The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is an Incorporated Trustees formed in the year 2000. It is the industry body for all telecommunications companies and those providing subsidiary services to telecommunications service providers in Nigeria. Its objective is to promoting growth in the telecommunications sector and, ultimately, ehnance efficient and affordable telecommunications services delivery to users of these services. Membership of ALTON consists of companies duly licensed in Nigeria to provide telecommunications and related services. These services include telephony services (fixed and mobile), internet and other data services, as well as of infrastructure and other support services/value adding services. Read more..

 
 
 
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Total Telecom | news | RSS Feed
Daily telecommunications news for global communications professionals.

Online giants are still firmly in the telecoms ascendancy

Something fundamental has gone askew in the industry when telco vendors forecast a contracting infrastructure market, and the likes of Facebook and Google take it upon themselves to figure out how to connect the roughly 4 billion people worldwide who still don't have the Internet. With 4G network deployments now largely complete in major developed markets, and macroeconomic uncertainty in some emerging countries, at least two of the world's three remaining major telecoms infrastructure players are predicting a lean 2017. Ericsson expects the addressable market for its networks division to be flat or shrink slightly between 2016 and 2018, while Nokia presents a similarly gloomy picture, forecasting a low single…

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AT&T pays out $88m in cramming refunds

AT&T has paid out $88 million in refunds to mobile customers who were billed for unauthorised third-party services. Called 'cramming', the practice sees an operator add charges for subscriptions to premium…

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Singapore bans 2G device sales

Singapore has announced that it will prohibit the sale of 2G-only devices from 1 January 2017. In a statement on Wednesday, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that licensed retailers will still be able to sell 2G products to overseas markets…

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Sky shares soar on 21st Century Fox bid

Sky shares surged on Friday after U.S. media giant 21st Century Fox launched an £11.25 billion (€13.43 billion) takeover bid for the company. In a statement, Sky said the two companies have agreed an offer price of £10.75 per share…

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KDDI to acquire ISP Biglobe

KDDI on Thursday struck an ¥80 billion (€654.2 million) deal to acquire ISP Biglobe from Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). The Japanese operator, which offers mobile services under the Au brand…

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BT, Huawei strike 5G research deal

BT and Huawei on Thursday announced a wide-ranging 5G research partnership. The companies' work will centre on network architecture, a new air interface, network slicing, M2M and IoT, and security. As well as researching the technology itself…

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Telekom Austria buys Croatia's Metronet

Telekom Austria on Thursday agreed to acquire Croatian altnet Metronet and merge it with its local operating unit, Vipnet. Metronet focuses primarily on the B2B market, offering voice, data…

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Ericsson staff cuts ahead of schedule

Ericsson on Thursday said its redundancy programme is ahead of schedule, which will result in higher-than-forecast restructuring costs for 2016. The kit maker is axing 3,000 employees in Sweden, through a combination of voluntary redundancies…

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AT&T conducts 5G trial with business customer

AT&T this week claimed a world first with the launch of a 5G trial with a business customer. The U.S. telco and hardware supplier Ericsson created a 5G network experience at one of chip giant Intel's offices in Austin…

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Telstra hires Juniper's Denholm as COO

Telstra this week appointed Juniper Networks' former finance and operating chief Robyn Denholm as its new COO. She served in her previous role from 2007 until the middle of this year; Telstra credited her with leading the network equipment maker's 2014 turnaround…

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Fastweb in ?45m swoop for Tiscali Business

Fastweb this week agreed to acquire rival Tiscali's enterprise arm, Tiscali Business, in a deal worth €45 million. Under the terms of the deal, Fastweb will take over Tiscali Business' biggest enterprise and public sector contracts…

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EU gives conditional OK to Microsoft's LinkedIn buy

The European Commission has approved Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, albeit subject to conditions. Following an investigation, the Commission concluded that the deal does not have the potential to damage competition in the customer relationship management (CRM) and online advertising markets, but could allow Microsoft to harm rival professional social networks…

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Telefonica in Madrid massive MIMO trial

Telefonica has conducted its first live test of massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) in Madrid, as part of the development work on 5G it is carrying out in partnership with ZTE…

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Vodafone names new enterprise director

Vodafone on Tuesday named Brian Humphries, COO of Dell EMC's infrastructure solutions group, as its new group enterprise director. He succeeds Nick Jeffery…

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NZ to decide on Vodafone/Sky merger in February

New Zealand's Commerce Commission announced on Monday that it will decide whether to approve the merger between Vodafone and Sky by 23 February 2017. In a brief statement…

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AllAfrica News: ICT and Telecom
All Africa, All the Time.

Kenya: Widows Use Mobile Money to Escape Poverty
[Thomson Reuters Foundation] Nairobi -Impact most dramatic among those who used M-Pesa, a text message-based mobile payment system
Zimbabwe: Did Police Lie About Baba Jukwa?
[New Zimbabwe] U.S.-BASED global tech giant Google says there were "no attempts whatsoever" by Zimbabwean authorities to engage the company over the Baba Jukwa saga.
Rwanda: Police, Tigo Sign MoU On Crime Detection
[New Times] Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Tigo-Rwanda, a mobile telecom company, have signed an agreement establishing joint mechanisms on crime detection and prevention, including fighting corruption.
East Africa: High Speed Fibre Internet Now Available for SMEs in Malindi
[CIO] SMEs in Malindi can now enjoy affordable internet following the introduction of Safaricom fibre at a cost of Kshs 5,000 per month.
Nigeria: FG Seeks Support for NCC, Operators Over Data Hike
[Guardian] Abuja/Lagos -Communication Minister, Adebayo Shittu, has called on Nigerians to support investors in the telecommunication industry as a way of reviving the ailing economy.
Zimbabwe: Econet Introduces Rand Facility On Ecocash
[The Herald] Econet Wireless Zimbabwe through EcoCash has introduced a facility that allows subscribers to open accounts and transact strictly in South African rands.Econet Zimbabwe chief executive Douglas Mboweni said through the facility, EcoCash customers are now able to either cash-in, cash-out or make payments to merchants and billers in rand.
Namibia: Full Indigenisation Draws Closer
[New Era] Windhoek -Cabinet this week officially set in motion the process that is likely to bring the ownership of the country's biggest mobile telecommunication operator into local hands.
Rwanda: Embrace Cashless Culture to Create More Jobs for Youth - Experts
[New Times] Rwandans and the private sector should embrace cashless culture because it creates new ICT-based and related jobs, Pascal Nyagahene, the MobiCash Rwanda chief, has said.
Nigeria: Economy Saves N2 Billion Yearly From Local Routing of Internet Traffic
[Guardian] The utilisation of Nigeria's Internet Exchange Point (IXP) by telecommunications operators is saving the country N2 billion yearly.
Tanzania: Barcode Technology Use Increases
[Daily News] The number of domestic manufacturers using the barcode technology has increased to over 1,000 companies and 15,000 products after discovering wide range of benefits.
Liberia: Renewing LTA Million Dollar Lease Agreement Totally Unacceptable
[FrontPageAfrica] TWO MONTHS AGO, FRONTPAGEAFRICA published an editorial titled "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul". In that piece concerns were raised over the government crying over its wreaked economy for which it wants to impose additional taxes through tariffs on mobile calls and taxes on alcoholic beverages.
Nigeria: Nigeria Still At Outskirts of Mobile Money Remittances
[Guardian] Nigeria is still struggling with low adoption and highly fragmented agency networks and both are conspiring to hobble the growth of the industry.
Nigeria: FG Advises Nigerians to Brace for Telecom Data Price Increase
[Guardian] Abuja -Adebayo Shittu, communications Minister has asked Nigerians to brace for a price rise while making a case for telecom service providers, which according to the minister were operating under unfriendly business environment including lack of electricity and increasing security challenges.
Nigeria: 'Nigeria's GDP Will Get U.S.$88 Billion Boost With Digital Financial...
[Guardian] With improved and consistent adoption of digital financial services in the country's payment system, about $88 billion will be added to Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.
Nigeria: Firm Launches Online Solution to Aid Travellers
[Guardian] A road transport solution provider, Bus.com.ng has set up an online ticket-booking platform to ease transportation challenges faced by travelers across the country.

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TeleGeography CommsUpdate
Daily news on every market in the global telecommunications industry.

FET aiming to hit 4G subscriber milestone by end-2014
Taiwanese multi-service operator Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (FET) is reportedly hoping to have signed up a total of one million 4G subscribers by the end of 2014. According to the Taipei Times, citing comments made by FET vice-president Maxwell Cheng, the operator currently has around 700,000 customers accessing services over its LTE network. With the executive saying it expects a total of three million 4G users in Taiwan across all providers by that date, it targets a 30% market share in the nascent sector. Meanwhile, FET president Yvonne Li has suggested that 4G uptake could surge should the supply of the in-demand Apple iPhone 6 handset improve, noting: ?The shortage of iPhone 6 handsets in Taiwan is because of strong demand in the US and Europe, as consumers there increase purchases before the Christmas holiday ? We think we still have a chance to increase our 4G clients from next month until the Lunar New Year, if we can source more iPhone 6 handsets.? According to the report, with FET having spent around TWD13 billion (USD424 million) this year on its networks and services, it had now completed rolling out LTE-1800MHz infrastructure and will begin the construction of small cell base stations using the 2600MHZ band next year.
Telekom Slovenije to sell stake in Gibtelecom
Telekom Slovenije will reportedly divest its 50% stake in Gibtelecom to Gibraltar?s government for EUR47.7 million (USD59.6 million), according to a filling with the Ljubljana Stock Exchange. Gibtelecom?s chairman and deputy chief minister, the Hon. Joseph Garcia, was cited as saying that ?in the light of the ongoing sale of the Telekom Slovenije group this shares buy-back enables the government to influence the way forward on the ownership of a communications business that plays an important role for Gibraltar in today?s digital economy?. Further, he noted that the state was keen not to allow a decision on a future strategic partner for Gibtelecom to be ?driven by others outside Gibraltar?. It is understood that the transaction will be completed at a Gibtelecom board meeting scheduled to be held next month.
Tele2 Russia to retain 450MHz spectrum, but not for LTE
ComNews writes that Tele2 Russia plans to retain frequencies in the 450MHz band, formerly held by Rostelecom subsidiary SkyLink before the setting up of their joint mobile venture T2 RTC Holding, but it does not intend to use the band to develop Long Term Evolution (LTE) services unless it can secure additional 450MHz bandwidth at some point in the future. Tele2 Russia deputy director general Alexander Provorotov confirmed that while the company had considered LTE-450 services, it does not hold sufficient bandwidth to make it commercially viable. However, he added: 'The frequency is not going away, we will not give them to anybody. If we get the opportunity to get additional frequencies in this range and increase the bandwidth, we consider it carefully?. *In October this year, TeleGeography reported that Russia?s State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC) authorised the use of frequencies in the 403MHz-410MHz, 417MHz-422MHz, 433MHz-450MHz and 469MHz-470MHz bands for the development of fixed, cellular and land mobile radio use. The 450MHz band is ideal for deployment in rural areas as lower frequency bandwidths are able to serve a greater geographical area, meaning that a lower number of base stations are needed to be deployed to cover a much wider area. The use of the band is not limited to cellular providers; other users include ambulance, taxi and fire protection services. However, the decision will be of interest to a number of Russian cellular operators which currently use the 450MHz band' such as T2 RTC Holding. Irina Rybakov, a spokesperson for Tele2 Russia said at the time that whilst the group welcomed the decision, it needs more details on the precise details before it can proceed. According to her, a lot will ultimately depend on the specific conditions of distribution and use of this spectrum.
Telefonica unveils Tuenti sub-brand in Argentina
Following launches in Spain, Mexico and Peru, Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has launched its pre-paid sub-brand Tuenti Movil in Argentina, targeting the youth segment. The service uses Movistar?s network and provides unlimited access to WhatsApp and SMS on all of its plans. According to Spanish website CincoDias.com, Tuenti will replace Telefonica?s existing Quam brand, which targets a similar youth demographic. According to the report, Quam launched roughly a year ago, and has attracted around 40,000 users to date, but will be rejected in favour of Tuenti, which Telefonica views as a global brand capable of attracting one million subscribers across its international footprint by end-2015.*According to TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, Telefonica launched Tuenti in its domestic market in 2010, before extending the brand to Mexico in June 2014 and Peru in October 2014.
RCOM stable as cost-cutting compensates for falling turnover
Reliance Communications (RCOM) has registered a 16.3% quarter-on-quarter increase in net profits, as minor improvements in the operator?s mobile customer base and decreases in expenses offset the impact of falling revenues from its global operations, and non-mobile services in India. Total revenues dipped by 2.2% q-o-q for the three months ended 30 September 2014 to INR54.03 billion (USD875.5 million), following a 6.2% decline in turnover from RCOM?s global operations and a 27.8% fall in earnings from ?other? services in India ? including data centres and direct to home (DTH) TV. Revenues from telecoms services, meanwhile, increased by 0.4% on a quarterly basis to INR45.35 billion. Consequently, EBITDA was down 1.9% q-o-q to INR18.27 billion but a 12.6% fall in finance charges saw net profits rise from INR1.64 billion to INR2.141 billion. In operational terms, RCOM?s mobile subscriber base grew to 111.3 million (up a 1.1% q-o-q), of which 15.1 million (+16.2%) were 3G users.
Osiptel bans handset locking from 2015
Peruvian telecoms regulator Osiptel has ruled that, from 2 January 2015, mobile operators will no longer be allowed to lock handsets, preventing them from being used on a rival cellco?s network. The watchdog noted that this change in policy had been discussed since 2013, but was now to be implemented to further the recent increase in competition and to complement the increasing popularity of mobile number portability (MNP). As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the reduction in porting time to less than 24 hours in July this year has resulted in an uptick in the use of MNP.
A new challenger has entered the ring: Junkanoo promises ?Quantum leap?, whil...
Pan-Caribbean operator Digicel has confirmed its intention to bid for the Bahamas? second mobile licence, saying that it is eager to turn the nation into a ?powerhouse? through its telecoms services, the Nassau Guardian writes, citing the company?s chief operating officer Claudio Hidalgo. ?Imagine a Bahamas where smart technology is applied in smart ways to tackle social issues, foster new ways of learning, drive in-country and cross-border collaboration and ultimately position the Bahamas at the forefront of the global knowledge economy,? the official was quoted as saying. *In a related development, three local providers have thrown their hats into the ring, including Cable Bahamas, Limitless Bahamas (formerly IP Solutions International [IPSI]) and, most recently, Junkanoo Mobile. Tribune242 quotes a Junkanoo spokesperson, Franklyn Winder, as saying that the company ? which is yet to reveal any details regarding its financing, shareholders or partners ? is supported by a six-strong executive team with extensive global communications experience. Junkanoo is planning to roll out a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and has ?engaged one of the world?s leading manufacturers in the mobile and telecoms industry to customise, design and build a premium network.? Mr Winder went on, adding that the network would be ?a quantum leap from what is now being experienced by the Bahamian community. Consumers could expect to see fewer dropped calls, lower prices and far better technology.? The spokesman also noted that the company had lined up a number of strategic financial partners, but stopped short of naming any of the parties.
TD boosts LTE speeds to 300Mbps in select areas
Telekom Deutschland (TD), the domestic fixed and mobile subsidiary of German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom, has been able to offer LTE speeds of up to 300Mbps in selected areas since 17 November. The company said the speed increase was made possible by using the 2600MHz frequency band in combination with its established 1800MHz 4G network to create more capacity for high speeds data transfer in urban areas, including: Berlin, Bonn, Chemnitz, Cologne, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Potsdam, Rostock and Stuttgart. To experience 300Mbps LTE speeds, residential and business customers require a Cat.6 mobile device and a relevant 4G tariff, such as MagentaMobil L Plus, Data Comfort L and Mobile Data L and XL. TD says its LTE network, which uses frequencies in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands, currently covers around 79% of the population.
Viettel seeks 80% of Telkom Kenya?
The long-running sale of Orange Group's 70% shareholding in Telkom Kenya has reportedly been complicated by Viettel Group's intention to secure an additional 10% stake in the telco from the Kenyan Treasury, effectively reducing the government's 30% stake. According to a report by Standard Media, which cites an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter, there are fears that this 10% stake, or at least a portion of it, will go to a group of powerful local businessmen who are alleged to be looking out for the interests of the Vietnamese group. The local businessmen are also allegedly aiming to assist Viettel push for an extension of all licences held by Telkom Kenya for another 15 years. However, the government has said that Viettel?s demands for the treasury to cede an additional 10% and extend Telkom?s licences are ?baseless?. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich told Business Beat that the government would not cede any more of its stake: ?We won?t give in to [Viettel?s] requests. This is a privatisation issue that is guided by rules and procedures,? he was quoted as saying.
PCCS cable lands in Ecuador
A new consortium high speed (100Gbps) fibre-optic cable, the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS), has landed at Manta, Ecuador, linking the country with Balboa, Panama. According to Ecuadorian wholesale carrier Telconet, cited by TeleSemana, the PCCS undersea system has a capacity 60 times greater than that Ecuador is currently consuming. The PCCS consortium includes Cable & Wireless Communications, Setar, Telconet, Telefonica Global Solutions and United Telecommunication Services (UTS). As shown on TeleGeography's Submarine Cable Map, the PCCS cable, stretching from the US to Ecuador, is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in 2015, arriving ahead of another planned undersea system with connectivity to Ecuador - the South America Pacific Link (SAPL) - a venture of Ocean Networks with an RFS date of 2016. Ecuador is currently served by two ageing submarine cable systems, the consortium Pan American (PAN-AM) which was launched in 1999, and the Telefonica-owned South America-1 (SAm-1) cable, in operation since 2001.
Mid Europa eyes sale of Bite
Private equity fund manager Mid Europa Partners is looking to sell telecoms group Bite, which provides mobile services in Lithuania and Latvia, writes Finance Net, citing a report by Eversus.lt. According to unnamed sources, a sale of the company could take place early next year, with Sweden?s Tele2 named as a potential buyer of the Bite group. In June it was reported that Mid Europa Partners had enlisted Goldman Sachs to carry out a strategic review of Bite. TeleGeography notes that Mid Europa has recently offloaded its stakes in T-Mobile Czech Republic (February 2014), SBB/Telemach Group (March 2013) and Orange Austria (January 2013). Other divested Mid Europa assets include: Aster of Poland (sold in September 2011), MobiFon (Romania, March 2005) and Oskar Mobile (Czech Republic, March 2005).
CANTV deploys over 2,900 free Wi-Fi sites
Venezuelan state-owned telco CANTV has deployed at least 2,903 Wi-Fi broadband internet access points under its nationwide free Wi-Fi project dubbed 'Wi-Fi para todos' (Wi-Fi for all), Telecompaper reports. The project, which stipulates the deployment of 5,774 Wi-Fi sites across the country, was launched in November 2013. The sites are in public areas as well as in universities and public schools.
Telus launches two Cisco powered cloud services
In a press release, Canadian full-service telco Telus announced it is introducing two new solutions to enable Canadian businesses leverage cloud-based technology 'to improve how they communicate with their customers, employees and partners.' TELUS Cloud Collaboration provides businesses with access to a full suite of unified communications services, and TELUS Cloud Contact Centre offers a fully featured contact centre solution hosted in the cloud. Both products are powered by the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), an end-to-end solution that enables highly secure, reliable and scalable 'as-a-service' offerings of Cisco Collaboration technologies. 'For Canadian businesses looking for a competitive edge, cloud-based services can optimise employee productivity and improve customer service, while reducing technology expenditures,' said Peter Green, president of Telus Business Solutions, adding that the new cloud offerings 'eliminate the financial barriers to adopting best-in-class solutions, putting them within reach of businesses of any size.'
Vodafone Ghana will not block Expresso calls
Haris Broumidis, chief executive officer of Vodafone Ghana, has revealed that his company has no immediate plans to terminate its existing interconnection agreement with rival Expresso over its inability to honour its financial obligations, and will instead negotiate with the smaller operator on how to deal with the matter. ?In our case Vodafone Ghana is not considering cutting Expresso [off]. We will work with them to see how we will reach an amicable solution regarding what they owe us because of the incoming traffic?, the executive disclosed to Citi FM Online.*TeleGeography notes that, MTN Ghana and Airtel have both blocked incoming calls from Expresso?s networks due to the cellco?s inability to settle its debts. Last week telecoms watchdog the National Communications Authority (NCA) took steps to mediate the dispute between the parties, and while the regulator disclosed that it is still monitoring the issue, and will take the appropriate action after a comprehensive review of the situation, it had reminded Expresso?s subscribers that, if they so wish, they can make use of mobile number portability (MNP) and switch to another provider.
Orange Group refutes Swaziland launch claims
Sebastien Crozier, CEO of Orange Group's international development unit Orange Horizons, has refuted claims that the group is planning to launch a mobile network in Swaziland, IT Web Africa reports. The executive explained: ?We have planned for the beginning of next year to extend our coverage of the online store because there is a customer union between Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia ? and probably because some people have heard we are going to extend the coverage of the delivery in Swaziland they thought Orange will set a new mobile operator in the country?. According to Crozier, Orange will provide online services and sell devices and SIM cards for people travelling to Europe, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire and other African countries. *TeleGeography notes that one international telecoms firm that is interested in Swaziland is Vietnam's Viettel Group. Last month Swaziland Communications Commission (SCC) director Stan Motsa confirmed that the company had applied for a mobile concession under the ?Swazi Vitel? name. The start-up was also said to be backed by ?Mozambican business people?.

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