In Brief

Telecoms

- MTN Uganda last week officially launched its 3G+ technology platform, which is expected to spur business operations. Speaking at the launch of the modem in Kampala, Mr Themba Khumalo, the MTN Uganda CEO, said the 3G+ modem is aimed at enhancing both SMEs and large business operations. He said: "Mobile phone operations gave us a platform to do business in a way that we never expected, therefore with the 3G+ revolution, both SMEs and large scale businesses will be transformed."

- Ghana’s Business Day newspaper quotes the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hanna S Tetteh, as saying that Ghanaian start-up Glo Mobile Ghana is ‘free to do business in Ghana’, hopefully ending long running speculation on its Nigerian parent, Globacom’s, future in the country. The minister said that all obstacles to the telco’s operation in Ghana have now been removed. ‘To the best of my knowledge from the communications authorities, there were two issues with regards to Glo. The frequency that they were assigned to was not available because it was being partially used by the national security apparatus. But that frequency has been available to them since January, and so at the moment if they want to start their business it is possible for them to do so,’ she said. Tetteh also went on to clarify the issue of Glo’s problems in securing permits to erect telecoms towers. ‘There was no ban on Glo,’ she said. ‘As at last year, we put a ban on the erection of new telephone masts. We did this because of the quality of the infrastructure and the hazardous way they were being put up in all sorts of locations.’ As such the minister claims the ban was on the industry as a whole and not designed to single out the would-be newcomer.

- The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) has concluded preliminary discussions with three leading GSM operators in Liberia on the quality of services provided by service providers. The companies that participated in the discussions include Lonestar, Cellcom and Comium.Speaking to representatives of the GSM operators, Commissioner Lamini A. Waritay, who has oversight responsibility for Public, Consumer and Legal Affairs, reminded service providers that the LTA has a statutory responsibility to protect the interest of consumers against deceptive business practices.