Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- The ICT sector can look forward to new developments as South Africa hopes to be nominated onto the council of the world's top policy-making body for the telecoms industry. Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda is in Guadalajara, Mexico, to attend the industry's most significant conference, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 18th Plenipotentiary Conference. South Africa is aiming for a nomination onto the ITU Council. The body is tasked with setting the ICT industry policy worldwide. Uganda is also aiming for a council seat in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the African region.

­ The total value of mobile money transfers in Africa will exceed US$200 billion in 2015, almost 8 percent of Africa's nominal GDP due to users' growing trust in the system and a wider range of services, according to a new report from Pyramid Research. Operators, as shown in this report, can enjoy a number of different benefits, including a new revenue stream, customer retention and acquisition, and cost savings. Of the 65 live networks in the 14 countries analyzed in the report, Pyramid expects that 42 - almost two-thirds - will have launched a mobile money service by 2013. By 2015, Pyramid forecasts that more than 1 in 5 people in Africa will be registered to use mobile money services.

- The South African company Vodacom, the smaller of the two mobile phone operators in Mozambique, has urged the government to extend the period for registering all pre-paid sim cards from two months to a year or 18 months. In an interview published in Wednesday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais", the managing director of Vodacom-Mozambique, Jose dos Santos, warns that it is impossible to register all of Vodacom's clients (about 2.7 million) by the government's deadline.

- Smart phones are being introduced to help assess food needs in Burundi and other African states, speeding up data-collection and improving accuracy. Each phone costs about US$200. With two devices in each of the 15 provinces, the cost of the initiative is about $6,000, excluding the cost of training personnel.

- Kenya’s Safaricom is set to launch technical trials of its 4G network this month, reports IT News Africa. CEO Michael Joseph said that Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile network by subscribers, plans to use the analogue frequencies left idle by the planned transition to digital television in 2015 for a long term evolution (LTE) platform.

- Telkom South Africa is poised to unveil its new mobile network on 14 October, becoming the country’s fourth cellular operator in the process. A teaser campaign with the new name of the company (Heita) is currently running.