Telecoms – In Brief

Telecoms

- Fears have emerged regarding the future of Aircom (Cafe Mobile), the Cote d’Ivoire’s sixth mobile operator, with Ivorian telecoms watchdog L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications/TIC de Cote d’Ivoire (ARTCI) omitting the company from its most recent quarterly statistical overview, which covers the three month period ended 31 March 2014. The cellco, which launched in April 2012 – almost twelve years after receiving its original operating concession – had got just 17,865 subscribers by 31 December 2013, equivalent to a meagre 0.1% market share, and its lack of progress had prompted widespread speculation in recent months over the viability of its on-going operation.

- Guinea’s telecoms minister Oye Guilavogui has announced that defunct state-owned full-service telecoms operator Societe des Telecoms de Guinee (Sotelgui) is set to resume its operations by the end of this month. Domestic news source Africaguinee quotes the minister as saying: ‘We expect to launch the first call over Sotelgui’s [network] by the end of August. There is no doubt Sotelgui will start very soon.’ The government representative also disclosed that the ‘modernisation and expansion’ of Sotelgui’s infrastructure is still ongoing; in January 2013 the operator secured a USD350 million loan from the Chinese government for the construction of a 4,000km national fibre-optic backbone, with Huawei Technologies subsequently awarded the USD238 million rollout contract.