Bharti Chairman Sunil Mittal and MTN Group President and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko had met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Bharti Chairman Sunil Mittal and MTN Group President and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko had met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference in Algiers, he said Orascom had no intention whatsoever of selling the most cost-effective of its 12 subsidiaries, which was expected to see a 7 per cent growth in 2009.
OTA has nearly 14 million subscribers and is in competition with the Mobilis and Watanya Telecom Algeria, belonging to the Kuwaiti Group, Kowetien Qtel.
"Our key partners like Kenya Power and Lighting Company and MultiChoice Kenya, who have had huge success in subscription payment services through Zap, can now monitor their transactions online as well as bank reconciliations," he said.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Data service provider AccessKenya has announced that it has invested KES500 million (USD6.55 million) over the course of 2009 to upgrade its networks in preparation for the arrival of two fibre-optic submarine cables, SEACOM and TEAMS. SEACOM, which launched in July, has already enabled AccessKenya to double internet speeds for its 3,000 corporate customers.
Group MD Jonathan Somen said: 'In terms of the guidance that we are giving people, we are still on course. The guidance for the revenues is more than KES2 billion The bottom line, there is growth in there but it is very much dependent on when the fibre (TEAMS) lands. If we get to turn off our satellite in September, that will be a significant improvement for us.'
According to Reuters the firm spends USD750,000 per month on satellite bandwidth suppliers and the company is hoping that the savings brought by the new cable systems will aid its move into the residential sector.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Under the agreement, Microsoft will deliver different applications, servers and systems software to Warid for standardisation of its computers with Windows operating system, office applications and server-client management tools.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
UK-based mobile powerhouse the Vodafone Group plans to restructure Vodafone Ghana, formerly Ghana Telecom, in line with its best practice model.
In a statement to the press, the company said the reorganisation of the unit will streamline the Ghanaian business and provide it with increased flexibility and strength to compete in the local market.
Vodafone intends to continue ongoing network expansion work in Ghana, where its majority owned subsidiary offers fixed line and mobile telephony, internet and data communications services, as well as improving overall quality utilisation there.
Since its takeover in mid-2008, Vodafone Group claims to have created more than 7,000 new direct and indirect jobs in sales and distribution in Ghana. Going forward, Vodafone intends to increase current network capacity of 30% to 100% by the year end.
West African undersea fibre-optic cable system Glo-1 has reportedly delayed its commercial launch until November, after missing previous target dates of March and May, CommsDay writes.
Globacom, which is building the network connecting Nigeria to Europe, says Glo-1 has run into technical difficulties, including licensing issues with governments, and a lack of skilled staff.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Cameroonian newspaper Le Messager is reporting that the country's telecoms regulator, Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART), has settled a dispute between state-owned incumbent telco CamTel and mobile operator MTN Cameroon regarding the cellco's deployment of an 81km fibre-optic cable in Douala.
Decision No 000113/Art/Dg/DajciI of 11 August 2009 signed by the director general of ART, Jean-Louis Mbeh Mengue, requests MTN to halt deployment of fibre-optics in the city, and subjects the cellco to a penalty of CFA10 million (USD22,000) per day of delay from the date of service.
According to the report, ART said that the cellco did not obtain approval from the relevant state agencies for the deployment of its network, stating that amongst other things, MTN has not met 'technical specifications for civil engineering of telecommunications networks in Cameroon' and has not complied with 'provisions of Decree No. 77/526 of 23 December 1977 on the protection of cables or electric, water pipes or gas, sewage or equipment of the same nature.'
CamTel objected to MTN's project, claiming that it holds exclusive responsibility for the installation and management of optical fibre for intercity and urban areas.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
QCell, which received Gambia's fourth mobile network operating licence last August, has held a ceremony to showcase its services.
At the event held last month the company announced the launch of packages including 3G video calling services, available to both pre- and post-paid customers, mobile internet access, multimedia messaging and conferencing. Call Promotions include free on-net calls in the daytime and at weekends.
The operator also declared the aim of providing countrywide coverage in the immediate future. TeleGeography's GlobalComms database says that in August 2008 Gambia's communications ministry DOSCIT awarded the mobile operating licence to QCell, a start-up owned by domestic ISP QuantumNet's CEO Muhammed Jah.
It revealed plans to launch a 2G/3G GSM/W-CDMA network using both the 900MHz and 2100MHz bands, originally scheduled for April 2009. The company's website is up but currently contains just a banner saying '3G GSM Services...Coming Soon'. QCell will compete with three existing GSM network operators Africell, Gamcel and Comium Mobile.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Mr. Brett Goschen, Chief Executive of MTN, said that mobile communication would continue to be the primary means for majority of the population to access voice, data, and internet service, projecting that subscribers would be demanding more of technologies that met their needs in making a choice of network.
Mr. Goschen said the challenge for mobile telecom operators now was to focus more on services and technologies that provided customers with an all-in-one affordable voice, data and internet access, preferably, on the voice over internet portfolio (VOIP).
Monday, August 10, 2009
France Telecom (Orange) intends to cut the cost of call services in most of its African markets by implementing a new system it calls ‘Cell Broadcast’, Arnauld Blondet, the director for emerging countries, announced on Tuesday.
‘We launched Cell Broadcast in Botswana under the [local] name Sesolo. With the number of people interested in that offer, we can be optimistic about trying it soon in most of our African subsidiaries,’ Blondet told news agency PANA at the presentation of the technique.
France Telecom operates in 15 African countries including Egypt, Uganda, Mauritius, Madagascar, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Kenya and Equatorial Guinea.
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has urged Zain Zambia to avoid the temptation to lay off employees but focus on measures that will ensure vibrant operations in Zambia.
Mr Banda said yesterday, when he launched the new Zain Zambia head office, that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector had remained resilient to the financial shocks and had maintained the service and employment levels.
"However, I am concerned that while we are still on this recovery path, there is a tendency to make cost-cutting measures that may affect employees in the sector," he said.
The president, in a speech read on his behalf by Communications and Transport Minister Geoffrey Lungwangwa, urged Zain Zambia shareholders to focus on Zambia as it was among the top investment destinations in Africa.
He said the Government had launched the ICT policy to ensure Zambia was an information and knowledge-based society by 2030. He, however, said that could not be accomplished without the private sector.
He said the Government was determined to ensure that the ICT sector performed in line with global trends because its contribution to the national treasury had continued to grow over the years. "It is for this reason that my Government has developed a futuristic policy for the sector. The implementation of this policy has started with the development of a reform process through an appropriate legal and regulatory framework," he said.
He said currently, Parliament was discussing the ICT Bill, Electronic Communications and Transactions and the Postal Services bills all aimed at moving the sector in line with regional, continental and global best practices.
This was also designed to streamline the licensing regime such that operators would be left to determine the best technologies to deploy and at the same time minimise the number of licences in line with the Government's policy of reducing the cost of doing business.
The president commended Zain Zambia's vision to consider Zambians as partners in running the company by listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LUSE) and extending coverage to rural areas where it was almost impossible to communicate in the past.
Zain Zambia managing director, David Holliday said despite the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, foreign exchange fluctuations and a competitive market, the company had managed to achieve impressive revenues and profitability.
Mr Holliday said Zain Zambia employed more that 20,000 people in the sales and distribution functions across the country and with the launch of new products and services, the number would increase.
The Daily Monitor reports that the Ugandan government has cleared a South Sudan network to continue using Uganda’s dialing code (+256), under the condition that the region’s cellcos continue to pay for it.
The decision follows complaints from Ugandan MPs that Southern Sudan mobile operator Gemtel was given leeway by Uganda Telecom (UTL) to use the national code without parliamentary approval. Defending the move, State Minister for ICT Alintuma Nsambu told the country’s ICT Committee, ‘In any case we gain more if there is a bigger clientele in South Sudan using our code, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) will collect more.’
The issue was widely publicised in 2007 after the Parliamentary Committee on State Enterprises learnt that Gemtel was using the country code without paying.
South of Sudan is currently served by two wireless network operators; privately-owned Gemtel, which offers limited coverage of a number of southern towns including Juba, Waw and Yei; and Lebanese-owned Vivacell, which launched commercial wireless services in January 2009.
Officials of Gabon Telecom and its mobile unit Libertis have announced that all fixed line, mobile and internet connections have now been restored following the suspension of strike action by the communications trade union Synatel.
However, union leaders stressed that the strike could resume following the conclusion of negotiations with management due to end on 30 August.
Synatel said that an agreement on wage levels had been reached, but the core objections of the union to the recent takeover of Gabon Telecom by Morocco's Maroc Telecom had not changed.
Nigerian national newspaper Vanguard reports that Maher Quiben, the managing director of fixed-wireless operator Starcomms, has challenged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to reduce interconnection rates between CDMA and GSM operators.
Quiben said the country’s interconnection rates are high by world standards, adding that a quick reduction would lead to a fairer telecoms industry. The company has written a letter to the NCC compiling interconnect tariff plans of different countries worldwide, with the hope that the regulator will take note.
Starcomms increased its CDMA customer base by 95% in the three months to 30 June 2009, to bring the total to 2.484 million.
* Zain says unaware of stake sale talks after report
* Shares close 1.6 percent higher
Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain said on Sunday it was not aware of talks between shareholders and an Asian group after a newspaper reported stake sale negotiations.
The firm said in July that it was still reviewing a possible sale of its African operations -- excluding Morocco and Sudan -- after French media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi broke off talks on buying the operations.
Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said on Sunday that Zain's largest shareholders were in talks with a major Asian telecoms group to sell more than 40 percent of the firm.
"Zain would like to clarify that regarding what has been published in a local newspaper about negotiations between a major Asian group and shareholders, the executive management of the company is not aware of this subject, which is up to shareholders," Zain said in a statement on the bourse website.
Sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority owns 24.61 percent of Zain. Kuwaiti family-owned conglomerate Kharafi Group is Zain's second largest shareholder, with 13.3 percent.
Neither KIA nor Kharafi were immediately available for comment. A Zain spokesman declined to comment further.
Zain ended 1.6 percent higher on the bourse on Sunday.
"There is an enormous amount of rumours about Zain," said Naser al-Nafisi, general manager at Al Joman Center for Economic consultancy in Kuwait. "If there's anything going on between the shareholders, the management should know about it."
The newspaper, which did not identify the Asian group, cited unidentified sources as saying that the biggest shareholders in Zain had "the ability and the suitable mechanism to provide the required majority stake".
Sale talk has swirled around Zain in recent weeks.
The head of the international unit of Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) said in July that the UAE firm was interested in buying a 51-percent stake in Zain, "given the right values".
Zain said on July 1 that it was working with Swiss investment bank UBS and other consultants to review its strategy as a result of the global financial downturn.
The government of Rwanda will sell off its 10 per cent stake in Rwanda MTN — a deal that could be the biggest by the state this year.
Officials say the government is set to transact its shares in three of nation’s biggest companies — which include MTN Rwanda, Bralirwa (the country’s sole brewing company) and Sonarwa (the country’s biggest insurance company), by the end of the year.
“It means that the government will trade off its 30 per cent stake in BRALIRWA, its 20 per cent stake in SONARWA and its 10 per cent share of MTN Rwanda,” said Finance Minister James Musoni.
“We are looking for a adviser to help us facilitate the transaction. The adviser will be outsourced in an open tender,” Mr Musoni said.
He told The EastAfrican that all government shares would be floated on the stock exchange — the Rwanda Over-the-Counter Market — by the end of the year.
Rwanda’s capital market was launched in early 2008.
In June this year, the Kenya Commercial Bank crosslisted on the Rwandan bourse.
Officials said that companies like MTN and Bralirwa had earlier expressed interest in issuing corporate bonds.
Bank of Rwanda Governor Francios Kanimba, while presenting the Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement last week, said there will be a listing of government shares of the three companies through one consortium.
Sonarwa is a French acronym for Societe Nouvelle d’Assurance du Rwanda.
It was acquired recently by Nigeria’s Industrial and General Insurance Company (35 per cent controlling stake).
Bralirwa (Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda) is 70 per cent owned by the Heineken Group.
Huawei, a leader in providing next-generation telecommunications network solutions worldwide, today announced that it has been appointed as the sole supplier of Morocco WANA’s GSM/UMTS network. Thanks to that, WANA’s 2 Million subscribers will enjoy abundant 3G services such as video call, video conference, streaming media and mobile internet.
Under a contract signed by Huawei and WANA, Huawei will provide a GSM/UMTS solution with equipment to WANA exclusively, including GSM/UMTS wireless network, core network and value added services (VAS) network, etc.
Huawei’s accurate frequency planning and various anti-disturbance measures are the key to avoiding disturbance problem in the complicated wireless environment and enhancing the usage of spectrum resources whilst protecting telecom provider’s investment. Phase one of the project will utilise over 1500 of Huawei’s industry-leading fourth-generation base stations with the All-IP solution set to be completed by December, 2009.
Mr. Frédéric Debord, General Director of WANA, commented "WANA has the target to become a leading operator in Morocco. And we are delighted to cooperate with Huawei to open a new network of good quality and performance for our subscribers, with best solutions and offers."
Mr. Zuo Defeng, Vice President of West Africa Region, Huawei, said:” This is a significant milestone to Huawei, WANA and WANA’s users. Huawei’s advanced mobile network solution and equipment will help WANA take the lead in mobile telecommunications market in Morocco, and help WANA achieve business success.”
As a core component of its SingleRAN solution, the fourth-generation BTS supports multi-mode radio access networking (GSM, TD-SCDMA, UMTS, LTE, CDMA and WiMAX), and incorporates green optimisation and All-IP technologies, providing a truly convergent solution for network operators. Huawei has shipped over 1.5 million transceivers (TRXs) for its fourth-generation base stations. Huawei’s fourth-generation BTS are being used by more than 20 leading operators in 100 countries.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This followed an application by the lawyers representing Warid Telecoms. The telecom company is disputing URA's orders to Stanbic Bank to pay sh160,918,869 in taxes.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Vodafone Ghana is to make around 950 staff redundant before the end of the year, as its ongoing voluntary redundancy programme comes to a conclusion. The staff being made compulsorily redundant will be offered the same terms though - being three months salary for each year served with the company.
The lay-off to be implemented at the end of November will affect all departments and could also lead to the closure of non-core departments.
Mr Emmanuel Dakwa, Chairman of the local Communication Workers Union (CWU) of Vodafone, criticized the redundancies, saying that the company was wrong to announce the job cuts without consulting it.
"It was wrong for management to have held a press conference without recourse to internal arrangement with union on how to roll out that redundancy programme," he told the Ghana News Agency.
"It is very sad that whiles we are going round the country educating union members about voluntary redundancy, management decided to hold a press conference in our absence and announced a compulsory redundancy programme, of which we had no prior notice," he added.
Just over 900 staff have already accepted Vodafone's voluntary redundancy programme. The company still has around 3,000 staff.
Since Vodafone brought 70% of Ghana Telecom in August 2008, it has created more than 7,000 direct and indirect jobs in sales and distribution throughout the country.