Internet News - In Brief


- KT Corp, South Korea’s largest telco, has announced that it is close to launching a broadband internet joint venture with Algerie Telecom (AT), aiming to roll out an ADSL network by the end of the year. The USD10 million venture is scheduled to be set up in Algeria by the end of this month, with AT taking a 51% stake, and KT and fellow Korean company Daewoo taking 39% and 10% respectively.

- Internet service provider Africa Online has entered a partnership with a company laying out a fibre optic network in Nairobi. Under the joint venture with Kenya Data Networks (KDN), Africa Online will provide Internet access to individuals and firms in the Upper Hill area of Nairobi, where KDN has laid its fibre optic network. Africa Online business development manager David Ngige said its customers would benefit from the new technology through increased efficiency and high productivity. "With this technology, they will cut down the time they spend on the Internet trying to send or download information," said Mr Ngige. The increased bandwidth provided by fibre optic cable cuts data transmission delays from 300 milliseconds to just 40 milliseconds, thus reducing user time and costs.

- THE Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) is working towards upgrading its e-banking technology into a fully-fledged internet and phone banking system which it expects to be in full swing by the end of this month. E-banking, an electronic banking system under the retail division of the group, has so far been facilitating payment services only, but is now poised to offer a complete range of Internet, mobile and telephone banking services. "The software package has a full graphical user interface which makes it user-friendly, that is, user menu-driven, easy to understand and use," said a ZABG source. Other aspects that are likely to make the ZABG service stand apart include its high security and excellent back-up and recovery features. ZABG said this facility, coming as it was at a time when the country was facing many economic hardships, among them fuel shortages, would be convenient to users as clients would be able to carry out most transactions at home, eliminating the need to physically visit their banks.

- Senegalese La Post has announced that customers can now pay their electricity and water bills using the internet at their local post office, starting September 2005.