Telecoms News - In Brief


- Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communication Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo has made the first video call over the mobile network of Intergroup Telecom to President Koroma. Local newspaper Awoko Times reports that Intergroup Telecom, which intends to operate under the Smart Mobile banner, holds a concession to operate GSM-900/1800, 3G and WiMAX networks.

- The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is waging a war against South Africa's two largest cellular companies in a bid to force the telecoms sector to stop using labour brokers, and hire staff on a permanent basis. The CWU, which is affiliated to SA's largest trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), is threatening a nationwide strike against MTN and Vodacom, because they use temporary staff in their call centres.

- Intelsat's New Dawn satellite was successfully launched on 22 April, after an aborted attempt last month. The fixed satellite services company says the Arianespace launcher, Ariane5, lifted off from French Guiana at 5:37pm (EDT), followed by spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle at 6:12pm. Signal acquisition occurred at 6:29pm. Intelsat New Dawn is the first of eight satellites scheduled for launch over the next two years and is part of the largest satellite program in Intelsat's history, according to the company.