Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Algerie Telecom released its first telephone directory for professionals and the public, the “Professionals Directory”. Presented on the occasion of the 40th International Fair of Algiers (FIA, 2-7 June), the publication concerns Algiers agglomeration and all the central area, others covering up the remaining areas are expected. It is the first of a series of four being already achieved in partnership with Les Pages Maghreb Company, this company’s Manager Sofiane Ziani pointed out.

- Telma in Madacasgar is the latest company to join the long list of African telecommunication operators that are victims of cable vandalism. The company reported that portions of the new fibre link between Antananariva, Moramanga and Toamosina have been cut and had to be replaced.

- A study into the impact of awarding a third mobile licence in Mozambique will be submitted to the government later this year, says the country’s telecoms regulator, the Mozambican National Communications Institute (INCM). If its findings are positive, the mobile market could be opened up to fresh competition – subject to the approval of the government and the implementation of a new regulatory framework.

- The Moroccan regulator, the ANRT has announced that number portability for fixed line and mobile subscribers is universally available in Morocco as of 31 May. All operators are required to port a number within 15 days of a subscriber’s request.

- According to Bassoro Amadou, President of the Privatisation Commission of Cameroon, the privatisation of Camtel, the national incumbent, should be completed in a couple of months with the selection of strategic partner which will be able to acquire 51% stake in the company while the State will keep the remaining 49% .

- Kenya’s fixed wireless telecoms operators are not doing terribly well: one is in sale discussions and both have only a few thousand subscribers, making them more like ISPs than telcos.

- Telkom Kenya is offering a fixed wireless phone with a double-SIM, one for its fixed wireless service and the other for a leading mobile operator. Is this the future of fixed-mobile convergence? Meanwhile Telkom Kenya is to lay off a further 4,000 employees as it prepares for privatisation.

- The expansion of legal VoIP continues with Botswana adding itself to the list of countries with legal VoIP. However, locals report that getting a licence for the new service is a slow process. However, after a two year transition period in 2009, the market will be completely liberalised. Meanwhile in Togo, Café Informatique has had its VoIP telecoms service licence renewed but still has no interconnect with incumbent Togo Telecom. Our source tells us that this will take changing a Governmental decree to enforce the interconnect. Timescale? Uncertain. In Egypt, legalising VoIP remains on the agenda of the Board of regulator NTRA but it is waiting to clear out the way the implementation of international licences first. Again the timescale is uncertain.