Telecoms News - In Brief


- South Africa's MTN has started deploying a trial LTE network comprising of 100 base stations. MTN's Managing Director, Karel Pienaar told Engineering News Online that it would be some time though before a commercial LTE service was launched for customers. The trial comes on top of current plans to expand the fibre backhaul network to a further 2,000 base stations to cope with rising demand for mobile data services.

- Malawi’s High Court in Zomba has ruled against the revocation of Global Advanced Integrated Networks (GAIN’s) mobile licence, local newspaper Daily Times report.

- The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) plans to introduce SIM card registration in order to curb crime committed using mobile phones, The New Times reports. Regis Gatarayiha, director general of RURA, said the Ministry of ICT is currently working on a policy governing the issue of SIM registration; after this policy has been approved by the cabinet the process will be implemented within six months.

- In Uganda, the High Court has summoned Airtel to respond to allegations that it insulted Catholics by putting up a billboard with words, "Airtel Clearer than the Rubaga Bell". The summons dated May 24, demanded the telecom company to respond within 15 days. The billboard had been placed on Rubaga Road near Rubaga Cathedral but Airtel pulled it down on February 10 after the complainant's lawyers petitioned the Uganda Communications Commission.

- The Federal Ministry of Education's plan to introduce e-learning in schools in Nigeria would cost N5.4billion as was disclosed on Monday by Chairman of the implementation committee Professor Godswill Obioma. Prof Obioma said the current ministry's budget did not capture the programme but a supplementary budget has been forwarded to the National Assembly for approval.

- A fourth mobile concession in Egypt appears less likely following reports that the government may hold off on licensing a new player in the wake of the country’s political upheaval. According to Bloomberg, Egyptian Communications Minister Magued Osman noted: ‘There are a lot of changes in Egypt now and we are not sure whether launching a new licence at this moment is the right decision from the economic point of view.”