Telecoms News - In Brief


Thuraya Telecommunications has confirmed that its mobile satellite communication services have been subjected to intentional interference from within Libya over the past week. The interference has affected both data and voice communications over Libya and some surrounding areas.

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), has, for the second time, ordered Rwandatel to meet its obligations or risk losing its operational license.  In a parallel news, the regulator that plans to award a fourth mobile licence have been put on hold until subscriber growth and market share distribution stabilize.

In Kenya, a text message-based lottery, which was banned, is set to make a return after the High Court allowed it to continue operating. Interactive Gaming Limited, which operated the Shinda Smart 6969 lottery, was Thursday allowed to operate the game after High Court Judge Daniel Musinga rejected a response filed by the Attorney-General.

­The emergency telecoms charity, Telecoms Sans Frontiers (TSF) says that it has deployed a team of workers on the border between Tunisia and Libya, at the Ras Jedir border post and in the transit camp of Choucha. Since February 25th TSF has been conducting humanitarian calling operations at the entrance to the transit camp in collaboration with the Tunisian Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In South Africa, ICASA Chairman Stephen Mncube has said in a statement that a new 10-year plan for managing spectrum will examine the allocation of the digital dividend spectrum when it comes available in a few years time.

According to unconfirmed reports in Ghana Business News, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has awarded a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licence to GoldKey Properties Limited. It is understood the telecoms start-up paid USD5.5 million for the rights to use frequencies in the 2500MHz-2690MHz band for the next ten years. The BWA licences are intended to provide wireless broadband connectivity in Ghana and are technology neutral.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is seeking action against Mobinil, Etisalat, Vodafone, LINKdotNET and TE Data ‘for criminal liability in participation in harming and killing demonstrators by cutting off internet and telecommunication services in Egypt arbitrarily.’ The human rights group filed a complaint to Egypt’s prosecutor general last week demanding that the minister of communications, chairman of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority  and the CEO’s of the country’s wireless operators and ISPs, are put under investigation for the communications blackout between 28 January and 2 February. ANHRI says that many people lost their lives as a result.