Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The company in a text message to its subscribers on Saturday, read, “Dear customer, please ignore any SMS telling you that you have won N1m and asking you to log to www.zainnigeria.net.ms for your winnings. This is not from Zain.”
Zain Nigeria’s official website is: www.ng.zain.com
As a fraud alert, the company had stated on its website that, “In view of somewhat regular fraudulent messages being sent out on redeeming gifts in purported Zain promotions, we would like you to take note of the following information to prevent our esteemed subscribers from falling victim of these fraudsters:
Subscribers will be contacted only through the following ways:
“SMS from ‘Zain’; Phone call from 08021900000 or Zain staff line having the prefix 0802222****; Information of winners published on our website or in the press.
Communication to winners via SMS will always have Zain as the originator ID.”
According to the telecoms company, “We will never request that subscriber’s part with any belonging in order to redeem prizes (either in form of cash or forwarding of messages to other subscribers).
“We strongly advise our customers to always verify the authenticity of any suspicious/alleged text or email supposedly from Zain and relating to any bonanza, promotions or offer by calling our customer service on 111 or send an email to the subscriber fraud unit - email@example.com or call 070800FRAUD.”
The mystery of an MTN engineer who vanished in Uganda nearly four years ago took an unexpected turn when it was recently claimed that he had been kidnapped by security services. Andrew Ndawula, the MTN engineer reportedly overhead sensitive communications between security officials in Kampala and the crew of the ill-fated helicopter which crashed and killed the Vice President of Sudan, John Garang.
John Garang was the former leader of the rebel forces in Southern Sudan, known as the SPLA who joined a US-led peace deal with the Northern Sudan and agreed an independence referendum in 2012. However, in late July 2005, Garang died after the Ugandan presidential Mi-172 helicopter he was flying in crashed. He had been returning from a meeting in Rwakitura with long-time ally President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
Both the Sudanese government and the head of the SPLA blamed the weather for the accident. There are, however, doubts as to the truth of this, especially amongst the rank-and-file of the SPLA. Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president, claims that the possibility of "external factors" having played a role could not be eliminated.
Four days after the crash, Ndawula vanished. Prior to his disappearance, he had been reported to be unusually tired and putting in particularly long hours, once not returning home until the small hours of the morning. A graduate from Makerere University, Ndawula was MTN’s Switch Planning Engineer.
A relative of the family told The Observer newspaper that “I was told that he is often moved between countries for his own safety after he overheard security information that is very sensitive to the region. The last we heard was that he had been to Nairobi, then Kigali. He is moved around,”
If there was a conspiracy to assassinate Vice President Garang then the peace deal in Sudan which is already tense could break down completely and destabilise the region.
Ndawula’s father, Kigongo-Musiige, however told the newspaper that he felt the information was "not concrete," but admitted that MTN officials had told him that his son might have listened to some sensitive communications.
At the time of the disappearance, there was a considerable fuss about the incident reaching to the Prime Minister's office.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has defended the controversial sale and unbundling of Telkom SA shares in the Vodacom Group to UK based Vodafone.
“The Authority has decided to accept the notification received from Vodacom and not to require Vodacom to seek the Authority’s approval in respect of the transaction. In reaching its decision, the Authority considered the Ownership and Control Regulations, 2002, which remain in effect in terms of section 95(2) of the ECA,” ICASA said in a statement.
Wokers in the South African telecommunications sector are opposed to the move and have taken the government and the companies to court over the transaction. ICASA absolved itself from any wrongdoing.
“The Ownership and Control Regulations indicate that the Authority can only intervene, that is, through an approval process, in a transaction for the transfer of beneficial ownership of shares in a licensee on condition that, amongst other factors, a “control interest” (as defined in the Ownership and Control Regulations) in the licensee has been transferred from one person to another and a market concentration exists,” it said.
“The Authority could not establish that a transfer of control interest has occurred in the transaction or that a market concentration exists in the market in which Vodacom operates in light of the fact that several individual ECS AND ECNS licences have now been issued by the Authority. The Authority is fully aware that any transaction of this magnitude is likely to raise a range of public interest issues. However, the Authority has decided to deal with public interest issues within the context of the existing Ownership and Control Regulations and the Electronic Communications Act.”
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The CWU said its main bone of contention was the fact that the organisation was not properly consulted by Telkom in terms of both legislation and the recognition agreement regulating relations between its members and the company. The union said it had no other option but to use the law to force all parties to properly consult CWU, which has members at both Telkom and Vodacom. The CWU also believes that the public interest had been "deliberately ignored and compromised", and the issue should have been considered through a process of public hearings by the Independent Communication Commission of South Africa. According to the CWU, Telkom's CEO and its board chairperson failed to honour a meeting facilitated by the Department of Communications on 14 April where a discussion on the deal was to have taken place.
Telkom is selling part of its stake to Vodafone and spinning off the rest to its shareholders for public trading. Vodacom earlier said it completed all the conditions for the transaction and stock market listing and expects to start trading on 18 May.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Egypt's Orascom Telecom and France Telecom have continued their acrimonious public battle over the control of Egyptian moble network operator, MobiNil. This morning, Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) announced that France Telecom has failed to pay the purchase price as required by the terms of the arbitral award issued by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce and has failed to comply with its obligations under Egyptian law to make a public tender offer on the same terms as the Award.
OTH says that it has provided FT with documentary evidence from its banks, which confirms that the shares can be transferred free of pledge.
Although the transfer of shares was due to occur by 9th April, an extension until 15th April has been agreed upon to avoid financial penalties and resolve difficulties with the stock exchange.
Orascom says that it has now been asked by Egypt's Capital Market Authority "CMA" to refrain from making any further public comments on the dispute.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
The dispute over France Telecom's acquisition of 28.75 percent of Mobinil from Orascom Telecom for EUR 530 million persists. The French operator has requested Orascom to resolve difficulties with its creditors as quickly as possible and to provide a clear indication as to when Mobinil shares under pledge will become available. Orascom replied that it was prepared to transfer its stake in Mobinil to France Telecom, but that the procedure was being held up by the Egyptian financial markets authority.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wireless operators Zain Kenya and Essar Telecom Kenya (ETK, previously known as Econet Wireless Kenya) have agreed to share network infrastructure, Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation reports.
The deal will see the two companies share around 300 base stations for the next 15 years. ETK, which operates under the banner ‘yu’ has over 100 base stations in Nairobi and is planning to expand its network nationwide by the end of 2009. ETK is currently Kenya’s smallest wireless operator by subscribers with a 0.59% market share and is hoping that the collaboration with Zain will aid growth.
Zain claimed over three million subscriptions at the end of December 2008, making it the country’s second largest mobile operator behind Safaricom. The deal will benefit Zain by cutting base station operational costs, as well as strengthening its network coverage in the nation’s capital.
Malawi has awarded two more mobile operating licences to consortia of local and international firms. The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) chairman Thengo Maloya said in a statement that La Cell Private and Expresso Telecom Group have been awarded the latest licences, Reuters reported.
South African fixed-line operator Telkom has launched its new Mobi service, offering mobile voice services over its WCDMA network. The company already offered data services on the mobile network and has now introduced voice after finalising a deal to spin off its stake in mobile operator Vodacom.
Friday, April 3, 2009
The proposed telephone tapping bill by the Ugandan authorities will increase domestic violence; women activists in Uganda have warned.
The activists insist that passing the Regulation of Interception of Communications Bill in its current form will increase violence against women.
The activists, under the Uganda Women Network (UWONET) statement on Thursday said currently there are cases of violence against women perpetuated by their husbands, who illegally access their spouse’s telephone records from communication service providers.
UWONET officials, who met the Parliamentary Committee on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) considering the Regulation of Interception of Communications Bill, 2007, on Thursday asked legislators to be sensitive on how women will be protected so as to minimize domestic violence.
The Regulation of Interception of Communications Bill, 2007 intends to make provision for the lawful interception and monitoring of certain communications in the course of their transmission through a telecommunication, postal or related service system in Uganda. The Bill also seeks to provide for the establishment of a Communications Monitoring Centre in Uganda.
Legislators asked why the women activists were against giving the mandate to sanction communication interception to the Minister of Security whereas it is the practice around the world.
Mr. David Bahati, a parliamentarian said the Bill was focusing on national and economic interests of the country, rather than on individuals.
The UWONET officials said interception of communication would tantamount to invasion of individuals’ privacy guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Constitution.
Rita Aciro of UWONET said, “Whereas it is true that certain restrictions are permissible for public safety and security, it is also true that some of the worst human rights violations have been committed in the pretext of such derogations.
“Therefore it is important that such derogations are strictly crafted and monitored so that they do not serve as a smokescreen for the violation of human rights.”
She added that the Bill needs to be in tandem with other laws including the Communications Act to ensure a uniform practice across all government agencies preying into the privacy of individuals.
UWONET recommended that permission to authorize interception of communication be given to a senior judge to safeguard against abuse of the interception.
Aciro said, “The order should indicate the kind of communication which is to be tapped and when the need for that information ceases to be.”
She said the information gathered should not be used as evidence in court, but rather for following up investigations, and that it should never be made public.
The officials said items in the Bill would be handled by amending other laws like the Prevention of Terrorism Act instead of bringing up a new law.
UWONET is an advocacy coalition of 17 national women’s NGOs and institutions and individuals in Uganda.