Telecoms News - In Brief


- Telenor announced a partnership with National Telecommunications Holding Corporation (NTC) in connection with the third mobile license in Egypt.  Telenor and NTC will jointly deliver an application to qualify for participation in the auction for the Egyptian mobile license. The application is to be handed in before May 4th.

- Telkom Kenya, the troubled State-owned fixed line communication monopoly has started laying off workers in preparation for its eventual privatisation. The parastatal gave some 2,500 workers dismissal letters that told those affected that they had been selected to participate in the retrenchment. The exercise is expected to affect some 12,000 staff as the Government tries to restructure the ailing company.

- The African chapter of Union Network International (UNI Africa), has established an alliance of unions among MTN workers in 10 African countries where the mobile telecoms company operates. The alliance was formally launched in Lagos on 29 March. It aims to strengthen communication workers' unions in African countries and enable stronger bargaining power. The Communications Workers Union (CWU) will chair the alliance.

- The telephony penetration rate in Morocco has reached 45.83% in 2005 against 25% in 2002, minister in charge of economic and general affairs, Rachid Talbi El Alami announced here on Tuesday. Alami, who opened the international telecommunication fair "Telecomp-Maroc-2006," underlined that since 2002, the telecom market growth was very significant since 2002 in terms subscribers and sales figures. The telecommunications services value market has doubled since 2002, reaching USD 224Mn (MAD 24.9Bn) in 2005 against USD 194Mn (MAD 21.5Bn) in 2004, i.e. an increase of 15.81, he added. In late 2005, internet subscribers reached some 263,000, i.e. 131.8% increase in comparison to December 2004, he said adding that the number of internet users increased to reach some 4,000,000 thanks to the growth of cyber-coffees, which stand today at 7,975.

- Algérie Telecom (AT) keeps progressing its turnover, totalling 126 billion DA in 2006 first quarter, the Company's CEO Brahim Ouarets declared. Guest of daily El-Moudjahid forum, the first official of Algérie Telecom pointed out that "during these last three years, its company's turnover doubled, moving from 61 billion DA in 2003 up to 126 billion DA in 2006." In this regard, he stressed that the interconnection market (linkages with the other operators) represented 21% of AT turnover and the roaming market is witnessing "an important progress" since 2003 moving from "2.46 billion DA up to 4.86 billion DA in 2005."