Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- The Director of International Operations at Gambia Telecommunications Company Limited (Gamtel) has joined the list of people who have been arrested in connection with the Tuesday foiled coup. According to Gamtel sources, Ousman Njie was arrested by two armed soldiers last Friday. "He was arrested by the soldiers who whisked him into a Pajero and took him away. This was exactly 12.00 pm," said a source at Njie's office at Abuko Earth Station.

- Ghana’s Minister for Communications, Hon. Albert Kan Dapaah, has dismissed claims that the government is planning a deal that would allow South Africa’s MTN Group to take over Western Telesystems Ghana Ltd (WESTEL). He said no contact with the firm had been made although he confirmed that feelers had been put out to appoint an advisor on a possible sale. In September last year WESTEL's majority shareholder ACG Telesystems sold its entire 66.66% stake in the operator to its partner in the venture Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), giving the latter full control of the company. Local cynics have been describing this as a “lose-lose” deal for both parties.

- Fixed line operator NITEL has accused cellco MTN of disrupting its operations by damaging its fibre-optic cables. NITEL claims that its cables have suffered severe damage because MTN contractors have been laying their own fibre optic cable in the same ducts. MTN has declined to comment on the issue.