Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- In Uganda, the parliamentary committee on information and communication technology wants telecommunication companies to share masts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "ICT infrastructure, especially telecom and broadcasting masts, have depleted the scenery and have become a nuisance since each base transceiver station runs on a diesel generator as a main or backup power supply," the committee said.

- All mobile phone service providers in Kenya will be required to install equipment to identify any fake phones hooked on to their network. This is one of the measures being taken by the Communications Commission to fight counterfeit mobile phones. CCK acting Director Francis Wangusi says they will also carry out consumer awareness campaigns to educate us on how to identify fake phones.

- One of the sources of bandwidth into Nigeria, SAT3 cable owned by Nitel has been disrupted due to a submarine cable cut in the high seas. Nitel’s press statement further said that the company has already deployed the cable repair ship for immediate service restoration.

- Airtel Kenya has outsourced its retail shops in the countryside as it moves to cut costs and boost efficiency in a move that has seen 50 employees lose jobs.

- Sierra Leone has been unanimously nominated by 20 Commonwealth African countries to host the 2012 Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Rural Connectivity Forum.

- Phone users on the Uganda Telecom and Airtel Uganda networks will not be able to either receive or make calls to each other starting next Monday, according to a public notice by Airtel. This follows the termination of the interconnect agreement between and the two telecommunications operators on August 15, over UTL'S failure to pay up to shs10 billion in outstanding fees and court fines to Airtel. The decision will affect at least 4.5 million phone users on both networks.

- Nigerian CDMA network operator Starcomms is working on two business models in order to enhance the value of investment of its existing shareholders, local newspaper This Day reports, citing a statement from Starcomms’ newly appointed chief executive officer Logan Pather. According to the executive, the company is looking to acquire more spectrum to facilitate a complete nationwide rollout of its network and to make it fully ready for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. To achieve a nationwide rollout, Pather said that Starcomms would require investment of around USD60 million.

- The Police in Accra have arrested a British citizen and his Ghanaian accomplice alleged to be involved in illegal termination of international calls. They were diverting inbound international telephone calls to make them appear as local calls, leading to a claimed loss of more than GH¢9.2 million to the State and telecommunication operators.