Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Kuwaiti investment firm Noor Financial Company has confirmed it will bid for Egypt's second fixed line licence. The auction is due to be held on 19 June; six other companies have already expressed interest, including France Telecom, Orascom Telecom, Egypt's Alkan, Giza Systems, Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat and Saudi Arabia's Atheeb group.

- Workers at Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) have gone on strike and cut off one of the country's primary international telecommunications gateways. The work stoppage is affecting international telephone and data traffic. The employees have blockaded the SAT-3 facility which is Nigeria's international telephony gateway in a dispute over wage arrears.

- Incumbent telco Botswana Telecoms Corporation (BTC) will be launching mobile services this month, according to its PR head James Molosankwe. ‘The launch is certainly going to be this month, even though I will not disclose the date but…it will take place,’ he explained.

- Global telecoms network supplier Ericsson has received a Sh9.3 billion GSM network order from Econet Wireless Kenya signalling that the long awaited coming into the market of a third mobile phone operator is about to materialise.

- Tata Communications, formerly VSNL, has announced the expansion of its Global VPN service to Egypt through a partnership agreement with Telecom Egypt’s TE Data arm.

- In Uganda, residents of Kyambogo, Upper Kololo and Mbuya have complained over the increased number of telecommunication masts put up by Warid Telecom in residential areas.

- Moshi’s local authorities in Tanzania are looking at charging fines of up to Tsh. 50 million against the 3 mobile operators Vodacom, Celtel and Tigo in attempt to stop them splashing its town’s buildings with their ads. Citing a number of affected buildings, the authorities pointed out that, Vodacom has been 'generously' splashing town structures with deep-blue paint right from their foundations to the roofs while its competitor Celtel has chosen warm red for the mission while Tigo has been applying both Red and Blue and sometimes throwing in a splash of yellow for maximum effect.

- The date set for the identification of anonymous SIM cards holders in Algeria would be deferred "if necessary," asserted Post and Information and Communication Technologies Minister Boudjemaâ Haïchour. The main thing is to identify all the anonymous SIM cards," indicated Haïchour."

- Nigeria’s federal government has pledged to assist the telecommunication service providers by providing them with subsidies and other incentives to enable them expand their services across the country. Minister of State for Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Nakande made the pledge in Abuja, while speaking at the quality of service forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).