Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Econet Wireless has written to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) demanding that the regulator reverses the award of the second national operator (SNO) tender to Reliance Consortium. Econet gives a deadline of February 2 after which it will lodge an appeal with the Kenya Communications Appeals Tribunal challenging the decision. It would also apply for an injunction in the High Court restraining CCK from issuing the licence to Reliance Consortium or anyone else until the appeal is heard and determined.

- The telecommunication penetration market rate in Morocco continued to rise in Morocco reaching in 2006 57.78% of the land and mobile phones, that is an increase of 12 points compared to 2005, according to figures disclose by the telecom regulatory authority (ANRT). The development of the sector was boosted by the dynamism of the value added market and the multiplication of call centres, which reached 235 by late 2006. The ICT sector turned over some USD 4.1Bn in 2005, against merely USD 1.17Bn in 1998, thus contributing 6.7% of the GDP.  This dynamic has allowed for the creation of 11,000 cyber cafés and 46,000 phone shops, that is 75,000 jobs.

- Philippe Mvouo, the Minister of Post and Telecommunication in Congo-Brazzaville has announced the launch of the second phase of the project aimed at structuring and controlling the use of the frequency spectrum in the country. Congo will receive the help of a team of Tunisian engineers from the CERT (Centre de recherches des postes des télécommunications).

- The UAE-based operator Etisalat is reportedly considering a bid for Algeria’s national fixed operator Algérie Télécom. The government is expected to sell part of its stake in the operator later this year, although full details have still to be published. Reuters quotes Etisalat’s chairman Mohammad Hassan Omran, as saying: ‘We will pay [upwards] of USD2 billion to USD3 billion, but it will depend on many conditions.’