Telecoms News - In Brief


- Since September 14th, South African citizen will be able to dial 17737 and speak to directly to the Presidents office. Twenty-one specially trained Public Liaison Officers will take up their seats and start handling calls and responding to general public inquiries, complaints over service delivery and questions about government.

- Secretary General of International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Hamadoun Toure, said last week that $8 billion was invested in the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Africa in 2008. Toure disclosed this at a world press conference to mark the end of the African Telecom Development Summit 2009 held in Abuja.

- Zambia’s Government has announced that it will reduce international gateway fees to regional averages by the end of 2009.

- Access Communications Ltd (ACL), the Second National Operator in Malawi has made it's first call on 11th September 2009. ACL is in the process of implementing a CDMA2000 EVDO Rev A network with Huawei Technologies and will cover the four major cities in Malawi in it's first phase of operations. Commercial trials are scheduled to begin in Quarter 1 2010.

- The Federal Government will compel GSM operators to embark on mandatory registration of SIM cards of mobile phone subscribers for security reasons, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan said last week.

- The power struggle for the communication portfolio in Zimbabwe seems to ramble on as the two ministers at the centre of the controversy, Nelson Chamisa and Nicholas Goche, issued the same statement on TelOne tariffs this week (see article above).

- A Federal High Court in Abuja last week refused the request by Transcorp to stop the resale of 51 per cent shares of Nitel and its mobile arm, Mtel.

- The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) has said the new interconnect rate for the telecom industry will soon be out. The Head Public Affairs of the NCC Rueben Mouka told the press that the two consultants appointed to carry out the review, Detecon International and PriceWaterHouseCoopers have submitted their reports.

- Rwanda’s Government through the e-soko project will next month buy 35,000 mobile phones for farmers, a move that is meant to bridge the information gap between farmers and buyers. The e-Rwanda coordinator, Wilson Muyenzi said that at least one co-operative in every district has been identified to benefit from the project. Muyenzi said that government will pay 50 percent of the cost, MTN 25 percent and beneficiaries 25 percent of the phone prices.

- Egyptian mobile network operator MobiNil may consider lodging an application for its own international gateway licence if it is unsuccessful in pressing its existing provider for price cuts.