Telecoms News - In Brief


*Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has been called upon to investigate a number of so-called ‘text and win’ promotions being run by Ghanaian telecoms operators amid concerns they may contravene the country’s gaming laws. Ghana Business News says the probe is being forced by Minister of Communications Haruna Iddrisu who has asked the NCA to identify if telecom operators’ practices are consistent with existing rules and regulations. If not, those found to be in breach will be dealt with accordingly. It is understood that MTN and Tigo, in particular, have run campaigns that require customers to text at premium rates in order to stand a chance of winning. However, out of the millions of subscribers who participated in these so-called ‘customer loyalty rewards promotions’ only a few have actually won any prizes. The country’s Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) for one is very concerned at the promotions, describing MTN’s especially as 'a rip off'.

*Cote d'Ivoire telecoms regulator L'Agence des Telecommunications de Cote d'Ivoire (ATCI) has reportedly suspended text messages between 5pm on Sunday 31 October and Tuesday 2 November, in a bid to avoid the risk of coordinated rioting during the West African country’s first presidential election since 2000.

* South Africa’s Department of Justice has yielded to requests from the mobile operators to extend the deadline by when consumers have to register their Sim cards. The new deadline is 30 June 2011.

*Windhoek — The debate on whether or not Windhoek suburbs face the danger of exposure to radiation from cellular phone base station towers has come to an end.
A recent study found no risk of exposure to radiation on any of MTC's base stations around Windhoek. In fact, the study found the level of radiation to be 100,000 times less than the international minimum security levels considered risky.