News in Brief 16 May 2013

Angola: Exhibition support by Ericsson - Last week Swedish minister of Trade, Ewa Bjorling, stopped over in Luanda on a 24-hour visit as part of the reinforcement of bilateral co-operation. Speaking to ANGOP, the official said the trip was to promote a trade exchange between Angola and Sweden. She met with the ministers of Trade, Rosa Pacavira, and Telecommunications, José Carvalho da Rocha. An Angolan/Swedish Conference on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) was scheduled for 8-9 May. Ericsson is supporting the event.

Egypt: Rejection recommended - Orascom Telecom Holding's board has recommended rejecting an offer by a subsidiary of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Altimo to buy its shares made in late March. Orascom said that an independent valuation had valued its shares at USD 0.86 per share, rather than the offer value of USD 0.70.

Ghana: Road to ruin - Adom Business reports it has seen a ?confidential? letter from the National Security Secretariat which blames road construction works as the main cause of telecom cable and fibre cuts. The letter, dated 30 April 2013, signed by the National Security Co-ordinator, Larry Gbevlo Lartey, with copies to the Ministers of Roads and Highways, and of Communications, the President?s Executive Secretary, various Regional Security Councils and the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, supports the position of the telcos.

Iran: Maintaining momentum - The Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) is to invest some IRR 25 trillion (USD 2.0 billion) during the current Iranian year starting 21 March 2013, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA). Mostafa Seyyed-Hashemi, head of theBoard, said TCI investment rate reached IRR 17 trillion (USD 1.4 billion) during the previous 12 month period. Seyyed-Hashemi said that it had renovated the mobile phone network.

Kenya: Book bits - Bob Collymore has lobbied for more e-books, proposing a part-work approach, with readers only buying what they need or can afford. He made the comments in a speech to publishers during a book launch in May, urging them to embrace technology.

Kenya: Samsung on sale - The official price of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 has been set at KES 65,000 (USD 762), The Star newspaper reported. Airtel in April made a pre-order offer of KES 57,000 or KES 53,000 if paying via Airtel money; whilst Safaricom had a pre-shipment offer of KES 58,000. The Star noted Airtel had offered 21GB data free and Safaricom 4.5 Gb. However in Safaricom shops it was noted on sale for KES 65,000 with no free data.

Kuwait: Bad bills - The Ministry of Communication called on subscribers to pay their bills or be disconnected. The Director of Public Relations at the Ministry Dr. Ahmad Al-Husaini said that a reminder will be sent on 12 May, with a second notice on 19 May. Lines will start to be disconnected from 26 May. Domestic lines owing KWD 50 (USD 175) and business lines topping KWD 100 (USD 350) will be listed for disconnection.

Malawi: Recharge rewards - Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) and First Merchant Bank (FMB) have launched a joint promotion branded 'Recharge and Win Big' to encourage TNM subscribers to recharge their phones through the bank. The competition is open to TNM subscribers who are also FMB customers, and will run for eight weeks with a grand draw in June 2013.

Nigeria: One-stop recharge - Airtel Nigeria has launched a dual-purpose single recharge card for both voice and data services that allows subscribers to recharge for both services with a single recharge card. The Single Recharge Option is available in both physical and electronic recharge formats, with the physical card available on NGN 100, 500 and 5,000 denominations, while the electronic pin (paper) options offer in addition denominations of NGN 200, 1,000 and 2,000. Data bonuses are also being offered.

Qatar: IPX+ initiation - Ooredoo has launched the first live IPX+ enabled network in the Middle East in conjunction with Tata Communications. The Tata Communications' platform offers Ooredoo global reach, improved quality of service (QoS) and enables the more cost-effective transition to an all IP-based service, including 4G.

Syria: Internet interrupted - Last week Internet access was cut and then restored. Internet monitoring specialist Renesys confirmed that Web traffic resumed in Syria after being cut on Tuesday last week for just over 19 hours. The cut was attributed to severed Internet cable.

Tanzania: Registration rewarded -With focus on SIM-registration, Zantel has launched its ?Recharge and Win? promotion. The Daily News reported Zantel Commercial Director for Zanzibar, Mohamed Mussa, as saying that only subscribers with registered numbers would be able to win prizes. The campaign will run to July 2013. To enter, users have to recharge using scratch vouchers or MIMINA vouchers with a denomination of TZS 1,000 (USD 0.60) or more and will automatically be entered into the prize draw. It also launched its ?Bonus Balaa? promotion in which for every recharge of TZS 1,000 sees airtime doubled and the ability to call all networks for 30 days. Zantel is the brand of Zanzibar Telecom Limited, the fourth mobile operator in Tanzania, and is a joint venture between the Zanzibar government and Etisalat.

Tunisia: Synced solution - Tunisiana has contracted Telnet subsidiary DataBox and Switzerland's Oscilloquartz to supply a global synchronisation solution for its 3G and core IP network, based on the precise time protocol (PTP) IP network synchronisation protocol. Tunisiana's 2G network has benefited from DataBox colluding with Oscilloquartz in the installation of syncing solutions since 2006.