CELTEL IN SIERRE LEONE GETS INTO A SPECTRUM SPAT

Telecoms

Celtel (SL) is currently arguing with the Government about whether it can now use the contested frequencies 899.2 MHz-949.2 MHz (uplink) and 944.2 MHz-949.2 MHz (downlink). Governments seeking to expand mobile competition often attempt to re-allocate spectrum and this is what may be happening in this instance.

However a Standard Times editorial takes a firm line against the company but note the use of the phrase "now contested":"Whatever fight the embattled mobile phone company, Celtel (SL) Limited may put up, it must be made to comply with the government regulation to stop using frequency bands not allocated to it, especially the now contested frequencies of 899.2 MHz-949.2 MHz (uplink) and 944.2 MHz-949.2 MHz (downlink)".

"This is necessary in order that sanity may prevail in the telecommunications industry, for if Celtel is allowed to get away with exploiting the people with impunity, then the government would lose its authoritative power to maintain control and sanity in the affairs of the state".

"It is true that the government wants to liberalize the market like in the developed countries of the Western world, but here in this part of the world, we are still developing, infact creeping, and we need all the controls available to insulate our people against the onslaught of the market economy".

http://allafrica.com/stories/200501190284.html

IN BRIEF

- OpenVoice, which designs, delivers and implements telecoms solutions by way of open source platforms, was launched officially in Johannesburg last night. The company's focus is open source application Asterisk, a converged telecommunications platform that allows different types of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony hardware, middleware and software to interface with each other consistently. The use of an open platform gives companies a flexible, low-cost alternative that can easily be upgraded. Asterisk supports both VOIP and legacy public switch telephone network connectivity. Director Justin Colyn says OpenVoice is finalising a black economic empowerment deal, and “we are very excited about the partner we have on board”.

- The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation's (BTC) ambition to achieve one of the most sought after certifications in the telecom industry, the ISO 9001 Standard has finally paid off.

- Nokia and Ericsson are reported to have been awarded GSM contracts to expand Ethiopia's only mobile network, ETC. Ericsson is understood to have won a contract worth USD49 million, while Nokia's portion of the contract has been valued at USD31 million.

- One of the co-operation agreements that Zimbabwe's Transport and Communications Minister Cde Chris Mushohwe and the Iranian Minister of Co-operatives Mr Ali Soufi settled last week was on telecommunications and postal services. This was signed before officials from TelOne and their Iranian counterparts who also signed a co-operation agreement.