Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has given mobile operators the go-ahead to offer additional services based on 3G and VoIP technology under their current licences, reports local news source Business Chronicle.

­Zambian state owned telco, Zamtel is to be partially privatised within the next few months in an effort to stave off a financial collapse. The company has been loss-making for many years and has a large unionised workforce, which recently held a lengthy strike over wages and conditions.

- Egyptian government has requested that the Apple company turn off the Global Positioning System in its IPhone 3G. The government says that in Egypt, GPS is the military's "prerogative." Apple "apparently complied", the Times reported, raising questions about what the company is willing to change in its technology in order to gain access into the markets of countries with poor human rights records.

- Uganda's parliament has approved a US$75 million loan for the second and third phases of the country's national data transmission backbone, ICT Minister Ham Mulira announced. In addition, a fourth phase has been added to the project in order to connect the war-torn region of Northern Uganda, which was not included in the original broadband infrastructure plans.

- Nokia has finalised a deal with Symbian deal and says 2010 is the target date

for releasing a full open source version of the operating system.

- Striking employees of Mtel, the mobile subsidiary of Nigerian incumbent Nitel appealed to Minister of Information and Communications John Ogar Odey last weekend, saying they will not rest until their October and November salaries and annual leave allowances are paid in full.