Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) will introduce mobile banking next year, the bank's top official said. Ben Kalkman, BPR's CEO said that the new product will enable the bank's clients to access banking and financial services with the help of mobile phone telecommunication devices. He said this will enable BPR's clients to transfer, send and receive money from different places around the world in partnership with telecommunication firms.

- Malawi’s third licensed mobile operator, Global Advanced Integrated Networks (GAIN), which intends to provide services under the G-Mobile banner, has admitted it will not be able to meet the 31 December 2009 deadline for the rollout of its network as stipulated by its licence, local daily The Business Times reports citing the firm’s director, Limbani Kalilani. Instead the company plans to request an extension to the deadline from the regulator, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), and will make up for the delay by combining rollout phases outlined by the concession.

- Dangote Group, owners of Alheri Engineering Limited, the company granted Nigeria’s fourth licence for third generation (3G) services, have inked a deal to sell the N22.5billion ($150million) frequency spectrum to Etisalat Nigeria, the last entrant into the competitive Nigerian mobile market.

­ The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has warned prepay subscribers in the country that their SIM cards will be deactivated at the end of the year if they have not been registered with the mobile networks.

- The Egyptian telecoms regulator, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has announced that the deadline for bids for two geographically-restricted triple-play concessions has been pushed back by two months. According to Reuters, the NTRA has said that bids for the licences will now be due by 15 March 2010, while it also revealed that 18 interested parties had purchased bid documents so far.

- Gabon’s newest mobile operator USAN Gabon, which operates under the Azur brand, resumed offering services to the public on 8 December following a three-week suspension ordered by the Ministry of Communications in order to comply with rules and regulations governing the country’s mobile sector.