Internet News - In Brief


- Algérie Télécom has launched its first high speed CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless in the local loop (WiLL) services. The new broadband system, which is available to users in the capital Algiers, allows for the convergence of the operator’s PSTN, ADSL and WiLL systems. Equipment was supplied by Huawei.

- Google has opened an Egyptian office to help market its Arabic products in the region. Google has developed Arabic language versions for online services such as Google News, Gmail and Google Earth. Internet use is growing rapidly in the Mena region, with 12.4m people expected to be online in Egypt alone by 2010, according to Madar research cited by Google.

- Apparently the WAFS consortium is having troubles with members north of Angola, both in terms of raising financial commitments but also in terms of agreeing the terms under which the fibre will operate.

- Nairobi airport’s wi-fi hot-spot is not working and no-one knows why. You can see it but cannot connect to it. The problem has been there for over a month. Why has it not been fixed?

- Telkom Kenya’s much vaunted VoIP pre-paid calling card is still using TDM and has not transitioned to a VoIP plarform.

- Sentech is shortly to launch a T-CDMA network in Kenya, joining over four others all planning to roll-out some kind of wireless infrastructure.

- The Ethiopian Government has conducted another sweep of cyber-cafes offering VoIP calling services. Some of the users arrested were so young that they had to be released.

- This week Inmarsat relaunched its regional BGAN service in Kenya as if it were a new product. This satellite Internet access product is extremely expensive to operate although we hear prices are coming down. Two years ago it cost $11 a meg to download but this is now down to US5 a meg and if you are using large volumes $1 a meg. It might actually be a widely used product if prices came down even further. The system can offer download speeds of up to 492 kbps per second and is able to combine voice and data.