Telecoms News - In Brief


- The 1.97 Tbps ACE submarine cable system, which will stretch from France to South Africa, welcomes new members. Six new telecommunication operators joined the ACE consortium recently, namely Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group (Mauritania, Senegal), Globalink (Sierra Leone), Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Télécommunication (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Sierratel (Sierra Leone). In addition, Baharicom Development Company Ltd., supported by the NEPAD’s (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) eAfrica Commission of the African Union, joined ACE as a major partner in October 2009, to jointly build the ACE system.

- In Nigeria, the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna presided over by Hon. Justice M. L. Shuaibu has ordered a Telecommunication Company, Helios Towers, to dismantle and remove its mast located in residential premises in Kaduna, installed without conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment as required by law. The Judgment was sequel to an action brought against Helios Towers and the Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA) by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

- KDDI-owned Telehouse is establishing its carrier neutral facilities in South Africa through a strategic partnership with local vendor neutral company, Teraco. KDDI, which is the world’s 10th largest carrier is headquartered in Tokyo and is a Global 300 company. Telehouse’s expansion into South Africa is the first entry by a major Japanese telco into Africa and the move demonstrates growing Asian interest in the region.

- European mobile giant Vodafone is targeting South African-based multinational businesses through its Global Enterprise division. Despite already owning Vodacom Business, Vodafone's newly-opened African division will not compete directly, but rather take advantage of the access the local company has. Vodafone Global Enterprise CEO Nick Jeffery says the division works as a layer over the top of all its operations, and it will do the same with Vodacom.

- Egyptian telecommunications infrastructure firm, Mobiserve, has opened an office in Kenya as it seeks to expand its operations throughout Africa. The ten-year-old company intends to use its Kenyan office to serve the region as it capitalizes on the fastest growing industry on the continent. Mobiserve offers maintenance and other technical services to both satellite mobile communication service providers making his firm a one-stop service player in both sub-sectors.