Telecoms News - In Brief


- The inhabitants of the Southern Red Sea region in Eritrea will get access to mobile phone services by the next month, according to Tesfaslasie Berhane, manager of Eritrean incumbent Eri-Tel. 16 towers have been installed along the area from around Gelalo to Assab.

- Sudanese Internet firm M-Marsat Mobile has announced plans to launch mobile phone and Internet services in the southern Lakes State (Al Buhayrat). According to local paper The Sudan Tribune, infrastructure is in deployment and service testing has begun. Minister Adak further said that the mobile telephone network MTN is also constructing its tower in Rumbek.

- Barclays Bank will soon launch a mobile banking service, through which Ugandans in rural areas will be able to open up accounts without going to the bank premises. Mr William Ssekabembe, the bank's regional manager for eastern, said the new service will see bank staff going over to meet rural people intending to open up accounts and not the other way round.

- Egyptian telecommunications mogul Naguib Sawiris is under investigation for alleged corruption in a probe over the 2005 acquisition of Italian mobile phone operator Wind SpA, Italy's financial police said Thursday. Sawiris, who is also chairman of Orascom Telecom Holding, the Middle East's largest telecommunications operator by market capitalization, is the lead investor in the consortium, which bought control of Wind in 2005 for euro4.8 billion.