Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- The introduction of number portability in South Africa has been postponed until 10th November. The decision was made by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) after pressure from Vodacom, MTN and Cell C. Virgin chairman Richard Branson complained about this delay as the company hopes that number portability will help it win more users by freeing up contract customers to defect from the rival networks. Only 5-million of SA's 32-million users have a contract tying them to one network but they are generally the high spenders who contribute most of the profits

- Amidst ongoing calls by Private Telecoms Operators for effective interconnection between major telecoms operators and PTO's, Globacom, Nigeria's second major operator has signed an interconnect arrangement with Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria (ICN), thus becoming the first dominant operator to do so.

- Two South African companies, TDS Directory Operations (Pty) Limited and Pelican Investment 7 (Pty) Limited, have been awarded the latest Telecom Namibia directory tenders. The two will jointly produce the national telephone directory from 2007 to 2012.

- At a press conference this week the DG of Camtel, the national incumbent in Cameroon, has announced that redundancies will be made at the company prior to its privatisation. The 11 potential investors that have been pre-qualified in the tendering process of the privation have been invited to Yaoundé to visit Camtel infrastructure and to provide further information on their respective bids.

- The Uganda Parliament has reduced taxes on public pay phones and landlines. The tax has been decreased from 5% to 3%.

- Senegalese newspaper Wal Fadjiri which covered the opening ceremony of the 4th meeting of the French speaking regulators (FRATEL) reported that the Minister of Post and Telecommunications had nothing new to say about the licensing process of a third national telecommunications operator. According to the local newspaper the government hasn’t make any further progress in the drafting of the legislation that is required to open up the market.