Telecoms News - In Brief


- Algerian telecoms regulator Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms (ARPT) has officially invited bids for the country’s first batch of 3G mobile licences. Operators have until 30 September 2011 to register their interest, with the winning bids set to be announced on 23 October. The telecoms watchdog has stated that the 3G licences will be valid for commercial use from the first quarter of 2012. Algeria is currently home to three mobile operators – Orascom Telecom Algeria (Djezzy), Algerie Telecom Mobile (Mobilis) and Wataniya Telecom Algeria (Nedjma. Local press reports have suggested that the licences will be priced at DZD3 billion (USD41 million) apiece.

- Djibouti Telecom has announced that it will partner with Ericsson to develop and introduce the country’s first 3G network. The new agreement will enable the company to push forward on plans to boost current 2G networks in the country along with the new 3G capabilities.

- According to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, is in the midst of formalising an approach to enter the Libyan wireless market, following the recent political shift in the country.

­ A quantity of counterfeit Samsung products were seized earlier this month in an inspection conducted by Tanzania's Fair Competition Commission (FCC) in collaboration with local Samsung representatives. The retailers will be obliged to pay fines and costs for the destruction of the fake goods.

- Salaries for Telecom Namibia (TN) and Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH) employees in the bargaining unit were increased by 9.5 percent and 10 percent respectively after negotiations with the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu).

- With less than eight days to the end of the SIM card registration exercise directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the commission has said that it has no plans to extend the exercise. It would be recalled that the telecommunications regulatory body had stipulated that there should be a registration exercise of all SIM cards, both new and existing ones, from March 28 to September 28, 2011.

- According to Reuters, Cote d’Ivoire is poised to award its first 3G mobile licences by the end of the year. Communications minister Bruno Kone confirmed the development on Tuesday, without providing any further details regarding regulator L’Agence des Telecommunications de Cote d’Ivoire’s (ATCI) plans.

- According to the Times of Zambia, a local newspaper, Airtel Zambia is close to having installed more than 1,000 GSM cell sites across the country, connecting some 1,000 isolated and unserved areas, and serving more than four million subscribers.