Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Egyptian mobile operator MobiNil claimed 5.165 million active subscribers at the end of June 2005, up from 4.43 million three months earlier. The company has exceeded analyst expectations of 5.12 million, and has attributed the high growth to a new service for low income mobile phone users.

- Operators in Kenya are urging telecoms regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), to speed up its international gateway licensing procedure, claiming that customers will continue paying higher rates for international calls until it does so. As well as cutting costs, the government hopes that direct access to the international gateway will also improve business in the region.

- Telecom Namibia has cut its workforce by 163 over the last four months, as part of the ‘Voluntary Separation Programme’ announced in May. 221 applications to resign were received, but only 163 were approved, reducing staff numbers from 1,406 to 1,243. The operator said that the scheme will help it to operate more efficiently, streamline the organisation and align the skills base.

- Telkom has dropped a R5-million damages action against Gregg Stirton's website hellkom.co.za, which he launched in response to the telecomms giant's "incredibly high prices".

- South Africa must find ways to cut the cost of communications and catch up with emerging market peers like India, President Thabo Mbeki said last Sunday. Mbeki was quoted on SABC radio as saying it was worrying that a fixed-line phone call in India cost less than in South Africa but said a planned second national operator, which has been delayed due to shareholder wrangling, would help cut prices.