events

11 October 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…