Telecoms News - In Brief


- The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology of Botswana which has issued a draft of its rural telecommunications strategy, has invited the public to make written submissions. The significance of the public input in formulating a forward looking agreed strategy for Botswana cannot be overemphasised particularly as this strategy is one of the initiatives that will implement the recently announced further liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.

- According to Ugandan website The New Vision officials from Telkom South Africa are expected to visit the country in the next fortnight to begin due diligence on Uganda Telecom. Last week Uganda Telecom’s outgoing Managing Director Aimable Mpore revealed that the South African company was interested in buying into UCom, a consortium comprising Telecel, The Gloria Trust and Detecon, which owns a 51% stake in Uganda Telecom. The remainder of the company is owned by the state.

- Nigerian Communications Minister Cornelius Adebayo has revealed that the number of telephone users in Nigeria stood at 22.9 million in March 2006, almost double the figure a year earlier. Adebayo stated that fixed line users account for 1.4 million of the total, while wireless subscribers make up the remaining 21.5 million. At the end of 2001 the country had only half a million telephone users, but market liberalisation, the introduction of GSM technology, and investment of over USD10 billion in the last three years have helped spur rapid development. Nevertheless, wireline teledensity of approximately 1% and wireless penetration of 16.7% indicate there is plenty of scope for further growth.