Telecoms News - In Brief


- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a directive restraining telecommunication operators from sending alert messages to subscribers on account of the status of their SIM card registration. NCC spokesman Reuben Muoka, said some operators were found to be sending text messages to those whose SIM cards were already registered, while others were reported to have issued a code to check the status of their subscribers' registration unnecessarily.

- has launched a brand new iPhone application. The new app enables browsers to search and find thousands of properties that are both for sale and rent from estate agents, private sellers and landlords nationwide. The redesigned apps focus on simplicity while giving the browser greater exposure to South African properties.

- The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers, NATCOMS, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and stakeholders in the telecommunication sector not to sell Nigeria's first National carrier, NITEL-MTEL, to Globacom's Dr Mike Adenuga as doing so would mean granting him too many favours to the detriment of other operators.

- Telkom's Orange network has launched its 3G network in Kenya.

- BT South Africa has announced that it has opened an international network traffic routing facility in Melkbosstrand, the landing point of the SAT-3 submarine cable in South Africa. The move is expected to strengthen BT’s position as a provider of networked IT services to multinational companies, both in South Africa and internationally.

- Algerian telecoms minister Moussa Benhamadi has confirmed that the tender specifications for the country’s long-awaited 3G spectrum auction will be made available by mid-September, putting an end to years of procrastination. Benhamadi added that the tender itself would be likely held in early 2012, and be open to the country’s three mobile operators – Orascom Telecom Algeria (Djezzy), Algerie Telecom Mobile (Mobilis) and Wataniya Telecom Algeria (Nedjma). Local press reports have indicated that the licences will be priced at DZD3 billion (USD41 million) apiece. Nedjma is the first mobile operator to declare its interest in the spectrum auction, with CEO Joseph Ged asserting that the company is ‘committed to increasing our investments to fulfil all the licence obligations as would be set and decided by the Algerian government’.

- According to TechCentral, Naspers could  become South Africa’s newest telecommunications operator.  It is looking increasingly likely that the Cape Town-based media giant will commit the billions of rand necessary to do just that. Its Internet service provider subsidiary, MWeb, is eager to get access to radio frequency spectrum that will allow it to build a national wireless broadband network. It wants to use next-generation mobile technology called long-term evolution (LTE) to build the network. And it’s even talking about the possibility of extending its uncapped fixed-line products to the mobile sphere.

- The UAE-based mobile network operator is to follow the July launch of commercial NFC services in Tanzania with launches in four more countries by the end of this year. Etisalat subsidiary Zantel launched the first Touch and Go service in Tanzania in July. The service builds on Zantel's existing mobile financial service zPesa.