Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- In Uganda, Communication technology minister, Ham Mulira, reported to the Parliament that South Sudan will stop using Uganda's telephone code in October.

- To avoid identity theft and ensure transparent process, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that the SIM card registration that would commence soon will include a system that would capture the biometrics of individual subscribers.

- South Africa’s Department of Communications says it plans to award DVB-H mobile TV licences early next year. Pay-TV operator Multichoice has confirmed that it is interested in acquiring a DVB-H permit, while the country’s largest cellular operator in terms of subscribers, Vodacom, says it will wait to see the full auction rules before deciding whether or not to bid.

- Econet Wireless Kenya has been given a two-month extension to its rollout deadline after petitioning the government for more time to deploy its networks. It will soon be joined by Telkom Kenya’s own mobile offer planned to be launched before the end of this year.

- Tanzania’s Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Professor Peter Msolla, told parliament last Friday that the government intends to launch a new rural communications fund, designed to encourage telcos to invest in underserved rural areas.

- Telkom Kenya has angered unions over plans to lay off more workers, Business Daily reports. The firm, which last week relaunched its operations under the Orange name to reflect majority owner France Telecom’s international brand, says it will reduce its workforce by between 300 and 500 in the coming months.

- Nokia is customising a range of handsets, including some 3G models for the Ethiopian market by adding Ethiopic text capabilities to their phones. BravoCom, the local distributor for Nokia has ordered the handsets following a surge in sales of PrePay SIMS by the monopoly phone operator, Ethiopia Telecommunication Corporation (ETC).