Telecoms News - In Brief


- Telecoms market regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya, has began the search for experts to manage the roll out of mobile phone number portability, in a move that could rekindle the battle for subscribers and change the fortunes of some service providers.

- Vodafone has pledged to fight any allegations of irregularities surrounding its £450m purchase of a majority stake in Ghana Telecom. The British mobile phones giant said it had been co-operating with an inquiry commissioned by the Ghanaian government into the deal with Ghana Telecom that took place in July last year.

- Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has said that sixteen firms have purchased bid documents for its upcoming ‘triple-play’ licence auction, according to Reuters. Those companies that have confirmed their interest in the concession include existing players in the Egyptian telecoms markets such as mobile network operator MobiNil and full-service telecoms group Orascom Telecom. UAE-based Etisalat meanwhile, which has been widely rumoured to be mulling a bid, has yet to confirm its interest.

- Ghana has launched an emergency telephone number scheme to fight crime. The initiative is supported by MTN Ghana, the Police Service (GPS), the British High Commission and the German Embassy. The 24-hour, seven-day service (24/7), would enable the public to use the number to report any criminal offence and lodge complaints from anywhere in the country for prompt response. Meanwhile, The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that it will soon release a national emergency phone number to facilitate rescue operations during disasters.

- Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Ernest Ndukwe, has said there are no plans to license more telecommunications operators in the country.

- Phone communications in the southern part of Namibia were disrupted yesterday morning due to a fibre-optic cable break 40 kilometres outside Keetmanshoop. A Telecom worker said the breakdown had caused cut communications at Lüderitz, Bethanie and Rosh Pinah.

- Ghana now holds the chairmanship of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) council for 2009-2010. This was announced at the council's annual session which began last week in Geneva. With this appointment, Ghana will take over from Bulgaria the steering of the council comprising of 56 members states across the world.