Telecoms News - In Brief


- One of the world’s oldest living alphabets could make its debut soon on mobile phones, Ethiopian scientists said last Thursday. In groundbreaking research, the ancient script of Ethiopic, which dates back to the fourth century, has been adapted so it can be used for SMS text messaging.

- When he had the floor at the recent 3rd Nigeria Telecom Summit in Abuja, Engr Charles Joseph, President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, repeated his association’s four years old prescription that NITEL be unbundled prior to privatization to make it attractive. There are also strong indications that the Federal Government may bow to pressure from telecommunication operators, who have consistently agitated for the renewal of five per cent duty rebate that was withdrawn from the telecom industry recently.

- A bid to stop Kenya's third mobile provider, Econet Wireless from rolling out flopped last after the High Court declined to issue an injunction against the company. An unsuccessful bidder, Kenya Telecommunications Investment Group Limited moved to court seeking to have Econet stopped from operating. The group wants the license issued to Econet last week by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) withdrawn. High court judge, Milton Makhandia declined to issue an injunction saying he did not see how Kenya Telecommunications would be prejudiced if Econet continued operating pending the determination of the suit.

- Nigeria iDirect Technologies, a privately held company that designs, develops, and markets the fastest, most reliable bi-directional satellite-based broadband access solutions, and Netcom Africa, a Nigeria based provider of video, data, and voice over wireless, last week announced the launch of a major satellite network over Africa. The Netcom Africa network will support both C and KU bands enabling internet access, private networks, auto tracking and mobile applications to customers throughout Africa.