Telecoms News - In Brief


-Telcos found guilty of tampering with their rivals' infrastructure will now be liable to a fine of KES10 million (USD119,000), life imprisonment and a revocation of their licence. It is believed that Safaricom and Telkom Kenya pressurized the government into altering the existing law that applies maximum penalties of KES100,000 or three years imprisonment, in the wake of renewed hostilities against their cables. Telkom Kenya said that it lost around KES2 billion between 2006 and 2009 to corporate sabotage.

- Visafone Communications has launched its international roaming services in over 200 countries and more than 400 networks worldwide. This gives both prepaid and postpaid customers an opportunity to enjoy seamless access to international roaming.
Visafone as the first CDMA network in Africa to have launched this service by offering customers the platform to make calls to all networks while abroad.This empowers them to have unhindered access to Voice and SMS across the world.
Visafone is also offering customers 128k dual mode Open Market Handset (OMH) SIM cards (VISAFONE+GSM) that works with its network.

-VNL of India, which makes telecom equipment to help mobile operators reach rural markets profitably, is reportedly looking for partners in Ghana to deploy cost-effective, solar-powered GSM mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity platforms in the country. Ghana Business News says VNL hopes to help local telecoms operators develop networks to provide sustainable and profitable services to rural communities across the West African country.

- From Monday next week, Zain Kenya will be no more -- it will rebrand to Airtel to reflect its new owners, India's Bharti Airtel.And so will Zain's operations in 15 other African countries.This will be the most expensive rebranding exercise considering that in 2004, Sh2.4 billion ($30 million) was spent to rebrand from Kencell to Celtel and four years later, in 2008, Sh3.2 billion ($40 million) was spent to rebrand from Celtel to Zain.

- Sierra Leone's telecommunications regulator will team up with the country's intelligence service and security sector to introduce a new security strategy, the harmonized emergency toll free number, proposed to be 112, by end of the year.