Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Kenya's third mobile operator, Econet Wireless Kenya is preparing to make its test run later this month as it seeks to beat the November deadline to launch its service.

- The South African telecoms regulator has begun issuing new licences that will permit operators to build their own networks, just a week after a court victory clarified the law and opened the sector up to hugely increased competition.

- The Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), has issued an order equalizing frequency allocations for all GSM operators in Liberia. The decision is aimed at levelling the playing field for all telecommunications service providers operating in the telecom sectors. The details of the re- allocation of the frequencies involved will be subsequently made available to the service providers concerned and published for the benefit of the public.

- A group of African telcos have signed an agreement to cooperate on the deployment of a USD400 million undersea cable along the western coast of Africa. Participants in the deal include South African operators such as Telkom, Vodacom, MTN and Neotel. The new cable, which has still to be named, would be used alongside existing international links such as SAT-3 to boost international connectivity for countries along Africa's west coast.

- Egypt's telecom regulator the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has announced that the auction for the country’s second fixed line licence will once again be postponed, Reuters is reporting. The decision is understood to have been made following the NTRA’s concerns about the current state of the global economy, and it was also reported that the regulator consulted with those companies that had expressed interest in bidding for the licence before making the decision.

- Nokia South Africa hopes to spread its cellphone “take-back” initiative into other Sub-Saharan countries. The company has over 30 mobile phone recycling points in its outlets around the country and plans to open more on the continent.