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3UK 'not confident' Ofcom can stand up to BT, Vodafone
Mobile operator claims watchdog is afraid of being sued if it takes on the big telcos.
BlackBerry calls time on handset hardware
Company to outsource smartphone development to third parties; new CFO appointed.
Incumbent telco CEOs say room for improvement in EU reform package
Leaders of Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Orange, Telecom Italia, among those calling for reduction in red tape.
Telco vendors, car makers form 5G connected car group
Audi, BMW, Daimler team up with Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, among others to accelerate development of connected vehicle tech.
Telefonica picks banks for O2 UK IPO
Report claims Barclays, UBS, Morgan Stanley to take leading role in mobile operator's stock market debut.
Disney mulls Twitter bid
Company reportedly working with advisor on offer for social media service.
All seven applicants approved for Indian spectrum auction
Seven bidders expected to take part when process kicks off in October.
CityFibre extends reach with Redcentric deal
U.K. altnet adds metro fibre assets in three cities; first-half net loss more than doubles on higher costs.
Router issue takes down Vodafone Australia network
Memories of 'Vodafail' as customers are left without voice, SMS, data services for several hours.
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AllAfrica News: ICT and Telecom
All Africa, All the Time.
Tanzania: IT Firm Comes Up With New Products to Boost Digital Inclusion
[Daily News] Ericsson has introduced new software and hardware products to help mobile network operators to boost digital inclusion in the country.
Cameroon: Cyber Criminality - ANTIC Upgrades State Personnel Skills
[Cameroon Tribune] Participants were senior police, military and Civil Service officials employing Information and Communication Technologies.
Africa: Africa Code Week Officially Arrives in Mozambique
[AMA] SAP drives digital literacy across Africa - one workshop at a time
Nigeria: NCC Allows Spectrum Refarming for Service Optimisation
[Guardian] As part of efforts targeted at making spectrum usage more efficient in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is encouraging the refarming of various frequencies.
Tanzania: Ericsson to Bring More People Online
[Citizen] Dar es Salaam -Ericsson yesterday launched a new suite of innovations. They include software and hardware additions to Ericsson's radio system to reduce the total cost of ownership.
Nigeria: Buhari Appoints Head of Nigeria's ICT Agency
[Premium Times] The Federal Government has appointed Dr IIssa Pantami, a specialist in Information and Communication Technology(ICT), as the new Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
South Africa: Science and Technology Hosts Africa Engineering Week, 28 to 29 ...
[SA Govt] Increasing the number of women in engineering in South Africa and on the continent will be high on the agenda of the third the Africa Engineering Week, which will be launched at the Fathers House Church, 30 Paterson Road, North End, Port Elizabeth, on 28 to 29 September.
South Africa: Digital Migration Changes TV Viewing Experience in Xigalo
[SAnews.gov.za] Masingita Majoko from Xigalo, Limpopo, never thought in her 81 years of existence she would see television images so crystal clear - as if it were real life.
South Africa: Whose Privacy Is It Anyway - What the Wada Hack Tells Us About ...
[Daily Maverick] The Fancy Bears hack which has now leaked the private medical details of almost 100 athletes raises some pertinent points about the rather badly drawn line between privacy and transparency. Can we have both when we are trying to protect integrity? By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Nigeria: NCC Flaunts Development Potentials of Telecom
[Vanguard] The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communi-cations Commission, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, marched to the rostrum at the commission's conference room Abuja, Monday, like a special celebrity. While every other person was seated, including his directors and news men from all around the world, he emerged five minutes later looming large with a prepared speech in his hand.
Botswana: Concerns Over On and Off-Net Call Costs
[The Patriot] On the backdrop of an outcry for reduction of internet data prices in the neighbouring South Africa, an expert engaged by the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has revealed that there is no evidence of excessive pricing in mobile broadband in Botswana. According to an official from Inter Connect Communications (ICC), Eric Tyson, mobile broadband prices are favorable despite some prices being above regional average.
Nigeria: IPI Solutions Nigeria Partners With Microsoft
[Premium Times] IPI Solutions Nigeria Limited is excited to announce that it has been chosen as Microsoft's 1 Tier partner for its recently introduced Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme for West and Central Africa region and Nigeria.
Tanzania: Mobile Phone Firm Hailed for Supporting Road Safety Initiative
[Daily News] The government has commended Vodacom for its support to road safety initiatives including sponsoring the road safety week that was launched in Geita Region last Monday.
Tanzania: Lack of Science Skills Attributed to Slow Innovation Pace
[Daily News] Insufficient numbers of people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills in the country can severely constrain innovation, growth and the ability to manage day to day activities of an information society.
South Africa: Science and Technology Hosts 2016 International Conference On R...
[SA Govt] Department of Science and Technology to host International Conference on Research Infrastructure 2016 in collaboration with European Union
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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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