Telecoms News - In Brief


- LG Electronics has won a contract organised by the GSM Association to produce a low-cost handset for third generation mobile phone networks. The handset will cost around $100, breaking through an important price barrier which is expected to boost sales of 3G phones. Most 3G phones are currently much more expensive and slow sales of the devices has held back usage of 3G network services, such as mobile Internet, email and video.

- The smallest of Algeria’s three cellular operators, Kuwaiti-owned Nedjma, has revealed that it has signed its three millionth customer after registering 100% subscriber growth during 2006. Nedjma competes with market leader Djezzy, which is backed by Orascom of Egypt, and Mobilis, which is a subsidiary of state fixed line operator Algérie Télécom.

- Côte d'Ivoire Télécom has launched a CDMA-based fixed wireless network to allow it to extend its reach to underserved areas. The new system will also boost the quality and capacity of its networks in regions already covered by its copper wire PSTN. Services are available to both residential and business users, with the first phase of the rollout covering the communities of Cocody, Yopougon, Treichville and Marcory. Both pre-paid and post-paid services are on offer.

- Moroccan telco Wana, formerly known as Maroc Connect, has launched consumer telephony and internet services under a new brand name, Bayn. Last month the company changed its name from Maroc Connect to Wana to mark its entry into the voice telephony market alongside Meditel and Maroc Telecom.