Internet News - In Brief


- State-owned Algerie Telecom has halved its price for Internet access, taking the price of a home subscription for a 128kbps connection down to DZD590 (USD8.60) a month. Lotfi Nezzar, owner of rival Smart Link Communications, has appealed to the Regulation Authority of Post & Telecommunications (ARPT), to stop the implementation of the new pricing policy. Nezzar said, ‘The Algerie Telecom decision is, in a way, a return to the monopoly era’, as alternative operators cannot compete at the same pricing levels and will be pushed out of business’.

- Woolworths Financial Services has launched a podcast designed to help customers manage their money better, making it one of the first South African brands to explore the benefits of new media in this way.

- For the first time, students at the University of Venda (Univen) in South Africa will be able to surf the Internet. Petroleum company, PetroSA, an oil and gas parastatal that falls under the national Department of Minerals and Energy, has provided the university with a computer laboratory and media centre worth R500,000.

- South African wireless ISP Wireless Broadband Solutions (WBS), which trades as iBurst, has launched its first commercial WiMAX-based services. The 802.16e network has been deployed using equipment from two vendors, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, and has been supported by WBS shareholder Vodacom. 120 base stations have been deployed in Gauteng, Western Cape (Cape Town) and KwaZulu-Natal.

- An agreement on the second stage of an Intranet network connecting 433 new health centres was signed between Health, Population and Hospital Reform Ministry and Algerie Telecom.

- National airline Air Namibia this week officially launched its Internet booking and ticketing service.