Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- In Uganda, the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has required that Warid Telecommunications carries out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for each of its masts being set up across the country. The request follows an earlier incident in November when Nema stopped the building of mast by Warid on the basis that the telco didn’t have an EIA for the building of this mast.

- The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) said in a statement that the Government's decision to abolish VAT on mobile phone imports and instead impose tax on mobile phone airtime is “unwelcome”. It said the initiative would be to the detriment of students who were mostly non-income earners.

- Justin Morel, the Ministry of Communication in Guinea has warned the four telcos operating in the country (Sotelgui, Areeba, Intercel and Orange) that failure to reach an interconnection agreements between them in the next 48 hours will results in financial sanctions. Disagreements on interconnections prices has resulted in a none-sense situation where Guineans are not able to call somebody on other network.

- In an attempt to seek redress for various alleged acts of unfair trade practices and breach of agreements, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Distributors of Nigeria (ALTDON) is instituting N10 billion suit against the management of Celtel Nigeria. The dispute follows the decrease of the distributors commission by Celtel. The mobile operator argues that the growing subscriber base, now 10 million would provide more volume sales and profit.

- Wataniya, Qatar Telecom's national mobile telecommunications unit, plans to keep its 50% stake in a Tunisian mobile phone venture after winning an arbitration case against Orascom Telecom Holding, reported Bloomberg. An international tribunal found that 'although Wataniya did not respect the right to propose the appointment of Tunisiana's board chairman, this breach itself was not enough to require Wataniya to transfer its 50% shareholding to Orascom.

- Gabon Telecom has introduced a voluntary redundancy scheme in an attempt to reduce further the number of employees still on its payroll.