Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Ghana - The Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has busted a cellular phone smuggling gang at the Aviance cargo section at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

Two thousand, five hundred and forty seven pieces of assorted cellular phone estimated to generate four hundred and twenty- five million cedis (¢425,000,000.00) revenue to the state were intercepted.

- Celtel Kenya doubled its subscribers between May 2004 and September 2005 to two million. With its rival Safaricom having 3 million subscribers, the total market is 5 million but still rising.

- The Independent Communications Authority South Africa (ICASA) has announced details of the forthcoming introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) and the country’s cellcos have until July 2006 to put the necessary technology in place. ICASA has relaxed its original MNP proposals in a bid to keep the process simple and let market forces determine which operators benefit the most from the service. After operators roundly rejected the suggestion that a fixed ZAR200 fee be levied at users looking to switch networks, the regulator has dropped the plan and users will not be charged for leaving their existing operator, although a charge may be levied by the new provider that ports their number. Operators will carry the burden of introducing the service, which they claim will cost around ZAR600 million, though they can appeal to ICASA to have the costs taken into account when they next submit their annual tariffs for approval.

- The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has received all the applications for new international gateway licences, and is expected to award them in the ‘near future’, although it has not finalised the details of when it will do so. The CCK said it will consider quality of services, security and pricing when it awards the concessions.