Morocco will launch bid for 4G in autumn
The Moroccan press has
reported that Morocco will launch a tender for 4G licenses next autumn.
According to El Azdine Mountassir Billah, director of the regulatory authority
(National Agency for regulation of telecommunications - ANRT), licenses will be
awarded at the beginning of 2013 with a view to effective launch of services in
2014. He added that Morocco would be entitled to the fourth generation of mobile
Internet 4G barely a year after it came into service in (the) most developed
European countries. The Regulator’s objective is to connect all of the Moroccan
population to broadband by 2020.
As a matter of interest,
there are three operators on the Moroccan telecommunications market: Morocco
Telecom, a subsidiary of French group Vivendi, Meditelecom, a subsidiary of
France Telecom-Orange and Wana, owned by a holding company controlled by the
royal family and the Kuwaiti Sharifian Zain. Therefore, the arrival of 4G could
allow the emergence of a new operator.
Bid for 3G licence in Cameroon
Cameroon has launched an
international tender to grant a license to establish and operate a network of
mobile electronic communications, including the 3G frequency resources.
Interested investors are invited to submit an expression of interest in French
and in English. Nonetheless, they are required to satisfy the following
be a telecommunications network
operator belonging to a internationally renowned group and not operating in
to have USD 200 million of
stockholders’ equity in December 2012,
The deadline for submission is
set for 13th July and the opening of submissions will take place 20th July
Reorganisation of Tunisia Telecom – privatisation in view
With the support of its minority
shareholder EIT - Emirates International Telecommunications, which holds 35 % of
Tunisie Telecom’s shares, the incumbent is preparing for an important
transformation: downsizing and total privatisation are considered.
EIT, a subsidiary of Dubai
Holding, has persuaded the government, which holds 65% of the share capital, to
engage in an in-depth transformation. A voluntary leaving plan is expected to be
announced before the Ramadan month. In the long term, the government could opt
for privatisation of the majority of its shares in favour of EIT.
Tunisia Telecom has many
assets in particular in terms of its wire-based broadband infrastructures which
have become strategic, given the growth of data traffic. Moreover, since the
beginning of the year, the operator has been working to make up ground lost to
its competitors by lowering mobile communication prices and redeploying its
distribution network. Finally, Tunisia has launched 3G services and gained new
markets with business customers.
Please note that Bird & Bird
is assisting the Tunisian government on a privatisation project.
Source: Jeune Afrique
Sale of 3G licence in Democratic Republic of Congo
On 26th June, the Minister of
Post, Telephones and ITC, Mr. Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumbato, announced the sale of
3G licenses to a group of operators (Africell, Tigo, Vodacom, Airtel). The price
of the licence was estimated at USD 15 million.
The licence sale comes at a
time when the draft 2012 budget has been declared admissible by the National
Assembly. Therefore, the Ministry had to comply with the requirement of the
budget and capture required revenue.
Senegal: Tax on international incoming calls has been cancelled
Senegal has cancelled the tax on
incoming international calls fixed at 0.215 euro or 141.035 CFA francs per
minute. Indeed, decree n° 2012-500 entered into force on 15th May 15, 2012,
repealing the system of control and taxation of international incoming calls,
which had been established by decree n°2011-1271 of 24th August 2011. It remains
to be seen how the budget gap estimated at 50 billion CFA francs due to the tax
cancellation will be filled. Negotiations with operators are already being
pursued in order to help the state to bridge the gap.
Senegal is following the
initiative of the Minister of Posts and information technologies and
communication of Ivory Coast which cancelled the tax on incoming international
traffic to replace it, nevertheless, by a "telecommunications tax" set at 3% of
operator’s turnover (see amendments of tax code reviewed by the appendix of the
Finance bill 2012).
Orange Guinea sentenced for anti-competitive practice but its cross border link
is judged legal
A first-instance tribunal in
Conakry has sentenced Orange Guinea for anti-competitive practices and abuse of
dominant position in the complaint made against it by a group of Internet access
providers. At the same time, the tribunal has reaffirmed the legality of the
cross border link to access SAT-3 submarine cable.
Introduction of tax on international incoming calls in Mali
According to “Le Prétoire”
newspaper, the Malian government plans to introduce a tax on incoming
international calls. The newspaper has criticised this initiative explaining
that such tax is counter-productive and detrimental for States, operators and
users and goes against employment in telecommunication sector. Moreover, the
journal recalls the fact the other countries in West Africa are currently
abrogating this tax.
Senegal: national campaign on the quality of telecommunication services
On 25th June 2012 the Regulatory
Agency for Telecommunications and Posts (ARTP) launched a national campaign on
the quality of fixed and mobile networks and Internet. For a month, until July
25, users can call a toll free number, provided by the regulator, to report
irregularities in the services provided by different operators: sporadic or
recurring dysfunctions of telephone networks, coverage or accessibility problems
in a given area, problems of Internet access, difficulties in making or
receiving calls or SMS, and other problems of service quality.
Cameroon: 3% tax on turnover to supply telecommunications fund
Telecommunications operators in
Cameroon are now liable to a 3% tax on their annual turnover. The tax,
established by a Presidential Decree of 26th June 2012, will be used for
supplying the Special Telecommunications Fund set up by sector reform in 1998.
This contribution will be paid into an account opened at the Central Bank by the
Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. According to the decree, the fund is
placed under the auspices of the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. The
Telecommunications Regulatory Board is charged with ensuring that the operators
indeed pay the required amount. Since the tax is paid on the basis of turnover
declared by operators, the decree empowers the Telecommunications Regulatory
Board to verify the veracity of their declarations. In case of doubt, the
regulator can carry out an audit at the operator’s expense.
This new tax will replace the
2% one, which supplied the Special Trust Fund managed by the Ministry of
Ethiopia bans online communications tools
On 24th May 2012 the Ethiopian
government adopted a Proclamation on Telecom Fraud Offences which prohibits
online communication tools like Skype. The bill states that providing
telecommunications services through the internet is an offence and it is
punishable by imprisonment of between 3 and 8 years. Using such services
intentionally or by negligence is punishable by imprisonment of between 3 months
and 2 years.
Who does what
Nationalisation of Djezzy
Takeover by the State of a 51%
stake in Algerian operator Djezzy is scheduled for the coming months. Therefore,
the State will control two mobile operators in the country.
Karim Djoudi, the Minister of
Finance, has confirmed the continuation of negotiations with the Russian group
VimpelCom which bought Djazzy in October 2010 (it holds a 51.7% stake in OTH).
This operation is the outcome
of a process started in early 2010 when Alger decided to buy the mobile operator
Djezzy (at that time a 96,8%-owned subsidiary of Egypt's Orascom Telecom Holding
OTH) by asserting its preferential right under the 51/49 rule which states that
any foreign investor must join a majority Algerian partner.
Source: Jeune Afrique
Nigeria: Government is getting out of rural telephony
The federal government is
planning to abandon the project of the National Rural Telephony Project (NRTP)
due the full liberalisation of the telecommunications sector and very little
government involvement. The project was intended to cover 218 local government
areas in the first phase and provide over 636,256 CDMA (Code Division Multiple
Access) lines in the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT). China’s ZTE Corporation, Huawei and Shangai Bell have been
contracted to build the rural infrastructure, but in the end only installed
local exchanges. The exchange centers that were built in six geopolitical zones
are being awarded as concessions to companies that have paid for them and our
role is to monitor the implementation and delivery of services to rural areas.
Nigeria believes that the infrastructure in the six geopolitical zones will be
better managed by external parties.
Mauritius: Bharat Telecoms rolls out a high-speed FTTH broadband
Bharat Telecoms is rolling out
2,900 kms of island-wide fibre network. Bharat Telecoms has invested 50 million
USD. It wants to cover 70% of the population in the first phase and the other
30% in the second one. Licensed in November 2011, it has so far deployed 80 kms
of its core network in a month and a half.
Ivory Coast: 3G licences are granted
On May 7th, Ivory Coast granted
the first 3G licenses. Moov, MTN and Orange Ivory Coast have each paid the $ 6
billion francs CFA for their licence which has provided 18 billion FCFA to the
Ivorian government. Operators had first to complete the conditions required by
the Agency for Telecommunications’ (ATCI). As a criterion, they must be
up-to-date with their obligations vis-à-vis the Ivorian state. They also
committed to a national coverage of 95% within 4 years.
New mobile payment service launched by the Tunisian Post and Tunisiana
The Tunisian Post has launched,
with the assistance of the operator Tunisiana, a new service for mobile payment
called "Mobiflouss". This service will be available to all holders of a
Tunisiana number as well as all holders of e-Dinar Smart cards, whether banked
or not and even in inland areas. This is a multi-bank and multi-operator service
that will allow its users mobile access to the services of e-dinar Smart cards,
money transfers, payments and consultation of invoices as well as recharging
Tunisiana prepaid telephones.
Vodafone: problems in Europe but good performance on emerging markets
Vodafone has had to depreciate
the value of its subsidiaries in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece by 4 billion
pounds. However with good performances in India, Turkey and even in the United
States it still shows large profits.
Times are tough for the
European telecom sector and Vodafone’s accounts for 2011-2012 have confirmed
that. The turnover of the British operator fell by 1.1% in Europe during the
year ended 31st March 2012. Although its business in Europe is in a difficult
position, European subsidiaries of Vodafone are more profitable than those in
emerging countries. By contrast, the emerging markets have driven growth of the
group, especially India and Turkey, which helps Vodafone to show a slight
increase in overall sales (1.9%) and make an operating profit of 11.5 billion
pounds (- 2.4%).
Source: Les Echos
Democratic Republic of Congo: funds for the optical fibre connection embezzled
During his appearance before the
National Assembly, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications has admitted
that the connection of the DRC to the optical fiber is blocked following a
misappropriation of $3 million for this operation.
USD 3 million were withdrawn
from BIAC (International Bank for Africa in Congo) by a certain Kalala Martin
holding a driver's license. The National Assembly has decided to set a
commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of the case.
Internet switch exchange in Congo Brazza
Jasco Congo has entered into a
service partnership with Warid Congo, using the local company’s existing
infrastructure and taking over operational costs and maintenance of the data
centre. Jasco will design and build an Internet switch exchange and provide
local Internet hosting from the Warid Telecom data centre, helping to drive down
the cost of Internet access. The company will also host local telecommunications
operators, providing a carrier neutral switching location for international
Tunisiana wins 3G and fixed licences
Following the rejection of its
initial bid by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies
(MinCom), Tunisiana (subsidiary of Qatar Telecom) has been awarded both 3G and
landline operator licenses by the MinCom.
The Qatar Telecom (Qtel)
subsidiary will pay TND205 million (USD131.52 million) for the licence, TND44
million higher than its earlier bid. Tunisiana has also signed an agreement with
Huawei to roll out its 3G network infrastructure.
Rural telephony in Togo
In mid-April Togo Telecom,
Togocel, Moov Togo and the Minister of Telecommunications, Mrs. Cina Lawson
signed an agreement on network extension to rural areas in order to provide
telecommunication services at lower cost. The operation will result in the
installation of 50 base stations covering around 200 isolated villages and
towns. It will cost 6 billion FCFA each year equivalent to €9,15 millions,
respectively 6,1 million for Togo Telecom, 1,7 million for Togocel and 1,35 for
Source: Jeune Afrique
News in brief
Development of Orange’s m-payment services
Orange launches an m-payment
service in Jordan and Mauritius. The company says that users of its Orange Money
m-payment service have passed the milestone of 4 million.
strengthens its control of Mobinil
France Telecom has increased its
stake in Egyptian mobile operator ECMS (Mobinil) to 94%. Share repurchases have
cost it 19 billion Egyptian pounds (2.47 billion Euros).
Successful launch of AMOS -5
Launched in position 17 ° E,
satellite AMOS-5 provides the services bundles capacity through pan-African
C-band and Ku.
Source: Jeune Afrique
Afrique Telecom is opening up its capital before enter the stock market
Arkeon Management has acquired
stakes in Afrique Telecom. Afrique Telecom is a French company which has so far
successfully developed Internet access via satellite (VSAT) mainly for companies
and institutions in Africa. Growth prospects for Afrique Telecom and its
commitment to listing on the stock exchange were decisive factors for the
Namibia and Botswana connected to West Africa Cable System
Landlocked Botswana has
inaugurated its link to the West African Cable System (WACS), which was launched
last month and stretches 14,900km along the west coast of Africa. Botswana
partnered with neighbouring Namibia, each raising USD37.5 million to invest in a
9.2% stake in the cable consortium. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC)
will co-locate services within the Swakopmund landing station operated by
WACS cable inaugurated in Togo
According to Togo Telecom, West
Africa Cable System (WACS) was inaugurated yesterday with the central landing of
the fibre-optic cable in Afidegnigba.
Huawei and ZTE in Algeria sentenced for corruption
Chinese telecoms equipment
vendors Huawei and ZTE are excluded from public contracts in Algeria for two
years after they were found to have bribed an executive at state-owned telco
LTE arrives in Namibia: MTC launches 4G in capita
MTC has launched commercial 4G
data services over a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network covering large parts of
the capital, Windhoek.