Telecoms News - In Brief


- In Zimbabwe, Telecel, the second largest mobile operator by subscriber base says it has acquired frequencies to launch 3G.

- In Ghana, all subscribers of the various networks have up to July 1, 2011 to register their SIM cards. Those who fail to comply with the directive will have their mobile phone lines blocked. Speaking to Journalists at a press conference in Accra last week, Head of the regulator NCA Bernard Forson noted that the directive has an economic, social and security value which all users must take into consideration. "No matter the type of phone you are using, the real asset is the contacts you have. The contacts you lose represent your economic base which can seriously affect your business" he said

- MTN Nigeria, and its counterpart in communication business, Ericsson International, are partnering the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to provide mobile communication and internet facilities to Ikaram cluster of the Millennium Villages Projects of the world body.

- According to local news sources an unnamed French company is set to take over management of Ethiopian state-owned incumbent Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) having beaten off bids from South African and Indian competition. Having attracted the interest of a number of foreign companies on announcing that it was seeking a partner on a revenue-sharing basis, Capital Ethiopia claims that only three companies made it through to the final stage of the selection process; South Africa’s MTN, state-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and the unnamed French company.

­The U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) and the mobile telecommunications company Vodafone are piloting a project that will allow shopkeepers in Burkina Faso to manage food vouchers by text message. The World Food Program and The Vodafone Foundation, a division of the British mobile phone company, have started to bring technology to the food voucher program in place in Burkina Faso. The partnership will allow shopkeepers in two towns in Burkina Faso to manage food vouchers through text messaging, or SMS. Paul McCann is Vodafone's Program Delivery Manager in West Africa.