Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Very soon, subscribers of the Globla system of Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) services in Nigeria will be able to send short message service (SMS) from their phone, using the three major Nigerian Languages (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba). The service will be offered by Eatoni Ergnomics, a global predictive text software company in the United States.

- Prism Holdings, the secure electronic payments company, has entered into a contract to supply one million stored-value telephone cards, destined for Swaziland Posts & Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC). The company has already received the first firm order for 500,000 cards in terms of this contract.

- NITEL union Senior Staff Association of Utilities, Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSAUSCGOC) is threatening further strikes if the Government does not revoke the recently signed agreement with Pentascope.

- Salaries for councillors serving on the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) are so "hopelessly inadequate" that the regulator is weakened by the constant loss of its best staff to the industry, says its CEO, Nkateko Nyoka.

- On the average, according to a report in Punch newspaper 21,000 cases of handset theft are recorded monthly. Figures obtained from the two leading private GSM operators, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and Econet Wireless Nigeria, revealed that subscribers pay about N43.19 million monthly for the replacement of the Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards.

- MTN Uganda, a telecommunications operator, has upgraded its sim cards from 16 kilobytes to 32.

_ Africell, the only private GSM company in The Gambia has announced its ambition to expand its network to cater for 150,000 subscribers by the end of the year.