News in Brief 13 June 2013

Afghanistan: Cable commences - The inauguration of the fibre optic project in Bamyan, Daikundi and Ghor provinces was attended by a delegation of worthies, including the Minister of Communications and IT (MCIT) H.E. Amirzai Sangin, Deputy Minister - Technical Eng. Baryalai Hassam; Director of Afghan Telecom, Mr. Gul Ahmad Rastman; representative of Bamyan Province in Parliament Mr. Fakory Baheshti; Governor of Bamyan, Mrs. Habiba Surabi and Mr. Ramish, Deputy of the GHCC Construction Company.

Cameroon: Archival assessment - The Director General of the Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications wants to archive its documentation, and then subsequently manager the resulting collection. It has therefore called for Expressions of Interest for a preliminary study of its current archival holdings and is to pre-qualify research firms. Full details are here.

Cameroon: Farmers facilitated - Camtel formally launched its CTPhone in Poli on 30 May 2013, providing both voice and Internet. Director General of the Cameroon Telecommunications, David Nkoto Emane, said that farmers would benefit from the service. Service will be rolled out to other districts in the of the region, including Mayo Oulo, Rey Bouba and Maiboum, althopugh no time frame was given.

Cote d'Ivoire: Salaries settled - The Ministry of Post and Information Technology and Communication in conjunction with the Ministry to the Prime Minister for the Economy and Finance have published two decrees: one to fix salary and allowances of the President and Members of the Regulatory Board of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Cote d'Ivoire (ARTCI); and a second to fix the salary and allowances of the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Cote d'Ivoire (ARTCI). Mr. Gabriel Bile is CEO; and the Regulatory Board consists of Mr. Fofana LeMassou (President); Mrs. Toure Namahoua (Member); Claude Calista M'Bayia (Member); Amadou Toure (Member); Mr. Demba Diop (Member); André Braud-Mensah (Member) and Pierre Rolled (Member).

Ghana: Standards sustained - Vodafone Ghana has managed a clean QoS sheet over a 14 month period. quoted Vodafone Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Patricia Obo-Nai as saying it was due to investment in the network. On take over of Ghana Telecom there were 300 base stations, but now the fleet stands at 1,600. The NCA measures the QoS of the networks once a month. Cable cuts however remain an issue.

Liberia: LoneStar for Library funding - The Liberian Education Trust in collaboration with Lone Star Cell GSM Company and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a library valued at USD 50,000 in Moilakwelleh, Bokomu Distract, Gbarpolu County on 31 May. The three institutions signed the MOU at the Liberian Education Trust head office at Sinkor Airfield.

Nigeria: Poached personnel prosper - MTN Nigeria has replaced 285 expatriates with local staff in a move to cut costs and encourage local content, according to MTN Corporate Service Executive Wale Goodluck speaking at the MTN Leadership Forum in Abuja, The Punch newspaper reported. MTN at launch in Nigeria in 2001 it had an expatriate staff of 300. It has implemented a dual policy of poaching Nigerians in the Diaspora and investing in the training of local engineers. This has now seen MTN now able to deploy Nigerian engineers in other countries.

South Africa: Reboot required - There was an issue with Telkom's ADSL network during scheduled maintenance on Friday and which led Telkom to perform a reset on live users. The large number of simultaneous reset attempts placed a significant load on the authentication servers and was perceived by users as downtime. Telkom is to now investigate the scripts, processes and underlying network control elements to establish the root cause and prevent future problems.

Tanzania: Augmented access - Deputy Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, January Makamba, at a parliamentary seminar to discuss the universal communication services access fund (UCSAF), told members that operators have acquired some 400 base stations for deployment in unserved areas. The Daily News noted that through the UCSAF, the government was also looking to roll out telecoms services in all border areas.

Tanzania: Tigo ticketing - Brand Manager William Mpinga said Tigo Tanzania had recently signed with FastJet Tanzania to allow customers buy tickets via their mobiles through Tigo pesa. Booking and payment confirmations will be sent by SMS.

Uganda: SIM success - According to a report by the Kampala-based The Independent at least 15 million subscribers, out of the estimated 16.5 million mobile owners in Uganda (92 percent) had registered their SIM cards by the start of the month, the paper citing the UCC.

Zambia: Airtel ailments - The Times of Zambia reports the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) calling on Airtel to improve its network after subscribers had complained about its services. ZACA Executive Director Muyunda Ililonga said complaints related to failure to make calls, dropped calls and recharge failures. Airtel Head of Corporate Communications and Government Relations Chabuka Kawesha said it had had a general network fault during the past week but the issue had been resolved.