Sudan’s regulator, the confusingly titled National Communications Corporation has issued the first national mobile licences for two Southern Sudan mobile operators, in an attempt to reduce the licensing confusion currently reigning.

South Sudan’s telecoms minister Gier Chunag Aluong said last Thursday that the Khartoum-based regulator had granted licences to Gemtel and Network of the World (NOW). Aping the habits of African rulers elsewhere, the Southern Sudan

Government has taken partial ownership of both companies. The licences will only allow the companies to operate in the South.

Vodacom enters broadcasting and multimedia market in South Africa

Vodacom has formalised its entry into the broadcasting and multimedia market by announcing today that it had secured an exclusive pay-TV agency agreement with MultiChoice.

“With cellphone penetration in South Africa at over 80%, Vodacom is constantly looking for opportunities to expand its growth horizontally in the market,” said Alan Knott-Craig, chief executive officer of the Vodacom Group.

“With 23 million customers in South Africa, Vodacom has the distribution and marketing know-how that could lead to more significant growth in the satellite pay-TV market. With less than 10 million TV sets and fewer than 2 million satellite pay-TV subscribers in South Africa, we can expect strong growth as Vodacom offers the most affordable satellite pay-TV so far available,” Knott-Craig said.

“Vodacom already has 33,000 mobile TV users that can choose from 22 channels on Vodafone live! cellphones, in addition, we are currently piloting more than 17 channels across digital video broadcast to handset technology together with MultiChoice.“

With DStv Select, Vodacom and non-Vodacom customers have a choice between two DStv Select bouquets, each offering a variety of the latest entertainment, news, sports, movies, documentaries and music channels.

“For the first time, South Africans will be able to subscribe to satellite pay-TV for as little as R139 per month and choose one of the two DStv Select bouquets of channels they’d like to view. We expect to attract many customers who will enjoy the variety of more than four channels, but can now afford it for the first time,” Knott-Craig said.

The DStv Select bouquets offer up to 16 channels including SABC 1,2,3 and e.TV.