Telecoms News - In Brief


- Nigeria's national telecommunications operator, Globacom, has obtained an operating mobile licence in Côte d'Ivoire. The approval was conveyed to Globacom by the Agence des Telecommunications de Cote d'Ivoire, the telecommunications regulatory authorities of the Francophone country. The company which started operations in Nigeria in August, 2003 and in Benin Republic in June 2008 has connected over 28 million subscribers in both countries.

- In Kenya, mobile telephony operators have taken their lobbying for lower spectrum costs for 3G licence a notch higher and are now actively engaging the government in talks. The three licensed operators -- Safaricom, Zain and Essar Telkom -- have held various high level meeting with government officials and the industry regulator -- the Communications Commission of Kenya -- that could see the current fee, Ksh1.8 billion ($3.2 million) considerably reduced.

- The non-payment of 17 months salaries to staff of the ailing Nitel and its mobile arm, MTel by their former owners, Transcorp and now government is causing disquiet among the two firms' staff members. The federal government had approved payment of five months out of the 17 but the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) that superintends it now alongside the technical committee set up by the government is insisting on paying only one month.

- Mobile telephony provider Safaricom is the most respected company in East Africa for the third year running. In a an award that also marked the 10th anniversary of the CEO's Most Respected Company East Africa awards sponsored by the Nation Media Group, Safaricom was voted by its peers as the most resilient company in the face of the global financial crisis.

- MTN Nigeria on Thursday, announced the sack of 65 workers, including divisional managers in its Nigerian operations, according to the Next news service. In a press statement announcing the sack, MTN Nigeria said the move will help it embark “on an aggressive plan to refocus its customer service operations towards the next generation customer care.”

- The Uganda Communications Commission will announce a price ceiling for cross-network rates next week. Patrick Masambu, the executive director of the commission, said on Monday that upon the announcements, all licensed telecom companies will have to adjust their rates. It will be mandatory not to charge beyond the ceiling, he said.

- Tunisie Telecom has opened an outlet in Paris in order to meet the growing demand of foreign investors and offshore companies willing to settle in Tunisia.

- MTN Group has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing the impact of climate change by becoming the latest signatory to the Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change.