Telecoms News - In Brief


- According to Ernest Ndukwe, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the country’s available telephone lines which rose to 2.2 million in 2002 from a paltry 450,000 in 2001, could cross the 4 million mark by December this year. The growth, it is envisaged, will come from mobile service sector which is expected to extend its dominance of the telecoms market.Currently, there are about 2.2 million telephone lines in Nigeria, comprising about 722, 000 fixed landline and fixed wireless lines and more than 1.5 million mobile lines.

- Egypt’s Dr. Ahmed Nazeef, Minister of Telecommunications, has announced that telephone fixed line subscribers increased an annual 16.6% to reach 8.2 million in April 2003 Representing an 11.7% penetration rate, while telephone density stood at 12.1%. Mr. Nazeef added that mobile subscribers had meanwhile culminated at 4.8 million, reflecting a 6.9% penetration rate.

- T-Systems SA is to assist T-Systems North America with its internal SAP implementation after the German parent found that the local company’s SAP Financials system is the best practice for the group’s international companies. The SAP system template at the South African company is to be rolled out in 23 countries, with T-Systems SA playing a key role in the process.

- The United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) given a $275,000 grant agreement to Ghana’s only rural telecoms operator. Capital Telecom Ltd. of Ghana. The grant will support a Feasibility Study/Pilot Project to test the viability of new technologies in providing low-cost wireless service in a rural environment. The project aims to demonstrate how next generation technology can reduce the cost of an international call originating in Ghana to one-tenth its present cost. Warren Development Corporation of Los Angeles, California will carry out the test project for Capital Telecom Limited in Mpraeso, Akatsi and the outskirts of Accra and plans to have 50,000 subscribers by the end of 2005, up from its current level of 500 subscribers..

- The Kenyan Government claims to have lost Sh120 billion in the last five years through illegal use of Telkom facilities for private business. Those involved in the scam instal communication dishes to make international calls. The claim was made yesterday by Transport and Communications minister John Michuki, who said the Anti-Corruption Police Unit would investigate the scam, which he termed "worse than Goldenberg". Speaking after commissioning a voice-logging system at Eldoret International Airport, the minister said the scam was discovered by overseas experts investigating the parastatal’s financial problems.