Telecoms News – In Brief


* Neotel today announced the launch of its NeoIntellect, a web-based communications management system hosted in Neotel’s data centre at the company’s Midrand campus. NeoIntellect is pre-integrated with multiple telephony service providers to enable organisations to reduce and more effectively manage their communications spend by tracking communications usage across the board.

* Shuttleworth Foundation Telecommucations Fellow Steve Song has put together hardware and basic software on a local VOIP service he calls "Mesh Potato" which basically combines a small Wireless mesh product built in China with Unix commands to allow local communities to run their own phone systems.
The first of its kind has been setup in Orange Farm, and a second is being built in downtown Johannesburg. He explained that the concept was to allow low cost communication to offset the problem Africans experience with their telecoms costs.
The system features a 400 meter throw which allows the users in a small community to remain connected, and to build low cost communication into a broader grid.
Funded by Shuttleworth, the project has seen interest from Ugandan and Kenyan investors.

*A new body has been set up to protect the interests of mobile phone users in Uganda. A report from AllAfrica says that the Mobile Telephone Watchdog will help guard consumers against bad practice by the country’s cellular operators. Uganda’s wireless sector was home to more than 4.4 million subscribers at the end of June 2010. MTN Uganda controls around 46% of the market, with Zain Uganda claiming around 19%, and Uganda Telecom and Warid Telecom accounting for approximately 16% each. The remaining 3% is split between Orange Uganda and I-Tel.