Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- The decision to suspend non-identified phone chips, to be implemented from May 1st, will concern more than five million subscribers, of all phone operators, Watanya Telecom Algerie (WTA) General Manager Joseph Jed announced in Algiers. Jed underlined that its mobile phone company, Nedjma, had not the required resources to satisfy its subscribers in this respect, as Nedjma's points of sale and distributors received about 10,000 subscribers, every day, seeking to regularise their situation

- Orange Cameroun has launched its Livebox gateway for WiMAX internet access, reports Telecompaper. Monthly charges range from XAF35,000 to XAF100,000 (USD86 to USD245) for consumers, and XAF200,000 to XAF1.2 million for businesses, depending on the speed. Installation is free, though users will have to shell out XAF200,000 for a modem and a further XAF50,000 for the Livebox device. Download speeds of up to 512kbps are available.

- ICT industry stakeholders have given the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) the green light to implement a unified technology neutral licensing framework as from 1 July 2008. The new licensing framework will allow the provision of multiple services under a single licence.

- A one-year pilot skills programme in telecommunications, which was initiated in February 2007 by Neotel with the collaboration of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA), has now culminated to a full-time training academy where 27 students will be studying towards a three-year advanced diploma in telecommunications.

- The Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) last week gave approval to more telecom operators, including Globacom, Multilinks and 21st Century Technology permission to commence cutting and digging of roads in Lagos for the purpose of laying fibre optic cables. Similarly, approval was also given for the cutting and digging of some locations in Lagos for the usage of telecom duct.

- i2, a mobile phones and IT products provider based in the Middle East and Africa, has opened corporate regional headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

- According to online Ghanaian news portal myjoyonline.com, the National Communications Authority (NCA) is set to announce a sixth mobile phone operator as part of its policy of ‘assuring vibrant competition, accelerated attainment of universal access, market order and diversity of product as well as service offerings at competitive and affordable prices’. Eleven companies – Afritel Communications, Awesomedia, BenchMac PR & Business Consult, Express Mobile Communications, Faith Telecom, Global Trade Imex, Glo Mobile Ghana, TechnoEdge Ghana, Teylium Telecom International, TransAtlantic Industries and Warid Telecom International – have been shortlisted to participate in the beauty contest selection process. The NCA hopes to announce the winner by mid-June.

- Algeria’s news agency APS reported that the Algerian government is now ready to launch a tender for 3G licences. Telecoms minister, Boudjema Haichour, said that the prime minister is expected to give his approval during next week's cabinet meeting