Internet News - In Brief

Internet

- Mozambique MCell is now offering the possibility to access the Internet via cell phone connection. The package netMóvel 50 costs 250 000,00 Mt (about USD 10) per month and includes 50 MB transfer capacity; the package netMóvel GO costs USD 0,25 per transferred Megabyte. This service is only available for cell phones with GPRS technology and MCell clients with a valid contract.

- The VSAT Buyer’s Guide available at http://ictinafrica.com/vsat/ was written by Alex Twinomugisha and Sandra Aluoch and is intended to help purchasers of VSAT services make the most informed decisions possible. Support for the writing of the guide was provided by IDRC's ConnectivityAfrica program. The guide is available in PDF format for download and is also readable online. The online version is "commentable" so please feel free to add your own perspectives, revisions, comments.

- The Namibian Communication Commission (NCC) is preparing to hold an auction for wireless operating licences, with the intention of establishing new wireless ISPs (WISPs) and Wi-Fi hotspot providers. The move is in line with recommendations by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that regulators open up wireless markets to competition to enable the spread of services and lowering of prices. NCC chairman David Imbili told The Economist newspaper that the commission will test the level of interest in the market before making a final decision. Imbli also confirmed that a new Communications Bill was due to be passed later this year, paving the way for the liberalisation of Namibia’s fixed line sector.

- The City of Cape Town has launched the Smart Cape Access Truck - a pilot project designed to bring Internet connectivity to those marginalised areas that do not currently have access to this facility. The Smart Cape Access Project was designed with the aim of giving communities access to the Internet, and has reached a significant milestone, with approximately 60 000 people accessing free Internet connectivity in nearly 100 public libraries around the city.

- Latest report from Wehn Town Satellite Earth Station located in Paynesville (Liberia) indicates that the station has been looted and vandalized by some unscrupulous individuals. According to the report, as a result of neglect and abandonment, the station is now exposed to looters. Cables, communication equipment, doors and roofs of the building had been taken away. The situation, the report said, is very alarming, as looters are having a field day, taking away anything their hands lay on. The Wehn Town Earth Station (WET-1A), was built by Spar Aerospace Limited in 1988 and commissioned in 1989 as part of a 31 million United States dollars project to upgrade the standard 'B' earth station then located in Sinkor. It had a digital exchange to meet the increased demand for national and international communications. The station was constructed with an 18.3 meters parabolic reflector with a gain of 52dB operating in the C-Band (6/4 GHz). WET-1A was designed to route voice, data and video traffic through a geostationary satellite (Intelsat V. 325.5) at approximately 36,000 km altitude. Meanwhile, it is hoped that the management of the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation (LTC) will act urgently to save the remaining assets of Wehn Town Satellite Earth Station.