Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Warid Telecom looks set to get a licence in Cote d’Ivoire, bring the total number of operators to seven.

- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has called for written submissions for its carrier pre-selection draft regulations. Submissions are to be handed in by 9 January 2009, with oral hearings expected to take place on 21 and 22 January. The regulations proposed by ICASA follow the form of pre-selection that requires callers dial a code to select the carrier before placing their call, as opposed to the alternative form which allows consumers to select a carrier during the call.

- Angola Telecom plans to complete the digitisation of its fixed line network over the next few years as part of a wider plan to modernise its services, Angola’s incumbent telco would expand its fixed communications network and install a wireless access telephony system and fibre-optic cables. The restructuring work was underway in most of the country’s 18 provinces, as was the integration of a new workforce, whilst a plan had been initiated to link the province of Malanje to the rest of the national network via optical fibre; a first phase of the project connecting the area to Luanda is currently in a test phase.

- The 63rd Session of the Governing Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has elected Ghana from the Africa Region as Vice Chair by consensus in Geneva Switzerland.The Chairmanship went to Bulgaria from Eastern European Region.

- Orange has announced the commercial launch of ‘Orange Money’ in Ivory Coast in alliance with BNP Paribas. This is the Orange group’s first mobile-based payment and money transfer service in Western Africa. Orange customers do not need a bank account to subscriber to the service which is activated free of charge and without any minimum deposit. Customers will be able to deposit and withdraw money from the Orange Money account, transfer money from one person to another, purchase call credit 24 hours a day and pay bills. BNP Paribas’ Ivory Coast subsidiary BICICI is in charge of issuing and guaranteeing the electronic money.