Telecoms News - In Brief


- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced it will begin to implement number portability within GSM networks in May, allowing subscribers to move freely from one network to another, whilst still retaining their original number. The commission has also fixed January 2010 as the deadline for SIM card registration by all GSM service providers.

- Last summer, Vodafone spent US$900 million to acquire a 70 per cent stake in the west African state-controlled fixed line and mobile operator Ghana Telecom. Now more than 20 per cent of the workforce at the carrier is to be cut with 850 out of 4,000 people being made redundant in what is, initially at least, a voluntary programme, in an effort to slim down the bloated staffing numbers to a level commensurate with a modern telco.

- Uganda’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Aggrey Awori, has said that the phone tapping Bill was necessary to protect the citizens and the State.

- After long period of discussions over licensing standardization with existing GSM service providers in Liberia, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority has finally completed agreement with MTN-owned LoneStar Communication Company (LoneStar Cell), leading to the company committing to send US$5 million to the Government.

- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published the long awaited license fee regulations. The main purpose of the license fee regulations is to prescribe the administration fees associated with applying for or registering a license, and the annual license fees payable by licensed telecoms providers.