Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Mobile phone service provider Safaricom has described the date set by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) for the implementation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) as unattainable. Safaricom Chief Executive Michael Joseph said the commencement date was not within reach and that it may take the regulator much longer to implement it. The feature would allow subscribers to maintain their cell phone numbers – including the prefixes when switching from one operator to another. Joseph said his company was yet to evaluate how much rolling out the MNP service would cost. It is not clear how the mobile operators will recover the costs incurred. The regulator has suggested that a limited company, Kenya Network Information Centre (Kenic), be formed to guarantee maintain a centralized number portability database.

- Africa's subscriber base grew by 10.2 per cent in second quarter of 2004 and 52.4 per cent in the 12 months to end-June 2004, making it the fastest growing mobile region in the world, African Mobile Opportunities has said. African Mobile Opportunities, is a new report from the publishers of Global Mobile and Middle East and Africa Wireless Analyst newsletters. According to the report the continent added a princely 10.7 million lines in the first six months of 2004. The total number of mobile subscribers in Africa stood at 64.1 million at the end of June 2004, up from 58.3 million at the end of March 2004, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. Africa is the world's fastest growing mobile market in percentage terms, leading the continent to leapfrog the more established Middle Eastern market during second quarter of 2004 and record a larger total number of mobile users for the first time.