Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- The island nation of Cape Verde is due to get a second GSM network next week when T+ launches its services on the main island of Santiago - with national coverage due by the second half of 2008. The country currently has a monopoly operator, Cabo Verde Telecom.

- The Court of Appeal of Kenya will decide on December 20th whether to stop the sale of Safaricom shares to the public or not. Judges will also decide whether to dismiss the case filed by the Orange Democratic Movement at the preliminary stage or allow it to go for full hearing. The Orange party is challenging the decision by High Court judge, Mr Justice Joseph Nyamu, to dismiss its plea to stop the government from selling the shares.

- Nigerian SecureID Limited has announced plans to manufacture SIM cards for mobile operators by the beginning of 2008. They will be the first local producers of SIM cards for the GSM operators in Nigeria.

- Upgrade of the network systems by Orange Botswana has been causing interruptions to services, but Orange Botswana spokesperson, Karabo Tlhabiwe, has assured that the problem would soon come to an end.

- Nairobi-based mobile phone retailers have set up one of Kenya's first mobile phone recycling programmes.The retailers will establish drop-off points for old or unused mobile phones and components, for ultimate disposal by the phone manufacturers.

- According to data published by the Senegalese telecoms regulator L’Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes (ARTP), the country had 3,434 million mobile subscribers at the end of September 2007, up from 3,319 million in last June. Orange had 2,442 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter while Tigo claimed 991,631 users, up from 918,830 in June. The mobile penetration rate has reached 32.5%. In contrast, the fixed line market has continued to decrease from 283,582 lines in June to 278,119.

- Investments in Nigeria's telecommunications industry have jumped from NGN6 billion (USD50 million) in 2003 to NGN180 billion in 2007, according to Ernest Ndukwe, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The country had also made NGN242 billion from spectrum licensing fees in the past five years.

- Saudi Arabian mobile handset distributor i2 is planning to increase its distribution and retail business in Angola, as part of its expansion in Africa. The company intends to increase its retail network to reach all available points-of-sale for mobile phones in Angola. The company, which established its first retail outlets in Angola last month, intends to gain a foothold in most of the country's large cities within the next two years.