Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Turkish cellco Turkcell has submitted a bid for a combined fixed line and 2G/3G mobile licence in Tunisia, in partnership with a number of local companies.

- The sale of Nitel and its mobile arm, M-tel, will be concluded by September, Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Christopher Anyanwu, has said. Group Managing Director of Transcorp, Mr. Nick Okoro, assured prospective investors that the board and management of Transcorp would give maximum support to ensure quick and successful conclusion of the transaction.

- Zimbabwe’s government has given the telecommunications sector until June to improve service delivery in line with its economic recovery programme targets spelt under Short Term Emergency recovery Porgramme.

- Emirates Telecommunications is to bid for a stake in Morocco's Meditel as it looks to expand in the Middle East and Africa, reports The Financial Times. Emirates Telecom (Etisalat) will also continue to pursue the telecom licence in Iran it was stripped of last week.

- The government of Rwanda, under the Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme - Rwanda (RCIPRWA), has received a $24 million grant from the World Bank to establish Rwanda's national capacity to provide broadband connectivity and access to low-cost international connectivity. This project, which will also facilitate the country's connection to global networks through the undersea fibre optic cables, will primarily be implemented and managed by Rwanda Development Board in Charge of ICT.

- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has replaced one of the three winners of its just concluded licensing of 20MHz in the 2.3 GHz frequency band, Galaxy Wireless, for Multilinks Telkom. Galaxy Wireless was one of the companies that was said to have scaled through, but the NCC said the firm was dropped because it did not meet the conditions for the offer of licence by not paying the full fixed price of N1, 368,000,000 for the slot.

- Minister of Post and Information and Communication Technologies Hamid Bessalah indicated Monday in Algiers that amendment on telecommunications bill is under elaboration, adding that it will be submitted to the government before next fall. "Currently we have established think tanks, assigned to elaborate a bill on the Information Society as well as the amendment on bill on telecommunications.

- Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) says it will spend more than US$1.7 billion dollars expanding its networks in Nigeria and Uganda this year. The planned investment in Nigeria and Uganda will help improve service quality. In Uganda, the company will spend $135 million on capacity, quality and systems improvement.

- As mobile service provider Zain moves to reduce headcount in Africa and the Middle East, the Zambian government has forced the company to cut down the number of workers to be laid off. Zambian Minister of Labor and Social Security Austin Liato said the company has agreed to cut down its workforce in Zambia by only 58 positions, from almost 100 earlier announced by the company's CEO.

- Zimbabwe's political leaders have endorsed the move by Mugabe to transfer a widely condemned piece of legislation to spy on Zimbabweans' to his party from the opposition, deputy prime minister, Arthur Mutambara said.