Telecoms News - In Brief


- Mohamed Benhamou, Head of the transports, communications and telecommunications commission at the Algerian Parliament said that a new bill on ICT will soon be submitted to provide for a more opening of the communication market to private investment but under specified conditions, while making it possible for the public sector to support its service networks in various areas.

- Namibia’s mobile operators have established a co-operation agreement to blacklist all phones that are reported as stolen. The agreement between Cell One and MTC is aimed at ensuring that mobile operators share information about stolen handsets and prevent them from being used on the various networks.

- The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has issued five licenses to different companies to enable them offer information and communications technology (ICT) solutions in the country. The companies are Midas Services (banking services and point of sales services), 2-mobile (multimedia services and VoIP), E-Life (short messages for examination results), Zanzibar Datacom (Internet services) and E-click (video conferencing and VoIP).

- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows Internet users to make phone calls to each other at no cost, is finally taking off among South African businesses, four years after it became legal to use it outside company networks. This is the key finding of the VoIP in South Africa 2008 study, released earlier this week by World Wide Worx. At the end of 2007, half of all corporations were making use of VoIP, and that usage level is expected to rise to 64% in 2008. The use of VoIP among SMEs for business purposes rose from 9% in 2006 to 18% in 2007, after rising from 2% in 2004 (before legalisation) to 4% in 2005.

- Kenya's new government is considering a new law to require all mobile phone subscribers to register their identities with the network operators. The move, proposed in a private members bill by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo is reported to be in response to threats sent by SMS during the recent post-election violence in the country.

- In Guinea (Conakry), the 5th mobile operator has launched its commercial operations this week. Cellcom Guinea’s MD Abraham Avi Zaïdenberg said that the company has already invested $100 million in this first phase. Cellcom already operates networks in Angola and Liberia and plans to launch soon in Sierra Leone.

- Nigeria Communications Comission (NCC) has assured that it will not revoke license of any GSM operator for any offence. Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Mr Ernest Ndukwe gave the assurance yesterday in Cairo, Egypt while speaking with correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the 2008 International Telecoms Union (ITU) conference." Invalidating somebody's license is like committing murder. I think the first person to complain will be the subscribers," Ndukwe said.