Telecoms News - In Brief


-Qcell, one of Gambia’s GSM operators opened a new Customer Care branch in Brikama, in the Kombo Central District of the West Coast Region.

-The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations on 31 March 2011 in the government gazette and on the ICASA website. The new spectrum licensing regime establishes the framework through which the regulator may allocate and assign radio frequency spectrum under the National Radio Frequency plan; and provides for circumstances in which the use or possession of radio apparatus does not require a radio frequency spectrum licence.Among others, the regulations set out the principles and procedures for frequency coordination where spectrum is assigned on a shared basis and dispute resolution mechanisms with regard to shared spectrum.

-Telkom and Neotel are poised to do battle over access to the former’s “last-mile” copper infrastructure. Neotel has filed a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) against its rival, asking the authority to give it access to Telkom’s local loop. In a submission to Icasa, dated 23 March, and which includes copies of full correspondence between the two operators, Neotel has set out the reasons it believes it should be given immediate access to its rival’s last-mile infrastructure of copper cables into businesses and residential homes. Neotel is hoping the move will help Icasa speed up local-loop unbundling — the local loop is one of the last vestiges of Telkom’s former monopoly. The outcome of Neotel’s complaint could mean the difference between local-loop unbundling taking place in 2011 and a lengthy, drawn-out process that could take years.

- MTN has extended its commercial partnership with CNN International this month. MTN's new cross-platform advertising campaign - built around the network's flagship Africa focused business programme 'CNN Marketplace Africa', launches this month. MTN's multimedia campaign around the 15-minute weekly programme enables the brand to communicate with CNN's audience of global investors, business decision makers and c-Suite executives through on-air advertising around the show, the exclusive sponsorship of Marketplace Africa Face Time vignettes and exclusive brand presence within the show's web section, click here to view.