Telecoms News - In Brief


- Zain Group has announced that it has rebranded its entire African operations from Celtel to Zain. The move coincides with the linking of the world’s first borderless mobile service ‘One Network’ across two continents. 14 country operations across Africa will immediately rebrand to Zain. The Zain Group acquired an 85% stake Celtel International and its 14 African subsidiaries in May 2005 in a USD2.84 billion deal; by May 2007 it had increased its interest to 100%.

- In South Africa, industry regulator ICASA has issued Telkom Media with a pay-TV licence. The licence means that the Telkom Media may now operate a commercial subscription TV broadcasting service. Stated Mandla Ngcobo, CEO of Telkom Media, "Our business plan consists of a dual platform, multi-technology service that exploits the full range of convergent technologies, including IP, and will offer consumers a competitively priced spectrum of entertainment and interactive services through a single service provider."

- The Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has called on the government to issue more 3G licences, reports local newspaper The Punch. The president of NCS, Professor Charles Uwadia, said yesterday that '3G mobile communications services provide a window of opportunities for job creation in Nigeria. Nigeria has issued 3G concessions to Glo Mobile, MTN Nigeria, Zain and Alheri Engineering, a firm owned by the Dangote Group. However, only Glo and MTN have rolled out next generation services. Nigeria’s newest mobile operator, Etisalat, has applied for a 3G licence, saying that it was central to its plans for the Nigerian market in the future.

- Orange Senegal is testing its 3G+ network (using HSDPA) in the capital city Dakar. Following successful completion of the test phase, the mobile operator will decide to extend or not the technology to the rest of its network.